Monday, September 11, 2017

Sept 11, 2017

I have made a few Missionary Momma Friends on Facebook who have son's in the Oaxaca Mission.  We have all been communicating with each other since the earthquake happened.  We were all anxious to hear from our missionaries today and most had good news that they were fine and they didn't have any damage to their area.  Some had to be evacuated because of the tsunami warning, but all was well after a day or so.  Well, one missionary gives an account of what happened to him as he was in the area that was damaged the worst.  Prayers go out to the people of the Juchitan/Salina Cruz area.  
Earthquake Update:
Well, I survived an earthquake. My area didn't get the worst of it but it is one of the closest cities to the major damage in Oaxaca. Thursday I went to bed a little earlier because we were going to wake up earlier to go to the zone conference. I was sound asleep when all of a sudden our air conditioner turned off, the electricity went out, and everything started to shake. It was pitch black, I couldn't see anything. I just heard everything falling to the floor and my companion saying "we have to get out, now!". I was still half asleep, I couldn't fully understand what was happening. I've been through other little earthquakes before so I knew it was just going to end in a little awhile. My companion ran outside (still in his underwear) and I stayed inside trying to keep the bigger stuff from falling, like the fridge. After it ended, I fully woke up and walked outside. We stayed outside then. I started calling my district to see if they were ok. The signal was horrible and I couldn't get ahold of them immediately. When I did, the Sister Missionaries were completely terrified, the Elders in Miramar were totally calm as if nothing happened. The zone leaders started tried getting ahold of us to give us instructions. We were then told that there was going to be a tsunami and we had to evacuate and meet up together. The missionaries met in a church in a city farther away named Tehuantapec. We got there at like 3am in the morning. We stayed there outside in the concrete trying to sleep. We didn't sleep. We stayed there until President Conde got there at like 10am and told us to stay there until further instructions. Later on we went to the house of a missionary close by to shower and then pack their things and take them to the church in Salina Cruz. We left at 5:30pm, got to Salina Cruz, wrote our families telling them we are ok, and slept in the church building in Salina Cruz Friday night.
Saturday morning showed up with Pres Conde telling us to focus on looking for new houses because ours are too damaged. My companion and I showered in our house and started looking for a new house. Saturday night the zone leaders called us asking for help in a service project by the church buying food from Sams Club and loading it on a truck that would take the food to Juchitan (where it was hit the worst). We were there awhile loading many supplies.
Sunday the church meetings were canceled, so we went to a members house to bless and take the sacrament. We then left to look for more houses. We found a pretty good one.
It’s been pretty stressful, I've been working and walking a lot, I haven’t slept in a long time but I'm ok. The earthquake didn't affect me much at all. Others had it much worst. Thanks for your prayers, and all I ask now that you pray for those that have lost more than I.
This is one of the chapels in Juchitan that was damaged
Members bring in supplies for people in Juchitan

 The map where the Earthquake hit at 10:30 in the evening Arizona time 12:30 in Oaxaca

Sept. 11, 2017 Storms and Earthquakes

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was Interesting, Oh and nothing happened to me. 

Tuesday, I had divisions with the ZL, it was fun, we knocked on doors almost all day and we had pizza from little Cesar’s for lunch.

Wednesday, we went back to all of the people we had contacted and almost no one was home. 

Thursday was the interesting day, we went to the church to teach a lesson there but it started raining really hard and there was a woman in a wheelchair with only one leg, she was looking for a place to take a bath. We took her to a store to wait out the storm. We went to the church and got super wet even though we were about two streets away. The guy couldn't come so we headed home. We beat the rain home so when we got there it wasn't raining and about 10 minutes later the rain came like a wall of water it was super crazy. There is like a ditch beside the house for rain run off that had turned into a river and destroyed two bridges. We couldn't do anything to help so we went to bed. Then the earthquake hit we were both a sleep and almost didn't wake up. but the sister we live with was yelling at us to go under the door so without realizing I’m under the door. and everything past. The rain really did more damage than the earthquake. But in El Istmo got a hit pretty hard so they asked for donations and I’ll see if I can send some money from you gave (I don't know if I can).

Well the rest of the week was pretty normal nobody needed our help (or at least that’s what they said) and the damage was very minimal. Oh and we have been running pretty consistently with one of the members we live with and his dogs. it’s been pretty fun. Oh, and I never talked with Sister San Juan. I was going to see them today but I couldn't get ahold of them but oh well.

Oh, and today we caught Chapulines they are like grasshopper that they eat here so we started cooking them all at once.

Well I love you all,

Elder Olsen

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sept 4, 2017 Al Pastor & Machete

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was pretty interesting we had some fun and ate some good food but we are still looking for more people to teach. Tuesday, I did divisions with the mission secretaries so I was in the offices for most of the day but when we finally went out it started to rain on us. So, we went to one of their investigator's house for cover. She would not stop talking about Trump and how we all hate Mexicans and stuff like that, it bugged me but I just kept quiet until we left. Then we went to an investigator that was supposed to be baptized that week and we just checked if she had any questions. 

Then Wednesday we just went to some people that we had contacted the week before but nobody was home.

Thursday, we went to a conference, it was super cool because they brought in a taco al pastor caterer and they were super good, and they also brought in fuzzball tables for everyone to play. After we went to that FHE that we had planned to the recent convert and we talked to her sisters. they were really interested but they didn't want us to come back. 

Friday, we had gone to that part member family but they weren't home so we went to eat and I was supposed to go interview someone for baptism but they were too busy and wanted to wait till the next week so we went to that family and had a cool lesson on faith. I also made taco salad that night and it tasted really good

Saturday, we did service at the recent converts house cutting tree branches with a machete that was fun but I had a big headache so we went home after that. Oh, and they gave us money to eat so we bought steaks and a salad it was really good, I found out I like fried onions so I fried some and some mushrooms with my steak. It tasted super good.

I was able to go to Sam’s but you should still send the card please :) and in the package, don't really need anything and I think I can buy the almonds in Sam’s so just maybe a tie. oh, and I thought and prayed about it and I want to finish the mission and go to school the winter semester in January so I’ll get home in the beginning of September. Well, I love you all. 

Elder Olsen
This must be the same Conference I got pictures from that I posted last week

 Al Pastor Catered Dinner at the Conference.  Marinated Pork with Pineapple.  This is a very popular dish in Mexico
 Conference playing Fuzzball
 Elder Olsen overlooking Atoyac
 Taco Salad
Elder Olsen's mother does not like onions and never cooks with them.  He has discovered that he really likes them so he fried up some onions and mushrooms and ate them with his steak. 
 A Dog?
 Service with a Machete.  He looks like a Stripling Warrior
 Gotta love the Coca Cola!. Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Bert would be proud
 And I don't know the story of the scorpion and I don't know if I want to know the story of the scorpion

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017 Area Conference

About a week ago I found out that Mitchell's new Mission President has created a Facebook Page.  This is wonderful news because there was an Area Conference today and they posted a few pictures from the conference.  Mitchell is sitting in the back on the isle where he likes to sit.  It makes me happy to see my missionary working hard and getting wonderful training from his leaders.

August 28, 2017 A Normal Week in Atoyac - Tender Mercy

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was pretty boring, we did hardly anything interesting. Wednesday, we went to teach a young couple. They seem kind of interested more the wife than the husband but they are expecting a baby any day now so while see what happens with that. 

Thursday, we had been running late to almost every appointment we had but we had a bunch of cool lessons. one we had with that part time family. we realized that we need to focus more on the 11-year-old kid because his sisters don't seem to want to do the things that this requires. so, we started focusing on him more and we hope that his sisters get a little animated about the church. Later we went to less active youth and just read the Book of Mormon it’s cool because you can see that he realizes that its true the more he reads. 

Friday, an ex-missionary came out and helped us knock on doors and give us some pointers and now we have like 5 appointments Wednesday. Later we ate with a recent convert and planned a FHE with her and her sisters who aren't members. After we went to a youth, we had to say good bye to him because he’s moving to a little town about 5 hours away, but his dad is going to stay here, we are going to send the referral to the missionaries over there (if there are missionaries over there). In the night, we had a FHE at the bishops he brought some Less actives and we brought that part member family but only the mom and that boy could come. Saturday everything fell through, so we went with a member and he took us and introduced us to his friends. One of them came to church yesterday and we had a cool lesson with him in the church. we hope he can progress. 

Oh, and guess what, I took my camera out to take a picture of our food calendar and I left it in the church, we passed by but it wasn't there and there’s no lost and found here so I think someone might have taken it. but it probably would have broken anyway because it rained unexpectedly and we got absolutely soaked looking for a reference, we ended up going to a member’s house and there lent us a dry white shirt and pants. The sad part was the reference wasn't even home.
oh, by the way tell Taymar happy birthday from me.

Well I love you all,

Elder Olsen

And here is the rest of the story.  So Mitchell's email didn't come in until like 10:30 that night!  I quickly read it and the last thing he wrote was that he lost his camera.  This devastated me.  I don't care much about the camera, it's the pictures that are on the SD card of his mission.  Well, I didn't sleep well that night because I worried about his camera, hoping an honest person had found it at the church and would return it to him. Well, on Wednesday afternoon while I was at work, I got an unexpected email from him asking when the Winter Semester at BYUI started.  I quickly emailed back saying I would find out and that his dad said to use his credit card to buy a new camera.  He emailed right back and said, "I found it, I changed back packs because it got wet and it was in the wet back pack."  Oh, our Mitchell.  He can be a little absent minded at times.  What a relief and a tender mercy.  Maybe this is a sign that he needs to send his mother his pictures and make sure he had downloaded his pictures to his external drive.  What a great blessing!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 22, 2017 A Sick Week

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was pretty slow because I ended up with a migraine and food poisoning at the same time. It was nice to rest but we did almost nothing. Tuesday, we took photos to renew my visa, (yesterday I completed 11 months.) Then we had a cool lesson with that part member family. we then went to the other side of the area and have a few lessons and we finished with a FHE.

Thursday, I just felt awful, we just went to our sure appointments and we went home and I slept for like 4 hours. When I woke up the sister we live with bought me some pasta, she’s super nice. 

We really didn't do much after that, we found some people and a lot of appointments fell. Oh, and then Monday we went to write and the internet went out in all of Mexico. so that’s why I'm writing today. oh, and we went to a FHE and made pizza and they came out really well. 

Well I love you all,

Elder Olsen

Anyway, pretty 

August 14, 2017 A Good Week's Work

Dear mom and everyone,

This week was pretty cool we are working pretty hard trying to find new people to teach and teaching the ones we have. Tuesday, we had a cool lesson with a recent convert and we told her to share the gospel with her family. She had done it and is trying to take them to church. Then after lunch the member we ate with took us to her aunt’s house to get to know her. It was cool because she really wants to find the truth but it will be hard because she can't read, well see how it goes. That night I called to sushi place but the wait was 2 hours so I decided to wait.

Wednesday, I did my first divisions as a DL. It was cool but it was with the mission secretaries so we stayed in the offices most of the time. When we finally left we only found one person nobody else was home.

Thursday, we had a really cool lesson with the part member family. They had a bunch of questions and that was super cool because we can really focus on what they need. 

Friday, I finally called the sushi early so I did get to eat sushi Friday and Saturday morning it was good but nothing like Masa. oh well.

Saturday, we had two lessons with the part member family. We focused on the sabbath day because one of them only works Sundays. So, we talked to her and she’s going to pray to know what to do to because to keep it. and then in the second lesson her mom was like, you need to find another job. That was cool.

Life it going really good, just really tired. My pants are great my socks everything is holding up really well. I need to send my suit to the dry cleaner but other than that fine. cooking to going ok. Last Monday I made like a fajita with chicken and queso (that real Oaxacan cheese It’s a lot better than what is sold up there). Being a trainer is good, it helps that my comp knows a lot he’s really prepared. That activities aren't going so well, we wanted to talk to the bishop about that but he hasn't been able to listen to us but oh well. 

Well I love you all, in 6 day I’ll have 11 months in the mission so that’s cool. 

Elder Olsen