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


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


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.