Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So.. I can't find the subject line but if I could I would put. 02/27/2012

So.. I can't find the subject line but if I could I would put : "By Small and Simple things are Great things come to pass"

I guess everyone has heard that the Visitor Center has finally opened!! YEAH!!! I love it! It is tiny.. yes, very small, but I cannot believe how much is in there. I could teach all 5 missionary lessons with the resources found in that room the size of my bedroom at home.. What is all this prophet talk going on? ha ha no I have not met the prophet.. but! That might change, the Visitor Center will not be dedicated for a few months, I am thinking in April sometime, and then someone from the general authorities will come down and dedicate it. It will be really neat I am sure.
Anyways we started training on Wednesday and this week has flown faster than any other week.. I wonder if my whole mission will be going this fast. Anyway I wish I could tell you all about the Visitors Center but there is just way too much to tell. I won't lie I was so scared to start teaching in the Visitors Center, people come to us, which believe it or not adds a little more pressure. When we opened on Saturday it was soooo busy.. I was overwhelmed and it was hard to teach anything. We had 681 people come opening day, that is a ton! Especially for this center that is supposed to hold 60 something people at a time. Most of them were members and were coming to get a feel for what it was like and what it had, so we didn't teach very much, most people were just observing. It was good though because almost all of them loved it and said they were going to bring back friends. Which is just what we want. At first I thought I wouldn't be doing much at the Visitors Center because no one wanted to be taught they just wanted to play with the displays and look around on their own. But that all changed yesterday. It was one of those off days where I just didn't feel completely there. I was worried that I wasn't doing any good to anyone.. So I said a prayer. I asked the Lord to please help me to bring the spirit and to do thy will. It was amazing the change after that. I was talking to a member and she was saying that she had a really hard family situation at home. She was a mother and she felt like her kids didn't love her. It was so sad and I cannot imagine a kid not loving their mother. And I really believe that no matter how the child acts, every kid loves their mother, even if they don't always recognize it. We talked about the love of the savior, and how he loves all of his children. I am not sure how the whole conversation went but the just of it was that this gospel is all about love. If our actions don't come from love then they are not of Christ. That is the best message anyone can ever hear is to know that they are loved and important, and sometimes we are the ones giving the love with seemingly little on the receiving side. But I know that if I love, great things come from it! Then we had a few non members come in. One lady was an investigator, she had 2 kids but one passed away from a premature birth. We talked for a long time about the greatness of the gospel and how much God loves us because he gave us eternal families, and really I am not sure there is a greater gift. It was crazy because I knew this lady for 30 min. and I loved her so much, I could just feel how much the Savior loved her. I guess that is what happens as a missionary, you just feel for other people, it is almost like you experience their life with them, it is great and sometimes it is sad but I love it. I love the people, they are so awesome and they have sooo much potential.
I decided potential scares me.. SO many people talk about all the great miracles and things that will come about because of the work I am doing in the visitor center. My problem is not that I don't believe them, but that I do believe them. I know there is so much potential for this Center and that miracles will be brought about, I just get scared that I won't live up to what I can do, or I won't do as much as I can. I know it sounds silly, but it really is a fear of mine. I don't ever want to say "what if I did this".. I want to be able to say "I did all I could", but I am not perfect.. nor will I ever be close, which brings me back to how grateful I am for the atonement. I am so happy that I don't have to be perfect, and that I don't ever have to teach perfectly.. because the savior will make up the rest. I am so grateful for that, because without that the people would get no where.. I really have to bring so little and the Savior does the rest.
Well I love you all very much. I was thinking about you alot this week because we have a film in the Visitor Center called Gods plan and it is all about families. It is funny how much you appreciate something when you are away from it. I am excited to show you all the Visitors Center one day and to watch it together! (even if it is in 10 years). I love you. Have a great week! Choose the right ;)!
Sister Poulson

Weekly funny: We were tracking and a boy who was probably 16 or 17 answered the door, I asked if his parents were home and he said "No they aren't" my response "AWESOME!" ....oops lol I didn't realize how creepy that was till I walked away and Sister Piggot cracked up while calling me a creepo.. I meant for it to be more of a "that’s ok we can still teach you kind of way" Oh well.. Life is good :)!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hola Familia

Hola Familia,

Yes I am still in an English speaking mission! So.. yesterday was Presidents day which meant that the library was closed. But.. don't fret, you just have to wait an extra 24 hours for my email! This week has been pretty good. Missionary work always has it's up's and downs. Sparkle... sadly did not show up for her appointment. But.. It was crazy, because that morning when we were planning for her lesson I had this idea of going through 2 Nephi 9 and putting about a million (poor girl) little side notes describing what the verses meant and the greatness of God and his plan for us. Sister Piggot and I just left her the scriptures and a cute little Valentine and hoped to catch her another time.. but I personally am not to sure if that will happen, but I am not giving up on faith!

I decided that missionary work is awkward.. ha ha it just is! Before a mission I would rarely call people.. now I call people all the time, and I call them twice in the same hour sometimes, that was once a no no. Also.. texting, I personally didn't like sending another text before getting a response but now I text people who don't want to hear from me all the time. But hey.. persistence is good right! Also.. talking to complete strangers.. besides dad I don't know whose comfort zone that is in. Now brace yourselves for the most awkward thing I have done yet on my mission... Sister Piggott and I were tracting when we ran into a boy in his older teens. We gave him our schpiel and then he told us he was atheist, Sister Piggott offered a pass along card, he denied and then we walked away. After he told us he was an atheist I had this strong impression to just tell him that God does exist and that God really does love him and know him personally.. unfortunately as you can see I didn't do that. The whole next day at the Visitor Centers first meeting I could not focus on what I was supposed to be learning, instead I kept thinking about that boy and how I should have just said something. After the meeting I asked Sister Piggot if we could go back to the atheists’ house. She was confused but could see that it was really weighing on me so we went back. I cannot tell you how terrified I was.. I was so scared and there were so many things that kept coming up that would allow me to justify it.. but I knew what I needed to do and I knew that the devil was just trying to make things hard for me (besides what easy thing has ever been rewarding.. it takes effort and it is the hard things in life that teach us the most). Walking up to the door was like walking up to the pulpit to bare my testimony (not anymore.. I get to do that every hour practically).. but it was that weird feeling like my spirit was not in my body. We got to the door and when he answered he looked super confused. He was probably thinking "What the freak.. didn't I just get rid of these girls yesterday". I tried to make it not awkward and told him that as weird as it was I had a strong feeling that I needed to come and tell you that God does exist and that he knows you and not only that but that he loves you. I am not sure if it made any difference at all to the boy, but knowing that I did not fail God was a great feeling and I was filled with so much joy (in other words tears). Yes.. missionary work is awkward but it is so worth it! I realize that if I stop worrying about the "what if they get offended" or "what if I am embarrassed" and think about "what if something great happens" then I will be a lot more successful. That goes for you at home as well!

Want to know something else exciting?! Well.. If you don't I will tell you anyway. Today we went over to a ladies house that we have been trying to meet with for a while now. Not only was she home but she was expecting us! We brought a member with us to the lesson and I cannot tell you how much the spirit did in the lesson... I know that the member that came with us was supposed to be there this day, and the connected great! I could just see the spirit working with them and connecting everything! It was awesome. Honestly, Sister PIggot and I didn't even need to be there. The lady talked the whole time.. which is how it should be :)! She started off by saying that she didn't know if she needed the gospel but she just liked to pray.. then ended with "would it be alright if I go to church with you"! WAIT WHAT?!!!!! We didn't even have to invite her.. we didn't even have to say anything.. she just kept talking and all the sudden the spirit told her to come to church with us! Oh and not only that but to read the scriptures! Goodness gracious.. Miracles do happen! We just have to be aware of them! I loved it! I see great things happening for her. Oh and Lucy and Gucy are doing great. Last lesson was wonderful and by the end I don't know what it was but something told me that they were going to be baptized.. and I don't doubt it! I will keep you posted. It is funny because as hard as the week was the parts that I remember are the good parts!

Tomorrow I get to see the Visitor Center for the first time. It has been completely blocked off and even papered over the windows. So I am excited to see it! I am also excited for how many people will be coming. It will be so nice for people to come to the Visitor Center in a non-threatening environment and learn of the gospel! Also.. less time tracking ;) oh wait.. no complaints!

I love you lots,

Sister Poulson

Funny of the week: Sister Piggot almost broke her ankle. Doesn't sound that funny.. but trust me.. it was!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What a week!
Guess what?! I have been in Oregon for a week now! Crazy right?! But not.. it was a long week but a good one. Tracting is super hard and when my gloves get wet it's impossible to keep my hands warm. Apparently people here just imbrace the rain and umbrellas are a foreign thing. So when we come to doors with an umbrella we are screaming "FOREIGNER" haha. Even though tracting is hard it is super fun. We went to a house that had this sign that said "No Soliciting or.. any other religious nuts" I found it so funny and am tempted to go back and take a picture of it to send home. I guess I am a religious nut.. weird! My companion is super cute and guess what?! She loves to sing. So.. we started this new door approach since a lot of our other schpiels don't work, and we ask if we can sing them a song. Why you ask? Well because I have found that by singing a hymn it is one of the fastest ways to invite the spirit, so even if they don't want to listen to the great most wonderful message that we have they will still be touched by the spirit! :). So you can go tell grandma Annette that I am finally doing something with my voice. (I think that was her that said I need to do more with it, or maybe it was grandma Poulson.. oh well you can tell both ;).)
I have found that it is those times when I am most tired and cold and when it is so easy to give up that that is when the Lord pours out his blessings. Who would have thought that hard work pays off. It has helped me learn to never give up and that NO work is wasted! :). Me and Sister Piggott decided that we were going to go visit some old investigators from past missionaries and pay them a visit. We had set 3 aside that we wanted to go to first. But... for some reason when we started to visit them I forgot about those first 3 and went to another name. The past missionaries dropped these investigators because they could not find their house to teach them again. They must have been super lazy of something because the house (well appartment) was not to hard to find. It only takes asking a few people! So we found the house and it just so happened that they weren't only home but they let us in! We taught the restoration and can I just say that Lucy (the mother) and Goosey (the daughter) are golden! Gucy has been going to lots of camps with the young womens and has a lot of LDS friends. They were both super interested and I just love them! So cute! It is Gucy's 15th birthday today so me and Sister Piggott are going to go drop her off this cute little card and some treats! We have a lesson with them on friday and I am stoked for it! It is amazing how the spirit leads and guides us and knew that we needed to go to that house at that time. I also love that the Lord never forgets anyone! Lucy and Gucy were dropped by the missionaries in 2010 and now in 2012 the Lord still remembers them and brought us to them! I love it!!
But wait that is not all! I got this exited feeling to go to this cute little street. After almost thinking that my feeling was in vain we got to this one ladys house. She was busy and told us that it was not a good time.. but we didn't give up there! We asked when would be a better time and she told us that usually after 8pm but she wasn't making any promises that she would be there. So the next day (yes we are persistent) we went back at 8pm and she was there! Her house smelled of cat and her cat was all up in my face the whole lesson but it was so worth it! (but eww lol) (I will call this investigator Kitty he he) I love that the Lord knows right when to give me a blessing! Believe it or not as hard as tracting is and no matter how many people tell us to go away my testimony keeps getting stronger!
Sorry I keep talking but I have just one more story. Last night we tracted these appartments (if you haven't picked up on it yet we tract a lot... right now this area is dead and hasn't seen a baptism in 2 years... but!!! That will change soon :)!!!) we came to an appartment and a girl probably my age answered the door. She was super cute and even had sparkely eye shadow on! Anyways.. we asked her if she wanted to learn more and she said yes! No hesitation or anything.. it was funny but we are so used to hearing no that when she said yes we didn't know what to say. But we got a return appointment and I am so excited to go teach her! She is so great!! We will call her Sparkles!
Anyways the members are super nice and mom you did say that you wouldn't love me if I came home 300 pounds, but I am sorry you are still going to have to love me! :)
I am super stoked about selling all the cars and I have to admit that I almost cried when you said that you were not doing the Coffee shop! YEAHHH!!!! This church is so true and anything we can do to help people come closer to Christ and closer to the gospel is great in Gods eyes. Even though it was just a coffee shop you are staying strong to what you belive and I promise you that you will be blessed for it! I love you all so much and I thank God every single night and sometimes multiple times through out the day for giving me my great family! I also just want to say thanks for raising me in the gospel! even though when I was little and didn't always understand the greatness of the gospel, the standards and the commandments have helped me to live a life that I am happy with. I have seen people without the gospel and how sad some of the choices thay have made have been, only because they didn't know about the blessing that we get from the commandemnts. I love that the scriptures say "If ye love me keep my commandments" and then by keeping the commandments we are not only happy with the choices we make but we are dumped on with blessings! God really really loves us! I am so grateful!
Much love,
Sister Poulson

Funny of the week: Me and Sister Piggott were teaching Lucy and Gucy the restoration lesson when my companion said "Grove of CHEESE" try not to laugh when that happens! I can tell you that it was hard but we mannaged to keep the spirit there!
Sister Piggot: Hey Sister Poulson what time is it? Me: Oh it is four zero (pronounced oh) ten...!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm in Oregon!

So what?! No email from you all this week? You think a phone call at the airport is good enough... well I disagree lol. I hope all is going well at home!
I landed in Portland Oregon safely, but I figure you already knew that considering President Morby took like 10 pictures and said they were going to be sent to my parents! It is cold here, but not as cold as in SLC, but still cold lol. My companions name is Sister Piggett! She is super cute, she slightly looks me ;) jk. We started trackting yesterday and can I just say that it is hard... I feel like a sales woman and I don't like feeling that way. People just look at you and don't even let us finishing saying what we have to say when they cut us off and shut the door. I know that if they just got to meet us or talked to us they would like us, I think we are pretty fun girls! But it's ok, I kept telling myself that even though there weren't many people interested that I was where I needed to be and I couldn't be disappointed in myself. It was sunny though so I was happy about that, I can't imagine trackting in pouring rain but I guess I will know soon enough! Apparently the weather is surprisingly dry for this time of year, but I can't complain. We eat dinner with members every night, and my thoughts of possibly loosing weight are already shot down the drain and we only ate with one member so far. She decided to give us the largest steaks... but that wasn't even our dinner ha ha she is older and we went to visit her at a retirement center type of place (similar to the one Grandma Annette used to work at), we orded our food and then she requested some steaks that she purchased for us and then there was the appetizer. My poor tummy ha ha maybe they think we eat like the elders but they are surely wrong! But they are super nice. After trackting it is nice to meet with members who love the gospel and remind me of why I am out here, because the gospel is really a great thing to families.
Later that night we taught an inactive family. We watched the restoration video and then discussed it. I think it well except we realized that we needed to find some activities for the children as well, so that is our next goal. There is a baptism on the 11th and I haven't met the girl yet but I get to go and be a part of it! I like my mission presidents. They are really nice and parent like.
It is harder than I expected.. but it's all good. It will all be worth it in the end! I love you guys so much, and miss you now more than ever. My companion is super sweet but she likes talking about her former companions, which is cool but makes me feel like I need to try harder to be more like them. But I don't,I think I am a fun girl.. and we will have lots of fun times together.
I am super excited for the Visitor Center to open. After trackting I realise that it will be so nice to only do that half day and then have people come to me at the Visitor Center. I am guessing most of them will be members but that is still fun. I can still teach them something and help them to lift where they stand. I realise that the members do a lot. Just by being friends and examples. If every member lifted where they stood there would be no need for missionaries. People like listening to people they trust and are friends with more than strangers. Members really can do a lot. Don't forget it, you all are super important. Share the message whenever you can! I know it is scary, but you also know how great the gospel is and how much it has blessed our family so don't forget that you are doing it for their own happiness. It is ok to be brave! Fear God more than the world!
It is super pretty here! Feels like California but some of the neighborhoods look like Pennsylvania ha ha. My P-day is usually monday but since there were transfers yesterday ours got moved to today. We are going on a hike with our district, it should be fun. I can't wait till I don't feel so new lol. I love you guys millions! P.S. mom I can't seem to find cream tights anywhere, if you find any will you please send some to me, my shopping locations are limited. Thanks!
Much love,
Sister Poulson

P.S. Read Alma 5! This is my challange for you! As a family read it and write down all the questions you find. Then after answer them for yourself. It was a very humbling chapter for me but it helped give me the drive to do better.

My new address is 250 Evergreen Rd. Apt #35
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Last Week in the MTC!

Hello familia,
First of all sorry that I did not write on Wednesday, this week our schedule changed due to Visitor Center training! So we went to the temple and did tours on wednesday and then today (friday is our P-day). This week has been good. We are learning a lot about how to conduct tours specifically for people, because how flipin boring would it be to just have a history tour right?! Great news... there are 21 visitor centers in the world and the Portland Oregon Visitors center opens at the end of this month. They are just getting the Christis ready! How cool right?! I get to be a pioneer for this visitor center and I am super excited. I decided that visitor center tours are much harder than proceliting... belive it or night. When I am proseliting I know the person I am going to be teaching, I know the lesson, and I know the persons needs. At the Visitor Center I have 30 min. to get to know the person, spark their interest in the gospel (if they are not already a member. If they are we have to bring the spirit and still find something they need to hear), and then come up with a lesson right on the spot. The plus side is I will have a lot of resources such as movies, pictures, music, etc. It is super fun though. Each time we practice starting tours I get really nervous because you really have no idea who you will be talking to or what lesson you are going to teach them. But it is so awesome because each time I am fully reliant on the spirit because well... that is all I can do. And the Lord never fails me, I always leave thinking holly smollly how did that just happen. The spirit is such an amazing thing and being a missionary you really become close to the spirit, so close that even if you stray off for a minute you can feel that the spirit is no longer there. Another thing that we get to do, which is my most favorite is online teach. I love it!! Ha ha It is different because the people that talk to me usually have super deep questions or concerns that they wouldn't talk to someone about face to face. But it is a neat experience. Me and my companion talked to a 12 year old girl yesterday and it was really neat, she had a lot of cool questions and by the end she agreed to keep talking to us and she wants us to send her a book of mormon (I am not sure where she is from). I used to think that visitor center missionaries had it easy.. but that is not true. We have a lot of work to do always and it is not easy.. But i love it. Something I learned this week is that it is ok to have hard times and go through painful experiences (you really connect with investigators on an emotional level I didn't know was possible.. thank you mom for giving me your tender heart lol). I learned that if I am going to call myself a deciple of Jesus Christ and take upon myself his name that I am going to have to prove that I am a deciple even if that means feeling some of the blood and pain he suffered for me. Salvation is not easy... It wasn't for the Savior so why should it be for me? And why should it be for my investigator? The promise is that it will be worth it. Don't ever give up! Life is not meant to be easy and even though that would be nice that just isn't how it is. If I didn't go through pain for my investigators I would not know how to help them, but by going through things I learn and I grow closer to Christ! It really is worth it!
Me and my companion are getting ready to leave this Monday. I cannot belive that the MTC is already over... am I ready? I am not sure.. But I guess there is no better way to know than by getting thrown straight into it. Before I forget will you please go on dearelder.com TONIGHT and send me a letter with my Portland Oregon address? I really want to keep in touch with Sister T and my other roomates but that isn't possible without giving them my address. And I need you to email it off tonight so I can get it by tomorrow.. anytime after that I will not be at the MTC. So please do that for me. Thank you much!
Tell Will congrats on his team! Tell him to expect a letter from me shortly (I sent it off today). Also congrats on selling the cars. I heard about grandma Poulson.. tell her that I am so sorry, I am glad it went well and that I will keep her in my prayers. Goodness health is a scary thing sometimes. But how lucky are we to know that no matter what happens it will all be ok, because we can be together forever! What a great gift. This week I have been working on coming close to Christ myself. I always tell my investigators to come unto Christ by following his example.. I have a lot of work to do. Sometimes I am not always patient... It is hard with a companion. Sometimes I let pride get the best of me, and then I realize I really am the dust of the earth... and without God I am literally nothing. I heave learned that just being LDS is not enough, being like Christ and becoming better is a life long journey.. there is always more to learn and always things to improve on! The MTC has a way of making you feel great, but humble. I love it. It will be weird to leave my companion and teachers and go into the real world. I will be honest I am terrified of the airport.. I am so scared to fail God. It is scary talking to complete strangers... I know that if I feel a prompting from the spirit that I will just have to get over my fear of the world and fear God... That's the best I can do. I was told I can call but I leave the MTC at 5:00 am so it will be super early. I might still try.. I am not sure the exact time though. But I love you lots and am so gratefull for all the love and support! I really do have the greatest family! PS... I expect a valintine :)! \
Sister Poulson!

OH I amost forgot! It was the 50th anniversary and it was awesome. It wasn't President Monson but it was Elder Holland and Elder Nielson, it was a neat experience! They talked a lot about the historic missionaries.. I have a lot to live up to. I was lucky enough to get a seat in the chior... it was crazy..

Funny story of the week: The MTC got P90X... craziest workout. We did the leg work out and I thought I was doing so great and wasn't feeling much pain. Oh by gollie... the next day I coulnd't get off my bunk bed.. my poor companion I am litterally disabled.. I can't even sit on the toilet.. yes too much information but I had to share.