Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Boring Week Here and an Exciting Week at Home

Well it sounds like I missed out on quite a bit this last week.. a tornado, an engagement (congrats Madi and Tyler!.. you had better send me an invitation ;)), and a a bunch of Stake/Ward divisions. Sounds like a blast! 

My week was full of about 100 hours of class time but for some strange reason there is honestly no place I would rather be.. I'm a month down already and don't even  feel like i have started my mission.. time is gonna fly by and it will all be a memory before i know it. I love looking down on my chest and seeing the name of my awesome family and the name of the Savior, both of which i hope i am representing as best as i can. Missionary work really is such a privilege and a blessing.
I feel bad this week though because i dont feel like I have much to talk about.. there wasnt any crazy experiences that i had, or we didnt go to any cool places.
I guess I will talk a little bit more about the visit to the Immigration center. First of all it feels so weird to go out into public hah especially here in Mexico, we are trapped in this little sanctuary for 4 weeks and we finally get out into public and it is like we are animals at a zoo. Everyone stares at us and talks to us and we try to talk back and they get really confused and then we give up hah. 

At the immigration though we were able to walk around to block though and we all bought Mexican Coca-Cola and some way good churros! And it only cost the equivalent of like a quarter hah. The food didnt make any of us sick either so we were feeling like we came out on top. The week of kids before us that went to the Immigration all got street tacos and about 30 of the 30 of them got sick haha. So we were advised to steer clear of the tacos. They didnt let us take our cameras that day or else i would have some pictures to show you!
One of the Supervisors here has a huge scar across his forehead and we asked him how he got it.. he said on his mission and we asked where he served..youll never guess! Good old Juarez! He didnt tell us the full story but he said " There were guns, bullets, tears, and a lot of prayers." He said not to worry though because it isn't as bad as it was a few years ago.. still pretty sweet though, i really want some awesome stories to tell after my mission hah. I had better be careful what i wish for!
Today is another temple day and i think it is our last one before we leave the CCM so after today, the next time i leave will be for the airport! I cant wait to get to my mission and start helping the people out, i hope there are some lawns i can mow or something.. service or hard work might be the only thing familiar to me out here so I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty. But back to the temple, there is an awesome visitors center there so i will get some good pictures to send for next week. 
Thank you everyone for the letters this week and for the continued love and support! I think of and pray for you constantly!
Much Love from Mexico
Elder Poll

 Jerky from Grandma Judy

 Boring pictures of his classroom.  I told him to start putting himself in these pictures. :)

 YAY! A picture of Cade!

Friday, September 23, 2016

One Fun Week!

Hello everyone, sorry I couldn't email yesterday, they switched our P Day to Friday this week because we had to go to Immigration this morning and do some fingerprints and stuff for our visas here in Mexico. But i am alive and well hah.

This last week was honestly so fun. The Temple trip and Independence day was so fun! Getting outside of the walls was a huge relief, the Temple was like 40 minutes away, in Mexico traffic... we could have been their in like 10 if they had an I-15 down here. The Temple is so beautiful inside and out, i will send some pictures from that day. One of the walls on the inside is a huge mural of Christ appearing in the Americas and it really hit me that this is pretty much where all of that took place. 

On the bus ride there, our chaperone was named Elder Ruvalcava, he is the Executive Secretary here and he served his mission in Northern Mexico.. like 50 years ago... and asked if any of us were going up North.. Elder Gibson and I raised our hands and he told us a bunch of stories from his mission and said he had a pistol pointed at his head 2 times while on his mission, but he assured us that they dont do that anymore... now they use machine guns hahah. He is a pretty funny guy. 

The fiesta was super fun for the about the first hour, the next two hours were super long though, they have a lot of national pride here in Mexico. It really was cool though, a lot of singing and dancing and they opened with a cool Aztec ceremonial performance. 

This week was cool because we started teaching people from outside the walls, our first two ladies were both members already, the first was named Soledad and she was like 90 years old and has been a member since she was 20 so she knew more stuff than we did and pretty much taught us a lesson hah. 

The second lady though was only 22 years old and had just returned from a mission in Iquitos Peru, her name was Karla. She talked to us about how her dad isnt a member and she along with her mom try so hard and pray so hard for him to see the way and join the Church, but he never makes any progress, i shared with her 3 Nephi 22 verses 7 and 8 with her and she started to cry. She thanked us for reminding her of the promises that God had made her, it was such a cool experience. 

So if you feel like God might be hiding his face from you remember that if you continue forward in faith he has promised everlasting kindness and mercy upon us and has not forgotten you. This was all in Spanish too and i was able to understand everything, it was such a testimony builder of the gift of tongues. This made me extremely excited to get into the mission field and start teaching and helping real people. I love the spirit that i feel when bearing testimony of the Savior, i really do feel so much closer to Him already.

The very next day was a really low day for me, we had another lesson with one of our teachers who is pretending to be an investigator for us and it went pretty bad, i tried to explain a story that happened in the Book of Mormon, but because it was all in past tense i struggled through it, it was really discouraging.

Thank you everyone at home for the letters and packages this week, it means a lot and i appreciate it all. I miss you guys a ton and love you all to death.

-Elder Poll

 Cade met This Sister Poll at the airport.  Her mom sent me the picture.  She is the Daughter Of Allan Poll (brother of my good friend Christy).  What a small world!
 Krispy Kremes and chocolate milk from the Lowe's

 Cade & Elder Gibson
 Cade and the cousin of his friend Rachel Barrows.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Día de Independencia

You guys this week has been 100 times better than last week. I honestly can't believe that it is P-Day again hah.

I wanna get something out of the way really quickly.. I apologize for any words that are spelled wrong or other grammatical errors-These computers and keyboards are all in Español so they don't correct anything and every single word that i type is underlined in red hah.

This week we had two more Apostle´s broadcast to us from Provo. Elder Cook and Elder Ballard. They each bore testimony that  "I know the Savior´s voice and  I know the Savior´s face." When i heard these words i about lost it.. taken literally or not those are powerful words and if we are struggling with our testimonies we can always ride on the testimony of our latter-day prophets. Witnesses of our Savior Jesus Christ.
The days are pretty repetitive so i though i would go over a normal schedule so you know what I'm doing.
6:20 Alarm goes off we get out of bed get ready for the day.
7.15 Breakfast
7.45 Personal Study in classroom
8.45 companion study
9.45 we begin classes with our awesome teacher Hermano Rojas.. i  am gonna miss him so much when we leave here.
12.15 Lunch
1.15 TALL- it is a computer program where we study the language and pronunciation and stuff.
2.15 More language study out of the books
3.15 Gym time!! We play lots of sand volleyball and cage soccer and basketball.. depending on how we feel that day
4.45 Daily planning with companion
5.45 Dinner
6:30 more classes start and we practice teach and have more personal study time until..
9.30 we have to be in our casas and i write in my journal and hang out with our room mates.
10.15 get ready for bed 
10:30 lights out bed time.
That's about how every single day goes hah it is pretty great here but can feel like a prison.
Today is going to be the best day ever though. 
It is P-day, temple day, and independence day here in MX.
The temple is actually about an hour drive away from here and i cant wait to get outside of these prison walls ;)
The drive is going to be crazy and busy and trafficy..?
Night time is awesome here.. like i said last week we are surrounded by mountains with houses built up on top of each other, and at night the whole mountain lights up. 
About every other day is some Catholic Saint Day or something and so there are constant fireworks and cannons going off that could be mistaken for gunshots.. but i don't think any of the bangs in the night have been guns... but this is only Mexico City.. we'll see what Juarez has to offer ;) Really though it is like constant explosions outside the walls. I have gotten used to it though i sleep right next to the window on the top bunk so i can hear symphonies of dogs barking, sirens blaring, and explosions.. but really I'm so tired from the busy day i have no problems sleeping at night.
Tonight for independence day we don't have classes and we are having a big FIESTA!! We don't get to participate in the dancing but we get to watch a bunch of demonstrations or performances and they are having street tacos tonight for dinner.. it is going to be so awesome. I'm so pumped hah. Ill take lots of pictures and send some home for next week.. I'll send a few more from this week in another email in just a second too.
Life is pretty good here. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days..Thanks for all the love.. and the Mountain Dew hah it was a big pick me up!
I love my companion and my district and my roommates and my teachers and the people of Mexico.
But I really love you guys. And the Savior :) You are the best!
-Elder Cade Poll

  The Cafeteria
 Cade and Elder Gibson
 His cute little closet
The Post Office!
Helping out in the kitchen with FISH.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Si Dios me hubiese mandado hacer todas las cosas, yo podría hacerlas

Hello everyone!! My first week and a half as a missionary has been absolutely crazy and difficult and wonderful.

I'll get the bad out of the way first. The first few nights were the hardest nights of my entire life. I have never felt so lonely and homesick and depressed I don't think ever. I thought for sure I was coming home. It really was terrible. It was a huge moral drain too because I had been so excited to leave home to get my mission started and the plane ride down was so much fun and there were like 40 Elders on the flight. Then we got the the MTC after the sketchiest 30 minute bus ride from the airport and Gavin (Elder Poll) was on the welcoming committee and helped us get our bags and take us to our rooms. It wasn't until I started unpacking my bags that it hit me. This is home for the next two years. I wont see the Wasatch mountains or good old South Weber for two years.. it really was such a sad feeling. 
But enough being a downer.. the rest of the time has been so great. I have honestly grown so much this last week. My Spanish has gotten pretty darn good, and my testimony has grown like crazy too. My love for all of you guys at home has also grown and I hope all is well there. I get worried about home still every now and again but it isn't nearly as bad as the first nights. 
There are 6 other missionaries going to Juarez and they all seem pretty cool. I got a picture with a few of them in the airport, which i will send in another email, but I guess im the odd one out. The other 6 are all companions with each other, but i don't even care because i love my companion so much. His name is Elder Gibson from Orem. He played soccer and is going to continue playing at BYU when he gets home. He is going the Chihuahua Mexico so well be fairly close to each other the whole mission. His best friend is also here his name is Elder Holland, and yeah his grandpa is Jeffrey R. Holland. So I am now also really good friends with Jeffrey R. Holland's grandson. He is way cool too and said that i could meet him when we get home hah. My district is pretty awesome too, the Hermanas are kind of quiet and i don't think they like us Elders very much but that's okay. The rest of them are pretty cool.
Our teachers here are so good. The Mexican people here devote their whole lives to the Church and they are such good examples to us. Our favorite is Hermano Rojas, he lives an hour a way has to be here at 8 AM and doesn't leave here until 10 PM. With driving that is a 16 hour work day but he says he likes to do it for us missionaries. He is only like 23 and served his mission in Xalapa Mexico he has helped us so much already. 
We have been teaching a progressing investigator named Paulina.. she really is just our night teacher but we get to teach her like she is a real person. Her real name is Hermana Martinez, but Paulina was an investigator in her first area as a missionary in Guadalajara East, so she pretends to be her. 
We live in a casa with like 12 other missionaries, but only 4 of us live in the same room. Mine and Elder Gibsons first roommates were Elder Byington from Roy and Elder Johnson from St George, but Elder Johsnon went home like 2 days ago because he wasnt prepared or ready to be a missionary i guess. So Elder Byington got put in a trio and the other set of Elders from his new room got moved into our room. Their names are Elder Callister and Elder Madsen, and they are going to JUAREZ! I love Elder Callister, i hung out with him a lot in the airport before we left and we really hit it off. I hope we can be companions sometime during the next 2 years. 
I really appreciate all the letter and package that you guys have sent. Our whole casa enjoyed the cookies and they all want me to tell you thank you!
This place is so awesome we are right in the middle of the ghetto. There are like three mountains around us and were right in the center of the valley, the mountains all have houses stacked up like halfway up the mountain. It is awesome. We really are in such a sanctuary. I guess the temple is an hour away from here where the old Mexico MTC was. I think we might get to go next week on P-Day. 
Sunday night there was a live broadcast from the Provo MTC and Elder D Todd Christofferson spoke to us. It was awesome to recieve some encouragement from him. When the camera panned around the room I saw Elder Jaime Gertge and Elder Ammon Uasila'a in the audience in Provo. It was awesome to see some more familiar faces even if they are far away.
The food here is actually pretty good and I've been staying pretty regular, no bowel problems yet ;)
I see Gavin Poll pretty much everyday and Logan Frost every once in a while. I was able to deliver all three packages successfully and felt like a mailman.. which made me really miss dad.
Anyway thank you all for your love and support, I dont think i would have made it through that first night if i didn't have the love and support from my great family and friends. 
I love you all and miss you so much every day, 2 years seems like forever but like Nephi says when commanded to build his ship.. If God commanded me to do all things, I could do them. (I have it memorized in spanish hence the subject line)  And so can all of you. I love the Savior and His atonement. See you all in 2!!
Love Elder Cade Poll
  Missionaries going to Juarez on Cade's Flight to the Mexico MTC

 This was an Elder he really liked who left the MTC before Cade.  He didn't tell me his name.

    Cade's Apartment

          Cade and his companion Elder Gibson from Orem, UT
           Cade with Elder Ovard-who is Cade Richins cousin!

                       Cade & Gavin Poll with the Chef Esteban