Monday, July 31, 2017

Christ-like Attributes (week 40)

HEY MUCHACHOS!!! ¿Como Estan?

Before I begin I just wanna say that I have 19 years now :)
Hahahah this week was a lot better....we are making some progress slooooooowly but surely :) 

Something I wanna talk about real quick before I forget is that my hearing aid is back in Pasto from Bogota soooo yeah, the LZ are leaving tomorrow for a leadership meeting in Cali so Elder Florez is gonna come get me reaaaal early. I am not really excited though I have to have it reprogrammed so I get take the EXAMS....AGAIN, this is literally the 5th time in my mission ugh. 

My birrrrrrthday was gooooood!!! I was just casually chilling in the shower when I heard "BOOOOOOOM" "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM" "BOOOOOOOOOOOM" and I was like "what is Elder Galvez doing" and then I heard Elder Corbett's voice start to sing and I was like "ohhhhhhhhhhhh hecccccccccccccccccccck no!" Hahahahah so I hurried out of the shower and everyone was there and they all had cake for me and it was a good 10 minute party! They would start singing in Spanish and then Elder Corbett would shout "REMIX" and then they would start singing in English hahahah it was good!

In the ward we started a weekly activity to help our investigators feel welcome in the chapel. We planned a scavenger hunt and divided everyone into 2 groups....and tied everyone together while they went to find clues...(they were scriptures) at the end the last clue lead to this rock at the top of the hill next to the church and everyone was trying to move this rock to find "the golden plates". Then Elder Florez stood on the rock and was like "you're trying to find material things...but the real reward is eternal life" and everyone was "aaaaahhhhhhhh c'mon!!!" It was pretty awesome.

Our investigators are doing good.....we are making progress with the Santa Cruz family!! And Yamile said that she wants Daniel to get baptized on his birthday in August!! we are struggling with Pricilla but we will get there!!

Interviews were sooooo good!!! I love President and Hermana Whitesides and I feel like I can be myself around them :) They are lot more chillaxed then President and Hermana Pricoli. But something that Hermana Whitesides said in her interview with me thaaaaaaaaaaaat I loved is "it's important that we develop the attributes of Jesus here in the when we go home people can see that....even though we don't have our name tag they can see in our hearts" annnnnnnnnnd woooooooah that's teeeeeenaz the truth. That's my goal after the mission to be a more patient Christ like person....soooo CHALLENGE pick an attribute of Christ and study the scriptures and make a plan to develop this attribute!!! You got this!

Loooooooooooooooove you guys so much, sorry this was short my pictures took their sweet time!!
Elder Olsen


Getting ready for the ward activity!

The ward activity

Mucho Elder Leon

Baptism in Bachue

The district singing to me

My birthday cake

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Expectations from Heavenly Father...Expectations from Myself (week 39)


This week was kinda hard...lots of things made it difficult. For starters, we lost our baptism date which bloooooooooooooows but it happened. Prisilla thinks that her baptism date is too soon, soooo yeah we have to work haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard with her. We always make appointments and then they are never ever there and then we go visit their family store and ask Johanna's boyfriend where they are at.....and he never knows, and he always acts grouchy because he doesn't like his girlfriend and her daughter talking to a bunch of young boys (caaaaaaaaaaaan't even).

We are making progress with the family Santa Cruz though!!! Like I said before the dad is coming back to church and progressing.....the mom is a little tougher but I have faith. Maria Fernanda is doing really good....she went to some YSA activity and made friends with a member and we have ran into them hanging in the street sooooo thats good!! I really wanna meet the other daughter..I guess she is really into anime and studies Japanese and has plans to move there after shes done with high school......I guess Hermana Sandra tried to visit her and she hid under her bed for the hour she was there.

OHHHHHH Elder Florez and I went to my new audiologist!!! It was good....but she is from the coast so I cannot understand a word that she says because she talks soooooooooooooo fast ugggghno. But my hearing aid is currently being fixed in Bogota and we need to call the 27 to see if it's back in Pasto or not but I am crossing my fingers.

John and I have a few (lol alot) of rough patches this week, we both have had things that we struggle with and need to fix....but its been hard!! I have been trying my hardest to have patience, and in some situations I have very much succeeded and in others nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope!!! We are better now but I don't know we will see how that all works out.

Today was eeeeehhhhh Elder Galvez literally had to convince to get out of bed soooooo if that does not explain the kinda morning I had I do not know what will. Then we played soccer and kickball as a district.....Elder Florez kept on asking me "are you sick....something is wrong....whats wrong Elder Olsen" and I just sat there like "nooooooooooooooooooooooothing" buuuuuut yeah and then we ate with Hermana Lidia she made us hamburgers and they were actually pretty decent so that's fun. Then her daughter cut Elder Florezs and Elder Galvezs hair and yeah now we are here.

We have interviews with President this week so that should be fun. Hoping to get some packages buuuuuut we shall see. We also have to memorize article of faith numero 13 in preparation for interviews....I have most of it down but I still need to practice a little bit. But Elder Florez told me that he has heard lots of improvement in my Spanish since I started reading...I am currently in 2 Nephi 10....I think.....somewhere around there. I think I am gonna try to finish it with a pencil in my mouth....what a rad way to finish LDM for a second time in Spanish.

Sooooooooooo yeah...this week was rough PEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRO YO TENGO FE.....YO TENGO TODA LA FE!!!! If I am being honest I am not really looking forward to this week. I just don't feel like I am meeting expectations that have been made for me....but that's the great thing about missions it's a time of learning and growing. I have been reading my Patriarchal Blessing BASTANTE paints a pretty clear picture of the things that my Heavenly Father wants me to learn during my time here, and I don't know.....I kinda just thought that I would learn those things without any part of my own.....and that was very ignorant of me. But yeah I'm going to make goals.....annnnd I have high expectations of myself sooooo I will meet my goals. That's the thing though when we have humility and we come to Heavenly Father he will tell us things we need to work on....the hard truth sucks but it is so important that we learn how to become more like our Heavenly Father in preparation to return to him. It's a big reason why we have our life on earth. Soooooo that's my challenge for you guys, seek revelation, find the things that he wants you to work on.....and if necessary CHANGE some things. I promise things will be better if you do :)


Love those volcano cotton candy Pasto skies!

With the LZ with hermana lidia and Hermano Lucho Montenegro


(Garrett wrote another handwritten letter and asked me to put it on the blog! He has terrible handwriting so forgive me as I misspell all of these Colombian words and areas!) 
Unpacking my Adjectives: Mariluz

So it's Sunday night and I have literally no photos...again so I figured I would write something to make things more interesting and give you guys some more details about my area. 

The Area:
Okay so we are apart of the Mariluz ward and it is divided into two areas, Mariluz 1 and Mariluz 2, we are Mariluz 2. Because our area used to be the sisters area it is tiny and the area that the zone leaders have (Mariluz 1) is huuuuuge! We have Barrios (or neighborhoods) Mariluz 3, Gualcalona 1, Guacaloma 2 (okay we have all the Guacaloma's), Colon Sindamanoy, Anganoy, Panoramico 1, 2, and 3, San Vicente, Rosates 1, 2, and 3, and a tiny part of Las Alcacias. So yeah that's our's not very big but it feels bigger because it's all uphill. Our area is literally the mountain...well, that's a lie our area is literally the volcano (it's active and everything!).  Our area is pretty safe the only place we kinda have to avoid is all the "panaramico" neighborhoods during the night! They are a little sketchy...but this place is soo safe compared to just about everywhere in Cali so don't worry about me mom ;) 

Pasto Culture:
I wanted to write about the few differences in culture here in Pasto compared to Cali...
1) The Spanish here is very different...and if I am being honest I like it tons better. It's a lot slower and there is a lot less slang. People here say the word "pues" a lot...translated it's kinda like "well" or "hmmm". So when people say "pues si" it's kinda like saying "well yeah". They also add "ito" a lot to the end of just means it's something smaller. For example saying something like "do you want aguita" is like saying "do you want a little bit of water" The Spanish here is different but I like it. 
2) The "cold"...everyone here thinks it's freezing cold but not really. It's exactly like Utah spring weather! If it's windy then yeah it's cold buuut only then. The weather is pretty unpredictable Here so I always have a short sleeve white shirt and a sweater because one minute it's perfect and then BOOM, tons of wind and tons of rain. I love the weather here though and it's tooons better for my hearing aid. 

The Ward:
I love the Mariluz ward! All the wards here in Pasto are pretty strong despite the missionary work being harder. People here are very good about working together, they are very committed to helping us. Especially the youth...we ALWAYS have somebody from the young men's group with us. Roger has his mission call to the Mexico Tijuana mission so he is always teaching with us. Jose (Hermana Lidia's son) always helps us when Roger can't. Hermana Lidia, the Morales family (aunt and uncle of Sebastian), and the Montergro Family always help us plan family home evenings and activities to help our investigators...they are really helpful and we are lucky to have them. Julian Montengro is our ward mission leader. When I got to the area he had only been home for two or three weeks from the Peru Lima Central mission. He is a really good ward mission leader though and we have been planning lots of activities to help our investigators and the less actives.
Soo yeah there's a quick little rant about the area, I really like it here in Mariluz. It's a good area with tons of good people!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Set Plans. Make Goals. WORK HARD. (week 38)


Sounds like you all had a very exciting week.....I kinda did too...lots and lots of work but it's good to be busy!!

Sooooo before I begin writing about anything else I wanted to talk a bit about my hearing aid because literally everybody asked me about it. So basically what went down is that President called me and was like "we called your audiologist and talked to her secretary, but she has been out of town for a little while (she probs went to Bogota.....shes always in Bogota, RME). But Hermana Whitesides and I wanted you to know that we did not forget about you." Hahahah yeah so that's that!! Elder Florez has been super worried about me though so he took upon himself to find me an audiologist and he made me an appointment for tomorrow. He was like "I just need to get permission from President and after that we should be good" I caaaaaaanot even with this child hahahahahahahhahah we have lots of problems in the zone because Elder Mendoza has had to have lots of exams lately....and Elder Florez is having heart problems...and Elder Galvez lost his cedula (ID) and Elder Bishop is sick and I don't have a hearing aid. The LZ literally do not have any money because they are constantly paying for somebody's appointments....not only that but we have divisions every two seconds ugggggh I swear. Like today I had to take Elder Mendoza to get his x-rays taken and right now I am with Elder Gamboa while Elder Galvez is at migracion with Elder Florez, soooo yeah there's a rant xD

We are making lots of progress here in Mariluz....we have another fecha!!! Priscilla is the daughter of Johanna...a less active member who recently decided to come back to church, soooo yeah we have been teaching her daughter and getting her ready for baptism!!!

The family Santa Cruz randomly decided to come back to church as well, well the dad at least. They were inactive for ten years. Yeah so we visited them and the dad is soooo ready to come back to church but the mom is something else....she was like "I believe that you need to follow your heart and mind and one day in 2006 my mind was not in the church....but I always visit the church website and listen to general conference and do a ton of stuff members do not do." They have two daughters one is 19 and the other is 14 so our plan is to work hard with the whole family and hopefully get them all into church.

Sebastian is doing GREAAAAAAAAAT!!! And his mom is ready to be baptized but President Whitesides told us that we cannot baptize her because she lives in Bachue. Sebastian was a rare exception because he lives with his aunt half the time...the problem is that she had problems with members in Bachue and does not wanna go to church there....I don't know, I wanna help her but I do not know how!!

I asked Hermana Lidia if she knew how to make chicken empanadas anddddddddddddddddd she does!!!! She literally kept giving me more and more and mooooooooooore! I was like "mamita I cannot eat anymore" and she was like "no Elder Olsen you love empanadas here is another one!" I literally ate a thing of rice, a thing of sancocho and TEN....EN SEDIO TEN EMPANADAS! Ugggggh my poor stomach was not having it that day.

I am learning to really work hard.....I have had few problems with some of my new investigators not being able to UNDERSTAND ME. It's sooooooooo frustrating but Elder Florez has really been encouraging me to try and start reading LDM again with a pencil in my mouth. Right now I am in 1 Nefi Capitulo 17....I have not noticed much improvement yet buuuuuuut I have set goals, I am making plans and I am going to work hard. It's easy for us to take our challenges as something "too hard" but in reality our Heavenly Father gives us trials and adversity to help us learn and grow....I don't have perfect Spanish....and I am not going to if I do not take the time to practice, it's the same way with all things of life.

CHALLENGE......have the attitude, write your goals write your plans and think about the things you can learn from your challenges.

I love you all sooooo much....praying for you all not be stupid.

P.S Congrats to AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBREYYY AND DANESY for having the cutest baby evvvvvvvvvver!!! Proud of you guys!!!
(Insert picture of Adleigh here) (Happy to have any excuse to show off my baby!)

Now back to Garrett's pictures!


My case for my English scriptures....front and back!!!

 My cases for my Spanish scriptures front and back!!

We were knocking doors in Mariluz 3 and literally everybody has this sign on their door!!!

FACT: Mamita Lidia makes the best empanadas!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Potential (week 37)


Hey you guys!! So this week was actually pretty freaking great!! I have been so excited to finally be able to write about it!!

For starters I am sure you wanna know how meeting President and Sister Whitesides went......well I did not exactly make the first impression that I was wanting to. Sooooo basically MY HEARING AID BROKE AGAIN!! I was trying to change my wax guard when the stick thing broke inside the if that was not bad enough I tried to take it out with my hands because I have done it before, buuuut nope. Bad luck the whole guard FELL INSIDE THE HEARING AID....sooooo yeah. Before I even met Hermana Whitesides I called her on the phone to let her know that xD and then after our conference we were all eating cake when President Whitesides pulled me aside to talk about our options. That was great because literally everyone thought I did something really wrong buuuuuuuuuuut whatever....I like them though they seem really nice and genuine. Basically President is gonna call my doctor in Cali and ask if there is a good doctor here. I am kinda worried about that though because she is very much like "YOU NEED TO STAY IN CALI." Sooooooooooo yeah we will see how that turns out. President is awesome...he grew up in LAYTON so we had a nice chat about that area and how he worked for the church and a bunch of stuff. It was pretty cool that I was the only one to have interview with him.......but I wish my hearing aid was doing good.

After the conference Sebastian had his interview with President and that went FANTASTIC...and we were able to have his baptism the next day. It went really well, there was a ton of people there so we did not have enough chairs...he also talked about his desire to serve a mission so hopefully he does it!! I am pretty sure that Elder Corbett and Mendoza are gonna be teaching his parents, sooooo that should be good!!

I had divisions with Elder Mendoza in Bachue, that child really knows what he is I seriously cannot believe that he is still in his training because he taught really well. He kept saying that he needed help but that is a bunch of crap!!

We also had a family home evening with Luisa and Jose (Lidias son). Luisa invited some investigators but none of them showed up soooo we had a activity with us was good I talked about temptations and then we played bean boozled talking about how sometimes temptations look good....but in reality SUCK!! 

Today we just played soccer as a district and then went out with Elder Corbett and Elder Mendoza for Mexican was eeeehhh but it was fun to be with everyone. Elder Corbett and Elder Mendoza have had to come to our apartment every morning for the last little bit because the LZ didn't pay their water bill.....I am pretty sure our power is gonna go out soon cause the LZ did not pay that :/

Something that I really liked about what Hermana Whitesides said in her talk was POTENTIAL, that we all have so much potential.....and because we all made the choice to come on a mission we are creating so much more potential, not only for other people but also for ourselves. I have been tooooooooooooooooooooooooooo worried about all the things that I do not have and I have not been thinking about the things that I DO SOOOOO BOMB AT. And that's the great thing about my mission....about my covenants......about this gospel, it's not really about what you are's about what you can become, not only that but also always trying to help others be their best selves as well. Hopefully I can keep up this state of mind because I really have not worried about much this week....yeah there was problems....but there is always gonna have problems :)

CHALLENGE....normally I would have you guys write about how you can use your potential well buuuuuuuut that's basic, so here's your writing prompt "how can I help somebody else use ALL OF THEIR POTENTIAL and become their best self?" Hopefully you guys take the time to think about it annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd act!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS MUCHO!! Do not worry about me or my will be fine

P.S somebody tell Connor Izatt happy birthday from me!!
And Landon and Shalee happy anniversary (don't ask me how I remember that because I really do not know xD)

Divisions with Elder Mendoza 

First conference with the Whitesides 

High fives with Jair-bear from afar!

Mucho Galvez

I was really excited

Sebastian and his cousin Santiago


We were allllll really excited 

Noche de hogar with Jose and Luisa.......playing bean boozled and relating the beans to Satan's temptations

FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAV WAY TO STUDY (Luisa bought the storybook for me while she was in Ecuador)


Monday, July 3, 2017

Actitud (week 36)


"OMG LOOK AT THE TIME ITS JULY!" Buuuuuut for real...I was telling Elder Corbett and Mendoza just today how much I really would rather just not be here for's seriously the best month because of candy, fireworks, birthdays, and perfect temperature without humidity, anddddd yeah.....I can physically feel my motivation this month slowly going away....we will see.

PRESIDENT WHITESIDES HAS ARRIVED....I have not met him yet but I am going too on Friday, soooo that should be fun.

As for this really was not all that interesting. We were really looking forward to the baptism, perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrro no....Elder Corbett came to our area to have his interview but he did not pass. The sucky part was after that his aunt came downstairs all excited like "TELLLLL ME SOMETHING.....HOW DID IT GO" and yeah. It was also really complicated because President Pricoli was in meetings all day with President Whitesides...we finally got a hold of him but he was like "I am busy...bye." So Elder Flores had to arrange the interview with President will be on Friday after our conference, so fingers crossed.

Other than that we really did not do much this week....Hermano Montenegro moved so we were able to help him move all his suuuuuuuuper nice stuff from his old apartment in Mariluz 3 to Gualcaloma....and it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas haaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd, ohhhhhhh man!!! We were with a bunch of the young men carrying this dresser thing, and we were going up a hill so everyone went over to the other side of the dresser to lift it up more and left me on the bottom. Not only did I almost die...but a super nice and probs expensive dresser almost died too!! We talked a ton with Hermana Luisa....she is Hermano Montenegros niece (but let's be for real shes basically his 2nd child). She served her mission in Mexico and was like "I always had gringa companions" and gave me allllll this advice to improve my Spanish....which is how I got CONNED into helping her teach gospel principles this week....uggggggggghnoooo. 

Church was kinda rough...the LZ had soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many investigators there (they all left early though so it doesn't count) but we had NOOOOOOOBODY.....which is soooooo hard and frustrating but it's whatever.

My investigators are doing very well.

Yamilet is always working but we were able to find time to watch Meet the Mormons with her and John. It's soooo weird in Spanish everyone has a different voice....except the people from Costa Rica which waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas weeeird hahahaha

We have working a ton with a new investigator.....his wife and son are two recent converts that the sisters have left us...he is GREAT. The problem is that he really likes alcohol....but I think we can help him. We knew he was gold when we asked to pray and he went STRAIGHT TO HIS KNEES.........fudge SSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

We have been working a lot with the family Ortiz, they are also some recent converts that the sisters left us. They are great and are progressing really well...unfortunately there was a slight bump in the road. Hermana Paula (the mom) had a talk and she did a bomb job but Hermana Lidia told us that at temple prep some lady in the ward was talking about how the talks were bad because the people only read their talks (lol what?) But yeah, that was right IN FRONT OF HER.....ugggggh nooooooooo. People need to just keep opinions like that to themselves.

Pday was great today we went and played soccer as a zone, but since it was with alllllll the Latinos I didn't do as well hahahahha xD It's always fun though and then we went to Metro (it's our Walmart) for a minute with Elder Corbett and Elder Mendoza which is always fun. Then Elder Galvez and I went to lunch which was good....Elder Galvez complained about it a ton but I enjoyed my fried chicken.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo was kinda a hard week but I am not gonna let that get to me....hopefully things go better this week and we can get our baptism. Something I have learned about the mission is that it is alllll about actitud. (like I said I am forgetting English xD) If you want things to go GOOD....make them good!! If you want SPIRITUAL goooooo get those spiritual experiences.....if you want it you got it. That's always been something I need to work on buuuuut imma do better. You guys do better too that's your challenge.....always take your hard situations and write about them with a good attitude in your challenge journal, things will change I promise.

I will be also be taking Aubrey's challenge this week (Aubrey please insert an explanation of your challenge here). (This week Garrett was kind of focusing on the hard things of his mission in his email to me. I challenged him to write down all of his blessings and the good things that are going on in his life and focus on them. He has also been worrying about not having an accent since he got on his mission, so I told him that every time he worries about not having an accent or every time he even thinks about accents to push it out of his mind and think about something else. I just want him to focus on how far his Spanish has come and not let the fact that he doesn't have an accent consume his thoughts.) Just thought I would tell you all so I can be held accountable


P.S I had a chichi (yes. Jarin that is how we use that word...either that or it means to pee.....not something else xD) computer this week so I will send photos next week....I didn't have a ton though soooooooo yeah :)

(Edit from 07/10/17: Garrett sent these pictures from this week today so I added them to this post!)
Watermelon with Roger

Sunday sonrisas with everybody!!