August 26, 2013


Dear Mom and everyone,
That sounds like a pretty fun trip :) And yeah, it's a little weird to have fall without having back-to-school preparations going on. One of my friends emailed me and mentioned something about it and I was just like, woah, it's that time! Haha. I realized the other day that it's been like five months since I came to Halifax. That's weird.
On Monday, we had a pretty normal P-day. We just napped and did laundry. I think it was my first low-key P-day ever. Turns out your life is boring once you run out of money, haha. After P-day, we went to the YSA FHE that the Edis family puts on, which was pretty fun because they also served like a full-on dinner with pork chops, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and everything. It was awesome. Then we visited with Betty, who is technically the Elders' recent convert, but since we got here we've been visiting her since she's a single lady. She's awesome. I'm pretty sure she does scripture study better than most lifelong members!
Tuesday was district meeting, which went really well. There was a music camp being held at the chapel all week, so the only free room was a REALLY small one, and we were all kind of crammed in there. We did some group roleplays with most people observing and critiquing, which was different, but very fun. Then we decided to go to the moon. (Some of the towns in our area are WAY out there!) It was AWESOME. Sometimes as a missionary, you have these moments where the Spirit is totally guiding you and you know it and something cool happens. Well, that happened basically all day. It was fantastic. We met a GOLDEN potential family from the potentials sheets. The Elders had actually contacted the husband, but we were talking to his wife, and she's really open, and she says that he's NEVER interested in religion, but he was telling her all about the Elders and that just that morning, they drove past the church and the temple and he was like, look, that's where the Elders go to church! So we're going to go back and see them, and she specifically set up the appointment so her WHOLE family can be there. We're feel super good about them! And then we were impressed to knock this street, and the assistants told us that they actually have a less active/part member family on the street for us to visit. It turns out that he was totally ready to come back to church, and we had a great talk. He's going out of town for about a month, but he's completely prepared.

I was feeling pretty under the weather that day, and Sister Echols thought I should go home and rest, but I wanted to keep working. So we did. And THEN we went contacting some formers, and we got let into this one lady's house right away. So we were super excited, but once we stopped getting to know her and started getting into teaching, she was really closed and was just like, I've already given this a fair try, I'm not interested. And the Spirit was like, bring the Spirit! She just has to feel the Spirit! But the conversation just wasn't giving us the opportunity to really do that, so we started to leave. But then I stopped to take a picture of the BIGGEST spider I have EVER seen in my ENTIRE LIFE, and it became clear that she really didn't want us to leave. She kept thinking of things to keep us talking to her outside. So finally, Sister Echols asked if we could pray with her before we left. And as soon as the prayer was over she said, "Okay, fine, I'll have my door wide open. Bring your best ammo, I'll try to wrap my head around this one more time." So we set up a return appointment and walked away like, what just happened??? It was great.
And THEN we were going to go home for the evening, and we decided to check a referral really quick before we left. It was just one of those "yeah you can go knock on their door I guess" referrals, and we didn't think it would be super solid. But Courtney was SUPER INTERESTED, and wanted a Book of Mormon, and wanted us to come back and teach her and her boyfriend the next day! And then we went home and I went to bed. Haha.
On Wednesday, we did another musical concert at an old folks' home, which was pretty great, and then we went to our appointment with Courtney, and she totally didn't show up, which was a bummer. We haven't been able to contact them all week. But to be honest, we probably should have tried harder than we did. So we went to try to visit some less-actives, and nobody was home, so Sister Echols pretty much forced this old man to let us weed his garden. Haha. He was all like, "No, thanks for offering, I'm fine," and she just sat down and started weeding anyways. He said, "I'm the wrong religion for you, I'm Baptist" and I just said, "So?" Haha. He softened up to us by the end of it though. I think we did a good thing there and changed his opinion. And then we had another cool moment where we decided to stop in on someone, and she was having a bad day and we managed to share a quick thought and brighten her day a bit, which was great. After that, we had a lesson with one of the less-actives we were working with. It was a bit discouraging, because she had really been progressing, but this time she was just really defensive and didn't really want to admit she was doing anything wrong, so we're not quite sure where to go from there or what caused the change. Then we caught the tail end of the Relief Society activity, which was a "luau," which basically means my green skirt smells like smoke and we don't have enough quarters left to wash it this week. Haha. It was a really fun activity though, and the compassionate service leader gave us a card to deliver to one of the members who is in the hospital.
So on Thursday, we had the Sisters' Conference Call. There are SO MANY new sisters coming in next transfer and the transfer after that. Basically half of us are going to be training. It's exciting, but the odds of Sister Echols and I staying together for any length of time actually look kind of slim because of that, which is a bummer, because we have so much fun together. Seriously, our senses of humour match perfectly, except hers is a little more Utah-appropriate, which is probably a good influence on me, haha. And we also do a really good job of teaching in unity together and just being reasonable about concerns we have instead of bringing girl drama into it, so we REALLY want to actually serve together for a while, haha. So then we had call day, and then we went to the hospital to visit some people. We decided to go to the Walmart supercenter for lunch and get the maximum value out of the last of our grocery money, which was pretty great :) After that, we went into Lawrencetown and visited a REALLY awesome recent convert family. The husband has been a member his whole life, and he told us all these crazy stories about serving Hmong-speaking in California and these crazy encounters he had with their shaman and stuff. It made me glad to be serving in Canada, haha. After that, we were supposed to have a scripture study class, but nobody came. After that, the ward mission leader asked us to go and sit with a member of the ward, Ted, who was dying, so we went and did that and sang hymns and such. One of his non-member friends from Ontario came in and we had a really great conversation with him.
On Friday, we went back to the nursing home to sit with Ted some more, and his friend was still there. We ended up teaching him the Restoration and giving him some materials, and he was pretty interested, which was super cool because apparently he used to be pretty against the church. After that, we had weekly planning. We decided to do it with the Elders in the ward since our areas are combined, and those Elders are the APs, so I learned a LOT about weekly planning. It was great. Thennnnnnnnnnnn I don't remember what happened, but we got zero key indicators that day, so it must have been pretty boring. Haha.
Oh yeah, at some point in the week that awesome former from Tuesday called and dropped us. Lame.
And then my minor sinus infection went kind of crazy. So all week I'd had a sinus infection and some heat rash on my back. But on Friday night, it morphed into a fever, and I had the WORST NIGHTMARE ABOUT SPIDERS EVER. (I'm pretty sure that descibes every single one of my nightmares, actually. I'm pretty sure all but like two of them have been about spiders). Anyways, I woke up at 11:30 at night completely convinced that spiders were going to attack me, and the rational part of my brain was like, "It was just a nightmare. Also, you're 19." And the irrational part of my brain was like "SPIDERS!!!!!!". So I got up and turned the hall light on. But then my back was really sore from trying to twist around to put stuff on the heat rash all the time, so I couldn't sleep anyways. So between stress, neck tension, sleep deprivation, and sinuses, I woke up on Saturday with the mother of all headaches. It was great.

We drove Sister Echols to the mission office to leave for a musical fireside in Fredricton, and I got a blessing, and then we started contacting in Eastern Passage. We did a lot of street contacting on the Boardwalk (and it was gorgeous), and we met some pretty great potentials. I was actually feeling really happy and enjoying it, but I also kind of felt like I was dying. It was weird. Totally happy, worst headache ever. At some point during the day, we knocked on a door and the guy totally wasn't interested, but he wanted to give us ten bucks because of what the church did for his mother before she passed away. We tried REALLY hard to not take it, but somehow he ended up making Sister Dougherty (my temporary companion for the weekend) take it, so we felt pretty uncomfortable about that, haha. We did some contacting and had a couple of really great member visits, and then Sister Dougherty suggested that she could make calls and I could lie down. So went home, and I slept through dinner, and I woke up still not feeling any better. It turned out that Sister Leavey, who is still in my district, was not feeling well either, so we suggested that I go stay with her and Sister Dougherty and Sister Weaver could work together. So we did that. And on the way, we used the 10 bucks we'd been awkwardly given to buy Tylenol Ultra. It was totally weird to spend the evening with Sister Leavey, since she wasn't my companion anymore. Haha.
The next day I STILL woke up with a headache, but I took a bunch of Tylenol and it went away reasonably quickly after that, which was really good. We had Ward Council, and then I led the music in Sacrament meeting, which I've never done before. It was a really good church, so it was too bad that hardly anyone came. Haha. I guess a lot of people are trying to cram in vacations before the school year starts. After that, we went back to Eastern Passage and finished contacting the people we'd meant to contact on Saturday night. We got some potentials and referrals, which was pretty nice, and we had a really good conversation with this old lady about death and prayer and stuff. Then we had a spur-of-the-moment less-active visit that I felt really good about, and then a dinner appointment with a part-member family. We get fed so much here! It's awesome. It was also pretty cool because his kids were running around and being distracting during the spiritual thought, but I could tell he still felt the Spirit, which was great. Then we rushed to the mission office to pick up Sister Echols, and we were going to be late for our appointment with Marlène. So we called her and she was basically like, that's okay, I didn't want you to come over anyways. So we basically went from an amazing start of the week to having zero investigators by the end of it, haha. But we went and had an awesome member visit with the YSA branch president. He's SO on board with the new Work of Salvation thing! It was really great.

This morning, we cleaned the temple for a couple of hours, which was a really special experience. I remember reading in a old Ensign that we don't clean the temple because it's dirty; we clean it so it doesn't get dirty. And that's like how our lives should be; we should repent every day and always try to improve ourselves, so that we stay clean all the time.
I love you all! I probably described being sick this weekend really dramatically, but I promise I'm feeling better now and everything's going great again. So don't worry. Especially Dad, he worries too much.
Sister Jaclyn Olson

I don't remember if I already sent this. But I'm pretty sure I have the most beautiful area in the whole mission.

The spider started running away so it's at a weird angle and it looks smaller than it actually was. But it was HUGE. And no, that's not MY hand in the picture, I didn't want to get that close. Haha.

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