Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Week 99


This week has been super awesome!! Wednesday was transfer day but hardly anybody in Gainesville got transferred so it didn't really feel like it. It's been a super good week though.

So on Tuesday we took a member out with us, Evan, and we were heading to an appointment and it ended up falling through even though the guy confirmed the appointment that morning. Classic. Anyways, so we visited a couple less actives and then literally as we were pulling into Evan's apartment complex we got a flat tire... so that totally threw our plans out the window, we ended up putting a donut on it and then taking it to the shop. We didn't have anything to do so we just went knocking and we ended up meeting a super solid new investigator!! Her name is Caren and one of her good friends went on a mission and is at BYU right now. We taught her and then had a return appointment with her and her boyfriend, Addison, on Friday and they are sooo solid it was awesome.

Addison came to church and he dressed so well that nobody even knew he was an investigator haha. Caren didn't make it but we are going back to teach them and we are super excited for them. Sometimes the Lord just makes us jump through a lot of hoops and change a lot of tires to find the people that have been prepared. So we are really excited for them.

Other than that, our week has been pretty normal, lots of contacting, some service and consistent spring/summer heat. It's getting to the point where the wind feels like someone is blowing a hair dryer in your face on full heat, except with a humidifier on it. Good times.

I was reading in the Power of Everyday Missionaries this week in my personal studies. In the introduction Clay Christensen shows all of the promised blessings to those who actively try to be missionaries, and I just felt the spirit say to me that continuing to be a missionary after I go home is really the only intelligent thing to do, and that it's something that will help me to endure to the end. It's kinda scary to be in my final transfer on the mission but I am just excited to be able to continue to share the gospel for the rest of my life!

Love y'all 8-)

Elder Olson

YSA Missionaries

The District

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fried Oreo's


This week has been pretty good. It's really nice to have kids back on campus with the Spring semester starting and although there is fewer people on campus, they are way more chill because it's summer and nobody seems to really care. We've found a few solid people this week so hopefully can get them progressing.

On Monday we had a funny experience, we were having a FaceTime lesson with an investigator of ours who went home for the summer and it was really solid, we were just reading with her and then suddenly the power went out, and the wifi went with it... so that was not ideal, but our member present came in clutch and set up a wifi hot spot and we got to finish the lesson. Member present miracles haha.

Friday we had the neat experience of going to a devotional in Jacksonville where Brad Wilcox was speaking. The entire mission was a part of the choir and so we all had to go even if we didn't have an investigator. It was kind of rough to miss all that proselyting time but really fun so I'm not complaining. Being in the south he talked about Grace and shared a lot of really cool things. One of my favourite things that he talked about is how people of other denominations always say, "so have you been saved by grace?" He said that "YES, it is by grace that we are saved, but we have a different understanding about what salvation really is." Then he discussed salvation and doctrine stuff (low key glad I didn't have an investigator there haha) and talked about how grace isn't the light at the end of the tunnel but it's the light that moves us through the
tunnel. Not sure if this is making sense but it was a good devotional, that's the point I'm trying to make.

Saturday we had the transfer call and I'll be staying in Gainesville with Elder Call for my last transfer. I'm always good where ever a transfer takes me but I am honestly really relieved to not be leaving. The YSA is just a blast and Elder Call and I get along super well. It's pretty unbelievable that this is my last transfer though. Fortunately the reality of only 6 weeks left hasn't really sunk in yet so things still feel the same.

Sunday was obviously a really sweet day getting to FaceTime the fam. Happy Mother's Day Mom you are the best!! The only other really notable thing that happened Sunday was that we were frying some Oreo's for Elder Call's b-day and I got some low key grease burns on my arms and wrecked a shirt. Good times having bubbly skin :-)

Love you all!!

Elder Olson

Elder Weng slippin on the drive to J-ville

Tbt to Fort Caroline

Pre grease burns :-)


Monday, May 8, 2017

Great Week


This week has been super good. I am so grateful for my companion, Elder Call, he is the man. He has just been so good at keeping me strong and faithful and having the faith to find.  We found a ton of solid people this week, which was miraculous because there was an average of 6 people on campus throughout the week. So we had an awesome week on the finding grind.

Oh on Monday we had a member from 2nd ward hook us up and we got to go golfing on the golf course on UF's campus. It was a pretty nice course and tons of fun. We got some pointers from the golf pro too so we didn't end up on the other fairway too often hahaha.

Wednesday was a really solid day. A member from Lake City, Bro Bedenbaugh, came down and took Elder Call and I out for lunch which was awesome. It was just so good to hear a Lake City drawl again and hear about everyone in White Springs. We also had a super solid lesson with our man Jimmy Yu. We got to teach him about the Atonement and help him understand the laws of justice and mercy which was just so cool to see him get it. He might not recognize that the Spirit was teaching him but it was just so visible as his eyes lit up as he began go understand. Missions are just so cool.

Thursday was a super interesting day. We knocked into this guy from Italy and he wasn't religious but he had some super deep doctrine questions about exaltation and the nature of God so we taught him about that and we tried to set a return appointment but he said that he was moving to Italy next week so we invited him to the Rome Temple open house whenever it happens. Definitely a door approach for the books. 

On Friday the only really notable thing that happened other than finding some new people to teach is that we saw probably the second best rainbow I'd even seen in my life. I'll attach pics it was pretty sweet let met tell you.

Then last night we got to go to the CES devotional with a less active that we are working with and it was sooo good! Elder Clark just related Joseph Smith's experiences as a young adult to us and it was super cool. One of my favourite quotes from it is "When you face trials, don't take counsel from your fears". He talked about how when Joseph was going through a lot of stuff and had a lot of fears for the future he allowed his fear of losing Martin Harris as a friend to override his fear of God and so he asked God for the third time to let Martin take the 116 pages. Definitely good advice for the future.

Love you lots!

Elder Olson


Bro Bedenbaugh

You just don't see a rainbow like that everyday

Monday, May 1, 2017

I can get to where I want to be with Christ's help


This week has been pretty good, we found a few super solid new investigators, but almost all of them left for the summer . . . we have a few solid people to work with though and now that all the people who are leaving for summer have actually left it will get a lot better.

On Tuesday I got to interview the other YSA elders' investigator for baptism. It was so good, she honestly could have taught me all the missionary lessons and she had only been investigating for 7 weeks! It was also her birthday on Tuesday so while we were in the interview at the institute a bunch of members showed up and we had a surprise birthday party for her which was super fun. Good thing she passed though or else that could've been kinda awkward haha.

Her baptism was sooo good too. Probably the best baptismal service that I've been able to go to. Giuliana's parents drove up from central Florida and her roommate came and the spirit was just so strong. Her parents were not super down with her getting baptized, but they came and without a doubt they were feeling the spirit and so hopefully they are more supportive now.

Our investigator Jimmy came to the baptism which was awesome, and our man Chizu came to the confirmation at church, so hopefully we can get some progression out of those guys.

On Thursday I got to drive up to Jacksonville with Elder Floyd for MLC. It was a good time and we drove back a brand new car for another companionship which was cool. Something that President challenged us all to do is to cut out all forms of criticism in our lives. It has been a super humbling experience for me because I never really realized how critical I could be and how generally cynical I am.

When I say this was a humbling experience I mean really humbling. Like to the dust, just realizing how much room I had to grow, and that I wasn't nearly as good as I thought I was, but its been cool how the Spirit just brings peace and hope into the equation, and the assurance that I can get to where I want to be with Christ's help. It's an interesting challenge to take, so if you want a humbling experience then go for it!

Love you all!

Elder Olson

Giuliana's baptism

White Springers at MLC

The Stadium field was open so we went and played ultimate frisbee
for exercises. It was sweet.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Gainesville Reunion


This week has been pretty good, everyone on campus has been a little cranky with finals going on right now, but it's just helping sift the wheat from the tares haha. On Tuesday we had the booth out at Turlington plaza and people were really just not having it so we decided to have some fun and flip our perspective, and we tried to see how many rejections we could get in a row instead of feeling like garbage because everyone was turning us down. Our high score was 22 people in a row, but we found some solid people in between that so hopefully they will work out.

Wednesday I got to go on an exchange with Elder Stuart, who is serving in Gainesville 5th ward, so it was super cool to go back to my first area for a day. We took a member out with us who was the first person that I had ever taught on my mission! I almost didn't recognize him because he had to shave his beard off to become an ordinance worker in the temple. It was cool seeing the big changes he has made.

Then on Friday we had another exchange: it was with the other YSA elders so I got to be with Elder Weng. He is from Taiwan and let me tell you he is the man. He just has so much faith and is also just really classic. He used an old LDS homefront video on a door approach and we taught a lesson from it. He is absolutely savage.

Our investigator Jimmy Yu is doing really well. He came to institute on Tuesday night and then to the Elders Quorum BBQ on Saturday and he was just loving it. The guy is so good at ping-pong, it's crazy. He is also learning and understanding the gospel so well, it is super neat to see his face just light up when he understands a gospel principle!

Hopefully everyone is doing well :^)

Elder Olson

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lens cleaning wipes


This week has been pretty good; finding has been kind of rough because it's almost finals week at UF and literally nobody thinks that they have time to meet with us. So that has been our struggle this week. I actually think that I dislike finals more as a missionary than I did as a student haha.

On Tuesday I got to go on an exchange with Elder Peterson, who is serving in High Springs. I didn't know him at all so we had a good day getting to know each other. We didn't have any set appointments so we had plenty of time to talk as we were finding on campus. We had a neat experience though where Elder Peterson had this prompting to go talk to this guy that was realllllyy out of the way, and it turned out that he was a former investigator and so we showed him the Prince of Peace video and he really liked it. Then we come to find out that he is from Live Oak and he is a youth pastor at a church that was in the White Springs boundaries. After that we figured that out we found out that we both know Sophia, who was just baptized last month. Haha, we made sure to drop that on him. So who knows if that will go anywhere but it was a cool experience.

Oh yeah also on Tuesday Keith and Lisa Wheeler, members from Fleming Island 1st ward, came and took us and the other elders out to lunch which was really sweet. Good times with them and we cherish a meal appointment whenever we get one.

On Wednesday our investigator, Jimmy, who is a 21 year old physics PhD student here at UF, came to the New Testament institute class. Because we are at the end of the semester, the class material was on Revelations 1-11. . . We weren't sure how that was going to go considering that Jimmy has very little religious background, but he actually really liked it! Elder Booker did a great job of teaching and Jimmy even wanted to come to the Saturday evening session of stake conference so it all worked out.

As we were leaving our apartment after lunch I was walking down the stairs when suddenly I hear out of nowhere "STEVEOOOOOOOOO" and then this big hairy guy was giving me a hug and let me tell you I was really confused. Like really confused. Then I realized that it was Zach Barney coming back to visit the mission. Haha it was fun to see him and meet his family. We got to tell his Mom lots of stories that she didn't know about hehe.

On Saturday we were pretty much just tracting all day and it was pretty dead but we met some good people and had some really funny experiences. I'll share one. So we knocked into this girl, Sophie, a girl who converted to Islam a few years ago, and we were able to show her the Prince of Peace video and share the restoration with her and it was going really well, but we weren't able to set up a return appointment so we got her number to set up a time after finals. So I pulled my little pocket book planner out of my pocket, and as I did, this little glasses lens cleaning wipe falls out of my pocket. So I pick it up and put it back in my pocket and it was only after the weird look she gave us that I realized that the little square packet that fell out of my pocket might seem like something other than a lens cleaning wipe . . . especially on a college campus.  But by that point it was just too late to explain what it was and in the heat of the moment I decided to just go with it and not explain it. So I am just dying of laughter/awkwardness on the inside while Elder Call is saying the prayer and after we walked away we just started to laugh so hard. Haha hopefully she texts us back and texts us back for the right reasons.

Anyways, Sunday was stake conference which was really awesome. We had a couple of investigators come, a girl that we met on Turlington and her roommate. They were almost 30 minutes late but it turned out to be perfect because they missed the sustaining (which can be weird if you are going to church for the first time) and then someone did a musical number of "If you could hie to Kolob". And so they missed both of them. To quote the scriptures "all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things". Haha it was perfect. Then a member from 3rd ward was kind enough to have us over for dinner and we tried to reach a bunch of less active members for the rest of the day.

Happy Easter,

Elder Olson

Elder P

Elder Faber catching us snoozing

Lens cleaning wipes

Monday, April 10, 2017

Elder Call the Second


The last few days with Elder Kautai were super solid. On Tuesday morning we had district meeting and we were getting hammered with a morning rainstorm, we got soaked just running to the car. We spent a little time contacting on campus and then we had a dropped lesson with our investigator Trokon. It was kinda sad because he just isn't willing to truly open up his heart because of his commitment to his other church, but we definitely felt like he walked out of the church feeling like he was leaving something behind so hopefully he will be back one day.

We also got to go to institute with an investigator on Tuesday night. The sisters' investigator said the closing prayer and in it he said "God, thanks for helping us to look good, and especially to smell good. In Jesus name Amen" hahahaha I was dying laughing but trying to hide it because I didn't want him to get offended ahhh it was bad.

On Wednesday we had transfers but we didn't go to the transfer hub in Jacksonville because Elder Call was already in Gainesville. Instead a member drove him over and we got right to work! It was kind of weird not going to Jacksonville for transfers; it almost just felt like we were on exchanges for the first few days.

Elder Call has been adjusting to the YSA really well though, he is the man. Like way faster than I did, it is intimidating at first. It's been a really good first week with him, we are already friends from Lake City and he is a really good missionary so we are just flowing. We've been able to find a few people with solid potential, so hopefully they progress and we can find some more because Elder Kauai and I dropped most of them.

Saturday was an interesting day, I got to have some new experiences. The sisters had a baptism on Saturday and we had an investigator going which we were hoping would really give our investigator the fire that she needed to start keeping some commitments. The baptism wasn't super well planned though, and there were just a bunch of awkward moments and it started really late. There was still a remission of sins and all, which is obviously the important part, but it could've gone better. So after the baptism everyone is still mingling and we ask our investigator if she'll be able to make it to church tomorrow, and she has some excuse, and so we ask if we can set a return appointment and she says "you know I actually think that I am good for right now. Thanks though!".... I didn't even think it was possible to get dropped immediately after a baptismal service. But it happened.

I did get to confirm the sister's investigator in sacrament meeting which was cool though. His name is Trey and he really is a solid guy, he is already planning on serving a mission.

Hmm anyways I think that is basically all of the noteworthy things from this week

Elder Olson