Hola Familia y Amigos,
Thanks for all the letters this week. I did not have any time to write letters last week, but I will be working on that today.
This week has been SO good! Slowly but surely the work is progressing!
I want to start off by talking about how I know the Lord puts us where we need to be and allows us to talk with the people we need to talk to. We were having problems with one of our tires (it kept having low air pressure) so we took it in to see what the problem was. At first I was a little frustrated about the time that we would waste. But, while there we had a wonderful conversation with this member who is a cancer survivor. She told us about how she learned so much from having cancer and that she now works with a charity to raise money for people that have cancer and can't afford the bills. While she was talking to us, I could see in her eyes that she was so happy to have someone to talk to about this. She wasn't bragging, but you could tell she enjoyed talking about it and I think as missionaries we were able to really enjoy the conversation because we know a lot about overcoming trials and the joy in working to benefit others. I don't think we changed her life or did anything grand, but I know God wanted us to talk to her.
We have had some progress with Josue. He is the one we contacted into but could never do much because nobody was home except him. We finally met his wife and got to enter the house for a while. She told us that she was really catholic and not interested and the only reason Josue went to church was because of her so he really wasn't interested either. She said she grew up going to the Mormon Church (never baptized) and appreciated what we did as missionaries and didn't want us to waste our time coming over when nobody was interested. But she was speaking for her husband, and I wasn't going to leave the house until we asked him what he thought. My companion was on the same page. He said he was interested in learning more. So we set up an appointment, but it fell through because there wasn't a woman in the house. He called and cancelled though, which was really nice of him. Hopefully we can find someone to take with us and actually get a lesson with him. He has an adorable 3 year old girl and a baby boy.
We also had a lesson with a family we found. It is the Flores Family. We only taught the parents but we have an appointment tomorrow and will hopefully teach the whole family. But our lesson with the parents went really well. We encouraged the wife to say the opening prayer and she finally agreed. She said a simple but heartfelt prayer. She started asking for help with her youngest daughter who is a little hard to handle sometimes and then she stopped. After a long pause, loooong pause, she choked out an Amen. She had started crying! We asked her how she felt and she said something like, "Good, I knew God was listening to me." Heck yeah! She felt the Spirit. So then we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and committed them to read and pray as a family. We also kind of committed them to baptism, they didn't really answer the question but they didn't say no. We also followed up with them on Saturday and they are reading and praying! Heck yeah! They told us that they have questions. I am SO EXCITED for our appointment tomorrow!
Wednesday was Hna. Marcum's birthday. There is a tradition in Mexico that the birthday person has to take a bite out of the cake while it is sitting on the table before anyone else can eat any. However, as they do this, everyone else tries to slam their head in the cake. Since we are Spanish speaking missionaries, this is a tradition in the mission. So Hna Marcum got some cake in her face. She did pretty good though. For her birthday we went to a fancy restaurant that was actually reasonably priced. We start ordering and our waiter tells us this place is free for missionaries. WOW! Utah is a weird place to serve sometimes.
We were trying to find a referral but we didn't have much information. All we had was blue house and the general intersection. So we find the intersection and there are 4 blue houses. But it was cool because one of the ones we knocked is the Dickson family. They have about 6 kids, ages 4 to married-with-kids. They love us though. They are an American family and we have visited them twice. The first time they told us that their son knew a lot of Hispanic families and could we come back when he was home. So we came back and they gave us some names and general addresses.
Our second visit was cool because the Mom was talking about how her 13 year old daughter had been telling all her friends about how the sister missionaries came over. They know we are called Spanish but told us we could visit anytime and if we could they would love us to do a Family Home Evening with them. We might, because their kids LOVE us. Their 8 year old boy made us PB&J. I think if we can have such a big impact on these kids, we should do a FHE with them.
We have been doing a lot of Contacts. I love the practice I am getting making contacts for when I am in Spain. They can be really awkward and hard, but I think I am getting better. Less fear at least. And it really can be an effective way to find people. We don't normally get appointments but at least we make contact and can tell them we are going to come back.
We had a lesson with Adella and it went really well. We had a rough start and talked about everything except for what we wanted to talk to her about. But with the Spirit's help we finally got to talk to her about why we are here and why she wants us to come over. Because she has been investigating for years and isn't thinking about baptism we began to tell her that we might not be able to visit anymore. We told her that we loved her and wanted to help her understand baptism. We were pretty bold, but very loving. She committed to pray about a time (she wouldn't let us use the word date) for baptism. I hope she actually does. We fasted for her on Sunday. We will meet with her on Thursday I think.
On Saturday we helped out at a Funeral. The Branch President's wife's mother passed away. She was really old, but it was really sad. We helped serve food and prepare and clean up. Kate, I felt like you catering to people! I was grateful for the chance to do the service and the branch president and his wife were really grateful that we came to help. We might try to visit them this week and bring cookies or something.
Yesterday, we were making some contacts and we saw one of our member families carrying in groceries so we offered to help. We got to talk to their daughter for a long time. She is in the process of submitting her papers and she told us about all the missionary experiences she is having. She is a manager at Wendy's and has two of her co-workers reading the Book of Mormon and asking questions. She is hopefully going to get them to meet with us soon. Again, I know God put us on that street at the exact moment they got home from the store so that we could help her know how to help her friends and encourage her to ask them if they will meet with the missionaries. She also wants to go out with us sometime. We might take her contacting and hopefully to a lesson.
Last thing worth mentioning. Starting yesterday, I am basically Senior Companion. It is part of the 12 week training program, but this is my week. I plan who we visit, when we visit, and I take the lead in contacts and lessons. So yesterday was my first day doing all of this. It was HARD. It was hard to know when to visit who and then we got a little off schedule and we didn't have time to visit everyone, so I had to decide who not to visit. Man that was scary. I think this week will be hard, as I have to lead and make all the decisions. I might make some bad decisions, and I am scared, but I think it will help me increase my faith and teach me to rely on the Lord. But if you could pray for me this week, that I can lead and follow the Spirit that would be super duper! Especially that I can lead our lesson with the Flores family tomorrow.
Also interesting. I have started to think a little about how things will be different after the mission. Not in a trunky way, but for example Tacos. I don't think I can enjoy tacobell anymore. Those are NOT tacos. A real taco should not have cheese, and it needs to have lime juice squeezed on it. Yes family, NO CHEESE on tacos. For anyone who knows how much I love cheese, who thought I would ever say that?
I was also thinking about just sitting down and watching a movie. Weird. I don't know if I can. Or at least that I don't want to. I really don't miss T.V. Except maybe football. There was a football game on when we were getting the car fixed. So that was kind of hard. But really it is going to be weird to listen to music and watch T.V. I was also thinking about the music I'm going to want to listen too. When I left Call me Maybe and Payphone and whatever One Direction, were really popular. I will come back wanting to hear those songs again, but they will be so old. And I don't care. I am glad that I feel like listening to music and watching TV is weird, because it shows that I don't miss it, and I don't need it.
That is my life right now. I hope everyone is having a good Christmas season. Oh Christmas! The Christmas lights are awesome here. I love nighttime when we drive and can see all the pretty lights. We have some Christmas music but not much. So we don't always listen to it.
P.S. Kaylie Moon: The header of this email is for you. Is your chalk drawing still outside the apartment?
Enjoy this Christmas Season. Think of Jesus.
Sis. Shelby Olsen
4380 South Orchard Ave.
South Ogden, UT 84403
4380 South Orchard Ave.
South Ogden, UT 84403