This was a pretty interesting week. It was changes week, so we headed into the Panama City on the plane on Tuesday, and we were there until Saturday. For changes, we have to go to Price Smart, which is the same as Costco, and buy all the food for all the missionaries for six weeks, and we have to get all the other stuff like hammocks and machetes for the new elders in the zone, and their flip flops and everything. Having my driver’s license makes it nice because we can use the truck to get around. We stay at the assistant’s house when we are in the city, and it is fun to hang out with all the other missionaries that live there!
We got back on Saturday, and we dropped everyone off at their islands, and got back and it was about time to get back to the house for the afternoon, so we sacked out. Sunday was good. We had an investigator in church, the one we are teaching to read. He is getting baptized next Saturday, so we are trying to get him reading the Book of Mormon before he gets baptized. Hermano E has to wait one more week to get baptized, because he had to go diving for food yesterday and couldn't come to church. He doesn't feel quite prepared yet, but he totally is. He understands the Book of Mormon super well, and he has had a dark life in the past and really wants to change. He knows the church is true, and is excited to get baptized!
We do a lot of administration in the branch here. Sometimes we have to teach the leaders here how the church here is run. We enter all the donations into the computer, and we are trying to get a home teaching program started. We have gotten six new people called and set apart within the last two weeks in leadership positions, so the branch is really starting to progress! The next goal is having three hours of church, right now we only have two hours.
Halloween was good! Elder Jensen and I swapped name tags, and we got to go to the temple with the rest of the missionaries from the zone! The new elder on San Blas is named Elder M. He is a bigger kid, and he is hilarious! He is the happiest missionary in the whole mission, so we are excited to have him out here! It is the Independence Days and Flag Day for Panama in November, so today there was a big parade on the island, and all the school students marched around the entire island and there were marching bands and everything. The whole month of November is basically a big party in Panama, there are like five national holidays throughout the month, so it is pretty interesting. Well, that is about it for this week! We are excited to have time to work this week, and we have some high hopes for the island this change! I love you guys!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp