July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day

Dear Mom and everyone,

Sure, I move out and now you start considering installing air conditioning ;P

Where is Steven's summer job?

That's super awesome about Carmen's awards!!! I feel like she got more awards than I did! I definitely remember being a little freaked out on the drive home after ALL the awards being "in memory of so-and-so who died in a car accident on 22X."

I'm sure Carmen is happy to be getting her surgery over and done with finally, and I will definitely join in the fasting on Sunday. Is she nervous about it at all or just happy it's getting done?

I'm glad you and Dad are really enjoying the temple in Calgary. That's one thing I've definitely missed here on my mission is the opportunity to ponder in the temple. Even before I was endowed, I used to do baptisms once a week in Provo. It's a huge blessing.

So today is Canada Day and last Monday was "Discovery Day," so we're trying to get all 6 of us to finish emailing at the church with two computers for the second Monday in a row. The only notable thing that happened last Monday is we went to contact a former, and she called out from her bathroom window that she was in the bathtub, but to come back later. Haha. So Sister Keeler and I went by the next day on exchanges and met her. She was pretty neat. She's been reading the Book of Mormon! But she's at her summer cabin all summer, so we'll have to get in touch with her later. Also, her teaching record has like 4 entries like "Busy right now, but super sweet and said to call later," so I'm not sure how genuine that line was when she used it on us, haha.

At 10:25 pm on Monday evening, Elder Diodati called Sister Leavey and asked her to give the doctrinal discussion the next day in district meeting. She was freaking out! But it was the most powerful doctrinal discussion I've ever seen. She started out by asking each of us how we came to know Christ, and the Spirit was just like, BOOM! (That's my explosion sound effect). After district meeting, we had exchanges with Bay Roberts. Sister Leavey went around the bay with Sister Nelson, and Sister Keeler stayed with me, which was really fun since we were in the MTC together. She's really bold, and it's so great to serve with her and have that example. We taught Bernice, who has been de-progressing from the last time we saw her, but by the end she was really motivated to make a serious study for the Book of Mormon, so we have high hopes for our next lesson. That evening, we had a dinner appointment with the Coopers, which is always one of my favorite things because (1) They make awesome food and (2) Their 1-year-old daughter is ADORABLE. She always comes up and sits on the piano bench beside me at church, and it just makes my heart melt. We had to leave pretty fast though, since we all sang at an old folks home as a district, which was really nice.

On Wednesday we had mission correlation early since the branch mission leader went out of town. I don't remember if anything else interesting happened.

On Thursday we taught Christine. We'd planned to resolve some concerns she had about the validity of the Book of Mormon, but instead we ended up talking about baptism. We nearly committed her to it! Did not see that coming! She knows that it's necessary and she wants to have an eternal family with her son, but she's just scared that she won't be strong enough to make the changes in her life that are necessary. Sister Leavey bore a really powerful testimony and it was great. We've been working on balancing each other more in lessons, because when we first started serving together she would do all the talking during the get-to-know-you/connect-personally part, and then I would do all the talking during the teaching-the-doctrine part. (Or more bluntly, I need to learn to shut up, haha). So I made a goal to really seek the direction of the Spirit before I said anything, which made me talk less and think more. It was an amazing lesson. She said that we were sent to her by God because I'm smart enough to cut through all her excuses, and Sister Leavey is the person she was supposed to be if she'd accepted the missionaries as a teenager. I said, "Why do you think Heavenly Father would send you the perfect missionaries if he didn't want you to be converted?" Haha. Then later on she said that I was her mind and Sister Leavey was her heart, and I said, "You know, the Holy Ghost tells you the truth in your mind and in your heart."

After that LONG lesson with Christine, we went with the East sisters to a lesson on the north end of the city since they couldn't find a third sister to come with them. It ended up being this huge marathon lesson where they essentially ended up getting dropped, which was a bummer. After that, we rushed over to see the Noftles, the new senior couple who just arrived. THEN we had to rush to a dinner appointment all the way out in CBS, which is south of the city. THEN we had to rush back to the church for blitz night. I ended up going with Sister Miehe, and we drove all the way out to Portugal Cove to meet some less active members that have been less active for so long that nobody in the branch remembers who they are.

On Friday we had a meeting with all the missionaries in the district to get some planning done, and then we had weekly planning. Following that, we went to see Jaxcine, one of the less-actives we visit. I love her so much; she's just hilarious. She has this wickedly sharp, deadpan sense of sarcasm, which is completely unexpected because she's illiterate and she has a speech impediment, so a lot of people don't realize how smart she really is. She's completely hilarious. Apparently I have "a cute little baby face" and I look like I'm 12. She would not believe that I was 19, haha. She has Borderline Personality Disorder, so she's pretty hot-and-cold with meeting with us. A few days earlier, she called to cancel our appointment and said that she didn't want to hear about Jesus now, and didn't want to hear about him ever. Then a few days later she called saying she needed us to come talk to her about Jesus. On the way to her appointment, she called us and tried to cancel, but Sister Leavey had felt impressed to get her flowers, so we told her we had a surprise for her and convinced her to let us come. I feel like we really help her a lot though. We called her on Saturday and she told us that she prays for us every day and thanks God for sending us to her. Moments like that just warm my heart.

Friday night, Sister Leavey got a really terrible migraine that lasted all Friday and throughout Saturday, so we just stayed in the apartment. I got a lot of work done on the area book and the maps, which was good, and I overcame my dislike of phone calls to call a bunch of formers for whom we have a phone number but no address. I got hung up on a lot, haha. In the afternoon, the Elders came by with some headache medication, which had caffeine in it. So Sister Leavey took some, and she was COMPLETELY WIRED yesterday. It would have been funny any other day, but I was really tired for some reason, so I was just struggling to keep up with what was going on. She took some more today and it's been quite enjoyable though.

I love you all! Missionary work is awesome!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

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