Archive for July, 2013

Weekly Letter 7.29.2013: Pasulong! Paatras! Huminto na!

Well family,

 

Its good to hear about your splendid vacation. It sounds like sometimes we work to hard to play even harder. This week we faced mother nature and Im not sure if shes on gods side or not in this work. In short words we hid underneath our umbrellas this week. At the same time we found a way to get from place to place and we had some really good experiences.

 

The one sad thing is our investigator got had applied for some marriage papers so he could be married and baptized this weekend and it came back declined because supposedly his wife is already previously married to someone else. Its crazy how people dont know if they are married our not. Anyway her claim is someone has stolen her identity actually never really got married but someone else used her name in a marriage ceremony I dont know what to do or say considering the rough background of our investigator who has loaned his name to his cousin so he could have a clean record and work abroad lol. He tried to tell us its just the Filipino way of life and I try to explain its not right because its against the law of the land. In the end he will be baptized im working with President Peterson on it. But more than likely I will be transferred before that happens. So someone else will harvest my fruits.

 

So in short the week went well and my companion only had one sick day. I also went on exchanges with an Elder from California. It was the first time that I have worked with a white person on my mission besides the MTC. But anyways its all good and im working hard to be a finisher and leave this area in good condition for whoever replaces me. Transfer day is on the 15th of August so my days are numbered in Calauag, Quezon. This area has been really good and Im gunna miss the people here especially our recent converts Tatay Jack and Brother Jessie but they are really good members and will do a lot of good.

 

Anyway in my study journal I wrote a little paper you could say its not the final draft but I will share it with you. Because in life it seems like everyones world revolves around finding ways to improve their livliehood and be happy so here you go I hope you all have a good week I love you all

 

Elder Polatis

 

-Happiness-

 

Happiness comes when there is a lack of sadness. Lehi taught his son Jacob “If there be no righteousness, there be no happiness.” (2 Nephi 2:13)

 

It seems as though in our time and day people are confused of the true meaning of happiness or at least the means of which to obtain it. To truly know happiness it is first needed to understand there is temporary happiness and lasting happiness. In which there is a big difference.

 

Temporary happiness is the easier of which to gain. More importantly there are two sources that it comes from. One from our Heavenly Father and the other from Satan. As we dwell in this worldly state our father desires us to be happy and blesses us with worldly things based on principles of righteousness. In the Book of Mormon we read about people who become highly favored of the lord and begin to prosper exceedingly in physical state of speaking. This is the most vulnerable time for Satan to take hold of the hearts of the children of men.

 

Satan “seeketh that all men be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27) He tempts us by means of temporary happiness. Although the beginning result is happiness the end result is sadness because we have fell into his trap and distanced ourselves from our Heavenly Father by means of sin. King Benjamin told the citizens of Zarahemla to “Look on the state of happiness of those who keep the commandments.” This is because the state of their happiness is true and eternal.

 

As of now we cannot understand what eternal really mean. Our father who is in heaven does understand and this is why he has made the promise many times that we shall have eternal life. His desires for us truly reflect the love he has for each of us. It is only through daily experiences that we can come to a better understanding of how to be happy now and for life’s to come. As we go about that daily schedule many will find that happiness will only come as a Bi-product of our righteous actions.

 

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Weekly Letter 7.21.2013: Banal na Baka

Hello everyone,

 

Sounds like the usual Polatis vacation…Dad and the whole family being busier than ever and pushing do get everything finished and some kind of crisis flood or something in the house along with a midnight drive yup thats normal haha crazy family. Thanks for writing and I got almost all of your Dear Elder letters you have wrote the past month or so.

 

My week here has been great its still tough but we had a good time. This week I stopped and talked to this one guy on the street and he seemed just like a normal nice guy. I asked for a return appointment and so he said yeah just go to the corner of this street and asked the security guard thats always standing over there. Ended up the security guard is his personal guard and he lives in this mansion home thats like a pent house. He took us up to the very top and we could pretty much see the whole area. It was super weird teaching him beacause he had couches and a plasma screen tv and for the first time in a few months I was able to invite my investigator to have a kneeling prayer because it wasnt a dirt or cement floor. Anyway hes super nice and hope we get to continue to teach him.

 

Yesterday in sacrament Jessie and Tatay Jack spoke in sacrament we went to there houses on Saturday to make sure they were ok about it and had some material. The funny thing is they both almost went 15 minutes when we told them maybe only seven or 8 and the last speaker ended up having about 5 minutes haha. They are both doing really good though and we should be having a lot more RC’s coming up.

 

This week I went on exchanges with a Tongan that grew up in California. It was good to get to know him and find out what kind of sacrifices hes making to serve a mission. Because he has 12 siblings and his dad has disabilities on top of that his brother is in jail and it just sounds like he has a rough background but here he is serving in the Philippines. I have seen people sacrifice so much while on my mission and it really goes to show how much they love the work. It really is the best work here getting to meet all sorts of different people and even though they dont all accept us they are very religious and its also have all sorts of dreams just like Brittany was talking about. Even though at times I think oh boy they are crazy at least they have the belief that Heavenly Father will help them and they just need to learn how to use that faith in righteous ways.

 

I love you all,

Elder Polatis

 

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Weekly Letter 7.15.2013: Ibang mundo

Dear Family,

 

This week went similiar to the past, my companion got an eye infection and we lost two days of work. Despite that we still managed to find some new investigators. One of the most exciting things on the mission is trying to keep a “dynamic” teaching pool and continue to add people in. One of our new investigators is super good at speaking English, he is a graduate student and owns a cloth store and if we wanted to could teach the whole thing in English. Its funny though because I feel more comfortable teaching in Tagalog rather than English. I have never actually taught the Restoration in my native language. We found another investigator that they call a Baranguay Chairman and he just tries to think Philosophical and twist the whole Joseph Smith story but in the end he was pretty interested in our message.

 

Its funny what Brittany wrote about last week with crazy old people and being super religious because thats also a lot of what we have experienced. There’s an old lady that lives down the street from us that has to be close to 90 but she’s always out hobbling on the road with her can and she holds a big butcher knife behind her back in a murderous fashion. I thought it was a pretty interesting and funny situation so I stopped and talked to her. It seems as though she’s mad. She always asks what time it is as she inches closer to us and I make sure to keep one eye on the knife as I glance at my watch.

 

 

So I know I have mentioned a number of times about the father who is getting baptized as soon as he is married. Well its official this time he is getting married on August third. I’m kinda disappointed in the Stake President because the papers are waiting, all he has to do is say the words “husband and wife” then sign a paper and we can put our investigator in the water but he says he doesn’t have any time until next month. So anyway that’s our next event coming up.

 

So I’m not really making a count on it but this week I will start the second year of the mission. There’s still a lot I need to do in the Philippines before next July and its crazy to think that I’m the one called to do it all. I prepared a talk this week to give in sacrament meeting if we ever get called on the last minute about callings. What I really learned is the little things need to get done. No matter what our calling is the lord and other people depend on us. The Church of Jesus Christ is so organized and we all need to do our part.

 

Elder Polatis

 

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Weekly Letter 7.9.2013: Bukas ng a las siete

Dear Family,

 

The week flew by and was gone before I felt like we could get anything done. In the end though we still have 3 progressing investigators. I dont think my investigators have had so many concerns in one week at a time before. The one thats a Philippines National Police and has spent a lot of time reading the bible in the past went on a mental breakdown or something and told us his whole life was a lie growing up as a catholic and he says forget the Bible and the Book of Mormon theres no life after this or in other words Eat, Drink, and be Merry. On the other hand we lost one of our investigators after teaching tithing. He actually got mad at us and raised his voice when I told him that god only gave this commandment because he knows that hes able to do it. So that investigator also hit a wall.

 

So today is the very first day of another transfer. We didnt get transferred but the one Elder that I told you was from Pocatello did and also our district leader so now im the new district leader in our area. We actually have a pretty unique district because despite more than half of the mission being Filipino we only have one in our district. We are actually composed of 1 Samoan 1 Tongan 2 Idahoans 1 Californian and a Filipino. So exchanges are going to be pretty fun.

 

To be honest Im pretty well lost in the work right now. The mission has really been the best learning experience. As I come to the end of the 1st half of my mission a quote that is written on our fridge right now stands out to me. “Feelings of success dont come until the work is done.” Well the works not really done but half of it is. To be honest the investigator that got mad at us about tithing has really been in my head lately. He just doesnt understand the doctrine of the gospel that every blessing is received by an act of faith. Im glad I started early in my life paying tithing and now its just a habit or instilled within me. The same thing with all commandments we just need to learn how to reconcile our lifes to Heavenly Father

 

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Weekly letter 7.1.2013: sawa na ako dito

Dear Family,

The week went by super super slow because I ended up spending most of it sitting at my desk in the apartment reading Ang Aklit ni Mormon. My companion got sick every other day this week and I just studied and read and paced the apartment and talked to the kids outside and gave them the rest of the american candy I had and I chased another rat around our apartment and then I cleaned a little here and there and then the power went out for a whole day and I had no electric fan and then I started sweating and then I went to sleep and thats about how half of the week went hahaha. I just about went crazy.

For the days we did work I want to tell you about our newest investigator. Last saturday we were walking away from an appointment when an older brother walked up to us and asked us what time church was the next day so we gave him all the details and said we would come back and visit him and didnt think much of it cause a lot of people ask us when church is just as kind of like a conversation starter because they want to talk to an american and call him joe. Which was why we were surprised to see him at church the next day almost a whole hour early so of course we visited him right away and before we were even able to tell him about Joseph Smith he asked us when he could be baptized. So he has a pretty rough background of selling drugs and needs to really make a big change in his life. But he really wants to do it because he sees how its affecting his kids. He also came to church again yesterday and also the baptism on Saturday which is a big deal because he has to walk almost an hour to get to the church.

So I mentioned the baptism so Tatay Jack is finally baptized. He came out of the water with a huge smile on his face. We really worked hard with him this week in reading the Book Of Mormon we were at his house everyday at 6:30 in the morning to read with him. He has been a great investigator and is going to be key in converting our other investigators. He is a very well known man in the town actually because he is the President of the Fisher Folks in the city of Calauag and considering being a fisherman is the biggest job in the Philippines he knows lots of people including one of our other investigators that is a Philippine National Policeman. Right now our mission is trying to focus on finding future leaders of the church. So that it can be more organized and effective just like the satelite broadcast that Brittany mentioned we watched. Those wards are so active and set up and in our ward we cant even get our Ward Mission Leader to answer his phone.

But after all that I realize my expectations are high for them because I grew up in Mormonville, USA not really just kidding. But where the church is so established and close to church headquarters. Its crazy to see how effective and guided the church is in integrating all of the new changes they have been making and even the scout jamboree that you told me about goes to show our leaders our guided. Even down to our mission president he has also been making a lot of changes in our mission and it has all let to the success and progress of the church in San Pablo, Philippines. I know the church is true and is guided by Heavenly Father through people he calls especially Thomas S. Monson. Its awesome to see a light come into peoples countenances as they learn about that organization and how the Church of Jesus Christ runs in the Latter-days. Thank you all.

Love you,
Elder Polatis
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