The Brazil Fortaleza East Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
October 2, 2013-2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 66

Dear Family & Friends,

Just a short note this week.

Thanks for the family updates - I will keep praying extra for Jorja. 

My week was pretty normal. It´s going well with Elder Klein, he is a cool guy. We should have a baptism next week, Gabriele. She is the sister of the two that were baptized a few weeks ago. 

As you can see in the pictures, we had a really fun family night with some of the members in Eusebio! Everyone brought something to eat for dinner and we had a spiritual thought and a game afterwards. 

I am learning a lot about following the spirit and this week we had a lot of good experiences following the spirit.

I love you! Thanks so much for all the support and prayers and everything you do for me!

Elder Poulson

lunch at home haah spaghetti rice and eggs!

family night! there were more people there,but a few left before we took a group picture

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Week 65

Good to hear that everyone adjusted to the routine without too much complaint! That's kind of how I feel every Tuesday hahaha. This last week was pretty good, my new companion is Elder Klein. I haven´t taken a picture with him yet, but I'll get one next week. We are getting along well so far! He is pretty easy to live with, cleans up his messes, showers regularly, its going good! 

New Year´s Eve and the next two days were rough because everyone was planning to party, partying, and recovering.  On Sunday, Patricia and Graziele were confirmed, which was great! They even came to church by themselves, which is SUPER rare. 
It´s been pretty uneventful....we´re basically trying to find new people to teach.  We have been teaching a lot of families, and its been going well!

I am super excited for a new year. I can´t believe that I am already in the year that I'll go has really been passing pretty fast, especially after I hit one year. 8 short months and I'll be home!

I hope yall are having a great new year!

I love you!

Elder Poulson

This is one of the paintings Gracie made that I gave out as Christmas gifts - everyone loved them!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 64

It was awesome to talk to y'all on Christmas! i just got a tad homesick haha.  Only 8 more months!
I didn't get transferred, but I got a new companion. His name is Elder Klein and he is from São Paulo. He is a great guy! 

I couldn't send any pictures this week because the computer isn´t working out....but I'll try to send some next week.

This week was good, our two baptisms worked out, Patricia and Graziele. They are sisters. We are teaching the rest of their family as well, so we´ll see where that goes! 

I love you and thanks for everything you do for me! Give everyone a hug for me and then have them all give you a hug for me and then have everybody do a huge group hug! hahaha

I love you!
um abraço,
Elder Poulson

Week 64

December  21, 2014

This is Mitch's letter written to Grandpa Bob & Grandma Rhonda as part of a family Christmas tradition we have had for many years. He spent most of his letter writing time on this, so I asked him to forward it.  It is beautiful.

This year has been the most unique of my life. As you both know, I have been serving my mission. The year of 2014 I have spent entirely as a full time missionary. There hasn't been a day when I haven't ironed a white shirt, done up a tie, and put on that black name tag with both our family´s name and more importantly, our Savior´s name. 
I have learned so much this year, and I am still in the process of learning much more. I would say that what I have learned about the most is the 5 basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through teaching, being taught, and through my own personal study. These 5 principles are Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. The objective of every full-time missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel, through living these 5 principles. In particular, I have come to understand much better the doctrine of repentance and baptism. 

Before my mission, I knew what repentance was, I knew what baptism was, but I didn't 
understand completely why we had to be baptized if we were able to repent. I knew that baptism was important, but I didn't know why.  As I studied, I learned more about the nature of covenants. When we are baptized, we make a very important covenant. We promise to always remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, and to keep the commandment which He gave us. 

As long as we keep this promise, God will give us the company of the Holy Ghost, and promises to cleanse us, to forgive us and forget our sins. Therefore, we can´t have complete forgiveness for our sins if we aren't baptized, if we don´t make that covenant. Covenants with God are essential for our eternal progression. Baptism is our first covenant, and is often referred to as a “gate”. After entering through this “gate” we are able to make other covenants, like when we receive the endowment, and are married in the temple. Without these covenants, there is no eternal progression, and it would be impossible to return spotless to the presence of God and achieve exaltation. And all of this comes back to living those 5 basic principles of the Gospel. 

I have learned so much more beyond a better understanding of doctrine. I have 
learned a lot about who I am, and I have gained a better idea of who I want to become after I return to “normal life”. I would say that what has really defined this year for me has been growing up. I have 
gone through the whole process it seems, from when I first arrived here in Brazil when I practically depended on my trainer for everything, to being a leader in the mission, 
taking care of several other companionship's and missionaries. I have progressed so much since I have left home, and I hope to learn a lot more before I return. 
I feel so blessed to be a representative of Jesus Christ for these two years. It truly is a life changing experience. I am so blessed to have had this experience, which will help me for the rest of my life. Thank you both so much for always being examples to me of how to be more Christlike.
 I love you.

With much love, 
Elder Poulson 

Week 63

December 15, 2014

This week was better than the last one! Gabriel was baptized finally - his sister Raynara was baptized in October and he was finally baptized too! He is a great kid. The other kid in the picture is Alexsandro, his cousin.

This week we started working in a part of our area that we have never entered before! It´s called the Autódromo, because it´s right next to this big old racetrack. Its not too far away from our house, just a 15 minute walk, and there are a lot of good people down there who have never heard of the church! I am excited to get the work going down there. 
Yesterday was good because we had the baptism, but there were a lot of people who said that they would go to church but didn't. To be specific, 12 people, so that wasn't too great.  We´ll keep trying! 

Neto, one of the people that was baptized recently, is having a rough time...he is one of those people who completely changed his life around after he encountered the church. He lived in a city pretty far away from where we are right now, and while he was there he was involved in some bad stuff. He came here and met us, took the lessons and was baptized, completely changed everything. He had a rough week and told us last night that he is thinking about moving back and going back to his old life. We had a good talk with him last night and convinced him to stay here and continue living the Gospel. 
I am super pumped for this p-day, because we have a group of missionaries and members getting together to play football!!!! These last few weeks I've been really missing it, so it will be good to throw a ball around again. 
It´s hard to believe that December is already halfway over! These last few months have absolutely flown by. It´s true what they say about after one year passes, you don´t even notice the next one. I have been in this area longer than any other area I've passed through, and with this companion for a longer time than any other and it doesn't even feel like it. I'm super excited to use skype on Christmas! After this one, only one more call to home before my two years are up!
Hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Poulson

Week 62

December 8, 2014

I tried to send pictures again this week, but the computers in this place aren't recognizing my card reader...I think I might need to buy a new one. So, I have pictures, but i'm not able to send them! Thanks for sending some to me! I love to see y'all! 

This week was really good. We found a whole new group of awesome investigators, and most of them were referrals from recent converts and other investigators. One of the new ones, Geciliene, is awesome. She is 21. She lives way out in the boonies - it's like a 20 minute walk from our house to hers. Where she lives is pretty cool. There are about 8 houses there, and everyone who lives there is family. We started teaching some of them too! I don´t know exactly how many there are, but they told us that a bunch of the family members play on an amateur soccer team, that is coached by, guess who, another family member haha. The team is a big ole family! Brothers, cousins, uncles, etc. 
Another guy we started teaching is Santiago. He is a friend of some of our recent converts, Anderson and Wanderson (the w makes a v sound). Our first visit with him went really well. He is super interested in the Book of Mormon, and is excited to have his own. the way we usually teach the first lesson, we just talk about the Book of Mormon a little bit, and explain that it´s evidence of the Restoration of the Gospel. Santiago was anxious to get his hands on one!
So our biggest difficulty as always, is getting people to go out to church. Like I said, we had a lot of great new investigators this week, and most of them said that they would go to church, but come Sunday morning, it´s easier said than done. Church is about a 15 minute bus ride away, and it´s also in the morning, 9 am, so that makes it tough. But, if what I have been hearing is true, then a branch or group will be opening up here sometime in January, which probably means that it will actually happen in February or March, so maybe I'll be here, maybe i won´t - we'll see what happens. 

So the church has started a new ad campaign called, "HE is the Gift." in Portuguese, "ELE é o Presente." so all of us missionaries have been helping promote it. Find out more at if you speak portuguese or if you speak English haha.
President Fusco has asked us to study a few of the chapters of Preach My Gospel to prepare for Christmas Conference. I have been studying chapter ten, which is about improving teaching techniques. For a couple weeks, I had fallen into the habit of doing more of a presentation to the people we are teaching instead of really teaching. So this week with my studies, I have been able to improve on that and be more interactive, which really helps the people to understand better.
We had and awesome testimony meeting in church yesterday. The Spirit was very strong there. 

I'd like to take the chance to share my testimony that I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He is our Savior. I pray that this time of year, we can all think about Him a little more, and a little better. It´s amazing to think about what His birth meant for all of us. That we could live with hope, with the promise of eternal life if we keep the commandments. I know that if we do the things that Christ asks of us, we will have happiness in this life, and eternal life in the next one. I know that God lives, and that He loves us and that He sent is Son to die for us, so that we too can be free from sin. 
I love you! I hope that you have an awesome week! 

um abraço,
Elder Poulson

Week 61

 December 1, 2014

This week was pretty good. On p-day I took a great nap. Tuesday we did a companion exchange, and I went to Elder Kennedy´s area with him. We got a lot of work done and taught a lot of people. 

Wednesday was our district meeting, and I gave a training on making baptismal dates, and on helping people to understand the message of the restoration better. Then we did some practices with asking people for referrals. It all went pretty well and we got some good work done the rest of the day. We have been teaching the brother of one of our new members. His name is Gabriel, and his sister Raynara was baptized in October. He was supposed to get baptized yesterday, but it didn't work out, so we rescheduled for next week.

We started teaching a guy named Luis, who is really good. He is evangelical, but he has an open mind to the message of the Restoration. We weren't able to talk to him much this last week, but he said when he receives an answer from God that the church is true, that he will be baptized. 

We did a service project for an inactive member here this last week. Her name is Iranilde. We took the tiles off of a part of her roof that she wants to re-do. It was good, and we got it done pretty quick.

So Thanksgiving came and went and it was basically just a normal day. Except that my companion told me Happy Thanksgiving haha. 

I am doing pretty good, everything is pretty routine for me. The time is going by really fast. It´s hard to believe that Christmas will be here soon! Just a few more weeks! I can´t wait to talk to y'all! 

I hope you have an awesome week!

Elder Poulson