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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 26

This Wednesday, I'll reach the 6 month mark on my mission! I have kind of mixed feelings about it...some days, I feel like "oh man, I only have a year and a half left on my mission!!!!" and other days, I feel like "oh man, I have a YEAR AND A HALF left on my mission..." but i really do love being here and serving! 
So this week, we had two baptisms, Talita and Larissa. They are cousins, and I think I talked a little about them last week, but they are super funny. I baptized Larissa, and Elder Oliveira baptized Talita. There weren't many people that came to the baptism, but it was still an awesome experience. So being in my second week as a trainer/senior, some of the stress is starting to catch up to me, and it all seemed to burst out on Sunday. We had about 6 people who said they would come to church bail, our ward mission leader offended an investigator in gospel principles class, and we had forgotten to prepare a few things for the baptism, and I was feeling like I was about to explode. But we finally got to the baptism. after I baptized Larissa, I could feel the Spirit in the room, and all my stress and frustration melted away. So that was a great way to end the week! 

My area is all around the soccer stadium here, Castelão. Yesterday, the two big teams that play here, Fortaleza, and Ceará played each other, and there is a huge rivalry between them. The game started at 4, and so the tailgating was at full swing by around 2, which is the time we had the baptism. It was kind of funny, because after the baptism finished, a whole bunch of fireworks went off! 
After the baptism, we walked past the stadium on the way home, which was probably a mistake....because missionaries are magnets for drunk people. we got out of there before it got too crazy, but 2 or 3 dudes stumbled over to us to shake our hands and jabber something about the game. Our district leader called us as we were getting to the house and told us to stay home the rest of the night because everyone would be partying after the game. So, we stayed home and planned and cleaned. 

I'm running short on time, but that was basically my week! As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!


Elder Poulson

Matthew 11:28
a tree growing in the middle of the street

Larissa's baptism

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 24

Dear Family & Friends,

I am still having issues with my camera uploading pictures, so I'll try and figure it out this week. Its a shame, cuz I have some awesome ones I need to send!!! 
My first week as a trainer went ok...we had two days of training from the assistants with all the other new missionaries and new trainers, so that helped a little bit. I still feel like I don't know nearly enough to be training. My companion is awesome! He's so funny, and he's already a great missionary.  I've been trying to learn the new area and meet all the members and make good impressions and whatnot. The ward (Castelão) meets in this warehouse looking building with a plaque that reads "A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias" slapped on the front. So its kind of weird having church in a building like that, but if the weekly attendance rate goes up enough, they will start building a real chapel. I think it would be awesome to get that started during my time here.

I don't know if I mentioned it last week, but my area basically circles the soccer stadium here, so that's pretty cool. Look it up on google earth!  As far as I know it's pretty safe.
There were no baptisms in my area this week, but I am still close enough to my last area that I was able to attend the baptisms of three people I helped teach all of last transfer, so that was a great way to end the week! Geraldo was baptized, if you remember him, he has overcome a serious addiction to alcohol. Love that guy. And then there were two sisters baptized, Vitoria and Virginia, who are 13 and 10, respectively. They are my adopted little sisters (because I don't have enough already, right?). But this week, we should have 1 to 3 baptisms, all youth age. Larissa, Talita, and Rafael if I remembered right. 

Something funny about my new area, is this one street that is absolutely jam packed with cats. Its smell it before you see it, but the best part is that there is always this old lady going around and taking care of all the cats. So, I learned this week that no matter where you go in the world, you can always find a cat lady. 
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! 


Elder Poulson

James 1:5

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 23

Dear Family & Friends,

So we had a really awesome week, and have FOUR baptisms scheduled for next weekend! We had awesome lessons, and a lot of our investigators made some great progress. I have some sad/crazy news as well....I'm getting transferred! I have been here in Jardim União (Union Garden) for almost 3 months now, and its been really great. But I'm now leaving...the good news is that I'm in the same district, in the Castelão (Big Castle) area. Oh, and one more thing - I will be a TRAINER!!!!  Needless to say, I'm freaking out a little bit. My new companion is awesome, Elder Oliveira from São Paulo, and he's been here for one transfer already, but a missionary is technically still in training for the first 2 transfers, or 12 weeks. But there is kind of a catch....Elder Oliveira's previous companion didn't do the training, so we're basically starting from scratch. I still feel like I could use another transfer or two of training, so prayers that I will be adequate for this are very appreciated! I would send pictures this week, but I'm having some technical difficulties....anyway, have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 22

Dear Family & Friends,

A lot of good things happened this week!  First, I want to brag on someone we baptized a few weeks ago, I think it's been three now. His name is Cristiano, and I've probably already talked about him, but he's so awesome you get to hear about him again. So like I said, he was baptized about 3 weeks ago, and before we taught him, he was an atheist, which is pretty rare for Brazil, honestly.  He is very smart, very curious, and very eager to learn, so our teaching process with him went something like this: we would visit, talk about the gospel for a little bit, give him a pamphlet of the next lesson, come back the next day, and he had already read, studied, and accepted the whole pamphlet, and we just discussed it for a few minutes and answered any questions he had.  He was really open and easy to teach, and he was baptized after two or three weeks. The story doesn't end there!  He has his own copies of the Book of Mormon, Bible, and the Gospel Principles manual, and he has them all laminated and marked up because he studies them like every day!!!!  Not only that, but he talks to his neighbors about the church and introduces us to people. AND comes to lessons with us and helps us teach!  He hasn't even been baptized for a month!!  He used to be atheist, people!!!!  He is awesome - and something else - he used to have this really awesome smart phone, it was really nice, but he sold it so he could have enough money to buy a three piece suit, and he was rockin it at church yesterday!  He also helped us wake people up in the morning for church. The time of our meetings recently changed from 
4 pm to 8:30 am,so some people needed a little extra help waking up haha. So apart from all that, we have 2 baptisms we're working on for this coming week, and we're looking to set a lot of new baptismal dates as well, so wish us luck!

Something funny I found out this week from one of the members, is that the first fast and testimony meeting I was here, which was like my second week, I bore my testimony and unknowingly said "Jesus" with the Spanish pronunciation, not the Portuguese, which is like Jay-soos. but I said Hay-soos. so, kind of embarrassing, but pretty funny too haha. There is a part member family we visit a lot, and they have a four year old named Sofia, and she is always saying funny things. This last week, she asked me how much I weighed when I was born. I couldn't decide which was more funny, the question or the fact a four year old was asking haha.
Anyway, that's it for this week. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Elder Poulson

Me and some Brazilian guys

Another baptism picture...the kid's name is Davi, he was baptized the same day as Cristiano
My companion & I and Cristiano
a cool snake

 a herd of cows in the street :)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Week 21

Yesterday, I have officially been a missionary for 5 months. Some days it feels like I've been gone forever, and other days it feels like I just got here! Anyway, this week was a little slow because right now Carnaval is in full swing. It's kind of annoying, because all the stores are closed, and everyone is blaring their stereos more than normal. It's pretty much every Brazilian's dream to own a big, loud, stereo. For many in my area, that dream has been my annoyance! haha. A couple weeks ago, we had to postpone a lesson because someone was blaring their music too loud. Let me put it this way: the guy was pulling his stereo on a trailer with a little fiat truck. That can be a bit annoying sometimes. 

Despite all the distractions of Carnaval, we still had good things happen this week. Remember Geraldo? He had a baptismal date for a few weeks ago, but it fell through because he started drinking again. He was drunk for 3 or 4 days actually, but we got him back to church yesterday and he's been sober for about 5 or 6 days so we reset his baptismal date for the 22nd of March, when he can hopefully also be baptized with his daughter, granddaughter and grandson who we are currently teaching. So please pray for Geraldo that he will be able to overcome his addiction to alcohol! 

For mom...the water is fine, we buy those huge 20 liter jugs and that's about all I drink unless I'm dying of thirst. I was told I accidentally drank bad water several times, but nothing bad happened, so tudo bem haha. I bought some cool Brazilian flip flops the other day,and I'll be buying some new shoes soon.  We're at the not-so-great LAN house because the good one is closed for Carnaval, so I cant send pictures this week....but next week I should be able to. 

Something funny I found out this week, is that there is a Portuguese word, "pulso" which is really close to my last name. Pulso means wrist, so I found that to some people, I am known as Elder Wrist. There is this one family we visit a lot, and everyone there has started to just call me "Po." Yes, like the teletubby. 
Well, I hope you have a great week!  As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers! 
Romans 1:16
Elder Poulson

Elder Mitch Poulson 
Brazil Fortaleza East Mission, 
Rua Republica da Armenia, 765 
Agua Fria 60821-760
Fortaleza – CE Brazil