Monday, November 30, 2015

Palm Trees and Christmas Trees....Pizza and Turkey.

Look!  I've got PIE!!

We had a very strange, yet great week!!! It started off about the same as
usual, except I had an awesome exchange go down with Elder Peay, like I
mentioned last week. He's a cool Australian that actually went to high school with me! So we had a pretty good time talking about similar people we know, places, bands, etc. We were able to visit some really cool people, and focus a lot on the Book of Mormon.

We had a solid rest of the week though. Elder Anderson and his trainer never went out knocking on doors and so we decided that would be a good thing to do (being that our teaching pool was on the low side.) So he got to experience some door knocking as well as a old guys threatening us and saying that we weren't allowed in the neighborhood because it was a "No Soliciting" area. Well little did he know, but soon found out, that his next door neighbor is taking the missionary discussions. He's a super solid guy named Darryl who actually just moved to Florida from Georgia. He was receiving the lessons down there, and we now have him on date for December 26th!  Sadly, we didn't find anyone new from knocking, BUT we did find 6 NEW INVESTIGATORS this week. A few of them came from media referrals, or referrals from our bishop. And a few were found looking for less actives members. So we will see how they all progress and what becomes of that.

Also, this week was one of the missionaries favorite holidays, Thanksgiving!! It was pretty sweet. We had lunch with a totally awesome family in our ward named the Gilgers. They live like a block from the ocean and so they ordered pizza and we went and sat by the ocean under a gazebo and talked and ate!! Then that night, we went over to a members house, the Fudges and had our Thanksgiving dinner there. It was definitely a great time! So that was exciting haha! Then that night we set up our (mango juice) bottle tree!! We threw some lights on it and called it good! We now have a Christmas Tree and are ready for the holidays!!

Mango Juice Bottle Tree!! 
So yeah....other than that it's been pretty normal! Like I said, this week we have been focusing on the Book of Mormon in a lot of our teaching and as I have been reading it the last month or so, I have been able to tell that my testimony is growing, and my faith is strengthening. I don't know what made this time around any different but I've just been noticing a lot more. And it has become enjoyable every morning to read from it. Plus it helps that I'm in my favorite part of it, which is the last 20 chapters of Alma, when Captain Moroni comes into play! But overall, in those chapters it always reminds me of how God strengthens people in affliction, and how the actual trial may not be eased by God, but he will bless us with Endurance, strength, and faith to continue working through it!! Like in these versus from Alma 34 and 38 "But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." " much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." Life can be so difficult. These are some of my happiest times serving my mission, but also my most difficult. I recognize I have so many flaws, but as I continue to study, I've noticed that I have a stronger desire to change, to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and that it is only through him that I can actually make an improvement in myself!

Thanks for everything. I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving!!! I love and miss you all!

-Elder A. Olson 

Hey!  Did you know there is an ocean by Florida?? :)

Love Palm Trees and Christmas Trees.

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