Monday, January 26, 2015

Ashton #2

Super long, super good week

Well like the subject of the email says, this week was super long, but super good. I think I've walked more in this area than any other time on my mission, so I'm starting to get thunder thighs. :) 

On Monday we had a normal P-day morning. Get up, exercise, Get ready, breakfast, study, cleaning, lunch, email, and then after that we met with 8 other missionaries and we played basketball and football (soccer) at the church. It was a lot of fun! So yeah! 

That evening we went tracting and then went to FHE at a members home. We taught about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their weapons of war, or weapons of rebellion. As we were teaching about it, the thought came into my mind that every one of us have our own personal weapons of rebellion. Whether they be big or little, it doesn't matter. We need to identify what these weapons are and lay them aside. 
Tuesday was non stop tracting and street contacting, the only relief coming in the form of a dinner appointment at our ward mission leaders home. It is so nice to have a ward mission leader who knows what he is doing! In my last 2 areas the ward mission leader was either less active, or he had just been called so he didn't know anything about it. But this time it is so different! It is a young couple with 3 small children. It was so much fun to chat with them and then make paper air planes for the lesson. 
Wednesday we were able to do service at a members home. We cleaned out the shed of an old Victorian house with spider webs that had to be at least 100 years old. I had the wonderful privilege of cleaning those webs up. I came face to face with one of the biggest spiders I have ever seen, but I won't tell you how big it was because I know the South American missionaries that email have seen bigger ones. We were also able to go to investigator sports at the chapel, where a whole bunch of teenagers show up and Elder Sxxxxxxx and I get destroyed in football. 
Thursday was a good day, we had weekly planning and it was pretty good. 
Friday we spent the whole day tracting. Unfortunately we didn't see any success from that, but as we were walking back to our flat we met a man named Bxxxxxx, Elder Sxxxxxxx stopped him and as we moved into more of the religious topics I kind of took over and taught him the whole first lesson. He's a new investigator now so that's really good! But I realized that I've been doing that alot! I just take over and that's not right! We are companions for a reason. So it's been my goal since then to work on teaching in unity. 
Saturday was the longest day of my life! We tracted and street contacted all day long and nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. We weren't even able to give pass along cards away. It was ridiculous. So we spent 8 1/2 of our 9 working hours seeing no success. It was about 7:30 in the evening, we hadn't taken dinner yet, we were going to do that at 8. So we're tracting this street and simultaneously we stopped and said, "we didn't pray before we started this street" which is something we try to do before and after every street we tract. So we said a prayer and asked for miracles to happen. The next door we knocked on opened up and we taught them the restoration on the doorstep. Then the finance of this lady that we had been talking to pulled up in his car and they invited us into the house and we were able to finish the lesson and they both became new investigators! So it was a good end to an otherwise rubbish day. 
Sunday was another really good day. We had church, and btw, 9:30 church is to early and awkward. We do it backwards with Sacrament Meeting at the end and I don't like it. But what do you do. 
That evening we had dinner with one of the best families in England. The Fxxxxxxxx. It's a man, his wife, and 9 children. It was so much fun! 
Anyway, That's my week! Remember that I love mail! ;)
Love, Elder Olsen

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ashton #1

So on Sunday of last week, I was a little disappointed that I was being transferred, things were FINALLY starting to go places and I was going to miss out on all of it. I think I told you about our new investigator Lxxxxxxx who is an Italian chef. On Tuesday we were invited over to his house to eat! He spent hours cooking for us and when we got there he presented an appetizer of thinly sliced raw ham with fresh parmesan and tomatoes on it drizzled with olive oil. It was amazingly good. 

For the next appetizer it was an eggplant with some sort of seafood thingy on top. It was really good as well.  

And then we had a really good pasta with squid in it. I don't have a picture of that one. 
Then it was the main course which was some sort of chicken with potatoes and onions. It was really good as well!

Then we had dessert. The whole time we were eating we were talking about the Gospel and we were teaching him the restoration. It was such a good experience. I loved it. 
So that's Stretford. Now moving to Ashton. I love Ashton. Ashton is on the outskirts of Manchester, but it is a town slightly bigger than Carlisle. It is close to the Pennine mountain range, or hill range if you're from Utah, but it is beautiful. It has been REALLY cold since I've been here and has snowed and rained. In one of the neighbouring areas church was cancelled because of the weather, so the missionaries from their ward came over to ours. We had 10 missionaries in Gospel Principles class! It was so good! Another thing that I love about Ashton is that Elder VW is one of the Zone Leaders in Ashton Zone, so that's nice!

As far as the work goes here, it's ballin. We have taught so many lesson and have so many new potential investigators. I love transfers because it's a great time to recommit yourself to the work. I have never worked harder on my mission. We come back to the flat absolutely beat down, but I am sleeping really well and I have enough energy to go out and do it the next day! But I'm super tired. Anyway, I was really looking forward to serving with Elder Sxxxxxxx because he had been in Ashton already, so it was my first not white wash, but they didn't have anything going on anyway so we're pretty much starting from scratch with investigators. So yeah! That's this week! I hope I answered all of your questions. If not, ask them again.

I love you all! Thank you for  your support!
Love, Elder Olsen

ps-I burned a tie for 6 months!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Stretford #12

Well this is my birthday cake. 
It's a really posh ice cream. 
It was really good. :) 
Excuse the hair, it was a windy day. 
Hello everyone!
So on Saturday we got transfer calls! For the next 6 weeks I will be serving with Elder Sxxxxxxx (I don't know anything about him) and I'll be in Ashton 1st ward (still in Greater Manchester). So that's exciting! I'm really excited to go, but at the same time I'm a little gutted because this past week has been really good for us and we've started to make some real progress.

So on Monday after emailing we went to the Stake center and played basketball with some other missionaries. It was really fun and I was so happy to be moving around. Speaking of moving, I've been blessed this past week, because I was able to convince my companion to go running with me 3 mornings! So it was good to get out and burn some annoying fat that likes to collect on my waist. 

This week we went to go teach a man named Bxxxx that we met last week. He's a really friendly man and let us in without a problem. After some conversation we get around to teaching him about the restoration, and about half way through he starts rolling a joint of weed! It was so funny! So for all you wannabe pot smokers out there, I can teach you how to roll your Mary J when I get back. It's a very fine art. 

This weekend we were caught in the chaos of a Manchester United after game craziness. And when you're surrounded by thousands of drunk football fans, some angry, some happy, it's a dangerous time to preach the gospel. So we went somewhere else. How's that for a pointless story!

Yesterday a member brought a non member friend to church, and being missionaries, we just had to swoop in and snatch him up. So we did! We taught him and now he's a new investigator! He is from Italy and he's Catholic, but he is sick of the Catholic priest being involved in scandals and he doesn't think that the Catholic church practices what they teach so he's looking for a different church. He loved the restoration and is excited to learn more. The best part is, he's a chef for a restaurant that is exclusive for celebrities, and he has invited us over to his house on Tuesday for a meal! So unfortunately because of transfers I will miss out on teaching him, but I'll be able to eat some of his food before I leave! 

We bumped into our investigator Jxxxxx, who is the really really good one from weeks ago. We haven't seen her at all this transfer because of the holidays and school, but she is still open to having visits and she has been reading the Book of Mormon so I'm excited for Elder Rxxxx to continue to teach her. 

Well, thank you all so much for your prayers. I love you and I pray for you. 
Love, Elder Olsen

We were bored at a bus stop. Don't judge. Nobody was around!

Really. Don't judge. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Stretford #11

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great holiday season this year! 
I had a good one. I had lots of fun going to members homes and hanging out with other missionaries, but I am honestly glad that the holidays are over. I know that is something that old people usually say, but I'm just excited to have people start listen to us again. The most common answer that we got from people was, "After the holidays" so now that they don't have that excuse I'm excited! 

Well It was kind of a dull week, in fact, every day but Sunday was dull and unproductive. The streets were empty so we spoke with not very many people. Sunday was a good day though. It was a fast Sunday, which I have come to appreciate much more on my mission. I really didn't understand the purpose of fasting, other than to "raise money for people less fortunate" but I understand now. I don't know how to explain it. President Eyring said that "Fasting will bring you closer to God than any thing else" and I have seen that principle recently. There is a really good talk by Hank Smith about Fasting. I don't remember what it's called, but it's super good. You should all look it up. 
So we are in Downtown Manchester City, Walking around trying to talk to everyone, and this man approached us. He asked if we were Mormons or Jehovah's Witness and when we said we were Mormons he reached into his backpack and pulled out a Book of Mormon. He then went on to tear us apart on every single on of our points of Doctrine. But, lucky me, I have been studying like crazy, so I was able to adequately answer his questions. At this point I got this crazy urge to pull out my bible and bash with him, but instead of doing that we pulled back and came to a mutual agreement that contention drives away the spirit. We shook hands and left as unlikely friends, never to meet again. Looking back on it, I can very clearly see when Satan was trying to drive me to bash with this man, but thanks to the power of God, we were able to resist and leave a good impression on him. 

Well that was all the excitement in my life. Other than a boring New Years party that isn't worth mentioning.
Anyway, I love you
Love, Elder Olsen