Monday, March 30, 2015

Ashton #11

Hey Chaps! How are ya? 
Just so you don't forget, this is what I look like. You see that sky? That's the norm. Yup. 
Alrighty! So my week this week went pretty well! It was one of the fastest weeks of my life, which is nice. It feels so nice as a missionary to have a busy schedule. If you don't, things just drag and the days are super long, but it was fast and I don't know what happened to the week. 

So on Monday last week after emailing we went to Oldham, about a 20 minute bus ride away, to meet up with some other missionaries at the church to play some sports. We got there and there were tons of missionaries! There must have been about 25. We played some version of volleyball similar to king of the court, but it was weird because everybody was constantly rotating. I pretty much owned, thanks to all the training I got from my almost state champ sister! It was a lot of fun and it was nice to meet up with other missionaries to help relieve stress. I have some good friends serving in nearby areas so it was good to be able to talk to them. 

A week or two ago I spent some time calling all of the former investigators and potential investigators that were saved in the phone. I managed to set up an appointment with a former and then last week we had that appointment. It was a really good visit, a little unorthodox, but good none the less. They are an African family of 7, so it kept me on my toes. Families that big in England are rare, and I've only taught families that size twice on my mission, and they were both member families. So it was a new experience. I've learned that the key with people who have come from Africa is to focus on Jesus Christ. Most have a pentecostal background, so it's always full of "amens" and "hallelujah"s thrown in there, which is so much fun! :)It was really good to meet with them, because turning my focus to Christ like that helped me to realize that I should be doing that with everyone I teach! I realized that while I've been talking about Him and teaching the lessons, I haven't planned my lessons around Him, and the Investigator. So I have a new plan going forward as how I'm going to teach lessons. 

Over the weekend I went on exchange with my district leader, Elder Lxx. We worked in his area, mostly. We exchanged on Friday morning, and went to his flat for lunch, which is where the crepes come in! Elder Lxx's companion is Elder Cxxxxxxxxx, who is from France. He made us a big bowl of crepe batter so we made some crepes! It was one of the highlights of my week. :) Anyway, my exchange with Elder Lxx went really well. We were supposed to have a super busy day, but one by one all of the appointments fell through, except for our service. We painted a fence for a single sister, so we did it while she was inside cooking food for us. We had a really good conversation about different trials that we are going through, and we were able to help each other out a lot. I currently have a situation that God has given me, as a test and as a growing experience for me. I'm definitely learning so much from this. Anyway, we lucked out because our dinner appointment for that night fell through right as it was supposed to start, but the lady we did service for had given us food! Talk about a tender mercy. And it was curry! We extended the exchange a little and swapped areas the next day, and Elder Lxx and I went to go teach Mxxx and Axxx. We didn't present any new information, but we went over some of the things we had already taught. It was such a good lesson. The spirit was super strong and I was able to learn good teaching skills from Elder Lxx, who's amazing. 

Last night I had a crazy experience, but before I get into it, I want to say that Satan is real. I've had experience after experience that have led me to know that. Most of them are negative experiences, but last night we had a really positive experience dealing with the Priesthood and Satan. It's not one of the more drastic stories that I have, but the implications of what could have been are scary. We were able to go to bed early last night, which was nice, but while I was laying in bed, I began to feel uneasy, and I got really nervous. Elder Bxxxxxxxxxx must've felt it too because he got out of bed to check that the doors were locked. A few minutes after he got back, I still had the really uneasy feelings, and I had one of the most distinctive promptings I'd ever had. It was a clear feeling that we needed to dedicate the flat right then. So I got us both up and we knelt there and dedicated the flat. I immediately felt peace and comfort and went to sleep easily. Yep. I know it's small, but God's power is real. 

Anyway, I love you all. You're the bestest! 

Love, Elder Olsen

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