Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My week was marked by the scriptures. I realized, the other day, that Preach My Gospel encourages us to think about what we study each morning throughout the day - that way, we can be like Nephi and "continually ponder up the things which [we] have seen and heard". I made an effort to do that - I chose a few scriptures to try to memorize, and tried to remind myself to think on them throughout the day. Among them were D&C 101:36, Matthew 10:39, D&C 58:4, and I think one more that I don't remember..... shows how much success I am having in memorization...! But it has been really good. Elder Scott taught that each hymn or scripture that we memorize is like a new friend that is always with us - and I need as many friends as possible!

We made a special effort this week to get out of the office and find new people to teach; despite our efforts, we have seen a lack of enthusiasm from those around us. We did meet a street artist last night, Vitor, who said that he will go to church with us on Sunday! He said that he does his art to help people and to express himself - haha it was pretty deep stuff.
He lives on the tippy top of the hill. We also met a woman named Nanashara - no, that is not a normal Brazilian name! - and she was pretty open to what we had to say. She said she had had some bad experiences in churches before, so we are counting on the healing power of the Savior's Atonement to help her feel better and change her mind about church!

Very cool, Phil, that you are working with real cases now! I guess all that Law and Order is paying off, huh? No just kidding, I know that you are working super hard, and I am proud of you!

Alllsoooooooooooo we have a missionary that is pretty sick,... she's been to 2 different specialists and they don't know what is wrong with her. And it is pretty much our responsibility to take care of her...! So keep her in your prayers.

And don't forget to say your prayers, for real! And try to memorize a scripture this week - One more friend for you to get to know! :) have a great week!

Elder Olsen

ps we got rained on quite a bit this week.. especially when we were wearing our suits

Wassup family!!

This week was eventful and uneventful. We had a zone conference on Friday, so on Wednesday the APs called us and were like "oh yeah btw, y'all have to do a training for 1 hour."


Haha I have never seen or done a training ever that was more than 30 minutes... But we ended up doing one for about 40 minutes and it was all good. Also we got interviewed by Presidente Kuceki which was good. It's kinda weird, having seen him all the time when i was in the office and now its only once in a blue moon. But he is a great man, and it was good to be able to chat for a little bit with him.

Now I'm just trying to make it through this last week with Elder Bennion, he'll be going home in about 10 days. I have really liked being his comp, were really similar and he's a great guy. Plus he loves basketball so he always updates me on the series. GO CAVS!!! haha. But anyway it's not that he's trunky, but you can just see that he is getting a little teeny bit tired. It'll be great though!

Also we got out family to go to church this week! All the members were impressed haha and they liked church a lot. It's cool because it's 2 parents and 2 kids but they're both adults, and they're all really smart. The kids are both actually studying law!

Speaking of law dude that is so awesome... Phil Olsen, or should I say Jack McCoy. Haha but so are you defending the guy? I guess you can't really be McCoy then.

But anyway, I love y'all! I hope y'all have a great week and remember that our Savior is our great example, and that He lives!


Elder Nicholas Olsen

ps sorry about pics but it still isnt working :(

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I just wanna share a miracle today.

I just wanna share a miracle today.

This week we found a few families, very elect. Unfortunately, all had problems of some sort; either not married, or couldn't go to church, things like that. But Elder Bennion and I decided to fast for this one couple who didn't have any problems, for them to go to church. Despite fasting quite a few times, I had never had a really great experience with the fast, but we decided to test it out.

Then, Saturday night, we went to their house to confirm their visit, and out of the blue she said "we really don't need another church... we're happy in our own." After having heard a few discussions, progressed, and then didn't want any more. "I can't believe this," I said to my comp. "Fasting doesn't help, it actually leaves the people worse off!" Apostasy I know, haha, but I was pretty upset. I didn't know what else to do.

On Sunday we got up, dressed, went by the other people we had confirmed, and everyone fell through, either sleeping or with some other excuse. And we said to ourselves "it's okay, we really did everything possible. I can be at church with a clean conscience knowing that there was nothing more to do." So we went up, sat in sacrament meeting, and then Elder Bennion looked back and saw some visitors. It was one of the other families! They had said that they wouldn't go, but we ended up with 4 people at church that want to go next week.

Is that a miracle? A miracle to me is something super improbable that happens anyway. Nobody has EVER gone to church, in 1 year and 4 months of my mission, without giving absolute certainty that they would. Nobody has EVER said "yeah, we'll see if it works out" and gone. That is, 99.9% of the time, an excuse.



Elder Nick Olsen

No, this week wasn't SO COOL!, I just think you all are so cool! Thanks for the support and prayers!

We spent all of yesterday with the Burkinshaw couple, the mission's new senior couple! We needed to help them get legally registered, and get a cell phone plan, etc. It took surprisingly long. But, we left the federal police unscathed and totally legal! So that was a victory for me.

My companion reminds me of Nephi. He's not very large in stature, but he is VERY young! haha and he helps me compare the scriptures to every day life, which makes it much more interesting to think about and discuss. This week he studied about Zacchaeus, and in companion study we talked about it in a Brazilian setting. Zacchaeus was a corrupt city representative, and everybody was mad at him, but he tried to repent and gave back all the money he stole! (words of my companion, not mine!) But it is a way to really apply the scriptures, and you can see how they apply to our day.

We have an Elder here that seems to have had a pretty difficult life; he is from an island city, and his family is not from the Church, and his mom lives in Portugal! Anyway, he has a pretty noticeable/sketchy tattoo on his hand, and President asked him to go through tattoo removal - a really expensive and painful process. Without complaint or doubt, he said that he would do it. We all need to have the faith that leads to obedience like this! Even with things that seem small, we are blessed when we keeps the Lord's laws.

Hope you all have a great week! Pray for me to find the elect, we are really needing it.

Elder Eric Olsen

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day

From Elder Nick Olsen May 11, 2015

A cold day in Uberlândia. Gray skies and a brisk wind, Ed Sheeran is softly floating on the air in the lan house.


Happy Mother's Day mom! I think I am a pretty bad son because both Mother's days while skyping I forgot to say happy mother's day. But I love you so much and am so grateful that I have you (and dad too) as my shepherds in this life. I really can't thank you enough for everything.

This week has been pretty weird! On Wednesday morning, I departed for Goiânia, we had meetings for a few days, and I didn't get back until Saturday night. So I guess you could say we didn't teach toooooo many lessons, haha. But it was great, we learned about what we can do to work more effectively and help people repent and come unto Christ, and also I got to see my friends from the mission. AND on Sunday I got to see my parents! Really weird week, haha but I am all smiles.

In one meeting we talked about genealogy and how we can help retain people and further the work of salvation through that. And he told us to all think of an experience with a relative that we have had, and tell it to our neighbor. So I thought and told the Elder sitting next to me, and I felt this great feeling. Like nostalgia mixed with happiness and clarity, idk! and then the guy said "how do y'all feel now? that feeling is the 'spirit of elijah', its another manifestation of the Holy Ghost." I thought that was so cooL! I remember when I was in the office and I found the mission journal of our ancestor James Olsen (I think) and I just had such a thrill. I know that this is a part of the work of salvation, and it brings a good feeling too.

Well that's all for this week. but I love y'all, thank you for your prayers and support :)

much love,

Elder Nick Olsen

ps i tried to send pics mom but the camera didnt connect idk whats wrong with this compy sorry :(

From Elder Eric Olsen May 9, 2015

I guess it's not mother's day YET, but happy early mother's day! The role of a mother is so important in today's world, and I think that many times we take our mother's for granted. I have found, especially here, that a mother can make all the difference in the life of her children - what they believe, how they act, and who they become, among other things. Just yesterday I visited a family, and the mother told us that she was going to spend less time at work to have a greater influence in the lives of her small children - I found very respectable that she would sacrifice her professional life and personal interests to help those that are completely dependent upon her. I am grateful for a mother that brought me up in the ways of God, and taught me how to be a good person! She taught me how to pray, and that I needed to pray each day. She helped me create a relationship with my Father - the most important relationship that any of us can cultivate on this Earth.

Thanks for everything mom! I love you.

In other news, the week was pretty slow going. We found one person (!) that accepted us, and wanted to hear more about Jesus Christ and His gospel. Walter. He likes to tell stories. ...he REALLY likes to tell stories! Usually I am really impatient with people that like to talk a lot, but I felt a really deep love for Walter as he told us about his life - he has gone through a lot. We are gonna help him stop smoking, and drinking coffee, and continue teaching him of how he can become a man of God. Tomorrow we will take him to church!

We were promised in our mission that if we have a question, or a doubt, that we can rely on the Book of Mormon to resolve it. If we pray, asking to be shown an answer, and open the Book of Mormon to any 2 pages, Heavenly Father will show us what we need to know or do on those 2 pages. I testify that it's possible, because I have done it many times! I love the Book of Mormon, and the answers that it hold for our lives.

Até amanhã!

Elder Olsen

Thursday, May 7, 2015


That's right, there's dengue about! haha but dont worry I am protected. But there are a few missionaries that have it!

It has been quite a week! It started out with getting all of the stuff closed up at my old house, calling a moving truck and everything, and hauling all of our furniture and whatnot to the new house. We now live with Elders Avinte and Nascimento, 2 Brasilians. They are good guys, and our ward is really cool! The first day we asked for a meeting with the bishop, which he gladly provided, and spoke English with us (he served in New Jersey), and gave us a bunch of people to visit, AND offered to let us use skype in his house! So I think I'll be doing it around 4 or so. Then we set about working, with some successes and some failures, and doing what missionaries do. But I am really excited about this area, I feel like I might be here for a while.

I had an interesting thought, mom, for your talk. Which also goes along with what dad said to me about home. We shared a message the other day about Helaman 5:12, how Jesus Christ is the "rock" on which we have to build our foundation. You could compare it to a home or to a light to follow, but when we center our lives on Jesus Christ, it is something bigger than music that we love, or a certain place, or even our friends and family. Because when we have the relationship with God sufficient that we can kneel down and talk to Him in any place, any place can become our home. That being said, Uberlândia is home-ISH to me, but its not HOME home :) haha

Questions: Yes mom the house that I closed was pretty yuck... it had been in the mission for 15 years haha. Today I will make churrasco (!!!!!!) and kick a ball around.  Also that SUCKS that they cut down the live oak tree (in our old yard in Tallahassee), when I go back to visit I will give them a piece of my mind!

I love you guys! also I'm happy that everyone likes Janeen :) I'm excited to meet her!

Much Love,

Elder Nick Olsen