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.

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