Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First Baptisms!!!

Well what a fabulous week! We have found some new investigators and got all the ones we had ready for the big baptism. My first baptismal experience was awesome! We baptized Jan Mark (MakMak) he is 10 years old and oh man he was so so excited he kept asking Sister Arnold when we could start! His dad baptized him and hopefully it really strengthen them both. Next was Bro Jose Raffols, I dont have a picture because my camera died and I don't have a charger. But he was so awesome! What a legit guy! He is in is 60's! He was a member of a different religion and in his religion he was as high up like as a stake president for us! But he just decided that he didn't want that anymore and he was always keeping the commitments that we gave and He actually showed up at the church like an hour before his baptism because he was so ready! He kept saying, "I can die now" In my broken Ilonggo I kept saying no, you are just reborn, you need to continue living and he would just laugh! He is way cool! I teared up a little bit when he went under and came up and just had a huge smile on his face! One of the recent converts we had, Bro. Bylosis wanted to sing at the baptism but he wanted to sing 3 songs but I talked him down to one song, "I am a child of God" Um, he did fine! We had to practice a couple time but he wanted me to sing with him while I played but I wanted him to be confident and do it alone and he did just fine. But next week we have Sister Hermania, She is ready! Such a great testimony! Her situation is different so President Lopez came and interviewed her and he told us after that he was so impressed with her testimony and he was happy with our teaching!!!!!:) Big MakMak, he is 16 and he just has so many friends and he comes to church, he doesn't understand me but whenever I laugh he laughs so maybe he thinks I am funny! Jenboi, he is 16 as well and he is friends with Big MakMak, he always asks "Sister Polatis when will you be able to speak to us" I just laugh and say to pray for me and whenever the Lord decides hahaha that is the best that I can come up with. So to answer the question about language, I struggle....., BUT it will come! It is really broken and I cant quite remember to put the verb first when I speak and understanding is coming better but It is all good! One day!!!! We do language study and some things stick and some take so much work but FAITH! That is what it is all about! Dedication and diligence in my speaking! I need to stop being such a perfectionist and realize that things are hard sometimes and I cant just give up like I am used to doing! But zone conference was awesome! We learned a lot about the importance of teaching the commandments. It all comes back to their testimony of Joseph Smith, if they don;t believe in him or have a testimony of him they wont follow the council that he gives. So we did some practice teaching and asking inspired questions. The one that we assigned was scripture study. You really really need to study everyday! It is the second that you stop that Satan gets you. Sister Arnold and her previous companion had an Investigator who was an investigator for years and he finally was baptized. But he had problems with smoking. He overcame that and was able to be baptized. But he got a job and was so busy/ tired that he slacked in his scripture reading. We followed up with him and he admitted to us that he smoked again, only 2 sticks but still he smoked. He asked about his reading and he said he wasn't doing it. So we committed him to read and the next week when we followed up with him he said that when he would get the desire to smoke he would read, OH MY WORD! It is true!!! He needed the Lord but why would the Lord help him when he wasn't doing the little things that show our faith in him. Anyways it was really an eye opener that goes to show the little things are there for a reason. He has stopped his smoking and is feeling better than ever! DO THE LITTLE THINGS!!  It was nice to see President and Sister Lopez. He really is a funny guy, he says things kind of jokingly but he means business. I really like him!   Our musical fireside is on Sunday, so I will tell you how that goes, every time we practice I pray so hard that my fingers will work and that I can play it so people can actually sing to it. Sister Arnold and I have made it half way but to be honest we love it and want 3 transfers together. We really are seeing success and we want to continue seeing it. Plus who would get all our dumb jokes. We are so much alike but different so it works. Tate sounds like he is doing really well.  Sam and Maddy I never hear from you but good luck with everything and be good. "be thou an example of the believers~ ALWAYS!!  Oh I almost forgot. It is HOLY WEEK in the Philippines this week!  People going around asking for donations from all the different churches and I guess this week there will be people going around dressed as the 12 apostles (like from Jesus time IDK how you do that but it will be interesting to see and I will tell you if I see anything next week) But they go around asking for money and they preach but on Friday they actually CRUCIFY someone!!! WHAT!!!!!!! it is insanity. It is in our area so maybe we will see it but we are supposed to just go about our business as normal and not draw attention to ourselves. But nasty huh. I had to chuckle to think, yes I love my savior and am so grateful for what he did for me, but IDK if I would volunteer for the part of his life when he dies. The members said that they drive the spikes in peoples hands where it will do the least damage but seriously I think that driving a spike into any part of the hand is damaging haha but that is just me. So if basi (perhaps) we are walking by it we will see it! Sketch huh! But Different culture I guess. But I love you all! I think about you all everyday and am so grateful for all the love and support that you give me. You really are the best. Tell everyone hi for me! Tell grandma Polatis thanks for the money! I am sure I will use it wisely. Tell them to stay strong! But this next week will be a good one as well! I am pretty excited for Saturday again, not going to lie! The spirit was so strong and i LOVED IT!!!  I am starting to get a little bit of a tan which is nice, I was pretty pasty! Today we are going out to central market again! Everything is so cheap, we never really buy but it is fun to look for when we actually go home we will be able to buy sweet stuff! I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!! Miss you lots! Be good and be safe! Keep the letters coming!!! I always feel like the luckiest girl around when I open my email and see new mail! BLESSINGS!!!!! 
 Trust in the lord! 

Sister Blake (going home), Sister Arnold and me

Wanting me to come back and run this thing!!

Eating BBQ Potatoes--(Not like IDAHO ones!!)

my Zone

Baptism of Little Mak Mak--He is 10

First week DOWN!!

Amirido familia,
             Well its finally my P-day!!! oh it feels so good to get a little break. We went to the temple this morning and it really was quite relaxing. But when we came out it was a blizzard. There are a couple of kids in our district that are from Florida, so they have never really seen snow, but oh man were they excited. It was pretty funny. I am sitting by Annalisa right now writing you guys. Ha I'm going to miss her being here. Our classrooms are right across from each other so we see each other all the time. I also see Austin Jacobs all the time now. I think he is on the same schedule as me.  

  Sunday was great though. They showed the new Joseph Smith video, you guys REALLY need to watch it. I felt the spirit more strongly than I ever have before. I realized that this mission is the least I can do. Joseph Smith was an awesome guy and really went through so much to restore this Gospel to the earth.  Our zone leader is from Burley Idaho, and he just got re-assigned to the Billings Montana mission!! ha that sucks!! but dont worry, I still have faith that mine will get to me while I'm here so just keep praying. I heard that it is really random, like there are some kids here that didnt get there stuff in until like November December, and they are already over at the Brazil MTC.  My scar is barely noticeable now so thanks for sending me with some of that stuff.  Everyone knew I was a hunter though because most of them have had experiences of getting scoped in the face. Abby and Sarah.. Its always fun telling people that I have 2 sisters out in the field already. They usually just look at me with amazement and ask how our parents can do it.   Man my thoughts are really scrambled right now, but it has been awhile since I could write so i just have a ton of things I am thinking about. The food is pretty good here. I dont really eat that much though, because there is no way that I am getting fat. I always am looking forward to gym time because I feel so lazy throughout the day.    My companion and I are getting along better, my first impression was "how am I going to do this? I used make fun of kids like this all the time." Ha but we're getting used to each other. He keeps me in line for sure. If I ever want to go back to the room like 5 minutes early I get a response that we better wait the whole time so its good. He learned German in High School, so he doesn't know all the conjugations and stuff like I do but hes working hard. My roomates are cool. One of them went to Byu-Idaho for a little bit, and the other went to BYU-Hawaii!! He said its way sweet there. He said he misses surfing a ton because that is all he used to do. My district leader and I get along really well, except when he wont give me my letters!!!! Haha but we are a lot alike. He worked up in Preston breaking horses and is in to sports and everything like that. I still havent seen Kevin. He probably has that new job by now. Thanks so much for sending my Immunizations and stuff. When I went to the clinic and they told me I needed that, I was really scared ha. I knew that we forgot something. But mom your right. I really dont know how kids come out here without parents that support them in this decision. I could have never gotten all the stuff that I needed. So yea I did get the immunizations so all is well. Sheesh tell Jeff Dabell thanks though!! Thats awesome.  Also, Mom did really have to bring up the NCAA tournament??? Ha March is like the most fun month just for that reason. Oh well though, just let me know how it goes:) Also I want to know if the Lakers make the playoffs or not, because I really dont want them to. Well other than studying all day long there's nothing else really that exciting going on. We had our first service project a couple of days ago, and me and these tongan guys had a lot of fun. Its weird how I actually like writing in my journal now... never would've thought, but its a great way to reflect on the day when I'm getting ready for bed. I really do hate shaving everyday!! I look like a baby haha. And it makes my face really dry, so I have to put on a lot of lotion. Oh and laundry is so fun.. NOT!! Again thanks mom for doing it for me all those years:) Well I wish I could send some pics but I forgot my camera and I'm too lazy to go all the way back to my room so next week! Plus I heard that you have to buy this card reader thing because these dumb computers dont usually notice your camera when you plug it in the USB so that stinks. But I'll figure it out. Anyways I love you all and I'm thankful for all your prayers. I really hope I didnt leaving anything at home broken besides losing the cobalts cruise control ha. I havent heard from my friends either, so I'm not sure what they're up to. Maybe ill write one of them. But I know the language will come, and I'm working on it whenever I have the chance. Also its amazing how much more effective you are when you say a little prayer before your study. Well have a good week:) Love,
                                                       Elder Polatis

P.S. I take back about what I said about sister missionaries not being very attractive haha. There are definitely a couple cuties here. I dont talk to them because I cant talk to girls without flirting, so no worries!!:)

Snow storm --still


It feels like it has been forever since I have written you! This week has been crazy! Because my apartment is in Bucharest we house half of the sisters that come in during transfers and everything... Sorry we had to buy blankets and food for the girls that were coming with us and one night during transfers we had 10 people there.. then we had people stay with us all weekend.   I am starting the fitness competition for the whole mission so I will be a lot better about not eating out.. 

Thank you everyone for writing I love hearing from everyone! 
 So this week has been great.. like I say we have been hosting people all week! SORA KELLY and I are so happy to be together! We get along great! We have all the same goals and want to be exactly obedient... it is SO SO nice! We both kind of had rough first trainers so we are loving being with each other and we hope we stay together for 2 transfers!! or more... It is so great! So the Mihai Bravu apartment is one of the oldest in the mission so when people leave they sleep there and then just leave all of their stuff.. so we started trying to clean it up and we opened a big can of worms!!! 5 HUGE garbage bags later we were able to get all the of the stuff that people had left in the apartment! But now our apartment is so clean and homey! We love it!  I am sending pictures home this week of how much clothes and garbage we had to throw out! We were just laughing as we were cleaning it out though because we are so happy to be together! 
We have been able to already experience small miracles with each other! We get so excited! We had a lesson with Sora Dragu.. our cute less active women.. AND we understood basically everything! It was so cool.. we just walked out and we were like.. "wow the gift of tongues is amazing.. we can do this!" We have so much fun calling people in Romanian and I even was able to text some of our investigators in Romanian! It is so fun! we get excited every time! We are starting English class this week on Saturday so we are really trying to contact hard core because you get a lot of good investigators out of English because people are there looking for ways to improve their lives so we are excited to see how many people we can get to come!! We had a really good weekly planning session and it is cool to see how much we can do and accomplish as missionaries so young in the mission. Heavenly Father truly does qualify us for the work. We are still working with Marianna from the news stand and then we went and met her daughter at her work in the mall and they love talking with us and they are reading out of the Book of Mormon! Hopefully we can teach them this week! The work here is different then what I ever thought missionary work would be... People in this country just need to feel Gods love for them.. they have been through so much... I was contacting on Sunday and I went on an exchange with a different missionary and we talked to this lady and she was so great.. we gave her the pamphlet and she said she would read it.. as we were walking passed her she was reading the pamphlet and then she saw us and jumped and and walked with us around the park.. she was so interested and so we gave her a brief restoration explanation and she gave us her number so we will see how that goes this week. This country is young in building the gospel... We are here helping with everything.. working with members is A HUGE part of the work here.. they are so young in the church... It was amazing on Sunday was the big area conference and we filled the Panduri chapel with people from Brasov, buc, Ploiest, constanta, it was really cool because I looked around and thought to myself.. "everyone here in this room is a convert of less than about 15 years! crazy! I know that we are kind of in the "planting stage of missionary work..." but I know that someday Romanian will take off! It may be when I send my kids on missions but hey it is promised to be a successful land and God ALWAYS keeps his promises! So everything is going really great! 
I have really started focusing on studying. I am still working on my Christlike attributes Book of Mormon. I am obsessed with that Book... Sora Kelly and I love study hours so we have so much fun! We went and bought these bigger journal to compile our topics that we study into one book and it is going to be so so cool.. probably one of the best souvenirs I will get out of the mission. I have also been working on my prayers.. so I got this idea from another sister in the mission... its a prayer journal.. I realized that I need to take more time to think about my prayers so before and after my morning and nightly prayers I write down my goals and what I am grateful for and what I am nervous about or happy about and then I pray... after my prayer or during I write down the thoughts and impressions that come to my mind....IT IS AMAZING! Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from us.. He wants to help us and I think He takes me more seriously as I am readily waiting to right down the answers I recieve as I pray. I am thankful for that! I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows me personally. I know that I am growing up and learning so much on this mission. Sora Kelly and I talk about it all the time.. how far we have come since the MTC (We all know that those days were a little rough ha) to now.. It is amazing! 
I am so glad that I made this decision. The best decision I have made in my life so far! It is so much fun! Sora Kelly and I laugh and have fun doing missionary work all day long! It is amazing how much joy the mission can bring to my life! I know that it can only keep getting better as I continue to improve on the language and my teaching skills! I know that there will be hard times.. but that is how we grow. Everyone always asked the question "if God is so loving why do people suffer?" I am so glad that I know that answer in my life... God wants us to become like HIM! So he has to give us trials to shape us into the person He wants us to be for this life and eternity! I know that this gospel is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I am thankful for it! I am so thankful for my family! For all of you guys! It means so much to know that I have a support system back at home! I know that Heavenly Father will take care of me. I hope that you guys have a great week! continuously study the gospel everyday it will bring a difference into your life! I love Romania. I for sure still miss the family.. you guys are just too great and such a big core foundation of my life.. but I am loving it here.:) I am now Romanian... haha So you know how on the best 2 years kirby never thinks he will learn the language and he trainer was like.. before you know someone will come up and talk to you and you will reply back just like a dutchman! WELL.. that happened to me!!! so cool.. I just got off the metro and this random girl walked up to me and asked how to get to subway.. and it was super cool because first off I actually remembered where it was and I was able to give her directions in my broken Romanian! yahoo!! :) ha 
Well I love you guys! Stay strong! Work hard.. 
va iubesc!! foarte foarte mult!!! Mi-e dor pe voua! 
Dragostea, Sora Abby Polatis 

cleaning up what other missionaries leave when they go home

my zone

Monday, March 18, 2013

Finally --I'm in!!

MOM!!!!  Did you guys get my letter in the mail? I mailed one on the first day so I hope you got it. I was telling you that you needed to send me my immunizations ha. I was kind of worried. But I don't know about the whole visa thing. A couple of Elders and I got called down the the travel office, ooh I was soo excited, but then it turned out that our police record things had expired so we had to re-do them:( but maybe that means that Brazil got to them and noticed them so maybe once they send those back we we'll get our visas... hopefully. There are quite a few Elders here that are going on their 5th week and still don't have their visa to Brazil so who knows. But my P-day isnt until Friday so we were just supposed to write a short message to let you know that, so if you could tell everyone that, it would be great!! Ha but wow I did'nt expect to just be studying everyday. Definitely not like school when I just cruised through all my classes haha. But I'll send you some pictures of my companion and my district. If you got my letter then you'll kind of know that its been tough on me because my companion is the complete opposite of me, and its me and only one other kid in my district that play basketball:( So yea some days I really have to pray for help and comfort and after that I'm great. I really like teaching the investigator, ha the first one is so understanding. I have learned so much Portuguese already. Its crazy how fast you learn. But tell everyone hi, and I'll write a lot more on Friday, I can't wait for -P-day ha. Dad thanks for the story, I know that it really does take a firm testimony and a lot of faith to press on, so I'm working on that. But tudo bem!!ha love you guys!!! Love, Elder Polatis

2 Baptisms on Saturday

Wow, sounds like a super busy week! I cant believe it! I can't believe that Tate is already gone! It went really fast! Mom, yes people don't know how to lie all the members all the time are telling us how "tambok" we are which is fat hahaha well its hard to be a tiny tiny when our bodies are so different from the philipinos bodies ha! But no worries they still try to feed us all the time! But I went to the dentist and got the cheapest ones just to keep my teeth in place till I get home, they are the ones with a wire which cost me 6,000 pesos (Oh i also think that I have become the cheapest person on the planet just in this last month, that really is only like 120 american dollars but still when I see 6000 I freak out haha) Anyways she was really nice made the mold and tried to get me all taken care of fast! I will go tomorrow to pick them up! So check my account on wednesday just to make sure it isnt getting drained! I budget pretty well here so I try not to ever use my personal card! Sister Arnold and I really get along so good, we took so many pictures this week and I will send alot of them home! But we have zone conference on wednesday and thursday! Well we have 2 baptisms on Saturday and I really am excited! The first one is Bro. Jose. He is so excited! He was telling us that he is "Ba wal" which is stopping everything because he wants to be a member and he always tries to speak english to me because he wants to practice but we teach him at a members house and the member got super mad at him and was like (these are my words translated but) "YA dork, she needs to learn how to speak hiligaynon so stop talking to her in English" hahaha I laughed so hard! The member, Bro Hoyoa when I speak english he always goes "Sister I dont understand, please speak Hiligaynon" haha he really understands but wants to push me harder to learn which is a great thing! But our next baptism is Makmak! He is 10 years old and he knows so much about the gospel! His parents were baptized a few years ago and then they went inactive and people over looked little Mak but he always went to church without his parents and the ward all just took him in as their own, well we wanted to teach his parents and reactivate them and WE DID IT! They are coming back and the dad will baptize him on saturday! I was super happy! He really is just the best little boy and he studies the book of mormon and prays! I just love him! Our other one was Jenboi, he was dating a member and taking the lessons but they had a little slip up and the member got preg, so his mom lives in manilla and she will come and chat with the girls mom and then after that we will see what we can do about getting him baptized. He really is my favorite and I can see a huge change in him, he comes to church all the time and he reads and does what we encourage him to do! President Lopez is interviewing sister Hermania to see is she can be baptized, that will happen tomorrow. We really have been doing super good and just trying to open our mouths as much as possible! We went to teach a lesson and this lady was sort of following us, and we didnt think much about it, and we taught and when we came out she had sat outside the house and listened to us teach! So the Lord literally put her in our path! We will contact her again on Wednesday! We passed her last night while she was selling her fish and she asked when we were going to do Bible study again hahaha! We gave her a restoration pamphlet and told her a little about the book of mormon, maybe she will be interested to read it!  We had stake conference yesterday! It was a broadcast from Salt Lake city! We heard from Jeffrey Holland and Robert D Hales!~ They really did so good and it was also nice to understand what was going on! They said to do everything that you can and enjoy what you are doing! So that is our goal! To keep laughing and enjoy it because it will only happen once! HA ya, I still get a little frustrated with the language but I ask alot of questions and am diligent in my language study and Preach My Gospel says that it will come! So I have to just keep the faith and know that I am fine and It will come! But my ward really is awesome! The people are always trying to help and really they are pretty fun! We visit this family and they give us this watermelon juice! Oh my i am in HEAVEN!!! It is so so good! I got the recipie and will make it when I come home! They made us this rice thing Bico, it is pretty good! But we try to stay away from the rice, cant be getting chipmunk cheeks haha! We tried a papaya last week and it was good, not my favorite! Sister Hoyoa, gave us these bananas and they are the best so the next time we go to the market that is what I wanna buy! No worries mom, we really are trying to watch what we eat and drink especially! We went to visit a little girl in the hospital and YUCK! Well it is so different than what I am used to working in and I think it scares me more to end up in the hospital! HAHA We practice the piano for our upcoming Musical fireside! I feel like my skills are improving! We met with the Bishop last Wed. and again Last night! What an awesome thing to have such a supportive bishop and to know that he is supporting us and wants to make sure we have what we need! Our gospel principles class was lacking a teacher who would teach basic to our investigators so he volunteered him and his counselors to take turns and teach! We just see so many blessings and he really is the coolest! He is like 35 I think! Super young and always happy to help even though he is busy! But all is well! Yes, open your mouths! What is the worst that people can do, not listen?? At least you are planting a seed. Preparing them for when they are ready and someone else decides to open their mouth to them! But this is the true church! People just dont know it yet!!! HA that is our purpose as members of the church! But hope everyone is safe and happy! I miss you guys but Know that this is where I am supposed to be. I really am trying to find out me, kind of tough but it really has been fun! Good luck Tate! Remember that we love you and really were just in your shoes! Be obedient! You will be great and I am sure you will make so many friends! Just remember, the field is 1000 times better than the MTC haha!  Love you all! Be safe! Miss you all so much! Keep the prayers and let me know if you want anything. Sorry my letters aren't as long as Abbys, sheesh she writes a novel! MMUUAAHH!!! LOVE YOU ALL!


Add caption

This is your typical street

I'm loved!!

a little polution!!

Sister Arnold and me


By small and simple things are great things brought to pass... I have never been more aware of this scripture than I am right now and will be as I start my next transfer... I am not staying with Sora Lund... I am staying in Mihai Bravu BUT...  with Sora KELLY! crazy huh?? When I was in Constanta and was having my interview with President Hill I specifically asked him... "Will I be left in Mihai Bravu as the senior companion only after being there for 4 weeks?" He said of course not of course not... you would not even know the metro systems by then... " ha well... I guess the Lord knows me better then President! I am so excited to be staying here.. I am not going to lie though because I am pretty nervous because yes it is my third transfer but I really have only been here for 9 weeks (which is a transfer and a half) Which if you guys remember right.. Sora Kelly was in the MTC with me so we will both be in the biggest city in our mission trying to figure out the metros and the language! I am so excited! We are going to get lost a lot! ha We are both going to learn the language FAST... We don't really have any other choice... ha :) Thankfully we have less actives in the ward that love me so we will practice all of our lessons on them and they will help us out. 
Draga Familia Mea! First off Jaron!!!! WAHOO!!! YA YA YA  I am so excited that you are following in my footsteps as I am following in yours:) I am so proud of you-- you will be awesome! I am super proud of you! Congratulations Tylan Albaugh! Your mission will be great!! The Lord knows exactly where you are needed so I am so excited for you!!  Tate is gone!! wahoo.. that is crazy how that time went by.. hopefully he is doing ok..)  Sarah is looking so good in the Philippines.. man I need someone to steal all my clothes so that I can go shopping.. honestly we have a really nice mall right by my house... such cute European clothes.. I just have to tell myself... wait until the end and then I will bring home my suitcases with new cute clothes.. ha it takes a lot of self control.. mom you made me into too big of a shopper:) Thank you everyone for writing me I love hearing about everyones lives!  
This week has been one crazy week.. transfers always throw a little spin on the week.. I was really sad to be losing Lund.. I feel really jipped.. we were only together for 3 weeks! Its ok though we have decided to be best friends for life.. so it will work out! 
So Monday after I wrote for you guys we finished off the day with block knocking.. yes.. literally ringing into one of the sketchy blocks and then start at the top and knock all the way down! it was hilarious.. I took a picture of the first door that was literally slammed in my face! ha Then we had another guy he though we were with the CIA... he was like "you have a message for me?... Who sent you?" We said... "God sent us.." ha of course he then slammed the door saying he didn't not have time for it.. but it was great after knocking like 20ish doors.. this cute little old man opened the door and he talked to us! He wanted to learn more because he was impressed by how well Sora Lund spoke the Language.. His wife had died so he was living by himself... So I am going to have the Elders go over and teach him this week:) Even after all the doors were slammed in our faces it felt good because of that cute little old man:) 
Tuesday we had that Service thing at the children center and it is really fun we just teach the little kids English and the adults love us and think that we are great young kids... and that they respect us for coming for our church! Planting seeds all over the place:) Sometimes I really do just feel like a billboard.. I make sure I am always walking with my cartea lui mormon in hand and the title showing to the world:) Then we had exchanges... I had to go over to the Panduri side of Buch which is kind of the richerish side so I did not like it as much.. the apartment is seriously like a nice hotel.. but I like my older apartment.. it is more homey.. anyways I slept over there and then the next day we went with the zone leaders to a park and there is this board that we can spray paint so we drew this picture of Moses parting the red sea and then wrote.. "Do prophets still exist today?" with our mormon.org address on it.. so that was pretty fun. We then contacted through out the day-- it was fun. Thursday was just kind of a regular missionary day.. lessons contacting.. going to the office.. I had to design the inserts for everyones planners for the health competition that we are doing. So that was fun-- Sora Hill is kind of editing it and making it her own thing so its ok.. I just do what she says ha... Friday was great we went to Sora Dragu.. ( I will also send you pictures) She is so great! I basically feel like she has a baptism date! even though she is already a member! She is planning on coming back to church on the 31st! She told us on Friday that she has quit smoking and she now buys Candy:) so I am so happy for her.. and she told me that she would help Sora Kelly and I with the language so it will be great! AS we were walking outside of her block (apartment) there was this creepy guy that was following super close behind us- asking for our numbers... well Sora Lund says.. "lasa ne in pace..." (leave us in peace) He didnt quite hear her I guess so he kept following us.. She then turns around and yells LASA NE IN PACE! haha he started backing up really fast! It was hilarious we could not stop laughing. She has a whole list of phrases that Sora Kelly and I will use when people wont leave us alone! :) 
Saturday was a busy day for us. We first met with Sora Margareta.. she is the one that calls me by my first name.. She is worried that we dont eat enough so she likes to feed us once a week. I lead the lesson and it went really well.. She is really patience and she corrects me as a read out loud to her so she is a really good resource. She wants to be our adopted mom in the mission so she loves us. We then had our lesson with Mariana! ok Mariana is going to be a HUGE part of my next transfer! She is the lady that we met after we had been contacting all day.. She works in the little magazine store.. and she came to that baptism we had last week. ok.. so every time we pass her little booth we talk to her and she loves us. So she was like I want you guys to come over and meet my family and talk to them about what you are doing here.. So we go over there and bam... she has a 25 year old daughter who is interested... her boyfriend was there and then she has 2 other older kids that were also in and out as we were teaching the lesson. They asked us a lot of questions and they are really patience with the fact that we don't speak Romanian very well..  I started talking and then I was kind of at a loss for words.. and they both were like "don't be scared to talk in front of us.. we are just people like you." They are so great. So we gave the daughter a BOM and she wants to read it. She also wanted us to come visit her at her work. And we set up to teach all of them again next Saturday!! We invited them all to come to church! Mariana said she would come. 
So the next day is Sunday and I was about to play the opening song and she wasn't there yet.. I was super sad.. so I just started praying.. "please have Mariana show up today.. please...." I played the opening song.. turned around and PERFECT.. in walks Mariana! She stayed for all 3 hours... For Sunday school we had a great lesson about the word of wisdom and it was so great. She turned to me during it and was like "I smoke... " I told her thats ok we still want to meet with you. I asked her if she had any questions and she said she didn't.. she said word of wisdom makes perfect sense! We then went to relief society and all the sisters were nice to her.. she even spoke up during class.. I gave her a little pat on the leg and she grabbed my hand and held it for the rest of the lesson.. (Romanians are really touchy people-- something I am getting used to) ha but after church she said she liked it and she is impressed by how we conduct ourselves! As I was sitting there and she was holding my hand I was freaking out... I just thought to myself.. how.. how am I going to do this.. I can't speak Romanian well.. and neither can Sora Kelly... this weight of responsibility fell onto my shoulders and I was really nervous... what if I mess up... what if she is prepared but because of what I am lacking and it wont happen?? I was almost in tears.. but I then I starting thinking... I am here as in instrument for the Spirit to work through.. Heavenly Father is so aware of me and he knows my capabilities.. maybe this family needs to hear the gospel from two girls struggling with the language.. We will have our lessons so simplified.. I am trying to get a member to come with us.. its not looking promising right now.. but either way we will go to that lessons and honestly the Spirit will HAVE to be the teacher.. there is no other way-- I think Sora Kelly and I will truly see miracles this next transfer... I am really excited for it! We are just going to work hard and have a lot of fun! This week is going to be crazy because my apartment is in Buc we have to house all of the Sisters leaving and coming.. So basically it is a mess trying to get things done.. it is looking like no sleep for me! ha o well... 
The mission is going great I can't believe I have already been gone for more than 4 months! Some days I am not going to lie are super slow.. but then I look back and I can't believe it! ... So ya crazy I basically only have 1 year left!! I have to make it count!   when you are on a mission everyone focuses on goals and making your life great.. so I was thinking about school and all of that sort of stuff! But ya don;t worry I am loving Romania.. I love it more and more everyday.. Everything is so different! it is so funny how normally it is all becoming to me...This mission is the best thing I could be doing right now with my life! I know that I am supposed to be here and I will be forever changed because of it! I know why they call us a peculiar people.. who goes and lives in a foreign country.. not knowing the language... but yet still trying to talk to people about their church.. ha o ya thats us:) 
Hopefully this letter makes sense! I love you guys so much! Thank you for all of your love and support for me! I have the best family in the world! I showed Marianas family our family picture and they loved it! .. yes my family is big and happy:) ha they love it! Have a great week everyone! Look for opportunities to serve those around you and have missionary opportunities! Do your visiting and home teaching! That would make such a different in this country! people really need to feel loved and thought about!!  people do just need to learn to be nice.. it is not always good to say exactly what is on your mind... just being nice and happy to everyone.. no one likes to be around a negative person! You guys are the best! I love you so much and I will keep you updated on everything going on! Tell tate I love him! Everyone write him and send him dear elders! It is essential! The church is true! 
Va iubesc! 
Sora Abby Polatis 

First slammed door in my face!

Sora Lund and Me

she always wants to feed us!

She is going to quit smoking and come back to church--Sora Dragu

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mutaul--cleaning the church

cleaning church

bowling-manually setting up pins!

sparkley mirror

cleaning crew

sister Arnold and ME

Oh my word! What a party it sounds like! I knew that both of you would rock it!!! Tate, Mr. Popular I bet everyone was there!  love them both and they better just stick it out until we get back!! But sounds like it was a success! Well what a week! Holy cow, we have been so busy we have 11 INVESTIGATORS!!  It is insane for teaching, Sister Arnold is always saying how our numbers have never been like this and we are companions for a reason! They are all progressing really well and they ALL came to church on sunday! So blessings galore! My favorite and the ones that I feel like I connect with the most are the 16 year old boys! They really just seem like they are so so interested! MakMak is the one who when we talked about repentance and he just cried through the lesson saying that he really was looking for a way to stop doing bad things! But he came to church and he sits up in the front and we were practicing the piano the other night and he showed up to mutual and the activity was cleaning the church and it just about brought me to tears to see how he just got along with all the boys so well! I was pleased! Well another crazy thing was we went on exchanges on Wednesday! Um, what??? Sister Arnold went with the CS to Silay and I had to LEAD the area!! Oh my scariest thing of my life, I cant speak hardly and it gets a little confusing where everyone lives when we go to the area but Sister Torino was the sister who came with me, she is from Bacolod and she is a part time missionary, she has been waiting for her call for 7 months and so here they let the sisters who have been waiting come for a week to 2 weeks to experience missionary life, lets just say that she needs some practice but so do I and she speaks hiligaynon so that was really helpful! The ward missionaries came with us, Ephriam and Ivy! They are BOMB!! Love those 2, Eph leaves for his mission in May and Ivy is preparing! They helped me get around and threw in a testimony and helped when I really couldn't understand. So they weren't horrible I just felt so new trying to lead and speak and make sure people understood me! Our next miracle is Sister Hermania! She is the one who said that she still would come to church even tho she couldn't be baptized. Well the other day we got a phone call from Pres. Lopez and he was like, "What is the reasoning that she cant be baptized" (sister arnold wrote to him about her) and he was like, well I want to interview her for baptism! So she MIGHT be able to be baptized! I love it!! Our companionship really is awesome! we get along so well and people see that! We laugh all the time and the Philipinos don't understand our humor so they are always confused but they laugh because we are!  Our Bishop is seeing the progress and really likes us and wants to help us out the best he can! The ward even is still giving us referrals like crazy! There is a rumor that with the influx of missionaries we will be getting a set of elders in our area, which would be a bummer because we are trying to build a relationship with the members so that they trust us and want to help us and if we had elders it might get tricky, but maybe it would be a huge blessing, you never know! Pres is the master mind and knows what is best! But everything is great! We have started our missionary march! We cleaned the church and we didn't have a huge turnout but people came and it really was a good time! We have "restoration Sunday" on the 31st so I have been practicing the piano like a banchee!! Sheesh I need to be better!  Tate, really good luck! I cant believe this! It is crazy that time has passed so fast!  My language is coming alright, I do my best to speak but sometimes I get a little frustrated and Sister Arnold was like " You need to just keep spitting words out, You know them and the structure will come" So I guess that is my plan! The self-consciousness needs to end they all laugh at me anyways! But things are really going good! It is growing on me living here! So last monday we had FHE with an investigator and a member family and they gave us juice.......well needless to say the water was straight from the well, sister arnold gave me the "Stop drinking" look but we got home and we didnt drink that much my stomach was a little upset but I am fine now! Yes, we was our fruits and everything really good just so that we dont have that problem! I really am careful, I dont want to be sick for life! We have zone conference next week so I will try to look beautiful because I know pres will take a lot pictures and post them! But all in all it was a fantastic week! I wish I could just write everything but I would be here forever:) Oh so the first day I got here we bought so "croc" type shoes for when it rains and everything well yesterday I got a hole!!! So today we need to go buy more shoes! They are cheap tho! I actually have been budgeting really well! Last monday we went BOWLING with our ward missionaries, haha bowling here is weird, no AC or lights unless we paid for them but we wouldnt, anyways it is all manual and the workers sit up on these perches in the back and they cheer/make fun of you while you bowl but they put all the pins up haha I almost nailed the kid with his barefeet like a million times, he was like, "whoah slow down sister" haha so fun! But the balls are tiny, you get 3 tries!! We loved it! But I love you all and miss you! Be good and be safe! I have pictures this week from our cleaning and just random ones that we took! Hopefully this is what you wanted to know! MMUUAAHH!! It really has been an awesome week and super fun! Missionary life is starting to set in, we know what we have to do and that we need to work! I love this gospel! It really is the only true church and we always need to be opening our mouths and sharing it with everyone! Dont be shy!!! Love you! Keep the letters and pictures coming! Have a wonderful week and mom and dad!
Draga Familia Mea, 
Sounds like you have had a BUSY week! Tell the Grandparents Happy Birthday from me!! I love them! I was in the mission office today and I brought up the video of grandma doing her cheer for Sam-- They absolutely Loved it!  Tate I am glad that your talk went well--  This week has been one big roller coaster of a week!  
So to start off the week: Tuesday is are service day and we got hooked up to go help at this after center school program! It is a lot of fun! There is like 20ish kids and we taught them the words and actions to head shoulders knees and toes.. they LOVED IT! We then taught them some English and made play dough figures with them. It cool though because we are not supposed to talk about religion but all of the teachers that work there are really impressed by us so they are asking us about what we are doing and why we are here so it really fun. We will do it again tomorrow and I am excited. I had this cute little gypsie kid named Sam sit by me and he was so cute.. talking to me in Romanian! I get so jealous of the little kids! if only I was born here.. ha just kidding. But ya that was really fun! Then we had a lesson that night with a couple. The girl is 20 and the boy is 24. They had met with them once before and they taught them the restoration. I guess at the end of their last lesson they were like.. "We don't have faith.." So this lesson we went through Alma 32 with them (This is in English by the was.. they have perfect english) They have SO MANY questions. They are really into "logic" So they were asking us about dinosaurs.. and evolution... and blah blah.. they are really cool and they like us so we let them ask their questions and then we just bear testimony back to them. The boy does not believe in God at all and the girl doesnt know what to believe. They know that something is missing in their life they are just kind of stubborn. It made me sad though because after about 1.5 hours I just had the feeling to ask them "how would your life change IF all of what we are teaching you IS true?" And they both were like.. ya it would change my life 110%, I would be happy, I would get a better job, I would do what I wanted with my life, We would get married, we would be happy." They both really dislike Romania and they have a hard time understanding why God would let them suffer so much as a country. Anyways after this we told them to come to church and they said that they would for sure come! We then asked them if they would read the Book of Mormon and they were both like..."ah well maybe..." I just sat there.. I just didn't get it... if something had the potentential to change your life 110% why wouldnt you read the book that PROVES everything we are telling them is true! So ya and then they both didnt come to church yesterday so our next lesson we are going to have to have the do or die lesson. They either need to start making commitments or we have to drop them.. I think they kind of just look at us as cool american friends they can practice their english on. So I will let you know how that goes! 
Wednesday we met with one of the ladies in the ward.. because for some reason they think we cant cook or we dont have enough food so they are always inviting us over. So I led the lesson and practiced my Romanian with her as I talked about the blessings of prayer. It went pretty well and she told me that I looked more Romanian then American and she said that I sounded really good ha She asked me if I had a boyfriend because I think she wanted to hook me up with her grandson that lives in Texas.. ha I told her that my first name was Abby though so at church I hear this lady calling my name.. "Abby" ha so I go over there and she can't stop kissing me and hugging me... so I guess I made a really good impression on her.. she was like "are you sure you have enough food... come over this week so I can feed you... o Romania.. anyways back to wednesday night so we were supposed to meet with our 12 year old investigator but she ditched out on us. She lives with her grandmother and I guess the grandma doesnt like that the missionaries switch out so much.. she does really trust us. So she didnt come but it was good because we were at the Godmothers house waiting so we then had a little lesson with her and her son who is like 27- They are both super inactive so we are trying to get them to come back to church... people get easy offended.. its so sad.. they are only hurting themselves! 
Thursday we had district meeting and then we met with our other less active-- She is the sweetest lady ever and she also fed us... of course potatoes and bread.. I feel like I am right back at home.. potatoes are super cheap here. We taught her a lesson on the Book of Mormon and she is really good about correcting our Romanian. We then have extra time to go on the internet each week and I can honestly say that the lds website is amazing.. Have you guys all watched all of the mormon messages??? you should.. seriously mom watch them for FHE the new 2013 youth theme video.."stand" is so good and "Sanctify yourself" I recommend starting off with those two and just keep going... our church is so smart! Then we had a member visit with that Elena girl who is coming to BYUI and she is super excited to meet you guys-- She said that she would bring stuff from Romania to you guys so I might get something and send it with her for you guys for Christmas.. I think she is going in August. Brandon Cox is bringing your guys something from me when he gets home also:) I never saw it... but I know what it is:) 
Friday was like mothers/ Womens day in Romania... So we went around visit all of our ladies with these flowers that we bought. Everyone loved them! Sora Dragu our less active member who is smoking has committed to stop smoking and is committed to coming back to church on march 31st! We are so excited -- I feel like it is a baptisimal date! She is so great! We then went to visit this other less active lady... she kind of has this love/ hate relationship with the missionaries.. she gets mad at us all the time because we never visit her.. but the reason we dont is because she is kind of mean.. ha but we went and took her flowers and she was so happy! I guess her husband and son didnt get her anything so she really appreciated us! She talks so fast.. it is hard for Sora Lund and I to understand her but I think we are going back and helping her wash her windows or floors or something next week.. ha we will see.. Sora lund has been in the country 6 months so she is pretty good with the language but this women just talks like she is running the Romanian auction! Then we went to Sora Gorzo.. and took her flowers and she fed us... Then we went to visit another lady.. I am so full at this point.. all of this little old ladies love giving us food.. so we are at this house and we tell her that we are NOT hungry.. well it doesnt matter she brings out this big pretzel things... but they are like doughy... I could only eat half of it.. I had two options... try finishing the other half and throwing up or potential offending this member... I couldnt eat it so I put out my best Romanian telling her that it was the best thing ever but I am just so full... and asked if I could save it for later... she knew that I was a new missionary so she didnt seem too upset! It was a relief.. This people here are just like grandma rounds where you have to eat everthing on your plate.. the problem is is that they dish it out for you... but I will get better at just like not eating any breakfast if there is a chance we will get fed through out the day! ha 
Saturday we went scavenger hunt contacting which was fun.. No one really listened to us but it was still fun.. we were contacting everyone with glasses, walking a dog, or in a skirt. ha so we had fun walking around. Then two Elders in our district were having a baptism and we invited our lady that we met from the magazine stand to come with us and she said YES! so we were waiting for her and she didnt show up and I had to play the music for the baptism so we had to hurry.. we were discouraged because we really thought she would come... then right when we got to the church.. She called us! AND SHE CAME! We were super happy and she seems to really like us.. I think she enjoyed the baptism also. She really liked that I could play the piano:) We gave her a book of mormon and invited her to come to church the next day.. well she didnt end up coming but its ok-- she is so cool I think that she is golden and she loves her family so it is a win win situation. 
Sunday... well I found out Saturday night that I had to give a talk the day in sacrament! yes so while you guys were speaking english and giving your easy talks back home I was speaking Romanian! ha I was super nervous! more for like the missionaries in the crowd... we have 6 elders in our ward so I didnt want them thinking my language skills were horrible. So sorry Lund helped me write out my talk about the Book of Mormon and then I met with our friend Elena at 9:00 sunday morning so she could correct all my grammer before I gave the talk at 10. Well I thought I would be the first speaker but no they put me as the last speaker... which it worked out because Romanians love to talk.. so I didnt have that much time to close the meeting but it was really cool because everyone was kind of snoozing off during the other persons talks but when I stood up everyone perked up and was smiling at me as I was trying to speak Romanian. I stood up and told them about myself and then I bore my testimony and then I talked about how much the Book of Mormon is a blessing in my life. I talked about how every morning my family would read in the scriptures together and it brought us great blessings. I then read a quote from Richard G. Scott and read a verse out of the scriptures.. ALL IN ROMANIAN.ha I prayed so hard before I walked up there... and it worked .. I did it.. Heavenly Father truely loves me... He helped me deliver my talk... and actually sounding like I knew some Romanian. After I was done Sora Lund came and gave me this big hug and then all the little old ladies were coming up to me telling me how great and beautiful it was... Even all of the Elders after came up to me and were like.. you did such a good drop.. we didnt really start speaking full sentences until like our 4th transfer.. so it was good! I just need to keep going.. I am trying to learn this language fast it seems like it is going slow.. I feel like it will start clicking soon. (sper) "hopefully" ha but yes I played the piano in sacrament meeting, sunday school, and then in relief society, after church I was then promoted to be the pianist for the ward choir (They made the ward choir because I am there and able to play the piano) ha but then this old guy came up to me afterwards and was like can we do a duet sometime? and he pulled out his flute-- ha so my advice.. Sam and Maddy practice the piano.. so when you go to a foriegn country and can't speak the language people still love you and you contribute to the ward. So sunday was a very busy day during church.  
Today has been fun we went to the ZOO this morning! It was really fun! We went with the office Elders and then the other sisters in Panduri.. They actually had some cool animals and big Tigers, wolves, monkeys, and even some rats... ha so it was a quality Romanian Zoo.. it was super cheap.. and it was raining pretty good so it was fun. Then we just got done eating at this cute fancy restaurant in Bucaresti. It has all the classic Romanian food for pretty cheap.. The inside is so cool it looked like an old orthodox church and there is a guy playing the violin in the corner.. AND they had cheesecake so it was so good! 
Other random stories for the week.. I cant really remember the days that they land on but we were in the grocery store and there was this girl and she just started randomly talking to me.. She then just starting talking to me in english... (Bucaresti everyone speaks english.. so annoying.. ha I want to speak romanian) anyways I asked her if she has heard about us and she said yes... then I asked her if she wanted to learn more and she was like ya ya here is my number! It is way cool.. she is 32 and a personal trainer so we will hopefully get to meet with her this week. Then another day no one was really listening to us as we were contacting so we tried the "sit on the bench and look interesting approach" IT WORKED! well first we had this crazy guy come talk to us.. Normal.. but then this sweet little old orthodox lady came and sat by us.. She wanted to learn more so then we got her number too! Another day on the bus this guy was interested in the book of mormon so we started talk to him and the girl next to him.. well it was funny because then this crazy lady all comes and and is like "We worship Jesus not Mormon.." It was so funny that she felt threatened by 2 - 21 years old girls that can't really speak their language.. anyways we bore our testimonies that we are christians.. ha anyways it was funny. O ya and today ok.. this story is priceless.. We are on the metro and because we went to the zoo we didnt do our language study so we were reading out loud to each other on the subway.. ha (it forces people to listen) So this lady comes up to us and she is like.. "you guys speak Romanian?" we said yes and then she hands us this little romanian book that is titled "Come unto Christ." and she started talking about how we are going down the wrong path and she is worried about us. We asked her if she read the book of mormon and she was like " I had a friend who was mormon and that is bad. There is only ONE BIBLE" So we tried explaining to her that we use both.. but she just grabbed my hand and was like "God be with you." ha Sora Lund and I were dying.. this lady was legitamently worried for our salvation.. So that was fun. Then another day this week we had this gypsie guy come up to us and he was like "I want to repent... and he wanted to talk to us... so we referred him over to the Elders so we will see how that goes. ha 
I think this week has kind of just been a roller coaster because we have had some good moments and then our investigators let us down. Sometimes I am way to hard on myself.. I want to know this language now and be able to be the best. But I was reading a talk this morning and it talked about how this mission is our training ground for the rest of our lives.. so I just have to be patient.. crazy that I have already been gone for 4 months!! 
Love you all!!! VA IUBESC! Sora Abby Polatis

disney wall--even here!!!

huge tiger at the zoo (in the background)

luckily someone had an extra sweatshirt!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ok, so first things first, THEY STOLE MY RETAINERS!!!!!!! HA freaking gross I know, But mom Let me know what you want me to do, Our medical nurse Sister told me that they have an ortho here, so I might just go have molds made of what my teeth are now and call it good. That works ya? But yes they left scriptures and other things like that, just stuff! We got all moved into our new apartment on Monday! It is actually really nice, the pictures were of my old apartment! But it is like a studio, we study in the living room/kitchen and we have a bathroom and a small bedroom. We have a WARM shower haha it is weird I dont really use it like warm warm but it is better than cold so it really isnt like I am living in the Philippines when it comes to getting ready. Washing clothes isnt really that bad, I try to do a little bit everyday so that I dont have so so much and waste my whole P-day because it is a process. The food, well we eat a lot of veggies, my companion and I started the "biggest loser" she goes home in 6 months and doesnt want to be fat, I have lost 8 pounds and really it is because of sweating like crazy and we walk so so much! It takes a half hour of walking to get to our area from our new apartment which is ok, we make it fun! The food, she has cooked for me some filipino foods and they really are good. They have different spices but it really is a lot of 'stir-fry" type toppings. We had a dinner appointment on tuesday, which never really happens it was way good, they had this watermelon juice, I am learning how to make that for sure! I still eat really slow and try not to eat alot, first because they have nothing and second, well I  still havent quite adjusted and lets just say the bathrooms are kinda sketch haha TMI but you asked:) The ward members are chill. Always trying to help and they try to speak some illongish so that I understand the jist of things! SO BLESSING GALORE!!! Oh my gosh, so here it is really expensive to get married so everyone just lives together we have 2 sisters wanting to be baptized, one was married before and is now living with someone different and they dont want to seperate and divorce is like non-existent in the pines, and her name is Sister Hermania, so we told her that she couldn't be baptized and she said she doesnt care, she is still going to come to church because she knows that the gospel is true and low and behold SHE CAME!!! I was stoked, even tho I dont really understand her, she always hugs and is happy to see me! Next is Sister Mercy, she is living with the dad to her children and at first they wanted nothing to do with getting married because they are too poor but we went back and they had a jar of money and the paper work!!! They didnt come to church but hey, you cant win them all! The ward missionaries come with us like everyday, and they work with all all day, so it helps the investigators know someone when they do show up! All our investigators except Sister Mercy came to church! We are teaching 3 brothers all in their 60's, they came to church and the spirit was so so strong! I loved it and knew that they came this Sunday for a reason! The only thing they complained about was that it was long and they were hungry! So we will follow up with them tomorrow and see if they will come back! But my favorite of all the week was brother MAK-MAK! He is 16 years old and we initially were teaching his friend and he would just sit and listen and not ever say if he liked us or not or even wanted to keep listening, But the other night we were teaching his friend Jen-boi who is also 16 lesson 3 focusing on repentance and Sister Arnold had him read a portion of the pamphlet about how Jesus still reaches out to us even when we commit sin because he loves us and wants us to change, even if it is just a little at a time. He started crying and I about did to, he was like "Sisters, I want to come to church, I keep making mistakes and I know Jesus loves me" It was so tender and we knew that the spirit had touched his life! I didn't understand that much but I knew that the spirit was in that lesson! We went out last night and followed up with a former investigator Renny, he lives with his girlfriend and has 2 babies, he would always blow Sister Arnold and Sister Person off so they filtered him out and last night she felt like we needed to go see him! We got there and followed up, asked him how things were and then we shared a scripture about faith, I am explaining it (in my broken ilonggo and english) before I even finished the scripture he was like "Sisters, we are getting married and I want to be baptized on SUNDAY!!' we were like woah, slow down tiger we have a process, we explained to him that he needs to attend church 4 sundays in a row and keep his commitments and he can be baptized! He agreed and then prayed and in his prayer he was like "thanks for answering my prayers and sending the sisters back to teach me and sister" it was so so awesome! I am starting to realize my purpose as a missionary! This has nothing to do with me other then I am the mouthpiece the spirit really does all the work! But seriously This Sunday was amazing! My testimony was strengthened! I have so much work to do and we have so many people to find! I am excited for this week! I guess we really have a spirit about us or something because the ward members never gave us referrals and we got 4 just yesterday! But I can do this! I definitely know this is where I need to be right now even if I am unsure of the reasons! It was just so amazing! Dont get me wrong, I am still adjusting but it made it easier! Sister Arnold and I are great! We really get along so well! Laughing alot and pretending we understand filipino humor, which we dont but they dont get ours either! We have musical fireside for all the ward and investigators at the end of the months, and I have to learn how to be good at the piano real fast! As missionaries we wanted the ward more involved in this work, so we created MISSIONARY MARCH! We are giving a book of mormon and pamphlets to the ward members and they have to give them to people who might be interested and we gave them our number and told them call us for teaching! So we will see how that goes, the ward is supposed to be huge but less actives are killing us! But oh my gosh, Sister Arnold and I laughed hard when we saw that video!!! What an awesome grandma I have!!! So cute!   I love you all! I really do miss you! Can you believe that I have been here 3 weeks already! It is crazy! Mom, they gave us a hymn book but we sing in English! All in all I am doing fine! Abby, you sound great and like you are loving it!    But my time is up! Thanks everyone for all the letters and being so encouraging!!! I seriously have the best family in the whole entire world! I will keep my head up and be happy! "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" This is do-able! If only the language would come to me hahaha Sister A says I am doing fine so I will take her word for it and keep practicing! MMUUAAHH!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!     Sister Sarah

Draga Familia
I LOVE BUCURESTI!  I LOVED Grandmas video!!!  that was priceless! I am not going to lie though.. I was getting a little teary eyed when I saw grandma! I love that women! We visit this little old lady named Sora Gorzo every Sunday and she feeds us and she reminds me of grandma! So that is the closest thing I get to grandma in Romania! ha But I loved it! Sarah I am glad that you are ok.. sheesh.. you had me worried! Man you are losing all that weight.. I am super jealous! Its hard in Bucharest because we travel everywhere by bus and subway.. it takes us like an hour to get home for lunch.. 
Ok so after I emailed you guys last week I was still in that foursome thing! Which was super fun it was just weird because we were hanging out with them so much it kind of felt like I was going home haha I was thrown off for a little bit but then I realized I have not been gone long enough for my family to really miss me...but it was good they left Wednesday morning super early so then it was just Sora Lund and I. On Wednesday we had our zone conference and it was really really good- We talked about how obedience is key! and it really motivated me to be 100 percent! All the decisions that we are making in life have the potenial of bringing us closer to God or away from God. It was a really good presentation! We then had a lesson with this way cool 13 year old girl. We are teaching her English and she seems really interested.. the problem is is that her Godmother is an inactive member of the church because she was offended or something.. so she wants the 13 year old girl to learn more but she doesn't want her attending church.. So when we asked her to attend church the Godmother was like "NO" with out even letting her speak.. so we are meeting again this week on Wednesday and we are going to have a nice little chat with the Godmother and tell her that she has to come to church!  Right now in our area we are in the "finding stage" like usual.... ha So Sora Lund and I... We love having fun together so everyday is a different theme... and our verbs and words for the day match up with that theme! so on Thursday our theme was "spy day" and we really focused on listening and my verbs were to listen and to find! Wednesday of course was HUNGER GAMES DAY! It was a day full of contacting! First we visited one of the ladies in our ward that is basically on bed rest for the rest of her life so we visit her every week and she absolutely loves us.. she is always apologizing for not knowing English! we are like.. NO we need to be better at Romanian! But she is super sweet and helps us with Romanian! WE then had no fear contacting! We talked to everyone! we went to the park.. we walked along the streets! We got rejected by at least 15 people in a row! it is so crazy... "sunt Orthodox.." or they pretend like our Romanian is so bad that they can't understand us.. or they just say "No I don't want to listen to you." ha For some crazy reason though Heavenly Father gives us this amazing power of optimism... because we just kept going... and then we passed a magazine stand and Sora Lund saw the Lion King 2 in Romanian (she is collecting movies ha) so we went and started talking to the lady to buy the movie and it was weird because she was so nice to us! So we started talking to her-- and she was like "yes I see you girls walking around my stand all the time!" (missionaries really do stick out in this town) ha So it was the perfect opportunity! We started talking about the restoration and how great it is! I then showed her the Book of Mormon and she was like O you are the Mormons.... So then we had to testify against all the rumors she heard about the Mormons.. she was like "isn't Tom Cruise a Mormon?" We just starting laughing.. So we testified about what we knew was true and invited her to church! She said she would come. We gave her a restoration pamphlet also and we know where she works so we will for sure be visiting her again! We were really excited about that! It is funny because people notice us I walk around purposely with the Book of Mormon title showing so just maybe someone will google it on their phone! We then just kept on contacting that whole day! I was so tired that night I think I fell asleep at like 930.  Saturday was time traveler day and we tried to talk all day in past tense! We went to the relief society activity and helped them make cards for everyone in the ward and then we went and visited this sweet old lady! She is a less active member and she started smoking again. We visit her once a week! She lives on the out side of town so it is pretty sketchy... She doesn't allow us to come in the evenings because she is worried about us! ha but so she wants to come back to church.. so we are trying to help her! I figure it President Monson took time to visit 85 widows then I will do my best to follow the prophet and make sure that all these old ladies know that Heavenly Father loves them. So the day before we were going over to her house we called and told her what we would be reading together and it was a talk from last conference about how God doesn't forget you.. well she is so cute because she said she read the talk and she was having trouble sleeping so she turned the tv on and it was something scary so she said that she just laid there and was so frightened... She then said that she was reminded of God love for her because we had her read the talk... so she said that she began to pray... and she was like "I don't know what happened after that because I fell right to sleep!" It was so great... she is so cute.. she doesn't have any teeth and wears these big thick glasses.. she is a gem. I was humbled as we walked into  her apartment.. it was literally the size of my bedroom back at home.. I asked Sora lund where she slept and she was like... "we are sitting on her bed right now" it was this little half couch thing.. I walked away from her house truly grateful for all that I am blessed with. That night we met with one of the youth that is in our ward she is 20ish and she speaks perfect English! she is actually going to BYUI so she instantly was best friends with me and she wants to met you guys and help you make signs for me when I come home! ha Sunday was great... o man fast Sundays in Romania are even better then the USA. I again played the piano and I can honestly say that I am getting pretty good.. way better than I was before! But k this random guys stands up and I don't even know if he was part of the ward but he starts going off  swearing... he forgot the churchs name.. he talked for like 30min... he then started talking about how america is so much better then Romania.. o man the old ladies section in the chapel was going crazy! people were getting up and walking out.. it was rough! ha but then this sweet little old lady got up and set everything straight and then it was really sweet because she was like.. will all the missionaries please stand up... and she just said how much she loved us! And also this week is fun because it is martisur... which its celebrating that first week of spring! so everyone gives out broaches and bracelets and flowers and yes the list keeps going on.. and then on the 8th is mothers/ womens day so then everyone gets flowers and broaches that day too.. So i came out of church with a little thing of flowers and this lovely turtle broach! ha it was alot of fun! But this week has been good we have just been focusing on really talking to people. The other day in the subway this guy was like"you are Mormon right?" in English.. and I told him I was and you could tell he had read something online.. he was like poligamy... you hate black people... you do human sacrifices... ha I just listened to him vent and then I simply said.. none of that is true.. have you read the book of Mormon? and he said no.. so I was like... If you want to find out what our church is really about read this book and then call us. So I gave him a Book of Mormon and the Elders number! ha it worked out well. My language skills are coming.. not as fast as I would like.. but I can get around. I started talking to this girl today and she spoke English so I kind of was talking to her and half and half and I think I butchered it.. but I tried so hopefully she got the message! ha Today was fun though we all went to casa poporului! which is that big huge government palace thing that was built during communism!! It was so crazy! I cant believe how big it was!  anyways that building is insane!! So there were these two guys and they were asking what we were doing in Romania and we told him.. I guess he was born in Romania but moved to Austria.. He was just back visiting.. I told  him I was going to be here for another 14ish months and he was like - why? why would you come here? ha perfect question:) He was like if you dont mind me asking? So I started to tell them about the church and then gave them some mormon.org cards! They seemed way nice and they acted like they would check it out! I told them to just go to this website!!! ha this one has the truth about the Mormon church! They said they would so we will see! Missions are amazing... I am started to figure out this whole missionary lifestyle-- Sora Lund is great! I might not get 100 baptisms but I will find myself out here. It is amazing to see how much I have already learned. At the first of my mission I was way to hard on myself. I thought that I had to be perfect and then I was upset when I wasn't. I have now found out that Heavenly Father is not asking for perfection on this mission. He wants to me to try my best and that is all I can do! I am finding the joy out of the little things during the day. like understanding half of a conversation. Or someone smiles back at me... we dont get harrassed on the bus... a little old man stick up for us when we are getting harrassed on the bus! ha its great! It is one of my goals to just learn to be happy in every situation! Romania is a great place to learn this needed attribute! I had a lot of people write me this week! thank you so much!! it makes my day unfortunatly I cant write you back!! but send me your home address and I will try to get a letter to you!  I am really starting to love this place! Romania has some great people in it! I feel really priveledged to be here! I feel the love that God has for these people! Life is great.. I still walk down the streets and say.. "I cant believe this is my life..I cant believe I am walking down these streets of Romania!" I love it and I will continue to do my best!! I love you all! va iubesc foarte foarte mult! eu stiu ca familia mea poate sa fie impreuna pentru totdeuna! :) I love you all very very much! I know my family can be together forever! Have a great week! I love you! 
Love Sora Abby Polatis

Sora Lund

Huge Communist Building