May 27, 2013


Dear Mom,

That sounds like a great week. I love all the pictures, especially the one of Steven covered in mud. I bet 1000 Paper Cranes was amazing, and the piano recitals are always great. That's hilarious about Dave's weird food.

So Sister Leavey would have me tell you she's doing fine. Last time she said that I found her passed out in a pool of blood a few hours later, and I'm not sure she's as fine as she insists she is, but she's been working really hard and she definitely has been doing better, even though the hospital visit didn't really yield anything useful. (They only did a CT scan, and she knows full well that CT scans don't detect her condition, but she didn't say anything because she didn't want a spinal tap because we wouldn't be able to go out and work for weeks afterwards. As much as I'm trying to dismantle her hero complex, she has a valid point that even if they WERE able to make a positive diagnosis, they wouldn't be able to treat it, so I guess it would be pretty useless to put her out of commission that way.) But yeah, things have been improving and she has been feeling somewhat better. Fortunately, she interprets my blatant insensitivity as me trying to motivate her forget herself and go to work ;) 

So on Monday Sister Leavey just recuperated all day, so I just hung around the apartment until P-day was over, and then I worked on the long-term plan President Leavitt wants us to make. He wants us to plan for 5 transfers, which is until January 16!!! It seems so crazy to think about that! But it worked out well, because there's a lot of allocating specific hours for specific activities per week, per transfer, etc., and math isn't really a group activity. I had a fun evening making tables and doing math. I came up with a really neat way to organize all the information, and all the other missionaries want copies of it :)

On Tuesday we had district meeting, and since I had been stressed out over Sister Leavey I hadn't slept very well, and then there was all this stress going on with this musical fireside thing, and it may or may not have been a stressful day. The weird thing is, now I don't even remember what happened on that day, so apparently none of it was really important, haha. But then that afternoon we were just like, this is ridiculous, we're just going to go knocking and be productive and forget about all this for a bit. So we went knocking, and at the last house, we found a new investigator! Her name is Kim and she has tons of questions of the soul! She's going into Grade 12 in high school. We couldn't teach a long lesson because we had a less-active appointment to get to, but we introduced the Book of Mormon and committed her to read and pray. It was great!

Wednesday was AWESOME. Elder Morin, one of the APs who is actually a French-speaking missionary, was up in Newfoundland all week. He's like a legend. Most missionaries get between 20 and 40 key indicators a week, and he used to get numbers like 120! So he came up to NL to prepare for a Senior Couple who are coming to St. John's, and then he also went on exchanges with everyone. The way that worked for the sisters is Elder Tait went to Carbonear, and then Elder Beckert (the DL) and Elder Morin would come with us. It was the greatest thing ever. Somehow everything just clicked, and we had a ridiculous amount of success this week. I think we were working hard and trying to follow the Spirit already, but we were just missing something, and then when we got it, everything just took off!

So that morning we painted a less-active's house, and then we taught Elizabeth. Then we met with the Elders and we did some training and roleplays. Sister Leavey made a joke that Elder Morin and I should do a roleplay in French, so we ended up speaking French for the first little bit, just the getting-to-know-you part of the "lesson." It was hilarious. It was also kind of weird to talk to him because every once in a while he'd say something Quebecois and I'd know exactly what it meant, but I wouldn't have heard that word since Junior High when we were learning more Quebecois-style French. Then after that he came back to our apartment to look at our Area Book and long-term plan. He said it's the best one in the mission :) He took out his video camera and made me show him all the stuff we were doing on video so he could show President Leavitt. 

Then we went to get poutine for dinner. On the way into the restaurant, he started speaking to me in French, but I'm not used to that and I just assumed he was on the phone and ignored him, hahaha. Then Sister Leavey pointed it out to me and I apologized and we had a long conversation in French, which was just super exciting. He asked if I would like to serve French speaking, and I said that I had really wanted to go somewhere French speaking on my mission, but I hadn't really wanted to go to Montreal. In the process of explaining why, I said, "Comment dit-on 'awkward'?" and Elder Beckert and Sister Leavey just burst out laughing. I guess from their perspective it was "blah blah blah blah blah awkward?" Hahaha. Anyways. He said that I was the best at French out of all the Sisters, and that he'd tell President! So basically, if they decide to create a French-speaking Sisters area, I'll be going, which is exciting. At the same time, I really do love Newfoundland enough that I don't think I'd be disappointed if it never happens.

After that we went knocking for a bit, and we found a bunch of potentials and referrals. None of them actually worked out, but we learned SO MUCH. I think the biggest thing we noticed is how chill Elder Morin is about everything. It really makes a huge difference.

Then on Thursday morning we took Annie to a lesson with a potential, Doug. And he became a new investigator! He's one of those people who's very curious about things and kind of believes all religions are true, but is a devout Anglican at the same time. It was a pretty interesting lesson. He's a bit difficult to teach because he's very Newfoundlanderish in that he talks a LOT. He's in his 60s, and he has some sort of neurodegenerative disease, so we couldn't set up another appointment until June 6, so we'll see what happens. The good thing is, he gave the most solid commitment to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it that I've ever seen, so it was great.

Then we went finding and stuff, and then we met a less-active we hadn't visited before, Nicole. She's a young single mom. We were on our way to a dinner appointment and decided to stop in, so it was also a short lesson, but she was very welcoming, so we think we'll try working with her. She's recovering from kidney stone surgery, so the next day we stopped by in the early morning to put her garbage out. After our lesson with Nicole, we went to a dinner appointment with Tina and Russell, who are less-active. She fed us homemade pea soup. It was very Newfoundlander-y. Her son Russell is kind of hot and cold as far as whether or not he'll want to learn about the gospel, and this appointment he wasn't really interested, but we had a great lesson with Tina. We watched the John Tanner story, which is probably my favorite church movie ever.

Then we went knocking, and proved that we actually learned stuff from Elder Morin, and our success wasn't just him on Monday. We got 11 key indicators on Thursday!!! Two weeks ago, we got 11 in a week!!!!!!! It was so crazy! We were just so blessed!

Then on Friday we had correlation with the other missionaries in St. John's, and then we checked a few potentials and did weekly planning. Companionship inventory was pretty emotional, but in a good way, because of all the stuff that happened that week. At one point I was talking to Sister Leavey and I said, "I just love you so much," and I started tearing up and I thought, huh, that was weird. And then a few minutes later we were talking again and I started tearing up again and I interrupted myself with, "What the heck are you doing to me Sister Leavey?!?!" Hahahaha. She nearly died laughing. It was great. Really though, we're such great companions. It's just been fantastic to work with her. Then we went to a dinner appointment, which was a bit awkward because she fed us dinner and didn't eat anything herself, so it felt kind of weird. 

On Saturday we had exchanges. Sister Nelson, the STL, came up, which was really nice. It's weird because she and Sister Leavey did not get along at ALL when they were companions, but I get along with both of them. It was a great day; we did a service project! I was super proud of it because we got good potentials, had a few gospel discussions, and got future service opportunities, we did service, we got to wear the Helping Hands t-shirts, and it was high-profile enough that people we knock into are recognizing us from it! And Sister Leavey and I came up with it. Just saying. Haha. It was a city cleanup initiative in Mount Pearl, where everyone got together and cleaned up the park areas. All the St. John's missionaries came out for it, and then there was a BBQ afterwards, which was just a bonus.

After that we went to visit a less-active. She said that she doesn't come to church because she prayed about it and feels like her path is to legalize marijuana in Canada, and she knows that she's separating herself from the Church by doing so. And I said, "Do you think you can separate yourself from the Church without distancing yourself from God?" and she said, "No." Then I asked if she thought God would put her on a path that brings her further away from Him, and she said, "no." But I couldn't seem to get her to see the disconnect. Ironically, we had planned to teach from "Come, Follow Me" from President Eyering from last conference.

Then we went and met with the branch mission leader, since the Bay Roberts branch doesn’t have one and Sister Nelson wanted to get some advice. And thennnnnnnnn…we had a lesson with Michael! We had decided to stop by one last time earlier in the week, and he said we could come back! So we brought Sister Wood, who is AWESOME, and had a lesson. I went into it with no idea what was going on, and I was super nervous about it. It turns out, we just did a poor job of explaining the importance of the commitment to him, and he’s just being your typical 20-year-old guy about commitments. We had the most amazing lesson. He was like, “I didn’t read very much,” and we were disappointed, and then he said, “I just read this sermon by some king teaching his people…Benjamin?” And I was just thinking, HOLY COW YOU’RE IN MOSIAH??? And then we answered all these questions he had. I love teaching him so much because his brain works exactly like mine. I really have to stretch to my fullest capacity to teach him. It’s like, “Obscure Old Testament Verse. Quote from my Religion 121 class. Teaching of the premortal existence combined with the apostasy somehow leading to the baptismal commitment. Brief overview of lesson 3. Jump back to lesson 1. Teach kingdoms of glory. Come back to baptism.” It’s just insane. With everything else we’ve done, I really can see how the skills I’ve gained have made a difference, but he’s the first person we’ve taught where I feel like my natural talents that I brought to the mission are really important or indispensible. We had such an amazing lesson! We'd explain something and he'd say, "Ohhhhh...that's wonderful!" And he has such a great understanding! For instance, I taught the premortal existence with the Bible, and then he was like, "But the Bible doesn't explain this clearly. So the importance of the Book of Mormon is that it fills in what's missing from the Bible!" And we were like, "...Yeah!" And at one point Sister Nelson tried to go into the Restoration with him, and he taught the First Vision to her, completely perfectly. Then he basically started teaching us the third lesson: "So salvation comes in steps. First you have to have faith. Then you have to turn to God. Then you're baptized and confirmed. And then you have to keep keeping the commandments." And we were like, "...yeah!" So we put him back on date. And it was great! We were so pumped up! And I was just so happy! It was like, "This is why I got called to Newfoundland; because he really needs MY talents to teach him." It was so cool!

And then he didn't come to church. Nobody came to church. We had 5 really solid commitments, and nobody came. He was going to get a ride with Brother Lindsay, and apparently when he called he was totally awake, and he just said he wasn't coming. It's weird because church is so often the worst 3 hours of my week - we work so hard, and then church is like the really big thing that shows if we really got to anybody, and then people don't come. Buuuuuuuuuuut, there's a bright side! During the last hour, a non-member just SHOWED UP to church! His name is Mostafa, and he's that Iranian guy who lived in France I met at MUN! And I had that French conversation with him!!! And I had given him a Restoration pamphlet, and a pass-along card with the church address and service time on it, but since I was really new, I only got his phone number, and then I was just awkward about it and kind of avoided calling him for a bit and then forgot about him, because I'm not ALWAYS a good missionary. And then he CAME TO CHURCH last week! It was INSANE!!! I know the situation is a bit more nuanced than "I had a conversation with him in French and then he came to church," but that's how it happened in my head, and it made me really happy.

Then we had a really long mission correlation, and in the middle of it we got called to do service, but we were in our skirts! So we cleaned out someone's shed in our Sunday best. It was great. Then we had a fireside for the members, and hardly anyone showed up, but we still got like 10 people to make profiles, which would have taken ages had we visited each of them separately, committed them, and then followed up, so it was great. After the fireside, we had 36 key indicators, and we really wanted to get 40 this week, so we went finding. We had some initial lack of success, which was discouraging, but then we got in to teach a lesson! It seemed like a miracle! But then they weren't really interested, although we had a good chat. It was a bunch of roommates, and we were teaching mainly to one guy, but afterwards, a few other roommates requested cards, so we planted seeds. What's cool is he said that we were the first people he ever let in, because we did the door approach so much better than any of the Mormons or Jehovah's that had come by. So it was cool to see that our skills count for something. Sister Leavey thinks I've gotten really good at door approaches, which is cool because I remember being really really frustrated by being bad at it at the very beginning of my mission. And then at the last minute, we got two referrals on the street and contacted them, so we made 40! A couple of weeks ago it just seemed so unattainable. It was amazing. Despite some of the crazy stuff that happened this week, we're really happy at the moment.

Sister Jaclyn Olson

May 20, 2013


Dear Mom,

We're emailing at the church for the long weekend, but this is going to be short because Sister Leavey has been having some health problems and I'm pretty sure it's irregular pseudotumour cerrebri (which she has a history of, this isn't just me playing House), so we're going to go to the hospital pretty quick.
Good thing my week has been pretty boring. We worked pretty hard but didn't really see much success. It was pretty frustrating for the first part of the week. But then at the end of the week we got a bunch of referrals that fell into our lap and a ton of really great less-active lessons, so it was like the Lord was testing us to see if we'd be faithful without seeing immediate results.
One interesting thing that happened this week is we were on our way to a lesson (which fell through), and President Leavitt called. We were like, um, what? So I answered the phone and he said, "Sister Olson, we're conducting a survey of the sisters to see which speak French the best," and I thought, "OH MY GOSH I WANT TO SERVE FRENCH SPEAKING SO BAD!!!" Then he said, " I'm going to put you on the phone with Elder Morin and we'll see whether or not you can understand him." And I thought, "Are you kidding me, my ability to serve French speaking is going to be determined by my ability to understand a Quebecois accent over a staticky cell phone connection RIGHT NOW?"
Apparently President could hear the consternation in my voice when I responded, because he said, "Don't worry Sister Olson, it's not a pass/fail sort of thing; you won't be sent to Outer Slovenia if you don't do well," to which I replied, "No, I'll just keep serving in Newfoundland." He thought that was pretty funny. Then I had a conversation with Elder Morin. I was pretty nervous and so it wasn't my best French, but it was definitely a pretty good conversation. I think I understood everything and responded well, although I said "Pardon" in a French accent a lot and hoped it was an acceptable way to ask him to repeat himself. A lot. Haha. And now I won't know anything about it until maybe one transfer I'll get an email saying, "Hi, you're getting transferred French speaking! And since there are no French sisters in the mission right now, that means you're training! And since there are no French sister areas, you're opening a new area!" And then I'll be like, just kidding, I don't want to serve French speaking, I just want to keep being a junior companion in Newfoundland please.
I really want to serve French speaking, if you couldn't tell. Haha.
Other than that, not much has happened. We had another visit with Tina, and apparently Russell's read like half the Book of Mormon! She says it's a miracle! But then they didn't come to church. And she had "The Watchtower" in her apartment. So...yeah.

We also had a really great lesson with Annie. And then Sister Leavey left halfway through and we could hear her throwing up in the washroom, so I finished off the lesson and went to check on her. And apparently she also had a nosebleed and blacked out. You know what's not fun? Walking in to check on your companion and finding her unconscious in a pool of blood. And it took until this morning to get her to admit that she wasn't "fine." So we're going to go to the hospital now. Love you all.
Sister Olson

May 13, 2013

Mother's Day and Missionary Work

Dear Mom,

I find it funny that one of the longest emails you've sent me is right after you got to talk to me for an hour, haha :) It's good that your eye surgery was a perfect recovery, and working at a different office sounds pretty fun. It reminded me a lot of exchanges, where you learn new things, but it feels a bit weird because you don't know the area. That's so weird that Justin Comfort is a dentist now. I don't know what King Football is, but it sounds like Steven's doing really awesome! Top 20 in the province is amazing! I don't remember who Jensen Campbell married, but I feel like you told me about it when I called you at the airport, so maybe I should.

That's funny about Carter challenging everyone to races. He's such a great kid. Canada Wide Science Fair sounds fun. I'm pretty sure I somehow convinced myself that it wasn't important, because I never made it :) Haha. I could never think of science fair projects that were actually interesting.

It sounds like your Mother's Day was great. Since when are you all about flax seeds? Mother's Day was pretty great here too, although I'll admit that after the talks were over Sister Leavey said, "Didn't that talk have so many great applications to missionary work?" and I replied, "Honestly, it just made me think about how much I want to be a mom." Haha. But I was thinking about it, and it's really true. Sister Cooper gave an amazing talk, and at one point she was talking about how it doesn't make sense that people don't see motherhood as being as important as a career, and she said, "What career has the exaltation of a soul as its object?" And it occurred to me that in Preach My Gospel, it says, "As a missionary, you desire the salvation of souls." (Pg. 195). So really, missionary work and raising children are the only two endeavors with the exaltation of a soul as the goal. It's amazing! I really do have such a strong testimony of the importance of motherhood though, so I always love Mother's Day talks.

We didn't have a very successful week this week. It was basically just a lot of little things that added up to not doing well, some of which were our fault and some of which weren't. It reminded me of something Elder Walker said in Zone Conference. He was talking about batting averages and he broke down the numbers of how many actual hits a great player gets as opposed to a good player, and it was only like 1 more per game or something like that. And he said, the difference between good and great, or average and good, is only a little bit. And I think that's really true. So stuff happened like having exchanges with the District Leaders for a day (where we went and worked in their area with them; obviously they didn't split us up together) and having Zone Training, which took away time to work; Sister Leavey felt really sick for the beginning of the week, so we couldn't work as effectively; we were a bit burnt out from working ridiculously hard during our first week together because we were so excited and also so nervous; we spent time doing things that were important, like doing member service, but that didn't contribute to our goals; and then just not doing our best for whatever dumb reasons there were that day. But we had very constructive conversations about everything, and it's really nice to be able to start again every Monday with a new plan and new goals, so you can just have a fresh start and feel ready to work hard and do a good job again. It's kind of like the Sacrament that way.

So on Monday Sister Leavey and I had to drive all the way back to Bay Roberts, because President Leavitt told her to only pack for two weeks when she got transferred in early. So that took up all of P-day, which led to not being very temporally prepared for the rest of the week (another problem). Bay Roberts was really fun though. I finally got an authentic cod dinner, which was AMAZING. Sister Leavey got the cod tongue dinner, which was surprisingly non-gross, but the actual cod was still better. When we got home, we stopped by a referral from the Elders. We had a very long, interesting, and enjoyable conversation, but I'm not sure if it will turn into anything. He might just be the kind of guy who likes to sit around and talk, and not be sincerely interested in learning. But it was great. He and I think about things the same way, and it felt really nice to use some of my knowledge and opinions that are rarely needed. Then we had a district conference call to go over some new instructions from President Leavitt about key indicators and such, so we didn't get to do much work on Monday.

Then on Tuesday we had exchanges with the District Leaders, which was interesting. We worked in their area. I definitely learned a lot about door approaches and different ways to do things, which I really appreciate, because Sister Leavey and I have definitely been noticing we have no skills! And guess what? Investigators only like missionaries with skills. Nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... hahaha. The good thing that happened on Tuesday is we found new investigators! Yaaaaaay! We were knocking, and Jessica let us in, but it was a bit awkward because we just ended up standing in the entryway and talking. She and her roommate both have a belief in God and in prayer, but don't really go to church. We mentioned the Book of Mormon, and she realized that she'd actually talked to Elder Diodati at MUN, but she admitted that she only talked to him "because he's hot." So it was this awkward moment where I tried to figure out how to not have a conversation about the attractiveness of the other Elders. But as we kept talking, she eventually said that she really did want to learn more about this. It was a cool moment because she said she could recognize the strength and confidence we had, and she wanted to feel that way. It really made me appreciate the blessings of growing up in the church and having that assurance from God. It also made me appreciate how the church really does give you more confidence as a woman than the world does, even though the world tends to think it's the opposite.

Then on Wednesday, Sister Leavey felt really sick, so I worked on updating the missionary bulletin board in the church building while she suffered. We had planned to go up to CBS and Paradise, which is a pretty long drive so we prefer to make it an all-day event to use our kilometres efficiently, but we just ended up going for the evening. We were knocking a certain street because we got a referral but the person who gave it to us didn't know the house number. Everyone was super uninterested, but eventually one lady said we could come back. Before we left, we said, "Oh by the way, do you know so-and-so who lives on this road?" And it was her! It was great.

Then on Thursday we finished the missionary bulletin board (which looks AMAZING, if I do say so myself), and then we went to MUN again. We ended up talking to this guy who seemed sincerely interested on one hand, but who also was giving us weird vibes, so we told the Elders to go visit him even though he's in the new sisters' area. So we'll see how that pans out. Then we visited a less-active, Tina. We were having a pretty good lesson, but we couldn't really manage to commit her to coming to church. Then her 19-year-old son interrupted. He was baptized with her when he was 10, but since they went less active pretty quickly, he doesn't know ANYTHING about what we teach. But he had really sincere questions, so we ended up teaching him the Plan of Salvation and committing him to read 2 Nephi 2. When she saw her son was really interested, her whole attitude changed, and she started making plans of who they could get rides from to go to church, and saying, "Or we could even just walk there!" She was totally into it. Family is definitely a great way to bring people back. It was great. She was out of town this weekend, so we'll see them again this week and hopefully get them to come out again. After that, we went to the Sundbergs' house and they gave us a TON of food, since they're going on vacation for 3 weeks and they had all these perishables. And she's a really great cook, so it's all stuff like hummus, feta cheese, gnocci, etc. The food snob in me was very pleased. Then we went and taught Lisa, and we found out that Louis is moving out! Woohoo! We've been working on that for months!

On Friday we had correlation with the Elders, and we went to see Elizabeth. It didn't seem like a very special lesson, but she came to church WITH HER DAUGHTER this week, and it's the first time I've seen Avril at church! It was so great! It was probably the best part of my week! Then on Friday night we had dinner at Sister Cooper's and then taught Annie there. We watched "The John Tanner story" and talked about making sacrifices for the Lord (like moving out of your boyfriend's apartment *cough*). It was a really spiritual lesson and everyone was crying, even Sister Cooper's 5-year-old-son. And then Annie didn't come to church. It was frustrating. 

Then on Saturday we had Zone Training with our new Zone Leader, Elder Wolsey. Elder Hadley was transferred out and Elder Houle stayed here for his last transfer. It was really great and we learned a lot. Then we went and met with Sister Lane to organize a musical fireside. We're going to have songs about Christ and play the Life of Christ Bible videos in the background on silent, interspersed with classical pieces that will hopefully be performed by non-members we're trying to bring in. And also performed by me. Haha. It's going to be fantastic. Then we went and helped Sister Larsen clean her old house, since she's moving from the Elders' area into our area. She was extremely impressed by the OCPD job I did on the fridge, haha. My neuroses are totally getting me into the hearts of the members. Then we went and knocked for a bit, but it was strangely unproductive that evening.

On Sunday was Mother's Day, as we all know, and as I already talked about a bit. Then we went knocking for a bit and got a great potential, but we wasted a lot of time going back and forth between Institute and Annie's house and trying to figure out what's going on with her. 

I don't remember which day this was, but Michael dropped us, which was sad. The Friday before last, he called us to cancel an appointment because of a work meeting that came up, but he said, "I'll be at church on Sunday and you can teach me after church, etc.", and he still seemed really into it. But sometime shortly thereafter, he stopped answering our calls and texts, and nobody would answer when he went by. Finally we went by and his roommate's five-year-old son went to the door and we asked him if Michael was there and to go get him. He ran back into the house and we could hear him say, "Micheal, it's your friends! It's those girls!" Then he came back and said, "He won't come. Why won't he come?" It was adorable but heartbreaking at the same time. I had finally remembered the Spanish Book of Mormon for his dad, and I even remembered enough Spanish to write a basic testimony in the front, so I gave that to him. It was really hard to convince him to accept it, since he was worried that it was mine and that I wouldn't have one any more. Haha. It was adorable.

That's pretty much all for this week. I love you all!

Sister Jaclyn Olson

May 6, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk

Dear Mom,

So we've been talking about skyping amongst us but we haven't come to any clear consensus yet. We have church from 10-1 pm our time and mission correlation until usually about 3 pm our time, and then we can't do it from 4-8 pm NL time because of your church. So I guess you can all wake up really early and we can do it in the morning, or we could plan on doing it at 8 pm. I'll talk to the others more and get back to you later.

That's pretty exciting that Chloe's going to YW activities, and I'm sure everyone is glad that Carmen is done preparing for science fair. I'm totally envious of Steven for Damon's cooking, that sounds great. And it's crazy that he's playing D-line. I thought he already played defence though. I guess there are probably other defensive positions than lineman? I don't know.

Sister Leavy, my new companion, and I said "May the fourth be with you" the other day when we were doing a door approach, since the guy was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. Haha.

It's probably good for you to be phased out of RDL council so that they're prepared for when all the kids leave the school and you have no more reason to be there :)

No, I haven't seen Elder Widdup. I don't even know where he's serving right now. That's too bad about Elder Jensen's companion, we didn't hear about that. That makes me feel better though because I'd noticed that his area had a huge drop in key indicators recently and I was a bit worried about what was going on with him, so I'm glad it wasn't a problem on his end.

So this week, on Monday Sister Leavey, Sister Keeler, and Sister Nelson came up from Bay Roberts, and Sister Judd and Sister Nelson left for the training meeting. Sister Leavey is one transfer older than me, and Sister Keeler came out with me, so we were all brand new and I was the only one who knew the area. It was pretty great. We went and had a lesson with a less-active, which went really well, and then her friend was over, who is a former investigator, and she set herself up an appointment with us for the next day.

We went out to Cape Spear again since Sister Leavey and Sister Keeler had never been.

Then on Tuesday, we went to visit another less active family. It was very clear that she had absolutely no interest in the church whatsoever, but from what she said, it sounded like she's let lots of missionaries in before just to be nice. Her family fell away from the church when she was very young, and it was sad to see how the choices of other people turned her so completely away from the church. Oh well. After that, we took advantage of the fact that we had a trio to go and see Michael, since we need a third sister to see him since he's a single guy. He'd cancelled on our appointment with him last week. But we came in this week and watched the Restoration DVD, and he said he believed the Book of Mormon was true and he believed in the Restoration, so I committed him to baptism and put him on date for June 15! When we got outside, Sister Leavey started screaming when we got in the car. It was really funny. Later that night Elder Beckert called us and he was like, "Why didn't you do this and this and this?" and I said, "Because I can count on one hand the number of people to whom I've taught the Restoration; I don't know anything about having someone on date!" Haha. You know the part in The Best Two Years when the investigator agrees to be baptized, and then he says "What now?" and Elder Rogers says, "I don't know; I've never gotten this far."? It's exactly like that. Haha.

We did some more less active visits, and we tried to go visit potentials and formers, but nobody was interested. We also did some knocking. I really liked getting to see different ways of doing door approaches. The whole trio thing was a great learning experience for all of us. Then on Wednesday evening, we went to go visit the former from Monday. She said she absolutely knew the church was true, and that the Atonement could help her overcome her addictions and make changes in her life, but that she wasn't going to do it yet because she wasn't ready to change. And I asked if she had a desire to be ready, and she said no. So I asked if she would pray for that desire, and she said no. She just wasn't willing to make or keep any commitments, or do anything to progress, which was really sad, because we knew how much the Gospel could help her, but we also knew that she wasn't ready to be taught. And then when I was there, her 8-year-old daughter brought out a guitar someone gave her, and I offered to tune it, and since it was really old, I broke one of the strings! I felt SO bad, and of course I promised to replace it. But it worked out okay, because a few days later we walked by a house and some guy was playing the guitar with his back door open, so I stopped and asked him where to buy guitar strings, and he just gave me the one I needed, and we gave him a card.

On Wednesday night we picked Sister Nelson up at the airport at 11:30 pm, and I can't believe how difficult it is to adjust my sleep schedule now. Their flight was delayed and we got home at 1 am, and Sister Leavey and I have been totally exhausted for the rest of the week.

So on Thursday it was Sister Leavey and I's first day with just the two of us. We're both so ready to work hard and we work REALLY well together, so it was an awesome weekend. We went to MUN with the Elders again, and then we contacted some referrals and taught Elizabeth about patience. She said it was exactly what she needed to hear, which was pretty cool, since we had modified the lesson plan just that morning in response to some promptings. It's such an amazing feeling to diligently seek for the Spirit, and then to clearly see the direct blessings in people's lives. It's also great when you follow promptings and just trust that it was for a reason even though you don't understand, but it's nice to see the direct result once in a while :)

After that we went to go check out a Headquarters referral. She wasn't home, so we knocked her street. Everyone was so grumpy. The Baptist lady we knocked into was the nicest person on the street. We also learned that Sister Leavey shouldn't go knocking when she's tired, because she said some pretty funny things. It was so great. We both had great senses of humour about it - the bigger problem was keeping a straight face at the door. We have so much fun together.

On Thursday evening we had a Sports Night to bring less actives and investigators to. We played volleyball. I've noticed that there have been multiple times on my mission where I'm really glad that I always tried as hard as I could to learn things in gym in Junior High, even though I was terrible at it, because now when we want to play basketball or volleyball or whatever, I can really just enjoy myself and have a good time and not feel dumb about it. I definitely did some uncoordinated things that night, but I had a surprising number of strangely athletic moments as well. It was really funny to see how competitive Elder Diodati and Brother Lindsay got about it. Sister Leavey didn't bring any sports clothes up from Bay Roberts, since they didn't tell her if she was permanently staying with me and advised her to only pack for two weeks, so she played in a skirt, haha.

Then on Friday we did a lot of weekly planning. And then we were supposed to have an appointment with Michael, but he cancelled because he had a work meeting come up. I was really disappointed because we did a LOT of preparation for that lesson. I don't think I've ever studied for something that earnestly in my life. We were going to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the things he needs to do to prepare for Baptism, and also the Holy Ghost and why we need to pray for answers, since he's been having trouble understanding that. Preparing for the lesson was definitely the most sincerely I've prayed on my mission, and basically all I said was, "I have NO IDEA what I'm doing here, you have to help me with this." And then I totally felt the enabling power of the Atonement helping me to prepare the lesson and get ready, and then he cancelled so I didn't get to teach it anyways. It was still a cool experience though.

Then on Saturday, transfer letters came, and Sister Leavey is staying with me! I was so happy because we both work so well together and I love her so much! Elder Diodati and Elder Raymant are moving out to Carbonear to open a sub-district there with the Bay Roberts sisters, and they're being replaced with a set of sisters, which is exciting. Then we taught Annie, and I committed her to move out of her boyfriend's apartment and back to the states by the end of May, which was awesome! It seemed like a ridiculously early date in my head, but I just followed the Spirit and said it totally seriously with all the faith I could muster. Sister Leavey blurted out, "MAY, are you serious?!", but Annie took it seriously and then she said yes! It was great!

After we taught Annie, we decided we were going to walk all day to save k's, so we went to Cowan Heights park and did "chalk finding."

We drew Plans of Salvation on the pavement and wrote questions of the soul with the website and stuff. It was great.

People talked to us and asked us questions, and one lady came up and said, "I can tell you're missionaries by your face. You should go visit my son. Here's his address." It turned out to be a referral for Central's area, and a wrong address, but it was still a cool moment. Then we went back to the church and watched a baptism in Grand Falls via Skype. After that, we knocked a street, and everyone was SO NICE. It was weird. I was exhausted from the end of the day from all the walking though. Having a car in our area is totally spoiling me.

And then on Sunday...haha. That was an interesting day. Michael had called us and said he would come to church and we could meet with him afterwards, but then he didn't show up and we couldn't get ahold of him afterwards, which was really sad. But I was honestly a bit relieved that he didn't come, because we had a very interesting testimony meeting. There's this former investigator in the area who was taught by sisters for a while, and it was kind of one of those situations where she became really good friends with the sisters and it was more about them being her therapist than her progressing towards baptism. Eventually, she was dropped, because she wasn't prepared to make some fairly significant changes and she still isn't, but she still comes to church once in a while (sometimes with coffee in her hand). She's a huge drama queen and likes attention, and she likes to tell people things like, "I'm the non-member member. I want to be a member, but the Sisters don't love me anymore so they won't teach me." So she gets up to bear her testimony, and I think to myself, "Oh, this is going to be good." Her testimony opened with, "I was married to another woman for 10 years." Yep. It didn't get any less weird from there. The other missionaries were pretty ticked off about the whole thing, since it was one of those hilariously insane testimonies and she used it to try to guilt trip us into teaching her again and/or look bad, but I was just way too amused by the situation to be mad. I think it's a real blessing to be able to see the humour in everything, but once again, I had trouble keeping a straight face. It was great.

Sister Leavey and I were really happy yesterday because we more than doubled our key indicators from last week to this week! It was amazing! The funny thing is, most of our success didn't come from us at all. We just worked ridiculously hard, and the Lord just handed us referrals right and left from every source.

We watched the CES fireside with Elder Walker last night. It started at 9:30 because of the time difference! He said some pretty great stuff. He told about one time President Monson was late to a really important meeting of all the General Authorities, and that when he came in he said, "Brethren, I'm sorry to be late, but my wife needed me this morning." I thought that was a really sweet story about how important the marriage relationship is to the Lord. Elder Walker also gave us 5 ways to follow President Monson's example:

(1) Be positive
(2) Be kind and loving towards children
(3) Follow the promptings of the Spirit
(4) Love the temple
(5) Be kind, considerate, and love others.

That's all for this week! I love you all!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

PS - I forgot the best part of putting Michael on date! I gave him the standard commitment, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" He was quiet and thought about it, and I thought, "Dang it, there's going to be concerns, and I'm going to have to resolve them, and this is going to be hard, blah blah blah..." Then he smiled and said, "When?" Not "Yes" or "no" - just "when?" It was amazing!