Monday, June 27, 2016


We had quite the wild week back here in Pine Hills!! So obviously the week started off saying goodbye to lots of members Monday night. It was super difficult to leave that area, not to mention, I had to say goodbye to two separate areas, Sebring and Lake Placid members.  Being that they were so close I didn't say goodbye the previous transfer when I left Sebring for Lake Placid. But luckily I have good relationships with people there so I will definitely come back and visit them!

Then Tuesday was quite the adventure getting up bright and early to head into Orlando!! I ended up seeing a lot of my mission friends and previous companions that were flying home the next day! So that was awesome, and then met my new companion, Elder Ashworth, there! He's a solid kid, so we have had a blast of a first week! We don't know what's going to happen to the area though, because Elder Ashworth and I fly home early together! It's super cool being with him though. He's been my Zone Leader in the past and we've always got along great! It was super weird though, my first day back in the Ole' stopping grounds was so fun. We actually got to go see my recent convert Kedicia!! And to make it even better, we are teaching her step-son who is 10 and trying to work with her husband! And her son is on track to be baptized on July 16!!

Wednesday we went and did a huge zone-wide volunteering for a Local Food Bank called Second Harvest, so that actually took up most of our day. It was like 4-5 hours long. But after that, we just visited other less actives and current investigators we are working with. Still..Super weird to see some familiar faces!

Thursday was a fairly normal day, just lots of lessons. Nothing too extreme went down! Friday was pretty fun though. We had our usual time set apart for weekly planning.. Then at the end of the night we had a temple tour with our investigator Sarah! Her, her husband and two kids have been investigating the church, and actually have been attending the church in Texas for about 2 years. Only Sarah could go, but we had a good time at the temple and she felt really good about it! So we are just continuing to work with her. She knows it's right. And we are just waiting until she is ready basically!

Saturday was a totally wild day. We got a call Friday night saying there was a car accident involving a few missionaries and were both okay. Long story short, one Elder needed to be Emergency transferred to a new area, so President Berry called and asked if we could take in another companion! His name is Elder Hernandez, from Orem Ut. And let me tell you, this kid is a RIOT! He's stinking hilarious! We will have him until we leave, which is AWESOME! So it has pretty much been a fun time so far! Lovin' being back here!

1 Corinthians 10:13 says: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." As we go through trials we often ask "why me?" But as we apply the Atonement and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. It's easy to look at his pain, suffering, and temptation. He faced the ultimate burden for the children of men! As we go through trials and face the obstacles of temptation, I pray that we turn to our Heavenly Father. God does not give us more than we can bear. As we go through trials make we look ahead and think of the growth possible through the hard times we may face!

Thanks everyone, I'm super excited and nervous to have one month left. I appreciate all the love and support offered! Y'all are the best! Love and miss you guys!

-Elder A. Olson

Dragon Ball Z Car!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Old Stomping Ground

Elder's at Pirate Ship Apartment!!

Two of my favorite people from my mission!!

Departing Missionaries Last Temple Trip with President & Sister Berry.

Good Morning everyone, hope you had an amazing week this last week. I heard that Orlando has been in the news a lot recently. Please pray for those troubled in this area! Lake Placid was pretty awesome. Although...I realized, I didn't spend much time in Lake Placid this week hahah! I'll tell you what went down.

The beginning of the week was pretty average, and nothing too out of the ordinary really and we just had some solid lessons. Thursday was a big day for us. We had district meeting, apartment checks, and then right after at I went and had a day exchange with Elder Bravo, in Sebring. So we had a fun time visiting a bunch of people from my old area, and his current area! Then after dinner, we ended up driving to St. Cloud and stayed in a notorious apartment named the "Pirate Ship" with Elder Davis and Elder DeMille, because the next morning, Friday morning we had the departing temple trip for the missionaries leaving soon!!! WOOHOO!

That was an amazing temple trip! It was so amazing to be in the temple one last time before I leave Florida. And to make it even more special, it was President and Sister Berrys final temple trip as well! It was a very spiritual, and wonderful experience to spend that time with them, in the temple, and to hear their testimonies at the end of the day!! I'm grateful for them, and all their hard work, help, love and the influence they have been on me in my mission!! After we just chilled in Orlando for some time, waiting for interviews with President for those leaving tomorrow. So we went out to eat, and I got to go visit Elder Rowley!!

Saturday was just a super weird day. We waited for transfer calls and visited a few people in the meantime. And well... The transfer news came in!.... I'll be leaving Lake Placid. I'm pretty bummed about it. I kinda didn't want to leave for my last few weeks,BUT there is some interesting news concerning transfers! IM GOING BACK TO OCOEE SOUTH!!! YAY! So yeah, I'm going back to my old stomping grounds and that should be way interesting. PLUS my companion will be Elder Ashworth, who leaves the same day I do. It should be a SOLID few weeks though. It's going to FLY!

So that's the week! I've just been saying my goodbyes and getting ready for the transfer starting tomorrow. 

Here is a quick quote I found this week from President Kimball: Spencer W. Kimball, emphasized the need to continually read and study the scriptures. He said: ‘I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns’ [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 67]”

Thanks everyone for all you do!!! I appreciate all the love and support. I Love you all and miss you all! Have a great week!:)

-Elder A. Olson

Monday, June 13, 2016

Final Six Weeks

Well... Another week gone in Lake Placid! It's been quite the good week, well, For the most part! The week started off pretty wild with a tropical storm warning. Lake Placid ended up getting quite a bit of rain, but nothing too bad! We were asked to retire to our apartments early so we avoided most of the storm!

We also had a Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday all the way out in Vero Beach again, which was really good. I only have one more, and with transfers coming up I was excited to go and say goodbye to most of those people, since I might not see them again before I leave. So it was a good little trip with a pretty spiritual and awesome meeting attached! The mission is also doing a "fast food fast" for a month. So normally we would go grab food, since it's another 2 hour drive home, But because of the fast we went to the Zone Leaders apartments and ate some French Toast.

This week we had a lot of people not answer their door, so we ended up doing a bit of finding.. We were in a particular area and decided to stop by a member's home, who we have never met or heard of really. He was surprisingly really nice, and as we sat in his home, talking with him it was so strange. He has been married to his wife of another faith for 30 years, who doesn't really approve of the Latter-Day Saints. He has a rock solid testimony that the church is true because of experiences in his life, however, he voiced he is worried about his relationship, which is understandable. I just think the craziest thing about it all is the fact that he recognizes the hindrance in his life. He hasn't even prayed or tried to read scriptures In those 30 years.. We asked him to pray, once a day and he started weeping, saying he knows that eternity is on the line, but he is literally scared to pray because he KNOWS what the answer will be.. He KNOWS God will answer him.. His faith is so strong, and it's the action on that faith we are trying to work with him on.

We also has a GREAT lesson with an investigator of ours this week. His name is Joe. He is a young and VERY solid guy. He attended LDS services before, while in the military, and enjoyed it very much! We taught the restoration to him and he loved it!! We also set Neil on a new baptismal date for July 16th!! He is still working hard and loving the visits! He's a great man! And we set a baptismal date with our investigator Patrick as well! So that one will be held July 23rd!! WOOHOO! President Berry emailed us and said he was proud of the work that has happened in this area, since it's been a part of Orlando Mission! you are all aware, there was a crazy incident that happened in Orlando. It is very saddening.. I ask you pray for those in Orlando that peace will ensue after this attack. It was really just down the road from where I served in Ocoee..

Thank you all! Love and miss you! Have a great week!:)  Here is a spiritual thought for the week.

-Elder A. Olson

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lake Placid Livin'

Another great week in Lake Placid!! It was quite the adventure this week and it seemed to go fairly quick too! We started out the week with an exchange on Tuesday/Wednesday.  And was a little different. I was with a missionary who hasn't been out very long, and he basically just throws down on everyone he teaches and usually brings up unnecessary topics.. He totally bashed one of our investigators, abandoning the lesson we were supposed to teach.. It was a good exchange regardless, we had lots of lessons, and got in contact with lots of cool people! It was just a HUGE stress to the week this week. But that could potentially be my last exchange on the mission!

We have continued to work with Neil and our other fellow investigators. We had a good lesson with one named Patrick and his roommate. They had lots of questions about the Plan of Salvation. It was cool to see how peaceful the gospel is to people. They were so uneasy about the concept of heaven and hell. After we explained our beliefs regarding after mortality, their entire attitude switched, so they are showing some interest!

There is apparently a pretty big tropical storm coming into Florida today, so we are expecting some flooding, according to what the news said.. And if not, just lots and lots of rain!! I'm sure it'll be worse closer to Tampa area. Also, sorry if this emails later than usual. We went bowling today with some of the youth in our church and their friends, so that was a blast! Also, Thursday we were invited to a Sebring ward's graduation party, So that was super fun. we talked to a lot of non-members there and partied.

We had a super solid day yesterday at church. It was definitely one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever been to! It was great, plus we had a great turnout with roughly 50 people attending the branch! We had a less active come who hasn't been in like 30 years, then we had U'quayzia (our recent convert) bring her friend TaLazarus to church, and she seemed interested, kinda. So we will hopefully start teaching her as well!!

Sorry this emails fairly bland, not much seemed to happen this week because we just jumped from appointment to appointment to knocking doors it seemed.. But I do have a few quotes to share.

"True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage, and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ." —Richard G. Scott, 
"The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness" 

"There will be days ... when your hearts are heavy and your heads hang down. Then, please remember, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, is the Head of this Church. It is His gospel. He wants you to succeed. He gave His life for just this purpose."
—Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?"

"Someone has written, “Love is a verb.” It requires doing—not just saying and thinking. The test is in what one does, how one acts, for love is conveyed in word and deed." —David B. Haight, "Love All"

Hope you all have a fantastic week this week!! I now have less than 50 days!!! Phew...crazy! Thanks for all the love and support, talk to y'all soon!

-Elder A. Olson