Well, I am currently sitting in the office with a face that feels like an old catcher’s glove on fire, because we went to the Cinta Costera to play volleyball and basketball again, and we were there for about six hours, and I got FRIED! I have no sunscreen. But, the good news is I have lots of aloes and when I got fried last week it turned it into a nice tan, so I am hoping this turns into tan quick, because I basically look like a tomato right now! But, it is worth it to get out and play some good competition sports.
So, the World Cup is coming up this next week! In Latin America, basically everything shuts down during the world cup, so it will be an interesting week for missionary work. We have a less-active ex-marine that lives next door that has invited us over for some of the games. We accepted the invitation JUST for the purpose of doing a family home evening, and definitely not for the purpose of catching a few glimpses at the U.S. play.
We contacted a reference this week; well, she actually called the office and asked her to come visit her! Her name is A, and her mom is named P. They are from Trinidad and Tobago, and have wicked Jamaican-type accents! P is 91, but looks 60, and A is 58. The missionaries visited them a long time ago, and they loved going to church and they have incredible faith in Jesus Christ. They have had a hard time lately, with a lot of deaths in their family, and something about a sister that lives in California and they don't know if she is dead or not, and lots of family drama. We talked to them on Monday about the resurrection, and we committed them to baptism for the 28th of June! Yesterday, we got the impression that we had to go by and visit them. We tried calling, but no one answered, so we went anyway. When we got there, they told us that A's brother in law had just passed away that morning, and they were pretty distraught. I am glad we followed that prompting to go over there. We talked more about eternal families. I love teaching people that death is NOT the end, and that we can see our loved ones again. They love it when we sing, so we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" and shared some scriptures about the comforter from John 14. Talking with them reminds me of talking with Grandpa Gary because they are so goofy!
Today, at church, C and his wife, M brought us the copies of their documents to be able to get them married! It has been a spiritual battle for them, trying to decide if they wanted to get married. They really wanted to do it in Nicaragua when they move back in October, but they don't want to procrastinate the day of their repentance, and have realized that it is important to get baptized and married now. I AM SO HAPPY! We are seeing some great success here in Panama Viejo! We are also preparing F, an older recent convert to go through the temple in a couple weeks! The missionaries who baptized her go home in July, and they will be so happy to see her in white! I am loving so much this mission right now!
I am glad you are all doing well. I pray for you all often. I am glad you are getting out and riding and exercising more. My companion and I are still running every morning, so maybe we can do some 5 or 10K's when I get home, and some big bike rides. I wanna do another fifty miler sometime! Well, that is about all that has gone on this last week. I am so happy right now. I am noticing a big difference as my companion and I are trying a lot harder to work more in our area. The blessings and results are starting to come here in Panama Viejo! I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp