Monday, February 10, 2014


My last time teaching English class.  I have been teaching English for so long!  I would do it my last week, but we have a baptism, hehe. :)
I´ve always wanted a picture with the bench and the trees.
Me and the Sullivans (ex Motab members--They came too!  So nice of them to see me once more.  They serve in the Spain MTC and so they don´t know me as well as they know the other missionaries that actually passed through the Spain MTC but they still love me!)
 Plaza de Castilla the 2 leaning buildings are a famous landmark of Madrid. And in our area.
Me and Hna. Hansen (Norway and one of my favorite companions)
This one, I think you will like the most.  We were taking pictures and all, and then these four hermanas (all serving in Alcobendas) decided that they needed a picture of the Alcobendas Hermanas holding Hermana Olsen.  So they picked me up, and this is the result.
Me and 2 awesome Elders.  They were companions and made matching shirts.  They are awesome.
Me and Hna Stepp, also going home this transfer.

Me and my Hijas (Hna Manner with the coat was my first but i only finished her training)  (Hna O´Keeffe is my full hija and my second)

Hola familia y amigos,

This last week has been amazing! Copied in grey is my letter to President. This week has been another amazing week. The Lord is truly blessing me. I can feel His love and support and we have seen so many MIRACLES this week.

First things first, the Boliver family, Roger and Maria are getting baptized this friday at 8pm.  We are so excited for them. They have been through so much in trying to get married. But through it all, I can see that these trials have really tested their faith and helped them grow. They have such strong testimonies of this gospel. I know they are prepared and ready for baptism. They are on their way to an eternal family!

Before Roger had his baptismal interview we had the chance to just talk with him about everything.  The way he talked about the trials they have faced and the importance of faith and just the change they have had over the 2-3 years they have been investigating was an experience i will never forget.  It really reminded me why i am here.  Here is someone that really understands the gospel, because he has seen it work in his life, he has seen the changes and the blessings that come from the gospel!  He is converted!

Also, we had a miracle contact this week. We got on a bus and this girl sitting in the front stopped me and, pointing at the book in my hand asked if it was a Libro de Mormon. I told her it was and she asked if we had more or an extra. I quickly gave her the one I had and told her she could keep it. The excitement on her face was unreal.

Wondering who this incredible person was, we began talking to her. She told us that she has read many religious books like the Bilbe and the Quran. She said she was missing the Book of Mormon. We got her information and are going to start teaching her this week. We already have someone who is commited to reading the Book of Mormon! As we gave it to her she also told us with emotion in her voice that she had heard about the Book of Mormon but never held one physically in her hands. The way she looked at the Book of Mormon was priceless.

People here are very sad to see me go.  We will be eating a lot this week, because some people have offered to feed me my last week.  The people here are incredible.  I have also recieved a few offers to move in, and a few threats of kidnap.  They tell me that way i won´t have to go back. I´ve almost taken someone up on the offer.  Our relief society president, from Mexico, is going to feed me something Mexican!  

Speaking of food, the Bolivers continue to feed us weird things.  I cannot remember where I left off on my list of weird things she has cooked but I have now also had rabbit (it´s DELICIOUS!!!) and fish head soup.  

That one was last night, and not as delicious.  The fish was good, but eating around the bones and scales was a bit messy.  The worst part was the eyeball. I just swallowed it whole! and washed it down with broth.  I felt a bit sick after that one.  It was not BAD, but i wouldn´t want to do it again.

I know this church is true and I am excited to make this last week the best of my mission. I am going to work harder than I have ever worked before. I know these things are true. I have a better understanding of Christ and the Atonement than ever before. I know this is a gospel of change. It is not for perfect people but rather so that we can become perfect people.

Today has been SO GOOD, but a bit hard.  I invited all my favorite missionaries to go bowling.  Not everyone came, but my closest friends did.  It was sooo good to see everyone!  I took lots of pictures and had lots of people write in my book.  It was hard though, because it will be a long time before I see these people again, some of them don´t even live in the States so, that is even harder.  

I feel super sad, and it was hard to say "see ya later" to these people.  I cannot stand the G word. I have come to love these people sooo much.  They have been such a big part of my life the past 12 months and I am really going to miss them!

I want to talk a bit about my mission.  As it comes to a close, i have done a lot of reflection. I have reflected on who I was in the MTC and who I am now.  

When I was in the MTC I would get sooooo nervous to teach our investigators.  Probably the closest thing I have ever had to a panic attack.  My first bit in the field, I was secretly glad when lessons would fail because I was scared to teach.  

NOW, I LOVE TEACHING.  It is my favorite thing EVER. I get EXCITED at the thought of a lesson.  I have learned a lot about faith and prayer and have learned and am still learning about relying on the Lord.  As I succeed in doing so, everything goes better and I am lifted when I am down.  

I have learned so much about the Holy Ghost and following the promptings we recieve.  I am not perfect in this either, but I KNOW the times when I have successfuly followed the Spirit I have seen miracles beyond my imagination.  

I have learned about repentance for the times that I have not done as I felt I should.  I have come to understand better than ever, that I am not perfect, I am going to make the same mistakes. But I also know that I am going to keep trying, every day I try harder than the day before to be better than I was.  That is what God wants of us, and that is what it means to persevere to the end.

 If I could sum up all that I have learned it would be as follows:

I understand the Atonement and the Gospel better than ever.  I understand just how much the Atonement covers, and I understand the Gospel in how it is to help us change.  I have learned so much on my mission about change, and how the gospel can help us become who we are meant to be.  We have so much potential, and as we apply the gospel to our lives, we will change and become the person God wants us to be!  I have changed.  I was weak, now I know where to find strength; I was shy, now I am confident.  I am so happy, and I understand where this happiness comes from.  It comes from my love of God and the Gospel and my desire to share that with others, because I love Him and I love them!  My inner person is the same, but I have developed on the good, and gotten rid of the bad.  I am NOT perfect, but I am on the path.  I am changed, and I am converted.

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

Monday, February 3, 2014


eating with Dantel (sunday night)
 Snow (this morning!!!!) It wasn´t enough to stick,  but it snowed for about an hour or so.

Next 5 pictures:  Sol and Churros and chocolate (super spanish)  And we went to the San Gines Chocoletería.  So there is a special family that that made me think of!

 we found this in the church primary class room.  We  don´t know what age group, but it is supposed to be the first vision.  We think the UFO is Joseph Smith??? How funny!

Hola Familia y amigos,

This week has been wonderful. Many more miracles.

The first that I want to talk about and probably the biggest, was that this morning, the Bolivars got married.  This is the family that almost got married and baptized the Christmas transfer.  They have been meeting with missionaries for 2ish years.  The wedding was a simple civil ceremony, but for us and for them it was magical.  

They can now prepare to enter the waters of baptism.  There is no greater miracle.  They have asked us if they can be baptized on the 14th of February, my last weekend as a missionary.  I am so excited for them.  I have come to love them and really see them as part of my family.  I am so happy for them and their progress.  They have been through a lot.  But now, many blessings are in store!

Also, we continue to teach our 2 Muslim investigators.  We have started teaching both of them the Restoration.  We are taking it slow, and focusing a lot on profets because that is something they already accept.  I think the hardest part is helping them understand that Jesus was the son of God and that we too are children of God.  I tell them all the time, and I try to invite the Spirit to testify of it, I hope it is getting through to them.  With time, I know it can.

This week has been a little hard, we had a few investigators drop us.  They were people I really thought were going to progress too.  It is always sad, but it makes me so grateful that we keep a record of our teachings to them, so that missionaries can talk to them in the future.  Maybe now is not their time.

Things are going well with our Peruvian investigator that we taught the Book of Mormon on the street.  We had a 2 1/2 hour lesson with him the other day.  We just wanted to teach the restoration, but only got through a part of it, before he started asking questions about EVERYTHING! In the end we taught him tithing, the organization of church leadership (to which he asked what he had to do to become profet) the gospel, word of wisdom, and we gave him a church tour.  He is super interested in our church meetings, but doesn´t want to wake up that early.  Hopefully his curiosity will get the best of him.

Our recent convert Dantel is AWESOME.  He invited us over to eat and told us to bring Hna. Arana.  She helps us in our lessons with him.  So I called to invite her and then he called me back to make sure I invited her two kids too.  He is such a kind person.  He fed us the best chicken and rice and fried platanos.  Which are basically bananas.  SOOO GOOOD!  I love Latins and their food!  He is from Ecuador.

Sunday was really cool.  We had a regional stake conference.  All the stakes in Spain, Portugal, and Cape Verde.  We got a broadcast from salt lake and got to hear from some area 70s, the 2nd counselor in the General RS presidency and Elder Ballard.  It was super cool! 

This week has been wonderful.  I feel like I am working hard, and trying my best.  I am seeing so many miracles, it is amazing how good God is to us!  I know this church is true.  I know God is my Father and Jesus Christ is my Savior.  As I learn to trust in Them, I grow, receive blessings, and know I am able to reach my potential!

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

Monday, January 27, 2014

Loving the mission

The family in Leganes that I visited today!

 Next 3 pictures: Toledo
Hola Familia y amigos,

This week has been AMAZING.  One of the hardest working of my mission, but possibly the most successful.  We have found so many people to teach and had 5 new investigators this week! In gray is my letter to President.

We had an incredible week this week. We are finding people that I truly believe are prepared for this message. This has been one of the most productive weeks of my whole mission! But I feel like I am working harder than ever before. I am trying so hard to find and to teach, so that people can make the correct decision and understand the importance of baptism. We are talking about it more in our lessons and letting people know that we will be inviting them to be baptized, or we invite them to be baptized when they know it is true, without giving them a specific date. I hope this will help them progress, because they will understand better why we are here.

Things are going well with our two Muslim investigators.  They have both started reading the Book of Mormon. One almost came to church, but he was sick yesterday. We taught him how to pray though, and he said the last prayer in our second lesson with him. I think they both have great potential and I hope things continue to go well with them. Like I say every week, this is a work of MIRACLES!!

I love the mission so much. I really don´t want it to end. I know I will apply what I have learned after the mission, and that great things lie ahead, but I just don´t feel like anything can compare to the amazingness of being a full time representative of the Lord. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I wish it could last forever.

I know this church is true. I know that the Atonement is real. I think that is what I have come to understand most on my mission. The Atonement is more than just Christ suffering for our sins. Through Him and His sacrifice, we can change. We can become how He sees us. We have such amazing potential. As we live the Gospel and apply the Atonement to our lives, we can progress and keep trying. Because of the Atonement, we do not have to be perfect!

We also had 4 investigators at church.  We doubled our numbers. Our family comes without fail every sunday, but we have been working so hard to get some of our other investigators to church.  And we live really close to a few of them, so we offer to pick them up.  

On Saturday we had a lesson with one of our investigators, a lady from Columbia.  She has been meeting with missionaries on and off for 4 years and has read the Book of Mormon up to 3rd Nefi.  She hasn’t been to church in a really long time though.  But she came yesterday.  We picked her up and she came.  She knew a ton of people too!  

And the other hermanas were teaching this lady that actually lives in our ward but she goes to their ward with her cousin every sunday.  We started teaching her and are going to try and get her to come to our ward, but she is our investigator and she came to church, so we had 4.

Miracles are real!  The harder I work, the more I see. We have seen a lot of rejection this week, but if more rejection also brings more success, I will take it.  God has proven to me time after time that after the hardship comes the miracles.  It´s like a sunrise after a dark, cold night. Blessings are always around the corner of the trials.

We had a fireside yesterday.  I spoke, as well as 2 of our Elders, our ward Mission Leader, and President.  It was a great fireside, with really powerful talks.  We really wanted to inspire the members to participate in the missionary work.  I hope the 6 or 7 members that came enjoyed it.  

We tried SO hard to put it together and get the ward to announce it and all.  But not many people came.  It hurt, because of all the work I put into it, but I hope those that came were benifited.  Although most of them were our strong members who already help us.  On the bright side though, putting together a firside on the importance of missionary work really spoke to me and taught me even more about why this work is so important.  It wasn´t nearly the fireside we wanted, but it wasnt a wasted effort.

Some of the investigators we found this week:  We got a reference 2 or 3 weeks ago from the office.  We finally met with her on Saturday.  She is from Nicaragua and has a nephew on a mission.  She is super great and has a great spirit about her.  I am so excited to keep working with her.  She already had a Book of Mormon.

We found a really cool Dominican lady the day before her 25th birthday.  She said she never celebrated her birthday, and we asked if we could pass by and visit her on her birthday.  Her birthday was yesterday, and we passed by and shared the Book of Mormon with her.  She really seemed to enjoy it and we asked her if she would be baptized when she knew that these things were true.  She was a little hesitant, but said yes. 

Miracles are real.  I know that this church is true.  I know that this is the Lords work and that we can all take part in it!  There are people prepared for the missionaries to find and teach, but there are also people prepared for the members to find and fellowship.  We all have a role in finding.  Every member a missionary.  I invite you all this week to pray about someone you can share the gospel with!  There is someone out there waiting for you, God will help you find them and have the strength to talk to them!

Con amor, Hermana Olsen

Monday, January 20, 2014

A week of MIRACLES

Hola Familia y Amigos,

This week has been absolutely amazing.  It started with something I like to call "Last Transfer Blues" where I have been really stressed about making the most of my last transfer and worries about going home and such.  But I recieved a blessing, and have just been going forward with faith and being pleased with the hard work that I am doing.  I am taking it bit by bit and just trying to focus on the moment and relax.  I am not a perfect missionary.  But I am a hard working missionary who constantly tries to improve. 

Would you be surprized if I talk about miracles again?  I am seeing a theme in my mission! There are so many miracles.  First, we have started teaching a Muslim man.  We contacted him and had a lesson with him where we explained the Book of Mormon, gave him a copy and invited him to read it.  The next day he came to our English Class and brought a Muslim friend of his who has asked us for a Book of Mormon in French so we might start teaching another Muslim.  The first one we found told us that he started reading the Book of Mormon.  We are so excited to meet with him again and to meet with his friend.

The second miracle happened last night.  All of our plans fell through and we found ourselves with an hour or so left, and it was COLD.  I was praying for a miracle lesson.  We were contacting and not having much success.  Then I contacted a man from Peru.  After contacting him I realized he was in the middle of dialing a call.  It started to ring, and he hung up the call to listen to us!  

We started talking and we were on the sidewalk in the middle of people’s way so he found a more calm spot where we could talk.  He seemed so interested.  We started talking about the Book of Mormon and we had one with us, so we taught him the Book of Mormon, and set up another appointment with him.  He seem so intersted and so prepared for this message.  I hope to see great things with him!

Good mission story:  We had an intense lesson with this Evangelical lady who also believes a bit of what the Testigos believe.  We were trying to teach her the Book of Mormon but she couldn´t accept that there was more than the Bible.  She kept calling me niña (child) and also told me that we had to be careful because Satan was really good at deceiving people.  

As mad as that made me, I looked at her and calmly and lovingly bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I told her I knew it was true because I had prayed and asked God.  He gave me a feeling of peace that I could not deny.  I told her that Satan cannot make me feel peace!  I felt the Spirit testify to me that my testimony was true.  Although she would not be persuayed, I knew what I was saying was true, and it was a really powerful moment for me.

We went to Toledo today.  It was AMAZING.  So beautiful.  I cannot decide if I like it better than Segovia or not.  The Cathedral we saw was beautiful.  It had so many really cool views.  There was a lot to see too, but we didn´t have time.  We almost went to a torture museum.  That would have been fun.  Some of our group split off and went.  They said it was interesting.  I got a lot of really good pictures, but I forgot my camera cord again. oops.  Pictures coming next week for sure!

Toledo, is known for swords.  There are a lot of tourist shops selling swords.  We were in one of the shops and we had heard there was a Captain Moroni sword.  We asked, and the 2 workers showed it to us.  It was pretty cool, and we asked them if they knew who Captain Moroni was.

One said that she didn´t really know but it had something to do with Religion.  Here we are 6 of us with our chapas (name tags) and I was thinking, yes, he has something to do with religion.  The other lady had the BEST answer though.  She said that he was a great captain and he started a little school for cadets and taught them how to be soldiers and he made his own sword and because of all this he was a Captain.  It was soooo funny.  You had to be there, but the way she said it she sounded so knowledgable.  Her tone was saying, Obviously I know who he was.  SO FUNNY!

I have done a lot better this week at talking to people.  And we had a really cool experience.  We were sitting waiting for the bus, and I asked a lady if she wanted to sit.  She said no, gracias, and we started talking.  She was from Spain and thought it really cool that we were from the U.S.  She asked us if we liked Spain and talked a bit about what we had seen and all.  We only got to talk just a bit about us as missionaries before her bus came, but I still talked to someone and if she ever sees missionaries again, hopefully she will remember us and have a good impression of us!

I know this church is true.  I know it with all my heart.  There is no doubt in my mind.   It has changed me and made me better than I ever could have become on my own.  I know the atonement is real, I have seen it work in my life and the lives of others.  I love this Gospel and the Plan Heavenly Father has for all of us.

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen