I hope you all had a good week this week! Especially all you women because yesterday was Mothers day over here in Britain! So Happy Mother's day!!
For this email I will write some highlights and fun happenings from this week. I won't do a day by day but I will try to put this in chronological order for the most part. All in all it was a pretty good week. From going on exchange and different studies that I've conducted this week I've learned a lot about my potential and capacity as a missionary and how I can apply that to my proselyting and other aspects of being a missionary.
Axxxxx is the most recent convert Ashton 1st ward has. He was baptised by my trainer Elder VW when he was here 18 months ago. He has a problem with and is working to over come alcoholism. He rung us up and asked us to come over to have a visit with him, this was the first time that we would see him because he had been previously living in a nearby town in a rehab center. He came home for the weekend and got drunk and that's where we come in. He called us up and asked for a visit so we went over to see what we could do to help him out and found him in a drunken state. We did what we could to talk about how the atonement of Jesus Christ can help us overcome anything, including addictions, but it just wasn't sinking in for him. Talking can only do so much, at some point, faith (we're talking verb sense here) has to kick in and action is required. So Elder Bxxxxxxxxxx distracted him, while I went around the room and picked up various half full bottles of drink, and dumped them down the sink. We then proceeded to vacuum his floor because there were at least 50 cigarette butts lying around. When we left there were tears in his eyes and he thanked us graciously. It taught me that charity can penetrate through the walls of anything and anyone.
I had an exchange this week where I worked with Elder Cxxxxxxxxx, a Frenchman, in my area. He is one of my favourite elders in the mission and I learned so much from him. He came out about 2 months after me, but he's an amazing example of finding joy in missionary work. He turned 18 in the MTC so he's quite young and full of boundless energy, so we didn't tire out and just kept going! And going... We were having so much fun and seeing so much success, stopping people and teaching lessons that we didn't realize how late it was. So that evening when we got to our destination, trying by an investigator, we had spent so much time teaching on the street that it was 9:20! But I didn't know that until after I had already knocked on the door! So we had a short conversation with them where I was profusely apologizing and then we left for the flat with a return appointment set up! Luckily a bus was coming around the corner so we made it back to the flat before to long. I had so much fun that day. :)
On Wednesday we went on splits, me with one member of the ward and Elder Bxxxxxxxxxx with another. I went with Brother Hxxxxxx to go teach Mxxx and Axxx. When we went last week to teach the Law of Chastity Mxxx was ill and didn't catch a lot of it, so we went over that again and he understands it, even though he doesn't want to live it. But he promised he would pray about it.
This is the fun part here... :) We got to do service this week for the Fxxxxxxxx, one of the best families in England. They have lots of land that had been neglected by previous owners so there is an unending task list. We started out using a heat gun to scrape old paint off the outside of there house, that was a monotonous and long task. We spent some time on that and then moved on to the next project, which was clearing vines of the top of a shed. We started out on ladders just pulling off what we could reach, but this is a big shed so in order to get the vines from the middle I had to get up on the roof of the shed to do it. I cleared off all of the vines and was walking back to where the ladder was so I could get down, when all of a sudden the roof collapsed under me! I fell through the roof! which happened to be made of asbestos... It could've been a REALLY bad accident, but luckily I have monkey like reflexes and threw out my arms and got tangled in the rafters! So I'm perfectly fine, just a small bruise on my arm (I promise it really is small mom!) So now I have to go back and fix the roof...
This morning at about 9:00 we got a call from a less active who said he needed our help as soon as possible. So we called the assistants and got permission to leave the flat early and extend P-day as long as it takes and then we went to his house. Turns out last night he tipped over a candle and set his bed on fire. He said he had a pretty good burn on the back of his leg and lower bum. But he was sitting on it so I didn't think it would be that bad, but something inside me made me question him about it. So I asked what it felt like when he touched it and what color it was, etc. When all of a sudden this 70 year old man stood up and pulled his pants down for me to see! It was a pretty bad burn. He said he could sit on it because it was numb. But he refused to go to the hospital for it so I walked him through basic first aid for burns and that was that!
And last but not least, mothers day. The mothers day programme at church is a universal thing. Except this time, I was without my mother. I think it made me appreciate her a little bit more. The primary kids sang a couple songs, and then passed out flowers to all of the women (including Axxx). The entire programme touched my heart and I cried through the whole thing. I haven't seen my mom in 8 months, but I can feel her prayers. I love you Mum. Thank you for all you do for me. You're the best mom in the world. Thank you.
Well that's it for this week! You'll be hearing from me again next week, same time, same place. I love you.
Love, Elder Olsen