Monday, November 18, 2013

Another great week

Way out of service, not just a little bit?  It means the Via is out of service like the way or the path, the track.  But we thought the translation was funny!

P-day today!  We had a HUGE goodbye party for Hna. Blodgett.  A good 50-60 missionaries came.
Me and Hna. Blodgett (long brown hair)
 Me and my hija Hna. Okeefe (blue blouse)
Me and Hna Aagard (with the scarf)
 We have had a lot of rain this week and Hna. Palomino´s umbrella got stuck as we were walking.
Wrapped in the tinfoil is a giant and delicious burrito that we went and got with the B5 hermanas and elders for medio dia one day.

Hola familia y amigos,

Things have really started picking up this week.  We are working a lot with less actives, but we are teaching more!  

We also started teaching a lady that the other hermanas had been teaching.  Her name is Karmen and she is from the Dominican Republic.  She is good friends with a Hermana in our ward, and so we are working with her to teach Karmen.

We still haven´t been able to see Dantel´s aunt, but he introduced us to one of his friends.  We gave her a tour of the church, and are going to meet with her again hopefully tomorrow.  Dantel is amazing, he keeps sharing the gospel and bringing people to church!  He was out of town this weekend, baptizing his friend, but hopefully with him coming back, he can help us get in touch with his aunt.

The Bolivar family are doing well.  We are so excited to work with them and help prepare them for baptism!  And they have such love for missionaries.  They have known quite a few and have such love for all of them.  They ALWAYS feed us.  If I end my mission in this area (It´s quite possible) I might come home a little chubby (ok that´s probably an exageration) cause they feed us 2 or 3 times a week in this area.  I LOVE it.  The food at least.  It is soooo yummy!

We are doing intercambios tonight.  I am staying in Barrio 1 and the Hna. Leader Trainer is coming to visit our area and work with me.  Last week, Hermana Palomino went to work with her in her area.  I guess she wants to do intercambios with both Hermanas and see our area.  I never did it like that.  But she is the only Hna. Leader and I had another one.  Still, this will be my second intercambio with an Hna. Leader since being one myself.  It is super weird.  But the Hermana, Hermana cabellero is AMAZING.  She is Spanish and absolutely wonderful.  I am really excited to spend all of tomorrow with her.

On Thursday we have zone conference.  After, we are doing intercambios with the hermanas in Villalba.  Just north of Madrid.  Hermana Blodgett (I was companions with her for a week in Leganes) goes home this transfer and she started her mission in Barrio 1 so we got permission to do an intercambio because people here really want to see her.  She taught the Bolivar family as well.  So, I am going to Villalba.  I am so excited to do an intercambio out of madrid.  You can google Villalba, cause all I know it is north of madrid.  But I am stoked to get out of madrid.  I LOVE the city, but I have always wanted to see what it is like out of madrid!

Chruch this week was FANTASTICO!  We had 2 less actives come to church!  One, a 12 year old and we went and picked him up.  We are teaching his sister and want to do everything we can, even if it means picking him up, to get him back to church so that he can be a good example to his sister.  And we want him to receive the priesthood.  

Let me tell you he is no normal 12 year old.  He is so kind and so good.  I don´t know how to explain it, but he listens to us and really has the desire to go to church, but as the only member of his family, he is not going to go by himself.  We are working with the Young Mens leader, he was SO happy to see him in church yesterday, so hopefully he can pick him up future sundays.  

Our other less active, is an hermana that we visit every week, and their family seem super active.  They comment on the scriptures we share and pray really well and talk about how they are doing noche de hogar [Family Home Evening], but they don´t come to church.  And although only the mom came, it was good to see her there!

Relief Society was really good too.  We had a few minutes to talk about the importance of missionary work.  We talked about how we needed the Hermanas help, shared Heleman 6:3 and sent around a list asking for hermanas willing to help and when they are available.  I do this in almost every area, and about 3 people will sign it.  We had 20 some sign it!  Now we just need to find people to teach so that we can have these wonderful hermanas accompany us!

And that is our biggest struggle.  We are finding people who say they are willing to meet with us, but this WHOLE transfer, the only people we have begun to teach is Karmen and we have the potential of Dantel´s aunt and his friend.  But as hard as we try to find, we are not having much success.  And it is hard, because we spend a lot of time trying to visit less actives and they live out in the middle of know where so we can´t always find on the way.  

I am also, though, having a hard time talking to people.  I don´t know why, but this whole transfer it has been really hard for me to talk to people.  I will get all nervous and scared as people pass me on the street.  Prayers that I can open my mouth and talk to people, whether they be nice-looking Latins, or stern-looking Spaniards would be nice.

(The steryotype in the mission is that Latins are worth talking to, and Spaniards aren´t as much.  and I think that is making it hard, because I have always had more success teaching Latins.  But spaniards deserve the gospel too.  They are usually the rude ones who harshly turn us down though, so I think it is hard for me to talk to them.  But I want to overcome this!  I use to be able to do it!!!)  And prayers that we can find people who really want to listen and who will progress.  

Even though this has been one of the hardest transfers of my mission, (I have never found it difficult to find people.  We could at least fill our days with people who would meet with us once or so) it has been so rewarding.  There are little miracles that we see all the time.  The members need a lot of help to share the gospel and work with us, but I think they have great potential and desire.  And they sure love us.  We are well taken care of here.  

This is the last week of the Transfer, and I want so badly to be here for Christmas.  Actually I want to end my mission here.  Yikes, I said it!  I hope I am not jinxed now!  I feel like I could make these people my home.  I feel so much love for them, and I don´t really know them that well yet.  I LOVE how we can find joy and happiness even when times are hard!  Even in our trials, we can see miracles!  God is always there to bless us.

I LOVE this gospel, and I KNOW it is true!  The Atonement is real.  I know I need to work hard and do my part, but I know I can change and be better every day.  I know I can work to progress and turn my weaknesses to strengths.  I might fall a hundred times or so, make the same mistakes more than once, but I can get back up and start another day.  I can communicate with my Heavenly Father and tell Him what I am struggling with, and what I am trying to do.  Then together, we can make it happen!  I can always repent and strive to do better.  I am learning so much about the importance of persevering hasta el fin.  I CANNOT speak English sometimes.

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

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