Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ha, first mom, As I was reading that about those girls going through the temple it all came back to me! HAHA I remember that day perfectly. It was a little weird for me! It always kind of bugs me when people say that at 19 it is scary to go, it was scary for me at 22, it is always going to be scary to give up everything for something completely different than you are used to! Basta i have grown so much and I am loving it! Sister Kumar just reminded me this morning that I only have 100 days left....................YIKES!~!!!!

But For this week, We were so excited. We recieved a lot of referrals, the elders were playing basketball and these boys from our area walked across the street to play then they said we could go and visit them, So we went. We contacted all of them.....................then they walked away. :( Bummer deal. But one, His name is Melvin. He is 21. He was doing all he could to get them to stay but they wouldnt, so he listened. He was not interested. He just wanted to hear me speak. So we started and he was distracted, but then we started talking about prophets. I told me we have a living prophet today and he focused in. He was asking so many questions about it and then we moved to the apostasy. I guess he attended the Catholic church earlier yesterday but he said he just felt weird. He said that something just wasn't right. So at the end he asked if he could go with us to church next Sunday to see if it feels right, which was fine with me! So he ended up taking the pamphlet and he said he wanted us to come back! I was so excited. I really think he has a lot of questions and he just needs a little push to the truth and then he will be fine!
So last week, one of our members was working with us and she told us she had a friend that she wanted us to teach. So we go like into the jungle (ha not really, it just seemed like it) so we are walking and I was at the very back but I hear something in the bushes and Sister Kumar takes a step forward and then I see this HUGE BLACK SNAKE!!! Oh my gosh I was freaking out! It is so big! But I just stopped walking because I felt like it was going to eat my leg or something, Medyo dramatic haha but Sister Kumar starts to scream and our member who is with us is just dying of laughter. It went away but she just acted like it was no big deal!
So we climbed the mountain top again to go check on the sister who is pregnant! Well we get to her house and we see her out chopping this wood stuff and collecting something clear at the bottom of this hill, her back was turned from us, so I am thinking that she had her baby, NO!!! She was still pregnant. I couldnt believe it! What a strong women. She is still 9 months pregnant but chopping wood so she can cook later. She was helping her boys prepare the wood to go sell it! I was so shocked. Maybe next week she will have her baby. But she did tell us when she has her baby she will come to church. She has 11 kids right now, like 8 of them are boys and I have never seen such hard working little boys. They had gunny sacks full of wood to take to sell, about 5 of them were home so we shared with them then they went back to work, the oldest there was 13 and the youngest 8 they all go together and they just take turns carrying the bag down the mountain. I loved it! We met her one little son Jacky. He is 8 and he wants to be baptized so bad, he just sat right by me while we taught. I love them! They are all so cute. It only took us 30 minutes of climbing to get there so we want to visit them more often!
We are still finding, we find alot but yesterday it was low pressure so it rained and no one goes anywhere if it rains so our attendance at church was so low. We were both a little bit discouraged. But we know that if we do our best the Lord will take care of the rest. It is just learning how to be patient and getting on his time table. I know that we are preparing a lot of people right now and they will progress, it just takes a little time. I love you all! Be good and be safe. Sorry I dont have any pictures, i guess my card got a virus, So I can view my pictures but cant send them. I will take it to the computer guy next week and see if he can fix it for me! They love to help me. :) Really, I am glad that I am here. Even thought this area is harder than I am used to, we will figure it out! It can only go up from here!!! Love you family! Halong kamo da pirmi!
Palanga ko kamo!!!
Love Sis Polatis
Hey Family! 
Here is the update on Ukraine situation from Presidents Hill email to us this week! ha I am one of the closest cities to Crimea--- all I would need to do was swim:) haha just joking! 
Update on Ukraine 
We have fielded a number of phone calls and emails from your worried parents who ask about your well being given the TV reports they’ve seen on the troubles in Ukraine.  Here’s a brief update.  Citizens of Crimea—that teardrop of land that sticks out of southern Ukraine into the Black Sea—voted last Sunday (in a process most western nations consider illegal) to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia. The West (the US and EU) imposed economic and travel sanctions on Russian and Crimean leaders and strongly urged Russia not to go any further in acquiring additional territory from Ukraine. Contrary to rumors floating around the mission, Moldova has NOT agreed to become part of Russia! In fact, Moldova is firmly moving towards European Union membership some day.  True, people in Transniestria (the eastern part of Moldova, capital Tiraspol) might have desires to follow the Crimeans and join Russia. However, that area is not recognized as a separate country by anyone and it has little to offer Russia in terms of strategic military or economic advantage. Experts think that such a change is unlikely. Church Security is well plugged into information sources around the world and will alert us to any upcoming dangerBottom line: Sleep well at night!
This week has been a lot of fun! Man never a boring week here in Galati! Some highlights:
- We met this sweet lady on the street! Her name was Lili and we were able to testify about the Book of Mormon and everything! She was so impressed by us and loved that we wore our name tags with pride! loved her instantly! I am excited to see what happens with her! 
-Sora Training Leaders came this week- Sora Kelly and Sora Rivera! ha I have been with these two Soras my whole mission! I love them. So it was really fun! I was with Sora Kelly- We meet a lot of cool people and ate at this random Chinese Restaurant. ha That is when the world seems crazy... Me sitting in middle of Romania at this decked out chinese restaurant ha but it was great! We had a good lesson with a less active that has cancer and we talked to her about doing family history so that she feels like she is still contributing even though she is really really sick- I love her! 
Friday was a crazy day!!!! ha so even if this letter is too long at least read this paragraph! So Sora Kelly was feeling sick so they didn't take the 5 am train but stayed another morning until the later train. So Sora Parker and I had a lesson! ... let me repeat that... We had a lesson!!! :) So we go to the church and we left the door unlocked behind us because Sora Kelly and Sora River were coming after us. So we have our lesson and it is with this 13 year old girl who is so so legit! She wants to be a better person. Her and her brother have been to church 2 weeks in a row now. So we had our lesson it was great! I am also teaching her piano lessons-- (look at me... the next norma rounds...) ha Well I had to run the keys up to the Sora Training Leaders and I look down the stairs and there is a RANDOM MAN in the church... I then hear him open the door to walk out so I look outside and he has STOLEN  a painting off the wall of the church. I run back in and in Romanian say that someone just stole something.. well this 13 year old investigator says "WHAT!" and then she starts RUNNING after him! ha she runs the corner and then we didn't see her for like 2 min... She then turns the corner and she has a big smile on her face with the picture in hand!!! ha I asked her what happened and she said that she said "um excuse me sir but that belongs to my church." He lied and said he found it outside... Well She then just told him to give it back to her! ha She is so so cool! She then told us to be careful because there is creepy people out there! I told her we pray everyday for safety! 
- Then we got some food with the Soras and as we were walking back to this church this man starts following us... he then stops at the front of the church and tells us to unlock it... I just said... "no how can we help you..." He then goes on and on about how he knows EVERYTHING about our church. I am kind of getting a smarty approach with people like this. I then say "O you know EVERYTHING?" We were really annoyed because he was just mad that the King James version of the Bible is not in Romanian. Then about how the Bible is better then the Book of Mormon. Well nothing makes me more annoyed than people putting down the Book of Mormon. So I testified that the Book of Mormon is true. And then we just had to tell him to leave us alone. I get annoyed with people who only want to argue.  (and our food was getting cold... haha) 
-  We then had another lesson- super cool ... I know! Well it ends up being in this super super sketchy part of Galati... I was so uncomfortable! I just said we are making this lesson 30 min and then we are out of here. Well we were waiting outside the block and this little kid comes out and I am not even kidding he is probably 6 years old with his buddy they start pointing out to us- and he said "are you pocaiti!" Which direst translation is repenters... But it has bad connotation here- I just started laughing... literally this little kid was five and was speaking to me as an old man.. he asked why I was wearing earring... (I am guessing they have learned that we don't wear earring?) i just started messing with him and said... "what don't you like my earrings?" ha he said no and walked away! I had to laugh.. I am not sure where it came from... but then we walked into our block for the lesson and she had a note on the door to come back at 8:30 that night... that was not happening... We will see if she can meet us at the church next time! 
- Saturday was a lot of fun! We had english. When I was in constanta last summer I met these two really cool girls but they were from Galati. So I had referred them to Galati and then when I got here and got a hold of them. Well they came to English and they were so excited to see me.. it actually made me laugh because I don't remember saying much to them in constanta but they came in and gave me big hugs and kisses! ha then after class I asked them if they wanted to have a lesson right then.. they said YES! So we had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon. The young girls talk so fast though.. ha it was funny. But they really ended up not being too interested. They have a really great family and they are really really active orthodox family. So they have great potential but it might be a little slower! I will for sure keep meeting with them! they would be the perfect members!! it was just super cool to see them because as I missionary we are here to love the people and they helped me feel like a success because they knew I loved them. 
 Sorry I have been slacking on the pictures... it is just easier to not send them.. ha when I get home I will upload all the ones from this transfer. Well you guys are great! Keep going and keep rocking it! Church is true. Don't worry about me over here. I know that God will protect us missionaries. They will pull us out if they need to. Thank you for all the prayers and support! have a great week! va iubesc - Sora Abby Polatis 
I will miss Nauvoo!

Will miss my Mission President -The Jensens

This is where my branch meets---We are all so lucky to have a Church house

Hola Bom Dia!!!!
     How is everyone doing?? Well this letter might be a little short because I have some more things I have to do to get ready to leave and I will be able to talk to you tomorrow so it's all good right?:) So tonight I am driving to Des Moines to stay the night with the AP's. Then in the morning at 11 a.m our plane leaves and then we land in Atlanta at like 2. I think we have like a 5 hour lay-over there so that will be when I call. So.... I think your time it will be like 1 by the time I call... I'm not sure but make sure that you answer!!!!!!!!!! Oh yes and I went to see the results of my biopsy and I do actually have eosiniphilic esphaugitis. !  I had to go and get an inhaler and I just puff 4 puffs into my mouth and then I actually swallow that stuff instead of breathing it in. I do that morning and night. And they are keeping me on the acid reducer stuff for Idk how long but she says that I am supposed to use the inhaler for 8 weeks and then all of the white bumps down my throat should be taken care of:) I will have to make sure and get another inhaler down in Brazil because they only gave me a four week supply so hopefully that isn't too hard. Sheesh my throat does feel a whole lot better though. Eating is great now:) Ha maybe I won't be able to stay slim now since eating is so much better than what it used to be!
       The Departing Temple Trip on Tuesday was really fun though. There was Elder Nichols and one other visa waiter there that are leaving with me tomorrow. It was so good to see Nauvoo one last time before I leave. I really do treasure that place and the Spirit there is so great! We just went out to eat after that and all that fun stuff so it was great. We got back to Knoxville the next day and got back to work! We have taught Mandy like 4 times this week. She is SET!! Ha she has a better testimony and understanding than some of the members here so it's fantastic. She gave me this card to read on the plane ride to Brazil with all of her information and stuff so she can email me and tell me how great her baptism was. I'm really excited for her. The Lord had worked with her long before we ever met her so I'm glad that she was so prepared. Now on the other hand, we went and saw an older couple that we knocked into at the beginning of the transfer and they set a return appointment like a month later. So we went back for dinner and they were so loving and invited us right in and even fed us some big old steaks. So I thought that during this month of waiting to go and see them again that they had read the Book of Mormon and had received a witness from the Spirit and all that good stuff.. boy was I wrong haha. Right after dinner we went into the living room and the guy had a whole stack of paper and gave us each a copy of this Anti stuff that he had found through his "research" Man that was very disappointing!! I asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon like he said he would and he said that he had read 1/3 of it, but once I started talking about some of the stories in 1st Nephi and how it testifies of Christ so much he had no idea what I was talking about so he came out and said that he "skimmed" through it. So yea he didn't read it. But he said that he prayed about it and the spirit told him that this was a bad thing. All we could really do was tell him to read the Book of Mormon from that point. People are pretty hard hearted some times and really need to look into things and not get blinded by looking beyond the mark. Ha I actually read that scripture to him when Jacob was talking to the people about how the Jews were blinded by looking beyond the mark. I don't think that he understood that very well. Ha but yea that was a bummer, because they are really nice people and last time they said that it wasn't a coincidence that we knocked on their door. Anyway, this week was pretty good and it was weird that it was my last week working in Iowa! I really will miss this mission and am excited to visit it in the future. Ha the MTC will be pretty sweet though. Basically I'm starting my mission again:) I wonder what it's going to be like. Probably just a huge language course thing.
        Well can't wait to talk to you!!!:) Miss you all!! Love you!!
Love Elder Polatis

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Well how is everyone doing this week?? This week had so many mixed emotions but I know that it was a growing experience for me. To have the good with the bad is life and I know that Grandma is in a better place! We will all be together again! 

Well our week was better! We missed a couple proselyting days to go to Bacolod for zone conference! But we had a good conference! If you see my Pics on Facebook don't judge me haha! I look a little haggard! But we learned a lot about listening and being in tune with the spirit so that we know what to say! So it was good! Sister Kumar and I just chilled. We enjoyed it for we knew that we would be back to the bukid soon! :) Just a lot of little miracles this week! We were having issues with teaching these girls because their mom wasnt going to have it! But we just for the past 3ish weeks have been encouraging them to pray for her to let them listen and the other night the mom came us to us and gave us permission to continue teaching them, and not only that she wants to listen as well! 

Slowly but surely we will get this area a weekly baptizing area! It will just take a lot of work and a lot of really good planning! 

Saturday we went out with a boy who was just baptized and he took us to meet some of his friends! We met Bro. Gabrial! He is 17 and so awesome! He has already attended church but never listened to the missionaries. We started teaching him and he was so open with us, and he came to church yesterday!! He accepted baptism for April 19! I am so excited to continue teaching this kid! It is like we have known each other a lot longer than just a few visits just because he is so open and his desire is great! 

Yesterday the couple missionaries came by, they gave me my TRUNKY letter! I was so shocked! I told Sister Rassmusson that I wasn't quite ready for that but she just laughed! Told me to prepare now! HAHA I read over my flight plans! It is weird I leave on the 3 and get home on the 3! Trippy! HAHA No worries! I am focused, hasta sa katapusan!!! I will finish strong! I promise! Keep your heads up! All is well! We have the gospel, what can be better than that!!!! NOTHING! We are so lucky!  I love you all! Have a great week! Be good and be safe!!!! LOVE YOU ALL!! 

Love Sis Polatis:)

P.s HAPPY Birthday Granny Rounds! Sorry I am palagpat and didnt write it last week! But I hope you had a fantastic day!!! I will see you soon! Love you!

Buna Frumosilor! 

Well my week... I hate to describe it like this but basically I had a mini vacation up in Moldova!
Wednesday - 5 hour train to Iasi! Stayed with Sora Kelly, Rivera, Stapley, and Parr. 
Thursday- 4 hour Maxi Taxi ride to Moldova! We rented out a whole van just for our zone! it was a lot of fun! We made it to Moldova and then we had our zone conference! First we had this delicious food the senior couples up there made for us! I loved it! Then we had really good presentations from the assistants and from President and Sora Hill. I then had to give myDYING TESTIMONY! So crazy... for everyone's last zone conference they have to get up in front of everyone and talk about their mission and give a testimony. So it was my turn. I have been watching people bear testimony for over a year now and I really never thought that it would be me. Of course I cried a little bit - but I was surprised how well I held myself together! I really have had an amazing mission! I really focused on the enabling power of the atonement and our weaknesses turning into strengths.. I was freaking out before I walked up in front of everyone but I am glad that it went well. Everyone thanked me for it so I was happy! We then we all got booked into a hotel! And we all went out and ate that night at some pizza place. 
- Friday- We switched this day to be our official P-day for the week. I had actually slept good in that hotel... it was not to shabby:) They had little breakfast for us and then we hit the streets of Moldova! They have piatas everywhere to buy stuff! We all had so much fun! Of course we looked like a bunch of tourist because we had to stick together because our phones don't work up in Moldova... But it was so much fun! We then got into another Maxi Taxi and another 5 hours back to Iasi. But our driver was so cool! He had all of his cool 80's music going and then he let us put our music on... So we were jamming out to the Frozen sound track! ha Going through border control is always fun when we have a big van full of Americans! ha but we made it through! That night I slept in Iasi again with all 6 of us sisters. 
Saturday- We were supposed to get on our train at 8:00 - I was there in plenty of time... but the other elders got lost and they had all of our money for the tickets.. regardless we missed our train by 3 minutes. So we then had to stay in Iasi another day until our next train at 6:30 at night. So we took all of our stuff to the church and then I went on an exchange with Sora Kelly and went contacting while Sora Parker got to teach a lesson! We had a lot of fun! Sora Kelly and I have been with or around each other our whole missions! We have so much fun together! We finally made it back to Galati that night at like midnight. 
Sunday - You may have guess we were all dead this day! But I received a call from Elder Rose that morning saying that our speaker isnt coming so we all needed to have talked prepared. So I helped Sora Parker with hers and then I had one I was going to switch up  a little bit during Sunday school. Well we got to church and had relief society and then surprise... Sacrament meeting changed to the 2nd hour... ha and I still needed to pick out the hymns and we had this random girl investigator walk in! I was laughing because it was funny and stressful and the same time because I was exhausted. Well the with God's help I managed to pull it off. My talk went ok.. piano went well and we have a lesson this Friday with that investigator!!! wahoo!!! :) So it was a success! 

We were doing planning yesterday and it is crazy we have at least one major thing happening every week for the rest of my mission- birthdays... general conference... easter.. Bucuresti District conference (which I am so excited for because I get to see all my people from constanta and mihai bravu!) But I know that it will go fast! Still there are hard days... hard times.. but the good times make it so so worth it! Sora Parker is doing great! I love working with her!!! This week she gave her first talk, make her first Romanian phone call, and gave her first real investigator lesson! I am super proud! She asked me the other day... "Sora Polatis.. when did you feel 100% confident in the language and missionary work?" I had to tell her it is still a working process! :) Thankfully we never peak and are always continuing to grow! I am so so thankful for my mission! Have a great week! I love you all so much! I will only be writing you like 7 more times! ha that is so crazy! va iubesc... va pup! 
Sora Abby Polatis 
Hi Everyone!!!
        I should've taken a picture of the photos of my throat that he gave me and sent them to you, but I forgot. Anyways, he stretched my throat like 5 mm, which really really hurt after I finally woke up. I had to call him and get some Tylenol codeine which helped out a lot!! I couldn't really eat anything for that whole day or most of the next, so I kind of just ate a bunch of yogurt. ha but it hurt to even swallow water so it was pretty painful. They also set me up on this acid reducer called omeprazole which is a pretty big pill! I was pretty scared because I had choked on pills this size before, so I said a little prayer and then swallowed it and it went right down:) So I have been taking that every morning, not sure what for, but that is what he told me to take. I know that my throat is a lot better though because I never could've swallowed a pill like that before! Eating has been really good as well!!. I mean I don't really know what normal really is, but I don't have to take a drink of water every time I swallow something:) so that is good. There were also white pumps all the way down my throat which was a sign that my throat had some inflammation in it. So he called me a couple of days ago and told me that they did a biopsy and that I had this pretty common thing called eosiniphilic esophagitis! Ha not sure if that is how you spell it, but you can look it up for more details. Basically it means that my throat becomes inflamed because of an allergic reaction to something. Which makes a lot of since because there were times when it felt like my whole throat was clogged and I hadn't eaten anything for quite a while. So it went a long perfect with the symptoms I have been having and I go in for them to tell me more about it on Wednesday. So all in all he stretched my throat out, and they will probably give me some good advice on how I can keep the inflammation down in my throat:) Ha I feel like a wuss, but I am so glad that I could get it taken care of because it was REALLY annoying!!
          Sheesh I really didn't like not going out last Wednesday though. I think that was my first time ever staying in the apartment!! So I am better than ever though and am back in action:) So now on to the important things. We have been working with Mandy a lot this week and man she is amazing!! She keeps all her commitments and is really diligently seeking for the truth. Yesterday we taught her right after church and watched the Restoration with her and then talked to her about following the prophet. She said that of course she would once she knows that he is a true prophet. We told her to keep praying and reading and that knowledge will come quickly! She texted us a little later that day and said that she told  her mom and her mom thought that she was rushing into things because her desire to be baptized is so great and that she was working towards a baptismal date. She was just asking us if we thought that she was rushing into it and we said of course not. Then she just started talking about how she was prompted to cross reference this scripture in the Book of Mormon over to the bible and said that she read Isaiah 29:11 which is talking about the sealed book that is delivered to some one that is not learned. So she went and did some research on joseph Smith and found out that he only had the education of a 6th grader and it just made sense to her. She texted us and told us that she knew that it was true:) Wow!!! What a great feeling. She has progressed faster than anyone that I have ever taught. We are so excited for her and absolutely love teaching her. She is only 20 years old, but has just had this crazy desire to find the truth!! Its incredible! We are going over to her apartment tonight to teach her the rest of the commandments and then we are going to see if she wants to get baptized before I leave:) She was already kind of talking about how she thinks April 12th is way to far away now so we'll see. I told her that it would be awesome if I was here for it, but that it is totally up to her and that she should ask Heavenly Father if she should this weekend. That would be so great to get to experience one last baptism in the states before I head off to Brazil. We also set a date with this lady named Cindy! She has been investigating the church for like 12 years and has had multiple baptismal dates, but she said that we have made more progress with her then any of the other missionaries and that she was ready to work towards April 19th. She is going to need some good fellowship but she can easily be ready by that date.
           So since I am a departing missionary I get to go on the temple trip tomorrow to Nauvoo:) I did have my office visit that day but I called them and got it changed to Wednesday. So we are driving to West Des Moines tonight and Elder Underwood is going with some Elders in that area while I am spending the night with the Assistants. I'm really excited. I think that my grandpa in the mission should be there so that should be fun. Its crazy that I leave in a week!! Hopefully I can remember everything that I need to do. I probably will send home a package with a few little things. Probably my back pack too. But yea this week should be really good!! We have a district P-day too! Well the Lord is taking care of me so no worries:) It'll be cool to talk to you next week at the airport hopefully!! It's funny how now that the weather is warming up I am getting sent down to Brazil....goodness!!:) I love the Gospel though and it is changing many lives!! Hope you all have a great week --and know that I love you all!!!! Thanks for always being there for me and letting me know how things are going!!! Take care!!
Love, Elder Polatis 

Two wonderful sisters from the Ward--they take care of me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

First, I am so sorry to hear about Grandma:( That was fast and unexpected! That was my biggest fear of being on a mission to hear about that! I knew that she was sick and I understand the plan but fetch, hard for me right now! Tell Grandpa that I love him and to hang in there! I will pray for all of you. I am glad that you were all there to help and take care of everything! I love you all and just stay safe always! I will do my best to stay strong.

This week was a little different than I am used to! It was way hard and we felt like we worked like crazy but Sunday was a downer for us! We had some recent converts at church but we had 0 investigators, But we kept at it strong, we went out that night and we were able to find some that were friends of boys in the ward, so they will have a good support and we will get them next week! :) I got this! It will take time but we will find! And especially seeing how important family is, we need to make sure they have the opportunity to be with theirs forever! That is the blessings of the gospel! Eternal life and the ability to be with our families forever! 

We Had a baptism on Saturday. His name was Brother Romeo! He is 55 years old and the sisters met him through a referral. He lost his wife in 2003. How weird that things happened this way! But he was so interested in the Plan of Salvation! He said he kind of knew everything but when he lost his wife he was lost himself! He didnt know where she was or if he would see her again! He was so excited to hear about the temple to know that he could go and be married to her forever! He bore a great testimony and he is so excited to get the priesthood and move forward! While he was saying his testimony he kept saying "Iglesia" so we thought that he was confused and just got baptized in the Iglesia ni Cristo church haha JOKE he knew but we were a little worried haha

On Saturday we went out and we hiked like 10km and it was uphill to the top of this mountain and when we got there and we find this lady, she is LA but only because she is pregnant and cant get down the mountain to church! But we get there and she goes, like in this chill tone, YA I will probably have my baby tonight! I was like "WHAT"!!! You need a hospital but she has had 12 kids all in the mountains! I am nervous for her! I hope that she is alright! We will go back and check on her Saturday again! Crazy!!! 

That is about it for this week! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sister Kumar! What a bunch of fun she is! We really just try to get out and kill the day! We are working on the find, always! But I promise, I am fine! Yes, this is sad! But I know that as we live the way we should we will be able to see each other again! That is the beauty of the Plan of Salvation! I promise, I will finish strong! I love you all! I miss you everyday! Be good and be safe! I know that the church is true! I know that Heavenly Father loves us! He wants the best for each of us and he will be here to help us through our trials! I am so grateful to know the truth!!! Be good! 

LOVE Sister Sarah Polatis!

Hey Family! 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY this past week Grandma Rounds!! I love you! :) 
This week has been one of those crazy weeks. But the sun is almost peaking out through the clouds right now so I feel like I can't complain- We have not seen the sun in about 3 weeks! 

1- Thanks for sending me pictures Lindsey! You all look great! I was really saddened to find out this week about Grandma Polatis. Grandma Polatis is an amazing women that I really look up to. She was so strong in the gospel.  I have such great memories with Grandma Polatis. One that I remember was a  road trip to St. George in some little car I don't even remember what car it was. I just remember it was Grandma Polatis with all of us little cousins. We stopped at Mcdonalds a few times on the way and ended up sleeping in a hotel! Grandma had a lot of patience with all of us. I loved all the family days at the cabins. Grandma was always busy cleaning and cooking for all of us. She loved seeing us have a lot of fun! All of our matching sweaters and dresses for Christmas Eve were a highlight of the season. The Nativity scene that we would make every year is a tradition that we will keep going. I remember when I stopped to say goodbye to Grandma on the way to the MTC. She started crying as I hugged her goodbye but I knew that she was really proud of me. I really looked up to Grandpa and Grandma Polatis for serving a mission in Australia. I remember when they brought me back a koala back pack... after that I was determined I was going to Australia! But this experience has really made my testimony grow that the Plan of Salvation is true. What a great plan God has for us. I will see my Grandma again. I am so thankful that the church plays such a huge part of our lives. I love you all! 

2- We gave service this week at one of our less actives house. We had to take wood up from the basement to the top of the stairs into their wood chest. Well is was funny because I had already taken like 10 trips up and down the stairs when the lady's daughter came home and she saw  me carrying wood up the stairs. She kind of freaked out on me ha she said "DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! YOU MUST PROTECT YOURSELF SO YOU CAN BE A MOTHER."  ha I apologized and said I would do a better job at protecting myself. - She then escorted us in her house to sit on the couch while the Elders finished the job. They then fed us rice pudding... Well that is a little rough for me First, because I am not a fan of rice pudding (its a texture thing ha) and secondly and more importantly... I am lactose intolerant .... so lets just say I had to beg for forgiveness for not being able to eat it all.  

3- We had a branch activity for this week and it went super super well!! Everyone showed up. We had this big dinner and all the women got flowers. It is like the national day for women. We had saramalle and mici and a ton of desserts. I had to try mici because I figured it would probably be my only chance. So I tried it... don't really ask me what kind of meat it was... but with a lot of mustard on it... it was ok! Probably my first and last time! ha After that dinner I decided that I never need to eat again! 

4- We visited one of our sweet less actives this week. She would be super active but she has cancer. I was able to help her download all of her pictures up to this medical website because it was all in English so she really needed our help. I felt like I was helping Grandma Rounds! ha brought me back to the good old days! ha I instantly loved this women! she is super cute! She was crying to us when we were there and she said "I guess that this is just a trial... but I know that I could be doing so much good if I just felt well." We reassured her of Gods love for her. She is an amazing women. 

 I am going to Moldova this week and I will be gone from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon! So it is going to be quite the little adventure for us! ha Trains and Maxi Taxis are my life:) "You never get off this train"  But I hope that you all have a great week! I pray for you all multiple times a day! You are amazing! Be safe and Be good! :) 
va iubesc! 
Sora Abby Polatis  
Holaaaaaaa!!! How is everyone doing? Well today it has finally hit 60 degrees!!!! It feels so good outside. I think everyone is in a more happy mood now because it has been a very long time since it has been warm and everyone had spring fever. This morning we did some service at this place called helping hands which was just unloading and bagging up a bunch of food, and we found a new investigator! His name was James and he was just a really nice guy and said that his wife was sick. So I told him that we would like to come and meet her and talk about more what we do. So we went over to his little apartment and just talked about a few things and basically just set up an appointment, but we left a Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized and he accepted so it has been a good P-day so far!  haha
       Happy Birthday Granny!!! I'm sorry but I haven't kept track of very many birthdays, so you'll just need to keep telling me about them.  I'm glad that is was a good funeral. I hope Grandpa Polatis can pull though well, I love that man. I'll really miss Grandma though, she was very loving and took care of me really well when I would stay over there so it is sad, but I know that she is feeling pretty well at this time now.
        Well it has been a pretty great week. We had 3 investigators at church!! I think I told you about Mandy a little bit last week, but she is awesome! We taught her twice this week and she has been keeping her commitments. We set a date with her for April 12th and she readily accepted it. I'm hoping to move it up before I leave because that would be awesome to see her get baptized and leave on a note like that. So we taught her the Word of Wisdom so we could maybe get her baptized in two weeks and it was really great lesson. She drinks and stuff like that, and just started crying as we were talking about all the blessings that come from living the Word of Wisdom. I have never gotten a response like that when teaching the Word of Wisdom so it was sweet. She was just saying how grateful she was that we told her about this and how she has the opportunity to come closer to Jesus Christ. She was also a little frustrated with not getting her answer right off the bat, so we told her that living this would help her out a lot. She is solid! She was pretty surprised at how small our building was ha, she said we were very humble and she didn't expect us to worship in such a small building. You've gotta love Branches! She liked church though and met a lot of the members. We also had this lady Cindy there who has been investigating for like 12 years!!! Her teaching record is like a book. We got her to come to church though and we are hoping that she will accept a date and get off that edge. The other one that was there was this girl named Clarissa who is dating one of the members. She isn't too interested, but we are trying are best to help her to act and to build faith and gain that desire to know truth. We had a pretty neat experience this week too when I was on exchanges with Elder Hodges. We received a media referral and were on our way to contact it when we started talking to this guy named Rusty. He is a little on the slower side but we got into his apartment and taught him the restoration. I don't think he understood much, but he had a nurse there cleaning his house for him and she was listening in on the conversation. She said that her husband is a minister at some church and she wasn't sure if we could come over, so we gave her a restoration pamphlet with our number in it and told her to give us a call if she wanted us to come over. I think it was a good heart to plant the seed in. There are also quite a few RLDS people here too, or community of Christ. It is a little different to teach them because they already know that the Book of Mormon is true. So that has been a little interesting talking to some of those people.
     Elder Nichols also got his visa last week. So now we will be flying out together. I'm pretty excited about that. We served in the same zone in Iowa City so we know each other really well. He called me and told me about it and said that President told him that we were going to the MTC in Brazil for a couple of weeks. Ha I didn't know that. President never told me that, but I guess it makes sense to get polished up on the language. That means that I will get to watch general conference in the Brazil MTC as well as I did in the Provo MTC.  I'll let you know how the appointment goes. It should be really good. I love you all so much and am very grateful for the loads of support!! My companion doesn't have 1/8th of the support I have so it just makes me that much more grateful!! Have a great week!!
Love, Elder Polatis

Monday, March 3, 2014

Well, I am in the mountains! HAHA I am now in Cauayan! One side of our Area is the mountains and the other side is the ocean! So we get the best of both worlds! HA in Cauayan, There is NOTHING! HAHA just a couple churches and people! But its alright! We are making it work! My new companion is Sister Kumar! She is from Fiji. She is 19 and the coolest! We have had so much fun this past week! She just finished her training so I am doing a follow up! So I am SR but really we are even! She helps with the area I help with the language even though she is way good already! We have cried and laughed and really just been super good! She is so chill and laid back it is hard to be stressed or sad or anything because it just goes smooth! I was in a little bit of culture shock, haha I know right, 4 months left and finally experienced that! We live in a little house and its not that bad, we have a bumba in our front yard for when we wash our clothes. So it is still an adjustment but we will make it work!

I was lucky, I came in and the Sisters had a baptism all ready! His name is Romnick! He is 13 and he just has the biggest heart! He was so excited to be baptized and on Saturday he bore his testimony and he was doing so great then he went to thank the missionaries and I thought that he was laughing but he started to cry! I know he felt the spirit and his mom who isnt a member, not even an investigator came to the baptism and I think that because of Romnick and the testimony that he shared she will want to listen! 

It was an eventful week, climbing mountains, walking on the beach, trying to find, ha and last night we were teaching and these 2 drunk guys start going at it, like fighting and what not, so it is loud but we just do our best to continue on, then next thing we know they are shuffling us into the house, one of the guys grabbed this huge butcher knife and was trying to stab the other guy but he is drunk so of course he cant hit him. Sister Kumar was freaking out so we are just chilling in this house until it is safe to make a get away, but the people we were teaching were trying to listen to us, so we just stopped halfway though, gave commitments and left! We were fine, that is just kind of normal life! Lots of excitement here!

I have relied on the Lord so much this past week it was really hard to me to leave Victorias! I loved it there and I wanted to stay so bad so really this week was just trying to get by and not compare the areas! But There is a lot of work to be done in this area so we will get to work! Waay kabalaka! No worries! I just keep to my studies and know that the Lord is going to show us blessings! That I am here in this area for a reason! I just need to find it! And of course that all good things take time! I love the Book of Mormon! That is my biggest strength here! It is like my rock! It never changes, it is always for my good! 

I love you all! Thanks for everything! Especially for school, what a headache! And man I really wrote a good Essay haha! Salamat sa inyo tanan!!!! Be good and be safe!!!
Sister S Polatis:) 

favorite family

love a love a

Baptism of Bro Romnick

Mom.. now I have 73 days left.. ha you were getting a little ahead of your self last week... But it made me smile ... I love that you guys are excited to see me! ha I had a dream the other day that I came home and you guys all didn't care... I walked in and said "Hey everyone! I am home.." You guys didn't even look up from what you were doing and said... "great... hey..." ha it was a really awkward dream! But yes Dad you will be receiving an email at the end of this week with my TRAVEL PLANS home! Crazy huh!! I received my death call from Sora Baker this week.. it was crazy! This time in the mission is different I only have so much time left... but I still have 2.5 months to really get stuff done in this area! So I am trying to work really hard! 

Training is going really good! Sora Parker has been a little sick and her jet lag is a killer! ha So this has caused a little extra personal study time and then as part of the training program they have us studying an extra hour everyday so I am loving it!! I know that this church is true! I have downloaded a lot of devotionals onto my ipod and I am obsessed with them. I really just feel like I need to bear my testimony to all of you... about getting "it" I really don't know how to describe "it" except that "it" is to get an understanding why we are here and what we are doing in this life. I am almost in tears writing this to you (you all know me.. I am in tears) but I just feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude and love for my Savior and for the atonement. It really hit me the other day that I am not on this mission to "pay God back." That can never be done. I was just blessed with this opportunity to have a hard mission so that God can bless me more. I will forever be in debt to Him. and To the Romanian people. I know that a mission is the place where you get "it" I still have a long way to go and a lot more studying to do in my life... but the enabling power of the atonement is real. God does love us. We can be like Him.. We can repent... We can be truly perfected in Him. I know that this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is True. Thomas S. Monson is a true Prophet of God. This Gospel is restored. We are so so blessed. We can all be better everyday! Sorry that was long but that is how I feel today. Training is causing me to go beyond myself and really step up. 

Some highlights and more random insights from my mission life:
- Zone Training in Iasi! I love Iasi it was a lot of fun! Sora Parker and I gave a presentation on Companionship study and the unifying power that it has for us! Well it was really fun.. we put a lot of words on the board and then people had to match them up... like Buzz and Woody....Katniss and Peeta.... etc etc... it was a lot of fun! We had to take a 5 hour train there and then we slept there one night .. had a 2 hour meeting ... ate some food and hopped back on our 5 hour train! ha I feel like I will travel just as much this transfer as my last!  
- I was studying more about the Enabling Power of the atonement (it is my theme for this transfer) and Elder Bednar has an amazing talk on it. Well that morning I was listening to it -He really tells us that we should not be praying for our circumstances to be changed but pray that we will change and adapt to our circumstances. Well the weather has been really gloomy here in Galati and all over Romania this week.. I have not seen the sun for about a week now. Well as I was praying I was saying.. "please bless us with sun.. I need it!!" Then as I was saying that I realized I wasn't praying for the right thing... I just need the power of optimism to get out there... rain...fog... random mist... no sun... doesn't matter... I choose to be happy! 
- English Contacting: We had so much fun contacting all over this week.. We have really been explore contacting because both of us don't know this city! So we were walking and Sora Parker is doing so great with everything.. She is going to rock! But we actually ran into this random lady that was an investigator years back and has read the Book of Mormon twice! We are super excited to meet with her! it was so random! 
- We are really working on cleaning up the area book so we called a few people. We called one women and she was so EXCITED to hear from us. She thought that everyone had forgotten about her! She is really excited to meet with us this week. At the end of the call she just said how grateful she was and thanked me about 10 times for calling her! This mission is all about the ONE. I love these small moments of miracles that God has blessed me with! 

Everything is just so normal here now to me. It is fun being with a new missionary because everything is so new to her! But church here is now normal.. it makes me nervous to go to a big branch back at home... wait do branches even exist in America? ha I meant wards and stakes! that will be crazy! But I love you all so much! Thank you for being my rocks of support during this amazing experience in my life! I am so so thankful for all of you! I hope that everything is going great in your lives! I love you all! have a great week! 
va iubesc atat de mult! 
Sora Abby Polatis 

Hey Everyone!!!!!!:)
       Yea so I actually just got back from the doctor and they put me through this swallowing test which included drinking this nasty liquid stuff ha. It was really cool though because I got to watch it go all the way down my esophagus so that was cool:) He told me that he couldn't really see any problems though, so that I was pretty surprising. He just said that if it gets worse that they will do a CT Scan but other than that I should be alright. Which I know that I will be alright, I was just hoping that it was something that could be taking care of really quick because it does get pretty annoying having to always drink a bunch of water whenever I eat. But hey, I've been dealing with it since like middle school so I'll be alright:) I think they will call me tomorrow if they see anything else. Ha I feel like wimp having to go do that, but I just wanted to make sure that there really wasn't something in the way. 
        Well it has been a pretty decent week this week. Some more very cold temperatures, but we've pushed through it. It is supposed to warm up this weekend to like 50 though so that sounds really promising. The work here is a lot different than the work over in Iowa City. The branch is so small and missionary work isn't really a priority to them right now it seems like. There was a death in the branch though so it is understandable. We did have a really cool thing happen this week though. I'm not sure if I told you but there is a kid named Alex Larson that I met at a members home over in Iowa City. I saw him at there house a few times and he said that he was doing a fellowship in Pella. Ha so it was pretty cool when I found out that Pella was in our Branch boundaries. It was really cool to get to talk to him and stuff and he invited us over for dinner last week and I told him that he better get some of his buddies there for us to teach. He is really cool about missionary work and has only been off his mission for like 2 years so he still has a little of that spirit in him. So he just sent a text out to all of his work buddies telling them that he was feeding the missionaries from the church. A girl named Mandy showed and she was the only one but she was awesome!! Really laid back and open about a lot of things. I don't think she was really planning on getting taught, but when Alex asked us if we had a spiritual thought to share, we got out the Restoration Pamphlet:) She said that she was interested in learning and that she was trying to get her faith back because she kind of lost it when she got into science. She is probably our most solid investigator now though. She was basically telling us what she needed to do to learn and to understand truth which included her having to act!!She didn't end up coming to church but we have another lesson with her in a couple of days so we'll see if she has been able to figure out the restoration a little bit more on her own. The way we teach now is just showing them where they can find their own answers. It kind of separates the wheat from the tares because you can definitely find out who the honest seekers are. I guess we just need to put our trust in the Lord that he has prepared some good honest seekers out there. Oh and we also were asked a couple of weeks ago to go and teach this class at a Lutheran church. What an opportunity!!:) It was a lot of Questions and Answers but some of the adults looked pretty interested. It was a class of a bunch of 14 year olds so who knows if any of them gained interest, but the teachers of that class were asking some really good questions. So hopefully those seeds will be nourished and grow into some good faith. We left them a Book of Mormon and a bunch of pamphlets so we'll see.
        Hope you all have a great week!!! Love you!!!
Love Elder Polatis