May 1, 2017
It's so crazy that mothers day is coming up! it seemed like we just had christmas! I don't know who we have for dinner yet, so I don't know any details for the Skype. But we'll figure it out by next week so everything will work well! 4 will most likely work but I'll tell you if anything changes.
It's crazy that mascot tryouts are here already! Next month Ash is gonna be done with freshman year! This is going by so fast! Thats also crazy that she got her mouth infected! It must have hurt A lot. Wisdom teeth was bad enough but getting it infected again! thats just terrible! haha but she'll be fine though, at least your not dead :D.
One thing I love about here is all the rain! It rained like crazy for most of last week, and the river flooded high! Luckily this area is very hilly, so only parts of the area flooded, but it was so cool to see! The only downfall, was the next few days it was HOT and because of the rain it was HUMID. It was Bad, and it's not even summer yet lol. and something about the Humid, is your sweat does not dry off, when you sweat, it has no where to go so it just builds up on you. But I also love it, because it leaves you exhausted by the end of the day, and it feels so good to go to bed!
Transfers are coming up next Tuesday but I'm pretty sure we're both staying, which is great! I love this companion and great work is doing great here in Danville! You'll get to meet him in a couple weeks! Most positive happy guy ever! And I look forward to talking to just you guys! It was great seeing the whole family, but I wasn't able to talk to ya'll much, so that'll be nice.
As for here the working is going great! We should have a few Baptisms this June! I'll probably tell you more about it on the Skype call, because there's so much to say and I don't have much time. As for me, I'm pretty sure I gained some weight xD. we don't have a scale so Idk but I'm getting a Lil more pudgy. It makes me feel better though because someone hat came out with me, gained 50 pounds in 3 months, so I feel better :) But I notice now so I'm working on it! I will say this mission is much fun! There are difficult times, but I feel different, just different about everything. It's a good difference and I like it. Hopefully its not just the bug bites haha, there's so many bugs out here! I gotta go though, but I love you and I talk to ya'll soon!
May 8, 2017
Hello again Family!
I think ya'll will be glad to know that I got a haircut! and I got it really short this time! I actually like it lol, I should've done it earlier lol. You can even see my scar! I got it from another missionary, which was kinda scary, but it saved me 20 bucks!
So I see ya'll heard about transfers! And I am happy to say we are both staying! We are getting along great! and the work is going great! I'll tell you all about the miracles that happened here on Sunday! And I got some information about it, and it might be at 5 this time, and I think 2 there. if that's alright. I have many stories to tell you next week!
So yesterday, the most memorable day, is this day I will speak about most in this email. We had a really solid investigator at church, and all the classes were amazing. Then we went to Eden, and we cleaned up from a tornado wreckage a day earlier. It was crazy to see the aftermath of a tornado, but It was great to see all the people from different church's coming together to help out with it. We were lifting wood and chain sawing, it was great! That night we had a dinner at the Tubbs, (the guy I fed jello to) and we invited 2 investigators, but we weren't sure either would come. But 3 came! The one that came out church, Natasha, invited a friend to come, and her boyfriend might be interested too! So last night was a miraculous night!
I look forward to talking to you Sunday! I love ya'll so much, but I don't have too much time, but luckily I'm talking to you soon!
Sunday, I'll be at this family, Brother Christiansen. He doesn't know too much information yet, so I'll try and keep you updated as much as I can. But all I know so far is it will be 2 your time, it'll probably on Skype on my tablet too.
Letter from Jacob’s companion this week… We have 5 baptisms coming up. That's because we are asked to invite everyone to be baptized on the first lesson, don't ask me why, I'm just an indian, not a chief. Only one is probably going to work out, I know, I have no faith, but as they say in the South, "I just say it how it is!" I don't know why everybody says that but they do. 😂😂
One of them is on date for May 22nd, and we got him from the some Elders in Utah. They taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ (not even the Restoration), and said he didn't have to go to the Mormon Church if he got baptized.. that was fun to deal with. I love those Elders, they seem like great guys, but man....
We met a racist lady who said there is a different between blacks and *n words*. Hard to have charity to someone who says that, but she was still great in her own way! On the opposite end of the spectrum, I met a member of the Black Isrealites. They believe the 1/3rd of the Host of Heaven that fell was white people. He was a nice guy too though.
I'm starting to slowly get less and less defined, and more and more pugey, it's unfortunate! But having full car is nice. A tornado touched down in Eden, we went and helped clean up the aftermath, I'd never seen anything like it!
May 15th, 2017
Hello again Family!
It was great to talk to ya'll yesterday too! So not much has changed since yesterday, but I'll just tell you how this week went!
So we have 4 people scheduled for baptism soon, but it looks like only one will be able to make the date. Which is still great! She is super solid and has a really strong testimony already! She already considers herself a Mormon too haha. But this is great because Danville hasn't has a baptism here in almost a year, so this will probably help with the member trust and the missionary work here. A lot of missionaries talk down on this area, but I've seen nothing bad. All the members are great, the people are all so friendly, and this city and country out here are beautiful! One of my biggest hopes is to help the mission see Danville as a thriving area, where any missionary would be happy to go. And with the work I've seen lately here it looks like me and Elder Olson will be able to do that!
Don't got too many crazy stories from this past week. The only one I can think of is about those 2 dogs who loved each other very much. (Jacob told us that while they were teaching a lesson this guy had a breeder come over and the dogs were going at it while they were listening to the Book of Mormon being read on his phone, he said it was strange and quite awkward)
But I will share something I got a strong testimony of this past week.
Praying constantly on the mission really helps you see how much God wants to answer them, and wants to help you. Although the answers are pretty specific most of the time, it mostly came in thoughts and feelings, so my testimony of it gradually was built. However, a couple weeks ago I kinda tested this. We had just finished a lesson and we were going in for the night, and I felt really good. (The spirit is so strong when you're teaching!) I was thinking, from everything I've learned and experienced so far, I know too much to leave the church. I wanted to make sure though, that my testimony was strong enough that nothing would take me away. And as I was talking to Elder Olson, he brought up the talk mountains to climb by President Eyering. As I read it I got a little prideful thinking that my testimony was strong enough to go through tougher trails. So as I prayed that night, I asked for mountains to climb.
Now within a week later, my prayer was answered. This resulted in the hardest point in my mission. Two things happened as a result of this prayer. One, I knew God answers prayers. Two, I was truly humbled. When people say God will never put you past your breaking point, I can testify of that. But this past week he took me right next to mine. I was in the 'red zone' as described in adjusting to missionary life, to the edge of just quitting. It was tough, but I made it up that mountain! Doing nothing of my own, just giving it all to the Lord.
Because of this experience, not only was I humbled, but I learned a lot about myself! Now I can't say I'll do it again, but it was a good experience to go through! I will say I am stronger now, and I know that God does hear and answer our prayers. Please don't get scared mom, I'm OK now :) I love you all and I hope your doing great! I hope I didn't scare you too much with this, but it was really a great experience for me! Have a great week!
P.S. the toughness was nothing physical, not my companion or the area, just internal struggles. So don't think It was Elder Olson haha, I was actually lucky to have a companion as great as him at this time.
Some of the things we talked to Jacob about on our skype call – We asked him if he’s cooking and he said some but mostly at lunches. He said that day he had made marinated chicken over rice and was pretty proud of himself. He’s had some other cooking fails though too. He isn’t driving much yet because the car they have has some electric pedals or something where they don’t want him using his pedal extensions and messing it up. He is hoping to drive in his next area. He is the senior companion so he gets to figure out their schedules for the day and plan what they are going to do. He is very happy with the new missionary schedules that allow them to do things “in the morning sometime” rather than a specific ½ hour or hour. He said the area is pretty rough and other people have said it’s scary. They live in a tiny house and it’s just them but he said he doesn’t feel unsafe. The mission president even asked them if they want to move but he said he feels OK. Then he started telling me more about it and I thought maybe the mission president didn’t have a bad idea. They don’t jog or exercise outside though because they’ve heard gunshots and he doesn’t wear the fitbit we bought him for Christmas (that he said he wanted) because he doesn’t want to stand out and be seen wearing it. He said their neighbor is nice and they figure he will protect them if they have any problems. There was someone trying to break into the guys shed and he shot off some warning shots. They said he’s a big redneck. You bet we will now be saying extra prayers for safety for him! Ha ha. I guess Jacob mows the lawn at their place. He told his companion that he didn’t learn how to do it at home so he wanted to do it. He also told us about the battles they’ve had with the porch spiders. At first they left them alone and figured they were just eating the insects but it got to a point that there were so many that they were worried that they would start dropping on them as they walked in and out of their house so they better take care of them. He also said their area is big and there is a lot of wide open spaces. It would take about 45 minutes for them to drive from one side of their area to the other. He said it’s hilly and green, beautiful but very humid. He’s struggling with the humidity now but he knows that it’s not even into summer yet. He says you’ll take a shower and stay wet. At the beginning of his mission he was blowing through money a bit and he said that he had to learn how to manage it and now he’s doing a lot better. He bought a game to play with other missionaries and at zone conferences called Spikeball. It’s like a little trampoline that you bounce balls on and pass it to each other. I guess he’s planning to pack it up and move it with him when he gets transferred. Otherwise Jacob seems like he’s doing great. He’s not missing home though he had a couple of dreams about us a couple of days before the skype call. He says he loves his mission and is enjoying his time out there. He has 8 months down and 16 to go.
May 23, 2017
.....first off, last letter wasn't there to scare you or anything 😅 it was a big moment for me that was actually really great! I actually prayed to have a "mountain to climb" and it worked! It was the hardest week of my life but I don't regret doing it. And it was all emotional, there was nothing anyone did, it was a normal week, Heavenly Father just tested me a little more that week, but it was great!
So this week was a little more difficult physically, I found out I have allergies lol. I never got them at home because there wasn't that many trees, but out here i got it! Luckily the members all have DoTerra, which helps a lot with everything! I'm feeling better right now but allergy season is until July.
I think the biggest thing we did this week is help a teacher with his Eagle project. We were out there shoveling gravel and other manly things. And it was hot! It was supposed to be 4 hours but it ended up being 8,and we didn't bring sunblock so we got burned 😂 but it felt so great to be out there giving my spiritual work a rest and my physical work a workout! I did learn how humid it gets, but it's not even that bad yet lol. And our A/C doesn't work so our house is 83° all the time. Luckily we got it fixed now, a little, but we can sleep better now!
Our bishop though is so great! We spent a lot of time with him this week and he's an amazing guy. I'm learning a lot of life lessons from him! Mostly how to not go less - active when I get home. And we're getting a lot of dinners which is nice!
This past transfer though, 1:is halfway over (Crazy!) 2: has given me a lot of experiences which is great! I'm doing a lot better with my journal keeping to now so don't worry. We should be having a baptism in 2 Saturdays! Exciting! The WiFi is tacky picking up here in Danville! I love ya'll so much, and I want you to know to not be worried, I'm doing great! And last week was a great week, and it kinda talks about why in the mountains to climb talk I think.
May 29, 2017
That's so crazy that Cody's going to Hawaii! Tell him to give me his email so we can keep in touch! I also have another friend leaving on his mission this Wednesday! That's the picture! He's the coolest guy in this area! He's leaving to Utah today and going to Calgary, Canada.
It's so crazy to think that it's almost been a year since I graduated! I hope ash did great in the spring show, I'm sure she did! Is she excited to be a sophomore? Sophomore year is a pretty OK one, but Jr. year is when it gets tough mentally! I will say one of the biggest things that has changed while on the Mish, is my work ethic. I realize now that I was so lazy in school lol, but now I'm getting much better at working hard! It's something that I'm still striving to improve but I've seen a big difference already!
This week was a lot better with the allergies after I got medicine. Except we went to mow a yard for a member and I was so sore! It was a giant yard and it took 5 hours... So let's use say I'm not as excited to mow lawns as I was in the beginning. And we also got to see snakes there! And a turtle! It was only black snakes though and those ones aren't poisonous. It was really great to help this lady though. Shes a widower with 2 amazing kids and she's transitioning jobs so her life is really hectic. It felt really good to do service for her.
Our investigators here are doing great! Natasha should be getting baptized this Saturday if everything goes well. I have learned that the adversary loves to jump on their shoulders the week of the baptism but she is really strong! We also have another great lady were teaching names Leslie. She has done great at everything and she loves everything about church especially the sister-hood! She should be getting baptized June 17!
Something great about her is she is helping her sons now come to Christ! We met one last Thursday, and we were talking for a good minute. He told us about his life and how he really wants to get back to church. He got kinda emotional too which felt good, cuz he is a tatted-up big black guy and it was great to see his soft side! So at Sunday Leslie wasn't feeling good, but her son made her get up and go to church! It was so great to see how this family is helping each other out! She brought him to us, and he's making sure she stays good too! It's so much easier when people come together as a family.
I'm slowly starting to see how the Lord works. In the beginning of the mission I was so worried I would go an a mission, have a great experience, and go home and be the same person. So I asked my mission president about it. He told me that as I do everything I can to fulfill my purpose then I will see me changed in the end. But stupid Elder Beaulieu said that was too basic. I started studying, asking others and doing my best to change. I didn't really see I big difference in that. But as I humbly started following the Lord's will with my missionary purpose in this work, and I will tell you. He is changing me. So I invite ya'll to do all you can to do the basics. Read your scriptures daily, pray constantly, and do all you can to do the lords will. As you do you will start to see differences in your life that don't make sense. It is strange how the Lord works, but for those who do his will they can see his works. I love ya'll so much and If there's anything I can do for you just ask!
Letter from Jacob’s companion…Elder Olson
We found a new investigator this week! She ordered a Book of Mormon because she figured she might as well and she was in tears when we left her house after we delivered the Book of Mormon to her. It was cool because I got to teach her rather than force her to listen about the gospel. First she asked about being saved, she didn't know what that means.
I told her, "Well ma'am.. I don't really know what that means either. But I do know about baptism!" She listened! And she began to cry when she said she wanted to change. We testified that God is always waiting for His children to comeback.
Nope. She didn't keep her return appointment, and hasn't answered our texts yet. ☺
Leslie Proctor, (She's so funny 😂😂😂 She always shouts "J-EESUS!" when we say something she loves, and she loves the "Sisterhood" in the church, also whenever she starts talking and feeling the Spirit she closes by saying, "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!") who is chugging along pretty nicely to being baptized has a son! His name is Aaron and we got to play ball with him this morning.
Now... this guy can ball. My goodness sakes, he reminds me of Big Mike (remember my Office analogy?) when he was younger and looked like a Predator! Also, Damien was there and he reminds me of Zaaaack!! (Happy Birthday Z-Champ, and Nick too!!) So it was nice, it was like I was back home again, relaxing, just playing some basketball with my friends, even if just for a second...
Bishop asked if we wanted to stay longer, but after much thought I said that we better get going to studies. He said good, that was a test. FINALLY, some member trust!!!!!! 😉
I tried showing him how the 'Bad Boys from Roy' play, but I'm certain he went easy on me. I scored a few points and got a couple rebounds, though! It was fun. Him, Natasha, and Leslie seem to be loving the gospel and the church. Leslie is starting to say that this is the one and only true church! Natasha's baptism is this week and we need to teach her all the little lessons, also, get the whole thing organized and make sure people can actually come.. 😖😖 Oh boy..
We did service for a sweet Filipino lady and she gave me a Sombrero to wear. 😂 I found 5 ticks on me that day, and also a little turtle who I named Franklin.
Love, Elder Ron Olson