July 22, 2013


Dear Mom,

So last P-day was some random holiday, Orangeman's Day or something, so the library was closed. We were all emailing at the church, when the power went out! We weren't able to email or anything, so we decided to drive beyond the limits of the power outage to get some lunch, which gave me the opportunity to convince everyone to go to Wok Box so I could get some butter chicken and samosas. It was great. After that, the power went back on, so we finished emailing. Then, we found out that the other sisters' car, which was in for repairs, was going to take several DAYS, not several hours, which was a problem since they had lessons all over the city that evening. We called the Zone Leaders and decided that they would drive our car, and we would walk, since we were just going to be finding that evening anyways. It was pretty fun though.

And then Tuesday happened. It was great. Sister Leavey and I had been talking, and we realized, we're doing a super lame job of being bold. We haven't extended the baptismal invitation to anyone in WEEKS. So we decided to challenge all of our investigators to baptism this week. And it turns out, when you challenge people to baptism, sometimes they say yes! We taught Christine about the roles of men and women, and about the Atonement, and then Sister Leavey just went for it. She admitted that all of her real concerns had been resolved, and that everything else was just an excuse. So she's on date for October 5! Then we went to a lesson with Jeremy. We challenged him to baptism as well, and he's on date for September 7! TWO PEOPLE IN THE SAME DAY. It was TOTALLY crazy! (We later decided to let the Elders teach Jeremy since we have so many investigators, and since he's a single guy it's really more convenient.) So yeah, that was pretty much the best day EVER. Right after that, we had a lesson with Jaxcine, a less-active, and then we taught Jay (our investigator who was already on date) without his girlfriend, and with the senior couple. Elder and Sister Noftle are really great, and the Spirit was super strong during the lesson. Following that, we taught Lisa again. We had so many teaching appointments that we didn't even have time to eat! We went through a drive-through, but then we ended up eating it cold after our lessons because we had NO TIME, haha. And then that evening we checked the mail, and Mason surprised me by sending me his French grammar book from the MTC, which was just like the perfect capstone to my day. It was SUCH A GREAT DAY.

Wednesday was a lot more chill. We taught another less-active who used to be totally stalwart, but who has now been less-active for about 14 years. We felt like we were really getting through to her, and even though she didn't come to church, we hope that we're actually making progress. After that, we did a bit of knocking, but it was extremely unproductive. Also, we nearly got chased by an angry nest of wasps, so I wasn't particularly keen on that street, haha. Then...I don't really remember, but I think we must have stopped in on another less-active, since we have two RCLA visits for that day. After that, we "taught" Angela, our Catholic nun investigator. We ended up doing some service helping her get rid of some old books and stuff in her basement, which took a pretty long time, and then she wasn't really in "lesson mode" after that, and she kept going off on these really long tangents. She's one of the most brilliant people I've ever met, and it was interesting to listen to, but we didn't really get to teach anything, which was super frustrating. I guess we learned that we have to come in with a really solid lesson plan and start the lesson FIRST, haha. She also insisted on serving us snacks, so she gave us these SUPER old potato straws that were really soggy because it's so humid here...it was pretty much the grossest thing ever. It was great, in one of those "that was a total gong show" funny moment ways.

On Thursday, we found out that one of the members from Bay Roberts, Sister Leavey's previous area, was in the hospital because he'd fallen off a ladder and was in the ER, so we went to go visit him. They were super vague about whether or not he was in Orthopedics or in the ER, so we ended up wandering the entire hospital. Half the time I totally felt like, "I should be a doctor when I grow up, this is fascinating!" and the other half the time I was like, "...ew..." haha. After that, we visited Tina, which was really nice since she's been working a lot so we weren't able to see her for a couple of weeks. Then we had Bible Study at MUN, followed by a dinner appointment with the Coopers. We've been trying to make our messages more kid-friendly since they're one of the young families in our ward, so we did an object lesson that involved wrapping their 5-year-old in Saran Wrap. Sister Cooper totally loved it and insisted on taking pictures and everything, haha.

We taught a lesson about the flaxen cords

Friday was Zone Conference. President Leavitt and the AP's came up, which was really fun. He talked about how many are called, but few are chosen, and that we all received a mission CALL, but we have to become CHOSEN by giving our hearts to the Lord. It was awesome. He also talked about the difference between "window people" and "mirror people." We read in Moses where the Plan of Salvation is revealed in the pre-mortal existence, and Satan uses "me" or "I" 6 times in one verse. But when the Savior speaks, he only ever says "thee" and "thy" and whatnot. It was really cool. We did a lot of roleplays, and they videotaped us and then played it back in front of everyone. It was really funny and very instructive. Although I think my biggest takeaways were, "I need to have better posture," and "Does my voice REALLY sound like that?" haha. Also, I need to smile more. So I worked on that all weekend, and Sister Leavey said yesterday, "You've been so happy today, it's been great!" I was like, "I feel this way every day, I'm just trying to make my outsides match my insides." Hahaha. Right after Zone Conference, we had a lesson with Jay and Kerianne, but it wasn't so great because the APs sat in for a bit, but then they left halfway through, and then President Leavitt popped in to say hi right at a crucial moment, so we'll have to reteach it. Then we had a branch activity that we planned, which was a fire on Topsail Beach. We just roasted marshmallows and fellowshipped - we want the people here to see that church activities can be a good thing, instead of just feeling like they're a burden. It was the only evening of nice weather, which was a HUGE blessing, and lots of people came! Christine came too, and her son made some friends, which was great.


On Saturday we had "exchanges" with the Elders, where we work with them for the day. President Leavitt interrupted our companionship study, and he talked to us about how if we do the same things we've always done, we'll get what we've always gotten. This really inspired us, so we changed our plans on the fly. We recently received a whole bunch of membership records from Salt Lake that nobody knows anything about, and we decided to track these people down. We actually found two of them, which was awesome! Then we went and gave Jaxcine a blessing (well, the Elders did), and her home care worker was there, who happens to be a former investigator of the other sisters. She asked for a blessing as well, and we're really hopeful that East will be able to pick her back up.

On Sunday, President Leavitt rearranged the branch presidency, which was a huge surprise, and called Elder Noftle to be the branch president! It was really exciting. Then in correlation, we decided to make a long-term plan as a district, which I am SUPER excited about because planning is probably the part of missionary work that I'm the best at, haha. But then correlation took a really long time, and we were all starving. That evening, Sister Leavey was sick so we just stayed in the apartment, which was a bit of a quiet end to the week, but overall it's been GREAT. The Lord has definitely been blessing us with so much. It's crazy to me that when I first came to Mount Pearl, it was one of the lowest areas in the mission and we didn't have investigators for months. And now it's totally solid! I don't feel like I did anything to deserve these blessings, but that just makes me even more grateful for them.

I love you all!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

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