Monday, July 25, 2016

The RM.....

What the what what what?

I never thought in my entire life that I would be a returned missionary. This is so weird. This week was the fastest and most bizarre week of my entire life. MY ENTIRE LIFE. Especially this weekend. So many small miracles happened. I bore my testimony in church
on Sunday. It was just a really good weekend.

I don't want to write too much. I really just want my last email to be my testimony. It's super simple, but powerful. I know that Heavenly Father is real. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the Earth today. The priesthood is back on the earth. I know that because of that, we can be with our families forever. FOREVER. That's a long time! You're stuck with me suckers! I know that the temple is the house of God. I love the temple! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to serve in the same area as the temple. I know the Book of Mormon will bring us closer to Jesus Christ more than we can imagine. I can't even explain how much I love my Savior and how grateful I am for what He has done for me. I am the farthest thing from perfect, but because of Him, I can be like my Heavenly Father someday. Thank you so much for all of the support you all have shown me on my mission! This has been a group effort for sure. I wouldn't have been able to do this without my team! So excited to see everyone and be missionaries unleashed together!

Love, your missionary,
Sister Olsen.

What I will miss most about California

Crystal and Tina and I on my last Sunday
Look Dad, I found John Stockton's house

The Redland's Trio

I taught my last lesson on Sunday night on the temple grounds. It was super spiritual.

Some pictures by my temple.

Sister Reil on the left and Sister Christiansen on the right. We made a great team!
Good-bye photo: Sisters Hamblin, Ashcraft, me, Hess, Reihl, Christiansen, Fife

Very last picture as a missionary! See you tomorrow!!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Missionary Work Unleashed

Hi family!

This is so flipping weird. I still feel like I am going to be on my mission for the rest of my life. The past 18 months have definitely not "flown by" as they say, but they are going to end next week. NEXT WEEK. I have been saying for the past few months that I never wanted my mission to end. I think that was super silly of me. Everything is slowly coming into perspective for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into two years ago when I decided to serve a mission. I had no idea what missionary work was. I never really had a lesson on it in church (if I did I wasn't paying attention). I literally had no clue what missionaries did. And I had no idea why Heavenly Father even suggested a mission in the first place.

Truth is, I still don't know everything. In fact, I would say I don't know most things. But I do have a greater perspective of who God is, what His plan is for all of us, and what that means for me.

At the beginning I was so focused on others. I thought the whole thing was to bring other people to Christ. Which, don't get me wrong, that's a huge part of my mission. I don't want to seem selfish when I say this, but my mission is about me. My success as a missionary will not be measured by the number of people I taught. My success as a missionary will be measured 20 years from now. If I am actively living the gospel of Jesus Christ and raising my family on gospel principles, then I will know that I served a successful mission.

I know that God loves each and every one of us. He wants us to return and live with him again. Our lives are about us earning our salvation. The way we do it may be through loosing our lives in the service of others and keeping our covenants, but I'm pretty sure at judgement day, my conversation with God won't be about the guy in my plans for three o'clock in the afternoon. It will be about me; the choices I made and if I kept my covenants. The past couple days I have been getting really excited to experience my life. I think it's been childish of me to be depressed about going home. Life is a journey and a part of it is change. I should be excited about experiencing new things and seeing what my Heavenly Father has in store for me. Change is good. I'm super nervous because everyone has been telling me that adjusting back to normal life is hard, but I know my Savior (and mom) will help me. I'm just excited for a new chapter and to apply everything I have learned from my mission. Basically, my mission has been the MTC for my life. I'm ready to live it!

This week I am just going to focus on making sure these sisters are ready to take over the area. We are going to find a new family to teach and I'm pretty excited! I told Heavenly Father that I just really want to enjoy this last week and see a ton of miracles! What I am going to miss most is how I feel when I talk with people. This week, we went on exchanges with the Spanish sisters again. While Sister West was teaching this woman in Spanish, I was teaching her husband in English. There was a lot he didn't understand about repentance. So I taught him super simply and just felt overwhelming love for him. I felt what his Heavenly Father wanted him to hear. I feel that all the time when I'm talking with people. I know it comes with the calling of being the Lord's missionary, but I hope it doesn't go away!

Anyway. Have a great week. We are going to knock 'em dead here in Millcreek! Love you all. Thank you so much for all the support you have given me on my mission. There is no way I could have done all of this alone.

Jesus Christ lives. I know that he is more than aware of everything we are going through. He has experienced all of it himself. I know that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet on the earth today. I know that His church has been restored to the earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints isn't just some other church. It is literally run by God himself. He wants us to come to him. I know that a lot of people that read my blog are not members of the church. I know they might have questions or wonder why I would leave my family, school, dating, etc. for 18 months to go to a place where I knew no one to just talk to people about the restored gospel. Please feel free to ask me! I love talking about the gospel and my mission. Ask me about my experiences. Ask me about my beliefs. I promise I won't push or pry or make you feel uncomfortable in any way. If my church was a cake, it would be the biggest most delicious, delectable, desirable, scrumptious, cake ever! I just want to share with everyone! It's fun to share the gospel! And if you don't like it, that's totally okay. I'll still be your friend and love you to death. But you have nothing to loose and everything to gain :)

Love your missionary,
Sister Olsen

P.s. Just because I'm loosing the badge doesn't mean my mission ends! The field is white and already to harvest in Tennessee and Logan Utah, too. Watch out world, because when I come home it's going to be missionary work unleashed!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Last Chance!!!

Hey kids! 

If you want to send me an actual letter, this week is your last chance! Just thought I would throw that out there :)

This week was weird. It was fast and slow. We met President and Sister Dixon this week! Oh my gosh they are literally the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life! I loved, loved talking to them. They made me feel so good when they were talking all about Aunt Cindee and how much they have been looking forward to meeting me. 

He told us all about how he was called to be a mission president and when he was set apart by President Eyring. He said that ALL of the missionaries serving with President Dixon is for a reason. It made me feel like we were supposed to serve together even if it is only for a few weeks. Anyway. They are amazing people. I hope my future family is just like theirs.

We actually had lessons this week! Hallelujah! We picked up this new family. We felt like we needed to be on a certain street so we went and we met this super cute family. They are very active in their faith, yet we're very intrigued by the thought of modern day prophets. So we will see how that goes.

My testimony of the Atonement grows everyday. I just am so mind boggled of how much Heavenly Father loves me. He has been so patient with me this transfer. It makes me want to treat others better and have more patience.

Anyway. Out of time. Sorry this is so short. But I love you all! Thanks for being awesome and I hope you have a great week :)

Love your missionary,
Sister Olsen

Here are some super awkward pictures of us and the Smiley Sisters and our Color Me Mine pday activity. (LtoR- Reil, Hess, Me, Fife, Christiansen)

There is this super fancy mansion in Redlands called Kimberly crest. They have debutante classes for girls under 18. They celebrated 100 years and had a huge celebration. They asked all the missionaries in Redlands to come help them set up. We set up 300 tables and chairs in about 45 minutes. Afterword I made all the missionaries sing armies of  Helaman to all the workers. The elders weren't very happy. Now watching the video it was probably pretty awkward.... But I really felt the spirit super strong when we were singing. It was awkward but also cool....

Sister Orr, Sister's Fife, Hess and Erickson and West on the front row, then Sister's Reil, Olsen and Christensen on the back row.

The trio: Sister Christiansen, me and Sister Reil

Frozen bananas on the Fourth of July!

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 2016.


Just last week it still seemed like I was going to be on my mission for the rest of my life. And then one morning I woke up and it was July. Not going to lie I would like to throw up all over the floor. My mission really is going to end. I'm not very happy about that. I am excited to see everyone, but there is something so special about being a full time missionary. Good thing I still have three whole more weeks!

Not going to lie people, we had a rough week. But, Heavenly Father loves us so much. He is seriously so patient with me. I'm so indecisive and such a spaz, but for some reason unknown to man, He still is blessing us.

We fasted this week for a prepared soul to teach. We fasted and prayed that we would be able to work with the members better and receive more referrals. Literally right when we ended our fast,  the stake president's wife called us. She said she wanted us to come over for dinner on Tuesday night with her nonmember friend and teach her the missionary lessons. Crazy right?! We received 5 referrals yesterday from a bunch of different people. A ton of sisters asked if they could go out with us this week and we actually have some appointments and good things lined up! Hooray!

I don't have pictures to send this week- sorry! But we are getting all our stuff done early today so we can do some cool Fourth of July activities. Redlands is quite the place for Fourth of July. Our mission president asked us to be in by 6 pm. So we will just do regular pday stuff plus some finding since there will be a bunch of people out. I'm sure I'll have some great picture to send home next week.

Love you all! I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of all of you. If you do have any questions or anything you need, I invite you to ask Him in prayer and fast about it. I have seen so many miracles from fasting on my mission. I hope you all have a great week.

Your missionary,
Sister Olsen