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Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 30 Santa Ana

Are you enjoying your mission?   OH and yes I am really enjoying the mission. I am excited to receive a new companion. His name is Elder M. he is from Mexico.  Will you be senior companion?  No Elder M. is senior companion and District leader. You should be able to learn a lot from your new companion.  Elder M. was also the District leader, so I have done divisions or splits almost every week as his companion. I have heard that my new companion speaks English perfectly.  It sounds like you speak Spanish well.  I don’t know because I am comparing myself with people who have talked Spanish their whole life.  Elder going to Santa Barbara, he will travel with other elders and the elders who don’t have transfers stay here in the ward building.  Are you going to take your companion around and say goodbye?  Yes that is what we will do for the next 2 days.   

Did you move back to the other apartment? We haven’t moved back to the other apartment but there are some pictures that I put on drop box of the construction, they put down some tile and are putting a ceiling in so it should be pretty nice. OH we also got cabinet doors. 

Did your baptism happen on Saturday?  Yes we had the baptism on Saturday. We spent practically all of the day getting ready for it. Hna A. R. had her interview in the morning. While she was in her interview we filled the baptism font. About 2 hours later we went to lunch then we went and brought the clothes to the chapel and we waited for people to arrive. As it is Honduras nobody arrived for 1 hour so we ended up starting the baptism at 5 that we had planned for 4.   We ended up having 4 baptisms this day.  3 were from another ward, their font didn’t work, there was not water, and so they came to our church.

Did you do any service for somebody this week I don’t remember because the people here really don’t give us opportunity’s to serve them. 

What was the most spiritual experience of the week? I think that the most spiritual thing that passed this week was seeing Hno R. direct the baptismal meeting. He was so excited to help and serve. I loved seeing him direct the meeting. Just think of how much good that he will do in the church. He has a son that is 7 years old so he will have the opportunity to be baptized in the next year.

Also I have felt the spirit really strong contacting sometimes trying to find the chosen person in all of them. Like yesterday we were just walking and well I stopped and shook the hand of a man, and come to find out he is an inactive member.  He just moved, he has a family but they are not members.   We had to do something in the secretary’s office and while we were there, I found a paper with his name and that he was localized to this area so we will be working hard with him. 

What did you do for p day? We went to the terminal another time and we also washed some clothes, I bought some cake and an ice cream cone.

How was church this week? Church was good this week we are having some inactive or less active members that are coming sporadically but not too many. We had 3 investigators in the meeting, which was good. 

Are you excited for conference?  Yes I am excited for conference but i don’t want to be sitting for 2 hours at a time way too hard. But yes it is better when there is conference because it brings more people and they are more excited.

Do they celebrate Easter there? They do celebrate Easter and almost nobody works. 

We had fun showing people your machete; did you use it this week?  Yes I usually buy a coconut on the way home from lunch so almost every day. 

What’s on the cake? It was the birthday of two of the elders in our district so we bought them a cake with their names written on it.

I don’t think that I had the chickenguñya at least I don’t think so. But I had a lot of stuff in my throat so I have been taking a cough syrup and well now I am coughing but it is dry. No I haven’t gone to the dentist but I will call the nurse this week and ask for an appointment at least to clean my teeth and see if there is a cavity. 

Also you guys can reserve the names of some of the brothers of grandpa on the family search because one of them needs work done. 

When will your apartment be completed?  Will you still be able to use your hammock?  I think some time this week they are just mudding and taping the sheetrock so they have to paint and then we can move.  I wont be able to use my hammock. That's too bad, have you enjoyed the bigger place?  Yes but the bathroom sucks there is no showerhead and there isn’t a p trap on the sink and all these bad gasses are escaping so I am happy to move back. Yeah that doesn't sound good.  Is it super hot there?  Yes it has been super hot like more than 100 with high humidity and a brutal sun. Do you know how many months it will stay that hot?  No I think it will be hot all of the time until next September.

Well I don’t have any more time, but it has been really fun to email you guys. I hope that you will enjoy the time you have in California and that you can return safely.   Love you all.   Elder Olsen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 29 Santa Ana

What was the spiritual experience of the week? Well I have too many spiritual experiences this week and some that I don’t want to share because the will be good stories when I get back. The spiritual experience that I had this week happened on Wednesday I ended up in divisions with Hno. M., the one that will be moving to Idaho or Utah this week. We learned how to talk to whatever person we saw in the street, I think that I came out of my shell and realized that it is not as hard to talk with people. We cut down a tree, I had to cut it out of the power line too. I just climb trees in my church pants. It was only like 15 feet tall, all of the trees here excrete a milky substance when they are cut and it is terrible. This helped me figured out what the rash I had was from. One day I climbed a big old mango tree and well I think that I got this stuff on me and it burned me, it is very alkaline.    We taught some lessons and the spirit was so strong because we were working so hard. I think that this was the day that I worked the hardest in the mission. We saw the fruits of our labor on Sunday when we had new investigators in the sacrament meeting, some that we haven’t even visited before.

Did you make the move to the new apartment? Is the hammock up and why don't they fill the holes along the roof where the walls meet? That is one of the questions that I have, why don’t they fill all of the holes? I think it is so that all of the hot air can escape. The hammock is hung in the house. I sleep in it every night. I have close to three months only in a hammock.  Is the landlord renting out your old apartment or what is he doing with it? Are you across the street from the church in the pictures it looked like a church? Yes there is a Catholic church in front of us, they always are having their meetings. or school. Is the Person that you rent from a member? Do you visit with them very often? The people we rent from aren’t members but we talk with them a lot because they have a pulperia and we are always buying things. we are going to move back in to our old apartment in a couple of days, they are just putting tile in it and fixing it up.

When is the next transfer date? The next transfer is the April 1
Will you go into SPS to watch conference or do they broadcast it to your ward building? They broadcast it to every ward building and there is a lot of Internet here so many people will watch it in their houses. 

Have you been doing any special programs for Easter like you did at Christmas time?  Yes we are starting a new initiative called “Because of Him” click on the link below to see it.

When is your Stake Conference?   We had stake conference a while back but this week we had the ward conference and well we had do to a special music number, we sang Teach Me to walk in the light in Spanish and English?  There was a piano player and there were about 10 of us that sang.

What has the weather been like?  It’s always like 94 or hotter. 

How many people are you teaching 
?  Right now we only have one with a baptism date, normally we have about 6 that we are teaching. 

For p day, we went to the bus terminal and ate at Burger King; I ate a new whopper with bacon and a mango slushy. We bought shoes, big sizes are cheaper because there’s not a demand for them.   We found some sweet timberlands for 20 bucks. I also bought a knife to cut my coconuts and watermelons and the occasional service project. It has a saw on the back that is the same as the saw that is on our pole saw the brand is trouper, it is way sharp. 

The knife and the file cost 290 lempiras but I bought the best that there was. Did you use the machete on the tree you cut down or a saw?  We used a machete and brute force; they do everything with machete even cut the lawn.   We should use them more.

How are you feeling? I am feeling better I have talked with the nurse and she is getting me an appointment with the mission dentist and that should be good. I am taking a cough syrup because I have a lot of mucus in my throat, but I think that is getting better slowly. 

When is the member coming to the states? Does he have a ticket yet?  He doesn’t have his ticket but I think this week. I told him you would take him and his wife to dinner so if he calls do it. 

Have you seen R. is he up and moving? No he is still with a cast but he is doing well. I really thought that he was going to die because of an infection I hope he will be good as new soon.

Thanks for everything. I have had another good week.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 28 Santa Ana

What was the spiritual experience of the week? We have had some very powerful lessons this week I will share a few of them. We were with Hna A. R. the Hermanna that has a baptism date for the 28th, we were teaching her with N. M. here in the ward building and we talked about the example that she should strive to be to her children. I shared how good of examples you guys have been to me and corrected me when I was straying form the path. She said ok, the spirit was very strong.

Another experience we had was while we were teaching Hna I., she was tormented with all the bad things that had happened to her as a child, like her mom always said she hated her and then some of the family paid the gang to come and kill her, she was behind the house 6 hours with the people who wanted to kill her and that no one wants her. She has had a hard life and just to feel to power of the spirit when we were talking about the atonement was powerful. We had one day that we were very spiritually in-tune and 3 of the investigators cried. 

Did you have a visit from Elder Anderson from the quorum of the twelve apostles last Friday, how was that? It was very good we all shook his hand. Elder Anderson is very inspired and I really liked his talk.  One of the things that happened was I saw one of the kids from high school, Cade P. he is in the San Pedro Sula East Mission. There is a picture of Cade and me.

Did you do anything for p-day this week? Yes we ate lunch with many of the youth that have their mission calls or are returned from the mission. And we played soccer. 

Do you have to pay for your own utilities? We don’t pay our own utilities. But I will send you pictures of our house next week for now we will be moving into a new house that our land lord built in front and who knows it might be permanent. When do you move to this other place? Tonight in the night I think. It’s like 5 feet in front of our apartment door. The new house is literally new. It is huge and nice so I think that the living conditions are better. I can still hang my hammock from the ceiling.

Have you had any rain? When does the rainy season start? There hasn’t been any rain and I have no idea when the rainy season starts. 
I have been using Photoshop to make things for the ward conference. There is a new blog from an elder Ollie that is on the blog list.  It looks like he might be in your zone or district Yes he is in my zone but not in my district.

This week I think that I had chickengunya and it was not to fun.  I still have a sore throat but it is all ok.   The chickengunya isn’t that bad, but I think I still have a little bit of it going on in my body but it won’t kill me. I think that I have a cavity so I will see what I need to do to have it fixed. I just asked the president so he will tell me. What do you think because it was one of the ones I thought was a cavity but Dr. Ellis said that it wasn’t a cavity but I think that it is.

I don’t have any more time to email and have to go so love you all and I hope that I will have more time to email this next week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 27 Santa Ana

March 9th 2015

What was the spiritual experience of the week? The most spiritual experience this week was during the baptism of Hna G. My companion baptized her but it was a really spiritual experience when she shared her testimony with all of us, the spirit was present and then after that her uncle shared his testimony and it was really powerful. This girl of 10 doesn’t have parents, they both died and she lives with her grandma. Her grandma is really active in the church and she goes to the temple as often as possible. She doesn’t have a job, but she sells soda and water downtown to pay for the house. G. started to cry and well it was a very spiritual experience. It as a little scary to plan the baptism because we did splits with some of the elders from the district so I was solo in organizing and filling out all the papers. I had to find the speakers and fill the font. We had a skirt in the house that fit her but we didn’t have a white shirt that would fit her.  Everyone showed up for the baptism and we were still looking for the shirt, we ended up borrowed it from our ward mission leader. He name is A., he leaves for his mission in less that 3 weeks. I was in his house when he opened his mission call less than 2 weeks ago. 

Have you made progress with the sister who needs baptism and coffee? Yes she hasn’t been having any problems because her daughter returned from the mission 1 week ago, things in the house changed fast. We haven’t been teaching her much but things will start to pick up because we need to teach her everything before the 28th of this month because this is the date we have planned for her baptism.

Have you been back to Lempira any success in finding people to teach out there? No we haven’t been going to the lempira because no one was progressing and it is far from the house. When I was in Copan we had a place like la lempira that was far from the house and there were hardly any members there, but we went. I think that this the church is hard to build with a small cluster of members in an area far from the ward building because it takes a lot more dedication from the members to wake up early and walk to the church.  All of the active members moved but one family, so there is really no members to support the investigators and befriend them.

Have you had fried food all week again? I think we have fried food every day that’s why everyone is getting fatter. I haven’t gotten much fatter but many of the elders are very out of shape. The problem is there is nothing that we can do to exercise because I can’t go and run without my companion and I can’t lay on the floor because it is so dusty all of the time, and we don’t have any weights. One time I was using cinderblocks as my weights but that wasn’t very fun.  Can you look for a video of Pilates that is hard and put it on drop box and some exercise videos that I can follow along. What else have you eaten? Last night I made popcorn and it was very good I like the powder but I think it will last almost my entire mission. 

What was the p day activity did you do anything fun? We hiked a mountain and it was like a long hike. I felt like we were in scouts again because I got stuck behind with my companion because he is a little out of shape and wore out quickly. 

We hiked this mountain and took pictures on top. I thought it was really fun, but my comp said that he would have rather stayed in the house. 

Is that all of the elders in your district that went on the hike?  Did you organize it?  No this is our zone. There are only 6 elders in our district, and my companion and me are the only ones from our district that went to hike the mountain. How many Americans in that group?  There are 5 Americans in the picture.  Was the hill that steep that you had to run down it.  Yes it was really steep. We couldn’t walk or stand because you would just begin to slide.  

What was the big factory you can see from the top of the hill?  There is a wood mill and the other makes dog food. 

Is that corn or sugar cane you are standing by in the picture?  It is corn. The sugar cane is much different.

The member from here that I was talking about the 1 counselor of the bishopric will be moving to Idaho or Utah soon. He got his visa, which will allow him to live work and do whatever in the U.S. When do you think the counselor will be coming do you want to give him our address and we will take him and his wife to dinner?  Well I think that he might be coming on the 28th of this month or near this date. I will give him our address and our phone number and he can call you. They are going to live in Idaho but if they pass through Logan you could take them to dinner. 

How long does it take you to wash your clothes? Do you only wash on p day? I try and wash every day of the week. Sometimes I have a lot to wash and I take an hour to wash 15 items. So like 15 pants or 15 shirts in an hour. 

Did you happen to pass thru the bus terminal aka shopping market? No we didn’t pass through the bus terminal we only went to Vianueva, which is the other direction of the bus terminal from our house. 

Do you only sleep in your hammock or do you use the bed? I only sleep in my hammock. I have slept in it for almost two months straight. It doesn’t show any signs of wear but the stuff bag is almost non-existent because I always put my watch in it to wake me up. I use the bed for storage and to iron my clothes.

We have transfers in 3 weeks but I think that my companion will be going. For some reason right now we don’t have many investigators that are progressing so we will be looking for new ones this week. It has been fun to see investigators of the Lord get baptized, receive the Holy Spirit and 2 of them have already received the priesthood.  This Sunday was the first Sunday of all the time with Elder M. that we haven’t had an investigator in the sacrament meeting. 

Keep an eye out for a lost ruin they are still discovering ruins Yes I heard about that new one they found.

Why was your companion burning his pants?   What was the significance?  Has he been in the mission field for a year?  When he was in divisions, he burned a pair of pants because he has completed 18 months.   Every 6 months you burn something.  I haven’t burned anything because I don’t want to ruin my clothes.  It is better to give away clothes to others than burn them if they are still usable.  I think that I will be giving away some shorts, I have like 10 pair. Is it common to trade something with a companion as they leave?  Yes I will trade a tie and they will write on the back of a tie that they give me.  Do you need a new tie?  No I can have custom ties made for less than 6 dollars, I can even get all the things I want embroidered. 

I am looking for the scriptures right now because the scriptures I bought in the CCM have fallen apart. They are not the best quality. Do you want us to buy the scriptures?  Well I can’t find the ones that I want. I want the Spanish scriptures in real leather. But I can’t find them online, and I don’t want of the fake leather.   Order them to be sent to me if it is possible but if it costs a lot don’t do it and I will have someone look in the distribution center at the Tegucigalpa Temple. 

Thanks for all that you have dome for me but I don’t have any more time. I will try and look fore the scriptures during the week and I will ask President D. where he got his because he has scriptures of real leather. Tell everyone thanks for all they do. Love you all and have a good and safe week. I hope that every one of you will learn something that will help others.