Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!! Man, I feel like we just had our Birthdays!!! But really I want to shout out to the coolest dad in the whole world! One who has always had my back, willing to help with whatever I needed and of course was one of the people (mom as well) who helped me get here and become a better person! Just that is an accomplishment! But I love you so much and I hope that you have a great birthday and that you get what you want/need! Thanks for always being a huge support to me while being here!! Be good and be safe! What did you ask for?? People always ask me and I really have no idea?? I just say "Good Health" haha that is a boring gift but a safe answer!!!!:)
Well this week was good, different but good! I kind of had this stupid cold thing---it is almost gone now, but work was hard, I would talk-cough-cough-cough, then finally I would give up and just bear short testimony! Maybe I wasnt supposed to speak this week:) haha joke! 

Tuesday we had our exchanges with Manapla! I went to their area and was with Sister Snow! She is 19 and from Utah! She has so much desire and drive to do the work! She is way sagad (good) at the language! She has only been here 3 weeks but she was determined not to use English! But she was a lot of fun! We had so good experiences and their area is awesome! A lot of potential! But while Sister Manosig and I were riding the bus to Manapla, this preacher I think he was Baptist, gets on the bus and starts to Preach, then they ask for money and people will give it to them! But he just happened to start talking and Preaching as it was our stop to get off, and we got off right in front of the Mormon Church, and as we are walking off the bus, he made a comment like oh, the mormons wont even listen, so I reached up and took his pamphlet but exchanged him one of ours-maybe his next bus ride he will teach the Restoration and get us some referrals hahaha

We kind of struggled this week for finding! I never felt like I had this problem but really it was weird, like all of our progressing investigators little by little are stopping so this week that is our focus! Trying to find out what happened and get them back on track! The one that really is bugging my mind is Sister Divine and Kandy! They are the 2 girls who are 12. We teach them all the time and they went to new beginnings and get along really well with all the girls, but we go to them and they said first, their moms want them to wait until they are 18 to be baptized, and second, If God is the same, why do they need to be baptized again! So we explained it but the great apostasy and 2, 12 year old girls just wasn't sticking so we have to find a way to help them understand it! And that the "Mormon" church isnt the same as all the other churches! 

We had our Mission Presidents Training on Thursday, haha I love President! He is legit! So funny but serious at the same time! We did a lot of practice teaching to try and help each other be more effective teachers! We had an interview with him, first as a companionship then separately, But as I walked in he was smiling and goes "Sister Polatis, you are like Pop-corn" Always smiling and happy and excited about the work! He told me that he can tell people are drawn to me and for me I was just so grateful for the compliment! It was so nice of him and even though it was "Pop-corn" I had to laugh! I really am happy and this past year it has shown through! I am happy because I have strengthened my testimony! I love to share it and I know that the hard times make us stronger! I love it! What a great year it has been!!! 

Our Recent Convert Sister Ailyn and her daughter made us Valentines day cards! Her and her husband Jipoy are always giving us a hard time because we are missionaries and cant date, so they told us that we could celebrate with them! So they made us a card! I love that family! You can feel the spirit in their home and you can tell that their relationship is getting stronger because they read and pray together! If i transfer I will miss them!! They are great! 

Saturday we had the Baptism of John Mark! What a stud! He was so excited, when he bore his testimony he was so shy but then he Goes, oh "Hope you all had a great Valentines day" people chuckled and he ended up not being so shy! Sunday after he was confirmed, he had the biggest smile on his face and he walked so tall up to the bishop to shake his hand! I loved it! He has a lot of good friends and family that will support him! I loved it!

But even though I dont want to be 24, it is happening! But I just want to say this past year, has had so many ups and downs, I think I have had every emotion possible but it has been a great year! I love the gospel! But tomorrow will be a great day! I am excited for it. One year older and wiser to........MWAH!!! Be good and be safe!!! Until next week!

Love Sister S Polatis
John Mark

My little buddy--John Mark, so excited to be baptized

Buna Ziua Familia Mea! 
First off: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! Best Dad in the whole world! I bought you a card... I might just have to hand deliver it to you a couple months late! Sorry! But Thank you for everything! I look up to you so much and I am always talking about how I have the coolest dad in the world that loves to do it all and is good at everything! Have a great day!! Wahoo:) 
Second off: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH! I have just loved serving a mission at the same time as Sarah! I think I am going to make a little book of all of our emails back and forth to each other! They are so funny! Sarah you are 24 and looking GREAT! :) love you! keep up those baptisms:)
I am going to be a mother! Training!! Wish me luck AND I am also RE-OPENING GALATI. Sisters haven't been there for about 2 years! I am super excited... nervous but excited! I will have 4 Elder there with me! So it will be great and one of the missionaries is the Branch President  I have been in Bucuresti for quite some time now... it seems like they are now shipping me out to retire in Galati! ha But I am excited to work hard and rock my last 2 transfers!
This week has been great! I love my mission so so much! Besides Transfer Boards here are some of the highlights for the week! 
1- Block Knocking! Well we went block knocking for probably like 8 hours this week... knocked over 100 doors... NOTHING... We actually went an entire block and not one person opened the door. It was crazy. But we kept going. We are looking for good people to work with. My testimony just grew so much this week that God does bless our efforts! We had recieved NO people from block knocking.. but then we randomly started getting referrals from everywhere! Four women from English now want to meet with us. We had a family history activity with the branch and we got potentials from that also! NO EFFORT IS WASTED! :) I love Romania! I will be leaving this Wednesday but I feel good knowing that I will be leaving Mihai Bravu in Great hands with Great potentials!  
2- Peles Castle! We went to Peles Castle again this week! I love that castle so much! So pretty and it was such a nice day! We met the Brasov district up there and it was so so much fun! My district is so much fun! 
3- LESSON! We had a legit lesson this morning!!! It was so so amazing! She was a women from English- We taught her the whole restoration and the Spirit was so strong! As I was quoting Joseph Smiths First Vision the Spirit was so so strong and I could tell she was feeling it too! I almost burst  with happiness! I am excited to see what happens with her! She is amazing!
This Church is true!! I am sure of it! I feel so blessed to be here in Romania! I love it so much! I know that I will be home soon- Which will also be great! But I am determined to make these last 2 transfers the best ever!!! :) Thank you all for your love and support! I have the best family and friends in the whole world! I don't know why I am so lucky! :) Have a great week! 
va pup! va iubesc! 
Sora Abby Polatis
My beautiful fairytale castle

Bom Dia Everyone!!!
        Yes it is very exciting that my visa has finally been processed ha. Now I am just praying that they will get it mailed here in time for the next transfer!! I'm pretty sure that I wont be leaving until then which is March 27th, but if I do then I will be sure to let you know:) Also, I got a call the next day after transfer calls and it turns out that the new missionary that I was going to train ended up not coming out so they changed some things around. Instead of Elder Ragozzine getting transferred, I actually got transferred and am now still a district Leader but I am serving in Knoxville Iowa! It is like 30 minutes south of Des Moines so not too far from the airport:) It is just a little branch though which is a lot different because I have not served in a branch yet. Yes I had to speak on my first Sunday there haha. There are some really good people there and it was really fun to get to meet a lot of people. I pretty much had the whole ward down back in Iowa City. My new companion is Elder Underwood. He is also a visa waiter!!!! Ha I never thought that I would get put with another visa waiter but it happened. He has been here for just one transfer less than me and he is going to serve in the Bella Horizonte mission. Its been good to be able to have more efficient language studies that's for sure. My new area is massive though. There are a lot of little towns that we have to drive to all the time, but we do have a full time car so that is definitely a blessing.
      I am a little sad that I probably wont get to see Amy get baptized because that was such an amazing experience to get to find her. Hopefully Elder Ragozzine and his new companion will make sure that she stays on the straight and narrow. But yes I have actually seen the new new temple video when I went to Nauvoo a couple of weeks ago. I really liked it a lot also. Its a good thing that I went to Nauvoo because now I am like 3 1/2 hours away. The work is pretty slow in this area and has been for quite awhile. Elder Underwood has been here for his whole mission and I think has seen one baptism so we are going to change that:) The Branch members seem very nice and I think we just need to focus on them and get them inviting their friends over with us. I'm pretty sure that this whole area has been knocked out multiple times so through the members is definitely the better way. Ha so P-day was a lot different for me yesterday. Usually it is emailing and then straight to the church to play basketball. There are no churches with courts any where around here. So I asked my companion where the nearest gym was and he has no idea. So then I started asking some members and they told me that there was a rec center just a little ways out of town. So we went there and offered service for them and they were happy to let us serve them and said that they would let us play for free now. So we are actually going to do service there right after we get done emailing:) it was a pretty big relief because I didn't think that I would ever be able to get any exercise. We went over to an eternagator's (eternal investigator) house yesterday and played some board games with him. Ha I needed to play more board games when I was back at home because I didn't know how to play any of them that he had, but it was a good time. He has a probably with the tissues in his body, so he can only be standing up for so many minutes before he is in real pain so it is very hard to get him to church, but he is very intelligent and understands the Book of Mormon completely!! I don't think he likes the Idea of Celestial Marriage though because I don't think that he is planning on getting married, but we will have to explain that better to him next time.
        That is awesome that Rigby beat Madison. It has been probably a good two years since we put a whipping on them. I'm glad everything is going good. Ha and I will probably ask the mission president if I can extend for a little bit if he lets me. We'll see how much longer I am here in the states though. Thank you for all of your prayers. I really appreciate it! Have a great week. Love you!!
Love Elder Polatis
Baptism---great woman

woodshop at Nauvoo

Nauvoo Temple!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This week went so extremely fast! I couldn't believe it! We had MLC at the mission home on Tuesday! It was so much fun--  we learned a lot and it was focused a lot on our teaching skill and how we can improve as well as companion unity! No worries, Sis Manosig and I are unified! We have a lot of fun and just go with the flow! We had a good zone meeting, We trained and I think they took a lot from it, or I hope they did!

We had a good week of teachings! All of our investigators are coming right along! Thursday I had a good experience with our Recent Convert, Sister Socorro! She is the 76 year old lady! First we walk in and she is sewing some clothes, so before we could ask, she is sewing clothes so that she can see them to make money to pay her tithing! HAHA what a champ! I love her! We were teaching her about temples and family history, and she is the one with no kids and no husband. Well last week we taught temple marriage and it went well. But today we tried to focus more on preparing for the temple and doing family history! But she looked at us and was so excited to start preparing for the temple! She of course is a little sad that she hasnt had a husband but she started to cry and just kept thanking us! She told us that God has kept her healthy so that she could hear this message! Then I started to cry just thinking that we helped her! We helped her accept this message. She was so grateful and I touched my heart that she was so happy! She promised never to be absent from church! She is one that will be always in my memory! It doesnt matter your age, God loves you and he is always going to accept us and we learn to accept him! 

We had the Interview for Brother Rhandie! He had some past history of Law of Chastity issues so he had to be interview by President Lopez first counselor. He passed his interview and he was so ready for his Baptism! He told us that what enticed him the most, first that we have a living prophet and that men can have the priesthood to preform the ordinances like the same as when Jesus was here on the Earth! The baptism went really well! He was so excited and just kept asking when he could get a calling and the priesthood! So hopefully next Sunday he can be interviewed and get going. 

So Saturday we had a funny experience! We needed to go see Brother Johnmark to prepare him for his interview---he passed by the way! So he will be baptized on Saturday! Well we rode this tricycle and the driver had tattood on his arm "Only God can judge me" So we figured that he was religious so we start talking to him! It was only like a 10 minute ride but we both felt like we needed to talk. So we find out where he lives and he is asking us about why we are here. So we commit him to go to church! He is in his late 20's maybe 28, he says that he will try, but I told him don't try, just do it! Of course like in a joking way! So at the end Sister Manosig is paying and I am writing on a pamphlet to give to him! So I circle the part about church and write on the Pamphlet, "Don't Try, Just Do" and we didn;t think much of it. But we are sitting in Relief Society and a sister comes and Tells us we have an investigator who is waiting for us, HE CAME! But not only that, he said that after we left him on Saturday, he made over 700 pesos that day, and that never happens! He told us he had so many people who needed to ride and then  he was thinking about what we said but since he was working didn't have time to read the pamphlet.  But he knew that something was different, like because he drove us God was watching over him and helped him make the money on Saturday so that he could attend church on Sunday! It totally made my day! He told us we could come and teach him and his wife! So we will go this week to him! Little tender mercies, so many blessings from the Lord! 

This work is True! I know that Heavenly Father is always watching out for us and if we will look he has opportunities for us! I was so stoked! So awesome!! HAHA Such a good week! I loved it!  Sammy. I am so excited for you! Just remember the preparations for a mission seem scary but really the Lord will help you! Waay Kabalaka huh!! Good luck with everything! 

Sorry that I was late today! We went to Gawahon, it is in victorias but it has all these sweet waterfalls! It was so awesome! I loved it! We went with some of the Elders and Sisters from our Zone! We hiked a little bit, man it has been about 5 years since I hiked, I kind of liked it! But be good and be safe this week! I love you all! I miss you as well! Dad I hope that you had a great time on your trip! Thanks for all the letters! Halong kamo pirme!!
Love Sister S. Polatis
"super" burger at training meeting--only ate 1/4 and the Elders were happy with the rest

me and the "Goofs" in the kitchen 
Birthday party for Jullian--turned 2

These are best friends----baptism

Say hi to Indi---which means "no no"

Gawahon Falls--beautiful

me and sister Manosig

Sisters Hemi and Molejon and ME!

a nice little soak!!!  feels so good!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey Everyone! 
 As far as snow goes here- it is spring now! All the snow is melting! Wahoo.. only 2 weeks of hard winter:) I could get used to that! 
That is hilarious about Elder Justesen!! Of course I remember him. He was in my branch in the MTC. He would eat lunch with my district all the time! I told him to find my family when he got to Idaho! haha I can't believe it! I am glad he found them! I am sorry about Uncle Darin - I had no idea he had bad health problems! That is sweet the olmypics are going on in Russia! My neighbors! :) 
Also make sure my posts are good online... I just got a letter from a teacher in the MTC and she said that a girl that is coming into the mission has been reading my blog every week and she is super excited to meet me!! haha celebrity off the blog! That is great that Sam is working on his papers! wahoo.. go missionary work! 
Well I never have a dull week.. This week was full of block knocking... traveling to Sibiu for my last exchange... and going La Tara! Some highlights from the week:) 
- Exchange in Sibiu! 
I am obsessed with Sora Merrill.. I love doing exchanges with her! She is such a hard worker and is fearless! So we contacted for about 5.5 hours that day. We talked with everyone! We had some cool experiences though.... 
1-We tried talking to this one women- She was as cold as ice "I am orthodox... you have nothing to say to me." I then said- "We just want to talk and find out about more about what you believe.. We are from America as missionaries and we do have a lot of similarities between our religions." Then all of the sudden she turns into this lady as sweet as honey and speaking perfect English with a Georgian accent. I guess she lived in America... for like 30 years because her family escaped when communism hit Romania. She just came back because her son wants to be priest in Romania! She then sits with us on a bench and we talked for about 45 min. I learned so much about why the orthodox people believe what they believe. She was so nice! "What are you girls doing here? O you are both so Brave! I could never do what you are doing!" She then said something that really shocked me... "So you girls are going around and just "planting good seeds" all over Romania- That is amazing!" I was shocked.. That is exactly what we are doing! She gave me a big hug good bye and wished us luck! She wants her son to read the Book of Mormon. She thought that our beliefs were super interesting!! It was one of the coolest stories ever because she was literally ice cold at the beginning but then melted into a nice cup of lemonade! :) 
2- These 3 old men called us over to talk with us. They were missionaries for some other religion. They started kind of making fun of us for doing baptisms for the dead. but they supposedly knew the bible so well - So I have my bible and funnily enough one of the three guys helped me find the scripture in Corinthians 15:29 about baptisms for the dead. The head guy would not read it out loud. They were trying to bible bash with me... I just told them that I didn't want to argue. I was getting a little big fired up when they said that the Book of Mormon wasn't true. I asked them if they had read it and they said no. So I told them what we believed. I think that they were a little shocked that I was so Bold... No one messes with the Book of Mormon... Not if I am there.. That Book is true! 
3- We went Block Knocking and we ran into this cute 80 something year old lady- She was super nice-- (maybe a little crazy??) ha I don't know.. But for some reason I loved her right off the bat. She invited us in and we started asking her all the questions of the soul. She was great! and wants the missionaries to go back. It was cute though because after talking for like 40 min. I asked if we could have a prayer... Well I guess I didn't really explain it well enough.. So I am praying and she is talking through my whole prayer!! ha and then she grabbed my hand in the middle of it! It was so cute! 

Well that is the main things of this week! I am loving life right now! I don't know why I am so lucky to be here in this country! We have transfer boards this week!!! ah it will be crazy! We are getting NINE new sisters.. Which is insane. Every single sister in the mission will either be Sister Training Leader, Training a second transfer girl, or training a first transfer girl! Wish me luck! I also get my DEATH CALL  this week which is less dramatic then is sounds... you just get the formal call asking what airport I am flying into so that they can buy my tickets! Idaho Falls! 
You guys are great! I have the best family ever! I love you all so much! I don't think you understand how much! I love it here but don't worry I am super excited to see all you!!! 3 months! unreal! Have a great week! 
va iubesc! 
Sora Abby Polatis 

Hola!!! Tudo Bem Familia???
       Man this has been one week full of great suprises. So I got my transfer call this morning and it turns out that I am actually staying and Elder Ragozzine is getting transferred!!!!! I was so shocked. Now I am getting a new missionary to train here!! I have been here forever haha. But here is the catch... Elder Savage who was a senior couple out here who was in my district was always checking my visa status and he called me last night and told me that it was complete:) :) Man my heart just dropped and I couldn't believe it. It really almost seemed unreal!! So now i'm not sure how long it will take them to mail it here and what not or if I will wait until the end of this transfer but it looks like I will be making it to Brazil after all!! Thank you everyone for your prayers:)
         We had a fun week this past week. We actually went to the Nauvoo temple with a couple from the ward called the Judy's. They are from Pocatello Idaho and Brother Judy is just out here doing a fellowship while the rest of his family is back in Idaho. So they took us to Nauvoo and we went and saw a couple houses and things like that. I ran into Gary Gneiting and Prudie... I think. They knew our family and they are from Grant! They were actually visa waiters waiting to go to the same mission as me down in Brazil!!! They said that their mission President was going to be President Tanner. That was really crazy to hear. But I guess that their visas never came so they just decided to stick to the Nauvoo mission giving tours to people. They looked like they were enjoying it so that's good. It was really great to get to go to the temple. Did you know that there is a new new temple video? I was really confused because I knew that it wasn't the other new one that I saw a few months ago, and I guess they made another new one. It was all of our first times seeing it. I think I liked it better than the other one. I guess they are even making another and are just going to cycle it around. So yea going to the temple used up our P-day this Wednesday so I'm not too excited about that. The week always goes pretty long when you don't have a P-day. It'll be good though.
        Also we taught Amy and the rest of her family at the sheffields home. They fed all of us dinner which was sweet because the members are starting to step it up. I know that Amy and her family really appreciated it. But we watched the Restoration DvD and they all liked it and seemed to understand a lot about it. Her two boys accepted to the baptismal invitation and want to get baptized with their mom which will be hard since their mom only has them every other weekend. We will have to call the Elders up in Cedar Rapids and get them teaching them also. We found them a ride to church, and the daughter actually brought one of her friends so we needed a ride for 5!!! Ha that is a tough job to put on a member, but there are quite few that have vans so it wasn't too hard to find someone. I actually had taught the friend that she brought which was really weird. Small world!!!! I think all of the kids did enjoy church again, but Amy was having a rough time. Her mom died like 4 days ago, and I guess her mom was the only support that she had. So I just told her that God knew that it was going to happen and that is why he sent us to her to give her a whole ward of support. She just needs a lot of time to grieve about this stuff. We might get her some help and make sure that she doesn't do anything dumb.
        That is awesome that Sam is getting ready to get those papers in!!! He will probably get to see abby and Sarah don't ya think? Man it is still weird that they are almost getting home, and that I am almost at a year. It has been a life changing year though and my testimony has quadrupled!! The scriptures make so much sense to me and I love explaining things using them because they weren't meant to be plain to us. I love you all!! Thanks for everything you do!! Have a great week.
Love, Elder Polatis

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kamusta? How is everyone doing? Sounds like an eventful week! Happy Birthday Grandpa!!! I cant believe it! He is 91!

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Sisters In cadiz! Super fun, Sister Peacock came with me! It was funny we were on the bus and the coin doctor guys always talk to us because they are so shocked that we can speak and know where we are going. It will be weird to drive I think, I am so used to just taking the bus, walking or tricycle! Crazy! But we did good! When they come with us we are supposed to teach them what we know, tungod we are old in the mission but I still feel new I think I learn more from them! But it was a fun exchange! 

Wednesday we switched back, So we are teaching this little boy, JohnMark! He is 9 years old and his mom is LA and his step dad isnt a member! So we are working with them both, they are the ones that live like ocean side, I love their house! But he was so cute! We gave him a Book of Mormon chart to help him remember to read! Well he whips it out with the biggest smile on his face and he was already in 1 nephi 11, he only has had the book maybe 2 weeks! But he is cruising! One Sunday he came to church and he was being a little bit pasulway1 Like in and out and in and out! So I kind of got after him a little bit telling him if he wants to be baptized he has to sit the whole hour, and of course I give him candy haha then I shared to him that when we were little how mom would never let us go to the bathroom because it was just a "short" hour! Now when He comes to church he sits the whole hour. Ha he is legit! I love that kid! 

We found these 2 new girls! Divine and Kandy! They are both 12 years old and they have come to church 2 times! Both are so out going and friendly they really just mixed in with the young women, they even attended New Beginnings last night. They are practically members, all they have to do is be baptized:) One minor detail that can be fixed:) They are cute! Always asking questions, We had an dinner appointment with the Bishop, because his son just newly returned home from his mission. Man, I love the food! I used to be so scared of it! But my stomach is all adjusted and I can enjoy it!-------------Took a while for that:) For us this week one of our goals was to find potential priesthood holders, because really we teach a lot of girls! We werent really having very much luck but then on Friday it happened, But we have this investigator Arron, he is 13 so we were getting ready to teach him and he goes, Sis, wait lang, May ara ako mga friends! So we wait and he brings 4 of his friends! All over 13!! They were interested, said that their moms were ok with them listening and they all came to church! In their vans and skater T-shirts haha but it was the best that they had and the young mens pres, took good care of them! He was trying to find them white shirts so they fit in better next week!  I was so happy! So remember, when you make a goal, pray for it always, Heavenly Father will help you!  

The work is really going so good! I love meeting new people! Yes all the days I cried about the language I am finally to the point where I really do just laugh! I still get a lot of help from everyone but it is good! Sunday was a good day! All went smooth. I loved it! We had typhoon again, i think like a signal #1 on friday night, the wind was crazy strong and some areas got flooded but since then It has been hot! Sister Manosig and I are good! Little by little she opens up to me and really she is pretty funny! We both just do whatever! If one feels something we follow it, it not we stand in the road until someone makes a decision. HAHA we are both so indecisive. But it is fun! She is still quiet but fun! 

I forgot, But I like abby need to SHOUT OUT to ROBERTS 2!!! I received my package and THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I loved and needed everything that was in the box! I love you all and  you all are so great! I was the happiest missionary in the world:) SALAMAT GID!!

I love you. Keep on keeping on!! Thanks for all the letters! Keep being safe! Tell everyone I say hi! I cant really believe how fast time is going! But it really has been so much fun!! Have a great week! Makit-ay kita liwat soon! 

Palangga ko kamo tanan!

Love Sister Polatis
me with SIster Peacock

more little chicks--a little creepy--but I'm getting used to them

Hey Family!! 
This week was amazing! Man I just love it here! I love Romania.. I love speaking Romanian... I love the Romanian People!  I am going to be weird when I come home.. ha we joke all the time that I am going to just put on my Romanian T-shirt and put on my fuzzy slippers with a furry hat and sit downstairs and watch disney movies in Romanian for the first week I am home! haha So funny! But this week has been great! 
Some highlights: 
Funny Story: 
So I am sitting on the bus going to the church and this guy about 30ish is sitting across from me and he keeps staring at me.. which is kind of normal.. (the whole name tag thing makes us stick out) He then gets up and sits next to me and says in Romanian "Can I give you a compliment?" I just said "uh sure?" ha he then says "You are so so beautiful! I am sorry but I must say it because it is true!" He then asked me what I was doing in Romania.. I said I was a missionary... and all that.. He then reaches out to shake my hand "my name is Ionut" ... Me: "Sora Polatis" He then WOULDN'T let go of my hand. He then says "Can I kiss you hand?" I just said no thanks and then I started looking around for someone to give my seat to. ha Sora Peterson was dying she thought it was super funny! I was just afraid he was going to kiss me! haha 
Block knocking: 
So I have really started to like block knocking..kind of.. ha. It is THE form of contacting during these winter months. So First of you have to ring into the block... surprisingly random people let us in! So one night this week we went and we met this sweet girl! We are super excited to meet with her. She was super open about the gospel and she really has no idea who God is so we are excited to help her out with that! 
Also we had block wars! I will explain. So we as a district go together and we have score cards. 
5 points if someone looks through the peep hole
10 points if they say something to you
 20 if you give them something
just random more points for things and then 
100 points if you actually get a lesson. 
So of course Sora Peterson and I want to win. I am still very competitive even with missionary things! ha Well at the beginning we are getting absolutely NO LOVE. People are telling us to leave them in peace and yelling at us through the door it is so funny directly translated into English they are yelling through the door "Who?!" Us: Sister Missionaries! Them: "Who?!" Us: a little louder... The missionaries!" ha It was not quite working.... Well we have been working on memorizing scriptures so we thought of one that we could use at the door 3 Nephi 5:13. So after about 20 doors and no one talking with us.. it was then my turn and I was going to use the scripture. So a man opened the door and I say "Good evening we are called of God to declare his word among this people." It was so COOL! The guy actually talked to us and recognized who we were. He had come to English class the year before! So we had a lesson right out there in the hall! We were testifying and bringing out scriptures.. The elders argued it wasn't a lesson because we didn't start and end with a prayer... but kind of awkward to do when block knocking... in conclusion....WE WON!! and we are going to keep in contact with him and he has a family!! So it was super sweet! 
We had the cutest little boy in our branch get baptized this week! He is such a gem! Such a strong testimony! We only have 2 kids in our branch so it is so cute! (normal.. they will probably have to marry each other) haha just kidding! But so Sora Peterson and I were assigned to make brownies because the little boy loves brownies and it was also his birthday so we took on the assignment. I felt like it was preparing me to be a mom.. because while everyone was enjoying the talks before the baptism - Sora and I were in the kitchen cutting up all of our brownies. But it was great. We took out the brownies.. you would have thought that no one had eaten a brownie before in their whole entire life. The men here love women that can cook.. So our branch president comes up to us with brownie in hand and says... "you two girls are marriageable!" ha we were dying.. everyone was coming up to us and telling us how great we are... the secret is SUGAR! the romanian desserts don't have sugar so when they try american stuff they love it so much! ha  
We had a lesson with our investigator before she took off for Malta. We just had a really clarifying lesson and it came to the point where she really didn't believe that our church is the ONLY true church. She asked "Well how do you guys know that your church is the only true church." I then said -"When God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith they told him that none of the other churches were true." She was thrown off a little bit when I said that... it was very bold and of course cuts pretty hard to someone that believes their church is true. But it ended well... We bore testimony of the truthfulness and she said she would continue reading the Book of Mormon and praying. So we will see! We might try to do skype lessons. 
I have been studying all about the atonement this week. Wow.. I knew NOTHING before my mission. I have been listening to talks and reading in the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ. It is so amazing! God and Jesus Christ are the most merciful, compassionate, loving, amazing beings. We are so lucky to have the gospel in our lives to have access to the atonement of Jesus Christ. The atonement is not just when we mess up.. The enabling power of the atonement can help us everyday become better. It gives us the strength to do hard things and to make good people better. I have just really been touched this week by the goodness of our God. He truly loves us and wants us back. His plan is perfect. We are so lucky! There is hope for a better world. Even though we have trials... it is God's way of getting us back to Him. I don't know if this all makes sense. but just know that I know that God loves us. 

I love you family so much! Thanks for being great! Thank you for all the love and support that you all give me as I am in Romania.. I could not have done it with out all of you having my back and always believing in me. Keep being great! This gospel is so amazing! I love you all so so much! Have a great week!! 
va iubesc! 
Sora Gorzo--I'm still the favorite

A wonderful baptism!! 

Hellllooooo Familia!!
       WOW!!! Grandpa is 91!!! 
         Well this week has been a very cool week. Amber was baptized a couple of days ago and confirmed yesterday! What was really neat was that when we went to fill up the font really early in the morning, there were some guys there playing basketball, so we went and got in a couple of games with them:) Ha so it was just a really good start to my Saturday! But Amber looked really happy to be a part of such a big family now and to have all this support behind her, because before I don't think she had hardly anyone. But the ward did a great job fellowshipping her and letting us teach her in their homes. I was looking through the teaching record and we did not teach her once with out a member there. So now the ward needs to love her to death!!
          So crazy story.... It was Tuesday and we had a couple of appointments here and there but our afternoon was pretty open. So I was looking through the area book at some of the formers and potential investigators lists and copied down a few names that I thought would be good to go and try out. So I had Elder Ragozzine type in the gps this address of this one guy that lived pretty close to where we were at, and we headed over to our destination and couldn't find the exact address. So there was this one building that was a little farther down that had the tree covering the number of the apartment complex... and it still wasn't the right number. So we just decided to knock on a few doors while we were there. Second door we knock on this teenage girl comes to the door and we tell her who we represent and what we are doing, and she turns and tells her mom that the missionaries are here. Her mom then comes around the corner and invites us right in and starts telling us that one of her foster families that she lived with when she was a little girl were Mormons and stuff like that. But she never was baptized or anything. She also told us of all the hard things that she had been through throughout her life and there were some pretty horrible stories, but she said that she prayed for the first time in a long time that God would help her or send something to help her and we showed up the next day:) She was in tears for quite a while and just listened to everything that we had to say. It was an incredible experience. Then we called up some members and got her in a member home and taught her the Restoration and she seemed to like it quite a bit. Then the next day we tried calling her and she wouldn't answer and she was supposed to come to the baptism the next day so we were worried. So we went over there and she was just bawling her eyes out and really really scared. I guess one of her ex-boyfriends beat her like 3 weeks ago and she called the cops on him and sent him to jail. Well he got out, and said that when he did he would kill her...... Man I felt like I was in some sort of a movie because I didn't think things like that really happened. We calmed her down really well though and made sure that good safety precautions were being made. Then we got her and her 3 kids to come to church on Sunday. She has two other boys that live with her ex husband or are both baptismal age and they all liked it!! So we set a date for March 1st for the Mom and daughter, have to get permission for the other two boys. But it was really exciting and they were all really excited to come to church. Brother Moon was a little late on picking them up and I think that they were debating on walking there. Haha that would've been a long cold walk that's for sure. But from meeting her I just realized how much happiness that the Gospel can bring into peoples lives and how when you have the Gospel it will keep you on a good safe track to keep you away from any of those aweful situations.
      We also set a date with an unmarried couple so this week we will help them to understand the Law of Chastity and what they are going to need to do to enter into a covenant with God. So things are going great and it makes me a little sad because I'm probably leaving next week to some different area but I think it's about time for a change. Glad everything is going great though!! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Love, Elder Polatis 

Amber being baptized!!  Great day