Monday, April 25, 2016

Do The Instructions Make Sense?

What's up everyone, not much happened this week unfortunately. We spent a couple days trying potential investigators or less active
members with no luck except for one. They all either moved, weren't home, or didn't want to talk to us. We went to the sisters recent convert Sharon's house with them on Wednesday because we've been trying to teach her grandson Chris and her husband Roy. We've been trying really hard and give them lots of chances to meet with us but they just aren't ready to commit to meeting with us after talking to them again. On the bright side we were able to have lessons with some less actives this week. The one I mentioned earlier in this letter is a lady we've been trying to contact for a couple months now and she's very busy and hard to contact. On Tuesday we went over there and she was there and invited us in! So we had a lesson with her but unfortunately couldn't set up a solid time to come back because she doesn't have time for us which is lame, but we were able to set up a lesson with her less active son! So that was cool.

 The other less active we had a great lesson with was a guy named N. His parents and little sister are all super awesome and active members, and he doesn't really like talking about church with them. Last week when we were on exchanges Elder Ramos and Elder Wilson just stopped by their house and he was down for us to meet with him which was sweet!  So we went over on Thursday night and had an awesome lesson with him and he agreed to start reading the Book of Mormon on his own and to have us come over and read with him once a week! So that was sweet.  He's like 23ish I think and he's like probably 6'7" and 300lbs and has a big beard. He's huge but he's super nice. He is definitely a gentle giant. 

On Saturday we had a lesson set up with L which we were
excited about especially because she said she had "some questions
about y'all bible" when I was on the phone with her. We also had
planned to do some service for her, so we went over Saturday morning and she wasnt there and we were like dang it she always does this, so we called her and she said she "be home 'bout 2 uhclahck" so we went back later but were tight on time because we had promised to help the ward prepare for their youth roadshow musical thing and after raking up her leaves and cleaning up her yard for like 45 minutes we had to go and we had no time to do a lesson with her because she left to go to the store while we were there and then when she got back we had to go so that was a bummer, so hopefully we can have a lesson with her this week.

We still haven't heard from M, that hooligan! It's
been really disappointing because we were seeing such a big change in him as he progressed and read the Book of Mormon and now he is off the radar and probably very sad. It reminds me of an article from this month's Ensign titled "Do the Instructions Make Sense?" They make a great analogy about how when we are following a map and go off course, the instructions no longer make sense because your surroundings aren't familiar and you don't know where you are! Similarly, when we aren't doing the things we are supposed to do and stop reading our scriptures (the map), the instructions (the guiding words in the scriptures) don't make sense and we get lost. Also sort of like the Liahona.  Joseph Smith said “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by
any other book.” I know what he said which can be found in the
introduction to the Book of Mormon is true. The Book of Mormon changes lives, we just have to read it! Love you all

- Elder Poulsen

Made this tie out of a skirt I bought last week at Salvation Army.  
Cut it up and made a killer tie.

Monday, April 18, 2016

BMW of New Cumberland

Yoooo another week in PA! This week was sweet and bummish but every
week is a combination of both so nothing new I guess. Last Monday we
went to Gettysburg for pday and that was cool to see the battlefields
and stuff. We went on exchanges with Camp Hill this week and I was in
Camp Hill with Elder Hinckley. We did some yard work for an elderly
less active man for a while and spent the rest of the day trying
potential investigators with no luck. On Thursday we had interviews
with President Johnson in Harrisburg and him and Sister Johnson taught
our district meeting which was pretty sweet. We learned a lot about
helping people make and keep commitments. Thursday evening we had a
lesson planned with a less active part member family which we were
really excited about but then our plans got chopped which was a huge
bummer. So here's what happened, on Tuesday we were out with Brother
Darnell and I was looking over a list of less actives the bishop gave
us and this name popped out to me and I was like let's go to the
Frakers! And I put the address in the gps and away we went. We knocked
on the door and asked if it was the Frakers and the lady was like yeah
but we're just heading out but you can come back Thursday at 7:30 and
my husband will be home and we were like alright sweet! We were way
stoked because we've visited most of the names on the list bishop gave
us and that was the only amount of success we had, and I knew at that
point that the spirit made that name pop out to me for a reason. So
back to Thursday night. We walk over there all excited and we get
there and there's a note on the door that said "To the gentlemen who
stopped by Tuesday with the Mormon Church. At this time we do not wish
to sit down with you guys. Please respect our wishes" and we were
heartbroken. I'll include a picture of the sign. The spirit can lead
you to people but they still have their agency! Dangit Satan, I hate
that guy. So instead of that we just walked around New Cumberland
talking to people, got cussed at a couple times, gave out a few Book
of Mormons but nobody was really interested. One of the people we
talked to was a guy I've been wanting to talk to for a while but
didn't know who he was. So there's this house two blocks from our
apartment that has a 4 foot mini ramp and their backyard and everytime
we walk by it I'm like I wanna see someone skating it! So that night
we were walking and there was a guy skating it! So we went over and
started talking to him and he let me skate his ramp for a few minutes!
It was sick and he was psyched because I was wearing a tie & stuff
yaimshayin haha. Then we talked to him about the church and he
accepted a Book of Mormon but he wasn't interested in meeting with us
which was a bummer. I bore testimony to him that one of the only
things that makes me happier than skateboarding is the Book of Mormon
and the Gospel of Jesus Christ because is brings lasting happiness. On
Saturday we helped a family in the ward restore their garage from fire
damage. We were there all day and cleared out the garage, took down
shelves, put up drywall, and painted it. It was pretty fun but I got
paint splatter all over me including my watch and name tag. It looks
kinda cool but is a bummer. It was like raining paint so they are
little specks. So there's some stuff that happened this week. Keep
being awesome! Satan is a loser! Love you all!

- Elder Poulsen

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Passed Out! Hahahah

What's good everyone, so disappointment of the week is: we have not been able to contact M for a week now and we are getting really concerned. We think that his dad is putting him in a position where it's either his family or the church and he's just really upset. We've had several people reach out to him but no responses. 

Exciting thing is we were over chopping wood (because Pennsylvania) for the sister's recent convert Sharon, and her grandson, who we've been trying to start teaching because he is more comfortable with us than the sisters, came outside and just started talking to us! He was like going inside and coming back out putting on different shoes and stuff, showing them to us. It was kind of cool because it showed he looks to us for approval & stuff and he's getting more comfortable with us.  He's like 14 or 15 and he's pretty funny. So we were able to have a lesson with him after talking for a while and then the next day a family in our ward had him and his mom B who the sisters are teaching, Sharon's daughter, over for dinner and we had a way awesome lesson with them and the Liechty family! It sounds like B at least really wants C involved in the youth program, and she herself wants to make it to church. And brother Liechty was super awesome in testifying to C what the young men's program does for young men in preparing them for life & stuff. So that was sweet.

Thursday we had zone training for most of the day which was pretty sweet and that night we helped this lady in the ward move some boxes in her house. She is a way awesome lady, her name is Sister Zoeller and she is a very decorated soldier. She served in the army in Vietnam and got a Purple Heart, medal of valor, silver star, and some other stuff so she's pretty amazing. So she was telling us the story of how she got her medal of valor which included her stitching up someone's artery with a piece of hair! And she was telling the story in great detail and I started to get woozy and i was like no I can handle this I dont want to be rude and leave. Then it got to a point where I was like ok I'm either going to pass out or throw up so I managed to get to the bathroom and next thing I know I wake up on the bathroom floor next to the toilet! Hahahaha it was way funny but when I woke up I didn't know where I was, who I was, or what I was doing. I was freaking out for like 30 seconds and thought I was in a dream or like some Alice in wonderland crap happened to me and I was like what the heck is going on yaimshayin haha and then I came back to my senses
after a few minutes. 

Later sister Zoeller was like I'm so sorry you should have warned me and I was like nah it's cool I didnt want to ruin your amazing story and she was saying how she would have felt really bad if I collapsed in her house and I just laughed but in my head I was like "that definitely didn't happen hehehe" cause she didn't know so yeah she never found out it happened but I told Elder Ramos later and he was like I knew it! Cause he said he heard a thud hahaha so there's a funny story. 

Oh on Wednesday we were biking and I saw a sick VW (it was a mk2 golf on coilovers for those of you who understand the dub life) and I was taking a pic of it and then the guy walks up and was like can I help you? And I was like I just love your car it's sick and then he was stoked and we talked about veedubs for like 10 minutes and then I started to talk about the church and at that point he "had to go" all of a sudden which was a bummer but yeah.  Elder Ramos later told me he thought me and the guy were speaking Chinese when we were talking about cars. So there's some stuff that
happened this week! Love you all have a good week!
In Pennsylvania you chop wood for service.  We chopped enough wood for Sharon's 

family before the wood chopped the axe...CHOPPED!

Here is the VW I spoke of.  Looking good.

Being sporty and stuff after the zone training.  I wasn't ready for da pic.  If you can find me you can tell.

Chopped creature in the road

Cut & sewed this tie. 
When you see rounded ties in a couple years it started here. 
My idea. 
It's probably been done before, but I did think of it.
here! My idea it's probably been done before but I did think of it

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ups and Downs

Greetings everyone! This week had it's ups and downs. Well one major up and one major down. So on Tuesday we had a lesson with M, after he took me to his barber and bought me a haircut haha, and we talked about what he thought of the baptism he attended last week and he told us it was a way more powerful and emotional experience than he thought it was going to be. He then proceeded to tell us that he doesn't think he can wait until October to be baptized! He was like I'm ready guys, I'm not sure when exactly yet but I definitely want it soon. And we were like saaaweeeeeet! And we're super stoked. Then the next night we got a text from him saying he read some "disturbing" articles about the church helping Muslim refugees. Now mind you all this was very bad because Michael is SUPER conservative. We knew that we were going to have something difficult to deal with now but we were appreciative that he reached out to us to talk about it instead of just flying off the handle like his dad apparently did. 

So on Friday morning we went over to M's house with our ward mission leader to talk about it. Michael explained to us that he felt hurt and very surprised that the church would do that. We showed him the Matthew 5 Bible video of the Sermon on the Mount and talked about loving our neighbor & stuff. We realized the most important thing for him is to gain a testimony that Thomas S. Monson really is a prophet called by God so that even though he may not agree with what the church is doing, he can have faith that it is under the direction of God. So along with that we invited him to watch conference so that was perfect timing! He agreed and we made plans to watch conference and do dinner with him for the Sunday afternoon session at the ward mission leaders house. Then a few hours before he texted us saying he got caught up at work and couldn't make it! And there was a talk about refugees which was awesome and he missed it! So we are pretty frustrated with all
that but still appreciative that M is still willing to meet with
us and hopefully work through this. He told us his dad who is a member and his brother who is also investigating are both done with the church now because of the whole refugee thing which is really sad. But he has shown a lot of faith in reaching out to us about it and being willing to talk about it. 

I remember sitting in the lesson with him on Friday getting the impression that this whole thing isn't just difficult for him, there's going to be a lot of people that have issues with this and it's not going to be a small thing. Then in the Saturday afternoon session when they were doing the sustaining there was the opposed people and I could be wrong but I think it's because of this whole thing. So yeah there's the M roller coaster. Other than that people aren't really keeping any commitments or anything.  Our investigator L was supposed to come to church last week but didn't and we've had trouble contacting her all week. We had an interesting lesson with D in which she told us "I'm not going to sit here and let you tell me that Book is the word of God! It's an interpretation of God's word. There's no way it hasn't been changed.  But I do believe the things it says are true!" Among many other ridiculous things she said. It was a very frustrating lesson and that's pretty much all I got to say about that for now. So that's what's going on. Conference was awesome! I hope you all had the chance to watch and learn from it. Love you all

- Elder Poulsen