Monday, December 8, 2014

Overcame the Goon!

(Emailed to Friends)
So basically, the jist of this week has been it's been the hardest week of my mission physically.  Last Sunday and Monday I had a pretty nasty fever, headache and was just straight up dead!  And since then I've felt rather weak all week.  I've had sore calves, and always was really tired.  So then yesterday came and I had this weird rash on my arms.  I told my comp I need to call the doctor and he was like "Wo!  You have chikungunya!"  Basically that rash is the ending of it, so I survived chikungunya  without even knowing I had it!  (You can tell from the picture above that Easton doesn't look 100 percent.) Sometimes missionaries can't walk for a week with it, so I guess I didn't have it as bad.  And a lot of people will have joint pain for months after, but I don't have any of that.  Lucky me!  Definitely been blessed.  And you can only get it once, so I think I'm in good shape! (Chikungunya name means "bending over in pain." [pronounced chik-un-GOON-ya] It has no treatment or vaccine. Its symptoms resemble Dengue fever. And it has infected more than 1 million people -- 155 of them fatally -- since spreading to the Americas one year ago.)

Because of that, don't have a ton to write about this week.  Any spare time I had this week was spent sleeping.  But here we go anyways!

Monday - Felt sick after p-day.  We came back to the house early because we both had really bad headaches.

Tuesday - Lots of contacting.  Had a few solid lessons in the night.  Nothing really exciting.  We visited with the family Baez for a while too.  Pretty cool.  They're like your stereotypical grandparents.  I love them.  He can talk for hours.

Wednesday - More contacting in the morning.  Visited a part member family and their niece.  She's been coming to church for like 5 months, but we never knew until the last few weeks.  My trainer never told me anything about that.  We can't visit her alone though, but her aunt will be home more often after Christmas.  We're going to start teaching her more then.  She'll be baptized, I'm pretty sure about that.

Thursday - District meeting and mail came.  I'm a VERY spoiled missionary.  I got 4 packages from my family and grandparents, and 2 letters, one from my Dad and one from the Urban’s.  Please tell them thanks if you see them!  They're awesome.  Then that night we had a few lessons, but it was a long day as well.

Left: Potokar, Decker     Right: Romero, Ventura
Friday - Pretty lame day up until the night.  We had a bell choir we went to at night in the mission office.  It was beautiful.  Probably the highlight of my week.  We had an investigator show up which is awesome too.  Nicolas's wife.  Also got to see President Corbitt which is always a highlight as well.  And we had Wendy's for dinner which was awesome.

Saturday - Ran around a lot inviting people to church.  Then we went to a baptism of the other Elders that night (Sencela, 15 years old was baptized) and had a small English class.  Very dark, depressing day for me.  I just lost all motivation to be a missionary.  I need to continue regaining my motivation cuz I still feel a little down.

Sunday - Close to no investigators at church.  Only 1.  Lots of people had things crop up, or at least that's what they tell us.  Rough day for that reason.  Had some good lessons that night which helped pick things up some.

Today - Visited Sambil!  It's like a USA mall basically.  Had an Adidas store, Reebok, Claire’s, you name it.  We even ate at Subway!! AHH.  It was so good.  Really fun to see a bunch of US stores, even if the stuff was in Spanish.  Also was a Crispy Crème, but we didn't end up buying anything there.

Other thoughts for the week -

I got some Christmas music in one of my packages.  Have been listening to it a ton all throughout the week.  I love the Forgotten Carols.  Already come close to overplaying that album.

The bishop came with us to a lesson with Nicolas's family.  He really laid down the law and told them how our church is a way of life and really can change their life.  Really cool.  They had full intentions of coming to church too, but then they got sick.  So what can you do?

I believe that's about all for this week!

Love you all tons.  Hope you all have a great December!  Good luck on finals for you college students!
Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
I'm definitely doing better.  I believe I had chikungunya, but don't really know for sure.  Elder Ventura and Romero are pretty sure that I did.  The rash has now gone away and I think I'm fine now.  So that's good.  I think I'm pretty much good now.

I honestly don't have a ton to write today.  I didn't have time to make my list like I usually do, so I'll just see what pops into my head.  Please feel free to ask any other questions as well.

Families are progressing a lot slower.  We have tons of investigators now so we don't visit them as frequently.  Difference of styles between Elder Romero and Moncada.  I think I like somewhere in between the best.

I saw a guy with my exact same phone this week.  That was kind of cool.

I've tried to pick up the journal writing again this past week.  It didn't happen daily, but more often.  Still working on improving that one.

I try to take more populated roads at night when walking back to the house.  Sometimes we have to visit dangerous roads at night, but I avoid them when possible.

We got vetoed for permission to go to the distribution center.  It closes at 5, so we would've wasted a lot of time after.  We have the mission tour this week on Thursday, so after that I think we'll go to the distribution center.  I have to prepare another talk for it like I did last time.  This time on how the atonement and missionary work are related.

Elder Potokar & Elder Decker
Sambil was AWESOME.  I splurged and bought a meatball foot long, just like I would've at home.  It was just over 10 bucks, but I figured it was worth the splurge. Meatball was the cheapest and a little piece of home.  Go figure.  I'm in a foreign country and I buy all the same stuff I did at home haha.   I didn't end up buying anything else.  Everything was USA prices or higher.  And there wasn't really anything I needed.  I wanted a cool tie, but never saw any there.  I know there's some cool ones in Megocentro so maybe next time I go back there.  Sambil today was about 30 or 40 minutes away on the metro.  I'm still pretty close to the city so everything is decently close.

We have the mission tour on Thursday, I think we're going to watch the Christmas devotional on Wednesday, and I think ward council tomorrow.  Leaves me with Friday and Saturday full days.  The ward has a dinner thing, but I'm not sure if we're invited or when it is.  We didn't decorate the house today although I wanted to.  We were at the mall.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow afternoon or morning.  Hopefully.  I know Elder Decker really wants to do it too.

I already wore that Christmas tie as well.  I got quite a few comments on it too.

The Bell Choir was awesome.  10 kids, probably ages 9-17.  Very, very pretty.  Not the things I looked forward to back home, but I really enjoyed it now.  It was something different so it was good. Elder Decker has a video of the bell choir so I'll get that from him and upload it soon.  Some missionaries sang too and did really good. I only talked to president for like a minute.  It was Nicolas's wife who was there.  She loved it!  It was in Gazque at the mission office, close to the temple.  She works down there so stopped by after her work.  We couldn't get anyone else out there because of the distance.

Oh and I did get the backpack.  It's the perfect size.  Any smaller and I wouldn't be able to carry everything.  It's a lot sweatier than a side bag though.  I'm going to keep using it though cuz it's a lot easier to carry a lot more in a backpack.

I will know this time next week about transfers.  I'm mixed.  Ready for a change of pace but I'll miss Elder Decker and Paula and Victor and a few others.  It's just I don't know where I'll be.

Elder Decker also talked to me for a while yesterday about how I've been feeling.  He really complimented my Spanish.  Said I really have a gift.  He hasn't heard any at 5 months know more than me.  That was pretty cool for me, to know that I'm doing alright.  That the Lord has blessed me now I need to do something with it!

Also realized my bday is on a pday!  How lucky am I.  That's way awesome.

There's a balance to be found there, and I need to look for it.  I honestly have been pretty rough on myself the last little while.  I think setting little goals like this will help me along.  Maybe reward myself at night with a treat if I get them all done.  Things like that.  President Corbitt sent me this this week.  I mentioned how I need to set goals better and how that'll help me progress more.
Elder Potokar, 
Good to see you the other day.
The best-seller book, "Good to Great" is all about how difficult it is to pursue that path, while going from bad to good is much easier.
You've captured it without writing a book. Goal setting is a good way to go. Realistic goals to accomplish things within your reach will help you see your achievements more readily. I.E. I'll be able to teach all of the lessons in Spanish by _____, or the indicadores clave goals for new investigators, etc. That way you can set yourself up to be encouraged by achieving short-term goals rather than to be discouraged that you're still not where you'll be in 8 months or a year. This is another clever tactic of the Adversary: create unrealistic expectation, then discourage the servant of the Lord when s/he doesn't achieve it...
Let me know if this makes sense.
All the best,
Pres. Corbitt
I have an amazing president.  That's something I'll be applying this week.  Very inspired email of him.  I need to tone down my goals.  Make them doable and daily, and not too many of them.  I tried that a while ago, but I had too many of them and it didn't help haha.  I need to work on it.

That's about all for this week!  I didn't get to talk to Miranda this week either (we asked for permission, but got vetoed), but I think I will on Thursday this week.  We'll see how it goes!

Love you tons!  Your Elder is still alive! Haha miss you millions!
Elder Potokar.


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