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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 30

Hello everyone! I have so many cool things to tell you this week!

First of all, early in the week, my companion, Elder Oliveira, got a foot infection, so we went to the foot doctor two or three times and he couldn't walk for a few days. So, we did a lot of studying this week.  Nothing really exciting happened until Saturday. Our zone sang the Portuguese version of the hymn "Abide with me 'Tis Eventide" at a stake activity, and we had a few practices throughout the week for that, and that was pretty fun. 

On Sunday morning we were doing what we normally do, picking up investigators for church but no one was really feeling it. At one house we stopped by, there was a group of guys drinking next door (yes, at 8:30 in the morning). One of them started asking us questions, and as missionaries, that's what we do, so I started answering.  He asked us if we were from around here, and I said no, I'm an American, and my comp told them that he was Brazilian.  We went on our merry way to church, without any investigators. As we were turning onto the street where our chapel is, this guy runs up behind us with his hand under his shirt like he has a gun (he didn't) and starts yelling. It took me a minute to pick up on what was happening (I'm still new here) but I finally picked up that he wanted the cell phone. So he took it and ran off - in the very street of our chapel, people!  So we went a day without a cell phone. No worries, we picked up a new one at the mission office today. Anyway, we're pretty sure that guy was in the group that we saw earlier. We went to church and I gave a talk which was 100 times more scary than getting robbed, for the record haha! But I prepared for it, stood up and started, and before I knew it, 15 minutes had passed! 

Our prep day was a bit of an adventure too. We got up early to go to the foot doctor for Elder Oliveira again, and the bus took forever to pick us up, and the traffic downtown is really bad Monday mornings. After about an hour on the bus, we got to this street that was completely blocked off because a bunch of construction workers were starting a strike, so everyone had to get off the bus. We eventually found the foot doctor, 3 hours after Elder Oliveira´s appointment.

That's about it for this week....and I'm still loving it down here! Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers! Have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 29

Today at 2:28 PM
This week was a little different...we had a companion exchange for two days instead of one with our zone leaders. It was different, but it helped me a lot. I stayed in our area with Elder J. Souza. He has the J. because half the people in Brazil are named Souza, and the other half are Silva. The J is to avoid confusion with other elders haha.  Elder J. Souza is awesome - he really showed me the potential that this area has. Something that I still struggle with is talking to new people (especially in Portuguese) so finding new people to teach has always been a challenge for me. That's something I will be working to improve on. 
This weekend was a little tough because people were all going out of town, and only one investigator came to church, Paulo. He brought his wife and daughter, and they liked it, so its something!  Next week will be better for sure. 
There is only one week left in the transfer....I cant believe it!  I'm also coming up on 7 months of being out, which doesn't seem possible. It's definitely going by faster than high school did!

My Easter was pretty ordinary, nothing crazy happened. But as we were getting ready to go to church, I was thinking about the last few days of the Savior's life, and as we left the house and started walking, I was thinking that on a morning about 2000 years ago, our Savior left the tomb, never to return again. And as I thought this, I could picture it happening in my mind, and I felt in my heart that without a doubt it is true. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he has conquered death and hell to make possible our return to the presence of our Heavenly Father with those we love. I am so grateful for this opportunity in my life to testify of Him and His divine mission. 
I hope you have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Friday, April 18, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 27

 Dear Family & Friends,
Well, it was General Conference week! There are two times in the entire year when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doesn't have Sacrament services and those are the General Conference meetings held every first weekend of April and October. Many church leaders speak, including the living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. All of the sessions are available to watch live online, and are also broadcast to chapels across the globe. 
All the missionaries in my zone watched at our stake center. There are two other American elders in my zone, and we all got to watch in ENGLISH!!!  And in our own separate room too, so we were feeling pretty special. I can't really decide on a favorite talk, but one of the best was from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the counselors to the Prophet. He spoke about gratitude, and gave a very interesting perspective on it. Look it up on instead of listening to me try and explain it!
So there are 4 sessions of conference, each two hours on Saturday and SundayOn Sunday, in the two hours between the sessions, we had a baptismal service of 6 baptisms!!!  All the baptisms in our zone for this week. Our baptism was Rafael, who is 14. He's pretty funny, it was quite an experience teaching him.
Does everyone know the meaning of the phrase, "Cool story, bro."? If not, ask a teenager. So here in Fortaleza, there are a lot of instances where this phrase can be applied. Because here, people just like to talk. It doesn't really matter what the context of the conversation is, they'll just say what's on their mind. So it can be really hard to keep people focused on the lessons during our visits - haha. It can all begin with a simple question. For example, we were following up with someone after giving them a Book of Mormon and a scripture to read, and an invitation to pray and ask the Lord if it's true. So we get there, say a pray, start the lesson, and Elder Oliveira asks, "Sister, did you read the scripture from the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true?" and she replies, "Well, I was born a Catholic....." and talk talk talk for about 5 minutes. So that can make it a little difficult to teach, but the lessons are always interesting! I love it here!!!!
I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Poulson
Usually I put a scripture, but go watch conference instead!!!
me and my awesome companion!
Three generations of missionaries in the Brazil Fortaleza East Mission:
My dad (the missionary that trained me), Elder Etchichury (seated), Me (standing), my son (the missionary I am training), Elder Oliveira (on the lap of his grandpa).
The Americans watching conference.

outside the fortaleza vs ceará game, which gets crazy