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
Monday, November 3, 2014
This is Gerlane. She is one of the elect. She was searching for a church, and recognized the truth that finds itself in the restored church of Jesus Christ. She prayed simply with faith, and God responded that she should follow! And so she was baptized - the first baptism do meu filho Elder B Machado!
Also mom, we experienced some flooding this week.
our apartment building
Elder Mason told me that it reminded him of Star Wars,... some part that I don't remember. But it was pretty exciting and really gross! But the latter half of this week has been pleasantly dry! So I was happy for that.
Jackson and Gleice and their children, Arthur and Ana Clara, are well. They receive so many witnesses that the church is true! They are just a little nervous to get baptized. Of course, as a missionary, that is not what I want to hear... I have already seen people like that before, and they often end up forgetting about the signs and answers that God has given, and giving up on the church. So keep praying for them!
This week, I was struck by 2 things:
1. Our happiness and success in life doesn't depend on our situation, it depends on our attitude! Just like the Nephites in the times of war, we can be happy during times of strife. We just have to recognize the many blessings that Heavenly Father is giving us - even if they aren't necessarily things that we are hoping for!
2. In reading Titus this week, I saw what good example you, mom and dad, have been. Dad, as bishop, you always followed Paul's counsel:
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy,temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
So thank you for that example, always selfless, sober, just, and a wonderful teacher!
He goes on to teach the women: 3 The women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not falseaccusers, not given to much wine,teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
And I immediately thought of my dear own mother.
Thank you both for your examples and love! Also you, Nick, and you, Phil, and Emly also! I love you and I would not be who I am today without the influences of you all.
Elder E Olsen
ps essa semana fiz um bolo. Ainda sou a mesma pessoa :) p.s.mom i got the birthday box this week and the Christmas box and the journal. The journal is SO COOL thank you so much! But do I seriously have to wait to open these boxes?! I think I will have enough patience to not open one, but I won't survive 2 months with 2 boxes staring me in the face..!
This is going to be a long one.
Well family, boa semana! How wonderful to hear from you about the triumphs of this week. Sometimes I wonder if you only talk about the good things and leave out the setbacks and heartaches, and if you do it is really considerate of you. But I have faith that as I am here and doing my part in the work of salvation, the Lord protects you--at least until we get back together!
Dad it is so interesting to see what you had written in your journal! It's interesting to think that at one point you were thinking and doing the very same things as I am doing, even in a cemetery (I'll talk about that later on). And to think about what a mighty man in the Priesthood you have become, even if you don't think so, and that I can have hope that one day I'll get there too. Its interesting to me to note the power and steadiness of you, Dad, and the care and love of you, Mom, and think about our Heavenly parents. It seems to me as if it were a type (is that a word? darn it English really is hard). What I mean to say is like a comparison or an example of how they are, but on a smaller scale. But not very much smaller:)
Então!! BATISMO!!! Alcyr was baptized on Saturday and confirmed. It was great, the Spirit was there, an awesome experience. The first person that I actually found and taught and baptized the whole way through!! And we went there last night to chat a little bit and he said to us the following: "two weeks ago was my birthday, and I was standing right here on this porch and I said 'I think I'm going to change my life.' And so I made that birthday wish... and it really did come true." It was so awesome, I was without words.
This week was so busy! Like a billion things happened! First off we went to a multi zone conference in Goiânia and I ALREADY GOT MY CHRISTMAS BOX ughghghg. The other day the ZLs came to do the interview for baptism, and afterwards they passed in our house. The one ZL tried to convince me to open it for like 10 minutes and finally I got a knife and started to open and everything but in the last second I saw little green and red papers inside and I couldn't do it! hahah but it was super intense. In the meeting, the presidente revealed this new system of levels to help us with our goals. And the ZLs were saying to me " oh yeah its like super inspired and everything" and i was like whatevs. But when the President was explaining everything, I actually felt the Spirit and I knew it was an inspired program! And its like the first time that I felt inspired by the Spirit about something that's not testimony related, so that was cool.
This week was filled with a few lessons that I really felt the Spirit, so that was great. I don't really know how to explain them, but just that the Spirit was with us, I could feel as if our words were plated with more power from on high! We are teaching a lady with 4 kids, its that same family, but the husband is having a lot of problems with alcohol. So pray for them please!
Also I was bit by a dog but I'm okay! don't worry :)
ALSO its mango season finally!! Just like Bryan Austin said, everyone just gives you mangos now haha. Not everyone, but there are a few people in the ward of investigators that gave a ton. Its not my favorite fruit, but its definitely good!
Yesterday was like the day of the dead, so we (all missionaries in Anápolis) went to the biggest cemetery in the city and we sang some hymns and gave out a ton of pamphlets and stuff. I felt like you dad! But...... your choir was probably way better than ours haha. And also there was a huge tent of the Catholics and they did mais ou menos 120000 masses during the day. But it was fun! And it was a change of pace! We got almost 200 references, and from our area there were--wait for it--a grand total of 2!!! haha but its okay. Also I had a really spiritual experience there... actually not at all but it was just funny. Someone called my name ("ELDER!") and i turned around and it was what seemed to be a married couple laughing with another old guy. And so I walked up and asked if I could help and he was like "no I was just saying to him, look at this rapaz bonito! you look like a prince! And just so you know I am NOT gay, but you are bonito!" hahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha oh geez.
Anyway, its looking like I might be transferred. But you don't have to mark my words because I don't really know. But I will go where the Lord wants me to go!!
I love you guys! I know that God is our Father and the He loves us dearly, individually, and fully. Thank you for everything!
Elder Nicholas Don Olsen
PS mom if you're reading somerset maugham you should read Of Human Bondage or Razors Edge one of my teachers said they were really good back in the day