Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween on the Mission

Hello Family and Friends! Happy Halloween!!! :D

Hmm...  In case you were wondering, Halloween is less exciting on the mission, even on P-day. We have to stay in our apartments from 6 on... It is for our safety and so that no one can accuse missionaries for doing something people dressed up as missionaries did, but it is still kinda sad that we will be in our apartment CLEANING on Halloween :P It is okay though, it does make sense.

Umm... This week was pretty uneventful, actually. Although yesterday was awesome! We taught a member family, the familia Franco, and they were awesome! We did this activity with them where we help them find out who they can share the Gospel with, and the Spirit was so powerful! Sister Franco called us angels come to declare the Gospel, and I teared up a little bit. I truly felt like a missionary.

Oh! I gave a talk in church on Sunday! That was terrifying! Ten minutes straight of Spanish tends to do that to you. But God filled my mouth ^-^ All the members said they understood everything I said, and that they loved it! Also, it happened to be on faith, which I had been studying the week prior, so that was a tender mercy for me :)

Hmm... Yeah, that is about it. Oh, my favorite quote of the week: "It is never to late to be who you might have been." Keep in mind that you are only limitted by how much you believe you can accomplish! Follow your dreams, and become who you want to be :)

Til next week!

Elder Poulson

Bryan forgot his camera....so, decided I'd send cute Halloween pics of our little missionary ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Messing Up is a Pre-Requisite to Success

Mi familia y mis amigos!!! Como estan!? I hope the answer is a capitalized BIEN! :D

Alright, so this week was quite better than last week. We put in a lot of work and it payed off! More on that later. But because of that, I have some... Interesting goofs I managed to pull off :P
I managed to:
- Fall asleep for fifteen minutes in a member's bathroom during dinner.
- Wake up an hour late without realizing it, and then sit down for studies just to be told by my companion that we are about to leave for church.
- Ask a woman that said we shouldn't come by because her husband is jealous of us if there was another day we could pass by later that week, because I hadn't understood a word she said before.

So yeah, quite a few mess-ups. That was fun XD But it was worth it, cuz we had FOUR INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH!!! To put that in perspective, we have never had four investigators at the branch between all eight investigators, and Elder Quintana and I had four of our investigators there :) That was really cool, because once people come to church, they feel something special about it. It makes them more interested and likely to keep commitments until they see the truth of the Gospel. The investigators were Jesus and Maria, who also came to church last week, and then a 29 year old, Maria, and her 14 year old sister Piedad. The cool thing was, when they came to our missionary activity on Friday (we played volleyball and basketball), a less active, Jennifer, who we have been working with, knew Piedad! So then Jennifer came to church too, to help Piedad :) Yeah, really cool tender mercies of the Lord.

I realized that I haven't really said much about my companion. Really, he is awesome, but he is very... sarcastic, in a way. He will jump into acting like a punk from Denver (which he technically is) and he so good at it, that sometimes I don't realize he is messing with me. Here are some Quintana Quotes that might give you an idea of what he is like:
- "Walk what you preach." He says this at least three times a day. He is actually serious with that, he hates hypocrites.
- "Don't try, do." I literally can't say the word try without him saying that quote right back at me. So basically, try is no longer part of my vocabulary :)
- "My companion is a beautiful man." "Elder Poulson is the squat king, he can teach you!" Okay, here he was obviously joking, talking to a less active that is about 13. It cracked me up, actually XD
- "[Insert the lyrics of any song by Drake here]" He literally sings Drake songs all day, every day. He is basically his role model. And Elder Quintana is pretty much just as good as him! Not exaggerating: if you are curious, go look up his youtube channel, the_los_main, and you will see.

Anyways, yeah, that is my trainer ^-^

Spiritual thought of the week: The Slippery Slope. I was thinking about all of the experiences I have had thus far on the mission, and I realized that everything is a slippery slope. With anything from exercising, to talking to strangers, to commiting sin, it is a slippery slope: if you give in just a little bit, it becomes harder to stop later. For instance, look at David in the Bible. He wouldn't have seen that one woman bathing if he had been at war with his people (which he was supposed to be). That seemingly insignificant decision, to stay home from war for a time, led to serious sexual sin, and each thing he did afterward made it harder from him to stop.

The moral of the story: don't even get close to the edge of the slope. If you decide to or not to do something, don't let yourself give in when it gets hard. By small and simple things, great things come to pass: that isn't just for positive things, it works the same for sin and transgression.

I'ma leave ya'll with a poem that is in "the missionary's little book of inspirational stories", which my trainer gave me cuz I loved it so much! :D

"Be like the bird, who,
Halting in his flight,
On limb to slight,
Feels it give way beneath him
Yet sings,
Knowing he hath wings."
Victor Hugo

That is all for this week! I love you all! Do good and be happy! :D

Elder Poulson

**We've requested pictures with Bryan actually IN them!!  haha!

Elder Quintana and the District Leaders

This is a less active members son in his Halloween costume

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Transfer mk2!!!

Hey Family and Friends!!!

This will probably be kinda short. Sorry :/ But this week was pretty crazy! A lot of ups and downs!

We had some members at lessons AND some investigators at church this week, which are both firsts for me! It was really cool! Two people we are teaching, Jesus (pronounce hey soos) and Maria, came after just two lessons! We also taught Evelyn some more this week, she is really solid. She is willing to listen and keeps her commitments. Except... She didn't go to church :P We'll figure out why this week though.

So spiritual thought of the week. I have seen SO many families here that only have one parent, or some of the siblings are off the deep end, or whatnot. Very rarely do I meet a "complete" family. But they love whatever family they have, unconditionally. So all of you with your wonderful families, appreciate them! Love them! According to Elder Uchtdorf, love is spelled T-I-M-E! Spend time with them!

That is all. Till next week

Elder Poulson

This is the tree at Healthhaven Hospice where they hung the blue butterflies 
they all wrote their loved ones names on.  Bryan wrote about it last week.   

Monday, October 10, 2016

When New Zealanders Come to Town

Hola familia y amigos!!! I hope ya'll are doing well!

This week was a little hectic, but pretty good! We had a Zone Conference this week because Elder Ardern of the Seventy came to visit the mission!!! So that was really cool :) Him and his wife had really strong accents from New Zealand (hence the title), so it was really easy to pay attention to them when they talked! ^-^ They gave us a lot of gems about missionary work, it was really cool!

We had an event Saturday for the Hospice Company we volunteer at, called HavenHealth. We generally help for two hours every Friday, doing office tasks like folding stuff and sealing envelopes and organizing binders. Anyways, they had an event on Saturday where they held a service for everyone who had lost a loved one during their hospice care. They had a cool little thing with some poetry reading and singing, and they had every family write the name of a loved one on little blue paper butterflies (that we made, by the way), and hang them on a little tree up front. Then they gave each family a life monarch butterfly in a box to release into the wild, to represent their loved one! It was really cool! I got to write my Grandpa's name on one of the butterflies, so that was really awesome!

So tomorrow is transfers, which this time are crazy!!! We are adding another companionship to my District, which is also going to be a training companionship. So Elders Jumonville and Urbina are going to split their area. And then Elders Jumonville and Urbina will be trio training somebody (which never happens). Then Elder Avilles is leaving, and another Elder is replacing him. For the little amount of that that made sense, it is crazy!

I learned a lot spiritually this week. It was kinda a rough one for me, but yesterday I fasted and prayed for help. Last night, I just felt... Good. It had no reason or cause. I just felt comforted. If that wasn't the Spirit, I don't know what is! So that was really inspiring to me. Never understimate the power of prayer and fasting :)

Yup. That is it. Until next week!

Elder Poulson

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Life Isn't Easy: It's Worth It

If you so happen to have questions such as "How fashionable are the clothes of a 350 pound Samoan?", "How much does it cost for a locksmith to pick a lock?, or "Has anyone ever bothered to make exactly 9 cookies?", keep reading. If not... Well, keep reading anyways, you've probably got nothing better to do! ;)

Haha so yeah, it was a pretty crazy week. Not much teaching, a lot of unusual stuff, but it was good ^-^
So... Tuesday of last week, we were leaving our apartment, and as I pushed my bike out, I took a glance at my desk where my spare key sat. And I thought "meh, I don't really need that, Elder Quintana ALWAYS has his keys". Well about ten seconds later, I felt pretty stupid when Elder Quintana froze, turned to me, and asked if I had my spare key. Sooo... We locked ourselves out :P
So after calling the office, having on of the senior elders come over with the spare key to find that it was made incorrectly and didn't work, I was ready to climb around the corner, where our open window sat tantalizingly close to the balcony. But of course, it was "too dangerous", so we went to plan B: sleep over with some other Elders, find a locksmith in the morning. Sooo we ended up sleeping in Elder Avilles and Si'a's apartment.

Elder Si'a was gracious enough to lend us some extra clothes so that he could wash our proselyting clothes for the next day... Elder Si'a also happens to be a 350 pound Samoan Elder! XD Yeah, it was a sight to behold. His shirt went down to my knees ^-^ So that was fun!
The next day, we had a locksmith come, who took a look at it and said he could pick it... For $175... Before I could offer to climb in the window again, the senior Elder said yes (since he was paying for it with missionary funds) and in about 1 minute, we were in our apartment again! So yeah, that was a rip-off, and we felt really bad. Fun adventure though!

As for the cookies thing... Well, my mom sent me a BOMB package, and in it was almost all the ingredients to make cookies already mixed in plastic bags. So I made my comp cookies! They pan was really small though... So I only made nine. Long story short, I ate 2, he ate 7. When I told the other Elders this though, they didn't really care about anything except the fact that I made 9 cookies. "Who makes nine cookies?" So for the week, that has been kinda a running joke :)

Alright, some awesome spiritual experiences of the week:

-We were teaching a lesson to Ismael, and I decided to start testifying about prayer, which we had been trying to convince him to do since we met him. With my companion's help, I managed to teach him an entire mini-lesson on prayer! The Spirit was really strong, it felt great :) So that was a huge confidence booster for me.

-I got to the temple today!!! The LA temple is HUGENORMOUS!!!! Seriously, I thought Utah temples were big, but this one is giant! But I missed the temple and the Spirit of it a lot, so that was really wonderful for me.

-I went on exchanges twice this week, once with Elder Jumonville, my district leader, and one with Elder Urbina. That was really cool (and weird, cuz my whole time here I have been with Elder Quintana), and I learned a lot! Plus Elder Jumonville and I have similar backgounds, so it was easy to relate to him ^-^

-And last but not least, Conference!!!
Let us talk about that for a moment, shall we? It might just be because I am on a mission, but it seemed to me that there was a lot of talk about missionary work. I would highly advise that you don't de-emphasize those because you aren't on a mission. I am currently in an area where the members are really hard to work with... Without the members' help, missionary work almost doesn't happen. So I would encourage yall to offer to help your ward or stake missionaries, if you can. I know it is different in Utah, and it can be hard when you are busy. I doubt I would have listened when I was home if someone had told me to go work with missionaries. But without members, missionary work doesn't work. Just a thought ^-^

Also, my favorite talk was the one by President Nielson on joy! Don't forget to find joy in your lives, and more importantly, in your afflictions. Which is, of course, easier said than done, but through Christ, it is possible.

Umm... So yeah, that is about it. Thanks for reading! Sorry this week's was so long :P I'll email ya'll later ;)

Elder Poulson

Bryan in the Samoan Elder's clothes

Exchanges with the District Leader

Map of Bryan's Mission

He found another Elder POULSON

Monday, October 3, 2016

Surprise Text !!

It's the BEST when you get a text from a fellow missionary mom living in your son's mission. Especially when you've been waiting all day for an email and are wondering what's going on!!  I love this lady who also had a son serving a mission in Colorado.  I am so thankful she ran into my Elder!

"Met these handsome men at Panda Express. Your son wanted me to let you know they changed p-days this week because tomorrow is a temple day and he will write tomorrow."