Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gotta love a Saturday Pday

Hi Family!

Well. It's really only been a few days since I last emailed you... Nothing too exciting to talk about. 

Transfers are on Wednesday and I have absolutely nooooo idea what is going to happen. I have been here for three transfers now and Sister Shin and I have been together for two transfers.... So people keep telling me I am probably going to be leaving, but I feel like I will be staying for some reason. If that does happen I will send Sister Shin home and I will have spent 1/3 of my mission here at the end of next transfer. That is so crazy to me! I feel like I have been here forever. Banning seems like a dream. So weird. If I do get transferred I will be really nervous because I have only been transferred once and it was a while ago. And I just really love it here a lot. I love this ward so much. I still love it even though we aren't teaching very many people because I absolutely love the people that I am teaching. Sometimes I get homesick, but most of the time Sister Shin and I are just having fun together.

We had another lesson with our investigator this week and we are having another one tonight. She is doing so well! Well, she is doing well spiritually, but not physically. She is reading the Book of Mormon and doing her best to live the Word of Wisdom. She is having her surgery on Thursday so if you all could pray for her that would be amazing! 

Today was really fun! Ryan and Dearly Carrasco (a newly wed couple in our ward that we love) drove us up to the Mountains in Crestline where Julia Huff (our two week missionary) lives. We had a blast! If you ever come tour the mission with me I would love to take you there. We went up to this watch tower on the mountain and you can see my entire mission! It's amazing! It was pretty smogy today..... San Bernadino is one of the most polluted counties in the country..... But it was still really cool! And we went on a hike in the mountain up to this rock that is in the perfect shape of a heart. 

Sister Huff brought one of her friends who is struggling to go on a mission and two non member friends so we got to do some missionary work as well :) Speaking of missionary work, I hope mom has a great lesson tomorrow! I can't wait to here all about it!

Sister Shin took some pictures (I didn't take my camera....) but she forgot her cord so you will get them next week. Sorry! I have been so bad at taking pictures lately.....

Now I have a question for all of you. How do the missionaries do work with the members in Collierville? I feel like our ward has some really nice areas like the ward I am in now. So they probably have to work a lot through referrals as well. Tracting here really does nothing because there are sooooooo many salesman. We see them all the time and people here get really annoyed when we do knock on doors. So do any of the members in our ward have tips for how I can best work with the members? We are just kind of stuck right now. Hopefully Elder Gay will talk about member missionary work on Monday because we need help.    

Talk to you in 10 days! Love you family!


Sister Olsen

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Member Missionary Work!!!!!

Alright Family! Here we are again!

A couple of things before I get into what I want to talk about this week:

1. We are having a mission tour this weekend and Elder Robert C. Gay of the 70 is visiting us! My zone is meeting with him on Monday, so we are having a Saturday pday. So instead of emailing on Monday next week, I will be emailing on Saturday the 29th. I can't wait to tell you all about my weekend in two weeks!

2. I will tell you about my week really quick. Sister Huff was so awesome! She went home last night and Sister Shin and I both feel like we lost a limb! She is seriously so awesome. She is not afraid to talk to anybody! This week we were walking and saw a few guys playing basketball. So she walked right up to them and asked them, "If I make a basket, can I share a message about Jesus Christ with you?" She totally missed, but two out of five took Books of Mormon! It rocked!

Our investigator didn't come to church this week. Her fellowshipper rocks, though!  They are her next next door neighbors and they are helping her a lot. She is having a lot of trouble with her knee. The doctors think it could be blood clots now. Please pray for her! She really wants to come to church and be baptized, but she is in a TON of pain! She is really amazing. Whenever we teach her I can really feel the Spirit. She loves the Book of Mormon. Shes calls it her "shield". She already has a testimony and she is a total power house!

Sister Shin is such an awesome companion. I really love her a lot. She has become my best friend the past few months and she has helped me a lot. I feel like I haven't really expressed that enough in my emails, but she is a really good companion.

That reminds me, transfers are coming up. I will know if I am getting transferred or not on Sunday night, but since Pday is Saturday, you all won't know for two weeks. So I could have a new companion or be in a new area.
I don't know how I feel about that because I really love this area. Missionary work here is so so so SOOOO hard, but Sister Shin and I are both trying. I think we are so happy right now because we are being obedient and we have a really good relationship with the ward. 

Every single Sunday is such a Spiritual experience. I am always reminded how much Heavenly Father loves his children. This week our Relief Society lesson was on Christ. I think being a missionary you are so focused on how much Christ loves your investigators that you don't really think about how much he loves you. It's not like I forget or anything, I just don't think about myself as much. But yesterday I was really reminded that He loves me, too. And I'm really grateful for that.

On a more humorous note, something really weird happened on Saturday. We were walking to an appointment and we randomly ran into Elsa and Ana! They were going into a bday party. It was pretty random. Then a few hours later, we were walking to a different appointment and saw Woody and Buzz going to a different party! Weird, right??

Alright now I really REALLY want to talk about member missionary work for just a few minutes! I am so excited that mom is teaching a lesson on this!!! Sister Shin and I are working really hard on helping our members with missionary work. Member missionary work is SO IMPORTANT! The most lasting converts are those that already have friends in the church. They already have someone who knows them and will love and support them through their conversion process which is SO IMPORTANT because it's really hard! They totally have to change their lifestyle and make all new friends with the ward and adjust and everything. It's just so much better when they already have a good support system.

In Teachings of the Prophets, President Ezra Taft Benson, it says "The Lord will sustain members in their missionary responsibility if they just have the faith to try. It is time to raise our sights, to get a vision of the magnitude of this great work. The Lord expects it of us. It is not enough just to be members in the Church and go to sacrament meeting, pay our tithing, support the welfare program. That is all good-but that is not enough. The Lord expects us to be missionaries, to live the gospel- yes, wholly, and to help build up His kingdom." (Chapter 22) So 'nough said.

Anyway, I have to go. But the last thing I will say is please feed the missionaries at least once a month. It's not because they need to eat. The Lord takes care of our physical needs. But let them feel the Spirit in your home. I can't tell you how much it means to me to be in a home where the spirit and priesthood are present. I NEED IT!

Love you all! I am so glad everyone is happy and loving school! You are great!


Sister Huff, Sister Shin and I. We had a great time together and were sad to loose Sister Huff! She was awesome!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms, and Ned Nederlander


One day we were walking and Sister Shin said we were the three amigos, so I tried telling them that Sister Shin was like Lucky Day and Sister Huff was like Ned Nederlander and I was Dusty Bottoms, but they didn't know anything about that......Don't worry. I'm making Sister Shin watch it when she gets home.

Speaking of the three amigos... we had dinner with the Bourgeous family last night. We talked about the Bronsons and I told them that I really like Kelly. So that was a nice conversation. But Brother Bourgeous said we were the three amigos too, and then started doing impressions of El Guapo talking about sweaters. I laughed so hard I about wet my pants. They are such an awesome family!

Wow I just jumped right into this haha. Hi family! How are you!

The two week missionary we got is awesome! Her name is Sister Huff and she looks like a cute little American Girl Doll. OH SHOOT I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES THIS WEEK. I JUST REALIZED THAT! I'm so sorry! But she is literally the nicest girl I have ever met in my whole life. She's like Lark Sine nice. And she just talks to every single person about the Book of Mormon and it's adorable. She has instilled some more greenie fire into my soul. I need that.

I am learning a lot from her. But I also see how much I have grown. I used to get so nervous to talk to people or teach lessons because I was worried that I was going to say something stupid or mess up. But I realized that it's really not my job to convince people or to convert them. When I talk to someone, all I can do is share my testimony of what I know to be true. Everyone has their own agency. If they don't want to choose to believe or do things to help them come closer to Christ, there is really nothing I can do for them. All I can do is bear testimony of what I know to be true. And you know what? It makes teaching people who actually are teachable and ready for the gospel so much sweeter.

For example, Juan. We are teaching him the new member discussions. This week we talked about tithing and the word of wisdom. He loves tithing. He lives it 100% and can see the blessings from it. You know what he said to me? Yesterday he said, "I am so grateful that you taught me how I can experience the kind of joy and happiness that I am experiencing now." I said, "No Juan. I didn't do that. The Spirit did. All I did was decide to go on a mission." He said, "But you did come on a mission. That wasn't any easy decision. You are here and I am grateful that you are."
Yup. I cried. He is so awesome and doing so many good things! He always prays for missionary experiences and I have never seen him happier.

Well everyday is going by faster and faster. Everyday I feel like the second I wake up the second it's time for dinner and then it's bed time and then I go to sleep and the second I do that I wake up again. That sentence was not structured well at all, but you get the idea. The days are flying by. 

I love this ward. Transfers are coming up in a few weeks and I think I will probably leave because this is my third transfer here. I'm really going to miss it a lot. I have grown to love my ward so much! I love all the people here and I really just love being a missionary.
Love you all! Hope you have a good week!



Monday, August 10, 2015

The Fastest Week of My Life!!!!!

Hello my lovely family!

This week has gone by super fast and I really don't remember much..... Good thing I write in my journal! But really though my lack of memory skills is really kind of scaring me a little bit....

This week one of our investigators got a beautiful blessing from two recent converts. The one who gave the blessing got baptized last September and just recently got the priesthood. He gave a blessing for the first time and it was really awesome! We all cried and you could really feel the spirit.

Sacrament meeting rocked this week. We heard from our very own Sister Shin! She did a really good job. Then Diane Carrasco talked. She just got back from a mission from Argentina. Then bishop called up a sister who's son just left for his mission today to bear her testimony at the end. I cried. She was talking about her own missionaries and how they influenced her whole family. Now her son is going on a mission. That was something I really needed to hear. I will never know everything that I did and all the people I helped until after this life is over. Sometimes I get discouraged because not a lot is happening in our area. But we are getting new investigators and the Ward members are really being strengthened. 

Remember when I used to say I hated people in general? Not anymore! I REALLY LOVE people. Especially these awesome peeps in my Ward. (Well I'm distracted yet again because I'm getting a pedicure from Sister McEwan again.....) But please know how happy I am. I have a wonderful companion and a wonderful Ward. I'm learning so much from the experiences I'm having. I'm learning how to fulfill callings and be a good mom and all these other wonderful things. I really love my mission.

In other news, we are getting a two week missionary tomorrow. So we are going to be a trio for two weeks. Also we had MLC (missionary leadership conference) this week. All the STLs and ZLs go to it once a month. (Side note- we saw a USU license plate on the freeway on the way there and it made me really really happy.) But I made a comment about goal setting and President and Sister Van Cott were both very impressed. Usually I feel really awkward at MLC because I'm the youngest one there...but this time it was really good! So that also made me really happy. Yay for happiness! Well that's about it this week. I love all of you! Enjoy the first
week of school:) 
You're all going to rock it!


These ladies are like my moms in the ward. They take very good care of me and I love them very much. Sister Stoddard is in the red and Sister McEwan is in the black. Sister McEwan is the one who always gives us pedicures. They are both awesome!

Here are some pictures of the RS activity we had on Saturday. We made 450 pillowcases for kids with cancer. It was a lot of fun!

Sewing with Sister McEwan

When you sent me this postcard of route 66
I laughed because we drive

past Route 66 every single day. It is right by our apartment complex.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Seriously though! Time is going by so fast! 

This morning on our way to the library, I was really trying to think about what I was going to email you all about and I really couldn't remember the week! I feel like it just flew by!
Sister Shin and I had a great week! We realized this week that we have 4 potential baptisms this month!

We found a part-member family which is always super exciting. They fed us dinner! Chicken street tacos. Delicious. But we had a lesson, too and it was so good! The mom is a member. Her mom is a convert and she lives in Arizona. We taught them the Restoration and the two middle kids really want to be baptized! (The youngest is 2). They have come to church two weeks in a row. If you could all pray for them that would rock. They are such an awesome family.

Every week in RS the person who is conducting asks who has had a missionary moment. It used to be really awkward and quiet, but now more people have experiences and it's really cool. Usually they have to do with us and when they saw us.... but that's okay! I really love this ward so much. Seriously SO much! The people here are really awesome and they are all trying to be good member missionaries. We are developing good relationships with them and I just love every minute of it.

Something that Sister Shin and I have been studying a lot is humility and judgement. This is something I have been struggling with my whole life. Today in comp study we talked to each other about how people who feel like they are being judged are usually judging others. We also talked about how pride is very worldly. It's prideful to think of yourself as diminished when something good happens to someone else. AKA jealousy. And then I said, "well Sister. That's my life." Every single person should just have confidence that God loves them. That's always something that I thought I had, but I guess I didn't, because when we truly know that, nothing else that anyone does or says really matters. I really just don't understand why trying to be like Jesus is so dog-on hard!

So that's really been what I have been working on this week, and really what I am going to be working on for the rest of my life. Heavenly Father is blessing us everyday. It's so important to just notice the little things and be so grateful for them. Everyone is trying hard and doing their best so I just need to love them for that and build them up.

I love you all very much and hope you had a good week! Thank you so much for sending me all those pictures! AND THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE! Those skirts are AWESOME!!!!! They are very light weight and breezy. Also I love the socks. I can just wear the dream team on my feet everyday. Hooray! I am so grateful that I have such an awesome family that loves me even though I struggle and I am very far from perfect. Thanks for loving me so much! You guys are the best!

Sister Olsen 

Finally! Someone spelled my name right!

Love my companion Sister Shin!

Keeping busy!

Thanks for the awesome package!!