Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hit your knees, dig down deep!

October 14th--

Sunday in church I realized how much of a role prayer had come to mean to me. It's more than just a casual check in or doing it because I'm supposed to...I started praying and really needed to talk about how I felt or pleading for help. There's a scripture I really like that talks about how I feel with it:

" Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" (D&C 6:22-23)

Sister Ivory, my companion, went home this week. I miss her! She struggled with clinical depression for a long time but eventually Salt Lake decided to send her home for a litlte while. She is a fighter!! I have never seen somebody have such a strong desire to serve. I learned a lot from her and I know the Lord had us be companions for a reason. I know that the Lord hears us when we pray. I know he answers our prayers. I know He's aware of our struggles and our needs. I feel like I've also come to appreciate the plan of salvation a lot more as well. I love the promises in the scriptures about having a perfect body and all ailments will be gone! I think it is so beautiful. I know that no matter what it is we struggle with in this life, it will eventually be taken away and we will have peace from it.

I hope you all have a great week this week! LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!
With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

Meet the MORMONS!!

September 29th--
This week we got to do something kinda uncommon and go to the Valencia stake center to watch the churchs' new movie "Meet the Mormons." It was actually really good!! Salt Lake approved all the missionaries to watch it so that we'll be able to talk to the members of what it's about and answer any questions on the street we may get about it. We watched it with our whole mission which is also pretty uncommon so that was fun! It made me excited to be a missionary on the last clip with the "Missionary Mom" to be able to help make a difference in other peoples lives! GO WATCH IT!

I forgot to mention....our mission got approved for "mobile devices" as early as next month! We will have access and permission to do Facebook. Right now the church is trying to decide if we should do it with iPhone 6 or iPads...which is what will factor into the time of when we get them. Pretty crazy huh?

Kinda cool....I was able to make a connection to Tanner Man! There is a woman named Zoila we are working with who is from CHICLAYO, PERU! It was so so cool! She made us delicious Peruvian food and then told me about growing up there. And she gave me her dads information for Tanner to go by and visit him! That was definitely a fun point! This is her....

Pretty Little Liars Anyone???

But there were......lessons learned!!

September 15th--

So the top three things I have learned this week:
1- Modest is indeed hottest. Like, really. Three layers of clothes from shoulders to shins and biking in 108 degree weather makes you sweat. Profusely. One man answered the door and we knew we looked rough but his first response was: "Wow! You are drenched!" Turns out we looked a little worse than we realized ;)
2- I NEVER STOP EATING! I ate a lot before but since switching to bike, I feel like I constantly have some kind of food in my hand! Sister Ivory was laughing at me the other day because we were on our way to dinner, but I had two pieces of pizza in my hand to eat on our way. Seriously. Not to be dramatic...but biking makes me feel like I'm starving.
3- I can not only do "no hands" on my bike sometimes but even get in two or three pedals with it too! Yep..feeling quite accomplished on that!

This week Elder Carlson from the seventy visited our mission. It was such a great day! It went by way too fast. He talked to us a lot about being a consecrated missionary and how nothing about our missions is about us until you go home and then realize EVERYTHING in your mission was really about teaching you.

I learned a lot from him! It was interesting to see the Lord once again know what I needed and where I was at. I had a couple of questions going into it and it was one right after another that got answered.

One thing he talked about was how the scriptures have power to change our lives! I LOVE THAT! And it is so true! I have seen this time and time again as I have actually started to read from the Book of Mormon. I'm working on the Bible but let's be honest...I don't really like! I don't hate it. But I don't know it so I don't really like it. But the Book of Mormon has changed my life SO much. I am so grateful for that! I know that the changes I've made and the desires I have for the future, have really come because of the time I have spent in there. I love those people! I love all that they were willing to go through for the Lord and in bringing forth the Book of Mormon for us now. I love having those men to look up to as examples and guidance for my life. Cause if they can do those IMPOSSIBLE things, then the hard things asked of me are absolutely doable!

I'm glad this week was good! Keep us in your prayers and be mindful of those people the Lord has placed in your life. Cause I promise they are there for a  reason! LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen ...and Marcum and Ruby! (SO COOL!)

Let's Go Bikin' Now....

 September 8th--

Hello from SAUGUS! This week went by so fast that it's weird today is already Monday again. I have officially survived my first four days in biking without getting hit by a car so that's a plus! It's gonna be good :) 

Funny story of the week: I fully acknowledge that you probably won't understand the hilariousness of this without knowing the area I am talking about! So after an incredibly crazy week, we were in a mood on Saturday night where alllll we wanted was pizza! We had this add for Little Cesears new "Pretzel Pizza" sitting on our table this week and that suddenly became all we wanted. We knew it was a few miles away but thought we were up for the walk so we text our district leader, he said it was fine so we started walking. We left around 7:20 and thought for sure we'd be there and back by like 8:30. Long story short: we severally underestimated the distance! We walked and walked and walked. And walked. And walked. For an hour and ten minutes to be exact!

We finally got the Little Cesears and we couldn't stop laughing! Then we got a tiny bit panicked because it was 8:30 and since we'd walked downhill, we imagined probably taking more time to get home and we need to be in by 9. We also had gotten crazy sun burned that day so I'm sure we looked pretty hammered. Almost like we'd walked ALL day to get this pizza! We started calling all the Sisters to have somebody come pick us up. We hadn't heard back from anybody so we started walking back, with our box of pizza, and prayed somebody would call us back. Still couldn't stop laughing!

YSA Sisters finally called us back and came to rescue us. We were sweaty and sun burned and exhausted that our pizza didn't even sound that great anymore. We took it home and Sister Ivory started laughing and said "I'm gonna eat another piece. Merely because I just walked AN HOUR TO GET THIS!" It was pretty fun.

I am already seeing my blessing be fulfilled. I truly have loved every moment of my area this weekend! I love Sister Ivory! We had the advantage to be friends before we were companions and it's been going really well. I love Saugus 2nd ward! It's a lot quieter than Mint Canyon haha But it's great! I know without a doubt that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And that feels pretty good. Hope yall have another great week this week! LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

​At our ward mission leaders house last night :)
Being rescued hahahaha
​After my last MLC. SISTER HACKER! Love her. We're going to the Houston Rodeo post-mission

Happy Labor YEAR

 September 2nd--
Hey hey hey! This week has taken one interesting turn after another haha where to begin?!

"I'll answer dear Lord with my hand in thine....I'll go where you want me to go!" I have been reminding myself of this for the last 26 hours now. President Hall called me yesterday and....we talked through an emergency transfer for some Sisters we've been working with. So tomorrow night I'll be packed up and heading out to a new area. And after almost 10 months I'll be released as a Sister Training Leader. We were at a members when he called so we quickly left and I let my heartbreak on the walk to the car. It is gonna be really really hard to leave this ward! I feel like family here and I have LOVED every single day! I got a blessing last night and one part of it said "You are blessed to enjoy every single moment of your next area." So who can turn down that promise right?! As much as I wish I still had at least the next three weeks here, I know the Lord is mindful of me and that all of this really is for the best. IRONICALLY ENOUGH we have a "Boot Barn" in our area and our member lives right by it! I turned to Sister Wensel, crying but laughing, and said I just need to go sit in Boot Barn for a minute and wear some boots. ;) They heal everything. So we did!

Hitting a year this week was CRAZY! Can you believe how fast it's gone?!?! Cause I can't. I have been blessed to not only feel the atonement in my life, but get to watch it go into effect for other peoples lives. I have seen just a glimmer of how much Heavenly Father loves us. I have seen prayers answered; sometimes years later and sometimes as the prayer is being said, but I know they are always answered. I have learned what it means to ME to be a daughter of God. And I have actually started to believe it. I have seen the importance of forgiveness both in giving and recieving. But especially in giving. I have experienced that the priesthood is not a man. And I have been happier than any other time in my life! 

I'm grateful for this change of plans in my life now. One thing I wanted to work on this year was accepting the Lords will. Note to self: when you make goals like that, the Lord gives you OPPORTUNITIES to work on them! Next time I'll set a goal to learn how to walk into an inheritance... But really though, I love in Alma 14:13 the way Alma demonstrates this when Amulek asks him if they're gonna die too "Be it according to the will of the Lord..."HE DOESN'T EVEN HESITATE! I love that.

Thanks for your emails and thinking of me this week :) It sounds crazy but there are certainly days on a mission where you literally feel the prayers a little stronger and see the power of them. So thank you! I need them all ;) LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

And I'm emailing late because today was also a temple trip day for Sister Wensels and Sister Ivorys' birthdays :)

"It was Labor day weekend, not quite 17...but we bought some cokes and some gasoline!" ;) About as "celebratory" as we got yesterday!
hahaha awkward family photos at Dumayas' with Lindsay. She was defintiely the hardest to say bye too

Alma 36:21

August 25th--

Sorry this week is kinda crazy and I don't have time to really email so I figured I'll send pictures instead!

One of the "crowning events" of this week was Marisse was baptized! One of our favorite songs to listen to says "And the most wonderful sound I've ever heard, is the sound of water running in the church as someone I've come to love got dressed in white. My eyes saw their first glimpse of heavens' light." This has never been more true to me! Her baptism was beautiful :) She's carried some heavy stuff for a good 40 years and when she came out of her interview she said "I don't know how I could be happier." Thursday night is a night I'll remember forever! SHE WAS SO HAPPY! We sat there just laughing and making jokes for a while and she seemed so light. It was easy to see she'd had quite the burden lifted.

She got baptized a little different because of some concerns she had. She knelt down and went forwards instead of the usual backwards. After, she just sat there for a minute by Bishop and everyone stayed silent for a good two minutes while she kind of processed. It was powerful to see how much it meant to her and the impact it was having. I first met Marisse when I was 1 month out so I have known her for quite some time now. When we were talking Thursday it was hitting me just how much she's changed and what a better place she is in now.

This gospel is amazing! As great as it was to have the atonement changing my life so much before, it feels almost even more powerful to see it in work for somebody else. I love seeing people become happier! I love seeing them start to understand that God really does love them. As a missionary, you hear a lot that missionaries are happiest at baptisms. I'd have to disagree. Baptism is amazing, but seeing the gospel actually mean something to people and see their whole lives change because of it as they build up their testimony....THAT is what makes a missionary happiest.

I can't believe all the rain Utah got this week!!!! AH! I felt culture shock just looking at all those pictures. But the Lord knew what He was doing in giving me Southern hit 81 this morning and I'm sitting in a cardigan ;) Hope you have another great week! Thanks for thinking of me! LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

​Amanda....LOVE HER! Her and her boys are getting baptized soon. THey have an amazing story and even asked how soon they could get sealed before we even had a baptismal date set :)

P.S. I can't believe I've been out for a year this week. I have been telling everyone I'm at about 9 and I think I'd tricked myself into believing it. We had interviews with President Hall this week and he brought up that the things I learn are going to soon be more about me than my investigators and that was really hard to hear. I feel like a mission has become such a part of me since I"ve been out of course but it's been like the last THREE years of working towards it that I really really am emotional and sad to think I'm on such the downward slope of it and it will indeed be coming to an end. But that's okay. I'm just gonna keep working my butt off. I heard a saying once my first transfer out "Make them send you home." And that's what I'm gonna do!