So, this last week has been pretty normal, but, there was a pretty funny experience we had last Tuesday! We went to the hospital to give blood, because a branch president from Darien was sick and needed blood. So the AP's picked us up and told me that I was going to give the blood. I wasn't nervous because I have had plenty of experience donating plasma, so I am pretty much a boss at this now. My companion the whole time was saying it sucked that I had to give blood and that he didn't want to give blood because he doesn't like needles and all that jazz. But when we got to the hospital, they said they needed two people to donate, so my companion got volunteered.
We get in there, and they stick him first. We were snapping pictures on the assistant’s iPhone because it was the first time we had both given blood. They stuck him first, then me. Everything was going well, and my companion said he started to feel a bit sick. He called the doctor over because his bag was full, and he wanted to get off the machine. After they cut the tube, he got super sick, and he started to pass out. I looked over and asked if he was alright, and he was trying to keep his head up and he kept saying, "I'm goin’ out man, I'M GOIN’ DOWN!" I was laughing, and he had the iPhone so we couldn't take any pictures. They gave him ammonia to smell that woke him up, and he was fine but he just had to sit there for a while. He didn't actually pass out completely, just like halfway, but it was super funny!
We did divisions this week with the other Elders from our district, and I went to their area, Balboa. It is one of the poorer areas in the mission, but I like those areas because the humble people live there. We gave a blessing to a lady who is going through problems with nerve damage in her brain, and it is affecting her desire to continue on with life. It was powerful. We contacted some really strong members of another faith, and they got into a heated conversation with us in the middle of the street about baptism and told us that we couldn't know the truth because we are so young, but they have been studying the bible for forty years. We bore our testimonies that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, and respectfully and directly invited them to "keep studying", then left them there and walked away. The spirit was strong and I don't know how they were able to deny us like they did. I listened to the Book of Mormon talk by Jeffrey R Holland, when he says that he wants it to be clear, that when he is at the judgment bar, he testified to the world that the Book of Mormon was true. I feel like that when I testify to people of the Gospel and they don't accept it. Elder Price always used to look up at the sky and wave when someone would reject us, and he said he did it so at judgment day, he could show that video of him waving outside their house to let them know he gave them the opportunity to accept the gospel.
Today for Pday, we went with the entire zone to a family’s house in the Zone Leader's area. They bought us pizza, and then we went out to a park with a basketball and futbol court, and played for a couple hours. All the gringos played basketball, so it was fun to play a good game with people who know the rules and know how to play. It started to rain pretty hard, so we stopped after a couple of hours, but it was good to get out. Since I have been in the office, not many p days have been spent outside the office!
We have found the new entertainment of throwing paper airplanes off the roof and seeing how long they stay in the air and how long they travel. We usually write little messages on them like, "be happy, be Mormon!" and write the mormon.org reference. How cool would that be if someone got to know the church through one of our paper airplanes?
So, this Sunday, we will be able to Skype. I am thinking I will call about six my time, so that would be about four your time! Let me know if another time works good. We will be here for a while because my companion is going to call earlier in the day I think. Well, not much more to report on... I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp