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
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.
Elder Ian S. Ardern
Philippines Area Presidency