Sunday, October 2, 2016

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

1st Letter from Baton Rouge Louisiana

hola family!
i am finally here! it is awesome here in Louisiana! it is so green but it is so flat haha. no mountains anywhere at all. so the area i am in is Chalmette! it is eastern new Orleans. if you look on a map and see the big lake (lake Ponchatrain) our apartment is literally right on the shore of the south of it! we share the apartment with elder Jarvis and elder Park. they are the two english elders for Chalmette. they are really cool! anyways in Chalmette there is just a branch. and usually about 30 people go to church each week. it is suppose to be a mix of spanish and english but only one spanish member went last week. but it was really cool because the gospel principles class is in spanish so my comp and i and the one member had a nice discussion while the two english elders just sat there and wondered what was going on haha! of the 35 people that were at church on Sunday 6 of them are the missionaries because we also have 2 english sisters here. our ward mission leader is awesome! interesting but awesome! my comp and i had to talk on Sunday haha they gave us a one day warning because our branch presidents family was speaking but he wasn't going to be able to make it because of work so instead they had us speak. but anyways they had the ward mission leader speak with us and he can talk up a storm so we were fine talk wise.

but anyways in his talk he asked the ward to fast for the missionary work in our area this upcoming fast Sunday after conference (super excited)  because we are in a very difficult area as far as the work goes. anyways in his talk he kind of called out the branch because of their lack of helping with missionary work and because they never feed the missionaries. it was just kind of funny to me. anyways yeah more on the missionary work here. so far of all the doors we have knocked on almost all have been vietnamese and speak no english or just act like they don't. One person who actually came out and talked to us for a bit (in english) but he wasn't really that interested so we only ended up being able to give him our number. i did talk college football with him for a bit haha tried to soften him up haha. we have taught a total of one lesson since we have been here and that was to a recent convert who has been a member for about a year. i could understand like half of what she said and like all of what my comp said but it takes me a while to translate it in my head. but as far as other lessons and appointments go we usually just get canceled on. this week it looks good though because on Tuesday we have quite a bit of appointments and stuff so hopefully i can actually start teaching and stuff.

the area where my comp and i usually go is pretty sketchy haha. we were starting to tract on Saturday after an appointment fell through and it was starting to get dark so after the first door a bunch of drunk people started coming outside and sounded like they were about to get in a fight so we left that area real quick. but yeah anyways this area is probably the area that was effected most by hurricane katrina. like the abandoned amusement park that is in a lot of movies is actually right in the middle of our area and we drive by it like everyday. its pretty cool. sadly no one is allowed to go in it. i think that would be so cool to do.

so yeah that is the most of it haha! i hope you all know how amazing you are and how grateful i am for all of you! this week is a very special week because it is general conference. i know at home i definitely wasn't the best example of watching it but this week i challenge you all to watch every single minute of it! WITHOUT your phones!!! (unless you are emailing me about your favorite talk. then you can have your phone) i didn't really realize it back home but the words that are shared during general conference are literally modern day scripture. what they say is just as important as what is in the Book of Mormon if not even more so because it pertains to our day and age even more. do not look at them as just a bunch of old guys haha. they are men called of our Heavenly Father and they are sharing the words that our heavenly father needs us to here at this time. Don't miss a minute. laugh at their cringy mormon humor jokes. just kidding you don't have to do that. but please listen to as much of it as you can and listen intently to their words and try to apply them to you. literally every talk can relate to you in some way. i know that if you do it it will help you so much with whatever you are going through big or small! 

i told my comp that i would let him write his own description of him so here it is! he did write it in the perspective of me though so- 

He is from West Jordan Utah. His name is Elder Hess. He likes to play soccer and some other sports. He loves the mountains and misses them a lot. He is really chill​ and is good at Spanish. I hope to learn a lot from him even though he thinks that he is the worst trainer ever. He doesn't know how to drive and he doesn't know any directions because there are no mountains. And the roads are all messed up. The grid system is the best way to get anywhere. He loves anything that has sugar in it. He ate a lot of the candy that you sent me in the package. That is just a little bit about him.  Sev Papi is the biggiest stud ever. 

i got the bike! it looks really cool but havent used it yet and according to my comp we dont really ever use them! maybe in like one of the spanish areas. but yeah we mainly use a car.

I love you all.

Elder Polad

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