Monday, October 26, 2015

Ludwigsburg ROUND 3!!!!

 Well as you can guess from the title I am staying in Ludwigsburg for a third transfer!!!  I am so excited!!!!!  And I am staying with Sister Cook!!!!  We were so relieved when we got the call that we were staying.  Unfortunately we no longer have elders here.  They are getting shut down.  So that will be something new and different.  But hopefully they come back next transfer.  I have no idea.  But I really hope so.  It will be weird to go to appointments without them.  But I am really glad that Sister Cook and I are together. We will be able to finish our missions here in Ludwigsburg.  She is going home in 6 weeks and then I will get someone new and finish here as well I think.  It will be so much fun.  We have some great things going on here right now.
So miracles of the week. There are so many it is just hard to describe.  We were so blessed this week.
We had some great things happen on Tuesday and all but Wednesday we got a call from S and he told us the he didn't have too much time but that his girlfriend N had time and she was also interested. She is visiting from a place in Germany called Bochum.  She is here to visit him since she is just writing her Master Thesis and can do it anywhere.  We set up a time for Thursday and we were super excited.  
Thursday morning runs around and we go to catch our train to our appointment and it just falls out. So that means we are going to be late since it just decided not to come.  We quickly ran to jump on a bus and called her to tell her we would be a few minutes late.  We then ran from the bus stop to where she was waiting for us.  It was defiantly a work out.  :) But it was worth it.  Ever since we have met N our lives have changed.  That sounds a little corny but it is really true.  We met with her and explained what we do and how we want to help people.  She then asked if we could meet every day so that she could learn.  We have seen her every day since Thursday.  And she just progresses so much over the course of a day. She started reading the title page of the book of Mormon and the second time we met with her she said "I watched some things on you tube because I was confused"  That made us a little worried since you never know what is on the internet.  But turns out she was really confused about the book of Mormon (even though we told her she wouldn't fully understand and we would explain tomorrow.)  And said she didn't want to read it cuz she was totally confused. So she went onto you tube and searched some things.  She made her way to Mormon channel and proceeded to watch 53 videos about the book of Mormon and the church.  She basically got all the videos about all the stories in the Book Of Mormon!!!  Then she had a desire to read and more fully understand. She is awesome!!!  Is in now in First Nephi and getting farther every day. She still watches lots of stuff on Mormon channel and we got her the gospel library app.  Today she told us that she would love to come and be a joint teach with others and help them understand our message.  We want to set a baptismal date with her, but she technically lives in another mission and we are not sure if she can get baptized here or needs to go to the ward where she is living.  But we are basically best friends and we love her.  She is amazing and she came to church on Sunday and LOVE IT!!!!  She promised all the members that she would be there next week as well.  She just takes everything and wants to learn more. She is one of the biggest miracles I have seen my whole mission.  Pray for her that she will make the transition well when she goes back home. 
Another miracle is that our less active that we are working with came to church on Sunday.  She said it was great to feel the spirit again and wants to come back regularly now.  And we go visit her every week.  So crazy that we met her on a bus and had no idea she was even a member.  And we have been able to help her so much.  
As I look back at this week I know that God is blessing us to do the work that he has called us to do.  Helping people come to the knowledge of the gospel is the best feeling.  I love it!!!  I know without a doubt that it is true and that God qualifies those he calls.  I know that he is preparing his children all over the world and that nothing is as important as to keep him in our lives.  Trials are good because they make us stronger and I love looking back and knowing that God was right beside me all along the way. Keep him in your thoughts and He is always with you and strengthening you.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful and successful week!!!!  You are all such wonderful examples to me and I could not ask for better family and friends.  LOVE YOU!!
Sister Poll

October 19

Well all, This week has been fun and flew by way tooo fast.  Like always.  :)
We had a great zone training on Tuesday where we had to help teach and everything.  We were a bit nervous, but we think it went well.  Hopefully it helped someone in some way.  
We then went on exchanges with the Tübingen sisters.  I was blessed to again go back to Tübingen (my home town!!!)  And to see some amazing people again.  I was also able to call some people on the phone and hear how they are doing.  It is crazy to think of how much things have changed since I have been there.  For example people move.  Funny story of the week. We went to visit someone that I was also teaching when I was there.  And as we were walking there I just went into autopilot and took the way that we always went.  Because we were there a lot.  So I was with Sister Price and she asked me if this was a better way to go.  And I said ya we always went this way.  (This should have been a sign to stop and think for a minute but we didn't) And so I started leading where we were going.  And I knew exactly where I was.  Well, long story short we walked where I always used to go only to find a gate in our way.  Things change in the course of a  year and we figured out that we were on a construction site.  Seeing this and realizing that we made a mistake we turned around and tried to go back the way we came.  Then we met this man who was bolting up the gate that we walked through.  Naturally I was a little worried and told him that we were confused and walked the wrong way and asked if we could get back out.  He looked at me an in all seriousness said "no, the police will be here in 10 minutes" and then he walked further down the fence and secured it some more......  Then he turned around and took a picture of us with his phone and walked off.....  So we were a little worried and proceeded to say a prayer.  About 10 minutes later he came back up to us.  We were expecting him to tell us that the police were there but he told us to go around the corner and the gate was open.  And we did just that and walked away no problem.  Turns out you should not listen to old missionaries who think they know where you are going.  And you should check every single fence before you walk through to see if there is a sign that says authorized personnel only.....  But we made it out no problem.  Prayer works my friends.  It really works.  God loves us and we laughed really hard AFTER the fact.  Pay attention and don't be dumb is the lesson I learned.  So that was my funny story of the week.
As far as people that we met with this week it was a little scarce.  People got really busy with work and had to work some over time or they had tests last week.  So we are meeting with them all this week.  No big deal.  We are excited to see them again.  :)
We met with someone from Bolivia who is a member but has never been here.  We met her on the bus and she told us that she is a member and we went to see her and she really is.  She has a strong testimony but her husband isn't a member.  And she doesn't know anyone here and so she hasn't ever been to church here.  She hasn't really been to church since she was 18 and moved away.  She still loves to listen to church music and enjoys the church, just isn't strong enough to do something on her own.  So we are working with her.  It will be amazing to help her come back to church and feel the love of the members here.  
We had a great time with a member this week as well.  Their little down syndrome boy started walking this week and they are really excited. He is super cute and we play with him all the time.  It was really cool to connect with them as well and talk about Megan and Katie a little bit.  They are such an awesome family.  
This week has been awesome.  Things are going so well.  I love you all and know that the Gospel is true!!  Keep God in your thoughts and you will see his hand in your life every day!!!  Love you!!
Sister Poll

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

 I Love it here!!

Monday we went and had an amazing lesson with a part member family here.  The wife is not a member but we went and taught the Restoration.  It was so good.  She really doesn't believe that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus but we challenged her to really pray and ask.  We just feel like she isn't really ready to make a change right now.  She is a little scared to take the step.  But the spirit that was with us in that lesson was amazing.  I felt it so strong and it really was just so wonderful.
Tuesday we had district meeting in Stuttgart.  A lot of people in my district are sick and I was just very grateful that I am not sick.  :)  Hopefully I don't catch what they all have.  We came home after and met with a less active.  She has a daughter who is 10 who really wants to be baptized.  She is basically ready to be baptized and comes to church every week with her Grandma.  We just need to help her decide who she wants to baptize her and when.  Which you think would be an easy task, but no.  She wants someone from her family to do it but the two she wants are 1. too old.  He just had surgery and is in the hospital. and 2. lives in America and isn't coming to visit again soon.  Unfortunately he was just here visiting but Laura was on vacation.  So we are trying to help her see that she can be baptized by someone else in the ward.  But we have only met her the one time since we have been here due to her being on vacation and then getting an appointment with them is a little difficult.  But we are going to get it.  She is really sweet. And her mom is fine with her being baptized and actually has a really strong testimony, just has some issues that she needs to work through.  And coming to church with all her kids isn't something she is totally motivated to do right now....  Unfortunately.  We are working on it though.  They are such a cute family.  
Wednesday was wonderful.  We had a bit of an open day which hasn't happened to us in a little while.  So we called some members up and asked if we could stop by for about 15 minutes and share something while we were in the area.  It was so great.  We went to one family and she had hurried and stuck muffins in the oven for us for when we got there.  I love her.  And we had a great talk about conference with her.  It was so nice and then we headed to another member who is in the same place.  And she was making lunch for her kids but when we called didn't say anything about that.  She just said that we could come by no problem.  Well as you might have guessed, we invited ourselves to lunch.  Not on purpose.... But it was really sweet of this member to do that for us.  We ate with her cute kids and then shared something with them.  It was nice doing this a little  spontaneously because we were able to get to know them and have a short but wonderful time with them.  We loved it.  
And then we had our wonder lesson.  We met with S.  We took a member with us who is preparing to go on a mission. It was so good.  We talked about the book of Mormon and why it is important and what exactly it means for us.  He had read already to 1 Nephi 8.  He is amazing.  And... Drumm rollllllll.  We set a baptismal date with him!!!  It will be November 21.  The only thing that we think may hold him back is that he wants to read the whole book of Mormon first.  Which is NOT BAD at all!!!  We just know that he is so ready and hope that he can finish it.  He wants to be baptized in November as well.  It was such a good lesson.  He also told us after that his girlfriend is interested and is coming to visit.  He asked if she could come along to our lesson.  Of course we said YES!!!  haha.  And our member loved being there as well. It was so good. 
Then on Thursday we had two lessons before we headed to Munich.  We met with Frau B.  She is the older lady who we have been meeting often.  We also brought a member with us.  And the spirit was so strong in this lesson.  We were just talking about how we can receive answers.  She still isn't sure about certain things but the spirit was so strong.  And after our lesson our member came out and said that she also felt the spirit so strong and was so glad that we invited her to come.  It was so rewarding and amazing.  I love helping people feel the spirit.  Our other lesson was with someone we met while dooring.  He was interested but has a doctors appointment soon and doesn't want to meet again before then so that he can "not think too much"  So we will call back in a week after his appointment. 
Munich was amazing.  We had Missionary Leadership Council.  MLC.  I love going there.  The ride was long, but we made it and we were just filled with the spirit.  And now this week we have to teach zone training to everyone.  Hope it goes well.  I also got to see Sister G which was just wonderful. I love seeing people you know and don't get to see often as well as old companions.  It is just awesome.  And seeing the Kohlers was also a blessing.  I love my mission President. 
Saturday we had another amazing lesson with S. We had a different member with us and we talked about repentance and faith and baptism and holy ghost.  We were trying to describe repentance and talked about how we should do it every day.  And he just said "why, I don't do anything bad.  I don't think I have ever repented"  When you don't realize what repentance is it makes perfect sense.  But he is such a good guy and tries so hard to do everything right.  So it was amazing.  Asking him to repent was just easy cuz he is already doing everything right. haha.  And we invited him to attend church every Sunday.  Yesterday he couldn't come but he said that now that he knows he will be there.  
We also found another Chinese investigator. :)  We knocked on her door after a really cool experience.  So from the beginning.  
J was the first door.  She was there with her boyfriend and when we were talking to them them they had no interest.  We asked them if they knew someone and they told us try door number 20.  We asked if we could just leave them a card and she said no, but he said sure.  So then we went on our way.  Right after we had knocked on door 20 (who didn't answer, we waited) J comes back up to us and said "I just realized you were Mormons and now who I thought.  I have always wanted to talk with Mormons.  Do you have time that I could ask you some questions?"  I literally said " Sorry I don't think I understood that.  What?"  Cuz about 1 minute before she was totally NOT interested.  But then we ended up having a 30  minute talk with her in her kitchen.  We gave her a Book Of Mormon and she said she will be to church soon to see it.  She didn't really want to keep meeting but took our number.  It was amazing. People really change, sometimes sooner than others.
And on Sunday we went back to door 20 and it was our new Chinese Investigator.  She basically told us at the door that she wants to be baptized.  It was so great.  Miracles happen.  
I think that was all for this week.  Next week we will be busy as well.  We have exchanges and I will be in Tübingen again.  I am so excited.  I get to see Pa one more time!!!  It will be a blast.  I hope you all know how much I love you and appreciate all that you do for me.  You are amazing and I wouldn't be who and where I am without you.  
I really love you all!!!
Sister Poll

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Conference was Amazing!!

Well can I just say that Conference was amazing and just leave it at that.  Conference brings such a special spirit and so many miracles.  I loved conference.  And I learned so much.  I can't even pick a favorite talk.  There were so many good ones.  I was able to watch the women's conference this Saturday and it was sooooo good!!  I love Elder Uchtdorf.  The story he told was just so touching.  I love learning through stories and experiences.  I have seen it touch people here as well as we teach.  When you share things from your own life it touches them so much more than when you just preach to them.  And I loved Elder Uchtdorf's second talk in the Saturday morning session as well.  President Monson's talk just touched my heart as well.  But I was really worried about him as he seemed really frail and almost couldn't finish his talk.   But his talk was wonderful.  I just love him.  I was also able to sit by one of our new members during conference and she was just in awe to be seeing the President of the church.  It was so wonderful to watch her as she watched him so intently.  After he finished she just said, "I know he is the President"  How often do we take him for granted because we only hear from him every 6 months.  He is amazing and I know that I was more grateful for him as I watched her excitement.  President Monson is just amazing.  I know that he is a true Prophet of God.  You could just see it as you listened to him.  I was also able to watch President Nelson.  I loved that talk.  It was so wonderful.  I want to try to be more like the women he was describing.  Exercise my full potential that God can see in me. I haven't been able to see the last session of Conference yet.  But I will see it little by little hopefully this week.  :)  We had someone come to the Saturday afternoon session so we were watching it in German.  It was really wonderful to listen, even though I didn't understand all of it.  But it was really good.  I will be watching that over again this week as well.

This past week was wonderful.  We had Zone Conference on Tuesday.  So we were in Munich for that.  It was the Stuttgart Zone and also the Munich Zone.  So we got to see so many other missionaries and so many other sisters.  I was so excited.  I got to see Sister C from the MTC as well as Sister B!!!  We just talked for forever!!  She is in Passau now and so it was cool to talk with her about the members.  She is doing really good.  It was so nice to see her!!!  And the conference of course was wonderful.  :)  We talked about member missionary work and how we can better be a part of the members doing missionary work.  How we can inspire others and help them find the joy in sharing the gospel.  It was such a good conference to hear from President as well as Sister Kohler.  

On Wednesday we were on Exchanges with the Stuttgart sisters so I was with Sister E.  She is so wonderful.  I learned a lot from her.  We had a great time in Ludwigsburg together.  We met with our investigator and took a joint teach with us and it was just amazing.  They both connected so well.  It was with our older investigator from Russia and our joint teach was also a little older and they were so good together.  It was nice that she didn't call us "Kinder" for once (children)  We talked about the Plan of Salvation very simply and it was just wonderful.  She said that she likes the idea, but can't imagine seeing her family after this life.  It is just hard for her to comprehend.  But it was amazing.  She is awesome.  And she has slowed down reading the Book of Mormon now and is understanding it better now.  Thank goodness.  She restarted Mosiah and is having an easier time now.  We are so glad. 

We also met with a family on Wednesday and she invited us back over on Friday to meet one of the moms from her school who is here form Kosovo.  She is here with her 3 girls and has basically nothing.  She is trying to find work and help her kids have a better life.  But she knows our member and she thought it would be good if we could come over and teach her German every week and help her with the Gospel as well when she is ready for it.  It was really awesome to go there.  This member is such a powerful missionary.  She shares the gospel with everyone.  She is going to invite us back over in a couple of weeks to meet with another person she has met recently.  We just love her and her family.  We also met this man on the street and we invited him to Conference.  We had been inviting everyone we met on the street to come.  This guy was amazing!!!  He told us he would come to a session.  He promised. He took our number and the invitation with all the directions (Conference was in Stuttgart) and promised to call. And he did!!!  He said he would come to the last session of Conference on Saturday (So Saturday Morning session) we were so excited!!!

We also met with our new member who was in Conference on Sunday.  We helped her to prepare a little bit and talked about how it is important to hear from the Prophet.  She was so excited to come.  We were so glad that she made it and another member brought her so she could see it.  It was also in English which is so nice for her.  She speaks no German so she was so excited that she understood everything compared to normal Sundays.  ( We usually translate on Sundays but it just isn't the same.)

We also met with one of our other investigators. he is wonderful and has such a great interest for the church.  He is just really busy with work and trying to get a job.  So he has to study a lot right now to learn the products of the company for his interview in a few weeks.  We don't know if we will hear from him in the next week.  Hopefully.  :)

On Saturday we met with someone new and he is totally GOLDEN!!!!  He has been studying the bible for the past 4 years trying to come closer to God.  He was so excited to get a Book of Mormon and learn.  He speaks good German but his mother tongue is Chinese.  But we found out that 2 weeks ago when we knocked on his door was just about 2 days after he had moved here.  He is new and we caught him right after he moved in.  And he was so excited to meet with us.  He is so prepared to receive the gospel.  We are so excited to help him.  Unfortunately he was sick with a fever and things on Sunday so he couldn't come to conference.  But he said he would watch it online.  

When we showed up for conference the man from the street on Wednesday was there!!!  Early cuz we were there for the women's conference!!!  He was 2 hours early!!!  But he knew that and was just going to wait.  He was so excited to be there as well.  Unfortunately something came up and he had to leave early, but he saw some of conference and we have his number to call.  :)  

On Sunday we also met with someone new and brought them to conference. He was interested and took a Book of Mormon as well as downloaded the app onto his phone.  He was amazing!!!  We are so excited to keep meeting with him but we weren't able to set up an appointment with him.  But he has interest and we will totally see him again.  He just had to leave a little early to skype with someone from China.  :)  Everyone is from China.  (Almost)  But conference was sooooo good!!!  It just touched my heart.
We are so blessed to have a modern day Prophet and apostles that speak to us.  
This next week is going to be crazy.  We are going back to Munich for a meeting because we are the STL's here in Stuttgart zone.  We are really excited to have this meeting with President.  It will be so good.  We also have a lot of appointments set up with our investigators as well as new people that we are meeting.  We are hoping to set some baptismal dates this week!!!  Pray for these people!!!  We are working so hard.  I love you all and thank you so much for your support!!!  Read back through the conference talks and your notes and really start to apply them in your life.  Love you!!!!
Sister Poll

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What a great week!!

Well Hello to all those that I love.  
Well, this week has been pretty great.  The weather has been amazing and warm and we are so grateful, but we have also had a chilly wind.  But nothing we can't handle.  Really has been just a good week to be out and about.  Not too much rain, but enough to make things greener.  :)
On Monday we went to a big Pumpkin exhibition here in Ludwigsburg.  It was really cool and I will try to send you some pictures this week.  It was something that was really cool to see and we didn't even have to pay for it which made it so much better.  We had a coupon that we got when we came here to Ludwigsburg and so we got to go in free.  And it was really cool because they have the whole garden with the Castle that you can see, also the Pumpkins and also a garden made for the kids that has fairy tales all around.  So you go and there is a place with a wolf and a little girl in a red cloak and you push a button and they speak and move.  It is like that with so many fairy tales.  And we didn't stay that long, but we could have been there all day.  It was really fun.
Then we had District meeting on Tuesday.  It was really good and we had two new elders in our district from transfers so it was nice to meet them as well.  Then we went by on one of our less actives/part member families that we are working with.  They have been sick so we took them some tea and we ended up staying there and having a really good talk with them.  They are so awesome.  We are going back there tonight.  The dad is trying to stop drinking coffee which is a huge step for him.  He is really amazing.  And the mom and daughter came to church yesterday!!!!  We were so excited!!!!!  We really feel like if they keep being good examples the dad will get baptized here soon.  They are such an amazing family.  Really we just love being over there.  And they are making progress since we have started going over there which is just such an amazing feeling.  

Wednesday was wonderful.  haha.  I just had to look back at what we did, but now I know for sure that it was wonderful.  :)  We made cookies and took them to some of the members to thank them for all that they do for us.  Also for some of our investigators and a few others.  We did it during lunch really fast.  We also needed some to apologize to one of our investigators cuz we had a small miscommunication.  We were so mad at ourselves!!!  We made all these plans to go pick her up on Sunday (last week)  And we told her we would be there and everything. She said that she would call if something came up and she couldn't come.  Well she called us on Saturday but we couldn't answer, and she didn't pick up.  Basically we spent all night playing phone tag.  We assumed (which you should never do and I will never do again) that she wasn't coming.  We even called her Sunday morning and tried to get hold of her.  But because she said she would call us if something came up and she couldn't come to church we just thought she was telling us she couldn't come.  Not the case.  And I was so mad cuz I felt like we should go get her, but I pushed it aside.  I hate when I ignore the Spirit.  Don't do it!!!  She was waiting outside for us and we didn't come.  She ended up going to her own church instead of coming with us.  We felt so bad.  But she is still going to meet with us.  She was upset, but better.  We will see if she still allows us to keep coming.  Pray for her please.  :)

Thursday was good cuz we found out that our investigator didn't drop us.  (See above)  And we then went and met with our other potential old woman in Kornwestheim.  She is super sweet but we haven't been able to meet cuz her upstairs neighbor almost burnt their house down.  Her apartment still smells like smoke, but everything is way better now.  We were finally able to go back and see her.  We are going back this week as well.  She is super sweet.  

On Friday we had a great lesson with our new baptized member.  (From before we got here)  And she is wonderful.  Her little baby is so cute and we just love her.  And we want to hold her but we don't. :)  I really want to hold children.  But I am resisting.  We talked with her about the restoration and she understands things so well and has such a strong testimony.  I am stronger every time we leave that place. She even made us some African snacks.  They are like little....  I don't even know how to describe them.  Like bite size sweet hard cracker things....  I know that is a terrible description.... But they taste good.  :)  
We also had just an amazing lesson with one of our new investigators from China.  He has really no religious background.  We were teaching him about how he can receive answers and come closer to God through prayer.  We asked him if he had any experience with prayer and he said no.  Only from movies (which is one of his hobbies-watching movies...)  And then he looked at us and said "Show me". And we were both a little surprised.  he was just so abrupt and up front.  We sat there for a second and then he said it again. "Show me"  And we both were so excited.  We taught him how to pray and we asked him  to say a prayer.  He was a little nervous so I gave him a simple example.  Then he was still a little unsure, so Sister Cook also said a beautiful prayer.  Then he said such an honest and hope prayer.  He thanked God that he was able to meet us and for the new experience that we were bringing him.  Thanked him that we knocked on his door and asked him for help in finding a job.  He was just so honest and after we asked him how he felt and he just said "really peaceful, I feel peaceful and good when you are talking with me".  It was such an amazing experience.  We are so excited to meet with him again this week.  We really hope he finds a job, but if he does he will move away.  We are trying to not to be selfish and hope that he finds one wherever it is.  And we will just send a really good referral if he leaves.  But hopefully we get to keep teaching him for a bit.  But he is amazing.  People like him make all the rejection and everything else worth it.  The Gospel truly touches people. 

On Saturday we got to do some service.  I almost made it a year and a half without mowing a lawn, but Saturday ended my streak.  We helped a member weed and mow her lawn one last time before winter comes.  It was basically just weeds and things but we got it done.  And it wasn't too hard.  We actually got it done really fast.  I even got to have the experience of using an electric mower.  I don't really care for them, but it wasn't too bad.  You just have to be really careful not to run over the cord.  But Germans don't have sprinklers so you don't have to worry about those.  It is just basically a replacement.  :)  Then we went and had dinner with a family that night.  It was really a great day. I love doing some work every once and awhile. :)

On Sunday we had a baptism of a little girl in the ward.  It was really a great experience.  Sister Cook and I played a musical number for the part where she was getting changed.  It was really pretty.  Sister Cook is amazing at the Viola.  The whole things was really nice.  Something funny was that we asked a member to drive us home after.  Sister Cook asked the wife and I asked the Husband. She said no and he said yes, so it was a bit confusing, but they took us home anyway.  Communication is key.  haha. 

Today we are going to a castle with a big pond with it.  We are really excited.  I was reading today in 3 Nephi chapter 6 and I was just thinking how sad it is that these people allow Satan to have power of us.  We really are more powerful than Satan.  We choose whether or not we let him take control.  Don't allow him to get into your heart.  There are so many things that he does but we can overcome them with God and Jesus Christ.  Never forget that.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!

Sister Poll