Monday, January 30, 2017

Cinco Meses Pictures

Cinco Meses!

Today I turn 5 months old in the mission! Time is flying by faster than I thought it ever could. Or better said.. the weeks are flying by.. the days still drag on sometimes. But honestly it is going by way fast! 

It was a pretty boring week here, but our faithful investigadora Carmen came to the chapel again and is going to be baptized in just under 2 weeks! I am so grateful to have met her here, and know that the Lord is always preparing people to hear the Gospel from my mouth becasue she always talks about wanting to talk with the missionaries when she would see them, but never had the opportunity, until we passed by her house searching for a address that turned out to be a fake hahah. I am very grateful for that fake address. 

Last week we had a broadcast from Salt Lake especially for missionaries and it was pretty awesome! It was cool to get specific advice from the leaders of the Church directly to us about missionary work. I was able to learn or be reminded of a lot of good and simple principles of teaching the Gospel that really make a difference in the conversion process. I feel really grateful for my calling.

Love you all, sorry for a shorter letter this week.
All is well.
Elder Cade Jason Poll

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 3 Cycle 3

I cannot believe how fast the time is going by. This cycle is already halfway over, and I feel like I just barely started with Elder Torres. This was another pretty good week, we met the goal for lessons again and I am feeling good about our area. We adjusted some of our baptismal dates because our investigators hadnt been to the chapel, and we have a baptism at the end of the cycle and I am so excited! We have one "investigadora", Maria del Carmen,  who is 76 years old and practically teaches us the lessons. She is so great and wise, and accepts all of the commitments that we challenge her, and she keeps them too! We taught her "La Palabra de Sabiduria" (Word of Wisdom) this week and she accepted everything. She agreed to quit drinking coffee as if it were nothing, because her testimony is already THAT strong. She always reminds us that God put us in her path for a reason, and always retells us the story of the first time she went to church with us, and how "bonita" she felt. She never lets us forget how true our church is. It really is just a break from the harder parts of the missionary life when we we have the chance to go and visit her. She is awesome.

Other than that I dont have much to write about this week, one cool thing here in Mexico, is that we take public transportation here a lot, and the buses or "rutas" as we call them in Juarez are always so full. But people will get in the buses with a guitar and just start playing and singing out loud hoping to gain more money than they paid for their passage on the bus. One day a young hippie looking dude with long curly hair and big black sunglasses and a flannel shirt got on the bus and started playing his guitar, I recognized the song right away.. Hotel California by the Eagles.. and he started singing in English. He just mumbled the sounds a lot because he didnt know the words exactly in English, but it sounded right haha. I was sitting right next to him, so I started to sing with him. We sang the whole song and then we sang another.. Have You Ever Seen the Rain by CCR.. it was awesome, we performed for like 100 people in a bus made for 50 people. I didnt get any of the pay, but it made my whole week.. It was a cool experience and I thought I could share it with you guys today becasue I dont have much else to say.

I ate a piece of cake in honor of all the birthdays this week and last week.
I hope that all is well. 
Remember to love your God and your neighbor.

-Elder Cade Jason Poll

Week 3 Cycle 3 Pics

Monday, January 16, 2017

Highs and Lows And Memories of Donna

Hey everyone, this had been a really good week here in Azteca. We taught a bunch of lessons, and it felt so good to have so much stuff to do. The week went by so fast, and it was so much more fun with a lot of work. Elder Torres has been helping me with a lot of things to be a better missionary, he is a good teacher and I have been learning a lot from him. We have found a lot more investigators, and are going to hopefully keep up the good work here in our area. 

This week we did divisions and Elder Solis came to my area with me and it was awesome for me. He is really shy and doesnt talk much, which helped me out a lot. I had to take charge and do most of the work, but it boosted my confidence so much with teaching and with the language. I finally felt like I was doing my part, which is probably something I should work on, to have more confidence and not be scared to open my mouth. That definitely something that I can fix on my part, and that will help me out further down the road when I really do have to take charge. But I can really testify to the promise in 1 Nefi 3:7- that the Lord is always preparing the way for us, and he never gives us challenges that we wont be able to bear.

It sounds like it was a tough week at home, with Aunt Donna passing away, and it has been difficult here too. My mission president, President Owen, paid a taxi to take us to the mission offices and he and Sister Owen broke the news to me with an email that my mom had written to him. It was a tough night, and will be tough for a while, but we can all find comfort in these scriptures from Mosiah 16:

And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
I am not saying that death isn't difficult, because it definitely is. It will be something that we always struggle with, but we are blessed to know that this is not the end. We know that the grave has no victory over us, or our loved ones, and that one day we will ALL see each other again.
On another happy note, Happy Birthday to my sisters Sophie and Ari tomorrow, January 17th! I love you girls so much and hope that you enjoy your 16th Birthday the same way I enjoyed mine! You are awesome girls, and I get so proud everytime that I get emails about you guys, and how well you are doing! Keep up the great work!
With much love - Elder Poll

Memories of Donna
I just want to share a couple of my favorite things about Donna. 
She was such a sweet, humble and selfless lady, who I will always be extremely grateful for. I learned a lot of life lessons from her, directly from advice, or indirectly by her exampling and watching her live her life in such an incredibly way. 
She always supported me so much in all of my decisions. With sports, with my school, and with me mission. 
I will always remember Sunday night visits at her house. Visiting with all of the family, whether we we enjoying the summer afternoons or each other's company inside away from the cold. I will always remember going to her house with my cousins or sisters to get a "Hug" drink or a soda. And a trip to Donna's wasnt complete without a "dum-dum" or "tootsie-pop" from her sucker tree. 
One time this last summer before I left on my mission, I went to visit her alone and she was writing some notes down on her calendar. She told me that she had to write down everything, or she would forget becasue of her illness. She told me that she hoped she would be home still when I got home from my mission, but she was aware that she was sick, and told me that if she wasnt there, that I needed to know how much she loved me, and I know that that goes for all of us who were close to her. 
She told me how blessed I was to have such a great family, and that she was so proud of the decisions that we were making, and that we needed to stay close together and enjoy our company while we have it. She was so wise and always gave the best advice. I dont have the opportunity to be there with you all this week, but I hope that in spite of this loss, that you can enjoy each others company, and grow closer together. It is what Donna would want.

Highs and Lows-Pics

Monday, January 9, 2017

Crazy Cambios (Changes)

This week was sweet haha. Because of the "Gasolinazo" here in Mexico a lot of the freeways have been closed down, so for the changes the missionaries in Casas Grandes couldnt come to Juarez, and the missionaries from Juarez couldnt go to Casas Grandes. So the changes got postponed until further notice. We kept working through the day of the changes when in the night we got a call saying that we needed to be in Offices as soon as possible, so Elder Cabrera packed his suitcases super quick and an Uber came and picked us up. 

Normally the changes are Tuesday at like 8 in the morning, but instead they happened at 8 at night. it was so crazy haha. Missionaries were flowing in from everywhere to get to their new areas. Later, President Owen explained to us that the Church leaders in Mexico called Casas Grandes on our behalf and explained the situation, and told us that they would let the misssionaries pass in the middle of the night as long as they were in private vehicles, so they had to do the changes right away and it was just a big crazy, fun, mess hah.

So after a crazy week of changes, here we are. Elder Torres and I working hard in Azteca! He is a really good Elder, with a great attitude about the work. He has already helped me with so many things. He helped me build confidence in my self while teaching, he helped me understand the lessons more, he has helped me with a few things that I was struggling with. I feel like a whole new Elder Poll! The work wasnt really there this week, but we searched super hard, and I honestly feel satisfied with the work we put in to get the few lessons that we were able to. I am grateful for this change, truly grateful. 

We have things a little bit more planned out this week, and should be more successful. We didnt have any investigators in the sacrament meeting this week which was a downer, Carmen stayed the week at here daughters house and couldnt attend church, and the other family that we are teaching... who knows. They told us they were coming and never showed. I think that we are going to have to drag them to the meetings or something because they are awesome and could be such good members and have such a high potential that we have to help them out or work harder than we ever have with them. 

This week we went through the whole Area Book and wrote down every last name and direction in our agendas. We found the names of a family that previous Elders had been visiting, and I recognized the address. It was a house where Elder Cabrera and I had contacted without knowing that they had previously visited with other missionaries. We set up an appointment, but they werent there when we arrived. From there Elder Cabrera and I honestly just forgot about them, and never returned to check on them. After I realized this I told Elder Torres that we had to visit this family because I had no idea that they had already talked with the Elders. We went to their house like three times throughout the week, and always found like one of their daughters there, but could never find the parents. Finally, Sunday night we went there again, and they were all there! We taught them the Restoration, and it was the smoothest lesson that I have ever given. It was awesome! I was really grateful for the other Elders who filled out the Area Book so that we could find another family to try and bring unto Christ. It felt good to fast and receive more spiritual strength this Sunday. I really have been able to notice the power of the fast here in my first few months of the mission. The Lord has helped me a lot with the language, enduring through challenges, and helped us with lots of investigators. I am really excited to see what this coming week will have in store!
Love you all so much!
-Elder Cade Jason Poll

Crazy Cambios (Changes)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year, friends and family!

This was a good week here in Azteca! Yesterday Miriam and Cesar finally came to the chapel!! It was a long wait, but it was so worth it! Carmen was there too, so we had three investigators come to Church with us. It was so cool to see them in the chapel, be able to take the Sacrament and have them feel the Spirit! It was a rewarding week!

Also we had our exchanges again, and Elder Cabrera is leaving me. I am staying in Azteca 1 and a new Elder named Elder Torres will be my companion starting tomorrow! He is from our same Zone, and has been doing a lot of good in his Area (Mauricio Corredor) and hopefully we can both take it up a notch in our Missionary Service and lift up Azteca 1 even more! On the flipside, Elder Larsen is going to Colonia Juarez to be a district leader, and I am gonna miss him a ton. The new companion of Elder Hinjosa is named Elder Solís, which means that I will be the only Gringo/Guero here in our ward. It will probably be a little bit difficult, but the I have a good enough grip on the language that I think I will survive. I will miss divisions with Elder Larsen though, and being able to talk in English a little bit everyday at lunch. But like I keep saying, all is well here, and I am doing great!

New Years Eve was crazy.. they have this awesome tradition here of launching "balazos" or gunshots from like 11:30 until like 1ish in the morning, and they kept us up all night hah. Supposedly they just shoot them into the sky like crazy, so it is a good thing that none came flying through our roof.. we have enough leaks as it is haha.

Hope you all enjoyed your week and New Year!

Congratulations to my cousin Madi and her husband Tyler! 
Love you all!
Elder Cade Poll(ito) 🐥

Feliz Año Nuevo! Pics