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!"