Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 66: Navidad en Lima!

Buenos Días Familia y amigos,

This week was super great! I hope that you all had a great Christmas. Christmas is definitely different on the mission, but I honestly love it! Its a great time to reflect and think about our Savior and all that he has done for us and keeps doing for us. 

On the 24th, we all went to the offices and had a big Christmas devotional with the whole mission. President Erickson and his family prepared this HUGE bbq, an American bbq, and it was super good! It was awesome being able to hang out with my group from the CCM, with Elder Dority and Weaver and the rest of the gang. Then we all went into the chapel and every zone prepared a skit, so that was a lot of fun too. Then President Erickson talked for a bit and we finished by watching "Home Alone". It was a good day. 

I'm super pumped for 2016 to start because my district is going into January really strong and were going to have a lot of success. This month we finished with two baptisms and 3 rescued people and were going into January with several people that are going to have or that already have set baptismal dates this week. One of them is a lady named Juana that we found a few weeks ago when we went contacting way up in this hill that we had never contacted before. We were just passing by the road and this lady called us over to talk to her. So we went and it turned out that she was a member of another ward but was visiting her friend, Juana, and introduced us to her. She lives in this tiny little house that literally is hanging of the edge of the hill with her 3 youngest children. They are very humble and were actually listening to the missionaries about a year ago but were always moving, so they lost contact with the missionaries until a few weeks ago when they contacted us. They all came to church yesterday and we've put a baptismal date for them for the 16 of Enero. 

Elder Sandoval and I had some great experiences this week as we've worked. On Tuesday we found a Buddist woman named Flor and she let us share a the Plan of Salvation with her and it was a super cool lesson. It was really cool being able to bring someone to the knowledge of the gospel. They are in great need of a Jesucristo in their lives. At the end of the lesson, she understood the message and it had meaning to her. She still has some doubts because it was all new to her, but the Spirit was definitely there testifying to her of the importance of Christ in her live. 

Bueno, estoy bien animado esta semana para trabajar duro! 

Elder Potter

Elder Potter's CCM group

La Zona Independencia

Skyping with the Familia

Lima on Christmas Day

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 65: Osmar y Yessenia...una familia eterna!

Dear Familia,

This week was absolutely amazing! I'm kind of short on time right now, but this week was the BEST! I was able to go to the sealing of Osmar and Yessenia on Thursday and it was super spiritual.

What made it even greater was when I found out that Osmar's parents from Piura had come down to Lima to be sealed as well. His parents were sealed first, then Osmar was sealed to them. Osmar and Yessenia were then sealed. Then Noa, their super cute 1 year old daughter was brought in to the sealing room and was sealed to her mom and dad. It was by far the best part of my mission up to this point. It was a true blessing and tender mercy for me to be there. Elder Jesus was also able to go. It was great to be there with him and see the "fruits"of our labor that we did many months ago. It was a very joyful day. 

The district also had a lot of success this week! We baptized Ederico Rojas. He has really come a long ways and has changed a lot. He has baptized and confirmed this past week. Hermana Ricconi and Hurd also had a baptism and confirmation this week. Everyone in the district is going to baptize and rescue this month! Its been a great week! 

I am so grateful for my Savior this time of year and all that He did for me and continues to do for me. I know He lives and I love Him. I know that families really can be together forever thought the priesthood power and authority. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet called of God. I hope that we will all be able to reflect on Christs birth and Atonement a little bit more this week.  

Bueno, espero que tengan una buena semana! Y feliz Navidad a todos! Que se acuerden de Jesus el Cristo, nuestro Salvador. 

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter
Yessina, Noa, Elder Jesus, and Elder Potter

Elder Potter, Osmar, Yessinia, Noa, and Elder Jesus on their sealing day

The sealing of Yessinia and Osmar and the sealing of Osmar's parents.

Lima Peru Temple

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 64: Osmar y van a sellar!

Familia y Amigos,

¡Esta semana va a ser lo máximo! I'm super excited for this week! One year ago Elder Pauro and I baptized Yessenia P and reactivated her husband Osmar, and this Thursday they are going to be sealed in the templo de Lima, Peru para siempre (forever!). I'm super proud and happy for them, they are the best. Through them I've been able to gain a testimony that the gospel really is the source of all happiness and blessings. I'll be sure to take pictures. 

This week our mission shifted it's vision, we are now going to be making a new focus on working more with the members and we've already been able to see a huge improvement on our work and effectiveness of our work be working with the members. 

So this past week we found a new family that moved here to Los Pinos from Bitarte, by La Molina, because they have family here that happen to be members that are active. The husband, Peter, has had a rough time in the church and were trying to help him out and get him back on his way to Christ. Claudia is his wife and has already listened to the missionaries and has been attending church for a while now. We are preparing her to be baptized on the 26th of this month. They are going to get married this Thursday. Thursday is going to be a busy, busy day! 

Well, I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Potter

Ill send pictures next week...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 63: Mostly Just Photos...

Dear Family,

This past week has been super exhausting. I've been trying really hard to help out Elder Sandoval, he has really progressed a lot this week which made me really happy.  Sometimes it is hard to realize your personal progress until a lot of time has passed.

I left with Elder Buckner this morning at 6:00 to inscribe a family to get married so that is why I'm writing you so late. So it has been an exhausting day but its worth it. Vale la pena. Well, I hope you have a great week!

I am sending lots of pictures.

Elder Potter

La Zona in a service project

Thanksgiving...pollo broaster

The temple...a day with the converts doing temple work!

Gabriel and I, he couldn't go in because he didn't have the priesthood yet, but for next time he will!

Elder Buckner, Gabrial y yo en el templo

The temple de la molina, Lima, Peru.

Elder Sandoval and I enjoying our pollo broaster on his one month mark!

This is Elder Dillon, Elder Alvarez and I today, we ran into each other in Plaza Norte. Elder Dillon was one of my high school rivals in XC, he ran for Woods Cross. He has got 4 months on the mission.

The old and new district in Chili's. Hermana Hurd, Ricconi, Elder Sandoval, Alvarez, Elder Dillon, and I.

Elder Villagran and I, he was one of my best companions. He also speaks fluent English. It was fun seeing him today as well.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 62: El templo en "black friday"

Familia y Amigos,

This week was super awesome! Elder Sandoval and I as well as the Hermana Ricconi and Hurd worked super hard as a district and were super excited to see what were going to do in December. As a district we were able to find 25 new investigadores this week and many of them have a lot of potential! We are super excited to see what happens in December. 

The highlight of this week was definitely my work visit with Elder Buckner, one of my zone leaders, on Thanksgiving and going to the temple on Friday. We've got a rule that one of the zone leaders should always be in the zone, so Elder Buckner invited me to go to the temple with him to help out the sisters that work in the family history center to bring a group of converts from our stake to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. The Lima temple is super pretty! It is the second time I have been able to go on my mission and it is amazing. It's in a really nice part of Lima (La Molina) and it's a lot more peaceful. Before my mission I didn't notice how strong the Spirit is in the temple because there are so many in Utah and I could go a lot, but this time it was way different. The Spirit there really impacted us and I was able to understand a lot better my call as a missionary. If my converts don't get to the temple, they are not getting anywhere. 

Also, while I was in the temple, I ran into some ex-missionaries from the Lima North mission that finished with Elder Pauro, my trainer. As I was talking with them, they told me that he was getting married that same day! It is crazy how time goes by so fast in the mission. 

Well, I would send you all a bunch of pictures but this computer is a little strange, so next week I'll send a bunch!

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter

Week 61: Otro hijo mas!

Familia y Amigos,

This week has been crazy! Elder Alvarez got a change, he is now in Comas and I'm staying here in Independencia. I will probably stay here for 2 more changes. My new companion is Elder Sandoval from Huancayo Peru. He has been a member for 3 years. He just left the CCM, entonces...tengo otro hijo mas! (Now I have another child.)  I am excited for the chance that I have to train again. I will send some more pictures next week. Sorry it is so short and undetailed this week, it'll be better next week! 

Que tengan una buena semana!

Elder Potter
Elder Potter - Independencia

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 60: Cambios

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Bueno, this week has been a crazy week! A good week, but a little crazy. We had a baptism for Gabriel and it was awesome! He has changed so much and is going to progress a ton! He is totally going to be a missionary someday. I love my converts, their great. Julio received the Melchizedek priesthood a few weeks ago and Osmar and Yessenia are going to get sealed for sure and the 18th of December! I am so happy for them! I am probably going to write that in every email up until that date, sorry. 

This past week was also our mundial (soccer tournament) with the whole mission! It was awesome to see some of my good friends that are in other zones, it is always fun to see and hang out with my district from the CCM and see how they are all doing. 

Also, this week is changes week! I am pretty sure that Elder Alvarez is going to leave because he is already got 5 changes here, I think I might train again, I  honestly don't know what is going to happen this change, it should be interesting. 

Well, that is all I got for this week! Que tengan una buen semana!

Elder Potter

So yummy fish they ate!

Elder Potter at his best!
Gabriel's family at his baptism.

Elder Alvarez, Gabriel, Elder Potter

Zone Independencia at the Soccer Tournament

Elder Potter's legs finally saw the sunshine at the soccer tournament
Elder Alvarez and his fake beard and eyebrows?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 59: My Week

Hola familia!

This week was super crazy! There was a lot to do. It was kind of stressful because for an investigator to be baptized they need 3 attendances and Hermana Ricconi and Hurd didn't really have anyone to be baptized for this month and the beginning of the week but they worked super hard and got some new people at church so now the whole district will be able to baptize this month! We are super excited about that!
This week was good for me. I learned a lot about learning how to follow the spirit and act on his promptings as soon as you feel them. That is when we will know if we are Spiritually self reliant. I've always taught the people that I teach that if they want to receive a testimony they must pray, read, and go to church. But if they want to strengthen that testimony, that they must share that testimony with someone. It always works.
Isn't it crazy that it is almost Christmas? Time goes by way to fast! It's funny, it is blazing hot here for Christmas, but they always serve you hot chocolate...weird right? Then they always complain about how it is so hot. haha, it's really funny, but I love it. They also eat paneton (fruitcake).
Sorry, I don't have a ton of time right now, I promise that I will write more to you all next week! Here is a few pictures this week for y'all. 


Elder Potter

I ran into Elder Jesus last p-day at Plaza Norte, (it's a big mall here in Lima) he was one of my favorite companions.

One day this week Elder Alvarez decided he wanted a cake, so he bought one. Kind of random but it was super good!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 58: Cortarme el Cabello!

Buenos Dias familia,

This week was good, it wasn't the best week, but it was alright. We were able to find some good new investigators and Gabriel is progressing a ton, so that is always good. We didn't have many investigators show up to church in the district but it is looking like were going to have a successful week this week, so were excited about that. 

So like I said, Gabriel is progressing like crazy! I was on a work visit with Elder Buckner, one of my zone leaders, and we went to visit Gabriel and he had been reading the Book of Mormon like a crazy man so we made a deal with him that if he finishes the Book of Mormon by November 30 and we don't, he gets to cut our hair..not too short, but a hair cut is a hair we will see how that goes. 

Also, I've had a spiritual impression this week that we should never stop to think to act on something that the Spirit tells us to do because it will be for our eternal progress and salvation. It doesn't matter how small the impression is or how soft it is said, we always need to act on the small things "porque por cosas pequeñas se realizan grandes cosas/obras" (because small things are great things)

Two weeks ago we had a regional conference that I forgot to write about last week. part of it was transmitted from Utah, Elder Anderson spoke, Sister Esplin, Elder Soares and Elder Nash, it was really great. Elder Uceda also spoke (the general authority from Peru) and his talk was great! He spoke about the temple and that we should 1. always have a recommend. 2. have a picture of the temple in every room of the house 3. go to the temple as often as you can. and a few other things. It really inspired me, especially after Elder Anderson spoke about what Elder Uceda and his wife had to go through to get sealed! When Elder Uceda got back from his mission he started dating his wife and the nearest temple was in San Paulo Brazil, on the other end of South America. So Elder Uceda told his wife, "well, hows it sound if for now we just get married civilly and when we have the money well travel to Brazil and get sealed" his wife looked at him and said "if were not getting sealed, I'm not marrying you!" So that straightened him out a bit. They traveled for seven days across Peru, Bolivia and all of Brazil to be sealed. It took them 14 days to come back because of the floods in la selva (jungle) in Bolivia. They were the only people in their sealing, but for them it was worth it, and making a sacrifice that big should also be worth it for all of us. It was a great conference. 

Well, that's about all for this week! ¡Que tengan una buena semana!

Elder Potter

Hermana Hurd and Hermana Ricconi, Elder Alvarez and Elder Potter at a service project.  This is our district.

Elder Buckner, Hermana Hurd, Hermana Ricconi, ELder Alvarez, Elder Potter, Elder Peralta at a service project, cleaning up a bunch of trash at the top of a hill.

Elder Potter - sometimes you just can't hold in the crazies.  haha - this is why we love him!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 57: Bien, buen siervo fiel

Hola familia!

So this week was super great! On Tuesday we had a reunion with President Erickson and the asistentes and with my old zone, Canto Chico. It was an awesome conference! President Erickson and Elder Nielson, one of the asistentes, talked about being a good servant and they rocked it! They talked about the parable of the talents and how we need to exercise them for the benefit of others. Elder Nielson talked about how we are really all leaders, of our areas, of ourselves, for our companions and that God doesn't bless us with "rest", he blesses us with more opportunities to serve and exercise more "mayordomìa" (sorry, I honestly have no clue what that word means in English) (it means stewardship). Being a missionary and called by the Lord and Prophet have helped me appreciate being a servant, it is a blessing, not a load. It also gave me some great ideas on how to lead my district lift them up like it says in DyC 84:106, si alguien is fuerte en espìritu, debe elevar a las demás personas con èl. God blesses us with opportunities, I hope that we all serve willing and happy so the Lord can say to us some day, "bien, buen siervo fiel" (Well done, good and faithful servant) and bless us to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. 

Also, I've been working a lot more with the sisters in my district, Hermana Ricconi and Hermana Hurd and it was great to do a work visit with them and help them out. We've really been working with one of their investigators, Benjamin Lopez. I made a goal for the district to rescue a less active and baptize this month, sì o sì, so with the help of the Spirit, we did it this week. Yesterday I was able to do the final interview for Benjamin and he was baptized in the afternoon. I got to baptize him and it was a really special moment. After the baptism he was so happy that he knelt down in the water and started praying, I knelt down with him and we were able to pray and thank God for baptism and what it really is for a minute or two. It was great to see him give thanks to God for that, he is going to be a great convert.

Golden investigator! So two weeks ago we contacted this lady named Carmen in the street and taught her, took out another cita and when we went she wasn't there, but her nephew, Gabriel, was there. Hes 15 years old and has had a super hard life. Hes been a delinquent and has some very hard disciplinary councils for youth and things like that for some stuff he has done. We started to teach him and it was tough to find what he needed, but after we gained his confidence we knew he needed The Plan of Salvation. We taught it to him and it was amazing. At first he told us that he didn't really know if God existed, but at the end of the lesson, he couldn't deny it. We invited him to pray to know if God existed and he said he would, but wasn't so sure about it. Well, when we went back two days later, he told us he knew God existed. The night before he had gotten in a fight with his older brother and it was really bad, his mom separated him and he went to his room in tears, mad, frustrated and lost. He overheard his mom talking to his brother about sending him to the correction center again, he didn't know what to do. But then something told him to pray. "Recordè que Elder Potter y Elder Alvarez me habìan dicho que tengo que orar, dijo" (He remembered Elder Potter and Elder Alvarez had told me that I have to pray, he said). So he did. It was about 4:00 AM when he said his prayer for the first time in his life. Not even 10 minutes later, his brother entered the room and asked him for forgiveness. They healed the broken bond of brotherhood, in that moment he knew that God existed. He is going to be baptized on the 14 of Noviembre. He hangs out with us almost every day, he has a lot of potential. 

Were working with a few other people. To name a few, Benita this older lady that was a "testigo de jehova" (Jehovah's witness) but that now has a baptismal date. Ederico, who has been battling with an addiction to cigarros and a few other things, he has had a few baptismal dates but keep falling in addiction. But were not losing any faith! He can do it. I'll write more about some awesome people next week. 

Well, that is all I got time for. Love you all a ton! Have a great week! Be smart and find chances to serve!

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter
Benjamin and Elder Potter

Benjamin and Elder Potter, Hermanas Ricconi and Hurd

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 56: Los Pinos y Roberta

Buenos Dias todos!

This week was really great! Elder Alvarez and I have been working hard and we've had a pretty successful week! 

In this area, were working with some really great less actives that want to be active again. We are working on reactivating two people right now. We had a great experience with one of them last night. Her name is Roberta and she has six kids. She hasn't been wanting to listen to us, in fact last night was the first time that I talked to her. At first she didn't want to listen, but we knew that she was a little sick so we offered to give her a blessing of health. As we gave her the blessing I felt as though I had already known her. It was a very cool experience. The Spirit was there so strongly! After the blessing she told us everything that has been going on in her life. Her husband doesn't support her and her kids are hungry. She feels as though her faith has been crumbling and wants help, but just doesn't know where to start. We shared some scriptures with her and it was amazing how the Spirit guided every single word that we spoke. We left the lesson and we were all spiritually edified. She is going to start to read her scriptures again and talk to the bishop on Tuesday. It was a very great experience. One of the greatest joys as a missionary is being able to reactivate people and help them regain a long lost testimony. 

Well, that is all I got time for today, ¡que tengan una buena semana!

Elder Potter
Elder Alvarez (new companion) and Elder Potter - They look like quite a pair!
Hermana Kelly and Rosa. They washed our clothes and I became a great friend to their family, they are awesome. La Hermana Rosa, the older one, was really sad when I left Los Manzanos.
Juan Javier and Elder Potter - One of the few people on my mission that I feel like I knew before coming to this life.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 55: Goodbyes and New Companion

Hola todos!

So, my new companion. His name is Elder A, he is from Colombia and like just about all Latinos has had a pretty rough life. He has had 4 different fathers. His mother has 4 children but all are from a different father. All in his family are members. His mom and his step dad are now active members. He is a very humble kid and wants to be a good missionary.  He only has 6 months in the mission and is ready to work and progress.

I'm excited to be here in Los Pinos (my new ward). I'm in Independencia, I haven't served here before, but I've served in Comas which is right next door. My area is very similar to my first area. I can see the sea from my area if I go up on a hill. It is a cool area and the members that I know are really great and have received me well. 

I'm not going to lie, I miss Los Manzanos a ton! I didn't realize how many friends and people that loved me and that I loved I was leaving behind until I had to say bye to them. It was easily the best time of my mission.  

Oh yeah, Osmar and Yessenia update....They are going to get sealed on the 18 of December!! They are the best and are very happy to be in the gospel. The gospel blesses families! 

Bueno, eso es todo por esta semana! 

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter 
Elder Villagran, Elder Potter, Maria, and Danixa
Moises and Elder Potter
Maria P., Elder Potter, and Jorge M our ward mission leader.If you put the soul of Grandma Fran in a Peruvian, you have Maria. She is awesome and has almost the same personality as Grandma Fran, she reminded me a lot of her, we ended up becoming great friends. Jorge was awesome too!
Nancy, Elder Potter, and Julio drove me down to the changes
Zafra Rodriquez Familia - Elder Potter is goofy!

The Fuentes Familia on Elder Potter's last night in San Juan de Lurigancho along with some other friends.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 54: Cambios!

Hola todos!

So, this week was been pretty great to be honest. The conference was great were working hard. 
I loved President Uchtdorfs and Elder Oaks talks about how to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement better in our lives, it was a really powerful conference for me and I was able to receive many answers to prayers there. 

Also, Meriela has been progressing a lot and has felt in her heart the Gospel is true and that families really can be together forever. Many years ago she got married and had a little girl but she passed away at an early age due to health complications and then separated from her husband. Shes been teaching kindergarten for a super long time now because she feels like she is closer to her daughter when she is with the kids, but she has been looking for something more than that. We shared the Plan of Salvation with her last week then on Friday night we did a Family Home Evening with her in her home with our ward mission leader (Hermano Jorge Marino, who is totally awesome) and Julio and Nancy. I couldn't be there because I was on a work visit with Elder Sangama in his area, but Elder Villagran told me that it was a big turning point for her. The gospel really does bless families and individuals improve their lives and have more hope, its a great blessing. 

Also, I'm pretty sure that one week from today I will be in a different zone, yes, today are changes. I have six months here so I'm pretty sure I'm leaving Los Manzanos. I have come to absolutely love the people here and am going to miss them a ton. But, in every change, there is a chance to progress, everything that happens to us in our lives is stacked in our favor to progress as children of God. Elder Villagran has been totally awesome, I'm really going to miss him, he is a great missionary and we made a solid team together. 

Today I have many things to do, apart from saying bye to everyone, we also have to move houses...It is p-day! But it's all good. It's going to be a crazy but awesome day!

Well, I hope that you all have a great week! 

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter
Elder Potter's zone maybe district?

Elder Potter,  Elder Villagran and Elder  Sangama at the top of un cerro(a hill).
This was a "once in a blue moon" moment... a clear blue sky day in San Juan de Lurigancho!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 53: A Baptism, A Crazy Hair Cut, and A Few Pics

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was good, Davis has pretty much disappeared, we are pretty sure that he is in Comas with the mother of his children. They separated a good time ago but have maybe gotten together again, were not really sure. But on the bright side, Amadeo was baptized this past week! His baptism was super awesome! I'll send some pics. But we also found this awesome new lady that came to church yesterday, her name is Meriela and was a referral (Referencia) from a member. She's had a tough life, she had a daughter but she passed away as a baby so we shared the Plan of Salvation with her and she asked us what she needs to do if she is going to see her daughter again so we invited her to baptism and she accepted for the end of Octubre! There really are so many people that are prepared, it is just a matter of finding them and teaching with the Spirit. 

So this morning I received some awesome "mission mom" from La Habana back in Comas sent me an email this morning to tell me that Osmar and Yessenia are still working towards the goal of being sealed this December! Osmar is currently one of the counselors in the Elders quorum and they are doing great. I've been wanting to call them lately but I barely got their number tracked down and we haven't had much credit on our phone, but today I'm gonna call them, I'm super happy for them! I'm super happy and excited to be able to go to their sealing! 

Also, something pretty cool happened yesterday... I was able to interview this lady for Sister Beatty and Bustamante and she has been praying so much to be able to know that the church is true, she explained to me that she hadn't felt that she has received an answer yet because every time that she prays, the only thing that comes to her mind are the Nephites and Lamanites. As soon as she said that, the Spirit flooded the room and I explained to her that she is one of their descendants. I read with her the first few verses in 3 Nefi 21 that talk about how the Lord was going to reveal the Book of Mormon to the gentiles and all that. She understood it perfectly and understood that she had already received an answer and needs to act on the teachings of the Book of Mormon if Gods promise is going to be completed. It was really cool. 

Con mucho amor, 

Elder Potter

Taken on Elder Potters 1 year day!!!

This is a super wacky haircut Elder Villagran gave me.  The top was super crazy... he cut it for more than an hour:)

Our District -Elder Sangama, Elder Brimhall, Hmna. Bustamante, Hmna. Beatty, Elder Villagran, Elder Potter
Elder Potter, Amadeo, and Elder Villagran at the baptism
Elder Villagran and Elder Potter eating a yummy strawberry pie!
Julio, Nancy, Elder Potter and Elder Villagran

Nancy, Elder Villagran, Elder Potter, and Julio

Julio and Nancy at the Lima Temple