Tuesday, August 31, 2010

English Fasts and Other Fun Adventures

"Well, Spanish is super weird now. Whenever I try to remember it, it seems really really weird. But when I get back it should be really easy to relearn. I also want to learn some French and Italian. It shouldn't be too hard.

Last week we had some fresh Acai juice, it was really good. I'm over halfway through Jesus the Christ, I've had to superglue the binding multiple times. I'm just reading it too hard i guess. Haha. It is kinda funny as a missionary how much more interesting and awesesome ties and scripures become. We are always talkig about it, ´´ ooh Elder so and so has those nice bonded leather ones... etc.´´ Haha!

Soo... on 8/27/10 we went out proselyting in the Centro de Sao Paulo, downtown basically. We talked to a lot of people, it was really cool. One lady even gave us a pamphlet from her church, haha. Then after that, we were innocently walking along, and decided to talk to a guy who seemed to be reading something. Turns out it was the Bible and he was not very interested in hearing about the Book of Mormon. Turns out he was interested in telling us why it was fake. He really liked phrases like ´´Where is the book of john/matthew/you name it in the Book of Mormon?´´ or ´´Where is Mormon in the Bible?´´ It was quite frustrating. And then, of course, a ton of other people came over and were talking to us, one guy pulling out a bunch of scriptures from revelations, and I was just thinking, ´´Heck, I don't even understand this in English!´´ It would have been one thing to talk to these people in English, but Portugues? Ooh, another fun part, the guy told me I wasn't a messenger of Christ because I wasn't automatically completely fluent in Portuguese through the gift of tongues. Haha- anyway. We ended up waisting about a half hour or an hour doing that, we couldn't get away. And then only later did our teacher kindly inform us that we happened to be in the middle of some sort of Jehovahs Witnesses gathering of like 20 people in the middle of the park! Wonderful. Haha. Anyway. Later we did meet this really awesome guy who was like, ´´You guys are the guys who go around the world teaching the words of Christ right?´´ We said" Yea!" and talked to him a bunch. He said he had looked up our church a bit on the internet and he practically grabbed the Livro de Mormon out of my companions hand, and we gave him some stuff to read, and told him more about it. At the end he said, ´´o trabalho de voces e bonito, boa missao´´ roughly translated as ´´the work you do is beautiful, have a good mission´´ so that was cool. And we talked to some other cool people. So this week being our last in the mtc (oh my gosh! :O ) we decided to do an English fast all week - meaning we don't speak any English. It's pretty awesome."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brazilian Roommates and Their Dreams

"So, this week we had to go down to the police station to register as ´estrangeiros´. Also, we got 2 Brazilian roommates. It's cool to have them around to learn a little extra Portuguese. One of them woke up on their first day and said ´´Eu sonhei que minha namorada estava beijando uma outro cara!´´ Haha look it up on google translater or something.

Earlier this week we talked to an Elder whose brother went to Santa Maria, and he got to go down with his parents for a week and a half to pick up his brother. He said he absolutely loved it. It was really cool to talk to him. He said we will probably end up in Uruguay at some point for a bit, and he said they have really good food, lots of barbeques. He also said that due to the fact that there are so many European immigrants there, that there are some little European villages that even hae cobblestone streets! What could be cooler!?!

One cool thing I have been noticing is that there are a lot of Brazilian converts. A lot of them have been baptized in the past 5 years or so. I also talked to a few guys from Cabo Verde (cape verde) who have only been members like a year! I finally met some Brazilian Elders going to my mission the other day, and this guy who works here went there.

One thing I have really been learning is goal setting. Goal setting was never one of my strongpoints, but we do it a lot here. I have decided that after i get back from Brazil, I want to take a class in French and Italian, because after knowing Portugues, I think they would be easy. They all have a lot in common. One weird thing about our teachers here is they don't really speak English well. We are always having to teach them stuff they do wrong.

One crazy part about Brazil is how expensive anything from the US is. Imports cost soooooo much. We saw Puma shoes for 700 reais. Even stuff like m&ms are like twice as much. Then there is stuff like maple syrup, which is crazy expensive here. This Brazilian was asking me the other day if I liked ´´maple and rootbeer´´ I replied 'yes' and he says that he loves them and sometimes his Dad gets them. Sometimes they have pancackes here, and the syrup is basically water colored like syrup that has some sugar in it. So we figured out we have to just butter it, and then pour tons of sugar on it.

Pretty much winter here is a joke. It's like 60 degrees lowest and all the Brazilians have their sweaters on. But it still gets up to high 70s probably. this last year has gone by insanley fast. I can not believe a year ago I started at BYU!"

Elder Poulsen's Dad, Eric, reports the translation: It means "I dreamed my girlfriend was kissing another guy"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Small World!

"The food here is for the most part way better than Provo. Pretty much for breakfast everyday we have rolls with ham and cheese, juice, and then eggs or some cereal depending on the day. Then for lunch and dinner, we have beans and rice of course, some sort of meat (yes literally every lunch and dinner, i dont think there has been one without meat yet) it is usually beef, but sometimes chicken. Then we have various fruits, such as pineapple, watermelon, guava, etc. and then to drink, there is Guarana, the delicious Brazilian soda, and then lots of juices. Fun fact, cashews actually come from a fruit. They are on the top of a cashew fruit. Cashew juice is yummy. Weird huh?

This week, we the CTM choir, sang at a local chapel open house 4 nights in a row. They took pictures and are going to try to get it in the Liahona i think.

It is always really funny to ask Brazilians about Futebol because no matter who they are they always get worked up about it. There are 4 teams in just Sao Paulo.

The other day we were in class and then a bird flew into our window. That was hilarious.

There are two other Elders from fresno here, and i didnt know either of them before, but we know lots of common people. One is Elder Manson from East Stake, he went to University High, and then the other is Elder Mclelland who lived in Fresno as a kid, and then just moved back. He is from Auberry, so his family is actually in our stake. Crazy story - 6 of the 8 guys in my district here went to BYU Provo, and 5 of us lived within like 50 yards - 3 in the same building, another in their ward, and then me. I actually knew 2 of them. One I played basketball with a few times, he was in my district in Provo too.

On saturday we got to go proselyting!!!! We did companion exchanges so i had a Brazilian companion. We walked around for over 2 hours talking to people and handed out some Livro de Mormons. It was cool. My companion did most of the talking, but I was able to say a lot. There were a few old guys we talked to for a while. I understood about half of it... or less. They just talk so dang fast! Haha."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The First Few Words From Brazil

"Wow. So, Brazil is crazy. And their keyboards are crazy. So if i type weird stuff that's why. Sao Paulo is so insanely and unimaginably big. Seriously. Apparantly sometimes it can take up to 2 hours to get from one place to another in this `city´. We went to the temple today. The inside of Sao Paulo temple is gorgeous. One of my faves. It's made of super nice mohagony wood and has tons of paintings and stained glass. Afterward we went to the distribution center and I bought a better bible that didn't have a plastic cover. On the way there and back it was just insane. Everywhere you look, everywhere you are, there are huge skyscrapers everywhere. It is unexplainable. The metropolis is probably as big as fresno county. When we got back we got to go out around the area around the CTM. I bought a new watch because that one broke, and I bought a sweet tie and a sweet Brazilian futebol jersey that has a guarana logo on the front. It was pretty fun to go around and check stuff out. The CTM has been way cool. The food is way better than the Provo food. It actually tastes like it could have come from someone's house. Funny story- I had a dream a few weeks ago that Seth was reporting to the MTC and going to Brazil and I was really confused as to why he was reporting to the MTC when he was only 16. Its really fun to be able to talk to the Brazilian missionaries every day. It is still hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Pretty crazy."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Provo MTC Pictures!

Elder Poulsen was finally able to get some pictures to us of his time in the Provo MTC. He isn't there anymore, but I'm sure he will have fond memories! One of the pictures is of him and some of the guys from his district all pointing to their missions. The other one is of him and his companion, Elder Black, on their first night at the MTC.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Elder Poulsen Has Arrived!

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark