Weekly email from Nathan 10-29-2012

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.

Love

Elder Polatis

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

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