Monday, February 2, 2015

Querida família e amigos :)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Transfers.

The best because it is super exciting; the worst because of mind-numbing labor required to ensure that everything goes smoothly! That has been my week. As I looked over my journal entries the past week, every day I said "This week I worked on stuff for the transfers," so it looks like it has been a pretty monotonous week. Although in order to bring everyone to Vitória, we always need to do logistical planning and buy 1,000,000 bus tickets in the bus station. I AM SO SICK OF THE BUS STATION!


So we got pizza to celebrate. And just about spent all the money we have. But it was worth it!

It was a little strange to get to a year as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There is a gratification that comes from knowing that you are spreading eternal truths across the earth, allowing people to make choices with everlasting significance. I read in the Book of Mormon today about the 3 Nephite Apostles that chose to remain on the earth until the Master's Second Coming, preaching the gospel to all ends of the earth. Truly, they understood the necessity of this miraculous work! I am honored and priveleged to represent the Lord Jesus Christ at this time of my life - and it's already ending! I have resolved to savour every moment.

Also, we had a missionary that was supposed to come to ou mission next week, but she never showed up in the training center! Church Headquarters gave me the assignment to contact her leaders and find out what haappened,.. so I spent a good chunk of my week calling Mozambique!

My companion marked his wedding date this week, so that was exciting.

Also, mom, I thought we were supposed to read "Lord, I Believe" this week! I was struck, in Elder Holland's talk, how he says "When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. If we want it as humbly and honestly as this father did, we can get it. The scriptures phrase such earnest desire as being of “real intent,” pursued “with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God.”11 I testify that in response to that kind of importuning, God will send help from both sides of the veil to strengthen our belief." I found it really beautiful - that He will help us. We simply need to have an earnest desire, and a paricle of belief! How dearly He loves us!

OH! And we have a new investigator, his name is Jonas. He has a lot of faith in Christ, and a deep desire to repent and become better. Whenever we teahc him a new commandment, he starts living it. He is starting to pray, and he will go to church with us on Sunday - it is amazing to see how the Lord prepares a way for each person to be prepared to hear the gospel. For Jonas, it was Arthur - the First counselor in the bishopric here. Through Arthur's influence, he came to know about the gospel, and ended up stopping us on the street to know more about the church! People that follow the principles of the gospel of Jessu Christ have a certain light, and others notice. Be a good example! You never know who might decide to follow Jesus becasue of you.

My love goes out to all of you! I hope everything goes well for you all this week - my prayers and thoughts are with you.

Elder E Olsen

Dear family,

 WOOOOH I MADE A YEAR!!! It has really flown by, I feel like it was last week that I was in my first area eating pequi for the first time. It has been a lot of experiences, a lot of people met, a lot of rice eaten, a fair share of discouragement, blessings, prayer, walking, everything. Everything you would want and more.

Also to celebrate we got açaí.

Yeah I think I understand about Julian wanting to stay home haha. When I get home I'll probly just lay down on the carpet and drink a coke. For like 3 hours. BUT I'm not too worried about it yet. Also yes I got the box with the ties, thank you! And I think I will be in the office until March or April but I highly doubt June. Also if you want to send me that book I accept mom!

So this week has been pretty hectic, because of the transfers. Fortunately, as finance sec., I only have to buy the stuff, not plan anything! So it takes very little mental concentration to pass a debit card, haha. But it was awesome when we went to the bus station. We had been there for about 2 hours, tired and annoyed at the slow workers, and President Kuceki was with us to help us buy, since I don't have unlimited money. And all of the sudden he left for like 10 minutes, and came back with Milkshakes for us! And then later on he left again and came back with quarter pounders! Haha he really treats us like his own kids.

Also this transfer we will make another zone, "Zona STAFF"!! And there is only 1 district in zona staff, and I think I might end up being DL! Which would be crazy, keeping up with the whole zone and doing my secretary duties haha. But were not really sure yet.

This week in my studies I realized something that we have all heard a lot: that we learn line upon line, precept upon precept. I had always heard, and at the beginning of my mission I got frustrated because of it. But the more we seek God with earnest heart, the more He sees that we desire it and he will allow us to know Him better. I had been praying a lot and reading a lot of scriptures, and then one day I was just sitting watching a video about Jesus Christ, and I just... felt something! Something difficult to describe. I always thought that just a trite phrase, because people always say "difficult to describe" and then describe it. But I will just leave it at difficult to describe! It was, however, a testimony builder.

Sometimes God doesn't respond our prayers the way we would want. I had been praying to know God and Jesus Christ better, and that's what I got. Which is not really what I had asked for, at least in my opinion, but He knows best what we deserve and what we are ready for. 

Also WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEK! and this is where I'd put in my pic buuuuuuut.. sorry, I forgot my camera.

But I love you guys, you are in my prayers. Have a good week!

Elder Nicholas Olsen

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