Natalie In Panama – Week 4/5

First, here is the most famous photo in the world:

Natalie MTC-Arrow

 

Yes, that is our own Hermana Natalie Palmer at the Mexico City MTC, as shown during General Conference on Saturday October 5 – also Mom’s birthday.

Now on to Natalie’s adventures!

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So, this week was interesting. I don’t even remember everything that happened. It feels so short.

I guess I’ll give highlights of what I can remember.

So, one day this week the four of us were walking to lunch, and on the path to lunch we go between these houses and then cross a small bridge over a stream. Well there are kids that we always say high to, but this time they started to walk with us. We couldn’t figure out what was going on until we got to the stream and saw that their soccer ball was stuck in the mud. So Curtis and I ended up climbing down, and getting the ball out. I thought that would be the end of it, but next thing I knew De Aguilar saw some Pipa, which is just a type of coconut, and decided we had to get it.

So, we started with Curtis trying to get it down with a stick, but none of the sticks were long enough. So they tried using a rock, that didn’t work either. There was a man who lives right next to the path, so De Aguilar went to him and got a really long stick that has an actual specific name that I don’t know.  That worked better, but didn’t actually get the Pipa down.

 

Then Curtis tried climbing on De Aguilar and Cambronero to get to the Pipa and that didn’t work. So they switched to De Aguilar, that didn’t work either. Then they decided to have Curtis climb on me. That really didn’t work. Then De Aguilar tried it, I couldn’t stand up. So, De Aguilar climbed on Curtis, and it was still too short.

At this point the mom of the kids had seen us, and man was that awkward. But she took pity on us and came over to help us. She went to the guy we’d borrowed the stick from and got a ladder.

Then were finally able to get the pipa. We gave one to the man, the mom didn’t want any. Then we went to Yani’s for lunch, and one of her customers cut them open for us to drink the water. It tastes kind of earthy and musky, so I’m not crazy about pipa water.

That was kind of a crazy day.

Now for more spiritual stuff.

We had a lesson this week with a man and he had a baptism date. We were going to watch a DVD with his family but we couldn’t get it to work in Spanish. It turned out better because we ended up teaching the restoration. Turns out he doesn’t believe in Joseph Smith or the Bible. He only believes in God, and thinks everyone has their own path. We were told that he’d been taught for years by missionaries and didn’t know that this was the problem. Heavenly Father was definitely trying to help us find out what the real problem was, and that it wasn’t that he drinks coffee. So we have to refigure our plans with him. But if we can help that will be great, because his wife looked so tired when he started in, and she’s a convert.

On another note, we had a great lesson with the Sosa’s. We had the Hernandez couple who we have dinner with on Thursdays, come with us to a lesson. It was great, they ended up speaking most of the lesson, about how the Sosa’s can be the example for their family by being married. They also asked them to pray together every night.

We had another lessons with a couple last night, and basically did marriage council, which felt really weird. But we told them they need to act towards each other in a loving way, by starting by saying thank you, I love you, I appreciate this or that. They have to start, treating each other with love, because right now it’s more indifference than anything else.

We had another great member lesson yesterday with Cipriano. We got Hermano Rodriguez, who feeds us Sunday dinner, to go with us, since he lives near Cipriano. That was great. We were going to watch a DVD again, but this time it didn`t work at all. So we ended up teaching the plan of salvation. Hermano Rodriguez was great, he basically took charge of the lesson and explained it in a great way. He’s been a bishop and a missionary, so he has a lot of experience. Cipriano is doing wonderfully. He was depressed all the time when we first met him, and it`s only been 2-3 weeks and he is so much more optimistic now. He’s just zooming through the Book of Mormon. He’s only had it about a week and a half and was in Alma 12 yesterday. We’re going to get him a blessing for health, and I feel certain he will join the church. He loves what we teach so much, and the Book of Mormon. He’s great.

We went to the temple Saturday. That was really nice, but then the temple always is. This time the session got filled, so 3 other Hermanas and I had to wait. They did intitiatories, and I got to go do sealings. They made sure the sealer knew I was a missionary and could only be a daughter. It was really nice. It made me want to bring our investigators here too.

We visited Umberto, who is a recent convert and is preparing to go to the temple, yesterday. He was home alone, and while we were there a couple of men from the ward stopped to check on him too. It was so sweet. We ended up telling him about patriarchal blessings and promised to teach him about them next time. He`s such a sweet old man.

The others all refer to me as the most prepared missionary ever. They talk about needing stuff, and I`m always like oh, I have that. You were right mom I am prepared for being on my own, even if I haven’t done it before. I think that’s all thanks to you guys.

I love you guys  so much and hope you’re all doing great.

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Natalie’s wall with the current Mission Scripture that she is working on memorizing.

A view from Natalie’s house at night – the object in the sky is the moon.

Natalie’s Halloween decoration while she waits for more in the mail.

A car in the laundromat.

A picture of Natalie and Hermana Cambronero in the window of the car in the laundromat.

One of the ward members in a traditional indigenous culture outfit.

Some of Natalie’s doodles during General Conference.

Another of Natalie’s doodles during General Conference.

_____________________________________________________

E-mail Hermana Natalie Palmer directly at natalie.palmer@myldsmail.net

Even a short, encouraging e-mail would be great!

If you would like to write to Hermana Palmer, here’s the mission mailing address:

Mision Panama

Carrasquilla Entrega General 0834

Panama

Republica def Panama

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