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.

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