Monday, December 28, 2009


Hey everyone! Merry Christmas! This last week has been awesome! We didnt' have a white Christmas but it wasn't too hot either. When we woke up on Christmas Eve it was 35 degrees which seems super cold now. Most of the days here now are mid 50's which is pretty nice. We have also gotten some fairly heavy rains lately too!

I hope everyone had a fun Christmas! We had all three meals with members and went to an open house at the mission home. The highlight of the day, of course, was that I got to call and talk to my family! It was weird to be away from home for Christmas but it was a great experience at the same time.

I don't have a whole lot to share as far as teaching is concerned. We taught a pretty good amount for it being the week of Christmas, but most of our main investigators were out of town. Things are still going really well with the Contreras family. The two kids we are teaching are really smart, and they answer our questions better than most adults do. They are ready to be baptized, but the parents are just taking a little extra time trying to get their faith back. If they will come to church everything should work out!

Thanks for all of the nice gifts and cards you sent! Happy New Year!

Elder Olsen

Monday, December 21, 2009


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you've all been good! This last week has been pretty good but there's not a whole lot to say about it. We got moved in to our new apartment and we've been doing a lot of finding this week since we haven't had much to work with. We had an awesome zone conference on Friday and then the branch Christmas party right after which was a lot of fun. There were TONS of people there, and best of all, I got to sit on Santa's lap!

The people we are working most closely with right now are the Contreras family. They have been inactive for a few years, and two of their children are unbaptized. They are an awesome family and have the desire to get their faith back. The two kids that we are working with are Evelyn (9) and Roberto (8). They are excited to learn and are reading the Book of Mormon together! The hold-up right now is the father, who got offended a few years back and is still a little bit hesitant. He's a great guy though and, with time, I'm confident they'll become fully active again. We had some powerful lessons with them earlier this week and they came to the Christmas party!

Also, everything is still looking good for Sandra to get baptized on the 26th! She has already become a good part of the branch and made a lot of friends. She was even serving food at the party on Friday! I'm really excited to see her be baptized.

I don't think there's much else to mention from this last week. This week should be a lot of fun! I miss you all and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Elder Olsen

Monday, December 14, 2009


Well, the call came last Monday night. I got transferred, BUT... only just the street. All of the rumors turned out to be true. Every single companionship in our district had a change. My new companion is Elder Jenne (from Washington) who I have been around a lot because he was in my district. I actually got transferred to the other half of the area I had with Elder Muniz (they split the area in half when Elder Cuevas came), but then they decided to give us the area of the hermanas who got moved out completely. Because of that, the apartment I just moved in to with Elder Jenne will no longer be my home. We're actually moving later today to where the sisters were living so that we can live in our area. It will be my third move in the last 1 1/2 weeks. All this has made for a very hectic last week or so, but after today things should finally settle down.

The new change is pretty exciting and I'm sure it will be a good growing experience. It is my first time in the field without a native speaker for my companion. Elder Jenne is pretty good at Spanish, but he's only been out a few months longer than me. I'm sure we'll do great and learn a lot! The other great thing about this transfer is that I'm in the same branch, which means I'll still be able to see Sandra get baptized! She is sooo ready and can't wait! The only hold-up is her new job, which requires her to work for the first half of church. Her date has been pushed to the 26th while she works to get it changed so that she can make it to sacrament meeting consistently. She's doing really well though!

Elder Cuevas is now training a native from Cuba named Elder Padron. He's lived in Kentucky for the last 11 years of his life though, so his Cuban/Kentucky accent is pretty funny. He's only been a member for 1 1/2 years and he's pretty crazy. We definitely get some good laughs out of him! As far as the new area is concerned, things are pretty tough. We don't have much to go on because one of the sisters had some health issues which really slowed them down. The other problem is, at the beginning of the next year the branch is moving to a different building that's way up north. When that happens, the majority of the people we teach will live a good 45 minutes away from the church. It's going to be a project but we're going to work hard and exercise a lot of faith.

I guess that's about all there is to say this week. I hope you are all getting well and enjoying the holiday season!

Elder Olsen

Monday, December 7, 2009

Transfer Week!

Well, I just pressed the 'send' key and my entire e-mail got deleted. So here I go again. It's transfer week again! It's hard to believe it's already here. This transfer has flown by. Rumor has it that all four companionships in our district are going to be switched, and that I'll be leaving. I'm kind of sad because I really wanted to see Sandra get baptized on the 19th, but I'm excited for new adventures as well.

Speaking of adventures, this week was full of them! We just got finished bowling as a district, and I found out that I'm pretty rusty. We all got dominated by one of the sisters in our district but it was a lot of fun anyway. We also went on exchanges three times this week which made things really crazy. I stayed in my area for two of them, and one of them was with an English Elder again. It turned out to be one of the most successful days in my mission so far though! I definitely had some help! My Spanish is improving slowly but surely.

As for our other adventures, we also:
-had zone training
-moved into a new apartment (which I'll likely be moving out of in a couple days)
-had my first encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses
-witnessed a hit and run accident
-and got to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional (and see my mom!)

I also had a pretty neat experience yesterday. There is an awesome family in the branch here called the Alvarez family. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met, and they feed all six missionaries in the branch every Friday. Unfortunately, Hermano Alvarez lost his job at Target a few weeks after I got here, and they have been really struggling ever since. They have continued to feed us every week, even though they can't afford to heat their humble home, and are considering moving to find work. Yesterday at church, Hermano Alvarez came up to me and handed me a tie. I guess I had complimented him on his tie last week, so he just decided to give it to me. When someone compliments one of my ties, my first thought is usually "Alright! I picked a good one!" It's never to GIVE that person my tie. Earlier in the week, he had given me a bunch of materials to help me learn Spanish as well. I continue to be amazed at how giving these people are. My companion mentioned that "They never have too much but they always have enough." It's so true! It was something very small, but it taught me a great lesson about charity.

I love the people here! I love my mission! And I love all of you! Thanks so much for all of your support!

Elder Olsen