Monday, October 27, 2014

Stretford #1

Before I get into my letter I just want you all to understand how hard it is to write these letters. So much happens in a week that I just can't fit it all into one little email. But at the same time If I was reading a missionary letter I wouldn't want to know most of the things that happens in the life of a missionary simply because many times nothing happens. If that makes sense. If not... you probably haven' served a mission. 

I feel like it was forever ago that I last emailed! Last week in Carlisle we basically spent the whole week visiting members and investigators and saying goodbye. I don't think I told you but Elder VW and I both left Carlisle which is really unfortunate because we were having some really good progress. We taught a woman named Dxxxx who accepted baptism so we had 2 people scheduled for baptism and now that we are both gone we can't keep an eye on them to make sure they're doing ok. Which is a bummer. 

Thank you all for your support and confidence in me as a trainer. I really do appreciate it and it means more to me than you know. I got my new companion on Saturday so we have spent a total of 2 days together. His name is Elder Rxxxxx and he is from New Zealand. He's 18 and he's great! I feel super blessed to be his trainer. He's going to be great! As you can imagine I've been feeling quite inadequate, but I have been so blessed in so many ways. We are in one of the only 4 man flats in the mission with the zone leaders so they're helping me to keep and eye on him as well. And we have an amazing ward. Everybody is super keen on missionary work. Some of the best missionaries in the mission served in Stretford so I'm with esteemed company. :)

Can I tell you how amazing prayer is? I'm going to. 
I have never prayed more in my entire life. I felt overwhelmed, inadequate, homesick, tired, stressed, deranged, to name just a few. But as soon as I start praying It leaves me. One thing that I've learned through study and personal experience is that prayer is a form of work. Real true prayer is not a casual roll out of bed type thing. For me at least, it involves breaking a mental barrier that the natural man has to make a connection to Heavenly Father. When I break that barrier everything flows, and the amazing thing is that it flows both ways! My thoughts and feelings flow to heaven, and the blessings flow to me. When I break that barrier I don't get distracted by day dreams or anything! It's amazing. I have seen myself change as a result of prayer. I've been lifted beyond my own capacities to become better. I have truly felt the enabling power of the Atonement and I can testify that it is real. I've noticed myself become more personable and charismatic, more approachable and fun to be around, better looking and stronger... more humble.    

One of the other tender mercies of the Lord that I've seen is that being in a 4 man flat opens up a whole new world of foods to eat. I've been eating almost nothing but curry and pasta for the last 3 months and I'm sick of it. New people, new ideas, new food!! And guess what!!! I have a bunk bed and I'm on the top bunk! It's been too long since that has happened. It's wonderful. 

Well, I've included some photos (you're welcome)

Elder Rxxxx and myself. 
Elder Grxxx (zl), me, Elder Rxxxx, and Elder Oxxxxx (zl)
Me and the chapel in Carlisle
Thank you all. I love you loads. You should all send me an email. By the way, a special thanks to those that do. You people are top notch. :) I love you!
Love, Elder Olsen

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