September 30, 2013

She takes after Grandma Norton and opens her presents early.

Dear Mom,
So on Monday Mason and I decided to stop direct communication for the foreseeable future, but to continue to copy each other on our weekly emails. We both independently received promptings that it would be best for us, and while it wasn't a feeling that we HAVE to do this, in his words "I would rather we follow the Lord's counsels even when they don't come as commandments than say, "Well Heavenly Father, that's a nice thought, but I'd rather continue my own way instead of going with what you think is better."" Ha. So that's kind of the big news from Monday. I think the other things that happened are we found an AWESOME sale at Fairweather where the most expensive thing was like $15, so I bought a new skirt and Sister Coleman bought a lot of clothes haha. Then we had a DA with an older couple in the ward, which was great, but after that our investigator Melissa cancelled on us and wouldn't make a return appointment, which was kind of a bummer. So we did a lot of finding on Monday but nothing really happened. Except for this one less-active that we tried to contact, at the request of her sister. We stopped by at 8 at night, so it was dark, and she lives uptown in one of the houses that have been divided up into flats. The light on the landing was out, and her sister couldn't remember what apartment it was, and even though the situation was probably totally fine, it just felt sketchy because it was so dark. We were actually pretty glad nobody answered either of the doors on the landing, haha.
On Tuesday we had splits with our Sister Training Leader, Sister Nelson, who was actually my STL in Newfoundland as well, so that was cool. She got transferred out here one transfer before me. In the morning, Sister Nelson did 12-week with Sister Coleman so that Sister Lewis (her companion) and I could do language study together! Sister Lewis is the other French-speaking sister in the mission, and she's 100% convinced that we're going to serve together some day. It was pretty fun to do language study. After that, I went with Sister Nelson and we did some street contacting uptown and discovered the Pedway, which is basically the +15 of Saint John. It's going to be a contacting mecca in the winter, so that was exciting to find. After that, we had a lunch appointment with Courtney, who works with Bishop Ross and is a university student. He's got her really interested, so we got to know her, did how to begin teachings, and shared part of the restoration. It was really cool, but it's a bit frustrating because she kind of seems to view it in the mindset of "I'll just keep going to church for an indefinitely long period of time and kind of dabble in it." She's really cool though and I think she will join eventually. We went to a deli uptown and I had a Montréal smoked meat sandwich for the first time since we went to Montréal when I was 14. I was pretty happy about that. Then we went to a lesson with Carey, but she wasn't there, which was disappointing, so we did a bit more contacting and then we met up to switch companions. Sister Lewis was really hungry, so we had an early dinner. I think my favourite part of exchanges is being able to talk to other missionaries and help them understand how they're feeling and what they can do about it. I'm seriously leaning towards becoming a psychiatrist. After that, we went knocking and contacted some formers before exchanging back at the end of the night.
Wednesday was breakfast/correlation with the Ward Mission Leader. He makes awesome food. It's kind of inconvenient though because then we have to study later in the day and it just feels unproductive and kind of throws off your whole mindset. After studies, we had a visit with the Hurtado family, a less-active family that is originally from Chile. Sister Coleman speaks Spanish fluently, and I'm really enjoying being able to pick up phrases here and there. We mostly teach them in English though. We decided to focus that visit on the kids, and it went REALLY well. We think they're going to be really key. After that, we tried to contact some people we met street contacting (who weren't interested), and we had a DA with another older couple in the ward. They were really awesome – they made a delicious dinner, they gave us homemade bread to take home, AND they really took thought and had a referral for us. I find it interesting how the members who give referrals still have the same initial reaction of "Oh I don't know anybody/I've already sent the missionaries to everybody" – the difference is, they take thought and really search for someone to send us to. So we went and tried to contact them, but they weren't home. After that, we were supposed to have an appointment with our family on-date, but they have been sick and/or avoiding us, which is sad, so we kept contacting out in Grand Bay.
Thursday was interesting. I was having a pretty bad morning, since the combination of not writing Mason, hitting my 6 month mark, and some things President Leavitt said in his Sister's Conference training were combining to make me really reflect on my purpose and if I was really being committed and living up to what I could be doing and being motivated by love and whatnot. Which was probably a good self-inventory to have, but then it was just getting kind of negative and frustrated with myself inside my head. And then someone knocked on the door, and my birthday package came! I totally forgot it was my birthday. Probably because it wasn't for another week yet :P But that totally cheered me up, especially the T-Rex earrings, since I'd completely forgotten about those. Then we tried to do some contacting in the morning (since President Leavitt wants us to try to make a goal of talking to at least 10 people before noon every day in order to kind of jump-start our day), and we ended up having a conversation with a Jehovah's Witness. Actually, the JW's have been all over the city last week, it's pretty funny. We've enjoyed the conversations we've had though; it's interesting to see how many people get SO close to the gospel and then are led away at the last minute. After that, we made lunch and dinner at the same time, since we had to be in the west end of town and decided to take dinner to the church and microwave it there. Then we stopped by Carey, the investigator who missed our appointment on Tuesday. It turned out she's been called into work last-minute, and she's actually super solid! We were just asking her questions and doing how to begin teachings, and then teaching to her needs with parts of the Restoration, and she basically said, "I want to join a church, but I want it to be the true church, and I want it to be one I'm involved in and that helps me change my life. And I don't want missionaries who come and hang out; I want missionaries who know their purpose and teach me according to my needs. And I want to be given commitments and have people follow up on my commitments. Also, I really want to consciously make the choice to be baptized. Does your church re-baptize people who have already been baptized? Yes? So can I be baptized?" I think we might have skipped the baptismal invitation and gone right to putting her on date, hahaha. So then that just totally made our day and we were REALLY happy. After that, we did more contacting and had dinner at the church. The Elders were having dinner there at the same time, and it was rather amusing to see the difference in our diets, haha. The reason we were both at the church is President Leavitt was doing Skype interviews for the whole New Brunswick zone. So I get into the interview and he starts off with "Sister Olson, could life be any better? You have four people on date, your companion is musical and speaks French, the ward members like you..." etc. And I was just like, he's right, this is awesome, what the heck was I being so negative about?
After that, we went to a Pentecostal Bible study. We had been street contacting in the park the week before, and we ran into a Pentecostal couple. The wife seemed interested and understood the point of reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and I think we would have been able to commit her to do it if her husband wasn't SUPER contentious. We asked him why he wouldn't give it a chance and he said, "Well, you wouldn't read my book." "We read the King James Version of the Bible all the time." "Well, I bet you wouldn't come to my Bible study!" "We'd love to! When is it?" Haha. Well, we prayed about it and felt good about going, so we went. It was a pretty bizarre experience. It wasn't contentious at all, since everybody basically just sat there and listened to the pastor, so there wasn't any discussion. It almost felt like a parody of a Bible study – he had a Southern accent, at one point he whipped out his guitar and started singing Christian rock songs, there was a random spontaneous prayer with a lot of "Hallelujah!"'s, etc. The weirdest thing though was how totally empty the room felt. It was just...empty. The Spirit wasn't there. (Maybe that's why he was talking so loud?) We're not sure why we felt it was the right thing to go, but it did give us some insight into teaching people who are strong in their beliefs – we concluded that we need to ask inspired questions to get them in a mindset where they're open to the Spirit, and THEN we can teach the doctrine.
Friday was basically just a bunch of appointments cancelling and a lot of contacting. We showed up for our DA and they forgot they were feeding us, so they made pasta really quick, which was a bit awkward, haha. We had games night at the church, and at first hardly anyone showed up, but finally some people came and it ended up being really fun. We played Quelf, which is officially my favourite game ever. It's basically like Curses and Cranium, but a lot more random. Haha.
On Saturday we had our apartment inspection, and then we went park contacting in Rockwood Park. We had some great conversations, but nothing came of it. I think the saddest thing is how SO MANY PEOPLE totally get and recognize the Apostasy – but instead of looking forward to the Restoration, Satan has just convinced them to be disenchanted with all religion and they won't understand that what we have is DIFFERENT, in fact it's EXACTLY what they're looking for! So we need to figure out a way to communicate that. After that, we went mall contacting, which was a good experience to try, but I don't think either of us enjoyed it all that much. It's basically like street contacting, except more awkward and distracting. Haha. Then we stopped by Melissa, which was super awkward because she was really defensive, which we weren't expecting because we got along really well last time. And at one point she called me "cupcake" and I exercised a lot of self-control to not react in an annoyed way. Haha. So we talked to the Elders about that, since Elder Dubyk knows her really well, and I think we have a better idea of what's going on now, so we're hopeful about resolving that. Then we stopped by Heather's, our family on date, and she and her kids weren't home, but we met her husband, which was really great, since we think he felt a bit weird about his whole family committing to baptism without him. Hopefully we'll be able to teach them all together soon. Then we went out to Grand Bay and went contacting. At one point, I felt impressed that we needed to visit a former investigator, but we didn't have a lot of time and she was like 10 minutes out of the way and it wasn't a really strong impression, so I was kind of doubting it. And Sister Coleman was like, why don't we just do it? So we went to visit her, and she was clearly not interested, and I started to feel frustrated because it was like, why did we even come out here, was I just making that impression up, etc. But then she spontaneously started talking about her neighbour who's going through a hard time, and we were like, " can we go visit her?" and we got a referral. It was really cool. She wasn't home, but it was clearly why we were sent there at the time, so I was glad we followed that impression after all and I decided to be less doubtful next time. After that, we went to the church and planned before the Relief Society Broadcast. It was so great. I felt like everything it said was exactly what I needed to hear, which is always awesome.
Sunday was cool because a guy named Jeff showed up to church like, "I've been reading the Book of Mormon and I've decided to investigate the church and probably join some day!" which was great, since the Elders have really been struggling to find and they deserved a miracle like that. It was Fast Sunday, and something someone said got me thinking, you know, the Lord didn't have to send me to an LDS home. He could have had me born in any other circumstance too. And all the sudden, it was like I could see the non-Mormon version of myself, and I REALLY wanted this hypothetical version of me to be introduced to the church and accept the gospel. But I realized that this version of me didn't KNOW it was important, and I wondered if she would accept. And then I realized, that must have been exactly what the Pre-Mortal Life was like. We ALL knew that we wanted the gospel and it would be the best thing for us, and we probably ALL wondered if we would accept it in this life. Any of us who would be born into non-LDS homes would have really hoped that missionaries would go to their future selves and tell them about the gospel. I thought, man, I am SO blessed to be in the church! I can't believe my luck! And all of the sudden, the idea of going throughout life without doing all I could to bring others to a remembrance of the gospel they ALREADY decided they wanted seemed like the most selfish and small-souled way to live I could possibly think of. We have been SO blessed and how could we POSSIBLY not help everyone else who hasn't been as lucky?
After that, we had a few appointments with less-active members and a dinner appointment, which were all really good. We really just felt all day like we were fulfilling our purpose and helping people come closer to Christ, and we have high hopes for one less-active in particular who we think we can really help to become spiritually self-sufficient. So even though a lot of weird stuff happened this week and a lot of appointments and stuff fell though, it ended on a really good note and we're really looking forward to this week too!
Sister Olson

The delicious smoked meat sandwich.

A gorgeous view of the ocean from the Hurtado's house.

September 23, 2013


Dear Mom,

I met the other Sister Olson when she came out. She's pretty nice. It's confusing to have two Sister Olsons from Calgary who play the piano, haha. I don't know who the Roberts' granddaughter is though.

On Monday, Sister Coleman and I spent a very busy P-day getting everything we needed for the apartment. It had been left empty for a few months and we had been eating some pretty weird food until we could go shopping, haha. We then went to a lesson with Phoebe, where we got a lot of concerns out about not being deceived and what her family would think. I think she's really getting her fears get to her and they're preventing her from progressing, which is totally sad because fear comes from Satan and not the Lord. After that, we tried to go contacting, which was unsuccessful and rather inefficient in terms of kilometres, but the Lord's hand was totally in it, because we figured out where to go street contacting over the course of driving all over the city, which was AWESOME for the rest of the week.

Tuesday was Zone Training in Fredericton, which was really good. Elder Evanson gave a great training on being motivated and talking to everyone, and he said something to the effect of "I don't care how many baptisms I have; I just want the Celestial Kingdom to be full when I get there." I think that's the best attitude for anyone to have, whether a full-time missionary or a member – we really just should be spending our lives trying to bring as many people along with us to the Celestial Kingdom as possible, and when we do that, we can have confidence that it will be full when we get there, even if we don't see any of the results. After Zone Training, we found out that President Leavitt bought EVERY AREA the book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M. Christensen, which was pretty much the most exciting thing ever, because (1) it's an awesome book and (2) I haven't had a new book in 6 months! I read the whole thing by Wednesday morning, and I love it. Not only does it really give a lot of insight into how to make missionary work a part of your life, but at the end it talks about being the kind of ward or person that the Lord can trust – that when the Lord knows we'll really just do what's required, like opening our mouths, inviting, and fellowshipping, the Lord sends us more prepared people. It's not about being a "natural" missionary – it's about the desire of our hearts, and the Lord sends people to us when he knows we'll take care of them.

After that, we had a lesson with Melissa, an investigator that the Elders passed over to us. She's awesome. We asked her why she doesn't feel ready to be baptized yet and she was basically like, I don't really know. We think her worries about her fiancé's opinion are holding her back from reading and praying, and that's preventing her testimony from being strong enough to motivate her to act. So we're going to work on that. Her fiancé should be at our lesson with her tonight and we're pretty excited. Then we had dinner and contacting, which was AWESOME! I've never gone street contacting before because my areas never really had busy streets, but we went uptown and it just felt so great to talk to everyone. President Leavitt wants us to keep track of how many pass-along cards we give out, and talk to at least 50 people per day. I'm pretty sure the only time I've talked to 50 people in a day before this was the YSA speed dating activity where I accidentally just told every single guy about Mason in under two minutes, hahaha. So this is definitely a new experience, and definitely not my personality, but I love it. It's clear that this is inspiration from our leaders and that being obedient to it will bless us, and it just makes Sister Coleman and I really happy to street contact now.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Holly, a less-active we're working with. Her desire is there, but she's basically just been less-active for so long that she excuses herself. She's really awesome, but she also tends to shield herself from impressions that would get her to change based on the fact that we're younger than her and therefore can't identify with her, etc. So we're going to start teaching her lessons with the basis of "this is the principle we felt impressed to teach you, and we know we can't understand you perfectly, so we're going to leave the Spirit to teach you the applications to your own life." Afterwards, we had lunch with the RS President to talk about the sisters in the ward we can work with. She made lasagna and it was awesome! Then we went to visit a less-active family. We think we're going to start focusing on teaching her children and giving them commitments to work on Faith in God, etc., with their family, since the dad won't meet with us and the mom won't really open up. We think the children will be the key. Then we went contacting a bit more, and went out to Grand Bay for dinner, which is basically on the moon. I've never had a big lunch appointment AND a big DA in the same day, and it was painful. Hahaha. We had a really great discussion about member missionary work with them, but I think we got a little too enthusiastic and spent too long teaching them, since that basically ate up our evening.

Thursday started out with service at the hospital, which is basically helping old people with the recreational therapy programs they have for long-term patients. It was pretty nice. After that, we had call day, which was pretty funny. Since it's a new area we weren't being as effective as we could, but I wasn't worried about it because it's a new area and I know we're following the Spirit and doing our best and success will come. But Elder Jensen told me so many times not to feel frustrated or discouraged or inadequate that it was just like, "What are you trying to say??" hahaha. I think he meant well, he just didn't realize I was already emotionally there. Then we went street contacting some more, and we had two contacts in French! One was a family from Belgium, and they were kind of staring at me blankly and then started talking to each other in French trying to figure out what I wanted, so I just started over in French. "Je suis une missionaire pour l'Église..." It was pretty awesome. They were nice about it and I explained the website and told them to check it out in French and that they could request missionaries in Belgium if they were interested. The other guy was not interested at all – I think he was using the "I don't speak English" as an excuse, since his accent seemed pretty good to me. So Sister Coleman and I started talking to him in French, and he kind of dithered a bit and said "Je ne suis pas croyant" and walked away really quickly, haha. Then we went to a lesson with Phoebe with a recently reactivated member, Sandra, which was a really awesome experience for Sandra. Phoebe was less committed than she had been in the previous lesson, and I think this week will be the one where we kind of make it or break it.

After the lesson with Phoebe, we travelled to Sister's Conference, which was a pretty fun drive. I may or may not have had candy for dinner. With five minutes to go, I got pulled over for speeding (apparently there's no "everyone drives 10 over rule"), which was super annoying. The rest of the drive was fun though. We took Sister Sandberg and Sister Riddle with us, which was great since Sister Sandberg came out with me and I hadn't really seen her since. At one point, Sister Coleman, Sister Rust and I started talking about Harry Potter, and apparently Sister Sandberg was looking at all of us like "What the heck is this?" hahahaha. It didn't even occur to me that the conversation was nerdy, actually, that's apparently how far gone I am. We got into Halifax really late and stayed at the Halifax Sister's apartment. Then we got up really early and went to Sister's Conference. We had some really great trainings on talking to everyone and setting inspired goals before we plan. It really gave us a lot of focus into how we can be more effective. We also talked about the dress code (again) and discussed call days and how the DLs and ZLs were going. The general consensus was that asking 20-year-old guys to check up on how we're doing is awkward and also ineffective, since most of them don't really know how to ask girls how they're doing. Haha. Then we all went out for dinner, and went street contacting. We rushed back in order to make it to the temple, which was a really great experience. There were SO many sisters! They basically just brought in some temple workers to go through the session so we could have a prayer circle, and virtually the whole rest of the endowment session was sisters. It was really cool to be in the Celestial Room and see us all walking around in white. It was like a little taste of the "how great will be your joy with them in the kingdom of my Father" promise. Then we got to bed really late AGAIN because everyone insisted on taking pictures outside the temple (I didn't have my camera, sorry). 

The next morning, we all met at the mission home at 6:30 in the morning for a testimony meeting before the Newfoundland sisters flew back. We then had breakfast, packed up, and drove back home. Amusingly, Sister Coleman got pulled over for the exact same accidental speeding offence, except she didn't get a ticket. We both thought that was hilarious. We had the greatest conversations on the way back – about the linguistic similarities between Elvish and Arabic, about our goals for the next three transfers, and also narrating our drive through spontaneous song. It was pretty funny. We've also been speaking French as much as possible whenever we're not studying, teaching, or planning (so our language skills don't hinder the work), which has been a really great experience. We did a musical number, Souviens-toi, at Sister's Conference, and President asked me after if he thought we could serve in a completely French area, like 95% French. I was just like, YES YES YES. So we'll see.

On Saturday night, we went knocking and found a new investigator, Carly, who was basically like, "Yeah I've been trying to decide which church to join" and we were all like, "Our church!" Haha. It was a quick lesson since we had a DA around the corner in a few minutes, but I'm excited to go back and see her next week. Then we went to the DA, where they served curry and naan bread and basically made my entire day, except then the best thing ever happened after that, so THAT was really what made my entire day. We went to go contact a potential we'd talked to a few times at the door. She let us in and we had a lesson and she's basically the most golden investigator ever! All her questions were like, "So what do you believe about X? Oh, that's what I've always thought. Why don't any other churches teach this?" and the whole situation was basically compelling us to teach the Restoration and commit her and her two children to baptism, which we did. So Heather, Cody, and Olivia are on date for October 26! Her husband sounds like he'll probably be interested and accepting as well; he was just at work. We were SO excited. 

They didn't come to church on Sunday since we taught them Saturday night and they couldn't rearrange their plans that quickly, but church was great anyways. Bishop Ross brought his friend Courtney, who is a college student, to church and we got to meet her. She works in the university library with him and we talked to her today and set up an appointment, which was awesome. After church, we went over the ward list with the Elders, since Elder Dubyk knows everyone, and then I asked Elder Jensen to give me a blessing. Afterwards, he said that when he was giving the blessing, he had this image in his mind of Heavenly Father talking to someone else and telling them, "Yeah, Sister Olson is my daughter and she does this and this and this..." It was really cool. The blessing also said that the place and timing of my mission were very deliberate and done for a wise purpose, which was really nice to hear because I never really received a confirmation one way or the other about whether or not to serve a mission, so I always felt like it was the right thing to do, but I never really knew if the Lord had needed me to serve here or not.

After church, we did weekly planning (since we couldn't on Friday because of Sister's Conference), and then we had a dinner appointment. The husband actually served most of his mission here because of health problems, and he had served in the Lake Echo/Porter's Lake area! I was glad to be able to talk to him because apparently when he was there, it was a really hard area and nobody wanted to hear the gospel. I could tell it made him feel really good to hear that it's now the Golden Land of our area, and that we found a new investigator every time we went out there. It was just really great to see. After that, we tried to go see their less-active sister at their request. She lives uptown in a three-story house that's been chopped up into apartments, and the light for the landing was broken, and it was pretty creepy. But nobody answered the door, so all was good, haha. We'll go back during the day sometime. Then we went home and did 12-week, and were pleased but surprised when we reviewed our week to find that despite all the time spent out of the area this week and the slow start to the week, we actually had a lot of success.

Sister Olson

 My zone
We stopped by the Elder's apartment one day when they were out to pick up more supplies, and we found a YW poster in their workout room.
Sisters Conference

Melissa asked us to deliver this Storm Trooper helmet to Elder West when we went to Sister's Conference. I had to get a photo first.

A funny picture I saw at the hospital on the Ethics bulletin board.

The Dr. Pepper pamphlet organizer. My influence on the apartment is becoming more and more obvious as time passes.

September 16, 2013

New Brunswick

Dear Mom,

I still think it's genetically unfair that Carmen gets to be so tan.

Yep, we memorize D&C 4. Every morning we recite our missionary purpose, which is "My purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." We also recite "My Missionary Commission" by Bruce R. McConkie, which reads, "I am called of God. My authority is above that of kings of the earth. By revelation, I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master, and He has chosen me to represent Him – to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He were personally ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done, to say what He wants said, to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of His great and marvellous latter day work. How great is my calling!"

Then at night we recite the Standard of Truth by Joseph Smith and D&C 4. The Standard of Truth reads: "The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, the work is done."

I think just the missionary purpose and D&C 4 are church-wide, and the other two are just something our mission asks us to memorize.

This week was sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

So Monday was our last P-day. We all went out for sushi as a district, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever. It was so funny because it's an all-you-can-eat buffet, and the APs weren't with us last time we went out for sushi, so they were super worried we were ordering too much and wouldn't be able to finish it. I personally promised them that I would make sure it all got finished, haha. Which resulted in me being forced to eat some pretty nasty stuff they foolishly ordered. But it was really fun. It's really funny because all the Elders in our mission are super worried about gaining weight, so they're always talking about their diet shakes and their diet pills and calories and whatnot. Elder Nzojibwami asked me at lunch, "Sister Olson, if I got a sub that weighed 78 g and was 210 calories, and Elder Penitch got a sub that was 71 g and 200 calories, who ordered the healthier sub?" I was just like, are you serious???? And he was. Meanwhile I'm over here like, "My goal is to try every flavour of Dairy Queen blizzard before I go home." Hahaha.

After P-day on Monday we went to go teach Lindsay and Steve, and found that it was just Lindsay. Steve moved out for some fairly intense personal reasons. However, they were both still interested in learning, so we taught Lindsay, and then we went and taught Steve at his parent's house where he is currently staying. It was actually really awesome, because they are SO different when they're apart. We feel like even though the reasons for it were bad, the Lord is able to turn it for good because they both really needed to be taught separately. It turns out Lindsay is actually SUPER solid, whereas before we thought she was the less interested one. We taught to her concerns with Steve moving out for a bit, then we answered questions from church about men and the priesthood, which was one of those times where the teaching is super inspired and the concern gets totally resolved. Those are always awesome. Then we taught the Law of Chastity AND the Word of Wisdom in the same lesson. I had been super nervous about that, but with Steve moving out she was just like, chastity? Sure thing! Haha. The Word of Wisdom also went super well. She needs to quit smoking, but she accepted it really easily. Then we went and taught Steve. Turns out he's not nearly as solid as we thought he was, but we were able to really uncover some concerns and see what he needs for his progression, so that was really great.

I don't really remember what we did on Tuesday because I forgot last transfer's planner at home. But I know that we taught Lorraine, who we'd picked up weeks ago but then had some health problems that delayed our lesson. We had a really great lesson with her about the Book of Mormon, which was totally not our lesson plan, but we really helped her see that it was true. Then she asked, well, even if I know this is true, why do I have to join your church? We ended up leaving that question for Sister Echols to resolve next week, because we didn't really have time and it basically would have required re-teaching the entire restoration, but she's becoming a more solid investigator and that's great. Then we went finding for a bit, I think, and visited a few less-actives to say goodbye, and we kind of ran out of plans and were really tired and Sister Echols thought we should go home and let me pack. But I didn't feel good about that. So we decided to make a last-minute visit to a less-active we'd been working with before, but who wasn't progressing and who we'd been visiting less often. We had a GREAT lesson with her and really helped her to see that she wants to regain her testimony and come back to church, and that she'd been upset by the culture in the church but that she still believed the doctrine and wanted to work towards overcoming what's holding her back. It was definitely the best lesson we'd had with her, so I was really glad we visited her!

And then on Wednesday we went to the temple since it was the end of the transfer. The new video is amazing. At first I didn't like it just because I wasn't used to it (obviously all the words and stuff are the same though), but then I realized how much I was learning from it and how inspired it was and I was just in awe. I seriously learned SO much from it. After that, we had coordination with our ward mission leader's wife (since we weren't able to see him before transfers and we wanted to make sure the transition was smooth, since Sister Echols is in Newfoundland for a musical concert all weekend and the APs are moving out of the ward too) and we had lunch with her. Then we went to Dairy Queen because we were still hungry. After that, we went to teach Steve again. It was cool because he said that some things we said in earlier lessons stuck with him, and I was just thinking, "I don't even remember trying to teach ____." It's cool to see how the Spirit teaches for us. He's still not as solid, but he's getting there and he sees what he needs to do to gain a testimony. After that, we had a dinner appointment with the Renzettis in the ward, who fed us a lobster dinner for my last day in Nova Scotia. It was awesome! Cruz, their son, is a recent convert, so we taught him the first half of the Restoration. Brother Renzetti said we're much better teachers than the elders, haha. Then we rushed to ANOTHER dinner appointment. For future reference, that is a BAD idea. What happened is the WML's wife sets up our DA's for us. But we forgot to tell her the Renzettis were having us, so she scheduled us with a family that's usually really busy and we felt bad cancelling. So we were like, it's okay, we'll just leave room. Nope. We were SO FULL afterwards. It turns out the other family is one of those families that just likes to stuff you. Grossss. Haha. 

Then we went up to the moon to teach Lindsay and her kids again. We followed up on the Word of Wisdom and taught it more in detail, and also committed her kids to live it. And it was a totally awesome lesson because she got a specific answer to prayer about the Book of Mormon!!! She said she'd been praying on the way to work. She ramps cars at work, and there's this one model of car that she really really doesn't like ramping and usually avoids, but that day she ramped them and just felt totally peaceful and not worried at all. And the whole time, she was apparently just thinking about how she prayed that morning and how the Book of Mormon is true. She was so excited to tell us all about it. It made me really happy :)

Then we went home and I packed. The next day, we went to the mission office and loaded everyone into the transfer van and drove to Fredericton...or maybe Moncton...for transfers. I got to see Sister Nelson again, my STL from Newfoundland who is also my STL here in New Brunswick, and I met Sister Lewis, who greeted me with, "hey future companion!" She's the other sister who speaks French really well. I also saw Elder Jensen, who is the Zone Leader over the other New Brunswick zone, which was SUPER weird, and Elder Widdup was there too. Then they put us in a truck with a couple of Elders and said, "Go find the Hampton Elder's apartment." Haha. Good thing I had a GPS. From there, we picked up our car and drove to our apartment, which is right by the university and is really nice. The address is:

9 Sproul Ct. #4
Saint John, NB
E2K 2K8

My new companion, Sister Coleman, is from Chiliwack BC. She's 22 and is basically the most legit missionary ever. She really doesn't even need to be trained, and she is SO dedicated and just wants to do the work for the purest reasons. She lived in Spain for 10 months, so she speaks Spanish (which has already been helpful, and I found I can understand a few things still) and she speaks French a bit too, although not as well as Sister Lewis or I. She's awesome. She's also the only other missionary I've met so far who graphs things as part of personal study, haha. We get along great. Once we got to the area, we had a coordination meeting with Elder Dubyk from Edmonton and Elder Jensen from Raymond, who is the DL, in order to get oriented to the area. Then we met with the Relief Society President and visited a few less actives in the ward.

On Friday, we had breakfast/correlation with the WML, Brother Cosman, who is a pretty cool guy. His wife's parents, the Hilchies, lived in Parkland Ward and know Grandpa and Grandma Olson, which was cool. Then we visited another less-active, Holly, who we are really hopeful about, and then we had weekly planning together. It was SO inefficient together, plus the Elders totally forgot Sister Coleman is BRAND NEW and I really wanted to orient her to weekly planning. So that was a bit frustrating. But we finally managed to plan pretty effectively. Then we went and contacted some people in the North End, which is totally ghetto, haha. (Seriously though, we're not going to go finding there after dark.) We had an AWESOME experience where we went to contact a former, and it turns out she's moved out, but the lady living there now is GOLDEN. She had a bunch of questions, and every answer we gave totally made sense to her. She's really open to the Spirit, and she says she's investigating different religions right now. She wasn't able to let us in at the time to have a lesson, but we're really excited about her. Then we had a games night at the Church, and one of the less-active families we'd visited the previous day came! It was so great.

On Saturday, we had a lesson with a potential the Elders had been working with, and she became a new investigator for us! Her name is Phoebe, and she's been through a lot, but she's very strong in the Bible and in how it can help her. It was a little hard to get her to talk about anything else, actually. But we really managed to testify and the Spirit was really strong. Sister Coleman is a GREAT teacher for being brand new. Then we finished studying, and went out finding. We tried to go street contacting, but we don't know the city very well and we ended up not being able to find a street that was really busy enough to be productive. But Sister Coleman really took "Talk to everyone" to heart and talked to EVERYONE. It was awesome! After that, we had a DA with the Bishop. He majored in history and classics and is now a librarian at the university. Sister Coleman is a modern language and linguistics major, and then there's me. So we had a great conversation about literature and grammar. He really enjoyed it. We also were able to really coordinate and figure out how we can work with him. He's an awesome bishop and it's a really strong ward, even though it's a little small, so I'm excited about that.

Yesterday we had church, which was great as usual, and then we went to contact Holly, to follow up on her not coming to church, and we contacted referrals. We didn't really have much success finding that afternoon. It was a beautiful day with great weather, so we went park contacting, but ALL THE PARKS WERE EMPTY. It was so weird. I don't understand this city yet, haha. Then we went knocking, and we got some great potentials before going to Ward Council. It's probably the best-run ward council I've seen so far. A lot of specific and useful assignments are made, and it was awesome. Then we went to a DA with a less-active, which was delicious, and then we went home and did 12-week, since we didn't have time before church. I'm enjoying 12-week SO much more the second time around.

So basically, every area and companion gets better than the last. I like this trend.

Sister Olson

Lindsey, Grace, and I

Elder Jensen and I

Sister Stewart (the WML's wife) and I

September 9, 2013

Family On-Date

Dear Mom,
I think the garage door looks pretty nice in and of itself, but I'd be interested to see a picture of it with the rest of the house. Carmen and Chloe look so grown up! It sounds like everyone's schedule is great, and that is really funny about them both being in Junior High. Congrats to Carmen on making the volleyball team!
It made me really happy to see your experience with the less-active member. The Lord places people in our path all the time. Sometimes we recognize them easily, but sometimes we don't. They're always there though. I know that the Lord sent you to her and that we have all taken upon us the name of Christ and can have the Spirit to say and do what he would have us say and do in his place, so I'm sure that whatever you share with her will be what she needs to hear. And of course I think having the missionaries over is a great idea :)
So the big news of the day...I got transferred! I'm going to Saint John, New Brunswick, which is an English speaking area, but my Sister Training Leader in Moncton is in a half English, half French area, and her companion Sister Lewis is the other sister who speaks French well enough to serve French-speaking, so I'm excited about that. I'm also really excited because I'm going to be training! My new companion is Sister Kimberly Coleman from British Columbia. I'm super excited! I don't know the address yet, so just hold off on mailing me stuff and I'll tell you the address next week.
This week was a fantastic week! On Monday, we taught a lesson to a potential that Sister Echols picked up on splits. We only made it to the Great Apostasy before her parents showed up and we left, but she was so prepared! She kept saying, "I've always wondered/believed/been bothered by that, that makes sense." It was so great! Sadly, she called us before our next appointment to cancel because she read something on that she really didn't like. She wouldn't tell us what it was or let us really get at the concern, so that was a major bummer.
On Tuesday, we went out to the moon again and stopped by a referral we'd gotten from knocking. We didn't have a lot of time, so we just did How To Begin Teaching and summarized the Restoration. Lynn was really interested and had great questions, so that was great, but sadly she didn't show up for the return appointment on Friday. I wish we could have taught her a longer lesson, but we had to go to our lesson with Lindsay and Steve. It was great, as usual. We talked about building faith to receive answers, and went over how to pray and why we read and pray. We also helped them see why it was relevant to them. They both said that they feel really good about having us over. Their kids were there, and we picked them up as investigators as well. Their kids are adorable :) Kolby drew me a picture of someone killing a zombie. His mom was kind of embarrassed about the violent picture, but I thought it was awesome :) After that, we had a member visit with a lady who converted about 3 years ago. She had a pretty cool story - she had an LDS friend in high school, and she loved being at their home and the feeling of family unity, but her family gave her a bunch of anti. But one day, years later, she was praying to ask God what to do and she found a Finding Faith in Christ card in her mailbox. She had the missionaries over, they resolved the anti, and she got baptized. She's a super sweet lady and really tries to share the gospel with her non-member husband and family. It was great :)
Wednesday was a total gong show. Sister Echols was sick, but she felt well enough to go out and work that morning, so we went to visit a less-active lady we hadn't seen before. Her house was totally adorable with all these stuffed animals and old-lady things...except for her husband's porn statue. Seriously. That statue was not "art," it was just inappropriate. So that pretty much killed the Spirit. I was just sitting there thinking, "We need to share a message so we can leave." It was the most scattered lesson ever. It basically went, "You like reading? How did you feel about the Book of Mormon the first time? Scriptures can help us get personal revelation. Sister Echols has a great analogy about this. Sister Echols, tell the warehouse analogy. Okay. Will you come to scripture study class on Thursday? Can we leave you with a prayer? Okay bye!" Meanwhile, Sister Echols felt super sick, so she's just sitting there out of it and during all my super awkward transitions she's sitting there thinking, "That was a great transition. Great job Sister Olson!" We laughed about it afterwards, but we don't think we'll teach her at home anymore. After that, Sister Echols went home to lie down for a bit, and then we went to a DA. It was so good! Except then we had our missionary thought and it turned into a really, really long discussion. She is very firm on "We need to strengthen the core of the ward, and THEN we can do missionary work." That's a really common attitude around here. What the members don't see is that missionary work brings blessings, it includes reactivation and retention, it strengthens testimonies, and it encourages people to be more Christlike.
On Thursday we visited with another less-active lady who has short-term memory issues. It was a pretty good lesson, and we decided we'd call her Sunday morning to remind her to come to church. (It didn't work). After that, Sister Echols practiced the violin for the musical firesides, and then we had call day. We also checked our mail since we were at the mission office anyways, and Grandma Norton had sent me a bunch of homemade cookies. It was pretty funny since she sent them in a Sunkist plastic raisin container, and at first I was just like, what? Why did she send me raisins? Haha. After that, Sister Echols had a doctors appointment, so Sister Leavitt and Sister Echols went to the doctor's and I stayed at the mission home with Sister Leavey, who has still been staying there. She totally spilled the beans about transfers to me, haha. It was actually less distracting than I would have thought, but I still think I prefer finding out last-minute. Honestly, I wish we found out the night before. Either you spend the whole week freaking out and not wanting to leave your area, or you're like me right now and you accept it, and then you spend the whole week not feeling like it's your area anymore. Anyways, after that we had a DA with another family, and it was pretty much the greatest thing I've ever tasted. They had kebabs with chicken, pineapple, avocado, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatos. So great. Then we went to scripture study class, which nobody came to, and had a member visit. We showed the "We Are One" clip from the Work of Salvation broadcast. The husband was pretty discouraged about missionary work because he felt like he'd never had any success, so we tried to help him see that success is in the invitation and I think he was softened towards the idea towards the end.
Friday morning, Sister Echols and I went to the hospital so she could get some blood work and chest x-rays done, and then we drove out to the moon. Lynn didn't show up for our appointment, as we said before, so we had our studies in the car (since we went to the hospital that morning instead of studying) and had lunch. Then we went to visit Holly, the less-active YSA we had a great experience with. She had bought a skirt for church, watched a bunch of Mormon Channel videos, and was really excited that we brought her a Book of Mormon and a Bible. Transportation is still an issue, which is really too bad because she's totally ready to come back. After that, we had a funeral for one of the ward members, which was held all the way out in Musquodoboit Harbour since a lot of his friends out there are really poor and wouldn't have been able to come out to the Cole Harbour chapel. Sister Echols and I sang "Abide With Me" as a duet. It went a lot better than I expectted. Apparently I'm getting better at singing. We had a lot of really cool missionary opportunities come out of the funeral as well, so that was pretty great. After that, we did weekly planning, and then we taught Linday and Steve the Plan of Salvation. We made some cutouts to make a map and got the kids involved. And then we committed them to baptism and they're on date for October 26!!!!!!!!!!!! Having a family on date is the most exciting thing ever! Steve committed himself to come to church, which was cool. He works night shift and so it'll be really hard for him to come. But he said, "It's one of those sacrifices that bring blessings" and we were just like, yep, that's what we were going to say. Haha. We also put their daughter on date as well, but their son left the lesson before we got to that part. He's only 8, so that's understandable. We're going to try to put him on date tonight as well.
On Saturday we finished weekly planning, and had a skype meeting about advertising the musical fireside concert that's coming to the Metro in October. Then we went to a member visit with this older single lady in the ward. We really only intended to come by for half an hour and share some stuff about member missionary work, but when we got there she had what can only be described as a tea party set up for us. There was apple cider in a golden teapot, breaded shrimp and dipping sauce, salad, and rolls. There were all these adorable little plates and teacups and the most delicious chocolate cake ever, with classical piano music in the background. It was just adorable. That's the only way to describe it. She also has a totally awesome conversion story and faith in Christ, so it was super spiritually uplifting as well. After the thought she gave us a referral for her sister, and you could tell it was totally by the Spirit, and it was great. Then we taught a new member lesson to a recent convert. His parents are both members who converted a little over a year ago. He's one of those 10-year-olds who are super mature in a way that's adorable because of how young they are, and it was really fun. Then we had a dinner appointment with another member, which was great as usual. For some reason, I was super tired that day, and by the time the lesson with the RC and the DA were over, I was doing that thing where my brain basically turns on a really lame version of autocorrect and my words get all mixed up, so we decided to go home and work on paperwork since lessons were apparently not going to go well that evening, hahaha.
On Sunday LINDSAY AND STEVE AND THEIR FAMILY CAME TO CHURCH AND IT WAS SO EXCITING!!! The kids absolutely loved it. After it was over they said, "Can we come here every Sunday?" and their parents were just like, yep! :) They also really liked it. It was so great. Then we had a great meeting with the bishop. He has totally had a 180 on missionary work and is so gung-ho. It's super cool to see that change in the space of just one transfer. Then we went down to Eastern Passage to do some contacting, had dinner, and did some more contacting in Cole Harbour. We had a pretty cool conversation with a former investigator, who was basically really offended when the Sisters got removed from the area last time and elders were brought in. We were able to really follow the Spirit in testifying and explaining it to her a little more, and at the end she said she still wasn't interested, but she'd keep reading and praying and reconsider. So, that was great.

Oh, it was also Sunday morning when I found out officially that I was getting transferred. Sister Echols is super upset. I didn't feel like it was right to tell her before then. It's kind of a bummer to be transferred right when stuff in the area is really picking up and we have a solid family on date and everything, but on the other hand, the area and my companion are way too solid and perfect for me to have any personal growth if I continued serving here. I mean, I'd do it and love it and be happy, but I know the Lord really wants me to be somewhere else. And I was struggling with not really feeling challenged here or like I I had the ability to live up to my full capacity when so little was required of me, so I'm kind of glad to go re-open an area and train and stuff. (I'll probably feel differently when it's 3 weeks from now and I'm stressed out of my mind, but whatever.)
Sister Jaclyn Olson

Sister Nelson, one of the primary teachers, baked cookies and the kids gave them to us. Sister Echols had sworn off sugar, so I heroically ate all of them at once to remove temptation.

It was SO RAINY. We pulled over.

We set up an appointment with a potential and she wasn't there, but this was on the door. It was one of those moments that really restores your faith in humanity.

Sister Echols and I took this this morning.

September 2, 2013

Great Week

Dear Mom,
It sounds like Chloe and Carmen were pretty spoiled with the Harry Potter marathon, everyone was waiting on them hand and foot, haha! And tell Carmen she should tell me things herself :P
This week was pretty super fantastic. Last P-day, we had NO money left for laundry, but we REALLY needed to wash stuff. So Sister Echols and I washed all our g's together as the bare minimum, and decided to hang it in the bathroom with the dehumidifier to dry it. Well, as Sister Echols put the last hanger on the shower rod, it ALL came crashing down into the bathtub, which is totally gross because it's not draining well and the landlords hadn't fixed it yet. Hahaha. It was completely hilarious. I've decided that if things are going to be hilarious at some point in the future when I look back on them, I can just find it hilarious in the moment too and save myself the trouble. So I was pretty amused. After that, the AP's and us had a meeting with our ward mission leader, which ended up taking like all night, because went through the entire ward list and reviewed every single person. It was pretty awesome though, because I feel like we received a lot more clarity and direction about who we should be seeing and where to focus our efforts.
On Tuesday, we had a really great district meeting. Sister Laxtin gave the spiritual thought on the Atonement, and then we talked about how it applies to sharing the gospel, and I was just all pumped up like, YES, this is why I'm here! But then I started feeling a little frustrated, because I always feel like, I just want to straight-up TELL people why this is so important, but we can't get them to listen to us long enough for them to understand! And then Elder Bullock gave a training on using How To Begin Teachings at doors. Usually we use them at the beginning of the first lesson, but using them at doors is just AWESOME because it brings the Spirit, AND you just straight-up tell them why you're here and why it matters to them. It's great. I remembered I was doing that exact thing in Newfoundland for a while, but then we didn't go knocking at all during Sister Leavey and I's last transfer together and I lost that skill. Right after district meeting, we contacted a former and she became a new investigator! Her name is Lorraine and she totally knows that her problem is not wanting to receive an answer to her prayer because of the changes it will require. But she's had a lot of things happen recently that are helping her see why it's REALLY important to know, and we're hopeful that we can help her to want to get her answer.
And THEN we went to the moon, AKA the promised land (every time we go there we get a new investigator, which totally makes it worth being so far away) and applied what we learned. Our awesome potentials, Lindsay and Steve, fell through, but we had a really cool experience where a lot of little things led us to decide to check on a less-active, Holly, who lives WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY out in Musquedoboit Harbour, and it turns out that she converted in 2006 in Halifax and went to the YSA ward, but then she felt out of place when she moved back home and was in the family ward, and she just wasn't deeply rooted and kind of fell through the cracks. She's totally ready to come back, and we just feel so grateful for being led by the Spirit because NOBODY knew her and it's WAY out there and I'm really amazed that we checked on her, and she could have gone YEARS without anyone realizing who she was. It was a great moment where you're just like, yes, we followed the Spirit and we saved someone from wandering from the path and being lost! Then we went knocking and used the HTBT thing, and it was super awkward sometimes, but it was also the greatest experience knocking, where I just felt really connected to my purpose and like I was fulfilling my calling to its fullest, and it was great. We got a great potential, but then she called us the next day to cancel because her husband wasn't comfortable with it. It was actually really funny because Sister Echols didn't want to knock on the door because it was dark and there were a LOT of beer bottles, so we turned around to leave, and she called us back and was like, "Hey! Were you going to knock on my door?" and then she was totally prepared and wanted to teach her son about God. I teased Sister Echols a bit about that :)
On Wednesday we had a lesson with Betty, an RC, which was great as usual. She studies the gospel better than most lifelong members. Then we had a concert at an old folks' home, which was really snazzy and had a real stage and everything (but an electric piano. What?). I played Fantasie-Impromptu, and the unrighteous and prideful side of me was pretty gratified at the chance to show off, haha. When we were practicing at the church before, one of the ward members heard and was like, "Wow, I didn't know you could play like that! I thought you got left behind when Sister Echols goes to the musical firesides because you didn't know anything about music, and I was like, oh, poor Sister Olson, she's left behind because she's not talented." Hahahaha. After that we went to the church so Sister Echols could get a blessing since she might have Hodgkins and it was stressing her out (WHY ARE ALL MY COMPANIONS GETTING SICK????), and then we ran into the members we were going to have a DA with. She was like, "Oh my husband's just having an interview, he'll be out right away, just chill here and we can all go home in like 5 minutes." Well, Mormon standard time, we were pretty late, and it was a super rushed dinner. I didn't really mind because we still got out on time and they're a hilarious couple, but they felt bad and so I felt bad that they felt bad. We then went to the mission home, and President Leavitt taught a member missionary class about sharing the gospel. The big thing was using Mormon words in conversation, and just actively creating conversations where that comes up. If people are interested, they'll ask, and then you can invite them to meet with the missionaries or visit or whatever, even if it's just a grocery store clerk or whatever. You know those times when you have an unexpected gospel conversation and it just brightens your day? You can have a great experience like that EVERY SINGLE DAY. You just have to strike up conversations with people in line and not whitewash your language of Mormon words. It will come up, I promise. And it's great.
On Thursday we had exchanges with our Sister Trainer Leader, which was great. She's one of the oldest missionaries in the mission, and Friday was actually her 30th birthday. I decided I want to be Sister Broadhead when I grow up. I have like 11 years to work on it ;) And she's really enthusiastic and hardworking, but also still so fun. It's great. We had some great interviews, and we went contacting, but we didn't really get in to teach anyone, except one lady who let us in and had a nice chat, but really wasn't interested in learning. I feel like I had a great experience though. That night, Sister Echols was with Sister Broadhead and I was with Sister Drew, and we taught a less-active lady in the ward. We've had a few visits with her, and she was really welcoming at first, but she hasn't really been willing to change. We followed the Spirit a lot in this lesson and were really bold, but I don't really know that it will make a difference, which is kind of a bummer, when you know you've given people a clear invitation, and they just choose to ignore it. It's sad.
On Friday we did weekly planning, and then we went to the moon again. We planned our day kind of poorly, so we had to rush to a completely differnet town for our DA, but it all worked out. After that, we went back to the moon. We had rescheduled with Lindsay and Steve, and we picked them up as investigators! They're AWESOME. We had a couple of totally epic fail moments in the lesson, but they're still so solid, which is totally the Lord and not us, haha. We're SO excited because it's a FAMILY and neither of us has ever taught a family before! On the way home, we checked on a former investigator and picked her up, so that was pretty exciting too. Her name is Mary, and I think it's going to be a challenge to convince her that there is actually one true church, but she was really excited to see us, so that was great.
On Saturday, we had a ward picnic, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever, and not just because of all the free food. One of the recently re-activated members brought her grandkids, and we ended up teaching her a lesson, and we're going to try to pick her up as an investigator. There were a TON of less-actives and non-members there, which was great! Lindsay and Steve showed up at the very end, which was actually pretty cool because he said, "Lindsay didn't really know why we were going for the last 15 minutes, but I really wanted to show we were making an effort." Real intent for the win! The members really stepped up to introduce themselves, which was great. Then we went to the moon again. Some appointments fell through, but we finished teaching the Restoration to Lindsay and Steve that night, and they both accepted to be baptized if they got their answer! We're so excited!!!!! We're not sure if they're married yet, which we'll have to figure out. Lindsay is still a bit skeptical, but Steve is solid! He was like, "I've always wanted to be baptized with my daughter," and we were all like, "Yep, we can do that. Yep." They have 3 kids old enough to be baptized, but we haven't picked them up as investigators yet.
Then on Sunday we had church, and after church we had an AWESOME meeting with the bishop. He's getting super pumped about missionary work and it's great! Then we needed to finish weekly planning, so we did that and then had a great DA. She was really excited to have more people to cook for, and it was like having dinner at Grandma's. She and her husband are also super solid for missionary work and we had some great ideas come up. After that, we went contacting in Eastern Passage, and we had some good conversations, but nothing really special until the very end of the evening. We knocked on the house of some LA's that we've been trying to get in touch with the WHOLE TIME we've been here, and they're just crazy busy. As we walked away, they pulled into the driveway, and so we came back and ended up briefly teaching them. I feel like we really invited them to act and completely followed the Spirit, but they're just putting the things of the world first and not really willing, which is a bummer. They have some great connections in the ward though and I think they'll always have good support and invitations to change, so that made me feel better. I always hate it when you decide that a less-active member isn't going to change soon and you need to focus elsewhere, but you also know the ward isn't going to pick up on it.
Today everything was closed for Labour Day, so we went to the mission office to wash our car and now we're emailing at the church. It should be a pretty slow P-day, but hopefully a great week!
I love you all!
Sister Jaclyn Olson

Cloud with a literal silver lining.

My feet after tracting in the rain. My shoes stained my feet purple!

It was Sister Broadhead's 30th birthday while she was on exchanges with us. We thought we'd celebrate with the maturity and dignity appropriate to the occasion.