Archive for May, 2013

Weekly email 5-27-2013: Ay Grabe Talaga

So as you can see in the pictures I sent my new companion fresh out of the MTC is a Samoan. So now I have another culture to learn. But really thats all ok hes very laid back and chill. The only problem we have is talking. He doesnt yet know Tagalog so I speak to him in English but he doesnt know a whole lot of english so in the end we try a lot of sign language. The next few weeks are really going to stretch me to see how I have prepared myself so far in my mission. But at the same time it hasnt been to bad.

 

My old companion got assigned in Alaminos San Pablo with his first Philipino companion so he got a new change also. Of course I am still In Calauag and will probably end up spending 6 months also in this area. Which is hard because the ward is really small and its hard to get a lot of support from them. Right now we hope to have some of our investigators baptized in June so hopefully everything continues to work out.

 

 

Its funny because everyone thinks my companion is a philipino and knows Tagalog and they think because im american I dont know Tagalog so they try talking to him and then I end up replying to them and they get a confused look on there face. Heavenly Father truly puts us in situations to use the talents he gave us. Thank you family especially for all the Birthday gifts and things I got it all on transfer day.

 

Love,

Elder Polatis

 

This skirt looking thing I am wearing is called a Lava Lava and is part of the Samoan culture. Of course its not very manly to smile while wearing something that looks like a dress so I put on a man face for this picture. Also observe our pure tile apartment with a hammock hanging from the pictures the only thing that would make this the perfect missionary pad would be some air conditioning.

 

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Thanks for the balloons I gave a lot of them away to kids directly outside of our apartment which was a mistake because they are always coming back for more but thats ok the kids are funny here.

 

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Weekly Letter 5-20-2013:Ako’y isang Mapangitain na tao

Well what the missionary life this week went just fine it doesnt even feel like a week ago that I talked to you. Well hope all of you had fun at church. Me and Elder Valdez ended up speaking yesterday even though we were only informed about 5 minutes in advance as we were singing the opening hymn but thats ok I have just been waiting for one of those times. I actually ended up rambling on for about 15 minutes. After that we ended up getting also teaching the lesson in gospel principles class also because the teacher decided to leave. But once again no problem. Were really trying as hard as we can to get the ward active in all that they do. And not have the mind set “No problem the Elders can do it” But we really do have some good leaders here.

 

This week while tracting I found a family that was from my last area in Nasugbu even though I never met them while I was there we new a lot of the same families. And that was our key to get in and start teaching them they have a lot of respect for the church because of the things that they have exeperienced from the members and things and they have also been observant of the missionaries. So we taught them a great lesson and they are already progressing and reading the book of mormon. We have one Investigator that has been to church 3 times now and has a goal date for the 8th of June hes the when that sells the duck eggs.

 

This coming week theres even more change coming and I have a feeling my new trainee will be an american or at least a foreigner but we will see whats in store on Thursday this week. I got a letter from grandma this week and in it was a few papers that Eric Gray has wrote. In it there was a quote from one of the prophets saying “Dont just endure your life…enjoy it!” Its really so true because in the life of a missionary you can always say oh next week will be better when people finally have time or when president finally puts me in an apartment that has air conditioning. But the truth is hoping for tomorrow is only worth our time if were working for today.

 

Warmest regards,

Elder Polatis

 

 

Lechong Baboy…Sarap

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Weekly Letter 5-13-2013:

Well it was good to talk to all of you on skype and here how you are all doing. The one person who I never talked to was Jared so he will have to write me and give an update. So the biggest news that I didnt tell you on Skype was that we havent had water at our apartment for a week now. So the dishes are stacked up and we have been showering at the member homes lately and sometimes we even go to the zone leaders in the neighboring city to take a shower. Another piece of news that happened here yesterday was there was a big crash here yesterday which is unavoidable the way people drive here. A Family of nine was all piled onto one tricycle and they got hit by a bus and everyone died. The Tricycle is still sitting on the side of the road and its all torn apart. I was talking about the election also earlier so by the way I ended up meeting one of the candidates that is running for Mayor of calauag the other day, he tried speaking english to me and was shocked when I replied in Tagalog. Anyway I really like this small town area. I got an email from President Peterson telling me that next transfer I will be a trainer again. So I dont know if that means I will stay in the area or not. But there are changes coming on the way.

 

One of the most ineresting things that happened to us this week was when we found a less active family through an ineresting way. There youngest child who is a girl and ten years old remembered going to church when she was younger and before she could be baptized. So the other day she asked her parents if they could go to church. The parents didnt go to church but she with one of her friends they walked by themselves only ten years old. So of course we ended up talking to her asking where are your parents and then we ended up visiting them. Of course they had a handful of reasons why they havent been going to church but thats our role as missionaries. Resolve concerns through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The best thing is we werent the most effective teachers in the lesson. The ten year old girl taught them by example. I know as we follow the example of people who our doing righteous things that we will feel heavenly fathers love.

 

Elder Polatis

 

This is the investigator that we finally got to come to church yesterday. He is the president of the Fisher Folks Organization here in Calauag so his favorite saying is “Come unto me, and I will make you fishers of men. So we made him this banner and gave it to him as a gift!

 

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Weekly email 5-6-2013

Happy Sunday,

Well I got your package last week actually at zone conference and now our apartment is filled with balloons and I know how to make just about every balloon animal there is. By the way mom I still have the same companion dont worry and he was very excited to get presents also. I took pictures but I forgot my camera at the apartment today. The area is doing great we have gotten really good at our tracting were overwhelmed with new investigators and trying to discern who are the ones we need to visit and has potential to progress. Funny story actually one of our newest investigators who is super awesome and very strong faithed he is asking us if he can say the opening prayer before we even are ready to start but thats not the funny part. The other day we went to his house and when I walked inside I was shocked to see the first american (thats not a fellow missionary) that I have seen for a few months now. Hes 21 years old and from Chicago. He started talking to our investigators daughter on facebook or something and then decided to pay her a visit I guess…anyway what a coincidence running into all sorts of people. Another one of our investigators was telling us about how heavenly father answers his prayers by speaking to him face to face in his dreams. The problem we have in the Philippines is everyone is super religious but not very spiritual if that makes sense.

As for a more uplifting story. I will tell you about Jessie the most recent baptism we had. The other night we were walking with him on the street and he pointed to a little alley way off to the side and told us thats where he used to sleep maybe only a few months ago. Something happened with his family that lives in Lucena another city so he left came here he didnt know anybody or have any place to stay. He eventually got a job and got a place to stay with the neighbor of one of the members here. We had a Family Home Evening with that member family and he ended up joining in and listening after that we started teaching him. He got a better job got baptized and the his new boss is letting him stay in one of his houses that is 2 stories and very big for 1 person. So long story short he went from sleeping in an alley way to turning his life around and getting a good foundation for his life. Hes a really great guy and he even bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting the other day. Hes very enthusiastic about living the gospel.

Other than that I also had an interview with my mission president this week in which I learned my companion is more than likely to become a trainer this next transfer on the 24th. So I can expect a new companion. The same thing is happening in my mission as in Brittany’s there are tons of incoming sisters and from there names they are american. Right now in our zone there are not any sisters actually but maybe this next transfer there will be.

Well sounds like time is going by back in small town Blackfoot. Same thing here. Its been really good here and im excited for rainy season so it will be a little bit cooler. Im glad to be serving here though. One thing our investigators have really taught us is the importance of prayer. One thing I used to tell our investigators is praying is easy you just have to follow these steps. But I realized prayer really isnt that easy its not about following steps its about learning how to talk to heavenly father. One of the less actives we have been teaching is super poor right now the father lost his job and they literally eat rice with boiled leaves the father is super depressed and its a sad situation because the father doesnt have the faith he needs. I recognized this from his prayer the other day. With all of the problems that he is facing right now and keeps saying. He didnt ask for help at all in his prayer he just says the basic things. Really if we want something bad enough dont be afraid to ask for it in prayer really we should ask heavenly father for everthing and not have the mindset I will find a way by myself. Because there isnt another way.

Love,

Elder Polatis

 

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