Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 7th

Here is an e-mail from Elder Nick Olsen!

Well well well, another week passed by. The days drag on forever in the hot Sahara sun but the weeks fly. Oh wait, I'm in Brasil, ehh whatever!

This week I had the opportunity... actually the obligation to get really trunky because of the 4th of July. Not that we did anything to celebrate, but I just got to thinking what I great country the USA is, and singing "Its America" by Rodney Atkins in my head, stuff like that.

Haha so this week unfortunately I dont have a ton of news. I will explain it like this: in the numbers that we keep track of, there is one category called "contatadas". So this is when we already received a reference, and either teach a lesson to them for the first time or visit them enough times and they're not there and we mark out their name OR visit and they don't want to receive us more. And the standard of excellence for contatadas (the standard is always really high, like 3 baptisms per week or something) is 30. And this week we had (drumroll!) FIFTY CONTATADAS!! So basically it was just walking in the hot hot sun to a billion houses that had nobody in them. Needless to say I got a little bit depressed. No, not so much depressed as exhausted. I just had the urge to sit, and not get up until a robot missionary had been invented to carry me or something. 

And then I went to church on Sunday, and after 4 people confirming that they would go the day before, we didn't have any investigators there. And after a semana like that, where you just work your legs off, without any results, it gives vontade to give up. I was even thinking to myself "darn it, I don't have any good spiritual experiences to share with my family." Fortunately, the Lord knew my needs in that moment. It was testimony meeting, but I've never had a really great experience in testimony meeting here. But 95% of the testimonies brought the strongest spirit to me in that sacrament meeting. It wasn't that the speakers were very eloquent, that they spoke with power, or even that they spoke with animation. One lady spoke just like a robot haha. But the spirit that was there was unmistakable, accompanying simple testimonies of Jesus Christ and of God's plan. 

Also I liked what you included in your email. Sometimes as missionaries we get caught up in the baptisms or the leadership, but to me,as long as I am doing my part and working diligently and have the desire to help others, I am successful. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself... haHA!

But I love you! Sorry that I dont have a ton of exciting news today but thats life! I wasnt transferred and Elder Vicente will stay here with me one more transfer. Thank you for always giving a testimony and an encoraging word. 

Elder Olsen

During the Brasil game

                                                          A beautiful sky showing God's love for us

Here is one from Elder Eric Olsen:

I am overloaded with Brazil. Not only because this week was the 4th of July -so I was already craving America - or that there was a Brazil futebol jogo, but because we had 2 Brazilian zone leaders in our house for 4 DAYS! So much brazileiro, so much futebol talk, but I love it!

This week we spent most of our time trying to get baptismal interviews with the people that we have been teaching, and the people that the Sisters in our district have been teaching too. So,.. we didn't do much teaching, and we didn't do much of anything but walk/jog from one side of the area to the other.
AND none of our investigators got baptized. Fortunately, 2 of the Sisters´ investigators got baptized! So there are two more than can be exalted on high :)

I feel like the Lord showed me a tender mercy this week, too. When the sisters were all happy conversing with their recently baptized people, and my companion was off on official business, I was feeling like I haven't done anything of note or made any impression on anyone during my time here. I entered a room in the church where two women were talking. They asked me a question about the gospel, and I replied. At my reply, they both smiled at me and one said - This boy is just made of gold. Everything he says is perfect - a great missionary. I'm not trying to brag, seriously, but to show that as we act in the way that the Savior would, as this sister did, we can really touch the lives of others. I went away happy!

Yes, I watched the Brazil jogo this week. and yes, my ZL asked me to make brownies for him, and I happily complied.

We had a few people that almost get baptized, but I am just happy that they are progressing. Also there is this couple that really wants to join the church - it is cool to see that some people are just actually prepared and ready aand EXCITED! Unfortunately they still have to get married, and it will take another month and a half,.. but as long as they come unto Christ in the end, I am happy.

Also, I will be transferred Wednesday. I don't know where or with who. SO its a cliff hanger! Next week I'll let ya know how its going with my new companion!

Thanks for everything and love you all. You are always in my prayers.

Elder E Olsen

The editor is adding a sweet tribute to Elder Olsen from a friend in Colatina. He has been transferred to Vitória.

Hoje vai embora um grande amigo..... Elder olsen grande missionário....jovem doce e com o desejo de levar o evagelho de Cristo a todos. ... amamos vc obrigada por seu trabalho ak em Colatina
... ate mais
 — with Elder Eric Olsen.
Today leaves a great friend ... Elder Olsen a great missionary ...young sweet and with the desire to bring the Gospel of Christ to all. We loved you thanks for your work in Colatina... (Translated by Bing)

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