Monday, December 19, 2016

LOVE being a missionary

Hello everyone!

It's been another really great week here in White Springs. 

We've had some really great lessons with our recent converts, Cathie & Johnna, this week. They've been kind of struggling with some of the issues that they had before their baptism, but we've been able have some really powerful lessons with them. One of the best parts for me is that I feel like I really understand them because of some of the trials and difficulties that I've had in my life, and it's just a tender mercy to see why the Lord has me in this area, and a reminder to trust Him that everything happens for a reason. We were also to have an amazing new member lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation, and we taught the full Plan of Salvation, like exaltation and everything. It was such an amazing experience to help these children of God understand their true relationship with their Heavenly Parents, and to see the understanding on their face and the light enter into their eyes as the spirit confirmed our words. 

We got some good news this week, our investigator Chuck isn't lost!! Last week he got hardcore anti'd by his pastor, and he tried to drop us, but obviously we weren't going to let him go easy. So he goes to his old church last Sunday and apparently he and his pastor got into a shouting match in front of everyone and Chuck was defending us and he got so mad that he passed out and had to go to the hospital haha. He wants to take things kinda slow, but he came to church with us for the first time this Sunday which was great!

On Wednesday we had MLC in Jacksonville, so it was the third week in a row that we had to drive to Jax. It was worth it though, MLC is always super powerful. We did some goal setting, and I am super pumped for this upcoming year! President Lee is seriously a spiritual genius and I think we are going to have a crazy good year next year. 

Our investigator, Katie, is still progressing really well! We set a baptismal date with her for mid January in our first lesson with her this week, but then in our second lesson we ended up dropping the date haha but it turns out to be a good thing! We taught her the word of wisdom and she is totally willing to live it she just wants to be 100% with it when she gets baptized which is way better than rushing her into the font. She's still coming to church and she came to our branch Christmas Party which was great. 

One last miracle that I want to share happened on Sunday morning. Earlier in the week we were visiting a less active sister and her non-member husband, and we talked about a lot of good stuff but she mentioned that since we added her to our daily scripture text list, none of the scripture have really hit her very hard. Well fast forward to Sunday morning, this sister is saying a vocal kneeling prayer for the first time in years, and really just praying hard about some of the physical trials that she has had in her life. Eventually she ended her prayer by saying "I just want your will to be done, not mine" and right at that moment she got a text, our daily scripture text, which happened to be Revelations 21:4, about having our tears wiped away by God and having all of our pain taken away from us. Super good, props to go Elder Beenfield on the scripture selection. It's just so cool to be able to recognize the hand of the Lord in our work so often. 

This next Saturday is 18 months in the field which is honestly messed up. It's also been really weird to see pictures of friends getting home from their missions and being united with family and friends. Sometimes it makes it hard to stay focused on the work, but the Plan of Salvation lesson that we had with Cathie and Johnna really had a big impact on me. Its just so cool to be able to teach people like them about a doctrine as precious as exaltation and Heavenly Father's plan for them! It's lessons like that that make me LOVE being a missionary. Like when else will I have the opportunity to teach people about their true relationship to God and their true potential, when they have gone their whole lives walking in darkness?? Never!! 

It sure it scary that the mission has gone so fast, and that so many friends are already home, but I am just so grateful for the next 6 months that I have to do the work of the Lord!

Love you all!!

Elder Olson

When Christmas oranges grow in your back yard

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