Monday, November 17, 2014

Made It Through Another Week! Ahhh!

(Emailed to Friends)
What a week.  The weeks are going by a little quicker now.  Hallelujah.  I think.  That’s kind of a bad thing too though.

I'm going to do this a little differently today.  I'm going to go day by day through my week and after a few extra thoughts.

Tuesday - lots of contacting.  I'm not a huge fan of contacting, so not my favorite day.  We got a new second counselor in the bishopric.  He's very firm and straight in how he runs things.  We had a ward council with him and it was incredible.  Still not many solutions brought up, but it was better.  The Primary President wouldn’t take responsibility for anything.  It was ticking me off, until I realized I did the same like 20 minutes before.  Definite lesson for me.

Wednesday - more contacting.  Fun fun fun.  Just about always contacting in the morning at this point in time.  We had a lesson with Nicolas at night.  I believe that was the lesson when he committed himself to read the scriptures for at least 30 minutes a day.  With no commitment or mention of that from us.  WAY awesome.

Thursday.  We had a reunion.  We also taught Marta Ojeda that day.  She bought little happy Christmas things for us because Moncada was leaving.  Oh well.  Romero got his gift.  She said she went on (that like never happens) and chatted with an RM on there for like 4 hours.  WAY awesome.  She talked to us about how she's missing something in her life and how she needs friends.  We bore testimony that that is exactly what the church will bring her!  That'll fix that!  But she still didn't come to church on Sunday.  So I don't know.

Friday.  Another lesson with Nicolas.  Love teaching him.  We talked to his family more too.  We've slowly been working on them.

 Saturday.  Had a rockin English class.  I taught a little bit.  So did Elder Decker.  He's a lot more dynamic than I am at teaching.  Like he's more like an elementary junior high teacher and I'm more like a math or physics teacher.  Go figure.  Not as exciting, but more content over form.  You know.  An engineer haha.  Nicolas' daughter came as well.  She asked us at the end what she needs to do to be a member!  Ahh!  I think it was more because she likes the social side of it, but we'll work on her.

Sunday.  All of Nicolas's family came to church!  And they all liked it a lot.  His wife is a little skeptical but we'll work on her.  They were late coming in.  Before they made it I was all depressed because we didn't even have a single investigator there.  Not even our recent converts.  Then the recent converts came and I was feeling better.  Then the whole family showed up!  Awesome.  Then we had a family night with them.  Way fun.  We shared The Family a Proclamation to the World and then played mafia.  I was worried mafia was going to be rough, but it was way fun.  The other missionaries and the ward secretary (they live upstairs) and his wife came too.  Awesome.  Then we had some cake we made.  We lucked out, because it was probably the best cake I've made yet.  Good stuff. We had a family home evening two Mondays ago too.  It was a mess compared to this one.

The first few days of this transfer I had the phone with me.  It stressed me out haha.  I don't like talking on it in Spanish.  Elder Romero has gradually taken it though so no worries.

I had some of my first rejections the last couple of weeks.  A couple of people accused us of being polygamists and another straight up said no.  Those are the first times I've had that happen to me.

The DR is getting new money bills.  So I've gradually started making sure I have at least one of each old one.  Way cool.  That's just the packrat I am!

The other day I walked by the kitchen and heard a squeal.  Like a legit little kid squeal and after a ton of laughing.  Elder Romero was in the kitchen sneaking some of the brownies we made haha.  It killed me.  He's like a little kid some times.  I love it.

You can tell we're a relatively new companionship in the mission.  One day I left the house without my belt, and other days without my BOFM and planner.  Elder Romero takes the cake though.  He's forgotten his plaque (name badge) (bad, but not as bad as what's coming), his planner, and his TIE.  The man walked out of the house without his tie one day haha.  Didn't make it too far fortunately.

I saw a guy with a shirt that said "my sister has the best sister in the world".  Pretty sure he doesn't know English haha.

I went running this week!  AHH!  One day Elder Romero just asked me if I'd like to run in the morning.  I just about flipped out.  It felt great.  The first day he went out of the house really fast.  Then we stopped a lot.  Turns out he's never been running before.  We didn't run too much over a mile.  He did better today though.  I'm slowing going to ease him into this.  Way awesome.

So my Spanish at this point is good enough to say whatever I need to.  No biggy.  Accent isn't so hot, vocab is limited, but I can get out whatever and communicate well enough.  I just need to remember now it was really the Lord who's helped me so much with it.  Not me.

This week I bore testimony to these two ladies about their divine potential as daughters of God.  It was really cool.  I've never done that before.  It really clicked in my head how big of a deal that is.  How the Lord just wants us to grow up and become like Him.  That the commandments are like a ladder that's going to help us do that.

We cleaned out our freezer this week and threw huge ice chunks outside.  Some kid walked by later and flipped out and starting eating some of it.  Really weird.  Dominicans are crazy.

I got Tampico this week!  Brought back lots of cross country memories.

My comps are very different.  Elder Moncada from before used to say his heart hurts for the people who are very hardhearted.  Romero says that he likes talking to them so when they're at the judgment they won't have an excuse.  That the truth was offered to them.  Very different.

I was a little sick this week again.  My nose was clogged up real bad and a sore throat.  But you know.  Life.

I also saw a horse with the little side blinders made out of food cartons this week.  Dominicans are crazy!

That's about it for this week!  Love you guys.
E. Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
I wrote a lot in my friend letter this week.  Most of the info is in there.

Magdalena didn't come to church again.  That makes two weeks in a row.  We're going to have to postpone her baptism.  Pretty much indefinitely until she starts coming to church again.  I don't know if she'll be baptized while I'm here.  She hasn't really been doing anything.

Family Frias said they were coming to church but didn't show.  One of their daughters came to the English class.  They were out of town visiting her dad during the day.  The Mom's dad is super sick.  It wouldn't surprise me if that's why they didn't come to church. The Fria family is 3 or 4 people.  The parents, usually their 20 year old daughter and sometimes their 24 year old daughter.  The 24 year old came to the English class too.

Nicolas' family is him and his wife, his 15 year old stepdaughter, and a 4 year old stepdaughter.  She was dancing during FHE and it reminded me a lot of Lydia.  She didn't dance like Lydi but just the actual act of it. That's Nicolas’ family.  The really dark one is the ward secretary who was there.  The secretary’s wife took the picture.  That was after family night.

Some more Christmas ideas.  My digital watch I used to use for running.  I still really need a backpack.  My new side bag is falling apart.  I've had to sew it together some more.  Maybe some protein powder?  We do a decent amount of fruit smoothies and I figured that would help a ton in them.

So a pill question.  Can I take ibuprofen and the antihistamine pills together?  I did that a couple of times during the week and don't know if I should've.  I don't think I've used hand sanitizer honestly.  Haha maybe that's my problem right there.  Medicine I'm doing OK.  I'll keep you updated though.  I might be able to find some of it down here.  That's kind of sketchy though.

I read the letters in my journal you guys wrote this week.  I was feeling a little down and have been super curious about them.  It felt good and a major confidence boost.  I kind of regret it and wish I would've saved it for later.  A harder day.  Oh well.  I'm going to try not to over read them.  So I can still read the when I'm in some rough times.

I really liked President Twitchell's thoughts.  I'll have to work on that.  Remember it. (I mentioned that you are trying to discover exactly what a good missionary is like. Here is his advice. You will take bits and pieces from each missionary that you come in contact with. Things that will work with your personality. You can be a good missionary in your own way with your own tools. That is why different missionaries will touch different people. But he said the only person you need to emulate as a missionary is the Savior. Just follow his example and his teachings. Doing this you will be your best missionary for you and him.) I want it now haha!  I want to be a polished missionary now.  That's my problem.  Just need to be more patient.  It'll come.  Thank you for your words.  I'm going to print them and try to apply them.  Internalize it.

I talked to Elder Brearshears this week.  He called me.  He's from my MTC group.  This transfer he got transferred to a house with three Latinos.  His two dads were from the USA.  He said it's hard for him.  That his Spanish isn't so hot.  He struggled with it in the MTC too.  I hope I comforted him.  I want to talk to him again.  Probably tomorrow night, but we'll see.  I know exactly what he's going through!

There was some apostasy in church this week.  In the principles of the gospel class, for investigators, we were talking about the Spirit World.  And the topic turned to how the Spirit world is the Earth.  And then the teacher started talking about hearing voices, and spirits, and a bunch of Halloween crap.  Kind of ticked me off because it was the first time Nicolas's wife had been there!  What can you do though?  Then the bishop had a really, really deep doctrine talk in sacrament.  Way deep.  Not investigator friendly haha.

I've had some weird déjà vous this week.  Like I've had a dream about some experiences I've had.  I take it as a sign that I'm where I'm supposed to be.  That I made the right call about when to serve.

Romero cracks me up. Running came out of the blue.  He has never ran before.  Runs in like basketball shoes, high tops.  He just wants to exercise.  Says it'll help him which is very true.

We cleaned this morning, Romero took a few hour nap, I sewed my bag back together, wrote some letters, we ate lunch out and ya.  That was the day.  And the house is the cleanest it's been.  Romero knows how to clean.  Way awesome.

I love what the Primary did for Sister Roylance.  Way, way awesome.  I wish I could've been part of it.

The bomb was on a different part of the metro.  A different line.  One of the stations is in our area.  The guards are at restaurants and usually have a shotgun like gun.  I don't know if they are real guns, but who knows?

I don't remember if I said this or not.  Music wise I'd like all the hymns and children’s songbook if you can.  I think we have them.  In Spanish as well if you can.  And any kind of Christmas music would be absolutely fantastic.  Legal Christmas music of course.

It's mac with some kind of sauce and salami.  And rice with corn.  There was a TON of it.  WAY awesome.  It was a good lunch.  Basically when we get money we eat really good and then it slowly gets worse haha.

(Did you get your journal?) I did!  Thank you so much.  I'm trying to write in it more.  I went for like a week without.  We’re a lot busier now.  It's hard.  Thank you for the protein bars and the Ensign too!  Way awesome.  Unfortunately they ripped the package open when it crosses the border and retaped it on the church news.  But I still got most of it. (Do they always open your packages?) Yup.  Everyone so far.  Even a letter I got that was a little on the bigger side they cut open. They write on the outside what's in it, but in Spanish.  I think it's when they first get into the DR.  I'm glad it finally made it here. (Did you get your SD card that was inside the journal?) I did!  Way awesome.  Tons of talks.  Really happy about that.  Thank you guys so much.  Made my day.  My week really.  Surprises are the best! :)

That’s about all for this week! Please ask if you have any questions.
Love you tons.  Miss you millions.  More than I can explain. Elder Easton Potokar.

Here's what president Corbitt sent me this week too! I write him weekly.  Usually an update on my personal progress, progress as a companionship, and in our area.
Elder Potokar,
Thanks for this report and update. You've made it through to your next companion - awesome! Everything is right on track with you. I really felt good about the transfer and especially the companionship. This is Elder Romero's first opportunity as a senior companion and I have a lot of confidence in him. Elder Perry blessed me that I would be able to look at the transfer board and make powerful combinations. I feel you two are one companionship among many that fulfills this prophecy.
Keep up the great, diligent, faithful work!
Pres. Corbitt

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