Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving?? San Juan area


As soon as I leave the house I can't think of the food I'm missing! I will have to start a list, haha.

That is surprising to me that President called... I didn't mean to make you worry about the bike. We took it tyo one of the towns here, got some new pedals and welded the seat a little. It's better now, but there's nothing else to do about it... I just don't like it, haha. He probably said that because the last Elder in San Juan was transferred because he couldn't handle the bikes. So yeah, a fat joke ����

My clothes are all doing good, I'm getting some shirts sized right now. My shoes are starting to wear a little bit, but I think I'll try and just have them repaired and keep them for a long time. 

I haven't gotten any packages yet, so I am (not so) patiently waiting! Excited!

Now I'm Confused, is Thanksgiving this week or last week? They don't celebrate it here, so I don't know what we will do... We didn't do anything this last week.

The bridge is still there, just waiting to get me when I least expect it... Haha, it's just about 7 feet above a shallow river. I would probably be fine, but I would really rather not find out. But we need to visit those people, even if they haven't been to church in a month now...

Me and my companion get along alright. It's hard, living with someone all day, every day. But we work it out! He's doing alright, he's nervous to go home this January.

Thank you for your love and prayers! You could never write a too long letter for me, I love reading them and hearing about home! Love you all, and miss you!

Elder Kobe Potter

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Broken bike - San Juan area


The bikes stay in the mission, so we just picked them up from the house and ride them out to our area. 
Elder Jumagdao is from the Tacloban Mission, in the southern islands of the Philippines. His first language is Versias, but they learn Tagalog also, in their schools. He goes home in January, so he's very experienced in English and teaching. 
The duck blood on the planner is from a less active's house, where they were preparing some ducks that they had raised. They had a birthday party or something coming up...
The funniest thing, now that it happened, is the bamboo bridge we have to cross in order to get to a super less actives house. The first time, it was okay. 2nd, a little creaking. 3rd, one crack. 4th, lots of cracks. Elder Jumagdao, being smaller than me, crosses easily every time. And then laughs as I try and carefully shimmy across. We have to visit again, and I'm not looking forward to it. But it makes me laugh now, because I know it's going to fall apart soon, and am almost looking forwards to it now.

The language - Maybe not improving, but I realized that I know a lot more than I thought I did. Hopefully it will continue to improve and get better.

I'm glad to hear about everything at home! How exciting! I'm glad Aunt Meri is better, I have been praying a lot for her. Awesome, I know Cord will be a great missionary! Ahh, I can't believe I missed Hadli's talk! I know she did awesome, tell Hadli good job from me! 

This week has been really hard. I'm a little to big for the bike, and I got it broken in 2 places... Riding a broken bike through the jungle, in a new area, with a new companion, learning a new teaching style... But I have learned the importance of just putting your head down and working hard. We have been blessed, with three new investigators this week, so hopefully we can start to turn the area around a little bit. 

Love you, miss everyone! I know this is where I need to be. I hope everyone knows how much I love them. Take care of everyone! 

Elder Potter

Elder Jumagdao is from the Tacloban Mission, in the southern islands of the Philippines. His first language is Versias, but they learn Tagalog also, in their schools. He goes home in January, so he's very experienced in English and teaching. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Unexpected transfer - San Juan

Funny you should ask about Elder Sanchez... 
Because he was sick (better now, but still weak), he cannot bike like he needs to in San Juan. So guess who got emergency transferred into the San Juan branch! This lucky Elder! Elder Sanchez switched me, and is now training in Taugtog.
It was really hard to leave Taugtog, and all the people that I have grown so close to in such a short time. We had a Family Home Evening with a bunch of the members, and when we all sang "The Spirit of God" I felt the Spirit so strong! 
Biking in San Juan, and San Juan in general, is a very difficult transition. I am now companions with Elder Jumagdao, who actually speaks fairly good English. Biking is hard, as we go down tiny little jungle roads. The other day we walked up a small mountain, talking to people while someone at the bottom of the mountain welded our bicycle seats on strait. ( I was a little to heavy for it I guess ) Saturday we walked across a bamboo bridge I was sure was going to fall apart. I have duck blood on my missionary planner. We get chased by dogs once it gets dark, as if biking here isn't hard enough! I was having a really hard time. But President Dahle came and we had interviews early. Before I could complain to him, he told me, "You're just living the missionary dream! Biking through the Jungle, a sort of struggling area, a native Companion! It doesn't get any better than that!". I hadn't thought about it that way yet, but now I am ( a little ) more excited to go back to work! 
On Sunday, while teaching the Home teachers, President Doble talked about three Elders. Elder Fear, Elder Duty, and Elder Love. I didn't understand everything, but I got the general message; What is your reason for serving? I now that right now, I might be closer to Elder Duty or Fear than an Elder Love, but hopefully this week I can change that...

The typical day;
6:30 Arise and get ready. Freezing cold showers, oatmeal and other fun things. Plan to work out, but forget to...
8:00 Personal Study
9:00 Companion Study, practice teaching
10:00 Language Study, usually trying to read a page of ANG AKLAT NI MORMON
11:00 Lunch and get ready for work
1:00 Bike to San Juan, about 30 min from Taugtog, and work untill...
9:00 Return, dinner, relax untill
10:30 Fall into a comma like sleep untill 6:30
The work now is; bike to the house, talk to maybe 1 or 2 houses in that 'compound' or neighborhood, and then bike to a different compound.

Trikes are what we usually use. Jeepnies are usually only in bigger cities, and they just go from one end of main street to the other. Busses go from cities to cities. 

No packages yet, but I haven't seen the Senior Couple Missionaries ( they deliver everything ) for a little while yet. Is it a Christmas Package that I'm not supposed to open until then?

Funny Story... Hmmm... So this week was pretty stressful, like I said. But we were trying to find some Less Active members in this little compound where all the houses are bamboo. We were back in the middle of it all, when we met this very tall Korean woman and this little old Filipino Nanay. Elder Jumagdao started trying to talk to them, but they were not very interested. He tried to ask the Korean woman where she was from, and in very slow English she answered that she was Korean. I was so shocked, and as she was walking away, she told us she doesn't know Tagalog. I was amazed that I knew more Tagalog than someone else living in the Philippines! I don't think she knows English very well either, but it was cool to hear someone try and speak English in that little compound of bamboo houses, in the middle of no where in the Philippines. 

Another funny thing. Most members have a really hard time remembering missionaries. There are just a lot that come through in the years, so they usually don't use names, but they say "Elder Chubby, or Tall, or Dark" stuff like that. Well, not when your last name is Potter! Everyone says, "How are you related to Harry?" and "What magic do you know?". I was introduced in the San Juan fast and testimony meeting as the branches new magician! And telling them my first name is Kobe has just about the same effect, only with Basketball this time...

That makes me happy to know you all think about me so much. I miss you all too. Sister Dahle wanted to know about my family, and as I started to show her the photo books you sent, it was really hard for me. She just kept saying; "I bet they are missing their big brother so much." I wanted to say, "I'm missing them too!", but that would only have made her worried. 

My SD Card to USB port adapter has broken 😥 so I can't send any pictures until I can find a new one. The only problem is I don't know if there is any where to buy one here... I will try to find one, but just in case will you send at least one in the next package please? 

Thanks for the continuous love and support! I love and miss all of you, and hope the best for everyone. I will pray for Aunt Meri. Take care!
Elder Potter

P.S. It was Clay Esplin and Michael Musto's birthday this past week. If you see them, please tell them Happy Birthday from me!

Staying in Taugtog - October 30th


Transfers; Me and Elder Sudweeks have stayed. Our housemates, changed though. Elder Jumagdou is training again, but his Trainee has been very sick (throwing up every time he eats) and unable to work. He will probably be transferred this week, to someplace closer to a Hospital. 

Those 2 did get baptized, and confirmed! It was a super stressful day, we waited 3 hours for the wrong keys, got the right keys, and then another hour for the Branch President to come. But despite all the adversity, yes they got baptized! Super awesome!

I heard about the football games, that's to bad. Both CV and Utah sounded like they should have had really great seasons this year. 

A convertable car would be really nice right now, compared to Trikes and Jeepnies haha! Hopefully I can help start a ripple here in the Philippines! There is sure a lot of work to do here, hopefully my actions will help.

Thank you for the email! I was able to go on splits this week with Elder Jumagdou so that his area, San Juan, could have at least one day of work while his Trainee stayed home with Elder Sudweeks. A really cool experience to be able to know that I have most of the basics of missionary work down, so that I could go to another area and help people there too. 

I hope everything is going well at home! I love and miss everyone! I know you are praying for me, and hope you know that I am praying for you too! Happy Birthday to Sydni and Hadli! I wish I was there!