Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blueberries for Sal

Hi family!

I had some pretty rockin' experiences this week!

First off, I don't know if I told you this, but every Wednesday and Friday Sister Shin and I volunteer at the library. The library isn't actually in our area, so it's not ideal for finding, but I'm just trying to do some sort of service so I can be helpful to someone in someway. 

On Wednesday we were shelving books and I saw our favorite- Blueberries for Sal. It made my heart happy to see that wonderful book. I kept shelving and out of the corner of my eye I saw this cute little girl, her little brother, and her grandma. Her grandma was telling her to hurry up and pick out a book already. So I went back and grabbed Blueberries for Sal and asked her if she was looking for a book. When she said yes I handed her the book and said something like, "this is one of my absolute favorite books. Would you like to read it?" She replied, "yes please!" in this cute little voice. Then she ran right over to the nearest chair and started reading it out loud! It was seriously so cute! So I listened to her while I kept putting away some books. It seriously made me so happy to share that book with this sweet little girl. So happy!!!! 
After she finished I asked her how she liked it. I started talking to her family. I started talking to the grandma and I asked her if she liked to read, too. I ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and talking to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was awesome! She said she lived in San Bernadino and sees "the boys on bikes all the time." She said the next time she saw them she was going to flag them down. 

Will she ever talk to missionaries and be baptized? I have no clue. But I learned a very valuable lesson from this. Sharing things that we love and that are important to us brings us happiness. It made me happy to share that silly book and it made me happy to share the gospel. Being a missionary is the BEST because I am constantly sharing something that I love with someone else! And whats so awesome about it is that you don't have to be a full time missionary to do that. Anyone can in their own small way. Yay for missionary work!

I had another cool experience on Sunday. There are two YSA in our ward getting ready to serve missions. One of them just got her mission call so she bore her testimony at sacrament meeting. She's going to the Independence MI mission at the visitors center. The other guy gave his farewell talk and he is going to Boise ID next week. I was listening to these two people and thinking to myself, they are going to learn so much and grow a ton on their missions! I must have been thinking out loud because the Holy Ghost (a.k.a. Sister Shin) leaned over and whispered, "so are you."

My mind immediately went to the girl with snot dripping down her face in front of the whole ward. Six months really isn't that long to be a missionary. In fact, I actually started freaking out a little bit because I feel like 18 months isn't a long enough refining process. I need more time to develop Christ-like attributes! I have been thinking a lot about who I used to be before I came out. Every time I think I've grown a little bit, I realize how much farther I have to go! I seriously feel like when I learn more about the Savior and I try harder to develop Christ-like attributes, the more I realize how far away I am from being like Jesus Christ. Luckily I have my whole life to become like Him, but I don't think that's even enough time! 

Also in that sacrament meeting, the bishop got up and talked about missionary work. Hmm. Missionary work. What an interesting concept. Every one that serves a mission serves where Heavenly Father knows they need to be. So I started thinking to myself, I am serving a mission in Fontana, California.....

These people don't need me. Pretty much no one wants to hear the gospel anyways.
The response to that was almost immediate. "You are here in Fontana, California. You are here for these people. They need you and you need them. You need to learn a lot of things, but right now you need to learn humility and patience."

There's nothing like a punch in the gut from the Spirit to keep you on track. I am here for these people and I need to serve them more. Sometimes I get a little discouraged because I have only had 1 baptism on my mission. All my friends are in some cool foreign place and I'm just here in America. Yup. Here I am.
But that is not only dumb, that's selfish. I have been selfish my whole life and for once I can just focus on other people. So that's what I am working on this transfer. Serving my ward and helping them do their missionary work.

The Book of Mormon is true. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Priesthood is restored for the last time on this earth. Jesus Christ will come again. When he does I'm going to fall at his feet and probably just cry because I love him so much.

I love you all! Thanks for all of the pictures, mom! I can tell that everyone is happy and that's making me happy. You are all the best and I'm so lucky I get to be with the greatest people forever!

These are all of the wonderful sisters in the Fontana Zone. (accept for Rivera and Peterson. They had lessons so they couldn't make it) Sister Stalder is training this transfer!

The lady with the glasses is Wanda. She got baptized right before I got here. She is so cute I love her to death!!!! 

Yay for service! We had a stake pioneer day activity and all of the missionaries in the stake served the food.

Yes. There is a street in my area called Knox. So I  attempted to take a cool shot of it and the cool sunset and the really gorgeous park that we weekly plan at.

Me and my distant cousin Sister Wright :)

These are my roommies aka my bffs! Hermana Wright is the one that's a descendant from Ernasnus Bingham that I told you about a few weeks ago and her companion last transfer is Hermana Ipson. Ipson is still my roommate. I love them! We all go home together! Well Sister Shin goes home in October.... but myself and the Hma's all go home together :)

Week of July 20, 2015 "CONGRATULATIONS!"


Did I spell that right?

Congrats family! You have made it SIX WHOLE MONTHS! Isn't that crazy insane?!?! I still feel like a little baby.

Well it's about that time. TRANSFERS. I am going to the desert!!!!!!!!!! It's going to be so flippin' hot! I'm really, really nervous! We told our ward mission leader that he is getting Elders... he's not excited about it.
Bahaha. Just kidding. Sister Shin and I are both staying here. Sister Shin only has two more transfers left. She thinks I'm going to kill her, but I think I am going to be transferred in September and she is going to train her last transfer. She hasn't trained yet. But she has been a STL pretty much her whole mission. Man, my companion rocks. I'm seriously so blessed.

My cute roommate Hermana Wright really is going to the desert though. She's been my roommate for 3 months now! I'm really going to miss her. (She is the one who is also related to Ernasnus Bingham. I know I didn't spell that correctly... you know. The dude with the cabin at Lagoon.)

Guess what? We had a good week! Hooray! Wow it took me a really long time to spell that for some reason and now Sister Shin is laughing at me.

Okay so two really cool experiences we had this week:

I went on exchanges in Spanish land! It was so cool! THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS SO REAL! We went with our roommates! Hermana Wright and I switched beds for the night. Her mattress sucks. So I went with Hermana Ipson to the Rialto 4th ward! I ACTUALLY GOT TO TEACH LESSONS! It was awesome! We taught like 5 lessons that day! 

My favorite lesson was with a hermana who has been investigating for a really long time. I'm not sure how long but I know it's over a year. She finally accepted a baptismal date about a month ago, but still hasn't come to church. Her fellowshipper came to the lesson. Side note: This Hermana speaks ZERO English. Nada. I was seriously soooooooo nervous and I prayed for the gift of tongues (which I never thought I would have to do on my mission. (Actually I take that back because I can barely speak English)). We started the lesson and I could understand what was going on! I know it was partially high school Spanish, but mostly the Spirit. I couldn't understand word for word what was being said, but I was able to follow the lesson okay. I used a tad bit of Spanish and luckily Hermana Ipson is pretty fluent (even though she came out a transfer after I did) and the member also speaks English. But I seriously felt the Spirit SO STRONG! It was so cool because I was able to experience for myself that the Holy Ghost speaks all languages. Of course I always knew that, but I actually got to witness it! Heavenly Father loves ALL of his children and he will provide a way for ALL of them to hear the gospel, no matter what language they speak.

That day also rocked because the Bishop's wife took us to Chipotle for dinner. I hadn't had Chipotle in many moons. YESTERDAY WAS SO AMAZING! It was like Heavenly Father would see how hard we would work all transfer and then at the very end he was like, "okay you did pretty good. Enjoy a ton of blessings now." We had EIGHT non members at church! That is unheard of in this area! This man that we met two weeks ago came and brought all 5 of his kids that are Young Woman and Primary age. A member brought her friend. And a random dude just showed up! 

It has been raining all week. I keep thinking of Stella from Rear Window when she says, "You think the rain would cool things off. All it did was make the heat wet." Yup. That's my life. It is seriously hotter than heck here. So Sister Shin and I decided that we were going to at least enjoy being wet from something other than sweat and walk for a while in the rain.
We planned on seeing this potential investigator. We showed up at the house after we had been walking in the rain for a while. This house has a cute little side garage that the owner has turned into a cute little sitting area with a TV. The garage door was open and there was a woman in there. She said, "I have been praying and praying for you to come! Please come in!" We totally taught her the Plan of Salvation because her son died and she totally agreed to be baptized! And don't worry because she also lives two doors down from an awesome member! 

Sister Shin and I walked away from that and I just really don't even know how to describe to you what was happening in my brain.
Well. This email is very, very long so I'm going to stop now. (Also sorry I randomly put a bunch of stuff in parenthesis. That was weird).

Love you all! Thank you so much for praying for me! Enjoy Utah and summer vacation :) You all look very happy which makes me very happy!


Hermana Olsen

 I finally made that recipe that Dannon sent me for the microwave cookie. It was yummy!

Check out that outside temperature!!!!!

Hermana Ipson (my roommate and I in Spanish land.) I WAS SO HOT MAN. SO SO SO HOT.

Week of July 13 "Your Weekly Dose of Shlee"

Hello family!
How is everyone? I hope you are all having a fun time in Utah! How are all of the little cousins? I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

This week was very...interesting. I had interviews with President Van Cott on Friday. He is so awesome! He is seriously just like a father figure to me. He treats all of us missionaries like his kids and he cares about us so much! It amazes me how much I am learning about myself. I am seriously so sorry that y'all had to put up with me for so long! Anyway. It was great. He prayed for me and I seriously felt something physically lift off of my shoulders that was weighing me down. I have no idea what it was. But I feel great!

Sister Shin and I went on exchanges with Sister Hamblin and her new companion Sister Baker this week. Sister Shin went with Sister Hamblin. Sister Baker is probably the nicest person I have ever met. I thought of something Uncle Adam sent to me in an email once- it's my mission, but it's also my companions mission. I need to be doing everything I can to make sure that she also has a good experience. I have really learned a lot from Sister Baker. I am now working on being more selfless. When I focus on others needs and not my own, I will be truly happy. That applies for after the mission, too and with my future family. I just really want to make sure that I am applying everything that I am learning now to an eternal prospective because I just really really really hope I can be as awesome as you are, mom!

Something funny that happened this week- we were trying a referral and all of his neighbors were outside! It's so hot here that no one is ever in their front yards so we got so excited! We were going to contact the referral and then try all of his neighbors. So we go to talk to this referral. I butchered his name and then he looked at me like I was a crazy person and then it was super awkward. He was saying a few words and then backing away very slowly. I was thinking, dude I am just a normal person with a wonderful message that will bring you happiness! But then we said goodbye and turned around and literally the entire street had fled into their homes to hide from us. Sister Shin and I both looked around and then looked at each other and then busted up laughing. 

Sister Shin is so awesome! We have walked a lot this week because everyone and their dog is out of town, so I have gotten to know her really REALLY well :) We were contacting another referral the other day. The man was very interested because his brother had recently been baptized while he was in the Navy. So we were super excited and talking to him, but we failed to realize that we were standing on top of a fire ant hill. Don't worry, mom. They didn't bite me, but poor Sister Shin got bit all over her little feet. We have a lot of fun together. Infact today we are going with our roommates to the Swap meet and then IHOP. I am really enjoying embracing the ghetto-sheek lifestyle of San Bernadino County.

On a more spiritual note- Juan blessed the sacrament this week! It was really cool :)
Welp. Enjoy those Utah! Go to the temple! Be missionaries! Pray a lot! I love you all!


The Incredible Sister Olsen

I'm awful and didn't take pictures this week... But this is our fridge. At church yesterday we got bombarded by primary kids giving us hugs and pictures. It was so cute! We hung up some of them on the
fridge. There are like 200 + primary kids in the Ward and I love all of them. I wish I could pick them up.... I miss babysitting!
Especially the Daniels boys!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday America!

Hello my wonderful family! 

I hope you had a fantastic fourth of July! Mine was arguably the most boring day of my whole life. It's right up there with having to go to Dad's work everyday after working at the FedEx hub. We do a weekly planning session every week, usually on Thursday because it's typically the slowest day of the week. However, Missionary Leadership Council for the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders was on Thursday this week. Then we had exchanges on Friday. So Saturday morning we had to do our weekly planning. Then we went out and worked for about 2 hours and then we had dinner. Then we had to go in at 6.  

The IPads are not fun. They are not fun at all. We have to enter the entire area book into the IPad manually and it's taking forever!!! For those who do not know what an area book is, it is a giant binder that holds all of the information for a specific area. It is full of Investigator teaching records, former investigator teaching records, potential investigator forms, etc. etc. BUT once we get in all of the info its going to be the greatest tool ever!!! 

FONTANA IS FULL OF PYROS. Oh man there were fireworks going off at 6:30 am!!! There were some going off the night before and...umm.... I may have gotten just a little bit scared because I may have possibly thought they were gun shots... But don't worry they were just fire works!

Sister Shin and I are having a great time in Fontana. This week was really really really slow. We only taught one lesson to an investigator. We taught 7 less active lessons so that wasn't too bad. At this point it is just straight up annoying that we have hardly anyone to teach. The struggle is real. Nevertheless! We press forward! It's kind of hard because our mornings are typically full of service at the library, meetings, and planning. We live a solid 20 minutes away from our area so we are in the car a lot. When we do go outside it's so stinkin' hot that no one else is outside. 

So I have no idea how, but somehow I am still pretty happy. Sister Shin and I have a lot of great conversations and we just laugh together. The members of our ward are absolutely wonderful. I love them so much. I have worked really hard to serve them the past couple of months and I know that they love us and trust us. In gospel principles yesterday Brother Hatch was talking about prayer. He had us come up in front of the class, testified that we were in their ward for a reason and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, and committed everyone right then and there to pray for their own missionary opportunities and to pray for Sister Shin and I by name.

Also yesterday, Sister Shin and I went to the Bishops office to witness Juan receive the Aaronic Priesthood. President Sears was there and he told us how much the ward loves us and appreciates everything we do. That made me tear up a bit. The ward really is trying to have missionary opportunities. Bless their hearts. Their friends are just taking a really long time to prepare.

Despite not having much work, we are still having really cool experiences. One of the Sear's friends, Gary, showed up to church yesterday. He is 30 and hasn't been since he was in Jr. High. He doesn't live in our ward, so we are passing him onto the Elders, but the Sears had us come over and teach him about the Restoration and prayer. He got on his knees and prayed out loud for the first time in his life. The Spirit was so strong! My heart was pounding! His face was just beaming and he was so happy!

That's why I'm here. I just want people to experience the joy that the gospel can bring into their lives. I seriously just see people on the street and picture them in white in the temple. Wow I am a weirdo..... I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY WHY WON'T THEY ACCEPT HAPPINESS AND THE GOSPEL. It's so annoying!

There is one more experience that I feel like I should tell you. We don't tract as a mission. It's a no no. But there was this one house all last transfer that I felt like I should knock. The very last night of the transfer I finally did it. A man answered the door. He was very nice. He said a lot of his friends were mormon, but he wasn't interested. There is a family in our ward, the Wakumotos. Sister Wakumoto came up to me in church a couple weeks ago and was like you knocked on our best friends' door and they thought we sent you over there! I told her oh I had no idea! I just felt like they needed the missionaries. Then she got chills. Last week, she had us teach her daughter, Hayven, the missionary lessons before she got baptized. We taught her the lessons and we went to her baptism on Friday. I was on exchanges with Sister Rivera. After Hayven got baptized and we were all waiting for her to change, I felt like we should get up and teach everyone the Message of the Restoration. I was really nervous because Sister Rivera and I never taught together, but we did it anyway. When I got up and looked into the audience, the family whose door that I had knocked on was there! So I recited Joseph Smith's first vision and made eye contact with the man that answered the door the whole time and it was super intense. During the confirmation the mom was straight up crying. We went up and talked to them after. They are active Catholics so they aren't interested right now, but I know they felt the Spirit and something will come of it. Sister Rivera is a convert and she was Catholic before, so she was able to talk with them which was pretty cool. Then after the baptism, the street taco man came to the church parking lot and we all got incredibly delicious tacos! Everyone was a winner!
But really though that family will be baptized someday.

Well family. I sure love all of you. I got letters from the childrens this week and they all made me cry. You are all getting older and it's really weird. I miss you a lot, but I know this is where I am supposed to be right now. You are all so wonderful! Have fun in Utah and give little Sam and Gavin hugs from me:)


Sister McEwan did our toenails. Yay! I already have the missionary tan
line. My feet are on the left. Sister Shin is really tan.

 Treats we made
for fourth of July for our less actives and investigators.

Some of the sisters in our mission with Sister Vancott, the Mission Presidents wife. She is in the center.

Me and Sister Mags!