Monday, March 8, 2010


Hey everyone! The biggest news from this last week is that I've been transferred but... just down the street again. The Douglas rumor proved to be false but I did get transferred so I guess it was half right. I have been transferred into the Sonora Branch which borders my last area. In fact, I was actually already in my new area when I received the transfer call. There is still some debate on what the borders are between the two. I found out that I've already done significant amount work in my new area because we worked in it a bit on accident my first couple months here. Anyway, I'm really excited! I loved the Valencia Branch but this was a much needed change. My new companion is Elder Farnsworth from Bountiful. He's only been out about a month and a half longer than me, but we have great unity already and we're going to do some good things! The thing I'm most excited for in my new area is the member support. The members are incredible and help us so much!

My first week here has been pretty good. We are teaching some solid people and we have a baptism coming up this next Saturday. Her name is Julia, and ironically enough, Elder Muniz and I had talked to her before because of the area boundary confusion. We had actually started teaching one of her sons, but one day she came out and told us she didn't believe in "the book of the mormons," and that her son wasn't interested either. She was even a bit hostile with us. Fast forward six months and now she's getting baptized! A member that lives nearby actually referred her a few weeks ago and I guess that changed her perspective. That's what made the difference in her joining the church! Members are SO crucial!

We are also teaching a couple other families. The Valensuelas have been investigating the church for about 15 months now. They are pretty much members but haven't taken the step of baptism. Last night we went over and went back to the basics. We shared the first vision and it brought the spirit in very strongly. They said they believe the Book of Mormon is true and that they need to get baptized. They just don't want to be pushed into it. We have a family home evening with them tonight in the house of some members! I'm excited to work with them and I think they will take that step in the near future.

Another family is the Lopez family. The husband is ready to get baptized but the wife doesn't want to. I guess she's started to change this last week though. She's become more friendly and open to us. We had some really good lessons with her and I think she'll accept the gospel in time too. The other thing is that they need to get married, so they may be a bit of a project.

So now I have a story. Once upon a time a few weeks ago Elder Jenne and I were at Wal-Mart. All of a sudden a lady shouted out his name. We came to find out that it was a girl who had recently been baptized in Douglas. She was with her boyfriend (Raymond) who would have been Elder Jenne's first baptism (he started his mission in Douglas). The couple had even separated so that he could live the law of chastity and get baptized. Unfortunately, Satan attacked him hard on the day of his baptism and he couldn't do it. Then they found out that his girlfriend was pregnant so they moved back in together. All that happened about 9 months ago in Douglas and then we randomly ran into them at Wal-Mart up here in Tucson! They moved up here with their new baby for college and work. We got their address and told them we'd go by. As it turns out, they live in my new area! We went by the first day I got to this area and found out that he's been reading the Book of Mormon and has gotten through 3 Nephi 27! He is ready to be baptized! The only thing holding him back now is that he and Michelle (his girlfriend) aren't married. But... they want to be! They just want to have a small wedding to get it taken care of and then have a party with their families some other time. It may happen as early as this week! We are really excited for them and there is no way that we ran into them that day at Wal-Mart by coincidence.

So that's what our teaching is looking like these days. As far as my last area, I think it's still doing really well. They could have a lot of success this transfer. It was actually kind of weird because we just switched companions. I took Elder Kinsey's spot and he took mine. I think it is going to be a good experience for both of us.

Church yesterday was pretty interesting. There were two baby blessings scheduled during sacrament meeting, but then the parents of the two babies decided to bring up their other kids to get blessed as well (even though they were older). More and more just kept coming up. When all was said and done, we had two babies blessed and four other kids received their baby blessings. I can't say I've ever seen that before. The branch presidency looked confused. They didn't know what to do so they just blessed them all. We also ran out of water for the sacrament so that took some extra time. We ended up with less than 10 minutes for testimonies. In priesthood, four men received the Melchezidek priesthood! It took the entire time but it was pretty neat.

Wow! This e-mail is really long now. I love you all!

Elder Olsen

P.S. Since I still live close to Elder Jenne, we're going to record the song we wrote one of these days. Then I'll attach it so you can all hear it!

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