Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Daylen's last letter home

My mission has meant the world to me. I can´t even begin to express the gratitude of what I feel. It brings me to the hardest tears I´ve had to cry. I am grateful for all I have met along the way, and they were many. I am so grateful for the Savior, who has walked every step with me. He has upheld me like I never thought possible. I desire to lose my life for His sake.  
 Thank you mom and dad. For all your support. I feel so grateful for our family. I could not have done it without you. And I mean that. Your prayers have sustained me far more than anyone can understand. 
Many have been asking me, what´s the greatest thing I´ve learned on my mission. Frankly I don´t think it´s possible to answer. I don´t feel like I´ve finished or accomplished my mission, rather that I finished a certain stage and that I must keep going. It´s hard to evaluate the work I don´t feel is over. I´m still a work in progress, but everything has changed. Not a single perspective or opinion I currently have has not changed. The very way I think and feel is far different. Any topic, the way I think about church, beans, rice, people, relationships, ect. When I think about life before the mission, it often feels like it was another person who did those things. I may look the same or speak the same to others, but I am not the same. I don´t believe I´ll know until the eternities what the greatest lesson I learned on my mission. I believe it will effect every stage and decision for the rest of my life.   I´m excited and ready for new challenges.
I know this is the Lord´s work. He is our King. He loves us and cares for us. I know that the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Is the Lord´s kingdom- the only way to eternal life. I know the book of Mormon to hold the fullness of the gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!    

“When you choose to follow Christ, 
you choose to be changed.”
President Ezra Taft Benson

Friday, April 10, 2015

Daylens coming home

Daylen is coming home!  He arrives at the SLC airport on Friday April 24th at 10:30 AM (Delta Flight 1105) From there we will be taking him out to lunch at The Golden Coral in West Valley 3399 W 3500 S, about noon . We invite everyone who would like to come to come out and celebrate his return home. He will report at Sacrament Meeting on Mothers Day May 10th 10:30 AM With lunch to follow at noon at the town hall in Oakley. (We really like to Eat)

I will also be turning this blog into a book as a keepsake for Daylen if you would like to leave a comment on this blog I will make sure it is added.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Every Member a Missionary!

On Wednesday we visited our recent convert Patricia. She greeted us with excitement and asked "Where have you two been? We have much work to do here!" She then related some of her wonderful experiences of giving her friends copies of the Book of the Mormon. "Every owner of these near-by stores all have one. These people have to know about this church, so many just don´t know." She stated. "That´s great Patricia!" we told her "Now we have to get all the addresses of these people and start teaching them." "Already done" She said "I have all the addresses. I like to go out in the morning and meet with new people and pass out the pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon. I just tell them I have a present for them that will greatly bless their lives. Then I write the church address and my phone number in front of the book so they can call me for questions." She then showed us something that even the best of missionaries don´t do, she showed a hand-drawn map of the area and all the places she had left a Book of Mormon to follow up with these people. She marked with us for next Wednesday to visit these people with her. All I could do was sit back in the chair, eyes bulging, and mouth open wide, asking myself "Who is the woman? Could she really be the same person Elder Bitencourt and I met a couple months in the street? I can´t even recognize her as the same person, because she isn´t. She´s received the Lord´s image on her countenance. 

Yesterday we were with Patricia, and could not believe she was the same person I use to know. She is full of such life and good humor. She told us how she had been working on her family history, and has done everyone up to her great-great grandparents. She was so excited when we told her she could get to the temple in May.  She asked us to take her to the home of a member who had broken both her arms. We made a visit together. As usual, Patricia was excited to share our message with everyone. As we began walking her home, she introduced us to a few people she knew in the street. 
"Pollard!" She said "Are you using that Book of Mormon?" I shook my head "Then give it to me." She would proceed to walk up to some people and speak with them. She would present the book and bear her testimony. Years ago, Patricia had been a missionary for the baptist church. She helped many enter in to that church. Now, she introduced us to them and is bringing them the full truth she has found.  The people love her and she´s a very well known person in the city.  


Saturday, March 21, 2015

"And He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them."

We´ve learned a powerful lesson this week, that is to take up on the opportunities that come. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with everything going on and we often feel I can´t take up any more obligations or activities. But I believe if I want to live this transfer to the fullest, I must give my all to all the Lord sets before me. 
An amazing woman in our ward,Cliniriam Barroso, is known for being a member-missionary. Last June during the world cup she coordinated a training for all the transportation in this city where the world cup was at. Many of the people coming to watch the world cup don´t speak Portuguese, but usually speak some English. So, some trainings were given to hundreds of the taxi and bus drivers.  Sister Barroso does not speak English herself, so she invited the american missionaries to teach the classes. Many were baptized as a result. We often get, honks, waves and sometimes even free rides from the buses and taxis here.
Sister Barroso started working at an elementary school this month. She called this week and asked that we would come and teach the students English. The school board approved for us to come for one day and be a guest speaker to the classrooms,  
I went with one of the near-by zone leaders Elder Bailey. We got there early and met with Sister Barroso, she stated "You can´t teach the gospel to the kids, but the teachers are free game!" She introduced us to everyone she knew. As we gave lessons we also spoke to people about our message, she would invite her co-workers to her home for family-home evening. Many have accepted her invites. 
In the teacher lounge, we asked one teacher what she like about being a teacher. We shared with her a special part in the Book of Mormon where Christ takes the children in the Americas and blesses them one by one. She was very excited to receive a copy of this book. 
We taught about 8 classes of English from the youngest group of age 3 to about 12. After meeting the school owner, we were also asked to teach one of the college classes for adults in the afternoon. 
The classes we gave were simple. We presented ourselves in English and Portuguese. Then usually took questions for about 15 minutes about the culture or about us. We usually saw the questions as an opportunity to bear a small testimony of why we are here.
Then, we liked to present our families. I would draw a picture of dad on the board and we would review the words such as Father, Dad, Daddy, and Daddio. Then I would draw you, and include words such as Mommy, Mom, Mother, and I´d teach them your names. Then I drew Joslyn, and they already knew the word "sister." As I began to draw the next stick-figure- the kids assumed I would draw a boy to review the word "brother" But it was another sister. As I began drawing the head they would yell out "A brother this time!" Nope! another sister, then another, and another. Everyone had a good laugh at 5 sisters. 
Then we all stood and we taught Head Shoulders Knees and Toes to finish, (even the adult class). 
Last Sunday we went to Cajazeiras. It was so good to see everyone! I have a great love for that ward. Those who I taught were all still there going to church. Daniel and Josey are preparing to go to the temple. Pedro Lopes and Elonise showed me that they had their documents ready to go to get married. Those members are such a blessing in my life. 
Things are busy and I love it. Have a nice great week! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-12-15 Short n Sweet

On Tuesday we had our transfer meeting. It´s a largest meeting with 2/3 of the mission at it. It was a ton of fun. In one of our training's we presented the mission´s standard of Excellence called the model of Christ. The Standard of Excellence is a sheet that has a list of requirements in order to receive it. Requirements such as waking up every morning at 6:30, exercises, studies, and other rules. Missionaries who fulfill it each transfer are recognized in the zone conferences. 
I spoke how it´s not just a checklist of things to do, but rather opportunities of someone to become.

 Because our Savior has a list for us, His commandments. It isn´t enough to just do them, but want to do them and become them. 

It´s been a really great week, and I´m loving all my responsibilities, even though it can be stressful at times. I love these missionaries greatly. 
I love you all! 

3-5-15 Training and a Missionaries Testimony

Things are going really well. Tomorrow we are headed to Barreiras, back to one of my areas! I´m very excited. We are going to be flying out in the morning with President and his wife. In the evening I hope to visit some of our recent converts. Saturday morning we´ll give our training to all the missionaries. Saturday afternoon were giving a training to all church leadership of the 3 branches on how to better our capacity to teach the gospel. We´ll attend church with 2 of the branches on Sunday and then we´ll head back. 
We´ve been running around a lot. Unexpected challenges have appeared this past week, and my companion and I have been traveling around the mission to resolve them. It´s been a great experience. I feel that much is being required of us, and so much is also being given. We are full of energy despite all the bus rides. A feeling of peace and love has filled us as we go to resolve contentions. We have prayed for angels and they have sustained us. My heart as been brought ever so closer to the savior. 
I´m starting to see all the rules and tasks we have, are much like the Law of Moses, their purpose is to point us to Christ. 
The training's have been going far better than I could have imagined. Many have gained testimonies of Family History work and have become more converted missionaries. They´ve shared some really neat experiences during our trainings, I´ve asked them to email their experiences so that we could have them on record. I´d like to share on of the stories with you from a friend of mine (who gave permission) named Elder Williams. 

"So before my mission I was promised that I would feel the presence and help of my two grandmas that had died before i was born or when i was really really young and couldn't get to know them. It was a promise that was a little foreign to me because I really didn't have any idea how they would or could help me because they had already died and weren't here anymore, but then I had one of the hardest nights on my mission. It was a Saturday and after a few afternoon visits I wasn't feeling very good but I saw that we only had one more visit close to home and then I could lay down and rest. It was a visit that I had really been wanting to do for a while with a less-active sister that was always really busy and hard to meet with. It was a really good lesson but right in the middle I just felt like I was gonna throw up right on her floor so I ran to the bathroom and didn't end up throwing up but just felt really sick. After the lesson I was a little frustrated because I had disrupted the lesson and I had really been wanting to get her back to church, but we made it home and I laid down immediately to see if the sickness would just pass. It didn't pass, only got worse and after about an hour of laying with a lot of stomach pains I ran into the bathroom and threw up like 8 or 9 times and just felt super weak and sick. I made it back to the bed and was just laying there feeling really miserable! I started crying and just knew that I needed to say a prayer but I didn't feel like kneeling down was really an option because of how I was feeling, so I just stayed there on my bed and closed my eyes and started to pray out loud. Through my tears I just begged, pleaded with the Lord to help me have the strength and energy to be able to be at church the next day. I didn't want to go because all I wanted to do was rest and feel better, but I knew that we had to be at church. Like we are in a branch and there aren't a ton of people that go, and if the missionaries weren't there who would be? We just had to be there but on my own I wouldn't be able to make it so I just begged for his help. When i woke up the next morning, I wasn't 100% better but my prayer had been answered and we made it church. So, Elder Pollard, when you asked for experiences that we have had when we received help from the "other side" my mind went directly to this experience. I remembered joking with my mom that I needed her to be there to help me and comfort me because companions aren't as sympathetic and as I thought this during the training, I just knew that there was someone there helping me that night. Actually, there were two someone's to be exact. Like I felt the strongest impression to the point of knowing, without doubts, that my grandmas, Marilyn Richards Covey and Leonora Cannon, were there with me. That God, my Heavenly Father sent two of his angels to my bedside to help me through that night so that i could be at church the next day. The promise made to me before my mission was kept, and my grandmas were sent to help me when I needed it most and are here with me still. As I wrote this experience down in my journal I could literally feel their presence again with me! It is something that really means a lot to me, and brings a lot of hope knowing that I am never alone! 
So yeah, just thank you, for being inspired to have that training so that i could feel that and know that they are here with me!"
Elder Williams

Monday, February 23, 2015

We all have heroes!

When we choose heroes, we begin to copy, consciously or unconsciously, what we admire most in them." 
-President Henry B. Erying. 

I feel very very blessed on the mission. Among many blessings I am grateful for those the Lord has put before me to be models of Priesthood men. My whole life I´ve been blessed by the example of my dad and other church leaders. 
Here in Brazil I have been blessed to work with many leaders that have become my heroes. As stated in Preach my Gospel  "The relationships you establish with Church leaders will bless you for the rest of your life." (pg 213)
One great leader has been the 1st councilor to the Stake President, Nigel Costa. He has left an impression on me, that he never came home from his mission. I´m convinced He still thinks, studies, prays, and feels as a full-time missionary does. He´s helped us a lot. 
Another hero, has been our elder´s quorum president. President Mota. He took us to the home of a less-active man who was in his mid 50´s. He had fallen in-active for a couple of years due to an event that happened that had discouraged him from activity. This man felt his integrity had been destroyed. President Mota explained to him "We have a great challenge in the quorum. The problem is that I´m new here, and a lot of the elders are, and we don´t know everyone that should be there and who´s not there. We need someone that knows the quorum and it´s members, that is experienced and respected to take role weekly and call those who did not show up. 
I´ve prayed to know who should have this calling, and the Lord has called you. Do you accept your call? To be there every Sunday and help us with this?"
The man gladly rose up to and accepted his call. He became full of confidence as we read in the scriptures the importance of his call in Moroni 6:4. 
This week we went to the EFY (Especially for Youth) camp out for the day. It was a large campground with fields for games, swimming pools, dorms, etc. We soon met the owner of the grounds Maurcio. He wasn´t a member of the church, he and his wife were active Baptists. this was his 4th time renting out the grounds to "the Mormons" He liked the group of kids that came each year, but had his own ideas and religion. Missionaries had come to his home and visited his wife once years ago, but he asked that they never return.  However this year, he received a visit from a 70, Elder Ribeiro, who asked to speak with him in his office. 
Elder Ribeiro taught him the Restoration of true church of Jesus Christ. Later, President Lisonbee, my companion, and I were asked to speak with him. After his conversation with Elder Riberio, Maurcio was rather emotional and said he was very interested to come to know the True Church Of Jesus Christ. We challenged him to be baptized, he accepted. He asked his wife for forgiveness, for sending the missionaries away. He gave us his address and we´ve sent the missionaries over. 
Maurcio wasn´t the only one over-whelmed by the spirit at EFY. A young investigator from other missionaries, had gone to EFY. At the end of the 5 days, he asked if he could be baptized. Elder Ribeiro authorized him to be baptized there at the camp out on that same day. 
Got to go, we are headed out right now to get a bus to head to Petrolina. It 8 hours north from here, and actually is part of another state. We´ll be giving training's to the missionaries we have out there, I´m excited. 
Love you!