Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 15th, 2014

Denis and Ines got baptized on Friday!  They did it!  They just got confirmed yesterday.  Oh my goodness famille, it was so awesome.  It was the biggest baptism this ward has ever seen; there were 70 people there!  The Spirit was so strong.  The day of, Denis got stuck at work, left with him and his boss to finish everything.  He said there was no way that he was going to finish in time for the baptism, and he didn`t know what to do.  So he prayed and said Heavenly Father, if I am supposed to do this today, please help me be able to get to my baptism.  Right after, his boss came up and told him to go home.  Church is true everybody!  And now it`s got two new golden members.  My goodness.  I wish I had words to describe it.  I love them so much.  They are going to have such a huge impact.  Our ward needs them.  I am so blessed to be serving here in Gatineau!

Transfer calls.  I am training.  Also, the Elders in our ward that we serve with, Elder Norman (who came to Gatineau with Sister Wright- been here for a year) and Elder Jenkins (from my MTC district- came in with me).  Elder Norman is going to train in Montreal.  And Elder Jenkins is staying with me here in Gatineau, training as well.  I didn`t stop crying all night long.  We were sure that no matter what happened, Elder Norman would be staying, and I could stick with him.  The ward and all of our leaders are devastated.  I don`t know how we are going to do this.  Neither of us have any idea how to do this.  And after having the same two missionaries here for a year... it kind of feels like we are getting our feet pulled right out from under us.  This weekend has been so hard.  But I know that somehow everything is going to be okay.  I don`t know how, and we might be stumbling around for a while, but I know that Heavenly Father is going to be there for us.  I know that He is not going to leave us alone.  And it might just be me, my greenie, and Him against the world all the way out here in little Gatineau, but that`s a pretty powerful team.  I just know that as we work hard, be obedient, and rely on the Spirit, we are going to be okay.  He`s going to be with us, and we`re not going to fall.  Finding faith to overcome fears.  I`m still working on that.  But I know that the Lord blesses His missionaries to be more than we really are.  No matter where we are or who we are, our Heavenly Father knows us and we are never alone.  He will be there for me and for you at every step.  So let`s all have a little more faith!  We`re going to get there!

So this Wednesday our little Gatineau family will be heading to Montreal.  Sister Wright will be going home, and I`ll find out who my new greenie is!  (Hopefully she`ll be francophone) And then us four greenies we`ll hopefully find our way back to Gatineau and survive up there.  Pray that the GPS has arrived at the mission office by then.  And then I guess we`ll just take it one day at a time, because, what else can we do!

Hey famille, I have a challenge for you.  I want you to go to and check out the Hastening the Work website.  It`s the new way the Church has implemented to do missionary work, and it is beautiful!  And it just so happens that President`s stake is the model for it, so he`s all over it.  Watch it for family home evening!  Maybe you could watch one each Monday night for a couple of months.  It`s so inspired, and it`s the way that the Lord has decided that we will usher in His Second Coming.  Check it out.  Check out the member and missionary tab.  (I love that we are all under the same section, what does that tell you? ;);) )

We got President to Gatineau this Sunday!  It was awesome.  He was in the circle for Denis and Ines, and then he gave a talk and a fireside after church.  It was just what our members needed to hear.
Okay, that`s all I guess, I`m too exhausted to write anymore-- emailing home is hard stuff!  Hey also, I know this is really inconvenient, but I was wondering, would you mind printing out my weekly emails and putting them in a binder for me.  This are often more detailed than my journals, so I`d really love to have them after my mission.  Thanks so much for all your love and prayers and support.  I love ma famille so much!  Have a good week everyone!  Good luck with school and work, and don`t forget to have fun and pray for missionary opportunities!  And your little French missionary out here in Gatineau. I`m really going to need it.

Killed a spider with my bare shoe yesterday.  It`s starting to get cold.  I`ll send pictures of the baptism!  Love you! 

Love love love,

Soeur Catherine Olsen!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 8th, 2014

September 8, 2014
Hi cute famille!
This week was a really long week for me and my trainer.  She is really having a hard time with going home and I am really having a hard time with being left here alone in Gatineau!  I've been studying a lot this week about finding faith to overcome fears.  I am learning so much about the Atonement out here on my mission.  I have never been so keenly aware of my weaknesses and shortcomings.  It is a really humbling experience and I am really learning how to rely on the Savior and his Atonement to overcome my shortcomings.  I am becoming even more grateful for Him and His grace and mercy for each one of us.
Guess who came to Church yesterday!? Isabelle and her three kids: Sariah (9), Loic (6--super french name, cute eh?) and Mika (4--girl).  Jim, her boyfriend and their father (excommunicated member of the Church), was too tired so hopefully next week!  It's a miracle!  We going to get them married and then they are going to get baptized and sealed together for all eternity!  I love them soo much; we are so excited for them!  They understand everything so well and are committed to getting married and baptized.  They did get a little of a surprise this week because they were under the impression they had to get baptized before they could be married.  That was a shock.  We also had to explain that there are two marriages, a civil and then a sealing.  Ha, ha I have never seen two people's eyes pop out more.  We missionaries are just full of eternal surprises!
Denis and Ines are getting baptized!  The baptism is this Friday!  I am so, so excited!  They are so cute and soo ready!  They both had their baptismal interview in May.  Denis was actually interviewed by President Patrick.  This has been a long time coming!  They are really nervous still and I think they are feeling a lot of pressure from us and maybe the ward.  We are going to pull them aside and set things right.  Hopefully it will still happen because they need to be baptized so they can be sealed to their mom.  Hopefully we'll have some fun baptismal photos for you next week!
This Saturday is transfer calls... yikes.  I'll be finding out whether or not I am actually training and who my new companion is.  I'm trying really, really hard to keep my cool and just step up and take whatever is coming in stride.  It's going to be really hard.  No matter what I am going to be senior companion of the area. Sister Wright has been here for a year and everyone knows her and loves her so much and they are all so devastated about her leaving.  She knows everything about Gatineau and I am so worried our little French area is just going to fall to pieces when she leaves.  But if I have learned anything out here it is how much Heavenly Father loves the people of Gatineau and He is not going to allow their progression to halt just because of my inadequacies.  So we'll just keep praying and being obedient and working hard!
Love you all!  Miss you so much and I hope school and everything is going okay! 
The Ogden temple and Labor Day Picnic look so fun!
Soeur Olsen

Cute Josianne and Fanny Allard from the ward took us out to the cute little cafe where they work. (These girls did a mini missions with Catherine and Sister Wright.)

Sister Craven--Sister Wright's previous companion, my Sister Training leader-- in our district just had her birthday.  So we decorated District meeting with balloon animals.  Remember those days?  I am still a pro.

Sister Wright, Mika, and Sariah. (They are teaching these little girls and their family.)

Elder Norman swallowing a hot dog whole

Me and Damion and Nathan--boys of member Caroline Baker.  So cute!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 1st, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hi famille!

I love hearing all the adventures from home.  I hope school and work is going okay for everyone.

Little and big miracles in Gatineau:

Big Miracle: Last p-day things got crazy off schedule and we didn't have any time to do our grocery shopping. Yikes.  It turned out okay because the Lord knows his missionaries need to eat.  So He made sure that we had dinner appointments (and the leftovers) every night this week.  What a huge miracle.  The people and ward here is so, so sweet but they just never think to invite us over and feed us!  It was such an unexpected tender mercy.

Little Miracle: They have Tim Horton's in Canada.  I don't know how to describe them.  They are like a mix between McDonalds and Starbucks.  We went and got what are called Tim Bits this week. They are like doughnut holes, except they are so, so good!  It brightened our week right up!

Big Miracle: Sister Wright locked the keys in the house on Wednesday night when we were stopping by home to get our whiteboard for an object lesson with Denis and Ines (Dad and daughter from Cote d'Ivoire. Sister Wright has been teaching them the lessons for a year now and they are getting baptized Sept 12th!).  We had left all of our things in the locked car.  So we were locked out of our house and car with nothing but a whiteboard, marker, and cellphone five minutes before our lesson. A stake member was coming to the lesson and we would not be there on time.  Stressful!  We walked halfway there (looking ridiculous) and then a member came and picked us up and came to the lesson with us.  It was a stellar lesson!  When she dropped us off at home we found out that the members we live with (who have the spare keys) had just left for Toronto for the rest of the week!  It was bad.  It was 10 o'clock and night and we already had our District Leader (who was on splits all the way out in Ottawa) on his way to drop off the car to the Sister Training Leaders so they could  come pick us up and take them to their apartment for the night.  The Elders were going to have to take the bus all the way back home.  The Zone Leaders were getting ready to drive down to help us break in.  So we basically had the whole zone up in riots and out of their houses past curfew until our member, Maryse, carded the door and got us in!  HUGE miracle and super funny story.  You should have been there!

Little/Huge miracle: The members we live with, the Schulka's, gave us a cutely wrapped pink present this week with a can of spider spray in it that says: KILLS ON CONTACT.  Best gift ever.  We've have been going crazy.  I'm happy to report that we haven't seen a spider in three days!  Miracle juice.  Unfortunately, our house is now ridden with every other kind of the bug that the spiders were eating but I don't mind!

Big miracle: We had a lesson with Jim and Isabelle Bour (not married) and their three kids this week.  (Jim is an excommunicated member and Isabelle is a non-member.)  Most powerful lesson and experience I have had on my mission.  Jim bore such powerful testimony and committed to coming back to Church and he is bringing his family with him.  He says he's been waiting for Isabelle and she is finally ready!  She says that she has met with plenty of missionaries before but it's different this time.  She doesn't know why, but she says that maybe it's cause she is more open.  She said she will definitely be baptized!  So powerful and soo cool!  And their kids love us. They are so cute.  I'll send you a picture of them today.  Unfortunately, they didn't come to Church this week.  I have no idea what happened; we were really bummed.  But we're going to see them tomorrow so pray for them!  They are so ready, and they need the gospel!

I have learned this week how essential it is to have a Christ-centered home.  I see all these broken families out here and it just breaks my heart.  They have no foundation, no anchor to keep them from crumbling.  I realize now that without the gospel, without a common goal to work and progress towards, marriages and families don't last.  People change, and they have nothing in common anymore; kids go off the deep end.  It's so heart breaking to see.  Every family needs the gospel and the Atonement to help them with their problems and heal them from their heartaches and addictions and unify them.  We are all so blessed!  Thanks so much mom and dad for centering and anchoring our home in Christ and the gospel!  It makes all the difference in the world.

I hope you all have a good week!  And don't forget to buy some cupcakes for my half birthday!

Love, love, love,

Soeur Olsen

August 25th, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hey family! Sounds like the birthday was fun!  I starting school is going okay for everyone-- it's weird not being in school with you, I am still surprised to hear that life goes on without me.

Okay, so we've had this huge spider guarding our door for weeks.  And I finally killed him!  Get this though, we got up this morning and opened our blinds, and there is a HUGE spider web blocking our entire front door just outside with a big old tiger looking spider sitting in the middle.  And right below him on the side is this ginormous wolf looking spider.  Long story short, our little kitchen window is now our way in and out of the house until the Elders come to kill them.  Canada spiders are sooo much bigger; I wish I was brave enough to get you a picture, but I get shaking too bad.

So we have been working with a lot of Recent Converts and Less Actives (LARCs) lately.  We are trying to help them get their patriarchal blessings.  It's been so cool!  One of our recent converts-Ana- is going to be getting hers hopefully in a few weeks.  I am so excited for her. We've visited multiple times a week ever since I got here.  She's been going through so many hard things, and so many big decisions in her life.  This blessing is going to help her so much! Patriarchal blessings are soo so powerful and so important.  It reminds how fundamental my blessing has been at every point in my life.  Rebecca just got hers too!  I hope you are really using it has a tool.  There is a special comfort that comes from reading your blessing directly from Heavenly Father to you.  Makes sure you read it every week.  Between the scriptures and your patriarchal blessing you will find answers to every question you have about what you need to be doing.  We like to use the story of the Liahona to help our investigators and recent converts understand. That’s really what it is.  It so exciting and fulfilling to help these people works toward them and receive because it's definitely one of the biggest blessing of the restored gospel!

We had the trainers/greenie meeting in Montreal this last week.  It was so fun!  And we went and got poutine again!  Haha we're going to have to take a poutine break; we've had way too much this week.  I'll send a picture though.  This is the first place I ever had poutine.  Montreal is such a fun city though! It's so fun walking down those streets as a missionary.  And the meeting was super fun too because I got to see my MTC district.  It's so fun to see how we've all just been shipped to the opposite ends of the mission and just stepped right up and started working to build the kingdom in our separate corners.  Missionary work is so powerful and so important; I just love love, love being a missionary!

Love you all soo soo much!  Thanks so much for your love and emails!  Good luck with starting school back up!


Your favorite daughter and sister! Soeur Olsen

August 18th, 2014

Hi family!


Okay, this was such a long week.  I have no idea what to say.  You know, these emails home are really exhausting!  But I love getting all your emails and hearing about Anne's fiddle fest and Hammy!  Sounds like you are all doing really well!  Hey, let's have a goal to keep Hammy alive until I get home, okay?  I really want to meet this guy.  I cannot even believe you've get a hamster roll around there in Utah--it's like I don't even know you anymore!


Zion looks so fun; thanks so much for the post cards! I'll have you know that I went "froggin'" this week too!  I almost caught him like five different times.  Those little guys are just so fast!  We went up to a camp last p-day that one of our members owns for special needs kids.  It was way fun.  We had s'mores.  Want to know something crazy that you've never realized before?  Chocolate is supposed to melt when you eat a s'more.  It's crazy.  I guess the laws are different up here.  So companies have to make their candy bars differently in their Canadian factories.  You would not believe how good a Hershey bar is here!  It's like a lindt bar or something.  And you have to pound your s'mores so fast cause otherwise the chocolate will liquefy and drip all over the place before you finish it.  Crazy right?  We never have that problem with the American wax bars.  Just watch for that the next time you have s'mores.


Tenney’s and Sarah are in town!  Tell them all hi for me!  And HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENJAMIN!  It's really been a long time since 22 now... ;) get it? I love you SO much and hope you have a wonderful wonderful birthday with lots and hugs and kisses from our family!  --This message better not have to be passed on by the way.


Okay so we had another mini mission this week, this time with the older Allard girl Fanny.  She is so stinkin' cute!  These Quebecoise.  So it was definitely a long week, but we saw a lot of miracles too.  Remember my gangsters--who aren't actually gangsters mom--?  They are doing really really well this week.  We taught Hydress the word of wisdom.  He is a little freaked out by it.  We  caught him taking a smoke about 30 minutes after our lesson.  But he is going to get there!  We also have been teaching Badou a lot.  He's been playing too cool since the beginning, so Sr. Wright really got after him a few lessons back.  He has completely turned around now.  He is finally praying!  He has even been praying twice a day!  And he came to church!  Oh my goodness.  He is a totally different person when he prays.  He is so much brighter, and he actually smiles!  It is so cool.  He said that he can feels a difference when he prays; he is happier and nicer to people.  Oh my goodness!  I wish you could see the huge impact the Atonement is having in his life.  The Atonement is really at the center of all our miracles.  There is nothing like watching somebody use it in their lives.  Unfortunately, he told us yesterday that he is actually moving today to Calgary.  NO!  It's so so sad.  But we are going to get him in contact with missionaries somehow, so we hope he will meet with them there.  We know we planted a seed though, so we hope that he continues pray and nourish it.


Thanks so much for all your love and prayers family!  You are the best!  It is miraculous the strength that they gives me to handle these difficult situations.  I love you all so so much!  Have a good week and keep cleaning the room so that the hamster can stay!



Soeur Olsen

P.S.: My companion locked the keys in the car this week so we waited for an hour in the rain for CAA (Canadian triple A).  I am not the only one who does it
First time in Tim Hortons.  These things are all over the place here.  A mix between Startbucks and MCdonalds.  Tim bits: their infamous doughnut holes, so good!


catching frogs!