Monday, February 29, 2016

The Miracles Continue!!

Soaking Up The Sun!!

Me and Elder Davis!!

Hey everyone, how was the week?!  We had a pretty solid week this week, with some AMAZING experiences that I'll bring up later in the email. We started out the week again so an exchange and I spent my time in Lake Placid with Elder Goff. He's a pretty solid missionary for only being out like 8 months. We had a good time and although a lot of the appointments fell through, we were able to help some people out, and give some blessings! So that was pretty sweet. Nothing too exciting happened that I can recall...but I'm not's been a long week! We did get to go to the local raceway today and see some practice runs, which was awesome, cause well...that's what Sebring is known for, it's raceway! It was cool. (see pic below)

Mostly, it was just another week full of appointment after appointment, which isn't bad by any means, but it just totally makes emails pretty lame. But we were able to see lots of success, like last night. Sunday night Jay and Amy have their kids come over and have some family time. We really have connected with their soon to be Son-in-law.. So hopefully we will be able to be teaching him soon. Plus he's really into large-mouth bass fishing, and said when I come back I can go out and fish with him!!

Sadly, this week we had lots of people either drop us, or stop progressing and so we had to drop some as well!! It was kind of a bummer and we basically lost contact with Melody this week too. She hasn't been answering her phone or door and it's kinda stressful, but no worries!!
We had some Tornado warnings come through our area, and our mission
president even texted us telling us to be safe and keep an eye out! But all we got was some rain and wind and nothing too wild sadly...but gladly! hahah! And now the weather has really started to get's again almost. We helped a few nonmember friends we have out here (Deb & Ann) unload their U-haul trailer again. If you remember we packed that sucker up a few weeks ago at the flea market, the flea market is open they called the professional movers...(the elders) to come help!

But overall, the most exciting thing that happened this week was on another
exchange. I stayed in Sebring with Elder Smith, and we had probably one of the most solid lessons on my mission!! We were teaching Dave and before the lesson he really opened up to us, telling us a lot about his previous situation. And for confidentiality reasons, I'm not going to say much, but I will say he had some troubles in the past.
Saturday morning as I was praying to know what to teach him. We had originally set to teach him about the Priesthood, but I had a strong and distinct impression to show a bible video about Christ's Apostle Peter walking on the water towards Christ, and read Matthew 14 of that account. Little did I know that it would have the impact that it did. Apparently many years ago in Dave's life he was struggling. He read that specific chapter and it applied to his life more than any other scripture and that scripture actually made him take some actions that changed his life years ago. So after I shared the lesson and read he said "How did you know to share that?" Simply enough it was God, prompting me by the Spirit that this was EXACTLY what Dave needed that day. It was awesome!!! I totally left like.. A lot of details out, so maybe after my mission I can say just a little more about it. But for now, I KNOW that was a miracle sent from God, and that he truly answered prayers. Dave also  mentioned that of all the lessons he's ever had, this one will always be remembered. I'm privileged to be apart of being a messenger for something that helped changed someone's life! I'm blessed to have received that answer from God. It's just living proof to me that God really does answer prayers! He is always mindful of the things we need and that they may be answered through the efforts of other people!

But that was the week! Thanks for all the love and support everyone! Y'all are amazing! I hope you all have a bright and great week ahead of you! Love and miss you all!!

-Elder A. Olson

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gettin' Work Done!!

Grocery Heaven Right Here!!

Hug a Tree!

Hey everyone! How was y'alls week this week?! It's been super busy here in Sebring.. Literally, nothing that exciting happened this week cause we just jumped from lesson to lesson, which I mean is good for missionary work. haha! Tuesday we had a ZL exchange, so I think I mentioned last week that I was staying in Sebring with Elder Yates. He's a pretty funny missionary! I've known him for most of my mission and so it was pretty fun. We has a member's wife pass away last week, so we went to her service on Tuesday and it was very comforting. Most of this family were non-members, so it was truly a blessing to be able to share the Plan of Salvation that our Father in Heaven has set for us. And that although physical separation may come in our lives due to death, the comfort of eternal families makes it all better, in knowing that you have the ability to see your family again. Family is important or else God wouldn't have us in them. God respects that and he wants us to be happy. There was actually a minister from another denomination there, and he said a pretty interesting quote, "She is in a much better place, and that place is now much better with her there." We also JUST found out today that a recent convert we worked with in Ocoee passed away last night as well...

After the service, we hopped into service clothes and went to tear out some tree stumps!! So that was pretty cool. Wednesday was just a lot of appointments and we were actually able to pick up 5 new investigators that day, which is SUPER awesome. So we are working with them and a few are slightly interested and some have the desire to be baptized. They just have to work through addictions or legal stuff, but we will continue to serve and help them out!!

We spent a lot of time in the hospital this week too. We actually were called on a lot to go and give blessings to people, which was awesome. Some were non-members we didn't even know! BUT as I've been giving these blessings it has been awesome to feel how the Spirit works and ultimately how God works. Like for instance, one of our investigators 'A-Rod' was put in the hospital for pain. We called him to see if we could visit, and right as we walked in he asked for a blessing. As I administered the blessing, the Spirit was so strong, and afterwards he actually said he could physically feel a difference in the pain, that it wasn't as bad! We visited him a few times, and we truly got to connect with him and now are aware of his concerns. So we will see what happens there!!

Hmm...what else?... We are still working with Dave to get a baptismal date set up, but other than that nothing much new. I am hanging in there and this time is going by so fast! I feel like it was just last week that I emailed about my 18 month mark, and well...I'm at 19 months now!! WILD!!!

Me and Elder Davis with Dave at the Orlando Temple
To keep this story short and the details to a minimum, we had an experience where a man got extremely mad at us for no reason, like literally he was furious and yelled all sorts of colorful words at us, just because he could. And what did it teach me? That this man was having a horrible day because of who knows what. And the lesson I learned is that we cannot place our happiness in the hands of others. Sometimes we have got to stop in our day and reflect and ask, "Am I letting others control my happiness?" Don't let people ruin your day, or stop you from what you can become. Don't place your happiness in the hands of others.

Not much of a thought today, just a quote... "Those who move forward with a Happy Spirit will find that things always work out." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Thanks for everything, I miss and love you guys. Have a good week!

-Elder A. Olson 


Elders in the Wild

Florida at it's finest


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Alligator Road

Hey Everyone!  I hope your week was great!  This week was a super busy one for us!!.. Most of it was actually spent in the car though. On Tuesday there were transfers, so nothing really exciting happened because Elder Davis and I both stayed. We did have Elder Amos spend the day with us while his new companion came down to their area on Wednesday and it was more or less just a typical day of missionary work!! Nothing too exciting happened then, but Thursday we had a pretty solid day!!

Thursday we had our monthly Zone Training Meeting. It was held at Vero Beach, which is a two and a half hour drive from Sebring, so like I said... We spent what seems like most of the day in the car, and at a meeting! On the way back, while driving, we saw lots and lots of Alligators!  They were seriously just lined along the sides of the road. You'd see one like every half mile or so. We took a picture of a few of them, but sadly they weren't close enough for us to get a close picture. lol. But we did see a big ol' one. It was probably a good 8-10 foot or so....decent size!

Friday was well...another day in the car!!! We actually had to drive all the way BACK to Vero Beach again for a specialty meeting meant for DL's.. So another like 5 hour trip there and back. There were less Alligators this time though.. It was too cold that morning for them! But we also had a miracle happen Friday as well. We received a Media Referral from a lady ordering a free bible from us. we'll...we ran out of those. So we basically decided to stop by and introduce ourselves anyway, and let her know it is on its way! She ended up being super solid!! Her name is Debbie and she's a really nice lady looking for a new church in the area. We had a good discussion and set a return appointment. She seemed excited to hear about how the Gospel has been restored back to Earth in the proper form Christ had established! So that was a blessing we witnessed for sure!

Saturday was a pretty special day. The Ward had a Youth Temple Trip and so we decided to take that opportunity and take our investigator Dave to the temple and do a tour, being that he is our closest to baptism!! The temple was AMAZING of course, and it was awesome to see his excitement as we talked and had a discussion about the temple. In his own words he said, "Since the moment I started investigating, I've known this is right and this is true. It's never hit me until today how huge, how important, or how life changing this all is. I cannot wait!!" He is such a solid guy. He then had a interview with our Mission President. Overall, it went super well and we will see what happens!

Other than that, nothing too crazy is going on. We have an exchange tonight with the Zone Leaders.. All I know is I'm staying here with one of them. lol! I've seen a lot of blessings this week as I've received many answers to prayers, and witnessed how spiritual promptings have guided me in what I should do and say. It's been awesome!

Because of His Atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere. But I believe He does so only for those who seek Him and ask for His help. The Apostle James taught, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up”  (James 4:10). We qualify for that blessing when we believe in Him and pray for His help. Having ‘descended below all things,’ He comprehends, perfectly and personally, the full range of human suffering. We might even say that having descended beneath it all, He is perfectly positioned to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure our afflictions. We have only to ask.

I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day and also have a good week ahead of you! Love and miss you all!

-Elder A. Olson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 83 in Paradise!!

Well.. It's another week down and a pretty typical one at that with a lot of teaching, finding, etc. We actually went like crazy with service this week though! Tuesday we did some service for a lady in our ward. We were told to bring some muscle and buckle up because she had A LOT of stuff...and that she did! We could only stay for a few hours, because we had a lesson with Melody later in the afternoon. So we helped load like three 26 foot U-Haul trailers full of stuff, and unloaded it as well! So that was kinda crazy. After that, we had our lesson with Melody, which went okay.. She's so stinkin' awesome and progressing SO well in the gospel. But she told us that due to some family situations and work troubles that she will most likely be moving back to Puerto Rico within this week... So that was kind of a bummer! She was basically our most solid investigator too!!

Wednesday we had an exchange. I was with Elder Rowley in Lake Placid. It was a pretty solid day, and Rowley is a cool missionary!! So we basically had a blast all day long! Nothing too fancy though! Thursday we went back to that same members and helped move some more furniture for her and then had meetings as so on..

Saturday we went to the local Flea Market, because there are some members there that have us help them set it up or take down their stuff. Plus there are lots of non members there that absolutely love us and so we try and help them out!! So Saturday we spent like 4 hours packing up and loading lots more furniture and boxes for a few of the older ladies in the flea market. So that was super awesome! One of the ladies helping out was actually interested in the church as well, so we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and briefly talk with her about that! So that was definitely a big seed planted and hopefully we will be able to see her again and start teaching her about the church and strength her faith!

We got transfer calls on Saturday as well, but we both knew that nothing would change, and nothing did!!! Because of the week extension of the MTC starting this transfer that means this transfer will be 7 weeks as well!! WOO!! And well...everyone is aware that yesterday was super bowl Sunday, which was fun. We just went to Jay and Amy's house. They had all of Jays less active kids there and some non members so that was super awesome to meet them. Plus there was LOTS of good food, so of course missionaries will be there:) It was a good time hanging, talking, catching a glance once and a while. Broncos Won!!!

Also... Just for your Information, cause this is flippin' awesome, when we woke up this morning we checked the weather and it was 28 degrees!!! So we ran outside with joy in our hearts and there was FROST on the roof tops!!!! It was amazing.

Frost on our roof!!
Anyways, here is a quick message... Our souls should be so deeply rooted in Christ that we will be able to endure any challenge, triumph over any affliction, and withstand any attack on our faith. We learn from Helaman about how the promise of rock-like strength depends on our building our lives on the Redeemer: “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of  misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I love you all!

-Elder A. Olson 

The Swamps of Florida!
Hiking with the Elders

Monday, February 1, 2016


I'm Headed to Clown College!!

Hey everyone!! It's been a pretty busy, but rather uneventful week... But we still were able to have a good week with our investigators and all the exchanges that happened! So like mentioned last week, I had an exchange with Elder Harrison down here in Sebring. It was a pretty solid day filled with appointments and service. THEN we had ANOTHER exchange Saturday, and that time I was in Lake Placid with Elder Goff. We had a blast. and we were able to see lots of miracles as the day went on!

We came in contact with this family and we were invited in to talk with them. They have faith in Christ, but it was interesting because their knowledge of the Gospel was fairly limited. They haven't read the Bible, and really have never attended a church.. So it was super awesome to teach them, and talk to them about the Bible and the restoration of the church! It really hit them and the Spirit was so strong! It was awesome to see the excitement as we presented the blessings we receive from our Savior Jesus Christ!! That we can progress in this life and be able to receive that mercy and forgiveness. And that we will be resurrected, and ultimately have the opportunity to live together in eternal families with our Father in Heaven!!

Also, on our exchange in Lake Placid we found a clown college, was super wild!! But other than that, nothing too crazy happened this week. We have been working with one of our new investigators a lot lately. Her name is Melody and she is super cool and definitely ready for baptism!! She is still in the process of praying to know its right. She feels it is, but she wants to be sure. So it's cool to see her really open up because she used to be super shy. She is progressing very well!

Last week I talked about the coolest couple in this area, Jay and Amy. We got to hang with them some more too, and do a little more service with them!! They also gave some AMAZING talks on Sunday about Faith and Obedience. It's so funny though, being around them is crazy because they're in their 40's but honestly they both act like they are 27!! It's super funny to see how wild they are! Elder Davis and I love them! We've become their new children!

Me with Jay and Amy!!
Anyway, it's super crazy to think that it's February, and well...79 degrees outside on top of that hahah! Time is sure flying! Sorry this email is a little on the short lame side of things and I'll try and spice things up this week for the next email!! It's week 6 of the transfer, although we will most likely both stay!

I just got a quick scripture for my thought today. It's Psalms 31:24. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." We need to continue to keep Christ at the center of our focus even when the road gets rough. If we continue to rely on Him, Stand by Him, Follow Him, and Serve Him, He will strengthen us in our trials and tribulations. He will be there as a constant friend to help us through the hard times and he will always be there for us as we stay true and faithful to Him!

I love and miss you all, and hope y'all have a safe and fun week ahead of ya!! Thanks for all you guys do! I'm praying for ya! Also if you could pray for Sharon (Nana) she just received a heart transplant.. Thanks!:)

-Elder A. Olson