Monday, February 23, 2015

What a week! Painted House, Progressing Investigators.

(Emailed to Friends)
Life is good.  The work is progressing.  Investigators are progressing. Things are all coming together, little by little.

Monday - Good lesson with Juan Carlos.  He said he'll read the BOFM, and couldn't come to church this week because he's been with family out of town.  I have this feeling that he could and should be a missionary.  He gets me excited about the gospel.  Really really awesome.  Also taught a couple that night.  It was good.

Tuesday - Solid working day.  We taught Sebastian again, the 15 year old contact.  More on that later.  In the evening we did splits with the bishop and the Elder's quorum president and it went well.  Not amazing, but well.  Then we taught Ranquel and Katalin.  He doesn't believe in the Bible and Elder Martinez showed him a scripture saying the bible was going to be messed up and that's why we have the BOFM.  He told us he's always turned away missionaries from other churches, but has a desire to learn more from us.  We know that was the spirit helping him.  Really cool.  His wife is really really skeptical though.  Really really.  Somebody has told her tons of bad things about the church, and she doesn't want to drop those doubts.  If it wasn't for her, I think he would've come to church.  We've just got to continue helping them out.

Wednesday - We wasted a little bit of time waiting for them to bring us a new fridge, and they never even showed up.  Taught Juan Carlos again which went well as always.  We also found out Angel is going to get married in May, but is moving first.  Which means he’ll be a baptism of other missionaries.  Not a huge deal, but kind of stinks.  I'm like 99 percent positive he'll be a baptism too.

Thursday - District and Zone meeting that went pretty well.  Taught Sebastian again, but couldn't talk to his mom.  They brought us our new fridge which is awesome.  Taught Ranquel and Katelin again.  When the guy came to bring us the fridge (he works for the mission.  The fridge wasn't new, but it works.  We had to clean it.) he told us our house needs to be painted.

Friday - They showed up to paint our house at 9.  We couldn't do our comp study and it kind of threw off our day.  We had a good lesson with Linabel though, which was awesome.  Her sister is a member, and she's given talks in church, but never was baptized.  We figured out her problem lies in that she doesn't really know this is the only true church.  That it's a really good church, but not the only true one.  I think if we help her with that she could be baptized.

Saturday - Long. Long. Long. Long day.  They came in the morning to finish up painting.  We had to clean it up from the day before.  Didn't study at all because of that.  The whole day fell apart.  It rained for a few hours too and we couldn't leave.  Only had 3 lessons.  Long, frustrating day.

Sunday -Solid day. Not tons of investigators came to church, but that's probably because Friday and Saturday were rough and we couldn't invite them too well.  Finally taught Sebastian’s mom and she has an amazing story.  She's from Haiti, and all of her family were Mormons there.  She moved here, not being baptized yet.  Some missionaries found her, helped her be accepted in the ward (there's some racism involved with Haitians here.  More than I think I realize), and baptized her and her husband.  She moved.  She tried going to a few more wards, but they treated her really badly.  Didn't include her at al.  Didn't help she went alone, and she doesn't know a ton of Spanish.  And she went inactive because of that.  We're going to activate her.  We're planning on bringing tons of members to her house, and once she's active, we should be able to help baptize her son.  It’ll take time, but we'll get them there.  Also found another solid family contacting.  A lot better day than Saturday.

Monday - Today.  Cleaned.  Started updating the area book.  It's been good.

Fun thoughts of the week:
We started going to the gym in the mornings.  Lifting weights has never been something I've done, but Elder Martinez is helping me with it.  I've been really sore.  But I want to be swoll.  Haha.  Come home spiritually and physically strong.

I've really seen the difference the spirit can make.  In Ranquel and a few other investigators.  It's incredible.  And the difference it makes when you don't have it.

The house feels brand new.  The paint was peeling before and they painted over a lot of the dirt.  Lots better.

Interview with President tomorrow.  Looking forward to it.

I believe that's about all for this week!  It's been a tough week, but lots of good things have happened.  We had 43 lessons this week too.  Pretty good for a horrible Saturday.

Love you all tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Ahh.  Sounds like you're week was awesome.  Lots of good stuff has happened.

Really awesome to hear about the prom dress things.  Sounds like a small (maybe big) miracle!  Really awesome.

Elder Martinez's favorite color is black.  An investigator actually asked us that yesterday haha.

Brito's are coming along.  We're going to help them out more and more.  They seem to be getting along better.

Sebastian, the 15 year old, is coming along.  We need to active his mom first, cuz I don’t trust him to come to church every week alone.  I included the story about his mom in the general email.

Haha we had one of our first door slams.  I said "We're missionaries from" and she said "Yes, OK" and slammed the door!  Woof!  We just laughed after haha.

We had another contact.  We were talking to her normal, and she was like "Would you like some arrozz con leche?" and we were like sure.  She gave it to us, and just left.  Haha never came back to talk to us.  Haha guess she wasn't interested. (So did you eat the arrozz con leche?) We did eat it.  And it was pretty good.  I enjoyed it haha.   I still need to learn how to do it really well.

Church was OK.  There was only 5 priesthood in the class.  For all of the priesthood.  Sheesh.  This ward has way too many women, and not enough men.  Leadership is great.  The priesthood that there is really solid.  Really good.  The ward is super supportive, we just have to ask them to help us and when they can and they're in.  Super easy to do.  We hit investigators.  One thing we've been slacking in is lessons with members, and that day helped us out a ton, since all of them during our splits were with members.  Ever zone is a different stake.  So we're in the Ozama stake now.  President Corbitt has basically said it's the best stake in the mission.  They have a goal to divide the stake.  So we'll see how it goes!  My area isn't all that big.  We can cross it all in like 30 minutes.

I love teaching people who actually have an interest.  When people ask questions and try to really understand what's happening, it's a ton better.  I can see how that'd relate with school too.  It's just a ton better, and the Spirit is always there more.  We're finding more and more people like that which I've never had before in my mission.  These are the type of people who are more likely to be baptized.

I like teaching all the lessons actually.  The Restoration is really cool because it's so unique.  Plan of Salvation is awesome to because of how little most people know about it.  I'm learning to enjoy teaching more, although Elder Martinez talks a lot more.  I need to think more on how I'm going to explain something.  I just kind of go for it, but I need to have more of a plan before.

Weird that we only have 2 more weeks in the transfers.  I feel like I'm going to leave this transfer for some reason too.  Not sure why.

Tons of Spanish still.  Of course.  I speak it easily now, but I don't know if the accent is getting better or not.  I think my R's are a lot better now.  Someone asked me if I'm from France this week so that's a new one.

The Spirit's been really good.  I think it's because we're getting along better than I have with any of my other comps.  And I feel like if we fixed a few little things it'd be even better.  Like the Lord could really bless us more than now, because he is a ton right now!

The poverty here is rough.  The part closer to the river is definitely poorer than where we live.  Where we live is pretty well off.  The houses are still pretty small, but they have everything.  Fridges, beds, ovens, etc.  It's a lot easier. There are still people living there.  (The houses by the river. The pictures are from a previous post.) That's part of the Santo Domingo zone, and Elder Martinez did intercambios there when he was in Santo Domingo.  There are tons and tons of houses.  Living conditions here are a bit better.  The houses are a little bit bigger for the most part.  I'm going to have to buy drinking water my whole mission.  Every area has to do that.  The whole country has to do that haha.  Water has the same setup, but we've never run out.  I don't think we'll ever run out.  Showers are like North Shore showers.  Just like a little stream of water, not a spray.  And it's super cold sometimes.  And I'm totally used to the laundry things. I do it every ten days or so.  And my darks and lights are offset so I do them different days.  I've got enough clothes to last for quite a while.

Bedroom while painting
Chillin while painting
Old Paint
New Paint
The painted over the painting.  It was like the first things to go.  So sad.  They painted EVERYTHING.  Everything is now blue. The apartment feels a million times cleaner now.  We had to put everything in our bedroom and then cleared out the bedroom when they painted it.  There’s missionaries names on my bed from 2000 haha.  It's pretty old.

Interviews are tomorrow.  I think it'll be in the stake center.  Definitely looking forward to it.  I love talking to him.  I don't know if inspections will ever happen.  I don't believe that they will.  I'm very glad they took care of the fridge.  It works really well now too.

I believe that's all for the week!  Love you tons.  Thank you for all the jazz news.  An Elder Richards in my zone is a huge Jazz fan too and we talk about it a ton.

Love and miss you tons too!  Have a fantastic week!
Love and miss you always!   Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Week Gone By! More Golden (maybe silver) Investigators!

(Emailed to Friends)
It's been a solid week - we've worked hard.  I'll go through it day by day.

Monday - lessons fell through, but contacted some more.  Contacted another less active which happens WAY too much. She left the church because of something a member said.  Is assisting another church, but still loves the true church.  We taught Juan Carlos again too.  After explaining what a prophet is he just kept asking and asking if there's one now.  We taught the apostasy and left him there to read the pamphlet to find his answer.  He loves to learn and to know, so that's awesome.

Tuesday - Morning was normal, nothing special.  More contacting.  We had intercambios in the afternoon.  I was with Elder Mokofisi.  Huge Tongan guy from Cali.  It was OK.  Lots of walking because lessons were falling through.  It was good though.  It was quiet.  He didn't talk much which surprised me.

Wednesday - finished up intercambios with a few more lessons.  It was good.  Not a huge deal.  Then we ate lunch as a district which was fun, and came back and went to work.  The day went well.  We taught Eliecer and his "wife" and realized he's gotten an answer to his prayers!  Really awesome and really great feeling.  We also taught Diorca and she shut us down.  Not completely.  She said she needs some time to read and pray to figure out if the BOFM is true.  A good reason.  We'll see how she is later this week.

Thursday - Zone meeting.  President Corbitt came and talked to us how the members can be another source of finding investigators.  Something I think just about nobody really uses completely.  It was really good.  He also talked about how we need to work toward having 15 to 20 progressing investigators.  We have around 6 - 8 now.  He talked about how in a year that's going to be nothing in this mission.  And I believe it.  The lesson numbers have increased and I know the progressing investigators and next baptisms will start increasing.  I look forward to that time.  Then we taught Wendy, a contact who's very open to learning, and did a little more contacting.  It went OK.  Normal.

Friday - Normal morning, with a little contacting.  In the night, normal lessons.  We taught Viviana who is another contact.  The missionaries taught her before years ago, but then just stopped.  Not sure why.  She could be a baptism though because she's really open to learning.  Then we visited Yulissa and she basically told us she was done taking the lessons.  She told us if we were a little smarter we would've given her money to help her problems and then she would've been baptized.  It clicked that she just wanted the church's money the whole time.  That one hurt a bit.

Saturday - Normal morning once again.  Not much seems to happen in the mornings.  More contacting.  In the evening we had the priesthood session of conference.  It was really good.  A seventy, Elder Dominquez, and President Corbitt both talked.  They both did awesome.  Then some citas fell through and we contacted more.

Sunday - Stake Conference.  Only had one investigator there since it was so far away.  Lots of lessons fell through again which means more contacting.  It was good though.  Nothing too special.

Today - Cleaning, haircut later, buying food, normal pday.  Fun day.

Few other thoughts for the week.
Strangest, and potentially the most amazing contact.  We started talking to this kid, probably 15 years old.  Tells us he's a member.  We start talking to him, and realize HE WAS NEVER BAPTIZED.  He's been going to another ward because he doesn't know the hours of our ward.  Told us he had a baptism date but couldn't make it and something about a river.  Thought he confused his churches.  But he has the pamphlets and a BOFM.  And knows the story of Joseph Smith.  His Mom (who doesn’t' know much Spanish.  She's Haitian) told us she'd explain things on Sunday, but the lessons fell through.  We're visiting them tomorrow.  Wish us luck!  Haha.

Also yesterday, the Family Brito are having marriage (but they aren’t' married yet...) problems.  She wasn't home so we gave him a bunch of advice.  Haha it was kind of weird.  Really weird actually.

We had 40 lessons this week.  Just not very many with members, so that's what we're going to work on this week.

Wow.  Transfers are already halfway over.  Time really flies.

I believe that's about all for this week!  Sorry it's a long one, I went a little more into detail with the investigators.

Love you all!
Elder Easton Potokar.
Elder Martinez & Elder Potokar
(Emailed to Family)
I got your package this week!  It rocked.  Way awesome.  The hole punch and the speaker and the belt are awesome!  Work perfectly.  The drive too once I can get it to work.  It really was one of my favorite packages that I've gotten. Wow! Tons of pictures.  Thank you for that.  Way awesome.

Sounds like this week was all about Ash!  Fun fun fun!  I'm glad she enjoyed her sweet sixteen. Haha Ash had a lot funner sweet sixteen than I did.  I couldn't even tell you what I did.  It wasn't as big of a deal for me.  She's all over it though. Sheesh! I feel like Garrett is going to be that way too.

Well done on the dishwasher buying.  I'm sure the kids are just as happy about that as you are!  No more having to wash dishes.

We didn't have interviews or inspections yet.   I believe they'll both probably be this week.

Pday is kind a lame. Cleaned.  Haircuts.  Shopped.  Emailed you guys.  Just about it.  Not too exciting.  Did a little laundry too to spice things up haha (Do you meet with your district on pdays like you used to?) No.  That is actually not supposed to happen much.  President said we could only do that occasionally, and that pday is for companionships.  Kind of a bummer.  We only did that a few times before.  Hopefully one of these days we'll be able to play soccer or basketball or something. Time flies way way too fast on pday. I've managed to find all the Liahonas from general conference dating all the way back to 2011, and it's nuts how much of the conference talks I remember watching at home.  Certain stories or things like that.

Also there's a picture of Christ I uploaded.  We found it in our apartment while we were cleaning.  It's pretty great.

The area is really cool.  I just about have it down.  Really close now.  I could probably lead the area if I needed to.  It's really calm though, and there's some good people here.

Favorite investigator is Juan Carlos right now.  He's really into the lessons.  There to learn.  You can show him a scripture and he'll think through the whole thing and you don’t have to explain it at all.  He gets me excited about the gospel.

Really really really awesome news.  I called Elder Romero this week.  He said Carolina and Rochelli are still active.  That they read their scriptures together every night.  That her husband is going to come back to church soon. (Her husband said that) Also Lisa is still active.  Mon is going to get baptized soon.

PAULA AND VICTOR have been coming back to church! Ahhh!  I didn’t have time to ask if he found a job or anything, but they’re coming back again!  And Elder Romero said they're prepping to enter the temple.  It'll be like a year from now, but I might be able to go inside with them!  Ahhh!  That made me so happy.  I could barely sleep that night.

Also Freisy, from the Dilone family, I believe has a baptismal date as well.  Really really really awesome.

It was a fantastic feeling.  Rather overwhelming.  A few times I've taken a step back and really seen how happy I am.  It's finally come.  I'm legitly happy a lot of the time here.

Love you tons!  Miss you tons!  Have a great week! Tell everyone there that I love them tons too!
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2nd Week in Los Minas! Lots of New Investigators!

(Emailed to Friends)
It’s been a solid, diligent week.  Let's go through it day by day.  Here we go.

Monday - Tried to have a FHE, but it fell through.  Decent day though.  Normal pday.

Tuesday - Hardest day of the week.  Started out with a solid morning contacting, but the evening was super rough.  We found one guy who was all into the church, asking questions, and seeing what the difference was between our church and his.  We were super excited about him.  Then we went back the next day, and he said his pastor said he can't talk to us.  Shut down.  Really hard.  We also found Anderson, a contact of Elder Martinez and Cook from before I got here.  He's really interested too, and his cousin is on a mission.  He ended up coming to church too, so we'll keep working with him.  We only had the lesson with him in the evening.  EVERYTHING fell through.  Rough day.

Wednesday - Lot more successful day.  The morning was a little rough, but we made it through it.  The evening was solid.  Good lessons.  I really enjoyed it.  We taught Yulissa, who has a 6 and 2 year old daughters.  Her two year old daughter is adorable.  I love her.  When we got up to leave, she just gave my leg a huge hug.  Just about killed me!  Haha.

Thursday - District meeting.  Our DL, Elder Lanza, is really amazing.  Knows his stuff.  Super experienced and super knowledgeable.  Someone I'm going to try to emulate as a leader.  It was a good meeting because of that.  After that, we had weekly planning, and a few decent lessons.  We're also teaching the Brito Family.  He's 20, and she's 19, and they have a 2 year old kid and work a ton.  Hopefully are going to get married in the next few months.  Really good people.  I pray we can get them to baptism eventually.  We also contacted a less active which happens way too much.

Friday - Decent day.  Not much happened.  We had a lesson with a Jehovah Witness, who basically started preaching to us.  A lot of their church makes sense - they believe in the apostasy, and have kinda correct doctrine.  But, they don't believe in living prophets.  Their church is like is Joseph Smith started a church on his own, knowing of the incorrectness of other churches, instead of asking God.  Kind of cool to know more about their beliefs now.  Then we found Juan Carlos.  He's 22 and lives with his family.  Super interested guy.  It was awesome.  He got me excited about the gospel haha.  He kind of flip out when we explained some things to him.  We'll see how he keeps coming.

Saturday - Another decent day.  Not a ton happened.  Just lessons like normal.  That's about it.  We had a lesson with a member, and turns out she’s the daughter of a family in my last area.  It was cool to talk with her about the people there.

Sunday - OK day.  6 in church.  I don't know who 4 of them are.  The members are actually working.  Lots of our investigators bailed on us.  OK lessons after.  Ward council which was normal.

Today - Cleaned. Cleaned. Cleaned.  The house is super nice now.  I'm pretty proud of myself haha.  Then we bought some food and that was the day!

Other thoughts for the week:
Stars are harder to see here.  Something I loved in my last area was while walking back to the house at night, Orion's belt was always right in front of us.

Members are awesome here.  Willing to work and help us.

I believe that's about all for the week!  Love you all tons!  Have a great week!
Elder Easton Potokar.

Pictures are from on top of a hill, looking out over the river.

(Emailed to Family)
Sounds like the whole family is doing really, really awesome.  Garrett and Ash are super successful it sounds like.  Garrett’s getting merit badges down, and that's way awesome with the FCCLA thing.  And super scary that Ash is turning 16!  Way scary.  I sent her a gift, so hopefully it makes it in time!  And have you gotten all my Christmas gifts yet?

I've settled in pretty well.  It's a really calm area.  The ward's awesome.  It's just really small, and the missionaries have already worked it over pretty well, but we're getting there.  I kinda know the area now.  I have the jist of it down.  The groove of things is down.

Elder Romero is still in Villa Mella.  I've been meaning to call him to see how everything is.  I forget my magnet name plaque, my flashlight, and my filter water bottle.  Elder Pawn sent them all to me.

We haven't visited Elder Pena’s family.  Elder Martinez has visited them and said that they weren’t very interested at all.  Maybe in the future we will though.

Church was good.  We taught some of the youth about the plan of salvation, and Elder Martinez really knows his stuff and we went pretty deep into it.  He really knows his doctrine, which is something I'm hoping I can learn from him. He knows the New Testament really, really well too.  One of my goals is to read the whole New Testament through once I finish the BOFM again.

Elder Martinez's parents are members, but his sisters aren't.  Most of the Latino missionaries are first generation members.  Nuts.  Like their parents or they are converts.

People are better off here.  The first day nobody wanted to listen to us, but it's been a lot easier since then.  We've started contacting the second stories of building or some apartment like buildings and are getting more success from that.  I don’t' think they've been as heavily contacting in the past.  Marriage is the same issue.  I think that's a country wide thing.  Most people do have firmer jobs here I believe.

We worked good this week.  34 lessons.  Hopefully more and more with members this next week.  We only had 3 lessons with members, and had a few really bad days when we could've picked it up.

Church was awesome.  The ward is really awesome.  There's a recent convert who's 11 who keeps stirring up drama with us.  Super annoying.  Other than that really really good.  Next week is stake conference, so I won’t' get to go again.  Makes it really hard to get investigators into the habit of coming to church because the stake center is a ways away.

We see Yulissa (pronounced Julissa) a lot.  She's come to church a lot and is dropping her evangelitico church little by little.  We're going to try to put a baptism date for her within the next couple of weeks.  We put a goal with her first so she can have a week or two to really study and pray about baptism first. She lives close to the river.

The other faiths are really interesting. This JW was telling us about the millennium, and actually knew quite a bit, with just a few things a little off.  Really cool, but weird.  Their church is the only one that compares to the growth of ours.

Pday was lame.  But good.  Felt good to clean really hard.  I even wiped down the walls which seemed to help a lot.  And cleaned out the tile grout.  The house just feels a lot cleaner now.  Feels good.  I figured I could be here for a very long time - another 20 weeks or so, so I figure I'd get it done well now.  Still has a few dirty parts, but I'll keep working on it little by little too.  Elder Martinez worked good too, because we have inspections this week.

I have intercambios in the area of Elder Lanza tomorrow.  I'll be with Elder Mokofisi.  He's a huge, loud, funny Tongan guy.  Kind of intimidating, but it'll be awesome.  I was worried I was going to have to be in my area, since I don't really know it that well yet, but we're good.

Cooking is good.  Elder Martinez knows how to cook a lot, so he usually cooks everything.  I still cook though, but usually basic stuff.  Oatmeal.  Pancakes.  He did really like the German pancakes.  Easy stuff like that.

One of our ZL's never talks English, even though he lives with 2 other Americans and his comp knows English.  His Spanish is really good, and Elder Decker said he talked once in English at their English class and he has an accent now.  That's something I should've done better in my area before, but no worries.  Just have to press forward. I'm going to try it.  Supposedly we talked a lot of English for Elder Romero, but we were really just talking in English.  It's not like I have a choice at the moment, but it's something I'm going to try to do.  It's something Cameron challenged me to do too. Most people understand me without problems, but some people still struggle with my accent.  I think my Spanish will just continue getting better, especially with 100 percent Spanish again.  I'm thankful for those struggles, cuz they really helped me.

Oh!  I also got your letter and one from bishop this week.  He sent me a few albums on a micro SD card.  Super cool of him.  He said Nick is going to start his mission papers. Way cool.  Do you think you could get me Cole Mason's email too? And maybe Dave Hall's? And who's still leaders of the Priests?  And the young men?  I know you told me, but I can't remember...

It's hard to get pictures of us (Easton and his comp), since it's just us in the house.  And neither of us are heavy get together and take pictures people haha.

Think that's about it.  Feel free to ask more questions as always!
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Transfers. Los Minas. 7 Month Mark. New Comp. Wowza!

(Emailed to Friends)
What a week it's been.  What a week, what a week.  It's been awesome, but hard.

Monday - said my goodbyes to everyone.  Got to see just about everyone I was looking for.  It was a lot harder than I expected.  Really awesome though.  I enjoyed that.  Makes me realized how much I actually do love the area.

Tuesday - Transfers.  Finished packing everything up, and left with Elder Decker at around 10 in the morning.  Our areas are like neighbors.  We're in the same zone too, Ozama, but different districts.  It was about a 30 minute car ride.  Then I got everything unpacked, and we visited some investigators and members.  This is the first time my comp has been senior comp, and I could tell he was nervous making sure he filled the time.

Wednesday - Long long long day.  We really don't have investigators.  With the exception of 3 or 4 people who are progressing, they don't really have anyone.  We contacted for 6 hours, and never really found anyone.  The area is really old from what I've heard and everyone has already talked to missionaries at one time or another.  It doesn't help we're both not very bold either.  We're going to work on it though.

Thursday - District and Zone meeting.  It was good to see Elder Decker again.  Our district is me and Elder Martinez, Elder Lanza (DL) from Honduras and his comp Elder Mokofisi from US, Elder Kirk from Utah and Elder Guigni from the DR.  They're all really loud and we're not.  We don't quite fit in with the district, but we'll get there.  We had a better day after that.  Things were a lot better.  We passed by a contacts house three times and she had her grandkids lie and tell us she wasn't there all three times haha.

Friday - Long day.  We bought food in the morning, and came back early because Elder Martinez wasn't feeling too good.  We didn't leave again.  He slept all day and had a fever.  I cleaned, studied, slept, studied, snacked, and just chilled all day.  Really really boring.  I tried to stay busy so I didn't go stir crazy.

Saturday - He wasn't feeling good in the morning either so we can home early.  Had a decent night, although lots of lessons fell.  I met some of the more solid investigators so that was good.

Sunday - We had a conference for the Caribbean in the stake center.  Elder Wilford A Anderson of the Seventy spoke (in Spanish), Sister Ocarson spoke (in English), Jeffrey R Holland spoke (started in Spanish, then said his Spanish was horrible and it was in English.  Bore his testimony in Spanish though which was awesome) and Boyd K Packer  (started in Spanish, but 90 percent in English).  Super good.  It was broadcast from Utah to all the Caribbean.  After that we walked a ton.  We worked hard, but not very smart.  Lots of lessons fell again.  That's the growing pains of trying to find investigators.

Today - Cleaned.  About it.

Other thoughts from the week -

The area is really cool.  Super calm and awesome.  More like Utah.  It reminds me of Granite Flats if any of you have seen that.  The ward is strong too and really supports the missionaries.  They have like 20 YW and 3 YM.  Weird and kind of sketchy. Sometimes I feel like I need more noise here.  Like it's way too quiet and something needs to happen.  Guess I've gotten used to the noise.  I suppose this is what it'd be like to be a missionary in the states.

Elder Martinez.  From Panama.  Good missionary.  Super quiet.  The house is kind of boring because of that, but he's starting to open up.  Very analytical and smart. His family found the church when he was 5.  Good guy, and he'll work hard with me. The whole ward, area and missionaries feel sleepy.  Like it's not quite awake.  I want to change that.

The house is nice too.  A little dirty, but not too bad.  Little by little I'm going to get it spotless.  Pretty much everything works too.  Elder Cook, who lived here before, is loaded and bought tons of stuff for the house.  There's a brand new monopoly, a huge speaker system, and tons of candy.  Pretty awesome.

One of my MTC teachers lives in our ward and we talked to him the other day.  Hermano Rodriquez, tall skinny guy.  Really awesome to see him again.

3 talks that I read this week that you guys should look up

A living testimony - Henry B Eyring
Bring Souls unto Me - L. Tom Perry
The lesson is Inside the Learner - Russell T. Osguthorpe

I believe that's about all for the week! Lots of work to be done here, so wish me luck!  Have a great week!
Love, Elder Easton Potokar.

(Emailed to Family)
Wow.  Lots happened this week!  I´m glad that the stake dance turned out so well!  Those were always terrible when I went haha.  I bet the dress up standard helped a lot.  Helped make it feel more real. It looked awesome, so I’m glad that one turned out well.

We didn't have too many roaches, but I'd occasionally see a few.  The mission just has that done every couple of months.  It was the second time that they had done it since I had been there.

It was super super hard saying goodbye.  I never expected that in a million years.  It was a good feeling though.  Weird, but good.

Hermana Baez

Starling & Angel Gomez
Chaiane Castro & Odry Galvez
Hermana Paula
The Nicolas Dilone Family
I have way too much crap!  I forget a few things too, but called and Elder Pawn said he's sending it to me through the mission mail.  I should get them this Thursday.

We only speak Spanish.  No English.  Makes me really happy.  My Spanish is going to improve A TON.  I can feel it coming.  Same exercising as before.  I don't think he exercises as much as before.  No soccer.  I've talked to him about it so we'll see if we'll do it as a district sometime.

Nothing like Vila Mella at all.  This area is very calm and safe.  I was talking to Elder Martinez about it and they could really put sisters in here.  It's not too big, and really nice.  The people are tougher, but the area is nice.  Forgot to mention there's also two parks in our area.  They're pretty cool.  Like US parks, but in the middle of a neighborhood.  And smaller.  There's tons of basketball hoops in the streets with kids playing.  Not tons of people in the park.  I'd love to go to a park on one pday.  We'll see how it goes.

It's even been cool the last couple of days.  Lots of rain and I even had goose bumps.  The coldest it's been since I've been here.  Felt great.  Not sure if it was really cold, or if I'm just used to it.  That street completely flooded.  Look at the times in the pictures too.  In two hours it was back to normal.  It's been chilly here because of that.  Well chilly-ish.  It's definitely not as hot here as in Villa Mella.

I definitely haven't gotten cold at night , but I've slept without the fan a few times.  It's usually not too bad at night.  One of our investigator lives on a hill close to the river.  We go up on a hill and I can see over the river and a bridge and everything.  Super cool.  It's on my bucket list to get a picture of it.

We had the Caribbean conference that I talked about in my general email.  It was really awesome.  So I still don't know all the ward yet and haven't been in the church.  Sheesh.  Wasn’t very good timing for that one. The conference was at the stake center, so I've really only walked by the ward building and almost went in one day.  It looks pretty nice.  We'll see on this Sunday I guess.

I don’t' know how close we are to other missionaries.  No idea.  I've met a good amount of the members.  There's some really awesome ones and I plan on doing the every member a missionary plan that El Eden used with them.  I think we can really use the members to help us find people to teach here.

We're struggling, but getting through it.  I have this image of what I want the area to be, and it's not to that point yet, and it frustrates me sometimes.  I've got to be patient with it. I think that’s about it.  If you have any ideas on how to find investigators let me know.   We're obviously new haha.

I've cleaned quite a bit today.  Not that it was dirty, but just definitely could've been better.  I'm going to do a deeper clean next Monday.  The fridge doesn't work so hot.  We need to call the office to fix it.  The freezer works, but not the fridge.  It's definitely a problem.

We've never refrigerated eggs here.  They sell them off the street and even in the stores they often aren't refrigerated.  I have no idea why.  The milk isn't refrigerated until it's opened either.  Super weird.

Elder Martinez knows how to cook a lot more than me, and I think he's a little wary of my cooking haha.  I’ve done German pancakes, pancakes, tried to do rice, and destroyed some grilled cheese (in a bad way haha).  It's been even cooking wise though. I plan on trying to learn a bunch from him.

An investigator here gave that to me.
I mentioned I know how to do it,
 and he gave it to me.  Pretty awesome.
Also that's awesome you guys got my Christmas letter!  I think there should be 2 or 3 more of them though haha... That's a bummer that haven't been making it there.  Really bothers me.  I think the stuff is individually wrapped inside of the envelopes.  Hopefully with names still on them.  Everyone has a two or three gifts. They are only like 2 months late! I have no idea who would've put all of those on (extra stamps).  Three nephites maybe? Mom sent me the picture of it.  Way cool.  Somebody's got my back.  It looks like it needed a ton more stamps than I put on it.  Oops! Haha.

Fun fact - I think Trevor has the same side bag I used to have from looking at his pictures.

Love and miss you millions!
Elder Easton Potokar.