Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peru Here I Come!

I'll have more time to discuss the details tomorrow during my P-Day, but just a quick note to say that my visa finally arrived. Bittersweet in a way. I have been loving my time here in the New York New York South Mission. My companions have been fantastic. I was even looking forward to celebrating July 4th in New York City. But as it turns out, I only get the one week here.

I talked to my Lima Peru mission president before I left the Provo MTC and he warned me not to get too comfortable in New York. Looks like he was right. There were 6 other Hermanas who flew out with me from the MTC to New York New York South to wait for our visas to Peru, and only 3 of us got our visas. We fly out to Lima on Tuesday, July 2nd with a layover in Atlanta, GA. I am excited to go, but I will also miss New York.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Goodbye Provo MTC, Hello ...NY?

14 June 2013

This week in the MTC has been crazy!

My tripanionship said goodbye to all of the Elders in our Zone, which was great but also kind of sad. Our teachers weren't sure what to do with us since we'd been extended a week, and so we've been put with a couple of advanced districts in different zones. Yesterday we went to one district in the morning and another in the night. It was really cool to see how much I could understand! I've decided that listening isn't the hard part, it's the talking back. The people in the advanced districts are really nice and it was fun talking and teaching with them in Spanish. For the next few days we will continue to go to class with them so that we can continue to improve our Spanish.

The best part of this week was getting our reassignments! Our visas for Peru still haven't arrived, so we are all being temporarily reassigned to stateside missions while we continue to wait for our papers. We thought our reassignment letters would be in our mailbox after dinner on Thursday, so when we opened our mailbox at lunch and saw them inside, we were super excited! We ran outside and jumped up and down and read our letters one by one.

The mission where I will be serving while waiting is.......

New York New York South Mission!

The New York New York South Mission
I am totally stoked! I leave on Monday morning from the MTC at 3:30 AM. I then catch a flight from SLC at 7:20 AM going to Washington Dulles, DC. I arrive there around 1:34 PM. I then catch a flight from there at 2:22 PM to New York LaGuardia arriving around 3:42 PM. We met with some others Hermanas going to Peru that got reassigned as well, and there are two other sisters going to New York with me, so I won't be by myself in the airport, but I'm pretty sure I'm not sitting by them on the plane. I am soooo excited! New York City, here I come!
My MTC companions also found out their temporary missions today (sad they aren't coming with me). Hermana Lind got called to Billings, Montana and Hermana Jones got called to Texas, Fort Worth. They both leave on Tuesday morning. They are super excited too. 
The Unisphere in Queens

The letter doesn't say anything about what language I will be speaking, but I'm assuming it's like other USA foreign language missions, where you get put into areas that have more of the speakers of your language, and you may or may not have to teach in that language. I guess I will find out!

I get the opportunity to meet the new Mission President for Lima West on Saturday, so I'm super excited for that. He will be starting his new assignment on July 1st. Even though we may not be in Peru for a little while, we were all excited to meet with him and his wife. I also get to sing for the Prophet on Sunday, so that's awesome too. There are lots of people here at the MTC getting ready for the big meeting on Sunday, not to mention a lot of excitement and rumors going around. I looked at my mission yesterday online and saw that it covers Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. I am stoked! I really want my visa to come still, but I am totally fine with waiting and serving in New York for the time being!

I'm super glad to finally be able to go and do all the things I've been learning about for the past 7 weeks! My time here has been great, but I am so ready to go out into the field! My parents will update my contact information this next week once I get settled in, or you can always send me an email.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

An Extra Week in Provo


So I just found out that I've been extended another week here at the MTC! Crazy, huh? Everyone who is going to Peru that is here has been extended another week, and then if their VISAS still haven't come, they will all get temporarily reassigned. Right now, there are about 30 of us waiting to go to Peru. However, a lot of countries are having delays with their visas right now, so we're not alone. The Elders in my district are all going to Argentina, but their VISAS haven't come yet either. They all got their reassignments today! Three of them are going to Ogden, two to SLC, and Elder Rossler got sent to Oakland, California. They are all really excited to get out of the MTC, and I can't blame them. On the positive side, becuase I've been extended I have the chance to sing in the choir for the big devotional on Sunday, June 25th. It will be cool to sing for the Prophet! I just hope there is room in the choir because last week there was about 400 people over what they needed and when the prophet comes it will be first come, first serve. I will do my best to be in it!

I guess that means I will have another week to learn more Spanish and sharpen my teaching skills! Bro. Busath says he might have the three of us hermanas go into an advanced class for our last week, but we'll see. I'm totally OK with that, but Hermana Lind really doesn't want it to happen.

All of the Hermanas in my zone here at the Provo MTC.
It has been great getting to know each of them.
Yesterday, I went to In-field Orientation with my district. It was really long, but it had some good parts. I learned more about how to teach with a member present and how I can expect to work with the Bishop and ward members. Overall, I learned that I need to be really enthusiastic and trustworthy so that the bishop can trust me with less active families and so the other members and know that I love them and want to help. It was kinda weird though that Elder Christianson from the District (the movies they have all the missionaries watch before coming to the MTC) was there to help teach us. He was really funny! At the end of the orientation, they put on a play and they totally copied parts of The Best Two Years, and he was the new missionary. It was great!

Helping with our weekly service assignment
Other than that, this week has been pretty much the same as the others. Learning lots of Spanish and working on how to teach people. Last Friday, I was sick for the first time since coming on my mission, so that was different. I'm pretty sure I ate something that had me throwing up all night, but I just slept in on Friday morning to about 9:15 and then got out of bed and took it easy the rest of the day. I didn't even miss a class! This showed me that the Lord really is watching over us and helping us be healthy, becuase normally something like that would have put me out for the whole day! By Saturday, it was like I had never even been sick!

I want to share a spiritual thought that I had yesterday. I was reading in Enos, and really loved when he said that "my soul hungered." That is such a great phrase! I feel like I need to want to learn more about the Gospel and want to teach others about it more until my soul hungers for it! That will make me a better missionary, and the investigators will be able to feel my love for the Gospel.

Elder Spice received a package this week with a bunch of bigotes (mustaches) for our district. Everyone agreed that out of all the girls, my bigote fits my face best... not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not -- ha ha!

I got to see my two cousins, Elder Bone and Sister Langford, one last time before they both left on Tuesday, June 11th. I also got to orient one last district on Wednesday. Since they didn't know at the time that we would be staying in the Provo MTC one additional week, they went ahead and called new Sister Training Leaders. They already called the new STLs, so Hermana Lind and I will be released this Sunday and the new STLs set apart. The surprising thing is that this last district I helped to orient is entirely made up of Elders. There are 10 of them! Crazy, huh?

How is this for a door approach?
"Hola! Mi llamo Hermana Marx (El Groucho) y esta
es mi companero, Hermana Libre (de Nacho)."

I am super excited to go to Peru, but I might have to wait a month or two til I get there. The sisters in the last district who left the Provo MTC and were still waiting for their visas were mostly assigned to Arizona and Texas. We were told that if we still have no visa next week, we will ship out of the MTC for sure on Tuesday, June 25th, so maybe we'll get to visit the Alamo or hang in Tucson a few weeks. For now, I'm enjoying my time here at the MTC and loving every minute of it!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Training, Teaching, and Hosting as a Tri-panionship

7 June 2013


This week has been pretty crazy! Our zone has gotten two more districts, I've become part of a tri-panionship, and I got the opportunity to host the new missionaries entering the MTC!

My calling as a Sister Training Leader (STL) has kept me plenty busy this week. I now have 8 more sisters on top of the other 4 to visit and help make sure that they are ok. It's really awesome to get to know all the girls, and I wish we had more time to talk to all of them! While they get their orientation, the other STLs and Zone Leaders get to sit in and listen until it is our turn to talk. It's really an uplifting experience becuase I always feel the spirit and learn something new. President Tyler is truly an inspired man who knows just what the missionaries need to hear.
Our Tri-panionship: Me, Hermana Lind, and Hermana Jones

Since my roommate, Hermana Boomhower, left to get surgery, the other sister in my district, Hermana Jones, has become part of my companionship with Hermana Lind. Therefore, we are now a three-some! It's kinda nice because now we can have a lot more diverse lessons with more experiences and teaching styles coming from three of us. So, it's been fun so far. Hermana Jones is awesome! Although a couple of times Hermana Lind and I forgot she was with us and accidentally left her behind (oops!). The other day, while we were teaching, our "investigator" just started laughing and we weren't sure the end of the lesson, he told us that we looked like a stop light -- ha ha! We had even sat in the right order:) It was awesome!

"Let your traffic light so shine before men..."
So, my district got to help host all of the new missionaries coming into the MTC this past Wednesday. It was really fun to help them, and brought back memories of when I was dropped off. I helped a sister going to the Phillipines, a sister going to the Cuzco, Peru mission, and a sister going to Russia! I felt like a true veteran being able to tell them where things are and helping them get situated here. It was crazy becuase the MTC got 940 missionaries that day, bringing the number of missionaries here up to a little over 2900! (The MTC can only handle 3000, so we're jam packed in here!) They told us that this broke the old record of most missionaries arriving at the MTC in one day. Because of the huge influx of missionaries, we also got 2 new sisters in our room, so now there are 5 of us. The new sisters are going to another mission in Peru, but they're not in our zone.

Happy Birthday Elder Stocks!
This week, Elder Stocks had his 19th birthday, so we sang to him and had a party! Our district has gotten so close, it's like we're our own little family! One thing is for sure, after our missions are over, we're going to have an awesome mission reunion!

My teachers say that I need to push myself more, because I usually just wait to go over new things while in class each day. Since I catch on really fast and have known at least most of what we have learned so far, they say that I need to start just learning on my own and going ahead, because I'm not learning much. I feel like I've learned a lot, but I do get bored sometimes...I guess they can see it on my face or something. Regardless, my Spanish is much improved, but indirect object pronouns and directs object pronouns are blowing my mind...everything is backwards!

I got to take a picture with my cousin Sister Langford last Sunday! I was sooo excited to see her! It is awesome to have two cousins here at the MTC with me. They'll both be leaving next Tuesday, so I hope I can get another chance to talk with them and take pics before they leave! Love Sister Langford and Elder Bone!
Me and my cousin, Sister Langford, who is going to the Utica, NY Mission

I will know within the next week for sure if my visa has come, and if not where I will be going. We are tentatively scheduled to ship out from the MTC on June 18th. In a way, I wouldn't mind staying in Provo one more week, because we just found out that on June 23rd, the prophet and whole quorum of 12 will be coming to the MTC to train all the new mission presidents who start serving in their missions on July 1st. They are trying to get a choir of 1000 missionaries, and they will have a big devotional with everyone in the Marriott Center, which is going to be amazing. So in a way, I wouldn't mind one more week, but either way, I'll go where the Lord wants me to be. OH, and I was told that while I am in an airport going to Peru, I get the opportunity to call the family for like 30 min! So as soon as I known my travel plans, you will get an update! 

Lots of love, missing you guys but still having a blast out in the field. I cannot wait for Peru!!!!
Love, Hermana Olsen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Long Days, Short Weeks

31 May 2013

It is so crazy how much time has passed since I got here...I am already over half-way done! I don't feel like I've changed a whole lot, or that I'm completely ready to go out into the mission field. I'm super excited, but also a little scared!

Hermana Lind, Elder Ah-You, and I welcoming new missionaries

Since I'm a Sister Training Leader (STL), I got to help welcome in the new district of missionaries the last couple of days. It was kinda weird telling the other district the rules and where to go and feels like I just barely got that talk myself! Hermana Lind, Elder Ah-You, Elder Stocks, and I tried to make them feel welcome and help them out. One way to try and break the ice was we showed them the "Chair Challenge." Our district  discovered the game about 5 days ago. Someone steps three foot-lengths back from the wall, then drags a chair in front of them. They put their head against the wall, grab the chair, and then try to stand up. The girls have no problem completing the challenge, but the is so hilarious to watch! I highly recommend trying it! It's a great laugh!
A Chilean man carrying a heavy load

Anyway, as a STL, I got to sit in on all of the orientation meetings and help "orient" them, which means I was able to listen again to President Tyler, who is so spiritual, and he gave them an entirely different talk than he gave to my district. I learned so much yet again, and I'm glad I got to sit in. He talked about how when he was in Chile, he took a picture of a small man with a large load walking along the side of the road. He likened what he was doing to what we need to do every day to carry our own large loads:

1. Use your head
2. Bow your head and bend your knees
3. Take small steps
4. When the load gets too heavy, lean on the rock

Be smart, pray, be patient, and lean on the Lord when times get tough. I think that is really great advice!

Still no word on my visa, although it is more than just me as I am sure a few of us will need to travel together. They told us that our tentative date to leave the MTC is June 18th, so at this point, I am almost expecting to just finish out here at the Provo MTC, and then hopefully Hermana Lind and the rest of us will be on our way straight to Lima.

On our way to Spanish class
So far, I have really enjoyed being part of the MTC choir that sings every Tuesday. It is such an incredibly spiritual experience, and you always get a great seat during the Tuesday Devotionals. However, the Tuesday after we leave, there is supposed to be a huge devotional where we're pretty sure the Prophet is going to come and speak, and they're planning to have the biggest MTC choir ever. Super bummed I can't be part of that! They're going to start practicing for it this next Tuesday, so I don't know if I'll go sing in the choir anymore or not...maybe I'll go to the practice just to sing and feel the spirit.

Anyway, other than that, nothing super crazy has happened this past week...just the same old MTC here! Lots of classes and long days, but the weeks always seem so short!

Thanks to all of my family and friends for the wonderful emails, letters, and packages. I feel so loved!! Don't worry, I am sharing all of the goodies with my roommates and the Elders in my district.