What a crazy awesome Week! One of the best on the mission I would say. We had an emergency transfer on Tuesday morning. Elder O left and I got Elder Pothier! He is an American and has the exact same time on the mission as me. He was Elder Merricks comp in the MTC so I saw him in the MTC! I don´t even know where to start but just know that I´m doing 100 times better! So I have a new comp, and yes I was told not to tell my family certain things so I´m not telling you things because I was told not too.
He is 19 and from Mesa AZ. He is seriously so cool I don´t even know where to start. Our previous comps were similar in breaking rules and things. One of the first things we talk about when we got together and he was unpacking at the house was the rules. WE BOTH WANT TO KEEP THE RULES! I´m seriously so grateful for him. I couldn´t have asked for a better comp. We talked about how we had both noticed that this mission, the rules are not important. He served in Maine for 3 weeks and he said the rules were almost the most important thing! So coming here was a big shock for him.
My favorite part is that we just talk. On Wednesday after lunch let´s just say I had some bathroom issues and we barley made it back to our house in time:) we couldn't leave the house for fear of the bathroom issues coming back (which they did), so we just talked! It was so great. We talked all about our families. His family is very similar to ours. His parents are very big on work. They taught him how to work. He said his dad would just make up projects for them to do just to have some work to do. He has 5 siblings and he is the second oldest, first missionary. I love just talking to him. We get along so well and we just see eye to eye on missionary work! It is so great.
One hard thing is to just speak Portuguese. My language skills are a little bit better than his so I try to help him out. We have two times where there is no English aloud. Morning study and nightly planning. This is our rule for nightly planning. For every word you say in English, we have to do 10 pushups! It´s fun. Usually when we get out of a lesson we are in Portuguese mode so we speak Portuguese. That is another thing. Our lessons! They are great! We came from companions who love to talk so they would just give the whole lesson and we would just say a little part. Elder O would always take the initiative and start the lesson but now we have to do it! The first lesson I was so scared but it actually went super great! Before we go into a lesson we always know what we are going to teach and what part each of us is going to teach. It is so nice.
I call Elder Pothier "coach" because he seriously is my coach. He is so happy all the time. He has a ton of one lines like "make it an adventure." That is his motto about the mission. He also says "Make it special." Like when I told him it was my birthday on Friday he told me we needed to make it special. So he made stuffed french toast for breakfast after our run. It was like a french toast sandwich with cream cheese in the middle! It was super good. His family loves breakfast food so we are going to have some good breakfasts. We already had pancakes, stuffed french toast and Jon's breakfast cake. He is going to ask his mom how to make Swedish pancakes today. I´m so excited for this transfer.
We go running every morning.... well we plan to but he has woken up sick a lot of the mornings. We have only been twice. But we are going running which I´m so grateful for. Oh yeah, back to the coach thing. One thing that he tells me all the time is "believe in yourself." Sometimes I just don't have confidence and I get scared. He says I just need to believe in myself and do it. He is so cool and he is helping me really become a great missionary.
So one thing that we realized is that we don´t know what we are doing. We talked about this on our second day. I'm the senior comp and I don't even know what I´m doing. Right after we talk about this he looked at me and said "we do know what we are doing. We are missionaries. We are going to do what missionaries do." It was just a realization that even if we don't know all the little details of what we are doing, we still KNOW what we are doing. We are missionaries!
So we talk all the time.. it is like never quiet when we are in the house or walking down the street. We tell stories of home or of our other transfers (he tells me about his 3 weeks in the US and boy it is DIFFERENT), and stuff like that. We talk alot about our families. One thing we realized and talked about is how much our moms taught us. So I know this is so cliche but Mom, Thank you so much for EVERYTHING that you taught me. I don´t know how I can ever repay you.
Another thing we talked about is how our dads taught us how to work. During the summer his dad would make him a list of projects to do and he would do them. I told him about us cleaning rocks and he couldn't believe that we actually cleaned rocks. Thank you so much dad for teaching me how to work, that is one thing that some of the missionaries don´t have in this mission. Thank you soooooooooooo much MOM and DAD for everything you taught me.
Our baptism this week fell. It was a boy and he is 10. But it fell because we were going to baptize him Sunday night but their was a big stake youth thing at the stake center so all of our leadership was there. We will baptize him this week. One of our investigators, Ra* is awesome! We are teaching her because she is the mother of a young man who wants to be baptized but right now she won´t let him. Our last visit was crazy. She said that she read the Book of Mormon and knows that it is the word of God and that it is true. She still just hasn´t connected that with the church being restored through Joseph Smith. Some people here have crazy beliefs. I guess she doesn´t think that there is one true church. She says all the time that "Jesus is in us" and that "the church is ours." We are kind of at a dead end with her. She is right on the edge. Elder P says that after every lesson with her "She is right on the edge!" He is so funny when he says it. She is waiting for God to pick her up and shake her and say "BE BAPTIZED!!" We have a few thoughts on our next move with her but we are still uncertain. SHE IS SO CLOSE!
I'm taking a lot more pride in our missionary work now. Before it was just my comp doing it all but now it is US!! We switch off teaching in the lessons which is great and during comp study (which we do!) we practice the lessons. It helps so much. We always get a picture to teach. It is usually a picture of Jesus so when we start we say something like. "Hi Jesus, we are here today to teach you about how your church was restored to the Earth." Oh another one of Elder Pothier's sayings, "make it fun!" We have so much fun all the time! What is life if it is not fun?!
So this email is everywhere but Elder P looks like a cross between Derek Merkly and Ben Ostler ........ yes..... he is a stud and a pro at every sport known to man. He played bball and volleyball in high school and can do anything else he wants too. We tell each other how grateful for each other we are. It is just a world of difference with him! We are happy! He said the emergency transfer was an answer to his prayers too! He is a lot like Christian. He loves to do crazy things and their is not much he is afraid of. I could write a book just about how cool he is. This morning he cleaned the house WITH me! That is a first!
Sorry Jackson and Amanda if I don´t respond to your emails. I loved them though! Thanks! And Thank you so much for all of your prays for me and fasting. I have felt it so much this week! Thank you Thank You thank you.
I got my Birthday package the day after my birthday! It was so great! I forgot how good you were at stuffing a box mom. We are going to make the meal today and I'm excited! Thanks so much. My zone gives me crap for how much mail I get. Our zone just got 15 letters and 10 of them were for me. One of the sisters asked me who the girl was. It was really funny!
So to answer your question I`M DOING GREAT! I love you all and I think I've said everything I want to/have time for. I´m doing great and the Church is true!