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Baptism and Birthday

Samuel was baptized on Sunday after church and it went awesome! His girlfriend came to watch as well and she loved it. Samuel was so awesome and really accepted the gospel in his life.

After lunch on Saturday, the member that gave us lunch told us about a less active that lived in the same apartment complex. We went to go visit him and found him home with his whole family. His name is Marcio. He is married and they have two kids. Loui is their oldest and is 17 years. He is a great kid and really trying to look for God in his life. We had a lesson with them and Loui accepted a baptismal date for this Sunday! It was awesome! Yesterday, he went to church and enjoyed it. We also had a few other investigators to church as well who are progressing towards baptism soon.

We had a surprise yesterday when a less-active showed up at church after a long time away and even brought a friend! His name is Samon and he is from Haiti. He has been here in Brazil for about a year now and was baptized here in Brazil. He also brought his roommate, Pierre, to church. Pierre has only been in Brazil a month and knows very little Portuguese. But he enjoyed church and we have a lesson with him tonight. We are going to watch the Restoration in French so he can understand everything. It should be an awesome lesson tonight!

Last week we celebrated my birthday with a cake and a bar-b-que!

Love,

Elder Olsen and Elder Grover

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New Area & New Companion

I couldn´t e-mail yesterday; the power cut out in the entire city before I had the chance! I am in a new area, now.  My new companion is Elder Grover from Utah!

My convert from my first area came to sacrament meeting on Sunday. We also helped reactivate a young man that I became good friends with last year. He went to church the two Sundays that I was there after not going for more than a year. We helped him set up an appointment with the Bishop and he is now making goals to go on a mission!

We also threw a surprise party for him on Saturday night. His birthday was on Sunday, the same birthday as me! We used the party decorations that you sent me for the party:) After singing Happy Birthday to him, another missionary spilled the secret that it was also my birthday; so they all sang to me too haha!  I´ll send some pictures next week.

Tell everyone that I am thankful for the birthday wishes and I will respond next week, I have to go work now!

Thanks for everything!

Love,

Elder Olsen

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Thanks for all the emails! I read them all—I just don´t have time to respond to them today. I´m alive and fine:)

Thanks for the love and prayers!

Elder Olsen

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Fruits and Goodies

My mission president transferred my companion and I back to my first area.  I was able to call my convert, Barbara, who moved a month ago, and she said she would try to stop by here to visit! She has been super active ever since I left this area and because of her, there were a few more people baptized!  I’m already seeing the fruits of our labor! I visited Barbara’s sister (baptized after I left) the night I got here.

On Saturday, President brought us to his house and bought us P.F. Chang´s! And our Mission Mom packed us a huge bag with a ton of American goodies:) We even ate strawberry cheesecake:) Don´t worry about me, the mission takes good care of us!

Love, Elder Olsen

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Previous area

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Break time!

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New Area, New Companion!

Last week I wasn´t able to send an email because we didn´t have time. Elder Sukhee and I  ended up going to Johnny Rockets in the mall to eat!

My new area is in the city, so it´s very rushed and there are lots of people that live close together. That also means lots of people who are ready to be baptized! In the past two weeks, we baptized 8 people. First, Rita. Then the family of Juracy, Breno, and Sabrina. And then Yhane, Crislaine, Gabriela, and Cleber.

Rita loves going to church. She walked about an hour to get to church, yesterday, because she is super poor and doesn´t have money to take a bus. The Lord blesses us when we make sacrifices.

The next family has been waiting a few weeks to be baptized because the mom wanted to wait until her daughter turned 8 years old. We baptized them on the daughter’s birthday and ate cake afterwards to celebrate!

The last family was a bit difficult to baptize because the 2 older girls were a bit scared to be baptized. We focused on the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and receiving an answer from the Spirit. They all received a confirmation from the Spirit. We didn´t have any more small jumpsuits for their little brother, so he had to use an adult one! He was super embarrassed and didn´t want to be baptized in it. He was about to take off the jumpsuit, so I offered him my tie to use to make up for the big clothes. He accepted! haha

With Love,

Elder Olsen

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My companion, Elder Sukhee

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My new area

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Johnny Rockets

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McDonalds

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Little Blonde, Waterfall & Transfers

Yesterday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting, I talked about the Sons of Mosiah and how they were consecrated missionaries who understood the “Why” and had a real desire to share the gospel.

“Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” (Mosiah 28:3)

After church we brought 5 more souls to Christ! Alifer, Alanes, Alexandra, Bruno, and William. The first three are blondes. They all like me a lot because I´m blonde just like them, haha!  They call me Elder Loirinho (Elder Little Blonde). Bruno and William are two sons in a family we have been teaching. Their parents can´t be baptized yet because they aren´t married; but, Elder A. Oliveira will help them get married this week so they can be baptized. They are a super elect family.

This morning our Ward Mission Leader took us on a hike to a little waterfall. Jared is definitely the best ward mission leader that I have ever had, haha! He is our age and got back from his mission not too long ago. He is already working on getting his documents together to go to the U.S.!

Yesterday, I received a transfer call and found out I would be going to Taipas, which is a huge favela in the capital. But… a few minutes ago I received another call and am being emergency transferred to another city, which is the BIGGEST FAVELA IN OUR MISSION!!! My companion will be Elder Sukhee, an American.

Thanks for all the prayers. I´ll need a few extra in my new area!

Love, Elder Olsen

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Make it the Best

My area is well.  Unfortunately, the baptisms that we had for this week fell through:( It´s sad, but I know I need to get back up and keep going. The time is going by quick and I know I need to make the best of it. How I finish my mission is a preview of how my life will be, says President Farnes.

It´s starting to get a little more chilly at night, but in general it´s still SUPER HOT during the day haha. I don´t even know what the temperature is here; I don´t ever look!

Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Olsen

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Elder Olsen and Elder A. Oliviera

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Worth the Long Wait

This week we baptized José and his daughter, Vitória. José has known the church for a long time now. Almost his whole family was baptized previously, except him and his daughter who was 7 years old when the others were baptized. In the past, José didn´t want to be baptized, but things have changed for him.

The hardest part was baptizing Vitória. She has an extreme fear of water. She would always tell us she didn´t want to be baptized and would run away from us, even until the night of the baptism, haha. With lots of prayer and fasting, she was able to go to the church, change into her baptism clothes and go to the font. Little by little she got used to the water. It took about 30 minutes for her to get all the way into the water. We even asked a Young Woman to come into the water to help Vitória feel more comfortable, haha! She had the best feeling of relief after she was baptized!

Love,

Elder Olsen

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SINCERE Simple Things Matter

Hello everyone!

This weekend was a wonderful weekend because of General Conference. I´m not going to lie, I don´t remember all of what was said until I review my notes. BUT, I do remember the peaceful spirit that I could feel during the conference. Lots of times in our lives we can forget the things we have learned and felt if we don´t nourish our testimony. If we stop learning and growing, God will slowly take away what he had given us. A testimony is a gift from God. This is why so many people fall away from the church. I have seen members, return missionaries, ex-bishops, and even ex-stake presidents fall away from the church because of one simple thing: they stop nourishing their testimony. They take a “break”, and that break is their downfall. They begin to lose everything that God had given them. We can never stop learning and growing. Lots of people wonder why they have lost the faith and good feelings that they once had when they were active in the church. It´s because they stopped doing the simple things, the easy things.  Alma 37:6 says,

“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise”.

SINCERE prayer, SINCERE scripture study, and SINCERE church attendance. This is the formula for always having the spirit to be with you. And when you have the spirit with you, you won´t fall. There is a fine line between Satan and God. If we get even close to the line, Satan has power over us. We must stay as far from the line as possible and we can´t be tempted. Satan can´t tempt us unless we allow him to.

I know that God lives and is present in our lives when we allow him to. God won´t help us unless we get off the couch and start working for our future. Salvation is personal. Alma 34:31-32 says,

“Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”

We broke the zone record with 32 baptisms in the month! So we celebrated by making Oreo milkshakes! We also went to the temple with missionaries from the interior zones and President Farnes.

We baptized Giovana, an elect of God, super ready to receive the truth. She reads the Book of Mormon everyday and always asks us good questions. God´s work continues!

Enjoy life!

Love,

Elder Olsen

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Elder A. Oliviera and Pres. and Sis. Farnes

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Celebrating with Oreo milkshakes!

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Easter Baptisms

I got the package with everything in it! Thank you! I completely forgot that Easter was coming up so quickly until I received the package haha! You would think that I would at least remember Easter, being that it´s pretty much the most important date in the history of the world!  We keep very busy!  I´ve already shared a few things from the package and I still plan on sharing the Peeps! They are so creative; I like them!

On Easter Sunday we baptized 4 people…Yasmin, Emerson and Joyce. Three are siblings and the other is a 9 year-old girl who was waiting for her brother to get off his mission to baptize her. The other set of missionaries baptized 6 people, so it made for a sweet picture!:D  We are also teaching Lairce’s sister-in-law who has a baptism date set for this Sunday.

My new companion is Elder A. Oliviera.  He is from the interior of São Paulo, close by.

Love,

Elder Olsen