Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2 Carlisle #19



Good morning!

It's been a great week in Carlisle! For the big news of the week, I am staying in Carlisle for my last 5 weeks, but Elder Pxxxxxx will be leaving! ☹️ my new companion will be Elder Fxxxxxxxx. I don't know much about him, we've always been in opposite ends of the mission, but it should be really good! We have some really good things happening in Carlisle, things are going better than I've ever seen on my mission. Elder Fxxxxxxxx and I are going to keep that going and make things happen!

As far as my week goes, on Tuesday we had district meeting and then exchanges after. I was with Elder Gxxxx from my group, and Elder Pxxxxxx was with Elder Jxxxxx, from my group. We had such a great time together! One of the highlights was driving through the Lake District on the way to Carlisle. We saw beautiful scenery. So we got permission to take photos. It was amazing.

Elder Pxxxxxx and I were able to teach so many lessons this week! We had lots of success with everything that we did! Not one of our appointments this week fell through. That's amazing. Our appointments were super great as well! Some of them lead to new investigators too! We've just had a really good week.

A few weeks ago Elder Pxxxxxx and I were tracting and met a lady named Axx. She invited us back but never set up a specific time with us. We were prompted to go back to her on a whim, found her in, and set up an appointment with her. She lives on her own so we made arrangements for Elder Hxxxxxxx to come with us. When we got to the appointment we were shocked to see someone else that we knew! Axx's daughter Lxxxxx is someone else that we had found ages ago who had also said we could come back! So we were able to teach them the restoration and have an appointment to go back tomorrow! It's going to be super good! It's amazing to see the Lord's hand organizing this work. Things are literally falling into place, I've honestly never seen things like this on my mission. We taught Rxxxxx many times this week. We've found her biggest concern and have been working on addressing it. She knows the Book of Mormon is true and that this is the true church. But she struggles with feeling good enough. She knows it is a life long commitment and she wants to be true to it. We've given her every answer there is, and we are working towards a baptismal date of the 18 June. She is sooo close!

Elder Gxxxx and I found several new people on the exchange that we went on, looking forward to meeting up with them and working with them.

(writing this several hours the other part)
I've met Elder Fxxxxxxxx now, and it's going to be a good transfer. He's from Sparks Nevada and has been out for about 15 months. He plays a lot of Beach volleyball and longboards. I'm excited but I'm going to miss Elder Pxxxxxx. We got along so well, and we worked really hard. We had lots of fun together and saw miracles. I guess it's time to see those miracles with Elder Fxxxxxxxx now!

Today was transfers, so Elder Pxxxxxx and I drove to Chorley where we caught the coach with other missionaries to Manchester where we met our new companions. After a short training and some mingling we headed back up, loaded up the car and headed north! And now here we are sending emails off!

I guess that will be it for me today, I still have a few emails to send off. Thank you all so much for your emails. They mean so much to me. I feel your love and encouragement. Thank you for the support you have given me.

Love from England,

Elder Olsen

Monday, May 23, 2016

2 Carlisle #18

Well chaps, thanks for the great letters! It was great to hear about how things are going for you all. It's been a good week for me! We got a lot done and met with some really good people! The teaching pool that we have now is the biggest and most progressing that I've ever had on my mission, which feels so good! And one of the best parts is that all of the people come with a member attached to them! Whether it was a member that introduced them to us, or we introduced them to a member, all of the people that we are working with have a friend in the church.

I always get to this point and struggle to remember what has happened during the week. Everything blurs into one. The most prominent thing, and one of the best that we were able to do this week is the mission historical tour. On Thursday we were able to drive down to the Preston temple, have a quick meeting, and then tour some of the sites of our church history with half of the mission! (the other half went the day before). We saw where the first baptisms in England took place, the sites that the first missionaries, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and others preached their first days in England, as well as a beautiful village where almost all of the residents joined the church. It was a great experience and a brilliant opportunity to recommit to my Saviour to serve with all of my heart for my last few weeks. My time is winding down, but I'm not. I'm in it till the end!

We met with Rxxxxx several times as well. Rxxxxx is soooo good! But there is something that is keeping her from taking the step to baptism! She believes in the Book of Mormon, she believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, she has a testimony of the plan of salvation, she's living the commandments and meeting with us 3-4 times a week! But she want's to make sure that she will stick to it, even after we leave. She doesn't want to get baptized if she doesn't feel like she'll be able to devout all of her time. So we are working with her still. Prayers would be so appreciated!

Other than teaching and the historical tour, we did lots of door knocking this week. We met loads of really nice people! But not many people were willing to talk about the Gospel. Disappointing, but they had positive experiences with Mormon missionaries so I can't complain.

Lately I've really been able to see a change in me. I've looked back to the beginning of my mission, now over 22 months ago, and the difference is huge. Everything about me has changed. Even my appetite. I don't crave ice cream as I used to, my desire for sweets has diminished. I'm not as athletic, but my understanding of the gospel as it applies to people is so much better.

I don't really have much more to say! Except for that I love you.

Have a great week!

Elder Olsen

Monday, May 16, 2016

2 Carlisle #17

This week went by so fast! I feel like I was just emailing yesterday! I think I'm going to have to open my planner to see what we actually did!

Monday, Pday.

Tuesday, we had district meeting which was good. We talked about teaching repentance. We talk a lot about the doctrine of what repentance is, so we focused on how we can teach that more effectively. When we got back from that (we held it in Workington, about an hour away) we went tracting, in a really nice area. We had an appointment fall through, And we taught Rxxxxx about Prophets! We had our ward mission leader with us, who was a great addition. The highlight of the lesson is when Rxxxxx said that she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet! She did say that she wasn't to sure about the Book of Mormon though.

Wednesday. We did some gardening, for service, We knocked more doors, had another appointment fall through, then had an appointment with a lady named Lxxx. It was alright, we didn't really get to teach much, she's going through a rough time, and our fellowshipper was super talkative. We talked about finding answers to our questions in the Book of Mormon.

Thursday. We had weekly planning. It was a nice day, nearly got pooped on by a bird. Had an appointment with Jxxxx! Jxxxx is a member's friend who we met when we dropped by this member. She hadn't been out to church for a while. But we started chatting with Jxxxx and since then he has come to church twice! and she has been 3 times! So things are going really well with working with them, We are really excited! We also taught Rxxxxx again. We talked about the Book of Mormon. It went really well. in between visits she had read the testimony of Joseph Smith about the Book of Mormon and now believes that it is from God!

Friday, We tracted for hours. and found a nice lady named Jxxxx! We'll be meeting with her later this week, and we are super excited for it! Jxxxx is super genuine and the nicest person ever. We had a dinner appointment with the Bxxxxxx, a great family, and street contacted for a bit!

Saturday. Lots more tracting, another lesson with Rxxxxx, again, it was good. There was a branch activity that we went to with Rxxxxx that night as well, which was really fun.

And on Sunday we had church!

During planning on Saturday night, we opened with a prayer, and the thought came to my mind that we should go to Penrith, an area about 1/2 hour away by car. I didn't want to do that because of the travel time that it would take so I pushed it aside. We planned for what we would do, then closed with a prayer, presenting our plans to the Lord and asking if they need to be adjusted to let us know. After the prayer I felt super strongly that we should go to Penrith again, so I mentioned it to Elder Pxxxxxx and he said that he'd been thinking the same thing the whole time. So we re-planned, choosing a few new streets to tract. Well we drove over and on the way nearly got in a car accident, a big white van tried to overtake a bicyclist on a skinny windy road right as we rounded the corner. I hit the brakes and drove partway into a field, so there isn't any incident there, but back to the story. We did our tracting in Penrith, met a few nice people, but didn't find any new friends. It felt good though. I know we were supposed to speak to those people who we did, and I know it made a difference in their life. I don't believe that we would be sent to an area like that for no purpose. We will go back and tract the streets we choose but didn't get to.

So that's me!
Have a great week! Thanks for your prayers!

Love, Elder Olsen

Monday, May 9, 2016

2 Carlisle #16


Hello!
This week has been pretty good! Family, I love you all so much, thank
you for the Skype yesterday, it was so good to see and talk to you!
Friends, I'm sorry you don't have my family. That's super sad for you
because they are fantastic! I'm also sorry because this email will
probably be shorter than normal, after all, I did just talk to my
family yesterday! Now that my last Skype is out of the way and food
for my first week home has been planned out, I feel old. But that's
super good! Because it's motivation to power through my last day!

This week was a pretty good one! We have been working towards
preparing Rxxxxx for baptism, but she doesn't feel ready and so we've
had to reevaluate and we've pushed it back. We taught her 4 times this
week with members present! It was super good! Sunday night we watch
the Prophet of the Restoration with her, and she really enjoyed it!
She said that it gave her a new perspective on things. She came to
church too! It was great!

We went on exchange to Lancaster this week! It was a good exchange, I
went with Elder Hxxxxxx from Idaho and we did some finding! We found a
man who had witnessed a suicide 20 minutes before, a man jumping in
front of the train. He was pretty shaken up and so we introduced the
gospel to him, and he walked away. We did get a few good contacts and
I enjoyed my time there. We've had great weather all week, and
Lancaster is a beautiful city.

I'll send some pictures too! Because everyone likes pictures.

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Olsen

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Skype



Our last Skype session.  It was so wonderful to see and hear him!
The best part was definitely being all together for a family prayer.

Monday, May 2, 2016

2 Carlisle #15



I want to preface this letter with an apology. Because of our trip to
the temple this morning I won't be able to respond to all those who
wrote me. I'll do my best but it probably won't end up happening. I'm
sorry!

I'm writing this in the back of a small car, driving through English
hills, lit with a beautiful sun and dotted with sheep. This country is
amazingly beautiful. I'm so grateful to be blessed to serve in what we
call "the cradle of the restoration."

It's a bank holiday today, which means that we got to go to the
temple! It's such a privilege to be in a mission that has a temple
within it's borders. I've really come to associate the temple with
solace. It's a place of respite and peace. We live in a troubled world
but we in the gospel are so lucky.

This week we had an experience in teaching a lesson that was very
powerful to me. We were teaching an investigator who has lots of
concerns about the church. She's visited a few anti-Mormon websites
and agrees on a lot of the partial truth opinionated philosophies that
she's found. I've heard it all. It's been a good few months since I've
heard a piece of anti lit that I haven't heard before. But rather than
try to explain away and nervously defend the church and that which it
stands for we felt prompted to teach and testify about faith. I don't
know what the result was, we had to move on and go to another lesson,
but I know that the spirit was there and that it was the right move.
We followed the direction of the spirit and it seems to have worked
out ok! I know that it worked out better than if we had done things my
way.

One of the most noticeable lessons that I'm learning is how the Lord
bestowes miracles on this work. It's been so good to see people placed
in our paths. I'll share 2 examples from this week with you. 1st one.
My back has been giving me difficulties lately. I'll leave it at that
rather than going into my rant about side bags. But anyway, the last
few days has been really bad for it, but on Saturday, we met a Chinese
lady who invited us into her house! She wants to learn about God, and
that was super good to be able to teach her. But the best part about
it is the massage chair that her husband had! It was a full body
massage chair, complete with a sound system. And I got to get a
massage in it! It tickled my feet but it was sooo good for my back!
2nd. We finished up a teaching appointment with a man named Sxxxxx,
and one of his neighbours is a less active member so we decided to
stop by her for a few minutes and invite her to come to church with
us. Well Axx has several properties and rents some of them out to
people, so this is one of the addresses that we had for her but we
weren't sure if she would be there. But she was! And what's better is
that the tenant of the flat was there too, so we got talking to him
and discovered that he really feels like his life has fallen to
shambles. So we talked to him about faith and were really able to
boost him up! And the best part is that they both came to church on
Sunday! We were expecting to have 4 investigators at church, and none
of those came, but this other man did, so that was a nice surprise!

I know that the Lord loves us. I don't know everything, but I know that much.

Have a great week!
Love, Elder Olsen