Monday, January 25, 2016

Historic GLOBAL Missionary Broadcast!

That is all.

We had an awesome missionary broadcast, interviews with President VanCott, exchanges, our investigator and her family came to church, and we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get this baptism together. So yup. There's that!

The missionary broadcast was so cool. It was broadcasted live to missions all over the world! They did say that the missionaries in Samoa were going to have to watch it when they woke up the next morning. Most of the broadcast was filmed training sessions with a zone in Ogden, Utah. They were trained by Elder Bednar, the YW General President whose last name I cannot spell, and the two heads of the missionary department. It was so awesome. Some of the apostles including Elder Oaks also spoke to us. It was kind of like a session of General Conference just for missionaries. We all sang together as missionaries all over the world Called to Serve, and we will bring the world his truth. Basically I really felt the spirit and I was again reminded of the sacredness of my calling. Being a missionary is sheer awesomeness. But really! There is something so powerful and spiritual and amazing that I cannot describe about being a missionary. I have never felt anything like it before. It's the greatest calling a person can receive.

Interviews with president were pretty okay. We talked a lot about what happens after the mission. That was weird. I have a lot on my plate right now with everything that is going on. Prayers for my companion and me would be much appreciated.

We went on exchanges this week which was much needed. Exchanges is always an awesome opportunity to learn. I have been blessed on my mission with Sister Training Leaders that I know. Sister Lysenko is my STL this transfer. She was in my district in Fontana. Very sweet girl. She's from  Connecticut. We met a few less actives that want to take the missionary lesson! We had an awesome lesson with our investigator too!
Speaking of her, she came to church this week! After we had another lesson with her she texted us and was super appreciative. On Sunday she missed sacrament meeting because she couldn't find her keys (thanks a lot Satan....) but they came for second and third hour and her kids loved primary! Yay!

Well that's my week in a nutshell. We were so busy this week that we had to call the elders and ask them to take on some appointments for us. This area is awesome. There is a lot of potential here. Hopefully we can hit it on full force.

Love you all! Please pray for missionary opportunities this week! The more we pray like Enos and plead, the more blessings we will receive.


Sister Olsen

I was able to go back to Fontana to attend the baptisms of these two cute kids. My companion in that area was Sister Erickson and we had worked with this awesome family.

It's always a good day when you can get
Chik fil a!!!

We went to the Redlands stake center for a special missionary broadcast. These are the sisters in my zone 

I went on exchanges with sister Lysenko. She was Trained by sister magleby and she was in my district for 3 months.

Me and Sister Vancott, the mission president's wife.

Yucaipa Sunsets

Monday, January 18, 2016

Skunk Spray.....

This email be the worst email I have sent and I apologize. I have like 15 minutes before PDay ends. Today has been crazy! So last night around 3 am, sister Andersen and I were woken up by the Palmers dogs barking. They are both a German Shepherd and wolf mix. Basically they are like Balto. Right after the dogs started barking BAM. This terrible smell filled our apartment. Sooooo yup. The dogs got sprayed by a skunk right in front of our house. So we were cleaning the apartment all day trying to get rid of the smell. On top of that, the Palmers were gone for MLK day and their chickens got out. Somehow they left the yard and we had to round up 6 or 7 of them. Anddddd we also went shopping in downtown Yucaipa. It's so cute! It's kind of like the Collierville town square, but it's a lot bigger. So this is why I am emailing super late. So sorry! 

This week was great from what I can remember.  We had an amazing experience this week. We were having a really rough day. We were so excited for this day because we
had 6 or 7 return appointments with all new investigators. They were all back to back and we planned for all of them and were super excited to teach these people. They literally all fell through. Basically, it sucked. I was honestly just trying not to cry and we were still trying to talk to people. I was praying and thinking about all afternoon how I just wanted to meet someone that I could befriend and help. I told Heavenly Father I just wanted to teach someone that was actually seeking truth.

We went to try this potential before our dinner appointment. We walked up to this house and there were bunnies and lizards and dogs and all kinds of interesting things.
A young woman answered the door. She let us in right away. At first I was scared....but then I felt really peaceful. She had three cute little kids and they were just in super humble circumstances. She said she was going through a really hard time and the night before she was praying for someone to help. We gave her 11 year old son a Book of Mormon. He started reading it right after he took it. Unfortunately, they couldn't come to church because her little 6 year old was running a high fever. If you could pray for them that would be fantastic. She told us that she has been searching for truth her whole life and our church keeps popping up. She even had applied for a job at the DI. I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but in that moment I knew that Heavenly Father answered both of our prayers and that was really cool. Times up! Sorry there's not a whole lot here! But I am safe and we are doing our best. We just don't smell real good.....
Love you family!
Love, Sister Olsen

We went to a really cute ice cream boutique today. Basically it was awesome.

A giraffe!!! He's not real....

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Arrival of El Nino

Well hello there!

Well. This week I got wet. Like the Titanic.

It rained. It snowed. It snow-rained. Is that a thing? Since we live in the foothills the streets were like little water falls. It was so cool! I took some pictures that I will send when we have better wifi at home. 

Oh wait...Sister Andersen and I are both staying in Yucaipa this transfer. I actually forgot that transfers even happened. We are like mountain women up here so sometimes I forget that there are other missionaries that actually get moved around and stuff. So that's exciting!

Okay coolest experience ever. When Sister Andersen was super sick and we had to stay in, I looked through the old area book to see if there was anyone that we should go and visit. This name really, really stuck out to me. We tried going to her house and calling her and we weren't able to get a hold of her so we just pretty much forgot about it. 

Fast forward a month: We got a text this week from the person I felt like we needed to visit. She told us that she used to take the missionary lessons, that she was back in town and wanted to be baptized. So basically we sprinted to where she wanted us to meet.  We started talking about the baptismal interview questions. She shared with us her testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet and just bawled. Her sweet experiences really touched my heart and the spirit was really, really strong. I really think I am here for her. I felt such love for her and such a desire to just help her with everything she is going through. Hopefully we will have an update for you next week.

I don't care where you serve your mission. If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, you love the people. If you really do forget yourself and just focus on how you are going to serve those around you, it's inevitable- you'll love them. Not that I am great at forgetting myself or anything- to be honest I am probably pretty bad at that, but I have been really trying to pray for charity everyday so I can love these people. Everyday I love them more and more and more. At the end of my mission, it really won't matter how many baptisms I had or how many referrals I got everyday; what will matter is how I applied what I learned and used it to become more like my Savior. I just really hope and pray that I am becoming a better person so that I can be a better friend and sibling and someday mom. That's honestly all that really matters to me because when I focus on that, my relationship with my Heavenly Father grows stronger. Hmmmm...maybe I need to work on selflessness now? haha :)

Love you all. Hope you are all feeling better. Please invite someone to church this week. Please, please. It will really make a huge difference in someone's life.

Sister Olsen

My rainy day pictures of the week.

Pictures of the neighborhood we live in

I had an earache this week. Lucky for me, Sister England is a nurse at Lima Linda and did an ear wash for me!

Her dogs attacked me while she was squirting water in my ear. It was pretty hilarious!

Monday, January 4, 2016

My attempt at reading the entire Book of Mormon in one day......

Last week, our mission president's weekly email started out pretty normal. He was talking about one of his ancestors, Parley P. Pratt. When I got to the end my eyes bulged out and I had to reread what he said. Don't worry, because he challenged us to read the entire Book of Mormon in one day, cover to cover. 

We came in early on New Year's Eve and started at 7. Then we got up on New Year's Day and picked up where we left off and read all day long. I read the entire time and felt like I was pretty focused all day, but I still didn't finish. I made it to 3rd Nephi so I read over 400 pages which is still pretty awesome. The whole time I was doing this, I kept thinking about Parley Pratt. In president's email, he talked about how he had been searching his whole life for the true church. This was something that was very important to him. I could imagine him just totally being sucked into the book and eating at every word.

Then I started thinking about just how important the Book of Mormon is. There are people today who are searching for the truth. If they found the Book of Mormon they would probably do just what Parley Pratt did. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing those people and it is our job to find them. We must invite EVERYONE to read the Book of Mormon because it is so important! So this week I challenged everyone to give a Book of Mormon to someone. I know that as you are reading this, someone came to your mind that you need to give one to. Christ's invitation is to act on those promptings so you can be a blessing to someone you love. And if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, I would invite you to. Nothing bad can happen from it. It will only bring you closer to Jesus Christ and bless your life with whatever you are needing right now. Whether that be guidance on helping your teenaged kid, or how to manage your finances, it's all in there. Please read it. And read it again. I just want to shout it from the roof tops and plead with everyone I see to read it!! It's that important!

Alright now that I got all of that out, let me tell you about some miracles this week. There were so many! This less active family that hasn't been to church in YEARS came yesterday! Hallelujah! A part member family we have been trying to work with called us and asked for us to come and teach them tomorrow. A former investigator that I found in the area book and really felt like we needed to go see called US and told us she wanted to be baptized! A daughter in another part member family also decided that she wants to be baptized and we set a date for her at the end of this month. Just so many miracles!
The Lord is really blessing us. This has been the weirdest transfer of my mission because literally everyone has been sick at some point and out of town. So Sister Andersen and
I have really been learning how to lean on each other and Heavenly Father. I have learned a lot.

Transfers are Wednesday, but president isn't telling us what's happening until tomorrow. So yup. We will probably both stay is my guess, but you never know! It's crazy that I have put two sisters through training now. I feel like I just barely finished my own!

It sounds like everyone at home is sick too. The flu shot must not have worked this year. That stinks. Get feeling better and don't forget to share the Book of Mormon this week!
Love you!

Sister Olsen

A lighted up giraffe!! I like him.
Snow in SoCal!