Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This week was amazing! We had a mission tour; that means that the entire mission came here to Goiania to hear Moroni Thorgan, an area 70, speak to us. I had heard tell that he is a pretty strict guy, that he doesn't think twice to kind of breath fire, but he was such a nice and spiritual guy. When he talked to us all we could really feel the Spirit, and he said a lot that will help me. I feel like I have the perfect amount of time to have heard everything he said, because I don't have a TON more time in Brasil, so I will be able to apply it without it losing its worth.

We got here on Thursday and kicked around a little bit, it was great because I was with some of my best friends in the mission again, Zeballos, Sales, and, of course, Silva (who is going home this week!). On Friday we had leadership meeting with Elder Thorgan, where he taught us about the true purpose of serving missions and how to help others come to Christ. I liked one thing he said, that we have to help people "vir" a Cristo. In portuguese, to say come (vir) you have to be in the place that you're talking about. So for us to invite to come unto Christ, we have to be with Him!

Then on Saturday was the meeting with the whole mission. It was just as good as the other. I felt strange as I left the church that day, having had my mind opened and my spirit refreshed, and knowing that there are so many that have never felt that way. And then, I thought "Bem, que bom que estou na missão então!" haha. 

On Sunday I visited an old ward, Universitário, and saw a lot of friends and acquaintances. Even better, we saw Laurinda, who got baptized in December past, who is strong and going to church every Sunday! She was even commenting in the gospel principles class, testifying about tithing and a ton of other stuff. That's the kind of thing that makes a missionary proud.

AND on top of everything, I got a package full of church news today just in time for my 6 hour trip! Haha so some good reading.

But that has been my week, an eventful and joyful one. I think God was giving me a little rest for me to be able to give it all I've got. I know that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Savior of all mankind. And I know that Ele zela por nós and nos ama, and He waits to bless us with unimaginable blessings. And I know that He suffered an unfathomable pain to be able to break the bands of death and hell and succor us in our imperfection!!

Much love,

Elder Nick Olsen


Well,there is not much new this week for me. I didn't get transferred this time, but I will go to Vitória tomorrow for the transfer meeting. It will be 3 hours there by bus in the morning, then we have to stay for the meeting, which is about an hour, and then 3 hours back. It will end up taking most of the day.

Today being pday, I have other plans. I'll go play soccer with the other missionaries, and tonight I marked with the mother of one of the missionaries that was in Nicks mission for her to teach me how to make doce de banana!

Also Mom, I'm sorry I haven't been taking very many pictures lately, but I need to get a new memory stick for my camera. But for sure I am gonna write you a letter today. Again. And tomorrow I will mail it, together with others. I haven't been able to mail them because the line at the post office is always so long!

Elder Eric Olsen

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We had zone conference this week in Colatina. All the missionaries from 2 zones met up, and we received training on one of the missionary-favorite topics: Obedience. I learned a lot, and came away with a renewed determination to do what is right. I loved what one of the assistants taught us about the scripture that tells us of Jesus cleansing the temple. Sometimes we have to let others know that what they are doing is not in harmony with the will of our Father in Heaven - if we don't tell them, they might never improve! But seriously, the whole test of our earth life is whether or not we will be obedient. We need to let our faith show by way of what we say and do.

There was a Missionary Work Fireside in our branch yesterday, and there was a good number of people there. I have been a little discouraged this week because of the lack of interest that we have seen from investigators, but I was happy to see that the recently baptized people here are really excited about the church! I have never seen so much excitement and participation from new members of the church as I see here. AND I made snickerdoodles, and it was a hit!

I know that Christ lives, and that his Great and Eternal Atonement has the power to clean and transform lives. As we follow Him, we will find more happiness than in any other source. 

Elder Olsen


I must admit, I admire Eric's ability to still find time, in the middle of missionary work, planning, and following up with other missionaries, to bake stuff. Unfortunately I don''t have quite the same zeal and have passed more or less 8 months without brownies and a year and 7 months without snicker doodles! haha.

This week was really great. We ended up teaching 30 lessons in total, not including less actives, which even for Brasil is a lot! Reading what you sent me, dad, about making these last months count and giving myself to the Lord, fortunately I can say that these past few days I have no regrets whatsoever. We are doing everything to find, teach, and help these children of God get back to their heavenly home. Everything!!

One awesome experience I had. We have been teaching this guy, Christian, who is recovering from a crack addiction. And so we have been teaching him and he's progressing really well, he went to church last week, he's doing the things we teach him. And then on Saturday night, out of nowhere, he just decided that he didn't want anything to do with it anymore. We talked and prayed, I felt that we were guided by the Spirit, but still a feeling of sadness came over me as we left emptyhanded. But we decided to go by an old investigator who wasn't going to church, he decided that night that he would go (and went!), and last night we taught him about fasting and he is fasting to have a response about what he should do!

I learned a lot of things from that experience, but one really important is that the Lord is always preparing someone. We just have to find who it is!

Thank you for your prayers and support, I love yall!

Much love,

Elder Nick Olsen

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dearest family,

I write to you today almost falling over in my chair, on account of how tired I am! We spent the week travelling, and were able to visit the 2 other areas that pertain to our zone - São Mateus and Nova Venêcia. These cities are fairly new to the church, and the possibility for growth is incredible! We were able to help out the missionaries with some of their investigators, and help them to see what they can to do become better missionaries, and better gospel teachers.

We were able to spend a few days in our own area, and found quite a few interested people. However, as Nick said, when Sunday rolled around, we saw a lot of excuses! Understandably, this Sunday was Dia dos Pais, so most people were travelling or passing the day with their families. Speaking of which, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY STAN!

The highlight of the week was Brian's baptism.

 Yeah, his name is Brian - totally not a Brazilian name... And he looks like an American too! We met him through a member that was working out with him at the gym, and he quickly accepted the gospel. He had been taught many years ago by the missionaries, and had been prepared to hear our messages once more. One day as we taught him, he explained to us that he was drinking a lot of coffee to burn fat, because of its thermogenic effects. When we taught him the Word of Wisdom afterwards, he said - Alright then, no more coffee for me! What a miracle to see lives come into harmony with the Savior's teachings. I love the gospel, and I know that it has the power to make a bad man good - anda goodman even better.

Elder Eric Olsen


This week was great! Elder Zeballos and I worked our tails off, taught a ton of lessons, and invited a ton of people to church. On Saturday, we confirmed 12 people COM CERTEZA that they'd go. On Sunday there were only actually 2... haha it's not easy but somebody has to do it!

On Saturday President Kuceki came to Uberlândia to give us a training and have interviews! He talked a lot about giving our whole heart and mind to God (like it says in D&C 4), and how He would, in turn, give us might and strength to do His work. It's funny, sometimes I find that when I work the hardest, I end up with more energy on the next day! That's what I call blessings.

ALSO Pres brought with him letters and packages, and I got a package from ERIC! With paçoca and a planner for next transfer, what a sweet young man. And I got a SAVE THE DATE OMG MY BROTHER IS GETTING MARRIED!! Parabéns Phil and Janeen! I mean, it was already official, but now it's even more official.

In answer to your question mom, yes I have problems with cats here, in fact there is one less active guy with a cat and whenever we go there I leave sneezing nonstop haha!

I love you guys so much! I testify that God lives and loves us, I know because I feel His love for me daily!

Much love,

Elder Nick Olsen

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


So I didn't go to Goiânia this past week, because this week President Kuceki will come here to Uberlândia to talk to the missionários! It's always exciting when President comes out to talk to us, give us counsel and training and do interviews. So I am pretty excited.

This week was kind of bittersweet in terms of work, because we found a ton of people and marked a ton of baptismal dates, but when Sunday rolled around everyone had an excuse. Haha but to be honest it's not really anything new! I find solace in the feeling and knowledge that E. Zeballos and I are doing our very best, in sanctification, in work, in thought and in deed to bring these people to the truth. The rest is up to them, if they will accept it or not. That's part of the plan of salvation, the free agency of all. And what a privilégio it is to be able to play a part in this plan.

There was one cool thing that happened, we encountered a lady who had recently returned to Uberlândia after a lot of time away, and she said that she had been baptized in the church a long time ago. She went to church on Sunday and said then that she realized she had been baptized in that very church building! almost 30 years ago! it was super cool, and she was happy to have found the church again.

But that's pretty much all. Hope y'all have a great week and I love you!


Elder Nick Olsen


This week we went to the mission Leadership Council, and on the way we stopped in Colatina! It had been a YEAR since I had been on Colatina,... it seems like I left there just a few weeks ago! We had lunch with one of my besties, Daliane. Her little daughters didn't remember me :/ and she is about to have another child! Crazy. So much changes in a year. And, according to her, I finally speak portuguese well! haha!

We spent a day in Vitória, and came back to Linhares just in time for the Festa Junina, which is a party that is held every winter "country style"! There was a slew of nonmembers that went to the festa, so it was good for them to see that we aren't a bunch of robots. And there was brazilian country food. And dancing. BUT I could not dance, unfortunately.

This week wasn't all fun though, we worked really hard in our area. We met many people that were ready to hear about the gospel, their only problem was that they didn't want to get up on Sunday morning! The only investigator that we took to church is called Brian - he is a football player! Not soccer, AMERICAN FOOTBALL!! I didn't even know that it exists here! His goal is to play in the US. But he told us after the meetings that he had had a tough week, and that he felt way better after going to church. 

Here is a culture lesson: Here in Brazil, there is a lot of yelling in most of the churches. Not to criticize! But there is a woman in our branch that was baptized a few months ago, and she spent over 20 years in one of these churches. And yesterday was testimony meeting. When she went up to the front, I was a little nervous - it was a loud testimony, that is for sure, but one of the things she said was: "Passei 20 anos naquela igreja. Mas não era a igreja de Jesus. ESTA É A IGREJA DE JESUS!" I felt the Spirit when she testified that we were in Christ's only true church. I know that this is true.

Elder Eric Olsen