June 3, 2013

Yes B'y!

Dear Mom,

That sounds like a pretty fun week for sure. I'm glad everyone got to do cool stuff, and I bet Grandma and Grandpa were really happy to see everyone again.

We had a pretty good week. On Monday Sister Leavey and I went shopping, because she had bought all her clothes in January and they were all very dreary and depressing looking. After we got home, Sister Leavey put her debit card in a Tupperware, filled it with water, and placed it in our tiny freezer. Hahaha. 

On Tuesday we had a joint district meeting in Bay Roberts. Bay Roberts used to be a part of our district, but then the St. John's East elders got transferred out to Carbonear and they made a sub-district. It was really fun. Elder Wolsey and Elder Houle, the ZL's, were there, and at one point Elder Houle was doing a part of the training. He was having trouble explaining himself and he said, "I 'ave ze word in French," so I said, "Well, what's the word in French?" He hesitated, then said, "...okay, so I do not 'ave ze word in French either." Hahaha. Elder Wolsey thought it was really funny - apparently Elder Houle uses that excuse all the time. After district meeting, we all went and sang hymns at the old folks' home in Bay Roberts. It was a pretty legit setup, with microphones and everything. At one point Elder Houle and I ended up singing "Souviens-toi" together, which is a French hymn. According to Sister Leavey, it was "nice, but a bit off-key." Hahaha. Neither Elder Houle or I are really a-capella-duet-material, I guess. It was hard to sing well because I'm not overly familiar with the words OR the lyrics. But I enjoyed myself.

After we got back to St. John's, our appointment with Kim fell through, but we picked up a new investigator, Bernice, who's a former. She's the mother of one of the less-actives the Elders are working with. She has MS, and she's a really nice lady, but if she does progress, I can tell it will be slow. But in between when the missionaries taught her before and now, she HAS made progression; I think they just got impatient and gave up on her too quickly. We committed her to baptism at the end of the lesson and she said, "Well, I was already baptized as a baby." Sister Leavey's a convert, so she just replied, "Me too," with this smile on her face like she was saying, "So what's your point?" It was great. I was just sitting there thinking, "YES B'Y!" And then afterwards she apologized to me for trying to commit Bernice to baptism when it wasn't in the lesson plan, haha. What a terrible companion I have, who follows the Spirit in extending baptismal commitments. So Bernice has persistently refused to say yes to baptism, but she doesn't get upset by us committing her either, and I feel like it's been a good experience.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Michael. We couldn't find a third sister, so we brought his kitchen chairs outside and sat in the backyard. It was a rather sad lesson. He saw some anti on the Internet, and it's totally back to square one. The last few lessons, there was just this light in him and he'd totally accept everything we said, and he'd have tough questions, but they were along the lines of "I already believe it without understanding it; now help me understand it." Now he's back to his original concerns from the first lesson about how the Spirit works and how to recognize answers, except more so. His previous experience has all been very Pentecostal, speaking-in-tongues type of thing, and even though he's sincerely seeking for truth, he's totally looking beyond the mark. I think he has an answer, but he's not willing to accept that that's how the answer will come. And then we've had trouble contacting him for the rest of the week.

On Thursday we had "exchanges" with Elder Beckert and Elder Tait again, where we went and worked in their area. They also came with us to another lesson with Bernice, and her home care worker, Nicole, was there, so we picked her up as a new investigator. Now we just have to see if she's genuinely interested, or if she was just being polite because she was paid to be there. Haha. Elder Beckert kind of took over Sister Leavey's part of the lesson, but she didn't mind because we both learned a lot from seeing him teach. Then we went to contact a few people in their area and taught a lesson. After that, we had a dinner appointment with a family in our branch, and they're awesome! Plus they're American, and they made taco salad with homemade tortilla bowls, and it was SO GOOD. There isn't even a Taco Bell here in Newfoundland, so any chance for Mexican food is much appreciated! After that, we had our monthly "blitz night," where we go on splits with the members and visit less-active members. Except hardly any members showed up, so we decided to go on mini exchanges with the St. John's East sisters to make it more fun. Sister Christensen and I visited someone named Jeff, who said that he's been thinking about coming to church for a couple of weeks, "And every time I do that, the missionaries knock on my door!" Haha, funny how that works eh? So we had a GREAT lesson with him. Sister Christensen is even newer than I am, so I took the lead in everything, and it was nice to see that my skills have improved. I've learned a lot from Sister Leavey about getting to know people and getting their concerns out, which is always the more difficult part of the lesson for me - teaching the doctrine is really easy in comparison.

Then on Friday we had another lesson with Elizabeth, which was good, and then we did weekly planning, and then we had a dinner appointment ALL THE WAY in Conception Bay South, on the LAST DAY OF THE MONTH when we had no kilometers! We managed to stay under, but it feels like a huge waste to go up to CBS just for an evening.

On Saturday we did another community park cleanup. It was pretty cold, and hardly anyone came, but on the plus side, there was TONS of food at the BBQ afterwards. I may or may not have eaten 4 hotdogs, 2 cans of diet coke, and a donut. I was pretty surprised. Then we had an appointment fall through, so we visited some members who live on the same street. I was a bit frustrated because it's REALLY hard to get out of these particular members' house quickly, but then at the end I used a scripture Elder Morin taught us in 3 Nephi 11 where the Nephites have to hear the Savior's voice 3 times before they understand it. So I asked, "Who have you referred the missionaries to in the past who could benefit from another contact?" and  we got 6 referrals!!!!! It was awesome! Then that evening, we visited Tina, one of the less-actives we work with, and we FINALLY visited Annie. We hadn't been able to contact her all week and we were getting worried about her. She's really stressed out about moving back to Tennessee on Tuesday, so we were able to help her with that.

Yesterday we had church, and we managed to get Annie to come, which was good, but nobody else came again. But the East Sisters got Mostafa to come again! It was fantastic! He's not my investigator, but he just makes me so happy. He's totally golden. Then we had a practice for a musical fireside we're putting on in July, and then mission correlation after that. It was a long time at the church. Sister Leavey started feeling really sick again during mission correlation, so we ended up cancelling our appointments for the evening and I worked on the long-term plan and creating a comprehensive list of what we know about all the less active members that the branch mission leader requested while she slept.

Today looks like it will be a pretty quiet P-day, just cleaning our apartment and stuff. Hopefully it actually happens - we plan to have a relaxing P-day every time, and then we end up doing something all day. Haha.

At one point last week, I was reading President Uchtdorf's talk "Your Wonderful Journey Home" from the most recent YW's broadcast, and it totally changed my perspective on missionary work. It occurred to me that at one point in the pre-existence, every single person on Earth decided that they wanted to follow God's plan. They ALL came here wanting to have the gospel and live it so that they could receive the blessings, which means that everyone, whether they seem receptive or not, wants it deep down inside. And then I had this moment where I just felt like, oh my gosh, all these people who don't have the gospel and are failing a test they don't even know they're taking!!! What do we do???? And then I remembered, Hey, Sister Olson, you're a missionary! Hahaha.

I love you all!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

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