Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Exchanges and Baptisms! (Fotos)

Exchanges and Baptisms!


Sorry for not sending a family letter last week.  It wasn't too exciting, especially because I was sick for about 3 days. But everything is good now, and it has been a great week!

If you guys haven't heard, last night at a missionary conference, they announced that all missions throughout the world will be able to use Facebook, and other blogs to spread the gospel! We will all be training the members of the ward how to use it also!  I am not sure when it will hit my mission, but all the members of the ward believe its going to be very soon.

So this past Wednesday, I had exchanges, or intercambios, with one of the Zone Leaders. He is an American from Arizona, and is a great worker.  This day was especially good for the both of us. We were in my area, which I know pretty well, and we got a lot done.  One thing that is frustrating for me is being trained, and being the junior companion.  I normally don't have a say in where we go, or what we do. But this day was different.  My normal companion does not like to knock doors.  This is understandable because we live in a primarily Adventist area, but I still feel that it can be very helpful for finding people to teach.  So when I went out with the ZL, this is exactly what we did.  The very first door I knocked, a younger lady answered the door.  We introduced ourselves and she actually seemed interested in what we had to say.  After a few minutes of talking, she told us she had spoken to the missionaries more than 5 years ago in another city in Bolivia, but lost contact.  SHe has 2 small kids, and invited us back without question.  We have two appointments with her next week.  My normal companion may not have had success with knocking doors, but I have now, and this lady is already a great investigator.  We also found one other investigator that day, and she invited us back to her house to meet with her again.  

On Saturday, we had another baptism.  This was the first baptism that I performed the ordinance for, and it was a great experience.  The person I baptised is a member of the Ramos family, the ones who have been inactive for 10 years.  Her name is Astrid, and she is already very active in the ward, and comes to every activity.  

This baptism has not only been a blessing for her, but for her entire family.  Between the english class, a sports night, the baptism, confirmation, and church, the family has now attended every activity for the past 2 weeks!  It started a few weeks ago, around the time that I started the English class.  First, it was the oldest son, Jonathan.  He told me he wanted to learn english, so I started the class.  He has attended every single one of them.  He later told me that he really loves to play basketball, so we incorperated "basket" into our sports night, which only consisted of futsal before.  He attended that activity, and even got the dad to come, since he also loves basketball.   Astrid also attended.  On the day of the baptism, the whole family came early to help set everything up.  Every member, from the parents to the 4 kids, came and helped us prepare for the baptism.  Even on Sunday, the family was there a few minutes early, for the confirmation of Astrid.  I was expecting them to only stay for sacrament, but they star¡yed all 3 hours.  We asked all of the members who knew them (which aren't that many, since it's been so long since they came to church) to talk to them and fellowship them during the meetings.  They did, and I really think they enjoyed their time at church.  One of the younger members of the family, who is 9, also told us that he would like to be baptised too.  Hopefully this whole process will get the family in the habit of attending church regularly again! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The First Members of Bolivia are in my Ward!


I have had a very good week in my mission, but it feels like I just wrote you all yesterday.  The mission flies by!
The first thing of this week is that the mission boundaries are changing for me.  They are creating a new mission, Santa Cruz North, and so the Santa Cruz mission is taking part of our area.  The cool part too, down near Argentina! So I will never get to go there. How sad. This also means a few of the guys from my group are being absorbed into the other mission.

I have also started an English class here in Bolivia.  I started it originally because of one inactive member.  He is from the Ramos family, the one who has been inactive for 10 years.  He hasn't attended sacrament meeting yet, but is starting to come to the activities.  Anyway, there are so many people here who want to learn English. They did a study here that showed that if you are fluent in English, then you will make on average 4 times more money per year.  So many of the members come to this class.  Most of them being adults, which is interesting.  Even though I can't speak the language perfectly, I can speak English, and this is what they all want to learn.
The best part of this week was meeting some of the first members in Bolivia.  Back in 1981, the first 4 missionaries of the church entered the country.  3 of them were American, and there was one who was a Latino, but lived in the US.  There is an elderly couple in the ward who were baptised by these missionaries!  They even have an old record, with 2 songs on it from the missionaries, and other pictures of them.  I will send pictures of these in the other thread. So this couple lives in a place called Motecato, which is in our area, but very very far up towards the mountains.  It takes about 30 minutes in a trufi, and then another 20 minutes or so of walking on a small dirt path to get to their house.  They are great members though, and love having the missionaries come!

I miss all you guys.  Have a good week!

Elder Potts

Monday, June 3, 2013

Power Outages, Baptisms, Dog Attacks, and More Ripped Pants


This week has been good, but a very long one also. A ton of things have happened, but I have enjoyed every single day of it.

I'll start off with some of the bad news:  We lost power last Monday when I got home from Pday.  At first it was the whole street, but everyones came back on that day except ours.  A reminder that we live in a town full of Adventists, and the dueƱo, or the land lord lady does not like uis for some reason.  Anyways, we have been promised it would be turned back on every single day, but its been 7 days, and still no light.  The secritaties are apparently working with the office of the building though.  The biggest problem this causes is no electricity means no heat for the showers.  Also, may I remind you that it is winter, and coming up on the middle of winter.  It is miserable, but they seem pretty certain that today it will be turned back on.

The next bit of bad/funny news is... I have ripped my pants.. again.  The same pair of unlucky pants that I had just sewed up.  So last wednesday or so, I was walking from Almuerzo to our next appointment, and there were dogs.  Dogs eating a bowl of old food.  Apparently they felt threatened by us walking, and came after us.  As I scrabmbled for a rock, I stumbled and the pants blew out in the crotch again.  The dog got me in the ankle, but it didn't break the skin, luckily.  It did rip through the ankle of my pant also though.  On the way back from the appointment, I did get my revenge though.  We walked back the same way, and I hit him with a rock from about 20 yards away.  Yay!  I was able to have my pants sewed up again too.  This time exta strong in that area.

Now for some good news:  We have our first baptism on Saturday! It was the older guy, our investigator named Victor.  He is about 73 years old and loves reading the Book of Mormon.  He already seems like a strong member of the church and bore his testimony on enduring to the end yesterday, which makes me feel good since it means he will probably stay active his whole life.

So last week I spoke in sacrament on Faith.  I was very nervous for this, and was supposed to fill about 10 minutes.  I was not told I was speaking until the announced my name over the pulpit.  So I scrambled and put something together.  When I got up there, I was very nervous. I was trying to relate faith to a muscle, but instead of using the word 'musculo' I said 'musculino'.  So basically what I said was you have to excersize your masculinity in order to keep a testimony.  I didn't even realize this until I sat down. At least it was over by that point!

Love all you guys! Email me if you have time!

Elder Potts