Monday, May 21, 2018

An Update of Sorts (week 82)

HEY FAM!!!! HOW ARE ALL OF YOU? I HOPE YOU ARE ALL JUST DOING DANDY!!!!

This week was okay!!! We are not really making progress in our area buuuuut we are trying!! But something super sweet did happen this week!! I remember when I was in the CCM, President Duvall gave us a ton of crap about how we need to stop speaking English because "we weren't going to have a best 2 years experience" and teach gringos!! Well.....guess what? I HAVE A SUPER CHILL GRINGO INVESTIGATOR!!! His name is C....his wife is a member but they aren't married!! He's so cool though he was telling me all about how he grew up in California and how he didn't like it so he started traveling all over the place and he just kinda ended up in Colombia....pretty cool right? He works by teaching English over Skype and he has clients from all over the world....it's sooo radical!!! He looks like a latino but his daughter has the greenest eyes that I have ever seen....I am very excited to be teaching him!!!

We are also teaching a little 11 year old named G.....her mom is a member!! But she's a challenge because she hates her mom!!! We were talking to her about the plan of salvation and we asked her (in front of her mom) "do you love your mom" and she was like "I guess but I love my daddy more" (they are divorced.....well they were never married) so yeah we will have to see how we can help her!

We are also teaching F.......(I am pretty sure I have wrote about her) buuut yeah she kinda just broke down and bawled to us about her financial situation so that's hard but I am sure somebody in the ward can help her!!!

My studies are going okay.....it's just sometimes hard to study!! But I am still rolling, I am currently in Jacob and far in Jacob sooo I am happy. I have been studying a lot of Preach My Gospel lately too!! Jussst feels right.

Today we played soccer and we had a team of just gringos (cause you know, we actually wanted the ball hahaha) and we actually didn't too bad! I totally ran full speed and hit Elder Robinson and that took all the air outta me hahahaha buuut it was a good pday!

Anyways, thanks for all you guys do!! Keep doing what you need to be doing......me and my saw will be home shortly!

LOVE YOU,
ELDER OLSEN


This is our rad gringo soccer team (and Elder Hernandez) we killed it!!!
Buuuut yeah I'm lame and didn't take any other pictures this week :(

Monday, May 14, 2018

I Often Go Walking (week 81)

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMILY!!!! I was planning on sending a bunch of photos and even a video for Mother's Day.....but ya gotta love viruses.

It was good to see you guys yesterday.....always kinda awkward but I still loved it. I miss you guys a lot!

This week was crazy.....we were able to go to Popayan for zone conference which was really cool, I am not in love with the 6 hour ride but it's still always a good time. I sat and chilled with Elder Smith and it was a good time!! The conference was pretty weird though.....I just kinda got the feeling that we need to love our companions and show Christlike love to everyone, buuuuuuut it was awkward cause my comp didn't really wanna sit with me.....but it's all good!!!

President and Hermana Whitesides announced a new infinitive that we will be doing as a mission it's "the world cup unites us for a month, but the gospel unites us for eternity." It's sooo sick they got cards printed with a whole bunch of flags of the world (I had a picture but I guess I will send a new one next week). Soooo it's super cool our mission is using soccer as a way to contact....it will be chill!!!

Buuuut the highlight of the zone conference is when Zona Pasto sat Hermana Whitesides down and we sang "I often go walking." We sang a verse in English then one in Spanish, and then in English and in Spanish.....and we totally made her cry!! It was awesome!! I had a video of it to send to you mommy :( I am sad about it......but if you find Elder Smith's mom on Facebook she should be able to send it to you!!!!

Other than that I have been doing the usual, contacting, teaching, eating top ramen on a demasiado basis!!! Just living the life of a missionary......I am struggling but I am also learning a ton too!!! Soooo it's all good!!!

Something interesting happened this week.....Hermana Clark sent me an email with a missionary that I previously served with from Brazil....Elder Costa!!! It's a small world!!!

Anyways sorry this email was short.....currently having to do a bunch of weird stuff with my SD card.....but imma send a handwritten letter next week!!!

LOVE YOU,
ELDER OLSEN


This is a picture from zone conference

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day

Today we had a great Skype with Elder Olsen for Mother's Day!! He seemed to be doing so so good. We talked all about Colombia and his life! Garrett is funny because he doesn't like to know a whole lot about home, so he did not ask us any questions! He comes home in like five months so we asked him how he was feeling about that, he told us that he didn't want to come home. WHAT?! That's huge. He really does love being a missionary despite the challenges that it brings. We are just so proud of him!



Garrett and his zone sat Hermana Whitesides down to sing her this song! 













Garrett and Adleigh's second time meeting on Skype! I can't wait for them to meet in person!!








Monday, May 7, 2018

Opposition (week 80)

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!! How is it going? I hope life is just going swell!!!

This week has been crazy!!! I have mostly just walked and walked and waaaaalked.....opening an area is super hard because you have to meet everyone before you can actually make any progress. The elders didn't really work in our area for the last nine months so our area book is of NO HELP!!!!

Buuuuut its been chill!!! We have been meeting lots of new people which I have enjoyed. It's interesting getting to know a new area, that is something that I do LOVE about the mission, getting to know people and getting to know their lives and what is really important for them.....makes you think differently!

I have also ran into a TON of people from Mariluz (it's the bestest) I am not sure if you guys remember the SC Family (I know i talked about them......I am the only missionary their daughter would talk to because dad went to Japan on his mission), they moved into Bachue.......and into my area!!! I am so stoked to teach M again......it's gonna be so awesome!!! One of the high counselors that we had in Mariluz also lives in Bachue sooooo that's cool. A lot of people have family between the two wards too so it's pretty interesting!

We had a random lady from our area come to church Sunday, she said that she has been attending another ward for some time and lied to them about where she lived so she could continue to go there......buuuut then they told her that she belonged to Bachue.. Hermana S told us that she is gold so we will see how that works out :) 

Yeah it's still really hard but rather than picking every little thing that is bothering me I have tried to really analyze what Heavenly Father is trying to teach me. It's easier said than done but that is what is getting me through my days!!! Heavenly Father has big plans for me buuuuuuuut sometimes I (or really we) have to struggle to learn these things!!!! Sucks but it's part of having agency and opposition and I have to remind myself that I REJOICED to have these opportunities!

Anyways family, I love you all so very much!!! Read your scriptures, they are good for the soul!

LUUUUUF YUUUUU!!!
Elder Olsen

PS FAM I will be skyping on Sunday at 5 (my time) so hopefully I will see you all there!!!


 These crazy people I live with



 WE 💓 Nariño



These bracelet that yupi (a potato chip company) is doing for the world cup....basically you open a bag and if you get lucky you get a bracelet (they are actually really difficult to open)!!! They have been doing stuff like this for years! Somebody ask Bishop Skidmore if he ever opened army men or toys in a bag of yupi....I bet he has!!!


Book Club:
How did Nephi know how to build the boat?



I enjoy this question because it's easy to answer...he didn't! If we turn to 1st Nephi 17:8 we learn that when the Savior gave him the commandment to build a boat he told him to build it the way that Heavenly Father would show him. If we follow the cross reference provided at the bottom of the book it will take us to 1 Nephi 18:2, which talks about how Nephi constructed the boat in the Lord's way. Chapters 17 and 18 really stand out to me. I really enjoyed comparing how Nephi was able to receive so many blessings...meanwhile his brothers were ranting and moaning (nuestro (that word is probably wrong...Garrett hand wrote this and I can't read what the word is haha!) hermana esta loco verse 17) (and yes that is proof that reading in Spanish is more entertaining). 
Two verses that really stood out to me are 1 Nefi 17:50-5. I think that we understand that our Heavenly Father can do many incredible things, but the problem is that sometimes we don't feel like he can do these things through us. Nephi understood that he can, he understood that the Lord could show him things to help him (1 Nefi 18:3), he knew that things would be hard but the Lord gave him a commandment so he would prepare a way for him to be able to keep his commandment's (1 Nefi  3:7), not only that but because he followed these commandments hi brothers changed their attitudes (1 Nefi 17:55) and they new that Nephi had built the boat with the power of God. All of these blessings and experiences that we have read about we can receive ourselves. Nefi has taught us that if we follow the commandments (we though that is hard sometimes) we will receive countless and countless blessings (even though they are hard to see sometimes).
CHALLENGE: Write down some thoughts after reading 1 Nefi 17-18! What verses stood out to you from that chapter?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Little By Little (week 79)

Hey you guys!!!
This email is gonna be on the shorter side because I wrote an email to the priest quorum!!! 

But this week was okay.....a little hard but it's all good!!! Our area is a little tricky because its been about 9 months since missionaries have been working here. Our area book is basically empty soooo we have basically been contacting our list of future investigators and contacting in general hahahaha so its been hard but its been good!

Living in a house with 4 missionaries is insane!!! AND THEY ALL FROM ECUADOR!!! That makes things different hahaha all the same locura that you would see in The Best Two Years movie.....actually happens!!! It's just kinda hard for me because they are all from the same culture and they click that way........and I just kinda don't!!

Elder Allphin is an awesome district leader though!!! I am lucky to have him for sure.....and he always tells me what Hermana Lidia is up to hahahahaha.....sure do miss her!!!

Buuuuuuut yeah all is well......I am figuring things out little by little buuuuut only time will tell. I feel like Heavenly Father has big things in store for me that's for sure.....just need to figure them out!

Anyways family.....love you!!! Keep doing what you need to be doing...or I will pass the saw ;)

LOOOOVE YOU,
ELDER OLSEN

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Latest and Greatest Adventure!!!! (week 78)

YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS!!! I got sooo lucky and we are writing at an internet place that actually has internet that doesn't bloooooow so maybe I can pull a good letter today......maybe.

This last week was busy, busy, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusy!!! We were basically teaching L everything that she needed to know for her baptism, but also running errands so everybody else could have their baptisms.....it was kinda teeeenaz!!! Buuuut we pulled through! Elder Chacon did her interview and he is awesome so that made me feel better and sheeeeeeeeeee passed!!! She wanted a small baptism and only invited her mom and her sister......it was so weird!!! I didn't exactly know how to make an agenda for the baptism sooo I didn't and President Rengifo wasn't very happy about that......buuuuts it's all good :)

We also spent a lot of the week saying goodbye to everyone which was sooooo hard!!! R and L literally both starting to CRRRRY THEIR EYES OUT!!! And I just kinda sat there liiiiiiike what do I do? It was hard though......we have been working really to help them finally get married so L can be baptized and R can get the sacerdocio!!! Little by little I am sure Elder Ancalle and his new companion got this!!! (Garrett hasn't mentioned it yet but he was transferred back to Pasto! Hermana Lidia wrote my mom on facebook and told her Sunday night so we knew beforehand which is why he didn't mention it at the beginning of his letter!) 

Hermana C was literally the same story, she CRIED AND SHE CRIED AND SHE CRIED!!!! She actually signed my Colombian flag!

The M Family also had a goodbye party for me.......we made coke cola chicken (which is bomb btw) and played games!!! They also sewed me a Doraemon pillow and made me a Doraemon sign hahahahahaha but it was really fun UNTIL everyone started to crrrrry and cry and crrrry hahahahahah!!!

Occidente was actually a pretty hard area for me to leave......it's the area that I had spent the most time of my mission in so it was kinda a challenge....but I am super stoked to be here in PASTO!!! I am serving in the area right next to my old one.....it's called BACHUE!! (BAH....CHU....AY) We're actually opening the area!!! And when I say opening the area, I mean opening the area.....when I got to Pasto (the first time) there was Bachue 1 and Bachue 2 but the Hermanas got taken out of Pasto and it just became Bachue......and now it has returned!!! It will be hard but we got this!! My companion is Elder Franco from Guayaquil Ecuador!!! 

I was a little upset cause I wasn't called as a DL anymore but then I realized two things:
1.) I am literally opening a new area
2.) Elder Alfphin (that's spelled wrong....I know it is) is my district leader and that is gonna be the bestest!!!

Another cool thing is that we will be living in an apartment with 4 Elders!!! I have never been in an apartment like that soooo it's gonna be super chill and I am way stoked for it!!! My Zone Leader (Elder Rosa) took me to visit and eat with Hermana Lidia today.....it was awesome!! It has been FOREVER since I have seen her.......mi hermanito Jose Manuel has his call for Mexico I am so excited for their family it's gonna be so awesome for them!!!

So yeah it will be good!!! It's what the Lord whats right now so I can do it!!!

Pues my family!!! Thank you for all your support and all of your prayers!!! I can feel them and I appreciate them!! 

LOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE YOU!!!


ELDER OLSEN


 Only cool district leaders bring their district Chinese rice for breakfast











 There are some Argentine hippies that take their car all over North and South America.....they fund their trips by having movie nights for kids all over the place.....they were in R's neighborhood so that's kinda cool!!


















 L was baptized....yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!










 Chillin with R and L during church!!










The Marin family literally threw me a Doraemon themed goodbye party......it was chill!!!


MAMITA LIDIA!!! Also my comp is the one on the very right!






Monday, April 16, 2018

Progress and More Progress (week 77)

Helllllo People that share genetics and blood type with me!!! ¿¿cOOOOMO ESSSSSTAN?? I hope that you are doing really well and that all of your wildest dreams are coming true!

This week waaaaaaaaas sooo good!!! It was just really chill and we were able to make a lot of progress!!!

L is doing really well, the last time I wrote she only had the first lesson (because she loves to talk so much hahahahaah) but now she has L1, L2, L3, the word of wisdom, chastity and tithing!!! Sooo we have been working SUUUUUPER HARD so that she will make her date for Saturday.....she wants to be baptized before I leave but we will see!!! This week she found out that when I was learning Japanese that I liked to watch and read Doraemon......she also learned that there isn't a version in English!! So she wrote me the Spanish lyrics to the theme song and told me I have to learn and sing it to her family before I go hahahahahahahahahah!!!

We also visited D and his sister has been telling him all about how she misses going to church with him!!! He's been going to the catholic mass.....he basically told us I will keep reading the BOM and I still believe in these things but I need a break and I know where to find you guys when I am ready to talk again......it was hard but it wasn't exactly unexpected either!!!

We have been working hard to find a lot of new investigators.....the majority of our news life in the Ortigal....basically a little village off the highway hahaha we literally have to walk about a half hour to get there but it's all good!!!

John is doing well, sometimes he thinks that he knows more than he really does (especially when it comes to English) and that's hard sometimes.....buuut I have grown to love him!!! He's a fun kid!!!

Today was literally such a fun day!!! The LZ decided to play soccer again so I called Elder Gardner and Elder Acosta and was like "uhhhhhm I don't wanna play soccer again soooo lets go do something" hahahah we never know what we are gonna do until we do it!!! We ended up picking up my suit (thanks mommy love you) and then spending the day in the center....I ended up buying a new jersey (oooops) and Elder Acosta bought a parques board so we played while eating lunch.....the LZ have never told me that they don't like how I steal my district from the zone activity's but it's obvious!!! But I would rather experience this country rather than play a game of soccer.....so it's all good!

Anyways I love you guys all so much!!! I will continue to pray and think about you guys!!! 

Stay golden,
Elder Olsen



Picked up the tan suit today!!! Thanks mommy!! 







 Playing "parques" with Elder Gardner and Elder Acosta










Parques and lunch







This is where we ate today


My fish!!!


 I loved the way Elder Gardner was eating and playing at the same time......haha dork!!







 We found some cool giant spiders!!!