Monday, December 27, 2010

"As I Search The Holy Scriptures"

"Well it was awesome to talk to you all on Christmas!
This week was fairly uneventfull other than that.
Lately we have been trying to work a lot more with the members. Missionary work is impossible without the members. Well at least it is here.
It was a very interesting Christmas. Being ridiculously far from home (please go on google earth or something and find how far Fresno is from Quarai for me- miles and Kilometers), and also it being ridiculously hot, it didn't really feel much like Christmas, but it's all good. All in all, it was very strange.
Lately, I have been absolutely loving the sunsets and sunrises here. We're basically out in the middle of nowhere, and beyond the city, there are just fields and hills, there are just crazy cool colors in the sky sometimes..
There is a fruit bus here. This 50 year old bus that drives around at 1 mph selling fruit. Pretty sweet.
Yesterday we sung ´´Estudando as Escrituras´´ in priesthood. Guess which song that is? Hahha. I absolutely love that song now. It used to be just kind of annoying when Dad would always want to sing it for Family Night. Then it became a big joke. But now I really love that song."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Feliz Natal pra vocés!

"I believe I would have to say, that if I have learned one thing so far in these 5 months, it is how totally super awesome The Book of Mormon is. I just could not describe it. I just wish everyone in the world would start reading it every day. I'm currently on Alma 45 in Portugues, and also in Corintians in the Novo Testamento. But The Book of Mormon is just so much more aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesome.

We have really been trying to focus more in doing lessons with members. As I see it, it is the only way we are going to have success. We have been teaching a bajillion lessons a week, but it is impossible to get people to church, the people here are just a bit lazy in general. Half of the inactive members don't even show up for the first hour of class (we have that flipped schedule here where we have sacrament meeting last).
But anyway, what we really need to do, is make every investigator a friend with someone, and have that someone stop by their house Sunday morning.

This week should be interesting. I'm not sure what we will do Christmas Eve and Christmas. We are supposed to be working, but I don't know who is going to want us in their house. Well, we'll see.
I found out something interesting this week. Quarai has the most members per capita in all of Brazil. Wow. And we just have 4 branches here. As I said, there are a LOT of inactives!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Use this as your Christmas card

1-MERRY CHRISTMAS! - use this as your christmas card

"Well, this week we got a new missionary in our house/district. Elder Silva Santos was traded for Elder Cerqeira, another nordestino (person from the northeast) Elder Cerqeira seems like a cool guy. He's got a few tattoos, haha. He was baptized just a few years ago.
Here's a little something to make Connor jealous- there are a ton a Fiat and Peugeot cars here. I probably see more every day than you have seen your whole life.
Our washing máquina broke the other day, so we had to fix it yeaaah.
Then we had Zone Conference this week over in Livramento. That was cool. We learned some sweet stuff, and also it was cool to meet some new missionaries, especially since almost the entire district in Livramento was changed since the last Zone Conference.
The other day I was thinking about animal life here. I was with this member, and he said he had never seen a Squirrel up close before. Its funny how the most basic and mundane thing for us is strange and foreign to them, and vice versa.
Its really funny how people lie to us sometimes. We knocked at this house, and the 6 year old daughter answered the door, we asked if her parents were home, and heard an adult voice from the house say ´´NO!´´ and then the daughter repeated for us ´´no´´. Parents teaching their kids to lie. Wonderful isnt it?
Also, yesterday this guy got super mad at us. Apparently he was just infuriated at the Idea that 2 young men knocked at his house wanting to talk about Jesus Christ. Hahaha wow.
Being Bilingual is pretty much the coolest thing ever.
Well the weather here has just been way way hot. Just imagine June weather, maybe a bit hotter. But then randomly yesterday it was cold and windy and rainy. But today it is back to super hot."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don't worry, I'm a good boy.

"Então, the big news around here in Brazil the last few weeks, is that craziness is happening in Rio de Janeiro, like quase civil war between the police, and the huge gigantic ridiculous drug business up there.

Today I saw a Beedrill. Okay not really, but almost. it was a very large insect that looks just like one. Kinda cool but also really not. Haha.

Also, its really weird singing Christmas songs for S
acrament meeting when it is over 40 degrees C outside. That means like, over 100 degrees F. Yay. It's pretty awesome for walking around on the street all day.
I set up the Christmas decorations you sent me, I'll send you a picture. Don't worry, I'm a good boy, I didnt open the presents yet. The pistachios were a good idea, but the bag exploded in the box and by the time I got them they were stale.

Lately I have been thinking and working hard on being bold. As a missionary, you really have to be bold. You must boldly declare the truth, so that the people can have no doubt that we are the true church of Christ, the same that he organized 2000 years ago.

Lately I have been making a lot of limeade ( like fresh from a real lime). Its super cheap because 1 lime makes 1 liter, and one lime only costs like 30 centavos, which would be like less than 20 American cents.

Also, with respect to Portugues, let's just say that now, whenever I need to look up a word, I look it up in the real Portugues dictionary I bought, that has thorough definitions in Portugues. Pretty awesome.

The other day I saw and handeled an ostrich egg. Living in another country is so aweomse. You learn so much. It has expanded my mind and universe in a way that I can only compare to how music and books have. I remember when I submitted my papers, there was a thing where you could say how much you wanted to learn another language, 1 through 10. I put 10 without hesitation. Haha.

Other countries do have their downsides though. As it has been getting way hotter, insects have also been... proliferating...(what a miracle I remember such an intellectual English word). There are always ants crawling around and stuff ( not like a lot a lot, but enough to notice). At night, If I dont make sure my door and window is completely shut and I have the fan on, I wake up multiple times a night getting eaten up by bugs.

The other day I heard the school band playing ´´The Final Coutdown´´
Elder Silva Santos got transferred so we will be getting a new Brazilian here.
All in all, things are hard but awesome.
I love you all!"

note from mom: a Beedrill is a pokemon - I'm so out of it I had to look it up on the internet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Only Church He Really Felt Good in Was Ours

"Well this letter will probably end up being shorter than usual because we are in Santa Maria again, and I left my Journal in Quarai. Usually what I do for these letters is, I bust out my journal and write all the important stuff that happened in the week. But since i forgot it, I'll have to have off memory...

Well it sounds like life has been quite exiting in the Poulsen Home lately. You dont know how great it is to hear all the great things that are happening!
Well we have been working quite hard lately. We are teaching a lot of lessons. There are a lot of great people here, we just have trouble getting them to church. It seems like to get anyone to church around here we have to literaly drag them to the building. Well, not really, but almost.

On friday we did a divisão. That's where we switch companions for a day for training and learning purposes. Elder Martini went with Elder Marx into the other area, and I went with Elder Silva Santos into my area. It was a pretty cool experience to be able to teach with someone else. You learn a lot. It was also funny because Elder Silva Santos only has 6 weeks more than me as a missionary. So it was just us two relatively new guys. Elder Silva Santos is a funny guy. He is from Salvador (which means Savior, one more christian name in Brazil, literally half of the towns name's around here in Brazil are somehow christian). That day was pretty awesome because almost all of the lessons Elder Martini and I had scheduled fell through, but we worked it out and still ended up with 5 lessons that day, 3 with members. And Dad will tell you, that is not so easy.
This week we marked the baptismal date of an 18 year old guy named Lucas, he is pretty cool. He really likes the church, and knows the Book of Mormon is true. He told us the other day that growing up, he never really went to church, but once he had a dream, and in this dream, someone told him that he needed to start going to different churches until he found which one he felt was right. He told us that he has been to many different churches, from the Catholic, to Spirit ( this religion around here that belives in Christ, but not the bible, but also mainly in Reincarnation, whatever) and he said that the only church he really felt good in was ours. (score)"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let Me Just Tell You From Experience

"Well, well, well.
We have been working quite hard but we have been having trouble getting people to come to church.
I dont know what it is. I think the people are just lazy? But a lot of people said they would go to church and that same lot didn't.
A few days ago was really cool because we walked around knocking doors for an hour, and only one person even answered, and they didn't even let us in. Then, we went to our lunch appointment, sat down on the couch, waiting for them to tell us to come in to the kitchen, and she came in and said ´´oh we should schedule a day for lunch.´´ and we were just like... uhhhhhh looks like someone forgot that it was toDAY! Haha, so we sent and had lunch at home. Which happens to be a 25-30 minute walk. Sweet.
Also, this week I traded for a tiny bible, like the size of those Books of Mormon we have at home, and it came with a zipper cover. Sweet.
This afternoon I think we are going to watch Os Melhores dois Anos (the best two years), that should be fun.
People around here are weird. Some people literally stand in their front doorframe, literally, just watching people walk by for extended periods of time.
Hey family, make sure to work with the missionaries in helping find people, there is nothing more frusterating than members who don't work with you. Let me just tell you from experience.
Elder Perry says it well."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who's That White Guy???

Well, last Monday we had Elder Silva Santos with us, because Elder Marx had to go to Santa Maria. It was kinda weird, but cool to have the 3 of us.

The other day it was literally raining buckets of water. It was crazy crazy crazy. Literally, it was raining 5 times as hard as I have ever seen in my life.

We ran in to a person of Batuque the other day. That was interesting. You can look that up on Wikipedia.

Inactives can be really frustrating because you talk to them about going to church, and they just say ´´Oh, I'm not ready.´´ or ´´I don't feel worthy.´´ or ´´I´ll wait until God touches my heart.´´. That last one is the most ridiculous of all, because God isn't sitting up there withholding things from us. He wants everyone in church NOW. Extremely frustrating. Anyway, ranting section over.

The other day we had a really really good planning session. We made a list of all the people we are teaching, cut it in half, and then decided which 5 we are going to baptize in this month.
We taught some super hardcore Evangelicals the other day. Their mode of prayer is interesting. So we went along with it. When they pray they all stand up, and everyone says a prayer simultaneously. Its quite the mess of noise. It's hard to think about what you are saying.

The other night on the way home this drunk guy from Uruguay stopped us and was trying to talk to us. I didn´t understand much because he was drunk and speaking Spanish. But I did get that he was trying to tell us he was from the Federal Police. ha ha. Crazy drunk people.

I am having more and more trouble speaking English without using Portuguese words on accident. It's pretty ridiculous. But conversely I always say an English word at least once a day when I am speaking Portuguese.

This weekend the people in our branch had a Temple Trip. All the people who wanted to go got on a bus for like 10 hours to go to Porto Alegre. We are quite blessed to have like 10 temples within 10 hours of our house.
I was thinking, and one of the big problems here and probably the biggest problem in the world, is that people try to find happiness the easy way. But they never can really find it, and they are often to lazy to put forth the effort to find real happiness, content with what they have. Alma was right when he said, ´´wickedness never was happiness´´.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Only You Two Could Know Such a Thing"

"At the beginning of the week (and still a little bit), I was crazy sore after playing foot-ball last pday.

On Tuesday, we went to the cemetery for a few hours... to make contacts... haha. Tuesday was Dia dos mortos or something, so everyone goes to the cemetery to remember dead people, literally everyone. and then we teach them about O Plano de Salvação. The cemeteries here are crazy weird, most of the people aren't buried... haha they have these mini house things for like, every family (if you have the money), and they all the people are put in the house thing, look it up one the internet.

Wednesday was super awesome because I found out I have an ingrown toenail. Another funny thing, there are usually bones on the ground all over the place here becuase everyone cooks stuff with all the bones and all the fat, and then after everyone has eaten, they throw the bones out for the 10 million dogs around here.

Also the letters k, w, and y are really weird to me now because they aren't used in Portugues. Really English in general is weird.

On Thursday I used the cake mix you sent me to make cake for this kid's birthday in a partmember family. He wouldn't have had cake if i didn't bring it, so that was nice to do. They all said it was like the best cake ever. I don't think they have funfetti in Brazil.

There are like a brazillian (number close to gazillion) churches around here. Like seriously, people make another church out of their house like everyday. We use this a lot in lessons ´´Porque tem tantas igrejas?´

Friday was certainly the funniest day. One thing we do to illustrate that there should only be one church, is that we ask ´´How many Gods do we have?´´ the other day we were at this old gaucho´s house. He was what we would call around here, a moco. He said he believed in Christ and all that stuff, and we asked this question and he replied. ´Bah, não sei, só vocés podem saber isso.´´ and I'm not sure how I did not laugh out of my chair. This means ´´Bah, I dunno, only you two could know such a thing` Afterward, we laughed for like 10 minutes about this, and still laugh about it. It's extremely funny, but also illustrates something a bit more serious - the serious lack of education around here.
Also, big F1 race happened in Brazil the other day, I'm sure Dad and Connor know all about it. I kept seeing it on all the TVs I saw. I think Hamilton was winning.

Saturday was really cool. We have been teaching these guys named Lucas, Hellinton, and Valdemar. Lucas and Hellinton are brothers, and Valdemar is a friend who lives with them, and then there is one other guy that lives with them too. They are about 18 years old, and basically live alone. Lucas and Hellinton´s parents own the house, but work out on a ranch and only come every week or two. On Saturday, it was really cool because we had already given Lucas the Book of Mormon, and taught him all about it and stuff. We asked him if he had prayed, and how he felt. He replied somewhat like this, ´´I believe I came to know that it is true. It felt really weird. Nothing I´ve ever felt before in my life. I didn't know what was happening. ´´ And with a smile he added, ´´I was totally lost´´. That was a really cool experience because I could really tell that he had recieved that burning witness from the Holy Ghost. He went to church yesterday, and said he plans on continuing.

Being a Missionary is the coolest thing ever,
Love you all, bye!"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brazilian Money Dosn't Have Dead People On It

This week was a week.
In Santa Maria a week ago in the mission office I met a Sister Draut, whose parents apparently work with Grandma and Grandpa at the Institute every day - small world.

Another fun experience, its always fun when you are teaching a lesson and the guy busts out his pouch of tobbacco and his fancy cigarro paper and starts rolling it up.

Also we were just walking the other day, and this guy on a motorcylce slowed down, gave us a bottle of Guaraná and then drove away. Unfortunately they dont really have a word for ´random´like we do.

It is interesting being with someone from another country all day. there are so many differences between the countries. They other day I was trying to explain the concept of "The American Dream" to Elder Martini. But he didn't get it.

I figured it was about time I
said that Brazil money is super awesome. It comes in lots of different colors, and they all have sweet jungle animals on them instead of dead people or old buildings, haha. Also, they don't really have a 1 Real bill. It is very rare, actually against the law to use now, but I got one the other day because people down here in the south don't realize. The 2 Reais bill is basically the equivelent of our 1 dollar, and then they have a sweet coin for 1 Real. Also weird, is that they have a billion types of coins. For example, they have various sizes and colors of the 10 centavos coin.

Today was cool because this morning we played soccer, (can you believe it took me 3 months in Brazil before i finally played?!?) Anyway, it was pretty sweet, we played with some of the kids from our Branch. Playing with them is like a whole different ball game. haha. It was fun though. I scored a few goals and played goalie for a while too.
We are working hard here, there is a lot to be done here. A lot.

Last week I bought myself a sweet Grémio jersey. Grémio is one of the two big teams in Rio Grande do sul. Everyone (literally everyone) likes either Gremio or Internacional.

Well theres another extremely unorganized email for you all, I hope you enjoyed it, love you all, bye!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life in Quarai

Elder Poulsen displays his culinary skills:

Elder Poulsen claims he is in Montana. But we know better!

"Well, this week has been swell. I have been doing a bit of reading around here. I am now in Mosiah in O Livro De Mormon, I started O Novo Testamento the other day, and I am in Psalms in the Old Testament.
Last night we took a 5 hour bus ride to Santa Maria, so that's where I am right now. Elder Martinia has to sign something here or something like that. Whatever. Haha
I bought some sweet Brazilian envelopes the other day because my Americans ones are out. You should be recieving one soon.

I think things are really improving for us around here. We have been working hard trying to find new people, we finally found a family the other day that was really interested. Hopefully things go well!
It is getting HOT around here. Like crazy. Nothing is more fun than walking around in the Brazilian sun all day in nice missionary clothes! Haha!

I was thinking the other day how funny it is when we help people pray, because its just like when we help the little kids learn how to pray at dinner. Haha. And then some people when we ask them to pray they respond, "Oh but I already prayed once today for lunch."

Our house that we live in isn't in our area, it's in the center of the city. We heard the other day that the missionaries of our area use to live in our area, but then they got robbed... haha. Good to know! We also had interviews with President Ribeiro the other day, that was pretty cool. One thing I have realized is that the harder you work, the more you love the Mission.

To be quite honest, the church is fairly weak here. We are so blessed in Fresno to have so many members, you may not realize the difference it makes.
Yesterday all of our plans fell through. that was pretty awesome. Haha, but things worked out. Also I gave my second talk in sacramement meeting. I gave my first a month ago, I dont know if I told you. Also, yesterday was the big rivalry gameday for soccer. Internacional and Grémio, the two big teams here in Rio Grande faced each other.
Well I hope everyone is doing awesome!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Read Conference Talks

"Well I have already been here for one whole transfer! How did that happen so fast!?!?!

I remembered this story the other day. At our Zone Conference, this Elder asked about the shaking of the dust from your feet as condemnation upon those who reject the gospel, and my President was just like, "No, you dont want to do that." He said he had a companion on his mission who had done it. Wow. He said you should'nt do it unless the spirit clearly and strongly tells you to do it. And then the Elder said, "So how do you do it?" And our President wasn't going to tell us, and the Elder was like, "But what if the spirit tells me to do it and I'm just sitting there thinking, HOW!?!?!" Hahah it was way funny.

There are like a bajillion dogs here, like I've said, and they are frequently just laying on the ground sleeping, and so we always joke that they are dead. But the other day, we saw a dog that really was dead. No doubt about it... haha

We frequently ask people for water, especially when we are door contacting and people don't have time. And the other day, I drunk out of the dirtiest cup of all time. It was horendous. Some people just don't really clean their dishes around here and it's not like I can just say, "oh, just kidding, actually I don't want it."

The other day this kid was riding a skateboard by the church and I totally did a kickflip on it. It was the most lixo board I have ever ridden. It like didn't even roll and didn't have grip tape. Every time I moved on it i could hear it crack a little more. Haha. Then I was talking to my companion, who is from Sao Paulo, and he brought up Bob Burnquist, and I said, "He used to live in your state, but now he lives in mine, haha"

Yesterday we did a lesson with a guy that was like almost a Pastor apparently. He knew a lot of scriptures from the Bible, and prayed really funny.

Lots of people comment on my eye color here because nobody has blue eyes.
Things are going pretty well here. there is a lot of work to do.
Elder Marx and I made American pancakes for lunch last p-day. They were deliciously awesome. We had to make syrup out of this weird maple immitation concentrate though. But Doce de Leite is super delicious on pancakes.

I think this week we might be buying a Tatu to eat (no Dad, not that Russion Technopop Band). You can look that up if you want.
Portugues is coming along, it's pretty awesome to be reading O Livro de Mormon.
Brazil just did the time change, so i am now 4 hours ahead of you. Which means I wake up at 2:30am California time, and go to sleep 6:30pm. Weirdness.

Well I hope everyone is having a good week and doing everything you are supposed to be doing (seriously, read conference talks)"

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Picture You Have All Been Waiting For

"Well this was an excellent week. I sent some super good letters last week so hopefully they arrive soon.
Well I have somewhat established a morning routine, wake up at 6:30 ( Seth remember, every morning when you wake up for seminary, remember that I have already been awake for 3 hours, ha), do some push ups and sit ups, then take a shower, then some breakfast, then sing a hymn, and read some conference talks and then O LDM.

In the last week or so, have really realized the great importance of Conference, and specifically Conference in written form. We always download conference on our ipods and tell ourselves we are going to listen, but never get around to it. It is awesome having the magazines because you can start and stop easily, in small portions or big, and mark parts you like. I have been reading a lot of Conference discourses lately, and they are really awesome. If we followed all the counsel therein, we would be set. It is of course awesome to listen and watch conference when it is broadcasted, but when we read it again afterward, we learn and apply like twice as much. And because of this, I challenge each of you, my family, to read at least one Conference discourse a week. Get the magazine, and read it in a queit place. It doesnt take long, like 5 minutes. Some hat I recommend are the discourses by Elder Holland, Elder Mcallister, Elder Bednar, and Elder Ballard from Oct 09 Conference, the one Dad, Seth and I went to. This is the Conference I have been reading the last few days. It is way good. Also, I think I'm always going to use the word discourse now in place of talk, its way cooler. In Portuguese they are called Discursos, thats why.

Anyway, this week we had zone conference for 2 days in Livramento. It was awesome to get lots of letters and the package, thanks a ton! We learned a lot in zone conference. It was pretty sweet. We saw some people do capoeira in the street, and Elder Silva Santos joined in, it was way funny. I greatly enjoyed the tape. It was super awesome. It was funny, as I was listening, my brain was automatically transating stuff into Portugues. Haha.

Yesterday was awesome because we had my first baptism! And I got to baptize her so that's pretty sweet, and i didn't mess up at all - first try! Haha. But really, it was a really cool, really great experience, you could really feel it. As you can see, I included some pictures."

Monday, October 4, 2010

"I Love You Alex Dragon" in Brazil

Elder Poulsen included a picture of his desk this week. Featured, is his binder with his favorite picture ever on the front. (Boone was the artist)

" It's weird that it will start snowing there soon because its starting to get really hot here. I learned a fun thing the other day, as cold as everyone says Santa Maria is in the winter, I was told there happens to be a hole in the ozone above my mission. Well that's handy. Can´t wait till summer.

That's awesome about Chris, I hope he is well, and I hope my letter that I sent to him like a month ago has somehow found it's way to him.

Here's what I usually eat-
Breakfast- 1 or 2 bananas, chocolate milk or Tang ( they have bastante tang around here, pretty awesome, reminds me about being 5.) and then doce de leite ( like carmel but more milky and delicious) with maria crackers ( this sugar cracker thing) yummy. Breakfast isn't a very big deal around here because of...
LUNCH! - we usually always have this at a member's house.
Lunch is the main meal of the day here. Usually beans and rice, and then meat, pasteis, these things that they call pankakes but are actually just enchiladas (ridiculous i know), guaraná, salad ( that usually means just a bunch of dark green lettuce and no dressing) and all manner of deliciousness.
Dinner- Nothing!
Well, usually nothing.
Well, pretty much always.
Then when we get home we usually eat something little. For me that usually means just about the same as what I have for breakfast. Doce de leite and crackers... yum.

We went to Livramento this week for Zone Meeting and are going this coming week for Zone Conference. It is another border town 1 hour away and it is 1 billion times bigger than Quarai. We have 4 missionaries in all of Quarai, they have like 16 there. The border there is cool because its all basically on city, and the border bisects a park.
I am currently reading the Livro de Mormon in portugues. I should finish 1 Nephi tommorrow. I am reading it all outloud to help my pronunciation. I can understand most of it, but some of the words my companion doesn't even know. Haha

This one guy we taught was super into ham radio, I didnt know this, maybe Dad does, but when you make contacts with random people across the world, they usually send post cards to each other with pictures of them or something, so this guy had tons of post cards from all over the world from people he had contacted, some from CA, pretty cool. Our investigator Ana has quit smoking, her baptism is on Saturday!

General conference was awesome. I got to see pretty much all of it... in English! Me and the other American Elder watched it together in a seperate room. For the Preisthood, this Brazilian watched it with us that served in Boston. There are 2 Portugues branches there. He said that guy Pres. Monson talked about, who played basketball and teaches at Harvard, is like the best member missionary ever. He has lessons at his house with the missionaries like every week with super smart people, you know, Harvard people. He said usually only the APs got to teach there. Haha.

Also I learned something way cool, the General Authorities who speak portugues ( and I'm sure other languages too), like Elder Neil Anderson, and Elder Richard G Scott, record themselves giving their talk in Portugues beforehand, and then during Conference, they play that in the Portugues places, pretty awesome!
Also, the hours were wierd becasue of the time difference. The priesthood session ended at like 11pm for us. Us missionaries got to stay up a little past our bedtime... hahaha. Also, afterward I was thinking Seth, Connor and Dad were probably going Red Robin or something right then, as is custom.
Also, I got to catch the end of Music and the Spoken word on Sunday, I really liked it.
Tell Elder Lawrence that his voice was heard in the tiny little town of Quarai, Brazil. I really liked his talk. It was awesome. And I told all my missionary friends that I knew him."

Monday, September 27, 2010


"Well this week we marked my first baptism. The girl, Ana, that I told you about last week, she has just been tearing up the Book of Mormon. In the past week she has read up to Mosiah, and other stuff we have marked. She had a problem with smoking, and told us that she couldn´t smoke while reading the Book of Mormon. AWESOME. She has almost quit smoking and a week ago she smoked 1 1/2 packs a day. Her baptism is scheduled for 9/10/10.

This week also a dog tried to pee on me, and a kid gave me a giant die. There was some thunder the other day and it reminded me of the time like a year and a half ago when there was this super awesome monster lightning storm and Connor and I watched it from the roof. Lightning storms are awesome.

Also, we have been teaching this other lady and she has really been liking the lessons. She came to church on Sunday and liked it, I'm almost positive she will be baptised too.
Speaking of church, we finally got some people to come to church. The first week, we had none, 1 less active the second, and then this week we had 3 less active families and 2 investigators. FINALLY.

This week we had lunch at the house of a lady who didn't speak Portugues or Spanish. She spoke Portanhol. Seriously. She wouldn´t stay in one language for more than a sentence. She was just weaving in and out. Quite funny. I could understand most of it though.

Everyone wears flip flops here, even inside, because it is often dirty inside.
I have been recognized multiple times as have the same last name as a jogador de futebol. There's a player named Christian Poulsen, as I'm sure you remember. Has Chris reported to the MTC yet?

I pretty much always have blisters, thats pretty awesome.
Our ward mission leader is crazy, he is really weird and funny. Like, beyond weird. He always calls me Americano Trunky. I think he probably calls all the American missionaries here that. haha!
You know someone has money here if they actually have a shower curtain or something. For most people, the shower is just a shower head and a drain in the bathroom, there is no seperation from the rest of the bathroom.

I'm at this werid thing right now where I am starting to be uncomphortable speaking English because I don't speak it very much. As you can see I just misspelled uncomfortable. Also, they make things like enchiladas here, but they call it pankackes. Ridiculous.

Yesterday I gave my first talk in Portugues. It was about 10 miuntes long. Also, I gave my first blessing in Portugues the other day. I had been planning on doing the annointing, the easy part, and then Elder Martini told me I was doing the sealing, the hard part. haha!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where to find a Japanese Recorder

Today we got an email from Elder Poulsen with a bunch more pictures. Yeah! It is so fun to see him in his element! The first picture is of him standing in Brazil with Uruguay in the background. The second one is of him in an investigator's house fixing/playing their guitar. Lucky Alex! The last one is of him and his companion at the Uruguay border.

"Ahora, Yo Estoy en Uruguay, Agora. Eu Sou em Uruguai, Right now, I´m in Uruguay.
There it is in three languages!

Last week, in Uruguay, an American missionary, serving in Brazil, bought a Japanese made recorder, in a bag made in India.
That was me.
The first thing I learned to play was the Hobbit song from LOTR. Yea.

Lately I have been eating alot of Goiabada, basically this jam stuff made out of Guava, and Doce de Leite, which can´t be compared to anything. It's just awesome and delicious.

The border of Urugay is basically just a big river, you just walk over the bridge, and you are in Uruguay.
I have been reading a lot in Portugues, Nosso Legato, which is the Book, Our Heritage a History of the Church, and I´m going to start o Livro de Mormon once I finish it in Ingles.

Yesterday a sister in our branch told me that my Portugues is better than that of my companion's old companion, who had been out for 4 months. Good for me, or just really bad for him...

Yesterday was some gaucho holiday. Like everyone was out on their horses in the street, all dressed up. On any given day, if something is coming down the street, my first guess is a motorcycle, then horse, then car. Also, everyone and their dog has five dogs here. There are a bajillion. Most of them are probably homeless.

Here's a cool story:
This house we go to (the house of brick the size of my bedroom, it's in the pictures I sent of me playing guitar), 2 of the kids are members, and we have been teaching the mom, also, their cousin living there.
She is 18 and has a child that can walk. The first time I saw her, she was dishelved, smoking, and sipping chimarrao (a hot drink here) in a corner. Earlier this week, we stopped by, and taught just her. It was really good. It was the first time we had really been able to teach her. The other times she was always in another room or something. We gave her the Book of Mormon and told her to pray about it.
She read the part twice, prayed, and felt really good. The next time, she started reading from the begining, and we didn´t even ask her to! Well I must go, story in progress."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cobblestone Roads Kill Your Feet

"Então, this week was very interesting. So we went to the Sao paulo airport in the morning of the 7th, and waited for a while. I almost died in the airport because they were playing ads for Rush´s upcoming shows in Sao Paulo over, and over , and over again. but it's okay. Haha, then we flew to Porto Alegre. When we were getting on the bus to go to Santa Maria, the missionaries going home got out, and one got exited when he saw my nametag, and started telling me he was my grandpa. I was confused at first, but Dad will tell you this means that he trained my trainer. Anyway, then we had a 5 hour bus ride to Santa Maria, met the President, went out to dinner, all that stuff. Then we went to the secretary's house, were there were about 12 old bunk beds in the garage, and all us new guys and our trainers slept there. In the morning we got up, had breakfast, talked to the President more, and then went to the bus station for everyone to leave to their new areas. Mine is Quarai. Right on the border of Uruguay. Anyway, it was then that I found out the next bus to Quarai didn't leave until 8pm, and we wouldn't arrive until 1am. I thought they were joking at first, but no. So my day ended up a lot different than most peoples first day.
I went and hung out with the secretaries, and got to see how the mission office works a bit. I also got to play some old guitar that is in the mission office that was some missionaries, that was sweet. Then one of the secretaries asked me if I wanted to go have lunch with him at the President's house. So we went over to the President's house, and I had lunch with Presidente Ribeiro, his wife, the two APs, and one of the secrtetaries. Who does that their first day? Anyway, eventually my companion and I got on the bus. Got there at 1 in the morning.
My companion is Elder Martini, a Brazilian from Sao Paulo, and he doesn't speak English. One thing I have learned in the past week, is that you don't actually start learning your mission language until you get in the field. Well, kinda. I actually do know a lot of Portuguese, and can talk to people, but there is just so much vocabulary and stuff I don't know.
Quarai is a very interesting place. I would place it as a strange mix between Eastern Europe and Mexico. Most of the people we have been teaching live in houses the size of our kitchen that are made out of cinder blocks. Their floors are usually concrete with maybe an old rug. Tell the kids to be grateful.
Because it is on the border of Uruguay, lots of people here are actually from Uruguay, and there is a lot of Spanish here. Once we had clapped at some lady's gate (that's what you do here, you don't knock) and then Elder Martini told me that, this lady spoke mostly spanish. Sweet. Haha. This has not been an uncommon occurrence. But I can understand the Spanish just about as well as I can Portugues.
A little later today we are going to go to Uruguay. Pretty sweet. Their national currency is the US dollar. Pretty funny, huh? I guess its because the US bailed out their government one time or something. Apparently electronics are really cheap there, so I'll probably buy a cd player, and I think I'm also going to buy a recorder (the flute thing), because my President said it was okay to have one.
This area has about a bajillion less active members. We encounter them all the time while contacting. We have been working hard trying to get them to come to church. My area covers one Branch, but if even half the inactive people were active, we would have a ward. So that is kind of the long, long term goal here We live in an apartment more towards the center of the city with the two other elders in Quarai, Elder Hanks, and Elder Santos Silva. This consists of our district. A lot of the roads here are cobblestone. They look cool, but they kill your feet!"