Tuesday, July 28, 2015
I love Pday! Call me trunky, but there is nothing better than to hear news from a far off land, from a family that I love so much!!
Speaking of trunky, the airplanes haven't stopped passing overhead... haha
BUT this week was full of miracles. I was able to have my testimony strengthened of the Spirit and of the atonement when we went to the humble rented house of an investigator, who proceeded to tell us all about how he had lost his job, his family, and everything he had, how he had nowhere to turn and no idea what to do. I said that I understood how he felt, but then realized that I really didn't understand, and that I probably never would. And I realized that I didn't know what to say, I was lost in that moment. Idk about my comp, but he looked pretty lost too. Then I just felt the need to teach about the Atonement, and how Christ knows these feelings and DOES understand. We met quite a few people this week that just needed to be lifted and shown the love of God, and it was our privilege to be His hands in these moments.
God also greatly blessed us. On Saturday night, after having everything fallen through, we decided, instead of going home a little early, to keep on knocking doors. And 10 minutes before the curfew we met a man who, it turned out, was pretty shaken up because of the very recent death of his brother. We talked with him, and he ended up going to church and loved it!
I have learned a lot this week about trust in the Lord. Trust that He will guide and protect us, trust that he knows us and sees and watches over us in every moment. I am learning to trust him more, to not doubt. It is really hard! But then again, without doubt there can be no faith.
It was a great week! Thank you for your prayers and love, oftentimes I can even feel their effect during my days!
Elder Nick Olsen
And it came to pass that the second full week in Linhares came to an end.
This week we had zone meeting, which was surprisingly not scary! I always thought that I would die if I had to get up in front of a bunch of missionaries and train them, but it was totally fine. I think I didn't have any problems because I know each of the missionaries personally, and also because our zone is super small. We talked about marking baptismal dates and having a good attitude. And we had a budget for lunch, so to switch things up we got pizza! It was actually really fun to plan and execute.
Then I went on splits with one of the assistants, Elder Perez. He got to Brasil at the same time as me, and we lived together in Vitória. He is an amazing missionary. We worked super hard; I always learn a ton when I go out with one of my leaders.
..speaking of which, I traveled to São Mateus for the first time this week! São Mateus is another city that is part of our zone, so we went there to work with the missionaries. They were struggling a bit, but I think we helped them out. The area is really difficult there, though. I forgot a few things at home, though - a towel, a pillow, extra socks! Next time I will prepare better.
There was a crazy rainstorm on Sunday. We went to get all our investigators, but nobody went church with us :( Everybody was either sleeping or travelling at the last minute or simply didn't want to go out in the rain! It would not have been too bad, if President Young hadn't showed up at church with us... I was pretty embarrassed, but oh well.
We worked really hard this week, and despite not having anyone go to church with us, I saw quite a few miracles. I know that Heavenly Father is blessing us immensly. I know that He watches over each and every one of us, and yearns for us to come unto Him. He is waiting with open arms. I know He lives, and loves us too!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
So this new area is looking pretty tough... because it's close to the airport. Yep, that means "SCCCHHHEEEEAAWWW" every half hour, an airplane touching down...
Haha but this is SUCH a great area! I got here on Wednesday and Elder Zeballos on Thursday I think, and it is the first time that this ward has had 2 companionships of missionaries. So they are pretty much stoked. Everyone comes up to us excited and happy, we got an investigator to go to church yesterday and everyone treated him well too. (By the way, there hadn't been other missionaries here before so we started from scratch, 1 whole day knocking doors! But it was bom demais!!) Our area is close to the University here and it seems to be a little bit more well off, but we still have been well received by the people.
Elder Zeballos got here really wanting to do personal sanctification, and I was happy to oblige. We started with a fast, and are trying to turn our thoughts to the Lord with everything we do and be as obedient as possible. I have studied a lot chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel this week, about recognizing the Spirit. It is such a great feeling when you know that God has used you as an instrument in some way! That's what I pray for every day.
I also started studying Jesus the Christ again today. This time I will read every single scripture reference! But I can already feel the Spirit permeating our life more. I am just really excited for my comp and this area, the Lord has blessed me so much!
Mom sorry that all the missionaries are coming back and making you miss us haha! But one day we'll come back too! savor it while you can
But I love you! Thank you for your support. I know that the Savior lives and watches over us, be it one that is walking consistently in His light, or fallen from the path, He loves us infinitely.
Elder Nick Olsen
There were just a couple of lines from Eric. He is happy and well and in his new city, Linhares. His new companion is Elder Bessa from Forteleza and they are getting along great and working hard. They are zone leaders.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
TIBERY!!!!!!!!! That's right, I was transferred DE NOVO! And again, it is here within Uberlândia. It's crazy, I have been in Uberlândia 3 (going on 4) transfers, and all 3 (going on 4) transfers the zone leaders' area has changed. That never happens! But it's pretty sad. I was even talking to Elder Sales today and I said to him that I could have stayed in Patrimônio for the rest of my mission. It is truly a blessed area and I have made friends that I'll never forget.
Now the good news. My companion will be........... ELDER ZEBALLOS!!!!! One of my best friends on the mission! Idk if y'all remember but I lived with him while I worked in the mission office. He is a great guy and we will see miracles here!
Honestly, that's pretty much all I remember from this week, haha. I will miss Elder Sales a lot though, this is the 3rd time that we've been companions. I only have 4 more transfers! #nottrunky
But I love you guys a lot, I know that the church is true and that Jesus Christ is the head of it. And I know that the mission president is designated by the priesthood of God and that he guides the mission with revelation! And if I have been called to move again, there is certainly a just purpose.
Elder Nick Olsen
We found some really amazing people this week! We had a goal to leave the office a little bit early each day, so that we could really get some work done in the street. It worked out some days,... but other days we were running to Walmart and the bus station until 9 pm! It is weird to think that next week I won't be doing office tasks anymore.
Last Sunday was one of the saddest days of my time here in Brazil. We had a meeting at our ward mission leader's house, and his wife made a cake, etc. as a farewell for Elder Gingrich and I, since we both will be leaving. There were a lot of people, both missionaries and members of the church, and recent converts, that I really love, and it was super sad to be saying goodbye. A lot of us ended up crying! It is amazing how Heavenly Father sends us certain places at certain times in our lives, so that we can meet certain people, and how our paths cross. Everyone that I met here in Vitória has had such a great influence on me, and I know that I've had the opportunity to help others change their lives too! There is a Conductor, a Maestro, a Director of our universe - Jesus Christ. Everything happens according to His divine will.
I spoke with some people from Terra Vermelha this week! They said that Eliane is firm in the church, has 2 callings, and is going to the temple next month! What a blessing to have been able to know her.
Other that that, it was the regular business that accompanies the last week of the transfer. A lot of running around, a lot of anxiety, and, of course, a lot of new investigators! I love being a missionary, and am excited for the next step.
Elder Eric Olsen
Thursday, July 9, 2015
4th of July is always a weird time to be out of the country. Lost in the work or not, loving Brasil or not, I can't help but turn my thoughts back to the homeland for a little bit! Especially since I received an awesome american flag towel this week (haha yes mom I got it).
This week was great! We got to go to Goiânia and see some old friends and have a meeting with President Kuceki. He is a really inspired man, and draws my thoughts often to the eternities and glories that await after this life.
We also saw a few miracles this week. One was with our investigator who we're helping get married. He has been going to church for a while, and the other day we decided to teach the word of wisdom. We knew that he likes to drink beer, and that it might be a problematic commandment. So we explained what it is, what the blessings are, why God has given this commandment, everything. And then Elder Sales said "So we want to help you live this commandment, by taking all of your beer that you have here at home and throwing it out, to get rid of temptation." Until then he hadn't even agreed to live the word of wisdom. He looked up, seeming a little bit sad, and I was really nervous. And then he looked at us and said "na hora." basically like "lets do it." My eyes even filled up with tears to see this grizzled guy taking steps and making sacrifices to follow the Savior! It was amazing.
I know that the gospel is true! I know that Jesus can change lives and give us life eternal. And I thank yall for all the support and prayers!
Bom dia meu povo!
The days are dragging on as we near the transfer. At least, the time in the office is dragging on! Elder McDown knows how to do almost everything already, so I don't have much to do. Next week will be more exciting though, and a lot more busy because of transfer preparations!
I have tried to take advantage of my free time in the office to strengthen m testimony of the Book of Mormon. In case anybody was wondering, it is true. If we take the time to REALLY read and ponder it's teachings, we will see how true they are. I've asked the Lord each day this week to strengthen my testimony of this wonderful fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith, and each day I have felt myself have more certainty . It's been a wonderful blessing, and I know that God will manifest the truthfulness of it to anyone who reads it with a desire to know of it's truthfulness, patience, and faith.
AND we didn't even pass the first round of our cake competition in the church last week. It was a super pretty cake though! I think my cake career is over, we got pretty sad afterwards......
It was our landlady Tania's birthday yesterday as well! We bought her a cheesecake - a real one from Sam's Club! Holy cow, those things are not cheap here! but we split it 5 ways. and it was totally delicious.
In other news, we woke up at 4 am this morning and climbed a hill and a TV tower on top of the hill in order to watch the sunrise. We were super high, so it was really windy and kinda scary, but it was such a beautiful sight!
I am so glad to be here in Brasil! I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and wouldnt trade this time for anything.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
June 20th from Elder Eric Olsen:
I think this was the most stressful week of my life.
I think this was the most stressful week of my life.
President called me in on Wednesday and said "What do you think about getting transferred this week?" There have been a few problems in a far away area, and he told me that he was thinking about sending me there to try to help out. Of course, I know that in whatever I am called to do, the Lord will help me. However, I was really nervous/scared. Since he told me of the possibility, I reflected a lot on the Savior's words about the Holy Ghost in John 14. He promised that He would leave us peace, but we need to trsut in Him, have faith in His promise, and live worthy of the companionship of the Spirit so that he can bring us that peace! I had the opportunity to really ponder about Christ and the peace thatHe is capable of bringing us - and I testify that if we trust Him and keep His commandments, He will comfort us! "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." But it ended up that I wasnt transferred, so 3 more weeks in Vitória! I love Vitória.
ALSO I had the best experience this week with a recent convert of ours, Debora! She called us during the week, saying that she wanted to go with us to visit a young woman that we are teaching, so we picked her up at her house that night and went on our way. On the way to the appointment, she started telling us all about her plans for the future. She told us that she wants to go on a mission, and that she doesn't want to date until after her mission, because she doesn't want anything to stop her from entering worthily in the temple with her future husband. I can't describe how impressed and happy I was to hear that!! Afterwards, we got to our appointment and she testified of the importance of the Church, and what Christ had done in her life. It was so cool, I cant even explain.
And it was President's birthday yesterday, so I made him a cake. Haha classic!
AND shoutout to Francisco, who's birthday was also Friday! Happy birthday!
I love y'all! Thanks for the support.
June 22 from Elder Nick Olsen:
So we got a call on Saturday night... it was our investigator's mom. "I have good news and bad news. The bad is that we've decided to postpone the baptism for next week. The good is that Danielle (her sister) has decided to get baptized too!" WOOH! MILAGRE! haha this month our President has told us to search for "17 Miracles" in each of our zones, 17 sons and daughters of God to enter in the waters of baptism. If everything goes right and the 2 sister get baptized as planned along with the other investigators marked for this week in our zone, we will have EXACTLY 17. That will be so cool!
This week was really good. The lady that had we visited a couple weeks ago was getting baptized on Saturday! And she asked my comp to baptize her. I guess the water was really cold, because she and the other rapaz being baptized made quite a fuss... haha tbh it was the funniest baptism I had ever been in. Everyone in the room was busting out laughing because of what they were saying! Also I got to see some old friends from my first Uberlândia area, Parque do Sabiá.
Also I finally got a general conference edition of the Liahona, with the talks from living prophets and apostles. I LOVE the living prophets and apostles! It seems like almost everything they say applies perfectly to me. This week I studied Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about being genuine and without guile. How we have to worry about ourselves, who we are becoming and if we are following Christ's teachings, and not about showing others how great we are. But all the talks I've read so far have helped me in one way or another.
But I love y'all! thanks for the prayers and support.
Elder Nick Olsen
picture (YEEEEEEEES FINALLY): velhos amigos de pq do sabia]
I would send more pics now that i got it to work but I just switched memory cards so I don't have many others!
June 29th from Elder Nick Olsen:
This week I was eating lunch at a member's house (who is surprisingly similar in appearance to dad) when the phone rang: Executive Secretary of the mission. And when I answered, he asked me the infamous question: "Elder Olsen, which airport is the closest to your home?" AHH I only have 6 months left! It's weird, like I got excited but at the same time I realized that I have to work hard to take advantage of my time in the service of the Lord.
That being said, we had a baptism this week! A 15 year old girl that we have been teaching a few weeks. Her mom and stepdad are members, and she just recently moved to their house. It was cool to see, interestingly one of the people that I most saw change from beginning to end! Yesterday we even went by to talk with their family (we are teaching her sister now too, who just moved there) and she came in and said "Mãe, o que é tabaco?" she was reading the pamphlet of the Word of Wisdom! MUITO chique.
Also I have been reading "Our Heritage" this week. It has been really inspiring to see the sacrifices made for the gospel. Even some that were witnessed and made by my own ancestors! It makes me realize that God really doesn't ask that much of us in these latter days.
In other news, Bob Burnquist came to a mall here this week. I wanted to get an autograph really bad.... but I didn't haha. I guess that is my sacrifice for the gospel! haha jk
BUT that's pretty much it. This week there is a meeting in Goiânia so I'll see if I have gotten anything from yall!
Love yall! Thank you for everything! sorry for lack of pics but i forgot the cable at home :(
Elder Nick Olsen