May 19, 2014


Dear Mom,

I think the picture of Steven is weird, because as part of using our personal facebook, we had to go back through all our old pictures and such and hide any that weren't in keeping with being a representative of Christ, so I saw all my old grad photos. It didn't seem that long ago, but I look so different. It's weird to remember where I was and realize Steve's already there.
I'm not sure how much I'll use the Facebook, but there have been situations where it seriously would have been so effective and so helpful to be able to use Facebook in the past, so I wanted to go through the whole rigamarole of setting up their security things so that I could if I needed to. They have a cool thing called "FB Purity," an add-on for most web browsers, and Elder Hadley wrote a CSS code to put into it to hide the entire newsfeed. It's awesome, I might use it when I go home too. And then they also had us add an email address they created and select that we want ALL the notifications emailed to it, so they basically get an email of every single thing we do. So I feel like that will keep it pretty accountable.
So this week...on Monday we had a skype study with the Bathurst sisters, then P-day. We made tacos, which was pretty much the greatest, and then we basically just went knocking all evening since the potentials and referrals we tried weren't interested. I feel like we unlocked the cheat code on referrals this week though, like seriously we got about twice as many as we usually do, even just at doors. (They were pretty much the ONLY numbers we got this week...haha.)
Tuesday we had a skype companionship study with the Summerside sisters, and then we went home for lunch and language study. After that, we walked around the more commercial part of Dieppe and the riverfront and tried to contact, and then we got Sister Pitre to come to a lesson with a potential from Monday night, but it fell through. So we took her to pass by a few others who weren't home, and then we drove her home. After that, we did more contacting, and but it wasn't very effective since nobody was out, and then we went knocking. After that we had dinner, and thennnnn more knocking and referral contacting!!! Finally, we headed up to Moncton for our WML coordination meeting, only to get the text that he was cancelling the meetings until further notice. So we were like half an hour away from our area with nothing to do, so we stopped by a few LAs who weren't home, then we eventually just came back to Dieppe to knock for 15 minutes because seriously, if there's nothing effective to do, I guess you just have to do the least ineffective thing possible.
Wednesday we had a skype study with the Montague sisters before Mission Leadership Council over skype. 5-hour skype meetings are pretty much the hardest thing ever to pay attention through, but it was pretty great. We got a lot out of it about how to work with the members. President Leavitt has this thing he calls "Pray, Look, Speak, Invite," and we did a lot of roleplays about how we could follow up with it and build on it in very natural ways in each subsequent dinner appointment to build them as member missionaries. He said that the thing that would lift the tide the most in this mission is if every member would pray daily for missionary opportunities. Sister Leavitt talked about how our missions are like a "Mount of Transfiguration" for us -- we see our potential and how we can become, and then we go back home and we know what we're working towards. After MLC, we did some riverfront contacting and then had dinner. After that we did some knocking, and then we went and taught Stephanie a RC lesson, which basically confirmed to us that she's growing and progressing, but REALLY spiritually young still. So we'll have to work on that.
Thursday was district meeting, which was really good. Elder Widdup gave a training on "Listening" from Chapter 10 of PMG, and then after district meeting we had a lesson with Ashley and committed her to have FHE and daily family prayer and scripture study. She's doing great :) Then the Elders had the car for the rest of the day, but we'd forgotten to plan for that, so we basically did a lot of walking and it was like 25 degrees and I was soooooo tired haha. Our lesson with Brandi fell through, so we just street contacted and knocked until it was time to catch the bus to our DA. It was with Jayne, our ex'd member we're working with, and she made this shrimp pasta that was super spicy. It was so great! (Sister Lewis hates shrimp and has a low spice tolerance. Haha.) After that, we took the bus into Dieppe, but it took pretty much the whole entire time to get there, so we only got to knock for an hour. Nobody takes the buses in Dieppe either, since they're totally inefficient, so we couldn't talk to anybody. While taking the bus, we decided to write a goodbye song for Elder Sloan and Elder Wolsey, who are going home this week:

(to the tune of "Hey Soul Sista")

Hey, hey, hey hey
Our Jenga games
Because of you they never were so lame
We know we'll never forget you
And we never let you drive our car...too...faaaaar
Your sweet referrals
All of them were young and single pretty girls
You're really good at finding
But now your time is winding to its end.

Dieppe Sistas
Are just gonna miss ya
Awkward roleplays
Those were the days
Hard to believe they've gone away
Moncton Elders
Nothing rhymes with Elder
But we wrote a song for your...goodbye!
Goodbye! Gooooodbye! Goooodbye!

You're out of time!
I'm so glad you have a box mind just like me.
We'll tell you after your missions
Which investigators were wishin you would stay.
Oh when you're flying home
Think of us getting angry out on the road
Ex-Zone Leaders and STLs
It's the district we'd been dreaming of you see
You can wear some jeans now finally
While we're contacting on the streets
We want the world to know the feasts you eat


We also had kind of a funny experience knocking where there was this worm on the sidewalk getting eaten alive by ants. Sister Lewis thought it was super sad and found a stick to move it into the grass so it could escape. Then the door opened and it turned out the guy living there was watching the whole things through the window and basically thought we were super dumb and didn't take it seriously. (This is why missionaries need to respect the dignity of their calling.) After that, we took the bus home, which got us home a bit late, but it wasn't too bad.
On Friday, we had studies and then drove to Tracadie-Sheila! It's a super French town where the FTLs are, and us and the Bathurst sisters went up to work their area and have more of an immersion experience. The ride up was really interesting. First of all, we got lunch at Burger King. It was gross. Then, all the sisters were texting in their goals for weekly planning and it was just like, "Whaaaaaat?" all the time. Like a companionship had a goal to challenge 2 people to baptism, but a goal of 0 on date. (You have a goal to challenge them and they'll say no??) So we had some calls with the district leaders about it. Then we got to Tracadie. We needed to use the washroom, so we stopped at an ice cream shop, because might as well buy ice cream while you're at it, right? She served up my soft-serve, but then they didn't take Visa, and my Canadian debit card is completely out, so I had no way to pay! I was so embarrassed! And I had to have the whole conversation in French! She was really nice and let me just have the ice cream for free. Most embarrassing moment of my mission, seriously.
We did some roleplays together, then we went to this museum. It used to be a lazaret, or a hospital for lepers. It was super interesting and a nice way to just learn talking-about-normal-things French (which is hard since all of my French vocab is gospel-related). After that, we went street contacting and knocking. I was with Sister Coleman, which was super fun. We got told we look alike, which happens to us EVERY TIME. Haha. I managed to place a Book of Mormon and get the elders a potential to follow up on. (It was a single guy so we couldn't go in.) It really made me want to work on my French more, because I realized that if I were in a more immersion-y area, I'd totally speak WAY better French. It was a good time though. But it was like 28 degrees and we were outside all day! I was DYING. Then we went to this open mic night, which was basically Acadien hillbilly music. It was hilarious. We were going to sing an upbeat version of Called to Serve with Sister Coleman playing the ukelele, but we had some technical difficulties with the mikes and basically it was super bad. Haha. Then we headed home, super late, and we were SO tired and trapped behind a super slow car. Turned out okay though, because we saw a moose! It didn't some onto the road, but it was right on the edge and I was glad we were going 80. The whole freaking way home. Haha. We got home at like 11. I was so tired. We had a really great contact at a gas station in Miramichi though, but I didn't bring a pass-along card in because I was too lazy, so I had to go out to the car and get one. It was probably the first effective gas-station-attendant-contact I've ever had.
On Saturday, we had the French skype call and then the call with the ZLs about the goals for the week. Then we had lunch, and decided to do weekly planning since we still hadn't gotten to it. We got through most of the planning fast, but ended up having a super long companionship inventory because basically Sister Lewis hates talking about her feelings and also doesn't know how to react when I'm experiencing any kind of emotion, so sometimes things build up. So she made me a t-table to recognize her emotions and I made her a flow chart to know how to react to mine. Haha. After that, we went street contacting, I think, and then we had a lesson with Bella, but it fell through, so we tried to see Judith, but she was busy, so we had dinner, and then we went back out and knocked for a while, then tried Bella again, but she was still busy. Then we went to go see the Robichaud family, who used to be super active in Saint John but are now LA even though he's still the high priests group leader. Only Sister Robichaud was home, but we basically had the best LA visit EVER where we got to know her, were super warm and friendly, and then got her concern and it was the perfect balance of boldness and following the Spirit without offending them, and then we committed her to things and she wants to have us back. She recognized that she kind of lost perspective. It just felt really nice and we were really pumped up from it.
On Sunday we checked transfer emails, and we were both staying, as we hoped. Sister Lewis always gets nervous for transfers so she was getting super impatient on the drive to the church. "I wish brakes weren't invented." Hahaha. Then we had church, which was great. We got to hear about Ashley and Stephanie's first temple trip to do baptisms, which was awesome, and it was so cool to see how much they both grew spiritually from just that one little thing. Then we had an appointment set up with a male potential, so we brought the Elders to pass him off to them, but it fell through. Then we had planned some streets to knock, but it turned out to be an industrial park, so we picked another, and it was a trailer park. We were tired of driving around though so we just knocked the trailer park. I had a huge fasting headache (we were having a district fast for families) and it was SUPER hot so I was trying really really hard to have a good attitude, haha. Finally we went riverfront contacting instead since nobody was home for the long weekend, and we had our first really effective French street contacts ever, which was great. Then we had dinner, then we went to the church to skype the office elders to get my Facebook account set up, which was basically super weird. Then we went knocking for about an hour and it was a lot more effective than it usually was -- Sister Lewis made a lot more progress in saying things in French that she hasn't before, and we had great conversations. (Attitude is everything, I guess) Then we came home and got all the numbers in, and all the sisters had a super low week, so Sister Lewis was discouraged, so we ended up having a really late-night conversation. I found Sunday evening really uplifting though, so now I just feel good and super motivated.
Then this morning we had studies and such and then came to the church. We emailed late because the library was closed for Victoria day and the Elders had to email first before going to Hopewell Rocks for the Moncton Elders' last P-day.
Love you
Sister Olson

Touring the Lazaret. The lady giving the tour is actually a Catholic nun, so she was Sister So-and-So too. It was kind of funny:

The Acadien open mike night. I have some great videos for once we're home. Think super, SUPER nasaly country music with old people dancing.

It was so warm!

The drive home

Sad pictures with food has become a companionship joke by now. I think we remembered the Elders were going home or something. We didn't even buy food for that, it was just sitting in the car haha.
 More of the drive home:

I think these are hilarious:

We bought dilly bars to share with the elders since half our district is getting transferred out. We had to make the joke again.

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