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.

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