This last week was great! We started the week off by going out to Narganá to do divisions with Elder M and Elder M. We helped them move out of their church and into a house, and we helped them get a good start on the work in the area. It is hard out here December through February, because the schools are out and everyone goes to the city to visit family for those three months, but we got them some good leads on some positive people!
We also did mission leadership council there over Skype. They talked about working with the members and baptizing families. The mission has a goal to double the number of baptisms this year that we had last year, and if we work with members and try to find more families to teach, we will do it! We have our zone meeting with the Blas zone this Wednesday, so we are hoping that helps the missionaries in the zone to be excited about working with members and finding families!
Coming back from divisions was crazy! The tide was super high, and we got soaking wet! My companion got really sea sick! Hopefully it calms down Wednesday so we can travel. Pray for us that the wind and the waves will calm down so the chief will give us permission to travel. If not, we can´t do the zone conference.
So, we had another baptism this week! Two, actually! Hermano U's wife and daughter got baptized! It was the first family baptized in 2015 in Panama! It was great to see a family enter the water, and I hope we can get them to the temple in a year. I would totally come back for that one! We have been blessed to see so many results here! We have two more baptisms planned for this weekend, so we are pretty excited!
New Years was pretty interesting. We spent the day moving the elders into their new house, and eating GRILLED CHICKEN, MASHED POTATOES, and RANCH!!!!! It was the best dinner ever! Well, on San Blas anyway. We don't get anything like that on our island, so it was awesome! Here for New Years, everyone makes life sized Noriega dolls and burns them on New Years. It was pretty interesting. Not too many fireworks on the island, but there were a few small ones to watch. It was a good New Years!
This year, I have made it a goal to never pass up a chance to share the gospel, whether I am a missionary or not. I never want to stop doing missionary work. I challenge you to do the same. We have chances every day to share the gospel with people. It can be something small and simple like sending a text with a scripture in it to somebody, or a small act of service and an invitation to learn more. I challenge you to take advantage of all the opportunities you have to share the message of the gospel!
Well, I am about outta time. Dad, I sure hope you get feeling better! Mom, I keep forgetting to take pictures of my hut. I will get one to you next week, I promise!
I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp