Monday, June 24, 2013


Hola familia y todos,

This week has been good.  A bit stressful, but really really good.

Let me start of by saying we had 4 baptisms this week!  A family, a grandmother and her 3 teenage grandchildren, were baptized this week.  I do not know them well, I was only there to teach them the last few lessons, but I sure love them.  They are a great family with faith in the true church.  I am so happy for them.  Their baptism was really special and amazing.  The spirit is sooo strong at baptisms.

I have started doing intercambios [exchanges] with other hermanas as part of my responsibility.  They are really fun to do.  I LOVE getting to know all the Hermanas in the mission.  I learn a ton!

We have been really busy this week meeting with all of our investigators and trying to help them progress.  My faith has been growing sooo much lately. We have so many investigators with sooo much potential.  They just have one major thing that keeps them from baptism.  But I am trying to have more faith in them and in the Lord that things will work out and I can be His instrument in helping them overcome their challenges.  I know that all things are possible with Him, I have seen miracles day after day.

This week has been hard, because we have been super busy and I have started doing the intercambios.  I am trying to train and have a really good area because I have been asked to be an example and have a good area, but it is so hard when I am leaving every week.  We have been so busy, I have not had time to train my trainee very well.  We haven´t had time to do studies a few days this week.  I am trying, and this is something I am going to focus on more, but I just have felt like a really bad trainer this week.  Which is a flop from last week where I felt guidance every step.  Dont get me wrong, I still feel this guidance, just this week was a little harder.  I am so greateful that every day is a new day and we can try and do better.

Today, we went to Segovia.  We saw an ancient aqueduct and a cathedral, and a castle.  It was the best P-day of my mission.  Because we were in a touristy part of Spain, we ran into many americans.  It was fun to talk to them all.  I hadn´t heard that much English in a really long time!  Everything was so beautiful.  It is probably my new favorite city in Spain.  And we went with a group of about 20 hermanas.  It was sooo fun!  We spent the whole day there exploring the city and loving Spain.

I don´t have my camera cord, but pictures of Segovia will come next week!

I LOVE you all, and hope you are doing well!  This church is true and the way for sooo much happiness!  I LOVE it!  I LOVE it all!

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

Monday, June 17, 2013

La mano del Señor (The hand of the Lord)

This picture is of us waiting for the bus, I really like it because I am laughing my head off.  I don´t remember why, but I like the picture!

Pictures from the P-day activity: waiting for the bus, on the bus, me and a few hermanas, all the Hermanas, the whole mission (those that came) .

Hola familia y amigos,

This week has been absolutely AMAZING.  Maybe the best week of my mission.  I have felt guidance every step of the way as I train a new Hermana and take care of everything else.

First off, my companion Hermana Seastrand is from Holiday UT and she is just started her 3rd transfer in the mission. Her Spanish is pretty good for only having 2 transfers, but she definitely is still learning.  Mija (my daughter) is Hermana Manner. She is from Rexburg Idaho and was visa-waiting in the Provo mission so she actually has 4 weeks in the mission and a few days here.  She came in on Thursday.

So far things are going really well.  We have been very busy.  Monday and Tuesday me and Hermana Seastrand planned on how we wanted to train and got the piso ready for a third member.  We only had 2 beds!  On tuesday we found out that she wasn´t coming until thursday and that Hermana Seastrand is not co-training with me.  I am the only trainer.  But she helps me in a lot of ways, so I don´t feel alone.  Sometimes it is hard though, because I feel like I still need to help her improve and there are things that I only can do...

We get along really well.  They are both really wonderful Hermanas.  Hna. Seastrand is almost 22 and Hna. Manner is 19.  Vallecas is a great area, and we have a lot of people to visit.  We have 2 baptisms on Saturday.  It is a grandmother and her 3 grandchildren, but the elders team teach with us and so they are having 2 baptisms and we are having 2 baptisms.  One thing the Lord has really blessed me with is a big and always expanding heart.  I miss the friends I made in Barrio 6, but I fall in love so easily with the people here!  

We are also working with Justino.  He has had a baptism date 2 times, knows everything, but just doesn´t feel ready to be baptized.  We met with him twice this week and tried to help him understand that he is ready, but he just doesn´t feel it. So we are going to go through the lessons with him again, and keep him coming to church and just be pacient.  We cannot force him if he does not feel ready.  We keep praying for him. and I think he will be ready soon.  Mostly he wants to go to church more.

Hernan is a recent convert who is very shy and struggling.  It is hard to help him because I understand him the best, but he doesn´t know me so he doesn´t want to open up to me.  I am trying to gain his trust, and he is starting to open up.

Montes is from Senagal and he has a baptism date because he prayed and got an answer, but he is moving and progressing slowly so we will probably have to change it.  He doesn´t speak the best spanish so it is kind of hard to teach him.

The ward is a little smaller, but still a good size.  We teach piano (mostly hermana Seastrand) and english classes on wednesdsays and we have ward Noche De Hogar [Family Home Evening] wednesday nights.

This week has been a little stressful, because I have started training, and there are advantages and disadvantages of training someone that is not brand new.  Good is that she knows some spanish, and she can participate a bit more.  The hard part is that I don´t know exactly how to finish her training. She has almost a transfer in the Provo mission and so technically she would finish training this transfer, but she only had 4 weeks of training and so I don´t know how to catch up the last 8 weeks of training in 5 weeks.  But I asked President what he wants me to do.

It has also been a hard week, because when transfers took place, I became the only Hermana Leader in the zone.  The Ayudantes (APs) said they were going to change the zone or call another Hermana in my zone to do all the intercambios [exchanges] with me.  I never heard back from them, and so I was stressed that I was going to be alone in the zone to do all the intercambios by myself.  Finally I called the ayudantes this morning and they told me who the other Hermana Leader is.  So we didn´t do anything with that this week.  Next week I will probably start doing the intercambios.  I hope so, there are a lot of Hermanas in our zone.  If we are going to do intercambios with all of them, we need to get started!

Okay, as crazy as this week was, it was also SO INCREDIBLE.  God is guiding me and using me to be His representative.  I HAVE THE GIFT OF TONGUES. My Spanish has improved and I can understand and communicate like never before.  Not perfectly, but beyond sufficient to talk with the people and help them resolve their doubts.  Scriptures that I want to share come to my mind and the words to say and everything that goes into a good lesson just comes together.

I have also been guided as I train Hermana Manner and help Hermana Seastrand.  Thoughts of things I can do to stretch them or include them in a lesson come so readily. Also, God has given me peace to lead.  I have had to do many things this week out of my comfort zone.  We had to go to a part of Spain about 40 minutes by metro that I had never been to and find the place where Hermana Manner could get her monthly metro pass.  We went and got there a little early and everything worked out really well.  

Today we also had to get legal in Vallecas.  Whenever you move you have to get registered in the new city.  It is kind of annoying and I was a little worried about understanding all the legal things that we have to have, but we just needed to fill out the paperwork and have identification. And I understood every word the lady spoke to me.

My faith has grown so much this week.  I think to myself, if God can help me teach a lesson, call random people, understand Spanish, have the confidence to travel unknown parts of Spain, and help 2 young hermanas, what else am I capable with through His help?  Why can´t I set my limits higher, why can´t He help me do more?
Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

Monday, June 10, 2013

Amazing people

All the B6 missionaries on my last night in B6...
Our last night as B6 hermanas. I am the only one leaving.  Not the best quality of pictures but I like the one where we are trying to jump.  We had the picture on timer so it was really hard to know when to jump!

Me and Elder Pizarro, my district leader.

Me and David. One of my African friends in the park!

 Singing in the park and saying good bye to people.
 Natalie is in our ward and would help us in lessons.
Me and Vicente.  she cried when I said good bye.  I almost did too.
My filipino family.  They helped us a ton with Gener and our lessons with him. And they always fed us the BEST food.  Ryan, 18 years old, is like the filipino version of Keith. To the T.  I found a brown version of my brother. hahaaaa.  They need to be best friends.  They have very similar personalities and are super coool.
Gener, our Filipino friend

 Pictures from after the temple.
 The cultural dinner. All the Hnas. have matching skirts!  All the Barrio 6 missionaries as well.
Me and Hna. Munden in the park
The mission activity in the mission home.  
 All the Hnas. who have 10 months.  We entered the MTC together and will go home together.

Hola Familia y todos!

This week has been good, but pretty uneventful.  I ought to start with transfers.  

Today starts a new transfer.  I have been transferred to Bario 8 in Vallecas.  It is not a far move, and we share the same capilla (chapel).  I will be companions with Hna. Seastrand who just finished her second transfer in the mission.  And we will be Co-training.  I´m having a baby!  I am having an Hija!  Por fin!  

I am nervous to train, especially since I will be lead trainer, and I may have to help my other companion as well.  She just finished being trained so she is not being trained, but she is still very young.  But more than anything I am excited.  I know God will help me.  I know I do not have to be a perfect trainer, but that I can be the perfect trainer for her.

So tomorrow, Hna. Seastrand and I have a trainer meeting and then we will pick up our new companion.

This week we found a lot of new people.  We went through the area book and the phone book and called a bunch of people if we didn´t know them or if we thought they had potential.  We have had many say no or call me in a few days (which usually but not always means no) but we have also had several meet with us.

We had to go to Aluche to get the residency card of Hna Munden this week.  I HATE Aluche.  It is a waste of time, but necessary.  It takes hours waiting in line to get the card.  We went on Wednesday and the line was so long, we did not have time so we left and went again on friday.

Friday, we had a ward activity.  We had a cultural dinner.  The missionaries made food from the United states (sloppy joes), Norway, Italy, and Andalucia (southern spain).  Members had food from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, and mas.  The point of the activity was missionary work.  Members were only supposed to come if they brought a non-member or if they brought a less active.  Our mission leader said we had 12 less actives and a decent amount of non-members.  We had 2 of our investigators come.

It was a good turn out too.  We had just enough food to feed our guests.  Not one missionary got to eat, but that is okay.  We started the activity by watching the 20 minute restoration video. It was really good!

I LOVE you all, and am very excited for the upcoming transfer.  But I am starting my new position as Hermana Trainer and I am training so extra prayers in my behalf would not be missed! LOVE YOU ALL.  This is the true church.  I know it and I cannot deny it.  Rather, I must tell everyone I can about it!

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen