Monday, August 25, 2014

another transfer and a district leader

Dearest family,

Looks like I did something REALLY bad, because I have been sent to the outer limits of the mission! Teofilo Otoni, my new city, is 11 hours by onibus from Vitória. We got on a bus at 9 Tuesday night, and arrived here at 8 am. HOLY COW WHAT A LONG BUS RIDE AGH! But now I have been in another state of Brazil, Minas Gerais! One state closer to you, Nick.

But the city here is great. There are 2 branches here, and ours has a frequency of about 35. Apparently, they have only had 2 elders here in the past - now there are 6! It looks like the Lord has some big plans.

I felt like I had fulfilled my purpose as a missionary last week, as I talked with Roninha in Terra Vermelha before I left. We had started teaching her daughters about the restored gospel too, and she had told us that nothing could stop her from being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ! When I told her that I would be leaving, she started to cry. She even said a prayer at the end that I would be transferred to somewhere close. I was really surprised - she was so grateful that we had brought so much more light into her life.

My new companion is Elder Jacobson. We are twins. Literally. He has a twin in Sao Paulo serving a mission too! Also he can sing well, so we can harmonize - YES - and his birthday is in January, and we are even going to BYU on the same scholarship! We are already good friends. We both want to work hard, and I know good things will happen.

I got the box you sent! It took 6 weeks, on the dot.You'll have to send the Christmas box soon ha ha. All I want is a long letter from everyone there, that is what's best.

I went to church Sunday and we had 2 investigators that we hadn't even met yet - the neighbors of a member. Then last night we went to their house to set up an appointment all together, and they showed some desire to learn more about the church! It really demonstrated to me the importance of members in missionary work. We knock hundreds of doors every week and have no success. But because of a friendship and a desire to share the gospel, the friend of this member  will very likely become a member of the church. Moral of the Story: GIVE REFERENCES!

I love you all and I pray for you always. Keep me in your thoughts - I need the strength. Especially since this city is basically a mountain range!

Much love,

Elder E Olsen

Dear family,

WOW your new couch is SUPER big! How did you even get it to fit haha? I think that's a pretty big accomplishment on its own. I look forward to sitting down and being engulfed by the sea of cushions one day! Also Grandpa is 92? oh louco!

Soooooooooooooo transfer this week! I was transferred to here! Flamboyant! Mesma área! But now I am District Leader Trainer, so I have a district to care for (with sisters... yikes! haha jk they are cool) and a novinho to care for too. Now I know how I was when I was new... a little bit trunky, have to be taught in every aspect of everything... hahaha but he is gente boa, e its not that bad, its just a lot more stuff to think about and worry about.

So I have a super weird... I mean COOL story to tell! This week there was this lady kind of old and crusty (haha) sitting outside her house so we went up to talk with her. Then when she saw us, she started like babbling about how she had a vision of Jesus and all this stuff and she was like "and then... let me see your hand" and so i gave it to her, and she started pulling it in but I resisted BUT SHE WAS TOO STRONG AND...! She kissed my hand!? haha and then she said "and so I sang praise.. can I sing for you?" and I was like sure and so she sung some weird hymn in a really high screechy voice haha it was really crazy.

The members here have been super nice to us lately too. We had dinner 2 times this week (!!!) and also we were just walking and an Irmã pulled up by our side and said "we have a present for you!" and it was an ABACATE COM LEITE pra fazer vitamina (avocado with milk for vitamins)!!! so I was pretty happy about that. Even better one of our investigators Inês went to church and the ward members received her really well! Even better is that... well let me give backstory. We have an activity in our mission called Pegue a Onda (because of a talk by Elder Nelson) which is basically to give the members one day to invite their friends, and then have a church day geared towards visitors, and our Bishop said we can do it! So were gonna do it this fast Sunday, i'm praying that it'll go well.

Don't be afraid to send pics of yourselves too! That one picture of you guys at the temple I liked a lot. I miss you guys a lot and love you a lot, and I always pray for you and all of our family. 

Elder Nicholas Olsen 

with my new companion, Elder Araújo de Bahia


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