Monday, October 17, 2016

Baptisms, teaching, and learning

Helloooooo

This week has been SO amazing!! Like seriously one of the best weeks of my mission. I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately, it's been a good transfer. 

The highlight of the week was that Cathie, Johnna, and Brandon all got baptized!!! It was so awesome, we joined up their baptism services because Brandon's got pushed back to this week due to some mild weather, and it was so powerful to have 3 people getting baptized at once. I can't even really describe how great it was, it was probably one of the best days of my entire life. I love them all so much. Cathie and Johnna are like Moms away from home and Brandon is soooo classic hahaha. 

The Sister missionaries in Cannon Creek had an investigator come to the baptism and he had some deep questions about the priesthood so they asked us to join us in their lesson with him right after the baptism. It was maybe one of the best lessons I've had my whole mission. Their investigator is 19 years old and he is a Christian minister in training. He has always been intrigued by the Mormon church so he learned about it, and even read the entire Book of Mormon and a part of the Doctrine & Covenants, but he had never learned anything from an actual believer. So the Sisters knocked on his door the day before the baptism, he came to the baptism but he missed the actual baptism part because he was late, and then we had a lesson with him afterwards. He had some good questions about why we still think the Aaronic priesthood is needed and we explained it, and he is a really intelligent and sincere guy. Long story short he was asking for proof that the Book of Mormon is true, and the spirit was really strong and so we told him how it was in a "Safety for the Soul" type way. It was awesome. I've been wanting to have a lesson like that my whole mission. He said he would have to think about what we said and he said the closing prayer and the spirit just hit me so hard that what we had testified of was true. Ahhh it was amazing. Too bad that the sisters get to teach him hahaha. 

Another highlight from this past week was being able to go on an exchange with Elder Geist, who was my trainer. He has one transfer left and it was interesting and really fun to be back with him after over a year since he was training me. We had a ton of fun catching up, and it just so happened that his trainer was back visiting the mission and he took Elder Geist out to lunch when I was there so we had a little lineage meal. It was pretty neat. We also did some service at an Al Paca farm which was fun even though we were mostly just scooping poop hahaha. I love Elder Geist though, my mission father >>>

I'll share one last funny experience that we had this week. We were tracting in this town called Jasper and we were in a pretty ghetto area and we try to give this guy a card and we start talking to him. He was black, had about 3 teeth and was possibly homeless and so funny. He kept trying to take my watch from me. He would just start reaching for my wrist and say "Ohh thats a nice watch, I think it would look better on me though, let me have it" and I was like "umm please no thank you" and he was like "come on I need it give it to me" and so I said "this watch was a gift from my mother, would you try and take a gift from my mother away?" and so he says "nahhh I would never do that c'mon... but that watch would look really good on me, you should give it to me" hahaha it was just a funny experience idk maybe you needed to be there. Fortunately he left it at that and didn't get violent and thankfully he wasn't packing heat. 

The last thing that I wanted to share is a little on the sad side . . . we had our transfer call on Saturday night and we found out that Elder Bangerter is going to be leaving me. He is going to be whitewash training in the Gainesville YSA, which is an awesome area, but I don't want him to leave. I'm going to be getting Elder Beenfield though, he is another missionary that came out with me! He is awesome, and he also took my spot in Fleming Island so we'll have lots to catch up on. I am excited for the next few transfers, but sad that my time with Elder Bangerter has to come to an end. 

I think if I have learned anything this transfer is that everybody has had, is having, or will have some kind of inner struggle in their lives, and Satan always tries to make us feel like we are the only ones who struggle and need help. Because of this we try to face our battles on our own, and often times we can't win by ourselves or we become exhausted as we face them. There are two things that I want to apply in my own life from learning this. One is that everybody always needs to be treated with kindness and love because we have no idea as to what is currently going on in their lives and the second is that opening up to others and asking for help or sharing our problems makes life so much easier!!! It's just been something on my mind and something that I want to do better at!

Anyways I love you all!!!

Elder Olson


Johnna and Cathie

Brandon

Alpacas are mean when they want your food lol

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