Sunday, February 8, 2015

January 26th

Sorry so late today! We went hiking again this morning and the sisters we rode with move a little on the slower side ;) Look at me leaning patience!! Or trying...

This week was amazing! It went by crazy fast. Lots happened so here's a quick sum up:
1-I ATE FRENCH TOAST! Yep. For the first time since 6th grade. And luckily I did not throw up. We'd made a deal with a guy we're working with that if he prayed I'd eat it...
2- I got my first sunburn of the year!
3- Sister Aholelei and I are staying together!! So since this is my last transfer, she'll be the one to send me home
4- THE WHATLEYS WERE BAPTIZED! It was amazing. You could feel the love so strongly there and I was SO grateful to still be close and get to be a part of their great day. I love them so much!

Sorry it's super short today and I haven't shared too much lately. I promise a regular email next week! Know that I'm praying for you. LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

That's what Faith Can Do

January 19th-

Last week we had zone conference. It was great! At the end of lunch every time, they have all of the missionaries stand in a big circle and sing "Called to Serve" to the ladies that make lunch for us. It's pretty fun and you can feel the spirit very strong.

This time as we were singing, it hit me that this was the last time I would be doing this! I got sad immediately. And then moms' genes kicked in a little bit and I started crying of course! I started to really think about the words and the privilege it has been to be called to serve Him for the last 16 months. It was a good reminder how everything we do and say should be things He would do and say. I thought about going Onward, ever onward no matter how hard things may get or how tired I am. AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE TIRED IN MY LIFE! Or gotten more sleep, so that makes no sense to me...

Sunday night we got a call from the assistants to ask me to bear my testimony. They always have the missionaries do that at their last zone conference. Getting ready to go Tuesday morning, I was thinking how do I sum up everything I've learned in 16 months?! I think the most prominent thing I've learned is love. Before I came out love was not something I believed in (aside from loving the babies). I didn't know that God loved me. I didn't think it was possible to truly love random people around me.

I know without a doubt now that EVERYTHING God gives us, He gives us for a reason. Sometimes I still struggle to remember that right in the moment but I know it's definitely true! I have come to love these people SO much! And my love for my family has increased more than I thought it would too. I'm getting pretty excited to come home actually. I am excited that I know now the kind of person Heavenly Father wants me to be. But I'm glad to still have 2 months here. I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! People to meet, foods to try, bikes to fall off of.... It's gonna be great :)

I'm glad you all had a good week! Unlike Tanner man, we once again have BEAUTIFUL weather here! I miss those thunder and lightning storms a little bit. But ya can't beat going hiking and getting sunburned in the middle of January ;) LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen 


January 5th--
I can't believe today is January 5th because it is 78 degrees outside today! I'm emailing late again because we had stuff this morning and then I wanted to take a nap. Outside. IT WAS AWESOME!

New Years Eve was very different again this year. Last year, I feel like I was super excited and ready for it! This year, even though it's exciting, I felt more on the sad end to have it already be 2015. I couldn't sleep very well that night so I was awake for Utah, California and Hawaii's New Years!! I knew when it was midnight here because one of our neighbors started shooting off an M80 and everybody ran outside yelling haha it was pretty fun even just chilling in my bed!

New Years morning I sat down and got thinking about what my goals are for this year. I didn't set any specific ones for past March. But I found ten different scriptures for how I want to finish my mission. I can't believe I only have about two months left!

Throughout 2014, I kept a jar on my desk and I would put little things in there throughout the year. Memories or stories or scriptures that I wanted to remember. I poured them all out and read them. Memories like: Rebeca telling us she loves us for the first time, water ballooning the Elders, baptisms I was able to be a part of, funny quotes from President Hall, funny moments with companions...SO many memories came back! It was seriously my favorite year yet! I feel like I was beyond blessed by Heavenly Father! I learned and was a part of so many more miracles than I deserve. It was fun to sit down and have that time to reflect back, and think of where I want 2015 to go.

Hope you all have a great week! And enjoy that snow and cold weather :) I'll send pictures of my sunburn next week ;) LOVE YOU WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

I Need Thee Ever Hour

December 29th--

So before you come out on a mission, there are countless welcome home talks and missionary stories that you hear, right? You hear about the person they knocked into who was hoping somebody would come by. Or the person that feels the spirit so strong they commit to baptism right on the street. Or getting a whole family to be baptized. Everybody knows these stories well!

But there's a whole collection of stories that NOBODY tells you about before you leave! Like this thing called weekly planning where you spend 3 hours every week sitting in your desk planning for the next week. Or the baptism that gets cancelled because of parents fighting. Or the days where you walk outside and find a bike tire totally deflated. There have been COUNTLESS experiences  on my mission that I just was not expecting. Like hearing somebody pray for the first time...

One of my favorite surprises the last 16 months, is hearing somebody pray for the first time! There is such a special, strong spirit that comes as a person takes that step and shows their faith. I love how genuine they are. I love how simple and open they can be. This year we knelt and prayed with a man who hadn't prayed in over 20 years. He opened up a little bit about his son who passed away unexpectedly and how hard that's been for him. It was AMAZING to see him push through all of that enough to say a prayer for the blessings he's received. I loved it! The spirit was so strong and it was easy to feel the love Heavenly Father had for finally hearing from him :)

Baptisms are great, don't get me wrong. But I LOVE the prayers and testimonies of those people where the gospel is starting to mean something to them. They say a missionary is happiest at a baptism but I think I disagree.

Thanks for all the Christmas cards and letters and packages! Crazy that this is my last Christmas out here but it has definitely been a good one. I love this time of year and I hope to keep the spirit of Christmas with me a lot stronger through 2015. LOVE YOU ALL WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen

Last Call Indeed

December 22nd-
Moms email hit way close to home! I did not realize actually that this is my last time skyping home from out here. Like I did but I didn't!

We are still enjoying 80 degree weather today so it's a little strange to think that Christmas REALLY is this week! I have a bunch of pictures again from this week so I'll just send some of those instead of writing much cause I'll be talking to you in just a few days. YAY!

I love this season! I can't believe how fast it's come and gone. I'm thankful that even though I'm away from my family, I know they are supporting me and will be there for me when I go home. It's been so fun seeing so many people come home for Christmas and getting to be involved in some of that fun. I love it!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you have a beautiful week and enjoy getting to spend time with loved ones.  And "see" you soon! xoxo

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen 

Deck the halls with bowls of Frosting! ​We went and decorated cookies with our investigator family to teach them about FHE

​Favorite decoration I've ever seen :)


Dec 15th-
I can't believe how close we are getting to Christmas! WOW! I only have a minute today but here's a bunch of pictures to update you on stuff. We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday and a lot of the families we're working with were there. YAY! I'm emailing late today cause I got to go back to Mint Canyon for a funeral of a family I got really close with. The temple trip was this week and I got to see my original MTC district for possibly the last time. We had some pretty crazy rain and wind last week that dropped a tree in our investigators yard. It ripped the roots out of the ground 6 feet. All is well with us! We have our apartment decorated super cute thanks to the Wilsons in our ward :) We got transfer calls Saturday and Sister Aholelei and I are staying together another transfer :) :) So we're way excited! AND she let me cut 6 inches off her hair this week! I've improved greatly since Britt and I attempted it with the Barbies. LOVE YOU ALL WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every footstep,
Sister Olsen


 December 8th-
Hola hola! I can't believe we're down a week in December. This week was really interesting...I learned a lot!

I was sick one day and by the time we got home, I was EXHAUSTED! Sister Aholelei jumped in the shower after planning, and I laid on the couch. Our teeny teeny apartment was dark; the only lights were our Christmas tree and counter lights. I had Scotty McCreery Christmas playing and I let my mind wander to a lot of the heartache we had seen recently. I wasn't feeling bad for us or even really sad...but I definitely had a lot on my mind.

A line in the song says "It's time to let go and let the love in. Christmas is comin' round again" and it hit me really hard! Our tree was like a symbol of Christ and His love for us. Just as our little tree was lighting up our otherwise dark house.. He is able to do that in our personal lives. Have you ever been able to feel bad while you're staring at a Christmas tree?!?!  In a world that is overflowing with hard things and bad news and trials... He is the thing that "lights us up" and helps us feel hope. He helps us to overcome things that we otherwise can't. It's hard to explain, but it was a powerful lesson for me.

I am so thankful for this Christmas season! I LOVE getting to be a missionary and especially this time of year! We had "I'll be Home for Christmas" sneak on the cd player this week and to be honest, I will be home for Christmas. I love these people and I am so excited to get to spend the holiday, bringing an extra measure of the Spirit into their homes and getting to be a part of their lives and families for the day. I have no doubt that President Monson is our prophet on the earth today and that I was sent to this area by revelation, for a specific reason. I am so grateful to be here! So don't worry about me...all is good in the Sisterhood!

On a lighter note...we got an early Christmas miracle of RAIN this week! For the first time since March. We had zone conference so we were in the church building all day, but during lunch 3 companionships of us ran out and took a quick photoshoot to commemerate it. Cause ya just do not see rain here! If you look close in the picture, there's even a puddle behind us, which is a really big deal!  It was a great great week! Thanks for all your emails and letters.. sorry I'm pretty bad at writing back! And thank you for your prayers. I feel them and neeeeed them. LOVE YOU ALL WHOLE HEAPS!

With faith in every finally wet footstep,
Sister Olsen

​and earlier that morning....Madi and I caught frogs in the bushes outside our house

Lizard lovin'
Yep...I actually quite like bearded dragons now! The guy in blue breeds them so he has A TON! I love this family!

​I GOT TO SEE SISTER HACKER THIS WEEK! We combined zone conferences so it was really fun to see her. I trained her-she trained Sister Ostler- and she trained Sister Forbush. There's a thing in our mission with "Family Lineages" of who you train. I think the lineages are creepy and weird but I love these three! ​​

​We were taking funny pictures with this family and decided to do "SIMBA" with the dog