Monday, October 1, 2012

What a week!

    This week there were 2 baptisms and zone conference! Zone conference was great. Zone Conference was when I really realized that my mission has truly changed my life... also that I never want to stop being a missionary. I always want to do this. Yes it is hard, but the more I loose myself in the work the more I find myself.. and somehow gradually along the way God is shaping me into a better person. Someone a little more like Christ. I've learned humility.. and I've learned that I really want to love more. And to not see the bad in people, but always look for the good in them. I realized I was more negative than I wanted to be, and I have found things that I can work on and improve my life and hopefully improve the lives around me as well. 

    Also, as you know, there were 2 baptisms this week! I have to admit that I was a stress case.. probably more than I should have been. Ha ha.. I have never really organized a baptism before so Sister Bothwell got to see a whole new side of me. You know how when I was waiting for a school dance I would get really nervous and start pacing and saying things like "he's not coming..." well.. this was worse haha. It was all worked out so I don't know why I was even stressed. However.. it was another very humbling experience. Nelson went first. His daughter didn't come and it really broke my heart. But he was there.. and he was ready. Before it started I remember him saying "she didn't come, so it's just me alone". As sad as it was, I was so proud of him, to make this step when everyone around him didn't support it. I am so grateful for him, teaching him has changed my life. He is what I hope to be someday.. just so eager to follow God. He wasn't even concerned about what was going on around him, he knew what he needed to do, he had the faith to do it, and his life is changed for the better. He doesn't know a whole lot, but he doesn't care. He wants to share his testimony with the world. We didn't even talk about testimonies before he asked if he could go up and share his. Watching him come out of the water flooded me with a joy that words can't describe. It was a beautiful ceremony! One of the girls that had been teaching him with us gave a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. First of all she is a very "tough" girl, but when she got up there she just sobbed. She thanked him over and over again for his example and for the chance she had to teach him. She expressed that by teaching him, she found her testimony. It is amazing to me that by teaching someone else, it helps me and those who are teaching to really find our own testimony. The humility part came during the song me and Sister Bothwell sang.. lets just say it wasn't very good.. ha ha and that I probably won't be singing at baptisms again lol. But as bad as we both knew it was, one of our investigators who came sobbed.. and I realized that it didn't matter how humiliating it was.. Roy needed to hear that song, and I was happy, and felt good knowing that it touched at least one person. 

  Eli went next. Everyone loves him so much. He is a lifey for sure. He was at the door greeting everyone, so full of excitement. The Spirit was sooo strong. So many people he loved were there. It was amazing how much love and support was around him. After he was baptized  he gave Jon Taylor (yes ironic I know), the guy who baptized him, the biggest hug in the world, and of course I cried. His life is changed, and he is so grateful. I was so grateful for the help of the members with him. His support was awesome, and his friends were the greatest examples to him. I know he wouldn't have gotten baptized if it weren't for that. So just remember.. that example really does matter, and sharing your testimony can change someones life. So never pass up opportunities. His 2 non-member kids came and his son cried.. well I should say sobbed.. it was a bit crazy haha the whole time. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints really is Christs church, because the Spirit confirms it to me and so many people I see time and time again. I don't think it will be long until his kids are baptized as well. 

     Now that it is over it really confirms to me that that is not the end. That there is so much more and baptism is just a step. Endurance is crucial and will be the thing that will truly change both of their lives and they will look back and think "I wish I would have known about this sooner" and see how much they have grown and how much the gospel has been a blessing in their life. 

   It was a very spiritual and educational week. I love the Book of Mormon.. It is amazing that I really would put all my money.. all my life.. on the book. I love that I can hand someone a Book of Mormon and with full confidence know that if they put in the effort to read it and prayed to know if it was true that they would know. They would know.. because it is true. I couldn't teach without it, baptisms couldn't happen without it.. I am so grateful for it. 

   I hope you all have the greatest week, know you are in my prayers and thoughts. I love you!


Sister Poulson 

Hello again!

   This week there have been a lot of transfer predictions... apparently this upcoming transfer (which isn't till Oct. I'll have you know) is going to be a huge transfer for sisters. We were told that during the winter months some of the Visitor Center Sisters will be transferred out and go full time proselyting for a few transfers, also we are supposed to be getting two new spanish sisters for the center. A lot of the Sisters have said I will train.. which would terrify me out of my mind.. but if that is the case I might learn Spanish!! Wouldn't that be awesome. Or really hard.. I can't decide which one, probably both! However, I love my area! So much! I have grown to love the ward so much! They are so supportive and loving and just awesome, and also the people we are teaching are the greatest! I feel so blessed. We had Eli and Nilsons (if I forgot their fake names again I am sorry..) baptismal interviews this week. It was so fun to watch them both walk into the church scared out of their minds for the interview but of course with giant smiles on their faces and then leave with such gratitude and the attitude of changing the world! They announced their baptisms in church on Sunday and Eli was so excited that when they called his name he just jumped up and waved to all the ward. Then we noticed that Nilson wasn't there.. (keep in mind he doesn't have a car) so we look for the usual members that bring him to church and they weren't there either. Mid sacrament we had to find someone to go pick him up and then bring him to church. But he finally came and walked in with a new suit jacket and this brief case with all his spiritual books! It was the sweetest thing! During our gospel principles call Sister Denault asked if she could come to Nilsons baptism and he just lit up and was soo happy. "YES! Everyone is invited! Everyone come to my baptism!" It was like a little kid waiting for his birthday party.

    We also had a conversion fireside this week, which is where converts in our ward share their conversion stories. Nilson and Eli came and loved it. Afterwards I was talking to Eli and he was talking about all the spiritual experiences he had leading up to his conversion. He told me about the defining moment he had where he was overcome with the spirit and a wave of memories of meeting with us and with church and with his mormon co-workers and how he just knew. Then of course he said he wanted to share his conversion at the next fireside next month. Then.. I saw Nilson who was holding the hand of the Christus just looking up at Christ with such humbleness. I told him thanks for coming to the fireside and he asked if he could do that (meaning share his conversion at the fireside). I told him of course as long as he wanted to. Then I asked if he was ready and with tears in his eyes and a huge smile he nodded. They are both so ready.. I cannot even wait. I could talk about them all day and it wouldn't even come close to the miracles I have witnessed in both of them. They both want to shout their testimony to the world. They have taught me so much, and how to truly become humble and teachable like a child.

  Our other investigator won't pray.. It is hard because he feels like he cannot be forgiven.. or that he has to become worthy before he can pray. But I know that we cannot become worthy without prayer. He is in a catch 22.. but I won't lose hope. I won't let myself. Faith brings about miracles! I believe that!

  Sorry for just rambling on and on about Eli and Nilson. I am just so excited. I love the work!

I love you too, don't worry :)!

Sister Poulson


Funny of the week: We were teaching Nilson and he had to leave at 6:00 to go to a back to school night for his daughter. So we made sure we were out on time so he could go to that. Sure enough we get to the car and I realize that I had lost the keys.. So we go back to Nilsons and pretty much pull apart the couch.. walk up and down the street and all the good stuff. 20 min. later I look in my purse and there are the keys.. "oops". So Nilson was late and the keys were with me the whole time.


Oh!!! I forgot to tell you about the Marshallese guy! We taught him again and we realized that no matter what we said it wouldn't be enough to portray the important message we have. So.. we were led by the Spirit I'm sure to and the conference talks. We got to the April General Conference and guess what.. they had Marshallese! We listened to the merciful shall obtain mercy by Elder Uchtdorf, and he just sobbed. It is amazing the Spirit that the prophet and apostles have! They really are inspired of God. It was such an awesome lesson!


  I feel like not much happened this week, but then when I really think about it the beginning of this week felt like months ago (which means a lot happened lol). We have a great reputation for finding people with weird languages. Our chuukese friend is getting baptized on the 29th :), which was a great testimony to me of the gift of tongues.. I realized it is not only being able to speak in other languages, but really being able to teach in a way that the spirit can teach him, because without that there would be no baptism coming up I can tell you that. So if you haven't heard of Chuukese you might have heard of Martialeeze.. I don't even know how to spell it. He is from the Martial Islands and when Sister Bothwell asked if he spoke Martialeeze I thought it was a joke.. but nope.. it's real.. and the language barrier was even harder. It was so hard because as simply as we tried to teach it was like nothing was getting through. I would ask him a question and he would respond "yes". I was beginning to relate him to dad and his German "the yes/no man". Finally we decided that we couldn't do much so we watched the restoration. And can you believe that out of the 20+ languages it is in Martialeeze isn't one of them. I guess I wasn't too supprised.. I remember being so nervous when it was showing Joseph Smith going from church to church trying to find which one was right, if any. One of the preachers was stating "God has given us minds to be logic.. we don't need prayer to reason", and when I looked over he was nodding.. I was scared he would only get pieces out of it and then at the end I realized that it really doesn't matter what was said.. ok well maybe a little.. but the most important part is that the spirit was there. Because afterall the Spirit is the main teacher. I remember listening to a talk and I think I went off day dreaming about one thing he said and missed the rest, however, I know that the Spirit was speaking to me what I needed to hear at that time. And as much as I would like to read the minds of my investigators.. ok maybe not all the time.. however, it just doesn't happen like that. I can ask a million questions and still not understand them completely. Only God can. And that is why he teaches us :). 

   I remember one day this week just feeling so alone.. I know you are thinking "you are with a companion 24-7 Sister Poulson.. how can that even possible" but it is. You know those times where you just feel like no one else understands, or whatever it is. Well I decided to watch the Easter Film in the Visitors Center. It is a Mormon Message and it is all about our Savior. By the end I was in tears because I had to realize again that there is nothing in this life that I can feel or go through, that the Savior hasn't been through with me. I thought even deeper and I realized that there had to be times in the Saviors life where He felt he wasn't going to make it back.. because he had to understand what every single person on this earth had to feel. But because of His suffering alone, I don't ever have to be. I know there is always someone who understands, and better yet He understands perfectly and loves perfectly so He knows exactly how to help us. I just love that... 

    We have 2 baptisms on the 29th :). I might need some waterproof mascara sent to me.. just sayin. We are going to sing "Image in your countenance".. pray for me lol. It is really going to be an amazing day. I have seen the transformation of these two guys.. and I truly know that no matter who the person is or where they are at in their life that the gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ can help them. Pray for missionary opportunities, there is no better feeling than being an instrument in Gods hands. I still have a lot of growth and learning to do, and I don't always know the answers, but I love knowing I can help and seeing how happy these people are. PS I will send pictures!!


Sister Poulson 


Funny of the week: Sister Bothwell thought it would be a great idea to make her own trail mix and bring them on our P-day road trip. Well.. she is messy.. ha ha ok JK! But I guess not because somehow she managed to drop a few chocolate chips onto the seat without noticing (or maybe it was intentional lol). A little later that chocolate had made a beautiful art exhibit on my pants. It wasn't the most enjoyable thing... but others got a good laugh at it.

No time to say hello goodbye, I'm late I'm late I'm late!
   But I can say, it was a great week! I am so happy!! So so happy! We have the greatest investigators and I feel blessed just to be a part of their spiritual journey. We have 2 investigators preparing to be baptized on the 29th :). It is going to be a good day. I have to say that I feel so bad. One of our investigators from Chuuk (yes it is a real place), somewhere in Micronesia I guess.. but when we first starting meeting with him I just thought "there is no way he is going to understand what we are teaching him", "his culture makes it really difficult so he'll probably back down with word of wisdom". I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! AHH.. I love him! He doesn't just get it, he follows it. We went to his house and he was soooo happy. He was like a kid in a candy store. He couldn't wait to share with us his testimony. It started off "when the Sister Missionaries invited me to come unto God I decided to do just that. I have come closer to God and even though my family isn't doing it I want to learn, please pray for me to continue to learn, and to share this with my family". Well of course I was crying after that. He is just like a child.. so submissive, meek, humble, teachable, loving, awesome! It taught me not to judge, and definitely not to give up! So much more has happened but there is no time. He will be getting baptized on the 29th along with another investigator who we are teaching. I cannot tell you the joy that the gospel has brought into their lives. Even with the challenges they have faced. We had a lesson in Relief Society about faith, I learned so much! And I just wanted to share a bit with you...
"Miracles do not produce faith, but miracles can confirm faith.. faith comes by righteous living and following the commandments. If we are not living the commandments it will be hard to have faith. Most importantly faith is a gift." I have found that the things that I think about a lot and that I really take care of, are the things that produce the most good fruit. So I decided I wanted to make sure I KNOW what is important to me, so that I can take care of that and make sure that the goals in my life can produce good fruit. Such as family :)
Well I love you so much!
Sister Poulson

Good Evening and Happy Labor Day!

   I have to say it was funny watching Sister Bothwell go and check the mailbox at least 3 times this afternoon only to find out that the mail doesn't come on labor day. However, we have no complaints.We decided today was going to be a nap day but of course when we decide to do that something always comes in the way, today it was a phone call. I tried to just sleep while Sister Bothwell talked and then she put it on speaker.. I heard the voice of one of our investigators Eli "I have been praying a lot about if I should be baptized and I just had this overwhelming feeling at church that I should... I decided I would go home and pray again and see how I felt about it in the morning. When I woke up this morning I had this sense of peace come over me, similar to the feeling of peace I had when I joined AA and quit drinking, and I think I am ready to be baptized." Well if that wasn't a wake up call I don't know what is :)! I was so excited I couldn't nap again. It is so great to see that when people really put in the effort, God will do his part. Oh and I forgot to tell you the story of last week. So Monday after emailing we were headed up to Moltnoma Falls to hike and see the falls when we get a phone call from Eli, he has been searching so hard to know if this church is true. He does everything we ask him to.. he reads, he prays, he comes to church, and he just hasn't seemed to find an answer. If anyone is searching it would be him. We promised him he would find his answer if he would read the Book of Mormon and continue to pray, but that it would come in the Lords time. Well.. Fri he really wanted to just know if the Book of Mormon was true. So.. he spent from 9am-5pm reading the Book of Mormon. He said he would get tired at times and that he would go and read on the excersice bike or switch from tapes to cd's. At one point he got his ipod and went out walking while listening to the Book. He had never done this before but he stopped by the side of the road and decided to say a prayer. When he opened his eyes he saw on the ground a very worn picture of the Portland Oregon Temple. I asked if he recognized this as an answer and his response "definitely, the hairs on my arm stood up".

   So pretty much every Monday Eli calls us with the amazing spiritual experiences he has been having! I love it! I love being a part of it! I am so happy for his baptism. It will be either the end of this month or Oct. I will make sure to send pictures. 

    Also you remember Roy? Well.. We have been having a lot of meetings on the importance of understanding. If people really understood what they were saying no to then they wouldn't do it. Well.. after this meeting Roy came into my head, and I knew that there was something he wasn't understanding. Because if he really understood the atonement, he would have no fear to pray. In fact he would fear not to pray. Because only by not repenting can Gods wrath come upon us. However, no matter how awful the things we have done may seem to be, we can always be forgiven. That is a promise from God and He ALWAYS keeps his promises. So long story short we decided to go back and teach him the plan of Salvation. Help him understand that God has a plan for him, that He has a plan for all of us. And I know that God doesn't send any of us to this earth with the intention of not getting us back. He loves us, and the potential is truly ours. We have never had a better lesson! I just love him. Not in a creepy way of course. Every time we go over I just see how lonely he is, and how much better his life would be with the atonement, and with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I think because we truly do care for him, the lesson was centered on what he needed. I wish that it could have been filmed because the spirit was so strong that anyone could have been touched by it and truly converted by the Spirit. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets baptized in the near future. Oh and did I mention he prayed. It was the sweetest most humble prayer. He pleaded that Gods mercy would be greater than his wrath. I don't know how hard that step was for him, but I know it was hard, and I know God loves him and will definitely recognize this huge step and help him to see his mercy and love. 

   Anyway.. we had 4 investigators at church! It was such a powerful testimony meeting, I had to get up! I feel like the luckiest person in the world, because I see miracles everyday. 

Thanks be to the greatest family in the world! I LOVE YOU!

Sister Poulson