Nick and I are serving two year missions in different parts of Brazil! He is in Goiânia, and I am in Vitória. This blog contains our emails home, in which we describe the work that we are engaging in. Email us! email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
a hard week
First from Elder Eric Olsen: Dear family,
Because we are all irmãos em Cristo, right? So we are all family!
This week was a little discouraging. When I opened my mission call and saw that I was headed to Brazil, my first impression was - WOW this will be easy. I had no idea how hard a mission could be, and no idea how many people would reject the truth when it was placed, perfectly wrapped up, enticingly glistening and entirely explaining the history of the universe, right in front of them.
I guess that is a good thing - when we feel that longing for people to accept the truth, and that sorrow when they don't want to. It means we are acting like the Savior - we are FEELING as the Savior would feel. Truly He, more than any of us can comprehend, wants the best for every one of us. But just like Him, we can only present the truth. We can only give this opportunity, better than anything else in the world, to our friends, family, and others that we meet. And the rest is up to them.
I feel like Nephi - his tears watered his pillow by night because of the iniquity of his people. No, I don't cry literally. But my worry is great. My sorrow because of the heardheartedness that I experience.
And as I have thought, one thing could fix it all. The subject of the prophets last talk says it all, the first and great commandment in the law - love. A love of God brings us to repent and follow him. A love of knowledge allows us to understand just how everything in Gods plan fits together.
Just turn to the Lord. Accept the love that He has for you. And do what you can to serve.
And help the missionaries!
Elder Eric Olsen
PS sorry that this has no content about my week, but nothing happened, nobody was baptised, nobody went to church,... just a lot of climbing up hills!
And from Elder Nick Olsen:
Wow that Portuguese was perfect dad! At least I think it was.. haha.
Mas hola pessoal! Infelizmente I forgot my planner to come here today, so I don't have my guide of things to share... but oh well I will try.
First off, BATISMO!!! haha just kidding actually, opposite. This week we worked super hard, contacting todo mundo and challenging to baptise (that's like the mission thing now) but unfortunately NOBODY went to church. And a maioria of people will give a reference, but when we go there they don't want to hear a message. So they're trying to be nice maybe but it just ends up wasting our time.
SO the work is really hard here but we are working até o pó! Also congrats on 31 years of marriage minha nossa that is a lot of time! I try not to think too much about home because I get trunky BUT sometimes I do think about you guys and how much I took you for granted, you really did everything I would want and more as parents. And I will take you out to a restaurant when I return! And by that I mean I will drive and you can pay :) hahaha
But anyway so I read this talk that was floating around in our house from like 1980 by Pres Monson about visiting widows. And then the next day we found this lady (na verdade I dont know if she was a widow but it looked like it) and we taught her and gave her a blessing for health and stuff. So I was really grateful for that experience, just imagining that if I hadn't been there in that moment maybe she would never receive priesthood service assim.
Also yeah we actually have people to play the piano here other than me! So that's pretty cool. My comp is pretty cool, he's really funny and so I'm learning more about what brazilians think is funny haha. What's annoying about here is its all bars and churches, bars and churches. So you talk with 10 people on the street: 1 accepts to hear a message, 3 are drunk, and 6 are crentes (firme evangélicos). tudo bem, né?
Basically what I do for language study is read the BOM in portuguese out loud, because I haven't finished yet, but I like reading the Liahona too. Like you said, it has other vocab fora de "evangelho" and "sacerdócio" haha.
So I have actually been a little frustrated this week. Realmente, nós trabalhamos com todo força que temos, mas terminamos a semana sem resultados. ( Really we worked with every strength we had but with no results).But i read in the Book of Mormon about Alma in Alma 31. And so he's all depressed because the Zoramites are wicked, so he says this long prayer asking for strength and patience and success. And in the last verse it says, "he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ." and I thought about that. The only sure way that these afflictions, or any afflictions, will go away, is through a testimony of Jesus Christ. Because in the end, I know that He already suffered more than this, and in the end, I know that I am doing this for Him. So that is my spiritual thought, in the name of... haha just kidding. But really Jesus has to be our Rock (helaman 5:12...? I think)
I love you guys so much. Thank you for the prayers, for everything that you do for me. I couldn't have gotten to this point without you. I pray for you all the time, and hope you are well.