Ward Conference

Yesterday was ward conference, the ward reached it´s goal of having 140 people there! It was a busy week handing out invites and visiting lesser actives. After church, a member brought us a referral. It was a family of a dad, mom, and daughter. They are what we call “elect” because they have been prepared to receive the gospel. They have been searching forever for the true church of God. The dad said they have investigated every church except the LDS church. I´m sure Satan was doing his part in keeping it that way, but not for long!! They had tons of questions and are very interested. We have a return date for tomorrow.

One thing I have learned is that missionary work takes patience. There are always disappointments when people aren´t home, don´t come to church, or have to be dropped. But no effort is wasted.

The language is still coming along. I can pretty much say whatever I need to say. I´m still working on the understanding part, which is a lot harder. I have to focus super hard to understand if people are talking fast because it´s super easy to zone out. hahaToday we are in the next town visiting with the other Americans in our zone. They are all super trunky and about to go home, and then there´s me… haha. Anyway, thanks for everything and for your prayers!!

Love,

Elder Olsen

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Grillin’ up some churrasco (BBQ)!:D soooo good!!!

Families Can be Together Forever

So this week had some ups and downs. First off, Elder M. got really sick this week. It started on like Tuesday. He had a high fever, cough, and no energy. We took it super easy and pretty much stayed inside most of the time. This wasn´t too bad for me, though, because I had a little extra time to organize, clean, study, and relax.

Our whole zone had interviews with President on Friday morning at the stake center. It´s always fun to see President. He is super nice, funny, and full of good knowledge. And you can always trust the way he´s running things in the mission because he´s a super successful business man.  After the interviews, Elder M. went to the hospital to check if he had Dengue Fever and he did not. He had a full recovery with a priesthood blessing and in just 5 days time. It was probably just some random virus.

On the upside of the week, the other Elders had 5 baptisms! 2 of them were a couple who had been waiting to get married. They have been coming to church for over 4 years with their 10 year old daughter (who got baptized before them when she was 8). They just never got around to getting married until now! haha.That happens a lot down here in the Brasil; people just don’t get married. It was a super special baptism and the spirit was very strong. It was extra special because now they can start the process of going to the temple to be sealed after a year. We Elders sang Mais Perto Quero Estar (Nearer my God to Thee) and then their daughter sang Families Can be Together Forever. I´m super stoked for them!  In the last 5 weeks, the mission has had 273 baptisms and over 70 were in one week. It was a new mission record!

After the baptisms we had a ward activity with some little games and lots of cake and soda. Brazilians can sure be loud, but it was still a good time haha. The end of the transfer is tomorrow, but I will be staying here with Elder M.   Elder F. from the other duplo will be transferred though. I love you all! Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Love, Elder Olsen

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And here´s a picture of the church!

 

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Doing the Work

We are definitely in a rural town!! We cut through this field the other day to save some time walking to an appointment.  We take the public bus every time we have to travel to district meeting. And we´ll start taking the bus almost every day to the next town when we begin work there.

English classes are good. We had more people at our last class and taught them some slang like “gnarly, dude, sick, and righteous”. Everyone down here wants to learn English haha.  There is a lady in our English class that is taking the missionary lessons. Unfortunately, I wasn´t able to go to her last lesson because I didn´t have a government I.D. with me to get into her gated community; so, Elder M split with another missionary.

I also tried McDonalds for the first time here in Brazil!! It actually tastes pretty much the same, except it´s a lot more expensive. It was 20 Reais (about $8 U.S.) for a quarter pounder with cheese, medium fries, and small drink. And you aren´t allowed to get refills here! Que chato! (how annoying!)

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Love

Elder Olsen

The Gospel is True!

We are Always walking! One thing I learned pretty early on is to not care about getting dirty because it´s inevitable. My shirt, pants, and shoes are Always dirty just because we´re in Brazil and everything here is dirty. haha. Washing and drying clothes is very time consuming here. Our washing machine is nothing like the ones we have in the states.  It´s simply a box shaped water basin with a spinning disk on the side that makes the water churn. And they don´t have dryers here so all of our clothes are hang-dried. I´m a lot better with being conservative with the amount of clothes I wear because the more clothes I wear, the more clothes I have to wash and dry.   It´s funny because you can tell how long other missionaries have been out by the color of their shirts. Elder M.’s shirts and far from bright white! haha

There is a town in our area about 15 kilometers away that has lots of potential for missionary work. They are poor and can’t afford to pay for the public bus to come to church. About 6 years ago, our ward had a bus rented that picked up members from their town and brought them to our church building. But, for some reason the bus stopped running, so they no longer had a way to get to church. Elder M. and I are in the process of finding a bus for them.

Elder M. and I are teaching an English class once a week at the chapel! Last week was the first class and we had 6 people, but more people are coming to the next one. It´s really fun teaching them English (and funny) haha.

The Sunday before last, a lady walked by the chapel because someone told her about the English classes we were doing. It was the week before we started, though, so the Bishop hadn´t announced what time the classes would be. The person invited her to come to sacrament meeting where they would announce the time. She came and by the end of the meeting she was crying. She accepted to meet with us, so we are teaching her the lessons. She is Always very excited when she´s with us, whether in our English class, at church or when we´re teaching her.

There aren´t any piano players in the ward, so Elder M. is the ward pianist haha. I´m starting to practice piano again because it is likely I will have to play in the future. We make time to go to the church and practice. The ward has choir practice every Sunday.  Brazilian’s sing really loud haha. We try to sing loud and in tune but they just drown us out.  haha

This gospel is true and I love all of you!

Elder Olsen

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