Archive for October, 2012
For Letters and Packages
Elder Nathan Polatis
Barangay, San Juan
Alaminos, Laguna 4001
You can also write him on Dear Elder for FREE
So I have already almost been here a whole transfer theres only one more week and then there starts a new six weeks. Of course transfer day will not affect me or my companion because for new missionaries there is a 12 week training program we go through the lasts 2 transfers so we will be together at least one more. The training program is just a booklet that we go to together during companionship study we are given one extra hour to do this and it has us set specific goals to take turns in different teaching situations. I feel really good about this week im really up on my feet and am catching up to speed. Its been amazing how much I feel like I have been learning now that I have a good routine.
This week was actually training check up so after for weeks all the new missionaries go back to the mission home and they ask us how things our going check our base lesson plans and gave us some workshops. This first month seems like it has been crazy and jam packed with zone p-day, zone conferences, training check up and everything. Now this week theres Halloween or as they call it here All Saints Day. So we have to be in our apartments by 6 o clock both of these days…more language study time for me. So it hadnt rained here for a little more than a week until thursday when we went to the mission home then on our way back it started downpouring. The street literally turned into a river and men were helping women and children cross the road so the current wouldnt take them away. I wish I could have got some pictures but we were on a buss and it was dark.
On our way back from the Mission home a bunch of us missionaries stopped at the SM is what they call it here its pretty much just a philipino mall and its massive im surprised at all the things they have in there its set up a little bit different because its all owned the by one company or something. For example the store that would be like JCpenny’s is just called the Department Store they also have a super market the is just plane called SM supermarket. They do have KFC, Pizza hut and stuff in there but we didnt eat there expensive. I got 5 really nice ties from there for 12 dollars super cheap!
We have started having a problem with members asking for our money cause they know the church gives us support. They usually say they really need money for medical drugs and its very hard to say no cause president peterson already specifically told us this isnt allowed. The first member that came I figured I could just give a little of my personal money because its not support. But I realized thats a mistake cause I think the word spread that you can get money from the missionaries so I stopped there. Its really hard cause they really do need it I can see but as missionaries we can help them in different ways by inviting them to keep committments and receive blessings from doing them. Its really interesting to me to step back and look at the ward for myself. Everyone that is an active dedicated member is actually well off and gets by fine. The first reason that these members do good is because they are blessed for there service. Secondly its because the gospel has helped them turn into successfull people. There was a talk in the Liahona last month about mormons living providently. I dont have the time to describe all aspects of what provident living is. But I can just say that the gospel of Jesus Christ and following what prophets have asked us to do will truly bring us success.
Next on the list I received a lot of letters this week two hand written letters from Brielle and Darci and then a bunch of Dear elders. It was good to hear about everything thats going on there. And dad had a lot of really good questions that I realized would help you get a better grasp of missionary work in the Philippines. In the Philippines wards and branches we have ward missionaries here in Nasugbu we have about 8 and there job is to find and seek referrals for us, fellowship investigators and less actives and also go on splits with us. They are all Young single adult and and even the ward mission leader is only maybe 25 and and RM. Our goal for each week set by President peterson is to teach 25 lessons to Investigators less actives and recent converts. Approximately we give away maybe 3 or 4 book of mormons a week there isnt any payment for them. We also have all the same pamphlets as english missionaries do all in Tagalog. In the mission there are almost 180 missionaries and 60 percent or maybe a little more are philipinos. Elder Viloria is from Tarlak i dont know how to spell it but its in the Angeles mission. Anyway many more questions I can see but I will throw those in next weeks letter.
In my time here I have really come to realize how important the priesthood really is. Sometimes back home we kind of just think of it as the group that men are in and women have there relief society. But its really more than that and through giving many priesthood blessings while here on the mission I have realized what a special power it is the power of god. I know that this power was given to the prophet Joseph Smith and that is why we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives today. Its great to see the deep respect and faith the members here have in that power and I truly feel the spirit each time I am able to excercise it.
P.S. Add chicken feet on the list of crazy foods or as its called here Adidas because the three fingers of the chickens foor look like the Adidas Logo
Not a whole lot of amazing pictures this week but here is the beautiful church building we have here and also this is my desk. I put my new shoes up there for the picture to tell you about…So all the missionaries just buy rubber slip on shoes here because there super cheap light and easy to take on and off as we go into homes plus they are water proof. All the shoes i bought I guess I will just save for when I come home and special occasions on the mission ha
This week I felt like I made a good jump on progression and learned a lot about being a missionary. Especially from President Peterson, zone interviews went good and I dont know why I was nervous maybe cause Elder Viloria was all jumpy about it. I think he feels sometimes like he wants to live up to his brothers example. His brother served in this same mission a couple years ago and was an AP. So he was a little jumpy about cleaning up the apartment and things. Its also funny to cause he thinks he cant speak English and always wants me to do the talking when our leaders come but really its in his head cause he has no problem talking or understanding english.
So I never told you this earlier but I came to the mission two weeks late. Right before I got here Elder Bednar came to this mission and gave a talk to all the missionaries. I dont know if you are allowed to have favorite apostles or anything but I would have to say Elder Bednar is up there on my list and im a little upset I missed it. Especially because the time I was in the MTC was during a drought of have general authorities for speakers. Oh well I know im blessed and I heard about many of the things Elder Bednar said to them. This week me and Elder Viloria are going back to the mission home for Training check up meeting. Oh which reminds me mom you asked if the picture that President sent to you is in front of the mission home. Yes it is and the mission home is very very nice I was so surprised when we pulled up ha I actually have pictures of it maybe next week I will send those ones.
So our teaching pool is getting very big and its getting hard to keep up with. The last few weeks we have picked up many new investigators and are working with them. The hard thing about the Philippines is that before they can be baptized they need to attend church for 4 weeks in a row. This is partly because we want to make sure they will be dedicated and we wont just be acquiring more less actives or inactives even. Also this has been hard cause the one family I thought we were going to get to come the Casteneda family missed this sunday because tatay was in the hospital so we have to start there count on sundays over again.
Last night Elder Viloria accidently scheduled two dinnere appointments and by the time he realized it we couldnt cancel so we ate twice. This week I can know add pigs feet and eel onto my list of foods ha. I know I have been complaining about the food the last few emails but really Its not to bad. I just dont ask what I ate until after a few days and I find out that I can digest eat ha also there are many good things I buy this candybar/granola bar a lot called CHOCOMUCHO its really good ha I miss it. I have been eating a lot of junk food.
Through all my struggles and tough times I have come to one conclusion the lord prepared me to go on this mission through my parents through my leaders and my whole environment. Sometimes I didnt take advantage of everything around me to learn about the gospel. But I can repent from that and I know as long as im doing my best it will be enough. Well go to go we have a family home evening tonight. Have fun at Lake Powell everyone sounds like fun also by the way can you tell tanner about my blog thanks.
I love you,
In this slide show there are five pictures! Here is the description Nathan sent for each picture…
1.This is the Tindugan Family they are less active and we work very closely with them I have had many spiritual experiences while teaching them and I always bring pictures for me and the boys to look at thats there favorite.
2.So this next one Is a Jeepney this is the coolest Jeepney I have seen here it belongs to one of the members and they used it during conference to bring members from neighboring cities here to Nasugbu. Most of the other Jeepneys are like solid stainless steel and having mexican style words all over them ha.
3.I havent got very close to any fields or anything yet but we ventured off for just a moment to get this picture they are just dragging a plank behind to even the ground for rice
4.This is our house and garden very colorful I know ha it stands out a little cause the houses around are center blocks and rusting tin roofs. I have no Idea what grows in this garden but Elder Viloria will cut things out of it and cook from time to time but there are squash starting to come also.
5.This last one is a picture with Elder Seth Christensen back from the MTC. He is Michael Turpins nephew we were on the same floor and came to be pretty good friends because we both went to USU
Well I’m continuing to try and endure through this first time period where I am trying to learn the language. It is coming slowly and at times I really have been discouraged in thinking it will never come but it is and I feel like I am able to communicate in very simple terms. I know it will teach me a lot of things about patience in diligence as a continue with it. This week was really good we got to listen to conference the last two days all 5 sessions including priesthood. I actually had to fill out an online survey so my letter this week may be a little shorter that usual.
Tomorrow is zone interviews with the mission president and AP’s. I will admit that im a little nervous and hope to be able to tell and show President Peterson I am working hard and doing my best. He is actually a little intimidating my few days we spent with him at the mission home he gave lots of really good advice and I know I can learn a lot from him and his dedication to the work.
This week we went on splits with another set of missionaries from a nearby city. It was a good experience to go out with him cause he is almost finished with his mission and well experienced. I also learned a lot of Tagalog with him because he is now very fluent at all in English like Elder Viloria. I almost wish I had a companion who knew a little less English cause it would motivate me more to use Tagalog. Elder Viloria is always using English with me because he doesnt have a whole lot of patience with me to translate what hes asking me sometimes. But we continue to set companionship goals that will stretch us more and help me individually. Elder Viloria actually knows three Languages English, Tagalog, and his native language ilocano which is another dialect of Tagalog but still very similar. I don’t actually have very many pictures with Elder Viloria right now and I’m running short on time to download them but I promise coming up soon I will send some.
So those pictures I sent last week I just want to clarify are the more Beautiful parts of the Philippines. The areas in which people live are a little more rugged and a hard lifestyle. One elder actually told me at the start of the mission “you wont smell fresh air again for two years” ha of course he was wrong there’s times we get out into open spaces and I take a deep breath. But it just helps he see the blessings and good life we have in america. I feel guilty whenever I think about missing things from home like food or good running water…we do have running water but it literally drips out almost. Its still a culture change and I am working on putting away those thoughts and accepting where I am and where the lord has called me.
Conference was great and the messages I know applied to me in so many more ways where we go out and teach those principles everyday. I was truly glad for the revelation of the messages from all those who spoke and continue to ponder and learn new things. I know the lord is not challenging me more than I can bear and I am continuing to grow closer to him through all of it. At the end of each day when I kneel down to pray I am able to realize even though it was hard I am being strengthened spiritually and am growing to love my mission already.
Thank you for all your emails and letters I received my first batch of mail this week which was a Dear Elder from Mom, Nicole, and Brielle. I realize those were probably sent around my first week here but it just a little bit of an estimate for you to know it takes about 2 or three weeks for me to receive mail. Thank you and keep sending pictures they are great I especially liked the tractor one ha. No one knows about large farm equipment here the still use oxen in the fields.
I love each one of you,