Tuesday, April 28, 2015

You could say it was a slow week. We ended up climbing the hill on Saturday, and it was super hot. So I apologize for being ridiculously sweaty in this picture. And it was kinda dangerous haha but it was really worth it! You could see the whole city and the whole ocean, and it was a fun thing to do together before Elder Garcia goes away. I will miss him a lot.

And I made cinnamon rolls! They turned out good, not great. I just don't have the baker woman's touch, mom. But I ended up having to get up at 5 to make them, so that they could rise, and then rise again, etc. I felt like dad on thanksgiving day, haha!

We have very few investigators, and it's looking pretty bleak - this week was difficult because we were preparing things for the transfer. We will probably have to come in tomorrow, as well. :/ but a woman stopped me on the street, and told me she had lived for 10 years in Florida, and that she wants to go to church with us! So we will see how that goes. We are also still working with Luiz Felipe, the boyfriend of a member, but he is a little nervous about the lifestyle change. Pray for him to have courage!

Also one day this week I got super upset. I always tell my investigators that when they feel the urge to do something wrong, they need to pray and ask for help. And so instead of fighting or voicing my anger or anything, I took my own advice. It was really interesting - as I prayed, the Lord changed my thoughts. He helped me to understand my situation - why and how it had happened, and how I could react. I had been REALLY riled up, but He calmed me down. It was one more testimony for me that as we submit ourselves to the Lord and are humble, he can change us - our words, our thoughts, and ultimately our actions.

Shout out to Francisco Zeballos - I know you are reading this!

Elder Capawana is going home this week, together with a bunch of people that I love... Elder Knudson also, who helped me out a ton when I first got here to the mission... I will miss them. Each transfer it gets a little harder to see people go home! Next transfer Elder Johnson will go home too.... AGH. I hate saying goodbye!

I know the Lord lives and directs this work. This week we showed a few of the videos on lds.org to an investigator, and we could see (and feel) the spirit working in her, helping her to realize that she can come even closer to Christ! The Lord truly ddirects this work.

uma ótima semana,

Elder Eric Olsen
Climbing the hill

Welcome to..........

But yes, I was transferred. We got the call yesterday, looks like Joe B. (Elder Bennion) and I will be going together to another area in the center of Uberlândia! I am pretty excited. This area was really hard, but I learned a lot. I hope I accomplished what the Lord wanted me to do here in Parque do Sabiá. To be honest, though, I kinda knew that I would be transferred. I mean, they told me I had to shut down the house and terminate the contract... so it was pretty obvious haha.

This week is sad though, because one of my great friends Elder Brooks is going away. I'm happy for him though, hes been trunky ever since November! hahah!

I am learning every day to love Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon more. Before the mission, I just had a consequential testimony of Joseph Smith, because I believed in the BoM. But really, he was such a great man! And we obviously don't worship him, only Jesus Christ. But to believe in Christ we HAVE to believe in him as a prophet, seeing as he was the first prophet of this glorious and last dispensation! haha I am learning a lot from my comp as you can see.

BUT that's pretty much all, it has been a slow week. This week we are gonna work que nem loucos!!!!!!!!!! I love yall!


Elder Nicholas Olsen

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This week I had a revelation. And when I say I had a revelation, I mean that President told me a secret. He said "Elder Olsen, I can't imagine anyone else as the Executive Secretary. You're going to stay next transfer." But SHHH! It is a secret still! Anyway, looks like I will be here the next transfer, and then MAYBE train a new secretary in the other transfer,... I will be here in the office until at least the middle of July!

Last week I was a little discouraged, because many of the people here that become members of the church fall away after a short time. Like Lehi taught, they "fall away into dark paths and are lost". I had pondered on what I can do to help these people stay firm in enjoying the rights, benefits, and blessings that come from partaking regularly of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then last Monday, we were invited over to Debora's house. She is a young woman that was baptized in January. We had a great evening, shared a message about prayer, and she was really happy to see us. She always goes to church. She wasn't much to study before joining the church, but now has decided that she wants to become an Aeromoça! aka flight attendant. The gospel blesses us in more ways than just spiritually.

Also, on Sunday, I saw Antônia for the first time in a couple months. She joined the church in November. She had beein travelling in Rio de Janeiro, and I thought that she would just forget about the church - not that she doesn't love the church, but that it is not always our first priority when we travel! (although, it should be.) However, she came up to me and showed me pictures of the church in Rio! She had searched it out, and been to sacrament meeting each Sunday. What a wonderful example! 

I had my testimony strengthened of prayer this week - one day I prayed to find my camera charger (which I found in a place I KNOW I had looked!), to have a letter (which I got - thanks Emily!), and for our lost Argentine missionary to be found (long story,... but he was found), and all of my prayers were responded in the very hour. 

I have found that in order to appreciate your situation, you need to recognize and be grateful for the little things that make it marvelous. Answered prayers, loving recent converts, and the blessing of being able to share the gospel with all those around me make my life a miracle and a blessing.

I guess a lot of things happened this week. Yesterday we went to a historical celebration of the Church in Vitória. President Young bore beautiful testimony on the eternal nature of families. I imagine that it would be similar to that spoken by President Eyring in Rome.

Cherish the little things! and pray, for the Lord will hear you. I know He lives, and loves us too! The Spirit whispers this to me, and tells me it is true. 

uma boa semana pra todos!

Elder Eric Olsen

the hill we are going to climb today

at the celebration of the church in Vitória

the same

thumbs up

No real e-mail from Nick this week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WOW this week was EXHAUSTING!!

This week was the last week to find new people to be baptized this month, so we set out to work. Elder Bennion and I marked 11 baptismal dates! It was amazing! And our whole zone was going great! Unfortunately, the enemy was at work as well, because almost nobody went to church. It's a problem that's happening in our whole mission. People say they'll go, they make a compromisso, but then on Sunday they're always "tired" or "stayed out late" or "forgot". A ton of excuses. So its something that were struggling a lot with, but we will find a solution.

But we had a really cool experience this week too. After a few days of huge success, we had one that was really really slow. Nobody was listening, we taught a few lessons but nothing had come of it. And we went to one address that we had and the little daughter said that her parents had gone out. So we went to another appointment (fell through) and came back. And when we came back the mom was there with her 2 daughters, she received us, listened to us, and we showed the video of the Restoration. The spirit was so strong! I felt like we were on the District, those little training videos that they give us, haha! They didnt go to church, but were not giving up on them yet!

But in other news, my comp is great, I guess Uncle David talked to his parents a few weeka ago because he's from Logan too. And they said you did a great job, dad. We have been making a ton of pancakes and french toast, idk why haha its just like our thing! there is no maple syrup here but we just use sweetened condensed milk instead, lol.

I was a little bit decepcionado yesterday because of the people that didnt go, because of all the work that we had done. But my trainer called me and we talked for a while, and he said something about a talk he heard that said "do you have the faith to not be healed?" they always ask if we have faith to be healed, but if we aren't, will we still have faith? And I am happy to say that I do! I still know that Jesus lives and that God is our loving Father. And I'm grateful for that testimony.

BUT that's about all I have to report! I hope that you all are happy and have a good week :)

Much Love,

ELder Nicholas Olsen

ps idk what the prob is in this lan house but its not letting me send pics :(

Shout out to Stan for the performance on Sunday. Bravo! I was able to watch it with a family from our ward - actually, the dad is 70 emeritus! - and they loved it as well. What a miracle that I was able to see your new haircut and hear your golden voice from a million miles away! President Young also expressed his admiration and appreciation for the performance.

As for the conference, I was amazed with the inspired messages of the Lord's servants. I love Elder Eyring's talk, as always. It didn't really fit in with the theme of the conference, but he has a way of speaking that captures my imagination. I also loved Elder Nelson and Elder Pearson. How blessed we are to have living prophets on the earth today! 

Vitória's baptism went well. Her mother and sister came to watch, and although it took Jonas a couple tries to get the prayer right, he did a wonderful job of performing the ordinance. Baptism is such a sacred thing, and seeing somebody make covenants with God is heart warming. We are also working with the boyfriend of one of the members here, Luiz Felipe. He reminds Elder Garcia of himself, because he was also introduced to the church by his girlfriend. Anyway we had a great lesson with him this week - it is so much better to work with members! - and he seems pretty excited to learn more. He was run over by a semi truck, and survived. Without a doubt, God saved him for a reason!

Other than that, this week was difficult. We spent the majority of our time in the street looking for new people interested to learn about the Savior, and ran into quite a few sad situations. Drug users, unstructured and strife-ridden families,... I was able to seriously reflect on the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly, I have been so blessed with the family and faithful parents and life that I have.

Party on this week! And when I say party on, I mean read the scriptures, say your prayers, go to church tomorrow, and show love for somebody who needs it!

Elder E Olsen

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bom dia e Feliz Páscoa!

Bom dia e Feliz Páscoa! As my dear father would say, Rejoice! For He is risen!

I didn't write last week because I was a little bit sick,.. actually, I ended up going to the hospital. The Public Hospital! :) Which is a bit like prison, but you don't have to pay to get healthcare. So it's all good. Anyway, I went there and my doctor, who was a clone of Russell Crowe, told me that I would need to have an IV and a shot of anti-allergy medicine (no. I dont know why). And with shots I am okay, but IVs.... that's another story. Let's just say I ended up speaking slurry English to my Brazilian nurse, almost blacking out. BUT I survived :) 

We have a baptism today - Vitória! And when I say Vitória, it is for 3 reasons: 1)I am in Vitória. 2) Vitória means victory in portuguese! and 3) her name is Vitória! She is the cousin of a family that we have been working with, and we have started teaching her family as well. They have a decent comprehension of what we teach - it is so important here to explain the apostasy, etc, because most of the people believe that all churches are true. But they are excited - especially Vitória - and everyone will go watch general conference with us today! AND Jonas, our recent convert, is gonna baptize her!

I made a special effort this week to love everybody that I spoke with, to be patient, to have charity, and generally be more Christlike. It has NOT been easy, but it has been pretty rewarding. It'll be a focus of mine in the coming weeks.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is such a miracle, and I am so glad to know that it will affect all of us, and that we will all be able to live forever - what a wonderful gift. I know that Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Elder E Olsen

Então first off Dad your hair was so swag. I loved it and you sang amazingly! Everyone here liked it too, as soon as the title "Guest Artist: Stanford Olsen" came up all the missionaries here in Uberlandia went crazy haha. God has really blessed me with the tender mercy to hear and see you even when we are so distant. Also I'm so down to have a reunion at the Grand American!

This week was pretty crazy, I only had 2 days of normal work! On Tuesday, we took a bus back to Goiânia, to go to leadership meeting. (also when we got to Goiânia we ate Rodízio de pizza.... mmmh!) The next morning was the meeting, which went well. Unfortunately with 4 assistants giving their trainings, the Presidente didn't get to talk very much, but it was good all the same. That afternoon we got on the bus again and came back down to Uberlandia.

Saturday and Sunday were general conference! (duh) I loved it and I learned so much. Of course, I missed Elder Scott and I wished that the Prophet had spoken a bit more, but I guess he is getting pretty weak. Also I could have sworn that he was going to announce a temple in Independence Missouri. My favorite talk was by Pres Uchtdorf during the Priesthood session. He talked about "parecendo bom" and really "sendo bom", idk i just thought all of it really applicable. I can honestly say that I had my questions answered this conference.

Although I am jealous that I couldn't be there in the conference center, I rejoice in the fact that the gospel is just as true here as it is there. Jesus lives, He broke the bands of death. And I rejoice in that!

And so I leave you, from the shadows of the everlasting... okay maybe not. Haha

Much love,

Elder Nicholas Olsen