Monday, October 6, 2014

3 Months Down! Conference is the Best!

(Emailed to Friends)
I can´t believe I´ve been gone for 3 months now.  Time's starting to move quicker and I like that, and at the same time that scares me.  This week flew by though.  Yesterday feels like the last P-day.

First off, we had an exorcism go on next door one night.  There were animal noises, yelling, and I'm pretty sure mumbling in different languages.  Other religions are crazy sometimes.

Second, conference was awesome.  Maybe that's why this week went by so quickly.  The first session I got to watch in the secretary's office in the chapel with Elder Decker.  With AC.  Great stuff.  Second session was in an internet center and I had to watch in 144p.  Super low quality, but the voices came through loud and clear.  We missed Priesthood because we were out inviting people to the Sunday sessions.  Sunday morning I watched with Elder Moncada in the secretary's office again and the last session I watched in the stake center with the other gringos in our zone.  All over the place, but I got to watch almost all of them in English which is a major blessing.

The direct translation of sacrament comes out to "Holy Dinner" or "Holy Supper." We had one investigator flip out this week when he found out this dinner was only a piece of bread haha.  That cracked me up.

We also had at least one investigator at every session of conference, minus Priesthood.  Super cool.  I was way happy about that.  Our baptism dates all attended at least 2 sessions too.

I also got to have a meeting with all the other missionaries in my MTC group.  That was really cool.  Great to see all of them again, and just talk about things.  It wasn't quite the same without the missionaries in the West mission though.  We also got to talk to President Corbitt some which is always a blast.

That's all I got for this week.  Not too exciting.  Everything is starting to become routine. Here's some thoughts from conference though:

The Lord is the best teacher we'll ever have.  We just have to make sure we do our homework for Him.  Do the things He's asked us to do, and try our best to follow His will.  That's something I need to work on as a missionary.

Also, I got to make sure I continue studying to keep my testimony strong.  If my testimony falters, how am I going to help someone else with theirs?  What will happen when doubts arise when I'm teaching?  It's a constant promise to keep that fire burning.

That's about it for this week.  I also got the chance to buy some dominoes which I'm pretty happy about.  Dominoes are huge done here and I'm too competitive to stay crappy at them.  I got to practice some!  Of course, the work comes first though.

Love you all! E. Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Where to even begin.  This week FLEW by, but here's some things I managed to write down.

I talked more at the beginning of this week.  It really helps me feel the Spirit more and then I just feel better because of it.  I really just need to work on that.  If I can do that I'll be just fine. It makes me realize when I'm giving half the lessons how good I'm going to feel.  I look forward to that.

I had a meeting with all my MTC group this week.  It was really good.  President Corbitt knows so much.  We mentioned a problem with an investigator at one point and he gave us some obscure DC reference to give her.  I had never heard of it, but it was good.  It was also really good to see all the guys in my group.  I think my Spanish is at least as good as there's if not a little more dynamic.  My accent is terrible though.  I really need to work on that.

I talked with President Corbitt a few times this week.  He's amazing.  I'm very glad we have him here fixing the mission.  From talking to the other people in my group, not many are aware of the disobedience in this mission.  They were very surprised when I mentioned it.  I wonder if the Lord has a reason that I'm supposed to know about it.

While talking to the other greenies in my group, I'm way blessed to have AC.  There is not many houses at ALL who have that.  Maybe one other in our entire group.  I've been very blessed with our house.

Also the mornings this week were shot.  Tuesday we bought stuff, which I hated, but that's when we got our money and we didn't have enough to buy on Monday.  We thought the trainer meeting was on Wednesday and went out to the mission office, but it was actually on Friday.  Thursday was Zone reunion.  Friday was the training meeting.  Saturday was weird because of conference, and Sunday too.  It was kind of a funky week.  Because we were at the office with nothing to do for a while we talked to President Corbitt for a while.  It was really cool.  I love talking to him.  He knows a ton.  Like a TON.  And is very funny, and happy.  I hope someday you can meet him.

Could you send me Grandma's email?

I also got to do a practice in front of all the trainers, trainees, AP's, and Pres. Corbitt with Moncada.  Nerve wracking, but I think it went well.  I gave a tema (topic) on Thursday on Charity too.  Fun stuff.

I loved the pictures from all the cousins.  I felt famous getting 4 letters all at once.

I did talk to Elder Harsh some. (A new greenie in his district.)  I don't know how much I helped, but I tried.

General Conference did make me a little homesick.  I really like the first seventy of all the sessions talk, and Elder Uchtdorf’s in that session.  Elder Holland's and Bednar's too.  I missed like all the first speakers because we were always trying to find it in English somewhere. They had conference in the chapel for all the members and in English at the stake center too.  It was dubbed over.  I snuck into the secretary’s office (similar to the one at home actually) to watch it.

Our chapel is way close.  Maybe a 10 minute walk from our house.  We walk past it a ton while proselyting.

I agree with the personal testimony thing.  It's easy to get complacent and just be satisfied with how we are right now.  I really liked the one about living up to the blessings in our patriarchal blessing too.  The need for constant improvement, to be able to live up to our divine nature.

Also Elder Martinez (the seventy who spoke in Spanish) I have met!  Twice!  Once in our mission tour and once in the MTC.  I've shaken his hand a couple of times.  I thought that was way cool.

Paula and Victor I believe may be that family I had previously talked about.  She came to one session.  We're going to try to commit them to baptism this week.  Paula said she's ready for a baptismal date, but we just need to talk to her and her husband together first.

Lisa came to 3 sessions and Magdalena 2.  Lisa is in Alma in her BOFM reading.  She's way smart. She is investigating on her own.  We try to teach at least one of her parents or her brother at the same time, but they haven't showed any particular interest. Magdalena is a lot better now. I think all of them liked conference.

There's also the family of Orlando Ariez.  They are very calm, and normal.  Have 4 girls from 18 years old to around 4.  We've really been pushing them to do something, but to no avail yet. Thank you for praying for our investigators.  They definitely need the Lords help in this change in their life.
We found the "family of apostles” this week.  Juan, Pedro, Jose, and Alex.  All brothers, and they have 3 sisters too.  Remind me a lot of your brothers.  We tried to get them to come to conference to no avail.  They have lots of questions and seem interested so we'll just keep working at it.

(Have you had to teach again or talk yet in church? Are the members much help? Do they interact with the investigators that you bring to church?) We haven't had to do anything like that again at church.  Some do interact amazingly well.  We had a great lesson with Lisa's family and the president of the young women this week to get Lisa's family to help her come to church weekly.  The bishop also has a plan where we use a different family to help us weekly to get the ward more involved.  I think it'll help a ton.  I look forward to implementing it a lot actually.  They usually are friendly enough to our investigators.

Maritsa and Ferdinando’s house has some walls, and some rooms are split by sheets hung up. (Easton took a picture of their house in a previous letter.) Lots of houses are like that.  We live in a little more well off area than that, and most of the investigators we visit houses are a lot smaller than that, but a little nicer. We have tons of others who have values that are in line with the church, but they just won't do anything.  They are all SO close to progressing.

We went back to the Columbus site today for P-day.  It was way fun.  I actually didn't try to read any more of the signs!  Oops! Totally forgot.  But I did get to enjoy it more.  I wasn't as stressed about not having my camera and what was going on.  It was a lot more fun.

I got tons of pictures, and bought some good stuff.  I bought my own set of dominoes, a better side bag (my red one is unraveling. Either really low quality or just a bad choice.  I want a side bag for the days when I don't need as much.) I even did some bargaining.  Saved about 100 pesos from it.  Go garage selling.  The people are crazy and love to negotiate with ya.  It was kind of fun actually.

This picture is for Ashley!

If you end up sending that camelbackish bag I really don't need the bladder.  I'll probably still just use water bottles.  I looked at Bateman's more this week and his looks even smaller than that one.  Like way small.

I also made German Pancakes, and bought measuring cups and some pens this week.  Fun stuff!  I'm living the high life now. I made another killer cake this week (probably my best so far) and empanadas as taught by Elder Moncada, I'm basically the mother of the house haha. I also sewed a button back on some pants, and even sewed a stitch that came undone on the side of my pants. Haha I'm just a homemaker now!

I don't know if the others see me as the mom, but I do.  I usually cook dinner and breakfast for us, and am always trying to fix things.  Ventura does know a lot of things like that too though.  Haha I don't know.  I do refuse to do the dishes a lot though, because a lot of times (more often than not) I get left with doing them for the whole house.  Not a fan of that.

I also tried yaroa today.  It's like a cross between animal fries at In-n-Out Burger and lasagna, but it's sweet.  It was SUPER good.  It's on my bucket list to try and learn how to cook.  I really enjoyed it, but it just wasn't enough food! What's new though?

These are my new planner covers.  Missionaries like to decorate the front of their planners and Moncada showed me how to today.  I still need to finish the other side though.

Unfortunately I left a yellow piece of paper in a shirt pocket and now that pocket is yellow!  Luckily it's a long sleeve so I don't use it much, but do you have any ideas on how to fix it?

(Do you wash your dishes in your house water? If you can’t drink it, is it ok to wash your dishes in it?) Ya, we wash our dishes in house water.  Not sure how that works out.  I also shower in it.  It's really questionable, but it's not enough to get sick with I guess.

We did have enough water this week.  The water we bought lasted up till today.  I don't think we have anymore now.  We'll probably buy some more today or tomorrow.  I did get reimbursed for buying it last time though.

I just uploaded a few more pictures of the internet center we're at. It's way quiet.  I don't know if they know us by name, but they probably expect us every Monday now.

Ahh!  I love the pictures.  Please keep sending that many.  They lighten my day a ton.  I love it. Mom sent me some pictures with Garrett in them.  Oh my, his hair is long now.  It's ridiculous!  Hahah.  That's awesome.

It's still weird for me too, to not be at home with everyone.  I don't think I'll ever get used to that either.

Everything really is good down here.  The house, our area, Elder Moncada, investigators.  Obviously could be better, but could be a lot worse too.  General conference has helped me a ton with getting along.

Think that's about all.  Lots of pictures this week.  I love you tons!  Miss you tons and think of you often.  Glad you had Garrett this week to go to Priesthood with, so you didn't have to go alone. Glad to hear you enjoyed conference too.  That's a goal I've set for myself as well - visit the temple weekly when I get home.

Love you always, E. Potokar.

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