Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fruits of Sharing the Gospel

July 24, 2017
Hello everyone!

It was another great week here in Texas!  We had zone conference this week and it was one of my favorite zone conferences that I have had on my mission. We talked a lot about different questions that we can ask people in order to have a gospel conversation with them. A lot of the questions that we came up with were centered around family. Families are so important and most people want the very best for their family. In this day and age, it can be difficult to know what you need to do to protect your family from the craziness of the world. I know that the message that I share as a missionary, the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is a message that will bless families. As we rely on the Savior, we can draw closer as a family. As we try to model our lives after the Savior, we will be filled with lasting peace. 

On Sunday night we were able to gather some of the recent converts from the YSA ward and do family history! They were able to find out more about their ancestors and add them to their family tree. The reason why it was so exciting to do family history is that they are then able to take the people that they found doing family history and take them to the temple. In the temple they can be baptized in behalf of their ancestors.  I know that so many of our relatives that have pass on are able to learn about the gospel in the spirit world. I know that they are waiting for us to find them so that they can receive the ordinance of baptism.  One of the family history consultants that was there was even able to help me find family names. I realized that even though, my family tree is able to go back many, many generations that there is still a lot of family history work to do. I look forward to learning more about how I can do my own family history!

Have a great week!

Sister Olsen 

Exchanges with Sister Wells

July 31, 2017
Hello Everyone! 

We had a great week this week! On Wednesday we had a meeting for all of the new missionaries and their trainers. I enjoyed being able to learn more how I can help Sister Swarts. She is doing so well and is already an amazing missionary. I love being able see her grow and become more comfortable with Missionary life. On the way back we stopped by Buc-ees. It is the the largest gas station I have ever seen. Sometimes the quote "everything is bigger in Texas " is really true. 

This week we also went on exchanges and I was able to work with Sister Giles for the day. We went by and visited a couple of our new investigators with a member. The member recently moved into the ward and is a convert to the church. She has a great story and is more than willing to come out with us. One of our investigators we met street contacting earlier in the week. When we went by again with the member, he was about to head off to work. However, our member was able to share her testimony of Moroni 10:3-5. She told us how it blew her mind the first time that she heard that "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things".

On Sunday in the family ward, we were able to talk to all of the adults about our new initiative for the ward mission plan.  We called it "finding our flock" I also like to think of it as our personal ministry. Basically, it was an invitation for everyone to write down all of the people that they interact with on a regular/ semi regular basis. By doing this, you are able to identify people who are in your sphere of influence. Once you have your list of people, you can pray and ponder on how you can serve these people. You can ask yourself how can I be a better friend? How can I share my testimony with them or uplift them?  I have a strong testimony that every one of us has people in our lives for a reason. It is our opportunity and privilege to reach out and serve them. I know that as we look beyond ourselves and serve those around us that we will be filled joy and love. One of my favorite scriptures that goes along with this is Mosiah 27:36-37 "And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth."

Hope y'all have a great week! 
Sister Olsen 

Pictures 1-2 new missionary meeting/ Buc-ees
Picture 3 exchanges 
Picture 4 how many cats can you see in one yard? 

August 7, 2017
 Hi everyone!

It is crazy that another transfer has come and gone. I am grateful for
the opportunity to serve in this area with Sister Swarts for another
transfer.  I love the people here so much it will be hard to ever

This week I was reminded that everything works out in the Lord timing.
We had an appointment with a less active member last week and it ended
up getting pushed back a week. This week we had planned to go with our
ward mission leader to visit, but he ended up not being able to make
it last minute. Luckily, we were able to ask a member that lived on
their street if they could come with us. They were able to come and
got along really well with the less active member. Their kids are
similar ages and both go to the same charter school.  I know that it
wasn't a coincidence that everything worked out the way that it did.

We have been reteaching the missionary lessons to a less active
members for a couple months now. He hasn't been able to go to church
in awhile because he works on Sunday. However, yesterday he came! He
was able to work it out so that he could come to sacrament meeting. He
also has a family that he takes care of and the mom is interested in
her kids going to Sunday School. Hopefully, we will be able to help
her come to church sometime soon.

One of the scriptures that I read this week was Alma 37:6 "That by
small and simple things are great things brought to pass". I know that
many of the things that we do are simple. We serve people, we listen
to people, and we teach people about the Savior and the way the gospel
blesses families. I know that as we do the small things and exercise
our faith, we are able to see the tender mercies of the Lord all
around us.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve and to be
filled with the joy and the peace that comes from Christ-like service.

Have a great week!

Sister Olsen

Pictures1:We volunteered at a senior center and found giant playing cards
Picture 2: District/ zone picture

August 14, 2017

Hi everyone!

It was another great week here in Texas!  I have come to learn that
the mission has it difficult parts and some amazing moments that make
everything all worth it. Wednesday was a classic example of this. We
started off by driving out to service excited to help sweet old ladies
play bingo. However, once we got there, we learned that the activities
director wasn't there that day. So, service was canceled for the day
and we had an extra couple of hours to go out and work in the Texas
heat! We tried our best to make the most of our extra time. We weren't
able to find anyone new until the very end of the night. We went to
stop by one one person before heading in, but once we got there we
didn't think they would be home. Instead, I parked the car and went to
talk to someone who was moving. On our way there we met Lector. He had
a lot of misconceptions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We
were able to clear them up as we taught about the Restoration of the
Gospel. We invited him to church and then headed home for the night.
This Sunday he came to church! He was able to stay for all three hours
and meet many of the ward members. We are excited to continue to help
him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Talking to everyone always creates interesting experiences. This week
we talked to someone who was outside picking pears from his tree.
After talking to him, he offered us some and end up giving us 20
pears!  We then able to share some of the pears with another family in
the neighborhood.

Our Sacrament meeting this week was focused on gratitude.  I know that
when we take time and remember what we are thankful for we are
happier! We are able to see the way God has blessed our lives. There
are always things that will be difficult in life, but there are also
always things to be thankful for. I know that we will always have a
loving Heavenly Father and Savior to be there for us.

Hope y'all have a great week!
Sister Olsen

August 21, 2017
Hi everyone!

        It was another hot and humid week here in Texas. This week we were able to go out and talk to a lot of people. Our mission has been trying to talk to 10 new people a day. It can be difficult because there are not always a lot of people outside. However, on Saturday we were determined to meet our goal. That night, after being outside for most of the day, I could feel myself becoming really tired. We continued to talk to people and eventually met a nice older woman out working in her yard. We were able to share the Prince of Peace video and she loved it! She had met missionaries before, but we were never able to meet her because her gate was always locked. She is open to meeting with us in a members home and hopefully we can set something up soon. The part of all of this that touched me the most was that after we had finished talking to her I no longer felt tired. For me, it was a personal example of how our burdens can be made light as we remember the Savior. Throughout scripture we learn about how Christ can strengthen us. In Matthew 11:28 the Savior says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". In the Book of Mormon it says  " the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea the lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease" (Mosiah 24:15).  I know that these scriptures are true! I know that no matter how small or large life challenges may seem that they can be made light as we remember our Savior. I am so thankful for all of the small and simple ways that I am blessed as I serve. 

Picture: All of the sisters in the zone!  This week we also had a stake meeting with all of the missionaries and the Ward members who are called to help the missionaries. It was a great meeting and we learned how we can plan/ work together to meet the needs of others. We had some Sisters stay at our apartment that night and it was fun to spend time with them. Unfortunately we spent all of our time talking that we forgot to take a picture. 

Have a great week!

Sister Olsen 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Second Summer in San Antonio

June 12, 2017
Hi everyone, 

It was a great week here in San Antonio. This week we were able to see the Holy Ghost work in a couple of the people we are teaching. 

One of them was a less active member name "Nathan".  Sister Humphries had met with him back in November. When they met him the first time, he felt the Spirit. Sister Humphries described the experience as if he had been wrapped in a warm blanket. You could visibly see the relief. In the months to follow, we could tell that Nathan wanted to make the necessary changes in his life. However, by himself he didn't have the strength or capacity to do so.  In last couple of weeks, he has been praying, reading The Book of Mormon, and coming to church. The Holy Ghost has come into his life more and has given him the power to overcome temptations. He is so much more happier. He testified to us of how he has come to know the Savior. As he has turned to God and repented he has been able to be filled with Joy. It hard for me to me to adequately describe the change that we have seen in him. It is night and day. It is truly miraculous.  In his words he has "tasted of the fruit (The love of God and our Savior) and it is so delicious". I know that this change was only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  

We were also able to meet with Bryan again this week. He has been busy working and hasn't been able to meet/ go to institute since his baptism. We really want him to continue to strengthen his testimony. He told us that since receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, he can tell when he makes a bad choice that the  Spirit leaves him. He wants to have the Spirit with him because without it he feels empty and incomplete. His experience has increased my gratitude for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can't always be with him to tell him what choice to make. However, the Spirit can always serve as a guide and a warning so that we continue to keep the commandments. 

I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I have everyday that teach me how I can become more like my Savior. I am learning so much and I can see how the Gospel is able to improve every aspect of our lives. 

Hope y'all have a great week!

June 19, 2017
Hi everyone, 

It was another great week in Texas. I have been in Texas in for 1 year now! This week we were able to have many opportunities to serve our members and other people in the community. We helped clean out a garage, get ready at scout camp, and teach about personal progress at Mutual. We also helped a family move. His sister is a member, but he has never been to interested in learning about the church. She thanked us afterwards and said that it is the little service opportunities that missionaries have given that have helped to soften his heart. 

This week we were also able to have zone conference. Elder Cornish came and told us the secret to life. He said, "The big things are actually the small things, and the small things are the big things". This means that the big headlines today will be soon forgotten.  However, the little things, like reading our scriptures, staying true to the gospel, and serving others is what really matters. The small things are what have potential impact generations in a positive way. He also said, "The second your life is all about you, it will feel hollow".  

We were also able to help Jasmine after zone conference, here is what happened from the words of my amazing companion, Sister Humphries, 
"We were back at the church building where we'd heard from Elder Cornish earlier that day, and a teenage girl wandered up to us in the parking lot and asked for help. It sounds as though she ran away a few days ago and now needed to contact her sister to pick her up. She doesn't know her sister's phone number and communicated through the Messenger app. Just then our stake president pulled up (for a meeting with Elder Cornish) and she used his phone to send her sister the address. Fast forward an hour, we're still at the church with Jasmine, and she wants to use the phone again to see when her sister is coming. We find our stake president - thankfully there was a break in the meeting - and he hands us his phone to give to Jasmine (who's down the hall). So we walk past our mission president holding the stake president's smart phone, and needless to say he gives us a slightly confused look. I'm glad President Polley trusts us.

The best part:

We talked with Jasmine about God, and looked at the pictures inside the church building. Where before she was sad and frazzled, at the end she was smiling. I know that as we simply testified of Christ that she felt the Spirit, and most importantly she felt loved. We'll probably never see Jasmine again, nor did we gain a new investigator after sitting with her at the church for an hour and a half, but we helped a precious daughter of God feel her Father's love for her. I know this is an experience that will stay with her."

I know that as we continue to reach out and serve others that we can find true joy and happiness.  I hope y'all will be able to experience that joy by also looking for ways to serve and show kindness to those around you!

Have a great week!
Sister Olsen 

(Animals of Texas...adding a little country to my city girl;)

June 26, 2017
Hi everyone!

It was another great week here in Texas!  We received a call from President Polley this morning asking us both to be trainers! We will be both be getting new missionaries. I will be staying in Encino Park ward and Alamo 1st YSA ward. The sad news is this means that Sister Humphries will be leaving and serving in a different part of San Antonio.

 Sister Humphries is amazing companion. After serving with her for the last 6 months, I have grown quite attached. However, I know that this will be a great opportunity for both of us to learn and teach the new missionaries.  Sister Humphries has helped me in so many ways. To name a few, she has helped me to rely more on the Spirit and the blessings of writing in a journal. 

This week we had a wonderful time working with the members. We were able to visit a couple different less active members with other members from the ward. I love having the members with us because they are able to connect with the people that we are teaching. 

This week I was also able to go on exchanges with Sister Giles. She was trained by Sister Martin after I left Stone Oak. She is an amazing missionary. I loved her testimony of how the Savior is able to give us hope and help us all progress. We were able to teach a new investigator in the YSA ward while we were together. 

I look forward to this next week and being able to meet my new trainee!

Have a great week!

Sister Olsen

July 3, 2017
Hi everyone!

So much has happened this week! Sister Humphries and I worked together until we got our trainees on Thursday! I will miss her so much! She is an amazing missionary and 
I have learned so much from her these past six months. We had so many wonderful memories together. It has been an adjustment leading out the area without her.  However, Sister Swarts and I have already seen so many miracles. 

Quick background on Sister Swarts. She is from Draper Utah and loves whales.  She has an amazing testimony and is doing a great job adjusting to the hot Texas weather.  I am looking forward to this transfer with her.  I know that we have a lot that we can learn from each other!

Saturday we got a text from a Less Active YSA member who wanted to come back to church! She was baptized a couple years ago and hadn't been able to attend for a couple years. We were able to meet her at Kneaders. Her family isn't supportive of her going to church at all.  However, a member was able to take her to church yesterday and she really enjoyed it!  She is so sweet and admire her faith and courage to choose the right even when she is facing opposition.

Also, Saturday night we were able to meet a man street contacting. He never had heard anything about the Church. I found that a little weird most people have met a Mormon at some point in their life. Anyways, I proceed to teach him about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. He was really interested so we invited him to church on Sunday. AND he CAME! It is not everyday that we can meet someone and that they come to church the next day. He really enjoyed it and we have an appointment with him tonight. 

So basically, Sister Swarts and I have already seen so many miracles. I am excited to see what else is in store for this transfer. My testimony has grown so much this week. I know that the Lord can strengthen us and that as we rely on him we can see tender mercies all around us. 

Have great week and a Happy 4th of July!

Sister Olsen 

July 10, 2017

Hi everyone! 

It has been another great week here in Texas! On Tuesday we had interviews with President Polley. He invited us to talk to 10 new people a day. We have spent a lot of time this week walking and talking to people that we see as they are outside.  I love Texas because everyone is really nice and friendly.  A lot of people already go to church so they aren't always interested, but are always really nice. 

This week we ran into one of Sister Swarts' Mom's high school friends. It turns out that he lives in our family ward boundaries and was just up the street from our dinner appointment.  They have friends that are members here in Texas too and have been trying to find Sister Swarts since she got here.  They aren't members of the church so they invited us in and we were able to answer a lot of their questions about the church. 

Last week we were able to visit a new YSA that moved into the ward. She was baptized a year ago in Wyoming and recently moved to San Antonio a couple months ago. We were able to visit with her last week and help her get reconnected with the YSA ward. She came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it. We look forward to working with her more and helping her increase her testimony of the Savior. 

One of my favorite scriptures this week is 2 Nephi 32:9 " But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul". I know that as we pray to Heavenly Father that he will strengthen and support us. 

Have a great week! 

Sister Olsen 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Teaching and serving in Texas

May 15, 2017

This week was a great week! Sister Humphries and I both will be staying for another transfer! This is longest I have ever been with a companion or in an area. 

We Jennifer was baptized on Saturday! Her Baptism and confirmation was simple and beautiful. She was so happy! I am excited to continue to work with her and see how her testimony continues to grow. She has been able to recognize the many different blessings she has been receiving from her Heavenly Father. I know that when we make promises to follow our Savior and keep his commandments, we are blessed immensely. We are able to have peace and comfort no matter what our life circumstances are. 

This week we also had the opportunity to teach Carrie before institute. During the lesson she asked, "How can I feel the Holy Ghost more in my life". It made me so happy to see that she desired to have the Spirit more in her life. We had a member with us there who is a convert of 10 years. She was able to help Carrrie see that as she continues to build a relationship with Christ, that she will be able to recognize how the Spirit speaks to her. Also, on Sunday she  told us that she went to do baptism at the temple! 

Bryan continues to progress as well! At institute on Wednesday we talked about Coming unto Christ. It was the last day of the Book of Mormon class, so we talked about the main invitation of the Book of Mormon- to come unto Christ. I find it amazing that my main purpose as a missionary is the same. One of the phrases in our purpose statement is that we "help others come unto Christ". I love being able to see the changes that Bryan has made in his life as he Comes unto Christ. 

One of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon is Jacob 1:7 "Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest". There is no greater joy than helping others come unto Christ. I know that as we work come unto Christ ourselves that we can help others to do the same. 

Have a great week!
Sister Olsen

Picture 1: our zone/ district picture. Everyone is staying!

Picture 2: Jennifer's baptism 
Picture 3: we continue to serve at the Ranch. On of the perks is that they have a lot of different animals. This week they had a baby prairie dog. 

May 22, 2017

Hello Everyone, 

It was another great week! We had our first recent convert lesson with Jennifer and she is working towards doing baptisms for the dead in the Temple soon. It was amazing to see her be baptized last week. Now she can be baptized on behalf of her ancestors who have passed on. I look forward to hearing about how she feels when she goes to the temple. I know that she will be able to feel the same peace and happiness that she felt when she was baptized. 

Bryan's baptism is this Saturday! We are going to be busy finishing planning the details and helping him be fully prepared for baptism. 

We are always looking for new people to teach and to help receive all of the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for him. This week we met a family outside their house. The parents were not very interested, but we supportive of us sharing a scripture with their daughters. After sharing the first scripture, they asked us to share another one. (I don't think I have ever had someone ask me that, so it was really sweet). The girls are really nice and the parents said that we could come back to teach them more about the Book of Mormon once school gets out. I look forward to seeing how we can them learn more about Christ and what he did for us through the Book of Mormon. 

Being a missionary always gives me an opportunity to try things for the first time. This week, I washed horses for the first time. It was a lot of fun especially since it is starting to get hot again in Texas. 

Hope y'all have a great week!

Sister Olsen

May 29, 2017

I hope y'all have a happy Memorial Day. We have had a great week! Ryan was baptized and confirmed this past weekend. We were busy preparing him this week and making sure all of the details were planned out. His baptism went really well. His family was there supporting him which was really great. At first he didn't know how supportive his family would be, so he waited to tell them that he was being baptized until a week ago. They are happy to see how the changes he has made in his life has made him happier. I hope that Ryan can continue to be a good example to his family.

This week I also went on exchanges with Sister Wells. This time I was able to go with her to her area in Canyon Lake.  Canyon Lake is more out in the country, so it was nice to be able to work in a different type of area. It is also super pretty and has a lot of trees. We talked to this one lady who has Alzheimer's. She doesn't remember everything about the gospel even though she is a member. We told her that she could be sealed in the temple to her husband who has passed away. That way she could be with him again. It was as if she had heard it for the first time. She was visibly relieved and said, " You mean that God made it so I can be with my husband again". We assured her that when we are sealed in the temple we are married for all eternity. This experience made me remember how fortunate I am to have an eternal family. 

This week I hit my 1 year mark as a missionary. It has definitely been the best year of my life so far. Not because it has been the easiest, but because I have learned so much. I have grown so much closer to My Heavenly Father and Savior. I have gained a greater understanding of the gospel and the blessings that come from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the things that I have learned and the experiences that I have had will shape the rest of my life. 

Hope y'all have a great week!
Sister Olsen 

Pictures 1: Us laughing at Bryan's baptism
Picture 2: exchanges 
Picture 3 Canton Lake (Canyon Lake?)

June 5, 2017

Hi everyone! 

It was been a great week filled with rain, thunderstorms, and a couple of new investigators! 

We were able to have a lesson with two girls ages 13 and 10 on Saturday. Their mom says that she isn't interested in our message, but she is very supportive of her daughters. The girls so sweet and it is a fun opportunity to teach kids. It helps us to teach really simply. I love how the gospel is so simple and can be understood by everyone. 

We were also able to have a recent convert lesson with  Sienna. She has been busy since she just graduated from college. It is always so much fun to teach Sienna. We talked about Patriarchal Blessings ( blessings that are guidance from Heavenly Father). Sienna always loves to learn and goes home and studies more about what we talk about. 

We have been learning a lot about what it means to minister to others. I have come to learn that each of us has a great influence to bless those around us. By serving people in simple, Christ like ways we can bring the Spirit more into their lives. I know that there are many people who are in our sphere of influence and are ready to accept the gospel. We can find them as we serve those around us. 

Have a great week! 
Sister Olsen 
P-day pictures

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spring in Texas

April 17, 2017
Hi everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great week and a Happy Easter. It was
another great week here in Texas. We have continued to visit some of
the families in Encino Park in and effort to help them share the
Prince of Peace video. A couple of the youth have mentioned friends
who they have shared the gospel with. We are working with them to help
them know how they can continue to help their friends.

Saturday was one of those days where you have three meal appointments.
We started off by having lunch and teaching the restoration to
Brenda. She is friends with a couple of the YSA who are returned
missionaries. She is mostly interested in learning about our beliefs,
but we hope that when we have our next lesson we will be able to help
her see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ applies to us personally. We
then had an early dinner appointment with in the Family Ward. She has
a couple of friends who she was able to send the Easter video in a
private message. We then went to our second dinner appointment. There
we met Bryan and Craig. Craig is a convert to the church and has recently
returned from a mission. He has spent a lot of time with his cousin,
Bryan who isn't a member. Bryan has come to institute a couple of times
and is in the early stages of feeling and recognizing the spirit. In
his words the spirit is similar to the patriotic feeling that you feel
as you watch the fireworks with you family on the 4th of July. We had
a great first lesson with Bryan and were able to talk to him how we can
become like our Heavenly Father. He came to church yesterday and we
have a lesson with him on Tuesday!

Easter was really nice after going to our two different wards we were
able to visit a couple of less active families. I loved the
opportunity to reflect on all of the blessings that we have because of
the resurrection. I know that because of Jesus Christ we can have hope
and peace.

For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people,
which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you,
were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.
But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth,
and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the
resurrection of the dead (Mosiah 15:19-20)

We have also started to do service weekly at a horse ranch. Right now we are helping them paint a railing. They have us using black oil based paint so it is really sticky and comes off eventually. We also do service sometimes for meals on wheels. We help package the meals that they send out to the elderly people in the area. There are also some elderly women there at the senior center who have adopted us. They are hilariously sarcastic. Anyways, we were about to leave, but I thought that we could share the Easter video with them. They all really liked it and I could tell that they felt the spirit. 

On Easter we visited an elderly woman who recently lost her husband. She isn't really interested, but we thought that she might like having us come by on an Easter. I have decided to that I have grown the love for visiting the elderly on my mission. 
Hope y'all have a great week!

Sister Olsen

Exchanges with Sister Holt. She is such an amazing sister. I love
being able to work with the other sisters and be able to serve in this
capacity :)

April 24, 2017
Hi everyone!

It was another great week here in Alamo 1st and Encino Park. In the YSA ward we have been busy teaching Bryan, our new investigator.  He is great! We have met with him a couple of times this week and also went to institute with him. It has been amazing to see how his testimony has grown and how he has changed. I know that his ability to make changes in his life comes from the power of reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and attending church.  He is steadily progressing because he is keeping the commitments that we extend to him. 

As for the Encino Park ward, we continue to work more with our members to help them in sharing the gospel. Also, One of our investigators who we haven't been meeting with, but has been coming to church said that she wanted to work towards baptism. She has been coming to church with her husband, praying, and reading the Book of Mormon and conference talks for the last couple of months. I am not sure exactly the time line of when she will get baptized/ be ready to meet with us yet.  However, it is just a testimony to me that if we are doing the little things (church, praying, and reading the Book of Mormon) then we will progress spiritually. It is such a blessing to be able to watch the miracle of conversion first hand in the lives of others. 

My understanding of why doing the simple matters has grown so much while I have been on my mission. All I can say is that it works! We are able to change and become better people when we focus on the simple principles of the gospel. I know that any doubt, fear, or struggle can be overcome as we rely on the Lord and seek to exercise our faith to do the simple things. Problems that seem overwhelming can become smaller as we seek to more fully live the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). 

Hope y'all have a great week!

Sister Olsen 

1 Exchanges with Sister Wells. She is so amazing and I love talking about the gospel with her 
2-4 We went on a nature walk/ hike today with the Sonterra sisters 
5 We got to hold ducks at service 
6 We took the back way to Bryan's house. Texas is actually really green 

May 1, 2017
Hi everyone!

It was another great week here in Texas! Bryan has decided to be baptized on May 27th!  We are so excited to continue to help him work towards this goal. We also have Jennifer on date for May 13th! She is in the family ward and it is great to have an investigator with a baptismal date in both wards. Last Monday, Jennifer was struggling with a trial in her life.  She was discouraged, but decided to pray. She said that after praying she felt peace and that her burden was lifted. She told us that she was so grateful for the opportunity to feel the Holy Ghost. She learned that in order to have the Holy Ghost in her life consistently she needed to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Hearing her story taught me once again the importance of praying to our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from us and bless us. As we pray to him, we can feel the peace and comfort that comes from the Holy Ghost. 

On Sunday in the Singles ward we got to hear from 9 recent converts! They all had joined the church in the last 2 years or so. It was interesting to hear their different stories. Some of them said that they were at a good place and were happy. They thought that they didn't need anything more in their life. Other converts said that they were looking for a second chance or something more out of life. Either way all of them testified of how happy the Gospel made them. They said that it was the best decision that they had made in their life. Many of them needed multiple invitations from the missionaries or from their friends to learn about the Church. It takes time for people to see how prayer, reading the Book of Mormon, and church can change their life for the better. 

Conversion ( people changing to more closely follow Jesus Christ) is a miracle. It always blesses and changes our life for the better. It doesn't matter what our background is, we can all receive the joy that the Gospel brings.  I am so grateful to be able to see the miracle of conversion in the lives of others. It is why I love serving here in Texas. It is what keeps me going when it is hot and humid (summer arrived in Texas this week).  It has also been a blessing to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ work in my own life. As I have served for these past 11 months, I have been able to come closer to my Savior. My desires and perspectives have changed to be more inline with my Heavenly Father's will. It's hard to put into words the joy that comes from living the Gospel. So all that I can say is that it comes to all that seek it. 

I hope that y'all have a great week!

Sister Olsen
Exchanges with Sister Christiansen. She was so amazing and I learned so much from her!

May 8, 2017
Hi Everyone!

It has been a great week.  We have been busy teaching Jennifer all of the lessons in preparation for her baptism this upcoming Saturday! We finished the lessons and she had her baptismal interview on Sunday so she is all ready to be baptized this next weekend. She is so great! I am happy to have played a small part in her conversion process. I know that it has been her consistent effort to pray, read the Book of Mormon, and attend church that has really helped to develop her faith.  While I was studying this week a particular line from Preach My Gospel stood out to me. It says, "Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift of God and comes through studying and living His word and His gospel".  Our faith grows as we study the scriptures and then apply the principles taught in it. Both of the people that we are teaching right now didn't start out with a strong religious background. They were able to learn and strengthen their faith as they started to live the Gospel. 

This week we also continue to volunteer at a horse ranch.  This week we were tasked with cleaning out the horse troughs.  They get algae build up and so we were scrubbing it off. The best part was that they put goldfish in them to help with the algae. We would catch the goldfish and put in a bucket while we were cleaning. It confirmed to me that while I love Texas and being able to experience new things, I still am a Californian who loves the water and fish. I also learned that horses can be really friendly. They would come right up to us and nudge us so that we could pet them. 

Most of the lessons that we taught this week were the commandments. I love teaching the commandments because I always come to realize that Heavenly Father gives us commandments because he loves us and wants to bless us. We are abundantly blessed by keeping the commandments. The more I realize this the greater desire I have to keep the commandments. 

Hope y'all have a great week!

Love Sister Olsen
Pictures 1: We went on exchanges and I worked with Sister Garza for the day. She is a great missionary! We taught Jennifer that night and she was able to relate and connect with her really well. I know that some of the things that she said really helped Jenna understand the blessings of the commandments more. 
Picture 2: We were able to eat dinner at Panera :)