Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 14: Navidad en Lima Peru!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 13: Feliz Navidad

Mi Familia y Amigos, Feliz Navidad!

This past week has been pretty crazy! It all started on Tuesday with transfers, Elder Pauro isn't my companion anymore, I have a new "papa", Elder Guerra. I definitely miss Elder Pauro and his chill, funny, and spiritual personality. Anyways, Elder Guerra is pretty much the opposite of Elder Pauro. He's Boliviano and is 21. He started out his mission in Venezuela for 7 months, right now he only has 2 more changes before he ends his mission. Most missionaries, especially Latino missionaries, start getting comfortable their last 2 changes, lazy in other words. But E. Guerra isn't at all haha. He was a Zone Leader in Independencia before the change and he's no slacker. It was kinda tough at first, and still kinda is, because in a lot of ways I'm the one training him because he doesn't know the ward or the area, my area is way, way different than Independencia. Independica is a city and not nearly as much poverty. He took Pauros position as zone leader and his teaching style is a lot different than Pauros which has been kinda tough to get used to. But, were getting along alright! He does know more English than Pauro so that's been kinda nice. 

Alrighty, so something I learned this week... This past week I have been really impressed with the character of Mary, the mother of the Savior of the World. In Lucas 2:19 it says that, after the birth of her Son and our older brother, she pondered what had just taken place. No doubt, the birth of Christ is the single most important event of the history of the world and I'm sure it was an incredibly spiritual experience, and Mary pondered in her heart that sacred moment that would become the center of this Christmas season. Like Mary, it would be wise if we pondered in our hearts the birth of Christ and all he did for us and still does for us. I love Christ and my mission has helped me gain a better understanding of who he really is for me. I'm amazed at the sufferings he went through for me in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. I love Lucas 22:41 to 44, please read it, it's a great passage of scripture. Its my testimonio this Christmas that Christ lives, and that only through Him will we find true peace, true love, and true knowledge of who we really are. I hope that this week and this Christmas we will take time to think more deeply about the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, and what He has given me and you. 

This week Elder Guerra and I found 2 less active members in our area named Maria and Liz. They have a lot of challenges financially and in health and live in a lot of poverty. Since we met them this week I've really tried to make an effort to become their friends and we have had some great spiritual experiences with them. Our last lesson, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on Faith. Maria can't read and Liz can't really read either, but we gave them a Book of Mormon to them and it meant a lot to them. We read in Ether 12:6 and 7 about in who we need to have faith, in Christ. After we read these scriptures the Spirit was so strong and there was no doubt in the room that Christ had touched the heart Maria. I have a lot of hope that through our friendship Maria and Liz will start attending church again. 

We've also been teaching a young couple, well, not really a couple because they're not married, named Antonio y Flor. Antonio is 19 and Flor is only 17..a little to young to be married anyways if you ask me. They don't really get a long to well either, its a tough situation. We first met Flor because she has a little hamburger stand at night. They have had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and their purpose in this life which has been really good, that's definitely going to be our "door" to helping them realize that they'll be a lot happier if they accept this gospel completely. 

I also had to go to immigrations 2 times this week which was really nice actually. Everyone in my group from the CCM had to go both times so it was like a little 2 day reunion for district 12A, it was nice. It was especially nice talking to E. Dority. Hes in San Juan Luri Gancho which is the poorest and craziest part of the area. It was awesome to talk to him about our experiences and to see how much we've both grown on the mission. A lot of the mountains he's had to climb (physically, mentally, and spiritually) makes a lot of mine look like anthills. I hope that someday I get to serve in the same area as E. Dority or one of the other elders in my district from the CCM. 

Anyways, the week has been great and I'm really excited for this week. This Wednesday were going to celebrate Christmas as a mission at the mission offices. I'm pretty pumped, the whole mission is going to be there and there's going to be REAL hot dogs and hamburgers (I found out this week the most of the hamburgers on the street are actually horse meet, so I've decided to take a break from those...) and there's going to be a dodge ball tournament and all that good stuff. And we get to wear p-day clothes all day! It's gonna be great!

Well, that's about all and I'm excited to talk to you on Christmas!

Elder Potter
Elder Potter and Elder Pauro

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 12: Weddings the Peruvian Way

Familia y Amigos!

This week was great and filled with some pretty good memories! These past few weeks I've been studying the gospels so I can finish by Christmas and I've had a few things stick out to me... I'm amazed by the miracles of Christ and how they are always a second witness to the divinity of His nature or to a greater teaching. I love the miracle and teaching of the paralytic man that was lowered down from the roof by his 4 friends so Christ could heal him. But the first thing Christ did wasn't heal him, He forgave his sins. But because the doubts of His authority to forgive sins and make others clean by Pharisees or doubters in the room, he told the man to "take up his bed" as a 2nd witness of his divinity and authority to forgive sins. The same goes with the woman with the blood disease. Also, all of the miracles have one common background, and it's that all that he heals have FAITH. I love the leper when he says "If thou WILT, thou canst make me clean." not, "If thou CANST, or CAN, thou canst make me clean.". The leper wasn't asking for a sign or a miracle, he already knew the true divinity of the Savior and his ability to heal and love. In some way or another, we are all lepers! We all have need of something in our lives right now, whether it be a stronger testimony of the Atonement, financial help, comfort, love, charity, whatever it may be,we need to ask in FAITH and BELIEVE that we will RECIEVE like the leper did. The leper is a great example of faith to me and I hope to follow his example and not ask the Savior if he can help me, but rather if he will help me. Because He always can, you just need to ask if He will. Anyways, that's my spiritual thought for the week. 

The most spiritual experience this week though was definitely the baptism of Yesena Payco. On Friday, we married Yesena and Osmar and it was a jolly ol' time. And then on Saturday we baptized Yesena and it was just awesome. Osmar was already a member and he bore his testimony after the baptism and it was so strong, the Spirit was there in full swing. He bore his testimony about how this is the first big step towards them becoming an eternal family a year from now and that he knows this church is true and that he is being blessed by it. It's moments like those that make all the hard work worth it, they are great examples to me of what a humble person really is like and how great of a blessing this gospel really is. 

On Friday there were actually quite a few marriages because of missionaries, including Elder Johnson and his companion! So I got to hang our with Elder Johnson, from my district in the CCM, for quite a bit. It was great getting to catch up with him and how he's doing. He's about an hour and a half away from where I am, he's in San Juan... easily the sketchiest parte de la mision. There's just a lot of gang activity and stuff going on there. Anyways, he had a kinda crazy story... Some guy ran into him and his companion, he was drunk, and told them that he wanted to change his life and so he handed them a bunch drugs he had haha. Anyways, they end up teaching the guy and one night he told them that he had to flee the area the next morning because the previous night he was in a pretty nasty fight and people were after him. But the next morning they saw him so they just thought it was a lie. But the day after that his wife came up to E. Johnson and his companion and asked if they'd seen "Johnny" anywhere... yeah, they haven't seen him since haha. Well, that's North Lima Peru for ya...

We also had a service project on Miercoles (Wednesday, sorry, I'm trying to manage the spanglish), and it was crazy. It was in Jardines, another area in our zone which is all super steep stairs, and someone had tons and tons of sand at the top of this long section or stairs and they needed to carry it down... oh boy, was it hard! All they had to carry it down was 5 gallon buckets and bags. We ended up carrying the sand down for almost 2 hours and we were all dead after it! I wish I had had my camera to take some pictures of the process haha, it was crazy. Me and Elder Pauro got back to our room and could barely move but it was all good. 

Another kinda funny thing that happened... One day this past week, I don't remember which one, but we were at Pilars house. One thing you have to understand about her house is that it's super dirty. Think about the dirtiest, dustiest place you've been in and you're half way there. Anyways, we were teaching her, and one of her many cats drug this dead rat out from inside one of her shoes and she freaked out! It was pretty funny, it was ironic because she couldn't believe that there could possibly be rats in her house... haha. She wouldn't even get down from off her bed and she told us to come back later... good times in Lima Peru. 

Well, I hope you're all doing well and I think that's all!


Elder Potter

 Osmar & Yesena Wedding Baptism
Elder Pauro, Yesena, Osmar, & Elder Potter
Yesena & Osmar on their wedding day

Elder Potter the wedding cake creeper
Yesena's Baptism Day with Family
Yesena's Baptism with the Elders
Yesena's Baptism Day
Elder Potter, Yesena, and Elder Pauro
Osmar & Yesena
Elder Potter trying on Elder Pauro's pants

Elder Pauro

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 11: Christmas Trees and Toilet Paper

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 10: Baptisms and Belly Button Rings...

Buenos Dias Familia y Amigos!

This past week was really, really sweet! The highlight was definitely our 2 baptisms for Melany y Manuel. Another guy, Emilio who was taught by E. Coleman y Vela, got baptized as well. About an hour before the baptism Elder Pauro and I went to visit Melany to make sure everything was still good, turns out it was except for one thing. I'm still not sure how we got on the topic, but for some reason the topic of weird piercing popped up and it turned out that Melany had one! It turned out to be a great moment though. We taught her really quickly that piercings like those are contrary to the word of wisdom and that our bodies are literally temples. She thought about it for a minute or two, then gave us her ring as a promise that she wouldn't do anything like that again. I was inspired by Melany and her willingness to obey Gods laws before mans laws and to give up something that she didn't think to be wrong so quickly. The baptisms were really great too and the spirit was there. After the baptisms the new converts bore their testimonies. I missed Manuel's, but I got to be there for Melany's y Emilios and they have great testimonies. Melany even said that she wants to be a missionary some day, it was really awesome. Emilios wife, Betsy, bore her testimony and said its one of her goals to get married in the temple, it was really cool and a great spiritual moment. After the service and all that was over Manuel's parents invited us over for some cake and stuff. That turned out to be a little bit awkward though because they started serving some sort of alcoholic drink, it was weird. So we had some Inca Kola and left. All in all, it was a great day. Right now, we have on marriage lined up for December 12 for Osmar y Yesena and Yesenas baptism is scheduled for the 20th. She's also an investigador de oro, she's great and willing to accept all of our message, it's really cool because they don't have much, they live at the top of the cerros, one of the poorest parts of Lima, but they're some of the best people out there, I'm really excited for them. 

Also, this past p-day we got to go to cento Lima, and its really, really cool and really pretty. Its way, way cleaner than north Lima too and there's not any dogs. It's pretty much a different country. We went to this huge catholic cathedral and it was amazing. But I had a thought while I was in there about how different their cathedrals are than our temples. I think its great that Catholics have a foundation of faith and hope through our Savior, but it's sad that they focus on his death. It made me think about our temples and how they're the exact opposite, they focus on the fact that Christ still lives and is glorified and that we can be with our families forever through the atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. So yeah, central Lima is really cool. For lunch we ate at McDs, the good ol golden arches. Before my mission I wasn't a big McDonalds fan, I was more of a Wendy's guy, but let me tell ya, I have never been so happy and excited to eat at McDs. After lunch we went to this little mall place that had a bunch of little touristy stores, it was really cool to see all the cultural stuff of Peru and just chill in a nicer part of the city. 

Thanksgiving was pretty good this year too for being in Lima Peru. After all of our appointments me, E. Pauro, E. Coleman y Vela, y E. Ruiz y Segura went to KFC for a Thanksgiving dinner, it turned out to pretty good, I got a little apple pie so I was satisfied haha.

Elder Potter
(This is a little excerpt from his family email.)  For part of our weekly zone and distrito meeting this past week we watched a segment of the movie "Facing the Giants" and a line really stood out to me that went along the lines of this..."our actions follow our beliefs...". I was thinking that if we think were going to fail at something, we most likely are. But the same goes for if we know we can succeed. If we have faith and truly believe and hope we can do something,than we can. I related this to missionary work in that if you believe their are people to reactivate in the church, we actually spend a lot of our time with menos activo miembros, or people to teach and to help to progress,  then you will be able to find, teach, and help those people. Just an extra thought I had that I forgot to put in the big email. 

Baptism Day - November 29, 2014

Elder Potter, Manuel, and Elder Pauro

Elder Potter, Melany, Elder Pauro
Elder Potter and Melany after being baptized
Elder Potter and Manuel after being baptized

Elder Pauro and Elder Potter at the Catholic Cathedral in Centro Lima
The city

The Catholic Cathedral
Elder Potter and Elder Pauro on the hills in his area

Overlooking his area

Elder Potter and Elder Pauro

Little Llama - Kimball has always had an obsession with llamas so Peru is a great place for him!

Overlooking his area