Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct 16, 2017 Zone/Leader Conference Results

Dear mom and everyone,

So, this week was an interesting one. We started out by going to the leadership council we talked about a lot of things how we can be better as leaders and how we can better help the other missionaries progress, in the work and personal. President told us that we need to have a model area, that everyone can look at and say, that’s how things should be. He also gave us the goal to baptize 10 people a month. That's crazy, I have 12 in the whole mission, so we have been working really hard to bring the area up to that level. 

Wednesday, we had our Zone conference, we talked about the same things that we talked about in the council. He told us to have more faith to work harder to set high goals, so that's what we did. Thursday, we had our weekly planning, we set goals and specific actions to gain those goals. To gain the goal of 10 baptisms we are looking for families, and we want to baptize them all together. So, we are trying to find people more at night, when everyone is done with work and home with their family. 

Thursday, we put the actions into practice looking for families tracting in the night and we had a little success but not a lot. We ask everyone for referrals we have had more success with asking everyone even the people we just met for people they know. That night we came home really tried.

Friday was the same we didn't have too many lessons this week just getting to know people, teaching them in front of their door, setting appointments. It's been fun but exhausting. 

Saturday more of the same and Sunday we kind of calmed down a little, but at the end of the week we ended up contacting and 20-30people and we have this week full of appointments. 

Huatulco is beautiful. being a ZL is cool but nothing really special. My comp is cool, we get along well and he has till march for his mission. Yes, the members feed us, they usually give us money here too. We haven't done splits yet but we are planning them on Wednesday. we have to go all the way to Rio Grande, it 3 hours away. cooling is fun we have an over but I’ll have to see if it works, I’m going to make some biscuits and gravy soon so that should be good. They've given us shrimp twice now but they don’t skin them so that makes it harder to eat. They Johnsons work more with the Less active but we do family home evenings together at a less actives house. and we live like 2 mins away from their house, it’s like having grandparents next door. The church is super close too like 1-minute walking. 

Well I love you all, I found a restaurant that’s really interesting it’s not open yet but we’ll see if I can go. And I found something amazing in the store today.

Elder Olsen

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Oct 10, 2017 Huatulco and Tag Picture

Here are more pictures Mitchell sent from his new area of Huatulco.  Now you can see why he didn't want to serve a mission in a beach area.  We now definitely need to plan on going back and visiting his mission after he gets home. Oaxaca, Mexico is beautiful.  He even has members that love us so much already that they want us to come and visit.  I received a Messenger Message from the family that Mitchell lived with for 5 months in Atyoac and says how much she loves him and how much she misses him.  She says he is a very special Missionary.  

Oct 10, 2017 Salina Cruz Zone Leader Conference

Dear mom and everyone again,

So yesterday we left and we went to Salina Cruz for leadership council it was cool. We left yesterday at 5 and we got there at like 8. We stayed at another elder’s house, it was in the middle of the damaged area but it didn't look like it. I sent pictures of the church ceiling. the council was cool we talked about training and our role in it and the district leaders and stuff like that it was cool. 

Huatulco is supercool its very pretty and it makes me want to not be a missionary here. Remember that I said that I never wanted to go to a mission with a beach well now I’ve had it twice. The earthquake didn't hit here. the work is slow we are trying to find new investigators I’ll let you know as the time goes by. Welp I love you

Elder Olsen

This is the same church that Pres. Conde was at when the earthquake hit.  Mitchell had a Zone Leader Conference there 

The following pictures are from Pres. Conde's Facebook Page.  He posted pictures of the Zone Leader Conference Mitchell attended in Salina Cruz

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 9, 2017 Elder Vasquez and Huatulco

Dear Mom and everyone,

So, I've been here for a week, it's been super cool. The area is cool we have an older couple named the Johnsons they beach is very beautiful, more than Zicatela. The members are cool, my comp is Elder Vasquez an ex assistant. The Johnson’s have a washer and dryer that that’s wonderful. We baptized this week. but today we have to go to Salina Cruz for a leader’s meeting and now I don't have time to write we leave in about a half hour so I love you hope you enjoy the pictures and I’ll see is I can write more tomorrow

Love you bye

Elder Olsen

October 5, 2017 Letter From Pres. Conde

Mexico Oaxaca Mission
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca

Dear Olsen Family:
This letter is to inform you that your son, Elder Olsen, has been called to serve as a Zone Leader here in the Mexico Oaxaca Mission. He has the responsibility to teach, take care of, inspire and edify the missionaries in his zone. His service has qualified him for this responsibility.
There are high expectations for your son in this new assignment. A Zone Leader must be an example to his zone in every aspect: for example, the work in his own area, his personal worthiness and his obedience to the Lord. The missionaries in his zone will follow him and I trust that your son will be a great example to them.
Your son will teach the missionaries and district leaders in his zone monthly. He’ll meet monthly with the Stake President/ District President and, sometimes, with the Bishops/Branch Presidents to coordinate and improve missionary work in his zone.
He’ll represent the Mission President in many situations and will make decisions that will increase the level of commitment of the missionaries and priesthood leaders with whom he associates. I’m sure your son will inspire his zone to follow the Lord and to fulfill the high standards that He expects of them as His representatives.
I congratulate you for raising such a responsible young man and I thank you for sending us such an excellent missionary. I only ask that you continue praying for him so that he can fulfill his new assignment in a way that pleases the Lord. Your son has all my support, love and trust while he continues to progress as a servant of the Lord.


President Félix Conde Beltrán
Misión México Oaxaca

October 3, 2017 Huatulco-Elder Vasquez Zone Leader

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was cool with conference and everything. 

Most of the week I was saying goodbye to everyone because I kind of knew I was leaving. 

Conference was cool. I need to go and download them because I had to watch some of them in Spanish which was cool but it made me tired, I didn't sleep but it was hard to pay attention. I can’t remember what happened so I’m going to listen to them again. But I really enjoyed the First session lots of great talks.

Oh, we had met this guy named Fidel last week he’s a friend of a member named Sol. He’s super cool he was progressing really well but I had to leave him but I’m not too worried about him. 

Oh, yea I’m on the coast again in Huatulco, they put me in as a zone leader which is cool but the assignments like this don't really matter, just jobs that need to be done but I think that he put me in at this because of a district meeting I gave. I was talking about teaching with power and authority and Pres came in and listened. Well, I wanted to read some scripture but I had written it down wrong so we read in aAlma instead of Mosiah but it was cool because my district saved me with a bunch of stuff that had to do with the topic. Someone said it was for that but who knows?

My comp is an ex-assistant again name Elder Vasquez he’s from Monte Rye. I watch conference in an office in the church but for some sessions, they didn't make it because they had to be in the mission office so I had to watch it in Spanish. Elder Chacon is on his way home tomorrow he just finished his mission.

Sorry, no pics this week I don’t trust this computer. 

Los quiero mucho

Elder Olsen

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sept 25, 2017 A Sick but Productive Week

Dear mom and everyone,

This week was interesting, I had told president about my headaches so he wanted me to get checked up at the doctors, So we went to the doctor’s office this Tuesday he said that they are probably just headaches but he wanted to run some tests, so Wednesday we went to do the test but they told me that it had been too long since the last time I ate so we went Thursday and they took out some blood and I got the test the same day but I we haven't been able to go to the doctors so well see what he says tomorrow. This isn't for anything besides me normal headaches so I think I’ll be just fine. But that ate up most of our time this week but we did get some good lessons in. 

Tuesday, we were in a bus so we didn't even feel the earthquake so we were super confused when everyone was asking if we were okay, almost nothing happened here just some scared people that’s all. It happened more in Mexico City, my comp's family is fine but there was a lot of damage done over there. 

Wednesday, we had a cool lesson with a youth named Marisa, she’s in the first picture. The spirit was so strong that she cried. We’ll keep working with her. 

Friday, we had a cool lesson with a guy named Ybram, He's been listening to the missionaries for years because his wife is a member, but we found out what he really needed and we are going to help him feel that he really is a child of God. 

Saturday, we ate with our new bishop, he was just put in a week ago and he is really excited to help us. We are going to have a lot of support from the ward. That recent convert Citlali didn’t want anything to do with the church but after with bishopric visited them she was super excited.

Sunday, we found this lady Hulga, she’s been having a ton of problems with alcohol mainly, but also her son is in jail under false accusations. We gave her a blessing of comfort and helped her realize that God listens to her prayers. We also went with the youth to visit less actives. That was cool

Welp that’s about it, everything here is safe and sound,

I love you all 

Elder Olsen

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sept 19, 2017 Hump Day

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was pretty ordinary, we have been knocking on doors for most of the last two weeks. We found this youth that has been really interested in our message. She is so interested that she has promised to buy us the best tlayuda in the city so that’s cool. She's a foodie too so we talk a lot about the food here what’s good what’s not and almost everything that is good I can't go to because it's too far from my area :/. But oh well. We also found an old lady that is very Catholic but was really interested in the Book of Mormon so we will continue to see her. Also, we started teaching the girlfriend of one of the members and she’s progressing really well even though she’s listened to that missionaries a bunch of times. Oh, we found this guy that doesn't really was to listen just talk, we went with him for an hour and a half and we were able to talk like 5 minutes. that was pretty frustrating. but we keep on trying. Oh, and something kind of sad, we went to my convert here and she has gone through a lot of problems and has lost her faith so we will be working with her. but the other converts are going well attending every week and participating. Oh, and the 15 was Independence Day here so we went to the member's house we live with to watch the shout, they shout Viva Mexico a lot with means like long live Mexico 

The quake didn't really affect that much here. The only real damage that happened was to the Catholic church so they have been all closed from reparation. Oh, and if you want to send money to help I would have to buy a bunch of supplies to send because the money wouldn't do much and there isn't like fund I can put it in. 

It feels weird having a year now but I’m satisfied with all I’ve done. The language is coming really well, there is only a hand full of words I don't understand ever once and a while. The greatest blessing I’ve had is to really start to understand what the gospel means and how it blesses us. for example, there is a member here that just lost a baby, I thought she was still pregnant so I asked about it and she said she had lost it but with a calm smile and I asked how she could smile and she just said, I know I'll get to see him one day everything will be just fine. That was super cool. My goal is to bring more souls to Christ, (DC 18:15-16) and to finish the mission all the way to the end. Welp just one more year to go and I'll be home, but for n, w I'm focused on the work here. 


I love you all, 

Elder Olsen

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

These are the missionaries that lived in the hardest hit area of the earthquake in Juchitan

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

Here are the posts that Pres. Conde sent out on his Facebook Page to let us know what had happened in Oaxaca after the earthquakes.  It was nice to be able to get information quickly and know that our missionaries we safe and taken care of.

First communication from the mission:
El sismo se sintió muy fuerte en Oaxaca, hay muchos problemas de comunicacion, inmediatamente hasta donde ha sido posible tener comunicación con misioneros y hermanas están bien, estamos yendo a ver a los que no se pueden comunicar, y los hemos encontrado bien, el Pte y los asistentes están saliendo a Matías Romero que es donde nos falta tener noticias, gracias por sus oraciones diarias de protección para sus hijos porque el Señor los ha escuchado
The earthquake felt very strong in Oaxaca, there are many problems of communication, immediately to where it has been possible to have communication with missionaries and sisters are well, we are going to see those who can not communicate, and we have found them well, the president And the attendees are going out to Matías Romero which is where we are missing news, thank you for your daily protective prayers for your children because the Lord has heard them

Communication from Pres. Conde the morning after the first earthquake:
Last night we had an earthquake that affected the entire state of Oaxaca, among other states in southern Mexico.
Fortunately Sister Conde and I arrived in Juchitan last night to meet with all the missionaries in the areas of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in a conference that would be held Friday morning. So immediately after the earthquake, we under took the task of contacting each missionary of the whole mission with the help of the district leaders, the zone and the assistants. At dawn we personally visited those missionaries who could not reach us by cell phone.
Today we will visit or contact each of the missionaries of Juchitan, Ixtepec, Salina Cruz and other cities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
We are humbly grateful to our Eternal Father for His blessings and protection.
Some parents, mothers and leaders have contacted me to know the status of their children and the answer has been the same: every missionary in Mexico Oaxaca is well and in a safe place.
Thank you for your prayers and concern for all the missionaries.
Pres. Conde

Communication after the 2nd earthquake.  This is the one that hit Mexico City:
After last nights Earthquake we can report that we have checked on all missionaries in the Oaxaca mission and they are safe and sound and are in safe locations.

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