Monday, November 3, 2014

4 Months: Check! Woot! Times Flies!

(Emailed to Friends)
Wow.  4 months down.  How crazy is that?  I don't feel like it was that long ago I was in an airport.  But then again I can't remember the last time I saw a movie.  So ya know.

First off, missions are frickin stressful.  I was looking in the mirror the other day and I have a few white hairs.  What.  Not like just sun bleach, like white white.  I'm getting old.  Not a kid anymore.

Remember Lisa, an investigator of mine who got baptized a few weeks ago?  Well she is CRAZY active in the church.  The week after her baptism she went with the ward to the temple and did baptisms for her grandparents.  And she's going to seminary every day.  So awesome.  I think I get more joy about seeing people active in the church than I do in seeing a baptism.

Also remember our small miracle with the taxi driver bringing our investigators to church?  (Nicolas) We taught him the Book of Mormon this week.  Actually he taught us.  We left him with the BOFM the week before and told him to read the intro.  When we asked him how it went, he told us about how Joseph Smith translated, Moroni, the whole 9 yards.  I was shocked.  We didn't have anything to teach!  Haha that was a good problem this time.  He doesn't forget anything.  He also came to church this Sunday and ate it up.  He came in late to the first class and said "Buenos Dias” to the whole class of high priests when he walked in.  Awesome.

Another miracle with him.  So the ward secretary moved and we haven't known where he's lived for like a month now.  Have been meaning to find where he lives.  Turns out he lives in the house above Nicolas's.  What!! What are the odds of that?  That means it's going to be REALLY easy to get him a friend in the church, and to have member present lessons.  Lots of small little miracles like that.

We found out transfers at around 11 last night.  Nobody in our district is changing except my companion.   I'm going to be with Elder Romero, from Honduras.  Actually, he's my brother!!  My Dad or trainer trained him too.  Way cool.

Got 3 new country guesses for me this week.  Spain, Honduras and Germany.  Guess my Spanish is getting less US or I'm getting darker.  *Crossing my fingers for both.

The streets here are like a parade 24/7.  Really loud and really crazy all the time.  But a lot faster and sketchier than a parade.  And less candy.  But ya tu sabes.  Ya know.

One morning this week I got on my roof and watched the sunrise.  Way pretty.  Unfortunately a tree was blocking the view of the sun, but still really pretty.  Lots of color.  Also was a ton cooler than normal, so awesome.

We gave Magdalena another fecha (baptism date) this week.  22 of November.  We'll see how that pans out.  I had a really cool lesson with her this week.  She told us how she needs emotional and social support in the church.  How she's been going for like 9 weeks and still really doesn't have a friend.  I was able to share how I felt similar when I got into the field.  Different language, culture and country.  Then I shared Mosiah 24:15 and how she just needs to pray for strength and be patient and it'll get better.  How I learned Spanish and got another gringo in my house.

That's about all for this week.  Finished my training this week too.  I guess that means I'm supposed to be a real missionary!  Ahh!  We'll see how that goes.

Love you all!  E. Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Ahh.  Sounds like it was a full week again.  That doesn't surprise me a bit with Garrett.  You could apply Ether 12:27 to that.  I guarantee he'll just get better at it.  That's one thing I wish I would have done in junior high. (NAL – National Academic League) Tell Ash congrats from me too.  And Lydia was adorable in that cowgirl costume.  Tears definitely came when I saw that one.

Journal package hasn't gotten here yet.  Only on Thursdays so I'm expecting this Thursday. Hopefully.

We do have a phone.  I've talked on it (IN SPANISH!!) like twice.  Scared the crap out of me haha.  It's not as hard as I expected though.  It's just that I still don't understand everything.

We didn't have any new food at the member’s house.  I think we're going to make arrozz con leche tonight.  I love it and really hope I can learn how to cook it well.

I was wondering about daylight savings time.  That's good to know. (Easton is now 3 hours ahead of us.)

Investigators are good.  Going into the next transfer, Nicolas and hopefully his family, Magdalena, and the Fria family are the ones I'm excited about.  I think they'll all be members at one point, even if it isn't with me.  Nicolas and his wife aren't married which is the main problem with him.  He really liked church so I hope he brings his whole family next week. We taught the Fria family the BOFM yesterday.  They still didn't come to church though so we'll see how they do going along.

I made an AWESOME planner for this next transfer.  I'm uploading a picture of it now.  I even found a magnet so the cover snaps closed.  Very scrapbooking, arts and craftsy.  You know how I am with these things though.


Also I was wondering, what do you need to cook fresh salsa?  Is it too hard?  I was thinking we could probably do that fairly easily here.  If you could try and find that recipe for me.

This week I was a TON happier.  I tried to stay positive all the time and that helped A TON.  Also next transfer is looking really bright.  I'm going to be getting a good solid companion who'll work and at least to my knowledge is obedient.  I'll be switching for him tomorrow morning.  Staying positive is the only way I survived the last week.  Anytime I'd start slipping or getting discouraged, I'd pray and He'd lift me right back up.

(I have noticed in your pictures on P-day you still wear dress clothes, white shirt and tie. Do you ever go out in t-shirts, shorts, or jeans on P-day?) We have to wear our uniform if we go into public on P-day.  If we're at a church or a park, we can bring clothes to change into.  A lot of missionaries just wear normal clothes to the place, but the handbook says to change.  It's a little strict, but not too hard to follow.

(Does Moncada have a red bag like yours or does he use yours?) That would be my bag.  The threads started coming out so I let him use it.  It's pretty much dead now, so I just let him have it.  It's the least I could do.  He also gave me a couple of ties and I gave him one.  Missionaries are very liberal about their stuff and money sometimes.  Weirds me out.  Haha I'm not like that at all.

(Grandma P. says to make sure and tell you to share your treats! :) She will send you more! ) I have been sharing my treats!  With Moncada and with the house.  You know how I hoard things though - I'll probably have them for quite a while.  I actually still have stuff in the bag that Grandma gave me in the airport haha.

This week.  Where do I even start?

Tuesday.  In the morning we didn't leave cuz we hung out in the house with the repair guy.  He fixed our good washer, our toilet, sink, and a few other little things.  Washing is doable now without destroying any clothes. (It ruined three of his shirts last week.) Things are a lot better now.  It's a lot easier to live in the house with things working better.  Nobody cleaned the kitchen today so it's filthy.  I cleaned the bathroom and bought a new shower curtain today, so that'll help with that. After ward council we had like 20 minutes to kill so I played some basketball with Elder Decker and the young men in the ward.  Felt SO good.  It's been way too long.  I think we'll ball this next Monday more. Ward council was a lot more boring this time.  The Justin kid (I gave him teeth the other day) was there and he was flipping out the entire time.  He was my entertainment.

Wednesday.  I  lost myself in the work a bit that night.  Felt good. Lots of studying that day and I made a cool bookmark and covered my planner.  Also I found a magnet so the flap stays closed with the magnet now too.  I'm so proud of it. haha We went to one lesson with Paula and Victor.

Friday. I did quick intercambios with Elder Decker. We had a good lesson with Nicolas that day. I really enjoy teaching Nicolas.  He understands a lot of my Spanish and learns way quick.  Really cool to teach him.

Saturday.  Cool lesson with Magdalena that day.

Sunday.  Nicolas was awesome at church.  We waited till 11 at night to hear transfers.  I'll be with Elder Romero.  That’s very good news.  I'm nervous, but it's good news.  Moncada is going to be a ZL in a different zone and part of the council of leaders which helps advise President Corbitt on some rules.  So ya. Elder Ventura will be our new DL.
Elder Ventura trying on
their Halloween Decor!
This week I studied a lot, worked on some project ideas I had, and just plugged along. If I thought I got stir crazy at home with a TV, computer, and a hoop, here is insane.  All I can do is read the scriptures, a Liahona, or sleep.  Ridiculous. Haha.

I feel like I've progressed in the language a ton, but not as much as I should have in teaching skills.  And in the language I've just been reading the BOFM out loud to help with my accent for a week or two.  It helps, but makes it feel like I'm not progressing like I should in that either.  Because my vocab and grammar hasn't been improving as much.

Today we shopped, ate out as a district and that was the day.

Since Elder Moncada trained Elder Romero he knows a lot about him.  I guess he's pretty quiet too.  Likes music a lot.  From Honduras.  Not too into sports.  I don't think we'll have much in common besides the work.  But he's obedient and diligent so I'm not complaining.  I do need to step it up and talk more now though.  I'll be junior comp too.

Pick up Romero tomorrow morning.  He just takes a taxi alone to our house.  I find that really weird.  I'm also worried I won't be able to understand his Spanish haha.  Moncada's Spanish is VERY easy to understand.  We'll see how that goes though.  After some time I'm sure I'll get it down. I plan on stepping it up a bit.  Taking a little more charge.  I think I'll sit down with him tomorrow night and set the rules for the transfer.  Eating with members, waking up time, comp study, planning, and all the little stuff so we don't have to figure it out as we go.  Have it all set in stone.  Set ways to help each other with it if one of us is slipping. Moncada will probably pack tonight after some lessons. He's going to be a ZL with an Elder from Haiti.  I think he's pretty nervous about that one.

The other Elders in our house have 5 fechas.  Mostly kids under 14 years old.  They use the members a ton.  I figure if we start doing that we'll be able to tear it up.  Members should be the center of our work, just not an afterthought.

Also new rule on music here.  Only music you can play in sacrament meeting.  That eliminates anything with a drum or trumpet.   Most EFY music.  If you could only send me stuff with that that'd be awesome.

How's your self-improvement, daily planning going since conference? I know that struggle.  It's very hard to find time to do stuff for the gospel. Just an idea.  Elder Decker reads the BOFM in all his free time.  Maybe you could do it throughout the day at school?  In your quiet moments at school?  I know it's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

Not as much rain as before.  Lots of cooler days when it looks like it's going to rain, but doesn't.

(I was just looking at your pictures. I like the idea of going up on the roof and watching the sunrise. It looks way pretty. Just be careful of the power lines it looks like they are all over. Did you notice the dog across the street on the roof watching you? That is hilarious!) Haha I did notice the dog.  Too weird.  And I believe those power lines are a reason why the DR power is terrible.  Like all power lines are like that.  I want to get on the roof to eat dinner tonight.  It feels great out at night and is usually pretty peaceful.  A lot of the time there's music playing though.  Really loud.  Actually like all of the time.

I think that's about it.  Let me know if I missed anything. Miss you more than I can express in an email.  Love you TONS!  E. Potokar.

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