Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Week Down! Times starting to go faster and faster.

(Email to Friends)
It's been kind of a funky week.  Good, strange, and weird.  First transfers were this week.  I got a new Elder, Elder Decker, in my house.  He's from American Fork and looks Dominican.  Way cool guy.  Also got another gringo in my district, Elder Stephens from Cedar City.  Don't know him too well yet, but he seems pretty chill.  I now have as many gringos in my district as were in the zone before!

I got to give two priesthood blessings this week.  One I anointed the oil and the other I said the blessing.  It was way cool.  It's crazy how quick the Spirit comes in as you prepare to do one of those.

I saw one of the craziest, randomest things yet.  There was a horse walking down the freeway with three half naked children on board.  So weird.  That's just a little feel of the DR for you.  It's insane.

It's really cool to plan for our investigators as well.  It's really easy to see the influence of the Spirit in it.  Something will come to mind and just feel right.  And everything about it is right.  What's even cooler is when Elder Moncada and I think of the same thing when doing that.  It's way cool.

So we also had an open house EVERYDAY (but Monday and Sunday) this week.  6-8pm on weekdays, 3-8pm on Saturday.  Honestly, it was a huge flop.  One of the large reasons this week has been super weird.  The first day we went on the street and invited people in.  I felt like a salesman.  Second night was a tour through the chapel with little rooms where you could learn stuff.  Third night was karaoke.  Elder Ventura (He's straight up diva) ate it up.  It was hilarious.  The fourth night we bailed on, and the last night was about family history.  It was an open house so the point was to invite people.  The problem is we only got around 5 references/people who came, other than members for the whole week.  Not a very productive activity.  Killed a ton of time.  Frustrating.

I had a lady in the street tell me "I love you for you".  Wow.  What a day brightener, even though I have no idea who she is and I doubt she knew what she was saying.

We visited Ferdinando again this week.  He's hilarious.  He told us he has an extra bed he lets people sleep on, but only Mormons.  Cuz if they're not Mormon he has to sleep with one eye open, but if they are he can sleep with both eyes closed.  He also yelled at this old grandpa sitting behind him to wake up and said he knew he wasn't sleeping through faith haha.  And that you have to stay awake cuz you never know when the second coming is going to happen.  He's hilarious.  Super Dominican. He told us last week he knows that Joseph Smith lives and I've almost said that a few times in lessons now haha.

We've also had little water this week.  Hard to do much of anything.  We finally bought some.  I believe it was 1600 for 450 pesos.  We should've done that a lot sooner.  It was crazy cheap.

We also walked passed a church that had some insane screaming.  It was sooo weird.  How could that invite the Spirit?  I really don't know where these people get their traditions.

That's about it for this week.  Not too much happened because of the open house.  Oh well.  I'm sure this week will be more productive because of it.

Love you all! E. Potokar.

(Email to Family)
Looks like you had a way fun week!

We cleaned all morning.  And we went to lunch as a district.  It was pretty good.  We'll probably do sports as a district one of these weeks and hopefully return to that Columbus site.  But we're not allowed to leave the zone right now so we'll see about that.

There have been less lessons than last week because of the open house and no new ones.  The open house was a ward activity.  The whole stake was doing it, each ward individually.  Lots of members, but very few investigators.  The bishop here is intense.  We had a meeting with him and he pretty much told us everything we should be doing.  He's super pushy. I'd be scared to talk to him about a sin.

I met a guy like Brother Stewart this week.  He walked home with us after the open house one night and just talked Moncada's ear off.  I thanked Moncada for listening when we got back, because I remembered how Brother Stewart just really wanted to talk to someone.

I saw the same pink car here as Lydia has.  That was really weird for me.  Please continue to give me updates on how she's doing.  I hear a lot about the other two and junior high and high school, but not a ton about her.

Magdalena has opened a "boutique" in her garage. It reminds me a lot of a small garage sale, but open every day.  It makes me realize how good we have it!  We do that for extra money and that's her only money I believe!

While waiting for the tour at our open house to start it gave me flashbacks of waiting for that crazy Baptist, I believe it was, nativity in the cold.  That was really cool.  I get flashbacks like that more often that I'd like.

A little girl at that activity picked some flowers and gave them to her mom.  It was SO cute.  It's the little girl who reminds me a lot of Lydia.  That wasn't too easy for me.  Same night as the nativity like tour.

I think General Conference is broadcast at the chapel on a computer.  I think I'm going to see if there's any way I can watch it in English with Elder Decker.  Cooking has been normal this week. Nothing too new.  Not much water so that was a struggle.  I think I'll try German pancakes this week.

We have water now because we bought a ton of it on Saturday.  I don't know how long it's going to last though.  Probably not all week.  No one in our sector who has city water has any water either.  Usually we don't have to buy water like that, but yes, the mission will pay for water.  I need to be reimbursed for that.  They pay for all house expenses like that.

That was our delivery of water.  We emptied the entire truck. 

We also cleaned a TON today.  I think I uploaded some pictures of it.  The house looks a ton better.  It felt good to work hard (it took a ton of scrubbing to clean some stuff), and it's a lot less stressful now with a clean house.  Especially the bathroom.  Since there was only one set of elders in the house before us nobody had used our bathroom in forever.  We deep cleaned it.  It actually looks pretty good now.  Unfortunately I dropped my spray (was holding it by the top and the bottom fell off) and it splashed all over some of my pants and my sandals.  Hopefully they don't bleach.

On to the List.

The camera has been fantastic.  I keep it in a sock to prevent scratches.  Still on the first card with like 1000 pics left.  I have that external hard drive if I need it too.

I don't know if you've sent that package yet, but just an idea for a backpack.  I saw Bateman and a few other missionaries with a camelback.  Similar to the ones the Halls boys have.  That'd be perfect.  I was thinking that grey one I got for soccer might work well too.  I really just need a place for my scriptures and preferably two outside pockets for a water bottle and an umbrella.

(How is walking? Are your feet doing ok?)Walking is good.  My legs are like always tired.  I get the occasional blisters, but they usually callous instead of popping.  My shoes are dirty too, but that's about the only problem with them.  The Johnson and Murphy ones seem to like to make blisters more.

(You have never mentioned bugs. Are the mosquitos bad or what about roaches or mice?) I only get bitten by mosquitoes at night on my ankles.  And I usually don't use any bug spray.  I've started spraying my ankles and they've been better now. I've seen a few roaches.  They're pretty good sized.  Bigger than any spiders at home.  No mice. One morning I found like a 2 inch long centipede on me in the shower.  Freaked me out.

Our zone and district is completely different now.  Elder Bateman, our new ZL who was in the islands, is super strict.  He's probably like 6’ 3”, has a baby face, and weighs an easy 200lbs.  Big, intimidating guy.  Lots stricter.  I love it.  Moncada has started doing the same with the district (but differently.  All leaders are different.), and the district is just straight up organized. We've only had one district meeting.  I made a strawberry cake for it and another companionship will take treats next week.  We'll rotate through. If you have any other cool ideas for cake or anything in a 9x13 let me know.  I'd love to mix it up some.  I was talking to Decker about the changes Pres Corbitt has made.  He said at this rate in 6 months to a year it'll be like a US mission.  I look forward to that and only pray that it is.

Elder Decker, who is now in our house, is from American Fork.  He's got a mom from Mexico and an African American dad.  He's your classic jock pretty much.  Reminds me a bit of Nick Austin, but a little more quiet.  Pretty chill.  He likes to talk to Moncada a lot.  I have talked to him a few times though for quite a while.  We'll see how it progresses.  We also got Elder Stephens in our District now, in Elder Kirks old house.  They cleaned out his area, or switched both the missionaries.  He knows Decker really well, which kind of leaves me out.  Happens.  He seems to work well, but I don't really know much about him.  He seems really nice. Elder Stephens has a Dominican companion Elder Pena.

Decker has been out around 7 months, Stephens closer to 10.  I'm sure they don’t mean to leave me out, it's just because they know each other really well.  Stephens seems aware of it too and tries to help me out.  They were in the same house in Eque.  Very fieldsy and out on their own.

We also got 3 new greenies in our zone.  Woot!  Not the youngest anymore.  1 Latino, one Elder Hearsh from Utah, and a Sister.  When I first saw the Elder I could tell he was green.  Moncada said I didn't look that green and that makes me really happy.  I'm going to try to talk to him and help him out this week.  He looked super nervous last week.

Magdalena asked if we could teach in English to teach her. Moncada said no because I need to practice my Spanish.  She said I need to talk if I want to do that.  At first I was really ticked.  What does she know?  I tried to calm down and humble myself and saw she was right.  I should be talking at every chance I get.  I really need to work on that. Magdalena has had some more problems with her boyfriend.  She is 28. We're continuing to work with her.  We set her with the date of October 18 for baptism, same as Lisa.  Those are our only two dates at the moment.

Lisa is doing well.  We had one lesson where we just taught her without anyone else.  I didn't realize it while I was there, but it got a little flirty.  It didn't click in my head till like 5 minutes after.  Not going to make that mistake again.  She's 15.  We were referred to her from the previous missionaries.  She's been an investigator for like 4 months.  Youth need to know about the church for 3 months before they can be baptized.  She's super smart though and knows more than a lot of members here.

I've had a lot of feelings of being overwhelmed this week.  Like once Moncada is gone I'm in trouble.  I don't have the charisma in Spanish or have a clue how to talk to people.  I figure the Lord will help me with whatever comes up. Whether it's a trainer, lazy comp, etc.  I've just got to enjoy how I have it with Moncada right now, cuz it's pretty perfect.  I wouldn't ask for too many more changes.  I still have the overwhelmed feeling more that I'd like though.

I'm worried about having to talk more lately.  I'm not smooth enough in Spanish it feels like.  I'm very blunt.  He can talk about the first lessons for like an hour and I struggle to be longer than half an hour.  I just don't know how to say much in Spanish.  I worry if I'm a trainer I'll have to talk more than I do now.  Talk for full lessons.  And I don't have that ability right now.  Stresses me out that I might have to plan and talk for everything after this transfer. I've been way too serious lately.  I need to open up a ton.  Hopefully Elder Decker will help with that.  We'll see how this next week goes.

I try to remember I'm in good hands.  The Lord won't give me anything I can't handle.  Just need to remember that.  That'll be my mantra going forward.  Thank you for the advice too.  I'm likely to read that many times throughout this week.

The blessings I gave were both to investigators.  One is better now, but not sure about the other one.  We haven't seen him since.  Also the sister I gave a blessing to last week is better now.  Mostly.  She said the night I gave her the blessing was the best she's slept in a long time.

I made a new study plan and have studied pretty well this week.  Decker said I know a lot for only being a month or so in.  Still had some slackin, but did better this week. Most of my studies right now are language.  I really don't feel like I know how to study a doctrine really well.  Never really was taught too much of that. The promptings have become more sparse though.  Maybe it's because the Lord is trusting me more, or maybe I'm not trying as hard as I should.  I don't know.

I've actually been slacking lately with the exercising.  It's hard to wake up earlier for it.  I did it again today and will pick it up again throughout this week.

Also on Sunday we had been walking forever.  We sat down for like five minutes.  And the Spirit was just gone.  I felt super strange for the rest of the day.  Don't plan on doing that again.

I think that's about it.  Let me know if you have any more questions, and advice (especially on the overwhelmed thing) would be much appreciated!

Love you tons and think of you guys often!
E. Potokar.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to be able to read about Easton's journey. Thank you for sharing this!! --Tom West