June 24, 2013

More rain back home than in the maritimes

Dear Mom and everybody,
First of all, yes I would still like my flute shipped out, but you should definitely ship it to the mission office and not to my apartment. As for a wall colour for my room, I really liked how our house was all one colour, so it kind of bothers me inside my mind that it will be different colours. But I think I'd like a light neutral colour...a warm light neutral colour...like a warm beige or something. So then it still goes with the green of the rest of the house and all the other colours. Instead of all this clashing every time you walk into a different room. But you can do whatever you want. [Insert comment about how often I plan to live at home after my mission ;)]. Maybe you could mail me paint swatches, hahaha.
I heard about the flooding! That's totally crazy! I heard the Saddledome was under water up to row 10! Everyone was like, how is your family? And I was like, I DON'T KNOW, IT HASN'T BEEN P-DAY YET. Haha. But I wasn't actually worried, seeing as you live on a hill and whatnot. I also heard houses in Cranbrook or Canmore or something were floating down the river. CRAZY.
I can't believe diplomas are OPTIONAL. That's so nuts! Just in Calgary, or everywhere? That's NEARLY as crazy as Chloe asking for nailpolish. Nearly. On a related but somewhat irrelevant note, I've been doing my nails on a regular basis for some reason. Companionship unity?
So on Monday night we went to teach Christine, the former we picked up on Sunday. It was a really amazing lesson. The entire time the Spirit was just so strong, like it was saying, "Yes, this is where you two need to be right now." It was so cool!
On Tuesday we put on the helping hands t-shirts again and cleaned up a park near Mount Pearl, which was great. Elder Amaya talked to a bunch of people and gave away a Book of Mormon. The rest of us were like, "...we need to be better missionaries." Haha. Then we had a lesson with Bernice again, and she found her large print Book of Mormon and read from it! Progress, yay! We also got to work in the new part of our area, which was really fun. It has a lot of the more downtown, old-school St. John's stuff, which is BEAUTIFUL.
On Wednesday morning we had another lesson with Christine. When we got there, she was cleaning her car, so we helped her with that for a while. Then we tried to teach her, but she kept doing other stuff while we were teaching and part of me was getting kind of frustrated with the fact that it seemed to be going nowhere and how much time we were spending. But the Spirit was just like, "No, Sister Olson, chill out." So I decided to be patient. (By the way, Sister Leavey said in companionship inventory that she appreciates how patient I am. I just thought I'd point out that someone called me patient and was not being sarcastic about it.) Finally, she said, "So this is a little off-topic, but do you know what popped into my head at church right after my epiphany?" "No, what?" "I thought to myself, I could get a divorce from my wife." I was like, WOAH. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING ANYTIME SOON. They're totally separated, but she hasn't gotten a divorce yet because she has expensive medical bills and needs to be on her wife's health plan. But she said that she wanted to be obedient to Heavenly Father and that she had faith that it would all work out. WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT. She still doesn't think same-gender relationships are wrong, which is pretty much her last major concern, so we've been researching that. It was a crazy moment though.
On Thursday we went to MUN to do the booth again, which was fun but not particularly noteworthy. After that, we went and saw Regina again, the blind less-active who asked us to come last week. It was a good lesson, and she prayed at the end, which she was totally against doing last time! It was a super beautiful prayer and I think we managed to bring her some peace. Then we saw another less-active, Jaxcine, who also has a lot of issues. She's also illiterate. At one point she was telling us about how her psychologist gave her a booklet about her disorder, but she can't read, so she doesn't know anything about it. I offered to read it to her, so I opened it up and said, "It says you have Borderline Personality Disorder." "Yeah, I don't know what that is!" And I said, "Well, I do!" Her demeanor completely changed. It was so cool. I think she just really appreciated having someone who understood and could help her understand, and also that Sister Leavey and I are just patient with her. It was cool to see how my random facts helped someone open up :) After that, Sister Leavey was feeling super sick again, so we went home and I worked on a giant wall map that we've been making in our spare time. It looks awesome.

This is the map I made while Sister Leavey was sick. We're going to use those colour-coding dots to correlate it with our area book, so we can see where all the members, investigators, formers, and less-actives live. (It's not done yet, but this is how far we've gotten so far.)

On Friday, we had correlation and weekly planning, and then Christine texted us saying that she was really sick and she wanted a blessing. So we went with the Elders to give her a blessing. Before the blessing, Elder Amaya shared a scripture from the same chapter in the Book of Mormon that we'd planned to open our next lesson with! And then she jumped on it, of course, and he went to the next scripture we'd planned to use! It was SO COOL! Then we taught the lesson we'd planned, and then he gave her a really powerful blessing. It was great.
On Saturday we had Zone Training, which was really fun. They decided that all of us would ride down in the Elder's truck, which has a middle front seat kind of like the one in our Chevy avalanche, except smaller. I'm the smallest, so I ended up sitting between two Elders. Awkward...haha. I gave the doctrinal discussion on faith preceding the miracle, and everyone really liked it, which was good, because Elder Beckert forgot to assign someone and he called me on Friday and asked me to do it. He felt bad, but I told him not to worry about it, because I probably wouldn't have started it until then even if he'd asked me a week ago. Haha. Apparently at the last leadership meeting, President Leavitt told all the ZL's to tell their missionaries that if they speak any French, they should be working on it, because they're going to expand the French part of the mission, and he specifically mentioned me as an example. So that definitely motivated me to study more! They gave out a study schedule that President Leavitt wants us all to follow for the next transfer, so I decided to follow it in English and French. I've already memorized all the How to Begin Teachings, the First Vision, and a couple of scriptures. After the Zone Training, we had a barbeque with the Bay Roberts branch, which was delicious. We got back that evening and went finding, but didn't really have any success.

On Sunday, we pretty much had a regular day, but nothing particularly noteworthy happened. We went to the broadcast, obviously, and it was super great. It made Sister Leavey and I realize that we really needed to step it up in a few areas, so we made some great goals last night of how to do so, and I already just feel so much better!
Today is "Discovery Day" in NL, so we're all emailing at the church. While we were waiting to email, Sister Miehe and Sister Christensen got a call from President Leavitt saying that Mostafa could be baptized!!!!!! I don't know if I filled you in on this, but he's the guy I had the conversation in French with at MUN, and the East sisters were teaching him, but he's from Iran and so at first it looked like he wouldn't be able to be baptized. But he is!!! We are SO excited!!!
I love you all!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

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