Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dearest Family,

   What a week! We have a lot of great investigators right now and they are just awesome! I was thinking about it and it is weird but almost all of them are males.. I really don't know why. Turns out there are a lot single fathers out there that are ready to receive the gospel. 

   We had been trying to meet with this guy and his son for a while. But of course he had ramadon, and like most others "excuses". We figured he just wasn't interested (that tends to happen ever so often :S) and that we should just use the Lords time elsewhere. Well.. it was great! He texted us and he was in need of food. He is struggling financially to get as much food as his kids eat. Of course we were willing to help him! We called so many people. Then he said "regardless of if you can find help for me, I would like to take the lessons". It was one of the greatest texts we have gotten! It was so great to see that he didn't have to be helped first to learn more, but that he recognized it as something he needed regardless of what we could offer him in return. I also have to say I love the perfect example of Christ. I love that He doesn't ask for things in return for all the blessings he gives us. He gives just because he loves us and he wants us to have joy. I am sure it would have been easy for the church to not be willing to help him because he isn't a member, but that just wasn't an option. They help everyone, and I am so grateful for that! Anyways, we have taught him and his 2 kids. They couldn't be more prepared. He is such a great example to his kids and so willing to help them with their spiritual journey and it is so great to see. I honestly wish that the lesson could have been filmed. I can't describe how submissive to the spirit and willing to learn they are, and how eager they are to become close to Christ. I wish it was like that with everyone. 

   There is just one out of many great experiences that I have been able to have this week. Missions are great! Hard, but there is nothing that bring more joy than watching the miracles from God in other peoples lives. There is nothing quite like not thinking about myself and only worrying about others. I used to think that it was sad when people didn't come talk to me at church or what not, now I realize that life is much better when I am the one thinking about who needs to be sat by and who needs me. 

Much love,

Sister Poulson 


Weekly Funny: It was our first lesson with one of our investigators Bob. We like to have the investigator say the closing prayer so we invited him to do so. We were in a hurry and he expressed that he didn't really know how to. Well.. in the back of our pamphlets we have this handy dandy "how to pray" chart. We were in a hurry so we told him to look at the "How do I pray?" example. He starts to pray: "address your Heavenly Father... express the feelings of your heart... request to confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon... close in the name of Jesus Christ.." ha ha ha ha it was so cute! He was so humble and he even said it reverently  but it was so hard not to laugh.. 

Hi there!

   It has been a pretty great week! It has been pretty hot here, but I guess I can't really complain compared to Utah weather. It is funny how so much time in the rain and in the cooler temperatures makes 78 degrees feel like I am about to shrivel and prune and bake into a cobbler. (yes I said cobbler because that is probably what I eat at least once a week thanks to all the blackberries on the sides of the road) We had some awesome lessons and we are working with some fantastic people. I love missionary work. I decided watching people come unto Christ and seeing them change things that are hard for them is the most beautiful miracle I could witness. We are working with a guy who used to be heavily into alcohol. He was married and had a cute little family, but because of something he didn't consider to be a sin, his life was taken over by the alcohol and he saw for himself how not keeping the commandments only hurt himself. His family split and he started rehab. He is now a huge part of AA (alcoholics anonymous). I just love seeing how the commandments really are for us. They are not a burden, they are a freedom. They allow us to be free to live life to the fullest, and most importantly to gain joy in this life and eternal salvation. He was a refferal from a friend and he has been prepared by the Lord. Every time before he goes to church or we meet with him he prays to have an open mind and be receptive to Gods teaching. I wish I was more like this, so willing to learn and be teachable. After all this is what the Savior asks us to become. He keeps all the commitments we give to him, and he is truly trying. I know that if all the people we taught keep all the commitments we teach them and search for the answer, then every single person would come to know that it was true. Simply, because it is. And it is beautiful. More and more I see how the gospel is for everyone, how it really blesses everyone if they chose to follow it, and I grow more grateful to have it. I don't think I am as scared anymore to raise a family in this world, because I know what to teach my children and I will try my best to keep them "unspotted from the world". 

     There was a girl who came into the Visitors Center the other day. She was 14 and a non-member. I gave her a Book of Mormon and then they left. I was slightly sad that I didn't get to teach more. While I sat there, slightly disappointing with myself for not doing my best, they came back into the center. :). Her and her friend walked up to me and the friend asked if I could teach her the Plan of Salvation. Of course I practically leaped on them with excitement and said yes. After teaching for a little bit I realized that she felt she just wanted to give up, she felt unimportant to God and that no matter what she did she wouldn't be good enough. I decided it is such a shame how the devil can have such a great hold on us as to make us feel that we are not good enough, or that God doesn't care. It is hard to share with someone that he does.. to be honest I feel as though no one is good enough.. but somehow and for some reason, our souls are the most important thing to him. You know that feeling where you just give 110% and realize that it just isn't enough. You know that feeling where you just try and try to make things better but you can't, well that is how I feel sometimes. But that is when I understand the atonement. There are times where I feel like I have given it my all, and that is when our Savior cries to God for us and says "she has given all she can, let me make up for what she can't". For that I am eternally grateful. 

   I love you, and am eternally grateful for your great example to me, for helping me to get here, and teaching me how to endure to the end, and do it with joy!

Sister Poulson 


Weekly funny: We were baking a cobbler (surprise I am sure) and I realized that we forgot about the cobbler and it was still in the oven. So I run to go get it while Sister Bothwell has a little freak attack about how she could hear the cobbler sizzling and bubbling. Anyways.. the cobbler wasn't even burnt, and turns out the sizzling and bubbling she freaked out about, was just the sound of the sprinklers turning on outside. 


Hello again!

   I realize that my emails probably bore you to death with experience after experience.. ha ha and going on page after page.. ha ha so I am sorry. I know it is only going to get worse when I get to tell you them in person.. and then you will really get sick of it. But hey, we are trying to tell our investigator that experience is the way to know there is a God, experience is the way to build a testimony and it is also a way that we can share our testimony. So.. I will keep sharing :).

   I had an awesome experience the other day at the VC. A guy came in with his daughter and they walked right past me. It would have been easy to just let them browse on their own but I decided to go up and talk to them. I guess this where I learn to never ignore the promptings of the spirit, because then important moments could be gone forever. I love the spirit in the VC and so I started talking about how I knew they would feel the spirit as they went around the center. Immediately he filled up with tears and told me that he felt the spirit there. Through the whole narration he was in tears. (PS he was a big hancho man so whoever says that "tuff" guys don't cry just needs to go on a mission and watch the humbling power of the spirit) Of course I was terrified because I knew how much he was feeling the spirit and I did not want to stand in the way or mess anything up. Somehow I managed to get the courage and continue taking them around the center. I found out he was not a member and that his teenage daughter had just recently gotten baptized less than a year ago. It was amazing how the Spirit guided. Some random kid came up to one of the displays and played the testimony of Elder Uchdorf and then ran off... ha ha however, the whole time the guy was crying. After a long tour haha I knew I needed to ask him if he wanted to meet with missionaries and learn how to feel that spirit all the time. (I really should have just invited him to be baptized). He told me that missionaries were already coming over every Sat. since his daughter was baptized. Then he started sobbing.. I think it is so great when guys cry (not in a mean way of course), anyways, he chocked out "When I woke up this morning I had a very strong feeling that I needed to come to the Center today, and I know that I was supposed to be here." It was just so amazing to be a part of the Lords work. To watch him work miracles and just hope I don't get in the way. It was such a spiritual experience that even after he left the center I had to just sit down and ponder on how amazing God is, and how true the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is. If it weren't from God then the power of God couldn't work in all the ways I have seen it. 

   Also.. We got a refferal. PS I love those! So if you are not talking to the gospel with someone at least once a week, maybe reevaluate priorities ;). I was thinking about it, and when I was in my last area teaching Jane and Ludy (sorry I always forget their made up names) they only met with us because someone invited them to come to church and then later invited to them to meet with us a learn more. We asked them if they would have talked to us if we came knocking on their door, they were honest and said "no". Ludy is kinda prideful and if 2 strangers came to his door and said that they want to bring him closer to Christ and knew that what they had to share would change every aspect of their life for the better, he wouldn't believe them. Because after all, we didn't know him, but his friends did and they could really know that the gospel would bless his life. Long story short, share the gospel, otherwise the work doesn't progress! Also I have to thank you for your example to me mom and dad! :) Thanks for showing me how and why the gospel could bless me and loving me enough to make sure that I was a part of it.

I love you!

Sister Poulson 



       Sometimes I wish members would hang out with us all day. One of the laurels from the ward spend half a day with us and it was so nice being able to have her testimony and her spirit with us. We went over to Normans with her and he was supposed to have read Alma 32, but again didn't have time. We both knew he needed the word of wisdom but we were so worried about his reaction. We read a few scriptures from Alma 32 and then we dove right in. It seemed a bit choppy at first but somehow the spoirit was there. His questions about it were sincere and honest. At first he wondered why God would put alcohol, tobacoo, tea and coffee on the earth if they were bad for us. We talked about opposition in all things and our purpose for being on the earth. I don't know how it works but God performs miracles right before our eyes. He agreed to live the word of wisdom! He was so sweet and he was even super eager to write down his goals on how he would keep it and then asked the sweetest question of all. He told us that he is really close with his family (they all kinda live in the same house) and that they all drink and do things against the word of wisdom. Then he thanked us so sincerely and said that this was the change he has been looking for and continued to tell us that he was going to share it with all of his family and help them to follow as well. People will ask me what my favorite part about being a missionary is and I have to say that it is watching people take steps that are so difficult for them, and then watching the miracles come into their lives. I love seeing them change for the better and just knowing that because they choose to make the right choice, it will bless them forever. (as long as they stick with it of course)

     So yesterday was funny. We were going to do some visits and there was this group of people sitting on the grass talking. Just so you all know.. talking to people my own age is for some reason the scariest thing in the world.. I much prefer 80 year olds. Anyways.. we talked to them and they invited us to sit down. This one boy Spencer was super anti.. he said something about Joseph Smith eating mushrooms and then finding plates, which if you ask me seems more bizarre than what actually happened. Anyways, it would have been so easy to have contention.. to just prove to him why he was wrong or to argue. However, I am so grateful for Sister Bothwell and for the spirit that was there. I find I have to tell myself a lot "I love them, I love them, I love them" and then.. I really do. I rememeber that some day I will be with them after this life and they will be my brothers and sister, and I would be so sad if I got to heaven and I saw how sad they were to have not known of the greatness of God and his gospel. By the end, he asked for a Book of Mormon and said he was excited to read it. I just love seeing how the spirit works. I know that if we would have argueed with him that we wouldn't have gotten anywhere. But because we truly cared for the welfare of their souls and happyness, the spirit touched them.

  I love being a missionary! It's hard but I know there is no growth in a comfort zone, and no comfort in a growth zone.

PS I love you all too :)!

Sister Poulson


Funny of the week: So.. we were in this appartment building that had a lot of stairs. As we were going down of course it is dark and of course there is a pot hole that my ankle happens to find. So I biffed it and now have this cute little swell the size of a golf ball attached to my ankle. It doesn't hurt.. it's just kinda hainess!


Well Hello again!

    Note to self: never make a whole cobbler and let it sit around the house for a week. You think out of all the things I learn on a mission self control would be one. However, I have to say that blackberries off the side of the road taste much better than any store bought berry I have had. Maybe it's the spiders that usually come along with them, or maybe it's the fact that they were free. Actually scratch both of those, they are just better! Picking them however is not as fun.. did you know they are weeds? Or should we say thorns haha. I'm sure It was a great show for those driving past to see 2 girls in skirts bending off the side of the road, trampling through thorns and trying not to fall into them. But we thought of a great analogy. So just hold on tight and brace yourselves. We have found that "every rose has it's thorn" (name the song), the thorns were painful and sometimes we thought not worth it, but after when we ate the berries we realized that regardless of the small battle scars it was worth going back and getting more. 

   This week started off a little thorny. We had 3 investigators in the beginning and by Fri. we had 1. It was a little discouraging thinking that we keep finding all these people but somehow they weren't ready for the gospel. It is hard not to blame ourselves and think about all the ways that we could have taught better or if we were the reason they didn't understand how true and important the gospel would be for them. However, as sad as it was to move on, I knew we needed to, and I couldn't let myself believe that any of that time with them was wasted. 

  It was hard to go back out and keep the faith that God would place someone who was prepared in our path. However, I knew that I could either be sad and stay that way, or I could keep going and make sure that something good did happen. (PS this is where is gets good.) So we went to dinner one night and the family was more than rambunctious... they were fighting and sorta didn't know when they had crossed a line. By the end the dad desperately asked when we could take one of the older daughters on splits with us. We told her we had a lesson that night and we would love if she would come. She really didn't want to, but grabbed a skirt and came along. She made sure we knew that she didn't want to say anything. We got to the lesson and it was maybe our 3rd lesson with him. We had invited him to read 3rd Nephi and he had said at the beginning that he didn't have the time to do that. So we decided that instead of teaching him how to multiply before adding we would read with him. We started reading and it talked about Jesus Christ teaching the people in America his gospel and how to be baptized. It started out slow due to his language barrier (oh ya, he speaks Chuukeese) and I was thinking about how bored Nancy (member) must have been. After a little while a man walked around the corner (ps we were outside on their smoke couches haha) and looked really though. He had tattoos all over, he was wearing a wife beater, and was coming to take a smoke break. However since we were there he asked if he could join. Of course we said yes! Sister Bothwell handed him a book of Mormon and he started reading along with us. After reading vrs. 29-31 about contention and how it was of the devil he started asking a lot of questions and getting really involved. He asked how he could avoid those angry feelings and he was really interested in what we were teaching. He somehow told us that he stopped going to church 4 years ago and stopped praying because his dad died. As we read on we asked how they felt and they both said they believed it was true. I couldn't believe what was happening! I don't know if I've ever been so excited nor happy. At the end of the lesson we had planned on asking Norman (not real name) if he would be baptized. I felt strongly to not just direct it at Norman but just ask. We invited them to be baptized Aug. 25th (because everyone knows the 25th is the best day of every month). It was quiet for a min. and then they both nodded their heads and said yes. John (not real name), who had joined us ten min. before asked us how he should prepare. We told him that he would need to meet with us a little more, because there was still things to learn and that he should come to church. We asked when we could come over next and he said "how about mon-fri, each day next week". I could not believe what was happening. We then told them that they needed to pray about it and make sure that this date was what God intended for them. We asked them to pray and they fought back in forth for a little bit over who would say it. Then I asked John since he hasn't prayed in 4 years if he would say it. He was reluctant but after I told him I would tell him what to say and he would just repeat he bowed his head. I started to pray and to our surprise, John and Norman both repeated. Nancy was in tears. The spirit was so strong. 

   I think it was one of the best experiences I have ever had on my mission. It was so worth it to go back out and to teach with my heart might mind and strength. 

   I love you! Thanks for all you have taught me

Sister Poulson