Monday, April 11, 2016

Exaltation!!!! Oh, and Moroni is my new neighbor :)


Okay I literally just said a prayer so that Heavenly Father will help me write this email. We have been so crazy busy this past week; I haven't even had time to unpack yet! And we had a crazy fun pday today as well. There is just so much to write about and I am going to try and whip it all out in 15 minutes because I still have a bunch to do to figure out all of my classes and what not.

Alright so I am guessing that you are probably on the edge of your seat wondering where the heck I am emailing you from right now. I have been transferred to..............


How awesome is that?!?!?!?! I am probably going to finish my mission here!!! I am in the Millcreek ward. I honestly still don't really know the area yet.... But it's the biggest and probably most awesome ward in the Redlands Stake. We take in a small portion of Redlands, all of Mentone, Forrest Falls, and Angles Oaks. The last two places I just mentioned are up in the mountains and we have some investigators and new converts up there and it's really cool. No, the Mission President is not in my ward. But...... THE TEMPLE IS IN MY WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We literally drive past the temple about 5 times a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S SO AWESOME AND I AM SO ELATED. AND GET THIS! The temple president has asked us to do temple tours of the temple grounds for non-members. Remember when I really really wanted to serve in a temple visitor center? This is like the next best thing!!!!!!!!!

My companion is also probably one of my favorite companions. We have only been together for 5 days and she is right up there with Sister Magleby and Sister Shin. Oh wait. I forgot to tell you I am follow up training again. Hahaha. That's funny that I forgot to mention that. Yes so her name is Ashley Osborne and she is from Napa Idaho. This is her second transfer in the mission field. So after this transfer I will have been a part of four sisters training. Also, I will have never done a full training on one sister, but that's okay. I flipping love it here so I am totally cool with what is currently happening.

Here's the thing. Sister Osborne and I are basically the same person. Our lives are like 93.8% the same. We even have bunions and varicose veins in the same place. Is that too much information? But we like all the same things. Purple is also her favorite color and she is just as obsessed with giraffes as I am. But literally like 5 or 6 times a day she will say something or the other person will say something and the other person's response is usually "me too...." or "I feel the same way..." It's freaky, but also super awesome. She is just so great and this is so great and I am just loving my life so much right now. I am very tempted to tell President Van Cott that I don't want to leave mid transfer anymore because I am super sad that I only get to be here for 2.5 transfers. But don't worry I will come home. Maybe...

Okay so I don't even know where to begin because this week has been so crazy! On top of this transfer, we also had an Area 70 visit the stake this week. It was super cool. I also forgot to mention that our ward is ON FIRE with missionary work! We are seriously about to baptize nations!!!! Once I figure out just what the heck is going on of course. I am still meeting everyone and trying to figure out how to get places. It has been a very, very, very long time since I have lived in a city. I forgot how to drive where there are a lot of cars and stuff everywhere.

Anyway. So this area 70 is Elder Jay Pimentel. He was so flipping awesome. He invited us to the adult session of stake conference. And because he is the coolest man currently living, he had a special meeting in the morning just for the missionaries and all the people they are teaching (investigators, recent converts, and less actives). All of these people's fellowshippers were also invited. We had three investigators, a couple less actives, and a few recent converts there. IT WAS SO COOL! And of course, he talked at the main session.

He made some super cool parables that I want to write about. He talked about baseball so I feel that dad and Tay Tay will like these ones. He compared fasting to a sacrifice fly. In baseball, if someone of the opposing team catches the ball when you hit it before it touches the ground, you are out. But, if you have less that two outs and there is someone on third base, you can hit what is called a sac fly. If you hit it to the outfield, and the player on third base makes it to home plate, you score. A sac fly is also the only out that doesn't hurt your batting average. However, if there isn't someone on third base, hitting the ball straight to the outfield to an opponent is pointless. The same goes with fasting. In order for our sacrifice to be beneficial, we need to have something on third base.

He also likened having a broken heart and a contrite spirit to a baseball glove. When you have a brand new baseball glove, it isn't very flexible. You can't open and close it. You have to break it in first. It takes a lot of work to break that glove in, but once it's broken you can do whatever you want with it. We are like the glove and Heavenly Father is like the hand inside. In order for him to use you and work with you, you need to be broken in.

He also talked about God's perspective. He said this one time he took his kids to the Empire State building in NYC. They went to the lower observation deck. He pointed to a taxi that was driving by until they couldn't see it anymore. He pointed to a taxi that was parked that they still could see. And he said there were probably more taxi cabs coming around the corner that they couldn't see yet. They went to the very top and they could see all of the Taxi cabs. He said that the first cab is like our past, the middle is our present, and the last is our future. We can't see everything all at once from our own perspective, but Heavenly Father can see everything. That's why we need to trust him because he has a much better perspective and vantage point then we do.

One last parable. When you put a foam cup full of water in a fire, it will not burn. If your foam cup is even a little less then full of water, it will burn. He suggested that the water in the cup is like the love of God. We need to fill ourselves with God's love to protect us from harm.

Anyway, sorry that was a lot. I didn't explain any of that nearly as well as he did. But it was amazing to hear him speak. President and Sister Van Cott spoke at their stake conference for the last time. Holy cow they were a powerhouse. He said that if you felt anything missing inside, do missionary work. If you want more power, do missionary work. If you want to have incomprehensible joy, do missionary work. Etc. It was probably one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard at a stake conference. I left that conference feeling like I could just conquer the world! I love conference so much!!!!!!!!!!

One last thing. The temple is being cleaned this month and they asked us to help clean it. We just scrubbed rust off the men's lockers in the baptistery, which wasn't very exciting. But what was exciting was the guy that was in charge of the temple cleaning showed us all around the temple! We got to go into the bowels of the temple! It was like the chamber of secrets, but sacred! We went into the basement and saw all the pipes and plumbing and vents and stuff. It was really cool.We went into the break room and everything. It was awesome.

Okay this is the longest email of my life. Oh! One more thing! For pday today we went to the university of Redlands! I got a sweet sweatshirt! Oh! One more thing! The Redlands Bicycle Classic was this weekend and we got to volunteer! It was so much fun! This race is the oldest in the country. We helped with the Disabled Veterans Race and the Women's Race. I don't remember what their names are, but there were Olympians that have won medals in both of those races. So cool! 

Now I really am done. Love you all! A lot happened this week. By next P-day hopefully I will know things better and things will be back to normal. It's not every week you get to meet a general authority, take a backstage tour of the temple, and go to a world famous bicycle race.

What's funny is, none of you had any idea that I was doing any of this this week. Haha. Love you all! The church is very much true!

Your Missionary,
Sister Olsen

This is Webster (the floppy one)

and the palmer family that I was living with

This is a super cool children's garden in Yucaipa

Saying goodbye to the amazing Sister Ashcraft

This is the Chudy family. She reminds me a lot of Grammy neat. They live up in oak Glen and I was teaching their neighbor Rob. I am really excited to take you to their ranch someday! The dog's name is Ranger.

This is sweet Lyla Terry from Yucaipa. She is 91 and has been my grandma away from home these past few months. She is basically an angel on earth.

Yucaipa zone day before transfers.



This is my awesome new companion Sister Ashley Osborne! Yay! 

Redlands bicycle Classic at the start/finish line

We ran into the Harbers from Yucaipa at the bike classic! They were my totally awesome neighbors in Yucaipa.

Redlands bicycle Classic

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