Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Hello ma famille!!!

Sorry mom you will have to forward this to everybody.  I am reading and writing frantically so I don't want to have to look up and enter everyone else's emails.  Please don't be offended!

I LOVE your emails and letter throughout the week.  I actually didn't even have a chance to read the letters sent until yesterday.  I know I always said that missionaries aren't that busy, I take it all back.  We are constantly running around frantically.  We do have an hour scheduled of personal time every night apparently, but they always find something else to replace it with.  And apparently we aren't allowed to write letters except on p-day too.  So I won't be able to talk to you guys during the week, but please still write me!  Every night our district leaders hands out the letters that come and I don't want to be the missionary that doesn't get any letters.  It is so good to be updated on what is going on at home!  It makes me feel like a real person again!

My companion is Soeur Smith!  She is sooooo wonderful.  She is a tall stick.  So sweet and soft spoken.  She is from Gilbert, Arizona and has grown up in the church.  Our goal for this week is to become more assertive.  We waste so much time saying: I don't care, what you want to do.  So hopefully that will open up a few more minutes in our day if we can do that!

My district is amazing!  There are ten of us, two sisters and then eight elders.  We all have at least two years of French background.  Isn't that amazing?  We are all at the beginner level though.  Learning French is so much fun!  Our teacher is Frere Davis.  I just love him!  I get anxiety when he leaves.  When I walked in the first day, he just started talking to me French, and he has never stopped!  Although, you know me and my facial expressions, more and more he looks at me, laughs, and then repeats what he just said in English.  I don’t understand any French that anyone else speaks.  He is really good at talking clearly and rephrasing things, but any time another French instructor stops in to say hello, he has to repeat everything for us.  He is the best.  Elder Hunter, Brynn's friend, is here!  He is so awesome, he is the most hard working one of the group and he pulls us all back in when we get distracted, especially a particularly loud and rambunctious Elder Jenersie who is from Tanzania.  There are four Elders going to Montreal with me and Sister Smith.  One is going to New Hampshire French speaking, he is the only french New Hampshire missionary any of the instructors have ever seen and we are all worried he is not going to have a companion in the field!  Two Elders are going to the Congo.  And then Elder Jenersie is going to some country in Africa, Bennie I think?

We are teaching an investigator: William Toro.  Okay so turns out he actually is a member of the Church who is just role playing an investigator for us.  But they say that some of these people are also nonmembers or less active members.  They also have what are called "Gold Tags" walking around campus that we are encouraged to go up and talk to and teach them.  There are also made up converts, nonmembers, and less actives.  One companionship in our district found one to teach.  I don't know when they are going to have the time to teach them though.  Sister Smith and I really want to find a Gold tag because we think it would be so wonderful to teach a real lesson in English, but we don't know when we would have the chance to do it!

Yesterday we had our third Lesson with William.  The first one was Friday, second one was Saturday and we are teaching him again on Wednesday AND IT IS ALL IN FRENCH.  It is literally insane, but somehow it works!  The first day we were really struggling, and we are still really struggling, but it is getting better.  Sister Smith and I can really feel the Spirit during the lessons, and the second and third one went really well.  We are stumbling around trying to communicate, and sometimes we aren't able to respond to his questions because we don't have the vocab, but we try the best we can and it has been miraculous!  We have been praying all week to try and find out what it is he needs, and yesterday we were able to communicate enough in french that he actually told us what he was struggling with AND WE UNDERSTOOD HIM!  It was amazing.

We say all of our prayers in French.  It is really hard for me, but I am getting better with practice.  

One of my zone leaders is Tyler Haws' little brother!  Sick right?  He is going to Lyon, France Dad! Lots of the Elders in my zone are.  Frere Davis and lots of the French teachers actually served in Paris.  They might have been there the time the Stahelis were serving.  Do you know when they served mom?

So yes!  They surprised us with Elder Bednar Sunday night.  Our Zone leaders said he was coming, but when we got there they just played a video of one of his past devotionals though so we were really disappointed.  But when it ended, we looked up to see our Zone leaders escorting him in!  So cool!  It was such a great experience. Everybody kept talking about how they couldn't believe that he was just a normal guy.  That made me smile and reminded me of Grandpa Hinckley.

But Elder Bednar made us a really important promise that I would really like you guys to remember.  He said that if we pray for the gift of tongues every morning and night AND OUR FAMILIES PRAY FOR US TO RECEIVE THE GIFT OF TONGUES EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT, then the Lord will bless us to be able to communicate so that we can bless his children.  If you guys could please make sure to do that for me, everybody, that would be great.  I cannot speak this language.  The only way I am going to be able to do this with the Lord's help and your prayers.  Please, please, please pray for us!

I love you guys so much! Thanks so much for the emails and letters guys!  Love you so much!

Love, love, love!
Sister Olsen

Oh p.s. I am not sleeping great.  The bed is sooo uncomfortable and I dream a lot! One time I dreamed in French!  It was way cool!  Have a good week!  Love you all! 

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