Monday, January 30, 2017

Perspective (week 14)

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY (If you did not read that in Navi's voice you need to reread that.....if you don't know who that is ask Jarin.)
I hope things are going good for you guys....I got a ton of emails about it and yes I am doing much better....lots of freakouts....stressful thoughts.....and deep breaths later! But things are still not perfect....and I dont think that they ever will be unfortunately, I just gotta learn to deal with it and move on!!! Worry about me and my obedience and try not to care about my comps. (Apparently we need to worry about Garrett's obedience? Probably the one thing we weren't worried about...until now hahaha)

Yeah so something interesting that happened this week WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS my hearing aid broke!! Just the tail but I am worried that pulling on the wire part will break that....and I don't wanna have a broken hearing aid here.....that would blooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow!!

Henry is still doing well, he bought me some coke (the soda kind of coke, not the drug kind!) and I started an English class.....He was the only one that showed up so all is well!! He really wants to learn English because all of his car manuals are in English....not sure if I can help him there!! Elder Chaiña is getting really good at English and it makes me mad because I do not think I am getting any better at Spanish!!!

Our investigators are doing good!! BLANCA HAS A DATE.......FOR THE THIRD TIME!!! We took the ward mission leader to teach her.....he's an old single dude and we totally felt like we were the third wheels on a was super weird!! I give it 2 years and they will be sealed in the temple ;) but she totally came to church sooooooooooooooooooooo yay!

We met a new investigatior named DORA!!! She runs a convenice store out of her house (real convenince stores are not a thing here) and I love it because she always gives us postoban (the most popular soda here.....basically shasta) and candy for FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all the time...I love it!! She met with the missionaries some 15 years ago so she already has a ton of knowledge and YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!! Things are looking up with her I think.

We have been working with Manuel lately....he is a recent convert....but he's a little goofy in the head and has some word of wisdom issues BUT HE LOVES THE BOM, and has a ton of knowledge about maybe more than me xD He lives with his entire family and his sister is like mom and dads age and she totally flirts with us and always gets ready for the club in front of us.....and like her clothes are not appropriate at all.....the other day she asked us if she looked beautiful for gyspie night......GROSS!!! 

I have a lot of girls flirt with me lately and I really am just not about it.....except the girls at the panaderia....they can flirt with me all they want cause they give me more bread than what I pay for!! But Hermana Coronel was like totally trying to get me to give her a tie the other day....and that's weird!!

I am struggling,  but I am holding on!! I am not sure why I am here in this area and with this companion teaching the people that I am teaching, but I do know that God has a plan for me.....and unfortunately to learn all the things that I need to know I also need to's hard but I am growing up soooooooo fast and learning to look at things with all kinds of perspectives!!! I hope that you guys can too!! So this weeks challenge is to look at things with a different perspective!!

ALSO because nobody ever writes about the challenges first priority for hand written goes to whoever does!! (That's how we get things done at the Olsen household...bribery!) 


 My hearing aid ;( 

Reasons why Henry is the fav

The sisters and Henry's dog.....that thing will literally follow them all the way home from the church.....and they live in Independicia....far!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Patience is Key (week 13)


What is happening in the U.S of A? Literally only every single person I taught this week asked me about Trump so that was inteeeeeeeeeeeeeresting!!! We are not allowed to talk about that sooo I am always just like "I do not know.......but the gospel is cool" and then try to slowly transition back into the lesson hahahah!!

This week was kinda horrible!! Me and Elder Chaiña got into a couple of fights!! One of them was like reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally bad and he slammed his PMG onto our table and walked away!! Soooo that is fun. I pretty much forced him to have a companionship inventory (we have never had one......when we get to that part of weekly planning he is always like "lol no I am not doing that"). So yeah I told him how he needs more patience......and he agreed but he told me that I need to stop leaning on him. I get would suck to have to be dragged from your favorite area and have to train some norte on the spot......but I also get that I am being trained........and I do not speak Spanish!! So when we are teaching or filling out reports or whatever I just need a lot of help!!! It has gotten better though which is good. 

Every time I see Elder Mcdermott he asks me how I am doing and he gets a rant EVERY SINGLE TIME hahahaahha He acts like he cares though so that's good!! He actually had divisons with Elder Reinhold this week!! I guess they taught a possessed person. But yeah mom you told him to give me a big he gave Elder Mcdermott a big hug.....who gave me a big hug!! Haha it will be a while until I meet him though because he is about 14 hours away in Pasto....Elder Eldredge is in his zone!!! I hope I meet him soon though he seems cool. Tell his mom I say hello!! (Hi Angela!)
Our investagators really are not making much progress either......we lost a few this week. For starters, we had to drop Sandro....or rather the police department dropped him for us!! We visited Yolanda last week (his mom) and she was obviously upset about something. She was like "yeaaah you have not been able to find Sandro because he is in prison." I guess having drugs is legal but there's a limit and he had more than, that sooooo yeah he is in jail! We still visit Yolanda though....but she is not at all :/

And I guess Santiago went crazy or something.....I don't know. We talked with his grandma about it but I did not understand....I just know we cannot teach him anymore. We also met with his uncle he tried telling me that my country is evil and that people live on Mars and a bunch of weird stuff like that......but he has prayed about it so it is true. I literally had to sit through 3 hours of that because Elder Chaiña thought it was interesting,

Alcides moved and we were gonna meet at the church.....but he did not show up so we ended up doing service and helping a dude from the stake out by cleaning all the grass....they finally mowed it...its about time cause it was to my knees

Henry is doing really well!!  He lives across the street from the church and he is a mechanic. Literally right after his baptism he had cars lined down the street that needed to be fixed!! Baptism brings blessings!!! We were able to go with the sisters to teach him which was good!! Our new sister is named Hermana Dos Santos....she is from Brazil!! It is kinda weird though because I know like all their investigators better than she does. But yeah we taught Henry about prophets....we literally taught on the curb cause you know......Colombia! We pulled out pictures of all the apostles and he just looked at it...and then looked at me and pointed to President Uchtdorf and said "He looks like Donald Trump..............I do not like Donald Trump" and literally in that moment I watched the sisters have "ohhhhh shoot" look on their faces. So I said something like "but hes not like Donald Trump........he has some of the best talks" and then we were able to transition back into the lesson so that's was kinda funny cause after that on Sunday we watched one of Uchtdorfs talks!! He is doing well though and has lots of knowledge about the church so I am happy for him!

Spanish is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard it bugssssssssssssss me!! I understand a lot of things when people are talking but when they are directly talking to me or asking me questions I am just like "Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"  hahaha

I am working on my patience...I know I am where I need to be, and doing what I need to do, buuut it is just sooo hard....I think we lose the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is in control when things are going bad....but it's only through bad and hard things that we can grow!!! SO PATIENCE IS KEY!!! And that is this weeks challenge, BE PATIENT!! Things will work out.....they always do!!
(I swear sometimes Garrett has a direct link to my brain because all his challenges are spot on! Patience is a that I don't have so I'm determined to take the challenge!) 

Teaching Henry on the curb


Also look at all those taxis that Henry fixed!!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Service (week 12)

Ohhhhhhh heeeeeeey friends and family!!!!!

It has been succccccccccch a busy week! Usually the weeks go by somewhat fast, but not this week!! It dragged and dragged and dragged on! But some really significant things have happened this week!

First: Transfers!! Usually everyone gets trained with 2 trainers and 1 area.....I am still here and I am still with Elder Chaiña!!! I really kinda wanted a change, I am not upset about it!! We totally have plans to go zoo this transfer so everyone pray that happens!! I am not sure about changes in the zone but I do know that one of the sisters in the district was transferred and we are getting a new one!! Hopefully she is good because we work very closely with the sisters to help the ward out!!

SECOND: something that I am really excited for is the NEW MISSION PRESIDENT WAS ANNOUNCED BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY!!!!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHFDHGODHGOSGHOH!! His name is Ray Whitesides!! He is a norte from Utah and should be coming around July!!!

Last week we had our zone conference and it was sooooo weird being with the whole zone one last time and saying goodbye to Elder Reeve.....he was so chill!!! But I am pretty sure Elder Mcdermott is still one of my zone leaders sooo estoy muy feliz sobre eso!!! (That means "I'm very happy about that" gotta love google translate!)

My investagators are doing okay.....not much progress there!! We had a ton of less active members and Blanca at church yesterday........BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT none of them stayed, with that being said Blanca cannot be baptized on the day we picked out for her which blooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooows!!!! But we will get there eventually......eventually.

We have not really visited Sandro and his mom much lately......they are interesting, they always want to talk about cats and drugs!! We asked her about her religious beliefs.....she is very much catholic and we asked her what inspires her faith and she just said her mom and grandma were she is catholic!! It is actually really common to be religious for tradition here.....which I do not understand but whatever.

We have a new investigator named Rodrigo!! He owns a obivously I really like him!! (heladaria is an ice cream shop!) But he is also always gone because his church is during the day....all week long so he is always gone....but he is really receptive.

We also have Mileny (probs spelled wrong) we found her through one of less actives.....she's interesting, we had to pray away some of the evil spirits that she saw in her house....but she is also really receptive and has agreed to baptism once she has an answer about the Book of Mormon!! The problem is that she is always busy with her job, so it is hard for us to get appointments with her.

We have been working with a kid named Santiago Ragifo!! He is 26 but does not look a day over 17!! He kinda stopped going to church because he does not have the priesthood.....but if he does not go to church he will not get it!!! ITS SOOOOO FRUSTRATING!!! 

But what I really want to talk about is........................MY FIRST BAPTISM!!! YUP SUPRISE!! Henry is the investigator of the sisters and we have worked really closely with him and his son!! His son is not as interested though!! On Friday he had his baptism interview and picked me to baptize him......It went kinda awful but it is okay!! He was not bending his knees or plugging his nose.....and I was not shoving him in the water enough and I learned the all the words the day of soooooo that was kinda shakey....all that being said he had to be baptized 3 times!!! But I am not upset about it...practice makes perfect!! It was a cool opportunity!!! Annnnnd the biggest fear of dropping someone did not happen soooooo that was good!!!

I have been thinking alot about service....I mean I do it all day every day but honestly it is what sets our church apart from the rest....we are expected to serve in callings inside and outside the church....and honestly I think that is the best thing about the church! Service to others is service to God and by doing so we gain a close relationship with Him!! This weeks challenge is to serve!! Accept a calling because you want to......accept a calling because you want to help others and you want to help and gain a better testimony of God!! I know that by doing so you will be blessed.

Elder Olsen

So before zone conference Elder Chaiña found this cat (he has a cat obsession)

He wanted to name it Princesa.......I wanted to name it Feo.

That's a bed in the middle of church. Bienviendo a Colombia.

Gonna miss Elder Reeve!!

The zooone

Your fav elders at night of commandments

 Finding baptism clothes for Henry!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Is it a problem? (week 11)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Busy day of emailing I just want to thank everyone for the support and the 18 emails that I got today!! I have the bestest people supporting me!!

Well, first things first WE HAVE A BAPTISM DATE!!!!!!! Blanca committed to be baptized on the 28 of lets hope that works out. This Sunday we also had Cynthia and her sister at church, they are some of our new investigators and their mom is a less active member so I think they will do well!! Alcides dropped us because he isn't running his business where we teach anymore. We found a new barber investigator named Victor. We have also started teaching another new less active named Santiago!!! Lots and lots of work to do!! Sandro is still easily my biggest challenge.....him and his mom always have a new rant. The other day she was asking me if all the cats in north america are white because they are gringo cats!!! Hahaha!

I also had my first interview with President, Hermana Pricoli, and the assistants this week in preparation for my first transfers next week! It was kinda a challenge, I accidentally told him that there was a problem with my recommend so we had to go back and restart the conversation xD but we just kinda talked about our goals. We really wanna see more baptisms and more references.....since I am being trained and I have already had two trainers, I am sure that I will still be here with elder Chaiña which is alright.....we struggle with some things but its nothing that I cant handle!!! 

Honestly, I have been noticing that my biggest challenges are really just myself.....I am too hard on myself ALWAYS!!! That is something that I am going to be working on this week, month and transfer!! I know that this is not a ME problem. We can all easily get rid of so many problems by going back, taking a deep breath and really thinking the problem through. Is it a problem or are you making it a problem? So that is the challenge this week...STOP BEING HARD ON YOURSELF AND EAT A BAG OF HOT CHEETOS AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY!!!!!!

Hahaha I love you guys!! Just know that I miss you all and I pray for you all everyday,
Elder Olsen

(This next part is a handwritten letter that Garrett wrote and then took pictures of. He asked me to type it up and put it on here! Garrett and our mom always sing the Unpacking My Adjectives song (they're weird if you haven't learned that yet) so that is why he named it that!)
Unpacking My Adjectives 

Sooo there's a lot of things that I really need to write about, my letters are not as descriptive as they should be. It's so hard only having an hour to write, so I decided I would write this letter with a few details during my very slim free time during the week. 

The Area:
Okay so I'm serving in an area called Ciudad Modelo, but the ward boundaries are split in the middle to make areas called "Ciudad Modelo 1" and "Ciudad Modelo 2". Our area consists of many different neighborhoods of Cali. San Carlos, El Jardin, Agua Blanca, Fortaleza, San Pedro...there's a lot more but we don't work in those areas as much! Most of our time is spent in Jardin because that's where a lot of members and recent converts live. It's nice though because no matter where you are there's always a convenience store and a Panaderia (bread store) nearby! There is also a trillion "cane services". I asked Elder Mcdermott about what they are and he said it's like the lottery. But seriously they are everywhere. There is also a bunch of food trucks. People run out of their house...but we can't buy from them. My area is really cool! There are some really cool people that live here.

Typical Cali streets.
Those flags are on every street and hang from house to house.

The Apartment:
My house is really small and like super gross...every P. day we sweep so much dirt out of it. We have our main room, our kitchen, our bathroom, our bedroom, our closet room. We also have another bathroom attached to the closet room, but the toilet is broken and gets gross water I never use that bathroom. Because Colombian houses are next to each other we can hear everything...we also live above a market and we can always hear them unloading fruit from trucks. Because the buildings have these weird courtyard things we have windows..but the rain is always so loud and I wake up (the roof is tin). We also have to rent a washing machine, but I always just wash my clothes by hand because it is cheaper and easier...and for any missionary mom's that may be reading, each apartment comes with a bottom of Permethrin :) I have also gotten really used to cold took me like two weeks but I can do it now with no issues haha! Another fun fact is that lizards crawl all over our walls sometimes, I have also found rats but not as often. 
Our closet room.
 Our bathroom.
 Our bedroom.
 Our kitchen...only rich people have ovens here.
Our main room. 

The ward:
I really like the ward here...there is a sense of community that I really like! There is a lot of older people and a lot of people between the ages of 14-20. So the younger programs seem to be strong for such a small ward. The chapel is tiny, it's about the size of my high school seminary building. It's nice though, it looks exactly like the CCM. But back to the ward, there is a lot of less active members but the ward is really good about helping us in anyway that they can! We always get Carlos and Favian (two priests in the ward) to come teach with us...we also have noche de lugar. It's basically ward family night and the missionary all have to teach a small class. It's a good time!
 Our tiny chapel. 
Our tiny chapel hallway.

I hope this answered some of your questions! I hope with the holidays behind us I can write some good's just so hard with only one hour, but I'm trying and that is what counts! I hope that my blog as been interesting for everyone! I'm glad that I have the opportunity to share my experiences :)
-Elder Olsen 

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Glue Stick (week 10)

Okay well all my ten trillion pictures are loading so I guess I better write my letter now haha! (Most of the pictures he sent were from Christmas so I added those to the last blog post if you want to check them out!)

My week was okay.....kinda frustrating but it is all good! We spent News Years Eve and New Years Day with Julieth and her family........HER WHOLE FAMILY!! Her brother was very interested in me and kept talking to me about his sister who lives in Texas....I guess she does not talk to him anymore, and because of that I got a giant rant about how North Americans forget about family.....which honestly made me kinda mad because I just wanted to spend that day with my family!! But he told me that I was a kind person and even took a picture with me.

News Years Day was weird....because they blow up mannequins for Christmas Eve there was burnt dog hair EVERYWHERE, but we just went to church and back to Julieth's....she tried to give us food but I politely had to remind everyone that we couldnt eat. We called President and he said NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Hahaha I don't think Elder Chaiña was very happy with me. But we taught her family again and then Julieth gave us a gift....a ceramic donkey thing...which was weird but HEY when in Colombia right!! After that we just taught.

We have a few new investigators, we have Sandro he's interesting...we always try teaching him something but then he will go on a rant about how the church should allow marijuana and stuff. One day we were trying to teach him about the plan of salvation buuuuut he wanted to talk about the word of wisdom and even went outside and found a carton of cigarettes and showed us all the warnings (Colombian cigarettes are required to have pictures of like black lungs and cancer patients on them). Sooooo yeah teaching him is kinda hard!! We do not really have progressing investigators but we visit less actives and members all the time. 

I have actually had a few breakdowns this week.....I just want to know Spanish. As I was gluing together a pocket for my mission manuel and I thought of something, it's kinda weird but............the gospel is a glue stick....but not a crappy one! Every time I get sad or frustrated it's always prayer and scriptures that help me to glue myself back together!! So that is my challenge for everyone not only for this week but also this year, do not let yourself fall apart, use your personal glue stick to glue yourself back together. Our Father in heavens wants to help us and He will......if we ask!!! It is very important and has saved me many times!! The struggle is real but so is Christ!!

My donkey!!!

(This is Garrett's sister Aubrey here, I'm going to tell you a side story because I want to remember it and it makes me laugh! So my husband and I found out we are pregnant the day after Garrett left on his mission! It was an emotional day to say the least. I wrote Garrett and told him about it in one of our first emails. His ONLY response to me was "yeah...I don't believe you." So the next week I tried to convince him that I was telling the truth and all he said was "this is just the kind of joke you and Dane would do..." So here we are! I am now out of my first trimester and he just says things like "I guess you're probably pregnant because you wouldn't keep talking to me about it for this long if you weren't hahaha" I sent him a picture of the ultrasound this week and he replied "I don't see anything...." Oh geez...I'm thinking that he probably won't believe me until he is home and holds my baby for himself, silly boy! Makes me chuckle.)