Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spain means work!

Hna. Wright from exchanges.

 My piso
Lots of people in the Leganes ward. Nancy and us. Both pictures were for Hna. Coakwell's last Sunday.  The people here love us!

This smile is an inside joke we would do when we caught the other not smiling. 
 The district at Hna. Coakwell and Hna. Miron's last district meeting.
My teddy bear cake to celebrate a year from the day I opened my call and pi day of course!  Circles galore!
Eduardo's baptism.  I did not teach him, but he is in our ward!

Hola Familia y amigos,

It has been quite a week.  I am writing today, because we spent 3ish hours yesterday doing residency stuff.  I had to meet with a government official to apply for my residency card.  We spent ages in line and then I had like a 7 minute interview / paper work stuff.  But I am going to be legit legal in Spain soon, so that is good!  

This week has been INCREDIBLE!  We have really rocked the trio and worked super hard.  We taught investigators, less actives, and found new people all week.  We were never wondering what we should do next.  We have so many people to work with because they combined our areas.  It has been crazy, but I LOVE being so busy.  I want my whole mission to be like this, and I am going to work hard so that it can be!

I LOVE the mission.  Nothing super awesome happened this week, and I dont really have any specific stories, but it was just a great week.  I love being a missionary teaching the world His truth!  The gospel is true man!  Learn it, Live it, Love it, and PREACH it!  Thats what I am doing and it is changing my life!  My companion Hna. Blodgett is this super happy wonderful high-on-life kind of girl.  She is always pumped up to serve and she is always in a good mood.  It is a real blessing to be her companion.

We have taught so many investigators, less actives, and we have had some great moments finding new people.  I love it.  I love meeting new people, learning about them, and seeing what I can do to help.  

I have really felt myself be a missionary this week (like other weeks, this was just a really good one!).  We helped so many people and we are working with so many people.  I learned a lot this week about what it means to be a missionary and just help people.  I think part of this is because we have so much work and we are so busy, but the things I have learned this week I can apply for the rest of my mission.  Like even if I dont have any investigators, I can use my desire to be busy and work hard and put that into use as I contact all day.  Knowing what it is like to be so busy and work so hard, has helped me want that more.  yeah...

We have been working a lot with Analee this week.  She has been in and out of the hospital and we have had elders come twice to give her a blessing.  I love the power of the priesthood.  It testifies that the church is true!  It helps people heal and be comforted.  I’m glad we had the chance to have elders give Analee a blessing.

We have also started teaching some Nigerians and they are SO FUNNY.  We were talking about lions in Africa and if they ate people.  One of them said that they would eat Hna. Blodgett, but not me.  It was funny.  They speak English, but sometimes it is hard to understand and we dont know if they understand.  This same guy was asking us about our church and this is the conversation:
You pray?
You sing?
You cast out monsters?
No. Not that one.

It was funny.  Another funny experience was when I was setting up an appointment with our investigator.  We are supper busy this week and I was trying to tell him that, but I accidently told him we were really worried this week. (ocupado is busy and preocupado is worried)  I corrected myself though.

Highlights of the week- 

Saturday morning we had invited one of our investigators to play futbol with some of the men in our ward in the morning, and since we were supposed to have an investigator we decided to go play too.  The men (young men mostly) were super surprised to see hermana missionaries wanting to play futbol but they welcomed us to play.  It was super fun.  Our investigator never showed up, but I had fun playing soccer with legit latinos.  Man they were good!  

I suck at futbol but it was fun to watch them and watch their feet go!  The best part was when they passed me the ball, and I figured I might as well go for a goal cause I was close to the net.  So I gave it a good kick and, I SCORED!!!!!  Ive never scored a goal in my life, I am super pleased that my first one was in spain with a bunch of latinos.  Spain has magic--especially if it can make me play soccer!  Basically I love it here in Spain. 

Word on the street (of the mission) is that some visa-waiter Hermanas are coming because they just got their visas. So our trio might not last so long. We dont know who will get the new girl, but she has been visa waiting so she shouldnt be brand new to the field.

Now, photos like I promised!

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another wonderful week in Spain

Hola Familia y amigos,

This has been a really good week.  Isn´t every week? On March 14th I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of getting my mission call.  And it was pie day so I bought a cake that was round.  No pie in spain.  This week was also Hna. Coakwells birthday/last week, so we had lots of cake fed and given to us.  I love food, and we got a TON of it this week.  I think my stomach has grown. Meal appointments aren´t a problem so much. Weird.  Before the mission I hardly ate.

One day this week we had a lot of lessons and stuff but we had the goal to get 2 references. We had 10 minutes to contact and I asked Hna. Coakwell if we could do it in 10 minutes.  Just then these 2 teenage boys (13 and 15?) start trying to flirt  with us.  We tell them a little about our message and that we have English class.  I´m about ready to leave cause they are just being immature and flirty, when Hna. Coakwell asks for their numbers!  I was shocked!  But she proved that we could get 2 references in 10 minutes.

This week we went to Eduardo´s baptism.  The other sisters had been teaching him, but it was really excited to see him get baptized.

Paulino is doing well.  He told us he knows the Book of Mormon is true.  But he is really struggling because he is living with a girl and she doesn´t really like us and so he has a hard time coming to church.  And he doesn´t want to hurt her, so he won´t move out or fix that issue.  But he knows.  We just need to help him understand that it is worth it.  He is reading and praying. Pray for him please.

Julian is lost.  HIs phone is not working and we never got his address because we always met him at the metro station.  I don´t know what happened but I am really worried about him. He was progressing.  He gave us the phone number of one of his roommates because they might be interested, so maybe we can find him that way.  Please pray that we can find Julian!

Dayana is going out of town for a month, so I don´t know what will happen with her.  We haven´t met with her since the awesome Restoration lesson about 2 weeks ago, so I am worried she is going to lose the feelings she felt.  Pray for her too!

Paco had surgery on his foot and cannot walk to church because it is really far.  We can still teach him, but he can´t go to church.  I´m going to ask the ward mission leader if anyone can give him a ride.  But pray for him please.  That he can go to church!

Sunday night, our plans fell through and for 2 hours we had nothing to do but contact.  Not a problem except it was pouring rain and we didn´t have an umbrella.  But we were determined.  So we contacted in the rain for 2 hours.  My coat and shoes are still wet.  But no worries.  We had a dinner appointment right after and she fussed so much when we came in soaking wet.  She made us take our coats and sweaters off, gave me her daughters sweater and made us blow dry our hair.  Then she blow dried our coats.  And she made us a warm drink with our dinner.  She was a good mom away from home.  We blow dried so much though, that we caused the piso to lose power.  Just theirs not the whole piso (I hope).  They got it back on real quick though.

Transfers,  I am still in Leganes, but in a trio.  I hate trios.  They are fine in lessons, but contacting is just overwhelming.  I would be terrified if 3 people approached me.  It´s too many.  But I am serving with Hnas. Munden from Kansas (she has the same time as me) and Blodget from California who has 10 months.  They seem like great Hnas. So I am super excited!

Once again, no pictures.  My camera is not charged.  oops!  SO SORRY!

Con Amor,
Hna. Olsen

Monday, March 11, 2013

What a week!

Hola familia y amigos,

Wow, I almost kept writing in Spanish.  I really don´t have much time, but here is a quick summary of this week.  Also before I forget, Thanks to Corinne for the letter, and Sis. Dunshee.

This week we had intercambios.  Exchanges.  I went to Alcala and served with Hna. Wright.  She is super awesome.  A really hard worker, a really good contacter, and super silly and funny!  We got back with our companions when we all went to the temple.  Yep that is right, I got to go to the Spain Madrid Temple!  whats up!  It was super spiritual, especially to go with all the Hermanas serving in the Madrid area (about 20).  I did the session in Spanish and pretty much understood it all.  No big deal.  It was so spiritual, I love the temple.  It is the house of the Lord!

I LOVE contacting.  Yup, I have officially reached the point where I enjoy doing.  Now I just wish I could do it better.  Sometimes it still scares me, but mostly I just feel like I don´t say the right  thing.  with time.  

I have also realized why rejection hurts so bad.  I always heard Returned missionaries say it hurts to get rejected.  I thought that was silly, and they were just taking it personally.  I knew I wouldn´t feel that way because I wasn´t going to take it personally.  Oh how wrong I was.  It sucks to get rejected.  But I realized why.  It´s because I love the people.  It is so hard to have someone say they don´t want to learn, they already have their church. But it breaks my heart when someone walks away without even listening, or when I tell them they can have an eternal family, and they just walk away.  Because I love them  SO MUCH!  And I know they are walking away from the only true church.  THey are walking away from the truth, and they didn´t even give it a chance.  But I keep going.  You never know who is going to listen.

This week GOD HAS GUIDED MY FOOTSTEPS!  Here is an excerpt from my letter to President:
This week, God has truly guided us. We had a lesson with a man that told us we have no authority to teach because we are women. I didn´t really care what he said because I knew he was wrong, but it still hurt a bit. He read 1 Timothy 2:10-12 with us. After this lesson, God blessed me and reminded me that I have authority as he guided me and Hna. Coakwell step by step to an inactive we have been trying to find almost all transfer. Every time in the past we have gone to visit her, we have gotten way lost or taken the wrong bus. We were trying to find her again, and we were getting lost. So we just decided to walk and contact. We didn´t really care where we went. Before long, we realized that we were a street or 2 away from where the inactive lady lives. We weren´t even looking, but we found her. She was not home, but now we know exactly how to get to her piso.

A few days later, we decided to go visit a less active that we had visited a few times and she was never home or never able to let us in. We had planned on contacting during this time, but Hna. Coakwell felt like we should go visit her. So we did. We got to her Piso and were told she wasn´t home. As we were walking away, the lady she lives with told us that she was actually home and we could come in. We had a great lesson with her and her daughter. Her daughter even came back to church yesterday. She felt really touched that we had come to visit. It was a special moment.

We have had some crazy weather this week.  Lots of rain and wind.  And this hermana still doesn´t have boots.  But no worries, it hasn´t been bad. I actually like the rain.  Hna. Coakwell got hit by a branch one day though.  That was eventful.

I got a letter from my recent converts in Guatemala.  They are doing SO WELL. They have been members 2 months now! Crazy!  The best news is, they have callings, got their patriarchal blessings, and have done baptisms for the dead in the Temple! yeah man!  I love them so much and am glad they are progressing so well!

I don´t have my camera cable so pictures will have to wait.  Sorry!

Mom (and anyone) there is a really cool youtube video (president let us watch) but it is a whole class of students that all got calls for missions.  It is a montage of them opening their calls.  You should try to find it.  The 2nd girl gets called to the Spain Madrid mission.  We watched it this morning at the Hna. Party.  All of us started screaming.  The video made me cry though.  It is so amazing.  God is hastening his work!  

In a week the mission is going to get 4 new sisters and the transfer after that 15.  Which means i will very likely (99% ???) be training in about 7 weeks.  PLEASE pray for me.  I do not at all feel prepared to train.  I am hardly capable to serve a mission without His help, I will need A LOT more help if I have to train too!  I KNOW I can do it, but prayers would be nice.  The thought of training terrifies me!  

Con Amor, 
Hermana Olsen