Saturday, November 30, 2013

Well First off, Since it is the season of Giving Thanks I just want to say thanks for all your love, support, letters, and really just having the best family ever! I realized this week again that I was very lucky to have you all active, healthy and happy and that we all get along! That in itself is a blessing! So I love you all and have a Good holiday! And No, they dont celebrate thanksgiving here, but that is alright! It will probably be just another normal day, so I guess enjoy it for me too.

Well what a week! We started out our week on Monday by going to the Mission Home to meet and greet the new missionaries from Tacloban! Sister Libria and I were the only sister training leaders invited and most of the missionaries were sisters. What awesome and strong spirits! Some of the stories that they told about had me in tears but they know that this is where they need to be and the Lord really was watching out for them all! But dinner was fun! We ate, I am sure there are pictures of me by the food, ha always ha but really it was fun! 
Tuesday, We went out! Seriously, I think I say this every time but this transfer has been crazy hard for finding, of course we find people who just want to talk to see if I can speak but getting them to commit to Church and what not has been a killer! Really the rollercoaster analogy that Abby uses is so true! One day it is like a spiritual high and the next you hit the bottom! But I am still staying positive! That is missionary life and I am for sure we will hit our high! Just need to change our finding methods I guess!
Wednesday through Friday were pretty normal working days! We are still just trying to find people who will be receptive and make that commitment to follow Jesus Christ! MIssionaries have been teaching this lady Emily for a little while now! She is in her 50's and is always sick I feel ha, But one day we walked to see here and we found her son, he is probably in his 30's sitting outside reading the Book of Mormon! He usually was there when we stop by but when we would invite him to listen he would walk away, so we kind of just assumed that he wasnt interested! But seeing him reading,  Now that was probably my high point! He was in Mosiah and I guess from what he said, after we teach, he will read! It was the weirdest thing, I just got the strongest prompting to kind of force him (for lack of a better word hahah) To sit, like I got a chair and he tried scooting it away from me so I was confused and why I was feeling so strongly to talk to him! Well we gave him a background-ish history of the Book of Mormon like from the Title page and he wouldn't make eye contact with us! Then as we were bearing testimony we invited him to continue reading and praying and he looked up at us with tears and told us, he knows the Book of Mormon is true! But he is still shy to talk to us! But I loved it! Gave me that strength to keep on keeping on!! We are on the Lords Time and he will give us strength!! So hopefully next week we can work with this brother and get him on the right track!! 
Saturday we have the Baptism of Sister Marian Joy! She is from a part member family and she is 10! She was so so so nervous for the water, she just stared at the font we had tried everything to get her to not be nervous, but then our District leader who was going to baptize her just started making jokes with her! She started to laugh then we couldnt really get her to stop laughing! The nerves went away and all was well! She was so stinking cute!! 
Sunday we had the Primary program, YES grandma, I was the pianist! We sang about 6 songs, I think I did alright! But all the little kids were so cute and they all asked how I learned how to play, I told them "My Lola, Grandma Rounds taught me" and since we cant teach them how, I told them Maybe Grandma would come teach them too! HAHA but they were so cute and they all have strong little testimonies!!\
This week should be good! We will start our exchanges! We will go to Cadiz so I am excited for that! Sister Libria goes home this next Monday! She is pretty excited for that! But all is welll! The rollercoaster will just continue on! I know the Church is True! We have all the tools here that we need to help us return to our Heavenly Father! So Continue on!! It is awesome!! Love you all! Be good and be safe!!! Miss you!! Mwah! Halong kamo pirme!!!!
Sister S Polatis
our district

The Baptism of Marion Joy--Girl of giggles

some of our Primary children

pizza and shakes!!  Must have something to celebrate

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! 
You all sound like you are doing amazing! Sam I could not be more proud of you then I am right now! Mr. Hunger Games!! ha Look at the picture that I will send of my new planner for this upcoming transfer! You will all like it! We actually do have permission to watch a movie for thanksgiving.. I already tried getting the hunger games to be approved.. but with no luck!! ha I guess they don't love the fact that it is kids killing kids.. so I guess I will wait until I come home! Mom we can go together! well when I say "go" I mean walk down stairs and watch it on DVD when I get home! ha I am glad you all liked it! May 14th is the day I will be home! ha EXACTLY an 18 month mission! So crazy time is flying! I am happy to hear about Uncle Blayne!
This week has been a great week full of adventure! 
You all will probably not believe this but..... I am STAYING in Mihai Bravu for round three of traveling the country! with SORA LUND! ha our 4th transfer together! That is unheard of in this mission! But we are super excited. She does go home in three weeks which is a little unfortunate because I then have no idea what happens to me?? maybe thrown into a trio? Get a mini missionary from Romania for three weeks... either way I think I will find out at mission leadership council this Thursday! I think we are going to try to get all new different cities this transfer and we will only have 4 cities because they added another set of sister training leaders. But president wants all of our exchanges down BEFORE the 18th so before Sora Lund goes home... so we will be super super busy these next 3 weeks!! 
**THANKSGIVING and missionary leadership council! 
I will actually be at the Hills home that whole day for missionary leadership council so we will be eating 2 meals there! Sora Lund and I also have to present again at leadership council! ha This is about my 5th time presenting on the mission. ha Sora Hill called us on Friday and said "you did such a good job last time.. we need you again!" But this time we want it in Romanian in front of everyone! ha so wish me luck!
 but it should be fun but also I am super excited because tonight we are eating at another seniors couples house. The francoms from Preston! I love them so so much! So they are making sure we get a traditional thanksgiving feast and we will probably watch a movie tonight at their house! super excited! 
Ok seriously the picture don't even do it justice! Total people there was like 53,100! Everyone got a free flag on their chair and everyone was cheering and yelling. We were able to sing the national song together! it came up on the big screen so it was so cool! I loved seeing all the unity in Romania! This huge flag dropped over a section of the crowd and it was so cool! We did end up  in a tie. But Greece won at their "home town" by more points so they are going to the world cup! But Romania did good! I loved it! Then afterwords the metrous and stuff weren't working so we then had to walk home for about 1.5 hours haha We live at the bottom of the city but it was so worth it!!! I loved it!!! 
We had such a great lesson with one of our investigators! She seriously is amazing! She is the one that wanted a CTR ring and to buy modest dresses. Anyways.. we went through the whole restoration with her and she had such good questions and she seemed to really understand. We were drawing out the dispensations and We showed how after Christ died and the apostles it dropped back down to the apostasy... She then looked at us and said... "o then what prophet came next?" It was so cool! We gave her a soft baptismal committment and she said yes!!! So we are meeting with her tuesday for the plan of salvation and we have a member present all set up and everything! So it is really really legit! It will be in Romanglish so it will be great!
Those are some of the highlights from the week! I am super excited for this next transfer! For the great holiday this week I just want to say how grateful I am for every single one of you!!! I am thankful for your love and support! It means so much to me to know that I have a family who has my back! I am thankful for this great gospel that blesses our lives so much! I am thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ! I am thankful to a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me! I am thankful for my mission! It is the best! I am thankful for the Romanian people! I am thankful for all the missionaries here! I am thankful for President Monson! I just feel so blessed right now I could go on.. but just know I am thankful for all I have! I have really been studying the Book of Mormon... WOW... I am obsessed with that Book! This is like the 3rd time on my mission reading through it and I am getting out so many different things every time I read! I think I could read that book 1000 times and still learn something new every time!!! Well I love you all- the church is true! 
va iubesc! 
Sora Abby Polatis 
I'm now a villian!

amazing "Sister" artist in our mission!!

Huge  Romainian flag!!

so much fun at the Soccer game between Romania and Greece

Greece won!!  boo

Our District--this was so much FUN!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Family!!:)
   Hey so you should just send the package straight to my apartment. It will be a lot easier. My address is 370 W. Cherry street North Liberty, Iowa 52317.
   It is really a great and fun opportunity I get to serve this district so I'm excited. We had our first district meeting a couple of days ago and it went really well. We set our goals and are all really excited to reach them. As a mission we are going to have to work extremely hard for this next month because we are pretty far away from our mission goal so we all just need to grow the faith sufficient to let the Lord do his work.
      Well, Elder Winchester is gone and I've got to say that it is really nice just being in a companionship again. We no longer have to jump into our beds from the foot of our beds ha. Elder Ragozzine and I just stacked the extra mattress and box spring underneath our own beds. Its pretty comfortable. Well we have a lot going on right now!!! We have 5 on date right now for the month of December and Pam and Shawn are getting baptized this weekend. We got them all interviewed and they are ready to go!! We also might start teaching her son who she is living with. He is a funny guy and has been taught before but never clicked with the missionaries, but he was having trouble with keeping the cold from coming in the cracks of his door and I showed him how he could just go get some silicone and seal up all those places that were letting cold air in (Thanks Dad) Haha silicone is always the trick. We are also still trying to get the Mongolian lady baptized but she just struggles with coming to church. I have no idea why either. All she does is go to school and nothing else. She has to have at least an hour on Sunday to come. Ha and then we are still working with those one kids and that is quite the experience that's for sure. They always start arguing and fighting while we are teaching the lesson and telling one another how they aren't going to be ready for baptism and stuff. Ha it's ridiculous. They always have to out-do each other. So we were thinking about splitting them up next lesson and teaching them one on one because its just to hard to teach when the spirit of contention is in the room. But they also did not come to church like they said they would the day before. So that was a bummer. We really have a lot of work to do to make sure that we can keep these people progressing towards their dates.
         We have been doing some good knocking lately, looking for some prepared people who could be baptized by the end of this year and we haven't had too good of luck, but this one lady who was in her 20's invited us right in off the doorstep and her boyfriend was in there so thankfully we were able to go in and teach her. She said that she has really wanted to the book of Mormon so that was cool. It still might be awhile before we can get her baptized though because she is living with her boyfriend. Those ones are always tough to deal with. I also taught a little bit in Spanish yesterday on a doorstep. Ha it was really fun. It will be a great referral for the Hermanas.
        For Thanksgiving we are going over to the Henstroms. They are way awesome people. So that should be really good. This week we are finally going to get the car back!! I'm really excited for that. Hopefully I can get all approved to drive because the roads are kind of getting icy now. But this week we are going to get everything ready for the baptism so it should be really fun. Tell Sam congrats on Mr. RHS. I wish that I could've had the guts to do that ha. Maddy keep shredding up the hill for me!!! Love you all!!!:) Take care and have a great Thanksgiving.
Love Elder Polatis

Monday, November 18, 2013

How is everyone doing this week! Sounds like the Wedding festivities and the baptism were a success! I loved all the pictures and everyone looks really great! Congrats Anndee! I am so glad that you made the decision to be baptized! It really is an big decision and make sure the Holy Ghost is always your best friend and you will always be safe!! I promise!!

Yes, we do have new missionaries coming into our mission! Actually Sister Libra and I got invited to dinner tonight at the Mission Home so I think that we will be meeting some of them! Really they have gone through a lot and I really just bet it is hard for them! I can honestly say I hate things like that! Natural Disasters! Horrible!! But I am so glad that they will continue and hopefully just adjust into our mission! I think they will be here for a while! The whole Tacloban was washed out! There really is nothing there! 

As for me, Thanks again for all the Prayers and the emails!! I really do have the best family in the Whole entire world!! MWAH!!! Goood support system!!

So I know I just wrote you to on Thursday, But we had P-day again! So Thursday night, there were 3 zones of us who didnt have water or lights, and it had lasted all the week so President booked us all a Hotel to refresh and prepare for his training on Friday! So it was so nice! It was super weird to be cold at night, that hasnt happened for about 9 months! HAHA 

Friday we had our Training and really he focused a lot on obedience! One thing that he told us is that "There is never any freedom when you are Disobedient" It stuck with me, (Not that I am being Disobedient) because I was thinking, Why would I leave my family, come half way across the world to be disobedient? It doesnt really make any sense! That this is the Lords time and it is going crazy fast! To just do what I am supposed to and I will be free from feeling trapped! All the stories in the Book of Mormon go along with it! When they are being Disobedient, they always have troubles and it is hard to get out of them! So it is easier to just stay away from the mess anyways! But when we got home, My faith was so strong, I was thinking, "Oh for sure we will have lights, No doubt about it" Then we opened the door, and man was i let down! HAHA no lights! But water! So I wont lie, I was a little bit upset, but we had a few lessons to go to, So we went out! I just kept praying saying "I hate camping, I hate living for a week like I am camping, please can the lights come back on" Then Low and behold right as we were getting ready for bed, THEY TURNED ON!!!!! HURRAY!!! I think I was so happy I could have cried!! It was a little blessing!! I was so stoked!! Sounds really dumb but I was so stoked!!! 

We had a good Saturday and Sunday! It is a little bit tougher in this area! We have a lot of people who listen to us and are potential, they read, pray but it is hard getting them to church! That has been my biggest struggle! But I know the Lord will help them when they are ready, so for me! I know I need to just keep with them and be patient!, But I wish my patience would come faster! HA super cheesy haha but seriously that is what I am learning this transfer!! Budlay gd!! Oh well! That is missionary life!! I love it and I know that this work is the best! Hard but it is alright!!  

I love you all!! Be good and be safe! Thanks again for the Prayers!!!

Love Sister Polatis!
Yeah!!!  Hotel!!  So nice

trying new food!!

beautiful scenery

home Evening 

My District

Hey everyone!! sounds like you all had a great week!!! I loved all the pictures! they look great! Everyone seems to be rocking it at life! I like to hear that! keep it up! Well the past couple of days have been pretty good!
1- Well we were team teaching this girl in Bucuresti with the other set of sisters in the city. She was super cool and told me last sunday that she wanted to be a missionary! We were really excited to work with her. We taught her on Thursday and she seemed to understand what we were teaching but had some random questions but after she said she wanted to be baptized but don't plan anything! So we tried not to get our hopes up. She wanted to be baptized this upcoming Thursday. She had to come to church yesterday to be qualified to be baptized. Well Saturday night we called her and she said she was coming to church. Well.... Sunday at 10... nothing.. We call her... the conversation went something like.. "I am not coming to church- its not my religion- I don't want to get baptized." I did not realized how high my hopes were until they were crushed. But it is ok. Mergem inainte! It was a bummer but I have faith someday she will be baptized! 
2- We had English Class this week. Super funny and awkward! This guy in his 30's comes to our class. We had this lesson plan all ready and he starts asking us questions about ourselves and if any of our missionaries have fallen in love with Romanian men. So funny. We said we are missionaries so no we don't fall in love with anyone here. In conclusion we basically just talked about American Holidays and us-- ha We teach the advanced class so everyone knows english really well. They then asked about Christmas songs and we were talking about Romanian Christmas traditions. Well thankfully I practiced their special Christmas song in the hymn book the day before because we then sang it for class haha so random. my life..... they then argued about what color my eyes were.. ha green!
3- We have also been participating in the very fun activity of Block Knocking. In American terms apartment knocking. So funny- I know that in America.. this form of missionary work is all long gone now that they use facebook and all that good stuff.. but here we go back to the basics. We have to get past the code on the outside of the apartment buildings and buzz ourselves in. We then start at the top floor and we usually go with elders because it is safer that way.... and then we knock all the doors as we descend down all the floors! Usually an apartment building consists of about 50 ish doors usually about 10 people answer their doors and then maybe about 2 people will talk to us!! It is like a game show... NEVER know what is behind the door!!! ha door number one: women with a crazy dog, door number two: man who has to run put some clothes on! number three: crazy old grandma yelling at you to get out of the block!!! ha I should be tough as nails when I get back home! 
4- To just kind of sum up the situation here in Romania.... here is a little preview for you all. We had a lady come to help with the primary program - her husband works at the embassy so she has lived her for a couple years. Well we were needing to translate for her. Well we walk into the office of the branch president and he says "well unfortunately we dont have any one of the primary presidency here today...... and we have NO children here so... you will have to come back another sunday." I guess that the church was up a few years ago before Romania joined the European Union but once they joined a lot of members left to other countries for better jobs and living situations. So the church is baby here! But I love it! honestly. I went to young womens the other day and I completely forgot that mutual and all of those programs exist back in the states! this church is amazing!! But Ya I remember watching the Joseph Smith movie when he tells Brigham young that they are not just building a temple but that God was building them! That is what I feel like- I am being built by the hand of God. I really love the scripture where Alma talks about how he wishes he could cry repentance to all but he realizes a couple verses later that he should be content with what he has. That is what I am finding out how to do! Just enjoy what I have!!! I love my mission!! 
5- I am going to the national Soccer Game tomorrow night!! Greece Verses Romania!!! Whoever wins is going to the World Cup!! I can't wait! 
6- Transfer Boards are this week! Wish me luck!
Have a great week!! I love you all so much! keep the faith:) Read the good word zilnic!! :) 
va iubesc!! 
Sora Abby Polatis 
Hola minha familia preferida!!
      How is everyone?? Ha that is awesome that Sister Moon finally emailed those pictures. Mom, I think that you and her would get a long perfect. She said that she loved you just from how you emailed her back and how you aren't afraid to embarrass me ha. Yea the Moon family is awesome. Brother Moon is our ward mission leader so we get to spend a lot of time with him. Pretty much home away from home. Well we got our transfer doctrine today. Elder Winchester is done with his mission so he will be going home, and Elder Ragozzine and I will be staying here just as a companionship in Iowa City. Oh and also.... I got called to be a district Leader! ha I was like President, I'm a visa waiter I thought that this was not allowed for visa waiters ha. So yep that is pretty cool I guess. Hopefully they will start letting me drive because I'm not sure about letting Elder Ragozzine drive everywhere, that could be a little scary ha. So yes there is the transfer doctrine. No visa yet again but Elder Hales ( my MTC companion) got his so its got to be me next right?:) I think there are still 5 of us here so its not like I'm the last one I guess. Man you guys are just having all kinds of fun down in Utah. We never went that much back when I was home.
        Thanksgiving will probably just be another work day to be honest ha. Hopefully some member family calls us and feeds us. If not we will have to go hunt our own turkey. Things are going pretty well here though. I'm glad that I got to stay because we are right on the verge of finishing with some good baptisms for the year. We set two baptismal dates with these two kids of this less-active lady. We would've set 3 dates but the mom said that they 9 year old wasn't old enough to know what he is doing so she didn't think that he should get baptized with the older two. We'll have to change that. The Lord has set the age so hopefully we can get the little 9 year old really excited and have him tell his mom that he wants to get baptized on the 21st of December. We will have 4 dates for that day so that will be an awesome day hopefully. We had zone training meeting this week and the Assistants came and gave a training to us about our purpose as missionaries. It was really good. I learned so much. Ha it made me definitely realize that I needed to change up a little bit of my teaching but I was glad to learn some different things. I guess the director of training at the MTC came and gave them the same training that the AP's gave us so it was really good. Made me realize that we can't just hope for people to act, we have to help them act. Our 2 verbs to follow are to invite and to help, and the investigators are to receive and come.
       This week we did a ton of service. Pam moved out of her apartment and none of her kids would help her so we spent a lot of time over there trying to get all of her stuff moved in with her oldest son. Her son is kind of anti-Mormon so that wasn't good to hear. Pam and Shawn are scheduled to get baptized next Saturday so hopefully we can keep her going. We also went to down-town Iowa City this week to this kind of shelter place to feed the home-less people. It was pretty sad. People have some really rough lives. I did see something that was really cool while I was there. One of the members that came and helped also said that he was homeless for a little time in his life, so he could really relate to these people, and he wanted to serve and help them so bad. It was really cool to me because it made me realize that he could succor those people, kind of how Jesus had to go through everything so he could succor to all of our infirmities and trials. I just thought it was awesome.
      I am excited for these next 6 weeks here in Iowa City. There is definitely a lot of work to be done. I guess that in this transfer I will get to call home for Christmas!! Wow that is crazy that it is already getting close to that point. I'm glad everything is going awesome and I'm way grateful so have such an awesome family. Love you all!!!!!!
Love, Elder Polatis

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hey everyone!!
I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well! And that Sarah was ok and survived the Typhoon! Man what totally different missions we are in! I loved all of Lous wedding pictures and the Halloween pictures that I received! You all looked great! That is so funny about the chicken in dads engine haha that would happen in Idaho! Have fun in St George and the big celebration round two!! That will be a lot of fun! Take some pictures on your i phones and send them my way please! I love to see everyone! 
         I can't believe that I have been gone from Roberts, ID for one year today!! I could not have imagined all of the adventures that I have had a everything that I have learned as I have been here in Romania! I feel so blessed to be able to be a missionary! 
 What a week it has been! I have traveled the furthest South and the furthest north I could possibly go in this mission from Constanta up to Molodova! Quite the adventures! Some of the highlights for this week! 
1- Well not really a highlight but I found out the hard way if you use random cough drops with random ingredients from the farmacie here in Romania for an extended amount of time you could develop a little bit of Tongue Fungus!!!!! ah rough!! But the funny part about this story was I went to the farmacie to pick up the medicine and I asked if they had it. Well they said they did but I would have to mix it together. She then goes to tell me in Romanian that I need to wash the pills under water to get the coating off and then crust then and then add them to the solution.. hahaha so funny! but I guess it worked because I am healed! 
2- I had interviews with President Hill and Sora this past week! I love them! They are so encouraging and really love each of us! He talked about how I will probably be staying in Bucuresti for one more so that they don't have to white wash this city because Sora Lund leaves in December! So one more transfer of traveling the country!! wahoo:) love it! I love helping all the sisters and visiting the cities! 
3- I had an exchange in Constanta this week! I love that city!!! so so much!:) I went with Sora Newell. She is only in her second transfer but she is already an amazing missionary. She already knows another language so she is picking up Romanian fast! I was able to go to two lessons with her and she did great! We taught a way cool lady and then we dropped in on an investigator family! It was really cool because I have never really had to work with anyone that younger than me so it was fun to see that I had the skills to be able to lead the lessons! So it was fun! 
4- On our way back in town we tried contacting our taxi driver and he was so nice! asking how we were and what we were up to.. at the end I handed him a card to find out more and he looked shocked and said "o well I am orthodox." ha I just said that is great but here is our card anyways! Sora Lund and I were laughing because of course he is orthodox.. the whole country is!! ha I guess you had to be there sort of thing! 
5- We went to Iasi for P-day and then I had an exchange with Sora Kelly. We went Block Knocking and we had a lot of fun! I love Sora Kelly! We have been around each other our whole missions starting from day one in the MTC! We have not missed a transfer of seeing each other! 
6- Up to moldova!! So much fun! it was a fast trip! honestly I felt like a spy because on my passport I had not even been in moldova for a full 24 hours and then I was back to Romania! But it is always a great time! I went with Sora Caruso and she is a killer missionary! We had a lot of fun! The men on the train were pretty funny.. .We were looking for our car and they looked at our tickets and said "number 6 is pretty far up there.. you can just stay back her with us" ha I just think it is funny now! we stick out so much!!! Everyone that came in and did our passport stuff as we waited 3 hours crossing the border came and said hi to us and knew that we were the 2 American girls aboard on the train! You have to love the 13 hour train rides!! I am so glad that I have been able to serve these two transfers with Sora Lund! It has been so much fun!!
I will be seeing everyone in 6 months! That is so crazy! I know that it is going to go fast so I will make everyday count! Thank you for all of your love and support and letters over this past year! keep them coming:) ha I have learned so much over this past year! I can't believe it! I know that this church is true! I love you all! Keep the Faith! 
va iubesc!! 
Sora Abby Polatis 

Me and my palaces!!

Now, she looks Romanian--Washing Ad

Best burger in town

Jumping for joy!!


Sora Caruso in Moldova

Chisinau District

Well first I just want to say thanks for all the prayers, and thoughts! We survived the storm and we are alright! We are currently in Bacolod right now because we have training tomorrow! Still in Victorias we don't have electricity and we just barely got a slow stream of running water! So even that is a blessing! We were having to go to the Bumba and pump our water 2 times a day, for showering in the morning and at night! I actually am super humbled and it it probably something that I will never forget! People really live without running water and most of the time electricity and get along with life just fine! It is amazing! But I will start from the first of the week.
I had my first MCL last week! It was pretty awesome! We just had trainings from President and Sister Lopez as well as the AP's! So after the training we went back to our area and worked! Wednesday of last week we had our Zone training! It was fun! Sister Libria and I trained on using the Book of Mormon more effectively and on Listening better! 
Thursday we were preparing for the day and we got a text saying to spend the day preparing for the storm and not to really go out! So we went and got drinking water, made sure we had food, we didn't really know what to get! It kind of weird preparing yourself for something you don't really expect to happen! But we came back to our apartment and President was texting us keeping us all updated on what was happening!.......well nothing happened! Ha Thursday was fine!
Friday, well we got up and it was crappy weather outside so we knew it was coming and we were advised to stay in again today, HOLY CABIN FEVER!! I think i read everything I had! We got a text saying that our area and Cadiz was going to be the hardest hit on our Island! So that is when we got a little nervous! It was super windy but luckily not to much rain! You could hear the tin flying outside! I was super nervous for all of our members and  investigators! Our kitchen floor got wet but mostly because the door doesn't shut all the way so that was about it for damage to our house! Our landlord came over and showed us where the closest bumba was for pumping water!
Saturday we went out, So much damage! Telephone poles in the road and what not! But we went out for clean up! We first went to Ana Liza, our investigators house, we thought for sure it would be destroyed because it is really just bamboo and there isnt anything surrounding it! Well we got there and were totally shocked!! Nothing happened! It was nuts! We were so shocked! The only thing that happened was a banana tree had fallen and they were able to collect the bananas for eating for the next week or so!! She started to cry and told us it was because she attended church the sunday before! And that she was praying the whole time! All her kids were safe, they are all pretty little but all were safe and it was such a blessing to see that! Of course they dont have lights or water but she said that is pretty normal for them and they will be fine!! We were so excited!!! We followed up with all our people and really they were all alright and not too much damage to their houses! Heavenly Father really was looking out for all the people and it is really true that when we do what is right, he will bless us! 
The rest of the week we were just out and trying to help with all that we could! We got hit hard but it wasnt as bad as it could have been! I was grateful for that! It is pretty inconvenient living without water and lights but you kind of get used to it! We have a candle in every room of our house and we have a little candle that we use for when we need to go to another room, so in a way it is like electricity! My arms are definitely getting toned up haha pumping water is a lot of work!! But seriously, I am humbled and really grateful for all that I have! The member have been really good to us and feeding us! Laundry is a little bit difficult but we get it done! You just make due with what you do have and amo na! Not to say that I wont be totally stoked to see that the lights came back on but I know that we go through trials to make us stronger! There are a lot of other people out there that got hit worse than we did I pray for them all the time!! But I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers! I miss you all! I am glad everyone there is healthy and happy! Dont worry about me, we are doing fine here! The work will continue to move forward!!! Have a good week! I think I will be emailing on monday, well hopefully!! If not, it is because we still dont have electricity!! MWAH!!!! Basi, pray for that!!! I would love you forever!!!!!
Love Sister S Polatis
me with Elder May and Elder Marble

Pumping water--this is what we do when no electricity

My investigator family safe!!! WOW  thought they would have nothing

1 casualty from the storm--poor coconut tree

With my training missionaries

sister training leaders

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Birthday cake--yum yum

must have guessed the present wrong!!  Bonked on the head

Yea, Snickers!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hola Familia?? Que e Bom?
          Wow I haven't heard anything about this storm over there. That's pretty scary!! I'm glad Sarah is alright though. Man that will be some crazy clean up. Good thing Sarah has learned how to work growing up because that could really be a pain.  I did get called on to give a training a couple weeks ago and it was about charity and how we can get the members to feel more Charity and desire the salvation of souls. Ha I had very little preparation time but I had a few good notes to talk about, and that is when I gained a greater testimony of teaching by the Spirit because everything flowed really well. Elder Ragozzine said that I have a silver tongue haha. I don't think that I had ever heard of that before but I thought that it was funny. He gets pretty upset when I tell him he needs to street contact the next person and he doesn't do it. He said that he used to be a mute though so he has come a long way. Sister Jensen ( mission presidents wife) was telling me how great Elder Winchester and I have down with him. She said that when he first got here that he wouldn't even say anything and now when she had her interview with him she said that he couldn't stop talking. So that was really good to hear.
          Well transfer calls are this Saturday and Elder Winchester is going home so I guess we will see what happens. I haven't heard anything on the visa so I don't think my time has come yet. An Elder that was waiting in Michigan who was in my district in the MTC just emailed me and told me that he was heading out today and how scared he was because he hasn't studied Portuguese in a long time. So they are definitely still working on them, just really slowly. But if I don't get my visa, I will probably stay here again to keep this area going. We are doing pretty well right now. The Mongolian lady just postponed her baptism which I thought was probably a good thing, because she was really struggling to get to church, but she did come yesterday so that was cool. I think that I maybe should've learned Mongolian in the MTC instead of Portuguese haha. Odmandakh ( our recent convert) was just sustained to get the Aaronic Priesthood. Ha The 1st councilor told him to stand up and he had no idea what was going on. Ha now that would take a lot of faith. I put myself in his shoes and thought about how it would be like to be a new member of a church that you had no idea what was being said throughout the whole meeting. He's a stud! We also had Pam and Shawn come to church yesterday!! Gosh that is just a hassle every week!! We had a lesson the night before about all the blessings and happiness that comes from keeping the commandments and told her to have faith that she would be happier if she really started to try. So they made it. I guess Pam is two months away from having a baby and she gets tired and stuff so I was proud:) We have found a few people out on the street and this one lady I guess is a religious writer for the newspaper up in Cedar Rapids so she is wanting to do a story on us. She thinks that it is so awesome how we serve like this. So we taught her the first lesson and it opened her eyes quite a bit. She was telling us how she thinks that all religions are good and it doesn't matter as long as you believe in God, but she was really interested in the Book of Mormon so we will see. We still are working with the Dillon Family and their neighbors. Ha I guess that their neighbors son was saying how he wanted to start coming to our church, really for no reason because we haven't taught him anything but that's great right?:) His mom is pretty carnally-minded that's for sure. She definitely needs some light in her life and she said that she would maybe come to church next week so we'll see with her. Man we have been teaching a lot of women lately!! It gets tough sometimes because we always have to find a member. But I guess its nice at the same time because it forces us to get some members to the lessons:) So do the Roberts wards each have a set of missionaries? That would be sweet!!
       We did go on exchanges this week out to this little town called Belle Plaine. It was pretty fun. There is a senior couple that serves out there too so they made us some breakfast:) Man you need to see their little branch church building, Ha their chapel is their gym. I thought it was pretty sweet. Well things are going great, starting to get cold that's for sure but i'm staying warm. I hope everything keeps going well with the family and I'll make sure to keep them in my prayers. Thanks for everything!!!! LOVE YOUUUUU!!
Con amor, Elder Polatis 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Well "Happy Halloween" To everyone! ----PALIHOG!!! haha  But I will start from the first. 
Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal days! We went out and just were teaching we found a few people who hopefully we will be able to meet with again and share! We have been working way hard to get people prepared for baptism as well as strengthening their testimonies but it has been kind of hard in this area! Most will commit to the things but when church rolls around, Waay na! So medyo frustrating! Pero ok lang na! We will keep trying!  So I realized that I am kind of selfish! Ha during my personal study I was reading a past conference talk "Observe then Serve" and she posed a question :"Am I doing this for Me or am I doing this for Jesus Christ?" Well I realized that in the past I do a lot of things for ME! Which really isnt a bad thing but when it comes to service we need to forget ourselves, man up and get it done! So amo na! Service isnt always going to be something that is convenient for us but that is how we show our love! I guess it was important because it hit me kind of hard! 
So Friday was LEGIT!!! So we got to do "Day of the Dead proselyting" Sounds a little bit weird but here they celebrate Halloween like sleeping at the Cemetery and what not to be close to their loves ones! Oh my guli, so many people! We went to the cemetery and had a lot of "Prayer Visits" it was a good way of contacting people because we were able to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and how they will see their lost one again! I wont lie, it was a little bit creep when it got towards the night time but sadya gd! I loved it! People had good and everything kind of fun! Well we had a couple of appointments that we had to go to! Well here they also have a tradition on Halloween that you cook something sticky! Every house that we went to we had sticky rice! I think i ate dinner like 4 times! It was super good I just couldn't really walk! HAHA but it was so much fun! We had a quick FHE with a part member family! There are 4 girls! And the age ranges are like the same as our family! Well it made me smile! They just reminded me of all my sisters, they are dang lucky!! So much fun! 
Saturday-Elder Neil L Andersen of the 12 came! Oh my gosh! What an amazing spirit! All the missionaries were gathered together! There were 234 of us! But he came and spoke to us and just gave us encouragement of our work! He shook all of our hands! I loved it not only because of the spirit that was felt but because of the testimony that we do have living prophets on the earth today! They lead and guide us and we are so lucky to have that! He is awesome! He spoke of the atonement and just how to keep pressing forward everyday! Don't get down on the little things! That we are all loved and this is a great time in our lives! I loved it! I was so excited that that happened while I was here!!!!
But That was about it for my week! Next week we will start our exchanges with the other sisters! I am so excited! I love being a missionary! I love the Philipino people! They are so funny and even tho they really dont have a lot they are willing to give it up if they need to! Thanks for all your love and support of me! I miss you all everyday!! Love you! Be good and be safe!!!!! MWAH!!!
my new friend--he scared me so bad

SIster Emma--when we do exchanges-she goes with us

sunset from the ceres window

First time seeing a monkey here

"day of the dead" proselyting

Buna familia mea!!! 
       You guys all sound like you are doing great!. 
So this week.. haha roller coaster ride... Seriously my mission... I love it. I put the top stories at top so people would read them... ha sorry my letters are so long.. I guess I type really fast...
Friday: CRAZIEST STORY EVER..this is part of the down roller coaster... ha
So just got stood up on one of our lessons (normal.. sadly) but we were not discouraged.. we decided to go contacting... So Sora Lund hands an english card to this really nice looking middle aged classy women. Well she then looks at us and says "why is it free?" We then happily went on to tell her that we are missionaries and this is a form of service. She then hands us back the card and says "I can't learn English from you... the DEVILS..." she then takes her hands and makes horns on her head- the universal sign for the devil just in case we didn't understand. She then starts going off.... wow... is all I can say. She said "If Jesus Christ washed his apostles feet then why will you guys not kiss the apostles feet and worship the saints?" of course she keeps talking and doesn't give us anytime to respond. She then says "These words are not coming from me.. like how God spoke through the donkey in the bible He is speaking through me to you girls." We said.. "honestly... we are just here to share a message not to argue.." She looks at Sora Lund and says "you are so stubborn... I can see the blinders that you both have.. you only believe that your religion is correct." This is coming from the lady who keeps repeating over and over "I am Christian orthodox..." I try to bear testimony to her that we believe that we can pray directly to God and get answers.. He doesn't need to speak through anyone else.. well she ignores me.... and just keeps talking. She said "once I sat and talked with girls for 10 hours..." We said that we don't have time for that... She then says "God is wanting me to talk to you for 10 hours.. are you not willing to listen to God? If God wants you to stay won't you.?" We tried just kind of walking away.. but she kept saying just stay one more minute.. at this point I am just kind of laughing picturing how funny it would be to write home this story... and the fact that Sora Lund was losing patience super fast... Seriously this lady was possessed I felt this darkness talking to her... Sora Lund turns to me in English and says "Sora Polatis I am walking away.. I can't sit here and be called the devil one more time." We then start walking away....... SHE CHASES US! and starts inviting us into her house... thankfully she felt some pain in her back and stopped running after us... I was really about to start yelling.. "ajuta-ne!!" Which means help us!!!! But she stopped running.. We just said "Sorry but have a good night." So crazy!!! I could not believe it.
Sunday : UP OF THE ROLLER COASTER! I am sitting in relief society.. the door open and guess who walks in... RITTA!!! from Constanta.who was just baptized a few weeks ago! they stopped to visit me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was freaking out! My face lit up! After relief society and went back and we just hugged and she kissed me! She told me all about her baptism and how great it was! After church they took pictures with me. They are excited to get sealed in one year!! They were about to leave and she hugs me a couple times.. She said, "I don't know when we are going to see each other again..?" But we decided we are going to skype each other when I get home. She then takes my hands and says "I think of you as my daughter!!" I love her! it was so so great!
We then tried to go contacting that night in the park with the district. We tried stopping these ladies and they said "are you really trying to bring this to an orthodox country??" we said yes we are trying ... She then flipped us off... man.. rough crowd... it was the first time I have been flipped off if you can believe that?  but we had dinner at sora Gorzos that night and I can honestly say I love her! for sure my grandma of the mission. She cares about us and our lives. We have this cute video of her dancing with her and Elder Knapp... I love love her!!
Monday: Lesson with our investigator! I love her. 22 years old... normal and is trying to be a great person. We were small talking at the first of the lesson and she said "Well do you guys want to hear what I liked and learned from the chapter you assigned me?" ha She then brought out her notes she had taken from the chapter! She is so great. She said she just helped one of her friends stop smoking. She also asked us where she can find modest skirts and She wants a CTR ring! We love her! She is super busy so we can't meet super often but she is so cool! 
Tuesday & Wednesday: Exchange in Arad. I loved working with Sora Adams. She was a lot of fun- We helped teach their english class and there was a little girl there with her mother. The little girl plays volleyball so we bonded instantly! She wanted me to come and watch her play the next day... I loved it. We did a lot of contacting then we visited a less active little boy.. so cute!! they live in some of the most humble apartments I have ever seen.. again I realized how very very blessed I am.  
Thursday: Halloween! This day was a lot of fun. Elder Knapps Birthday. He said that he had never had a surprise party ever in his life. Sora Lund and I thought it would be so much fun if we planned something for him. Well we decorated our little missionary room. We got permission from President to watch a disney movie for our dinner hour and have pizza and drinks. The whole district came together and we made it happen!! We were all hiding and he walked in.. we all yelled "SURPRISE" He started freaking out! He was so excited.. like a little kid. I had so much fun doing that. I had so much fun planning it for him! He had no idea because he already had a dinner planned for the next day. I can't believe we pulled it off. 
Saturday: We had english and we had lot of cool student so we are hoping to get investigators out of that! For the spiritual thought-I played the piano while Elder Knapp sang "Be still my soul" it was really pretty- he has a such a good voice.  We had a lesson with one of our old investigators that night.. She is really frustrating she is so into logic. I asked her what she honestly believes and she said... I  believe that we are here to become the best people we can and just improve society and then we die and there is nothing.. I will not see my family again... it is so sad!! We try testifying to her.. but it doesn't seem to work so we will probably just let her call us.also a random man proposed to Sora Lund.. ha she said no...   

We were supposed to go to constanta tonight but they just called and one of the girls is sick.. so we will not be going tonight which is a bummer. We will have to reschedule. But I need to say that honestly this mission is great. It seems like no one likes us here.. which ok.. is kind of true.. I have been called satan every week this transfer... but I guess that just means that this church is really true I mean why would people be so upset?? We are 2 american 22 years old... stumbling over their native language carrying around Books of Mormon... In conclusion- This church is true! I love being a missionary! Also I am still reading the book of Mormon... and I started doing flow chart as I read it of knowing the people and the places.. o man!!! so cool I feel like I understand it now! I am so glad I have this opportunity to really start learning the Book of Mormon.. I love it!! Well everyone have a great week! keep the faith.. read the good word..:) va iubesc va iubesc!! 
cu mare drag, 
Sora Abby Polatis 

surprise birthday party for Elder Knapp

Ritta and Petre--my great baptism

sister Gorzo

Happy Halloween!!!:) Hey Family,
         Man sounds like you all had a great time this year for Halloween. Haha yea Grandma's basement is scary as it is so I can't imagine more scary things being added to it. Yea this week we had to be in by 6 for Wednesday night and Thursday night. I guess the night before Halloween is beggars night or something... No one has really heard about that here, but President Jensen said so we did it. It has been way rainy though. Elder Winchester and I went on exchanges on Wednesday with Elder Bate(zone leader). Ha I love that guy. He really likes to laugh so him and I get along really well. This has been my 3rd exchange with him since I have been in Iowa City. We went to his area and they have been struggling a little bit with finding people to teach so we didn't have any really set appointments. So he wanted to see our finding methods so he planned a lot of finding for us!! Haha its not as fun when your not in your own area, and it was raining pretty hard so we got pretty wet. We did find some part-member families and this latino lady. I knocked on her door and said habla espanol and her face kind of lit up. Elder Bates is a Spanish Elder so he could communicate with her really well and he gave her a libro de Mormon. So that was fun day. They live with members so we went back at 6 and ate and then we went and played basketball out in the rain with some of kids on their court outside. It was just like being back at home. Kind of weird.
          This week was kind of a slow week for us. We did find a couple new investigators and taught them the restoration. It was a mother and her daughter. They are Catholic and you could tell that something was missing. She was pretty open to things and I think that she will start reading the BOM. I wanted to go and see Rodrigo (Brazilian guy) but we had to give the car to the other Elders so it was a really long bike ride, but hopefully we can go and see him this weekend. We taught our Mongolian investigator with one of our Mongolian members so I think that a lot more understanding took place. Ha the translations are sometimes really crazy from English to Mongolian so we had to explain a few things. But yea this lady is set to be baptized on the 16th so that is what we are working towards. The dad of the Dillon family keeps coming to church every week, I think it is because his wife makes him, but I think that he has been enjoying it. We are probably going to try and set a date this week with him and see what he thinks about that.
        Our ward mission leader had the responsibility of setting up the Ward Halloween Party so we went and helped him out. Him and his wife put so much work into it. It was way awesome. They set up all the classrooms into little game rooms for the kids. There was also a chili cook off so I got to be the judge of that:) Sheesh I got full just from trying all the different chilis. There were quite a few non-members there so I got to meet quite a few people. Didn't really set up any appointments or anything because we want the members to start doing that. It was really great though.
            I'm glad that everything is starting to calm down and you guys are all having a great time. I love you all so much. Hope you all have a great week. I think for my week we don't have a lot planned. We were supposed to baptize shawn but he didn't make it to church because he didn't know about daylight savings:( that was a real bummer. Probably just keep finding people. North Liberty is full of duplexes and little apartments so there is a lot of work to be done. Love youuuuuuu
Love, Elder Polatis          
me and FLASH

District harvest pic