Monday, April 4, 2016

2 Carlisle #11

Hey Everyone!

I had a horrible week this week! It was miserable and pretty much rotten; manky as they say here in northern England. 
So many things went wrong, nobody wanted to talk, and the worst part is, I was ok with it. I want you to understand, I'm not writing this letter as a confessional, nor am I putting my neck in the chopping block of judgement or scorn. But rather I'm attempting to accurately describe some of the dangers of missionary life and how to avoid the pitfalls. 
I honestly don't know why this week was especially difficult, in reading this it may not seem that it was. Everything about this week was set up for success. It was going to be perfect. I mean, we started the week off by going to the temple! There is no better start to a week than spending time in the house of the Lord. But I took it for granted and let everything slide. 
I think the best way to describe my attitude for the majority of the week is the word shallow. There was no depth to my desire, no depth to my work, and no depth to my prayers or studies. I was obedient, mostly. But I wasn't valiant in my obedience. We were out the door on time, we woke up on time, we didn't come in early, but I gave up on people at the doorstep. The scriptures describe me exactly, "men's hearts shall fail them." This week I took the easy way out, and the result was... nothing. We had no results to account for at the end of each day and the end of the week. I felt disappointed, but I reasoned and rationalized, shifting the blame to other people. They wouldn't have wanted to talk anyway, type thing. 

I don't want to dwell on mistakes that I've made. I'm definitely not perfect, and because of that, I don't particularly enjoy sharing all of this. But if I can help someone learn from my mistakes rather than from their own, I'm all right with that.

I don't want anyone to get caught up in the first part of the email because the next part is the part that matters.

I went into General Conference how I always have. I wanted to learn and to be spiritually edified. And that's what I got! I felt so uplifted and strengthened. What had become dull and monotonous was suddenly exciting and fun! In the conference I learned that I was doing wrong and therefore establishing a bad pattern for my life. I realized that I was the definition of taking the easy way out. But I was also given the tools to overcome it. Heavenly Father in His mercy laid out a plan for me, so that I can overcome myself. I know that I don't have to be bound down by exhaustion anymore. I've given so much on my mission, and I learned how to give more. Not more of myself, but more of my Saviour. I went home on Sunday evening and applied this plan. I invited Christ to revitalize me, It's my testimony that He can do it. He can give us strength beyond my own. I know that I've been blessed with interrupted sleep the last few months so that I could learn how to access the enabling power of grace.

 Blessed are they who are compelled to be humble, but more blessed are they who do not have to be compelled. I learned the hard way. Learn from my mistakes. I promise that the joy and energy that you feel on the other side far outweighs the exhaustion and sorry from before! I feel the song of love in my heart. I feel it. Do you? It is not enough to merely become clean and sanctified by the Atonement. Not in this day and age. Not with the tasks that are ahead of us. We must learn to access the power of heaven in our own lives. I testify of these truths in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

So what now? I am so grateful that I don't have to wonder. My game plan for the next weeks and months is to tear apart the conference talks. Those who gave those talks speak for the Lord. I need His direction. And then I will put it in action! I love this work. 

Here's some pictures as promised!

Lots of Love!
Elder Olsen
Elder Kxx and I at the temple!





the most unhealthy Easter treat... Caramel filled chocolate egg, with cake baked around it, and the whole thing dipped in chocolate. Diabetes.  

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