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), guaranĂ¡, 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."