Monday, April 13, 2015

Awesome week! Nothing exciting, but good week overall.

(Emailed to Friends)
It’s been an alright week.  We're struggling majorly to get that 15-20 investigators progressing.  Like majorly.  It's rather frustrating, but we're working hard on it.  We've kinda got to start over since we lost lots of investigators during the semana santa here.

Monday - OK lesson with an investigator.  We’re going to do a FHE with a less active family, but it crashed and burned.  Oh well.

Tuesday - Painted a house in the morning!  A member's house burned (can't say burned down since it's made of cement...), and needed to be repainted.  We painted a ton of it.  Then we had intercambios that afternoon until the next morning.  They went well.  I went with Elder Kirk in his area.  It was fun.  We got lots of work done.  Met a member family who got baptized like 3 years ago.  The parents, the kids (19, 16, 12, and 6.  Exactly the same as my family, just with the genders switched).  They're awesome.  It’d be so awesome to baptize a family like them.  One of my goals for sure.

Wednesday - Finished up the intercambio.  That evening we had quite a few lessons.  We also went to a homecoming of a sister who got back on Tuesday from her mission in Idaho.  It was super cool, and really made me want to appreciate my time here more.  I think it made Elder Solis super trunky haha.  Then we met with Ranquel and Katherine.  They're some of our really solid investigators right now in my opinion.  They read the BOFM and prayed together!  Huge step.  Hopefully we can help them make that a habit.

Thursday - Zone meeting.  Solis and I gave a talk on doing the Lord's will and not ours.  I think it went pretty well.  We did TONS of contacting.  Found quite a few people, but we'll see if any of them are good enough to progress.  Then we had a family night with an investigator and her member sister.  Linabel.  She gave the message on faith.  She invited her friend too and she wants a BOFM which is awesome!

Friday - Long day.  Lots of contacts in morning.  Found some good people, but not a ton who are interested.  The problem here is that probably 60 percent of people will open their door to let you in.  The problem is that only like 5 percent of them have any interest in the gospel.  Hard to know who to teach and who will really progress.  That evening we had more contacts and met with Marianna Nin and taught her about family history.  She has a brother who passed away a few years ago.  Told her she can have his work done.  She’s going to work on it.  Then we had a lesson with some eternigators.  They’ve been investigators for years and years.  Good people, but they just don't want to get married.  Come to church and everything.  He even prayed for President Hinckley in his prayer.  Haha that'll tell you how long they've been investigators.

Saturday - Decent day.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Lots more contacts.  Some lady told us if we want to change churches we just have to talk to her haha.  Nothing much else.

Sunday - Better day.  Marlye and Marianna Nin both came to church.  Those were huge successes in my book.  Linabel and her friend too.  Marlye was super excited because she's going to give the lesson next week in church.  She bore her testimony too.  That evening we had ward council and our coordination meeting with the ward mission leader.  Both went well.  Our ward mission leader wants to work a bit more, so we'll be taking advantage of that.

Today - Cleaned.  Studied.  Went exploring a street in our area.  Lots of shoes and hats.  And knock-off stuff.  Was pretty lame.  I wrote some letters for my converts and that felt awesome.  I hope they're doing well.  'bought it for the day.

Other thoughts for the week:
We were helping a blind guy find his way along.  He bumped into someone and the guy was like "how are you doing?”  And the blind guy was like "Bob? I thought you were dead!"  So we left him to talk to his new-ish found friend haha.

I accidently ate liver the other day.  Sometimes we eat out and I just point to a meat and eat it.  Probably not the wisest thing haha.  I was like this meat has a weird texture, and my comp was like "you know that's liver right?”  Ya.  I couldn't eat any more of it after that.

We contacted an Asian this week.  I asked him if he believed in Christ and he said no and walked away.  So that's that.  I thought that was cool though.

I believe that's about it!  This next week I've got another baptismal interview and some intercambios.  And I'll have news about transfers!  Wish me luck!
Love y'all tons!
Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Pretty normal week again.  I've set some goals and I'm doing better at keeping them.  I'm starting to hold myself more accountable to them which makes a huge difference.  Still frustrated we're not even close to the 15-20 progressing.  The district is way far away from it too.  It's a huge goal, and it'll take a while to build up to.  We just seem to be shuffling through so many people.  We'll get there though.  One of these weeks.  I know we will.

Dad getting released made me cry.   He did such a good job in that calling.  Dave and Jeff and Kent will do such a great job.  It'll be super weird getting home with a different bishopric.  There's been a lot of younger bishoprics getting called out there.  Super cool.  I expect I'll feel something similar when I need to come home.  I'm going to try and enjoy my time out here even more.  Realize how limited my time really is.  Push it hard to make the biggest impact I can.

I've gained weight.  Not sure how.  I now weight close to 180 pounds.  I think it shows in my face too.  Kidna scares me haha.  I don't drink soda like at all now.  Like I fill up faster though, but I have the will to eat what I used to haha.  I think it's mainly for that.  My metabolism is finally slowing down haha.  And our area is smaller so we're not walking quite as much.

(Do you eat with many members there? Do you eat off the streets very often? ) We eat with members every now and then.  Usually more snacks with them.  They'll give us some bread or a soda or something.  I prefer to say no to those things, but Solis always says yes.  Streets are rare.  Usually only empanadas.  The liver was in a pica pollo.  They have all this big things full of food, like in the Lee's deli.  And I pointed to one that looked good, and well, it was liver haha.

I met a guy who served with Donley!  Donley was his DL.  How crazy is that?  I was like spazzing out. (Donley was a robotics teacher that Easton really enjoyed.)

Wow.  Can't believe they (siblings) have already almost finished a year of school.  That's super super nuts.  I feel like it went by a lot faster out here than it did when I was in school.  Glad to hear they do good.  I hope they keep up on it.  They're both really smart, just need to work hard still.

Those pictures are of two different families.  Actually cousins.  Their moms are twins.  The first family outside I gave the necklaces too.  One of them asked me if he could shower with it haha.  The middle one was wearing it at church, but had lost the ring on it haha. And I played with their daughter during conference.  Their Dad is the one who served with Donley.

The other family is the one inside the house.  Their dad is a counselor in the bishopric.  Their daughter reminded me a lot of Lydia playing and singing like that.  It cracked me up haha.

That's from the roof of an apartment we were contacting.  The stairs went to the roof so we went ahead and took some pictures up there.

Those sticky notes are of investigators. Unfortunately, my sticky notes are from last Christmas and aren't too sticky.  Most of them have fallen down.  We need to buy some new ones and do it again.

Not too much else for the week.  Feel free to ask any questions.  Love you tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, April 6, 2015

9 Month Mark! Solid Week. Happy Easter! GC is stellar!

(Emailed to Friends)
Solid week all-round, just with its challenges.  But hey, what would a mission be without challenges?

Monday - Decent day.  Tried to visit the crazy lady who drives me nuts again to see if we could teach her.  Showed her the Easter video, and after her saying "That's nice" she changed the topic.  Probably won't be going back there much.

Tuesday - Intercambios!  The day went OK.  Ate out at Dominoes to celebrate Elder Mokofisi’s birthday.  That cost a good chunk of money. Super good though.  Amazingly good haha. Definite lack of lessons.  Had a good lesson with the eternigator, Linabel though.  I was with Elder Rasmussen.  Great guy.  Really knows his stuff.  You can tell he has lots and lots of time in the mission.  Other than that an average day.  Lots of contacting as well.

Wednesday - Another fatal lack of lessons.  The day went OK.  Nothing really super special to report.  Just lots of lessons that fell through.

Thursday - Much better day.  District meeting went pretty good.  Nothing over the top, but it was good.  We all brought a treat to celebrate Elder Mokofisi's birthday so that was way good.  We left with an RM for our lessons.  Helped them along really nicely.  Taught Marianna Nin again.  She's a less active, who's slowly coming back.  She has tons of questions and I just really enjoy teaching her.  It's super fun.

Friday - Supposed to be a CRAZY day here.  We could only be out of the house till 6.  We had a few lessons and went to a ward party.  Played some dominoes, Parcheesi, and had tons of habiachulas con dulce.  So good.  Going to have to find a recipe for those in the future.  Came back to the house early and planned really good for the week.  The streets were super calm - we probably could've still worked, but rules are rules.  Sigh.  Oh!  And Marlye, the Haitian inactive, came to the activity with her husband!  That made me super super happy!

Saturday - Conference!  Gotta love it.  In the morning we had a few lessons and passed by a bunch of houses to invite people to conference.  Unfortunately, no one, including the members, showed up at the church to watch it in the morning!  We ended up using the internet, so I got to see it in English :)  The rest I watched in Spanish.  Then we had lunch, and watched the next session in the church.  Marianna Nin, another less active, Marlye and Ranquel, and Katherine all came.  Good session.  I couldn't hear it too well, so between that and the Spanish didn't get much out of it.  I ended up playing dolls with the little girl who was sitting in front of me haha.  Then a good lesson the bishop came with us to, and then Priesthood.  We went to the stake center for Priesthood.  There was probably like 25 to 30 men there.  So sad.  I missed Utah and the packed Stake Center.  That's alright though.  Priesthood was a fantastic session though.  The big 3 talked which was awesome.

Sunday - More conference! A few lessons in the morning, conference, lunch, and a few more in the evening.  Conference was good.  Lots more members there, but no investigators which was a bummer.  'sall good though.

Today - cleaning.  We did a little bit of exploring on a main street in our area.  I snagged a toaster for like 7 bucks.  Call that thrift shopping at its best.  I haven't had toast FOREVER, and I was kinda pathetically really excited for my toaster haha.  Did a little shopping, and then made hamburgers, fries, a mango shake, and home-made brownies for lunch.  Oof.  So good.  Brownies got a raincheck to be eaten for dinner.

'bought it for the week.  Temple in Haiti got everyone really excited here.  That's awesome.  Just on the other side of the island.  President Monson looked a lot older this time, but still did an awesome job.  Struggled to understand Elder Packer.  He looked very very old.  Also talked to an Elder on the phone today who's going home for a knee injury.  Crazy stuff.  He was super bummed about it.  So sad.

That's been the week!  Love y'all tons!
Hope you had a fantastic Easter!
Love, Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Sounds like you had an awesome week!  I got your packages this week, and read through all the stuff about Christ on Sunday morning.  Just to give it a big impact.  It was super good.  Thank you so so much for it!  Protein powder made it.  I used it in pancakes haha.  It was super good.  I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the package a lot - I also got one from grandma P the same day so it was good.

Unfortunately, very low success this week.  Lots of people were gone to "el campo" which is basically the country to visit family.  The place was super quiet Saturday and Sunday.  Streets and everything.  Super weird.

I loved Eyring’s talk in priesthood.  Also a seventy who talked in Sunday afternoon in Spanish about eternal perspectives.  Super awesome.  Lots of talking about not using cell phones during sacrament.  Lots.  Also liked "are we the church of latter day saints or latter day hypocrites?" woof!  Lots of speakers laid it down really hard haha.  I enjoyed that.  That's how Dominicans are and I've gotten used to that a lot.

I was bummed about investigators.  Like no one came.  Separated the strong from the weak haha.  We need to find lots and lots more.  We struggle to find and retain investigators.  Maybe it's just my style of doing things, I don't know.  It's hard though.  I feel like we shuffle through people way too fast.

I watched conference, but almost all in Spanish.  Remember how my mind wandered when watching it in English?  Haha it's a lot worse when it's in Spanish.  I'll be studying the talks once they come out. I loved Presdient Eyring's in Priesthood.  Excellent.  He has a lot of emotion in his voice, and I really missed that since the translator obviously doesn't have that.  I could see him tearing up though.  I liked the Saturday morning session too.  Super awesome.  I think the thing I miss most about watching in Spanish is their voices.  Uchtdorf’s, Monson, Holland, they all have their distinct voices and emotions when they talk, and it just doesn't translate.  I'm thankful I know English so I can hear that. Please send me the sessions on a card again.  I still listen to those in the mornings every now and then.  I really enjoy those.

At the ward activity I played two games of dominoes.  The elder’s quorum president was super intense about it, and I beat him the first game.  Won all the rounds.  My partner didn't at all.  Then the next game I got absolutely killed haha. It was games pretty much for the activity.  They had hot dogs, and habiachulas con dulce as well.  Super good.

I think the person we helped most these week was Marlye.  It was so awesome she came to the activity and to a bunch of the conference sessions.  She brought her husband too.  Super super cool.  I think she was crying during one session.  She's become good friends with one of the members which is really helping her a lot.

Elder Solis is good.  He's a good guy, just more laidback than me.  Willing to just kinda hang out with people, when I want to go go go.  We were shopping today and he's a browser.  Content just to walk around and look at things.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but not really something I like haha...

Think that's about all.  Lots of pictures coming your way this week.  I filled up my first SD card too.  Started on the second one now.

That’s so crazy!  It's been a year since I got my call.  Almost a year since I graduated.  That seems like yesterday sometimes.  Time really flies.

Love you tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Busy Busy Week! Awesome Sunday!

(Emailed to Friends)
What a week it's been!  I believe I say that every week, but they all really are fantastic.

Monday - managed to snag a couple of lessons.  Not too shabby.  Normal though.

Tuesday - Solid day, with a lack of lessons though.  While contacting though, we did find a less active lady, named Marianna Nin.  She asked us if we worshipped Joseph Smith, or Paul, or Peter, because she needed more help than just from Christ.  Needless to say she's been inactive for a very very long time.  She's very open though, and I think from our visits has a desire to come back to church.  It's like teaching an investigator though, it's all new for her.  She's had a lot of challenges in her life, and I hope she sees the gospel can help her with them.

Wednesday - Solid lessons as well. Nothing too out of the ordinary.  Taught a contact named Angy.  As part of our district goals, we're trying to talk to as many new people between lessons as possible.  We stopped and contacted her house.  She's SUPER interested.  Started teaching her the Plan of Salvation and it was AWESOME.  She read everything, said it all made a ton of sense, and that she feels like she's had a hole in her life that needs to be filled.  We answered her questions that she has had for a long time, and it was just way super awesome.    I had a baptismal interview of a 12 year old kid that night.  It went well.  He ended up getting baptized this Saturday. Had to bail on some of our lessons because of it which was a bummer, but all's well.

Thursday - District meeting.  Went OK.  Not too exciting, or amazing. Just normal.  I was going to have to do another baptismal interview, but it never happened.  We taught a few less actives as well.  One guy was 21 and really knows his stuff.  Brought out his hymnbook and the whole nine yards.  We sang a few hymns with him.  Then we taught Marianna Nin again.  She read all the pamphlet and even filled in the questions in the back.  Next step is helping her make it to church.

Friday - OK morning.  Left with a member, and it went all right.  At lunch time we started some intercambios.  It was tight.  Way fun.  I got to be with my ZL, Elder Romero.  He was my comp before and it was cool to be with him again.  We worked way hard together.  Felt fantastic.  Visited a few references that I think could really pan out, and had some really good contacts as well.  Fun fun day.

Saturday - More contacting with Elder Romero.  Way fun once again.  That afternoon had a major headache and was struggling. We had a few OK lessons.  Taught Angel for the last time.  He's moving to a new house today I believe.

Sunday - AWESOME.  Church went so well.  We had 6 investigators in church which isn't anything super amazing, but it is pretty good.  The awesome thing is Calletano, who me and Elder Romero contacted came to church.  And Marlye, the Haitian inactive lady, was AT CHURCH. SHE CAME ON HER OWN.  What. A. Surprise.  I almost spazzed out when I saw her haha.  She brought her son, Sebastian, or his real name is Judaley.  Way awesome.  And Angel brought his whole family to church.  His wife is inactive and I've never seen them all at church.  Way awesome as well.  Overall I was just super super happy on Sunday.  Super super happy.  That night we visited some recent convert’s sisters.  There's two of them, and they are literally sisters.  Way nice people.  Unfortunately, one of them has major challenges in her life, and is just about done with the church.  So sad.  We tried what we could, but she wasn't listening too much to us.  So sad.

Monday - Cleaned.  Shopped.  And ya.  That was it.  Woohoo for P-day! Haha.

Other thoughts:

Easter or "semana santa" is nuts here.  We have to go in early on Friday since it's dangerous... They also do a lot of habiachulas con dulce or "sweet beans" which is like a drink with beans, cinnamon, and tons of sugar.  Not too bad actually.  The other day me and my comp were drinking some and started laughing and were struggling to not spill all over ourselves.  Fun stuff.

The other day I saw Elder Solis with a tie that's the same as one of mine.  I was like, "Hey that's way cool!  We have the same tie!"  Then I thought about it a little more, and looked at the tie a little harder, and it was my tie... Aww.

More intercambios this week.  The mission is also really pushing that we don't teach any women without a man present.  Very very very hard to do.  We don't teach any young women alone, but we have lots of ladies 30 or 40 years old who we teach.  Very hard to do, but we're working on it.

I believe that's about all for the week!  Enjoy your conference! Best time of the year. Oh, and Easter as well.  I guess.
Love y'all tons!
Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Wow.  Quite the week. That's nuts with your calling too! I'm excited to hear what your new calling will be and who'll be the new bishopric.  You've been in their forever!  Haha as long as I can remember.  How soon are you going to know? I expect it'll be a similar feeling when it's time for me to get home.  Just kind of gut-wrenching haha.  Maybe if you get lucky thought you'll get called to the Primary, but I really don't expect that'll happen.  You'll do great in whatever they call you as.

Thank you for all the music you sent me.  I realize that was a lot of your time to go through it all, and it's been awesome.  It's just about always playing when we're inside the house.

But really the story about Garrett made me chuckle.  And Ash too.  Made me feel bad when Lydia didn't get her party, but I'm glad it all worked out. I'd be worried about Garrett too!  Haha.  I was never even close to that social.  I didn't even talk to like any girls as a 7th grader.  Oh how times have changed!  And the same for Ash.  She's looking a lot older in the pictures you guys send me!  She's growing up quick.

The baptismal date was for the 11th, but it's not going to happen.  We haven't been able to get her to church yet. I don't know.  I'm struggling that we've been working hard, but haven't had any fechas or anything.  Bother me a lot.

I also had a really cool talk to Romero about the 15-20 thing while I was with him.  He liked a lot of my ideas and I wouldn't be surprised if he implements them in the zone.  Super cool.

The members talked to Marlye a bunch at church.  I tried to introduce as many of them as I could to her.  I think she enjoyed it better.  She seemed happy while she was there.  The Relief Society president is going to visit her during the week.

Angel's Family
I'm going to miss teaching Angel.  We don’t' really have anything else to teach him though.  Haha he knows just about everything.  He just needs to get married, then he'll be an easy baptism.  He has a date to get married in May, he's just waiting for it.  He's already talked to the missionaries in his new area.  Looked them up himself.  They live super close to him.

District meeting was OK.  Not as good as the week before.  Numbers aren't really up much.  I don't think they're applying the goals much.  Elder Rasmussen they're trying and I think the numbers are going up a bit.  It'll definitely take time.

I getting to know the members a lot better.  They are helping with some referrals.  We got 3 this week I think and 1 of them was really good.  We'll see how it goes with him.

(So the Dominicans like to celebrate at any chance. Is it easier to talk about Christ this week or is it just about the party for them?) They party A LOT.  Like nightly.  It's nuts.  We'll see.  We just barely got the cards to do the Easter thing like we did for Christmas.  We'll see how it goes this week!

I think conference will just be at the church.  I hope we'll be able to hit all the sessions. I plan on it.   Not sure if I'll watch conference in English or in Spanish. I hope English, but we'll see how it goes. It's an awesome opportunity for investigators cuz there's so many sessions! They should at least be able to make it to one or two.The ward has an activity on Friday too so we might go to that.  We don't have details as of yet.

There's 6 sisters in the zone.  I think they'll put sisters in our area in the future cuz it's so safe.

Solis, Sebastian/Judaley, & Potokar
I think we'll have intercambios tomorrow as well.  Not sure who's going where yet. I'll stay the night with them.  Not sure if I'll stay in my area or if I'll leave to another area or who I'll be with.

This transfer has flow by.   Seems like forever ago I was worried about being DL and all that, and it's been almost 3 weeks now.  Absolutely nuts.  Sometimes I feel like I'll be here forever, but when I look back on it, things are flying.

I loved the pictures you sent me!  It looks like the kids are doing awesome.  Ash is sure growing up as are the other two.  Garrett tells me about someone he's trying to share the gospel with just about weekly which is way awesome.  Tons more than I ever did.

I believe that's about all!  Please feel free to ask questions.  I gave Angel your Facebook as well, so don't be surprised if you get a friend request! Haha.
Love you tons! Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Solid week. Not much new though!

(Emailed to Friends)
Solid week.  I don't remember it being too out of the ordinary, but it's been good.

Monday - FHE.  We managed to get two families of investigators at it.  We also contacted a guy with the deepest voice I've ever heard, and his sister (30ish years old) is probably about the loudest, boldest, talker I've ever met in my life.  I was honestly having problems not getting mad at her!  sheesh.

Tuesday - Good morning.  We've got some new investigators who seem interested and teaching them is going well.  The evening went OK too.  A few member present lessons.  Not too much out of the ordinary, but it was solid.

Wednesday - I had my first baptismal interview in the morning.  I studied a lot for it and felt ready going into it.  She was a 12 year old girl.  I got her to open up and things went well.  Not too hard.  It was cool how strong the Spirit was there.  She was baptized this Saturday.  I have 3 or 4 more interviews this upcoming week.  In the evening things went OK.  Didn't have too many firm citas, so lots of walking and talking to new people.

Thursday - My first District Meeting as DL.  It went well.  At least I think it did haha.  I had them start with a prayer, their most spiritual experience in the mission to really invite the Spirit, then we talked about how to get the 15-20 investigators progressing.  Lots and lots of good ideas.  I thought at first it was going to be some secret key that we needed to do, or just working really hard, but I realized we need to be sharper missionaries.  More effective.  We set four goals for this week to do it.  Shorter lessons (30-40 minutes like PMG says).  Talk to 10 new people daily.  More direct commitment questions.  And shorter member visits to show the members we're diligently working for this.  It's been hard to implement them, but we'll see how it works on in this next week.  Then we had 4 lessons in the evening.  Good lessons.  We stopped by the crazy ladies house again.  She was nuts for a while, but then calmed down and listened to us.  She's a lawyer and knows a lot of the bible.  Really really surprised me.  The Lord taught me a lesson with that one.

Friday - Another solid morning.  The evening was just OK.  We weren't too punctual for any of our lessons and that hurt.  Basically as we set those goals, we got worse at those things.  More contacts and new people as well.  We also started talking to people in the streets and contacting between appointments to get the 10 people daily.  Found a really good one from that.

Saturday - We got lots of food this day.  Really long lesson with Ranquel and Katherine in the morning.  We went over The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  It went really well.  They said they know all of that stuff, just don't apply much of it.  We invited them to apply it and improve the marriage.  We'll see if they do their part.  Then we had tacos for lunch with Angel and his wife.  It was really good.  He's like a for-sure baptism, just needs to get married, which he has a date to get married in May.  His wife is a member too, just super inactive.  We taught them about the family too, and about examples.  Then we contacted, had habiachulas con dulce (a sweet bean drink which is weird, but good.  They eat it here for Easter) at a less actives house, and a few more lessons.  Talked to the crazy lady and deep voice man again.  They fed us Mangu and juice.  He had us sit down and just watch some NBA.  Didn't know how to handle that haha.  They also insist on calling me by my first name.  Super nuts.  Not too interested in the gospel unfortunately, just in having some friends.

Sunday - 6 (3 were our investigators) at church.  Angel's wife came to church which I count as the biggest success.  Then we had solid lessons.  The Spirit was there really good in all of them.  Lots of people with potential, we'll just see how things go.

Today - Cleaned, haircut, and went to Megocentro.  Had Taco Bell there.  It was good.  Just kind of hung out today.  It's been alright.  Wish we had a little more freedom to play on P-days, but that's alright.

I believe that's about it for this week!  This next week I'll have more interviews, an intercambio, and should be a good week.  We need to work more on working with the members.  I think that's about it though!  Love y'all tons!
Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Wowza.  You guys had a crazy busy week!  Sounds like you had a great week!  Soccer, prom, and 3d printers!  I've got to say I was SUPER impressed by that 3D printer.  That's huge.  If they can make that available to whomever and wherever, that's going to change the world.  Really though.  That's awesome.  I bet its a few years until it's available to the general public on an affordable price.  But that's way way awesome. I'm kind of happy Garrett's getting into that type of thing.  That's super awesome.  Haha we'll have something in common!  Making a 3d printer is on my bucket list to do after my mission too.

Mom sent me Ash's prom pictures.  It looked like a really fun time.  Good group.  I recognized the Peterson girl in her group.  Good boys too which makes a world of difference.  Lydia and her bike are way cute too.  Way awesome.  Wish I could be there to see it.

The interview went well.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it'd be.  I put the prep into it beforehand and it helped a lot.  It was like 45 minutes long.  I hit a small snag with her, but it was more she didn't understand something.  It was awesome though.  I really enjoyed it.  I've got 2 or 3 more coming up this week, so I'm going to have lots of experience doing them!

District meeting went really well.  The ideas took up more time than I expected.  We didn't have time to go over their areas.  Hopefully the goals we implemented were actually done.  We have lots of people who just need to come to church to be progressing.  Super frustrating.  We really need to find families and use the members more to be able to do this.  Elder Romero sat in on our district meeting and he seemed super impressed.  He wants a copy of the list of stuff we're going to apply.  So that's really cool too.

We had 40 lessons for the week too.  Only 5 with member though so we need to work on that a lot.

I've been a LOT more happy with Elder Solis.  He's very very upbeat and cracks a lot of jokes.  I've been very serious for a long time so I've enjoyed that. We speak a ton of English.  It's a lot easier to crack jokes in English.  I probably speak more Spanish between us two than he does.  I'm going to set a goal with him to at least speak Spanish in the street.

Investigators are coming along.  Slowly, but surely.  Not too many progressing really.  It's super hard to get people to come to church consistently.  They'll usually come once or twice and never again or just never come in the first place.  Super frustrating honestly.

(Who are you having intercambios with this week?) I think it'll be with Elder Kirk.  I'll be with him in his area to do some more interviews.

We teach a mission prep like class for the youth.  It's usually OK.  Nothing too special.  I don't know the members all that well, so that's why we haven’t been leaving with too many of them.  That's something we're really missing to get the 15-20 investigators progressing too.  Elder Solis had to give a last minute talk in sacrament this week too.  Too nuts.  I got off the hook, probably cuz of my Spanish haha.

I also had a 12 year old girl tell me I'm pretty like 4 times.  Haha it kinda cracked me up.  It was more because my eyes are blue.  Dominicans are crazy for colored eyes. It was funny.  I just kind of ignored it and kept talking to her and her friends.  Invited them to church, but they flaked.  Didn't surprise me at all haha.

Yesterday we also visited the first counselor's family.  They have 4 kids, all under 9 years old.  One of their little girls is 5, and was in a pink dress.  She was doing the same twirly thing Lydia would do (and probably does.)  She was a lot more open than Lydia is with strangers though.  I played around with her a bunch.  She was way cute.

I know the Spanish now but just lack the accent.  Majorly lack the accent.  The crazy lady we found this week made fun of my accent.  That hurt a bit.

(Glad to hear you talking to new people. Sometimes that is all it takes is to say hi to someone on the street. That used to be out of your comfort zone. Does it bother you now?) Maybe it's because of the tag, but it doesn't bother me at all now.  It's something normal here too, so people will talk to ya like it's no big deal which is awesome. This is a trait I'm going to try to get to stick.  To be able to talk to whoever fearlessly.  Something I want to keep with me forever.

(Does the DR celebrate St Patrick’s Day?) I haven't heard anything about St. Patrick’s Day here.  I honestly forgot that that holiday existed haha.

I weighed myself this week and I weighted 175.  Up 10 pounds since last time.  Not sure if that was right, but oh well.  We'll say those 10 are muscle from working out ;) haha I don't think all of it is though!

I miss soccer a lot.  Megocentro has an indoor cage thing where they play that I saw for the first time today, and oh how I wanted to play!  It looked awesome.  Sometime I'll play there.  It's been way way way too long since I’ve played a really good game of soccer.

Tampico comes in pouches for 5 pesos.  They sell water like that too, but I find that really sketchy.

The food picture is the one I ate with Angel.  It was super super good. Best meal I've had in a long time.

That's a normal taxi here haha.  Elder Solis has some better pictures of it.  Basically all the taxis here really shouldn't be on the road.

The one of the four of us is me and elder Solis, and on the left Edward, the returned missionary from Mexico.  The first one with the taller guy is Robert, our investigator.  And the other one is with Hermana Mercedez less active son.

There’s some Dominicans screaming here right now.  The DR is nuts haha.

I think that's about all for the week.  Not too much to say! Let me know if you have more questions.
Love you tons!  Love you tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

Potokar, Robert, & Solis
Solis, Potokar, & Sebastian

Monday, March 16, 2015

What a week! Meetings, New Comp, Miracle Baptism Date

(Emailed to Friends)
It´s been a solid week!  Definitely one of the most stressful weeks I've had in a long time, but I've made it through it.  Phew!

Monday - finished up making the rounds so Elder Martinez could say bye to everyone.  It was super sad.

Tuesday - Transfers!  I waited with Elder Mokofisi and Elder Lanza until Elder Solis showed up.  We went and looked at something called the "farro".  It was a huge building that a president made here.  Something to do with Catholicism.  It was super cool though!  I enjoyed checking that out.  Then Elder Solis got here about 2.  He came from about 4 hours away from here.  We then ate with him, me, Elder Mokofisi, and Elder Rasmussen. It was good.  I enjoyed that.  Feels like it was years ago when he showed up.  Then we had a few normal lessons.  I honestly don't remember who it was haha.

Wednesday - I had a district leader meeting at the mission office. We did some intercambios and I headed over with the other DL's from our zone.  It was really good.  We talked a lot about reverence, how to conduct a district meeting, interviews, etc.  It was good.  I learned a lot.  There's also a huge focus in the mission on having 15-20 investigators progressing for every companionship.  I have some stuff I'm going to implement with my district to get us up there.  I want to be the first district to get it.  It's way freakin high of a goal though.  With the Lord we can! Then we had some OK lessons.  A few contacts.  Trying to get back into the routine of things.

Thursday - Elder Clayton (of the presidency of the seventy) and Elder Martinez and Cornish (of our area presidency, both are seventies), gave a meeting in the mission office with the WHOLE Mission.  All 240 or so of us.  It was awesome.  President Corbitt really put a focus on reverence for this one.  I guess President Cornish told him "This is the most irreverent mission I have ever seen."  Before the meeting started, it was silent. Like being in the temple.  The Spirit was so there. This reverence is something the whole country REALLY has problems with.  Clayton gave a talk about how 30 years ago there was only like 15 members here, and now there's 20 stakes, and in the future they'll be OVER 80 STAKES!  Phew.  Really awesome to hear that.  Super cool.  Then they did some Q and A which is always cool.  Some missionaries asked some really deep doctrine questions, and he responded "I have no idea".  Like it was ridiculous stuff we don't need to know.  Said we can study the Doctrine of Christ for all our lives, and still not fully understand it.  Super cool. Elder Cornish answered a question on how he handles the stress of his calling too which was super awesome.  Said it's the Lord doing the work, that he just tries to enjoy being an instrument in his hands.  It was an answer to prayers.  I was feeling super stressed, and it really helped me get through it.  Then we had normal lessons.  Juan Carlos kind of told us he's done listening to us.  So that's that.  Family Brito are doing better, just need to come to church.

Friday - Zone Meeting.  I had to give a talk on reverence in front of the zone.  I feel like I did pretty good.  I was bummed I didn't get to have a meeting with my district, cuz I have some stuff I really want to set as goals with them.  Normal lessons after.  Nothing too amazing.

Saturday - OK day.  We went to help contact an area they're going to open.  Got there late and didn't really do a ton. Had an awesome lesson with Ranquel and Katherine.  We talked to them about how church went last week.  He really liked it, and said he sees it as somewhere he can stay in.  She was iffy.  They said they were coming to church this week, but never did.  Lame.  I think it's because of the kids or her.

Sunday - Church was alright.  Only two investigators showed up.  I winged giving a PMG gospel lesson to the youth.  After we left with an RM who's been home a week from Southern Mexico, Edward Garcia. Wow.  This guy knows his stuff.  Has a personality that's loving, but very very loud.  Just went through what everyone was saying.  You don't have a choice to say no to his commitments.  Somehow he managed to give a baptism date to Linabel, an investigator of like 2 years.  Miracle work.  I'm hoping to leave with him a lot, and see if he can "retrain" me haha. Teach me a bunch of new stuff.  I wanted him to help us put another fecha with someone that night, but the cita fell.

Today - cleaned, did our new planners, and played some basketball as a district. It was fun.  Then had lunch and that's the day.  Have a FHE tonight we're going to go to.

Upcoming week:  I have a baptismal interview on Wednesday.  Scares me a lot haha.  My first district meeting as DL. Should be a good week.

New comp:  Good guy.  Has 20 months in the mission.  Was DL for a couple of transfers.  Wants to finish his mission strong, something I can definitely help him with.  Very loving, and has a way with people. I've been focusing on the numbers a lot, so this should be something I can help him with!

Think that's about all for this week!  Enjoy your week! Hopefully this next week's even better.  Love y'all tons!
Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
It's been a solid week.  Lots of meetings.  Lots and lots of meeting.  We only worked one morning this week.  We still pulled out 34 lessons though.  Not too bad with teaching Elder Solis the area and visiting members so he can get to know them.  Lots and lots of work to do in the area haha.  Here we go. In lessons we take turns taking the lead (not really turns, just whoever takes it), but he seems alright.  We really do a lot together. We're working hard.

Solis is ready to really work hard which makes me happy. He is always cracking a joke.  Really good guy.  I've found I can shift my sense of humor a bit for people, and it's working for us.  His sense of humor is different than mine, but we're doing super well.  Hopefully it keeps up.  He's really humble too which is awesome.  Asks often if there's anything he can improve on. He's helping me laugh more and love the people more as well, both things I've needed to work on.

We speak a lot of English honestly.  It's really hard not to.  There's some things that can only be said it English.  I need to work on that.  His family are all members.  He has 3 older stepbrothers, and a little brother and sister.  All his older siblings served missions as well.  Lived in Mexico for 2 years and was born in California.  His family is from St. George.  Dad (really his stepdad.  His real dad died when he was 6) owns a lawn care business and his mom is say at home mom.  I'm his first gringo comp too.

Eating OK.  I think I know how to cook more than Solis, but he does know how to cook.  He reminds me a lot of Josh Woodhouse.

I could use some advice with the baptism interview.  I'm super nervous for that one.  I have one on Wednesday and I think I'll have 5 more in the next week or two.  Las Americas has lots of fechas.  That's really about the only thing I'm still nervous about as district leader.

District meetings on our Thursdays.  We go over our investigators, brainstorm ideas to help them, and then someone gives a tema on a gospel topic is usually what happens.  I'm going to do it a bit differently.  We're going to set some goals and see what we can do to get this 15-20 goal down.  'I'm really excited about tackling this.  Probably overly excited.  I've had troubles sleeping thinking about it like I used to with robotics haha.

I think I'm going to take a robotics like approach to it.  Like how we brainstormed together to come up with ideas.  I'm definitely going to take a few of my own ideas into it, and really push for them cuz they could be inspired, but I want to hear what my district says too. Maybe they've thought of something I've never thought of, and they really can receive revelation for their areas too.

Rasmussen's a good guy.  From Hyrum.  He's been very complimentary about everything I do which has really helped me through things.  He's got lots of experience as a leader, so will remind me about the little things that sometimes I might forget.  Or he'll remind me of something and then the ZL's will call and remind me about it, and then I just seem on top of things haha.

We haven't been asking for many references, but the members have been hooking us up with them.  The return missionary knows his stuff.  There's a lot of skills I think this mission lost, or at least I've never seen done, that he implements.  His mission was a sharp well running one. They committed everyone to baptism on the first or second visit which is awesome.  Something I'd like to implement more here.  That and tons of other things that I've seen him done.  He's just super bold.  That's just how his personality is and it really helps in missionary work!  Something I'd like to develop to be able to use when necessary.  I feel flaky sometimes.  Lots of missionaries here just accept the no's and move on.  He really really pushes.  It's awesome haha.

Sebastian is doing OK. He just can't come to church which means he can't really progress according to number standards. Or get baptized.  It's hard.  Not quite sure what to do with him. Ranquel and Katherine are fun to teach, Familia Carela sometimes, Yomairy (reference) and Robert.  And Linabel.  We've got quite a few good ones. A few other investigators are progressing well.  Mainly Ranquel and Katherine. They've come a long ways. He said that church should be something you go to weekly, and something he wants every week.  He's been looking for a church for a long time, and it looks like he's chosen ours!  We just need to help out his wife more.

In the district leader meeting, President Corbitt had all the new DL's raise their hands. It was half of us.  Half of the DL's are new.  A few are younger than me, but most are around my time.  (Your mission meeting sounded super neat! Did all the missionaries go to the office or was it skyped or something?) All the missionaries were there, minus the islands!  It was WAY awesome to see everyone there.  They wanted everyone to leave immediately after, but obviously that didn't happen!  I saw all the MTC guys, some of the guys from Villa Mella, and it was great to talk to everyone and see where they're at now.  It's nice to actually be able to know people to talk to at these things now.  It kinda sucked when I was new at first.

We also had a lesson with this one guy this week.  The one who said he was an atheist, but then really wasn't.  He said he wanted to talk to me alone, so Solis backed up a few feet.  He then showed me a JW magazine and explained to me with the pictures how they're conspiring against the US, and how his neighbors are communist and a bunch of nuts stuff that supposedly has happened to him.  He had me record everything to send to the FBI.  It was weird.  It was long an hour long haha. Super Nuts.

Way weird about the JW thing right?  Then he started telling me how he's from the US, but grew up here since they've done a blood test or something.  It was crazy.  Elder Solis took some pictures of him while he was talking to me haha.  He told me at the end that my life and the life of lots of people depends on this.  Super weird.  We definitely did not set a date to return. I think it was just because I'm white.  I did leave him with a plan of salvation pamphlet though :)

(Your pictures this week look really good. That building is called the Columbus Lighthouse if you didn’t know. I looked it up online and it looks like they shoot spotlights out of it at night in the shape of a cross and say it can be seen all the way to Puerto Rico. Have you ever seen it light up? I wonder how often they do that.)  We didn't get to go inside since we didn't have time, but it's huge.  It's got a room for all the American countries, and I guess has a few things about each of them.  I bought that little knick knack for like 2.50 to remind me of it. Never seen it light up.  Never even knew it did that.  There’s an old truck there too that I guess the pope rode in. Super weird.

(I’m glad you got to play basketball today! Did you play at the church?) We played at some park close to Elder Kirk's house.  It was good.  Some of the neighborhood kids played with us, and Rasmussen and Henriquez don't know how to play much, so it wasn't as competitive as I would've liked, but it was fun.  Mokofisi is huge and really really knows how to play.

I miss robotics a lot.  A few times my mind wanders to it, and I still have trouble sleeping when it happens cuz my mind just races thinking about ideas on how to do things.  I heard they made it to Worlds on a bit of a longshot, but I'm sure they'll do great.  Sounds like they've been struggling some this year.

Forgot a funny experience!  On the way to see Elder Clayton, our bus stopped to let someone out and the battery died.  While trying to get it started back up it exploded (sounded like a gunshot!), and we all jumped out.  Haha awesome stuff.

And our taxi rear ended another car this week! The driver never ever got out, just yelled at the guy, they argued for a bit, and we just kept going haha. Another taxi this week ran out of gas, and we were almost to the house so we just got out.  We ended up pushing it for a little ways haha. A normal taxi is 4 passengers in the back and 2 up front not including the driver.  And the cars are TERRIBLE.  Junkyard cars in the US.  We could see the ground moving in one today.  Most are missing the window roller handles, the inside of the doors, some you only can open from outside, and cracks in the windshield are more common than not.  I've seen the buses, but we don’t use them much.  Only for places really far away.  Taxis for closer.  Taxis routes are smaller than the buses.  They call the buses "gwagwa" I think is how you spell it.  Sounds like a baby talking when you say it haha.

Haha I think the whole family is getting out of their comfort zones a lot this year - except maybe Garrett.  I don' think he has a comfort zone haha.

Let me know if you have any other questions!  Love you tons!  It was fantastic to hear from you! Glad to hear you had a good birthday Mom!
Love you tons.  Elder Easton Potokar.

PS not too many good places to eat in our area. We've eaten out almost every day this week because of meetings and lack of time, and I'm about sick of it.  Lots of picapollas, La Sirena (like a Walmart), and some yaroa today.  Pretty good. There’s a Burger King, Papa Johns, and a few other big restaurants in the area next to us though.

Elder Potokar & Elder Martinez

Monday, March 9, 2015

Transfers! Big Changes! Crazy week!

(Emailed to Friends)
Wow, it's been quite a week.  It's been one of the more emotionally hard weeks I've had in a long time.  I'll explain why more at the end of the email.

Monday - Received a reference, and visited the Familia Carela again. They know a ton.  Both the lessons did. It was an awesome day.  Solid investigators, who are all progressing.

Tuesday - Solid day.  Contacts in the morning that went OK.  Good lessons in the evening.  Talked to another reference who's been coming to church for around 2 months.  Almost a certain baptism. We'll keep working with him.  He's named Robert.  We also visited Francia.  We were about ready to drop her.  She always asked questions like "I don't understand why you don't have kids?" or "Do you guys accept visits in your house?" Sketchy sketchy stuff like that.  But then she watched the whole movie of the Restoration, read the introduction to the BOFM, and we left her with some questions as homework and she answered all of them.  Awesome. We can't believe she's progressing.  Too. Weird.

Wednesday - Lots of contacts in the morning.  Some of them have panned out.  Decent lessons in the evening.  We taught Ranquel and Katherine again.  It was a rough lesson.  They hadn't read yet and didn't have any questions, and we were dead.  Long lessons.  Not much else happened that day.

Thursday - Awesome day.  Last zone/district meeting together.  I want to tell you about Elder Murphy.  I've always judged him a bit since he has lots of time in the mission and still struggles with Spanish.  He shared a spiritual experience with us.  He invited and brought the Spirit more than I have in my entire mission.  It was very humbling to show how the Lord works.  Through those who are humble.  Taught me a lot.  Then in the evening we had normal lessons.  We found this kid named Jose Miquel.  He's 12, and goes to the Adventist church alone.  We were walking and he told us to come in to talk to him about the word of God.  The kid is 12.  Nuts.  And he has a job.  He was like "hurry up, I've got to go to work!" Weirded me out.  We went back another day though and it was more of a joke. Rough.  We also visited Yomairy again, the reference from Monday.  She read a lot and has tons of questions.  Good stuff.

Friday - Lots of the contacts from other days panned out really well in the morning.  I was happy about that.  Normal lessons in the evening again.  Robert.  Francia. Family Carela. This family is amazing.  We asked them if they thought there should be prophets and the mom was like "duh." Haha.  And we asked them if the Pope is called of God.  And these people are catholic.  The Mom was like "No.  They vote on it." Haha she's like anti-Catholic, yet catholic.  I have high high high hopes for them.  I just hope that they're married and all.

Saturday - Rougher day.  Ranquel and Katherine in the morning.  They both read A TON and accept the BOFM as the word of God.  Progressing really really well.  An RM came back this week and he's on fire too.  Really pumped to help us with anything. He served in southern Mexico and has an accent from there.  Super weird.  Then Familia Carela again.  They're awesome.

Sunday - 9 investigators in the church.  Members brought some.  Ranquel and Katherine came which is awesome.  Just need to keep them coming.  While eating lunch, President Corbitt called me.  More on that in a second.  Then we visited the Familia Brito.  They’ve come a long ways with their relationship.  I'm excited and hopeful for them.  More contacting with a lady with potential.

Today - Cleaning. Some packing being done in the house as well.

Transfers.  The big news.  Elder Martinez is leaving.  He's going to Punta Cana, about as far away as possible.  Super bummed about that cuz I got along with him really well.  I'm going to be with Elder Solis, a Mexican from St. George.  He's got 20 months in the mission.

Bigger news for transfers.  I'm going to be District Leader.  President called me on Sunday to tell me.  Scares me.  A lot haha.  Everyone in my district is super experienced and has more time than me too.  I've always been the youngest in my district and it's going to continue.  Wish me luck too.  I have to teach my comp the area too which worries me a bit as well.  President told me all the leaders he's been thinking about calling have had hard weeks.  So I believe it's because of that.

Other transfer news:
Elder Pawn-Kalilikane is going to be DL as well. (Lived with him)
Elder Davis and Brady are going to be DL (from my MTC group)
Elder Romero is going to be my ZL (my former comp/brother)
Elder Richards is going to be a DL (has two transfers less than me in the mission and is a stud)

Also we KILLED it this week.  I'm going to brag about our numbers a bit.  51 lessons for the week.  11 progressing investigators.  9 at church.  Highest numbers of my mission, and the president split us up.  We'll see if I can keep it up with Elder Solis though!

Also a one-eyed pit-bull scared the crap out of me while contacting this week.  Almost fell off the stairs we were on.

I think that's about it!  Sorry this is a ridiculously long email.  Lots and lots happened this week.
Love y'all tons! Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
First off, before everything else, HAPPY BIRTHDAY mom!! I hope you have a great one.  Sounds like you had a wonderful week leading up to it.  I'm very jealous of the hikes you got to go on (St. George)!  There's no freedom from people here like that and I would love that sometime. That's something I definitely really miss.

Elder Potokar & Elder Martinez
District got shaken up real good.  It'll be me and Elder Solis, Elder Kirk and Elder Enriquez, and Elder Mokofisi and Elder Rasmussen.  Rasmussen was our ZL last transfer.  I guess him and Mokofisi have a special assignment or something like that.  I'm super nervous to be DL.  All these guys have tons more experience like I do and it makes me nervous.  We'll see how it goes though.  I have a training on Wednesday in the morning.  I sure that'll help me a lot. Today will be goodbyes for Elder Martinez.  I'm really going to miss him.  We got along REALLY well, never really ever had problems. Elder Martinez is going to Punta Cana which is like the middle of nowhere.  About as far away as possible.

This is kind of how it's worked out.  Elder Romero revived my area before with me.  And then he was DL after.  Then I came here, revived the area, and now I'm DL.  I think the same will happen to Elder Martinez out in his area.  He's got lots of work to do.  He's really fired up now.  He was going to work hard with me this transfer, but it's going to have to be with someone else.  Then I think he'll be a DL too.

President wants the whole mission having 15-20 progressing investigators.  He said it's my job to get us up to that point.  One of the companionships is already there.

Training bombed on Saturday.  No one showed up.  The bishop has us give it on Sunday during Sunday School instead.  It went well. We'll see if we made a difference in the next couple of weeks.

I'm super excited to see how this next transfer goes.  I'm going to start pushing for some baptism dates.  We'll see how it goes.  I don't want to pressure them, but I feel like we should set dates sooner.  That's what PMG says.  In Erin's email she said they're going to put a baptism date on the second visit with someone. That’s unheard of here.  Here if you ask someone to be baptized, it has to be pretty certain they’ll say yes.  No guessing.  I think there should be some guessing with that. (I wonder if your president will have you work on that as you get more investigators?) I think he will.  I talked to him about it a bit in my interview.  It's definitely something that's devolved in the mission. Missionaries are scared of getting no's, so they only ask when it's a for sure yes.  Need to have more faith!

Romero as ZL.  And the other ZL is super cool and I'm not nervous around him. haha
District Leaders:
Pronk (a good friend of Decker)
Ramos (a former companion of Elder Romero)
So it's a solid group.

(This will be your first American comp. Keep practicing your Spanish.) He's actually Mexican so I count all my comps as Latinos still:)  I plan on only talking Spanish still.  No English whatsoever.

Juan Carlos is still visiting his mom.  We only see him once or twice weekly.

We only visited the Brito family once this week.  They seemed better.  Lots better.  They're still a work in progress.  I know she did the service thing, but don't know if he has yet.  I think so though.  He cooked for her which is huge progress.  They did know I was filming.  It was just for the sound, he was going to use it to propose to her.  They wanted to do it again, but I don't know when it'll happen since Martinez is gone and we don't have anyone to play the guitar.

Sebastian has school once a week, and that's Sundays.  We talked to him a bit about sacrifices, so we'll see if he'll come for like an hour or so at least.  I hesitate to baptize him cuz he just wants to come to church for the activities.  To be a member for that.

Another nuts thing.  We were talking to this lady and her drunk neighbor called us over to talk to us.  We went over and started to talk to him, thinking we could help him out a lot.  He told us he's killed three people. I got a little scared after that!  Lots of prayers were said while talking to this guy.  Then he said he knew the bible better than Elder Martinez and he said what's in John 3:5 and Elder Martinez told him, and he's like no, that's not it!  And then Martinez was right, but the guy was drunk and didn't really understand.  It was pretty nuts haha.

Elder Murphy really really surprised me.  He's a DL and he's training and both of that really surprised me. It makes sense now though.  Taught me a huge lesson.

No pictures of the parade, it was really small and passed by in like 2 minutes.  I don't think there were any fireworks.  I don't remember honestly, so I don't think so.  I think I would've remembered if there was!

I did get your letter this week as well!  I forget to tell you.  I've been listening to the music and have already read that whole article.  It was way awesome.  I really really enjoyed it.  I've gotten a few good ideas from it that I think I'm going to try to implement as a district.

Love you tons as well.  Have a great week!  Thanks for the advice.  I'm sure it'll help.

Love you always and miss you tons!  Elder Easton Potokar.

Zone Meeting
Elder Potokar & an Haitian Elder that is waiting for his Visa.
He is going to the New York New York Mission.
He can speak 5 languages!
Elder Richards & Elder Potokar

Monday, March 2, 2015

8 Month Mark! 1/3 of the way there. Nuts. Good Week.

(Emailed to Friends)
It's been a solid week.  We've kind of floundered a bit work wise, but we made it through the week.  Bit of a rough one.

Monday - Basically most of our citas fell through.  Made for a rough day.  Not too bad though.

Tuesday - Lots of contacting in the morning.  This one guy called us over and started talking to us.  It was really really weird haha.  He was using "vosotros" a lot which is basically only used in Spain.  And he told us he didn't believe in God, so we were talking to him about that, and then he said he did in the end and was testing us.  Weird. We went back for our next cita, but he wasn't there.  The house he said he lived in is never opened so I wonder if he even lives there.  A few other contacts as well that were OK.  Then in the evening we had our interview with the President.  It was supposed to be at 3, but ended up being at 8.  Ouch. Wasted lots and lots of time waiting.  I love my interviews with the President though.  They're always awesome.  Get you pumped up and ready to go again.  After we squeezed in another lesson.  OK day, but I think it set us up weird for the week.

Wednesday - We met Elder Pena's family.  Dropped off a gift he had sent to them.  I played with some of the little neighbor girls while we were there.  They were cute.  In the evening we did OK.  We brought a member to the house of Maryle, the lady who doesn't want to come to church because of the racism.  She knows the church is true, but isn't giving her testimony much importance.  I worry about her.  Then we taught Ranquel and Katherine.  We brought the member again, and watched the full Restoration movie.  It was good.  I think they liked it.  The member, Hermana Mercedez, was a missionary and has a missionary son in Ecuador right now.  So she knows how to help a lot.

Thursday - District meeting was normal.  We had decent lessons in the night.  Nothing too amazing.  Juan Carlos is going to visit his mom weekly from Friday to Wednesday, so that basically means he'll never be able to come to church.  That was a huge heartbreaker.  Really about it.

Friday - A few contacts in the morning, and then we helped Eliecer, from the Family Brito, sing a song to propose to his wife.  Elder Martinez played the guitar and sang with him.  I recorded it haha.  It was good, but they need to practice more.  Then we ate at their member neighbor’s house.  In the evening we had OK lessons again.  Contacted a lady who was really interested in learning about the Plan of Salvation, so we'll see how that goes. Then we visited the Family Brito again.  Woof.  That was rough.  They were majorly fighting.  We tried to give them advice.  I had them commit to making a list and trying to serve each other this next week.  I hope it helps them.  Then we talked to this guy in the house of a member.  Friday was Independence Day here, so he went on a major rant about the DR.  It got really racist though against Haitians.  Really really racist.  Wow.  Some Dominicans really are racist.  He was like standing up and screaming.  I almost started laughing.  Haha.

Saturday - Super rough day.  We had an OK lesson with Ranquel and Katherine.  Katherine wants to come to church now, which she was really against before.  Says she doesn't see anything wrong with the church which is a huge change.  Before she said we were sinning with the BOFM and worshipping Joseph Smith, so she has come a long ways.  Then we had a few more lessons in the morning. Ate in the house, it started raining, and we had two more lessons.  Not a super productive day.

Sunday - Church was good.  We're not so hot at bringing people to church.  We received 3 references though which is awesome.  One has been coming to church for a while, Robert, and said he'll be baptized soon.  I wish all members brought people to church like that.  It would be incredible.  Robert has always played basketball at the church, but never gone inside.  Has always wanted to come, but was a little scared to go alone.  Someone invited him, and he's come the last month or so since.  And another young woman, Elina, brought a friend, gave us another reference, and reactivated her inactive mom.  Wowza.  And bore her testimony.  She's strong!  Then we had good lessons after.  Found a family.  We contacted this lady a few days ago and she just seemed OK.  Passed by for our cita, but it looked like they were having a party.  We pumped ourselves up and went back and they received us.  Her and her two daughters.  It was a pretty good lessons.  I have hope for them.

Monday - Today.  Lazy day.  Cleaned.  Went to the gym.  Not much has happened.

Other thoughts for the week:
Independence Day here was cool.  Had a mini parade things with all sorts of costumes.  Like that huge parade in "Rio", but really small.  That was really about it.

Also I'll have news about transfers for ya next week!  Wish me luck!  Logically, we shouldn’t' have any change, but I have a feeling we will.  We'll see how it goes.

I think that's about it for the week!  It's been a fun one.  Just another week in the mission.

Love you all tons!  Enjoy your week!
Elder Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Sounds like everything is going really well at home!  Things are slowly coming along here as well.  Slowly, but surely.  Lots of the people we were hoping to put baptism dates with this week had something happen so we couldn't.  It’s something we're going to work harder on though.  We got a reference that I think we'll be able to baptize this month.  We'll see how things go though.  He's already come to church a lot which is really the hardest part.

Hot dogs, pasta salad, and rice for dinner.
Week was good. Went by super super quick. Nothing too new with food. Elder Martinez has tried cooking chicken a few times and it's been good. He really knows how to cook well. We ate at a member’s house once this week. Never with investigators. We eat bananas occasionally.  Not a ton though.  The Dominicans put oats in their shakes too.  Makes them super filling.  We had a chocolate, banana, oats shake today.  And we had another one at a member’s house that had rice in it. And she said she does one with spaghetti, but I've never had that one yet.

Fast Sunday was good. I slept in the afternoon since I had a headache. Not too much new in that area.

Investigators are coming. We had 5 people we thought might be able to be baptized in March, and pretty much all of them dropped in one way or another. I really don't know how/when to put baptism dates. How soon, or how to push for them. Lots of other missionaries like always have dates. Something I've got to teach myself. 35 lessons this week. Rough Tuesday and Saturday put us down. I can't help but think if all members brought someone to church constantly.  If we didn't have to look for people, if we only had to teach.  The church would grow so much faster.

Also we have a training for ward members this week on Saturday.  We going to teach them how to give out a pamphlet or a BOFM and then commit them to do it and invite the person to church.  Hopefully it brings in some references. We told the counselor on Sunday we wanted to have an activity; he put a date and announced it.  It was slick.  I was super happy about it, because normally it's a pain to plan those things.  We had more priesthood this week.  Like 8, not including us or the young men.  It's coming.  They talked about how they need to active more priesthood which is awesome. We have a lot to prepare for it.  We'll be working on that for a lot of this week.

President interviews were awesome. He said he really thinks I'm excellent and up there. That I just keep improving. Always a huge confidence boost talking to him. Said he's proud of me. Said "talk to ya soon". I don't know if he just said that or if that has something to do with these transfers. We'll see how it goes.

I would be sad to leave.  I basically blanked this area.  We really only have 2 or 3 investigators still from when we started.   Martinez and I have gotten it up and rolling again.  I feel like he's going to send me a new guy, but I don't really know.  Sounds like everyone is doing well though! The new dishwasher looks good. Everything here is just plugging along.

They're nice people. (Elder Pena’s family) We met his parents and one of his sisters.  They wanted to talk to him.  They were nice.  Not too interested in our message, but good people.  Elder Pena sent something to them through the mission mail so we delivered it to them.  They were excited to get it.  I played with some of the neighbor children who may or may not be family of his.  They were really cute.  Reminded me of Lydia that made me a little homesick.

Thanks for the Jazz news as well.  Sounds like they're picking up steam. With Alec Burks back next year I think next year might be there year.

I'm talking to Matt online too and it sounds like he's doing well in Mexico.  He's seen Marcos a few times.  He's going to be training next transfer which is awesome.

I want to see pictures of Garrett's stuff he printed on the 3D printer. That can be hard to do sometimes. I'm impressed that he got it done. Especially at that age. He’s ahead of the game.

I miss the mountains a lot actually.  Someone showed me a picture with mountains in it and it made me realize the lack of them there is here.  You can't see any of them in the horizon.  It's kind of weird the more I think about it.

Elder Martinez fell asleep reading. haha

I think that's about all for this week! Let me know if you have more questions.
Love and miss you tons! Elder Easton Potokar.