Saturday, April 7, 2012

Elder Cameron Reid Olson

Cam has been called to the Mexico, Mexico City Southeast Mission! He enters into the MTC July 5, 2012. He has set the Wright Tradition back on track, speaking Spanish.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Elder Olson Update 3/4/12

Drew is winding up his mission.  He is serving in a Spanish branch in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  We got an official email from the Massachusetts Boston Mission this past week with his release date of June 1st.  He wrote earlier this month, “This past week has been an emotional one for me. Today when I started my email, I put the date 2/6/2010 by accident... I wish that was still the case. I wish I had another two years to give the Lord. I have had dreams of either being home and no longer a missionary, or being released... I fear that day more than I feared the day when I left home.  I wish that there was more I could do for this mission and for the Lord.”

He was able to help another missionary this past month that was planning on going home with only 7 months left.  Drew said “I told him all about my experience of coming home from Brazil, the feelings, the pain, and regret.  I answered all the questions he had, then just listened to him with love.”  He then decided to finish his mission.  Drew said, “President Evans and a lot of other missionaries thanked me for keeping him here, but I don't think it was me at all.  I think that the spirit bore witness to him through my experience in Brazil that couldn't have been born through someone who hadn't experienced that. So it was a great learning and growing opportunity for the both of us and I'm grateful that he will be staying through the end of his mission.

We are grateful that Drew has grown spiritually and has been able to help missionaries in the field.  We know that he has not lost his sense of humor or his love for motorcycles.  He wrote, “We finished our studies and lunch at the Cerro (Spanish) house. They are way freakin cool. I love that family. They are from Columbia and Brother Cerro is a big guy.  He works for some intelligence agency and we're not really sure what he does, but we talked a lot about the Gospel, Guns, and Motorcycles.  What could be better!?  Then he showed me his new toys.  He's got some sick bikes, but he doesn't know much about them.  So I was answering a lot of questions. We will go over one P-day and I'm going to do some maintenance for him on the bike... Service! :)

He ended his last email with this testimony, “Well family... Thanks for everything; your love, letters, prayers and support. I miss you and I hope that you will continue being healthy and doing what's right.  I am excited for the time I have left here as a servant of the Lord.  Never quit and settle for a satisfaction right now when you can receive an even greater reward in the long run.  I know my Savior lives! I know the Book of Mormon is True!  I love my mission. I have never experienced so much joy in my life.”

Bridgeport, CT

Drew being....well...Drew

Friday, February 10, 2012

Elder Olson Update 2/10/12

Drew got transferred this last week to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  He has been in Lowell, Ma, since August, so he was excited for the change.  We have not received an email from him since his transfer, but he wrote last week and said, “I’m stoked to serve in Bridgeport with a Brazilian that is learning English and I hear that Bridgeport is more "ghetto" than Lowell. So I'm pretty excited.  It will be a 4 elder apartment so that will be fun.  We will be with the Spanish elders and the Branch or church on Sunday is all in Spanish.  So I will have to study my Spanish a lot more seriously.  It will be hard to leave and it has been really hard to say goodbye to people, but I am ready for a little change and I know the Lord needs me elsewhere.”

The missionary work was slow in Lowell, but Drew was a district leader there and a trainer.  Even though they did not have many to teach, we know that he had a purpose there in training his companion that came straight out of the MTC.  Early in December he wrote about the struggles of this new Elder….

“So we went to church and President Evans came to our ward to interview my companion.  He has been struggling a lot with wanting to go home, and he is very close to doing it.  I have spent a lot of time telling him all about Brazil and when I came home and how hard it was and how much a mission would bless his life, but he just doesn't seem to care. So he doesn't have the strongest desire to work and he told President to get him a ticket home, so he wanted to come and talk to him.  I have tried and I continue to testify that this is the best place for him now.  President was in an interview with him for an hour or so and then he talked to me.  He just said, ‘Elder Olson, he is with you for a reason and I know of no better person for him to be with then you.’  He said to just keep him busy like I have been doing and he will do what he will. So we had a good long talk and I love President Evans.  He is the sweetest man. I am so grateful he's my mission President.  So he gave me a lot of advice and told me not to beat myself up or feel like a failure if he does decide to go home.  President just said he's selfish and immature and we just need to love him and hope he makes the right choice.  So it was great to spend a short time with President and get some advice from him.   After the interview I told him that he is NOT going home as long as I am with him or even as long as he is in the field. The work of the Lord is huge!  I just hope he realizes it and works hard.  I love this Elder, he's a great kid, but he just needs to get to work. This is the best thing for him and I'm so so so grateful for my mission.  I know this is where I need to be.  So I will keep encouraging him to work hard and share my testimony of a mission with him.”
One month latter Drew reported to the President about this Elder’s progress….
“We did have interviews with President Evans this past week at Zone meeting.  He asked how my companion was doing.  I said he's happy and good.  I enjoy the short time I have with President Evans.  He is a man called of God and he is very close to the spirit.”  
And just this last week he spoke of his companion again….

“I will miss Lowell, and the people here. I will also miss serving with "my son" (his companion.)  We've had a lot of fun together.”   (We are glad that Drew’s past experiences were able to help this young Elder.)
Drew shares some experiences that he had in December…………

12/7/11  “Today was an excellent day. We left early for our Annual Christmas Mission Temple trip.  It was a lot of fun and an excellent experience. We were there early and we did an endowment session.  It was an excellent experience for me, because I was able to sit in the Celestial room for about 25 min or so and I was able to communicate with the Lord through prayer and he was speaking directly back to me through the scriptures.  It was a very neat experience to me.  I had a lot of questions answered and personal revelation come to me.  I know the Lord is aware of us and wants to have a conversation with us and help us.  It was great. Then we went to the Baptistery.  We did confirmations and then we had the opportunity to be baptized for 20 or so names.  Being baptized is a very cool experience that I often forget the feeling of going in the water and coming back up being washed clean.  It was amazing. Then the temple had a nice lunch for the Zone in the cafeteria with President and Sister Evans. That was excellent.  It was just like Costa Vida.  Following that, we all met at the Belmont chapel and had a testimony meeting.  It went really well. Then I spoke with the AP's for a good amount of time about the Portuguese program and what they wanted to know what I thought should happen. Then we left for home with the other elders.  We got home about 6 or so, had dinner, then went to work.  It was a spiritual feast.” 

“The Christmas devotional was excellent.  I wish I had the testifying power of the Prophet. He has simplicity but much power.  I'm so grateful to have a Prophet on the earth today.  I see things daily in Lowell and in my mission that I would never want for my family or to happen to my friends. The world is dark.  The world is wicked. Satan is trying harder than ever on us as missionaries, the people we teach, and the members of the church.  I'm so grateful that darkness and light can't be in the same place at the same time. There is no grey area to God and his commandments and what the Prophets tell us.  But like you said dad, from Elder Holland, which team are we suited up for?   The light will always over power darkness, what are we doing everyday to prepare to burn our lights each day brighter?  I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  This is his kingdom once again established on the earth and we will reign with him if we do our part as in the S.U.D.  That is what will solidify our foundation of Jesus Christ and our testimonies there in.  I love this church, I love my mission, His mission, and I love my family.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Elder Olson-Update

Drew is still serving in Lowell, MA, and loving the work there. He is now a trainer, along with district
leader. His new companion (straight out of the MTC) is Elder Winegar from Salt Lake. He says, “Well
training is a great experience. I find myself trying even harder than before to do what's right and
working even harder. I'm grateful for this chance I have to grow and learn from a younger Elder. I
know that we will do well together.” His old companion that he had served with in two different areas
and really got along well with, was transferred (two blocks away in the Cambodian program), was also
named Elder Winegar but he was from California. He was glad that his old companion was still in his

He had a recent baptism this month and he was excited to see the change that came with this young
lady as she accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is a clip from a recent letter about one of his
days, “Sat. 11/19: Today was good. We had studies and correlation in the morning with the ward
missionaries and ward mission leader. Then I had a meeting with the Cambodian elders and we
discussed how we could work together to get the ward more motivated to do missionary work. If
the members would just help us more, the ward would grow so much! People are just afraid to do
missionary work here. Anyway then we taught Romilda (Braz) and did a lot of finding. We found 3 new
girls. Shandel, Shannon, and Kaylea (Eng) that let us right in. We taught them a 1st and they were
really receptive to the message. I hope for the right reason.... Anyway we also knocked on the door
of Maria Silva (Port). She is from Portugal and she is very difficult to understand. I can understand
most Portuguese people and all Brazilians without a problem... but this woman was tough! Anyway we
talked to her at her door step for about 10 min and she told us to wait there while she wanted to show
us something. She came back with an original Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It was very old and she
had marked it up very, very, well. I was very impressed because the Portuguese here from Portugal
are not receptive to the message at all. They all claim to be Catholic and slam the door on us. So I was
shocked. She said she enjoys the book. We gave her a new one and we will be going back to teach her.
She is a nice old lady and would be an excellent member of the church here. Anyway, then we found a
few more potentials and we had dinner at the Peterson's (Eng). They were having a birthday party, so
there was tons of people there and food. Then we finished the night at Sister Machorros. It was a good

“Everyone is doing well in the district now, so I'm happy for that. The work here is going a little slower
because we are just finding, so it's tough... but I see a lot of good potentials coming from it. We were
able to teach Sandra and her son Kevin (Span). I found them last transfer with the old E. Winegar, and
this is the first time we were able to teach them. It went really well. They are very excited about our
message and we taught about seeing our family members that we have lost, again. We will live with
those we love forever. That really hit home for them. She works this Sunday, so she can’t come to
church, but she will be there the following week. It was a really awesome lesson. They are prepared
and I pray they will progress rather well and become great members of the church.”

“I hope that this email finds you all in good spirits. I hope that this week ahead of you will be one of
satisfaction and joy. I love it here in Lowell. Continue strong in the faith and always be an example of
the believers.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Elder Olson Update

November 2011
Drew is doing well in Lowell, MA. He loves it there. He has transfers this coming week and he really hopes to stay there in Lowell. He is District Leader there and is doing really well. He is having the opportunity to speak two languages. He says, “We will be having the Baptism of Katherine Cano (Spanish) on the 30th of Oct. or in other words, this coming Sunday if everything works out according to plan. Other than that, most of our work is slowly turning to Spanish. Brazilians are not progressing, so that is frustrating. I guess we will need to find new fresh blood. Over all, things are going well. I am loving Lowell and I'm not ready to leave.”

Drew has the opportunity to translate at church on Sundays. We had to chuckle a bit when he shared his love for relief society. He shared, “We teach the Portuguese class on Sundays and that usually goes really well. Then we do our normal translation in relief society and I don't understand how women enjoy such off topic stories during the lesson. Oh well, it was good.”

I think he is being well fed. He shared his dinner itinerary with us for one evening, “Then we had dinner with the Webster's (English). They are way cool and he is into BYU football, so he quickly gave me the low down on the game. Then we had 2nd dinner with Romilda (Brazilian). That was a lot of fun and we ended the night with getting another dinner from Analor Pachar (Brazilian) and teaching there.”

He shared a great experience a couple of weeks ago about finding a young boy when tracking. He said, “Then we also found Bun (English/Cambodian). He's 15 and he said that 2 minutes before we knocked on his door, he was on the internet searching about Satan and God, wondering if they really existed. (Keep in mind that most Cambodians are Buddhist) He said that he wasn't getting anywhere from being online, so he just looked up and asked if there was even a God….. Then the knock on the door was there. We taught him a first lesson, gave him a Book of Mormon, and he wants to read the whole book. Bun like us, believe that was a sign from God that he exists and that he loves Bun enough to answer his prayers. That was a really cool experience for us. I can't say that has happened all that often.”
He updated us on Bun this past week in his email, “E. Winegar and I had enough time to teach Bun (Eng/Camb) and he enjoyed the 3rd lesson. We extended a baptismal date for the 13th of November of which was accepted.”

“This week has been busy for me as well. We have had a few frustrating things happen in our work, but tudo bem! Satan is working harder than ever to destroy us. But the Lord is with us and his work will move on. Satan has millions of his followers or spirits here on earth surrounding us every day, tempting and trying us; trying to get us to break us from getting back to our father in heaven. They are around investigators, non-members, members, and those great leaders we have. They are working harder than we are as missionaries and members of the church, because Satan won’t leave us or them alone. He won’t stop. We can't stop doing the things that strengthen us. Let’s try a little harder to continue to read our scriptures and work on the attributes of Jesus Christ.”