Archive for December, 2012

Weekly email December 23 2012

 So despite no snow and yet no coldness christmas continues to get closer and before I know it it will be over. I cant really accept the fact that its christmas time because I havent heard the usual christmas music and just cause theres none of those normal traditions. But its still a happy time all the little kids yell Merry christmas at us as we walk down the streets and our dinner schedule is jammed full. I actually think Elder Viloria overscheduled our appointments. Im gunna be stuffed ha. So earlier today for P-day President Manuel and me and Elder Viloria went for a pasyal. Which translates into going for a walk but it means something different I dont know you could say we went hiking. We went to a really nice white sand beach and walked for a while then took a trail up into the mountains kind of then we wound back down to the beach and back it was actually really nice because its actually hard to find a white sand beach like that. And the weather was a little bit cloudy so it made it not to xtremely hot.

This week has actually been really busy for us we had Zone christmas party on Thursday and since its so far away Wednesday night we traveled to another elders apartment and slept in there home that night. Than at zone christmas party half of it was the normal teaching and presentation and the other half we played games and actually had a present exchange. I think mine came from a sister Elder because it was a strawberry scented candle and a mickey mouse piggy bank hmm. I saw Sister Anderson at Zone Conference also and she said hi from you to me there. She just got here a week and half ago and is on one of the islands for her area.
One more thing that made us so busy was that we had a Branch christmas party. They went all out they had a big sound system and played games with the kids ate food almost every single auxillary had to do a presentation actually. It was a 6 hour christmas party 4pm to 10pm. Its really interesting to see how differently the church functions here ha. In a way its not very organized yet. But its like Elder Ardern said a couple of weeks ago. The Church has only been established in the Philippines for 50 years and and its almost 200 years in america so have more patience with them. Its crazy to think about that even to just think of all the places the church has been able to go in that little amount of time both in the Philippines and in the whole world. I know that people can see something different in the church everyone knows who the mormons are. Are trick is showing them that whats different is the truth. We had a lot of finding opportunities through the christmas party I will talk to you all christmas eve around 9 o’clock your time. Until then!!
Elder Polatis

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Weekly Email Sent 12-17-2012 Dulo ng Mundo

Maligayang Pasko,

There are two ends of the earth Hoff Road and Nasugbu, Philippines. So this week I have a lot to tell actually hopefully it all makes sense as I type it out. So turns out Elder Viloria did not get transferred and we will still be companions until January 25th which means he will spend 6 months and and I will also spend six months her because someone will need to train the next missionary that comes into this area. Also I was very excited to get your packages this week already it only took three weeks which is crazy I really wasnt expecting it till after christmas. At the same time it all depends on when the zone leaders end up going to the mission home for zone conference. So yeah I have it all and im waiting for christmas to open the wrapped presents but I did open the box. That was really nice of you to think of my companion also during christmas I would have felt really bad if I woke up christmas and opened all my things and he had nothing to do. I actually havent even showed him yet that he has presents also. So it will be a surprise.

So yester me and Elder Viloria were the speakers for church my topic was actually from the september Liahona. How to share the gospel to our friends through our example but thats not the most exciting thing about it. When I was up presenting my talk I had just started when out of the corner of my eye I saw that there were some late comers to church which isnt out of the ordinary especially in the Philippines but the late ones was the mission president and his wife. It was funny because everyone who was paying attention to me as the speaker and even everyone who wasnt like sleeping or playing on there phones stopped and stared at President and his wife while they walked to the front. I just kept talking the whole time and continued with the speech. The good thing is President only knows a very little Tagalog so he couldnt understand it anyway whether I was a good or bad speaker. But he told me that it was very good afterward and was very impressed with my Tagalog. The other news was that accompanying president was two brand new mission couple who are from Rexburg. There last name is Smith. So I got to meet them. So church was really good yesterday. This is also the reason I started with Nasugbu is the other end of the earth because. President had to wake up at 4 and our area is the farthest to this side.

We also got another returned member Nanay Militar. Nanay doesnt even have enough money to pay for the fair to church even 10 pisos so she walks. She also has had health problems the last little while so we were glad that she has been able to come to church the last month. One less active we havent been able to have much success with though is Brother Hipolito. We have been teaching him once a week ever since I got here. He came to church once during general conference. But we didnt ever see him cause he was late. Anyway hes maybe 30 years old his wife isnt a member and they have a baby that they named Nephi. Yesterday we visited him after not coming to church and he was telling us that because the last few days were low tide we didnt have anywork because right now hes working on a fishing boat. So he was saying that they dont have any food right now and he doesnt know when hes going back to work. Our original plan was to teach Word of Wisdom because a couple weeks ago we caught him smoking. But because that might have just added to his worries and problems right now we decided that we wouldnt teach him that this time. Instead we relayed to him the message that President Peterson gave in sacrament meeting let him know that he missed out and focused on what we need to do to receive blessings. As it says in Ether 12 “Miracles come AFTER the trial of your faith”

So as for next week christmas Im thinking i will call christmas morning here which will actually end up being christmas day over there. But im not quite sure yet next P-day(christmas eve) I will let you know what our schedule is and the plan I am going to call on skype.

I love you all,

Elder Polatis

P.S. Enjoy the Pictures

Nanay Impang who actually does my laundry gave me and Elder Viloria these shells. She said she gave me the Big one because its american size the other is a philipino

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Weekly Email 12-11-2012

Hello……………….

 

So since many of you replied back to the story about Nanay Vilaveri coming back to church I will first let you know she did come on sunday and we were able to report one returned member to the mission home. As for one of our investigators who was supposed to be baptized on the 21 he didnt come to church so we are continuing to teach him and develop his faith. This week marks the end of my training we finished our 12 week training program booklet that we have been going through together in companionship study. I also went on splits this week with the district leader Elder Silvoza. Elder Silvoza is a very good missionary hes 27 and the only member of his family. He has an interesting story he used to be like one of the first assistants to a priest in the Catholic Church and almost became a priest himself. And then he found the true church! Talaga.

 

This week has been very good and it marks maybe the last week of me and Elder Viloria together as a companionship. Hes at 4 and a half months here so theres a chance he could get transferred and then at the same time sometimes they stay for six months in an area so we will see. He really wants to stay here and spend christmas here. That would be really nice if he did get to cause it seems like it would be hard to be in a brand new area where you dont know anyone for christmas. We already have our dinner schedule all set up for the holidays pretty much ha. I told brother Panga that I will bring the mashed potatoes on christmas day cause thats who we have planned on that day. So speaking of food and considering im hungry I will tell you about a restaurant they have here thats called Mang Inasal I put it in the heading by the way. So you go there and you can get different kinds of chicken or pork rotissery cooked and the rice is unlimited and they have really good seasonings. Its Masarp!

 

I cant believe after the holidays I will be 1/4 done with my mission already its flown by and getting faster. The harder I work the better it gets and the faster it goes. I really felt the spirit strongly when we listened to the christmas devotional last night. If you havent watched it yet…Dapat kayo! After word I started thinking about all the people we have been teaching that I wish would have been there to listen to a true prophet. I know heavenly father has given us his messengers on earth (First presidency) and that we need to apply there teachings into our life daily and especially for christmas. Im excited for christmas by the way make sure you know how to skype or have a webcam and everything I will let you know when next week.

 

Love

Elder Polatis

 

Here are the Pictures this week…

 

So right now they have started harvesting sugar cane. And yeah they harvest it by hand cutting it down and laying it in bundles on the ground just the the bible story of Ruth with the grain. They are crazy it seems like there would be an easier way pero hardworking naman.

So this is Nanay Cargado she has been a member for about ten years now Tatay isnt a member though just here and that is Denmark her grandson we just started teaching him a week ago now. Nanay Cargado is very cool she always feeds us and we teach her short lessons sometimes because she has very bad eyes and cant read the Book of Mormon. I have never seen her without those glasses on

 

Nanay Cargado

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Pictures 12-3-2012

Here in the Philippines they like to dye the baby chicks bright colors. Its awesome. They make good pets

Here in the Philippines they like to dye the baby chicks bright colors. Its awesome. They make good pets

Cuenca where we spent the night before zone conference mountainous and medyo cold

Cuenca where we spent the night before zone conference mountainous and medyo cold

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Letter sent 12-3-2012 -Dapat akong magapply

Hello Dearest Family,

 

So I got all your dear elders that you sent through dear elder this week and it was a good amount of reading material for the bus ride back from Lipa for zone meeting. So I decided my experience on bus rides can be applied to the experience of Harry Potter in I think the fifth book where he gets on that london style double decker bus. Because the drivers are maniacs they are literally all over the road squeezing tight gaps and also because everyone around is sleeping and acts like its just normal ha. My companion usually just sleeps on the bus as a usually filipino but cause i cant sleep normally I study Tagalog or something. So having a stack of dear elders was awesome to have.

 

So based upon the email you sent me I figured you either havent received or havent yet seen and read the email from Elder Ardern he said he was going to send you. So Elder Ardern is from New Zealand and is a member of the quorum of the Seventy. Out of the 50 or 60 missionaries at zone meeting he picked me and my companion out of the congregation to have a personal interview with, Its crazy to think that he saw something different in me. One thing he told me was that he sees a little bit of himself in me. It was a really spiritual experience to not only receive counsel from him personally but also as a group of missionaries. He taught us many different ways we can be better representatives of Jesus Christ and also be more worthy of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. I admire him very much as a leader and am impressed by the way he could control the spirit. Number one experience so far in the mission and I am very glad for it. Really ever since Thursday I have been trying to do my best to feel the spirit like I did in that meeting with him. It would be really nice if you could maybe look up some of the background on Elder Ardern and send to me.

 

So this is most likely the last full week I will spend with Elder Viloria as my trainer then there will be a new missionary transferred to Nasugbu that I will have to show around and everything. Through that hardships and trials I feel really blessed to have his as my trainer in one sense hes very hard working and in the other he has a certain way of doing things that was hard to change. I know I am learning to accept certain cultural things here though and sometimes I have to let the American way of doing things go.

 

So for a story about one of the members we are working with Nanay Nesi. Three sets of elders have been teaching nanay Nesi now and none have been able to get any progress out of here at least attend church. When I first got here she had been visited by Jehovah Witness and was really beat down in here testimony. I remember preparing a lesson for her one time about keeping the sabbath day holy and Elder Viloria had told me about how he has never seen her at church. I felt a strong impression that I could make a difference. So that night I BOLDLY committed her to go to church…and guess what she has been to church three times now and even bore here testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday. She has something like 15 grandchildren living with her and probably 10 came yesterday. Next week when she comes to church she will be considered a returned member in the books.

 

I know the Lord has a plan for me here in this city and really in the lives of certain people. I ask for our heavenly fathers help in becoming the missionary that Elder Ardern told me I have the potential to become. I am loving the work more and more all the time. Someone told me that trials drive me to my knees and really this is true I am being humbled and this is a very hard trial but im applying one of the lessons we teach all the time to Less actives Endure to the End and Enjoy the Journey. I love your all

 

Elder Polatis

 

P.S. Keep shredding the slopes for me…at this moment I cant comprehend the fact that there is someone in the world cold and dry 4000 feet above sea level with snow on the ground. How I long to be cold again…Then again Im going to miss refreshing bucket showers 🙂

 

Here is the email and picture that was sent from Elder Ardern of the quorum of the seventy (below). -Alanna

 

Dear Brother and Sister Polatis,

I had the pleasure today of being with you son in a Zone Conference in the San Pablo mission. He is doing very well, adjusting to the climate and food. As with all new missionaries he is finding the language a challenge yet has the determination to master it and will do so in a few short months. His Filipino companion told me he admired the progress Elder Polatis is making.

Thank you for sharing him with the people of the Philippines. He is an impressive young man and I thank you for all you have done in preparing him for this moment. He is making a difference for good in the lives of the people of his mission.

You have every reason to be pleased with him.

I wish the photo was a little more in focus but I thought a poor photo was better than no photo at all.

Sincerely,

Elder Ian S. Ardern
Philippines Area Presidency

 

Elder Polatis and Elder Arden

Elder Polatis and Elder Arden

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving Letter Sent 11-26-2012

Happy Thanksgiving,

 

I was thinking about thanksgiving these week and I couldnt even remember if it was the 24 or 25. Its funny cause everyone here knows that we celebrate it in america and have asked questions about it. They think it odd that we eat turkey cause for some reason turkey meat is illegal to sell here. Even though our neighbors have a bunch of turkeys that walk all over the road I dont know what they do with them. Anyway though I still celebrated thanksgiving here. I bought a can of pringles and a snickers bar (Both of which are pretty expensive here) it was delicious. It sounds like everyone enjoyed it there and are getting excited for christmas now. The richer parts of town here have been celebrating christmas for months now they still put up lights and fake trees and everything. From what I have heard about the celebration is they actually dont give out gifts or anything. On Christmas Eve they just eat a lot of food and christmas day they eat all the left overs ha. So I am preparing for a lot of dinner invitations ha. I am also mentally and physically preparing myself for Balot (the have formed duck embryo) I think I will try it this week cause they are having a fiesta similar to the what the fair is like for us this weekend.

 

As for the work we went on splits this week because we had two priesthood holders working on the same day. So by the end of the week we had 34 lessons. I dont really know if thats super good or not because this is only my first area and I havent ever seen the numbers of any other missionaries but when I talked to the zone leaders today on the phone they acted as if it was good. So I am proud that we are doing well with that. I am also glad that its not my turn to cook this week haha. We both hate it when its are turn to cook all we really know how to do is steam vegatables and fry meat haha super simple tastes good but probably not very healthy.

 

This upcoming week Elder Ardern from the first quorum of the seventy is coming to the mission so on Thursday I will meet him. We are also presenting the plan for how the Nasugbu area is going to be split up to add another set of missionaries. Im really excited and hope that it happens before I get transferred. The only thing is I think they are going to jam four of us in the apartment we have for now and switch housing later after were settled. That would be really hard to be living so close. We had a baptism scheduled next week for the 8th of December but she canceled on us now so are next planned one is on the 15th his names Angelo 17 years old. Its been really good because the first time he came to church I was hoping he wouldnt think its boring or want to leave. Instead he was actually warmly accepted by the youth and has been playing basketball with them at the church. Honestly the biggest enticement about the church here is that we have a way nice basketball court outside ha Saturday nights are packed. Its funny cause the guys here will make little basketball courts here on dirt and then nail a board to a baluktot (crooked) tree and play for hours.

 

So right now as a mission we have been reading through the Book of Mormon everyone is supposed to be reading 2 chapters a day. RIght now I just started Helaman. I think I will finish by January. Anyway when I first got here President gave us each a brand new clean Book of Mormon and as we read we are to highlight anything that has to do with repentance and than the next time we start reading there will be a new topic and a new Book so by the end of my mission I will have a library. I have really enjoyed reading and I have developed a strong testimony of it. I dont feel like I ever understood it like I do now. Its amazing what you gain when you read with purpose. Im finding out that as I work in anything I do there needs to be a purpose. If I set a goal or an expectation first pray and ask the lord for help its amazing how much more we can accomplish. I know the lords aware of each of us and our desires. I have felt his love for each of the people here in Nasugbu and I know he cares about them.

 

Christmas Soon!! I will let you know about how I will be able to call when I find out.

 

Love

Elder Polatis

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Random pictures 11-19-2012

 

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Nathan is holding a globe in this picture.

Nathan is holding a globe in this picture.

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