Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Dearest family!

   It has been such a crazy week. To be honest, that is how most weeks are haha. Weeks go by so fast, yet I feel like last Monday was a year ago. We do so much in each day that it is like a years worth of non mission life work squeezed into a 15 hour day. I feel so blessed to be entrusted by God. That he trusts me enough to share His gospel with those children He loves so much. It helps keep me on track, to remember that even those times where I would rather take a nap.. or veg, that this is my time to serve the Lord. God has given me everything, I can give fully this year and a half! We see a lot of missionaries that don't always seem to know how great their purpose is, they forget that this work is the greatest of all work, and it breaks my heart. 

    We had a really neat experience this week. We were going to visit with a less active and when we got there no one was home. It would have been easy to be sad and let that get us down but we decided to move on and go and do a few visits in the neighborhood. We had a set route we wanted to do but my companion suggested that we start one house back from the original plan. We introduced ourselves and started telling her why were there, then as we testified of God and his love for her she started crying. She expressed some situations that were going on in her life and how talking about God just brought out the water works. I have always had a goal to get into someones house and teach a lesson from knocking on a strangers door, and I was blessed to have it happen. She invited us in and at first we both thought "now what". We got so used to people not being interested that we forgot what to do when someone is. I am so grateful for the spirit. It completely led the lesson. There were a lot of tears, but I recognize that as the Spirit tugging on our heart strings and testifying of truth. As I studied that morning I was reading about the atonement in an article from the ensign. Just so happens that I read about someones struggle with cancer and the comfort and peace that came into someones life because of the atonement. I just so happened to have that article with me because I was going to share something in it to the less active family, turns out it was not for them but for her. Her husband just got diagnosed with cancer and I knew that we were meant to be at her house that day and that I was supposed to read and bring that article for her that day. 

    Another neat experience is we are meeting with that older man I had told you about before. Anyway, he decided that he was not emotionally stable to join a church and that maybe he shouldn’t meet with us. I cannot tell you how much this broke my heart, I prayed and prayed that he would not be so lonely and that the spirit would help him with whatever he was going through, because I honestly didn't know how to help. He said he would still like us to get him the cd's of the Book of Mormon, and so that is what we did. We went over just to drop off the cd's because he insisted on not having a "Bible study" (that is what he calls our lessons). I just have to say again that I love the Spirit. After maybe 2 min. at the door he asked if we wanted to go sit on the porch and talk. At first we didn't know if he was serious. I read a few vrs. in Helaman. I decided it is crazy that people think missionaries are just "there" but that is false. Missionaries still fall into temptation, mess up, and worst of all forget the greatness of God. But I am so grateful that God finds the mercy to forgive everyone and bless us when we make a right change. It was good for him to see that no one is worthy of the Saviors love, but yet, God loves us, and because he loves us he wants us to be happy, and that is exactly what the gospel helps us do. It was a good lesson and I am excited for him to read the Book of Mormon. Also, in case you were wondering we are still meeting with him!

   I have so many more experiences but I just want to share one more. We were at the Visitors Center yesterday and 2 ladies came in. They were both members, but they wanted to go on a temple ground tour. We took them on a tour and we soon got to find out a lot more about them. One of them was less active, but that day she decided she needed to go to church. After that more promptings came and she knew she needed to go to the temple. While we were on the tour I really got to know the importance of one soul. One person really does make a difference, and I think that is why in the scriptures it says "every soul is important to God". The other friend who is active shared that she had been inactive, but one day she decided to go back to church. As a result; her husband, kids and his parents were baptized. Because the gospel was important to her, it showed the importance to others. While it was hard to go back to church for 5 years by herself, it was worth it! I loved that. It is so worth it to live the gospel, even if at the time it seems difficult and a wall is the only thing seen in the distance. I love the gospel, it is not only great, it is true! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you,

Sister Poulson

Weekly funny: We were eating at a members who has 9 kids... (remind me not to do that) and they were all telling this story about Ammon flying from the back of a van to the front during some reckless driving. I looked around and saw a little dog and for some reason just assumed that the dog was Ammon. When I asked if Ammon was their little dog that flew to the front of the car, one boy looked at me like I had just been caught in murder and said "I'm Ammon". Good thing that family had a great sense of humor, because the rest of the night it was brought up over and over again and poor Ammon will probably forever be called a dog. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fear not.. for I am with thee

Hello family,
   It has been weird starting over with a new area and a new companion. I loved my last area and I know that with time I will grow to love it here as well. We met a few of our investigators this last week. It is funny how different they all are from my previous area. My last area I taught a lot of older people who mostly struggled with finding their testimony and the truth of the message we shared. This area has a strong testimony but struggles with keeping the commandments and following the way of God. There is a couple that we are teaching and they are really great. I guess the sisters had been leaving pamphlets and pass along cards on the door steps and one man ran up and asked if they were the ones that were leaving the stuff on the door. They scaredly responded yes. Turns out he is a member (very less active) and had been looking for a church building around the area. Also he is living with his non member girlfriend and now we are teaching them both! We had an amazing lesson with them about the tree of life. I love the scriptures in 1 Nephi 8 and 11. It sums up life and my goal in life very well. Life is hard and there are lots of mists of darkness, but among all of the mist we have something to hold onto and guide us away from the evil of the world. And that is the gospel. The gospel is a place where we can forget how small and insignificant we may be and work towards what we want to become. Sometimes I feel as a missionary I have to be perfect, because messing up means someone’s salvation, but the gospel does not teach that, it teaches to try our hardest and do our best, and if we do that then God will be pleased with our efforts and our faith. Anyway this girl, Sarah (not real name again) has some problems with the word of wisdom. She loves the gospel and she wants to get baptized. It is just hard to change. Change is hard, it really is, but it is so worth it. I remember before my mission I was thinking about how different a mission would be, how I would have to give up a lot of things that I so regularly did and become better, it was hard and it was scary, and it still is, but I know it is worth it! I have seen so many blessings that have come from my mission and this change that I know without a doubt that the Lord knew I would need this to have a more full and blessed life and be able to share the blessings more freely. For her it is just taking the step, to change and know that God will always come through for her, and even if it's hard, there is no sacrifice too great for the blessings of salvation.
   Another one is working towards a mission, it will be a lot of work but if it is really his goal and he really wants that then it is possible! We are also working with an older guy. I love him! He is so sweet and nice and he has no bad bone in his body. Sad thing is he doesn't see his worth. He was reading the conference ensign and together we read from Jeffery Hollands talk: "I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines." By the end he was sobbing. The spirit was so strong. I love that no matter what we have done and where we feel we are at, that the atonement covers everything! There is nothing to dark or deep that can not be made whole through the atonement of Jesus Christ. He almost dropped us recognizing this spirit that had touched his heart as an emotional weakness. I believe it is a strength. When we are vulnerable to God, that is when we become closest to him and recognize him working more fully in our life. I really hope he gets baptized, he doesn't see that he is worth it. But truth is, none of us are, the gospel is greater than all of our worth, but to God, we are worth it! We are all sinners and have all begged for mercy, and that is what the gospel is, not to be perfect, but to become all that we can be.
  I love you all so much and I hope you have an amazing week. Keep reading the scriptures, the more I read the more I know of the greatness of God. He really does love us, we really are so blessed, if we just remember!
Sister Poulson

Funny of the week: During Sister Bothwells prayer "please help us make and keep commandments".. ha ha I bet you didn't know that as missionaries me make commandments ;).
Stupidity of the week: After contacting a non member by name, he said "I used to be a member" my response "oh so you used to be a member?" him "well.. ya... isn't that how you knew my name" haha oh I love when things like that happen!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid … for the Lord thy God … will not fail thee, nor forsake thee"

Hello Family!

  Yesterday was wonderful! Carol that we have been teaching has always been hesitant to move forward with the gospel. I remember a while back we were over doing service in her yard and I thought I would invite her to church. I got the courage to do so and she responded "NO! I have done the church thing before and I don't need to do it again." That was that and I kind of just let it be. She always said that she would never convert and felt bad that she was wasting our time. Well whoever said "no effort wasted" was completely right. We had considered dropping her but I just felt this deep desire to help her and her welfare. So.. we kept meeting with her. With time, lessons seemed to be getting better. We would go to the lessons and we would both sob because of the power of the spirit. Before too long she had gained a testimony herself. She said she knew it was true and just struggled a little with Joseph Smith. So next lesson we focused on just that. By the time we met again she had completed Joseph Smith History and she knew that he was a prophet! I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to scream with joy at that. No worries, I contained my excitement. After that we asked her what time her church was. It just so happened to be at the same time as ours. Regardless we asked her to come with us to church. She said she would love to!! She came on Sunday and I love how aware God is of all of his children. I swear all the lessons were written just for her (and me of course haha it was a good meeting..). She loved it and I cannot wait for her progression. I love the power of the spirit, it turns the once impossible into possible!

    Also we had been meeting with agnostic Remmi (ha ha forgot my made up name once again). He had told us that prayer was just a mental meditation for him and he didn’t see it as anything more. We discussed prayer a lot in our lesson. The next time we came to visit with him he was explaining how he had had a really good day, and so he did as we suggested and just prayed and said a prayer of gratitude. His face was glowing! He said he immediately thought of us when that happened and although he said he wasn't sure what it meant, I really believe he does. It was a great feeling. Maybe it was not a baptismal date, but it was a huge step in his life. He had a completely different atmosphere about him and instead of immediately going into a discussion he asked what we would be learning that day. We read Alma 32 (which is a great chapter by the way), that talks about faith and how to recognize the spirit of God and gain that testimony. He loved it and said he would read the rest of the chapter. I love seeing the steps people make towards coming closer to Christ, and the difference it brings in their presence! It is great!

  I had a lot of other great experiences this week! One was at the Visitors Center. We were doing our temple ground tours that we do each Sunday and I saw a man and his 2 kids out sitting by the fountain. A voice told me to go and ask them if they want to join the tour. Sure enough they were happy to join. By the end of the tour we went and listened to the narration about Christ. He was in tears, then we watched the movie about eternal families, again he was in tears. He was feeling the Spirit! I love how families really are one of the greatest ways that God shows his love, and that because of that love we can have the things we love the most forever! It is the things we think about, and the things we focus on that makes us who we are. And I want to always have that eternal perspective in my mind, so I can always live the life Christ would have for me. 

   Well that is all.... JK! I got transferred! Crazy... ha ha it was the last thing anyone expected was for me to leave. District leaders and Zone Leaders both had to check twice to make sure it was really me who was getting transferred. My companion is Sister Bothwell, I love her! It is great because we already knew each other, no awkward "how many siblings do you have?" conversations. I am not in the Meridian Park ward. I have to say that it was really hard to leave all of those people that I have grown to love so much. But it is also so exciting to start a new adventure. I have faith that the Lord knows where He needs me, and I will work my hardest for Him. I have only heard of the new people I am teaching here, so I am excited to meet them and see just what the Lord has in store for me. I love you all so much! 


Sister Poulson 

Funny of the week: Sister Johnston (our visitors center directors wife) was texting us and asking us where we were. It just so happens that there is a street called A street that we were walking up. So Sister Piggott responded "just walking up a street" ha ha. I think she was confused.. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fear God more than Man

Hello Family, I was really thinking about how true this gospel is, and why is it that so many people don't know that. And I realized, that everyone can know that, especially with all the Church has done with technology. The real problem is that people don't always have the desire to know. It says in Moroni 10:3-5 "3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." Everyone has access to the gospel in some way or form, and when the desire is there, Heavenly Father is just waiting to show us the way! However, I know that God prepares his children to receive his message, and some people just aren't ready right now. Which seems so bizarre for me because I have it and I know the truth and greatness of it. God never neglects his children, only we can neglect Him. He will always come for his children and He will keep coming and give them life situations that will truly prepare them for the kingdom of Heaven. We were talking with a lady the other day and she was asking if there is a God then why does so much bad happen, couldn't he just stop it? Of course he could, God is all powerful, He can do anything, but He loves us enough to help us learn and grow so we can not only prepare for the kingdom of God but desire it. This week we met a lot of new people that could potential be progressing investigators, I am excited! It is always fun to meet new people and teach differently for each of the people. It keeps missionary work exciting! There was the cutest Sister missionary that came into the Visitors Center the other day. She had only been home for 1 day and she was an emotional mess. Ha ha I can only imagine. She kept telling us how lucky we are to be missionaries and to love wearing our name tags (apparently taking that off was the hardest part for her), I really do feel blessed to be a missionary! It is a different world, but it is a great one! I learn so much each day and every day I desire more and more for everyone to have the gospel. Sometimes I have to sit back and realize that I can't help everyone though. I want everyone to accept it now, but that is where I learn patience ha ha. I have faith that everyone in their own time will have the opportunity to receive Christ's way, and I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon because we don't have to be confused about Christ’s way, we have the Bible and the Book of Mormon and together the fullness of the gospel is at our fingertips, and we can clearly know our path and plan here on this earth. Well that is about it for this week! I love you all millions! I pray for you each night! Love, Sister Poulson