Monday, September 1, 2014

Carlisle #5

Carlisle. It's a crazy place.
Elder VW and I are celebrities. We have a whole street who absolutely love us. We walk down the street and they all come out of their houses and want to talk to us and the little kids are giving us loom band braclets and rings, and it's crazy. On Saturday we went to pull weeds for an older gentleman, so we were in our casual clothes. We walked down the road and for the rest of the day the talk of the town was the mormon's being in normal clothes. The life of a celebrity.
Anyway I want to talk about Jxxxxx, I mentioned her last week a little bit. Jxxxxx is a little bit of a headache. I have a knot in my back under my right shoulder blade named Little Jxxxxx. So the story of Joanne has more to do with what I've learned than what she has. The night we met Jxxxxx with left her with the Restoration pamplet and the Plan of Salvation one. And she spent all night studying about it and about our faith. So the next day we met with her and she spent the whole time asking us questions about deep doctrine that she had found on some anti-mormon site. She wanted to know about how we can become Gods and she attacked us on stuff that isn't relevant and it was a mess. We tried to show her scriptures in the bible about our true identity and loads of stuff like that. But she wasn't having any of it. So we started to mention little nuggets from Tad R. Callister's talk, Our Identity and Our Destiny. Bits like, we grow up to become like our parents and the like. That infuriated her. So we went away feeling not very happy. That night I sat pondering about what happened and what we could've done, and I realized, we had tried to use the "intellect of man" to prove scripture. THAT WILL NEVER WORK!!! If someone becomes a member of the church simply because of what we say, what we prove with historical facts and data, they will not stay a member long. What we should've done, and what we have done in more recent meetings with Jxxxxx, is talk about the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true than none of those other questions matter. If an investigator gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the divinity of it, they will be truely converted. But if they believe what you say about facts, they will merely be convinced, which is not conversion. Jxxxxx is beginning to soften her heart and to accept little things. The power and divinity of the Book of Mormon is real. I have seen miricles because of it. I know without a doubt in my mind that it is not only a historically accurate book, but it is of God. It testifies of Jesus Christ. It has changed my life.
On Thursday we traveled to Preston to go to Speciallized training, where our zone met together with President Ulrich, his wife, and his assistants. It was incredible. I'm still trying to process the personal revelation I recieved. It's something about prayer. How we need to stop praying for general things and to start praying for what we really want. The assistants taught us to stop praying to find a family, and start praying to find a specific family. For example, on Saturday night I prayed that we would be able to find a family with parents who are married, has a teenage son and two small girls, who are ready to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We found them. They are potential investigators but we are meeting with them this week and I have full faith that they will accept it and be baptized.
I have grown to love the Bible. I studied the book of Jonah this morning, it has some powerful stuff. My invitation to you is to study the book of Jonah. Please share your insights with me and next week I'll share mine with you.
I love you all. You are in my prayers constantly. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I love my mission. I miss you tremendously, but I don't care. I get to be here in England on the Lord's errand!!! Ya'll should be jealous.
One more invitation: have one religious conversation a day with your friends or family.
I love you.
-Elder Olsen
p.s. ice bucket challenge conquered.

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