Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mom and Dad Come to Santa Maria!

(written by Mom)
It was tricky business getting from the airport in Santa Maria all the way to Livramento without knowing any Portuguese!  But we did it.  Then we had to talk on the phone to find each other on the street and I couldn’t help but cry from joy at seeing my boy.  
Right away he took us to go eat churrasco with some members.  Then we went to the church building where we got to watch him teach an English class.
  We checked out the ‘missionary pad ‘ which was about as bad as you would expect it to be.  

 (not sure how many days this had been left sitting on the stove)
And then we went with him and his companion to teach a family.
We left Elder Poulsen with his companion at his apartment for his last night on his mission

And we stayed in our hotel.

Sunday morning we went to church and got to meet some of the people that Elder Poulsen had been working with.  We were invited to dinner at one of the member's house.

We stopped for a picture and a view:

And then we took our boy and drove to Santa Maria.

We went to the Mission office and were able to see where Alex worked while he was AP.  We had lunch with a whole bunch of enthusiastic missionaries and walked around Santa Maria.  

In the evening, we were able to go the Mission Home and meet President and Sister Ribeiro.  They took us out to a fabulous Churrasco dinner and then we had a special testimony meeting with all the missionaries that were going home and the parents that had come.  About half of the missionaries had parents there. 

This was a very memorable experience and definitely one of the high points of our trip.  We were so grateful that the Ribeiros allowed us to be a part of it.  

In the morning we drove to Santo Angelo to have lunch with Gelsom and Judite.  What a wonderful family!  So much peace and love in their simple home.

Next we stopped and visited the Jesuit ruins of Sao Miguel.  They were beautiful and fascinating. 

Then we drove to Cruz Alta and had dinner at Patricia’s house with lots of ward members.  They were so happy to see our son.  It made us proud. 

In the morning we stopped by the Cruz Alta district meeting then we went to visit the Erico Verissimo Museum.

Then we drove back to Santa Maria 

to visit with Alex's converts there.  We saw Laura:
and Victor and Rafael:

Then we went to have Churrasco at Alexandre and Luciano's House.  What a treat!  And what sweet people.  Alex was able to be such a blessing in their lives.  I'm sure they will always stay in touch.

Next we traveled from Santa Maria to Iguacu Falls.  We had to actually get on a plane and fly there - driving would have taken too long in our limited time frame.  When we got there we checked into our hotel, had some dinner and wandered around a bit.

We spent a beautiful day at Iguacu Falls as well as the neighboring Bird Park.  I finally got Alex to put on some non-missionary clothes (he felt strange).  It is impossible to show how truly amazing, vast and huge these falls are with pictures.  

We flew home!
Where there were some unique driveway illustrations to greet the newly arrived missionary!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Well, last email home :0

Well, this week there's not much to say other than, "See you soon!"

I spent most of my email time trying to figure out Mom and Dad's visit
here, but I´ll tell you a bit about my week:

On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in a division with Elder W. Silva, who
is from Fortaleza.  I worked in the ward, Jardim Europa. We worked in a
super far part of the city called Wilson. It was like the country
At the begining of the week it got a little hotter and then it RAINED
a lot, so much.   And also lots of Thunder.  It was pretty cool.
On Saturday we taught English class in the chapel.  That was really
cool.  Mom and Dad will get to participate in our English class next
Then on Sunday our ward got a new bishop, Bishop Paulo.

Well, see you all soon!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Temple Dedication This Week

This week was the dedication of the Brazil Manaus Temple, which is way
up North in the Amazon, but all of the stakes in Brazil watched the
dedication.  It was really cool.  Also, we watched the cultural show that
they do beforehand.  It was really awesome - lots of cool music and
dances and stuff from Manaus.

It was really inspiring to see them talk about how fast the church
has grown there. The church started in Manaus not even 40 years ago,
and they have a a temple there already!

It's extremely weird to think that I have only 2 more weeks of work - really louco. 
But I want to do all I can in these last two weeks, and
give it all I´ve got.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Word of Poulsen Family Scripture Study Makes It To Brazil

This week we did an AWESOME ward activity. We did a ward talent show,
and it was really good.  It really brought the ward to life. Lots of
people came and it was really great. It strengthened greatly the
friendship and bond between the members.

Elder Hormazábal was the announcer, it was great, and I played and
sung a song I wrote that was an extended metaphor for missionary work,
everyone in the ward loved it and said that I should be professional,
haha. All of the ward participated with something different.  It was
awesome. The super awesome part was that the couple we are teaching,
Joni and Anahi came, and liked it a lot.  They were very well recieved
by the members.  They said they would definitely come to church on
Sunday, but very unfortunately didnt come! That was a bummer.
But also some inactive people came, felt loved by the ward, and DID
come to church on Sunday, so that was really awesome.

Speaking of church, this week was STAKE CONFERENCE with.... Elder
Carlos Godoy of the First Quorum of the Seventy!! It was way good. The
Stake Center here in Livramento is very small, and so we ended up
standing.  There was literaly NO SPACE at all.  We also had a fun
surprise.  Our Bishop, Marcello, was called to be 2nd Counseler in the
Stake Presidency, so we don't have a Bishop any more!  Elder Godoy
talked for about 40 minutes.  It was really good. He talked about the
importance of Seminary, appropriate dating, and good parenting, and
shared many instructive and funny stories from his own life.

And Mom, and Dad, something you will find interesting:  You were talked
about in the Priesthood Session of the Stake Conference. I wasn't there,
but various members told me this. In President Ribeiro´s talk, he told
all of the Priesthood leaders here that the missionaries here are
really good and stuff, and then apparently he told them of an
experience that I had shared with him about family scripture study.  He 
told all the Priesthood leaders that I had great parents that read
the Book of Mormon with my brothers and I and that I would be
finishing my mission soon, and I had another brother who would soon be
serving a mission! Then the next day on Sunday a few of the Stake
leaders came up to me and said, "oh so you are Elder Poulsen", haha!
So, good job Mom and Dad.  Keep it up!