Monday, December 16, 2013

Ups and downs- what more can you expect in the life of a missionary?

Hola familia y amigos,

This week has been really good.  We have continued to find new investigators to teach!  The mission is full of miracles!  I love it so much!  We are finding amazing people too.  And we are teaching with unity and the Spirit.

Which leads me to a cool experience we had yesterday.  We taught Angelino for the first time.  We decided to teach him about the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ.  We usually explain what the Book of Mormon is, using the pictures in the front, then we read a scripture that we think they will like, or that is meaningful to us, and then we end reading Moroni 10:3-5 with an invitation to read and pray.  

My “go to” scripture is Alma 7:11-12, but I really felt like we needed to read something from 3rd Nefi 11. Only to find out later, that Hna. Palomino had the same impression.  She knew I was leading the lesson, and I had the Book of Mormon so she didn´t know how to tell me to go to 3rd Nefi 11.  And she figured I would read in Alma 7.  But the Spirit was in charge of that lesson, not us! 

We also had a first lesson with Maricel.  When we got there she was in the shower but her long- time friend and roommate let us in and told us we could wait.  We talked to her for a while and were able to teach both of them about the Book of Mormon. Maricel definitely has more interest, but they both agreed to us returning and are both going to be there when we pass by.

We had a lot of lessons set up for this week, but many of them fell through.  When this happens we always tell ourselves, "Well, at least we have lessons that can fall through"  There were a few weeks when we couldn´t even schedule lessons.

We have had a goal this week, to pray before each of our lessons, something we have both done with other companions, but have forgotten about.  It has made a HUGE difference in our lessons.  I guess, more than anything this week, I have seen the Spirit guide our lessons.  It has been amazing to see the difference a simple prayer before a lesson can make.  I know the Spirit is what converts people, and I am so glad that we have been able to have a stronger presence of the Spirit in our lessons!

So, it sounds like we have been having a pretty good week.  And we have, but we are currently in a bit of a rough patch.  This morning we were notified that the Bolivars are not going to get married anymore.

Long story short we cried a lot this morning and don´t really know how to help them.  I have said some of the most fervent prayers of my life this morning.  And it has payed off.  I was praying, pouring out my heart.  Praying for strength and comfort for me and for them.  And for inspiration.  Obviously Satan has an influence.  God wants them to get baptized and married, Satan does not.  We are not sure what to do to help them, but we are not going to give up on them!  

So, as I was praying I felt strongly that we should read “A Family Proclamation to the World” [see below] with them.  I went to go get it so I could read it through (it´s been a while since I have read it in Spanish) and Hna. Palomino asked what I was grabbing.  I told her, and she said that she also felt very strongly that that was what they needed to hear.  

We are going to pass by, once we finish emailing.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!  I am very worried about them.  My SOUL hurt so bad this morning.  I don´t think I have ever hurt so bad or been so sad.  It still hurts a lot, but we are getting through.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!

But a lot of good things are happening, and we are having faith that everything will work out according to His plan.  The mission wasn´t supposed to be easy.  This week is going to be a lot of fun!  

We have zone conference and the temple on Wednesday.  That night, we are going to a Real Madrid soccer game.  And, some members told us, that it is the BEST game we could have gone to. In the end, the tickets were cheap because they are playing a lower team, BUT it is a tournament game.  Which means, they have to win.  If they do not win this game, they are going to be out of the tournament, and done for the season.  SO, they are going to be playing their best players!  We are so excited for this game.  And, the Hermanas coming from Alcala, have permision to spend the night because president doesnt want them traveling late at night.  

Christmas Eve we have a devotional for us missionaries, by President.  We are then going to Alcala to spend the night with them! 2 sleepovers in just over a week. hahaa.  Who knew the mission was so fun!  Hna. Palomino has recent converts in Alcala and we are spending the day with them, until we go to Skype.  They are from Mexico and I am very excited to eat delicious Mexican food on Christmas!  We visited them once this transfer and they are an amazing family.  I am excited for our plans.

I know this church is true!  I know this work is important.  I strive every day to do better and to share it with more.  I am weak, but He makes me strong!  I NEVER want this to end!  I know my Savior lives and loves me!  What a blessing!

Con amor,
Hermana Olsen

The Family

A Proclamation to the World
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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