Another week down, and like 3 more to go!! This week has been a total blur honestly. It's just seemed all jumbled together, but we did see a lot of great things happen with lots of success in the Pine Hills area!:)
We kicked off the week in such a amazing way. We had the opportunity to go and do temple service for the grounds of the Orlando Temple while they are closed for repairs and cleaning. And I got to do the coolest job ever, staining the cement driveway! It was ridiculously hot, but well worth the hard work. Basically there were like 14 of us with paint rollers painting the ground haha! It seemed to improve the look of the grounds to make that divine house even more gorgeous. Mainly this week was just full of lessons, and lots of service. We mowed a few lawns, helped clean a few houses and gave some blessings. It was a great week for some good hard work!
Also this week we had a pretty wild few lessons. We seemed to have lessons with a lot of people wanting to "Bible Bash" with us.. One thing I've learned on the mission is that the spirit never dwells with contention, so bashes never go anywhere. So we experienced a lot of that this week. I've just become bold throughout the mission. I used to try and throw a smack-down on them, but what I've found to really stop it..is to bear a heartfelt and genuine testimony. People can't deny something you know. Those words are powerful "I KNOW" Even if they try to dismantle you, it's YOUR testimony. What is said shouldn't change what you truly believe. 'We also knocked on a less active member's house I used to teach. He just went through a divorce and has apparently been super depressed. So we tried to visit like everyday with no success, and we got worried. None of his neighbors had seen him, the house never changed, his truck never moved, and the only thing we could tell from his house was the bathroom light was always on. And that was the only light on...For days! So we kinda panicked because we were worried, but thankfully, before calling the cops, we knocked on his door one more time and he answered!!! Phew. It was a good visit too!:)
Other than that we have just had a ton of lessons and are working with a lot of investigators and less actives! Bryce is still set and excited for July 17th for his baptism, plus we are meeting with another kid named Deshawn and going to set a date with him as well on Wednesday. We also were knocking doors on Sunday and ran into a guy named Nam, who met with missionaries in the past. We set a potential date for July 24th with him as well! So we are seeing lots of great things happening in Ocoee! It's been a huge blessing to be back!
I wanted to tell you all something, which is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned since I've been on a mission - Heavenly Father really does love us for our intrinsic values as his children. He does not love us because of our strengths, our weaknesses, or because of anything we do or don't do. It's not something we deserve. And it's not something we earn... It just is and will always be there for us. Our Heavenly Father's love never vanishes. His ultimate love is incomprehensible, but I know and can testify with absolute surety that it is there, that He is there, willing to send forth His loving Son, our Savior, who allows us to press on, continue in Hope, partake of redemption, and return to the presence of Him who created us.. There is nothing more loving than creating this plan for us, then sending His Son, a perfect Son, and watching His suffering for the temptations, flaws, and pains of the rest of his children.
Psalms 116:8 - "For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes
from tears, and my feet from falling."
Thanks for everything everyone! I hope you had a splendid Independence Day! God Bless this Country and all the blessings we receive from it! I love and miss you all! Have a great week this week!
-Elder A. Olson