Dear families of our newest missionaries!
We welcomed 14 new missionaries to the Panama Panama City Mission from the Provo MTC -- 10 elders and 4 hermanas! They received training and are heading out to their areas later today. I have attached a photo of the new missionaries at the Panama temple (unfortunately it is closed right now for maintenance, so the missionaries were unable to attend the temple)..
We were very impressed with how dedicated and prepared this new group of missionaries is. We know that they will do a terrific job building up the kingdom of God here in Panama. We will do our best to take great care of them. We have our own missionary son who is serving in Denmark, so we know how you are feeling.
If you want to follow a personal blog where I post some photos of the mission, the address is sunshineinmysoulpanamamission.blogspot.com. Please note that this is a personal blog and not an official site of the church or of the mission. I try to update it once a week with new photos. The p-day in our mission is on Mondays, so you should be getting your first email from your missionary then. If you wish to send letters or packages,
There is no delivery of mail in Panama because there is not really an address system. Mail has to be picked up at the post office. The office elders pick up the mail and it is distributed to zone leaders, district leaders or the missionaries themselves as soon as possible. It is typical for it to take 3-6 weeks for your missionary to receive mail. Also, please make sure that Mision Panama appears in the address. This will help mail get through easier. PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to include food or medications (including vitamins) in packages to Panama. Almost any food they desire can be found here in Panama, so consider just giving them extra money in their account to purchase food here.
Please do not send cash to your missionary through the mail. The best way to get emergency money to them is to add it to the debit card that they hopefully brought with them to the mission. Also, please keep your communications with your missionary positive to help them in their efforts to serve the Lord.
If you post your missionary's weekly emails or any photos from your missionary anywhere on the internet (Facebook or missionary blogs, for example), please respect the privacy of others in the mission. Please remove any negative comments about companions, local leaders or any members. It is not appropriate for this to be on the internet for anyone to read. Also, please edit the names of people to just use the first initial. For example, Elder Gomez, would be changed to Elder G, or our investigator, Karina, would be changed to our investigator K. Also, please do not publish the location of any missionaries. This will help keep our missionaries safe -- we actually had an ex-boyfriend of one of our sisters show up in Panama from France, trying to locate her.
You may be interested in joining an email group for mother's (and a few father's) of missionaries in the Panama and other Central American missions. It is not run by the church, but is a great resource to get questions answered by experienced moms. The website is ldsmissionarymoms.com. You sign up and they will automatically assign you to the group that includes the Panama mission.
We are very blessed to be in Panama to help build up the Lord's kingdom. We thank you for sending us such prepared, worthy and dedicated missionaries. We pray that your family will be blessed while you have a missionary serving full-time for the Lord.
Pres. and Sister Carmack