Monday, October 27, 2014

One Week Left In My Training!

(Emailed to Friends)
In all honesty, this was a super long week.  Lots of lows, the occasional high, and just plugging along.  Time just keeps moving though, so I guess that’s a blessing.  Not a ton happened (that I remember) so this might be short.

I had someone think I'm from Poland this week.  That makes USA (almost always), Russia, and Poland.  Oh well.  Not too shabby for a white kid.
Wonderful new members, Paula and Victor!
We had two baptisms this week!  Way cool!  I felt a lot happier for them, because we found them and they're more "our" investigators.  It went a lot smoother than the last baptism too. It was Paula and Victor who got baptized.  I got to baptize Hermana Paula which was way cool.  After, I was talking to the other missionaries (there were actually 3 baptisms that day) who baptized them and we all felt so calm.  Very peaceful.  There's something about exercising the priesthood that invites the Spirit in ridiculously fast.  I feel it every time I give a priesthood blessing as well.  The church is true!  The priesthood is the real power of God.

 Paula and Victor are usually happier. They are not used to having their picture taken.

They both got confirmed the next day by members of the ward, and Hermano Victor got the Aaronic Priesthood too!  He was ordained to the office of a Priest after church.  One of their Priests (probably like 17 years old) did it.  Way cool as well.  I think he's going to get a calling pretty soon here.

Elder Moncada, Lisa, Victor, Paula, Elder Potokar

I had my first intercambios/splits where I stayed in my area.  It was way cool.  Way nerve-wracking, but I got through it.  It was with a ZL, Elder Bateman, from Portland Oregon.  He's one of the first missionaries I've see who's like I imagined missionaries would be like before my mission.  Not too many of them here.  It wasn't as hard as I thought.  I know more Spanish than I thought too.  It was a little awkward at times when my Spanish or social deserted me, but all is well.  I made it through the day.  Taught a lot.  Made a few mistakes, of course, but made it through it.  Cool stuff.

On Thursday I had an interview with him too.  He talked about how my Spanish is solid and not to stress about it, how I can try to help others more to get my mind off home, and try and be happier.  That missionary work is fun.  To try to enjoy it more.  That's something I've definitely been slacking in.

I also had a few really cool lessons this week.  One was with Luis and a few members of his family.  It was going a little rough, until we asked them how they felt at that moment.  One of them commented that he felt really good, better than he does when in other churches.  I was able to bear testimony that we weren't there by coincidence, that we had been called of God to bring them the blessings and happiness of the gospel.  The Spirit rushed in when I did that and it was way cool.

The other one was with the family Fria yesterday.  The kidnapping family.  They're way quick at learning things.  Way quick.  Pretty easy to teach them.  The cool part was Elder Moncada and I actually took pretty good turns teaching.  Like back and forth.  I think it was our best lesson unity wise which was way cool.  A lot more effective and a lot more Spirit inviting.  Definitely a testimony, confidence building experience.

Song of the week: I Love You Son, by Joshua Creek.  Just about killed me when I found it on my MP3.  Brought back tons of memories of home.  I honestly bawled.  Great song. Great memories.  Great message.

That's about it for this week!  Love you all!  Enjoy your weeks, and remember the Lord always loves you!
Sincerely, Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Honestly, it´s been an emotionally exhausting week.  I'm dead.  I'll try to explain some more.  It sounds like the week was fun though.  That 5K sounds like the R-scape one I did.  It was way cool.  But the course was 6 miles so a lot different.

Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I had intercambios with Elder Bateman.  It went pretty well actually.  The crazy part was I stayed in my own area!  I lead the lessons (mostly, he helped a good amount), lead him around the area, the whole 9 yards.  I was basically the senior comp for the day. He's the first missionary that talks slowly and thoughtfully (almost hypnotically) and really helps people.  Plans the lessons.  We had a really good comp study.  Way cool.  I really enjoyed that.

Then Thursday I had an interview with Elder Bateman.  It was really cool.  He talked with me about a few things, and helped me think through things.  He also suggested I try to be happier.  That missionary work is fun. Later Thursday I had my comp inventory with Moncada.  We talked about how I need to start focusing on people's needs and develop a love for them. I also realized that what I needed to do to gain charity, it has been on my wall for the last 10 weeks.  I just hadn't applied it.  In two little sticky notes.

That afternoon I realized I need to be positive and cheerful.  I might not be able to make myself happy like before, but I can at least be cheerful.  That helped a TON that day.  I felt better.  More like myself.  Look for those small miracles throughout the day, not just while writing in my journal.  We had some really good lessons that day.  I contributed a good amount.  We taught the kidnapping family and it went really well.

Any ideas on learning to the love the people more?  I think that'll help me get more excited to work.  Get a real desire to work.  I can feel it more and more during lessons, but it comes very slowly.  Or do I just need to give it time?

I did get to give vampire teeth from the package to a little kid.  He went crazy.  That brightened my day a bit.

Then this morning we printed some pictures, had a really early lunch, used the internet a bit, and then had a zone activity at 12.  Unfortunately we didn't start till 2.  That killed me a bit.  We did an amazing race thing.  I dragged Moncada through it.  I got really competitive and he was too slow for me haha.  They applied it to missionary work instead of having winners though.  Then we played some soccer and basketball which felt great and came here.

Thinking about others is something I've never had to do to this extent before. It's going to take a while.  I look forward to when I have it more.  The fun part is hard.  I have a little book they gave me about stresses in the mission and it said to "rediscover humor".  I'm going to work on that one later this week.  Once I get being positive done more.

I'm going to have to mix it up.  I'll get there.  Need to have more fun.  I think Moncada and I have been working each other into the ground.  Makes it hard to be positive.  I've had a ton of good moments, it's just the moments that are in between that are rough.

(Do you meet with many members to find people to teach?) We're starting the "every member a missionary" program the bishop wants us too.  It's actually really cool.  Puts some of the missionary responsibility on the members. This is the program the bishop has us using: Read DC 18:10-16 and DC 123:10 I believe.  Talks about the worth of souls.  Read DC 8:2-3 about how the Spirit can tell us in our heart and minds.  Pray with them to know people in their lives who need the gospel.  Write the names down and commit them to give them a BOFM, invite them to an activity, etc.  Read DC 9:7-9.  Pray again to confirm it.  Then set a date in the coming weeks to meet with that person.  This way the members have a way in mind to help the people and it's not initial contact with us.

The ward is really good with new members.
Sara, Elder Moncada, Victor, Paula, Elder Potokar
That's Hermana Sara.  She was a missionary here in 1982.  Teaches the class of investigators.  Crazy, fun lady.  She wanted to be in the picture so we let her haha.

We actually ate at a member’s house yesterday too.  It was amazing.  Super clean so I'm not worried about it.  I didn't feel so hot breaking the rules, but it was the best food I've had in a long time.  It was the family of the patriarch here.  They have family in Utah actually.

We did teach Nicholas again and it went pretty well.  He never forgets anything.  Anything.  It's pretty incredible.  We've talked to his wife, but they're usually not home when he is.  We're going to work on that.

I am very, very nervous for transfers, especially with all the disobedience here.  We'll see how it goes.  It wouldn't surprise me if I got a disobedient comp.  President Corbitt keeps telling me to make sure I stay firm when in trials, and he may or may not be hinting at something.

I got a package and letter from Grandma this week.  Way cool.  Tons of candy.  All the guys in the house were jealous I had a grandma like that.  And I was pretty thankful. Please tell Grandma thanks for the candy and stuff.  It was way awesome.  I'm spoiled for sure. I've shared some of it with the guys in the house.

I realize I'm always with short people.  Comps, family, baptisms, you name it! haha.

Do you have any fun ideas that we could do for Halloween?

Just a thought, could you guys write a letter for Moncada?  He pretty much never gets mail and would love that.  He can read English decently, or you guys could translate it.  That'd be really cool.

I'll look into the taco packets. We have tortillas and some different seasonings I know we could do it.

Sometimes memories of home don't hurt at all.  No biggy.  They're fun memories.  Other times they hurt a ton.  Just depends on the moment.

Think that's about all.  Let me know if you have any questions! Love you tons and always.  Miss and love you more than I can express.  E. Potokar.

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