Once again it's time for the update from England! It's been a good
week for me. Transfers are the best time in a missionary's life to set
new goals and expectations. It's usually a time of growth and change,
a time to lay aside the old self and restart with a fresh you.
With transfers being on Wednesday, the first part of my week was spent closing things up in Wigan. I tried to leave it in the best shape I could, and I definitely think I left the area better than it was when I came into it. We met together as a district on Monday and played basketball and a few other sports, it was fun and I'm going to miss that district. It had so much diversity in it which made things unique and entertaining. In our district of 8 people we had 6 countries represented. With so many nationalities you'd think that cultures would clash but we all got along great and everything was super fun.
Tuesday was the last full day in Wigan, so we went out and worked! I hate it when missionaries think that since they're leaving they can stop working and wait until they get to their new area to start working again. We're all on the same team regardless of where we are, and it doesn't matter who teaches them, it's the Lord's work, not ours! (I'll get off my soap box now). We spoke to a lot of people but were only able to teach one lesson all day.
A few weeks ago there was an announcement made that dramatically changed the way transfers happen. Everyone who is getting transferred and their companions usually meet together at a central location in the mission, we have a meeting where incoming missionaries are introduced and we hear departing testimonies from those who are leaving. But now we are responsible to get to our new area on our own, without the central meeting place. So that was a fun change, but it was a nightmare to try to work out the logistics of it. It was my job to get travel plans and arrangements for everyone in my district which was stressful. I'm not going to be a travel agent. It's decided. But everyone got to their new areas and got their companions so it worked out great. I was picked up by the senior couple serving in Carlisle, which was super exciting! I've never served around a senior couple before and I'm pumped! We drove halfway to Lancaster where we had a worldwide missionary devotional, the first of its kind in 10 years! It was super good and I learned a lot. I won't go into details about it because this email would just get super long. But it was good.
Thursday. The day things really got started. I'm probably going to go on another rant in this paragraph. But is one is mostly positive. My new companion Elder Kxxxxxx is great. He's a solid missionary with an incredible work ethic. I have never come into an area that's had half of the appointments scheduled as this one did. Thursday was jam packed with appointments every hour, we had to bike as hard as we could in-between each appointment to make it to the next one. And the best part is, only 3 fell through! So I was super excited about that! We taught a few really good people, who are willing to make changes and sort out their lives. It was also so nice to come into a CLEAN flat! The Elders here before me did a great job with everything, they were clean and organized, the area book is organized, WE HAVE PEOPLE TO WORK WITH! And I am happy! My companion isn't super talkative, but he puts his head down and works. He's been out in England for 3 months, but he served in Kansas before that for 6 weeks. He's a solid as they get with a strong testimony, good people skills, and an incredible work ethic.
Friday was the day that proved us. We had 6 appointments scheduled, and all but one fell through, so we were left with hours on our hands to find. And we found. And it wasn't finding to fill time that so many missionaries do, we were expecting to find people and the Lord blessed us. We taught lessons, found new investigators, and rode our bikes like nobody's business. I fell asleep super easily that night.
Saturday was just like Friday. We tracted for hours, but unlike a lot of tracting that I've done on my mission, we didn't knock a million doors and it didn't feel like we were out for days. We had conversations with people! We touched people's hearts! We were super hungry at the end! And once again, the Lord blessed us with return appointments.
Sunday was church and it was the first time seeing the Carlisle branch members in 15 months. The reactions of so many people made me laugh! I'll include a few of the funny comments.
-Yep, I still don't remember you.
-Oh ya! You were Elder VW's companion!
-You never really said anything when you were here, but now that you talk your actually really nice!
-When I heard Elder Olsen is coming back, I knew that you had served here but I couldn't remember your face, but you're the one that gave us the burned cookies!
I guess I'm not the only one who can see the change that I've made on my mission!
So in conclusion to this bigger than normal email, I'm doing well. The other Elders in Carlisle have a car and we don't, so I could be better, but I'm still happy.
Thanks for your support and encouragement. Ya'll are loved by our Heavenly Father, and by me.
Love, Elder Olsen