Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ahhhh!!!  It is Christmas week!!!!  I can't believe it!! (And I lied, I thought this week was the week we had p-day on Tuesday, but that is next week.  oops)  I get to talk to you this week!!!  It is crazy!!!  So I haven't heard from Blake.  So I have no idea if he got transferred or what happened or when he is skyping.  So I really hope that it all works out and we can Skype at the same time.  I am going to plan on the 25th at 6:00 pm my time. I hope it all works out.  That is the plan for now, if something changes I will let you know asap.
Things are good here.  I don't want to say too much since I will be talking to you on Thursday.  But I am starting to love Passau.  It is definitely different here, but at the same time it is the same.  Missionary work is amazing.  My companion is great.  She is 23 and has been in Passau for 7 months.  They have people to teach, but we work a lot with the less actives in this ward, which is very needed.  And now we are trying to work to find new investigators since our current ones have no time. Partly due to Christmas.  With the new year we should be really busy when people have time again.  She is great and has a lot of kids in her family as well. 
We will be by our branch presidents house on Christmas eve and it will be super fun. I am way excited.  And then we will go earlier to the Sagmeisters house so that we can leave early to Skype.  Their family is so big. They have one son who is already home from his mission, two younger sons still at home, and one daughter.  And then the two sons on their missions in Berlin and England Leeds.  So it is fun to go there.  It is a huge family dinner.  And we all eat a ton!!!  
I really am praying that we can all talk and that everything will work really well.  And if not, we still talk every week so it will be OK.  Merry Christmas!!!   

Sister Poll

Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting Adjusted in My New Area

Monday, December 8, 2014

First Week in Passau

Hello family.
Well, Passau is good. It isn't the same, obviously. I am still adjusting. But it isn't as bad as I made it out to be. I thought for sure that I would hate it and want to go back to Tubingen every day. But I don't. There are sometimes that I wish I was still there, but it is really good here.
It was a really busy week with transfers and all. I said goodbye to so many people this week before I left which was hard, but also really therapeutic. It helped me feel better about leaving. So that was really nice. We made Christmas cookies with a member on Monday before I left and the were awesome. I literally am going to gain so much weight here. It is bad. Then we had two other eating appointments with members before the day was through. But like I said, it was really nice to do it. It helped me feel some closure I guess... Then on Tuesday we had district meeting with our district photo before we all separated. We had 2 of us leaving. So that was a little sad. Then I learned how to make spitzla with a member. And it was so good. She loves us and sent us home with soooooo much food. It was like she thought we were starving or something. The members really take such good care of us.
Then on Wednesday I said good bye to P and her family. That was really sad. And her son just sat by me the whole time. Apparently he told his mom "why can't the Chinese one leave and sister poll stay?" So that broke my heart a little, but Sister E took it ok considering. :) It also snowed here, but didn't stay.
Thursday was crazy. So many trains and traveling with 2 suitcases. Since I didn't have a bike in Tubingen I didn't have to take it with me, and even if I did, I would have left it there anyway. We have bikes assigned by areas, not by missionaries. So that makes things a little easier. But I was on a train almost all day. When I got to Munich I got to meet Sister E's new companion. She seems super nice and hopefully they will get along well.
So that brings me to Passau. All this stuff I just said feels like it was forever ago. Passau is great. I haven't seen to much of it yet, cuz we have been busy. Yes it is a small branch. On Sunday we had a total of 20 people and that included the 4 missionaries. So it is really small. It is an adjustment that is for sure. But the members are all really nice and I am excited to get to know them better.
I am back in a district with one of the elders from the MTC which is nice to have someone that I know. We don't have too many investigators, but we are going to change that. We are going to do a lot of finding and find some people who are interesting in learning, so please pray that we find someone. We work a lot with the less actives, cuz we have quite a few. It is definitely different here. We need to really strengthen this ward and help those who do come stay strong. I am trying to come up with good ways to fill our time and make sure we are doing things that are going to progress the work. Plus learn the area super well, since my companion is in her last transfer now. So I will definitely stay here for one more transfer at least, unless they close the area. We are having 9 sisters go home this coming transfer and only 1 coming. So sad, but what can we do. They are going to have to close 4 sister areas and put in elders instead. Hopefully not Passau. We are going to make it boom here this transfer so that they won't want to close it. :)
My companion is awesome. She is Hungarian, but luckily speaks really good English. I luck out all the time. And her German is awesome and she is really helping me learn as well. We both don't like to cook to much, so that should be interesting. We may just eat the same thing every day... But we get a long really well which I am super great full for. I was really worried. And even though she is going home, she is not trunky which is also a blessing.
This week is going to be good. We have our Christmas conference in Munich on Wednesday which will be super fun. I am really excited. We get to spend time with the Kohlers and I get to see Sister E and her new companion this week. Plus a bunch of other people who I haven't seen in.... one week... It feels longer than that.
Other than that, we are just working really hard on finding and trying to get appointments with our investigators so I can meet them. I really hope we find some good people soon and get some solid appointments set up. Also with some less actives. that is our biggest work here. Is to strengthen the ward and also the less actives. Teaching is important, but we really need to focus on them. It is a big job. We have more less active people than active.
 I love you all. Thanks for all your support. Pray for you always.
Sister Poll

I forgot the most important part!!! My address so you can send me letters. :)
Sister Danielle Poll
Nibelungenstrasse 5
94032 Passau

Monday, December 1, 2014

Transfer Week!!!

We had a great Thanksgiving here.  One of the members invited us and all her non member friends so that was awesome.  We are really hoping to make one of the families investigators really soon, cuz we have met with her twice now and she said that she would be interested to meet with us.  We have developed a really good relationship, and she would make an awesome member with her family.  So pray that it works out.   
This week has been crazy.  We had so many appointments, but they were mostly with other people.  For example we went with the Elders and helped them teach their investigator, and we also had a couple of Skype lessons with Mongolians.  So that was really fun.  I went to Stuttgart for a day, and that was interesting.  I am so grateful for my companion and that she loves to talk to people.  I really need to be better cuz I had a hard time with my companion in Stuttgart.  She doesn't like talking to people really at all.  I even had a hard time talking to her, cuz I would ask questions and she would answer and then be silent again.  She started to open up a little, but even when I was talking with someone on the train, she was silent.  And it isn't cuz she doesn't speak German.  She has perfect German.  She is going home soon and she studied german before coming.  It made me so grateful for what I have and for what I need to do to be a better companion.  I feel so bad for sister E that she has had to deal with me being so silent all the time.  But we are doing really well.
And the biggest surprise of the week.  I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!  Crazy!!!  I have a lot of emotions about it actually.  I am really sad cuz our ward is amazing.  In church yesterday I just cried and had to bear my testimony.  All the members were telling me how much they would miss me and how I need to come back and visit.  I had 2 people offer me their homes to stay in when I come back. :)  This ward is amazing.  We also had Mission President and his family in the ward yesterday which was such a blessing.  Sister Kohler really helped me since I was more than a little sad.  But I only cried once which was a miracle.  Something about the mission has really changed me and I have become the most emotional person I have ever met.  I feel like Chelsie, cuz I always want to cry.  I don't like it.  But I know that where I am going needs me and even though I am sad to be leaving right before Christmas, and leaving this amazing ward, I will be ok.  But it doesn't stop me from being really sad about it.  President said if we didn't have so many sisters that needed to be trained, I probably would have stayed here.  But this is the life of a missionary I guess.  I hope I get used to it one day and stop getting so attached to everyone.  The hardest person to say goodbye to was P.  She was super upset that I was leaving.  She told me I needed to come back for Christmas and I had to explain that I couldn't.  And her little boy was the worst.  Every time I go over he says "Sister Poll is here!!!" and then gives me a big hug.  And I had to try to explain to him that I am leaving.  I don't think he really got it.  Saying goodbye is the worst!!!  But I keep telling myself that I a just going to make my family bigger with the people in my new area.  And President said that it might be possible for me to come back, since we are loosing so many sisters.  Next transfer we are closing 4 sister areas because we are losing 8 sisters and only getting 1.  And this transfer we lost 11 and only got 9.  It is really sad. So I am really hoping that maybe next year for Christmas I will be back in Tübingen.  One can hope right? :)
That brings me to where I am actually going.  Sister E is staying here and training a new golden.  I am heading to a place called Passau.  My companion is from Hungry.  So that will be interesting.  I think I am just bound to have international companions.  First from Saudi Arabia, then Mongolia, now Hungry.  But it has been the best experience ever.  Hard, but the best.  I am excited and really nervous.  I have so many conflicting emotions.  Cuz I am excited to go someplace new and have a new companion, but I am also terrified.  Cuz we all know how I deal with change.  So I am praying that my anxiety won't be too high.  I am going to ask the elders for a blessing this week which I know will help.  But I have heard a lot of great things about Passau.  It is really pretty and the ward is little.  That will be different, but hopefully I will adjust.  Apparently they only have 15-20 people.  I am just hoping we have some good investigators.  And it will also be good cuz I will speak more German than I am here.  I speak a lot, but not as much since all our investigators are English speaking.  So I am excited for that.  I have no idea what my address will be yet, but I should by next week.  And when I do you will be the first to know.  Just keep a prayer in your heart that I will be ok this week.  
I also went by and said goodbye to M this week.  I have a super cute photo of her baby and hopefully I can send it soon.  She is on track for baptism, kind of.  She just needs to realize that she needs to do it, but she isn't quite ready to give up her wine yet.  We are working on it.  She knows and wants to be baptized, but her desire isn't quite as great as it needs to be to give up her vices yet.  We are really praying for her. 
I am super excited for Christmas here.  I have a hard time remembering that it is ok to enjoy the experience and look at things. So I am excited for Christmas and what it will bring.  There are already so many Christmas markets up and we haven't had a chance to go to one yet, but they are up for the whole month of December.  I am really excited. 
This week is going to be so busy.  We are going by as many members as possible as well as investigators so that I can say goodbye.  It is really hard, but it will be good.  I am excited for Sister E to train.  She is nervous, but excited as well.  I am going to miss her a ton.  I learned a lot from her.  And I have learned a ton about myself.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here as a missionary.  It is hard and trying, but it is also amazing.  I have learned so much about myself and how to become more like my Savior.  I have gained a strong testimony about this Gospel and I know without a doubt that it blesses our lives.  The Church of Jesus Christ is true.  Our Savior loves us so much and wants more than anything for us to return home to him.  I am so grateful to have grown up in this Gospel, and that I have received my own testimony that it is true.  I am grateful to be sharing it with others as well.  
Love you all and think of you always.  You are all amazing examples to me.  Have a wonderful week!!!
Liebe Grüße
Sister Poll