Monday, March 30, 2015

Sick :(

There wasn't really much of an e-mail from Eric this week. He was sick all week and finally had to go to the hospital on Saturday because he was dehydrated.  Keep him in your prayers. We are thankful for Sister Daumas in Vitória who kept us informed and let us know he is doing better.
Here is a picture of Eric with his mission president from earlier in the week:

And from Nick:

DAD! FIRST OFF I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU ON SUNDAY!!! (for anyone who doesnt know my dad will be singing before the first general conference session on sunday) I have already talked to my comp and we are gonna do everything possible to be there and watch. As far as presents from Utah, nothing specific, just whatever y'all see fit :)

To let you know about being a ZL, it's great! We have to keep up with all of the people with baptismal dates (which is a lot, but a lot always fall through). And this week we have leadership meeting in Goiânia (yes I'm going back again), so Tuesday and Wednesday I will be traveling. But everyone says leadership meeting is sick so I'm excited. And our zone is the biggest in the mission, I think there are 18 people and it includes the city Itumbiara.

Well I am back in the full swing of it all. Working every day, in the sun... I feel kind of like a novinho again haha but its okay. Fortunately my comp is really cool (he is a mountain man, you have to see his beard before the mission) and showing me the ropes again.

The funniest thing happened this week. We have 2 areas that we are working right now, and one is notoriously good and the other notoriously bad. And we were working in the good area and talking with everyone getting a TON of addresses. We decided to cross the street, LITERALLY just cross the street to the other area, and talk to some people. And every single person on the other side of the street was so bad hahaha nobody gave us their address! It seemed like a TV show.

BUT that's pretty much it. If y'all get the chance, you should watch the "Because He lives" video on the website. At least I think its Because he lives, in Portuguese its Porque Ele Vive. But it talks about Easter and the resurrection of the Savior, how he makes everything possible to us because the greatest of all descended below all things. And I know that's true. Love y'all!


Elder Nicholas Olsen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Working the transfer and getting transferred. March 21 and 23.

Well I am here. In Uberlândia.

And yes the food is better. haha

First off to answer some questions! The trip was good, it was from 10 to 5 in the afternoon. I hadn't really thought about it before getting on the bus, but I had forgotten to bring snacks... in true Olsen fashion, at the pit stop in Itumbiara Elder Silva and I bought a thing of Pringles and 2 bars of chocolate, so it was more like old times. When I got to Uberlândia I left the bus and went to sit down and wait for my comp to arrive, only to realize that I didn't have my camera with me! So after a few hours of chasing after the "Nacional Expresso" workers, the bus came back and I got my camera. The first Miracle of Minas! haha. and my companion is great, hes like 6 foot 5 so that makes me feel a little baixinho, but it's cool. And yes he knows Uncle David's son.

It is a lot colder here, it rains every single day. Not cold enough to merit a coat, or even a long sleeve shirt, haha but still colder than Goiânia!

We are gonna work in 2 areas, Parque do Sabiá and Aurora. I was pretty much overwhelmed by the amount of work, because Parque is a ward that is pretty weak, so there is a lot that we need to do to help out. And that isn't mentioning our work as Zone Leaders, haha! But our zone is pretty well off for now, so I'm not too worried.

I was listening to a talk in church that was really good. The guy served a mission in Vitória, he said he talked to Eric about a lost certificate the other day! Elder Daniel Oliveira, Eric. But anyway, he was talking about Mark 8: 36 For what shall it profit man, if he shall gain the wholeworld, and lose his own soul?
 37 Or what shall man give in exchange for his soul?
And I got to thinking about the second scripture. Think hard, what would we give for our own soul? If it were me I would give pretty much everything. And then I thought, what would I give for the soul of my brother? And it just made me think about how much more effort I could be putting into the work! ITS ETERNITY! We have to do out part.
But anyway, that's pretty much all. BTW, the food here is AMAZING! I told myself I was gonna lose a little weight here but I am realizing that it's impossible. The almoço ontem..... nossa.
Haha love y'all!
Elder Nicholas Olsen
at the top of the office building before leaving Goiania

Dear family,
Nope, I wasn't transferred! I am staying right here in my little air conditioned home. BUT I almost died putting together this transfer, because we got it super late, and it was super extensive, and so it took a super long time. Not that I'm complaining - I liked to be able to work under pressure, aha! But it was stressful, and I am glad it is now over.

One of the reasons that it was so difficult is because there were a few changes in the mission STAFF. My companion Elder Garcia is now training Elder Carvalho, who will be the new financial secretary. He is from São Paulo, and is super new in the mission - he only has 3 months here. He's actually from the first group that I received as secretary! There is also a new assistant - Elder Capawana. When I first heard his name, I thought he must be from Tahiti or something.. but he is from Idaho. In fact, he is from MOSCOW Idaho. Go figure! But we are all getting used to each other. 5 people is a lot for our little house, but that just means we are getting to know each other really well..!

I was very pleased to see that the missionary that I trained, Elder B Machado, began training a new missionary this transfer! Elder Silva.  
Now my mission lineage will continue on :)

Also 3 missionaries lost their flights home! WHAT!!!!!!! After two years, how do you not show up in the airport 3 hours early?! 2 Americans and one Portuguese. could say it was a bit of a problem to work out where they would sleep, get new tickets, etc., BUT we received word that they all got home without other problems. That was such a great blessing - if we hadn't had the Lord's help, it would have taken a lot longer for them to get home. I am so grateful for the role He plays in our work.

We had a baptism on Sunday! MARINA! She is a recent convert's friend, and she is super chique, she is always super happy to see us, and hear about the gospel, and learn more about God. She was a little nervous to be baptized, but thanks to her friend Pamella, she got up the courage to do what she knew was right. And she is always coloring in a coloring book, and sometimes she lets us color too!


I am so grateful for the restored gospel, and that it can pull us through our hardest times. The Lord is so wise, and we can learn from His words in the scriptures. What a blessing this is! What a blessing that Jesus Christ rose from the tomb - what a miracle. I am grateful for the miracles that can happen every day if we are faithful.

until next week,

Elder E Olsen

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Welcome to.....

UBERLÂNDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes my peeps, I will be going to Uberlândia to divide the zone and open up the new one. My companion will be Elder Joe Bennion, I think he said he knows my cousin John Edwards from high school. But Elder Bennion is basically the giant of the mission, practically 6 foot 6, y'all will see on my next email haha with pics.

BUT this time brings me to reflection about these past few transfers. I am really thankful to have had this opportunity to work in the office and learn so much and work close to President. No matter what anyone says, don't believe it: the secretaries work a lot! haha

Dad congratulations! I will be telling everyone here in Brasil that you'll perform, and I'll try my hardest to be able to watch too. So you can sleep sound knowing that your fanbase in South America is pretty big.

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to talk, but I am so thankful for your prayers and love. And I ask continued prayers as I leave my current assignment, companion, and area, and venture into the unknown. But I know that the Lord will protect me in my journeys.

 Have a good week!


Elder Nicholas Olsen

Dear family,

It was a slow week and literally almost nothing happened, but I love you guys so I will give you a little update:

We are teaching the cousin of a recent convert, and the recent convert has a hot dog stand that she makes a hot dog with mayo, ketchup, shredded carrots, beans, corn, hot dog, raisins, and like crushed potato chips. Sounds horrible but it is good!...... until you eat it for a week straight every day!  But the girl's name is Marina, and she believed in reincarnation, but she has progressed a lot and I think she will be baptized Sunday!

Also one of our investigators works in a pizzeria and gave us a pizza haha. We usually only work at night but we went to see them in the morning one day because she was working the whole week at night. So that was shweet!

The worst is not getting emails from anyone, ha ha, but I think that happens with everyone when they get to this point on the mission.

You can bet that I will talk to president about watching music and the spoken word on Easter morning! I don't know if he will let me, but its worth a shot. Actually, I don't even know if he gets BYU TV but I will talk to him. I would really love to hear you sing, dad. I was gonna sing a He is Risen solo in church but I can"t because Easter Sunday is Conference! 

But anyway that's about it. Love you guys. 

Elder Eric Olsen

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New glasses for Eric and an upcoming transfer for Nick

SOOOOOO this week was pretty normal. I know where I am going next transfer!!! But I can't tell yall yet... next week I will.

Our house life is really exciting nowadays, because Elder Sales got a guitar. So I have been learning some Brasilian songs and stuff, just messing around (if you wanna hear one that I like look up "Brincando comigo" by seu cuca). So that has added some flavor to the secretaries' house, haha.

Also I received the packages this week! See in the foto

Last PDay we went to this Mexican restaurant. It was good to have a change, but idk... It didn't really have that same flair that I am used to. What I really want is Phil to make me some mahi mahi with stuffed zucchini... wow.

Yeah but to be honest, it's just kinda weird these days, we are all just waiting for the transfer haha. We did mark a baptismal date with this man, Dalvanilo, for this Saturday. But when we went to teach him, his wife was there for the first time, and she made it plain that she did not approve of this "sect". Nevertheless, Dalvanilo stayed strong in his conviction ("salvação é individual, vou batizar no sábado"), but on Sunday when we called him his wife answered and said that he wasn't going. I just felt so bad, because I know that he believed and that he wanted to go, but wasn't able to. I guess in the end everyone has their agency, but I have hope that one day he will be able to return to what he knew was true.

Knowing the transfer is really weird for me, because I know that there will be a lot of change in my life. But as I meditated on that after finding out where I will go, I had the same feeling that mom and dad described about the temple. The gospel is the same, it is our rock. God and His Son are always there for us, if we seek them in honest prayer. The scriptures are given us to guide us in all things. So even if everything in the world changes, the true gospel will never change. There is absolute truth on the earth.

I love you guys! Thanks for all your support, help, and prayers.

Elder Nicholas Olsen

guarana black (we cant drink coke here, but we can drink guarana black which is like fake coke haha!)

So..... One baptism happened ,the other didnt. Turns out that Eliane's son, Erick, hasn't been batpized yet. There was a miscommunication about the planning of his baptism, and so it was remarked for the 14th. I don't know if I'll be able to go, but I am glad that he will still have the opportunity to make this covenant. It was pretty sad - we went all the way to the chapel to see, and nobody had been notified. We decided to mark it for the 14th, and Erick went home crying because he was so sad! But it will work out.

On the other hand, Leo and Natch were baptized! When we got to the chapel on Sunday, we learned that the whole building was lacking water. Uhh.... we got pretty stressed out! We thankfully found a member who was able to take us all to the next closest chapel, about 20 minutes away, where the missionaries had already filled up the font for us! Nothing can stop the Lord's work.

Dad, since you want to know about how I get to the office: We live about 5 minutes away from the office on foot, so we always just walk. We do our studies at home, and then walk (on a paved road, unfortunately not a dusty one) past a slew of peixarias, past a few chique expensive restaurants, and past a guy that is always selling popsicles, and go up to the 15th floor of the Edifício Enseada Office where we work. 

Also, I got my glasses this week!

But that's about it. I am thankful to know that God is conscious of our personal situations - that he knows how we feel, and hears and answers our prayers. All it takes is a little faith and a little humility, and He can help us out with anything that troubles us. I know it.

Elder Olsen

new glasses

Thursday, March 5, 2015

first week of March

I have been noticing a trend in my brother's email: He always says it is really hot. But I know for a FACT that it is hotter where I am than he is, so... yeah. I won't even explain how much I sweated this week. Let's just say I think I lost 5 kilos just from sweating so much!

Unfortunately, the week was not an exciting one. The best news is that we have 2 baptisms for Sunday: Leo and Natch! I don't know how to spell Natch's name, actually. In English it sounds like Nach, but in Portuguese it could be spelled Nat, Nate, Nath, Natch,... in any case, they are super excited to follow Jesus Christ. They live waayyyyyy up on top of a hill, but it is worth the trek to see their smiling faces. 

Also, today Eric will be baptized! No, not me. My name is Elder. Duh. Eric is the son of Eliane, who I taught and baptized with Elder Cervantes in Vila Velha. Anyway after 6 months she is still going strong (she is a Relief Society teacher! How cool is that!) and her son turned 8 this past week. So today I got permission to head down there and watch the baptism. WOOHOOO! Next stop: The temple! 

The only other thing of note happened yesterday, when Elder Diaz, a new Argentinian misisonary, and I went to register him with the federal police. Turns out that he is illegal.  ...but it's not my fault! He came to the mission without proper documentation. And the experts in São Paulo told me to just go ahead with it. I ended up really really embarassed, and I learned a lot about having patience with myself and others. It was NOT a good time! and he is still illegal. hopefully we get it sorted out!

I watched the Mormon Tab Choir video of "He is Risen" about 1000000 times this week. Yeah, all those views were mine! But I really love one part in the video, where it shows a woman at the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem that can't contain her joy:
Inline image 1
I hope that when the Savior makes His triumphant return to the Earth, that I be as this woman: Unable to contain my smile. Brimming with joy at the triumph of the Master, Jesus Christ, over death and hell. He is Risen! What glorious truth! I am honored to be his representative and His servant here on the Earth. I love Him, and am indescribably overjoyed at the reality of His "vitória" over the grave. 

Que possamos lembrar dele essa semana, e mostrar o amor Dele para todo mundo!

Elder Eric Olsen
This week was... well to be honest it was kind of forgettable! Between keeping up with my district and my financial obligations and trying (unsuccessfully, i might add haha) to find the elect, I don't even have time to write in my journal, let alone take pics! It is rough!

BUT something great happened. We had a multi zone conference this week with President Kuceki after President had gone to a mission president conference in São Paulo. (also Pres. Kuceki said that he talked to Pres. Young and they decided that they would arrange for me and Eric to go home on the same flight WOOOOOOH!!) He decided to do something that Pres. Costa had done, the president of the Brasil area. So we all opened up 3 Nephi 17 and he read it to us, at times pausing or explaining something to us better. And by the end the Spirit was so strong, it was amazing. It seems to me that when I feel the Spirit, the air seems to thicken, to turn into a nice mousse de maracujá. Haha but sem brincadeira, the spirit was so strong, and after the closing prayer instead of everyone getting up and starting to converse, everyone just kind of stayed there in their seats quietly, trying to get a snapshot of that moment in their mind. Trying to carry that spirit with them for the rest of the day, or the week, or remember it for a lifetime. I know I will.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. No wicked man would write such a book as this, and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and that He lives. I wish I could carry that spirit with me forever! its things like that that keep me going.

I wish I could say more, but I'm just in the correria this week. I love you guys!


Elder Nicholas Olsen