Monday, December 28, 2015

Closing remarks

Well this past Christmas week though tiring was quite wonderful and I was able to skype my family. It was a very strange feeling to know that I would be seeing them again within 11 days as of that point where as here I now sit reflecting on everything that has already come and gone over the past two years. The mission looked quite large and ultimately was forever from being done but it would seem that my forever has now become a count down timer of being able to do as many good things here as I can before shipping out back to snowy Utah (it was 70 degrees here on Christmas). There weren't to many events to report on besides being called on to give a five minute talk at church since we were under time. I guess the main thing that I would like to say is that I know for a fact that God lives and that we can return to him through Jesus Christ. I know that if during trial and fear of the unknown if we just hang in there for just an extra bit of time that we will be able to look back and see how we have been helped and blessed. To also know just how much we have been able to be apart of helping other individuals along the way. I know it because I have tried and experienced it. I look forward to seeing you all within the coming weeks and months. I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas week and that you have been kept safe but as for now this will be my last and final email home from the mission. I will see you all later! Sincerely, Elder David Macrae Olsen

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Plan is Finished, First Goodbye, Investigator power over 9000

Two weeks and counting, wow I can't believe just how quick things are ticking down here in the mission field. I am excited for the trip to finally come home but to be honest I am now starting to get pretty Nostalgic :(. I just got an email that is having me send in 9 photos of what my mission meant to me and what do you know.... Looking back through all of those photos makes one pretty happy and sad at the same time. Anyways I will now proceed to move away from my puddle of tears and tell you some of the highlights. First off is I no longer have to deal with My Plan stuff that they have tried to have me do the past four weeks. After four attempts of starting it up and making my way through to then not save my thoughts I just decided to crush it this morning and download it to my IPad. So that's done and out of the way. Now I will give you my favorite moments from the week. We had another troubled week as we moved about with things being set up and then canceled. On the other hand Tudesday night we went and saw the Alfonso's. They are doing well and are loving the warm weather (Porta Rican's). Family history was the topic but it would seem that this was the last time I would be seeing them on the mission since they will be going to Florida for Christmas. I am going to miss these two and I hope that things go well for them. I am hoping to hear from my companion that will be left here whether or not they are reactivated soon! Thursday we went and saw our investigator named Nick who self referred himself about two weeks ago. In less than a weeks time he had already read through 1 Nephi twice! Loved the Restoration and is now taking a Book of Mormon to his Mom over Christmas Break! Super stud! Well everyone I hope you all have a great Christmas! I will be seeing you all very soon here!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lockout, Exploding Sinks, Presidential Appearance, Golden Catch

Woof, I can feel the commercial jet plane engines warming up... Oh never mind, that's just the crazy warm weather we've had around here But it is getting pretty close here ;). Anyways after that miss fire of an email here comes the full story. So his week has had many stressful moments as well as some pretty amazing miracles. I shall now reiterate the weekly agenda. Nothing too abnormal about Monday and Tuesday besides our one investigator being a bit tipsy from his liquor and wanting to talk about the illuminati when we brought up the great apostasy. So aside from the normal events Tuesday morning we received a call from our Mission President that he wanted to come and teach with us the very next day. I've never had him out with me before but it was both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. So after a long day and a pep/rebuke talk from my zone leader, Wedensday happened and both my companion and I knew which family we needed to see. The Garrido family. And for those who I don't normally write they are a family of four who have been less active for a number of years now but the wife is now making the push to come back while her husband tries to derail the conversations. Well to say the least it went extremely well (wonder why). We were going to talk about the church family and the support we have from each other but President Anderson then segued into talking about the temple and eternal marriage. It was a very spiritual lesson and it got Sister Garrido teary but like a champ not a drop was dropped. We would seem them again yesterday and there has been an overall family change which was interesting to see. They are one of my favorite families. So Thursday was district meeting as usual which was ok but that's about it. We had a rough day with every appointment canceling and then later that night when we were going to go to choir right as the door closed I remembered that we didn't have the house keys.... So for about a half hour of trying to card back in we left with the only reward of a cut up finger and had to spend the night at the Nazareth Elders apartment. It was fun but I don't think my body agrees with air mattresses. Anyway we had an amazing appointment that day due to earlier in the week a guy texted us and asked to meet with us. His name is Nick and he is from New Jersey and has a family of four. We met him in a Panera bread and got to know him. He has had a friend of the church for 15 years which is how he learned of the church and from their gained an interest since he has never felt like he has fit into the church he currently goes to. Super sweet guy and is so prepared, can't wait to meet with him again this week. Well last up in news is that we had to go home after that to type up a paper. We opened the door to the sound of splashing water and found that our sink was up heaving its contents! We got a maintenance guy in immediately with a shop vac and after six buckets full it still kept up its black roiling thunder. The only way we were able to keep it at bay was to have the garbage disposal on constantly but after 45 minutes it keeled over. Thankfully by then the Plummer had arrived and the main source of the problem was found. The people up stairs were having a minor back up problem and for some odd reason felt that if they kept running water that it would solve the problem........ Logic! Anyways that's my crazy week, hope all is well and that everyone has safe travels this Christmas season!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Potential Energy, Checking check list, Rainy Days

Monday, decided that we were in need of some more potential energy for this area but all in all I can't complain. Seed planting is a main part of the job discription and I would rather work to allow others to harvest while they plant as well. So what ended up happening is that we had a referral come to us by the name of Patricia. We tried two times to get in contact with little to no success besides someone yelling through the door that they couldn't get up and to come back later. Well later ended up working for us since we were finally able to meet her and drop off the Book of Mormon that she had ordered. She was super excited since it would give her reading material for her plane ride. She had found out about it through facebook and her friends talking about it and said that she would love to have us over sometime... In March when she gets back from Germany. Oh well. Someone will be super happy to get that one! Meanwhile we had a very rainy week. And when I say rainy I mean that I woke up a total of two times this week to work out and upon looking out the window I became super excited since it was white outside! Which means snow! Denied, it was very thick fog and I felt pretty bummed out by it besides that it was super cool but sketchy to drive through at a later time on Wednesday night. So after a very wet and cold Tuesday with little success in finding we then moved to wednesday which was raining even more so than the day previous. We had prayed for a miracle of an idea that we could do to be productive and after about thirty minutes of walking in the rain it hit me that we could make a lot of treats and thank you cards for the members who have been helping us! It worked fantastic and to be honest I was quite happy to get out of the cold rain! Not much happened Thursday besides a member being quite unhappy with us for not making it to their house on Thanksgiving. Apparently they made a lot of food to not only have us absent but for their adult children who lived there to not show up as well. Felt really bad about that one. Besides that we had my last wing night with the Elders quorum where for the second time my companion failed the wing challenge :/. I guess before I forget about it I also had my very last Zone Training of the mission. 23 out of 23 completed and I must say that it was probably one of the best ones I have had on the mission. The main focus was on the importance of having each our own individual purposes being good and correct ones for being on a mission. As tradition would have it those that are "Dying" missionarys get up and bare their dying testimonies. Just short and sweet I would like everyone to know that I know that with endurance and obedience I know that God blesses us. It is by enduring and just giving things another try. trying to see how God blesses us rather than how we want to be blessed, that we can come to know that he is still there. I would not give up the experiences I have had on this mission though the struggle has been very real at times. Something I could not say at the beginning but because of pushing through I now know it. Thats what I know. So to finish off our week we had some fun with the Garrido's on Saturday night when we went to their Daughters 1 Birthday. Sure it sounds like an excuse for a free meal but in doing so we were able to meet her family and talk with them. They even took a special intrest to ask us what we were all about since we showed them that we aren't just church firing robots but actual people. I really do like that family. So that about does it for my week. I hope everyone has a good day this fine, beautiful day (great weather here) and I will see you next week!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Wifffff!!!!, Chalk Walk, Interesting Thanksgiving

Well now according to my Trunky Monkey Sisters I have now come to know that I have relatively 36 days left to go on the mission which is a strange number to look at. Life at the beginning is looking at the monstrous 728 and now it has been pretty well cashed out and it would seem that my tenure won't be holding up much longer. So I don't have a large portion of things to talk about this week so I will try to keep it short and simple. So Monday and Tuesday were pretty well complete misses as we went to appointments. What should have been 5 lessons for the beginning of the week quickly turned to 1 as we went around. On Monday we went to a new reassigned investigator named Marcus who I have known for a little bit since he works on the streets here in Easton. We got in and said a total of 5 words as he never paused for a breath to allow us to speak. Tuesday we reach a less active and after chatting a bit and about to start the lesson a phone rings to which we were quickly shuffled out of the door since it was some business he had to attend to. The next one cancelled moments before, and then the holy of unholy's we show up to a new investigator of ours and we are getting to know him when his Mom then enters the room (she is an ex member) She wasn't anti or anything but was another person who just preferred to take up all of the oxygen in the room. Five minutes into telling us about how much she loved her job at NAPA before being let go when our investigator (her son) says to give him a call so we can meet at another time. He then booked it up the stairs.... WE WERE DITCHED WITH HIS MOM!!!! so for the next hour and a half we had our ears blown off as she chatted about NAPA. her dead dog, and how much she enjoyed her boss at NAPA which was creepy since she showed us all of the pictures she had of him on her computer with the wife blurred out...... It was a mess. Wednesday we had district meeting due to the Holiday and it was ok like usual. Tired of tracting and street contacting we then decided that we were going to do some art work. So on the way home we went and bought some chalk so that we could do part of the Plan of Salvation on the side walk. It was a lot of fun and we talked to a few people who walked by. Nothing has come of it yet from what we know but with the rain Saturday I am pretty sure that it is no longer there. Thanksgiving was alright but it was also interesting. Most of the day was making Thank you cards which I love to do and then from there we went to one of the ward families. Great group and they were fun but there was some obvious tension between the wife and the husband which was sad to see. Three hours later we delivered cards. So besides that we didn't have anything to crazy. Jean is doing good but still won't commit to a date. The Garrido's are doing good as well and she was supposed to be at church yesterday but unfortunately didn't make it. Her husband tried to make a bash with us again as we talked about the need for baptism and baptisms for the dead which kinda killed the mood. So I wish y'all the best, this came out longer than I expected but thats how it goes. Have a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Beginning of the End, Temple?!!?, Break Out, This is the Day!

Well folks, another transfer has come to pass and it would seem that I am now at the beginning of my end so I have quite a bit of work that I have to accomplish in that time. And it seems to keep piling on but yet also never really seeming to go anywhere so my first and for most goal is to break out of this seven lessons a week deal that we have been having. We weren't able to do so this past week but I have a good feeling for this week as we go around setting everything up. More less actives for the count and investigators still on the run so we shall see. So just to report is that our baptismal date Nathan is doing well however I am a bit concerned about how he is progressing. We are really going to need to emphasize the reading since he only made it to the second chapter of 1 Nephi and then skipped to 2 Nephi because he wanted to go to the "exciting parts". Guess he hasn't ever read Isaiah before. The Garrido family is fun like usual but it was quite obvious that Brother Garrido is still trying to push away from what he already knows to be true. We were going over the Family a Proclamation to the world and how they have seen their family blessed when he brings up the age old argument of is it better for a child to be with abusive parents or a loving gay couple... he also brought up asking where God came from but luckily for him Public Relations Officer Elder Olsen tactfully moved the case from digressing to digesting. Its been awhile and I wasn't expecting it from him... Little does he know that I already see what he is trying to do and am just waiting to move in. Friday we had transfer calls like usual. I was very relieved to hear that I wouldn't be moved for my last transfer but a bit bummed when I learned that I would be losing two of my Sisters in the district. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new ones can do and bring to the table. Debra has been doing great and it was wonderful to see her after a two week period of not being able to get over there and see her. She has been going through a rough time with the up coming holidays and not having anyone here for her so we addressed that. From there though we were able to finally talk to her about the up coming temple trip on the 5th of December which she was super excited for. Even more exciting is the fact that as of today she has quit smoking and coffee for the past 9 days so all we are doing now is going into a hold out war for the 5th of December woot!!! It is probably the only shot I have to go to the temple with anyone for any of the ordinances and if its just baptisms for the dead I am more than happy to take the opportunity. Also not to mention the fact that it will be to New York! That is what I am looking forward to the most so we need to do what we can to help her. Last up in news is that we had a really fun event yesterday. We have been practicing with the ward choir for an Interfaith event at an episcopal church. I had a lot of fun with it and I always love to see other peoples churches as well as the hymns that they sing. Their were 10 Christian groups including us as well as two Jewish congregations that came together and it sounded great. Our opening song that we sang was called "This is the Day" which was sung at some British wedding within the past decade I believe. I completely recommend looking it up on You Tube since the video I have doesn't really do the song or cinematography that much justice. Well folks I wish you the best and that you have a merry Thanksgiving. I'll see y'all soon!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Turning 50...., Grand Exchange, Just Can't Seem to Leave this Church

My colleagues and fellow members seem to be under the idea that I am reaching certain degrees of trunky since for the most part I can tell you the range of days that I have about left. They have a good laugh and say "But who's counting?" I assure them that it isn't me, Santa Clause at Walmart is the one counting.... :3. So yes I guess you could say that I am now in my fifties and I guess it is all down hill from here. You could also say that after the 50 you begin to age backwards and I can assure you that all statements are true. But enough of my wallowing I will give a brief report on this weeks events... Don't hold me accountable to that statement. Well, we started off with a great visit to our potential investigator Crystal, as we made our way down Washington Street. Her house was dark so we decided not to knock it but five steps later we receive a honking notice that she was just pulling in. She was not having the best of weeks due to three relatives dying the week before this last one and as we talked with her we decided to share the primary song "Family's can be together for ever". And though we were interrupted at times, due to a drug bust across the street, we were still able to manage a spiritual experience with her. We however have not been able to have a normal lesson with this women yet. Tuesday was an explosion of fun when one of the zone leaders came here on exchanges with me, an Elder Fernandez that is. He was recuperating from being pretty sick the past couple of days so we were just going to take it a bit easier than normal but by the end of the day we were able to accomplish 4 lessons and we now have 2 new Less Active and Part Member families to work with woot! Fernandez and I also shared a companion (Cornelius) so we had fun sharing experiences we had with him. Wednesday was mostly uneventful but we did have an awesome lesson with our investigator Nathan. We taught him the Plan of Salvation which he found to be extraordinary and we were able to put some questions that he had at ease. I am not to sure just exactly all that he retained, since the next day he started talking to us about how we taught him about racists not being able to make it into heaven(which we didn't do), but that he wanted to see us again on Friday. We shared with him the Restoration video then and he thoroughly enjoyed the visual help. One last fact that I would like to share before I finish off our week was the fact that we had to go to our church almost 6 to 7 times this past week which was exhausting! Which leads me to Thursday. We had district meeting as usual and I had one zone leader and one AP in on it which made it fun. I was worried about it at first but the meeting itself gained a life of its own and it was thankfully a very good and spiritual experience. We would later on return to the church that evening for Choir practice which has been a delight since we will be in an InterFaith event next week which I am looking forward to. And to polish off our night we then finally had a lesson with our investigator Jean. I have been trying to have a lesson with this woman for almost 2 months now but due to her situation, circumstances and never being able to get a Male out, it proved to be a hard won battle. We had the lesson in Brother Carter's home which was amazing and it went really well as we talked to her about how much love God has for her and how the church family can help her out in times of struggle. We invited her to be baptized on January 3 of next year (see what I tried to do there) but she asked if she could have a little more time to think on it so we will just continue to strengthen her. Well the last thing up in news is that I had my last regular interview with my mission President this past Friday. It was strange to think that I only have my exit interview left with him and then I would be only a few weeks out from home. This was probably my favorite interview of the lot that I have had. Just got to talk about how things are going on here and back at home with no real big business items or struggling missionaries to shorten my time (sorry, that sounds really selfish). We had a training afterwards which was great to but it did go a tad bit too long in my opinion. Anyways that about concludes our week. Friday pretty well started our down fall since every lesson after that cancelled out on us so better luck next time!