Monday, May 27, 2013

Hola todos

 A rainbow in Spain!

Hola familia y amigos,

This week has been absolutely amazing and absolutely trying. But let me start with things I forgot to mention last week.  Last week, we had some thunderstorms.  Rain, lightning, and thunder.  It was never much or long, but it happened.  And it was beautiful. 

Also, me and Hna. Munden go home the same day and have 9 months left.  So we decided to start a "diet" 9 Months to Noticeable.  I am taking stairs more often and not eating as many treats.  I am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables as well!  I have not done perfectly, but better than before.

Today I want to write about some people that are very dear to my heart.

Gener:  This man is wonderful.  He is from the philipenes and just fabulous.  He does not speak good English or Spanish so we teach him at a member family also from the philipenes. The family knows perfect Spanish, English, and Tagolog (philipene language) so they are WONDERFUL fellow shippers.  They have helped us sooo much.  And they always insist on feeding us.  They have made lessons with Gener so much easier for us and for him.  They helped him understand how to pray correctly and they help him in church. 

If I ever serve another mission, I want to go to the philipenes.  I LOVE the people!  Gener comes to everything really early, and I thought he would just up and get baptized, but he doesn´t want to yet. This makes me really happy, because I know he will get baptized, and when he does I know it will be because he wants to!

James: we have been meeting James for a month, and he is currently in Words of Mormon and pg 40 of Teachings of Lorenzo Snow.  This man is amazing.  He prays all the time and is really in tune to promptings of the Holy Ghost.  It makes me very sad to say, that we will not be teaching him anymore.  He does not live in our area, and so other Hermanas are teaching him. 

This was one of the hardest moments of the mission.  James found us, we did not find him.  He saw my Agenda with Jesus on it sticking out of my bag, and so he started talking to me.  He contacted ME.  I thought he was going to be my first baptism in Spain, and everything about it was perfect.  So I felt really stupid and down on myself when I realized he wasn´t in our area, and I had never even asked. 

Had I asked, I would not have developed such a friendship and so much Christ-like love for him.  I was really confused why God would let things happen this way.  But I have gone a long way.  He is in good hands with the other Hermanas.  He still went to church on Sunday so he is on track for getting baptized the 7th.  And that,  I realized, is what matters.  James is going to get baptized and he is going to receive the blessings of salvation.  It does not matter who gives him these blessings. 

I may not be able to finish teaching him everything he needs to know, but if he keeps going the path he is on, we will have an eternity to be friends.  That is what keeps me going.  I am building eternal friendships!

Vicente:  We have been trying for over a month to get this woman to church.  She always says she wants to come but makes some excuse about her grandkids.  This week we had a lesson and brought a member.  Our member at the end of the lesson, invited her to church and then lunch after.  Vicente agreed to come for Sacrament (our 3rd hour).  We agreed to meet her at 11:30 at the Metro and walk her to the church.  On sunday she called at 10:15 saying she was at the metro.  So she only missed the first half hour or so.  And her 2 grandkids got to go to primary.  The lunch after was really good too.  This was huge for Vicente, and I think she will keep coming!

Ramon: Ramon is our 17 year old from Bolivia.  He is a huge punk, always showing up late and being a classic teenage boy.  Yet he is incredible.  He comes and keeps commitments.  He even came to church again, even though he didn´t like it very much.  He has also started going to YSA (JAS in spanish) activities.  He called us one night and asked what activity was going on at the church.  We didn´t know of anything, but turns out there was a JAS (Jovenes Adultos Solteros) activity.  So he came to that.  Also, on Sunday, he asked what it takes to go on a mission.  I feel like the Spirit is working in him, and he follows it and he feels it, but I don´t know if he quite understands it.  But he is a kid.  With time it will come.

Elvio:  He is hard to meet because his work changes, but he wants to get baptized when he feels ready.  He still hasn´t come to church, but we took him to a baptism and he liked it.  It was so cool to take an investigator to a baptism!

Clarisa:  Clarisa is a less active that we found, because she came to church once.  We finally went to visit her and had the HARDEST time finding her place.  We got the street wrong and went to the wrong part of our area.  We almost decided to call her and reschedule because of everything, but we kept going until we found her.  Which turned out to be good for her.  She is depressed and was having a hard day.  We shared an uplifting scripture with her, and gave her a Book of Mormon because she did not have one anymore.  We are going to keep visiting her and help her.  She is really sweet.

This week, I was asked to be an Hermana Leader Trainer.  Each mission is now encouraged to have Hermanas with this position.  I have a leadership training meeting tomorrow.  There are 6 of us in the whole mission. 

I am very humbled by this assignment.  I do not consider myself one of the 6 hermanas that would be best suited for this position, but I am going to rely on the Lord and do my best.  I can love the Hermanas that is for sure. 

With this calling, and my lack of self esteem because of forgetting to ask James where he lives, I got a blessing this week.  It was the MOST amazing blessing of my mission.  It was really long and full of blessings.  I can´t go into too much detail, it was a sacred experience, but I want to testify that I know the Priesthood is a powerful and true blessing in the only true and restored church.  I LOVE the priesthood.  I know it is God´s power and I am so grateful for the worthy men who have this power and can bless my life.  No other church has the Priesthood power, and I am so grateful that I have it in my life.  It is the authority that makes our church true and it is the chance to receive direct counsel and comfort from our Father in Heaven!

The church is true, and the people I love and work with are starting to understand that!  I KNOW the mission is one of the best things in my life and that many miracles are waiting to happen.  The Lord is gathering His people.  They all need to come back to Him, and they all can! We just need to help them!  I love that I have the chance to do that EVERY DAY!  The mission is the BEST!

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen

What a great Spain and America!

(Sent on May 20, 2013)
Hola Familia y amigos,


This week has been just amazing.  Monday and Tuesday night we watched the hour Restoration/ Joseph Smith movie with different investigators.  I cried.  Man, I just felt the Spirit sooooo strong!  I know our investigators did too!  I KNOW Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that he saw God the Father and His Son, and that through Them he restored the ONLY true hurch!  And I tell this to people every day!  What could be better than that?!  NOTHING!  (except maybe being Corinne Olsen and getting married to your eternal companion! but as I am not you, the mission is the best!)

James, who we have been teaching for about a month, finally came to church yesterday.  This amigo of mine is soooo prepared.  He is in 2 Nefi 26 and told us on Monday that he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet because there was no way he wrote the Book of Mormon.  He said it so cute too.  He said, "Joseph Smith could not have written this book, he must have been someone like Moses."  We said, "yeah, he´s a prophet."  James really liked the Restoration movie too.  And Church.  He said he had been praying for a church to go to to learn more about God, then he gestured to the church and nodded.  I told him, "James, I think you found it."  We are going to give him a baptismal date soon.  He is soo awesome.

Gener is new and also came to church.  He is from the Philippines and speaks more English than Spanish, but neither very well.  He is fun but difficult to talk to.  We had a lesson with him on Saturday and he came to church the next day.  He also came an hour-ish early.  I called around 9:20 to remind him that we had church at 10 and he said, "Sister, I will be prepared.  I am in Pavones."  So he came super early.  It was super cute though! 

Gener did not understand much of church, he leaned over to us and laughing said, "I don´t understand anything!!!" it was sooo funny!  But we need to fix that.  Luckily we have a Philipene family in our ward and we introduced them to each other and they are going to help us in our next lesson.  Which is awesome because they speak English, Spanish, and the Philipene lanuage Tagolog.

Also this week I got my residency card.  Por Fin.  We tried three times and finally got it. The first time I went to early and they didn´t have it.  The second, it was closed for a random Holiday celebrating a Saint.  The third time I got it! Yay!

We also got library cards.  There is a beautiful park in Ibiza and inside the park is a LIBRARY.  A library inside a park!  it is sooooo cool! It is cool, because we can now email for FREE! heck ya.  I hope I do not get transferred!

This week, we had a great lesson with Yusri, our muslim friend.  We talked for an hour about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us and that He is the Son of God.  I really hope Yusri understands.  It is hard to teach him, because his beliefs are different than ours.  And I dont know much about the Muslim religion, so it is hard to know if he understands.  But, we have permission to teach him, and he is super great because he wants to learn and I can see him getting baptized.  It will take time, but I really have so much love for him!

I´m on a blog!  It is just a picture, but one of the MTC Senior Missionaries has a blog and I got on it.  the URL is so enjoy that. [Scroll down to the second picture to see Shelby.]

Funny story this week happened to Hna. Hansen and her new companion, Hna. Smith.  They went to teach a less active family and they gave them a jar full of scriptures about love.  In this jar they also had little chocolates.  They each saved one chocolate for themselves and after the lesson they were walking home and they decided to eat their chocolates.  Hna. Smith put the cherry chocolate in her mouth, and her mouth went numb.  The chocolates had ALCOHOL in them!  To make matters worse, they had recently found out that the husband of this family is less active because he has a drinking problem....I felt bad for them, but it is a pretty funny story!

So it was a great week!  I LOVE the Lord, and the Mission.  I LOVE my life.  I wouldn´t change a thing. I am beyond happy.  I realize I am making a sacrifice, but if it turns me into the person I am supposed to be, isn´t it more of a blessing than a sacrifice?

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen

Hermana Shelby Olsen
Misión España Madrid
Calle Fuerteventura 4, 2a, Oficina 8-B
28703 San Sebastián de los Reyes
Madrid, Spain

Monday, May 13, 2013


Eating at Dominos.
A little girl wearing the 6 chapas of the 6 missionaries in Barrio 6.

A view of part of the park where we sing,

Hola familia y todos,
Not much happened this week.  We had 17 lessons planned and only taught 6.  So we did a lot of contacting, and wasted a lot of time waiting for people to come and then they don´t show.  We always wait 5 or 10 minutes before calling, but when you have 10+ lessons cancel, that adds up.
So it was a hard week.  And a bit unproductive.  But, we keep going.  And although it was hard at times and I was frustrated.  Not only are our lessons cancelling, people who we have had 1 or 2 solid lessons with, suddenly don´t answer their phones and we loose all contact with them.

But, we keep going.  The lessons we had last week were really good, and we continue to contact and find more.  This week was a bit hard though, because more than half of the people we found did not live in our area.  But today starts a new week, and I know that as I continue to do my best and try hard, I will be blessed.  I know the Lord is in this work with me, and that He is guiding and blessing me every day.  I will keep working, keep teaching, keep contacting, because I KNOW this church is true and I KNOW there are people who need to hear this message.  I may make mistakes and not always talk to people.  I am imperfect.  But I know that I can see miracles and blessings if I work hard.

I am officially (as of the 10th) halfway through the mission.  It is sad, because I don´t want this chapter of my life to end EVER.  As hard as this week was, I LOVE THE MISSION.  This week was hard, but i learned so much.  Mostly patience and perserverance.  I know that I need to wait for good things to come and continue to do all that I can to make them happen.

And I have seen that happen.  We ended the week well.  Our 17 year old investigator Ramon came to church.  It was great to see him there and to know that he sacrifice sleep to come (he had told us he wasn´t sure he would come because he didn´t want to get up that early).  Also, we are starting to recieve more referrals from other people and from the MTC.  So that makes up for all the referrals we had to send to other people.  We didn´t teach much this week, even though we called everyone every day to see if they could meet with us, but we have a few appointments set up almost every day for this upcoming week.

As I increase my faith, I know that the Lord will bless me.  As I continue to work hard, no matter the trials, I know the Lord will use me to be His servant.  I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I will work hard to bless the lives of others.  I know this church is true and that it has everything we need.  If you do not know this for yourself, ask God and He will answer you.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promises sooooo many blessings.  It is a message of peace and happiness.  And it is sooo easy to know if it is the truth or just another church!  Pray and ask God the Father.  He WILL answer you!

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week one of a new transfer

Hola familia y amigos,

All is well in Pavones, Spain.  I LOVE the mission and everything about my life!  How could I not--I am a missionary and representative of my Lord Jesus Christ.  This week has not been as exciting or busy as others, but we did split our area.  And I have still felt the Lord working through me and making me the person I need to be.  That is all I want.  I dont need X numbers in any category.  I just need to do my best and feel my relationship growing closer to Him.  I just need to understand and apply the atonement more fully to my life. I can and am doing that EVERY day.

MOM, I got your package!  ADORABLE!  I loved every part of it.  Especially the fudge and the lindor truffles.  You are too funny!   Everyone in my Piso thought it was super cute too!  [I sent her a “half way” package with ½ 3-Musketeer bar, ½ bag of cheese-its, lindor truffles cut in half, ½ a sign, etc.]

Aunt Jennifer, I got your easter package (forever ago) but THANKS!  I love the tic-tacs!

For all to know, I have officially hit 9 months, but do not hit my halfway mark until May 10th!  But my 9 month mark was a sad day.  I just dont want this to end!  EVER!  It is too amazing.  But I have been trying harder to make the most of it.  Slowly  I learn how to work the way I want to and how to be the missionary God wants me to be (are we noticing a pattern here?  I have learned so much about how God is making me who I am meant to be!)  I LOVE the mission and everything about it!  I cannot say it enough.

This week has been good. I get along well with Hna. Munden.  She is a hard worker, really loving, and really fun.

The best part of this week has been singing.  We have a huge park with trees and whatever in our area (kind of like central park or something) and there are 4 of us Hnas. in the area so we have a lot of fun going to the park (which is always crowded) and singing.  We have found a lot this way!  And even people that dont want to listen to our message can at least be uplifted by our spiritual music.

We go singing almost every other night.  I would like to share some experiences and my feelings about singing in the park.  I always feel the spirit when I sing. SO strongly.  It is such a great way to share the gospel.  It brings me such joy to share it in such a beautiful manner.  And it makes it so easy to talk to people.  It brings the people to us! I just feel such joy and peace singing my beliefs.  I KNOW this gospel is true! 

It is amazing to watch how many people will stop and listen.  And I cant tell you how many people have taken our picture or filmed us.  I have talked to some really amazing people that have stopped to listen to us.  We talked to a guy from England and he did not want to learn more, but he said he would think more highly of Mormons and that we changed his opinion of us.  That was cool.

We also had quite the conversation with an anti-mormon.  He went on and on about God being dead, mitt romney and cult.  But I was on a spiritual high.  Mostly we just talk to really nice people.  Another thing I have noticed is that SO many CHILDREN stop to watch or listen.  Like 2 year olds, and babies.  I really think it is because they were just with our Heavenly Father and they feel that it is something familiar to them.  It is super cool though!

Things are going well with our investigators.  They are developing testimonies.  Our biggest struggle is that they do not come to church.  Please pray that they can have the desire and the means to come!  That would help a LOT!

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen