Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Staying in Graz!!!

That is an awesome story about Carina Smith.  You never know the lives that you will touch even if you don't know the person.  We had someone tell us a story kind of like that.  She saw missionaries and watched them for a long time, before she ever started investigating the church.  But the reason she met with them is because of the example of the missionaries that she saw.  She knew they were good people and she wanted to know more about the church.  You never know who is watching and what a difference you can make to people.  Even if you are just emailing them from Mormon.org.  I am so grateful for the experiences that I am having and all that I am learning.  It makes me realize what I need to do better when I go home and what I need to fix and make sure what I always keep in mind.  Mom, I love what you said about the city of Enoch.  We have to trust in God to do what he says he will.  He always provides a way for us to accomplish what he asks us to do.  I am really learning that.  Especially since my German is not very good, and talking with people on the street is scary.  But I am learning to rely on the Lord, and he helps make up the difference.  It really is a easy concept, but hard to practice.  I don't know why though, cuz God can't lie and he always wants whats best for us.  We just need to let him in.  And that is the hardest part sometimes.  Realizing it is ok to ask for help and that we can't do things on our own.
This week was really good.  Last Monday we went with one of our members hiking and then he took us to eat after.  He is an 88 year old man who is so fit, it is amazing.  I can't believe it.  He really almost beat us up the mountain.  But the hike wasn't too hard either.  :) 
We also had another meeting with our investigator.  She is doing great.  Reading the BOM and is now in Mosiah 4.  She is cruising.  I am super excited for her.  We are working on getting other appointments set up for this week, but we are doing really well.  We have a lot of people to work with and they are doing ok.  We need to figure out exactly what their concerns are, cuz some of them are plateauing.  We also had exchanges this week, so I got to lead someone around Graz all by myself.  Needless to say, I am very grateful for Sister B and that she knows Graz so well.  I need to step it up.  But good news is we are staying together for another transfer so I don't have to learn too fast.  :)  We did a lot of finding this week and found a few more people who may be interested in learning more.  That is always an exciting thing. 
This week should be really good and also really busy.  We have some great appointments set up and we are working on finding more people to teach.  We have some great potentials to go by though.  And the Elders have really been helping us out with that as well. We are super grateful.  Other than that nothing too exciting.  Sorry to be so boring this week.  Thanks for sending so many pictures!!!  Any more are always appreciated.  :)  And thank you for the package.  I was so happy to get 3 pens inside.  I think that was my favorite part.  But the candy was also a great surprise.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.  Remember how much I love you and pray for you always.  God loves us so much more and wants that we succeed in life.  He sent us here to learn and grow and we should never be sad because we know that we are children of God.  And how can we be sad when we know that?  Love you all and think of you always. 
Liebe Grüße!!!
Sister Poll

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16

Well, I am still jealous of your warm weather, but it is starting to get warmer here as well.  I will be so happy when I can go outside without a coat again.  I am getting sick of it.  But at the same time it isn't that bad here so I should stop complaining.  Sounds like you are all enjoying yourselves.  It is good that Megen keeps you all locked in where you should be.  :) 
Sounds like stuff on the farm is great.There are some things that you didn't do so much before and then you can't do them and you miss it a ton.  There are lots of things that I miss that I am excited to do again. But I am ok to wait for another year or so.  :)
This week was really busy, because we were traveling a lot.  We went to Munich for something called Mission Tour. And if you are like Blake you will think it is when we all get in a Van and tour the mission. That is not the case.  Although that would be really fun.  Sometimes I am jealous of the AP's and office elders who get to do that all the time.  But instead of that we got to hear from one of the area 70 who talked to us about how we can improve and what we are doing great.  It was an awesome meeting.  I am super glad that we got to go.  It took us about 3 days to get there and back, but it was totally worth it.  We talked a lot about being happy in any circumstance and we choose our attitude. And I got thinking about how true that really is.  Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you react.  We choose how we want to live and what we want to do.  And it is amazing that we have that choice. 
We had a faschings(carnival) party with the ward this week.  That was really fun.  We dressed up as elders, cuz we can't really dress up too much.  But it was super fun to go and have fun with the ward and the kids.  It makes it really hard to learn peoples names however when they are in costume.  Man it was really hard.  It was kind of like Halloween, but we just came together and played games, and of course ate food.  Can't be a Mormon function without food.  :) One of the elders here is actually going home in 2 weeks and he his headed to Utah.  He is from Hawaii (kind of) and his family is in Utah right now.  So they will stay there for a year or so before going back to Hawaii.  So he dressed up with a skirt thing and a hawain tie.  It was fun. The other one loves batman and so he had a fun mask for that.  We had a great time.
Then one of the group of elders from our distrikt had a baptism this week.  They were he in Graz cuz their branch doesn't have a font... So it was really nice that we were able to go.  And he is now getting ready to work towards going on a mission in a year so that is really cool as well.  The work is moving forward.  People need the gospel and we are here to give it to them.  It really is a marvelous work. I am so glad to be a part of it. 
This week will be really busy.  We have an exchange with the sisters in Vienna.  So that will be exciting. I am staying here in Graz and sister Bishop is headed there.  Then on Saturday we have transfer calls again. It seems like they were just yesterday, but they are back again.  We are hoping to stay together, but we are not sure.  So I will let you know next week.  Love you tons.  You are always in my prayers.
Liebe Grüße
Sister Poll

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 9

Hey!!!!  How are things there?  By the look of the email, pretty boring.  :)  Just kidding. 
I am super sad that I missed the Burn Party. Was the fire so big that Jesus could see it?  Cuz it wan't big enough for me to see it from here.  :)  Just kidding
That is crazy that the prices for beef have gone way up.  I really hope you can get her breed back when she is big enough so that you don't have to keep buying them.  It is expensive I am sure. And I really hope you can since I really would like some real meat again one day.  Here is just not the same.  Some of it is really great, but most of the meat just tastes like nothing.  All the ground beef is just... I can't even describe it.  So I am excited to eat real meat again.
Glad that it is so warm there.  Cuz here it is super cold.  And really windy.  All the people keep telling me that this is not normal weather.  But it has been good for me cuz it makes it easier to talk with people.  You can talk about how cold it is and then they have plenty to say to you.  So it has been a blessing actually.  And I know how to talk about weather in German now.  Two birds with one stone I guess.  :)  I really hope it starts to warm up around the end of February.  I can't believe that you have weather in the 60's in Feb.  That is unbelieveable. 
This week has been really good.  We had a really good lesson with Midori.  She is from Japan.  So dad, where exactly did you serve and exactly when?  She asked me and I couldn't remember.  Sorry about that.  So she speaks japanese and really good german, and then also some english.  I really feel inadaquate with the small amount of languages that I can speak when I am in this country.  It is insane.  We have a lot of bilingual kids and most of the time trilingual.  Sad when the kids speak better german than me, and better english.  But it makes for a good time. But back on track.  Midori is great.  She wants to read through the BOM before getting baptized so we are waiting on that, and she still wants to feel like she gets an answer before she commits to a date.  So we are really praying that as she reads she sees the importance of baptism.  Which with how she reads she will.  She always has great questions.  This week she asked us something about an Isaiah so that was interesting.  Basically we told her we had no idea in English so we had absolutly no idea in german.  But we told her we would find out for her.  Luckily we have some great members and other missionaries here.  So we got it covered. But man we had no idea. Makes me want to study it more.  Especially since I don't even know how to spell it.  But Dad if you could let me know some japenese that would be awesome.  :) 
Other than that we met with some new people this week and tried to find some new people to teach. We are working hard and going out in the snow every day.  But it is funny cuz the snow doesn't stay.  You would think with how much it has snowed the past few days that we would have a lot, but it just comes and then goes the same day almost.  Wierd. 
This week will be really exciting. We have mission tour this week.  We get to hear from Elder Patrick Kearon.  He is one of the 70 and over the Europe area so we are really excited.  That is on Thursday in Munich.  Because we are so far away we get to spend the night in Linz this week. So that will be exciting.  I am super glad that we have the opportunity to see some different places.  We are really excited for the meeting and what it will bring.  We will be back really late on Thursday cuz we come all the way back to Graz so that will be fun.  Other than that we don't have too many exciting things going on this week.  We are going to contact a referel hopfully this week.  We only have an address and it takes about 2 hours to get there. So we are hoping and praying she is home.  I forgot but we actually contacted another referell this past week. She was really cool. She is american and married to an austrian. She wanted to learn more about families and how she can strengthen hers. She has a mormon friend and has seen her family and wants to know how we do it.  So we went to a members house and talked about family home evening.  It was really cool. And we hope we get to meet with her again soon.  She is going to France for a few weeks.  So that makes it hard. But we are excited about her.  So hopefully our other one is just as good.  :)  But that is all for this week.  Things are going well here.  The work is moving forward. We have this new goal of one baptism in every district in the mission for every quater.  So we are really excited for that.  One of the elders in our district has a baptism this week, and one has one set for a couple weeks from now, and we hope to set one with Midori soon.  So hopefully we will exceed our goal for the first quater.  And then be able to keep it going for the next three.  It is totally possible and we are super excited about it.  We keep saying we are going to baptize all of Graz.  It is going to happen.  :)
The German is coming.  Slowly, but it does come.  And I got told this week that my accent wasn't that bad so that is also a bonus.  The work is moving forward. Thanks for all your prayers and love.  I really can't thank you enough.  It really helps more than you know.  You are all alwas in my prayers.  
I have an assignment for all of you this week.  We need some help coming up with lessons that are children friendly.  Those of you who had little children or currently have some, how do you do family home evening so that the children learn and also stay focused.  Any good ideas?  Also if any of you have any good object lessons that only last about 5 minutes that would also be amazing.  We want to make our spiritual thoughts more than just sharing a scripture, although that is good we want it to be better.  So anything would be appreciated.  Love you all loads!  Keep working hard and staying safe.  Love you!
Sister Poll


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

We've Been Out 6 Months!!

Hi Everyone
We have been having the same problem the past couple weeks of appointments falling out due to sickness and I will be so happy when everyone is healthy again.  We have been able to avoid it for the most part and keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't hit us. And HAPPY 6 MONTHS!!!  I hit that as well, but we didn't do anything too exciting.  I didn't burn anything, cuz in Germany (I assume it is the same in Austria) that is illegal and we can get in big trouble.  Apparently.  I don't know the exact rules with that, partly cuz I can't understand them....  But we ate a really good dinner.  And what is cool is that if my comp and me stay together, then she will hit her 6 month mark next transfer.  But it is super exciting.  I totally understand the fast and slow times.  Get used to it.  But it is crazy to think that in 2 transfers I will be halfway through the mission.  INSANE!!!  Part of me is looking forward to it, but part of me is hoping that the time slows down a little.  I have so much more to learn and not enough time to do it. 
Sorry I forgot to mention that this week P-Day is on Tuesday.  I really thought I said something, but obviously not.  We had interviews with President yesterday. So I was in Vienna with the other missionaries for the day.  That was really cool.  We went to a district lunch before district meeting since president does emails during district meeting.  And we had cordon bleu schnitzel.  It was amazing.  My companion and I split it and all the elders ate a full one.  It was huge.  But oh so good.  One day I am going to learn how to make them so you can all try.  Or we can come back to Vienna and try them here.  That will most likely be way better. 
Interviews with President were really good.  He is amazing and travels all around so that he can take time to talk with us.  It was really good to talk with him and let him know that I could stay here for a little while and be ok.  :)  But really I would go anywhere here.  It is cool to experience different places, even though they are all kind of the same when you are doing missionary work. 
Last week was really good.  We had a lot of first lessons with people and some of them were really good.  Others not so much.  But it is hard, cuz we have to give our male investigators to the elders since we have had a few problems with them getting too attached to sisters, and now we are trying to find females to teach.  It is kind of hard.  Even the elders said "Women are brutal to talk to!  They just don't want to listen, and aren't nice about it"  So ja.  That is life here.  But really it isn't that bad.  We taught a lot of people last week.
Our investigator is doing great.  Dad, she is from the great place of Japan.  She speaks really good German though.  And I found out this week that she also speaks some English.  And it is really good.  But she told us that she wants to read the whole BOM before she is baptized, so we are trying to push her, but not push her into a baptismal date.  But she will get there soon. And she is reading the BOM super fast.  She told us, " I just can't stop"  She really knows what it is all about.  We are super excited for her.  
 We are meeting with another investigator this week from China, so that will be super cool.  She has met with Sister B a few times, but she has been busy with finals right now.  Everyone is.  So that has kept her from meeting with us.  But this week!!  And we are meeting with a referral this week and we are stoked.  She has a friend who is a member and wants her family to be as strong as her friend. And we are so prepared to teach her how to do that. 
I am finally getting to know the members better.  We have been doing really good about meeting with a couple members a week.  I am really glad to start building this relationship with them. 
Other than that nothing too exciting.  This week we have our referral and also a couple other appointments that we are excited about.  But next week is mission tour.  So that will be cool.  I can tell you more about that next week.  But it is next Thursday.  We will be in Munich.  We get to sleep over in Salzburg so that will be fun. 
Love you all and think of you always.  Thanks for all the support and love that you send.  I am so grateful to be a missionary and to have this experience.  It is definitely life changing.  I can't describe it.  Try this week to share the gospel with someone.  Even if they say no, you will feel good cuz you tried.  Trust me.  I know exactly how hard it is, but you can do it in English. :)  Sharing the gospel is one of the greatest feelings you can have, and some of the best work you can do for the Lord.  Love you all!!!!
Sister Poll

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 26

Hallo Familie!!!

This week has been really busy.  We have been getting to know the ward and visiting people so that I can know them.  And also so that we can practice lessons with the members cuz our German is not the greatest.  We both are trying to get better, but we need help.  Lucky for us the ward is awesome about it.  They correct us and some of the members want us to correct them on their English, so we help one another.  We also had a really cool day this week that we both told you about on the voice recording.  So be sure to listen to those.  .  
We had a great lesson with one of our investigators this week and she is awesome.  She is so ready for baptism and sees the church making a difference in her life, but she feels that she hasn't gotten an answer about baptism yet.  So we are just working on that.  She is super cool.  We love having her and we hope that she will be baptized by the end of the transfer.  
Then we had our miracle day, then we had church.  I am so glad that we have 3 hours of church again.  It is so great.  And actually it flies by now.  I never would have thought that I would say that.  But I love having 3 hours of church.  I am so grateful.  Then we went and had dinner with a member family.  It was so great.  They have 3 little kids and I have missed that.  And also the food was amazing.  I got to hear Italian as well cuz the dad served in Italy and so he speaks Italian to the kids sometimes.  They can all understand Italian, but they don't speak it.  They can also understand English a little bit.  It is crazy how many bilingual and multilingual kids there are here. It amazes me.  
Then I am having a little bit of a rough day today.  We were at the library for emails, where we only did half so that we could come to the church to send pictures.  The computers at the library don't work with cameras.  And I put on someone else s coat and was totally freaked out cuz it looked just like mine and I wondered why I had these things in my pockets.  So that was funny.  Then I couldn't find the letter from Brother P that he sent me to send a return one.  He sent me a huge package and I was so nice of him.  Tons of chocolate inside.  So I need to send something back.  Then I also scuffed up my boot really bad, I am hoping that I can get it fixed, cuz it looks really bad and It may cause an issue if it rains.  And then now my pictures don't work today.  So that sums up the little bad things that are happening already today and it is only 1:00.  But it is OK.  Because that just means that something great is going to happen and Satan is trying to get me down.  But it doesn't work like that.  :)  Actually it hasn't been that bad.  I actually laughed really hard when I put on that other persons jacket, and luckily no one saw me.  And the other stuff really isn't bad, just frustrating.  
But all is well here.  I love being in Graz.  I really hope that I get to stay for awhile.  I am loving my companion and all that is happening here.  We have a great ward.  I am so glad that you all sound safe and sound.   
Love you all and think and pray for you always. 
Sister Poll