Thursday, January 29, 2015

Meus Queridos,

Sorry about the e-mail title, lol it's the book that is right next to me on the shelf of a little convenience store inside of walmart. I thought it very moving. (it was Guia de Sobrevivência no Namoro which translates as Survival Guide to Dating)

BUT this week was GREAT! I had one more day in the hospital, from 5 in the morning until 6 in the evening with Elder Silva's kidney stone again, but it passed (we think) so it was my final stop there (we hope). I'll tell you one thing... UGH! It's like the only hospital in the world where they don't let you go back with the person, I had to stay in the outside part! You always see some weird stuff in the waiting part of the emergency room... I'll spare you all the details. Also there was one night that was so COLD!! I had to put on that huge jacket I have and get under a blanket! And the next day I even wore a sweater to the office, for the first time since June!

Anyway, I had a few days with less work to do, but I had to stay with my comp so I was in the office. I ended up reading quite a few talks from BYU speeches, particularly from Elder Holland and President Hinckley. They're just so good at writing! 

It's interesting the things that yall share with me, because I end up with the same impressions. Dad talked about how sometimes God leaves us to ourselves. I read about how no matter how much trust we have in the Lord (which is necessary), we will sometimes be left alone, so that he can see that we really believe in Him even without Him nursing us along every step. Mom talked about Elder Holland, who I have also been reading. Eric sent me a letter that talked about improving one day at a time. This is what I most saw, too. I have a list of 11 attributes that were in a talk by Elder Maxwell, and every week I'll work on another. Last week was humility and meekness, so I lost a lot of arguments. This week is patience, so I am really scared to pray to Heavenly Father for opportunities to develop my patience, haha, there's so much that could go wrong!

BUT the main point that he said is that it's through the Atonement that we can be better, that we can overcome our weaknesses and become perfect. Not even that we couldn't be good without Him, but that we can be even greater with Him.

That's my story. I love yall! Hope everyone is great, thank you for the love and support and emails.

Elder Nicholas Olsen
My team--Santos
"I love you, you idiot"

Dearest loved ones,

I, like Elder Olsen, hate to say it, but this week was a slow one. There's not too much to say - just doing the usual office-y stuff! However, there were a few highlights that I would like to share:

I have been working, recently, on a historical report of the Brazil Vitória Mission for the year 2014. Apparently, the Church keeps really good records - who knew! The report includes a few pages about the policies of the mission - what we focus on, how we work, etc. It also has a part that shows all of the zones, missionaries, and pictures of all of the cities that are currently hosting pairs of missionaries. And at the very end of the report, there is a section reserved for the experiences of missionaries during that year. I was blessed with the opportunity to read about 40 miraculous experiences of missionaries here during 2014 - It really built my testimony. Missionaries told of people that changed their lives completely around to follow Jesus Christ; they told of people that left work and loved ones to be able to follow Jesus Christ; they told of the tender mercies of the Lord. They told of answered prayers, and simple miracles. I sincerely believe that God works a miracle in our lives every day - these experiences taught me that we just need to look for the evidence of His work!

If anybody comes to Brazil and needs a driver's license, I've got your back. This week we jumped through a lot of hoops to be able to get a license for President Young. It required a lot of research, and a lot of trial and error - you know how the DMV is! It's funny - I never thought I would even be able to speak on the phone in Portuguese - but the Lord has blessed me so much with this language! When I started my mission, I wrote in my  journal - "If I ever get to the point of speaking fluent Portuguese, it'll be a miracle." Just one more evidence of the miracles that God works in our lives!

Also, yesterday at lunch I ate a LOT of fried bananas. I think that is my favorite Brazilian food - fried banana da terra. 

But I pray that you all have a good week! That you can recognize the little miracles that the Savior will realize in your life - all you have to do is look! Que a paz seja convosco...

Elder E Olsen

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