Monday, February 29, 2016

Praying Can be Dangerous

It's crazy I've been out for over a month now! Time flies. This week
was interesting exciting kind of bummerish and kind of sweet all at
the same time. On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders, so one of them came to Lewisberry and I went to Harrisburg with the other one, Elder Gee. We spent pretty much all day walking around Steelton in the rain trying some potential investigators. We weren't able to contact most of them but a couple of them were super stoked to see us and we were able to set up return appointments! It was sweet. Then that night after going home teaching with a member we went and did service at this non-profit recycled bike shop in downtown Harrisburg. It was super cool! I really enjoyed it, I wish I could've taken pictures of the shop but I didn't have my iPad with me. We spent about an hour there disassembling old bikes and keeping certain parts that weren't chopped. It was really cool. 

Then on Wednesday we exchanged back at district meeting. Later that day on Wednesday a super gnarly storm brewed up and there was actually a tornado warning. The tornado warning went away after a bit in our area, but we later heard that a little tornado took out a little Amish village in Lancaster which isn't far from us. Apparently the Amish had most of the buildings raised back up and repaired within a couple days. Amish people right there. I still haven't met any yet, but I hear they make good food. We're gonna try to go get some Amish food this week I think. I guess they post up at a flea market in Lewisberry and sell some cakes that are apperently super good. 

Anyways, we didn't get a tornado here but we got a ridiculous amount of rain that night. Me and Elder Ramos went to go see if our investigator L was home and walked probably only 1/4 of a mile and our pants were 100% soaked. Unfortunately she wasn't there, and we still haven't been able to contact her all week which is really frustrating. So we walked back. I'm not sure if I've ever been so wet as a result of rain. My pants were 100% soaked like I said and my water proof jacket had soaked through to my sleeves in a few spots. It was really funny.
On Thursday we spent most of the day helping a guy in our ward,
Brother Pickett, do some work on his house. He is remodeling his
kitchen himself and we helped him out for most of the day. It was a
good time, his house is a cabin, and he's a really cool guy. Then he
took us to a really good Philly cheesesteak place in Camp Hill which he claims is just as good as the places in Philadelphia and he goes there once a week for work. After that we went on splits with him and one of the priests in the ward, Steven. Elder Ramos went with Brother Pickett and I went with Steven. Steven and I first went to visit N and had an excellent lesson with her. We read Alma 36 with her and she found a lot of peace and comfort in it. We also shared the Mormon message titled "The Savior Wants to Forgive." That's one of the awesome things about having iPads is it's easy to share videos & stuff. She said the lesson was exactly what she needed to hear which was awesome. 

After that we had a lesson set up with a recent convert but he wasn't home so I was like dang it! So I was like uhh well there's an inactive member, Brother DLS, we've taught a couple times down the street, so we went there. We talked a bit about prayer and scripture study and I gave him an assignment out of the Book of Mormon and he straight up told me "No." And I was like geez
homie and I asked him what was keeping him from reading the Book of Mormon and he said "I only believe in the Bible" and I was thinking to myself then why the heck did you get baptized in the first place dude, but he must've had a testimony of the Book of Mormon at some point. So anyways we set up a time to read the Bible with him next week.
On Friday we went on splits again and me and Brother Pickett went and did his home teaching which was good because this family we taught are recent converts and are preparing to be sealed in the temple. On Saturday morning we helped a guy in our ward move and then we spent most of the day at doctors offices because Elder Ramos got a needle in his foot praying! 

So let's go back to Thursday night, Elder Ramos is getting up from praying and is like ow! And his foot had a tiny dot of blood and we looked around on the floor for something poky and couldn't find something and so were like alright. And then the next day he was like my foot really hurts bad and we didn't walk much. We started to think that when he was getting up his foot was curled and somehow his toe broke and had a very small compound fracture that poked out the top and made it bleed a bit. We couldn't think of
anything else because we didn't find anything on the floor that
would've poked him and the pain he described was as if it was broken.
So we finally found a doctor down in York (thankfully brother Fike the ward mission leader took us) that would take his insurance. So he got an X Ray and we were expecting it to be broken from a freak accident praying, and then the doctors were like why is there a piece of metal in your foot? And we were like uhhh what and sure enough looked at the x Ray and there was a needle in there! Through the top of his foot and all the doctors were thoroughly intrigued. It was funny when he was explaining himself "well I was praying on my knees and my foot was top down and when I was getting up and my foot was sliding it must've slid in" So yeah then they "made an incision" and took it out and I had to be in the room for it! I was cringing in the corner but managed to turn around and snap a picture real quick. So yeah that was exciting.
Sunday was stake conference and it was really good. All the talks were on missionary work. So there's a pretty decent play by play of my week!

- Elder Poulsen

Elder Ramos getting needle out


Weird pic of me and Elder Ramos

Monday, February 22, 2016

PA Ramble

What's good everyone! This week had its ups and downs. Our investigator, L , was supposed to come to a baptism on Friday cause we invited her and she was like "y'all do baptism?!" And we were like yuuuup and she didn't come and we weren't able to make contact with her until Saturday night and she said she wasn't able to go to church and we sort of feel like she is backing away from us which is frustrating.
M wants to push his baptism back to October instead of
March because his brother is getting baptized in October because he is getting married in October and is waiting instead of his girlfriend just moving out because they are living together which is lame! But that's his brother not him. But anyways we are like, M, we want you to be able to experience the blessings of baptism sooner than October and also you could have the chance to baptize your brother and he's still leaning towards October but we told him to pray about it.

It's just frustrating because if he really really wanted to be
baptized and understood it he wouldn't want to wait 8 months and give all that time for Satan to work on him! So we are just going to keep teaching him and help him understand that this isn't A church, this is THE church and we want him to really want this and to not want to wait. He is still awesome though, he said he talks to people at work about the Book of Mormon, and offers us rides & stuff and brings us food. He acts like a member almost! He picked us up for his own lesson the other day, it was great. So we're trying to work with him a couple times a week. 

Another one of our investigators, D, who is the director at the senior center we do service at, is getting closer to coming to church. We teach her several times a week and she is quite
good at understanding what we teach. She has just had some bad
experiences with the Catholic Church and is afraid to come to church so we're going to introduce her to some members of the ward by doing lessons with her in their homes. 

Oh then there's N! She was excommunicated like 30 years ago but is coming back now and dumped out her coffee and is so awesome when we teach her and she can't wait to be rebaptized. 
So teaching here in Pennsylvania can be very difficult. Pennsylvanians talk A LOT. It's called the PA ramble. They
just talk and talk and talk and you have to squeeze your words in
somewhere. On Saturday it was 60 degrees and sunny! It was awesome. We walked around no jackets with our sleeves rolled up and there was some sweet VWs out driving around. 

We are teaching this lady that has 3 pit bulls 2 cats and 3 snakes and they all get along! She lets the snakes slither around sometimes and they don't bother each other! It's crazy.  The cats will like try to play with the snakes tails and they don't care it's the craziest thing ever its super cool. The pit bulls are scary, mainly one of them. Everyone here has pit bulls. If you have a dog here, you have a pit bull. 

Our ward mission leader continues to be awesome. His name is Brother Fike. He works as a mail truck driver from like 2:00 am to 9:00 am to support his wife and 16 month old son, goes to school, and feeds us multiple times a week and gives us rides.  He is giving and awesome. For example yesterday him and his wife fed us breakfast AND dinner. 

All of the members here are so awesome to the missionaries. They treat us like royalty they love us. Well there's as
much as I can remember from this week.

- Elder Poulsen

Dumping out the coffee!

One of our investigators has some sweet snakes!

Bishop told us to visit these inactives....we knocked but nobody answered

Spent the night at the Camp Hill Elder's apartment last night because we are doing p-day over here. Ipad mirror pic

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pennsylvania BMWs of BMWing in the BMW of VWs

Hello everyone! First of all, DISCLAIMER: Awesome is used by all missionaries at all times I have discovered, so excuse me if I use it.  Pennsylvania is awesome! It's so beautiful but so cold. We live in New Cumberland which is a cool town. Me and Elder Ramos are in the walking area, and the sisters live in Lewisberry and have a car. This week was bad but then got good, but it's all been very exciting. 

For starters, going back to last Monday, we missed our flight from Detroit to Pittsburgh because our flight from salt lake to Detroit was late. So we waited in the airport for 6 hours... A group of 15 missionaries. Then we finally got on the plane and it didn't take off for another hour and a half because they were doing maintenance or something. So we got to Pittsburgh at like midnight. We were all up for 22 hours that day.

Then the next day we went and got assigned our trainers. Me
and Elder Ramos had sat next to each other at lunch before the
assignments were even made! He said when we were talking he was just thinking "this is the guy" and then we went to the meeting and he was assigned to be my trainer and we were both super psyched. Then that night after traveling to New Cumberland from Pittsburgh, we got the tragic news about the accident involving the missionaries, which happened very close to our area. They've asked us not to say much about it in emails but it has had a tremendous impact on this area and the Lord is pouring down blessings on blessings on blessings. 

Elder Ramos and the ward mission leader and a bunch of other people are all saying how just in this past week the missionary work in this area has been moving forward more than it has in months. Everyone we see asks about it and both members and non members have so much respect for the missionaries. The sisters had someone commit to baptism because they felt it was time after hearing about the accident. 

Me and Elder Ramos committed someone to baptism that same day too! It was sweet. His name is Michael and he is awesome. He texts us and asks us how we are doing and if we need anything and asks us what scriptures to study! It's great. We taught him last night and he brought his girlfriend to our lesson Valentine's Day it was great. He has an excellent understanding of most of the things we teach him. So that was awesome that he committed to baptism on Thursday. 

Another investigator we are stoked about is this lady named Linda. We helped her organize her basement the other day and invited her to church and she came! She is a very religious African America lady and said "I'm comin to y'all services this week." And when we were helping her she kept saying "this a blessing y'all lord have mercy", she is quite the character and we are teaching her again tonight! So those are the two investigators we are most excited about right now, there are others but for the sake of time and how much stuff I have to write that's all you get for now. 

So the members here love to help the missionaries, especially me and Elder Ramos because we don't have a car. Also they keep bringing us groceries, which is cool. The members give us rides most of the time except not always. The other day we got dropped off at an investigators house and then we ended up having to walk like 2 miles home and it was -2 degrees with windchill, so that was fun. I put my feet in the hot bath when we got back. 

Oh so Wednesday we went to the DC temple! It was sweet, the bishop and his family took us. Bishop Hinzie (I think that's how you spell it) (mother's note: It's Hintze) an awesome guy. Oh so one of my favorite parts about New Cumberland is there's a lot of VWs here! I'm not sure what it is but there's a lot of sweet ones. There's a specialty VW shop 2 blocks from our apartment! Spot the mk1 golf, it's a beauty!

VW!  Also an investigator gave us a free pizza!

Our district

Jetta like mine but lowered

Mother's note:  On his mission and still taking pictures of cars.  Classic Connor!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Welcome to the PPM

Email from the President's Wife:

We are excited to welcome your son, Elder Poulsen, into the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission! He arrived safely Monday night after a delay in Detroit and we all had a bit of a short night! But after a hearty breakfast and some training on Tuesday morning he was off to work!
As you have undoubtedly heard four of our dear sister missionaries were involved in a tragic fatal accident that day in the mission. Although we are heartbroken, we have witnessed many miracles and an outpouring of love that has carried all of us through this week.
We have been inspired by the courage of the three surviving sisters and the great faith in the redeeming love of our Savior Jesus Christ all four families are demonstrating.
Thank you for helping your son prepare to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ here in the PPM. You can follow our mission blog at
Blessings to your family!
President and Sister Johnson

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BMW in Pennsylvania

Hello everyone, I am alive and well in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania with my trainer, Elder Ramos who's from Carlsbad! We live at 520 Reno St. Apt. 6 New Cumberland, PA. Here's us at the DC temple today! Not sure why I can't smile good, I'm happy I promise. More info on p-day on Monday. Just emailing so you can have my address and know I'm well with permission from President.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

First Email from the M.T.C.! (or a B.M.W.)

There's a BMW E30 touring (wagon) in the parking lot here. Very cool and rare. Anyways. The MTC is sick but it's hard. I'm learning many things and already learning to love people that are different from me. My companion, Elder Selfridge, is from Billings, Montana! I'm pretty sure you called it Dad. We get along just fine even though we are different and come from very different places. The Lord is blessing me to deal with different people and look for the good in them. I'm really glad me and Elder Selfridge are companions, the Lord knew I needed it. I'm also learning how to teach people with love and not just teach them a lesson. Teach people, not lessons! Seth said when he was in the MTC his brain was exploding and mine is too and I get really exhausted and discouraged sometimes but it's all good. SO we leave here really early on Monday morning, the 8th! I should be able to call at the airport not sure when, and if not my Mission president said we can use his cell phone when we get to Pittsburgh. Oh also I got an MRI this morning and I hope my knee is not chopped because then they will send me home to surgery but I told them I'll stay and go to Pittsburgh on crutches if I have to. I want to BMW my way over to BMW so I can BMW some BMWs! Even though I'm not very good at BMWing yet, and I'll probably have to eat some gross BMWs.
Love you all!

- Elder Poulsen

Here's me bmwing some bmws and me and elder selfridge at da temple yaimshayin