We were shocked as well up here in Canada to hear about President Hinckley passing away. We recieved a call at around 10:30 from our Zone Leaders telling us what had happened as well as a few more calls the next morning from some members of our branch. Its completely different I guess from what dad wrote me about on his mission. We didn't need to go somewhere for a pay phone to talk to the zone leaders they just called us on our cell, we have free minutes after 8.
It was pretty sad news though after every conference people kind of expected it. Every one loved President Hinckley. When we told our recent conver she said , "oh no, hes the one with the kind face!" Its makes things a little different when we contact people , "Hello we'd love to tell you about how there is a prophet on the earth today! Well, kind of, I mean well there are techniclly about 14 prophets, seers, and revelators today, but yesterday there were fifteen. Its just that right now maybe not one of them is technically the prophet." The great thing is that, even though its very sad to see him go, the the work the church and everything moves on without a hitch. We are going to watch the funeral ceremony at our church building and are suppossed to try to get all of our investigators to go.
Transfers are coming up in less than two weeks. This transfer blew past. Its been cold and windy and icy and I sometimes I don't remember what it was like to be warm. Its to the point now that I really have no clue what will happen. At this point the could send me to the opposite side of the mission or to downtown toronto. If I leave I think I will be going alot closer to the city. Even though I'm kind of in a city now, in mission talk we still call it the country because it is so far from toronto (the real city). There are a ton of possibilities one of which is as always no change at all. I am both excited and nervous about possibly getting sent to a new area. Sometimes I feel tired of going to the same places and driving on the same streets day after day. However I've gotten to now the people in this branch pretty well and its wierd to think that I could actually miss some of them. Its pretty fun to be a missionary and the youth and young adults(20 -30) come up before church just to talk to you about what pedals they are making for their guitars or a hundred different things. There is a strange thing that keeps happening however, people keep asking me how much time I have left on my mission as if I was coming towards the end. I think they are getting confused because I've been around for awhile and have a younger looking companion. I still feel like I've just started. The other day an older brother in the Branch presidency shook my hand and said in his hilarious wise old person voice- "It amazes me, you just keep coming to church."
President Callister isn't afraid to leave missionaries in an area for along time though- not usually more than 6 transfers or 9 months and I would have one more to go before that point since this is the end of my 5th. Its becoming harder to count now how long I've been out. Now months feel like weeks did at the very beginning, and transfers feel cramped for not having enough time in them to get all the work done that we want to.
I didn't have enought time to answer all you questions or write everything so i'll write some more in my letter.
Love Elder Olson