Monday, September 29, 2014

Missed posting last week so here are two for this week. Read the other one first.

This has been a good week.
So with conference we get to see it, but the woman's conference is delayed until next week. It is really weird too cuz the times are different. So we don't get to see the Sunday afternoon session. We are also watching the Saturday morning session on Saturday night which is really weird. I never thought about what a blessing it is to live where the Gospel is so strong. And also where we have the luxury of watching conference live or to be able to go to it. It is so close to us. Someone said to me in the MTC, you are so lucky to have the restored gospel in your mother language and to live where it is so strong. I had never thought of that. I am so grateful for all of my blessings and to have grown up where I did. I can't wait for conference. I also can't wait to get the magazine in the mail so that I can read all of the talks that we won't get to hear. I think I am going to order one for myself so that I can have my own copy. All the missionaries get one in thier apartment, but I think I want my own. But I am so excited. I don't think I have ever looked forward to conference more than now.
This week has been really good. It has also been interesting. We went to a non member family to do service on Thursday and it was really interesting. I am still trying to get used to the culture here in Germany. We walked in and the first thing we see is a little girl running around naked. So funny actually. So we were ironing clothes and cleaning the house and the kids were just kind of watching us do it. It was a little strange. I couldn't really talk to them either cuz my German is not very good, but they speak Swabish German which is harder to understand. My companion even had a really hard time with it. But I am really good at reading body language now. Its funny how I can get the gist of the conversation just by watching people and how they talk. Every one here is expressive too which really helps me out. It is really awkward sometimes though cuz the German people are so open. We were talking and all the sudden the mother just started breast feeding her daughter without even pausing in what she was saying. I'm sure my face was funny to see. Haha. We also have an investigator from Ghana who has a little boy who is 2, and all the time he does the same thing. I am learning to laugh at a lot of things. haha.
Our meeting with the Jehovah witness didn't go. We had been trying to get a hold of her and she wouldn't answer. So one day we saw her on the bus and we went to say hi and she totally "gave us the look" We said hi and the first thing she said was "I have no time" And then she ignored us the rest of the time, even though we were just trying to talk to her. Needless to say we aren't going by there for awhile. It was weird cuz she was pretty nice the first time we went over and told us to call and come back, but then when we saw her, her attitude was something else. Got to love people's agency. That is something I am learning really fast. All I can do is invite people and do my best. Every one can choose. Agency is an amazing gift, but it is also so frustrating sometimes. I just want to take people by the shoulder and say "stop being dumb and listen to me. This is what you need to hear!!! And stop worrying about dumb things!" But of course I would never really say that. (All of you stop laughing at me right now!)
This week should be really good. We have some appointments set up and we also have an exhibition on Wednesday. So we are going to set up a booth in a busy part of town and just do some finding and try to get people to come and talk with us. It should be interesting. But on that day we are also doing an austausch. Which means that we are switching companions for the day with some other sisters. I am really excited for that. Not cuz I don't like my companion, but just to see if there are some other things we can try that are working for them. And I get to go to Stuttgart for the day. Sleepover party!!!
Then on Saturday we are doing some service in the garden of one of our investigators. We were there yesterday and she was showing us her garden. I complimented one of the flowers and she said "want one?" I said yes and she cut me a whole bunch of them, pretty much until she had none left. By the time I could form a sentence in German to tell her to stop she was already done. So now we have a pretty bouquet of flowers in our apartment. She is super nice. I really hope she will read and pray about the book of Mormon. I think those are all the exciting things planned for this week.   
Love you all and miss you tons. Thank you for all your support and also for all your love. I can't thank you enough. It helps more than you know.
Sister Poll

This week has been a little hard, but overall really great. We haven't met with that investigator again (we are meeing with her tomorrow) so we will see. I have printed off my four generation chart to show her.  I am excited to meet with her and see what she is thinking now that she has started the BOM. I really hope that she will understand the gospel.
We also got another referral this week that we are going to go by so hopefully that one works out as well.    
 We had stake conference this week and I saw this cute girl who reminded me of Megan and Katie this week and I just wanted to go and give her the biggest hug, but I didn't know her so I just settled for a handshake and the cutest smile. She sat on our same bench and she was so cute during all the songs. She loved them and even though she couldn't sing she had the biggest smile on her face.   
Everything is going well. I really am starting to love the people of Tübingen and I am trying to be patient with the language. My companion told me this week that I am the most impatient person she has ever met. So I am trying really hard to be better and to just enjoy the time I am here. We had kind of a slow week with appointments and things and nothing too exciting happened that way. Most of our appointments have been in English this week which is nice cuz I can help with the lessons, but on the other hand I feel like my German isn't improving as much. One of our investigators this week told us that he is never going to change his mind and join our church, but my companion just kept telling him he would. I don't know if it was the best approach but we will see if he will meet with us again. We kind of talked for 2 hours and we didn't really get anywhere with him. I think if he will let us we will keep meeting with him just to talk, but he won't really be a progressing investigator, cuz he just dosn't want to listen to what we have to say. I told my companion that we need to not sit and argue for 2 hours and when we meet him just be short and share a nice thought and if he allows a lesson great. But she is more of a forward person and wants to teach him about things that he says he doesn't want to hear, so we will see. I think part of the language barrier is hard. he speaks English and although she speaks great english, sometimes she still doesn't understand. But I am really lucky to have her. Because we had this long lesson is why we had the miracle this week. So I guess it was great the way it turned out anyway.
The coolest thing that happened this week was before I came a woman saw the missionaries and said that she was looking for a church to come to. For some reason they didn't get her number so they were hoping that she would come to church. She didn't come and we were really sad. But the coolest thing was we met her again this week and got her number. She seems really interested and we are meeting her this afternoon to do a church tour and give a BOM. I am really excited.
I am also really excited for all the other appointments we have this week. I am really trying to use our time more wisely, but it is hard cuz we have to travel so much to appointments and that leaves us with little time. But I am getting more used to it. I just need to get out of my head that numbers don't matter. I keep trying to compare myself to others and when we don't meet all of our goals I need to realize that it is ok. We are trying our best and that is what is important.   
I miss you all and look forward to Mondays so much when I get to hear from you. This really is an amazing work and I am so glad to be a part of it. Love you and pray for you always. You are always in my thoughts.
Sister Poll

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hallo Familie!!!
So I am in Germany and needless to say it is overwhelming.  Everything is new, and I don't understand a thing.  I am having the moment from the best 2 years when he says This isn't the language I learned in the MTC.  I recognize bits and pieces, but overall I just smile and nod when my companion nods.  It is a struggle.  My companion is really great though.  She is from Mongolia and she speaks really good German and English (thank goodness).  I am so grateful that we can communicate, although I would probably learn faster if she only spoke German to me.  But I still feel myself improving every day.  It is just a lot harder out in the field.  I am scarred to talk to people first of all because I don't want to disturb whatever they are doing, but then add to that that I understand almost nothing of what they say so then I really don't want to talk to people.  My companion always says, ok you are going to talk to this person coming toward you.  Or talk with this person on the bus.  I am getting better, but I still need that push every time.  And then after I start the conversation she takes over cuz I have no idea what they are saying.  It is my trial right now.  And we all know how patient I am.  But overall it really is great.
We had a referral this week who had ordered a book of Mormon online and so we went over to Nagold to take it to her.  When we got there we talked with her and asked if we could share a message.  we started with a prayer, and as soon as we finished the prayer we looked up and she had tears just streaming down her face.  She was crying through the whole lesson and said that she felt the spirit so strong.  She said she would read the Book Of Mormon and pray about it.  We asked her to come to church with us, but she has to work for the next few Sundays so that was really sad.  But we have stake conference this Saturday so we are hoping that she will come with us to that.  It was such a great experience.  I really hope she reads and prays and that she will receive an answer.  It would be so great if she would be baptized.  We asked her if she would if she came to know it was true and she said YES!  But sometimes people say that and then change their minds.  So pray that she doesn't.  My companion has been out for 9 months and hasn't had a baptism yet, and we are hoping that she will be her first.  It would be so great for her and for our investigator.  She said that she felt God had led us to her.  We are so excited!!  My companion really is great though cuz she gives me opportunities to bear my testimony or share about certain things that I can say.  She sets it up and then turns to me and says will you share about the book of Mormon or something like that.  
I also went to church yesterday and met the ward.  They are great.  I didn't understand really anything, so that was nice....  But it is amazing how the spirit is the same no matter where you are.  I may not have been able to understand, but I was so grateful for the calming and comforting spirit I could feel.  It just helps me to remember that the gospel really is true.  And when I feel the spirit in the lessons we teach, since my job is to help bring the spirit since I can't really help with lessons right now.  I now realize how important the spirit is and how much I need him.  There is no way that I can do this without God and the Holy Ghost.  And I know that they are right beside me every day.  
After church we went to eat at a members house and I had to prepare a spiritual thought to share.  In German.  It was ok, but it was really funny cuz I know that they all speak English too.  So I got stuck on a word that I didn't know and I turned to my companion and asked and the whole table told me what it was.  So that was strange.  But they all tell me my German is good.  I need to work on saying thank you to them instead of not believing them when they say it. But the food they gave us was so great!!  You have to eat a lot here so that you don't offend people, which is good and bad.  the food was but I have no idea what it was....  Then we had jello for dessert.  Yes jello is a dessert here.  Don't ask me how that works.  Lucky for me they asked if we liked ice cream and they gave me some of that as well.  I am defiantly going to gain weight here...  Then they also gave us some German chocolate, which is amazing by the way.  I will try to send some home, but my companion says it is a little expensive to receive and send packages, so don't worry about sending anything unless it is really important.  
Our address is
Sister Danielle Poll
Gartenstraße 9\1
72074 Tübingen
And letters would be greatly appreciated.  I miss you all a ton.  If any of you have any suggestions about how to get over fear of talking to people I could use any advice you could give.

I love you all so much and I appreciate all that you do for me.  I can feel your love and i appreciate the prayers that you send my way.  Ich weiß dass das Buch Mormon war ist.  Ich liebe meine Himmlische Vater und auch siene Sohn.  Ich weiß dass Jesus Christus für uns opfer.  Ich liebe euch.  
that is about all the German I know at this point.  Love you!!!
Sister Poll

And last but not least I need you to forward this to Grandpa cuz I really need his help.  
Grandpa, you will be so disappointed in me to know that I already don't know this information, but I know that you will know.  Where exactly in the world does our ancestry come from.  I have had a lot of people ask me and I didn't realize how important of a question this is.  Also if you could send me some information on how to begin family history work for beginners or tell me where to find it I would be so grateful.  Our investigator that we took the book of Mormon to is super interested in family history work and I want to be able to connect with her and help her this way, but I will admit that I am not so knowledgeable.  So i am grateful that I have you.  i wish you were here so you could help me and her, but I guess email will have to work.  I love you tons and I am so grateful for your support and love.
Sister Poll

Friday, September 12, 2014

Arrived in Germany!!!

Dear family of Sister Poll -
We are delighted to tell you that Sister Poll arrived safely in Munich this morning.  She is tucked away in bed now after a long day of orientation. Her new companion is Sister E, and they will be serving in Tübingen Germany.  We are thrilled that she is here and are very impressed with her preparation and enthusiasm.  She will be a great missionary.  Thank you for all you have done to help her become the fine young sister she is today.  We love her already, and we will do all we can to help her grow as a missionary and have a successful mission.

President and Sister Kohler

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Leaving the MTC

Hey there!!  Just wanted to send you a quick note telling you why I am not really writing this week.  We finally get to leave the MTC!!!!  Unfortunately we are leaving at 4 in the morning, so I am still half asleep.  :)  But we don't have much time.  Our P-day in the field is Monday (so I have heard anyway) So I will plan on talking to you then.  Everything is going well.  So excited and completely terrified to leave the safety of the MTC, but they are kicking me out anyway. Love you!
Sister Poll

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

 Hi Everyone!!!
This week was a little different.  So we had a new group of missionaries come in and most of them are native German speakers who are serving in Germany.  Some of them are going to Berlin, some to Frankfurt and some to Alpine.  It has been quite the experience to be more surrounded by German.  I understand some of it and can have kind of a conversation as long as we talk about the gospel.  So needless to say that I am excited to leave, however I am more scarred now that I know how fast they speak and how little I understand.  It is crazy to listen to them and know that in just 7 days I am going to be surrounded by that I and I won't understand a word.  Then you try and speak to them, and they get this smile on there face cuz you are totally slaughtering the language.  They told me to get used to being laughed at.  But they are also really helpful.  They will speak slowly to us if we ask and they are always trying to help us understand.  They have been coming in and speaking to us a lot too in German which really helps.  They also sometimes will pray for us in German at night and they speak so fast.  But they are all really nice and really helpful.  They have just given me a sense of what to expect and I am a little scared.  Especially since we leave next week and we fly to München and then get on a train to the mission home.  While on the train we have to pass out a book of Mormon or as many has we can. In German...  So that is terrifying... But maybe someone will take pity on the girl who can't speak any German and take her strange book??  We will see I guess. 
So tomorrow we have another finding activity on the streets of Manchester, and since I can't go we get to have an extra day in the temple again.  I am super excited.  I love the temple so much.  I don't know what I am going to do when we don't get to go every week like we have been.  So I plan to enjoy it while I can.
So other than that noting exciting is going on.  
The language is coming.  I am getting laughed at on a daily basis, but I am slowly understanding more.  I get told that my German is improving, who knows if it really is.  But I continue to see little miracles in my life every day with the language and with how much I have grown here.  It is amazing what has happening in the past month, I can't imagine how much more I will grow in the next months.  I love you all so much!!!  Miss you tons!  You are always in my thoughts and prayers. 
Sister Poll