Monday, February 22, 2010

22 Feb 2010

Hey everyone, well this was an interesting week. we had a lot of meeting and stuff that took up a lot of our proselyting time :( Like Zone Leader Council which takes up a whole morning and afternoon, Stake Correlation meeting which takes up half of our night and is usually completely worthless.. a few baptismal interviews and a lot of other stuff plus our regular meetings. but the good news is we were still able to hit most of our goals that we set for the week. We had 6 people at church yesterday, it was a pretty stressful Sunday. but the whole Frazier family came. They are progressing really well and will be baptized soon. i got permission from president nelson to baptize them next week even though they have not been to church 3 times... but we will see if we can make it happen. the mom and 2 of the kids will definitely be ready by next Sunday, but the only thing that is making me lean towards waiting a little longer is their oldest son whom is 19. he is really awesome he is just never there when we are teaching them cause he is usually at work. so i cant decide if we should wait till he is ready as well and baptize them all together or just baptize the mom and 2 of the kids now and the other son later. i just fear that if he doesn't get baptized with the rest of the family that he might get discouraged. so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I hope that i will be staying here in jamaica, but i really have no idea yet. but just in case dont send anything to this address here. this is week 6 of this transfer. We are also really excited for the Jones family, I dont remember if i told you this story but Mrs. Jones is the one that had a dream the night before we came over and someone in her dream told her that 2 young men were going to come to her house and teach her, and that she should receive and accept them. so that is really cool. well total it is a family of 8 people. but 3 of them dont live at home anymore. they are grown and have their own families now. But yesterday the mom and one of the daughters came to church. We are hoping to get the whole family there next week. I guess the marriage is kind of on the rocks right now, and Yolanda is really looking for something to bring her family back together. I got kind of discouraged yesterday at church, I called all of the quorum and auxillary leaders to inform them of all the people that we were expecting to have at church, well i got a hold of a few of them but alot never called me back. Total in the ward we had over 15 investigators at church, and everything was just terribly unorganized! it was seriously a mad house. I dont even know what happened. for some reason they didnt have a young mens sunday school class at all yesterday, so Troy jr. had to go to gospel principles with his mom and dad, The nursery was no where to be found and Aquila there 2 year old daughter was kind of on a rampage, and i really wanted troy and nakisa to be able to go to class. so i went and tracked down the nursery lady and dragged her out of class, i gave her aquila and she just took her into the room and wasnt even playing with her or anything, but i figured that she had it. so i left and went into primary to check on the kids that we had in there and primary was just crazy, they have like 30 kids piled into one long narrow room and the teachers are just yelling at all the kids to try and get them to be quiet. when they teach they dont use any pictures or anything so you know the kids are not paying any attention or learning anything. One of the ladies who helps in the primary who was kinda frustrated leaned over to me and said man these kids just dont listen, i dont know what there problem is. Ah i just wanted to yell at her, ha of course they dont listen this is the most boring primary i have ever seen. there is no organization or anything. but i didnt cause that would be really mean. I than made my way over to Gospel Principles to see our investigators there, everything was good in that class except the fact that the lady teaching has a seriously thick accent and im not sure if many people were understanding everything that she was saying. So than i was going back over to primary and one of the councelors in the bishopric stopped me and said "hey that lady doing the nursery just let that little girl walk out and into primary, she didnt even follow her. and now she is just sitting in there by herself. You should go tell her that she cant do that, she needs to watch the children" I said that it is not my responsibility or right to tell a grown woman how to do her calling, I said that is your responsibility and duty. he just gave me a funny look. . . So yeah it was just a bad sunday. this ward needs some real leadership and organization! but i have learned that we cant try and take over a ward as missionaires, it will never work because we leave. and we are just the Elders. but its really frustrating sometimes when you know that you could do a better job running the whole ward by yourself. But i know that the best thing that i can do to help the ward is to magnify my office and my responsibilities to the best of my ability. So that is what i am doing. But i just fear that this ward doesnt have the leadership or organization to retain these people that we are bringing into the church. between the years 2007 and 2009 there were 26 baptisms in jamaica 1st ward, there are only a handfull of those people who are still active, the 2 years before that they baptized almost double that, close to 50 people. and there are only 3 or 4 of those who are still active. They just gotta get it together and start doing the things that make a ward run the way that it is supposed to. the first would be to study and follow the church handbook of instructions! well this week should be a great week! despite all of my complaints about this ward i do love it here, and i know that they are all trying to be better. I just think alot of times they dont know how to be better. Shantel is getting her Patriarchal Blessing next sunday, she is doing really well, she is moving to Japan for a year to teach english. she will be leaving in may. We are talking about me going to japan to visit her when i get home and when she recieves her Endownment. cause she will be at her 1 year mark there in japan. well i love you all! keep being awesome!
Hurrah For Israel!!!
Elder Olsen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

8 Feb 2010

18 Feb 2010

Well it was another great week here in Jamaica! we are being extremely blessed. Anthony was confirmed yesterday, it was great and next week he will recieve the priesthood. He is doing awesome and is loving the book of mormon. Our ward had 6 baptisms yesterday! it was really awesome, we are blessed to have a senior couple working here in jamaica, they have been here about six months, they got here a little while after i did. well they are doing a lot of work for the ward, and making a big difference. they have been teaching a part member family and yesterday they all got baptized. 5 of them total. and than another companionship in the ward got a baptism of a lady. we are looking to break records this transfer in this zone. we have 9 baptisms so far, and alot of people commited for the next few weeks. everyone is working pretty hard and we are being blessed for it. Seeing this senior couple here in jamaica has definitely made me decide that me and my wife are definitely going to be serving missions. mom and dad you would be great missionaires! i am really excited for you someday. well if you remember the frazier family?? well yesterday troy the father came to church! so that was amazing and really good. the only bad thing is that the rest of the family didnt :( he said that they didnt do there laundry and none of them had any clothes to wear. i was really upset yesterday. cause they are all awesome and they want to be baptized. but now it is going to be hard cause they have not been to church at all. I am certain that my Pres. would let me do it, but its going to be hard to help them feel like they will be ready for that day. we are making a plan for them to do homework assignments every day and we'll have daily follow up on their progress. all of the assignments will be centered on the atonement and why we get baptized. i think that it will work and will help them feel ready and have that change of heart. But its going to take alot of prayers and faith. so please pray for the Frazier family. this is the family that i have been praying to find for 3 transfers! and i really want to be here when they get baptized! i have been here for 6 months total now so it is likely that i will be leaving. but you never know. We also have rebecca and julia that we are trying to prepare for the 28th as well as david watson and antoinette and rameeka. so please pray for each of them. they really need the help. Well i am doing great! i am just loving my mission. i cant believe that time has gone by so fast. I only have 5 full transfers left or 7 and a half months. I want this last part of my mission to be the best. i am going to work and study harder than ever. so many missionaires die at the end of their misison. i dont want that to happent to me. it is so stupid, why would you get lazy and un motivated when you have learned so much and are able to be so much of a better instrument for the lord. but if you lose motivation and faith than the lord will not use you to bless the lives of others. We have a really busy day planned today. a very short P day. but it will be a great srart to a great week. we have 5 member lessons set up this afternoon. I am really glad that my companion has a good attitude. most companions would be really mad if they had alot of appointments on p day. Well i love you all and pray for you everyday. I know that this church is true. i know that we can only find happiness in this life by keeping the commandments and living the gospel of jesus christ.
Hurrah for Israel!!
Elder M. Olsen

8 Feb 2010

Hey Everyone!
well i had a great week! I had the priveldge to see the miracle of anthony getting baptized. it was a really great service, his wife whom is a member of 16 years was really happy and bore her testimony after the baptism. He is an amazing man! his 2 sons are also members of the church but they are in active so now he has gotta try and get them back into the fold, so that a year from now they can all go to the temple together and get sealed! that will be awesome and we will definitely be coming back for that one. Speaking of that i talked to Craig Lento last week ( the man that i baptized in South Shore last may) he is doing great! he is filling out his mission papers right now, he only has the dental left to do and than he will be set to go. and soon he will be able to turn in his papers and than recieve his endownments. i am really excited, and i wil be able to go to the temple with him for that. Today is the start of week 4 of the transfer, its going to be a really hard week, and when i say hard i mean that we need to work really hard! we have alot of people that could be baptized this transfer we just need to work really hard to do everything that we cant to help them come to church next week. We finally were able to talk to the Frazier family again. we stopped by yesterday morning before church and talked to Nakeesa (his wife) and she is still awesome.. and wants to continue learning and come to church, but its troy that is holding the family back. I think that he is just scared. so please pray for him! and for his family. We also have the Deosaran family, the Hamilton family, The Ennis family, The Finley family, The Kumar family, Matheson family, Edwards family, and David Watson and Imran, we are working with alot of families right now it is awesome! Pray that we can find Imran! he is homeless right now, well he stays at friends houses but he doesnt have a phone and we lost contact with him. but he has come to church 3 times and he was supposed to get baptized a few weeks ago but we lost him. he was really close and was doing really well. so pray for him.... well we are working harder than ever. i told my companion that this is going to be the hardest working week ever. we are seriously going to crush it! so pray that we wil both have the strength and energy that we will need. and most importantly the spirit with us. I love you all so much! Strive for perfection..
Hurrah For Israel!!!
Elder Michael Olsen

Monday, February 1, 2010

1 Feb 2010

well we had a great week! We hit the new mission standards of excellence or mission goals. they are the goals that we set that each companionship needs to shoot for if we are going to get the 800 baptisms before november. They are pretty tough to acheive and i think we are the first companionship to reach them( they were made official just 2 weeks ago) We are working really hard! We never take a break from working and we are being blessed for it. Every night we come home just exhausted, we actually go to bed early most nights because we are too tired. Every night i just feel weary and spiritually drained, but every morning its like a renewal of my body and spirit. about a week and a half ago we got a media referral for a lady named yolanda jones. she ordered a dvd from a tv ad. we went and delivered it and just shared a quick message and set up a return apt. we went back just this last saturday afternoon. and met some of her family, she has 6 kids(all girls) but only 3 still live at home, the others are all older. well we taught her about the book of mormon and joseph smith. At the end after we commited her to read and pray, she told us that she had a dream last night, and that in her dream someone came to her and said that 2 young men were going to come and teach her and that she should recieve them and accept what they teach, she had this dream friday night and we came on saturday! how awesome is that! and the cool thing is that i have been praying that heavenly father would give people visions and dreams to prepare them to recieve the gospel. God truly does answer prayers. She came to church yesterday as well. total we had 6 people at church yesterday. Anthony is doing awesome! and he is going to be baptized next sunday. our zone is on fire right now, total there are 11 solid commits for the next few weeks. so it is going to be awesome. Well we still need alot of prayers! i really want to just blow it up this transfer. we have 4 weeks left, and alot of people that we have that need to be baptized plus plenty others that the lord has prepared that we just need to find. I really think that we could get 10 baptisms this transfer, but its gonna take alot of faith and miracles. My comp is awesome! i can tell that working this hard is taking a toll on him, but he is trucking right along. he is really excited to be "tearing it up" as he says haha. . well i love you all and i love sharing this gospel. Have a great week!
Hurrah For Israel!!
Elder Olsen(michael)

18 Jan 2010

I want to really focus on this transfer is just finding a ton of people. Especially cause I am now officially the mission “finding trainer” I will be starting with the Aps and training them and than the other zone leaders. So that will be really fun. I have been studying ch. 9 of pmg a lot lately. I am really excited for this next transfer, I think this is the companion that I have been waiting for my whole mission. We are literally going to exhaust ourselves in the work. He is a really hard worker! He is a bull rider from spanish fork, grew up on a farm and everything im pretty sure. But he is good and really obedient. And this is his 1st as a Zl so he will do whatever I say. I will give you some reports on how I am doing on finding those 30 new gators a week. I think we can definitely do it. I wanted to know if you ever faced this problem on your mission….
So there is just this attitude in the mission that has really been driving me crazy lately. I seriously have been thinking about it a lot. Last week I went on AP exchanges and even the AP had this attitude, I was shocked. This is the attitude: it doesn’t matter if you are obedient or not; it doesn’t effect how many baptisms you have.. The P-Dub(piece of work or disobedient) missionaires baptize more than the obedient ones. AHHHHH it is driving me crazy and its frankly a bunch of crap! I am seriously so sick of this attitude. Missionaires think that if they don’t baptize its okay, or its not their fault. There is nothing that they could have done to change the outcome. It just goes against everything that pmg and the scriptures say. “open your mouths and you shall be laden with many sheaves!” sheaves are convert baptisms. It doesn’t say open your mouths and maybe you will be laden with sheaves. It says you will! I just wish everyone could see how much of their success they control. Well after the exchange with the Ap I had finally convinced him that he was wrong. And his attitude is now changed. He says that this next transfer is going to be a blow out one for him. Its his last transfer. So did you see this in your mission at all? How did you deal with it? Its all whats in our minds. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive it can achieve” If we think we are going to baptize than we will, and if we think that oh I cant baptize,… well you probably wont. It is true that there are some disobedient missionaires that baptize a lot but that’s because they know that they can. They have faith in the converting power of the spirit and they have faith in themselves being able to teach and committ by that spirit. Thus they baptize. And than there are some obedient missionaires who have exactly the opposite mind set. They love the lord and they want to keep his commandments and the misison rules but they do not have real faith! We have all heard you cant convert someone past your own conversion. I believe that is directly related to our own faith in the power of the holy ghost. If we approach every single person that we talk to with the right attitude and optimism and confidence in the spirit, like every person that we talk to we know that the holy ghost is going to be there testifying to them, its just a matter if they are able to recognize the promptings. But if we approach every one like this than I think that we are allowing the spirit to work through us. At full capacity! But if we approach someone and we think oh they will probably not accept the gospel, than they wont! We personally are restricting the spirit to work through us. We don’t have faith that it will really touch someones heart and they will have the desire to change and to repent. This is so plain and simple to me. I just wish that everyone would understand this. Well please let me know if you have any thoughts on this or remarks. Or maybe you want to do some study on this. But I just believe that the power and capacity of the spirit is directly connected to our own faith and confidence in the spirit and ourselves to deliver the message it will put into our minds and hearts.

well sorry that was kind of long. but i am just really frustrated about it. i think that best way to fix this problem is to do 2 things. baptize alot of people and i mean alot. like shatter all mission culture or generalizations of how many baptisms the average missionary or even the great missionaries have. I seriously want to just have an explosive transfer. everytime i think about it my chest just starts pumping, I love this work! and 2nd i am going to be exactly obedient. i have been praying over this alot, and telling god all about this and my idea to fix this missions culture. I fully believe that he is backing me on this one. And that he will provide us with specific miracles that we are in need of to accomplish what we need to make a big change in everyones attitude in the mission. but i am going to need alot of prayers and so is my companion. and the people that we are working with. so please pray for us! specifically pray that people in our proselyting area will recieve visions and dreams that will prepare them to recieve the gospel. all right i have time for 1 cool story from this last week. so we have been teaching this man named david watson. he is 42 years old and had a stroke and a heart attack 3 years ago. he is not doing too great health wise. but he is a great guy. so last week we found him a ride to church but we couldnt get a hold of him sunday moring. . so we met with him this last week, we were with a member named bro. craig. we knocked on his door and he said that he didnt have time because he was going to bible study. well i convinced him to let us in until his ride came to pick him up. i asked him why he didnt come to church and he said that he wanted to go to the church that is right by his house cause it is easier and that is where he was last week. well i felt that i probably had about 5 minutes to teach this man. I taught the apostasy, if i have learned anything here in jamaica it is the apostasy . my testimony has grown so much of the great apostasy. I am right in the middle of it everyday here it is really crazy. so i feel that i have gotten really good at teaching it. so i taught the apostsy for a few minutes and just tore up any faith or belief that he had in any other church and than i built him back up with the restoration. It was really powerfull and at the end i said so david you cant go to any other church! you need to come to gods church and be baptized. He accepted to be baptized on the 31st and came to church yesterday. he really liked it. I love the spirit and the power that it has. I know that with god all things are possible. I love you all and i am gratefull for your support and prayers. Vive Israel!!!
Elder Olsen