Episode 1 – The Life of Mark Poulsen
Christine talks with Mark Poulsen about his childhood and how his family moved around a lot. He also talks about his pre-mission and missionary experiences.
Mark tells of an experience of one of his first memories as a child. Mark really remembers living in Virden and his interactions with Grandma and Grandpa Merrell. He is number five of ten children.
They lived in Virden for two years and moved to Animas to farm. They were there for a couple years and moved to Wilcox, Idaho and then on to Oregon. It was hard moving all the time, Mark had to start over and over and over again. He always had to fight someone after each move.
They moved to Nyssa, Oregon. His dad had arthritis, sold the farm and moved to Utah to work with his brothers and built homes there. Mark completed the 11th and 12th grades in Utah. After his first semester of college, Mark got an infection on his finger. He moved to Arizona so his parents could help him with his finger.
Mark got on his knees each night pleading with Heavenly Father on what he could do for Him to make it possible for Him to bless Mark and heal his finger. The infection was gone, and Mark had promised the Lord he would work hard and serve Him. This was when Mark first learned how to pray.
After his finger healed, Ned Merrell, Mark’s uncle, offered Mark an opportunity to go down to his house in Virden, NM and work to earn a little bit of money before his mission. To this day, Mark still feels like he failed Ned. He had good talks with Uncle Ned. Mark worked on the tractor a lot for him often running into the Border Patrol looking for wetbacks. Mark tells a story about a tractor and the well diggers’ daughter.
He was at Ned’s for two or three months. He enjoyed getting to know Ned’s kids, his favorite being Phyllis. Jean was really good to him out there, along with Ned. It was a good experience for Mark.
He had his missionary farewell in Tempe. He was soon leaving on a mission to Argentina and serve a mission for two years. Mark talks of his experiences in the Language Training Center.
Mark discusses his 6th, 7th and 8th grade years of school.
Mark was so anxious to get into the mission field and work as best he could. He flew down to Argentina and tells of his experiences getting to Rosario, Argentina. Mark discusses his experiences with his first missionary companions and shares an experience of teaching his first family the missionary discussions.