Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kind of a little different week that we had here in the MTC. Last week on Thursday all the Elders and Sisters went out into the streets of England to preach. Because I am from America and we don't have the correct paperwork to proselyte here in England, we had to stay in the MTC, but that meant that we got to have an extra day in the temple which was AMAZING!! Instead of a session we decided to go and do some initiatory as well as some sealings. The temple here is really pretty. It was nice to do something different for once. Then it was back to the grindstone after that. The language is coming. It is crazy to think that I have only been here for 4 weeks (2 more weeks to go WAHOO!!) and I am giving lessons in German. It is insane how quickly we are all learning, yet at the same time so frustrating that we can't say everything that we want to. Sometimes I understand the questions they ask and I realize that I have a really good answer, then I realize that I have absolutely no idea how to say it. But it is crazy how my brain just automatically figures out ways to change the sentence to words that I already know. It is a miracle really. I know that the Lord is blessing all of us with the Gift of Tongues. My teacher told me this week that I have really improved and that I seem to understand all the concepts taught in class really well. Which was a super nice thing to hear, since I feel like my German is still horrendous. But as I look back I can see how much I have improved. I have started writing in my journal as well in Deutsch and I can usually write about 50% of it. Its a mix between English and German, but you have to start somewhere right?
Sundays are definitely my favorite days here. We have at least 3 devotionals and then this week we had a testimony meeting. I have never felt the spirit so strong as when all the missionaries stood and bore their testimonies. We all try to do so in our mission language, so we had German and Greek. Although I can't understand the Greek, the spirit is the same. It really was the highlight of the MTC I think.
I am so excited that the Ogden temple is reopening. I so wish that I could have seen it before I left, but I am happy that we get to go to the temple here so often. It really is the best. 
I found out I won't be serving in Switzerland due to visa issues, and if I do it will be expensive since I would have to pay for things that the European missionaries don't. But I am super excited to serve in Austria and Germany especially after one of the teacher here showed us pictures from his mission this week. It is so pretty. I can't wait to get out there. 
I miss all of you tons!! Sometimes it can get really boring here sitting in the same class all day. But I know that our hard work is paying off. I know this is where I am supposed to be and I can't wait to get out into the field and teach the people in whatever broken German that I know. Everything is going well with me so don't worry, but I appreciate all of your love and support!! I can feel it all the way across the world and I know exactly where it is coming from. I love you tons and think of you always.
Sister Poll.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This is Danielle with her district at the MTC, with her companion and touring in England.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dear Family
The language is getting better. I know that I must be getting help from someone above though cuz I could not be doing this on my own. I am finally getting confident about answering our investigators questions and even though my grammar is horrific my teacher says I am getting loads better, so that's something.  All the teachers here speak so fast, and then they all tell me that compared to the Germans, they speak slow. I already know that it is going to be a HUGE shock when I leave the MTC. But at the same time I am so ready to get out of here.... All of us are. It is officially Hump day of the MTC!!! Halfway through!! YES!!! I am so excited! Its funny how the days go by so quickly, yet so slow at the same time.....
So nothing too exciting is happening here. We have the same schedule every day. We teach 2 different investigators daily as well as language study. It is getting a little old, but what can you do. We actually got to get out of the MTC last week for P-day and we went on a little tour of Preston. It was soooo nice to get out and about. Who knew that being in the same classroom from 7-9:30 every day could be stifling. :) But it was nice to go and see some church sights and I am so glad we did it even though it meant we had no free time for p-day.
Love you all!! Miss you tons!!
Sister Poll

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hallo Familie!!!!!
Hope you got my letter from last week! Mom I want you to know that I didn't forget about your birthday, I just had to send it a little late, but it is on the way.  Also I have one for Katie in there are well.  Its good to know that you are enjoying an empty house, who knew that getting rid of some kids would help you have more cake to yourself.  :)  I am a little jealous that you had angel food cake....  But Our desserts here are actually really good.  I enjoy them anyway, but we all know how much I love my sweets.  I did get some chocolate here, and it is awesome BTW!!! They have Kinder eggs here which are great cuz you get a prize too!!!!! (I know that all of you are laughing at me right now, so STOP)   
The language is slow...  And I mean really slow.  I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been here for 2 weeks and the fact that what I have learned is amazing.  It is just really hard to not be able to say what you want to say!!!  And we all know how much my opinion counts.  ( Again I know you are all laughing, but keep it to yourself.  :)) I just get so frustrated because I have something to say that would be soooo good for our lesson or for our investigator and I can't say it.  I hate it....  But slowly but surely it is coming.  I refuse to be silent for my whole mission. 
Overall though things are great.  Part of me really wants to get out into the field and get out of the MTC and another part of me is terrified to leave. Its a weird feeling. 
I did get to say goodbye to Blake this morning.  It was a really bittersweet moment.  part of me still thinks he is here and that I will see him again tomorrow.  But another part knows he is gone.  When he hugged me this morning and said see you in 2 years I totally lost it.  But he was crying too so that was ok.  The MTC president told us we had to stop hugging cuz we were making all he other elders jealous.  A few of the elders were there saying how great it would be to have a sister/brother there with them.  I am so grateful that it worked out that way.  God defiantly knows us all and what we need.  I was a little mad about Blake leaving me here all by myself with a bunch of Germans, but what can you do.  :)  My teacher is actually really great.  I had a small breakdown in class the other day.  They have been forcing us to speak in German as much as possible, which I know is good for me, yet when you don't know how to say it I was frustrated.  Silence is not my strong point.  (Again stop laughing at me) So she came over and said that she was worried about us sisters cuz we kept giving her blank looks.  Which was true, and I lost it a little.  I was just frustrated that I couldn't ask any of my questions or anything and I wanted to contribute to the lesson and participate, and I couldn't.  Not because I didn't want to, but because I really couldn't.  She thought that maybe I was crying because of my companion, cuz we were supposed to be doing companionship study at the time....  Oops...  So now she feels bad for me an when I give her a blank stare in a lesson she helps me out a little.  But I do feel that I am getting better and I just need to get over my self.  Like I said, most of the time I am great, but there are occasional times that I forget the big picture.  I know that I already know a ton and I wouldn't be this far if I was just in school. (which i am so grateful that I don't have to go back to right now!!!)  I know the Lord is helping me learn German and one day it will come.  I wish it would be sooner rather than later, but oh well.  the Lord knows me.
I love you all a ton!!!  You have no idea!!!  I miss you all so much, but at the same time I don't have a lot of time to feel sorry for myself.  :)  Blake is going to be great!!!  He is just a little nervous, but I think that once he gets out there he will love it.  He just needs to get a good companion.  Don't worry about him too much. Love you all!  
All my love, Sister Poll. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Everything is going great!!!The time change was a little hard to get used to, but not too bad. I almost fell asleep the second day in a meeting because I was against the wall. Luckily it wasn't just me and they asked all of us to stand up. It kind of helped.....
I can't believe how much I have learned already. I appreciate having mail when we get here to P-day. My companions name is Sister C. She is 19 and she if from America but has lived in Saudi Arabia for her whole life. She is great. We are learning how to communicate better and things are going well. There are two other sisters in our room but not in our district. They are great and it is so nice for all of us to share a room. We quiz each other in German all the time.
When we first got here our teacher walked in and she introduced herself in German and I thought that was really cool, until she kept talking in German and I had no idea what was going on. I was hoping she would switch to English at some point, but she seemed pretty content in speaking Deutsch. It is so frustrating to not understand what is going on. We are in complete immersion here. We only get lessons in German. I am getting very good at understanding body language and charades is my new favorite game. We have already taught our investigator 3 times, and not in English, but in German. On Saturday they said plan a lesson and go teach this investigator in German. We all were appalled that they would even say that. Needless to say, if the investigator was real and not our teacher, we would have really been setting bad examples for the Church. We mostly sat there wondering what was being said, as well as what we were supposed to say. Now however we are doing much better. We all pray in German now and can bear short testimonies in the language. Our grammar is awful, but our words kind of make sense. I think.... Sometimes the teachers laugh and say something super fast, and I just laugh along because you can either laugh or cry. Sometimes I just want to tell them that I know they speak English (which they do on the rare occasion as well as in meetings, plus they understand our English) and after they have said the same thing to me in German 6 times and I still don't understand, I just want them to speak English to me. And then there are some times when they are speaking German, and they randomly will start to say a small phase in English, and I am still behind trying to figure out what the German was, by the time I realize they have switched to English I have missed what they said. But I am learning and slowly I am getting it. I understand most everything with the help of body language, but the speaking is another story. My companion is good at saying things though since this is her third language, she is picking it up a little faster. So I just tell her what I want to say and she makes it up for me when I have no idea. Our investigator is a Catholic and he smokes all the time. Every time we go though he throws it away. Even though I know he isn't a real investigator, I want him to get baptized so bad. We challenged him to do that the other day and he was asking all these questions about how he had already been baptized catholic and was that valid? I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn't know how to say it. It is awe full.   
 Our P-day is Wednesday by the way here in the MTC. We get to go to the ASDA today (It is like a British Walmart) so that should be fun to get out a little. The temple is right next door, so in our small bit of free time we sometimes go walk around it as well.   
I hope you all know how much I love and miss you. I will admit that my homesickness is not as much as others, but that doesn't mean that I don't care. I really do miss you and would give anything for a hug from all of you back home. But I know this is were I am supposed to be. Don't forget to write me please. I love you!!!
Sister Poll