This week has already flown by out here in Oakville. I am in the furthest west area and south in the mission. It is a very interesting and prepared area. The Oakville area covers some of the richest places in the mission and quite a few poor areas as well. On my first day in the area we saw 4-5 cars that would have cost well over 150,000 just within a few hours. The area has been very well prepared - we have already committed 4 people for baptism and have a goal of baptizing 5 people this transfer.
It was a strange feeling coming back into the field after about 5 months of work in the office. We still worked our area in the office but not as regularly as we would have liked. The first day being back felt like a breath of fresh air. I miss the work I was doing a lot and I learned so much from it, I especially miss working with all of the missionaries, with my companions and with Pres. and Sis. Eyre. However this is what I've learned how to do for the past few years and what I have really learned to love. Going on travels and working in our area had just seemed like little disconnected pieces of missionary work. Being back has been a blessing. I get to have a full hour of personal study every morning and I I finally get to have companionship study again! It will also help me to be able to finish my two years with one basic focus and to be able to concentrate all of my energy on that focus.
My two companions are E. Tapp and E. Stidham from Rigby, Idaho and Salt Lake City. E. Tapp and I have a very similar sense of humor and it is going to be very fun working with him. E. Stidham as well is a little bit harder to get to know but can also be fun to be around. The best part is that they want to work really hard and are pretty much right there with me on everything. Even though they are very young, they are also very capable. We have started teaching a part- member family with three people that we have preparing for baptism as well as another family from Ghana that we just taught the wife yesterday who is now preparing for baptism. We still need to find more though and we are expecting a few good member referrals this weekend as well as many others that the Lord will lace in our path. I also have a good District out here and am excited to work as a District Leader again because I never felt like I did as much for my District as I wanted to. They are all very young most only about six months with one out for about a year. In our first district meeting we set a goal for 21 baptisms as a district which is the biggest one I’ve seen and most of it came from them they have a lot of faith.
It is weird to be doing everything for the last time but it is also encouraging. Every time I get tired or hesitant I just think that I only have a few opportunities to do any of this again and so I need to take them now. I want to make this the most faithful and hard working transfer of my mission. I love you all and hope to hear from you again next week!
Elder Joshua Olson