Monday, February 10, 2014

.....And A Happy New Year--Dec 30th

HEY! Looked like everyone had a good Christmas :) I did hear that the Lakers lost to the Jazz this week so MERRY CHRISTMAS indeed!! I realized the longest I'd been away from home was four months and two days with living in China, which is how long I've been away as of today! So crazy how fast time is going by! Ironically enough after Ash made the joke about not being in North Hollywood to see the celebrities, we had a legit referral come in for Justin Bieber! Apparently he asked an inactive girl out and she used it to refer him. There's a city in our area called Calabasas and it's loaded!! Will Smith, Justin Bieber and the Kardashians all have houses out here.

This week was overwhelming on just how grateful I am for my family. After skyping, we ate dinner and got a text from one of our investigators. Remember Bryan and Kirsty?! Bryan went to Kirstys' house for Christmas Day and that night we got a text from him that started with "Sisters Kirsty's niece just died in my arms. This is not a joke either...." It was heartbreaking! Especially after just seeing Kez and Jax a few hours earlier, I couldn't help but think if it had happened to us. That's why I am SO grateful for this gospel!! To know that no matter what kind of crazy stuff happens to us in life, this isn't the end. Having the temples are such a huge blessing to me!

I can't believe 2013 is already pretty much over. I thought a lot this morning about last year in Hawaii and the goals/plans I'd set for myself and how I did on them. At that point, I still had no real plan that I would be on a mission exactly a year later, but I continue to be incredibly grateful this is where I'm at! Some of the things I've learned in 2013 and especially as a missionary...
     -Avocados make guacamole...not guacamole.
     -Stretching is a perfectly good form of "exercise"
     -6:30 am comes EVEN EARLIER as a missionary!
     -Not going to seminary can really work in your favor. I have NO desire to Bible Bash...I know I'd lose.
     -Life Savor mints should be on the food pyramid
     -I continue to have the most supportive family ever
     -Prayer for reals!
     -Loving people is hard. Watching them use agency in a not great way is even harder.
     -Always follow the Spirit. Especially when you don't know why!!

I am so so grateful for the endless blessings I have and the tender mercies the Lord continues to send me every single day. I know the Atonement is powerful and it is real. No matter what we are going through, it covers us. I know the Lord not only loves me, but is walking with me constantly. I love the temple! I know a lot of people probably never thought I'd say it but I LOVE garments! I love the protection, spiritually and physically, that they provide. I know the Lord doesn't give us any commandments without a reason for wanting to bless us. I know that what is sealed in the temple, will be sealed in heaven. And for that, I can not even express how grateful I am!

Hope everyone has a great New Years! Remember that as great as it is to set goals about diets and gyms, goals about prayers and spirituality are a lot more lasting :) LOVE YOU ALL! Until next year... (Never gets old haha)

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

The beginning of gingerbread houses last Monday before the Elders started a full on frosting fight-clean the church? Check!

Christmas Eve we went caroling with the Resenda Elders and a family in our ward before dinner.  SO MUCH FUN!! Seriously one of the highlights of the week.
Our district at district meeting on Christmas Eve
Okay funny story....I took this pictures 3 weeks ago and sent it to Tanner because of his shirt!  Yesterday, we were back in that town, different street and this same homeless man comes walking up to me and says "Hey, I remember you! You took a picture with me!"  haha oops! So much for my "It's okay, I'll never see them again" logic

Exchanges with Sister Panlilio this week had me back on a bike!  I've never felt prettier in my life...;)  Biking is still SO much fun to me though!
NOTHING is more annoying than getting to these houses that are gated/fenced off and they have a "Welcome" sign on them!  And I swear 9/10 of the gated ones do have a welcome sign. At least this one was cowboys.....

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