Saturday, May 31, 2014


Just imagine Elder Holland yelling that at you while staring you dead in the eyes.

Elder Stucki summed it all up best when he said, "We all went thinking that he was going to prepare us for the rest of our missions, but he prepared us for the rest of our lives." So. True. That mission conference was seriously life changing. I am kicking myself because I forgot my notebook at home and so I don't have all of my notes with me, but I promise to send them all next week!! Elder Hallstrom talked a lot about remembering who we are. Oh and we also had Elder Seldon there [an area seventy] that spoke which was a surprise to everyone. But Elder Holland's of course was the main event. He is even more of a power house in person than he is at that pulpit. Of course the whole mission was ecstatic for him to come. And of course the whole mission was kind of scared for him to come as well. Thankfully though he said that he was very impressed with our mission, with the spirit that we have, and all of our preparation for their meeting. Phew! Actually, what he said was, "If you weren't great missionaries than I would be swinging from the lights and kneeing you in your adam's apple! The fact that my knee is not in your adam's apple right now should be a vote of confidence!" He is hilarious!! He cracked so many jokes! So he wore a microphone so that he could come and walk around while he was talking to us and he puts it on and then walks down right in front and goes, "Now I'm real close where I can just reach out and GETCHYA!!" and he pounced on little tiny Sister Urso in the front row! It was too funny!! And then he goes, "And none of you are safe, no matter where you are sitting. I can be across the room in one bound." Oh how did I forget! When they first walked in they shook every one of our hands. [Haven't washed this hand since.] Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

He talked a lot about how our mission is the foundation for the rest of our lives. We are given these building blocks up til this point in our lives and then our mission and the experiences we have and all that we learn gives us the things necessary to take those building blocks and turn them into a sure and strong foundation. He also spoke a lot about after our missions and how we "have no right to violate the image people have of returned missionaries". We need to continually be progressing and doing this work. We don't come home from our missions and say, "Welp! Done with that! Back to my real life." To that he said, "HEY! THIS IS REAL LIFE! THIS IS THE CLOSEST TO REAL LIFE THAT YOU'LL EVER GET!!!" Yeah he is definitely a yeller. Not in a demeaning or scolding way by any means. But rather in a hey I mean business kind of way. One thing I really loved that he talked about was how we need to constantly be doing this work and helping other throughout our lives. "Sheep wander every now and then. But we can't loose the shepherds!" We are the shepherds. We are the Lord's shepherds. He needs to be able to rely on us to help his lost sheep return home. Also he told us that we are the Lord's investigators. If we want our investigators to pray like they have never prayed before, then we must pray like we have never prayed before. If we want them to allow God into their lives, then we must allow God into our lives. Lastly he taught us how we need to teach with more power and authority. We need to be more astonishing. [a.k.a. we need to be him in lessons pretty much!] I honestly wish that I could of somehow videotaped the whole thing so I could watch it every morning to get PUMPED!! There really has been a noticeable lift to our entire mission since Mission Conference.

Of course that was the highlight of this week. As for other things of this week:

-I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat and by the end of Zone Conference that day felt horrible. I got a terrible cold out of nowhere! It was ridiculous. Sister Taylor and Sister Vellinga both sent me home to get lost of rest because there was no way that I was missing Mission Conference the next day!

-After mission Conference I treated Sister Ebersole, Sister Perrenoud and Sister DeWilde to dinner at Applebee's [We had gotten a giftcard from a member in the ward]. It was really weird. I felt all nostalgic for home again. I miss going out to eat with you guys all the time. So somehow SpongeBob got brought up during dinner and Sister DeWilde told me that they have SpongeBob in the Netherlands and they even translated the FUN song into Dutch. WHAT!? Of course I made her sing it for me. It was so awesome. She says it doesn't translate into English too well though. [F is for party, which you do with friends. haha yeah no....]

-Okay, I can handle rejection just fine. I understand that not everyone I meet will accept the gospel. But I am sick of people being rude. Who taught these people that it is okay to talk to humans like this?! People in my area are usually so nice, even if they don't want to hear our message. It's okay. I'm sure the Lamanites weren't always the nicest of people to Alma either.

I know that this work is true. I know that this gospel brings more happiness to our lives than anything else ever could. I know that God loves us and that He is in even the smallest details of our lives. His plan will always be the best thing for us, whether we realize it or not at the time. I am so grateful for this time that I have to share this happiness with others and bless their lives. 

More treasures from tracting. Thankfully he didn't throw any apples at us though.

This was from a couple weeks ago when we got that crazy storm. This was after playing soccer and wiffleball with the district and it started pouring. Good times.

The adorable mothers day gifts we gave out to all the wonderful women in our area that we are so lucky to serve.


Monday, May 19, 2014

When it POURS!

Well, we're not in Arizona anymore Toto!
Last week on Preparation day the whole district was playing soccer/ baseball/ ultimate Frisbee out in Lorain at a park, which was super fun! And then it started raining, which made it even more fun! However driving home afterwards was not as fun. That night when we were headed to our appointments we got a text about a tornado warning...what?! We texted the elders to make sure we were still allowed to go out and they asked if the tornado siren was going off. Umm....what is a tornado siren?! Sure enough...during our lesson we found out what a tornado siren is. That thing is TERRIFYING!!! But our 9 year old investigator got really freaked out by it and started crying and so we had to pretend like we weren't scared. But with both of us being from Arizona we had no idea that there were such things as tornado sirens. When we got out of our lesson we had a  bunch of texts and calls from the zone leaders, district leader, and the Gublers (senior couple that works in the mission office) The zone leaders had told everyone to go home, but the Gublers told us that the news said that the storm was right over North Ridgeville (where we live) and so we should go to a members house instead. So we call up the Buchanan's. Sister Buchanan answers and just says, "Are you okay?!?!" I love her so much :) She met us at the door when we got there and we were telling her how we weren't sure who to call and she just goes, "Well you come home of course!" It seriously was like going home. Max and Lulu were there to greet us, Sister Buchanan made us hot chocolate, and Brother Buchanan even had some good, hard doctrinal questions for us. It was just like old times! (Although it made me miss Sister Stringham a whooooole lot!) The Buchanans are so incredibly wonderful to us. I love them so much and am so grateful that I got to live with them for so long when I first got here. Around 9:00 it was still raining a bit, but we thought we would be fine to drive home. It wasn't too far from the Buchanans and it seemed like the storm had mostly passed. Well, the storm had passed, but it left a few lakes! Driving home we got caught in some super bad flooding! The water was coming up over the hood of our car and so we had to turn our brights on, but then the water covered those too! We couldn't even get the car all the way to our apartment because our street was a total river. It was the most scared I had ever been while driving. Not a fan of floods!
In the morning we got a call from Elder Jensen (our district leader) asking if we could help with flooding problems in members' basements out in Lorain. Ohhhhh man. That was hard, gross, and stinky work!! But it was definitely awesome to be able to help everyone out. They were all so appreciative. The last house we did that night was covered in mud and muck down in the basement but the elders all had appointments they needed to go to so the 4 of us sisters decided to tackle it ourselves. It was so fun! We were singing song and laughing the whole time. The family kept coming downstairs cause they were so confused why we sounded so happy cleaning up mud and poop out of their basement. haha Well we ended up doing flood clean up for most of the week. Needless to say it was quite the exhausting week. But Poppa would be proud of his hard working son :)
So I saved a snapping turtles life this week. He had crawled out onto the road and everyone was passing over him and so I pulled over and moved him off the road. [And that little turd kept snapping at me trying to bite me!] Then when we drove back past after our appointment the stupid little guy had crawled back out onto the road and someone had squooshed him!!! I was so sad/ mad!
I am SO STOKED for this week!!! Zone Conference AND Mission Conference!! With Elder Holland and Elder Hallstrom!! I can't wait to tell you all about it!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Who the freak didn't cry during Old Yeller?!" -Elder Jarvis

Okay, so maybe less than twenty four therefore I pretty much have nothing to write in my email this week. But it was so fun to Skype yesterday!! [Even if you were in France without me...] Glad to see that you are all still the same ole weirdos as when I left :)
Well for everyone (anyone) else that reads my blog, here are a few highlights from the week:

-I got trapped in our bedroom this week. The door got jammed while I was getting ready one morning and so one of the managers had to come get me out. He took the doorknob off and tried to pull it out with his pliers but that didn't work. However! Him breaking the door down did work! haha Sister Ebersole was just busting up the whole time.
-Our mission is doing LOTS of preparation for Elder Holland and Elder Hallstrom coming in a week and a half. We are all SO STOKED!!
-Oh, as for the subject line we were all introducing ourselves at District Meeting this week because of transfers and we got a few new missionaries. Elder Jarvis said that we all had to say a movie that we cried in. Elder Stucki (his companion) immediately goes, "Elder Jarvis cried in Old Yeller!!!!" hahahha and he just goes, "Who the freak didn't cry during Old Yeller?!" haha just knowing him makes it so much funnier. He is this big tough hunter guy......who cries during Old Yeller. This district is so awesome! They are all such awesome missionaries
Well, that's really all I can think of. Not too exciting of a week.
I love you all!
Hugs and Snugs,
Sister Olds II

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers!

It has been rainy and gloomy all week, but I am totally okay with it because Ohio has turned green!! Everything is blooming and it is so beautiful! They have these gorgeous Magnolia trees here that have big beautiful flowers on them that are either white, pink, or purple. I love them!! [These trees, along with making banana pudding last night with a less active made me want to hit up Magnolia's Bakery in NYC so badly!] Also there are tons and tons of daffodils are popping up! They always remind me of my dear sweet Gran. :)
So I was having a really hard time falling asleep one night this past week (well....that's actually a nightly occurrence. But this night especially) and I was reading through some old papers I had in a folder and came across Uncle Lowell's letter that he sent to Mom while she was out on her mission. I had totally forgot that she had sent it with me when I left. I loved it so much. There was so much helpful advice and encouragement in there. I so wish that I had stumbled upon it about a month ago. It still helped so much though. Who would have thought that his letter to his little sister on her mission would be such a blessing to her later daughter on her mission years down the road.
For the past couple of weeks Sister Ebersole and I have been making a much bigger effort to do more service. It has been so much fun! We volunteer at a really nice nursing home facility in Avon Lake and the little old ladies that we visit with are just too precious!! I love them all so much! And they always get so excited when we come back. They are just a hoot!! Then we also volunteer at the Salvation Army twice a week which has been an awesome opportunity to share the gospel. Every time we have gone I have had the chance to talk to at least 4 different people about the church. They all have so many questions too which has been great! (Have also definitely cleared up some confusion and misunderstanding.....haha) Then also on Saturday the elders called us about a community service project out in Lorain that we were able to go help with! They were cleaning up around the Black River and there were tons of people there. I was able to talk to lots of different people while we were volunteering and even found the elders a new potential investigator! They were pretty excited when they saw me giving someone a Book of Mormon who lived in their area. We worked super hard and were so exhausted afterward but the coordinator for the whole event came up afterwards to personally thank all of us for all of our service and hard work. Yes! Getting a good name out there for the church!
The highlight of my week was probably a new investigator that we found while tracting. At first we weren't entirely sure of his level of accountability because we could tell that he had a disability and was super hard to understand. We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and then he told us that he had the Book of Mormon on his kindle! Umm...awesome! He ended up calling us the next day just to say thank you for stopping by and also had a few question for us. We set up an appointment for the next day and it was so great! We found out that he has had numerous strokes in his life and that is why he has such a hard time speaking, but he is so prepared for the gospel! He was asking about the brass plates vs. the gold plates, about modern prophets, and so many other things! When we explained about modern prophets and showed him the pictures of all of them he just went, "Yeah that makes sense. If there were prophets back then why wouldn't there be prophets now?" And he asked us about our process of repentance and when we explained that we don't do confessional he was like "I feel like that is how God intended it to be." Golden. So Golden. And he has already read the first 5 chapters of 1st Nephi. I can't wait to meet with him again!
I finished the Doctrine and Covenants this week! I know that everyone missionaries testimony of Joseph Smith grows while they are on their mission, but I feel as though I get an extra advantage serving in the Ohio Cleveland Mission. I will never be able to read the Doctrine and Covenants the same way again. It is amazing to read the revelations give to Joseph Smith and to have sat in the very room in the Kirtland temple where he received them. Or to serve in the ward where numerous historic church leaders have lived. I never fully realized all that Joseph Smith had to endure through his life in order to restore this true and everlasting gospel to this earth. I am so grateful for his tremendous faith, endurance, and long-suffering that he had in order to do what the Lord commanded of Him. Those early saints are some of my biggest heroes. I would like to think that I would be able to stand against the same adversity that they had to endure, but needless to say I am grateful to live in a time where we have the Restored gospel to the earth and that I don't have to give my life defending it. I will much rather take a few door slams and angry people every now and then.
This gospel is true. This gospel is happiness.
Sister Olds II

Friday, May 2, 2014

Warning: not suitable for all ages (or just Erin...)

WORST. EXCHANGES. EVER. Poor Sister Gardner. So I haven't gotten a migraine in almost 6 years. But I got one this past week while on exchanges. It was awful! We went to our dinner appointment and my head kind of hurt, but then at Coordination Meeting that night it got awful. I felt nauseous and my head hurt so bad that my face starting going numb. We had to do a quick song practice afterwards for the baptism on Saturday and I could barely stand. Sister Gardner kept asking if I needed to go home but I said I would be fine. I did have her drive home though because I felt so rotten. We didn't even make it 5 minutes from the church before I was puking out the window. I felt so bad!! For Sister Gardner as well as for the guy's lawn that I puked in. Hopefully he never finds out that it was mormon missionaries....We had to pull over one more time on the way home as well. Ugh, I haven't thrown up in so long! I hate it. Needless to say I didn't feel too hot the next couple of days. It was really funny though. When we got home Sister Gardner goes, "I didn't want to say this earlier, but when you were standing there puking I thought, 'Hmm, this must be what it's like to have a drunk friend.' " hahaha then in the morning when we woke up I was so confused as to where I was because we had moved to a new apartment the day before and she goes, "Oh! Another sign of being drunk!" haha She was so wonderful though and took great care of me. I'm sure that will go down as the worst exchanges ever in her book!

My new address!

6141 Albert Avenue Apartment B105
North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039

Hmm I honestly can't even think of what else happened this week. Oh! We got to do service at Salvation Army and it was awesome! I was talking to 5 different people at once about what we believe and what missionary work entails. It was so great!! One guy when he saw my name tag asked "what I was" and when I said Mormon he gasped and got this huge look of surprise on his face and goes, "Wow, I don't think I have ever met a real Mormon." haha Me and the lady I was helping just started busting up laughing. He ended up telling me his whole life story though and I invited him to church! He said he couldn't come this week but he really wants to come the week after.

Well I think things are finally starting to pick up in our area. The ball is starting to roll at least. Let's pray that it continues rolling!

I love you all so much. All of your emails and letters mean the world to me!! I cannot say thank you enough!! 

Sister Beaudoin doing deep clean last Preparation Day. Our fan was BAD! I am so sad that she is leaving this transfer!!
 :( She is so wonderful and such a stellar missionary!

Last district meeting this morning! We are loosing Elder Francis, Elder Hicken and Sister Beaudoin. :( Sorry it is such a bad picture. My camera died two seconds later.