Monday, May 25, 2015

Smoked Pig, Thank You Notes and Memorial Day

We met the real Wendy while getting a free Frosty on Customer Appreciation Day!
For the most part, this has been a pretty average week.  It started off with our weekly Temple Service and then on Wednesday, President & Sister Berry came to our district meeting (small meeting consisting of about 10 missionaries only) and I had to give one of the training sessions in front of them! It was a huge surprise but they both loved it! It was nice to have them there, so that they can help us be better.  They came up after and told me they really enjoyed it!! WOO! 

Also, this week, we got to go to a graduation party for some twins in our Ward. And they are Samoan and so the party was HUGE!! They reserved the gym and like 200 people came! They had a whole smoked pig, Samoan catering and entertainment. I literally gained like 10 pounds that night, and then they made us take leftovers. So that was a pretty good ending to this week....parties! 
Smoked Pig!!
 Also, starting this transfer, I've been giving "Thank You" notes to all those families who feed us during the week. It's been helping to strengthen the relationships between members and missionaries.Now they are starting to trust us more, they invite us over more and are happier around us. For some it just makes their day. Sister Borkus told me she is keeping the Thank You notes as memory! Some members have even given us referrals or less actives to go see. I love it! 

Also, I'd like to wish you all Happy Memorial Day! Although it may not always seem happy, that's the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. We have the knowledge of the sacrifice of our Savior. And what that allows US to do and have. We know that death is NEVER the end. We are able to and will see our friends and family again, not in this life, but the next, when there will be no worries, no pain and everything will be perfect! So although the time they are gone might seem long and hard to bare, our Savior knows how we feel and he knows how to comfort us. That's why the Plan of Salvation is so amazing!  It allows us to be able to live with those you love, friends, family, and spouse again! Wonderful Right?

Anyway, we just planned for the last week of this transfer and are nearing the end! I still don't know what's going down, but we will find out Saturday!! 
I hope you all have a wonderful and amazing week this week! Thanks for everything you do! I love and miss you all! Thanks Again!

P.S this is a pic of a restaurant called graffiti junction! AWESOME! It's so far away though..not even in our zone! And I got a new haircut!! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Haitian Celebration, Roof Top Service, New Investigators and Cops!

My Roofing Shirt May Need to Be Washed.

This was a pretty sweet week!! Today is Haitian Flag Day!! It's their Independence Day and we were invited to so many parties tonight! But we aren't allowed to go, obviously! haha! Anyway...random!

We just started week five so there is not much longer in this transfer! We did a LOT of service this week. We have been working on the roof of the Bell family basically ever day this week! We started early this week with scrapping and removing everything that was piled up on it, including two fully grown Cactus...ON THE ROOF!!!!  We continued to go over in the mornings and remove all of the shingles and the rotted wood, and replace them with new ones! Now we finished up with putting the new shingles on the roof and got them all nailed in and in place!! It was great to be able to help them out!

We were able to pick up two more investigators and they are way sweet!! Their names are Blessing and Aca and they seriously are total blessings! hahaha! We met them on a surprise visit, when we tried to knock on a less active members home but instead they answered! SWEET!!! We also tried to knock on another less active members house, unfortunately, a very grumpy old man answered and said he had called the cops and they were apparently "on their way." So that was a little crazy and exciting! We ended up sticking around the area just to see if they would come....They never came haha!

I've been having some small health problems this week as well, but everything seems to be fine now. I had exchanges this week with our district leader, Elder Pututau. Except, I wasn't feeling the best that day, so sadly, not much happened. Other than that, there have just been the normal lessons and such this week! Sorry there's not much new, just struggling in this heat! It's been in the high 90's with high humidity! KILLER!!!!

Sorry this is short.. Nothing too crazy going on here!! I love and miss all of you guys! Thanks for everything! Hope everything in your lives are going GREAT! Thanks again for all you do!

-Elder A. Olson

Our Mission Car....just teasing!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mission Conference, Baptism and Family Skype!

Ocoee Missionaries
This week was quite a wonderful one!! It started off pretty slow with a Mission Conference that took almost all of Tuesday.  Elder Clarke, of the Seventy, stuck around after the stake conference for it, so that was awesome! He helped us as missionaries learn better ways to improve our missionary efforts and how we should go about doing it.One thing that stuck in my mind is "Apathy is overcome by the Spirit" which is true. Conversion and guidance can only come from the promptings received by the Holy Ghost. It is vital for us!!!

We also were able to hold a baptism this week for Desiree!! She was SUPER excited and is progressing so well! She is actually going to the temple to go do baptisms for the dead Tuesday with the Ward, so that's super quick and exciting!  The bishop like's her so much  and she is also giving a talk in Sacrament meeting in the next couple weeks as well. Desiree is a trouper though.. She has been getting verbally attacked by her peers for joining, but she just always has a smile and says she's been attending churches for a long time. She knows what she feels. She knows it's right, and no one can change that!!!
Desiree on her Baptism Day
 And with that, yesterday we were able to Skype our families for Mothers Day!!I would like to wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day although it's late. People just don't comprehend the importance of the women in our lives! They are special and our Father in Heaven has given them the ability to always show compassion, love, and care for others they may not know as well as other important roles in our lives! I'm thankful for all of you! 

It was great to see all of my family there and talk with them as well as an amazing friend of mine! I'm grateful for all of you and your sacrifices! I'm glad to see and hear that everything is going well back home, with my family, and others that may have not been there in person. Thank you for all that you do, especially in helping to make my mission successful, and rewarding! I love and appreciate all you guys do!

Sadly, there wasn't much else that happened...those of course we're the highlights of my week!!
I did find another new solid investigator named Clodine that's rad! Thanks for everything again! I love and miss you all! 
Talk to you later,
-Elder A. Olson

Monday, May 4, 2015

May The 4th Be With You! Good Things Happening!!

May 4, 2015

A lot happened this week, and so I will give you the highlights of the week!  It started on Wednesday with Kedecia’s Confirmation!  This event honestly tied so many members of the ward council together.  It was wonderful and included the ward auxiliary members as well as some other members that Kedecia chose. . It was such a great event to see someone make such a huge step in their lives and see the happiness this gospel can bring to someone who truly thought where they were previously was the best for them. They soon come to realize the amount of support and love they receive from the church members and from our Heavenly Father! They realize the unconditional love He has for us, as well as understanding the atonement and sacrifice of His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ! And they realize what gates are truly opened unto us because of it! It is wonderful to see the gospel mean so much. Unfortunately, with Kedicia’s new job she won't be attending church for about 2 months, so we got her all set with some fantastic visiting teachers and such.

Desiree is still set for her Baptism on May 9th, so we are definitely looking forward to that!! After some unexpected things, her interview was moved to this Tuesday, So we will wait and see about that. We also had a fun incident this week as well. A lady was asking us simple questions about religion in general. She said she has no previous knowledge of it and slowly progressed and got more aggressive with her questions. In my opinion, I think that was probably the best handled bash I've been involved in. We answered all of her questions, and did it very simply and calm.  Come to find out, she was "testing" us. She is a minister and "prophetess" for another faith and she wanted to know how we could handle stress and the doctrine we teach! She was impressed and happy with the calmness we had, and the answers we provided although she didn't fully agree with all of them. She assured us she wasn't going to leave her church (obviously because she is the preacher) but would like to come and visit ours someday! So that was a cool experience, and a rough one at that haha! Also I met the first stake president in Honduras this week.  Come to find out, he is in the ward I'm serving in!! So that's sweet!

This week was our Stake Conference. So for missionaries, it means lots and lots of meetings!! We've literally had like 3 full days of meetings! So that took a lot of time out of the normal schedule. A couple of area seventies came and joined us as well.  Although there was a lot I took away from these meetings, one thing I noticed it focused on (especially in Saturday’s Meetings) was our life here, currently and specifically how it takes those 'Not so perfect days to eventually have those perfect days.' President Donahue, a counselor in the OS Stake Presidency, gave a quote that I found amazing and simple and yet awesome! "This Journey is for Eternity" What we do now affects us later, how we LIVE now carries on with us. I want to be the best I can and learn from my mistakes, so that I can grow to live with my Father in Heaven again! And remember that "Each personal imperfection is an opportunity to change." -Russell M. Nelson

Anyway, that was pretty much my week and nothing else too new…except I found me a new barber, so that's cool hahah! Tony (my old barber) was arrested. So yeah!... No surprise there honestly!

Thanks for everything! I'm so appreciative and grateful for all you guys do! I hope you know of my love and most importantly your Heavenly Fathers love! I miss and love you all! Talk to you soon!

APRIL 27, 2015

It’s been a pretty odd, yet decent week! Sadly a lot of this week was actually rained out and we were on bike week, so we couldn't really go too many places. But we still were able to teach our usual lessons and get what we needed to done, plus pick up a pretty cool investigator.  She happens to live in the sketchiest part of our area, or at least one of them.  It’s on the road called Orange Blossom Trail (aka OBT) so that was a fun experience to go all the way out there! 

Let's just say we had a lot of weird contacts and things happen this week! On our way home one night we pulled up next to a car, and had a dance party with them while chilling at a stoplight. They were blasting music so we decided to dance too! It was hilarious!  They looked and one said "white boys...claws up and dance" so yeah... Also I was riding my bike this week, and sitting on the sidewalk was a squirrel. He wouldn't move and tried to run In front of my bike! So he jumped REALLY high and almost landed on my face!!!! It was CRAZY!!! But he back-flipped out of the way just in time! Phew.. Also I found a wheelchair in the church, so while we were stormed in we were playing with it! It is like...the best thing ever!
Me, a Wheelchair and My Bike Helmet!
This week was one of the missionaries’ birthdays, and Edwina surprised us all and got us lots of food and drinks. Although she isn't set on wanting to be baptized anytime soon, she absolutely LOVES the missionaries! She even gave us all a pair of Nikes or Jordan's so we can play basketball in style! Haha! Also, they were so we would always remember her and JMart!! I feel bad though because she gave us like $80 pairs of shoes!

Me and Edwina and My New Shoes!!
Kedecia hasn't been able to come to church cause of her work schedule...sadly, but we have been able to see her a few times since her baptism. And her husband has work off this Wednesday and so does she, so we will be finally confirming her then!! WOO!! Also Desiree is still set and awaiting May 9th! She's been having a rough week this week, but is SUPER excited about her baptismal date! We have her interview this week and we will be figuring the rest of her baptism out too.

It's still crazy to think that I will be here for 6 months, and possible 7 1/2 if I stay another transfer…which actually could happen..Elder Cotton is STILL in DeLand, so yeah! It is a possibility! 

Nothing much new has been happening, we had the helicopter that spotlights for manhunts spotlight us on our bikes, it was SWEET!!! 

Anyway, thank you for everything! I appreciate all you guys do, so thank you!
Love and miss you all!

-Elder A. Olson