Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Week 19

Mele Kalikimaka Family and Friends!

Transfers happened this past Wednesday and I have a new companion!!! Sister Paredes! She's from PARAGUAY!!!!! She's been out for two months originally in a Spanish assignment, but is now serving with me in an English assignment. She speaks VERY well and is so sweet! The other Sisters in our area were transferred to Herriman so that means we cover the whole stake now! Yes we cover 9 wards and we have the car full time! wahoo! No more walking in the snow. Actually I take that back, we still walk in the snow but not as much. Also when the cars are grounded we walk. We're still living in our cozy little apartment too.

Sister Allan got her mission call and I was able to be there when she opened her called. She's headed to Tempe Arizona! She reports January 1st 2014.

Here are a few snow photos. It snowed a lot this week and the cars were grounded so we had to walk. I love the way the trees look, but man! It's cold! We also went to a neighborhood party where we made s'mores! Sister Paredes has never had one!

On Sunday we walked into one of the new wards we cover and guess who was on the stand?!?! President Boyd K. Packer (President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) and Elder Allan Packer (A member of the Quorum of the Seventy)!! It was such a nice surprise to see them and to hear their words and counsel. Some of counsel given by President Packer was that "guilt is a disease and repentance is the cure." We all have access to the Atonement and we need to ask (through prayer) the Father in Christ's name to help us. We need to lay hold of repentance to be free of guilt and addiction. We don't need to carry them, the Atonement takes away our pains, afflictions, trials, etc. Family, prayer is so powerful. Pray unto the Father and I promise you that you'll receive answers and feel at peace. Lastly, President Packer mentioned, in order to be happy we need to be active in the church and read the Book of Mormon; it's a map and we can find ourselves in it. Family and friends, if you haven't been to church is a while, go to church. Church is a place for sinners and it's a new year, a new start! There's only 52 Sundays in the year and I know that when I go to church I feel so renewed and uplifted. I love the Gospel and I love my Savior. My faith and my testimony grow every day.

That's all for now.

Have a Merry Christmas! I love you all!

Sister Olszowka

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Week 18

Aloha from freezing Sandy!

Sister Allan and I had a little bit of a tough week, but we remain optimistic! Our two baptisms that were schedule for this month fell through. Sad times. They feel they're not ready and they don't want to commit. I've learned everyone has their time and we can't push them. Heavenly Father has blessed us with agency and we are free to accept or reject the message of gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe we're here to just to "plant the seed" but I know the Lord has His hand in all things. So please keep them in your prayers.

Sister Allan's trial mission is done today. We're taking her to the mission office at 3:30pm where she'll open her new call letter with her family. I think she'll be going somewhere back east or Michigan! She doesn't like the cold either so I joke about her going to Michigan. LOL! We think alike and both are dedicated to missionary work; I'll miss her, but know she'll do good where ever she's called.

So with that said, I believe I'll just be paired with the other sisters in the district until Wednesday. No one really told us otherwise. I don't know. I learned you just need to be flexible. Transfers are this week! I'll most likely be staying here in Sandy and will be training a brand new Sister missionary.

This past Friday we attended a ward Christmas party. We helped with the set-up and mingled with a lot of less-actives. The party had a really good program centered on our Savior which was a nice way to end the night.

This was our week to walk. I didn't have good pair of gloves and I tried to find some last P-day, but was unsuccessful. I said a little prayer and when we got home there was a bag with gloves, feet warmers and saran wrap! A sweet, sweet Sister thought we could use these and dropped them off for us! An answer to my prayers. She even stopped by again during the week when we weren't home and dropped off headbands and heating pads! WOW! We definitely wrote her a thank you note and delivered it with some Hawaiian candies. My feet get sooo cold. Sometimes I wear three pairs of socks! This Sister wrote in a note to wear a pair of socks, then saran wrap your feet and then another pair of socks and this would help keep my feet warm and it has! So yes, I wear saran wrap some days! haha!

Last night we helped Boone (less-active) and Nola decorate their Christmas tree. I gave them two ornaments to put on their tree as well. We visit them about once a week. See photo below.

Next week our P-day is on Tuesday and I'll get to call/skype home on Wednesday. I'm REALLY look forward that!! I miss you CHOKE!


Sister Olszowka

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 17


Oh my goodness. Snow. oh how I don't enjoy this bitter coldness. So it dumped snow this week!!! I opened the blinds on Tuesday and thought "YAY! it's snowing!!! It's so nice" Then when we went outside I was said "oh no, I can't handle this stuff!!!" It's seriously soooo cold. It got down to 7 degrees! I can't feel my hands and my feet, I even wear double socks!!  Luckily we had the car this week, but still walking from door to door we were frozen. I don't know how people can live in this. Also it doesn't go away! It's gonna be around until May! Please excuse my rant about the snow/coldness, but you have to understand I'm a topical girl, I like it warm and sunny. I mean Washington was cold and rainy, but this is WAY WORSE!  I've officially decided that I will NEVER live somewhere where it snows. Oh and driving in the snow is not the business! They grounded the cars on Tuesday because it was really bad. But not to worry, I'm learning how to drive in this.

In other news, Angel, who was scheduled to be baptized on Saturday got cold feet and told us he didn't want to be baptized anymore. We tried to resolve his concerns, but we all have agency. Please keep him in your prayers. Nola told us she'd come to church, but she ended up not coming, we're planning to see her this evening so see what's up. We're teaching a new investigator, Michelle. She's from South Africa and knows the church is true. She's read the Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony of it, and her baptism is scheduled for December 28th. We're also working with a cute Thai lady, her name is Pien. Brah! she's sooo funny!!! See attached photo below. She's lived in Utah for 17 years and is a widow. We're hoping to have her baptism on the 28th as well.

We attended 3 out of the 4 ward parties this weekend. We delivered invitations to many less active members, but none came! So that was a bummer, but we're not giving up! We helped serve the food. Funny story: So we were helping in the kitchen and one lady picked up the container of gravy and BOOM! It fell and I turned around and she had gravy in her hair and on her face!!! I know this sounds a little mean to laugh at, but it was funny don't you think? haha! No worries, I helped clean the gravy out of her hair.

We shoveled a few driveways this past week too, and man! That was tough work! It was really icy! I needed an ice pick! We did the best we could. I REALLY couldn't feel my fingers after that. burrrrr.

We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional last night which was enjoyable and uplifting. :)

Enjoy the photos of this past week!! Lots of snow and more to come huh? ugh. A few photos of Festival of Trees. There was a Ninja Turtle tree and a Girl Scout Cookie tree. Lots of fun, cute trees donated. The Sisters volunteered to help.

Sister Olszowka

P.S. Utah people are BIG on hot chocolate. Seriously. It's called Stephen Hot Chocolate. At first I was like, "why does everyone invite us in for hot chocolate?" But now that it's cold outside, I appreciate the gesture.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week 16

Happy DECEMBER!! :)

Let me tell you something... people here in Utah know how to decorate for the seasons! I've never seen so many lights! Then someone told me, they have to put them on early before the snow comes which makes sense. I walk into homes and people have the cutest holiday things!

It's supposed to get really cold this week....like 7 degrees! oka! Thank goodness we get the car!

Oh! Great news! We have a baptism scheduled for this weekend! Our investigator Angel is getting baptized! Our other investigator, Nola has committed to baptism too, December 25th! Christmas day! We were able to take Angel to Temple Square yesterday for a tour. We weren't able to see all the beautiful Christmas lights, but that's okay, the tour was GREAT! There are pictures below. There's a replica of the temple which is pretty awesome. We went into the Tabernacle which there is over 11,000 pipes; only 1% of them are shown! I honestly I wouldn't mind being a Temple Square Sister. The Sisters that gave us tour, one was from Florida and the other from Sweden.

Thanksgiving was good! Mom and Dad, I packaged the candies and we delivered them. It was a day of giving service and thanks to others. Sister Allan made rolls too. We had a brunch in the afternoon and then dinner at 5pm with a nice family in one of the wards. Most of their kids and grandkids were there too.  We were soo full we left for an hour and made more delivers on foot and came back for pie. haha!

Hmm other things...we're helping at Festival of Trees today. All the money from the event goes to Primary's Children Hospital.

 I also got a hair trim from a Member in the ward last monday too. Nothing too crazy but it definitely need it!

Okay, I gotta go, but love you all!

Have a great week!

P.S. That's a HAWAIIAN book of Mormon!!! cool huh!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 15

It's the last week of November! Crazy how the year has flown by!

We should express our thanks and gratitude daily, but since Thanksgiving is coming up I thought I'd take a minute to give thanks to my Father in Heaven for the many blessings in my life.

I'm thankful for the love from my Heavenly Father. He has blessed me with loving parents, friends and family. Dad, thank you for your optimism, hard work ethic and positive attitude. Mom thank you for being so patience, caring and giving. Ace, thank you for your support and help. To my friends and family, thank you for your continuous love, prayers, encouragement and friendship.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here in South Salt Lake to help others build their faith, their testimony in Jesus Christ. As a missionary, my purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I'm thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I'm thankful for the scriptures and prayer. There are so many things to be thankful! I could go on, but know that I appreciate and love you all.

Have a blessed week family and friends!
Sister Olszowka

P.S. A picture of the other Sisters in our district. We share the car with them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 14

What a week!

On Tuesday, Sister Allan and I took Nola to the Temple Square musical fireside put on by the Temple Square Sisters. It was amazing! The Polynesian Sisters sang their own number. We took Trax from Sandy to downtown. We all really enjoyed the music. While I was sitting there someone tapped me on the shoulder and it was MICAH SWAIN! Yeah of one my high school classmates! We didn't have time to chat since he came in late, but it was so nice seeing a familiar face! After the program we took pictures of the Salt Lake City Temple.

We've also had some service opportunities this week! We racked leaves for an elderly couple down the street and oh gosh! They had sooooo many leaves. We packed 9 bags! See the photos below.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference! We went to the Mission Office and receive counsel and training from President Chambers. As part of the training we watched a clip called, the "Butterfly Circus" which I encourage all of you to see. Think about how it relates to us as individuals and how it relates to missionary work. It was eye opening. :)

So I don't know if I ever explained our housing situation. We live in the basement, the landlord (elderly couple) live on one side of the home and their grandson and his family live on the main floor. Sadly our landlord passed away on Wednesday. Brother Poulsen was 89 years old. He was a cute old guy. He was diagnosed with dementia at the beginning of the year. He had fallen out of his chair and then fell again later in the night and hit his head and passed away peaceful in his sleep. We visited with Sister Poulsen and she's doing good. We did some yard work for them and will be helping out at the funeral this Saturday.

Sister Petersen is 91 and lives down the street. Did I mention there are a lot of elderly in the area I serve?! We've been having lessons at her home with her neighbor who's less active. We love her so much she baked us an apple pie!

We've met quite frequently with Angel this past week. He wasn't able to make it to church, but Nola came! On a side note, as missionaries we have a phone to contact the people we teach and so forth, we text them too. You know setting up appointments and reminding them. The junior companion is in charge of the phone. I'm senior companion right now so Sister Allan has the phone. Also if we're teaching a male there needs to be another female in the home or we bring a female with us to our lesson. Well Angel texted us and offered us JAZZ tickets!! But as missionaries we're focused on missionary work 24/7. So we told him thank you but we couldn't go and told him why. He said "you can preach the gospel to me at the game." yeah no, it doesn't work like that.  Anyways, he continued to say well one of us could just go with him or he could take us out in Sandy. oka! yeah missionaries travel in pairs and don't go out on dates! haha!

I hope all is well with everyone. The weather is so cold. I don't know what's gonna happen when the snow really starts to stick. We have the car this week so we won't freeze.

Love you!

Sister Olszowka

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week 13

Aloha Friends and Family!

Transfer calls come in on Tuesday and then all missionaries move Wednesday morning. Well we got the call that Sister Dazey and I were both staying in our area. Which we were okay with since we're started teaching a new investigator, Nola. However on Wednesday morning we got a call that Sister Dazey was being transferred to Draper and Sister Allen was coming to Sandy! So yup, I have ANOTHER companion...my fourth companion in 3 months. I'm actually training this transfer. It's really common sense; I don't know why so many missionaries murmur about it.

Sister Allan is my new companion; she's been out a month and a half. She's from Layton, Utah. She's actually a trial missionary. What is a trial missionary?! I didn't know what that was until I got out here. Sister Allan has narcolepsy, she falls asleep at random times during the day, and she doesn't have a lot of energy. She's been doing pretty well so far. So a trial missionary serves for 3 months and at the end of that period they can decide to serve or not. If they are capable and are willing to serve then they'll get a call letter and serve the remaining months. So with that said, I'll probably stay in Sandy after this transfer because Sister Allan will be done with her trial mission. I really enjoy the Members and people I've met in Sandy. Especially Wendell, he told me I was his favorite. haha! Love that 88 year old!

We have a CAR to drive now! It's the newest of the fleet! A 2014 Chevrolet Cruze! It's alright, got nothing on my Honda CRV. haha! I was so excited to hear the news that we'd have a car and I would be the designated driver! I've missed driving soooo much! We share with the other sisters in our district.

We have two progressing investigators. Remember the one I told you about that dropped us? Yeah, we knocked on his door again and he agreed to let us come back and have another lesson with him! Pray that his heart will be softened. We also are teaching an older woman, Nola. There's a special fireside put on by the Temple Square Sisters in downtown Salt Lake and she agreed to go with us! I'll let you know how that goes, it's on Tuesday.

We came home on Tuesday evening to a nice surprise outside our door. The Young Women had left us with a huge stack of Book of Mormon with their testimonies inside and a huge care package. It was so thoughtful. We really appreciate and are thankful for the love and support we feel. We love them!

The mission office gave us a new microwave for our tiny basement apartment too! Thank goodness because the old one was 23 years old and not safe!
Well my time is up, but I love you all and remember to choose the right. Heavenly Father will bless you.

Sister Olszowka

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 12

Happy November!! I hope you all had a wonderful week. This past week was really nice! On Halloween we went to the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan. It was a wonderful place to be. I love the temple and feel so fortunate that I can go while I'm on my mission. Halloween was my 3 month mark, but no one's counting right?! haha!

We had our baptism for our 88 year old man, Wendell. It went really well! There were so many people, we held it in the chapel and then moved over to the font to perform the ordinance. It was such a neat experience to be a part of his special day. Four other Sister Missionaries and I sang "Come Thou Fount," it's a really beautiful song. President Chamber's wife was able to stop by the baptism too. On a side note, Wendell personally knows Elder Holland and President Monson through business back in the day. Anyways, Elder Holland sent him a letter and our names were included!! I've attached photos. I felt pretty honored, an Apostle mentioned me. We love Wendell so much and can't wait to go to the temple with him and his family in a year.

Sister Lopez (pictured below) is Sister Crandell's companion, but she's awesome! We get along really well.

It was snowing yesterday morning! But it didn't stick.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 11

Hi Family and Friends,

What a crazy week. Remember I said Sister Dazey and I would become a trio with Sister Crandell? Well we were a trio for only three days! Sister Lopez came in on Saturday and she's a visa waiter for Brazil and is companions with Sister Crandell. Sister Lopez is from Oregon! We did pack our bags and moved over to Sister Crandell's apartment which is a lot more spacious than our little place. We were fortunate to use the car this past week. Sister Crandell is a crazy driver. There's certain rules in order to drive the car, you have to be the designated driver which I'm not so I seriously pray every time before I get into the car with her. ahh!

Transfers are coming up on Nov. 6. I'm pretty sure that I'll be staying in my area and will be training a new missionary! We'll see what happens, but I'm ready to train if need be.

We have a baptism this coming Saturday, our 88 year old. We're excited for him and he came to church yesterday as well. President Chambers (the mission president) and his wife are planning to attend.

Our other investigator whose baptism was scheduled for Nov. 9 dropped us. It was really strange. We had a lesson with him on Saturday and it went REALLY well. The Spirit was really strong and he understood and agreed with what we were teaching. Then he texted us later that night and said thanks for our time, but he doesn't want to meet with us anymore and doesn't want to be baptized. We called him up to discuss his concerns. He doesn't agree with some of the things written in the Book of Mormon. So please keep him in your prayers. We're going to try again this week to meet with him.

Other than that, I'm good family! Thanks mom for the new shoes! I like them a lot! Also the surprise Halloween package was awesome!

Everyday is a new day, make the most of it. Tomorrow isn't granted. Remember and give thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ. Rely on Him. Pray for strength and guidance. The Gospel brings so much happiness into my life. I've been truly blessed.

I've included some photos of the beautiful fall colors.

Look at these twins! Pieper and Penny! They are sooo cute! I love this little family. Their parents are always so willing to give us rides and let us come into their home when it cold outside. We appreciate them.

Sister Olszowka

p.s. this cat that I'm hold cost $1,000 dollars!!! crazy!! The owner is artist, Glenda Gleaves, checkout her stuff.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 10

My heart is so full of thanksgiving and gratitude to my Heavenly Father. He has blessed us with opportunities to teach and invite others to come unto Jesus Christ. This past weekend was filled with happiness and joy. There were two baptizes on Saturday. Although the Portuguese Elders taught the investigator we contacted, he wanted us (Sisters) to be a part of his special day. The service was in Portuguese which was pretty cool. Also our 10 year old investigator's baptism was this weekend. We're so proud of him and his decision to follow Jesus Christ. He's going to grow up to be a great young man.

Our 88 year old investigator made it to church and he loves it! He's expressed he should have come sooner! He's so funny. He's ready to be baptized! November 2nd. Also our new investigator that we found last week came to one of the baptisms this past weekend AND came to church! :) He's baptism is scheduled for Nov 9.

This is my district. Elder Jensen, Sister Crandell, Sister Nelson, Me, Sister Dazey and Elder Horn pictured below. Sister Nelson got her visa for Argentina and will be leaving us on Wednesday. So that means the other three sisters will become a trio! We're in two different stakes so when we combine we'll cover two different stakes, a total of 7 wards. Transfers are coming up on Nov. 6 so I'm most likely will be training a new missionaries. I'm ready for it!

Fall is in full swing. It's chilly, but the colors are beautiful.

We went out for district lunch (happens every Tuesday) and we were walking past a new pizza place, Pie Five. The owner came out and offered us free pizza! He was really good and then One Sweet Slice, a cupcake shop, they were on Cupcake Wars and they won! Gave us a WHOLE box of cupcakes and they were REALLY good! The people here in Utah are really nice and always giving.

We also had the opportunity to do some service! We cleaned out a vegetable garden and trimmed some trees.

Got to go, but remember to pray. Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.

oh! HAPPY early BIRTHDAY DAD!! I'm so lucky to have a dad like you! I hope you have a great day! I'll be thinking of you on Wednesday.

love ya all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 9

Hi Family and Friends!

Guess what? I have a new companion!! I know only 3 weeks into the transfer. Transfers are normally 6 weeks. A visa waiter (we have other missionaries that come to the SLC-South mission and work in our mission while they wait for their visa to go their assigned country) received her visa to Spain so Sister Monarrez was needed back in the Spanish assignment so she packed all her things, she had a TON of clothes and we were at the mission office at 7am this morning! Sister Dazey is my new companion. We entered into the mission field at the same time so I know her from the MTC. She's 24 and is from North Carolina.

Both our investigators made it church which was great! They really enjoyed fast and testimony meeting. Our 10 year old investigator has been praying really hard. He's been asking Heavenly Father for strength and courage to talk to his dad about being baptized. We followed up with him and he talked with his dad and he dad said yes! Brothers and sisters, this is just another testimony of prayer! Heavenly Father hears and answers us.  Heavenly Father promises us blessings. He need to ask in faith and trust in the Lord.

We also found a NEW investigator! We taught him last night and he's really interested in learning about the church.

We helped a Thai lady clean out her garage the other day and she was funny! She claims an animal scratched the bottom of her front door and now bugs can get into her house. When it actuality it's wear and tear of the home and she's put phone books and a can of paint by the door so the "bugs" don't get in. Oh gosh. She’s a funny elderly lady. We're always looking for service opportunities and we were happy that we could help her.

Here are more pictures of Sister Monarrez and I. I will miss her dearly, but I'm definitely going to Chicago to visit her after the mission!


Sister Olszowka

p.s. these peanut butters are sooo good! just sayin'....