Monday, June 27, 2011


Well here I am in Uruguaiana. It's pretty nice. There's a picture from my house up there.
The weirdest part about Uruguaiana is that it is completely flat. Cruz Alta was absolutely hilly. It took me about this whole week to not get weirded out by it.
We met some excellent people this week.
We taught a recent convert's mom named Deizi. She said that she had read some of the church pamphlets and felt like it must be the right church. She also said that she saw pictures of here daughter´s baptism and felt like it was the true baptism. We taught her and she wants to be baptized.
We found some other awesome people too. But other than that the week was tough. We are both quite new here. I am brand new, and Elder Belnap only has 3 weeks here. That brings me to my next subject, my new comp.
Elder Belnap is a pretty awesome guy. He's way funny. He's fun to work with. He goes home in 2 transfers. We also found out that I know his cousins. They used to live in Clovis. Do you remember the Grigg family? They lived in Clovis a while ago, then moved away, anyway, they are Elder Belnap´s cousins, his first name is Greg.
This week we baptized Luis. He is 15 and the son of a recent convert - a cool kid.
Uruguaiana is going to be a sweet city to work in. I'm in Vila Julia. I'm excited!

Have an awesome week - gotta go!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yet Another Crazy Week!

Livin it up at the Hotel California.. in Brazil...

Baptism of Rafael and Alice

Well, as I stated previously on the phone, this week was crazy. Now let's talk about why.

I spent the whole week in division with Elder Silva, so Elder Marx could get to know the new area.
Tuesday, President Ribeiro came to our district meeting here to help get everything sorted out here, and he then told me I was going to go to Uruguaiana! That was kind of a surprise but also not. I suspected that I would leave.
Then, the next day, Patricia, the mother of Rafael and Alice, got back from her trip to Curitiba (she had been there for 11 days or something) and she was not happy when her kids told her on the phone that I was leaving the city. She was furious as matter of fact. I walked into her house on Wednesday and the first thing she said was, "NOBODY is getting baptized!" So that was kind of a shocker, given that we have had these baptisms marked for the last 3 weeks, hoping, praying, getting excited.
Patricia loves the church, but has a LOT of doubts. But it was awesome. We sat down, and talked, and it proved to me that Rafael was actually way more ready to be baptized than I thought he was. Patricia ws just bringing up a ton of doubts, and Rafael was standing up for the church boldly in every one of them. Wow it was impressive. Rafael's entire family, plus their visitors that were there were like, "are you sure about this?" But he was totally firm. Wow.
So anyway, that showed Patricia that Rafael was ready. Then we just had to take care of Alice. So we shared Mosiah 18, to show how to get baptized, someone jsut have to want to serve God and obey his commandments, and then they will recieve his spirit. Patricia was very doubtful about their readiness, but I felt like I had taken care of stuff.
Then on the next day we came back, and she still didn't known if she wanted to let Alice get baptized. So we started up again. She was just so full of doubts. I tried responding to them all, be then I just decided to teach her the Restoration again, very impromtu. I was very specific about the Apostasy, talking about how without a Prophet, the doctrines of Christ were discussed and changed by men.
One of the reasons she is doubtful about baptism is because she realizes that its a big commitment for her kids, and she had asked the day before, "How would it be before God, if they or I are baptized and we don't follow our whole lives?" We have taught Patricia for a while, so after teaching all of this again to her, I said, "Look Patricia, I'll now tell you how it's going to be before God if you do not accept this. One day after this life, you will be before God, and he will say to you, "Look, I sent Elder Ball, Elder Wiscomb, Elder Poulsen, and Elder Marx to teach you my great message, and you did not accept. My gospel was presented before you, a chance for you to unify and strengthen your family, a chance for you to have a nicer and happier life, but you rejected this chance, and I cannot give it to you again."
As I said these words, I can tell you the spirit was very strong. She understood. Then I said to her, "Patricia, we have taught you so much. you must now make a decision for yourself if these things are true, or a lie. But do not do it, without praying with an extremely open heart." I then talked to her about how the best thing for her to do at this point is to support her kids. I said, "They have made their decision, and they are setting a good example for you. You must support them."
At the end she said, okay, we'll see you at the baptismal interview tomorrow. It was somewhat reluctant, but I won. It was like, "You win this time Elder Poulsen, but I'll get you next time!" Haha. It's a good thing we are such good friends with this family, or none of that would have worked. But yea it was quite the battle. It was a powerful lesson. We had the baptisms on Saturday. All was well. And the confirmations on Sunday were excellent and very spiritual. But anyway, that's more or less why my week was crazy.

***Mom's note: This one totally made me cry!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lots of Pictures of a Tall American!

A painting an investigator made- pretty awesome.

Us with David and his Mom and Stepdad who are also going to get baptized once they get married!

Us with our Bishop.

Our Chapel

Erico Verissimo Museum we went to.

Elder Rodrigues, me, and Elder Martini

Well , this week was a sweet week. On last P-day we finally went to this Eric Verissimo Museum. Have you ever heard of him? He's a famous writer that was born and lived in Cruz Alta. He wrote the book ´´The Time and the Wind´´ maybe you've heard of it.
The other day we did a family night with someone, and we made pancakes for them. They decided to make a meat sauce topping to try in addition to the syrup we made. I refused to try it at first, but it was actually really good! Who would have thought?
Anyway, that was the least crazy part of the week.
On Tuesday the sisters in our zone were robbed. So we had to go down (walking like an hour) to the police station to see how they were doing and stuff, and that basically ate up our whole day. This is the third time in my time here in Cruz Alta that the sisters have been robbed. So President Ribeiro decided to take them out of the area. It was quite a crazy day for us.
Then the next day we had a meeting with President Ribeiro and the Cruz Alta Stake President. The Stake Presedent told Pres Ribeiro that he wants the Zone Leaders to be in 4th ward (that happens to be the ward the sisters are in), because it's the ward that needs to divide to make a new Stake here in this region. So suddenly Marx and I were going to be transferred to the other side of the city, opening up the area the very next day.
Then we called President later, and because of the confusion that it would make, switching houses right now, he decided to postpone the trade until the transfer, next week. That was a relief. Then the next day we organized and did this huge ward activity, that basically ate up the whole day, but it was way good.
This week I had an awesome experience with David. At church he was taking about how much the church had changed his life and stuff. It was so awesome. His mom also talked about how much he had changed. Next week we will baptize Rafael and his sister Alice. Rafael is 19 he is way awesome. I'll tell you more about him next week. I've gotta go!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Well, One Thing I Did Not Do This Week Is Get Hit By a Car!

Well, sounds like another exciting week over there in Fresno. ( did I ever tell you all that Fresno is the name of a famous band here, everyone tells me that when I tell them what city I'm from)

My week here was also quite exiting. This week I did a two day division with Elder L. Silva, and Elder Marx went to Ijui for 2 days. Elder L. Silva is a cool guy, he's from Fortaleza, the other side of Brasil, and he's Indian, or in other words, LAMANITE. It was pretty cool, but he did some crazy stuff, like grab limes off trees and eat them whole. I tried it, but it was quite sour, also the skin was hard to bite, haha.

It's pretty cool here, there are citrus trees ripe EVERYWHERE here. There's orange, tangerine, lime, even cumquat! So we basically just go around grabbing tangerines all over the place and eating them on the road since they are way easy to peel. This week I also learned that avocado is something you can make a smoothie out of , and you can also just pour a bunch of sugar on it and eat it with a spoon. Imagine that.

Then on Wednesday, Presidente Soares, the 1st quorum of the seventy presidente of the area of Brasil came to our mission. Wow that was awesome. He has the potential of being an apostle someday. We had a big meeting with 4/7 of the mission, but beforehand, he had a meeting with us 8 zone leaders that were there. Pretty intense. It was fairly awesome.

Sunday was awesome because David, who was baptized last week, already got the a
Aaronic priesthood, and already went home teaching with the Elders Quorum President yesterday, awesome! He has been reading a chapter a day in the Book of Mormon. He is so awesome. His mom and Stepdad are going to be baptized in a month and a half, they just have to get married ( which takes longer here) and stop smoking.

Also, we visited Rafael and Alice on Sunday. They will be baptized in 2 weeks. They are also awesome. They have been going to church for a while, Rafael just had some doctrinal issues because he comes from a strong Spiritist backround. He is 19, and Alice is his little sister. He basically taught her the Joseph Smith story. Rafael and Alice´s mom, Patricia, will also get baptized soon, she just has to get some problems worked out with her marriage. We showed upon Monday there, and she burst open with a bunch of stuff she had found on the internet about poligamy, and other deep and difficult doctrine. We responded to her questions, she understood, and said, ´´I got really worried and confused about all these things people say about the church, because in the church, I can feel a peace that I can not feel anywhere else in my life.´´

Being a missionary is awesome, be prepared brothers!

*Mother's note: the title is in reference to what his brother DID do this week!