Monday, January 26, 2015

Transfer Week! First Change of Areas!

Villa Mella Zone
(Emailed to Friends)
What a week it's been.  Crazy crazy.  Really hard to keep myself motivated to work, since it was pretty much assumed I was leaving.  Hard to focus in lessons and everything, but I gave it my best. I'll do a quick overview of the week.

Monday - We had an FHE, but it fell through.  We ended up teaching Mon.  We answered a lot of his questions about baptism, and he's now going to pray if the church really has the authority to baptism!  I know he'll get an answer.

Tuesday - We did a quick intercambios in the morning. I worked with Elder Decker.  We had a few lessons.  Then they were fumigating the house for cockroaches so we had to come back a bit early.  Then we had a few lessons in the evening.  We had an English class which went OK.  We taught Carolina and Rocheli about obedience as well to help them be ready for their baptismal covenants.

Wednesday - A few lessons in the morning.  We had to come back to the house early to prep our tema for Thursday's zone meeting.  We gave it on commitments.  Then we left a little late in the evening as well because we were working on it, had a meeting with the ward mission leader and taught Mon some more.  Solid day, but not fantastic.

Thursday - Zone meeting.  We gave our tema on commitments and there was a few others.  It went pretty well I thought.  Really fun.  Really cool.  Then they brought new phones for everyone in the zone!  Way awesome.  They're pretty high tech (not really, still have a number keyboard), but are a lot nicer than the older ones. In the evening we had a few lessons, and another English Class.  We asked the bishop for some info the ZL's asked for and he kind of just chewed us out.  For like an hour.  Luckily he assumes I don't know much Spanish still so he just ignored me.  Haha awesome, but it made me feel bad for my comp.

Friday - Only had a few lessons.  They ZL's called and they took the phones back.  Aww.  Probably because they had a Facebook and twitter app haha.  We spent a lot of time filling the font, getting baptismal clothes, prepping and cleaning the chapel all for the baptism.  The baptism went really well.  Everyone filed in late, but that's just how Dominican’s are.  Carolina and Rochelli Reynoso are now members of the church!  Their brother/uncle baptized them.  Really awesome.  Their Dad/Grandpa gave a talk, and the other speaker wasn't wearing a tie so the bishop wouldn't let him talk.  We also watched the video of the restoration.  Went well.  I was super super happy for them.

Saturday - Contacted in the morning.  One lady just let us in without saying anything.  I knew she was a member just looking at her.  She then pulled out a triplet, her limited use temple recommend and a bunch of Liahonas.  She was baptized about 2 years ago, and moved and stopped coming to church.  She's in contact with one of the members though so I think she'll start coming.  The evening we had a bunch of weird intercambios and waiting.  It went OK.  There was ward council, but since Elder Decker and I are leaving we just did splits through it.

Sunday - 6 people in church.  The Dilone family has now come consistently for weeks, even with us not visiting them nearly as much.  They just need to get married and would be easy members.  Then we had a few lessons and a FHE with Carolina's family.  It was fun.  Sad to tell her bye after.

And the big news.  Transfers.  I'm going to Los Minos in the zone Oriental with Elder Martinez, from Panama.  He's got one transfer more than me and this'll be his first time as Senior Comp.  Elder Pawn lived with him and said I'll be in good shape.  Elder Decker is going to be DL in another district in Osama.  Elder Romero is going to finish someone's training.  Elder Pawn is staying the same.  Elder Stephens is going to be DL now as well.  Awesome.  Should be a really good transfer.  I'm looking forward to it.  I'll be going there tomorrow morning!

Carolina & Rochelli
I think that's about all this week!  Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Baptisms went really well. Carolina bought little stickers to mark her scriptures with.  Super awesome.  I think if her husband comes back they won't have any problem staying active. Carolina’s husband did come to her baptism, but not to her confirmation. And the big guy who baptized them is Carolina's brother, Luis, a rm. One of the little kids is Carolina's son.  The smallest one.  The one in the blue is just a neighbor kid.

On Sunday we ate again with the patriarch and his wife.  They have a daughter and her family who live in Utah.  Close to American Fork.  He's also a temple sealer and I guess was the first one in the DR.  President Eyring ordained him.

Also on Sunday the temple president and his wife came and spoke.  President and Sister Flake.  She doesn't know a ton of Spanish, but he does.  It was excellent.  Really cool.  He talked about tons of experiences he's had in the temple.  It was way cool.  I really really enjoyed that.  They're from Arizona if I remember right.  The same city as Elder Fusselman, my MTC comp.

Ward mission leader is awesome.  Super sick.  We visited him at his police station.  He's pretty legit.  Willing to work and learn, but he does work a lot so it's hard to do much with him.

Got a few people to write in my journal.  We're basically just going to make the rounds tonight so I can say goodbye to everyone and have them right in my journal. Maybe teach a few of them.

When we found that less active lady it really hit me how I'm leaving.  It made me super sad that I might never see these people again.  Felt like leaving the MTC or leaving home again.  Hurts. I'm honestly not looking forward to tonight much.  It's going to be super hard.  Super super super hard.  I know it's going to be super rough.  I had to say by super fast to Carolina yesterday and that was hard enough.

Got most my packing done already.  Just waiting for a few things to dry.  It's going to be hard to get everything to fit.  I'm kinda worried about it actually.

Elder Pawn lived with Elder Martinez so he told me a bit about him.  We're going to be living in a two man house, on the second floor.  He's from Panama.  Likes soccer.  Likes to work out a lot, so maybe he'll be able to help me with that.  Likes to study A TON. Probably like Romero does in all his free time. That's a fire and habit I hope I can pick up from him.  It's not going to be as exciting as the house I live in right now, but should be cool.  He sounds like a good guy.  Convert since he was like 13ish I believe. I'm sure I'll be able to pick up my journal habit without problems and will study a ton harder now.  I know he doesn’t know like any English either so my Spanish should improve a ton since I'll basically NEVER be using English. I think he has had 2 transfers in Los Minos.  It'll be like how it was with me and Romero.  We'll just work hard and try to figure things out while we're going.

I'll take a cab in the morning around 10.  I got the current missionaries number and called them in Los Minos yesterday and they gave me the address and I just give that to the taxi driver and that's that. I give him the address and he takes me right there.  In theory at least. I already called the driver and I'm set. I don't know if I'm closer or farther away from the temple.  I want to say farther. Not sure if it's a country or city.  It's close to Megocentro.  Same zone.  I think it'll be in between.  Elder Pena said his family lives in my area.

I know Elder Lansa is my DL.  He was Elder Decker's DL before and he said he's an awesome guy.  Also Elder Ventura and Moncada will be in my zone.  Should be awesome.  Not too worried about who'll be in my zone.  I'm interested to know who'll be in my district though.

I also finally got both of the pairs of slacks done too so now I have 5 or 6 pairs of slacks I can use.

Another question.  Have you ever written your converts from your mission?  When we found that less active lady she told us her missionary wrote her and she acted like that letter was pure gold.  I thought that was amazing and I set a goal of sending them all one every little while.  That was the moment that really hit me that I was leaving too. Paula and Victor will be hard to reach.  To send letters to them I'd probably have to send it through the mission, and I don’t' know how they'd write back.  Probably through the mission as well.  It'd be cool to send them Christmas cards, or things like that.

Lady in the blue shirt is Carolinas mom.
  Rochelli's grandma.
That lady is Carolina's Mom.  I'm not sure why we took a picture just with her haha.  I think her Dad is in the picture with us later too.  They are both members.  I remember her Dad, Manuel Reynoso, telling me everything is going to be OK when I cried in sacrament one of my first weeks here.  Really awesome guy.  Kind of goofy, but really great guy.  I didn't understand much when he told me that, but Elder Moncada translated for me.

That's Carolina's son, and Rochelli's brother.
He sticks his head out to watch people go by.
It's on the second story and his head just fits
perfectly between them.

The older couple are some less actives we visit.
They were baptized like 20 years ago.
Really cool people.
I'll let you know how my area is next week.  Hopefully I can find another fast internet to send you pictures this fast.  I'm sure I'll have tons of pics. That's about it this week.  Please ask if you have any more questions!

Really really like that quote on change. (There is nothing so unchanging, so inevitable as change itself. We need not feel that we must forever be what we presently are. There is a tendency to think of change as the enemy. Many of us are suspect of change and will often fight and resist it before we have even discovered what the actual effects will be. When change is thought through carefully, it can produce the most rewarding and profound experiences in life. There is a constant that allows us to use change for our own good, and that constant is the revealed eternal truths of our Heavenly Father.)

Love you tons!  Pray for me cuz I'm going to need it!
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

That tshirt is for our zone.  The back of it is that liahona emblem that Elder Pawn drew.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Temple Week!

(Emailed to Friends)
What a fantastic week it's been!  Lots of good, awesome stuff has happened.  Kind of a funky week too, but we've worked through it!

Monday - We had longer to work last pday, but it was hard to really work on pday.  Not sure why, but that's just how it worked out.  We managed to snag 4 lessons though.  We had an awesome lesson with Maricela too.  We brought another old lady from the ward over to help us out.  Hermana Inoa.  It was pouring rain, and we waiting a bit, but then she just started plowing right through it!  Made me smile.  She was hopping through puddles, the whole nine yards.  And she helped Maricela SO much.  We read Alma 32 with her.  After we bore our testimonies on the BOFM, she said "And I testify that I want to know this book is true!"  Really awesome.  I have high hopes that she'll get that testimony some day!

Tuesday - A decent day.  Rough day.  We had trouble planning for the day, so it turned out pretty hard.  I did manage to commit a lady to baptism in the morning if she receives a testimony.  A lot of times we never bring up baptism until a ton later, so I've been trying to start doing it in the first two lessons.  I felt good about that.  Her name is Margarita.  We'll see how she progresses.

Wednesday - Temple Day!  "I love to see the temple” It was Awesome!  Loved it.  Naturally.  I always get refreshed and reanimated and excited when I go to the temple.  Rededicated to being obedient and I really can see the things I can work on.    I just love it.  Then we had the English class (lame.  None of us really wanted to teach at all, we were just dead) and the first coordination missional with our ward mission leader.  He's military and really excited to work.  The first time I've seen him was the day he got called.  I guess he hasn't come to church for a year because he couldn't get off work, but now he's off of work!  He also mentioned on Sunday that he was a stake president.  Should be really awesome.

Thursday - District meeting.  Got some birthday and Christmas cards.  We had a few cool lessons in the evening.  We visited Paula and Victor.  That was awesome.  He talked about how he feels the presence of God with him at times and he just feels at peace.  We testified to him that that was the Spirit.  He also talked about how lots of people love the world more than Christ.  He's a super spiritual guy and I hope things start going better for them!

Friday - That morning we went to Santa Cruz so Elder Romero could do an interview with someone getting ready to be baptized there.  I did some contacts with Elder Pena.  Then I had intercambios with Elder Pawn in the evening.  It went OK.  We didn't have a ton of success, but had some good lessons.  We had an awesome lesson with Rocheli and Carolina, our fechas for the 23rd.  We went over the baptismal interview questions with them.  It made me so happy to see that they knew it all!  Really really awesome.

Saturday - Finished intercambios in the morning and it went alright.  Normal.  Decent afternoon as well.  We had the English class and it went better than last time.  Then we just went around inviting people to church.

Sunday - 7 people in church!  Really awesome.  Basically the same people who came from last week.  I was really happy about that again.  Then we had the interview of Rochelli and Carolina in the afternoon.  That went well.  They both passed!  The baptisms are scheduled for the 23rd at 7 o clock!  Really awesome.  Super excited for that.

Today - Normal.  We managed to milagrously get permission to go to Sambil, a huge mall.  We had Johnny Rockets there.  It was super good.  I also bought a Crispy Creme doughnut.  Really really enjoyed that!

I believe that's about all.  It was a really good week. Also next week I'll have news about transfers!  I'm pretty sure I'm changing areas, so we'll see how that goes.

Love you all tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Rochelli and Carolina are good for the 23rd now.  I'm really excited for them.  The only thing was during their interview her Dad (inactive) sent her to buy a soda for all of us right in front of the ZLs, on SUNDAY.  AND SHE DID IT. Really freaked me out.  Needless to say, we'll be teaching that soon.

I've thought a lot about Paula and Victor.  He came to church this week for the first time in like a month, so that's awesome!  Paula was too sick to come.  I fasted for them this Sunday.  Hopefully that'll help them out.

We didn't have an FHE this week.  I think we'll have a FHE tonight though which I'm really looking forward to.  English class is being changed to Tuesdays and Thursdays to give us Saturdays free to preach since those days usually everyone is home.

Nicolas opened up a little bit this week.  His whole family wrote in my journal and came to church.  I have hope for him.

I'm really really hoping Maricela will come to church this week. Members can help a ton.  Sometimes they're dead weight, and sometimes they are incredible.  The member we brought with us to Maricela’s was really good at making people feel important and that's exactly what we needed.

The family Frias hasn't come to church still since the boss at the Dad's work sold the place and a new guy owns it.  The old guy was LDS, but the new guy isn't and hasn't given him Sundays off which sucks.  And none of them are doing anything which is terrible.  They don't read anything we give them.  I don't know what to do with them.

Another cool quote from an investigator last week "We have to know where we're going to know where we came from." that's a quote we as missionaries use all the time so it knocked us back a little!  Haha.

Lots of missionaries at the temple.  3 or 4 zones.  President Corbitt  talked to us a little bit.  And we took the pictures with him.  It was really good.  They fed us pizza and after we snagged a frosty and I talked to Elder Brady for quite a while.  It felt fantastic to be able to talk to him about things.  He's doing alright.  He was in the MTC with me and was actually in the airport with me too. I did get to do the name you guys sent me which is AWESOME.  I loved that. I got the picture of us all together, but then we took off to be the first ones at the temple store so we wouldn't have to wait.  I also bought a new white tie this week for like$1.50 since my old one got stained.
I wrote in my journal once or twice this week.  I've been meaning to write down a few experiences the last few days, but haven't made it a priority.  I really need to work on that. I skinnied the tie Nicolas and his family gave me, and have been working on my new agenda this week.  And I finished reading "A Marvelous Work and Wonder" today, by Legrand Richards.  It was awesome.

Transfers are next week.  I haven't been praying for it much.  I'm good where the Lord wants me, I really would like a companion who wants to work too, but we'll see where the Lord needs me.  There are some missionaries who aren't as diligent as they should be.  Our house is really good at that and obedience right now.  It's fantastic. I was thinking of that movie (The Best Two Years) a few days ago, and how much more real everything in it is. Haha Your prayers are needed.  Thank you so much!

(Who standing between you and Romero?) That's Mon.  He's friends with tons and tons of members, has come to activities forever, and is now coming to church.  Basically the perfect investigator.  He's from Haiti.  The only thing is he's moving to Canada to work.  Crazy.  So we've hooked him up with a BOFM and Bible and hopefully he'll find the missionaries there!

I went up on the roof to relax this morning.  It felt really great to just chill for a bit.  I don't do that a ton.  And actually in one of those pictures you can see a cormada, a paperleria, and a bank.  Just to show you how that works.  And a salon looking in the other direction.

(We sent him a picture that gas was $1.79 a gallon.) That's insanely low!  I showed all the missionaries that and they all just about freaked out.

Tell all the kids well done from me for their grades, all straight A’s!  That's way way way awesome.  I'm glad to hear they are all fighting for it and doing well.  Dad told me Lydia is eating up math too which makes me insanely happy.

I like the idea of a word for the week.  I'll have to try and think of one.  It'll probably be in Spanish though.

I think that's about all.
Love and miss you always. Think of you often, just less often than before. :)
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Weeks are Flying! About an average as a week as you can get.

(Emailed to Friends)
Here we go.  Let’s see what went down this week!

Monday - Few normal lessons that night.  Nothing too exciting.

Tuesday - intercambios with Elder Stephens.  It was fantastic.  We had 10 lessons that day.  Felt really solid.  I enjoyed it a lot.  He seemed impressed that I did as well as I did in only 6 months.  So that's pretty awesome.  I really enjoyed it.  It was fun for something different.

Wednesday - Contacting in the morning.  We had the English class, but it was TERRIBLE.  Only 2 people showed up and I had to teach it alone.  Super boring, and lame.  We also had a cool lesson with Rochelli (one of our fechas) about the doctrine of Christ.  We had a red soda and put Clorox in it and it turned clear.  Her eyes were huge.  I know that's something she'll never forget, so that was really good.

Thursday.  District Meeting.  I got a letter from the bishopric and the Halls, so shoutout to them!  It was awesome.  Getting letters is the best.  Then we had normal lessons after that and found a less active member in the streets.  Really good stuff.

Friday - I had intercambios with Elder Decker and in his area.  It was nice to not have to worry about where I'm going or what I'm going to do for a day.  It was a rough day though.  Lots of citas fell through and we walked a ton.  Lots of the people we taught were super distracted too.  Everyone seemed to have trouble focusing.  Some were distracted by my blue eyes which really weirded me out.

Saturday - I continued intercambios with Elder Decker in the morning.  Somehow we found this guy who Elder Decker talked to a few weeks ago and he showed us where he lived.  It was really cool.  His name is Manolo. A little bit of a miracle that we found him.  English class later which was really boring.  The English class isn't doing much good, we aren't finding anyone through it.  We need to change it up somehow.

Sunday - 8 investigators in church!! Ahh!  So nuts.  Francis and Nicolas Dilone (and their 4 year old daughter), Carolina and Rochelli, Nicole, Mon, and 2 people members brought.  That's been the most I've ever had in sacrament.  Really really awesome.  Made my day.  The Lord really blessed us.  Then we visited a member family with the bishop.  We taught them the "everything member a missionary" plan the bishop has.  They're going to start inviting their friends and family to come to church, family nights, etc and later invite them to talk to us.  Really effective way to find people.   We also visited Paula and Victor with them.  They're struggling.  They have lots of trials going on right now.  It hurts to see everything they have to go through.  Then we added up our numbers for the week!  We had 42 lessons, which is a high for me for a week.  Another really awesome thing.

Monday - P-day!  Cleaned, ate, and that's about it.  It's going to end at 3 today, since we're going to lose preaching time on Wednesday to go to the temple.  Kind of stinks, but the temple is definitely worth it!

I think that's about all for this week.  It's been good!  Not too exciting, but good.  Lots of people are progressing now.  A really successful week!

Love you all tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Sounds like you had an awesome week!  Sometimes the most uneventful ones are the best ones.

I love the temple. I've already set a goal to try and go every week when I get back from my mission. That was something I really really loved about the MTC was getting to do that weekly.

That's amazing with the blind lady too.  President Cornish, of the seventy and president of the Caribbean, has a special son who's probably around 30.  He's a temple worker as well!  He was on the other side of the veil when I did a session.  It was really awesome.  I really enjoyed it that day, just made it extra special.

Few things from the week.

This morning I walked by the bathroom and Elder Romero was brushing his teeth, with his shirt on, tie on, hair done, all ready to go.  Except he wasn't wearing pants.  I thought that was pretty funny haha.

When I did intercambios with Elder Decker, lots of girls stared at me and my blue eyes.  Really creepy.

My Spanish has gone downhill a bit this week.  A few people have told me they had more trouble understanding me this week.  I think it's because I talked a lot of English in my intercambios.  I need to work on it harder this week.  I studied a bit more this week, but still not a ton.

Paula and Victor are struggling.  He lost his job, and she's been in the hospital, and they are basically less active.  We gave her a Priesthood blessing yesterday.  It's really rough for them though.

I think Rochelli and Carolina are still good for the 24th.  We'll see how it goes though.  We still have a lot to teach them and their interview will be this week.  Wish us luck.

The bishop has opened up a ton more too.  I think this is the first time in a long time he hasn't had completely disobedient missionaries here.  That we're actually here to work.

There's lots of people who showed up to the English class, but were just way too advanced for it and bailed.  I've thought about having like a missionary discussion or lesson, but in English with them.  These people know a ton of English, but just don't have anyone to talk too in English.  This would be playing to our strengths too, since we really don't know how to teach English.  Don't have time to implement it here though, maybe in my next area.

Romero has lightened up quite a bit.  He really enjoyed splits with Elder Pawn.  He even extended them an extra morning, which kind of hurt, but no worries.  Elder Pawn really helped him out.  He opens up a lot more to Elder Pawn and has calmed down since then.  He kind of got into the depression work hard thing that I did at the start of my mission.  He's doing a lot better now though.

Transfers are in two weeks.  The 27th of January.  I'm really ready for them honestly.  I think Elder Decker is too. House is doing great.  Still doing all that together.  We're all pretty laidback so there's never much contention.  I talk to Elder Decker a lot and really enjoy that.  It's cool to be able to talk to someone about whatever.  Haven't had that until now.

Elder Pawn and Romero had a great lesson with Nicolas's family as well.  The Mom, Francis, pretty much said she has a testimony and cried a bit.  Nicolas said he needs more time to be more sure.  But they said it was an awesome lesson. I think they'll be a lot of baptisms here in the next couple of months for sure.

I'm not looking forward to leaving everyone.  I plan on dropping by my journal at a bunch of houses the next few weeks to have people write in it.  Like Lisa, maybe Paula and Victor, the Dilone family, and such.  I think it'll be cool to have them write in it. I did bring a book just for that so I'm set.  Elder Moncada and Ventura wrote in it too.

(Do you get to spend the whole day at the temple on Wednesday?) Until 2ish.  We'll eat in the cafeteria downstairs and president Corbitt will probably give us a quick message in the temple.  It's usually like the month after the mission tour and I think we'll have interviews in about another month.  I think there will be like 4 zones there with us though.  Same zones that were together for the mission tour.

(How come Paula has been in the hospital? Can the ward help them at all?) Her blood pressure has been super high I guess.  I think the ward will.  I don't really know!  That's up to the bishop more than us.  The water plant he works at flooded while he was there and he got blamed for it.  Not sure if the blame was accurately placed, but it was probably just an accident.  It was a rough job, so hopefully he can find a new one.  Reminds me of the Irvine’s situation a while ago.

(Is that Romero crashed on the bed in the pics?) That would be Pawn.  He didn’t even bother changing haha.  Sorry for the lack of pics this week, not much happened.

(The dishwasher is broken and we haven’t bought a new one yet.) That makes all 6 of us who do dishes by hand!  Crazy stuff.   Haha that means the whole family has to do dishes by hand now!  If you guys want, you could keep doing that until I get back!  Haha, but that would stink and I don't really expect you too.

I got to watch the new youth theme song.  The embark one.  It’s awesome.  I really liked it.  I really liked the start with all the new announcements from the apostles. So check out, I was browsing around on and found that.  It's super awesome.  I really think it's cool and is probably something the church is going to do for mother’s day.

Thank you for the advice.  It's ALWAYS appreciated.

Oh and my hair is way short.  I wish it was a bit longer, but in a few weeks it will be.  So no worries haha.

I believe that's about all!

Love you tons and miss you tons!  Enjoy your week!
Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, January 5, 2015

6 Month Mark! And New Years in the DR.

(Emailed to Friends)
What a week it's been.  Here we go.

Monday.  We had a FHE.  It was really fun.  At one point I tried to scoot back in the chair I was in and the front legs just completely gave out on me.  Pretty embarrassing since it was in front of like 10 people and Elder Romero was dying laughter.  I felt bad I had broken their chair.  It was already broken before though I guess.  We had some investigators at that and had a great message and played Mafia after.  Really fun.

Tuesday.  Morning was normal.  Not too much happened.  In the afternoon we did intercambios.  I was with Elder Pawn directing my area.  I was really nervous, but really really enjoyed it.  Way fun.  I taught a lot more evenly with him.  We're less assertive, so it was easy to teach with him.  Hard to do with Elder Romero and I know Elder Pawn has problems with it as well with Elder Decker.  We also challenged Lisa's Dad (She's a RC) to baptism and he accepted.  Kind of nuts, but really cool.  I don't know if he fully understood it though.

Wednesday.  Finished intercambios with Elder Pawn in the morning.  It went well.  Then we had to be in the house by 6 because Dominicans are crazy.  We had a lot of time to kill because of that.  We had a crazy awesome lesson with Ady right before that though.  She came to the English class one time and we finally were able to visit her.  She started crying during the lesson.  She said one time we passed her in the street and she was thinking about us right then.  And when we showed up that day she was thinking about God.  It was really awesome.  Then when we showed her the BOFM, she said she remembers some of the pictures in it from when she was a kid.  Turns out her parents are members!  What? Crazy!  They've been inactive for a very long time though.  She said like she felt like a load had been taken off her that day.  Really incredible.  I said the closing prayer in English (because she knows a ton of English and asked for me to do it like that) and she was crying after that too.  Really amazing.  Truly the Lord has prepared her to receive the gospel.  Then at the house we tossed a football around with some kid in the street, chilled, and went to bed at like 10.  Quite the New Year's Eve!

Thursday.  That morning we couldn't leave until 3, so we slept in for a while.  Just really relaxed.  Normal lessons that night.

Friday.  6 month mark!  Insane how fast time has moved.  We had a district meeting.  After we were eating at La Sirena and I saw Elder Davis and Brady there!  Way awesome.  They're from my group in the MTC.  Cool to talk to them for a while on my 6 month mark.  Not quite sure what they were doing there, but it was awesome.  Their house sounds like it's not the most obedient and their Spanish isn't so hot from what I've heard.  The Lord has really blessed me and I'm thankful for it.  Normal lessons after that.

Saturday.  Normal morning.  That afternoon we went to the temple with Nicolas's family.  We taught them about Eternal Marriage.  His woman (they aren't married) said someday she wants to go inside to see the rest of it.  We went into the waiting room with them and watched a short video about the restoration.  It was really awesome.  I know they felt the Spirit which is really really good.  The peace there was really just amazing like always in the temple.  Their 4 year old daughter, Melony, who is usually super crazy and loud, was quiet in there too.  Small Miracle.  Then we had the English class after and a quick other lesson.

Sunday.  4 investigators in church.  Freisy (15 year old daughter of Nicolas's family), Mon, and Robin and his wife.  3 of them were new people which was really awesome.  Good lesson after.  I participated in them well which doesn't always happen.  It's not that I don’t' like to talk, or can't, Elder Romero just talks a lot.  A little frustrating sometimes.

Today.  Super lazy day.  Just chilled in the house all day.  The other elders went to play basketball, but Elder Romero didn't want to go so we stayed in the house.  We played last week, so it was a fair(ish) tradeoff.  Really didn’t' do anything at all today.

Few other thoughts from the week.

Quick DR culture thing.  About every 4 or 5 houses there's some type of store.  Either a cormado (mini supermarket with free delivery), a salon, bank, or paperleria (sells paper and pencils and such).  So basically you can buy anything really close to your house.  Really cool, but kind of weird.  The cormados are usually cranking music at full blast too.  Crazy crazy stuff.

I've been slowing trying to adjust to picante, or hot sauce.  I can take up to quite a bit of it now.  Nothing like the Mexicans though. They are crazy about their hot sauce.

Bout it for this week!  Hope you all have a great new year!  Love ya tons!
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
I got the letters.  They were awesome.  Thank you thank you!  I really really enjoyed them.  Sorry I forget to mention it, it came with all the birthday letters.

Dilone family is alright.  Nicolas doesn't want to be married is what it comes down to.  I talked about them more in the general email.

Splits went well.  I really enjoyed teaching with Elder Pawn.  I've got another I get to lead in our area with Elder Stephens that I'm really nervous about as well!  Something about being in charge makes me really nervous.  Elder Stephens is in my district.  He's from Utah.  I think I've sent a few pictures home of him.  He's the oldest person in our district mission wise.  Has about a year. I have the skills, it's just really nerve wracking.  I tried not to think about having to talk to everyone and it seemed to flow a lot better because of that.  Elder Stephens knows a lot for tomorrow so I'm not too worried about it.

Lots of cool experiences like those things this week were really awesome.  I enjoyed them.

Investigators are doing well.  Nicolas's wife is really progressing.  A few others are as well.  Baptisms are slated for the 24th, but we'll see if that'll happen.  They haven't come to church much, but are basically dry Mormons.  I don't know if the bishop will like it though. We'll see.  It’d be depressing to not have any baptisms in 2 transfers. They're ready, it's just really fast.  Really they should be done later, but we want to have some baptisms this transfer.

I have a lesson with Ady tomorrow so we'll see how it goes.  Hopefully she's actually read some of the BOFM we've given her.

We just slept through New Year’s. Really lame. Elder Anderson told me there was some fireworks and I'm sure lots of drinking. Similar to Christmas. Other Elders said there wasn't anything in their area. Elder Harsh told me if he's not kissing a girl he's not staying up that late haha. He's a goofy kid sometimes.

I think this week will be pretty normal.  Not much is really happening.  Just working.  Elder Romero is starting to go insane.  He's a workaholic now.  He only studies when we're in the house (sometimes while eating), and is never satisfied with how much work we do.  Reminds me of my wish for perfection before.

I've definitely been blessed with the language.  I just have to be careful not to be prideful about it.  Sometimes I can make words up and they're right.  Like just by patterns of other words I know.  I thought that, but Romero mentioned it in a lesson and I think it's the Lords' help now.  He truly is helping me in the language A TON.  Elder Decker tells me often that I know a ton too which is really cool.  I am also very blessed to have tons of people here willing to listen.  Very very very blessed.

(Who sets up splits for you? ) Romero likes doing a ton of them.  AS DL he can choose when we do them.  He's planned for at least one or two weekly.  It's really cool to see how others do things, it's just nerve wracking when you're not used to leading your area haha.  I think I'll like them more and more as time goes on.

(Whose door is the snowman door? ) That would be Lisa's door.  They're summer vacation is in the winter in Latino countries so they have a lot of time off.  She got bored and did that.

(What did you cook your marshmallows over?) Cooked them over the stove.  It worked OK.  We did make legit s’mores and it was excellent.  Still have tons more.

The lights are across the street from the temple at that park I've talked about a few times.  Really pretty.  It's called park of the lights translated.  Really pretty.

The streaky light and all those pictures are of the full moon.  The moon was WAY bright that night, but my camera couldn't quite handle it.  Some of them turned out really cool though.

I think that's about all I have!  I believe most of it’s in my general email.  Hope I don't have to retype, but I think I will.

Love you tons!  Miss you millions.
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.