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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 51

Holy cow!!! Gracie sounds so different in the video you sent me! She sounds five years older instead of one! I still cant believe I've been gone for almost a year.  I made a video to send to y,all today, but I am back in a normal lan house instead of the speedy mission office Internet, so it wasn't able to load in time. I was transferred! I sent dad my address - I am in a town called Eusébio, outside Fortaleza. It's pretty good here, I am liking my companion, and I am a district leader, so I am having a lot of new learning experiences! 

I did get the box you sent that had the bracelets, thanks so much! Those missionary mints were funny, I liked them! I got the shirts from Grandpa & Grandma Hales!  The only thing I want to request for my Christmas package is a jar of peanut butter - it's hard to find anything with peanuts here. They don't have lemons, just limes, in Brazil. weird, huh?

My feet are doing great, with no signs of another breakout as of yet.

Sometimes when I think of all the things I need to improve on, I feel a little overwhelmed. I try to focus on just improving Little things. I agree with the quote you sent about most of our problems being in our heads haha! I have definitely noticed that I do that sometimes. I get way stressed about things and make it worse in my head than it really is. That's something I am trying to improve on, especially because I have some more responsibility now.  It will be good practice for me.  This first week in Eusebio was really good, there are lots of awesome people here that we are teaching. The hard part about working here is that it is a bit of a trip to get to church each Sunday, so it's hard to get visitors there.  We should still be having baptisms this week! There are still people who are really great, and will make the sacrifices to be at church, and change their lives. 

um abraço,
Elder Poulson

could you send me the recipe for that banana bread you make??

post-district meeting snack...melted ice cream haha

We have some lizards that live under our washing machine, and sometimes they make an appearance

Friday, September 5, 2014

Week 48

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was pretty good! We spent a lot of time last week trying to find new investigators, and this week we have a lot more people to teach which is great. It means less knocking on doors and more teaching! (here we do more clapping than knocking....everyone has outer walls around their houses, so we usually stand in the gate and clap)  We had 4 people come to church, and we should have at least one baptism next week! Randall, who I talked about last week, is still struggling with drugs. We are doing everything we can to help him out, but ultimately, it´s up to him to make the change. The temptation is really strong for him because most of his friends use drugs as well. We are planning on taking Randall to every single one of the activities they have at church this week to help him out! He is such a good guy, and he wants to get rid of this addiction so bad.

I'm still in the office, and I am the secretary of referrals. I take all the referrals that people send us, and put them into the computer on one of the church´s websites, and I find out the area where the person lives, and send it to the missionaries who work in that area. It's pretty cool, and I have gotten to know the geography of our mission and Fortaleza a lot better. I spend a lot of time on google maps! haha. 

Other than that, the work in our area is going pretty good! I am learning more and more about what seems like everything, every day. If that makes sense....basically, I am always finding out how little I actually know haha. I love being here in Brazil having all these great experiences that help me to learn and grow! I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He loves us, that He is our Savior, and I love being able to represent him here. Thank you so much for the love, support, and prayers!

um forte abraço,

Elder Poulson

Week 47

Aug 25

This week, I officially recovered! Saturday I put on shoes for the first time in about a month. It´s good to be back to normal! My foot healed really fast after I was transferred to the mission office. The new transfer started today, and I will actually be staying here for the next transfer as well. So my new schedule more or less, is to go to the mission office first thing in the morning, do studies there, work in the office until lunch time, come back to the office for a little bit after lunch and then we work in our area like normal for the rest of the day. It´s kind of annoying because our area is about a 25 or 30 minute walk from the office. But I guess its just that much more exercise for us! Like I said, I only started working normal on Saturday, so our teaching group right now is really small. But we have one really good investigator right now, whose name is Randall. He is 18. He is a really good guy, and he really wants to have a better relationship with God. He has had some problems with drugs, but we are helping him to quit, and he has made a lot of progress already. We had a really good lesson with him Sunday night, and he also went to church and really liked it. We had to go to his house and wake him up, and it was kind of a struggle, but he ended up in church! 

I'm very comfortable with the Portuguese language, I can say pretty much whatever I want now, but I'm still trying to learn as much as I can! I'd like to learn another language when I get home as well. I feel like a third language will be relatively easy to learn, now that I have already learned one. 

te amo,

Elder Poulson

Week 46

Aug 18, 2014

Dear everyone,

So like I mentioned a week or two ago, I have got a legendary case of athlete´s foot, and I have been going to the podologist the last few weeks trying to get it taken care of. But it hasn´t really been improving, and I have been using flip flops EVERYWHERE for probably close to a month now (which is what the doctor ordered). So on Tuesday, the 12th, President Fusco came out to do interviews with all the missionaries in our zone. Sister Fusco was there too, and she didn´t like the sight of my foot. So after my companion and I had our interviews, she took us up to Fortaleza to see a dermatologist. The dermatologist gave me a prescription, (don´t worry mom, I am still taking juice plus!) and some creme or something to pass over my foot and said that I couldn´t walk around in the sun for two weeks. As a missionary in Brazil, walking around in the sun is what we spend about half of our time doing….so President Fusco transferred me to work in the office for these next two weeks of “vacation”. I got here in the office on Wednesday, and my new companion is Elder Marrey, from São Paulo. He is the secretary that takes care of all the contracts for the houses that the missionaries live in. What my job is right now is to take care of the referrals that go through the mission office. So basically I’m working a desk job for the moment.

Elder Marrey and I live in the same house as the two other office elders, Elder Silva and Elder Rowell. Thursday night, we all got home, and found that the power had been cut. Somehow, the bill hadn’t been paid and the power company shut everything off. Unfortunately for us, the company wouldn´t send someone to turn on the power on Friday because it was a holiday. If you think America has a lot of random holidays, you don’t know what you´re missing down here. So we were without power from Thursday until today. Luckily, we all had flashlights, so it wasn’t too bad.

Every week, our mission president emails us all a talk or a spiritual thought for us to read. I really liked the message he shared with us last week, from a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the counselors to President Monson.
“Once again the Savior revealed the way. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He did not hesitate. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” He said. “This is the first and great commandment.”  Coupled with the second great commandment—to love our neighbor as ourselves —we have a compass that provides direction not only for our lives but also for the Lord’s Church on both sides of the veil.

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.
When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.”

Something that I am trying to learn here on my mission is to do the things I know I should do, not because I feel like I have to do them, but to do them because I love the people I am doing them for. I know that the Savior has a perfect love for each of us, and one of the things that will make us happy in life is to try and emulate that love the best we can. We will all fall short sometimes, but He will make up for what we lack. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, and that he loves us.
 hope you have a great week, and thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers! You are in mine as well.

Um abraço,
Elder Poulson

Week 45

Aug 11, 2014

So this week was actually a little discouraging for Elder Dias and I. Like I said before, our area is very tiny, only 12 streets.  Sometimes we feel like there is no one left to teach - haha. But the thing that frustrates us the most is when we find someone, teach them, the lesson goes well, the person likes it, we invite them to church, they say they'll go, and then Saturday or Sunday, we pass by their house to confirm with them and they avoid us, or send a friend to give an excuse. I would rather have a door slammed in my face than be lied to. But this isn't all that happend this week, good things happened too. There are a lot of good people here. One woman we met and started teaching, Yuli, was really great. But she was also very very pregnant when we met her on Friday, and she had her baby this weekend, so she has been in the hospital and we haven´t been able to visit her again. We will see her this week though, and continue teaching her. She is a very grateful person, even in trying circumstances. Like I said, she just had a baby, but her husband died just a couple months after she got pregnant, so she is living with her sister´s family. Something she said really impressed companion asked her in our first visit there if she believed that God loved her. She said yes, and my companion asked what ways that she sees God´s love in her life. She responded by telling us about her husband dying, and she was sad about it, but she is immensely grateful for her soon to be born child. It was humbling for me to see such an amazing attitude in such a difficult situation. I know that God lives, and that our family relationships don't have to end with death, that if we keep the commandments and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we can be with our families forever. 

I hope you have an awesome week!

um abraço,

Elder Poulson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week 42

Jul 21, 2014
So like I said last week, I was transferred from Quixadá to Maracanaú. My new area, Jereissati 1, is SUPER tiny. It's only 12 streets, but it's super cool here. There is a mall close by and a whole bunch of cool shops. The ward here is awesome, every missionary who has passed through here says that it's one of the best areas in the mission. So far, I agree!

My new companion is Elder Dias, from Minas Gerais, a state in southern Brazil. He is crazy energetic, and loves American music. He's always singing haha. I like him, he's a good guy and an awesome missionary.

I spent this week pretty much just getting to know the area. It will take some getting used to, coming from an area like Quixadá where everyone wants to talk to you. Here, it's a little different. The chapel that this ward usually meets in is having some reformations done, so we are meeting at another chapel thats waaaaay out of our area until ours is ready, which will be at least three months. It will be a little tougher than usual to get visitors to church, but we'll do what we can. 

Something that our mission has started to do is teach family history. We have pamphlets that have family trees and stuff to give to people for them to fill out, and we tell them about, where you can do your own geneology. I started filling out my own pamphlet to show as an example to people, and its really cool, it's one of my favorite lessons to teach now. 

Thats about all I got this week...I hope you are all enjoying your summer! 

Moroni 7:44-48

um abraço,

Elder Poulson