Monday, June 23, 2014


June 23rd--

Hello hello from Canyon Country! Oh my goodness, sounds like quite the week for everyone back home haha This week I got thinking that I was really missing "the summer season"...a truck drove through our parking lot during studies the other day and stopped right outside our building. He had music up looooud and I realized it was LUKE BRYAN!! I cried haha full on, had three tears roll down my face. BUT getting emails today and being reminded that with rodeo and concert season comes HAY SEASON ...I find myself not missing summer quite so much ;)

Well this week has definitely been one of the strangest weeks of my mission! Long story short: last Sunday, we got a call from one of the district leaders around 1015 saying that we needed to get to some of our Sisters apartments ASAP. We kinda laughed and were like okay we'll hurry and get dressed. He said "No really!" We went in pajamas and retainers and flip flops and confused what was going on. GOOOOOOD TIMES to show up and have the district leaders, zone leaders and President all be there haha Sister Missionaries at our finest ;)

By 2am we were finally headed back home but with different companions. Sister Johnson stayed with one and I took the other home with me. She's Samoan!!! What are the odds huh?! This week has been pretty funny with the Samoan aspect...feels like high school again living with a poly! We are going to stay in these companionships until the end of the transfer, which will be good but now I'm REALLY praying Sister Johnson and I stay together because we only got four weeks! CRAZY that transfers are already next week!

President Hall told us to do whatever we needed to do this week so this week was a "recovering" week. It was actually really really good! We didn't get to do much of the typical missionary work but got out a lot, and talked through lots of different things. It's so crazy how the Lord had really prepared us to be companions this week. And just prepares us in general. We did get to meet with one of my favorite families this week! I LOVE THEM! I pray all the time that we can continue to work with them and help them progress because I see how much they want and need the gospel and how much it would bless them.

This week we get to go to the temple as a mission :) So Wednesday morning the army will all be down in LA. I AM SO EXCITED! I know I took the temple for granted before I left; I never went! Now I'm excited to really be learning the difference and impact it can have in our lives if we make it a priority.

This week we also did run into a bull statue hahaha (again, I wish I could send pictures but not happenin') Tinges of home sickness came for a second but then like 30 seconds later, we ran into a woman who opened up right away about how much she needs peace in her life right now and what a dark place she's been in and instantly I was grateful again for being able to be a missionary. I LOVE being out here! I LOVE that Heavenly Father lets us be part of so many miracles! I LOVE how much spiritual growth we're able to experience when we allow Him to help us.

And I know I'm totally like starting to talk like a valley girl haha BACK OFF! Hope you all have another great week! Don't get stabbed Jake! He was probably wanted down in my area haha  And remember it's Chantel on a mission...not Brittany ;) OFA ATU whole heaps!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

Te Quiero Mucho

June 16th--

This week was pretty crazy! Nothing went according to plan..which is actually pretty normal for missionary life so maybe it was the plan?

One thing that was amazing this week is a girl we just started teaching. She's dating a member in our ward and we met her my second night here at our ward softball game. She went to youth conference with them this week and had such an AMAZING experience! It was SOOOO cool! We had planned on watching the Restoration DVD with her but when we got there, they told us about testimony meeting of Youth Conference. She knows the Church is true!!! She had such a spiritual experience and was actually really blown away by it cause she didn't expect to actually feel anything. We talked again last night and she said she's starting to realize there's nothing really holding her back from being baptized :)

The coolest part was Saturday they did a "LIFE" game at the church. They had to go get educations, get married, start having kids etc. The whole time though in the gym, they just had a bunch of fun free stuff set up; as distractions. They only had 2 hours to accomplish all that they could. Spencer and Lindsay went and started everything right away and even did a "temple marriage". She was telling us that night how even just the make shift temple there at the stake center felt different from all of the rooms. Everyone was more calm and peaceful and happy. Right after they got married, they left and the "fate bell" went off where they had to open one of three fate cards they'd been given. Both of them got a child in theirs. So then they were walking around carrying 2 big dolls and this man walked up to them and said "Lindsay come with me. You just died."

It was powerful to hear her talk about that! Even in this makeshift game she said she suddenly felt panicked because it felt SO real. She was telling him "No! We just got married and had two kids. I don't want to leave them yet!" Then something came back to her from the "temple" when he talked about how they could now be together even after death. :) And she felt calm. She talked about it just being a game but how she felt the truth of that.

I am SO grateful for the temple! I know that we truly feel more peace there than anywhere else and are able to overcome the world and our struggles when we make the time to go there. I believe we truly will be together forever through the temples and the power of the priesthood. I just feel it and I know it. And I know that making it to the temple is worth anything that we have to sacrifice or go through!

Hope you all have an amazing week! We're meeting with the cutest little families! They make me even more grateful for mine for sure. Summer has been a little bit difficult seeing everybody out swimming and playing and bbq-ing...but there is no where else I'd rather be right now. Not even at a concert ;) I'm thankful for this time to help other people's families have the same peace and knowledge that I have and getting THEM to be together forever; cause a good 50 years just isn't enough. LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen


June 9th--

AWW I was starting this email, put my memory card in and started erasing!! So I just lost my last 3 months worth of pictures. SO you will no longer be receiving pictures over email cause I'm ticked haha what can ya do? Can't just scream and cry about these things... At least not as a missionary ;)

Which goes with what I was gonna write about today...sometimes in our lives there are things we just have to let go of! I have been so overwhelmed on so many levels this week of just how aware the Lord is of us and what we're going through in life.

This week is kinda hard to explain haha We were able to be a part of so many miracles again! One of them being that we helped a lady move who literally had no where else to go for help. Thursday we were over at Presidents helping SIster Hall with some stuff (kinda...more like she was helping us haha) and we ended up scoring a dinner from Cafe Rio with President and his family. It was a blessing for sure! It's amazing to see how many sacrifices him and his family are willing to make to really magnify his calling. They are inspiring people!

Last night, we had a member text us and tell us we were on her minds all day yesterday. She invited us over for dinner but we had stuff going on. We asked if we could maybe stop by later though and she said of course. We had a meeting and so we finally got to her house about 8 pm. Leaving the meeting, we were drained!! Physically and emotionally we were feelin it for sure. We talked on the way over how much we just wanted ice cream! For some reason last night, that was alllll we could think about. When we got to Wilsons' she opened the door and said "Sisters I hope you don't mind! I told the boys you were coming over, they got excited and asked if we could have ice cream with you!" She had 6 different cartons of ice cream on the table and we almost cried! Something so simple meant the world to Sister Johnson and I last night. I am so grateful she followed that prompting and was mindful to helping out others. Well played Heavenly Father...well played!

I know that whether it is the best of times, or the worst of times He is always with us. I know He hears us when we pray. I know He always answers our prayers, even if it's a "no" or a "not now." I know that He places us where we are supposed to be in our lives for our greatest benefit. I know He gave us the priesthood to really bless and uplift us. I got a blessing Thursday night and there were many things I needed to hear, and many things the Elders NEVER could have known about. At one point though, Elder Kottcamp said "You are exactly where you are supposed to be." I thought back to the Dove chocolate at the MTC and had the same reassurance I had then :)

I know a lot of this email probably doesn't make sense. So I'm gonna end it in the words of Alma the younger. Cause he's my favorite and says things better anyways..." Yea, I say unto you my son, that there could be nothing so exquiste and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquiste and sweet as IS my joy."  Hope you have a great week :) Love you all whole heaps!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen


June 2nd--
Okay so for the record, mom wins for the best story telling abilities! hahaha I'm sad I missed the rodeo of the campout too! Sounds like things were crazy but fun!

This week I had a couple funny connections to back home! We were talking to a mail lady and as we talked about Utah she said her dream was to retire and move to Price! She asked if I'd ever heard of it and I laughed and told her that's where I'm from. I couldn't help but wonder if she's ever actually been there. Kinda of an interesting life dream... AND THEN I found out one of the Sisters out here was born at Castleview too and one of the members we had dinner with this week. Mormon world just keeps getting smaller!

Sister Johnson and I have been BLESSED beyond belief already! We continue to see miracle after miracle after miracle. We got two member referalls this week and set some crazy high goals for the month but we feel good about them. It's so nice to have a companion ready and willing to WORK and work hard and we're still cracking up every single day. This week I also got to go on exchanges with SISTER KEMP! Yep. The Lord is kind :) Our zone leaders doubted how "inspired" it was but it was straight from Heavenly Father and such a blessing.

One of the many inspired moments we had this week, was with a family that lives in our complex. The Elders taught them awhile ago but for a couple of reasons have been out of touch with them for months. We felt really strongly we needed to go by. The lady has some trust issues and so we decided it might be too much to just pop up and see how they've been so we made rice krispies and stopped by just to say hi and get to know them. THEY WERE HOME! AAAND even better, they let us come in and spend an hour with them. They are the coolest little family! It's a boyfriend and girlfriend with two little boys named Kameron and Connor. So that's kinda funny cause they remind me SO much of Pieries' little brothers and even have the same names... Hopefully we'll be able to continue to go back and start teaching them again. It was cool to see how fast the mom warmed up to us and how different she was even from when we got there to when we left.

Saturday was a crazy cool day! We had a stake event and it was so fun to see so many people from the YSA ward. One of them, being Brooke who Sister Hacker and I started teaching right before I left and now she just got baptized!!! YAY! And I was able to see Chelsea as well and talk about her baptismal date coming up. I continue to be shocked and amazed at how much the Lord has helped me to leave YSA. It was great seeing them and I miss them but it wasn't enough to even make me sad or wish I was still there. The Lord knew what I needed right now :)

Church was as noisy as ever haha I think cultural shock hit me more this week! It's SO different in Santa Clarita from the valley!!! I'm so used to falling asleep to sirens and traffic and noisy neighbors fighting and street racers... Now we have a big dry hill right behind our house and we wake up to birds! There's maybe one siren every other day. I like it but I must admit I still miss the crazy ghetto valley :)

Things are good here. I continue to be blessed more than I deserve! Hitting nine months this week was a weird point to be at. There was maybe one or two tears shed as we drove home that night. One of my favorite songs out here is on a CD called "The Work" and it talks about all the hard aspects of missionary work you come to love. It goes through telling your mom bye, singing in the MTC, meeting your trainer etc. but ends, of course, with " the hardest thing I ever loved to do, is getting on this plane and coming home to you. In a million ways completely torn apart, as a land so far away still owsn my heart. IN THE MOST SINCERE PRAYER I'VE EVER PRAYED, I THANK MY GOD FOR EACH AND EVERYDAY..."  I can't believe this ride is halfway over but I truly do thank my God for each and everyday. He blesses us MORE than we can imagine when we put our lives in harmony with His will. Enough rambling for this week and sorry it was long Tanner boy ;) LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every laughing footstep,
Sister Olsen

REBECA came and surprised me for breakfast at Bishops' my last day. Don't judge me...I was exhausted and had had an emotional late night haha

Exchanges with Sister Kemp=blast from the past!

Dropping Sister Vanhoven off at the office when she left for Brazil

Dylan is home!!! So good to see him again!

The result of our Memorial day... only 2 hours in the sun playing ultimate

I've quit drinking it but seemed like the best way to celebrate!

Waking up in NEWHALL the morning of my 9 month mark :) Pretty fun to not only be with Sister Kemp but also in the same apartment I spent my first night in the mission.

Making pa-possas (I don't know how you actually spell it but that's how it sounds) Food from El Salvador that is crazzzy good!

Happy Happy Happy

May 26th--
Dear Familia y amigos,

So I am now writing from...SANTA CLARITA VALLEY again! SO CRAZY! I got transferred back to Santa Clarita Zone (where I first started) and am in the Mint Canyon Ward! Seriously, I could not be happier! My companion is Sister Johnson and she's amazing; we did exchanges together in Granada Hills!! So I've served with her a little bit before but it's been great to be companions. We've had so much fun this week and had a few crazy moments that lead us to opening up/trusting each other from the start. And yes, I stayed a Sister Training Leader. This time over 5 companionships so it'll be fun.

Seriously, it's crazy how much peace I felt with leaving YSA! And with being in SC, I'm over the YSA Sisters :) :) Which means I'll get to occasionally do exchanges and work in the YSA.  GOD IS GOOOOOD! Do you have any idea how many babies and kids are in a family ward?! The last speaker was finishing and I was thinking "nobody is gonna say amen cause nobody can hear him!" There was a little girl who was being contained by her dad and she turned, smiled at him, and let a HUGE sneeze out right in his face hahaha I was NOT the most reverent missionary yesterday...I've missed this chaos!

This week has been full of so many blessings and miracles and I can't even count them! One thing that was really cool was we stopped by the wards' softball game for dinner and to meet the ward mission leader. We were walking by the field and a girl was wearing these really cute pink chucks, so I told her I liked them and we started talking. Talked to her for like 30 minutes; she's a nonmember who was there watching her boyfriend. They graduate next week and then he's taking the summer to get ready to serve his mission. She was SO supportive! She said "I don't understand it. I don't get why he has to go but it's something he really wants to do so it's cool. I'll support him!" I LOVED THAT! I love that somebody who really just doesn't understand can still be so great about something hard.

It made me think about the Young Womens theme..."We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places..." I know that we're taught to stand true at ALL times because not only are we blessed, but it becomes easier. For example: people aren't going to ask you to drink if you ALWAYS say no, because they know you just don't do it. But if you only sometimes stick to your standards, people never know when you'll say yes so they're gonna keep asking. I love that Lindsey was able to be so supportive even though she didn't understand, because she saw what it meant to him. She saw him living it. She saw his dedication and determination to it.

I am so grateful for this time I've had to serve a mission so far. It is going by WAY too fast!! This week I'll especially be feeling that ;)Read the Book of Mormon. Read it everyday :) There is a power that we gain from it and I know it helps us feel peace when things are crazy and overwhelming. It applies to us more than I ever understood! Especially the war chapters! Coming back to the church saved my life, and serving a mission has changed it!

I think being away for summer will be harder than holidays honestly! haha Sorry mom... I heard Jason Aldean at a stop light this week and I realized country still makes me come UNGLUED! But I'm grateful for the time I have to sacrifice for the Lord. I just keep reminding myself concerts and the lake and rodeos and everything else will still be there when I get home. 

Happy memorial day and have a great week! LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

Photoshoots before Transfer

Em Rod, Laila, Allie, Melinda and the Sisters

​Matt and his mom. They are AMAZING at feeding us and I seriously almost pee laughing every time we're there!
​JACKIE! She doesn't live in our area but her fiancĂ© does she comes to our ward every week with him. And almost EVERY single week, she brings a huge bag of food for us since she can't actually feed us at her house.

​Pamelas mom and brother: Peter and Juanita. Peter is soooo a Tanner boy! He is precious! He is 14 and super smart. One day when we came over he was like "You guys want to see my grades?! They just came today!" He was so pumped to show up all As. His mom calls herself Hermana Juanita :) Peter explained to her that I'm leaving and she kept hugging and thanking me calling me "My sista! my Sista!" I hope one day they as well will investigate and get baptized.

​Em Ram! One of the classiest and funniest girls

Tim and Emily. They are getting married June 20th :) LOVE THEM!

​Heart attacking with Rebeca and Em Rod. We totally got caught!

Gilbert! We have accidentally matched each other MANY times...
SYD DAWG! She's moving to Arizong so we had to go tell her bye before church

​Dinner with McKenzie and Holly. If you look on the left, you can see this big streak of white wax... Kenzie's house smelled really good and there was a candle sitting on the table. It looked solid! So I picked it up to smell it and it had barely set up so this warm candle wax came FLYING at me! It was all down the front of me, down my shirt, on my skirt and a llll over the table. Oops! We couldn't stop laughing, Scared me SO bad!