Thursday, December 12, 2013

Just a quick note.

A semana foi bom. (The week was good) We had a baptism yesterday, 16 year old Joelene  I am grateful for the amazing young women here in our ward. Who befriended her and invited her to activities and church. They helped her make high standards and gain a testimony of the truth. 
Last week she went to the Christmas concert with us, my companion and I asked if we could visit her. We set a lesson with her and her parents for last Friday. 
The young women in the ward wanted to go with us, to help, encourage, and be there for her. We ended up bringing 4 of the young women to the lesson, and they bore testimony and kindness. (My companion and I didn't even teach a lot, it was cool) 
Elder Briggs began to give her a baptismal invite something like ´when you feel these things are true, will you be baptized,´ But she interrupted with a powerful conviction of  "I do feel"
She was baptized 2 days later, the young women sang at it. Her mom came and felt the spirit strongly. I asked her mom, if she would come next week to church with her daughter, she replied that she would love to, and come to church here for a while. So we hope to teach her parents as well. 

December in Brazil

Wow! Man, those pictures of seeing you at temple square made me trunkie. Opa! My little sisters are getting old, it makes me want to be there so bad. You look like you haven´t aged mom ;) My companion and I laughed at dad´s winter beard, looks good. It´s like I can just see dad cracking a joke before the picture, and you looking at him because it was probably inappropriate (but you´re actually laughing on the inside) I miss you guys. Things are going great. I love these people, they are the most childlike people I've met. The members in our ward recently returned from a temple trip. They save up for months, to pay to ride a bus together for about 14 hours to the nearest temple. Once there, they stay for a week, all day in the temple, and then return home. They strive to do it twice a year. Most of the members are rather poor, but they are some of the happiest people I've met, and I've loved working with them.  They have great perseverance and faith. Yesterday, my companion and I rode a bus with our members for a couple hours through the jungle to another city. Where we saw a Christmas concert done by President Hart´s (my mission President) family, his son sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and His young daughters are fantastic violinist. Even in the heat, we could feel the Christmas spirit, it made me think of singing in Tapestry too and of home. 
As the Lord has blessed me a lot with the language, I think often, that I want to live here. I want to return and live. I love the food, the culture, the people, and the experiences. But I don´t think I could, I want to be close to my family, I love you all so much, that I couldn't. (but when I become a multi-millionaire I´ll buy a home here and we can take vacations here and other places as a big family and stuff so it´s all good) 

I am loving the work. I am happy, and having lots of fun. I have learned that losing yourself is more than just being obedient to all the rules and working as hard as you can, it´s to be happy as well. Part of losing yourself is losing stress and worries, and developing stronger faith and hope, manifested in optimism, enthusiasm, and confidence. To lose yourself you must BE yourself. The language comes easier and quicker when I am having fun and making jokes and being me, the lessons often more powerful, because I try to teach who I am, not what I know. 

Eu Sei, com todo meu coração, que José Smith foi um profeta, e ele ja viu o Pai Celestial e O Fiho Jesus Cristo. Esse é a igreja de Jesus Cristo, Ele guia esse igreja com autoridade. Eu sei nos temos doze apóstolos e um profeta ojé, como antigamente. Neste últimos dias, Deus restarur todo.  Eu testifico de anjos, e bem importância para fazer trabalho de historia da família. Eu sei disso.   
Eu amo minha família, digo este coisas, em nome de Jesus Cristo, Ámen.

I know with all my heart that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he already saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ The Son. This is the church of Jesus Christ, He leads this church with authority. I know we have the twelve apostles and prophet today, as formerly in the last days, God restore whole. I testify of angels, good and important work to do family history. I know that.
I love my family, things I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Lord knows you, whoever you are!

OPA, it´s been crazy here! In a good way. I am really grateful for your prayers and thoughts of me, it has helped me greatly. Surely serving a mission, is a family ordeal. I am so grateful for all emails of letters of support and care. I am grateful for the sacrifice of my parents and others in helping me be here. I know that as I have grown, my family and friends have grown as well.
Just before I got here, the missionaries miraculously found Andy Black, who served in Korea with Travis Crittenden, small world. (Travis Crittenden is also from Oakley and the father to a good friend of Daylen. In the year or so before Daylen left he had grown quite close to the Crittendon family, and Travis was a great example)  Andy had gone through some very hard times, and became less active in the church. But because he met me and my companion in such a way, there was no disputing that it was what the Lord wanted. It was a testimony to Andy that the Lord was aware of him no matter where he was.
In meeting Andy, we met his girlfriend (to be wife) Silvana. They are amazing. It has been great to see miracles in their lives, as Andy is now fully active and Silvana was baptized last week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Right place right time




No more than two hours ago I was in the baptismal fount with a 30 year old man named Tassio Leonardo Do Amor Pimenta. We met him yesterday!  We had just started to use a computer in a libary we´ve never been to. He was there working, and approached us. He was actually baptized by some missionaries a few years back, but was never confirmed. Then he moved here, and we were the first missionaries he´s seen. He asked us what the pre-requistes for baptism were. We began to explain all the qualifications. He then asked if it was possible if he could be baptized the next day.
We thought he might be crazy. Turns out, he´s just an really awesome dude. Through the interviews and calling the mission president and leaders, it happened.  His desire was right, he had faith in the lord jesus Christ and he had repented of past transgressions, he had been to church many times. He knew the lessons, he believed it all and wanted to keep the commandments. I couldn´t believe it, we had much prayer, but he was ready. The lord is blessing us. We are going over to house later today to teach him and his wife too.
 
 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Universal Language

Oi! I´m really glad things are going well at home! Love you all so much.
Something I love about my companion is he shares the same desire I have to be exactly obedient. To do the best we can. We understand and recognize that when the Lord wants to give us power, He gives us commandments. (D&C 82:10) We don´t find obedience as an irritant, rather it´s our quest. Understanding that it must be done and motivated by charity. Just as much faith without works is dead, so is service without love is dead.
The language is challenging at times, but for this I am grateful. It has caused me to rely more on the Lord. To trust in Him to take my sincere but imperfect effort and carry it through His spirit, to make it into something just right, indeed something that is perfect because He is. I have greatly enjoyed sharing testimony, and striving to speak the language. I think about what dad wrote to a few weeks ago. That smile, laughter and love are all the same language. Most of the time  all I can do is smile when people are talking, then laugh when they make a joke, because I don´t get it.
I have thought and wondered what Language we all spoke when we were in the presence of God. I have a very strong suspicion it was Portuguese. Elder Uchtdorf once taught that in our pre-mortal life we learned first-hand from the Father of our spirits, a universal language, one that has the power to overcome emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries. This language is the pure love of Christ. It is the most powerful language in the world. We received our first lessons in this language of love as spirits in God´s presence, and here on earth we have opportunities to practice and become fluent.
This is the language I want to learn. When our primary thoughts and behaviors are focused on serving God and others, and when we truly desire to bless and lift those around us. Then the power of this pure love of Christ can work in our hearts and lives.
This is the Truth. This work, is the work of the Lord. I know it. We have the fullness of the gospel, with the doctrine that is perfect. I testify we have a living prophet. Jesus Christ stands at the head of this Church, it is His church. I was sent here by Him, to represent Him among these people. When I promise them specific blessings, it´s the same as Him promising them.  I have felt greater strength and assistance than I ever imagined possible.
Sou grato por todo, ti amo!


(I am grateful for all. Ti amo)

some Photos

The kids here are so cool, haha. They are funny how they all run around with their home made kites.

It´s funny, a lot of people will live in a little shack, but in their backyards they´ll have big trees with exotic fruit. I´ve also been surprised how many have flat screen TV's, I´m always like wait..... you have a nice TV, but no shower and only half a roof? Huh.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Working like a firework's stand on the Fourth of July

(Sent to Joslyn)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Farmer Jo! Miss you and love you so much! 
...
 I really enjoyed your last hand written letter, I shared what Nate wrote with my companion. We already work like April´s firework stand on the 4th (except it´s hotter here!) And we are being obedient the best we can. So decided to follow Nate´s advice, and be ourselves on top of that. It´s been so much fun. We laugh all day. When things go bad, we can just laugh it off and throw our hands up in the air saying Aaaayyyooo got to let go. 
We´ve also had some really sweet spiritual experiences with these people. It´s been so amazing. Love you Jo, and bro Nate.

The place is so amazing, hard to imagine you guys  probably have snow right now.

I don´t know why but all the light switches our sideways.
I really need a picture of a monkey, there were a lot in Salvador, 2 hours south of here, where the mission home is.  My companion says there are a bunch in the trees, but I haven't seen any here. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Luke 24:15 (companions letter)

Monday evening Nanette and I received a phone call from a woman named Joanna Briggs. She had received a letter from her missionary son serving in Brazil who was describing his new companion and the experiences they had in the short week they had been together. Sister Briggs felt impressed to find the parents of this young Elder so that she could share the letter with them too. Guess what??? It was Daylen and we were his parents. So now we are sharing it with you. Enjoy!
The letter has been shortened to just let you know the facts between Elder Briggs and Elder Pollard which by the way are Dylan and Daylen

Elder Pollard, Elder Clark, Elder Briggs :)
 Letter home from Elder Briggs
Hello Family! 

 So today we went to Salvador to register Elder Pollard, my new comp. 
Well this week was a little bit overwhelming with such a  big area... we are trying to find efficient ways to work... a good missionary isn't someone who walks a lot, he´s someone who sits a lot.. because if we´re sitting we´re teaching lessons haha :). Well my companion Elder Pollard is from Oakley Utah, he served in Las Vegas for 5 months waiting for his visa, he is super awesome and a great friend!  His last mission was very different from Brazil so we are apply the things both of us have come to know and have learned so far... :) but he´s awesome, he´s a mix between jared and justin ...(This apparently are two good friends of Elder Briggs back home) just about as funny as you could get. haha. It has been great this week serving with him and having him as my companion! We had some incredible experiences this week. We found some incredible people that we will contact  and start teaching. We tried to follow the spirit with exactness this week to find people, and it worked! Heavenly Father helped and blessed us to find  those who are searching, many people accepted baptism in the first contact. :)

...

Well I hope that this week we can organize everything out in our area :) 
  Love you all so much, Have a great week. Thanks  for all you do! 
            tchau  -Elder Briggs

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alagoingas Brazil


I´m in a place called Alagoingas, a large area with my amazing companion named Elder Briggs. The place is amazing, I had culture shock for the first couple days, constantly laughing and grabbing his arm and pointing at things (look at those trees! look at the people! What kind of fruit is this^{ Look at these houses! Is that a pack of wild dogs! Where´s there question mark button on these keyboards} I can´t find one! How come people are so nice} How did we just teach 23 lessons today{ These people are so prepared! I don´t know what they are saying! We´re in Brasil!! These bugs are huge, these rice and beans are amazing. wow it´s so green and tropical, I have never seen anything like it) 



So my companion is Elder Dylan Briggs, from bountiful, Utah. yeah. At first I thought he was Brazilian, because he speaks the language so well without any real accent. People we talk to think he´s from brazil, but when I speak, they ask where I´m from because I have a big satacty`´ or something, or accent. Elder Briggs is so much fun to serve with, he has an attitude of working to the death. We walk everywhere, don´t think I´ve walked this much in my life. But it has been one of the most amazing experiences too! We have talked to over 300 people that we have shared a testimony or a pass a long card and invitations to baptism, to come to visit the church. The people here are so kind, and so respectful. Living in the most humble conditions I have seen, and It brings me great joy to serve them. To raise them up. To be a representative of the Lord here and administer to them. 
The food is super good! Always a base of beans and rice, but it´s good beans and rice. It doesn´t get old, sometimes the beans on bottom and the rice on top. Or the rice on bottom or the side (if they get fancy). Than there will be different types of suco (or juice) that are super good. And really great meat. The members are great, lunch is huge down here, so they feed us a big lunch. They always say ´come mais, come mais´ until we eat so much we can´t eat any more. I love the food. 
I feel my ability to understand and speak the language each day. The first few days I had no clue what anyone said, haha. But I could feel the spirit, and could recognize when to bear my testimony. Tears have swelled in my eyes many times throughout the day as I bear my testimony of the savior. Of his restored gospel. The words always come, and I feel each time I bear my testimony, the spirit bearing witness to me and those I speak to, that the things I say are true. 
My companion works incredibly hard, I could not have asked for a better trainer or a better friend. It has been wonderful. 
Address.....I don´t know. It would be the mission office address in salvador than it would be forwarded to me. I love you so much mom! I hope you send pictures, these people love pictures of seeing our family. 
The only thing more beautiful than the area, is the people. I love this place. I have felt an abundance of help and strength far beyond my own. It has been a great testimony growing experience so far, I have seen and experience miracles. There is such a light in these people eyes, and each time I look at someone I can see them as a child of God. They are so greatly loved. 
I testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He lives! I know it. He leads this church, He has lead me and I have felt of this great love. He has called a prophet today. I know the book of Mormon to be the writings of ancient prophets, they are the words of Christ. I know that through our Redeemer things can be changed, we can be changed. He didn´t just die so that we could live again. But that we could live more abundantly here. We have access to His great atonement daily. There is a  real healing and strengthening power from it. 

Eu sei que families são eternas. Jesus Cristo vive, ele e nosso salvador e redentor. Temos um profeta ojé, que chama thomas s. monson. Eu sei que O livro de Mórmon e verdadeiro, por que eu orei e O espirito toca me coração. Digo estes coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo, Ámen.  
(I know families are eternal. Jesus Christ lives, he is our savior and redeemer. We have a prophet who is called Thomas S. Monson. I know that the Book of Mormon true, because I prayed the spirit touches my heart. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm in Salvador!!!!

Most beautiful place I've seen. Got here safely. Mission president and his wife are amazing, and i just ate a fantastic lunch in the mission home. Everything is so great. Love you all! e-mail you all next week. p.s there are monkeys, actually monkeys in the streets, we can feed them. This place is so cool.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


All a Buzz in the work

I have a calling card from the MTC still, so I think I'll be able to call. I really don't have much information. Don't think I'll be able to email next week, but I'll make sure I call home than dad's phone if no no one answers. I sent dad a package today for his birthday with a letter.(I hate post offices, I imagine they are only more confusing down there)
This week has been crazy! A couple days ago, I went on exchanges in a different area. We did service for these people that had a major hornet infestation. I was with 3 other missionaries, and when we got out of the car, we could hear what sounded like a generator. On the side of the roof was a solid wall of thousands of bees. I have never seen anything like it. Luckily we knew a member who was a bee keeper, and let us use 3 of his suits. (4 Elders, only 3 suits. Haha Elder Resser had a homemade one, composing of a laundry sack and a bike helmet, winter gloves, ect...hahah) Those bee suits work! (maybe not Elder Resser, but he didn't get stung, none of us did, it was crazy). There we so many, that you could just start clapping and you would kill some. We had a smoker and bee-killer, I think we won...kinda.....
But besides the usual adventures of service. My favorite part was teaching a new investigator named Ilona. A 70 year old German lady, who was raised Catholic and Protestant. She's been to a lot of bible studies her whole life from all sorts of religions. She said many of them, compared themselves to the Mormons. She heard a lot of odd things, and she had a good friend in our ward named Nellie Hair. Ilona noticed with sister Hair's family the "fruits" of the gospel. She said that Nellie and her family still faced trials, but had a very Christ centered life, a strong family relationship, and just always seemed to be of good cheer. Nellie invited her to come to institute for the New Testament class. Ilona went to the class every week for a year, and enjoyed studying the bible there. They finished the class and just began the book of Mormon. It was not long, that Ilona asked to be baptized. (I remember a quote I heard that "it will be the book of Mormon that converts this generation and not the bible)
We had our first lesson with her about the restoration, she asked many questions, but loved every bit of it. Often saying that it made so much sense finally. She committed to be baptized on Nov. 9th. I was touched by her closing prayer. "thank you, for after all these years of searching and searching, I have found the path." She softly cried, and her testimony touched my own, as she looked me in the eyes and told us to "I hope you can go find all the other little old ladies, because I know there are many, go find them."
Last general conference I remember someone saying "you're never too young to learn, never to old to change."
I am grateful to have been able to serve here in Las Vegas, and see people find peace and comfort and miracles in there lives as they learn and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have never felt greater joy, than the things that come from Serving and sharing my witness and testimony.
 
Love you so much mom! I love my family!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Go hard in the paint! Visa arrived!!!!!!

This past week, our zone of missionaries created and signed a "hard in the paint" week contract. For a week we follow every rule associated with the contract, recognizing that not only the individual will be blessed, but the missionary work will skyrocket as well. Some of the things are
 
- Talk to EVERYBODY (Whew, still a tuff one, meet a lot of crazy people. But a lot of really nice people, really made me realize this is the "Hastening")
- Hymns only (Aw man, no more singing 'Les Miz' in the shower?)
- Use Elder/Sister
-No lingering
-Forget yourself (who me?)
-100% obedience
     ......and I will not be scared
 
I didn't know when I signed this contract, it would actually include real paint. Things started happening once we committed to it last Tuesday. Everyday since Tuesday (Besides Sunday) people have called us to do service. Yard work, painting, etc.. The crazy thing is, the people calling us usually were either less-active or not a member, and it's lead into teaching opportunities.
One day we had service for an older lady in the ward, who lives with 3 other single women (not members). They had all moved into a house together after getting a divorce and had a lot of yard work to be done.
The next day we had service (painting) for the guys we (practice) teach after. I realized there was actually 4 single men in that house, not too far from the ages of the single women we did service for the previous day. The Plan of Happiness!  We baptize them all and they meet at church, Eternal families and everyone's happy. (matchmaker matchmaker find me a match....)
It's been a cool week and we have seen miracles. I love how prepared people are at this time. Recently we had a lesson with an investigator named Kristen, who's 17 and began to listen to us and go to church because she had a best friend who wasn't afraid to invite her and open her mouth about the gospel. We showed up for our second lesson and asked "did you read?" She responded quickly "heck yeah! everyday." She watched general conference, and had her dad watch a session with her. When we started to teach the plan of salvation, she already knew a lot of it, because her best friend explained it to her one night when they were hanging out.
After seeing miracles start to happen, it only takes a couple of phone calls from a member who says "hey, I have a friend who wants to be baptized, can you come over?"
Our ward mission leader has a vision of us teaching 20 lessons a week, and we made a plan of how to achieve that. I've realized we must just do our part, do everything we possibly can, than trust in the Lord to do the Heavy lifting. I'm crossing out the word 'week' in the contract, and replacing it with 'mission'.'
 
To answer your questions. I eat good. .......uh... I just got a call right now as I was about to send this email. It was our mission president. I think I may have just got a Visa.....really high mixed emotions.....let you know for sure soon, I need to make some calls to know for sure.
 
10 minutes later we received this email from Elder Pollard
Leaving Oct 28th at 2:45pm to Dallas then to Sau Paulo Brazil to Salvador, arrive at 1:48pm, Oct 29th. Whew, long flight. :D Ahhhhh! Feel like running around singing "miracle of miracle" all over again. But I'm in my missionary clothes and don't want to scare people......save it for later.Got to go! Email ya next week. Tell Rayna and Lilly I loved their emails. Love ya'll

October 7 "the practice makes perfrect con"

Conference was tight. Sunday morning we watched it with some recent converts. Saturday we missed the first session because we were doing service and taught a lesson after. But the Dyer's (the family we stay with) record conference, so we caught up and watched it with them.
Kinda funny, the people we taught on Saturday we just met while walking down the road. A guy name Lance (early 50's) pulled up and asked if we were interested in doing service for him. He had some friends that were Mormon and they told him if he saw missionaries they will help him do things. So we did yard work with him and his roommate Roberto, they are starting to tile his house too. After doing service for a few hours he ordered a pizza for us, and as we left he offered  in much appreciation if there was anything he could do for us.
I thought for a moment, he had stated earlier that he wasn't interested in our church or anything.
So I asked "Well, as missionaries we teach a couple of different lessons. And frankly we need to practice. Do  you think that we could practice on you guys, and you can give us feedback about what you liked and ask questions and express how you feel."
He agreed that would be great, so he could help us be better teachers. So we taught them the 1st lesson. They felt the spirit testify to them, and we have two new investigators.  I'm confident in our message of the restoration. I am thoroughly convinced that anyone really looking for truth, ends up here. I know that God answers our prayers because He's answered mine. I know that Joseph Smith, though imperfect, was still a prophet of God. I have never asked a person to do something to know the truth that I haven't done and experienced myself. I know the Book of Mormon to be the words of Christ, I have received that witness of the divinity of the book over and over again. I know this is Jesus Christ church once again established on the earth. I know He leads it, He leads me. I have felt of His love. Things just seem so clear, I am happy. I am so grateful for my active parents. I love my sisters greatly.
 
O batismo é o objetivo.
A conversão é a meta.
O Amor é o motivo.
A doutrina é o ponto-chave.
O Espírito é o professor.

Hearts and hugs and handshakes,
Corações e braços,
Elder Pollard

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dinner Time

Jo!
Yo, I still got da funnies alrigh?  But I'm goin to memorize that list to get more meals.
Hmm, the times I've been fed really well, are when  we have a double dinner. Two families feed us dinner back to back. Had 3 once, like 5pm 6pm and 7pm. Those are so good. (my companions hate them, I find ways to let them happen) Member or not, it has even been my door approach before. For example
'knock knock'
"not interested" (common response, little rude way to answer, good thing they didn't say who's there, or I would have told a joke I learned from Lilly or something)
I may respond with something like " that's okay, how are you today?" or "we are service missionaries, is there anything we can do for you, we love service." If still denied, I will joke around and ask if they will feed us, because we love food too.
You would be surprised how many doors have opened.
  I'll answer your question of strangest food once I get to Brazil.

Oh, address is the same. It's the mission office is where letters go, and they get forawared to me. Love you and Nate, and mom , and dad, and everyone, and ice cream.

This is the list I sent to Daylen:
Top 10 Reasons to Feed the Missionaries 

10.  Good way to get material for your talk next week.
9.  Good way to use up outdated food storage items.
8.  Gives you someone to watch the kids while you fix dinner.
7.  Meal is tax deductible.
6.  Good way to get rid of those week-old leftovers.
5.  Can you say, "free dishwashers?"
4.  Good excuse to order pizza.
3.  Good way to "one-up" the Smiths.
2.  Better company than the home teachers.
1.  Who else will eat your cooking?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sept 30 New area in Vegas

Ola. New area is amazing, I love my companion Elder Till, and last Friday we picked up Elder Brown who came out late from the MTC cuz he had his appendix taken out, he's as green as they come. :D I completely love and trust the both of them, we speak very open and honest with each other and have a lot of fun. I've been amazed how many homes we've gotten into together, because the Lord uses our talents to do so. Everything has been amazing, leaving the last area felt like leaving home, but I already love the people here and see a lot of potential, we have gone from 0 investigating the church to about 6 people in the past week. Many have just been placed in our path, all I have to do is open my mouth. Speaking about religion and sharing scriptures or testimony just comes out easily that I don't even have to think about it. It's just becoming a part of who I am.
We live with an awesome family in the ward, the Dyers. They have some cool cats that even have their own high chairs and stuff (little odd, I took a picture my first day I saw it). Down part is I've been allergic to cats since I've started my mission, ha-ha.
Last thought, I would love to hear a story of one our ancestors. I have a great desire to learn more about them, I know I have been helped on both sides of the veil, and have felt the Holy Ghost bear witness of the divinity and importance of family genealogy.

Picture Sent Oct. 21st:  Evil cat, I will not miss you and all your fuffy hair I was allergic to. I swear she was out to get me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

AUGUST 27th


This past week I went on exchanges with another Elder. At the end of an amazing day of teaching, my companion felt impressed to make one last stop to a family in the ward, the Jeffers. My companion told me he thinks they are waiting for a Visa to Brazil too. I came to learn, they are going to the same mission as me! They have been waiting since March. Since they are a senior couple, they don't start their mission until the Visa comes. We had a great chat in Portuguese and it was awesome to know someone going to my mission. They sent this picture to the mission president, and the mission president's wife sent me an email.
 
It rained here on Sunday! This place isn't prepared for rain, the draining system isn't so good. It flooded everywhere. The roads were inches underwater in some places where cars couldn't get through. 
While driving we saw this railroad tie or a large piece of wood in the middle of the road and cars trying to get around it. Elder Findlay suggested we moved it. It took off my shoes and socks and rolled up my pants. We pulled up near to it and I jumped out to go get, jogging on my way towards it in the flooded road, I slipped. My feet flew up and I landed on my back. Hahahah, I was fine and completely unharmed, perhaps a little embarrassed. But I went out and got the log and pulled it off the road.
People in the cars behind us were laughing, and some of them rolled down their windows and thanked me. There on the side walk was a family in our ward, the Worthen's. The mom had taken her kids to the street to see all the cars drive through the puddles. She had actually pulled out her phone and filmed part of what I did, haha.  
That's the closest to swimming as I've gotten.
I'm happy and having a great time. I've learned this week that to be humble, isn't so much denying the talents and gifts God has given us. It's not thinking less of ourselves, it's thinking less about ourselves. Something you've shown me the way of being a mother, is putting others first, and yourself last. I believe it is almost impossible to be prideful, when you have charity for those around you and love them. Pride is the sin of comparison, though it often starts with look at me and how good I am, it ends with the type of thinking of therefore I'm better than you. I am striving to serve more, and care and think of others more than I think of myself.

video
 
 
I love you so much!

Sept 23rd

Thanks mom! I smile and feel happy every time I hear that you talk about me. I'm so excited to share my stories and feelings with our family each week. I like to hear about how our family is doing too.
This past week has been amazing. The Poma family (parents Vic and Shelly, and daughter Kelly) have been amazing. After our first lesson, Shelly who comes from a Baptist background looks at her husband Vic who's catholic and tell him "you know were going to be Mormon right?" Haha, they are so open and have desire to learn. Their son David was baptized 10 years ago when he was 16. Vic explained how bad he felt, back then he gave David such a hard time for joining the church. He had him talk to many ministers and priests to convince him not to. He had refused to talk to the missionaries. Now, His heart has been softened. He has prayed and felt it to be right and we have had 3 lessons over there. David's came and taught with us, he's been waiting for this day for his family for a while. They have a desire to be sealed in the temple, and most likely baptized next month.
I have loved teaching this family. They ask so many questions really desiring to understand and know for themselves. To know what I know.
We had to push Patricia Watts baptism back a couple weeks, she's still pushing strong though, and one of the most amazing woman I've ever met.
A few other investigators are doing well and I've seen miracles before my eyes, just watching their lives change. I'm all pumped, because we have about 6 solid baptisms set for next month. But I received a call Saturday Morning. Transfer. Haha, a new Area that doesn't rhyme with Brazil. I'm going over to the Meadows stake (not sure where that is, entirely) but it's the same ward that Tanish and Mike Yarbrough (the jamican family we married and baptized) moved to. My new companions name is Elder Till, (Till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus Feet....plays in my head every time) I think I met him once.
I'm excited, but sad to leave. Feels like I'm leaving home all over again. Elder Findlay goes home today, I'll miss him. He's shown me great love and taught me a lot. Elder Bloomfield will stay here, I trust him to take great care of this ward. He has taught me a lot about the plan of salvation, after hearing his testimony of losing both his parents, his mom just last year. He's an amazing missionary, with love for the people here and a desire to bring them joy.

We sang in church yesterday, our companionship. It went really well. I loved it. I got at least 8 or 9 offers from the members here that after the mission they want me to come back and visit and stay with them. Some seemed sad to have us go and so we told some people things like "hey, if you get sealed in the temple, We'll bring back our trio and sing at your wedding reception"
 
I am so grateful to have been put here, in this ward I served. I have learned so much of the arms of love from the Savior. I have had many uplifting experiences that I wouldn't trade it for anything, not a trip to Brazil or anywhere in the world. I know this next area is also part of the Lord's will for me, and I look forward to it, no idea how long it may be, but I really enjoy just trusting Him, one step at a time. The song "lead thou me on." Has been like a theme of my mission, and I love it.
 
I love you mom! I love you dad! I love my sisters, and all my relatives and friends!

Sept 16

Things are the same here. We do service almost everyday this past week. Teach a couple lessons, study a lot. The joy I feel is indescribable. I love every day so much, but it's not anything really new.   The days are long, but they go by so fast and blur with each other. When people I meet here, learn I'm a Visa waiter, or they ask when I'll be leaving to Brazil. I have adapted an attitude like that of Ammon. "Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time, yea, and perhaps until the day I die." (Alma 17:23) We have built great relationships and trusts in our ward. I could name almost every member, and where they work, and part of their conversation story. Soon, I'll have every dogs name down. It is through our members we try to do the Lords work. I love so deeply the people here, and I pray for them so often. We have families progressing and improving that it brings me so much joy.  But despite my attitude of "I'm staying here and serving you till I die, so get use to it!" I too feel that I will be leaving to Brazil soon. Dad's words play in my head all the time, "you'll leave once you feel you are needed most." And that day is coming. With my senior Companion Elder Findlay going home in a week. I next know every member, the needs every person in this area. I connect and understand differently to people, and I feel needed already. I'm confident that I'll have to have faith, it's the Lords work and not mine, so He knows the best ways to bring about His purposes.
 
Elder Anderson (of the 12) came to our mission last Tuesday. I shook his hand, and said "como vai?" He responded with a chuckle and a "muito bem." He lived in Brazil for quite some time of his life. He spoke to us for over 2 hours, had a lot to say I guess. I'd like to share something  I enjoyed that  he said "every time you open your mouth, you exercise faith. When you exercise faith, you increase it...... if you want to baptize a few people, open your mouth to a few people. If you want to baptize a lot of people, open you mouth to a lot of people. If you want to baptize everyone you can, open your mouth to everyone you can."
 
Whenever I feel hesitant or fear of being awkward by just approaching someone, I think of this quote. "When we act in faith in Jesus to do His work, He goes with us, to serve others and blesses us to say just what they need to hear. What we actually say and actually do may feel a little awkward or not very polished....But the Savior takes our words and our actions and He carries them through His spirit into the hearts of the people. He takes our sincere but imperfect effort and turns it into something that is just right, indeed into something that is perfect."
I testify, that is true. I know the Savior is in our midst. I have felt so often the love He has for me, and for those around me. I know that our Heavenly Father hears our every prayer, and desires for us to pray continually throughout the day in all that we do.
 
I love you Mom! Thank you for everything. I love my family so much, and look so forward to the day to squeezing my parents and sisters in hugs of gratitude when I come home.
 
Ate e logo.

sept 9th

Sept 9th

Justin Beiber? (This is in response to Nanette was suppose to be catering to the Beib at the Riverbend Ranch)  That's unexpected. I think it's funny how you probably don't really care, there has got to be tons of people who wish they could be in your spot right now. I didn't get the chance to feed someone famous this week, I did have a double dinner that we gained 3 new investigators from. The Bishop had us over with a family that weren't members, we taught the plan of Salvation, the mom cried (those mom's :D) and they want to be taught all the missionary lessons.
My companion Elder Findlay is going home in 2 weeks. People keep asking him what he's going to do when he gets home. His answer is somewhat what I expect mine will be. "I don't know.....I don't think anything will just be as important as this......a doctor or fireman...just something that would make me feel like I'm still making a difference..." Crazy to think he's leaving back to Canada. He'll marry someone in a few months and have a family. I miss that Elder, taught me a lot.  
 
 I weighed myself yesterday, weighing 196. I don't think I'm getting fat, the armor of God must just weigh a lot or something. ;) Motivate dad, see if we can meet at the same weight or something.
 
I think I want my soccer cleats, if you could do that. I appreciate everything you and dad do for me. Thank you for all the prayers. I love you!

Sorry Sept 3rd

so sorry for delay in posting.. We have been busy working the fair and then recovering so we are a bit behind. Here you go
Sept 3rd

I got the pictures of working at the fair, I actually really miss being there with my family. Kind of weird not being there. I love our family so much. Lilly, Sienna and Rayna, look older. Kendyl pretends she is. (Just kidding :D) You look like you haven't aged in years.......wish I could say the same for Daddio......jk.   Things are great.. Don't know how I've gained weight, but I feel good. Shirts and pants haven't torn off, so I'm good. Really, I don't need more shirts or pants, I'm good on everything.
Been a great week. A few days ago we got a call from the sisters in our district, and we met them at the church. Sister Belliston said she wanted a Priesthood blessing. When we asked why she said "they want me to go home." She needs to have surgery, and needs a few weeks to recover. She had been trying to put it off, and even tried to have the surgery here, but they insist if she has it she needs to go home. She asked for a blessing of guidance and comfort on what to do. I was surprised when I was asked to give it. I didn't know her well, nor understood the situation completely. I had no idea what to say or what words I could give to help. I began praying fervently for help. When we placed our hands on her head and I opened my mouth, I was instantly filled with a very strong feeling of the Love Heavenly Father had for her. The power was so strong and poured over me so much I struggled not to cry. I didn't need to supply the words, because the things I said  could have never came from me. I felt so strongly that I was an instrument in His hands. The guidance was so clear and full of love and peace.
I have learned of the amazing profound mercy and love of the Lord has for His children. I know He is our Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed.
 
Love you!
 
Elder Pollard

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hand of The Lord

"When you pray to see the hand of the Lord in your life, you get it!!"




Thursday, August 22, 2013

Consider the Lillies

P-Day was moved to today, (Wednesday) sorry if you worried about not hearing from me Monday. Part of our mission went to the temple this morning. It was way cool, every time I go, I learn something knew and enjoy it more.
 
I feel really grateful this past week. Lessons everyday and teaching new people. Also had a solid 4 days of doing service every morning with different people.
Last Sunday Darren Thames just showed up to church. Surprised us all, we had a great time with him. He loved it. By being a former minister and having a Master's degree in religion he participated well and was quick to understand things. His neighbor's are members and invited him and his family over for Dinner on Monday. We went by and had a good family home evening with both families. It was way fun.
In the past, nearly every day the conversation of me going to brazil gets brought up with someone. My least favorite questions are "You're still here? What's taking so long? Why don't you have it? ect." However I was happy when it was brought up with Darren and his family, he said "I hope you don't get it, I need ya to work here."
Yesterday we visited a less active family, the Houston's. Our last visit a few weeks ago I shared the spiritual thought "consider the Lilies." The story about You and our family, and how the Lord has blessed us. The Houston's went on a trip to visit family in California and told me they must have shared that story 3 times with people. It had such a profound effect on them.
We've been working a lot with a family I love deeply, the Hunsickers. (I think I'll write a letter about them and the cool experience of teaching them). I have often found that my experiences, and especially my trials of hard times that I shared with them, made a difference in their life. After visiting that family, I feel so strongly, "this is one of the reasons I was reassigned here." It has blown my mind, on how the Lord has used what I am for what this family needed. I think the Lord does the same for all his missionaries and people, regardless of how unqualified or how many faults he or she may have, that missionary or person may be the exact voice some need to hear. Our times of hardship and trial, can give us so much more love and compassion for others and we will be better able to help them draw closer to the Savior. Our simple testimony, can be the very power of God unto the convincing of men.  
I am so grateful to be here, right here. This is exactly where the Lord wants me, for how long is still unknown, but I am grateful I didn't have to wait until Brazil to see miracles. I have learned things I hope I never forget. I hope I never forget how good I feel. I have learned so much, the deepest questions answered.
 
 I love my family!   Love you all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What People Expect... (photos)

What people expect from a missionary like me



What they probably get


What they expect from the 3 of us

 
What we are really like










Monday, August 12, 2013

??Questions Qusestions??

Wuz up Family? Something I've learned, is questions are amazing! Being asked questions can be awesome, whether they come from investigators, random people, or members. It gives a great opportunity to explain doctrine in simple terms, and bear testimony. Some questions are just awesome, we knocked on the Hold's door (The one family that had the dog that pee'd on Elder Titus) the father, Conrad, first tried to dismiss us at first, But we offered just to answer any questions he had about our religion. He then asked the best question I've been asked yet.  "I hear a lot of people who go to your church, say 'I've learned so much.' And I just always hear things like that from Mormons. So my question is, why is that you do learn so much, and what is something you've learned by being a member?"  With him standing in the doorway and us standing outside, I guess it was my first doorstep lesson, We spent the next 20 min bearing testimony. How we've learned of the very real relationship you can have with Heavenly Father, and how much he loves us. The atoning Sacrifice of the Savior. How much the Gospel blesses families and they can be sealed together forever. . When we each finished, he had tears in his eyes as he expressed the way he felt for his family and towards God. He had felt the spirit strongly as we spoke with him.
Other questions are pretty funny. A member asked me yesterday "So, self-checkout. That's okay to shop on Sunday. Because I'm not making anyone work, right?" (Can't believe I never thought of that one) Destry
I've learned asking inspired questions make a huge difference. Teaching a lesson, is more of just having a conversation with someone. I once felt impressed to ask Ryan, "what has been your favorite part about meeting with us?" He was silent for like a whole minute! I almost felt uncomfortable, but knew I just needed to wait for his response. He began to cry (People cry a lot here.....I nearly expect to see someone to cry everyday....for good reasons most of the time) as he expressed how great it feels to get back to reading the scriptures again. He hadn't realized how much he was missing out on, he thought he was having a good time and things were all good, but he hadn't realize how far he had gone from God, and he is grateful because from the day he met us he began to pray, and read, and search for the truth. He has found great joy in gaining that relationship.
There is this awesome family, the Hardingers,( Do you use a fake name when you put it on the blog? I just think it would be funny if one of the people I was talking about found the blog, and was like, hey! That's me) (For the record, no but I have kept names out when I feel it is appropriate.) Brother Hardinger went inactive at age 12 or something. His wife, people told me when they knew her a year ago they thought she'd be the last on to join the church. She went to Catholic school her whole life and hard feelings towards Mormons. They have 3 boys. And the wife and kids actually got baptized like 6 months ago and are now in our ward. We go over every week or so to help them out. They feel like they don't know much about the Gospel, and most of the time we just tell them you know enough. We've helped Sister Hardinger accepted a call to be a visiting teacher, and Brother Hardinger just got the Melchezidek Priesthood yesterday( and yeah, he cried). We are helping them get their family to the temple, it's been awesome to see how much they are growing.  
 
I dunno what else to really say. I could tell more stories, but I don't really like writing these emails, I bore myself. Does anyone actually read that blog? When I see other missionaries letters home it's like "Hey ya'll, things are good. Still teaching. Church is true I think. Eat good. Love ya." I'm over here typing away a big ol novel of the crying people I see.  
 
Eh, Love you mom! Thanks so much for everything! I love you Daddio! I love you Jo and doh, and Rayna and Sienna and Lilly! (And Toby, but I try not to think about him, or I might cry...just kidding)

Done in the lords time

Thanks for everything mom!  Crazy to think that dad is really close to where I am right now. If I did see him, of course I would love it and be filled with great joy. Yet, I would also think it would throw me out of whack, and take time for me to refocus after, you know?
Had a good Sunday yesterday, the Bishop got up and made an announcement or rather a challenge for every person in there. He said that he would like to challenge our ward to invite one of their neighbors over for dinner this week, it has to be someone you haven't invited over before. We should change our prayers from "please bless that the missionaries will find someone to teach, rather to, please help us (meaning the members) find someone." The buzz, and excitement for missionary work in this ward is amazing. We have the one of the smallest geographical ward boundaries in the state, with only about 6 blocks. Yet, we are having a lot of work to do as missionaries. Members have told us many times, how a year ago this place was dead or stagnant as far as missionary work goes. There was nothing, if anything, more were going inactive. Now with the new baptisms, the investigators and all the lessons, the less actives are becoming active. Members are stunned to see people at church they haven't seen in years. They get excited to find out we are teaching at their neighbors house because they gave us their name. Members are becoming more involved in being missionaries themselves. One of my favorites is Sister Bay, she's around 80 years old. yet is just a fireball. She walks around her neighborhood for exercise and says hello to every person she sees. Last week she asked us to give her 3 copies of the book of Mormon for people she would like to give to. 1 in Italian, 1 in Spanish, and 1 in English. She is a great fellowshipper in the ward, she makes an effort to talk to every person we bring to church and get to know them. Even though she's old, and hard of hearing at times, she is one of the best missionaries I know, haha. She also made me a pillow :D
Things are done in the Lord's time. As my ward mission Leader (Bro Hawley) was telling us yesterday, he use to tell me goodbye after everytime I saw him, like it would be the last time, because I would get a Visa and leave. Now, he acts as though I won't leave for a while, because things are done in the Lord's time, and he is convinced I am meant to be here to be apart of this push for the work. As am I. I am pumped for the work going on, and I'm excited to see more about to come forth here. I can only see things going up and up, and it's awesome.
 
I love you mom! I really love my family. Thanks for everything. I miss you all so much. Tchau Tchau

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How blessed we are. :)

   Been a great week here. Last Saturday 17 year old Austin Carter got baptized. I met him about 2 months ago. His dad has been less-active since he was about 14, his step mom isn't a member, and so Austin wasn't raised knowing too much about the church. But his grandparents were really active and some of his cousins played a role in his conversion. The Priests in this area are amazing, and they went over to invite him to activities, but he always denied them. The priest quorum thought he would never be interested in being part of the church. So it was really amazing how one Sunday we just show up with him and he's preparing to be baptized.
Austin ropes at a pro level. Some of the evenings watching him team rope in his arena behind his house, made me actually want to go to a rodeo. He is a really great kid, and because of some his trials in the past he finally wanted to stop trying to do things on his own. He sought council from his Grandpa, and then from us. We began to read the scriptures and earnestly pray. It was amazing to watch the transformation. He began to "glow," he smiled bigger, laughed more, and showed a great desire to do all Heavenly Father wanted him to do. He faced trials even when meeting with us, from losing a best friend unexpectedly in a car accident, to contention in his home. At times I feared these things would get him down, make him doubt his faith. But I watched how he was comforted, how he was given strength through these hard times. We had taught the plan of Salvation just a couple days before his friend past away, and his knowledge of God's plan for us gave him peace.
I've grown really close to him, made a lifelong friend and I am so grateful I was able to be here to witness his conversion to the gospel.
    We've received a new investigator on Sunday, 17 year old Jeff. (There's something about the youth I'm telling ya) Jeff's parents a divorced, lives with his mom and her boyfriend half the week, and his dad and his step mom the other half. About a year ago he woke up one morning and just felt a desire to know more about the "Mormons." He wasn't sure why, just thought we sounded interesting. He got on the church website, and loved it. He loved how much we emphasized families and even genealogy, his grandparents gave him records of his own genealogy since 800A.D. (I think this is significant) He began to read the Book of Mormon he found. When he started to share his new found excitement and interested with his mom, she got really angry. She threw the book away, sent him for a big guilt trip about how they are Roman Catholic. He stopped searching about the church for a time. But a few months ago, he began the quest again. Sneaking away to go to church, (Both parents against it) read the Book of Mormon, spoke to some missionaries in another ward, and they taught him more and introduced him to us because he lives in our area. I was blown away at his testimony, he knows the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. He has found great peace and joy at church and living it's teachings. He wants to be baptized. We can't baptize him without parents permission, and he's been doing this in secret. We are going to fast with him so his parents hearts may be softened.
   Also teaching a 19 year old Ryan. Use to be a really strong Baptist. Was kicked out of his home by his parents who want nothing to do with him, with no where to go, he went to a friends (who are members) and stayed there until he can move out on his own. It's been great teaching him. (Out of time, details later) 
    Any way, the reason I wanted to talk about these 3, was because they are near my age. Throughout our lessons, I gain a bigger appreciation for my parents. To see the family unit struggle brings great pain to my heart. I cry with them, as they struggle with their own relationship with their parents, and I rejoice with them because I have seen how the gospel has better the relationship. I am so grateful for all you did for me. For all the love and caring you've shown me. I am grateful for you always being a great example to me. I am grateful you and dad never forced anything on me, you gave me the ability to choose, yet always taught me right from wrong, helping me along the way. I'm grateful that you listen and give me support. I am so happy to be on a mission. It is truly more incredible than I am able to describe. I feel so good, and feel that constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I love my family, and I testify of my love for them often. Thank everyone who prays for me, I am ever so grateful for the support I have in this war.
 
Love Elder Pollard

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Tripanionship



Not Against Each Other

In missionary work as well as in everyday life, we are grateful for Elder Holland's reminder that: "No one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us---insecurities, anxieties, poor self-image, and all.  He doesn't measure our talents or our looks; he doesn't measure our professions.  He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other."
 
Yesterday I was sitting in ward council with the all ward leaders. We discussed our investigators and less actives with them and what we needed from them. When we told them about Patrica, everyone in her neighborhood knew what house we were speaking of. They used terms like the scary house, or the mexicans and made other judgments based on their appearance or stories they have heard. I was not happy, and felt something must be said. I was a little hesitant, these were my leaders all older and more experienced, but I knew I needed to. I cut them off, and testified. "Patrica and her family are some of the most prepared people I've met for the gospel. They are amazing people. She will soon be baptized and it is only a matter of time before we will have all of her kids here at church. I don't care what stories you've heard, or what they have done in the past.  The only thing that would keep them from being faithful members of the church would be the other members. They are prepared and ready to make a change. We cannot judge. They should be received with love and acceptance when they walk through here, and I don't feel it's right to use any of the terms you are using."
It was cool, the spirit guided my words and they made a strong impact. Things are going great, when she did come to church she was received with great fellowship by the leaders and members.

Talents Already Acquired

I got your letter, thanks for writting me, I really love your letters, they are uplifting and make me smile. Not a lot of people write me just a few, but I don't write a lot of people either. Guess what, I weigh 185.7 pounds! It may not seem like that much, but when I weighed myself at the beggining of the MTC it was about 165 pounds. 
I really liked what you said, that I won't get my VISA until I do everything here I was meant to do, because I have seen the difference I've made and it's really cool, and I am really grateful to be here. If my Visa came tomorrow, I would be really said, because I know there is more I still have to do, and many times I felt the impression I've done and said exactly what the Lord wanted me to, I would say almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Whether it be my testimony I share, or just reaching out to someone. I have been really blessed, and have seen miracles happen. I am utterly nothing and am I amazed how the Lord still can use me to progress his work. I am blown away how my past experiences are exactly what I need for a certain individual at a certain time. How the Lord uses the talents we've already acquired.
The other day I was preparing to teah someone the church's quit smoking program, which has 15 steps. It was way cool, because the steps were all things I learned in psychology in high school and in college so I understood the terms or classical conditioning and how to teach it simply based on my own experiences in psychology class. The Lord doesn't only just our knowledge of the scriptures, but our knowledge of other things, to be learned is good, if we hearken unto the council's of the lord.
I feel as though I am just rambling now, I ought to plan what I want to say before I start emailing. Eh. Love you


Patricia Watts comitts to baptism!

Been a great week. Finally had a little rain so it's cooled down,  just under 100 degrees is a really nice day. We had our first actual lesson with Patricia Watts, she's been single mom since the birth of her child who is now 16. Raised 8 kids on her own. Her whole family makes sandwiches once a month and go down and feed the homeless, because they once were homeless themselves and know what it is like to go hungry. She expressed the hardships she's been through, but knows Heavenly Father has been there to help her every step of the way and is very grateful. We taught her about the plan of salvation and while discussing it she readily accepted everything of the gospel, she expressed she had the same beliefs or impressions of the spirit testify to her the things we said were true.
After only a few moments we invited her to be baptized in a few weeks. Without hesitating she said yes, and exclaimed how much she wanted every one of her kids to be baptized as well, and that was her goal. She knew she must first walk the path herself, and she has found it be true. She doesn't understand or even know a lot, but knew it felt right.
 Things are good. Austin is getting baptized this Saturday, I'll write about his conversion more next week. I'm having lots of fun, I feel very happy. I've gained 20 pounds! :D Woo! I feel my own testimony deepen each day as a study and search out the truth for myself, I never teach something I don't know for myself to be true. I have felt the spirit testify many times, the things that are true, It's awesome. Love you!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Letting go of ill feelings

Let me tell you a story about a woman in our ward.

Her name is Lee. she and her family went way inactive going against everything they once believed in. She was so angry about the church that she went to the extend of having her records removed. Sad :(  But she had a stroke a couple of years ago. Because of the stroke she had lost part of her memory. She had forgotten whoever or whatever had offended her in the church and only remembers her testimony.On Sunday she was a little frustrated about not having her records but agreed to be re-baptized, and was a while ago. Too often people get offended by someone at church, oh how we should be like Lee and forget the things that really don't matter and hold fast to our testimony & what we know. (I hope you don't have to have a stroke to get this concept) Due to her stroke she is partially paralyzed and in a wheel chair she can't speak anything more than a yes or a no. She communicates by writing messages and yes or no. My companions an I went and saw her at her home. Her husband and kids not happy to see us at all. But we shared a powerful message with her. I had no idea what to  tell her or why the spirit had guided us to her home. But it was a in that moment the sprit guided me and my companions to really be representatives of Jesus Christ. We told her what He would have. I knew it , because the words of strength, love and wisdom that came out of my mouth were not my own. In that moment , I didn't see her as woman in a wheelchair. I saw her fully as the Savior did . I saw her powerful testimony. I saw and felt her pain. I felt a love for her that I can't describe. I knew her doubts, pain, frustrations, and yet I also knew her purity and love. The spirit made it known to us and she didn't ever utter a word. She didn't need to. It was amazing. I really am nothing, There is no better feeling than being that instrument in the Lords hands. And see Him touch the hearts of people through you. This experience will be one I never forget and I hope I can have many more through my mission.

Tchau Tchau

Elder Daylen Pollard

It's Christmas and other stories

Q. Why were the ink blots crying?
A. Because their father was in the pen!

Q. Why do Missionaries have such large bladders
A. Because they only get one P-Day a week

Which my companion also calls Christmas. Elder Titus every Monday morning at 6:25 am wakes up and screams "its Christmas!" Gets like an inch from my face and screams like a 6 year old girl. this started because he used to get letters everyday and wrote about 3-5 letters a day. He was thinking too much about home, so we made a rule that he could only write and read letters on Monday (p-day) He called it Christmas. Elder Findlay is the knock off Santa Clause (Knock off because he's Canadian and has no Christmas spirit) he gets the mail every night and hides it from elder Titus until Monday. So Monday morning we sit and watch Elder Titus scream for joy as he opens his letters. he's pretty funny.



I taught this black family a couple of days ago. The father Darren Thames or Brother Thames used to be a pastor over a church. He opened the door and yelled "yo! the game starts in 15 min!" he quickly pulled inside "Sit down I gots to get my Bible!" The pre- game for game 7 was about to start, but he said he would miss it for us. He was super excited . Said he would like to give the opening prayer. Wen he finished he clapped his hands praising himself for the good prayer. "All right teach me! watchya got!" The lesson went great he loved it. He knew the bible well and would even site scripture to back us up. We taught Christ's ministry and how he established his church and the apostasy to the restoration of his church through Joseph Smith. By the time we ended he was really excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and asked us if he could come to church. Elder Titus gave the closing prayer, but while he was praying Darren was chanting things like "yes! yes Lord! yes Jesus! oh yeah! After the prayer Darren's wife asked to say one she insisted we hold hands and gave a .....different.....prayer. "cover them in the blood of Jesus" etc.. with Darren chanting in the back ground it was like they were singing. As soon as she finished she said "alright, love ya'll but the game is about to start so get out!" Despite that and difference in their culture, the spirit was really strong as we taught. And Darren with his family really felt that. We will go back over later this week for our next appointment. They have been prepared.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Angels

Patricia Watts (the woman who's house we painted) came to Church Last Sunday for the first time. We found a great fellowshipper in the ward to drive her there. Last Sunday was fast Sunday and it was amazing! A lot of little kids gave short powerful testimonies. The spirit prompted me to go up, and even what I should bear testimony on. I was a little hesitant, I felt the impression to bear testimony about angels, those who loved who have passed on who are very real and very much alive and will assist us through our lives. I got up, no idea how to say what I was suppose to, but I just opened my mouth and was so grateful for the Spirit to fill it. I knew I was meant to with the members who came up to me with tears in their eyes thanking me for it. So, whenever prompted to say something, even if you don't know what to say or how, just open your mouth and start.  
It was Patricia first time at church, she told the member who drove her home she loved it. She said she felt the presence of her son there, more then she ever had before.
 
 

Happy Canada Day!

(Sent last week, July 1)

Companion's name is Elder Findlay, he's from Canada and he is so awesome! I have another companion Elder Titus, but he gets transferred today to another area, :(
I really love Elder Titus, but on the bright side my new companion will be Elder Bloomfield who's a really cool loving Tongan.
So still preaching the gospel in a pack a 3, still waiting for the Visa.
 
I got your dear Elder, I'm so proud of you and the work you are doing!! Jo you're amazing
 
My advice on how to approach someone, would be to first follow the prompting and actually do it. I understand how it can seem difficult to start and you may have fears that you could push them away or offend them. Have faith.
Listen. One of the first steps. They may not believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ or have a Christian tradition. But they will have beliefs, practices, or places they holds sacred. Find out what matters most to them. Be genuine and be yourself the true loving friends you are.
"I promise you that something in what they say will ALWAYS highlight of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more.... if we listen with love, we won't need to wonder what to say. It will be given to us-by the Spirit and by our friends." -Elder Holland PMG pg 185
 
Find the common ground and bear testimony. Tell them how you came to know these things are true. Don't teach them what you know, teach them who you are. If you do that, the spirit will testify to them, they have the light of Christ and there will be a familiar ring to the things you say. You'll be great. Love you!
 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heat

Daylen says no matter how warm it gets in Vegas the water of baptism will be cool.
I wonder at what point the water starts to boil.




And I think the heat is affecting their brain as evident by the photo bellow art they supposed to be a barbershop trio, or the Marx brothers.

When Nature calls.....open the door!

 
 
 
 
It's been a great week. A few days ago we were shoveling rocks and digging trenches for some members that needed help. It's so cool to be a missionary and have all the time devoted to helping people, in this life and the one to come. While we were shoveling rocks, their neighbor's garage door broke.
The neighbor saw us working, and thought we were some kind of workers and asked us if we knew how to fix her garage so should she could pull her car out and leave. We went and helped her and fixed the garage door, she was really grateful and we introduced ourselves and a little bit about what we do. She really liked us and we are going to start teaching her and her kids.
I think it's cool, because I finally just stopped believing in coincidences. I started seeing the Lord's hand in everything and our circumstances.
 So every time we see an opportunity to teach or serve or speak to someone we strive to do it. Whether it be in Wal-Mart or on the highway, or anywhere. We stand as witnesses of God in all things and in all places. At first I was terrified to do this, I thought it would be odd or awkward. But, it[s really only awkward if you make it. People stop us in walmart, perhaps because they think we work there, and it opens a great door to explain who we are and give a short statement of our beliefs that the Holy Ghost can testify to them.  It can be a short statement, like "We follow Christ."
 
A couple weeks ago we had a referral for the Holds family from a neighbor. The wife answered, stated not interested and slammed the door. I had forgotten all about this until a few days ago we received a referral from a girl that was the girlfriend of the Hold's son. I remember thinking, that name sounds familiar. She gave us the address, and I thought, this isn't the first time I've written this in my planner, and my companions couldn't recall it either.
As we walked up to the door, we recognized the house. Laughing, we thought they won't be happy to see us again, but we had faith that there could be a possibility and we need to try. We knocked and as the door opened a big dog came running out and pee'd on Elder Titus's shoes and pants. We were Laughing (well, me and Elder Findlay were). The husband was ready to tell us off, but felt bad for Elder Titus. He got some paper towels and kept apologizing, and joined in our laughter. Because of it, we now have an appointment to teach them this Friday, and they want to hear our message.
Perhaps it was chance we came at the exact moment the dog could no longer hold it. But Elder Titus says we had better get some baptisms out of this for it to be a happy story.