Monday, January 11, 2016

White-Wash Life!

Got my fancy glasses!!
Well...I guess I will start off my email by saying hello from Sebring, Florida!  So yes.. I did make it down to my new area! And I will give you the low down on what the situation is/was. The church decided to create a new stake here in central Florida, which is now the Vero Beach Stake, and consists of units from the Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Orlando missions! And so that stake is now considered part of the Florida Orlando Mission! So the missionaries already serving in the Orlando area that is included in this stake just stayed in their areas, and switched zones. The Ft. Lauderdale missionaries stayed in those same areas, but will be switching missions to the Orlando mission. And where I am serving, Tampa missionaries used to be, but were pulled out and the area was given to us!! And so that's how I'm here!!! But one of the craziest parts of this whole conundrum is that I am again serving with Elder Davis! We were companions about a year ago, in Ocoee and here we are again! So I'm super pumped about that!

In a white wash, basically your first week is always super slow, but you at least know who the previous missionaries were teaching. So it's mostly just spent making maps and getting to know the members. Oddly enough, ours was super busy, because this area was previously part of the Tampa mission we didn't have access to the teaching record. So the week was spent meeting members, setting up our maps, getting to know the area, and knocking some doors! It was quite the busy but not too eventful week! We did find us a few new investigators though, so work is already moving along great. We should be receiving the area book and the ward roster today though, since this is now technically the Orlando mission as of yesterday! The ward here (or from who we have met) have been SUPER supportive and very kind to us and have also been doing some missionary work of their own! Overall, they are excited to have elders in their area and we are ecstatic to be working here. So far I've loved the area!

We had interviews with President Berry! Those went awesome and over the last two months or so I've really connected with President. He expressed his great amount of trust during interviews, and thanked me for taking in this unusual task! We also talked about college and some future plans which was weird because like... I still feel like I just started for the most part haha!

Anyway, nothing too new going on.. We have an exchange with the Okeechobee missionaries, who just came from the Ft Lauderdale mission, so we will see how that goes! Also my spiritual message it's based around something that came to my realization today. I've known it, but haven't quite thought of it like this. In the Book of Mormon, specifically Mosiah chapter 24, it talks about heavy burdens placed upon the righteous and how sometimes in our lives we encounter difficulties, and it can place a burden on our lives! But something I found unique about it is; in verse 14 it states "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." The promise of the Lord that he will EASE the burdens, and how he does that is by what's stated in verse 15. "...the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease" The Lord doesn't remove our difficulties or trials, but as we submit our will to His, He will strengthen us in the process, allowing us to bear our burdens with a divine strength and faith!!

Thanks for everything everyone! I love and miss you all. You are amazing, keep up the good work. Have an amazing week this week, okay?!

-Elder A. Olson 

Excited Elders...

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