Monday, April 13, 2015

Awesome week! Nothing exciting, but good week overall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you tons!
Elder Easton Potokar.