Monday, January 13, 2014

A good week!

A cute little mexican girl.
Christmas sleep over.
A pair of shoes I DESTROYED!  I tossed them a few weeks ago.
Me and Elder Cloward.  He was my zone leader for the past 5 transfers.  He is now in Cuenca, south of Madrid.
Me, Hermana Palomino, Elder Williams, and Elder Lloyd.  Elder Williams got transferred to Leganés, my first area.

Below:  The Real Madrid Game!
The sandwiches were us being super spanish.  All the other people were doing it. haaha.
This one was just for kicks and giggles.  After all, I was still a missionary!
My nativity that I bought

P-day today

Hola Familia y amigos,

We have had a wonderful week here in Barrio 1.  Dare I say we saw miracles?  Because we sure did!  I talk about miracles every week, but I am noticing more and more that as I look for them and work hard, they are so easy to see.

We taught a lot of lessons this week.  And we continue to find so we hope to start teaching more and more. We still are not teaching a ton of people, but we have some people that are really solid.  We have been struggling lately to teach second lessons, but we have started having more of those and even third lessons with a set appointment for a fourth.

We taught Andre the restoration.  Everything was going really well and my companion turns to me and asks if I will say the first vision.  I started to say it, slowly and powerfully.  I got through the first little bit, and could NOT remember the rest.  That hasn´t happened to me since the MTC.  It was super weird but my companion just swept in and said it.  I felt bad, but I was blessed with understanding that I don´t need to be perfect.  The lesson was still really good and I was able to bear powerful testimony at the end.  

We have been working a lot with our Relief Society president to find less-actives.  I don´t know if this is a problem in the U.S. but it is a HUGE problem here.  People move or go less active and nobody knows who they are or gets their records changed.  We have been doing this for the past 2 transfers and most of the people have moved 8+ years ago.  We found one this week that had died 5 years ago.  That was an awkward conversation with the deceased lady’s husband.  Oh mission life!  So we have been helping her clean up the ward list, at least in Relief Society.

We tried really hard to get our investigators to church this week.  That is something I have struggled with my whole mission.  Sunday morning I was calling our investigators and reminding them about church.  None of them were able to come, and that made me sad, but I was happy because I really tried to get them.  And we will try again next week.  I feel like some of them are so close to coming.

Church was good though, our recent convert, Dantel, blessed the sacrament.  He is 27, but in many many ways me and Hna. Palomino feel like he is our son.  It is super funny.  We joke about how we have to find him a wife.  Sometimes when we go contacting we tell ourselves that we are looking for a girl that could join the church and make a good wife for him. hahaa.

We went to a birthday party this week. Sebastian Amulek (I don´t know his last name...) turned 1.  It was the biggest birthday party I have ever seen.  presents and food, and balloons.  A huge poster of the baby’s face.  It was intense.  They even hired a clown. The birthday boy spent most of the party sleeping.  I guess it is very much part of the Latin culture though to celebrate the first birthday.

I have been asked what weird things I have eaten on the mission, and I´ve never known what to answer, but this week I figured it out.  Last night, we taught our family, The Bolivars, and they always feed us after.  Last night, they fed us cow liver.  And I was thinking about that and I remembered that New Years Eve when we had that one comida, we ate a soup with a chickens foot in it.  Not bad stuff.  I didn´t like either, but it was not bad.

Today, we went to Alcobendas.  2 of my favorite hermanas are serving there.  Hermana Hansen (I hadn´t seen her in 4ish months) my norwegian companion and Hermana Aagard, an amazing hermana that I just really love a lot.  We just went shoping with them and the mission Presidents wife came, because they serve where she lives basically.  It was super fun.

I´m working really hard to be a better missionary.  I want to end stronger than I have  ever been.  If I have learned one principle of the Gospel it is perseverance.  It is so important to keep going.  Every day I try to be my best and improve on what I did the day before.  I am not perfect, but I try and I remember that I can have another go tomorrow!

I know this Gospel is true.  I say it every week, but I mean it more and more every time I say it.  My testimony has been strengthened so much over the past 17 months.  I know these things are true.  I know it with all my heart.  I know it more than I ever have.  It is incredible to me.  And it gives me so much joy.  And I can share it with others!  The mission really has been the best time of my life.  It doesn´t compare to anything else I have ever done.

Con Amor,
Hermana Olsen

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