Monday, September 28, 2015

Who's excited for General Conference?!?!?!?!


Saturday was awesome so I can only imagine it's going to be a great one! I think it's pretty awesome that three new apostles are getting called while I'm on my mission. I'm just so excited! Conference is always a great time to repent. Well, everyday is a great time to repent... but you know what I mean. Like last time, I invite all of you to prepare a question and sincerely pray before this weekend. It really makes conference a whole lot more meaningful.

Well don't worry because it took me almost the whole time to load the pictures. So sorry if this email is terrible. But at least you got some good pictures! I know I owed you all some so there ya go. Now I'm all flustered because I'm almost out of time, but I want to make this a good email!

It's always so hard for me to remember what happened the past week. Luckily I have kept a good journal! Every night before we go in, I have been writing my favorite part of the day in the little calendar that Adam and Hollie gave me at the very beginning of my mission. It's come quite in handy!

I keep having these weird epiphanies lately. Yesterday when we were taking the sacrament, I looked up and looked all around me and thought to myself, "oh yeah! I don't actually live here!" I think I have been in this ward far too long because I really feel like it's home. I have now lived here longer than I lived in Collierville with you all. So that's weird.

My mission really is just flying right before my eyes. Everyday I wake up and thank Heavenly Father that I get to be a missionary. It's really awesome. I love talking with people. I love sharing the Book of Mormon with others. We have given away several Book of Mormons lately. I really hope and pray that every one we give away gets read and changes someone's life.

Something that our mission president emphasizes all the time is GREAT Faith and MIGHTY Prayer. What's the difference between that and just Faith and Prayer? Well, lately I have really started to noticed a difference when I just go through the motions and say a prayer than when I actually kneel down and plead with the Lord. I think there are a lot of people that don't recognize answers to prayers. I know that it is often difficult for me to recognize an answer. Sometimes it can be hard to have complete faith in someone that you can't see. Heavenly Father wants to bless us so badly, but he only can if we get down on our knees and truly plead with Him. If you really are doing that than it isn't hard to have faith. He will make our weakness our strengths. I know that He is there and that He loves all of us. I KNOW that! 

Anyway, sorry this is a short email. My brain really is fried at the moment. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I am very grateful to have such an awesome family that loves me so much. You're the best!

Sister Olsen 

We went on a hike to Crestline about three weeks ago. These are some pictures we took on that hike.

Sister Huff and I walking in our area.
Sister Shin and I with the awesome McEwan family! Love them!
This sweet lady is Gayle, one of our amazing investigators. I love her; she's such a sweetheart!
I made a rockin' birthday card for one of our investigators. When he sees that, he will totally want to be baptized!!

Pictures from our hike up Zanja Peak with President and Sister Vancott. Sister Vancott has the pink sweatshirt. She looks like one of us!

Monday, September 21, 2015

8 Months in Paradise

Hello, hello my dear family!

It sounds like you are all doing well in Collierville and Utah. I'm very jealous that you all are experiencing fall. But I have a feeling that you all will be jealous of me when it's 75 where I am and 45 where you are :) I don't know, maybe some of you prefer the cold. But I got to tell ya, the heat is growing on me.

This week was pretty good. The more weeks that go by, the harder time I have remembering things. I have been really bad about writing in my journal this week.... I have noticed that the more I write in my journal, the more I remember. So I really need to get on that. I was doing so well for two transfers, but we have been so busy I am having a really hard time keeping up! We currently have 4 investigators on date to be baptized. Last week we had 5 which is awesome. But we cannot get a hold of one of them for the life of us.

One baptism is set for the last day that Sister Shin is here. So that's pretty exciting! I'm so grateful that I get to see some of the fruits of all the work my companions and I have been doing here. We really built it up from nothing. We are teaching all new people that I didn't even know my first transfer. We are doing most of our finding through part member families. And you know what? A lot of them are coming back because of their home and visiting teachers. I am seriously so excited to be a visiting teacher and help my lovely relief society sisters! 

We went on exchanges this week. I went with Hermana Killpack. Her mission language is spanish, but she has been serving in an English ward for two transfers. Craziness! Her companion/my STL is Sister Peterson. I don't know if you remember her, but she was my STL when I was with Sister Hamblin and she really helped me a lot. She is super awesome. I don't know if I told you that I'm not a STL this transfer... Well now you know!

We went on a hike with President and Sister Van Cott this morning! It was 6.2 miles long. It was pretty strenuous (but then again I probably just thought it was hard because I'm out of shape) but the view at the top was so beautiful! It was so cool because we would go up a ways and take a break. Whenever we took a break the view was so beautiful! But the higher we got, the more beautiful the view was. You could totally relate that to the Gospel. Heavenly Father only wants to bless us. The harder we work and the longer we go, the more He can bless us with. We just have to go a little bit further, and turn around to see all of His blessings.

I don't know if that was dumb or cheesy, but hopefully you got what I meant. I know I owe you pictures from the other hike we went on...but Sister Shin forgot her camera again. So we did take pictures of both hikes, but they are all on her camera. I'm so sorry! I will remember next week I promise! But I know that President took some and they are up on Sister Van Cott's mission blog. I'm sure you can copy them and put them on my blog. For one of the pictures President was taking it and standing directly behind the I look like a goon. I'm sure I'm just sweaty and gross in all of them so it's fine.

I do have some pictures for you though so I will send them right now :) It rained this week for the first time in a long time so I took some pictures of that, too.

My new roommate Sister Erikson is very cute! We hardly ever see our roommates because we are so busy. We are never home during the day. And then at night we are just so exhausted that we go to bed. So I have had maybe 2 conversations with her. I'm looking forward to getting to know her! It's the four of us here. There is always four. I have gone through 5 different hermanas in this apartment so far. I've been here forever!

Anyway. My time is up. Love you all! Have a great week :)

Sister Olsen

Driving around in our area. The sky looked cool.

Yes I did just send you three selfies of me wearing my rain jacket. You're welcome.

Rain on the San Bernadino Bridge

Monday, September 14, 2015

I love being a missionary!

Hi everyone!

This week I had a very strange nightmare. I had this dream that I was flying home after my mission. I had brought three Books of Mormon and I was determined to give them away before I got released. So I started
talking to the woman sitting next me on the plane and I could not give her the Book of Mormon because I started to cry. I was really sad because I knew this would be the last time I was going to share the gospel as a full-time missionary. This nightmare really was a blessing because I realized how much I love being a missionary. There really is nothing I would rather be doing right now. Nothing brings me greater joy than sharing the gospel. It only took me the first 7 months of my
mission to develop a real love for my mission..... Better late than 
This week was great! We had two lessons with our investigator who is on date to be baptized for October! He is really progressing! He wants to be sealed with his wife for eternity so bad and it's adorable.

We had an amazing experience this week! A less active member in our Ward called and said her son had a ton of questions for us! So we went over and he said he wanted to be baptized and serve a mission!  Now we can serve and help this family.  A baptism date is set for October 17th. This was a miracle! 

Sorry this email is short, but we have a very busy day today. We are preparing for another mission conference tomorrow.

Love you all! Have a great week :)


Sister Olsen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Summit Ward Forever!

Alright family!

I hope everyone had a splendid Labor Day weekend :) I'm very jealous that dad gets to go to DC so much. I bet he is loving that. Dannon looks very spiffy in her mermaid tail. I know Sister Hamblin really wanted one of those. I didn't think they actually existed to be honest...but it looks pretty cool! I'm so proud of Dannon for getting that solo! I would love to hear it. 

So yes, Sister Shin and I will be in Summit Ward for another transfer. I am so darn lucky. I have seen this ward grow so much since I have been here! The work is really moving forward. It's moving much slower than I thought it would when I first got here....but it's moving! We are teaching all new people now! We got two new investigators last week! They have been coming to church every week and are awesome. We had a lesson with them last Monday and we have another one today. One has committed to baptism and we hope to put it on the calendar for October 10th tonight

We talked to lot of people this week. We accidentally (by that I mean we didn't plan it, but clearly he was placed in our path) a former member who wants to start taking the lessons again! Super awesome. 

Oh MAN I ALMOST FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT OUR MISSION CONFERENCE! It was so good! Elder Robert C. Gay of the seventy came! The first thing he told us was that to prepare for our conference he asked the general authority over all of the missions in the world about us. He asked him because he was the last general authority to visit our mission. Guess what he said? The general authority over all missionary work said that we have the best mission president in the entire world. THE WHOLE WORLD! That was exciting! Anyway, the conference was super good because I prayed and prayed that he would help us know how we can use the members better. They really are the only way we can do missionary work. He talked about that A TON. I think the biggest take away I got from it was the importance of fasting and praying. We talked a lot about that. 

Also, I have been having a question about something in my patriarchal blessing for quite some time now and I have been praying about it. I won't share specifically what it was because it's very sacred to me, but he totally answered my question. I had a lot of revelation, but I will just share one more thing because I am short on time. As he was standing up there answering all of our questions and helping us and just being super spiritual a thought came into my head. I thought to myself, "men like him should just be doing all of the missionary work. So many more people would be baptized if all the missionaries were as powerful as he is." Immediately the Spirit just pounded me and I knew that it was Heavenly Father's plan that he lets us immature kids be full time missionaries. It's not just for the people that we serve and teach, but it's for us. I know that changing the age was totally inspired and what Heavenly Father wanted. Pretty soon all of the wards will have these super awesome returned missionaries leading and teaching the members. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be a part of this. I am learning and growing more than I ever thought I would or could. Heavenly Father is shaping me and all the missionaries into something great. I can't tell you how personal and how grateful I am for that. Before I thought that the answer to my prayer whether or not I should serve a mission was my decision. I thought God told me that I could go or stay. But now I cannot imagine my life without it. I love being a missionary. I love all of you! Have a wonderful week :) invite everyone everywhere to do something to increase their faith! That person and you will be blessed for it :)


Sister Olsen