Monday, September 28, 2015

Wigan #2

Family and Friends, it's so good to hear from you! Thank you all for writing me and for your support. One thing that I've realized throughout the course of my mission is how valuable friends and family are. As a missionary, things are always changing. And it can wear one down. Ya, it's the same church. Yes, I will always have a companion. Yes, I always have the help of God just a prayer away, but there are so many variables that are always changing. And so it's so nice to have support, to know that every Monday I can be lifted by my loved ones. Thank you to all who take time and write me.
This week was good, but it had some major potential to go downhill. The excitement started on Tuesday after district meeting. We held it in Warrington, and then after that we went to Warrington town center to do a street display. It went pretty well, but there is opposition in all things, and it this case it came in the form of a born-again Christian. This man was a street preacher for whatever church he belonged to, and he didn't like what we were doing. So he parked himself about 10 feet away from us and shouting at the people, telling them how corrupt we are and how the Book of Mormon is false. I don't like stuff like that, so I went over and talked to him! You know, make friends with him and try to get him to stop. And immediately he tried every single born-again trick in the book. He gave me the biggest tongue lashing I've ever had! It was honestly really rough. But I'd been studying about charity, and the spirit surged into me like I'd never felt before, so I politely interrupted him and told him that I love him and that God loves him. He went silent, looked at me, shook my hand, and walked off. It was one of the most touching moments for me on my mission. I hate bashing. I could've pulled out scriptures and shredded his behind, but that's the spirit of contention, so the spirit of the devil. There were 2 other times this week when Elder Sxxxxxx and I were hit with born-again anti's, and each time we left them with a restoration pamphlet. Testimony is so powerful. You can try to prove things. You can try to reason. But no amount of eloquence or logic is more powerful that the Spirit of the Lord.
Well I've had a few other crazy happenings, one of them involving a drug addict, a hamster, and a dead chicken, but I won't go into that one. :)
Have a wonderful week ya'll! I think that you all are brilliant!
Love you!
Elder Olsen

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wigan #1

Hello Everyone!
Because of poor time management on my part, this email will be shorter. Sorry!
Well I'm in Wigan! It's been nuts since I've been here. So I've been to Wigan before because Warrington is so close, and Wigan was always a quiet little town. And I think that it usually is, but this week it decided to welcome me in with a few.. exciting events and people. :) I've experience a first for me. It's been fun!
But first, this is Elder Sxxxxxx. He's my companion. He's a good man. He's from Spain and he's very humble. He is a convert and loves the Gospel. 

Ok, now on to the fun stuff. On Saturday we pulled Warrington in up here to Wigan for a street display. We met in the church and then walked to town center. When we got there we were met with an interesting situation. There was a protest going on, set up by the National Front. A racest group who is protesting the refugee situation. So we called the display off and went to the church for lunch. To make a long story short, the demonstration met with another group and it turned into a riot. We were told that they called in over 100 cops to try to control the situation. Someone lit bombs off and there were stabbings and all sorts of happy stuff like that. So we locked ourselves in the church until the rioting was over and after about 3 hours it was safe to go out. So we went out and kept working but we stayed far away from towne center.
But now Wigan is back to normal. I have a really good district, and I'm excited to be working with them. It's going to be a good transfer.
Sorry it's short but I gotta go. 
Thanks for the support, I love you all. 
Elder Olsen

Monday, September 14, 2015

Birkenhead #6


Well it's that time once again. Transfer news... So for this coming transfer, Elder Sxxxxx will be staying in Moreton! And I... am leaving! This one came as a huge surprise to me, things were going so well, I was sure that we would stay together. Fortunately for us, the Lord has sees the big picture and sometimes has other plans than what we want or expect. To be perfectly candid, I wasn't thrilled when I found out yesterday that I was moving. Things really were going super well and I was enjoying the area, getting along great with my companion, and connecting well with the members. I'm leaving this area after just one transfer (again) and I'm going to Wigan! I'm really excited about that, I've been to Wigan before, It's really close to Warrington, in fact, Warrington is in Wigan's district! So I'll probably be able to go on exchange back to Warrington! That'll be weird. I really am excited. Nervous, yes. But I'm getting the hang of moving. The worst part about it is packing...
I had another good week. Elder Sxxxxx and I have been incredibly blessed to have a great transfer together. We've only had a few negative experiences, but Elder Sxxxxx has been great with helping me to be more positive in situations and to look for the good in everything and everyone. So even in those trying and frustrating times I've been able to look at it as a growing opportunity, rather than a roadblock. It's been a great lesson for me to learn and I think it's one of the big reasons that I was sent to this area.
This week we taught Rxxxxxx again. We taught him the second half of the Plan of Salvation. We tried a new approach with Rxxxxxx. We've tried so hard to teach simply. To teach in a way that he couldn't misunderstand. And it's been working. We had him teach it back to us, which he did really well. We had such a spiritual lesson with him. I'm super excited to hear how he progresses!
This week I interview someone for baptism! That was a privilege. She'd been taught by the zone leaders and since they're in my district I interview the candidate. It was super good. I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. It's great. I don't know what else to say.
Because missionary emails are boring sometimes, I'll include funny highlight. :) I tried to make cinnamon rolls this week. And it sort of worked. I made the dough, then realized that I didn't have time to let them rise because I needed to leave the flat. So I kneaded the heck out of it, then rolled it out and put the stuff inside it and popped it in the oven. The end product was amazing. Not in a good way either. They were the heaviest cinnamon rolls I've ever held. It tasted... goodish. but they were super dense. So that was fun! Here's a picture of them. :) They look goodish. I drowned them in frosting. :D

Well I'm going to sign off now. Ya'll are great! 
Love, Elder Olsen

A few more pictures that we got today!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Birkenhead #5

Elder Sxxxxx and Elder Olsen

Hello all! 
Well another week has come and gone! I love my mission so much. I feel like this last transfer things have finally clicked and I actually know what I'm doing now! I'm having the time of my life out here, but when I sit down and think about it, I really shouldn't be. Missionaries shouldn't be as happy as we are. It's grueling and exhausting. But it's fantastic. This week was especially good because of one special place I was blessed to go to. 

Because of some problems in the past, President Ulrich promised us a reward if we would get up on time, do a full 30 minutes of exercise, and do full studies. He promised that he would take us to the temple for us to do baptisms for the dead. So on Tuesday Elder Searcy and I were scheduled for 10:00. Our bus from our flat to the bus station was late so we ended up missing our first train, but we caught the next one to Liverpool that came about 10 minutes later. We had to catch a connecting train from there and that one only comes every half hour so if we missed that we would've been in trouble. I'm sure we were a sight to see running through Liverpool Central train station! But we caught it and settled in for the hour train ride. We then had to catch another connecting train to Chorley and that was super tight as well but we caught that one by another miracle. So we made it in time for our session! And when we got there President surprised us by arranging with the temple for us to do an endowment session as well! That was amazing. I had some family names that I did baptisms for and the endowment was amazing. The temple is incredible. I love it. 

Another huge highlight from the week is Richard. Elder Searcy bus contacted Richard last week and then last Sunday when we dropped by he let us in to teach him! And then on Friday we taught him the Plan of Salvation! Richard is so prepared. He has absolutely no religious background, but he came to church with us this Sunday and stayed for the entire three hours. He was so good about it. He was patient and even though all us members drop copious amounts of Gospel Lingo, he just let it all soak in. He is doing very well. 

I'm super excited for this coming week. I love my mission so much and I can't wait to see the blessings that will come this week. 

You lot are a huge blessing to me. Knowing that I have people who love me and are praying for me is a huge comfort. I can feel your prayers, they truly do have power. 

Elder Olsen
The view from our flat this morning