Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Breaks: Beware the Ides of March

So what is spring break like?...

Well i'll describe what Panama City Beach was before and now, so when i was first here most of the stores and restaurants were either shut down or a skeleton crew was working, at 9 pm the streets would just be about clear of traffic and nobody would be out on the streets after dark, the motels parking lots were empty at all times. etc, etc... basically a ghost town.

Let's contrast that to now, we (Panama City and Panama City Beach) have a population now of about 2 million college students, or that's what the estimate was. and will continue to be about the same over the next 4 weeks, last week it was about 1.1 million and it will stay about the same amount. Now realize that colleges only have week long breaks, so every week a new group of students come to stay at the beach. so with that being said what do missionaries do in a situation like that? we stay away from all thing relating to Spring Break for example, we stay away from the main drag down the beach also called Front Beach Dr. we also stay away from Wal-mart between the hours of 7am to 9pm which only leaves us the opportunity to go there at 6:30 am to 7am. now for some interesting facts about this place, the Wal-Mart on the beach sells more alcohol than any other Wal-Mart in the world. the largest night club in America is located on panama city (Club la Vela). and the list can go on and on.

But among all of this the work is going on. and all of these are not spring breakers. like last week i said our investigators are Larry, Rosa, Chirs and Lindsey, Matt, Trenton, Skylar. these are the ones who are most accepting of the gospel and i think are going to be baptized pretty soon. all of them are amazing and are honest with us and are willing to talk about what's on their mind and not really trying to answer for themselves. and there would have been no way to do this except we have an amazing branch who really want to do missionary work, and who are really trying to help everyone come closer to God through Jesus Christ, the branch wants to feed us and wants us to come over to their house so they can introduce us to their friends and relatives. this is probably my favorite place to be since i've been on my mission, yeah i know i've only been to one other place but still my favorite is here on the Beach.

Now here is my spiritual thought from this week. i've noticed that i haven't really done the best at a lot of things, that i've been "going through the motions" but i haven't really got anything out of it. so i've made a new resolve to try to do the best i can at all the things i'm doing. this whole thing reminds me of the talk about good better best, i'm doing a good thing but i could be doing better and try my best, so while i've now established that i'm doing what's good, i'm now trying to do what's better. or the best. other than that i'm still putting along and doing the best i can and am trying to do better, which is what we are supposed to do. so yeah no real crazy spring break stories, just trying to get by.

so back to spring break every Thursday night Friday and Saturday the traffic to get into Panama City Beach is horrendous it's bumper to bumper traffic for a good 6 miles just trying to get to Front Beach road and on front beach you only go 15 feet every 15 min, so all the natives stay off of front beach from the beginning of March to September, yeah this is most definitely a tourist town.

Janben thanks for the Emails, and Ben don't worry about the email it got to me but now you've got both emails, Jan the kids sound wonderful and full of energy, tell Clark that i haven't seen any Iguanas, but i think i might of seen a few dolphins, also i'm loving the weather that you are describing, and if you can do it, I can do it!

Jethrobyn potty training sounds intense and it sounds like you have a vampire on your hands as well, Jethro make sure you keep Fenimore safe and no more accidents.

Thad, you should find a different job it's not healthy for anyone to stay up all night and then sleep all day, remeber back when you used to sleep twice a day.

Tonibenanna i love you guys so much and anna please be nice to you mom she needs it, and we can have a PARTY when aunty beetle and Crazy Uncle Matt Return. Ben i know exactly what you mean when it comes to taking a job or anything it's like the analogy of God gives us a little plot of land and tell us to do the best we can with it, that how i think about it

Beetle HAPPY FREAKING BIRFDAY!!! !!! !!! I love you guts and all ther rest of you too. and as the southerners say keep on keepin' on, and hang in there like a hair in a biscuit.

I love all those who read this and hope for the best for you,


Elder Gillespie

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