Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Messages From Sister Olsen (2 Weeks)

Hi y'all,

This was such a great week here in Texas. We were able to find and teach a lot of new people. Jeanne is still doing great. We were able to have her come to the chapel for a church tour with a family in the ward. We were able to show her all the different rooms and paintings in the chapel and she was able to feel the spirit inside. We were really happy that everything worked out so that we were able to do that with her. 

We had zone conference this week. It was fun to hear all of the different music numbers. Sister Polley talked about the Wise Men from the Nativity. She focused on how they received revelation to go and visit the Savior. She likened that to us and how we can act on the promptings we get. I loved studying the Nativity story more in depth this week and seeing how we can follow the example of the Wise men and Shepherds. 
Merry Christmas!

Sister Olsen 

Hello Everyone, 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Christmas was amazing here in Texas.  Jeanne came to church on Christmas and she loved it so much.  The ward was so great and everyone came up to introduce themselves. Afterwards, she told us how much love she felt.  We are super happy that she came because it means that she is on tract to be baptized January 14th. So, we will be busy the next couple of weeks teaching her the rest of the lessons and planning her baptism. We had dinner with her Christmas Eve and she loved watching the little kids reenact the Nativity story. We also played Christmas carols with pipes. 

This week I also went on exchanges with Sister Judd, so I spent the day in the Helotes area. This also meant I got to spend the day in a car. It was a lot of fun to learn from her and to teach the people in her area. Sister Atkins stayed in our area and was with Sister Nate.  Their day went a little bit differently. After removing tile for service, they walked home to realize that they were completely locked out of the apartment.  An hour and a half later the other sisters were able to let them in. Later that night the home button on her Ipad broke and locked her out of her Ipad.  After we exchanged back we fixed her Ipad and everything is good now.  

Fixing Sister Atkins' Ipad took us to the mission office. While we were there we were able to find the Book of Mormon on tape. We having been trying to get Jeanne the Book of Mormon on CD so she can listen to it (she doesn't have a computer). We thought we had found it, but when we got home we realized they were cassettes tapes. This lead us to tract down a cassette player. Sister Atkins also discovered a new talent. She can fix broken cassette tapes. So, the miracle is that Jeanne can now listen to the Book of Mormon. 

I love being a missionary! I have learned so much here and I look forward to the new year and all the many miracles I will be able to see here in Texas. My testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ has grown so much! Above all, I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that we can always turn to him for peace and guidance. 

Happy New Year!

Sister Olsen

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Music and Service

Hi y'all!

It has been another great week here in Texas! On Tuesday we got a call from the mission office if Sister Atkins and I could play a flute duet at our mission conference tomorrow.  So this week we spent some timing finding another flute, finding music, and practicing. We will be playing The First Noel. It has been fun to pick up the flute again and play Christmas music.  

We were able to teach Jeanne again and teach a really good lesson about prayer with her. She is doing so great!  This week we were also able to find another family that we are going to start teaching. Trish and her two daughters used to meet with the missionaries a lot in Arizona, but after she moved and her phone number changed they lost contact. We were able to meet her because a member asked if we could help her move to a new apartment down the street. So, we spent some time one afternoon taking trips to move some boxes to the new apartment. We were able to get to know them and teach them while we were helping them move.  We are planning to meet with them this upcoming week :)

This week at Church we talked about service and how "Those who service quietly and inconspicuously are 'no less serviceable' than those who receive the world's acclaim" (Howard W. Hunter).

We read this poem that I really liked:
“Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh no; not that!
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little place for me.”
And the word He spoke, it was not stern;
He answered me tenderly:
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine.
Art thou working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.”
Best-Loved Poems of the LDS People, comp.Jack M. Lyon and others (1996), 152.

I would encourage y'all to continue to serve in small in simple ways this Christmas season and know that no matter what Heavenly Father values the service that we do for his children. 

Have a great week!

Sister Olsen 

Zone Picture

They found a baby lizard in their apartment.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sopping Wet and Filled with Joy

Hi y'all!

Texas had its first winter rainstorm this weekend and so Sister Atkins and I had the pleasure of going out and walking through it to find more people to teach. We tried to avoid getting splashed by the massive waves from the cars driving through all of the puddles, but still got pretty wet. After being out in the rain for a while, we stopped by a lady in the ward who we knew has been going through a rough time. She was able to help us dry off and we were able to help her organize and clean her house. We were also able to share the "Light the World" video and help her get the scriptures on her IPad. She was so appreciative of the time that we took to spend with her. I could tell that it really meant a lot to her. Normally, I wouldn't find walking all over in the rain too much fun. However, I couldn't help but smile and laugh at the situation. The joy that comes from serving makes all the difference. 

This week we were also able to set Jeanne with a baptismal date! I look forward to helping her work towards being baptized in January. This week we were able to teach her more about the Restoration. She prayed in our lesson to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Afterwards she said that she felt so much peace. I love teaching her so much she is so sweet! 

I am looking forward for this upcoming week. It is so much fun to be a missionary during Christmas time. A lot of people have Christmas decorations up and we are able to help remind people of the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is the time that we celebrate Christ's birth. The reason why we celebrate his birth is because he died for us. I know that the Atonement is the greatest gift. I know that because of the Savior we all can return back and live with him and our Heavenly Father. 

Love y'all and have a great week!

Sister Olsen 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving message and Christmas preparation

Hi y'all

I hope that everyone has a happy thanksgiving.

This past week we spent a lot of our time comforting those who are lonely and are going through challenges. One of them was a less active woman who shared with us how she was very depressed. We were able to testify to her of God's love for her and how the Atonement could help her. She came to church on Sunday and ate dinner with us that night as well and seems to be doing better. With our other investigators we have been serving them by helping them with little tasks around the house and also by listening to them and showing love and concern for their trials. I know that the gospel is what will help them the most in their lives. I also know that showing love and compassion for them will help them to make the steps necessary to come closer to Christ. 

This past week I was able to meet with President Polley. He is so kind and is an amazing mission president. I am so grateful for him and all that he has taught me. Also, another blessing from this week was that I was able to see Sister Martin! She finishes up her mission next week. So, I am so happy that I got to see her one last time. 

I am so grateful for my companion, Sister Atkins, we have had a blast these past 3 months. She has taught me so much and helps me be a better missionary everyday. We will see what happens at transfers, but either way I so lucky to have her as a companion. 

I love the area that I am serving in and all the people I get to meet everyday. 

Hope y'all have a great week! 
Sister Olsen 

 Sister Martin and her last three companions 

Hi y'all,

    We got our transfer news this morning and I will be staying here with Sister Atkins. This means 6 more weeks of biking and more than half of my mission thus far will be with her. I look forward to spending this Christmas season with her! 

    This week we had a super fun service opportunity... demolishing a mobile home. We got to knock out the walls and use sledgehammers. Fun stuff :) 

     Thanksgiving was great. We had two dinners so we were stuffed to the brim. It was delicious :) 
      We now have a progressing investigator in our area. Jeanne is an older woman that we have met with a couple times now. She is reading the Book of Mormon and is seriously considering baptism. She is a super sweet lady. We were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation and it answered a lot of her questions and gave her a lot of peace. 
      For the Month of December, the church has released a new Christmas video. I love the new "Light the World" video and Sister Atkins and I have already been able to see it make people's day. We saw a family at the park and asked to share it with them. Their faces glowed and their whole countenance changed as they watched   The video. I can't wait to see what other ways we can use the initiative. I would encourage y'all to watch the "Light the World" video and find ways to be a light this Christmas.  Here is the link:

Have a great week!
Sister Olsen 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Improving our relationships by trying to be like the Savior

Hello Everyone,

This week we were able to see some success from two finding methods: talking with everyone and asking the two questions. We were in an area and saw a man with his son outside and asked if we could share a message with him. After sharing the Because of Him video, we asked if he knew anyone and he pointed us to another one of his neighbors. We then talked to her, shared the Book of Mormon with her, and asked who she knew and she pointed us to another neighbor. 

This week we also met an older woman who was feeding some stray cats (there are a lot of stray cats here). We started talking to her about them and then about the many flower arrangements that she had. After we got to know her, we were able to learn about some of the struggles that she is going through and testify how the Book of Mormon can help her. 

This week I also gave a training on companionship unity in district meeting. In preparation, I studied a lot on Charity. I know that there is no one that unifies us more than the Savior. I also know that as we try to become more like the Savior that we will be able to have better relationships with our friends and family. 

Hope y'all have a great week!
Sister Olsen

Also, service with geckos;)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Birthday Week!

Hi y'all!

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes it really was a great week!
Sister Atkins is the best and also a little sneaky. We normally have a
meeting with some of the other missionaries nearby every Wednesday,
except this week it was moved Friday. Sister Atkins worked with the
Elders and the other sisters to convince me that district meeting was
back on for Wednesday. Long story short they had this whole act of how
we were running late to our meeting and getting lost when really they
were surprising me and taking me out to Mexican. It was a lot of fun
and delicious 😋.

This week we worked a lot with less active members. We were able meet
with a couple people this week. One of them was a Samoan woman who we
didn't think was baptized. We have been trying by her house for a
while now and we're finally able to meet her. She is really funny and
we talked with her Saturday night and invited her to church. She came
on Sunday and even bore her testimony in sacrament meeting. We were happy that she came.

Also fun fact about Texas. Everyone and their dog has a dog even their
dog's dog. Even in apartment complexes. Also, most people don't like
picking up after their dogs. This equals having a smelly front yard
and dogs barking and keeping us up some nights. Also sometimes when it is
dark you run over dog poop. Somehow I don't miss Caroline as much on
my mission as when I was up at college when I didn't see any dogs.

I love being here in Texas serving the Lord!

Hope y'all have a great week!

Sister Olsen

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lindsey's Birthday!

We received a bonus treat this week when a family in Lindsey's mission shared her birthday video with us.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween and What's Been Happening the Last Two Weeks

Hi y'all!

It has been another great week. This week week Sister Atkins and I had
a couple of funny experiences. One afternoon we knocked on a
potential's door. He wasn't there, but his friend was there. Every
once and awhile we meet people who just want to argue with us and this
man was one of those people. He seemed surprised when we didn't argue.
He was also really surprised to see sister missionaries. He had never
seen sister missionaries before and asked if he could take our
picture. We didn't know what to do so we said yes. A couple days later
we were biking home and another guy stopped us and asked us if we
could interview us. He writes for some online newspaper that focuses
on cultural diversity. He hasn't called to set the interview up yet,
but hopefully he does. It would be fun to do an interview. Either way
I guess we were pretty popular this week.

This week we had a lesson with a man that we met going by potentials.
He wasn't the potential we were looking for, but was interested and
invited us to come back.  We went by this week and he let us right in
and we were able to teach him and introduce the Book of Mormon.  He
seems pretty interested and was asking good questions. He also kept
saying that it wasn't a coincident that we came by. Hopefully, we are
able to meet with him again this week.

Funny story Lindsey shared:  Also this week we were at a member's house for dinner and they had broccoli. She asked if anyone wanted anymore broccoli and Sister Atkins said that I loved broccoli. So I got the rest of it. You can be proud to know that I now eat vegetables. So that is one good thing about being on a mission. You learn to not be picky.

Spiritual Thought:

This week I have been studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith,
repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end).  This morning I studied Elder Oaks talk, "The
Challenge to Become" .  His talk was about how we need to be truly
converted. He gave two examples of how we can know that we are
becoming converted.
     "After King Benjamin’s great sermon, many of his hearers cried
out that the Spirit of the Lord “has wrought a mighty change in us, or
in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do
good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). If we are losing our desire to do
evil, we are progressing toward our heavenly goal.
      The Apostle Paul said that persons who have received the Spirit
of God “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). I understand this to
mean that persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are
beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus
Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of
the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways
of the world."
 I know that by applying this the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our
daily lives that we will be able to change and become more like our

Have a great week!
Sister Olsen

From Last Week:
Hi y'all!
It is crazy that I will hit 5 months on my mission tomorrow. Time
continues to fly by! This week we spent some of our time serving at a
place called Providence Place. It is a place that teaching independent
living and job skills for people with disabilities. We were able to
help them out by doing yard work and other tasks that they have around
their facilities. The woman who is the volunteer coordinator said that
they had been praying to have more volunteers. Their facility is
getting old and they needed volunteers that could come regularly to
help with the different projects. She was so grateful for our service.
It is always a nice feeling when you know that you were an answer to
someone's prayer. :)

Also, let me take a second to say how much I love Sister Atkins. She
is so much fun and l love being her companion! We laugh so much. She
is an amazing missionary and I learn so much from her. I am so happy
that we are companions again.

We had a pass off lesson this week with May, the woman I wrote about
last week. Since we no longer cover the area that she lives in, the
Elders will now be teaching her. We gave her a tour of our chapel and
then taught her with the Elders. She has a lot of great questions and
is studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon together. The lesson went
really well and I look forward to hearing about her progress during
district meetings.

I cant remember if I have mentioned it before, but I love the Because
of Him video. Since we are mainly trying to find people to teach right
now, we have been sharing it a lot. I have seen it way too many times
to count, but it never gets old. I love watching people watch the
video. You can see the smile on their face and the happiness that
comes as they remember their Savior Jesus Christ and how we have
everything because of Him.

Link to video:

I love serving here in the TSAM and I look forward to the upcoming week!

Love y'all
Sister Olsen

Monday, October 17, 2016

Two Great Weeks in San Antonio


It has has been another great week here in the TSAM. The weather is cooling down and is starting to feel like fall, or San Diego. 75 degrees really is the perfect temperature. Transfers are next week which is crazy. Time goes by so fast! I am curious to see what will happen. Hopefully, I can stay with Sister Atkins because she is an amazing sister and we have a lot of fun together. Either way, I am looking forward to next transfer and all of the adventures and blessing that will unfold. 

We continue to try to find new people to teach. This week we got a text that a woman in our area that she wanted a Bible and a Book of Mormon. We get these referrals every once and awhile, but usually people aren't interested and just want a free Bible. Anyways, we bike all the way down to her area she lets us in and we start teaching her. She used to be of a Non-Christian religion and has recently converted to Christianity. It was really interesting to hear how/ why she converted. It was sincere prayer and scripture study that helped her come to know her Savior. While I was teaching her, I felt especially guided on what to say. I knew that I couldn't leave until I had shared with her the restoration, specifically Joseph Smith's first vision. She seemed pretty receptive and interested our message. Hopefully there is more to come on her in the coming weeks, but either way it was an amazing lesson. 

Spiritual Thought: This week I have been reading the new conference talks and studying them to find the invitations and promised blessings. One of them was Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita's talk, Be Ambitious for Christ. In it he invites us to be ambitious for Christ, which he  explains as being " motivated, focused, and dedicated to his work. It " means that we serve faithfully and diligently... without complaint and with joyful hearts". I echo the promise that he gives that as we are more ambitious for Christ we will find more joy in our lives. 

Sister Olsen 
Pictures 1-2: Sister Atkins and I with the sisters we live with, Sister Redd and Sister Gillespie

Hi y'all!
So much has happened this week!
The crazy: This week has been crazy busy. We have received 5 media
referrals in the past week and a half ( People can go on and
order a Bible and then we deliver it to them). We have been biking all
over in order to contact him. We also had another lesson with Pam and
her son this week. We were going to go by on Tuesday, but that morning
we felt like we had to change her plans. Sure enough Tuesday didn't
work for her and we were able to reschedule the lesson and bring a
member. We had a couple of other lessons  this week too. So we were
busy going to the different lessons and contacting the Bible

The amazing: There have been so many different ways that we find
people to teach. Most of the time it is through referrals ( either by
members, family, friends, or themselves), however sometime we are lead
to people and we don't even know it. That was the case for Mary.
We knocked thinking it was another potential. She told us through the
door no thanks. We started to walk away when she came out. We told her
we thought she said no thanks and she said "I did, but God told me
told me to ask you to say a prayer". She then let us in side and then
explained how she was going through a very difficult point in her
life. While she could be very angry, she has chosen to be very humble.
Her heart was so soft and she was so ready and willing to hear our
message. We said a prayer then introduced the Book of Mormon.  She
asked about our church location and came to church yesterday! I walked
out of May's apartment speechless and filled with gratitude. I am
amazed at how God was able to direct us to her when we weren't even
look for her.

The bittersweet: Transfers news was this morning. Sister Atkins and I
are staying together! I am so happy to be with her for another
transfer. We work well together. We have a lot of fun together while
still working really hard. However, we will be doubling out of Leon
Valley and only working in the 9th ward area. This transfer the work
has really picked up in Leon Valley and we have met a lot of amazing
people. I will miss working with them so much. I have grown to really
love people that live there. I look forward to being able to focus
solely on 9th ward and help the missionary work progress there this
upcoming transfer.

Have a great week!
Sister Olsen
Picture: 3-5 We also went on exchanges this week and I was able to
work with Sister Judd. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Conference, Flat Tires, and the Restoration

Hello everyone!

It was another great and eventful week here in Texas. This weekend was
General Conference ( when our Prophet, apostles, and other church
leaders speak to us). It was so nice to hear their words and counsel
for us. All of the sessions were so good and I would encourage you to
go back and read or watch it ( I really enjoyed President Nelson's talk
on Joy. He talked about about how we can always have joy no matter
what our life circumstances are as we focus of Jesus Christ. He
mentioned how as missionaries we teach people so that they can have
joy. That couldn't be more true. Over the last couple of months I have
seen that as people focus more on Christ, they become happier no
matter what.

Our adventure of the week was when we biked down clear to the other
side of our area ( about an hour bike ride). We parked our bikes and
were talking to  some people in an apartment complex. When we came out
we realized that my tire was completely flat. It took a while, but we
were able to be picked up by a member and fix everything.

In addition to getting a flat tire...Sister Atkins ran into a construction sign biking home this
week and was sore for a couple days. She is fine, but has a big bruise
now. Biking, especially in this area is like those computer games
where you have to avoid all of the random stuff in the road and where
if you run into something you loose a life. They should make a game
about sister missionaries where you have to avoid signs, thorn bushes,
trees, cars, bumps, logs, dead animals, trash cans, mailboxes and
getting your skirt caught . Then you could get a bonus when someone
gives you a ride or water or there is shade. The goal would be to get
to your lesson on time.  (Note all suggestions come from experience
and that we aren't always successful at avoiding these things...)

This week we went by to see Mary. She was referred to the missionaries by
another member who met her while she was working at a gas station.
When she first answered the door, she sounded like she was busy. We
asked to share a quick video (the Because of Him video) and after
watching it we were able to go inside and teach about the Restoration.
( I love that video so much). I could tell that she appreciated how
simple and straightforward our explanation was of how Christ's church
was restored. Her work has her scheduled to work on Sunday, but she
says that she is trying to get Sunday's off so hopefully that will
happen soon. :)

Picture 1 & 2: flat tire :(
Picture 3: giant asparagus
Picture 4: sunset