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

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?