Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weekly Ups and Downs, Florida Driving, Missionary Life and 2 Months down!

This week has been full of its ups and downs. We didn't quite make it to our goals we set for the week, but found a lot of comfort in the process. Although things definitely aren't going as planned with the work and the companions and all, we had a pretty awesome week and some amazing lessons!! I feel like our lessons are getting so much better as we continue striving to do our best, bring the spirit, ask inspired questions to those we teach and overall being the best missionaries we can.

We seriously got a slap in the face this week and reality hit haha! This work isn't easy, and people are just dropping out of our teaching pool BUT we had miracles happen. Elder Cooper and I drove forever to see a potential investigator, but she didn't want us to share a message. We were discouraged and wanted to go back to the apartment, but decided to knock on a few doors around. First house we approached the father was outside. John, got to know him and he was so excited to hear about it and wants to hear more. Not only for him but he wants it for his teenage children. THEN the next day we biked about 19 miles to one house of a referral. Although she yelled at us and wasn't interested, we got on the bikes and a man came out. Not to yell but to thank us for our service. Although he attends a different church he too wanted to learn more. He served in the military for 11 years and had Mormon friends there. Weird..someone in the military thanking US?! It sparked hope and ended the week in the perfect way!!

My companion injured himself playing volleyball...so although I'm still in training I'm driving us around now! Kinda crazy driving after all this time and Florida roads, and traffic are weird!! Makes me miss driving back home, just taking a relaxing drive listening to some GOOD music!! It's stressful here..people are scary (and crappy) drivers!! Anyways! 2 months on the mission TODAY! 22 left haha! Also I experienced the best weather the other day. Since I've been here, it was overcast and in the low 70's.. That's seriously the coolest it's got since I've been here. It felt amazing!! The people in the group picture are in my district.  With those 8 missionaries, 4 cover DeLand and 4 cover Orange City!

Jesse is now in hospice care for a while and things are rough with his health. But I thank you for all the prayers directed towards him!!  Priya is still set for her baptism on the 11th and we are planning the program tonight! WOOHOO! She said I might baptize or confirm her. Either one, I'm honored to do, and the new stake president will do the other!! Our investigator Ariel, that just got married, also has her date on the 18th she's working towards! Things are turning out finally!

And we FINALLY got a Ward Mission Leader..and a good one at that! (He is the kid in the previous wedding picture) His name is Michael Nutt and he is a recent convert of about 4 months. He helps us with a TON of lessons so he should be awesome at this calling! Other than that nothing too crazy has been happening… Warm weather, crazy people, and lots of rain!! Apparently it's a record this year so far of over 2 feet of rain? Crazy stuffs!

We had dinner with the bishop. He's so awesome and gave us a pretty sweet quote that sums up a mission life perfectly. Although it's long I want to share it!

A mission is a strange experience.  It's a trial and a test.

A mission throws at you the worst, yet teaches you the best.

They told me this would be the best period of my life,

But I guess they didn't explain it all too clear;

I came out looking for a bed of roses,

I just wasn't expecting all the thorns I've found here!


Since I've been out I've never been so happy,

I've never been so depressed.

I've never felt so forsaken,

I've never felt so blessed.

I've never been so confused,

My mind has never been so clear.

I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, 

I've never felt him so near!

I've never had it so easy,

I've never had it so tough.

Things have never gone so smoothly,

Things have never been so rough.

I've never traveled through so many valleys,

I've never ascended so many peaks.

I've never met so many people,

(I've never met so many freaks.)

I've never had so many ups,

I've never had so many downs.

I've never worn so many smiles,

I've never seen so many frowns.

I've never been so lonely. I've never had so many friends.

Man, I hope this is all over soon...

Gosh. I hope it never ends!!

It's kinda crazy how true this all is. Sorry I didn't have a scripture and thought to share, but I feel like this is what should be shared. This work isn't easy, and it is discouraging. But there are so many amazing things coming out of it. It's such a neat experience and I'm thankful for it.

Tomorrow marks my 2 months out!! Doesn't seem or feel like that long. But what I've seen and done in those months have blown me away! I feel great, Florida is definitely a promised land and President Berry loves the DeLand district! So yeah everything's going great. Things drop and improve and I'm just trying my best! Thank you for all the love and support I'm receiving and for all of the love shown to my family while I'm away! You are all the best and I'm thankful for all the prayers directed towards me!! I miss and love you all! Also a special thanks to the Stewart's and the Cooks! Thanks for all the AWESOME letters!


-Elder Olson

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