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!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surprise Phone Call From Brazil!

Elder Poulsen just called from the mission home in Santa Maria. He made it safely there from Sao Paulo and will be headed to his first area of Quarai tomorrow. His trainer is Elder Martini, a Brazilian native. Apparently Quarai is on the border of Uruguay and the missionaries typically go into Uruguay on their P-days. His new P-day will be Monday, so no new e-mail until then!