Monday, June 27, 2016

2 Carlisle #23


Hey everyone!

It's been a great week! There have been a lot of things happening in the UK this last week, which has made things really exciting! It's been really fun to see the energy come into the city. For those of you who haven't heard, Britain has left the European Union. The lead up to that vote was lots of fun! Almost every day for a month we have been getting flyers through with our post telling us to vote leave or vote remain. People have been advocating their opinions in town centre and that occasionally leads to some interesting times when the opinions clash. But most of the excitement happened during the build up. The people in Carlilse don't seem to bothered that we've left, most of Carlisle voted to leave. If the vote went the other way I think we would've had more riots. On top of that the Prime Minister has stepped down. People complain about him all the time, but I think they would rather have him than the person who will replace him. The other excitement, the one people seem to care more about is the Euro Cup. This is one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments for England, right behind the World Cup. England has done well in it so far, and they will play again tonight. We have to avoid the pubs and clubs when England plays, things get a bit fiery. It was especially bad when England played Wales.. It has been really exciting though, and it is such an easy conversation starter! It is so easy to ask people about the latest game and then move it into the Gospel. It's a huge blessing that this tournament is going on as I finish my mission.

I forgot my planner, so I can't remember a lot of specifics about this week, but I'll do my best to try and remember.

District meeting was cancelled this week, so we had some extra time to proselyte. Unfortunately a few of our investigators dropped us this week. It was a miracle family, so we were really disappointed. We had tracted into the mother and daughter separately and they both gave us the exact same response. And when we had an appointment with the mother, the daughter was their! But that is no more, at least for the time being. They said that they wanted to continue with what their ancestors followed. That it was letting down the family to change religion. So that stinks.

We had an exchange with the missionaries serving in Barrow. They both came to Carlisle, and I worked with Elder Jxxxxx for the last exchange of my mission. It was a blast! I've done several exchanges with him before and we are good friends so it was an appropriate way to finish my exchanges. While on exchange I was peed on by a dog... It was actually really funny. I started talking to a man named Fxxxxxx (Ailee, he's from Indonesia), he knew some of the members of the church here, so that connection was established and he started to walk away. But that was when Elder Fxxxxxxxx and Elder Lxxxxx burst out laughing. The way Elder Fxxxxxxxx tells the story is that he noticed the dog sniffing around my leg and thought something was going to happen. So he then had two options, warn me so I could move my leg, or tell another missionary so he could watch too. Unfortunately for me the second option was the choice! The good news is that after the dog peed on me he felt bad and stayed to talk to me so I was able to teach him a lesson and place a Book of Mormon!

Through the street display we met Cxxxxxxxx. Cxxxxxxxx is a new investigator! We've already met with her twice and she is progressing really well! She's 18 years old and I'm sure she'll get baptized. The lessons that we had with her were really good and she is excited to learn more. The only problem is that she leaves the country for a month this week. But we have permission to Skype her and teach her through Skype. So that will be good!

Here's some pictures, everyone likes pictures!

Me and the little devil....

This is what happens when England plays football... 

Monday, June 20, 2016

2 Carlisle #22

Hello all!

I guess I'll start with the biggest news of the week! RXXXXX WAS BAPTIZED!!! It's so exciting! This is so great. It's things like this that make it all worth it. All those long hours spent in the rain, everyone who has ever degraded me or the church, this makes it all worth it. Sigh...

So! It has been a good week in Carlisle! For the most part. There were definitely some time that I would not classify as desirable, but like I said, it's worth it. I don't have loads of time today, It took some time to get my card reader to work, in the end I had to give up and use my companion's. So I will just send a few of the prominent events from this week.

Early this last week we had an exchange with the missionaries serving in Workington. They whitewashed in this transfer replacing the sisters who used to be there. So we brought Elder Cxxxx and Elder Cxxxx here to Carlisle. Quick note, Elder Cxxxx is French, and Elder Cxxxx is from Scotland. Elder Cxxxx has been on his mission for about 2 weeks. In total. He didn't go to the MTC. I went with him and Elder Fxxxxxxxx was with Elder Cxxxx. It was a very good exchange! Things went really well, we were able to help both of those Elders out. They are great missionaries and helped us too. The downside of this exchange is that I got a parking ticket on Wednesday morning for £60, so about $90. I think it was an unfair ticket so I've appealed it to try to get out of paying that kind of money. We'll find out soon what will happen with that. That really put a damper on the day, but we couldn't do anything about it so we moved on. We met several people who accepted return appointments but unfortunately none of them were able to happen. In Carlisle it is really easy to get a return appointment, the hard part is getting a second return appointment.

Another highlight is the ice cream cake that we made for Rxxxxx's baptism. It was oreo. And it was amazing. I was very pleased with that.

And the other highlight to mention here is Rxxxxx's baptism! Everything came together so smoothly, in fact, the whole process from finding Rxxxxx to getting her baptized was the epitome of working with the branch. The service was very simple, but it was lovely. The talks were great, the spirit was there really strongly, and Rxxxxx was happy. Everything went exactly according to plan.

It has been such a privilege to be able to work with Rxxxxx. She is amazing and has become one of my good friends. I have great memories of powerful moments while teaching her. Wonderful experience.

I think that's it for me today! Have a great week! Thanks for the support!

Love, Elder Olsen

Monday, June 13, 2016

2 Carlisle #21

Good Morning!

Where to begin? Overall this has been a great week. I look back on this one and I just get happy. I felt the spirit so strongly many times, and Elder Fxxxxxxxx and I had a lot of fun. I know I've been talking about this for the last few weeks, but it is what's on my mind all the time! It's Rxxxxx!

We taught Rxxxxx a few times this week, and we had some struggles with it! Unfortunately not everything works out how you've planned, and we saw that this week. Things didn't go super down hill, there were just a few frustrations with fellow shippers not letting us get a word in and talking about things that don't really apply very much, Despite all that, we were able to plan the baptismal program with Rxxxxx. It's so exciting to see everything coming together! This is incredibly fulfilling..

But, the highlight of this week is hands down the visit from ELDER OAKS!!! He visited the Preston stake conference this last weekend, and made time to have a meeting with the missionaries! Oh man, it was amazing! As far as I remember this was the first time that I've ever shaken an apostle's hand. But what struck me as I did and looked into his eyes is that he is a man! He is normal! One of my favourite parts of the meeting was when Sister Oaks spoke. She is soo funny and has a personality that you just can't help but love. When the previous speakers cracked jokes Elder Oaks was straight faced, but he was clutching his side he was laughing so hard at some of his wife's remarks! The love that the two of them has is so obvious and it just shines. And when Elder Oaks spoke, I don't have my notes, but I could see the apostolic mantel upon him. He spoke things that were so pertinent to me. One thing that I do remember that he said: "Convert in Spanish has two meanings, one is someone who is fully changed and mature in a religious conviction, the other is someone who is beginning that process and on the path. That is the kind that we baptise! We don't baptise adults of gospel maturity, we don't even baptise teenagers! We baptise infants! You know which kind that I mean."

But my experience with Elder Oaks didn't stop there. The next day (Sunday) we went to Stake Conference and were able to hear him speak again. The Carlisle branch rented a bus and driver and we rode in extreme comfort to Preston. Rxxxxx came with us, as well as another investigator named Lxxxx who we recently started teaching. I was sat on the stand because I was singing in the choir. I was directly behind Elder Oaks on the stand. And when he spoke, that was the best part of the meeting. From my spot on the stand, I saw him literally receive revelation and then speak it. If he would've written his talk having known me and Rxxxxx our whole lives, it would've been the exact same talk that he gave at stake conference. I feel bad for everyone else, because the just listened in to and Apostle speaking to me and my investigator and probably felt pretty jealous. And Rxxxxx agreed, she told me that she felt like he was speaking to her the whole time, and that she felt so much comfort during his talk, that she was doing the right thing in getting baptized. It was a remarkable opportunity that I won't forget. Absolutely brilliant.

As far as the rest of the week went, Elder Fxxxxxxxx and I (just realized we haven't sent a picture home in a while and neither of us have a camera, sorry!) really struggled to find members to come teaching with us. We are really feeling the impact that the Hxxxxxxx's (missionary senior couple) had on this area now that we don't get to utilize them. It caused more stress this week than I've had my whole mission, but I got through it just fine.

I want to really thank you all for supporting me. I feel of the power of your prayers and I'm grateful for the support that you give. The passing remarks to my parents, and little notes of encouragement mean so much to me and my family. Thank you.

Ta Ta for now!

Elder Olsen

Monday, June 6, 2016

2 Carlisle #20


It's been a crazy week in Carlisle! But I guess if it's not crazy it's not Carlisle! This week finished off our 7 week transfer and started our 5 week transfer! And with the new transfer came a new companion! I'm still in Carlilse, meaning that I began and will end my mission here! My new companion is Elder Fxxxxxxxx from Sparks (and Vegas) Nevada. He loves beach volleyball, doesn't eat very much, and has been out for 16 months. True to his home state, he was wearing gloves the other day, at the same time I was temped to take off my jacket! But we get along well and he will be a great final companion. I'm doing my very best to stay focused on my mission, and that's going really well. We have good things going here which really helps.

We had a flat inspection this week, and we passed with flying colours, but unfortunately despite my attempts to disguise our weed garden by calling it a "Japanese garden with rare specimens" we got a slap on the wrist and told to do service for ourselves and weed the garden. So we did the front as fast as possible then went out finding again. I guess we need to do that back garden as well. But that will be later.

Rxxxxx is getting interview for baptism on Wednesday, which we are so excited for. She is so committed and is the most solid recent convert ever. And she isn't even baptised yet! She is such a kingdom builder. She has changed so much since we first started working with her. She is so much more happy and confident! The spirit is in her home. And even the dog is feeling it! After 2 1/2 months of seeing Rxxxxx several times a week, the dog let me pet it. And then it ran away.

I wish I could write more, but our p day has been shortened this week. So next week. Oh! Elder Oaks is coming to our mission on Saturday! So we have a full mission conference, and then the next day is the Preston stake conference, and Elder Oaks will be presiding at that as well! It only took me 23 months of being a missionary to see an apostle!

So that's it from me! Have a great week!

Elder Olsen