Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Buenavista 2

 me and a departing Sister
My end of Alma Party (my family has a tradition to normally eat a cake or have some sort of celebration when we finish Alma since it is the longest book in the Book of Mormon.  Just because I am on my mission doesn't mean I will let that tradition die!)

My hair cut


I hope everyone has had a fantastic week.  Thanks for the letters, Kate, and Mom.  My address for mail has not changed....

So, this has been a CRAZY week.  But definitely an awesome one.  On P-day after writing emails we ran lots of errands to get ready for the transfers.  We went shopping, I printed pictures finally,  I bought some food, and....I GOT A HAIR CUT!  Mostly I just got my hair thinned, but I also cut 2 inches off!  See the attached pictures.

Okay, this week has been a lot of planning and we haven't been able to do as much work as I would like, but it takes time to open a new area.  So after transfers we spent a lot of time figuring out how to divide our area and we divided our area book ( a list of all the people that have had interaction with the missionaries over the years and what experiences they had).  The Assistants to the Mission President (AP'S) finally split our area for us.  Me and my new Companion Hna. Marcum now cover Hyde Park and the other Hnas. cover Logan.  

Before the area split we didn't have any investigators in Hyde Park, so that is why it is basically like opening a new area.  Our area is a lot of farm land too, and Logan has a lot of investigators/referrals.  The hardest part has been the car.  We need the car because the people are so spread out and we need to find people, but the other Hnas. need the car to visit the many people they have begun to establish relationships with.  However, the AP's gave us the car.  We have been trying to share it, and we are hoping the other sisters will get a car soon, because they really do need one.

First day of transfer was a lot of planning and unpacking.  Then in the evening we traveled down to Ogden for a farewell devotional for the three missionaries leaving.  They bore such powerful testimonies.  I got kind of emotional and really scared to go home.  As much as I miss everyone, that fireside really made me feel like I never want to go home.

One day, we were trying to visit members and talk with them, and gain their trust and begin to develop relationships with them, when we ran into this really nice English family.  We spent a long time talking to them and their 4 kids who all want to go on missions.  They invited us over for Christmas dinner, gave us bread, and gave us some Spanish speaker referrals.  I love how nice people are to the missionaries here.  I am fully aware that I am spoiled and I am very grateful to be serving in the Utah Ogden Mission!

We taught a couple of lessons.  We have 2 investigators that have been taught over the years.  They both basically know that it is true, they are just scared.  Jenny has such a strong testimony of everything, except Joseph Smith.  She can't make the connection that if the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet.  But we had a really good lesson with her and we are hopefully going to meet with her again soon, because we have a really good plan for our next lesson.  We are confident and it is our goal to really help her make the decision to enter the waters of Baptism.  Her family are members, and her Husband is so sweet and patient with her.  I think she has been investigating for 13 years.

Adella is our other investigator who has been investigating for a while.  She know it is true but is scared and a little doubtful as to why God lets good things happen to bad people.  We are going to work with her too, and hope that we can help her enter the waters of Baptism. 

Please pray for me and my companion, and these 2 wonderful ladies.

We went to jail this week.  We got a referral for a 17 year old boy in a Juvenile center.  We visited with him and talked a lot about how we can change (he really wants to change) and how God and Jesus Christ can help us do that.  I think he really wants to change his life, I just don't know if he wants to do that with religion.

I should not have bore my testimony last week, because they realized just how much Spanish I know and all 4 of us Hnas. gave talks on Sunday.  It was weird though, because giving that talk was not as scary as giving my farewell talk.  Weird because my farewell talk was in my native language and the talk I gave on Sunday was in Spanish.  Don't get me wrong, I was still scared, and I read it word for word, but it was okay.  I even could have spoke longer, but time was running out and my companion still had to speak.

I am truly being changed on my mission. Probably one of the best experiences this week was Sunday night.  We returned a little early because we hadn't done any of our studying (we had correlation meetings all day!) and our car was running low on gas and our tire was low on pressure.  But I had the very subtlest thought that we should go visit one of our referrals for an inactive family.  I voiced my concern that we should maybe visit them but that I was worried this was not a prompting because it was late and they were probably in bed.  We went to visit and as we pulled up, all the lights were off.  This confirmed my thought that they were asleep.  But, we knocked and to my great surprise they answered the door.  We set up a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with them for Monday.  It fell through because the Mom was not feeling well, but at least we have contact with the family and they know we care.

I should describe my apartment now.  We live in an apartment under members houses.  It is really nice.  We have our own kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, study room, and even a little sitting room with 2 soft couches.  The only downside is the spiders.  It is right under/next to the garage, so there are always spiders in the apartment.  I have killed one every day (except Sunday-Lords day of rest in all respects, I guess).  Any suggestions on how to get rid of Spiders, please tell me!  It is okay, but I really am not a fan of spiders....

We have a door to our apartment and then we have a stair case and there is another door that goes to the outside of the house.  This second door, is almost impossible to open.  The other day we were trying to leave to go visit someone and we could not open the door.  I finally offered up a prayer telling God that we really wanted to leave our apartment so we could go visit his Children.  I felt so silly, but after I closed the prayer, we finally got the door open!

This week, we also visited the Relief Society President and asked her if we could help with anything.  She gave us a list of people she wanted to visit but just did not have time for.  We are going to visit them for her, because missionaries are really good at visiting people!  We also told her that we want to have less active or investigators at our dinner appointments and so we want to do an activity with the Relief Society sisters to help them feel more comfortable sharing the gospel and inviting their friends to meet with us.

Also, yesterday we had a cool experience when we were knocking a referral and then we decided to go visit a member that lived down the street.  She is from Guatemala and was going through a hard time because I guess there are a lot of earthquakes in Guatemala right now.  She said that her home town was hit really hard and she is scared for her family and friends.  We talked a little bit about the end of the world, and what a blessing it was to have the Gospel in our lives.  She was extremely grateful that we stopped by and could listen to her.  She asked us to pray for the people of Guatemala and seemed really happy that she could ask someone else to pray for these people.  These experiences were a testimony that the Lord knows who we need to visit and that everyone needs strength sometimes.  We were able to help the Relief Society President who is a strong active member, and the Hna. from Guatemala.

So, I LOVE Hna. Marcum my new companion.  She definitely is on the same page with me as to working hard.  I think we will see a lot of success this transfer, and if not, we will get Hyde Park ready to be a successful area, because right now we don't have much.  The only downside is that she does not know as much Spanish as my former companions.  But she has been out for 9 months, and is a really good companion.  She is also finishing my training in the 12 week program, and I am really starting to feel like I am being trained.  Hna Marcum has a lot of confidence in me and trusts my promptings and lets me take the lead in some situations.  I think I will learn a lot with her and am very excited for this transfer.

I have been feeling pretty good this week about everything.  I think the hardest thing for me is still Spanish.  I am a little frustrated that we find so many English speakers, because when we teach so many lessons in English I feel like my Spanish is not going to improve.  But I am trying  to tell myself that they are all God's children and it doesn't matter if my Spanish improves right now, I will have plenty of time for that later.  But, I have gotten better at speaking more.  I wish I could write more about my feelings, but things are going well, and I don't know what else I feel. haha.

I have such a testimony of this Gospel.  I LOVE talking to people.  I am still terrified to do it sometimes, but man is it fun to talk to people and hope to improve their lives.  I am really excited to see what this transfer brings.  I know that this church is true.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I know that he has a great plan for me and that he sees my potential.  I know that through Him I can reach my potential.  I look back on who I used to be, and see that He has already helped me start the journey.  I know the Book of Mormon is true with all my heart.  I have read and prayed about it.  The Holy Ghost has confirmed to me that it is true.  The Holy Ghost can do the same for you, if you read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  If you want to know, you can.

I love my mission.  I love how I have the chance to change the lives of people, and how I am changing my life as well.  I love waking up at 6:30.  I love studying for hours on end.  I love talking to random people I have never met.  I love driving around all day.  I love knowing that God will guide us to people in need because he has done it before.  I love praying.  I love being a missionary!  I love knowing that I am not the best missionary, but that I have time and the ability to improve.

I love you all, and I hope you are all making the most of your lives!

As for my Visa I have heard Mid to End December.  So don't worry about sending letters.  I probably have at least a month left here.  Also, to the few of you who it may concern (tI really hope few of you were thinking about this) I do not want anything for Christmas.  My suitcases are already pushing the weight limit for when I fly to Spain. If you have to do something, write me a nice letter.  But yeah, I am fine, and I don't need anything.

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen

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