Monday, May 29, 2017

¡Learn as a family! (week 31)

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS!!!!! This week was soooo crazy.....a ton went down, so hopefully I can remember to get all that I need to say in.

For starters PASTO IS AWWWWWWWESOME....I love it here soooo much. We are working in a ward called Mariluz, we share the area with our zone leaders. But our part of the area is MOUNTAIN, MOUNTAIN AND MORE MOUNTAIN, Grandpa Olsen is gonna have nothing on me when I am done here! There are views EVERYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE....I love it. I AM ALSO HAPPY TO SAY that my hearing aids are doing much better.....I still need some wax guards, but I will not have to change them as often.

I love my new pesionista....Hermana Lidia, she makes TONS of food for us. She always makes us popcorn because she is always still cooking as we get there, her popcorn tastes like it has a ton of butter of it....but she does not use any butters, it's rad. And because we cannot rent washing machines here she charges 10 bucks a month.......we love Hermana Lidia!

The sisters left a giant list of people that we needed to meet and contact, but a lot of them didn't really work out. We spent days and days looking for addresses of people that just were not interested.....we have a few families that can really progress though.

Jhon Cardenas is a recent convert that is about 17 years old.....he met the missionaries because he is really good friends with Hermana Lidia's daughter. We have been teaching his mom and SHE IS READY. She will not accept a date though because she wants to be baptized with her husband and her 8 year old son......her husband is not really interested though. I don't know, I have tons of faith that we can get her a date though.

We were also working with our ward mission leader one day....just on a random street looking for addresses, when an old lady came up to us and was like "do you know Juan Camillo....come here.....come here." Soooo yeah it was kinda a miracle because her little 13 year old grandson is a member. He is a special little boy and HE LOVES THE GOSPEL, the grandma really has a testimony too....but there is a problem, she promised her 13 year old grandson that he could baptize her.....I don't know, I have faith about that too. One day we went over there because we were close and I really needed to use the bathroom and her son (the grandsons dad) was there....he's a professor and he has weird hours I guess...but anyways, we just shared the 1st vision video that day. Her son left for a minute though and she turned to us and said "I was praying that you boys would come today," turns out the Holy Ghost can work through your bladder!

John is good....he has he quirks but I have mine. So far he has been the easiest to work with and understands that I do not have perfect Spanish, and that's okay.

Today was a good P-day....I went to some Costco type place and I BOUGHT A NEW's an early birthday present to me....from me! (Awwwe...he's so good to himself!) I decided to go for it because I always see something that I wanna take a picture of,  but I am never happy with the photos from the other hopefully this one is better. We also had a district activity....Elder Corbett organized the "Bachue Games" basically each companionship was a team and we did a whole bunch of games to earn points. Whoever had the most points in the end won and Elder Corbett would bring them a prize tomorrow in district meeting.....the zone leaders won but it was still a lot of fun.

I like Pasto! I think its gonna be a great transfer....I am hoping, I have faith! I am glad that we actually have FAMILIES to teach...not just people. I really wanted to do a challenge that was a little more fun so I decided to have two challenges.
For mom and dad the challenge is to have family home evening. For the rest of you the challenge is to make an effort to go....this challenge should include the following:
1. Sharing of favorite scriptures and talking about the significance.
3. A minute to talk about how proud of me you all are, and to write me handwritten letters. (Again...he's so good to himself! Haha)
4. Go to the post office to send those letters on your way to Cold Stone. (Now he's being good to my dad and I! He's knows it's our fav!)
5. Take pictures and send them.

I promise you guys that you can feel the spirit both as an individual and as a family STRROOOOOONGLY. Let the scriptures guide the discussion and learn from each other...learn as a family......I cannot wait to hear all about it.

Elder Olsen


These are just some quick photos of the area...

Just another Pasto view!

 Isn't that rainbow raaad?!

Elder Galvez and I. 

Teaching English to children.

Our chapel is rad (this is the inside)!


District Bachue

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

So I did not die..........again!!!! (week 30)

I have been given permission to write a quick email telling you guys about my transfer.

Soooo yeah, yesterday I could not write because I was on a bus......all day long. But I actually really enjoyed it, Colombian Mountains are soooo sick. Everybody else was like "but what if we fall," and I waaaas just like "THIS ISSSSS SOOOOO FREAKING RAAAAD!!" There are so many cliffs of just green palm trees and plants.....and we were so high up, like we were in the clouds it was sooo cool!!

I got transferred to PASTO!!! I told President that I wanted to be in Popayan or Pasto to see if my ears and my hearing aid do better here....we will see. (Dad my hearing aid wax guard part number is 52961-000.)  Everybody says that it;s cold here...and eeeeeh that's kinda true. I was shivering last night just because I was soooo used to 80 degree weather everyday, but it's really not's like Utah spring weather....warm in the sun....cold in the shade, I like it!!

My companion is named Elder Galvez from Mexico. He only has one more transfer than me, but he seems like he is on top of it......but we will see, praying that hes a good one!! But we are both new to the area sooooo we get to do that whole fun thing of figuring EVERYTHING should be fun though.

My apartment used to be the apartment of the Hermanas sooooooo we got spoiled! IT'S GIANT AND NICE ANDDDD UGGGGGGH......we are in some great views!! There are mountains EVERYWHERE...and they are super green and it's awesome!! The sisters didn't pay the bills though, so this morning our water got cut and we had to call the zone leaders so they could come get the bill to pay it hahhahahahahah. My neighborhood does not look like I feel like I am in San Francisco all over again....I will send pictures next week.

I am also planning on writing a letter about my last week in Valle Grande with the 10 trillion pictures that I took so that should be fun.

Sooooo yeah I did not die and all is good in the hood!!!
Elder Olsen

Monday, May 15, 2017

Easily Forget the Bad (week 29)

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! What a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek......this transfer has gone by sooo fast, it is crazy for me to think that transfers are next week!!!

Skype was chill!!! Dane suggested that during Christmas that we take turns during Skype so everybody can actually get turns talking to me.....I am totally down for that because I felt a little bad  :( I am sorry...I love you all mucho!!! As for my safety DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT....the dude always hangs out in a certain's not really a big deal, only one more week!! (Garrett informed us while we were on Skype that he is for sure being transferred due to a scary situation. Also he is going to a less humid area so that his hearing aid will possibly work better for him.)

This week was not really exciting.....we have been visiting mostly members and recent converts lately because ALLLLLLL of our progressing investigators live in red areas and we need members to come with us....and members have lives and can't always come :( We had appointments and members all ready to come visit Virginia and Reinaldo with us....buuuuuuut Virginia was sick and in the hospital allllll weeeeeeek which blows :( They were not able to make it to church yesterday either so we have to push back their dates all over again. Ugggggh it's frustrating.

Hermana Gloria did not wanna cook for us one day so we ordered Chinese food and I am suuuuuper happy to announce that Valle Grande Chinese food is muuuuuch better than Ciudad Modelo Chinese food hahahahah

As a ward we were able to do some service this week. A nice lady in our ward needed her roof cleaned so the bishop took it off and we SCRRRRRRUUUUBED those roof tiles.....I wish I would have gotten pictures of that because they were soooo gross. They had all kinds of brown all over them and had weird grass weeds things growing on them we had to scrape them first and theeeeeen scrub them. All the girls (and Elder Chicaiza) were busy making SanCocho (it's a really good soup that my pensionista makes all the time) but me and Elder Flores left before that got done....I am obedient so I would not have ate it anyways.

Today we celebrated Elder Ramirezs birthday in Morichal.....Hermana Camaron made us a buuuuuuunch of meat!! We had steak, chicken and ribs with potatoes and Yucca and she even bought us all Coke!! (SHOUT OUT GOES TO ANY MEMEBR THAT BUYS US COKE!) Elder Eldredge and I ranted the whole time about the CCM, mission memories, how Skype went, our companions, etc!! I love Elder Eldredge...I am lucky he is here with me. After that we went with Elder Eldredge and Elder Chicaiza grocery shopping........Elder Chicaiza told Elder Eldredge that he was wasting his time because Elder Chicaiza didn't wanna go grocery shopping......rolling my eyes!! It was a good time I bought Mountain Dew, and a bunch of candy, and some Sensodyne toothpaste.....isn't that the greatest combo.....I just think that is the greatest combo.

I am learning to be happy in hard situations.....I think I needed this transfer specifically for that, I can see sooo much growth in myself sometimes!!! I am grateful for the mission for that.....even if it's rough sometimes, things always work out....if they don't it's not the end and you still have time. It's gonna be another easy challenge this week, write about something that makes you happy, like a full page just about Diet Coke and Hot Cheetos and your love for them! As we focus on the good we can easily forget the bad.....I promise :)


 Look at these bomb papas I made!

Elder Gatica cookin'

Elder Gatica stiiiiiillllll cookin' with Elder Guiterrez

Look at allllll that meat!


Look at allllll that food I got

Mucho Eldredge :)

This is a Colombian curb (I get bored sometimes okay)

This is the street that Hermana Camaron lives on (she's the Morichal pensionista)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Skype

We had our first Mother's Day Skype with Elder Olsen today!! I'll give you some fun facts about our call:

-Garrett bore his testimony in Spanish and we all thought his Spanish sounded great! (Though none of us speak Spanish so what do we know...) I don't know why he says he is so bad! His testimony was awesome.
-Our internet died halfway through the call so we missed about five-ten minutes of talking time.
-Garrett was shaking for a couple minutes and we finally asked him what was wrong and he told us he had to pee. So we missed another five minutes of talking time because he had to run and find a bathroom. 
-Garrett says he is being transferred next week because of some scary situations. He wouldn't tell us very much about those situations, so our poor dear mother is currently freaking out a bit. 
-My mom sent him a package LAST WEEK and he already got it! That never happens!
-He was forgetting English words the whole time! The only one I can remember right now that he forgot is the word dryer. He said "you know those machines that dry your clothes....what's the word?" Hahaha so that was pretty funny! 
-He kept accidentally speaking Spanish and then looked really confused when none of us answered him. 
-His headphones weren't working really well so he had a really hard time hearing us the whole time. 
-In the middle of the call some Colombian guy started yelling for some reason and distracted/confused Garrett for a while!
-He sounded pretty bummed that he won't be here to meet his niece when she is born. (Side story: the night before he left Garrett and I had a sleepover and I said "what if I get pregnant while you're gone? Are you going to be sad?" (Little did I know I would find out the day after he left that I am pregnant!) He replied "No, the baby won't even be doing anything cool by the time I get home!" So I reminded him that my baby won't be doing anything cool!)
-He loves the juice a lot! And a few fruits but I forgot their names...

All in all Elder Olsen sounds great!! Two phone calls down, and two to go!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Do we really have faith? (week 28)


This week really has not been very eventful.....we have been working with our baptismal dates Virgina and Reinaldo, and they have been progressing super well and have almost every single lesson. BUUUUUUT they did not come to church this last Sunday because of the rain, soooo they cannot be baptized on the 20th so that blows, but I still love them. They work in a sewing studio and it rained super hard one day and the whole place flooded with gross brown water...that was fun. Virginia also sewed me and Elder Flores both a Colombian flag's the fav!!! Elder Chaiña had one and only wore it to baptisms, I think I am gonna do the same thing.

I am lucky that I have Elder Eldredge here!!! I have struggled a ton with John buuuuut Elder Eldredge probably struggles a ton more with his John.....Idk it's just nice to have somebody to talk to about all things that have gone on!

My Spanish is stilllllll strugggggling a looooooooooooooooooooot hahahahaha Hermana Cecilia always encourages me and is always like "you only have like 6 months,  when you get back you will able to write me a bunch in Spanish!" I seriously love her!!! She always takes care of us....she offered to cook for us on Sunday but we told her about our rule of not being able to eat with the members, SO GUESS WHAT SHE DID.....she went out and bought us hamburgers to break our fast with....and they were like giant good hamburgers too!!! We are lucky to have her in this area.

A lot of people of asked me how the Nuñez family is doing....and they are doing tons and tons better!!! And they have been coming to church....ALL OF THEM. The other day the grandma showed me her worldwide coin's actually pretty sweet! She has coins from just about everywhere and some of them are super ancient.....she has coins from Ecuador......that's how you know that those coins are ancient (Ecuador uses american dollars now) and Carlos showed me this English program that his mom used to use. Basically you laid on this microphone pillow and it played English audio as you fell also came with a record player and records for during the day.....that was all kinds of interesting for me.

Ward Council meeting yesterday was INSANE!!! In Ciudad Modelo we would have ward council meeting like maybe once a month for 15 minutes, but here we have them every other week for 2 hours......and the bishop tells it like it is....yesterday he was like "sooooo who here in the ward council is fasting" and nobody raised their hand, and then he went on a big rant about how we cannot be leaders and ask the ward to do spiritual things we when don''s very true!!! 

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY NEXT POINT!!!! We need to be examples to each other.....if you are not living the gospel how are other people going to learn about the joys and the blessings of living the gospel? If we are not demonstrating our faith through our actions do we really have faith? That question is a writing prompt......this weeks challenge is to answer that question in our challenge notebooks......I would love to hear any responses that anybody has for me!!

Also I totally read the ward newsletter today and I very much learned that I have my very own way of writing letters hahahaha

ANYWAYS, looooove you guys tons!!!!! Looking forward to Sunday!

P.S Aubrey I cannot write you back but I am voting for Kennedy over Adalyn....glad we have that established. (Garrett asked me what Dane and I are naming the baby and I gave him our two's good he voted for Kennedy because Adalyn wasn't one of them haha!)

This river is right by Virgina and Reinaldo's runs through the entire area!

 And here are pictures of the house...
(Garrett's bed is on the right!)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Find the Good (week 27)


Sooooo much went down this week....for starters we have two baptism dates, they are some old investigators and they are a sweet old couple. She owns a sewing business so that's fun. She always has notes and stuff written down in her pamphlets sooo that is always good investigators!! We have this member in our ward named Hermano Salazar and he is extremely dedicated to helping us and will literally spend 7 hours at a time with us, driving us everywhere we need to go....he has an ANCIENT Nissan Bluebird and we always have to push it to get it started hahahahaha! This one time Elder Flores fell and literally landed on his face hahahah it was greeeeeat. We have also found a few less active members so we will be working with them and hopefully getting them to church. The Nuñez family is still struggling....the daughters piercings got SUPER INFECTED so she only has holes now. We have not visited them as often as we usually do, but the few times we have the dad is always asking us for kinda weirds me out because his daughter is only two years younger than me xD

Elder Flores and I got into some pretty good fights this of them ended up with me calling Elder Garner....I am struggling a ton but things are slowly getting better. I have a lot of faith though that it will all work out in the end. My Spanish is still struggling a lot...I have lots of work to do, Elder Flores wants me to start using my personal time writing out the lessons in Spanish and then using my language study time speaking what I write and making any necessary corrections......its worth a shot so I guess I will be trying that.

Today was fun....we went as a district with Alejandro (a member in our area) and the pensionista in Morichal to some random park in the other side of the city....that was fun...and we walked to McDonalds. On the one some girl that was like my age ran up to us and was like "I am from Utah so can I get a picture with all of you?" Hahahah she was from salt lake and she was saying her mom was gonna freak out...then me and Elder Eldredge got our McDonalds and took it to KFC so everyone else could eat was good. Me and Elder Eldredge talked a lot today!!! It's fun to share experiences with him.

Buuuuuut yeah it was a good had its ups and downs but every week does. I guess that is my challenge...find the good!!! We are not here to be unhappy and work and pay bills......our lives are so much more than that!!! When we realize our purpose it all comes into place and works out much better....I promise!!

Also siblings I talked to mom and I will be skyping the 14th at 6 pm (my time), sooooo yeah you should all come to that :) 


This is some random park we went to today...with a giant statue!

View's of Cali from the park!

Where I live looks nothing like this...I just want to make that known. (He sent that after I told him it looks really pretty haha!)

Looooook we found a Book of Mormon in this bookstore!!! (Yes, that is a spray painted wall hahaha)

Mcdonalds with Elder Eldredge