June 20, 2016


Ft. Smith, Arkansas


Elder Gehring

It's Been a Long Eighteen Months!

its really weird that i hit 18 months this past week. i realize its been a while for everyone else but me but hey im really enjoying it! nothing better thats for sure.

you know im not a huge fan of emailing so i will probably keep this brief. but the work is really progressing. were being blessed pretty hard right now. we picked up 5 new investigators this past week for fort smith. friday night we spent the night down in greenwood arkansas and then blitzed them the next morning. its been a struggling area since i came down to fort smith. while me and elder gehring were down there we picked up 4 new investigators with them and it just really boosted the area. when they called us sunday night to give us numbers they thanked us for showing us that even though its been a rough area its possible to turn it around. they picked up another new investigator without us, which i havent seen greenwood do since ive been here. so it was just really cool to see the motivation pick up in that area.

the temple this past tuesday was one of the best experiences. seeing a bunch of my missionary friends in the celestial room was just a really cool experience. ill never forget the experience i had in there. if i could go to the temple again i would. so id just like to encourage you guys back home to go to the temple!

and just to answer a few questions i did burn some pants. i found an old pair in the apartment here that had been left by some missionary who knows how long ago. and yes, its been miserable down here. the heat is killing me. i think thats why ive been losing weight is because of the heat/humidity combo. its killer for me. especially down here. its as bad now as it was late july/early august last year which is the worst time so. its been rough and will be a rough summer.

oh so the baptism, i ended up doing the baptism and like 5 minutes before it started nobody was there and we were stressing out and then just like that the place was full. we had 4 sets of missionaries come with people and people from the ward showed up and brought treats and it was just super stressful but all worked out in the end. i had to baptize him twice. the first time his arm didnt go under all the way. but the second time i made sure he was nearly on the floor. the spirit was really strong too! my first time doing a baptism so i enjoyed it! i actually got some practice in the temple on tuesday. it was just missionaries in the temple and after we did an endowment session they sent us to the baptistry and we did confirmations, then hopped in the font and baptized/were baptized. so i got some practice in before the baptism for colby on saturday. ill be able to send pictures a little bit later in the day.

anyways, i need to get going. love you! and thank you for the package!

On Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 11:46 PM, <> wrote:
Dear Elder Olsen,

How are you? How is your ankle? Did you go back to the doctor? Are you still wearing the brace they gave you? It did look pretty bad and painful!! Maybe you should give up basketball for the next six months or so.

How was the baptism? Tell me all about it and I hope you took some pictures. How is the work going? Is it still picking up? I hope so. I love to hear about your experiences.

Did you get your package? It said it was delivered on Friday morning so I hope that you got it okay. I was happy that it was delivered on the day that you had been out for 18 months which was what I was trying for and also to get you your white shirts before the baptism. People ask how long you've been out and when I tell them 18 months they say wow that has gone by fast. I always disagree with them I think it feels like a very long 18 months. I am so happy that you decided to serve a mission and am really glad that you are there but I still miss you!! Did you burn anything? Is it pants that you burn now and do you have a pair to burn?

Is it hot there yet? It hasn't been too bad here yet but it's been really windy though. My flowers are loving this weather not too hot but hot enough so they are starting to do well. I think it is supposed to get really hot this week and that will make me happy. No one else usually it's just me that likes the heat.

We talked to Phillip and his family today for Father's Day. They seem to be doing well and enjoying the summer. Logan went on his very first play date by himself yesterday and it turned out really well. That is really great for him to do that by himself. Did I tell you we are going to go see them on July 2nd and 3rd? We will drive down on the first and drive back on the 4th. It's not very long but it is what it is. Maybe we will be able to see them again later this year. We will have to see how much time off I have.

I think I told you about Mira having cancer didn't I? She came down to have the mass removed and tested and it turned out to be non cancerous after all. It is such a relief for everyone. All the doctors were sure it was cancer so it turned out really well.

Ryan and Caroline didn't come for dinner tonight because they went to Hurricane for Father's Day. Caroline's family did a hike in honor of her dad this weekend. Ryan and Caroline didn't do the whole hike with Lucas but they hiked in a little way and met them. I guess Lucas also rode a horse but didn't like it too much.

The Relief Society was in charge of the ice cream social again last night. It's the second year in a row that we have been in charge of it. I like this one because it isn't too hard. I was really tired when it was over though. It turned out really well and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. We had ice cream sundaes or cones and played some games. There were quite a few people there and even some less active people that live in the ward that have never been to anything yet. It was great to see them come out. They were encouraged to come by visiting teachers and other ward members. Just the way it should be. There were also random people from the neighborhood that came. It would have been nice if the missionaries had been there but the ward members were there to help them feel welcome.

Dad sold the Ranger this week. He finally posted in at 8:30 on Thursday night and it was gone by 9:30. It was so fast I couldn't even believe it. The guy called and wanted to come and see it right then and had cash to pay for it so he drove it home right then.

We seemed to have a missionary theme at church today in all of the meetings. It's like it was all coordinated or something. The Curtis' reported on their mission. It only lasted for a year. Then we talked about Alma 5 in Sunday School and then Relief Society was also on missionary work. So I want to share the whole chapter of Alma with you. It's the one about Have you received His image in your countenance.

President and Sister Loveland also told me that everyone wants to be your companion. I have to say I wasn't surprised at all by that. You have always been great with people and making friends. It is one of your greatest strengths. You always try to look out for others and help them to feel welcome.

I guess I will go for now. Take care of yourself, don't play basketball, stay focused, be obedient and finish strong!!

I'll love you forever!!


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