Monday, March 23, 2015

It's a Miracle!!! 

Wow, you all sound so busy!!  I know what you mean with the time.  Sometimes it is so crazy how fast the time flies, but I have occasional days where I wonder if the clock is broken.  :)  But really the time goes so fast.  It is crazy.  We have another transfer in 2 weeks and it feels like we just started the last one.  So that is crazy.  We are pretty sure sister B is leaving, but you never know.  She could stay here, but she would like to leave and go someplace new.  And I understand that.  She has been here for 4 transfers now and this is her first area.  So I will keep you posted.  I won't know next week, but the Monday after conference I will know.  :)
Speaking of Conference I am stoked.  That is also something that is crazy.  It seems like just a month ago they were speaking to us and now it is happening again.  The time flies!!  I can't wait to hear what they have to say to me and to everyone.  I am trying to prepare myself to really hear the messages that they have to give.  Something exciting also is that we have a baptism on that same day. It is from the Elders here in Graz and it will be between sessions.  So really we are going to have a spiritual high that day.  It will be awesome.  He is getting baptized on the 5th.  It will be fantastic.  Conference would have been gift enough, but the baptism is a bonus!!!  We are really excited for him.  And the T, the elder couple serving here will get to see it before they leave as well.  Actually speaking of that.  They go home in 2 weeks, on April 10th I think.   They have done a lot here in Graz for this ward and for us as missionaries.  They are really fantastic. 
Our investigator we decided that we just need to let her go for a little bit.  Just to let her make her choices and she said she was feeling a little pressured to be baptized, so we are just going to let her have her space for a little bit.  And we are still in contact with her over email and also with text when she comes back in a couple weeks.  it really is a sad situation, but we can't really do anything at this point.   
Tell everyone there that I said hello.  
We got to go back to Furstenfeld this week and do service on that farm.  It was fantastic.  I just miss the farm life a lot sometimes.  Can't wait to come back.  Then we were in Vienna for the weekend for Stake Conference.  It was amazing.  I can't believe the difference between his stake conference and my last one.  I was struggling to understand last time, and this time I understood almost all of what was said.  And I was able to take notes which is a miracle. Usually I have to focus so much on translation that I can't really focus on what is being said.  It was amazing.  And President and Sister Kohler got to come.  I loved it.  The gift of tongues is real.  I have no doubt.  I wouldn't be able to do German without the help of God. 
Those were the two biggest things from this past week.  This week should be pretty quiet.  We have an exchange on Tuesday.  So I get to go to Vienna for a few days.  That will be fun and interesting.  I get to be with a sister who is only been out for about 4 weeks now.  So she is brand new and her German is coming.  So pray that we can communicate with the people.  I am really excited to be in Vienna for a few days.  Not sure I ever want to serve there, but I am excited to visit again.  It is a really huge city and tons of people.  So we should be able to find some people to talk to.  :)  We are doing some great work here.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be on a mission.  It is hard work and exhausting sometimes.  And people aren't always the nicest, but the ones who take time to listen, really gain something without price.  This gospel is true.  Everyone in the world needs it.  God loves us, and he wants us to return to Him.  He has made it possible for us.  If the celestial kingdom was un achievable, what would be the point.  God has made it easy for us, we just have to follow Him.  I know the church is true.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  it is the keystone to our religion and we need it to help others come unto Christ.  In order to help others, we must first help ourselves.  Read and pray and God will help you always.  Love you all!!!  Pray for you always.  Keep up the great work at home.  I will be back with you before you know it.  :)
Liebe Grüße,
Sister Poll

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This week has been a busy one.  We had a lot of lessons with less active members this week.  We are working with them and trying to get a better relationship with the ward members.  We are doing great.  But we are also spending a lot of time finding new people to teach.  We got someone that the elders found this week that is a woman so they gave her to us to teach. And that meeting went really well.  (See below) We are hoping that we can find some more people like her this week to teach as well.  Midori is now back in Japan for about 3 weeks.  She went to help her parents because her mom is sick.  But we are hoping when she comes back that we can be in contact again and at least see how she is ever now and then.  We are hoping that she sees a difference in her life while she is gone, but she may not.  It is hard because we want her to be happy, but because she is happy she thinks she doesn't need the church.  Sometimes you just want someone to go through a rough time so they can see how great life really is with the gospel. But everything happens in God's time.  She will come back one day.  :)
We actually had one of our less active in Church on Sunday that hasn't been for about 18 years.  It was awesome.  She is at one of those low parts in her life right now.  It is helping her to see that she needs the church.  Strange how that works.  But she will be ok. It was awesome to see her there. And one of our other less active who has been coming really regular since I got here is preparing to get her patriarchal blessing soon and then the next step is the temple.  We are stoked!!!  She is awesome!!! 
We also had a zone conference this week.  So that was great.  I always get so much from the other missionaries and their testimonies of the gospel.  Coming together and realizing that we are not alone.  It is a great blessing to have all of them around us.  I have no many new friends from the mission and I can't believe what a blessing that is. 
This coming week will be great.  We have some great appointments set and we are going to go back to the less active on the farm for service.  So of course I am looking forward to that.  It will be amazing.  And we have Stake conference this weekend in Vienna.  That will be super exciting.  We get to sleep over with the sisters in Vienna which never happens but it makes more sense to stay there overnight.  We would get back late on Saturday and have to leave really early on Sunday for the sessions and it is also cheaper to stay there.  We are so excited.  We usually only get to see them once or twice a transfer, because there are so few sisters in the mission we are all so spread out.  And then of course we are excited for stake conference.  But last stake conference I learned about nothing since I couldn't understand the German.  But I could feel the spirit.  But I am hoping this time my German is a little better.  :) 
Thanks for the ensign.  It hasn't come yet, but I am sure it will soon.  That is way better than you trying to use the Post.  I tried to send Jaque an email and he either didn't get it or doesn't want to talk to me. You can tell him he can email me as well.  :) 
Dad, I thought over your lesson and how you are teaching.  And I don't think I can share anything better than Elder Eyring or better than you.  I learned all I know from you. But I had a great experience the other day that I think kind of goes with this topic.  Feel free to share or not.  :)  We were headed into a first meeting with an investigator that the elders had found on the street. We knew she was a Jehovah Witness, but wanted to talk with us.  We got there and she was really nice and pretty open.  We were surprised.  She pulled out her bible and started asking questions with of course the scriptures behind to back her up.  But she wasn't wanting to argue, just to ask out of curiosity.  Which is great.  She was really open and something interesting happened. As missionaries we always have the spirit with us.  But sometimes we forget because we are surrounded by it all the time.  And they always talk about how the words will be given to you what you need to say.  I can truly testify that it is true.  She was asking us questions about certain scriptures in the Bible that I can't remember right now.  And I remember thinking when she opened it up that we were in trouble, cuz my bible knowledge is about nothing.  But I felt the spirit working through me and my companion and we were able to answer almost all of her questions.  And I know where the answers came from.  I felt like for those 30 minutes, the spirit was using me to talk to her.  Because I really know that was not me.  The knowledge that I had to answer her questions and help her to see where we were coming from was not something I could do on my own. And I know without a doubt that the spirit spoke to her.  She didn't fully understand him, and she isn't yet convinced of the truth, but I challenged her to baptism.  And it was really funny because in my head I thought I shouldn't do it just yet even though they say to challenge them in the first lesson. But I was scared and thought no, and then next thing I know I am asking her if she will be baptized.  She didn't say yes, but she also didn't say no.  It was really interesting to feel the spirit working through me.  And I know that when we do things out of love for others and want them to come closer to God, he gives us his help.  He qualifies us.  He makes us strong enough to bear the burden we have and to touch the hearts of those whom we are teaching.  I know now more than ever that the Holy Ghost is real.  He knows all of us and he uses us to answer others prayers.  He can and will speak to and through us when we allow him space in our lives and our hearts.  And maybe the witness is not for those with whom we are speaking, but for those whom he is speaking through.  This was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had regarding the spirit.  And I know now that I am stronger because of it.  Whether she is baptized or not, that experience strengthened me.  And I know that it was a part of revelation from God to help me see that I can rely on him and trust in his promises.  He really gives us the strength and the words that we need.  Revelation is available to all of us if we but study and want to become better.  We do our part and God takes up the slack.  He loves us more than we can imagine and he wants to give us the opportunities to see Him in our life as well as help others see him through us.  I read a quote this week that said "Don't shine so that others can see you, but shine so that other can see Him through you."  Be that light to those around you and you will see that your light also grows.  It is amazing.
I love you all and think of you always.  Keep up the work at home and know that I am thinking and praying for you. You are all amazing examples to me and I don't know what I would do with out you.  The work of the Lord is moving forward.  Love you!!
Sister Poll

Monday, March 9, 2015

 This was a sad week!

This week has been really busy.  We have been meeting with a lot of less actives and trying to get some new investigators.  Sadly this week Midori decided that needed a break from the Church.  We tried to talk to her about what it has done for her and how it has changed her life.  We talked about the why and everything, and she just decided that she needs a pause for awhile.  We really hope she changes  her mind, but we also have to respect her decision.  We can't force anyone to do anything.  And we talked about how the church and the Book of Mormon has changed her life.  She said she will keep reading and will let us know when she is ready again.  It basically broke our hearts, but we are working through it.  That was the worst part of the week. But we just keep praying for her and hope that she sees a difference in her life from before and now that she is choosing to leave.  One day she will get baptized. 
We are actually not supposed to get any more here.  I don't think.  It has been really pretty warm the past few days. I am getting really excited to not have to wear my coat all over the place and have started wearing my normal shoes again instead of boots.  Getting excited for spring. We don't have the time change until the 29 of March here.  So that is interesting that you had yours already.  Now we are closer together by an hour...  I think. 
 Sounds like everything is going well there.  We are working hard and trying to further the work here.  Crazy how time flies and how much joy it brings to share the gospel.  Give it a try this week.  :)  Sorry there isn't much to report this week. But we really are doing well.  We are gaining a better understanding of what Christ really did for us and what he wants us to do.  I came to the realization this week that my mission will never be over.  Even when I come home and I go back to normal life, I will always be a missionary.  I really need to work harder at fulfilling my callings and helping others come to this great joy that comes through Christ.  I am really excited for the challenge, but for now I will further the work here.  I love you all!!! Thank you for your support and love.  You make all the difference to me.  Love you loads and pray for you always.
Sister Poll

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 2

This week has been really busy.  We have had some great lessons with less actives and with some great investigators.  Our investigator is doing great.  Still cruzing through the BOM.  And we have an appointment this week with her that we are looking forward to.  And we are hoping to set up some other appointments with other investigators this week.  The sickness here is finally starting to go away and people are letting us back in. And it is starting to get warm out and now there are more people out walking around that we can talk to.  We are really excited for summer and when we can go to parks and have conversations with people.  It will be so nice!!!  It is interesting to see people come out again.  Sometimes we wonder if people actually live here.  :) 
We also got to do a great service project this week.  I was in heaven.  It was like being home again.  We went to this farm about an hour away, and trimmed trees for a less active member.  She has horses and chickens and lots of land.  And it was so great to just go and do some physical labor and work with your hands.  I haven't done that in awhile and I realize how much I miss it. And I got to pet the horses and it just smelled like home.  It was fantastic.  And we also got fresh eggs to bring home.  Then something else that was cool this week was we got fresh milk to bring home.  I about died.  It still tastes not the same, but it is way better than the milk from the box here.  We were out in the country and we stopped at this milk automat place.  Where you put money into a machine and it gives you milk that is fresh every day from the dairy.  It was interesting and really cool. And the taste was great.  Loved it.  These two things were the highlight of my week.  Basically the taste and the smell of home.  Got to love it.  :)  Now you know what I miss most from home.  Smell of manure and milk.  :)  Super funny what you miss in life when it is no longer there.  :)  And that means when I get home I need to do some physical labor, but not too much.  :)  I'm sure you will put me to work however.  :)
This week should be pretty busy. We have not too much going on right now, but our days always fill up with people we need to go by on or with appointments.  We are really grateful for our wonderful ward, but most of the members are gone this week.  They have a temple week, (since it is farther away) where the whole ward goes and just does temple work for a week long.  And then they come back and go back to normal.  It is really cool.  Cuz a lot of the countries around do that as well.  Most of the wards have certain weeks and the temple workers have weeks of different languages.  So that is cool.
We found out something cool this past week.  In April we have Elder Bednar coming to speak to our mission.  We are stoked!!!  And I can't wait to hear from him.  That will be an awesome experience.  But it is a little far away.  But I will keep you posted.  We are getting excited for General conference coming up.  Always a great time.  And I can't believe it is here again.  Seems like it was just a month ago that it was last general conference.  
I love you all and pray for you always.  Just remember that God is always with us.  Even when we don't think he is or we feel all alone, he is right by our side with his hand outstretched.  Keep doing what you know is right and take hold of his hand. He loves us and only wants us to succeed.  Love you all!!!!
Sister Poll