Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wow! This has been quite the week! A lot of things have happened this week and I'm not quite sure where to start or if I'll remember them all. First and foremost, we just found out some HUGE NEWS about this mission about five minutes ago. I guess it's still kind of a secret because President Walker hasn't announced it yet, but we found it out from the church website so I think it's ok to share.

The boundaries for the Arizona Tucson Mission are getting redrawn in June. They are forming a new mission called the New Mexico Farmington Mission which will take about 1/3 of our mission boundaries including El Paso, TX (where a good portion of the Spanish work is). That means that if I get transferred to New Mexico or El Paso by June, that's where I'll be to finish my mission. I'm kind of split on where I'd like to be. I love President and Sister Walker and everything about Tucson, but El Paso is where every Spanish missionary wants to be (because it's about 85% Spanish). Needless to say, these next few months will be very interesting.

The other big news... THE CONTRERAS FAMILY FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!! We have been working with them sooo much and it's finally paid off. This last week we baked Evelyn a birthday cake, bought them a framed picture of the new Gila Valley Temple to put up, and on Sunday we went and made breakfast for them. Everything is looking good to get Eveyln and Roberto baptized soon. We're still not exactly sure when but we're hoping before this transfer is up which is about 2 1/2 weeks.

Gabriel and Catalina went to California for a funeral this last week so we haven't been able to see them. They won't be back until this next weekend so it looks like their baptismal dates will get pushed back a little bit. Hopefully we can get them baptized before this transfer is up too (I have a feeling that I'm finally going to be leaving the Valencia Branch).

Elder Cuevas and I had a really awesome experience when we went on exchanges together this last week. Everything we had planned for the first couple hours of the day had fallen through so even though we already had plans of where to tract for the day, we decided to put it in the Lord's hand. We prayed and felt prompted to contact former investigators, and if they weren't home we would knock around where they lived. Sure enough, the former investigators that we tried to contact weren't home, so we decided to knock around. The first door we knocked, an 80-year-old woman answered the door and invited us in. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel and the spirit was very strong. Afterwards, we offered a prayer and got ready to leave. As we stood up, the spirit hit her so hard. She clutched the Book of Mormon to her chest and let out a little gasp and then said: "I feel SO good right now! Wow! I am so happy! You have just brought me the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt! Thank you so much!" She was more overcome with joy from the spirit than anyone I'd ever see before. She could barely even breath she was so happy! It was an incredible experience and one I'll never forget. It was amazing how the spirit led us to her and then touched her like that. The only downside is that she's going to Texas for a couple months now. I'm confident that one day she will be a member of the church. It wasn't a coincidence that we met her.

As if that wasn't enough, Elder Jenne and I had a similar experience doing the same thing on Saturday. One of the first doors we knocked, an African-American lady named Julia answered it and invited us in. She said she had just moved in a week ago and that she was looking for a church. She already had a strong testimony of the Savior but she hadn't been able to find a church that was right yet. We taught her about the restoration for about a half hour and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. Everything went so well and it just made sense to her! She was really excited to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. She also felt that it wasn't a coincidence that we had found her. We had a good closing prayer and some 'hallelujahs', although this week they didn't come from Gabriel. She doesn't speak Spanish so we had to pass her on to the English missionaries, but I know we were led to her as well.

I'm pretty sure there were some other things that I was going to mention but I can't remember them now. I hope you are all doing well! Thanks for all of the support you give me! Have a great week!

Elder Olsen

New Mission Boundaries

Sandra's baptism (wearing black in the middle)

Jose's baptism

Evelyn's birthday

Breakfast with Eveyln and Roberto Contreras

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