Thursday, February 26, 2015

November 2014 pictures

Pictures from November 2014

February pictures....It is cold in Gatineau!

This is a picture of Catherine and Sister Carpenter, her companion, at the ice sculptures. 

February 23, 2015

It is FREEZING up here!  I am officially braving the worst winter in Canada.  The natives don't even know what to do!

This week was awesome!  We had zone conference on Friday and it was super stressful!  Sister Carpenter and I love working with the sisters and we love all we learn from giving trainings. This was our first training at a zone conference.  So it was stressful but it went really well.  In fact it was the best zone conference ever!  President Patrick said so himself.  The zone leaders and we gave a training on unity and then we set a zone baptismal goal.  I wish I could describe the feeling we felt. It was the most powerful spiritual experience I have ever had. As group of 45 set-apart full-time representatives of Jesus Christ, we knelt down in prayer seeking Heavenly Father's guidance in bring souls unto Him through baptism in the month on March.  It was so powerful!  We set a zone baptismal goal of 10 for the month of March.  The highest number we have had in the last 2 years is 8 but I know we can do it! I felt it and we are going to get to work!

I have to go cause the Elders just got here and are waiting!

I love you all!

Soeur Olsen

February 16, 2015

Okay!  I am sorry!  I literally spent all my email time uploading these pictures!  I know there are only two, but it takes forever!  Hopefully you will get more next week.
This week was good.  Isabelle and Djim are getting married the March 13th!  We went on exchanges with the Riverside Sisters Wednesday and Thursday and then with the Chapel Hill Sisters at the last minute Friday and Saturday.  We have zone conference Friday this week.  So I hope I have mail;).  We are giving a training.
Love you all!  Happy valentines day!  Hope you had a great week!

February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

This week.  Haha!  I love being a missionary.  It`s crazy getting to email time and realizing all the things that happened this last week.  We had lots of big ups and downs this week!
Monday: Lesson with Jocelyne.  We talked about repentance and having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Sister Carp shared this beautiful concept of broken things.  How we are all a little bit broken.  But how broken things lead to beauty.  Broken clouds brings sunlight, broken soil brings flowers.  Broken bread brings healing.  I love my companion.  She is so inspired and Christ-like.  It was so beautiful and Jocelyne was so touched!

Tuesday-Thursday: Fanny Allard came on a mini mission with us!  Do you remember when she did that towards the beginning of my mission with Sister Wright?   Yeah.  Well she and her sister, Josiane, leave this week.  I am so sad!  I practically burst into tears on Sunday when they came to say goodbye to us. (I guess I turned my emotions back on!)  It was so hard.  So instead they invited us over for dinner on Tuesday and we will go say goodbye to them then.  It`s going to be so hard. I wish I could express how much these two girls and this family mean to me.  The Allards do so much for us.  They have been answers to so many of my prayers.  The girls particularly have always been there to love me and lift me up in some of the hardest times of my mission.  This is the most Christ-like family you will ever meet.  Sister Carp and I always joke about how Frere Allard is going to have the biggest mansion in heaven.  They are such humble, faithful examples of serving as the Savior would serve and loving as He loves.

So while Fanny was here we saw Ivilise.  I hope I told you about her.  Anyway, she is so prepared.  We had planned to teach more about the Restoration/the Book of Mormon but neither of us could really figure out what to do.  When we got there she started talking about how her mom was in the hospital and how hard things were right now.  So we started teaching the plan of salvation, the purpose of this life and Heavenly Father and the Savior`s love for us.  It was so beautiful.  We fixed a baptismal date for March 20th!  Yay!  Please pray for her.  Her boyfriend doesn`t want to have anything to do with God and he threw out the last Book of Mormon we gave her.  So she will have to either marry him, or leave him before she gets baptized.  She needs this.  Things are so hard for her.  The whole lesson she talked about how she felt something was missing in her life.  I asked if this is what she felt was missing and she said yes.  The Spirit was so strong and I just love her so much.  I just hope that she`ll have the strength she needs to overcome the opposition that is going to come.

Friday: We went to Montreal for a mission leadership council. We woke up at 4:30 am!  Hurray!  Haha, I love how tired I am as a missionary.  It lets me know I am working hard.  So we took the bus down with the zone leaders.  The council was great.  President is so inspired.  I just love President and Sister Patrick.  We talked about ministering and President gave this great training on the angel that ministered to Christ in the garden.  He talked about what we would have done for Christ if we had been that angel and then talked about how we should take all those things and minister to others. ``Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me."  It was so good. 

The bus ride home was awesome too!  Our AP Elder Andersen is our new zone leader.  We love working with him.  He is such an incredible, powerful, and humble missionary.  (Remember that you tube video about the Elder that got his call to serve in Antarctica speaking emperor penguin?  Yeah that`s him!  Look up the video.)  He is such a scholar in the Gospel and on the way home he just poured out information on us.  Ha,ha but honestly, it was the coolest thing ever.  Sister Carp and I felt like we were listening to an apostle.  We love and respect our mission leaders so much and we want to be just like them!  We still feel so young and new and like we have no idea what we are doing.  He talked about the power of godliness and how we can call down the power of godliness through faith.  I have been thinking a lot about that this week and studying that a lot.  I read a talk from a general conference called "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?" and spent a long time this week pondering if I have enough faith to be healed and to be made whole.  Another thing he said that struck me was that Christ said I am meek and lowly in heart.  We discussed what that meant.  I was so struck by the profoundness of Christ`s humility and charity towards the Father and His unconditional love for us.  This week and I am really striving to become more like Christ by developing this submissiveness to my Father.  I know I can`t do this work on my own.  I am just a teenage, American girl who doesn`t speak the language but I know that I have a Savior that loves me. He also loves everyone around me. I want to serve Him and tell them of His love.  I know that if I am humble and obedient, and really putting all my faith in Him, I know I can have the Spirit with me to help these people understand and have a change of heart.  I feel so blessed to have the Gospel in my life.  I love sharing it.  I just want to do a good job!  But I know that Heavenly Father will consecrate my efforts as I repent and turn towards Him with full purpose of heart.

I love you all so so much!  Have a wonderful week!
Soeur Olsen

February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015

This week was awesome!  And crazy.  Remember how everybody dropped us last week?  Well, EVERYBODY dropped us this week.  We are no longer working with Caleb.  He sent us a text and told us he was switching wards because he doesn't feel like he is progressing.  He is still struggling with smoking and now he has been drinking as well.  We are happy for him because he doesn't speak French and he is twenty, so he should be in YSA.  But we miss him.  A lot!  It makes us sad.

Ana de Sousa, one of our recent converts/less actives is moving to Ottawa.  So we will miss her!

Jean Claude, a media referral, is too busy to see us.

But a couple of weeks ago we were in an apartment building of a member.  As we were going to leave, we felt like we should knock.  So we knocked a few doors and found a young man--we've been referring to him as FRIEND-- who had Mormon friends in Africa.  So this week we finally got a hold of him again-- turns out his name is Lamin-- and taught the restoration in the hallway of his apartment with him.  In the middle of our lesson one of our former investigators we are trying to teach again came down.  Things like this only happen to missionaries.  It is just the best!

Also, we found a beautiful family as we were getting into our car a couple of weeks ago.  We contacted the father, Patrick.  We have tried to have a lesson with him and Sister Carpenter finally got in with Sister Narraidoo last week while we were on exchanges.  So we have a new family!  Patrick and Esther have four and five year old boys. One of them is special needs.  I guess the lesson was really hard, but they were so into it.

Tuesday we had dinner and a lesson with Isabelle and the kids at Frere Allard's (Djim didn't show up again).  We talked about missionary work and asked Fanny why she was going on a mission.  Afterwards we watch the #becauseofhim video.  We talked about the blessings of the gospel and why that's important to share it with everyone and talked about who they can share it with.  As we were wrapping up, Isabelle piped in and talked about how grateful she was for the missionaries. She said how grateful she is for Sister Wright and I bringing this blessing to her and her family.  She started crying!  It was the sweetest thing in the world.  I love this family so much.  We found out that with all the paper work the earliest they can get married is the 13th of March.  I am so heartbroken.  We have transfers on the 4th of March. I will be sad to miss that if I get transferred but it's not about me!  I am just so happy for them and I just pray that the Spirit will continue to work with them and change their hearts so that they can go to the temple as a family one day. 

At the end we had to say goodbye to Fanny and Josiane Allard.  It was so hard!  I wish I could express how much this family means to me.  These girls were such bright rays of sunshine during the hardest times of my mission.  I am so beyond grateful for them and just so filled with love for them!  We cried so much!  We miss them so much.  But we are so excited for them.  They are in Utah this week with Sister Wright and Elder Smith and will go to the MTC on Wednesday.

Wednesday we went on exchanges with Dows Lake!  I was in Dows Lake with Sister Matos.  She is in the second transfer of her training. She is a fireball and such a good missionary! It was so fun riding on buses again and working with her.  While I was with her, we taught their investigator Michael with Caleb at the Rideau Centre, our huge mall here. Sister Carpenter and I are here doing emails right now and talked about how we feel like we are coming to the Capitol every time we are here!  So that was fun.  On the way out we ran into Elder Spencer (DL of Dows Lake..the YSA ward in Ottawa) all by himself!  Ha,ha.  It was so funny!  He had gotten split off from Elder Simoes (ZL) on the buses while on splits.  So we escorted him around the mall until we found Elder Simoes.  It was hilarious.

Thursday we went to Dows Lake's district meeting and gave a training on the vision to baptize.  It went well and definitely gave us more of a vision.  Why is baptism so important?  Not rhetorical, you should study it this week.  I am so grateful for the priesthood and the ordinances and the blessings they bring.  If you get a chance read Elder Anderson's Power in the Preisthood talk from 2013.

We had a lesson with Samuel and Blanche this week. They are the family from Benin that we found on Christmas Eve in Les Galeries De Hull.  They are doing awesome.  We watched the Restoration with them.  His brother Julius was there.  He loved it!  Sam always has friends and family from Montreal so we give lots of great referrals to the Montreal missionaries every time we have a lesson with them.  En tout cas, they understand the apostasy and the reason we are asking them to be rebaptized, and they are going to pray about it this week.  Samuel said the closing prayer which is always a little bit odd because he always sings and chants before he starts his prayer. We are not sure what to do about that and asked to know if our message was true.  We know they will receive an answer if they are sincere and put forth their efforts.  They still haven't come to church yet but we are so excited for them!  We are going to baptize a family!

Saturday, we had nothing to do.  So we went knocking looking for a friend of Frere Oula that we had knocked into months ago.  It was in small apartment building just down from our house.  We are pretty sure that Heavenly Father moved the building!  It is not there anymore.  But just to be sure, we went and knocked all the number two apartments on the street.  While doing so we found Luzna.  She is the cutest Haitian girl!  She said we could come back the next day.  So yesterday we went and saw her and her husband.  They are a young couple, both from Haiti.  Apparently she was the girl that we had helped with a table outside of her house during the fall.  Sister Carpenter and I were walking down the street on our way to catch a bus to church and I was talking to Caleb on the phone. Sister Carpenter stopped us and started to help them unload a table from their car.  After a minute, I set Caleb down on the sidewalk and helped out too.  She is so cute!  We started talking, and found out that she had a Mormon friend that gave her a Book of Mormon six years ago in Montreal.  She is so prepared!  We are so excited for them.  We are going back again next Sunday.

Today we went to Le Bal De Neige Winterlude in Ottawa!  They have the coolest ice sculptures. We went with our district.  Afterwards, we walked on the longest skating rink in the world and got beavertails.  So great!  

Love you all!  Have a great week.

Soeur Olsen

Catherine is alive and well!

February 26, 2015

Sorry the blog is not up to date.  Catherine is healthy, happy and working hard.  I will post the letters from February and try to post the letters weekly.  Thanks for your love and support of her!

Rosemary Olsen