Monday, July 25, 2016

Street Rangers in Philly

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Oh man first things first we went to the Philadelphia Temple open house yesterday! We went with the Burd family, a part member family in the ward. The mom and kids are members, and Brother Burd has been investigating for several years. We were super bummed that Mac ended up not being able to go, but Jason was able to go with the Lancaster elders because he has family in the Lancaster ward. It was such an awesome experience though! The temple is so beautiful and is in the heart of the city. It was so awesome to walk through with the Burds and to feel the peaceful spirit of the temple. Another awesome thing about going is we got to see a bunch of friends from the Pittsburgh mission! Including President and Sister Johnson! It was pretty sweet.

We were not able to see Mac or Jason this week because they were out of town but we were able to see our new investigator Shanica! Brother Potter took us to the lesson and it went so well! We walked in and she had her Book of Mormon on the table all ready and told us she had been reading and loved what she had read! We taught her the restoration and she had a great understanding of everything and some excellent questions. She also told us that the week we knocked on her door a couple weeks ago, a close friend of hers had commit suicide just the week before and she explained to us how grateful she was that we came and that she really thinks that this is want she wants for her life right now. The Lord really does put us in the right places for the right people at the right time.

On Friday night we went to our favorite Amish market, the Green Dragon to see some people that Elder Mink and Elder Posada had met there the week before on exchanges. Their names are Isreal and...we cant remember his friends name unfortunately but they are super in to archeology and sell rocks and things at the Green Dragon. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and they were so excited to get one and read! They are both super interested and were gonna be talking to them again this week about going to their home to teach them.

So there's some highlights of this week. it was kind of a tough week in some ways. We have had no area book, no GPS, and no iPads and things have been difficult. And our area is massive now and the mission didn't give us extra miles for our car so we've been pretty screwed lately but its ok because good stuff is still happening!

- Elder Poulsen

Monday, July 18, 2016

Street Rangers Area Expansion Booster Pack 2016

Hullo uverone so transfer calls were yesterday (real quick 4 week
transfer because the mission change) and the Street Rangers are
staying together yahmean! Me and elder Mink are the only Pittsburgh
mission companionship that didn't get separated so we are pretty
psyched! But one big change that is happening to us is they are
closing down the sisters' area and giving it to our area is
doubling in size and we now cover the whole ward which is pretty big.
It's a bummer but also exciting, we have a lot of work ahead of us!

We saw Mac and Jason twice this week and they continue to embrace
everything we teach them and they are both so excited about the
church! We taught them the plan of salvation on Tuesday and the gospel
of Jesus Christ on Saturday. They love everything we teach them and
understand it so well it's awesome! Before we left on Tuesday I
bookmarked 2 Nephi 31 for Mac and on Saturday he came to the door with
a huge smile on his face and the first thing he told us was that he
read the chapter and then he explained to us everything that the
chapter said! He understands scripture better than I do hahaha. Oh man
it was so sick. Then after talking about that, Mac and Jason both
shared with us experiences they had in the past week of how they were
angry or worried or distressed, and they decided to read the Book of
Mormon and the words of the prophets were exactly what they needed to
hear and comforted them. Their testimony of the gospel is
strengthening each day and we can see the joy it brings them! On
Sunday after church we are taking them with Brother Bailey to the
Philadelphia temple open house! They are having a special open house
for missionaries and investigators so we are super excited for that!
The temple is in the middle of the city from what I hear so it's gonna
be sweet to go to Philadelphia and see the temple, and even sweeter
that Mac and Jason are too!

On Saturday we went back for the 3rd time in the week to try to
contact our new investigators Alden and Skyler who me met last week.
Someone finally answered the door! But it wasn't either of them and
whoever it was yelled at us "we got your book and were not interested"
and slammed the door, so that was a bummer.

On Friday we were at an Amish market thing in Intercourse, PA (yes
that's tha name of the town) talking to all sorts of people and tried
street contacting this one guy and he ended up being a member and is
in a stake presidency in San Jose! He told us that he served his
mission around here like 40 years ago. He said he was on a family
reunion and took us over and introduced us to his kids and grandkids
who were all super psyched to see us! They talked to us for a bit, and
bought us delicious ice cream. It's always nice to meet people who
support you when you are out among so many people who don't.

We went on exchanges on Friday night to Saturday with the Spanish
branch elders and I went over to their area in Lancaster city with
Elder Tunquist. Certain parts of Lancaster city are filled with
Spanish speakers so we went walking around and talked to some people
and I said "hola" haha. We (well elder Tunquist) taught a lesson to
one of their new investigators and I just kind of sat their trying to
figure out what was going on because no ablo espanól! I understood a
few things and knew general ideas they were talking about but
unfortunately could not contribute to the lesson other than offering a
prayer in English. On Saturday we played soccer with some members in
the branch which was pretty fun! Most of them are from Cuba, Puerto
Rico, or the Dominican Republic and a couple are from Guatemala.

Thanks for all love and support from everyone! This gospel really does
bring people happiness! And so does sharing it!

- Elder Poulsen

Monday, July 11, 2016

Streeeeeeet Rangerz in the rain

What's good everyone another week in Amish paradise yahmean! Some sweet stuff is happening out here. Well for one a member took us out to breakfast this morning to the Shady Maple Smorgasbord, a pretty famous Amish buffet place that is like the size of an airport. So that was sweet.

We picked up 3 new investigators this week! We're super psyched so the first one was from a list of people that was in the sisters area book but in our area so they gave us the list. We went and tried all these people and one of them turned out to be the niece of a member of the bishopric! She didn't know much about the church at all, but is looking for a church. We taught her about how the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ, and we're going back to teach her tonight!

The other two happened on Friday. We went to try to visit a less
active member, but they ended up not living there anymore, so we
decided to tract the complex where we were at. So we start knocking on doors, and it soon thereafter started pouring rain. So we're knocking on doors dripping wet 110% soaked as it continues to dump rain on us and people were nice but didn't have enough pity on us to let us in so after tracting in the pouring rain for like an hour and a half we knock on this door, and the rain eased up, and these people came outside and started talking to us! They were very nice and curious. We taught them the full restoration on their porch as the sun shined down on us, and they were really interested and had some great thoughts to share! Their names are Alden and Skyler, I think they are brother and sister or something. But yeah it was so awesome and we are going back to teach them again tomorrow!

We had a super sweet lesson with Mac and his friend Jason on Saturday night. Jason has been investigating off and on for a while and almost got baptized like a year ago, and he joined us for the lesson. Brother Mecham from the ward came to the lesson and was super helpful! Mac told us how people thought he was crazy for believing that God wants us to evolve to eventually become like him and I will never forget seeing the look of pure joy on his face as brother Mecham explained to him that we too believe that because our Heavenly Father loves us, he wants us to return to him and to eventually become like him. Jason was awesome during the lesson too he was pulling out Book of Mormon scriptures like a member! It was so great, and we set Mac with a new baptismal date of August 13th! He is super excited and Mac and Jason both came to church yesterday! Except they went to the Lancaster ward
because our ward time didn't work for them this week but hopefully
next week! We were still able to see them after sacrament meeting
though because the wards meet in the same building. So we were able to talk to Mac about his sacrament meeting experience and he loved it! It's so exciting and Mac is so happy to have found the church!

I love seeing the light that this gospel brings in to people's lives.
Every time I see the smiles on someone's face that the gospel brings, I just think of how that is why I am here. To help these people. I'm grateful for this time I have to serve my savior Jesus Christ. He lives! Thanks fer all yer love and support erryone much love to you hooligans!

- Elder Poulsen

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th But Drive a Foreign Car

Happy 4th of July everyone! Had an interesting week this week. We said goodbye to President Johnson on Thursday and we were officially switched over to the Baltimore mission on Friday. Then we met our new mission president, President Christiansen on Saturday. There's going
to be a lot of changes now. The biggest one being that we are all losing our iPads because the Baltimore mission doesn't have them. This is probably the most difficult part of this change because we are going to have to learn how to do things a lot differently. Having iPads has been SO helpful. For planning, writing teaching records, using maps, teaching with videos, and literally everything so it's a huge bummer we are losing them.

Our investigator Mac didn't show up to his lesson this week which was a huge bummer. The people at the home he was living at told us he moved...but that he would be back on Tuesday. So hopefully we can figure out the situation.

So on Friday we were tracting and we ran into a pastor. He was very friendly and really wanted to talk to us. After a few minutes I really felt like he was trying to argue with us and I was like look man were not trying to argue with you and tried to leave but it didn't really work. He just kept saying oh this isn't arguing we're just talking this is interesting! And he's like pulling out bible verses interpreting them very strangely and telling us we don't need to be baptized and that people that never get to hear the gospel are damned even though they didn't get the chance and that it's fair to him that
he got to learn about Jesus Christ, so he is saved by grace. All this whack stuff that would be really depressing to believe. It went on for far too long and eventually I just asked him what we should be doing right now as Christians and he was like interpreting scripture and I said we should be helping each other strengthen our faith, but that's not what's happening right now. I told him he was trying to tear down
our faith, and that that was ridiculous and that we weren't going to let that happen because we know what we believe is true. Then we bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and left. I am grateful for the testimony I have gained that the Book of Mormon is true, so that I can confidently testify of it when hooligans try to tear me down.

I had a cool experience in fast and testimony meeting yesterday. There was several testimonies that were shared that I think helped me learn this through the spirit, but I realized that as a missionary I am so needed and relied on. One specific testimony that was shared was of a 12 or 13 year old deacon who's house we were at for dinner a few days ago. He got up and shared his testimony of how much he loves having missionaries in his home. After the meeting he came up to me and Elder Mink and as we thanked him for what he shared, he told us we are his favorite Elders that they have ever had in the ward! I realized how much the ward depends on me to be a mature leader and to help them
build their testimonies. I realized this, and realized how inadequate and imperfect I am. I may not be as perfect as the ward thinks I am, but I can find strength through Jesus Christ that helps me be the missionary that he needs me to be, my Heavenly Father needs me to be, and the ward needs me to be. Much love to all of you!

- Elder Poulsen