Monday, July 17, 2017

Hope Unto Faith

Buenos dias all you wonderful people! I hope you're having a wonderful day doing wonderful things full of wonder! Wondering why I'm saying wonder so much? Me too. Starting emails is hard.

Now that I got that over with, this week was both good and rough at the same time. I kinda started good but then fizzled out. That is okay though, we can always bounce back!

Our investigators have all been kind of dodgy. We did teach Alfredo, which was cool! He is paralyzed from the chest down due to a recent accident, so he really needs the Gospel. We also had someone show up to church that we have been looking for for awhile! His name is Victor, his wife is a member and the sister of Hna Jolon, who lives in our area. We had a lesson yesterday with him, his wife, the Jolons, AND our ward mission leader! So we're gonna work with him too :)

We had a REALLY cool zone conference this week! President Patterson showed us most of the talk that Elder Anderson gave at the recent seminar for new mission presidents. It was called "the urgency to find", and it was all about finding people to teach, which is a constant topic on the mind of a missionary. It can be REALLY difficult sometimes to find new people to teach.

But in applying those principles, I had an AWESOME experience on exchanges! Elder Hernandez and I set a goal to find three new investigators, and we worked at it all day. We ended up teaching one lesson at the end of the night and left at about 8:50. We parked to do an exchange review, but I just felt unsatisfied. I knew that we had the faith to find, and it bothered me that we hadn't. But as we started the review, Elder Hernandez brought up someone we had forgotten to go by. I asked if we could go now, and he agreed that we could, so we went. We found three new investigators from visiting a former investigator! There was just the mom and dad there, but we wanted to find three, so we asked if anyone else in the house was interested, and the daughter came out and listened too! It felt SO great! Something Elder Anderson taught us is to pray with faith, work hard and with The Spirit, and then get desperate. He is so right!

I also actually got to share a bit about the attribute of hope in zone conference and testify about it, which was really cool. I learned more from my studies of hope. I realized that hope is and always will be a prerequisite to acting in faith. Every time Nephi does something awesome in faith, he first expresses to his brethren that he knows it will all work out, that is God is in it and on it, and they need only to act to receive the promised blessings. THEN he does something awesome with great faith. Hope first. Trust God is in charge, and will make it all work out. Then you will find that any fear and discouragement you had will become irrelevant, and you will be free to act with the courage you've always wanted to have. Hope leads to faith. Remember that.

Well, I'ma sign off. And by sign off, I of course mean that I am going to say goodbye, because it is kind of hard to sign your signature with a keyboard. It would probably be fun to watch though. Anyways, have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Breakfast for champs!

Elder Lee

More of Elder Lee (Bry....we want pics with you in them!!!!)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Exit now for bananas probably

Hello family and friends (and pets)!!! How are you this fine evening? And by fine evening I mean it's so hot outside you could probably boil an egg on the sidewalk AND cook the hen that laid it, but that's not the point ;) Hopefully the weather is nice wherever you are right now :)

This week was just FANTASTIC!!! And that's not just because compared to last week, ANY week would be fantastic. We seriously had a blast this week! The work was bumping in Long Beach for sure :)

If I haven't mentioned it yet, I've learned on the mission that I LOVE soccer! Haha! (It's funny, because I know for a fact I've mentioned it like 10 times. Haha.) But every morning for soccer, there is a park super close that we hope over to that has a cage soccer course! It makes me SO happy! So basically, when I get back, it's going to be hard not to go pro with all the offers I'm gonna get ;) Haha just kidding, I'm still not that good, but it is fun. The reason I bring it up is because we managed to get the whole ZONE to come play during sports today, and I am SO STOKED!!! :D So it's on the mind.

Anyways, now that that tangent is out of the way, this week was great primarily because we worked a whole lot with members!!! Especially this weekend! One of the best experiences I've had in a long time: Last night, we had a member call US and ask to come out (which was awesome!), and we ended up finding a less-active family and a new investigator!

But directly after that was the best part. We ended up taking an hermano, Hno Jolon, and his daughter Darlin to visit the familia Cipriano, who I mentioned last week. The cool thing is, recently a cousin of their's, Hector, moved in. He actually got baptized three years ago in the same ward I started my mission in, on the other side of Long Beach. He met the missionaries, said he was converted in "half an hour", and got baptized five days later. He has a crazy backstory, but basically when he went back to Mexico, he went less active. But he recently returned, specifically to get away from his hectic life and get back into the church! And let me tell you, he is AWESOME! So he was also there. And then the English missionaries that are our neighbors also teach someone that lives in that house. (It is divided into two separate apartments)

So if any passerby happened to glance over at the house last night, they would have seen three different pockets of people: me with Hector and Hno Jolon, Elder Lee with Darlin and the two younger Cipriano girls, and the English Elders with their investigator and the older Cipriano girl. And we were ALL having great Spiritual conversations and lessons about The Gospel!!! It was SO amazing!!!

Well I took so long to tell that story, I'm gonna have to end this soon. But my spiritual input of the week is (1) help the missionaries in your ward or stake. Just do it. It will benefit them, their investigators, and YOU far more than you could anticipate. And (2) always strive to have the Christlike attribute of hope. I learned that this week. We spent all of our afternoons knocking on less actives' and referrals' doors in the hot sun, and found almost no one. But the few times we did find people, and the many times when we had fantastic teaching moments that night, were when we actively had hope. When we recognized that God is in it, and that when we are doing His work, we just have to keep going and we'll find success. When we have hope, we don't get discouraged. And anyways, according to Elder Holland, "trouble has no necessary correlation with discouragement." When I believe it was Albert Enstein whose entire labaratory was burning down, he ran to his kids and told them to "go get your mom! She may never see another fire like this her whole life!" Have hope!

 Love ya'll! Keep on keeping on and such. Or according to this billboard "exit now for bananas probably". Haha bye!

Elder Poulson 

Monday, July 3, 2017

If You Visit Long Beach, Ditch the Car and Ride a Bike

GOOOOOOOOD Morning family and friends and such! This week was both horrible and fantastic at the same time... It made for some great stories! So I'm gonna have a whole lot of fun writing this email!

Other missionaries have told me many times how horrible it is to have a car in Long Beach. As a greenie riding my bike at the biking of the mission, I begged to differ. I couldn't wait to get in a car! And when I did, I was in the nice wide streets of Huntington Beach and Westminster. But now here I am, driving around downtown Long Beach, and let me tell you, it is crazy! Here are some of my ridiculous car stories:

- I haven't quite figured out why they have so many three lane one way roads, but they do! The other day, I went to make a right turn onto a street, and my companion started freaking out. I was confused, but kept going until it registered that he was saying, "this is a one way road!" And this one was only one lane! No cars were coming, so we were fine, it was actually really funny!

- We spent 20 minutes trying to find parking for exchanges, and we were already late, so we ended up parking a block away. That was annoying enough since we had to haul all of the stuff we needed to stay at their apartment for the night and the next day. At about 3:00 the next day, I noticed an envelope chilling under my windshield wipers. Turns out we got a parking ticket. Yay. :( It had been chilling there all day. The street we had parked on the night before had street sweeping that morning. But there was an open spot literally 20 feet from where we parked that would have been fine to park in! So that was upsetting :P

- This is the last one, and easily the worst. It was probably one of the most traumatic experiences on my mission. We were teaching our new investigator, Chewy, and were about to end the lesson because he was pretty clearly not interested. His dog came out from behind the house and we pet it for a minute. The gate was open, so Elder Lee and I were both keeping an eye on him to make sure he wasn't going to run out (this house was on a pretty main road). Well, the next thing I know, I hear a giant thud, and Elder Lee yells "oh gosh no!" and buries his head in his hands. I looked back just in time to see... Well, I'll spare you the details. But it was not pretty. Chewy, in the meantime, says "ai, mi perro!" and runs out to it. It died pretty quickly. I went to direct traffic in front of it, and got a front row seat to all of the horrified moms sitting in the passenger seats as they saw the scene. Chewy ended up grabbing a shovel and moving the dog. In the meantime, I look over, and my companion is on the sidewalk by a tree, laying down and ghostly pale. I guess he went completely blind and deaf for a minute, and almost passed out. It took 2 hours, Meet the Mormons, the Book of Mormon, homemade cookies, Carl's Jr., and bombing the other Elder's car with water balloons to recover from the trauma enough to get back to the work. Needless to say, it was horrible. So that happened!

As a side note, I did discover that I LOVE Meet the Mormons! I started paying a bit more attention to what they say about  Spiritual stuff, and there is some deep wisdom in that movie. Especially Gale Halverson, the candy bomber guy. He said that the way we find joy is to go out and serve, and the way he said it made me realize how right he is! My best moments on the mission have been when I am completely focused on helping others. I think that is a life principle we could all apply a bit more. After all, the character of Christ was always to turn out, when the natural man's tendency would have been to turn in.

We have been teaching the less-active family that was also in my ward in Long Beach East, the Ciprianos, and their little girl, Sophie, is adorable! She is this chubby little toddler, and is constantly saying funny things! In this ward, they put our names and pictures on the program. The Ciprianos came to church this week (because I won a bet and landed a water bottle on a windowsill before any of the daughters could), and Sophie saw my picture on the program. During a perfectly silent moment, she yelled out in her cute child voice "Look! It's Elder Poulshon!" Haha I laughed so hard, it was adorable!

It was also great to meet all the members at church this week. Zero to none came to Stake Conference last week, so this is my first time seeing most of them. We have a lot of plans to work with members this week, which is SO exciting! :D Members make all the difference, you know. If you haven't yet, I would encourage ya'll to tell the missionaries in your ward/stake that you are willing to help them if they need it. We can do almost nothing without your help.

As for the other rough part of this week, we didn't teach ANY of our investigators :P That is okay though, we have appointments with them, and we found 2 new investigators by following the Spirit! I really am learning that we MUST rely on the Spirit. None of us have all of the skills we need in this life to be successful in happy in whatever we do. We can succeed by ourselves to an extent, but when we rely on The Spirit, he can guide us to do those things we aren't yet inclined to do, because we haven't developed those skills yet. He also is sent by God, who kind of sort of knows everything anyone could ever possibly know. It might be a good idea to seek his advice, don't ya think? ;)

I have a time limit on these computers, so I'm going to sign off now. But I love you all, I hope you enjoyed the email! Pray, read your scriptures, go to church, and follow The Spirit, and everything will UNDOUBTEDLY work out! Have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Monday, June 26, 2017

Welcome (back) to Long Beach

Hello familia and amigos!!! This is your friendly neighborhood missionary, emailing from a random library in Compton, because libraries in Long Beach are closed on Mondays :P That being said, life is good! I am back to perusing the streets of Long Beach, just on the other side this time, and in a car. Our area covers the ENTIRE downtown Long Beach. It is HUGE! It is bigger than my last zone, actually. We have the Pike, the Queen Mary, and about everything else that makes Long Beach famous. So that is kind of exciting!

My new companion, Elder Lee, is pretty great. He reminds me of one of my best friends from home, so that is always good. We have a similar sense of humor, so being myself is not a challenge here ^-^

We have a LOT of good investigators here. I haven't quite met all of them yet, because unfortunately, Elder Lee was sick when I got here, and it turns out he has the flu! Yay... So doctors orders, we had to stay inside all night Tuesday and all day Wednesday :( In case you were wondering, that is literally the worst thing you could do to a missionary. What are we supposed to do!? Literally our entire job deals with talking to people! Plus everything you would normally do if you were stuck inside is ruled out. Your options are study, sleep, or watch a handful of church approved movies on a small DVD player. So that was interesting.

Let me tell ya, there are some crazy people in Long Beach. We have now had about for people yell out at us about something to do with Mormons. Most of them were on drugs or drunk. We actually had a guy essentially tell us we are going to Hell because we didn't give him a dollar. Yup. It's a good time though, we just laugh it off!

There is also a member family that lives here that moved here from my first ward. So that was kind of weird to see them. They are in our area, which is kind of cool!

Our district is awesome too. I ended up in the same district as Elder Keeler, who was in my MTC district, and somehow we are the two missionaries with the most time on the mission out of everyone in our district. Nobody has been out more than a year. So that was kind of surprising! But we are all young and excited, so it should be a good time!

Umm... Yup. Nothing much more to report. Oh, one of our investigators, Luis, came to church and kept falling asleep and snoring. To his credit, it WAS stake conference, so I don't really blame him ;) So that was awkward/funny!

I learned this week that as people, we function best when we don't worry about what we are doing. Essentially, if we are confident in ourselves. Naturally, we should care about our own actions and if they are right, but I don't believe that self-doubt is anything more than a ploy of the devil. So challenge: do one thing this week that nobody else would be silly enough to do. And then don't doubt yourself for doing it! Ready... GO!

I love you all! Thanks for taking the time to read about a little curly haired missionary chilling in Cali. Have a good week!

Elder Poulson

Elder Poulson & Elder Lee (Bry's new comp)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Makin' My Way Downtown

Well, hello family and friends! I'm just here typing away, short on time as always, so we'll see how this goes!

News of the week: I am FINALLY getting transferred!!! :D Don't get me wrong, I love this area and the people here, but I am ready for a change. I'm headed to downtown Long Beach with an Elder Lee, who I have heard is pretty cool ^-^ So yep, back to Long Beach for me, just the other side this time. But I am SUPER STOKED!!! Apparently I am going to a really good area!

As for investigators here:
- Angie started listening to us again. I think she will progress after we leave. Eduarda is working on getting a job, our fingers are crossed!
- Jared is good, just hard to teach sometimes, because kids. But we have hopes for him too!
- Beatriz's member friend is working with her. She will get baptized someday, but maybe not too soon :P

Something I have really learned lately is something I call the Application Cycle. It has 5 steps: Study, Set a Goal, PRACTICE, Do, Evaluate. Sounds simple, but the more I am on the mission, the more desperately I want to become a better missionary and person. And this cycle really helps! I capitalized practice because it is often the most neglected part. Sure, when you attempt to actually do the thing you set a goal to do, it is sort of practice. But if you do your practicing beforehand, when you actually get to the real life doing it part, you will perform way better! For instance: I study how to teach more simply, I set a goal to use less words and speak more clearly. I practice with my companion, and figure out what things I need to change. Then I go do it, and it works pretty well. And then I evaluate, and decide if I should set the same goal again (if I didn't reach it), or set a new goal! Simple, but it is powerful. We had some spiritual lessons this week because of it.

I have also been working on something I call my rules! A mission statement of sorts, that helps me become what I want to be. So that is fun! Rule #1 is the most important though: Love God and love those around you. I am striving to do that more fully. Love is a verb, after all. It is something you actively do.

I would also like to say that The Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool we have to bring us closer to Christ. Use it.

Welp. I'm out of time. But I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Poulson

Saying goodbye to Huntington Beach

Monday, June 12, 2017

Soccer + Diligence = JOY!!!

Before I begin, I would like to officially announce that soccer is perhaps the best sport ever, and that putting two barrels on the extremities of each side and having no goalie would NOT make it better. A member told us that yesterday... I thought it was interesting. Haha

Well I'm doing this last, which means I am already almost out of time. But I'm going to type quick anyways!

So last p-day one of the other elders had somehow got ahold of a GIANT soccer ball! And he inflated it beforehand... Kind of a bad plan. So we ended up hauling it like that! It was hilarious! We made so many people's days, it was great!

Investigators are doing pretty good! None came to church, EXCEPT that same member brought her friend to church AGAIN! We are super excited about that! We have an appointment set up to teach her this week. We worked a lot with members these last few days, and it has made such a difference! In case you were wondering, it is no longer possible to do missionary work without your guys' help. 20 years ago, tracting worked. Now a days, we need your help.

Not much to say about other investigators. We're working with them. We picked up Jared again, which is great!

We listened to a talk the other day called Currency of Trust, and it was amazing! It talked about how to ask questions and create and atmosphere of trust. It changed the way we think. One of my favorite parts: desire+knowledge+skills=power. Meaning, you can learn as much as you want, but if you don't have the desire to put it into practice, it doesn't matter. And you can have desire and knowledge, but if you don't PRACTICE, it won't make any difference! You must develop skills to be successful at anything. And then turn those skills into habits.

Well, there is a room full of people waiting to email, so I'm gonna dip. I love you all! As my sister always says, "have courage and be kind!"

Elder Poulson

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Power of Godliness

Buenos Dias family and friends and such! I hope you are all doing well :) Before I start, I have heard some speculations that my snail from last week, Jerry, didn't actually exist. I am sure that the attached pictures will clearly rebute any such allegations. ^-^ Haha he is now released back into the wild, so no worries!

A lot of powerful things happened this week, hence the title. Plus a member kept talking about Thor, so it's on my mind ;) But I do believe that the power we feel from experiences pertaining to this Gospel is of vital importance. No one could truly be converted or know of the truth of these things without feeling the Holy Ghost and the power therein.

But first, investigators. Beatriz has been busy, and didn't show up to church, so that was kind of disappointing. Angie also has been busy and unresponsive, and didn't come to church. BUT we still had someone come! It was kind of a miracle. A member in our area brought her friend that I taught with Elder Harward awhile back, and who I had thought was completely uninterested. But she came to church and loved it! :D So that was really cool! We think that fasting had something to do with it. If you ever need a miracle, try fasting. I know from experience that it almost inevitably works, and often in ways we never expected.

Eduarda is still working on getting Sundays off or getting a new job. Viola has also been busy this week, but that is okay. We're going to keep working with all of them. Prayer and faith works too :)

One powerful experience I had this week happened in church yesterday. Hermano Rodriguez stood up to give his testimony. Now that sounds pretty normal until you recognize that Hermano Rodriguez was recently hospitalized and is currently in a wheelchair. With the help of three men, he managed to get to the pulpit, and his son still had to stand there behind him and hold him up. Through tears and gasps of pain, this wonderful man boldy bore his testimony, quoting the scripture that says, more or less, that  when you bear your testimony, angels rejoice, and The Spirit is there. Well let me tell you, The Spirit was there! It was crystal clear. I loved it, and I have an immense respect for that humble disciple of Christ.

We also had Zone Conference this week, which was immensely powerful! We watched a video of two recently returned missionaries teaching Elder and Sister Cook the Restoration (the first lesson we teach), with the whole quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency sitting there watching. (No pressure) But they were asked to teach it in four minutes. And in four minutes, they taught that entire lesson with authority and power. I was amazed at The Spirit we felt as we only watched a VIDEO of two missionaries teaching the Restoration.

I can bear testimony to you all that I know now, more than ever, that it is true. That the God loves us, and he has always given us the Church of Jesus Christ on the Earth, and he did so again through Joseph Smith, the first prophet in this the last dispensation of the fulness of times. It in reality happened. And if you don't know that for yourself, I would invite you to kneel down right now and ask God to tell you. Because if you do so with a sincere heart and humble spirit, you will feel a love and power you have never felt before, the very same power and love I felt that day and every time I teach this message. If you haven't yet, please: just ask God. You won't leave you without guidance.

That is the best thing I could say to you all, so I guess I'll finish with that :) And this scripture. Our Savior has told us that "the kingdom of God is within you." Remember that all blessings God can give you are based on what you do. So do your best to do good and follow Him, and he will bless you. He probably already is: look around and you'll find more blessings in your life than you thought existed. I love you all!!! Have a pretty adequate week :)

Elder Poulson

Meet Jerry the Snail

Check out Elder Poulson bobble head!!  hahaha!

"Go Rex's"

Monday, May 29, 2017

When Life is Moving too Fast, Make Friends with a Snail

Good Morning family and friends! I'm Elder Poulson, and this is my snail, Jerry. We'll be your hosts for the evening. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the email!!! :D *Crowds Cheering*

This week was quite the roller coaster. It was honestly like someone put me on a frisbee and tossed me back and forth a bunch of times. You would know what that feels like, wouldn't you Jerry? *Canned Laughter* A lot of crazy stuff happened with investigators. 

The biggest news is that we stopped teaching Jared. *Collective Gasps* Yeah I know... I was devastated too. No really though, it was pretty rough. He essentially told us he doesn't want to do anything we ask him to. We suspect there is more to the story though, so we are going to talk to him later this week.

Beatriz came to church this week though! *Cheering* She has been an investigator forever, but dropped off the face of the planet like 4 months ago. We are going to really try to help her progress. Eduarda still needs a different job, and her daughter, Angie, didn't come to church because she had to watch her sister :P We'll see what happens though!

Let me tell you though, we finally got a ward mission leader, and he is AMAZING!!! So humble and willing to serve! He encourage us to fast and pray, love our companions, work with members, etc., and it just got us all pumped up! I never realized how important a ward mission leader is, because I haven't had one in 6 months, and back then I couldn't understand a word he said XD But I am really excited to work with him! Plus he is in my area, and him and his wife are Samoan, so I'ma get some BOMB food!!!

I learned some valuable lessons about priorities this week. Essentially, it is pointless to make any sort of plan for your life if you don't know your priorities. You won't accomplish what you want to. My companion listed out his priorities, and I followed suite. It was really eye-opening! If you base all that you do on what matters most first, you will never go wrong. For instance, disobedience suddenly seems less tantalizing when your first priority is to put God's will above yours.

I also learned something cool that Elder Bednar said. Something along the lines of "stop worrying if it is The Spirit! Just be a good boy or good girl, keep the commandments, serve people, and it will all work out. So many people feel something and say, I'm not really sure if it is The Spirit. Stop it! Just trust that it is, and act, and it will all work out!" I kinda needed that. I think it is important to remember that if we were ever sure that it was The Spirit we were feeling, it would require no faith for us to follow it. And faith is the law on which God's ability to bless us is predicated. (Jerry is good at that. He feels around with his feelers, and will even stretch out off an edge to the point where he could fall, trusting that something will be there.)

Well, I only have an hour today, so I'm going to sign off. But remember this: The only way to truly progress in this life is to more fully understand and apply the Doctrine of Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism AND the sacrament, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end are the very process by which we change and become better, until we "lay hold on every good thing", and are "perfected in him." Check out the talk by Brian K Ashton in the October 2016 General Conference for more on that.

Bye, love ya'll! Have a snail-tastic week! ;) *Cheering*

Elder Poulson and Jerry

P.S. - It is very hard to type with a snail on the back of your hand. But I would advise you to try it anyways ;)

This is Elder Bry with a member of our ward, Todd Jorgensen.  Bryan wanted to send home a guitar he was given in his last area.  Todd was nice enough to pick it up while he was in California on business.  So fun to get a picture from Todd of our cute missionary.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Literally the Word of God

GOOOOOOOOD MORNING FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!! How are ya'll doing? Just say good to your computer or phone right now, out loud. If you say it, you'll believe it, and then you will be doing FANTASTIC!!! :D Yeah!

So this week was definitely good! A little slow at times, but we had some good successes about every day. So that is always satisfying ^-^

Not too much has changed with Eduarda and Jared. Just trying to help them progress towards baptism. But we started teaching Eduarda's daughter, Angie, and she is AWESOME!!! :D She is super sincere and has some really good questions! So we are excited to teach her. We also managed to FINALLY start teaching Beatriz again. She is an investigator from almost 5 months ago that dropped off the radar when Elder Valenzuela left. But she came to church last week, and we managed to teach her this week. So we hope to help her progress to baptism.

I was reading President Uchtdorf's talk from this last Conference, and what really impressed me is that perfect love can literally overcome any fear. I think we could all recognize that more. After all, the only reason Our Savior Jesus Christ could perform the Atonement was because his perfect love for us overcome his fear of performing such an excruciating act. My Dad also told me this week that we can find more confidence in the fact that we are keeping the commandments of God. After all, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So if we have perfect loved, we will be obedient. Obedience casts out fear too.

Something someone said in church this week really struck me. One of the speakers said that "We have more scriptures at our fingertips than any other nation has ever had at any time in the history of the World." Think about it. We LITERALLY have the WORD of GOD, our HEAVENLY FATHER, the ALL-POWERFUL and ALL-KNOWING FATHER of our Spirits. How could we ever take for granted the fact that we can access exactly what he wants us to hear within the time it takes to press a couple buttons. Think how much people in the days before technology would have given to have access to such a wealth of information. My exhortation to you all would be to read what are called the words of Eternal Life for AT LEAST 15 seconds per day. Yeah you read that right. At least 1 5 SECONDS per day. Just form the habit, if you haven't already. Opening the scriptures every day will do more for you than nearly anything else you could ever do.

Well, that is my 2.37 cents for the day. Umm... Yep. Ya'll have an above average week! I love you all! Let me know if there is anything I can do for any of you. Chou!

Elder Poulson

Monday, May 15, 2017

Self Worth and Feeling

Hey, this Elder Poulson, emailing live from the not-so-eventful library in Huntington Beach California! How are ya'll doing?

Well, I am low on time, because I had to catch up on some emailing and such. BUT I will try to give this a good go anyways!

The highlight of this week was of course skyping my family! It was great! And for all of you who think you have the best mom in the world, you're wrong. I do ;) And I love her! ^-^

Investigators wise:
-Jared is good, but progressing slowly. He is a 10 year old kid, so I don't really hold it against him.
-Eduarda now has a job that works her on Sundays :P So we are working on helping her figure that out. Baptism is a commitment to go to church for the rest of your life, after all.
-Sandy is busy as ever, but she is reading the Book of Mormon, so that is good!
-Alfonso is just the strongest convert ever! He goes to everything church related, and it is amazing! He really does have great faith :)

I really felt guided by The Spirit this week! We ended up finding another "unknown" less active member, and we are going to teach her relatives! So that is exciting :) And we found them because against all logic, we followed The Spirit. Something key that I have learned is that you will never be sure it is the Spirit you are feeling. A lot of the time, you just have to have faith that if you are trying to follow the Spirit, despite uncertainty, God will make sure you are blessed for your efforts!

Just two nuggets, and I've got to dip.
- Your self-worth has a direct relationship with your effectiveness. You CANNOT be effective and get a lot done if you don't love yourself and find value in your own abilities. I read a quote today that said that the key to a peaceful life is to find value in yourself and your contribution, NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS CONTRIBUTE. Comparison will only destroy you. Find self-worth in the fact that you are a son or daughter of God, and as such, are heirs to the greatest kingdoms of God, no matter what perceived weaknesses you have. The talk self-worth by Hyrum W Smith is one of the best I've ever heard, so if you want to, you should listen to it or read it! Also, Elder Holland's talk this last conference.
- Put some feeling into what you do and say. I feel like sometimes we are so tired and going through the motions that we don't really put feeling into what we're doing. I think that the best way to light up your life is to let your feelings shine through in what you do or say. The secret to fulfillment is to feel :)

Welp, I'm gonna go now. I love you all! Take care! Remember that God loves you!

Elder Poulson

A sweet member Mom sent me these pictures from Sunday Dinner at her house.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day SKYPE CALL!!

Best Mother's Day gift ever.....I got to skype with my favorite Elder.  Elder Bry looked so great and is doing fantastic.  We had so much fun talking to him and being able to SEE him.  His smile just makes me feel happy!  Oh how I love that boy of mine!!

Here is Savannah's instagram post....love the picture!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Simplify and Act

Hello queridos amigos and familia! I'm sick of saying "how are you?" and pretending that you all are saying "good" back, so I'm just gonna spill the news.

So I was making a breakfast shake, like I do every morning, and the bottom of the blender thing came off... I felt like that had happened before, so I put it back on and decided to test it (mistake #1) But of course me being me, my mind got ahead of itself, and I tested it without putting the lid on (mistake #2). So I turn it on, realize as the shake starts splashing that the lid isn't on, and in my haste to turn off the machine, I hit the side of the blender pitcher (mistake #3). Three strikes your out, and I ended up with milk all over my jacket and shoes, a giant mess of ingredients on the counter, and my companion staring at me like I was crazy as I stood there repeatedly hitting my head on the wall. It was quite the adventure! So yeah, that is the news I had to spill. Cause it was a spill. Haha get it? Well I made myself laugh at least ;)

But I suddenly feel like a jerk for not asking, so HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?!?! Hopefully you're doing great! If you're not, hopefully this email somehow makes you feel better! Or if nothing else, gives you a laugh or two ^-^

I have a WHOLE lot to write about this week, and not too much time to do it, so bear with me.

So Alfonso had quite the week. I can't give much details, but basically he was kicked out of his house. He has gotten help from the Bishop and will be living with a member, but it was a pretty rough experience for him, as one would expect. But I just can't even tell you how amazed I am by the faith he has shown through it all! He sent us twenty texts rapid-fire the night he got kicked out, and we told him to read the Book of Mormon (he was staying at and investigator's house for the night) and pray to know what to do. The next he told us that he had felt the Spirit answer him, and that he knew exactly what to do! He said he loved reading the Book of Mormon and really felt the Spirit while doing so.

Long story short, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is not only real, but can be extremely powerful and prevalent in our lives if we permit it to be. As far as I can tell, Alfonso has done what God has asked these past few months, and he is receiving the promised blessings of doing so. And all of us have the same blessings promised to us, if we are obedient to God's commands. So I would invite you all to continue to strive to do that.

The other amazing news this week is that Eduarda is no longer living with her boyfriend, which means she can get baptized! So that is very exciting! She is currently planning on being baptized at the end of this month, but it might happen sooner. Time will tell.

Jared is also doing great! He came to church despite throwing up that same morning... Which was both AWESOME and a bit concerning. He was determined though! Of course, he only stayed for the first hour, but I'm proud of him :)

A couple other fun things:
- We had a ward activity this week, and at the activity we played a game called Chubby Bunny... Basically, you go around in the circle and, without swallowing, put a marshmallow in your mouth. You then have to say "chubby bunny." And then you go around the circle and give everyone another marshmallow, and with each marshmallow you have to not swallow and still be able to say "chubby bunny". So I decided to do it along with a lot of other people... It was horrible. I'm never eating marshmallows again XD But if you so desire to see a video of me playing chubby bunny (chances are that will just be my mom), go to [https://www.facebook.com/groups/664840110294133/..or watch clip below]. I didn't win though :P
- We have been randomly playing soccer with kids in complexes as a way to get the comfortable enough to listen to us, and it has been working! We also found some kids digging holes for fun. They said they like to bury stuff and then dig it back up a couple years later... I was suddenly grateful that I had stuff to do as a kid. XD

As another missionary once phrased it, here is my spiritual nugget for the week. I really learned a lot this week, but this was my favorite part. The scriptures say "seek, and ye shall find." If you are like me, you have heard that a billion times and haven't thought much of it. But in a talk by President Uchtdorf in April 2016 connects that phrase to a quote by Abraham Lincoln: "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." When I read that I had an epiphany: WE CONTROL OUR LIVES. Now I get that that is a generally accepted fact, but think about it a bit more if you will.

We are sent here, the scriptures say, to "act or be acted upon." The scriptures also say, in Helaman 14:30-31, that "ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves... ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you." Basically, as President Monson has told us, "decisions determine destiny." What we choose to do determines our own happiness and the end result of our lives. If we desire good, we will have it. If we give in to the world and desire evil, we will have it. The door which you knock on will be opened unto you.

So as Elder Ballard counseled us this last general conference, take a moment and have a little self-interview. Figure out if you are making the decisions that are going to take you where you want to go, and permit you to do the things that you truly want to do. Is your current path going to allow you to "return and receive" all that God has in store for you? If not, that is okay, because YOU CAN CHANGE THAT. You can act. So as Elder Yoon Whan Choi said in his general conference talk, "look up!" Defeat the fears that are holding you back by the power of your faith. Believe in God, believe he is, look to Him, and ACT. Make the changes in your life that will allow you to become everything you have ever dreamed of becoming. And plan to "Return and Receive."

Act. Don't just be acted upon.

And as the subject line says, simplify. The most important actions are those based on counsel from God, through family, the living prophets and apostles, the scriptures, your church leaders, and through personal revelation. Don't get caught up in the world.

Well I always have more, but that is all for this week. I love you all, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them! Have a fantastic week!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Life is Good Until you get Stabbed

Goooood morning family and friends! How are ya'll doing? I'm doing great, thanks!

So this week was pretty exhausting, but it paid off! I did in fact get stabbed, but only by a needle so that they could take my blood... Which didn't help me to be less tired! But hey, it was fun!

The main event this week was that Alfonso got confirmed! Elder Harward came back to do it, so that was fun too. Alfonso felt SUPER good afterward, I loved it! I don't know if he has ever felt the Spirit so strongly. It was pretty amazing :)

Other than that, this week was strangely eventful. We went to the temple on Tuesday as you know, which was also our p-day. Elder Ramirez had to go to some papers stuff in another zone, so wen went there on Wednesday. Thursday I got stabbed by some Lady. Friday and Saturday were pretty much just spent trying to find people to teach, which was unusual for us. Usually we have someone to teach.

We actually made a game to try and get each other to talk to more people! You get points mainly for talking to people. The zone leaders ended up joining in and everything, it was great!

Umm... Yeah. Not too much more to report. Just moving along, doing the work!

I learned something really cool the other day! Someone was talking about how someone had asked them why our church doesn't used crosses. They responded that we don't just not use crosses, but any other symbols. That is because it is not necessary to use a symbol to show the rest of the world that we follow Christ. Our symbol is who we are and how we act. If we really are members of the true church of God on the Earth (and we are), it should show in everything we do and say and are. So yeah, I thought that was cool!

Well that is about it. Love ya'll! Keep up the faith!

Elder Poulson

Easter Package from Home

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Habits, Happiness, and Habits OF Happiness!

Hey family and friends and everyone, how are you all doing!? I realize I ask that every week, but it is a good question! I hope ya'll are doing good: I think you all have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so you should be happy! More on that later :)

The highlight of this week was easily that ALFONSO GOT BAPTIZED!!! :D It was actually kind of a close call, he got worried right before, but he ended up doing it and felt so happy afterwards! So anyways, that was an awesome experience :) He got baptized on Sunday, so he will get the gift of the Holy Ghost next Sunday. He said he won't feel complete without it ^-^ 

As for other eventful events of eventfullness, I got to go to the Newport Beach temple this morning, which was beautiful!!! I felt so spiritually rejuvenated, it was amazing! Really, the Spirit is wonderful in the house of the Lord. Don't take for granted the blessing of a temple all of you Utah people: it is one of the greatest blessings we have.

I learned something wonderful from Alfonso's baptism this week. After seeing his countenance change, I realized that that has already happened to me: I have already received that happiness. And in reality, I can still have it. Think about it. For all of you that are baptized and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, you literally have everything you need to be happy. Relying on the Savior, and having faith in him, will permit us to be happy all of the time. Honestly, we don't take advantage of this enough as latter day saints.

I also learned the power of habits. Habits allow us to move on and work on something else without worrying about the thing we just improved, knowing that by habit we will keep whatever redeeming quality we obtained. So if we can develop a HABIT of happiness, we won't have to worry about it all the time: we will just be happy! I think part of that would be obtaining an habit of optimism and work. Ask President Hinckley about that ;)

Well, that is about it. Bye love ya! Be happy for 30 days, and you'll build the habit! It is a choice.

Elder Poulson

Alfonzo's Baptism

Newport Beach Temple