Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2 Carlisle #10

Hello all!

Oh boy, it has been a great week!  Carlisle has seen many miracles and
blessings in the past week.

I'm here emailing at the Chorley temple complex having just went
through a session. It was absolutely amazing. I didn't have any
problems staying alert and I learned so much. I loved the feeling that
was there. I really experienced leaving everything at the door. I went
in and felt no stress or anxiety. I was completely at peace. In the
session we were in there was a girl going through for her own
endowment before her marriage. It was nice to see everyone acting so
Christlike, guiding her through everything. It was super nice.

Elder Kxx and I taught a great lesson this week with the Hxxxxxxx's (a
senior missionary couple here). We're teaching a lady named Rxxxxx. We
met her tracting and shared the Book of Mormon with her. She told us
that she was looking for a boost of faith because of some difficulties
that have gotten her down. Well we arranged to come back on Wednesday
and it was a great visit. Elder Kxx and I taught with more unity that
ever before and we included her in the lesson, getting her involved,
asking questions, etc. You could've filmed it and put it in the
district! She accepted baptism when she finds out that it's true;
we'll extend a date this week.

I thought we ate lots of sweets back home for Easter, but I think the
British top us on that one. They aren't really into the whole Easter
egg hunt, but everyone has loads of chocolate eggs. I'll send a
picture next week when I'm back on a computer.

I love this gospel. I am so blessed to be part of it. I love the
opportunity to share my testimony with people. I know the church is
Love from Carlisle,

Elder Olsen

Monday, March 21, 2016

2 Carlisle #9

Hello family!
It's been a pretty good week! It has been absolutely exhausting, but incredibly worthwhile. I think it is so interesting how there seems to be a focus that emerges from each week. I recognised this week's focus at church yesterday and looking back over the week it's easy to recognise that we've been given experiences to help us learn this principle. The principle I believe that God was trying to teach me is to put off the natural man. Many of the people that we spoke to talked about how crazy we are, how we should be in the pub watching Manchester United, or doing this or that. As we testified to these people of prioritising God over ______ (drugs, alcohol, ect.) the spirit touch my heart, reassuring me of the importance of the principles that I taught. This happened over and over again this week, in varying degrees of pressured from others, and escalated yesterday after church. 
In Carlisle we go tracting all the time. It seems like all we do is knock doors, but it's effective so we keep doing it! Well we met a man, a modern day Sherem type (Sherem being an anti-Christ, cleaver with his words but slimy in deed). He was quite cleaver, he talked about this and that, yada yada blah blah, etc. It was stuff that sounded pretty but it had easily apparent holes. I'm not a salesman, I'm not especially gifted in debate or conversation, but I have faith in the living Christ and I can testify that He uses the simple to do His work. With the spirit guiding our words and actions, we stood our ground and defended our faith. I do not believe in bible bashing, but I believe in courageously defending what I know to be true. To finish the story, mr. Sherem saw how he was contradicting himself and gave up. He shook our hands and closed the door. I don't know what will happen to him, but I do know that he saw more than two twenty year old boys on his doorstep that day. And I could walk away from that door satisfied that we'd done exactly what we were supposed to. 

We did meet some great people this week. Including two who are super receptive. I'm very excited to begin working with them. I think that they both will be willing to put in the work to get an answer, That's all it is! The gospel is true for everyone, people just need to be willing to find that out for themselves. One of them, Txxxx, is a 20 year old young lady who has read 6 different bibles cover to cover. She knows that there is more than what she's been finding and wants to figure out what it is. I felt the spirit so strongly as we testified to her and she felt it to. Our other hopeful is Rxxxxx. She's pretty much a dry Mormon. She lives most of the standards that we have. She said that she needs a boost in faith right now, and she believes that it wasn't coincidence that we knocked her door that day. I know it wasn't either!

Before I sign off I want you to know that I'm happy! I'm doing well, staying focused, and working hard. I know that this is the work of the Lord and I'm grateful for Him.

Thanks for everything!

Elder Olsen

Monday, March 14, 2016

2 Carlisle #8

Hello everyone!

This week was great, but not in the way I was expecting it to be. But I'll get to that later. Ha! Cliff Hanger...

Having a car in the area is the best. I still haven't had a car for my companionship, so I've been on foot for my whole mission still, but it makes things so nice for P-day. We went on another road trip on Monday to a castle. Dang! That thing was old! It's the best castle I've been to in England. I'll attach photos at the bottom. So we explored a bit of that and had a good time. This week we also had interviews with President Ulrich. I love having interviews. It's such an inspirational time where I can come away with certainty that I received revelation. I loved the time that I was able to spend there. That was in Lancaster, so we spent most of Friday out of Carlisle. On Tuesday we also had district meeting in Workington. It was the first time that we got together as a district this transfer. Wow. This is such a powerful district. We have so many strong missionaries who all make me want to improve. It's a really old district as well. 5 of the 8 go home in the next 6 months. We definitely have missionaries who sprint to the finish, rather than meander.

Of the time that we were able to spend in Carlisle, it was good. We spent less time finding this week and experimented with finding through service. We spent a few hours digging up a tree root for a nice lady that just hasn't committed to meet with us. She was super nice and offered us lots of chocolate (yum!) and bought us pizza as well! Food is the second greatest motivator in the world. Christ is the first. Sometimes I sit and think about the bible stories. What would it have been like to watch Noah building the arc. What role would I have played? Would I help or persecute? What would it have been like to sit at the feet of the Saviour during the sermon on the mount? And when he fed the 5,000... They got both of the great motivators! They heard the words of the Christ and got food too! Lucky ducks...

There wasn't actually a cliff hanger, but to wrap this up, this was a week of spiritual growth for me. President challenged me rather bluntly to step up, and I spent the days since trying to do exactly that. We've been waking up at 6 rather than 6:30 so we can have extra time to ponder and pray in the mornings. We were challenged to have morning devotionals with the Lord, It's been interesting trying to do that. I haven't seen great changes yet, but we were promised miracles by a representative of Christ, so I can't wait to see what those will be.

Love you all!

Elder Olsen

Monday, March 7, 2016

2 Carlisle #7

Hello everyone!
Happy UK Mother's day mum! I love this day! In England one of the things that they do to celebrate Mother's day is after Sacrament meeting, all of the primary kids come to the front of the chapel and get a rose to give to their mother. And then they go around and make sure that everyone has one. It was a great week for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

With transfers happening this week it was my job to keep the area moving forward. It was exciting for me! I haven't done that since over a year ago when I was in Ashton! My new companion Elder Kxx and I had a great start to our companionship. We've clicked and we get along really well. He's pretty quiet sometimes, which is nice. Elder Kxx is going to be a great companion for me to have at this point in my mission. It's been said that people talk about people, smart people talk about things, and intelligent people talk about ideas. Elder Kxx and I have had good conversations where he has pulled me up to higher conversation to speak of ideas. And it's been amazing, we speak of simple things like faith and put it into action. It's been great so far and I look forward to seeing miracles working with this him. 

This week we went over to a member's house for dinner. It was a great meal and good company too. But the best part about it is that the 16 year old daughter had invited a non member friend over! We connected with him really well and began teaching him! The spirit was tangible in the room. The question was asked "how do you know that this is actually real, not just some story that you've been told?" It was the mother that answered, which was amazing. We've been working with her for a long time and she's had her fair share of trials and doubts, but she bore a simple witness of the Book of Mormon, and the already powerful spirit intensified. It was an amazing moment to be a part of. And then the young man came to church yesterday. Members are the key to missionary work. Missionaries can work incredibly hard, and if the members don't support them, it's all for nothing, but with the members support and help, and them doing the work, that's when miracles occur much more common.
I'll send some pictures from our time in the Lake district. And then I'm off!

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Olsen