3 Nephi 5:13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gëzuar Falënderimëve!

You Gëzuar Falënderimëve njerzit!!
So I just realized something, I've been sending a lot of you "Gëzuar Ditëlindje" not realizing I'm saying "Happy Birthday" hahaha wow. That's wrong. But Happy Thanksgiving!! How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was absolutely wonderful! Unlike any other Thanksgiving, I wasn't with my family, but I did have my zone and the missionaries here as my family. Here's a little rundown of my Thanksgiving Day: I got to sing with the massive missionary choir "Come Thou Fount" to the Apostle (Church Leader) Elder Niel L. Andersen. His grandchildren put on a little presentation for us and handed out little Thanksgiving Cards they all put together. I then got to have my wonderful cafeteria thanksgiving meal. It was no steak and lobster like my previous thanksgivings...but I was thankful for the apple pie. My zone all ate together and went around saying what we're thankful for. We got to watch "Ephraim's Rescue" and do this incredible service project for the company, "Feeding Children Everywhere". We assembled dehydrated meals to donate and as an MTC we assembled 359,000 meals! It was incredible! Then that evening was yet another Thanksgiving program with a lot of musical performances....meaning I got to sing!! I sang with this double quartet throughout the program! We sang pieces like, "Prayer of Thanksgiving" and "All Creatures of Our God and King". It was beautiful and I was amazed looking out at the thousands of missionaries preparing to serve all over the world! It was beautiful! Then to top off the day, the MTC set up Christmas lights and officially turned them on so we all went out to see the lights and sing Christmas songs! I am very thankful for this Thanksgiving and for my family and all those who have supported me and continue to support me! I love you all!

Okay so reality check-I get my flight plans on FRIDAY and leave in 2 WEEKS to Albania! It hit me when I had the opportunity to SKYPE someone named Anxhela (Angela) who lives in Vlorë, Shqiperia (Albania). My companion and I got to skype her on Friday and although the connection was terrible and we only heard like every 4th word she said, we understood every 4th word she said and she was able to understand us! I am so excited to go out and serve the Albanian people! Speaking of the language, on Friday my Albanians and I tried to speak in Shqip for the entire day and I am amazed at how much I can speak. My excitement was boosted. Don't get me wrong, a have a LONG way to go, but I have hope, and with hope and faith, I will be able to speak the language and show my love for the people! In addition to skyping, we went around the MTC campus and went "street contacting" to other missionaries in Shqip talking about the Book of Mormon. 2 of us spoke in Shqip while the other translated. 

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting (first hour of church) I got to sing with my Albanians and then some of the Elders speaking Turkish. We sang, "Silent Night" or "Nat' e Qet'" in Albanian and Turkish. It was beautiful! I also got to teach with my companion, Motra Jones, a lesson on Faith in Jesus Christ. We talked about the importance of faith. 1. Faith in who He IS 2. Faith in what He DID and what He DOES 3. Faith in what WE can do THROUGH Him. I have faith in my Savior. He suffered for us and took upon Him our pain, our afflictions, our mistakes, and our sorrows so that we don't have to. While He has done that for us, I have faith in what He DOES and that is that He continues to comfort us in our afflictions if we turn to Him in prayer and in study. Then, because I have faith in who He is and what He does, I then have faith in what I can do through Christ!
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"
I cannot learn the language as quickly as I am without the help of my Savior and my effort to learn so that I may serve the Albanian people. I know that to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I now invite YOU to think about Jesus Christ this Christmas season and REMEMBER what Christmas is really about! I challenge you to #LIGHTtheWORLD. Check out this video to find out how (https://www.mormon.org/christmas/light-the-world?play=hero) Each day of December is a way to serve as Christ did until Christmas Day! Join me and we can serve together across the world! I love you so much! Your Savior loves you! And I am so blessed to represent Him this Christmas season through my service!

Have a wonderful week full of SNOW! Happy Winter! :)

Shqip Words of the Week
1. Sherbej (sher-bay) means to serve or "I serve"
2. Falënderimëve (fall-en-der-eem-e-vay) means thanksgiving
3. Të Dua (tuh do-ah) means I love you! (Or I love thou ;)

Thanks to my mom's decorations, I got to add some excitement to my room!

We decorated our room and even got a tree!

​I'm a nerd.

​These are the cute Thanksgiving Cards from Elder Andersen's grandchildren​.

​My Thanksgiving meal...​

​The double quartet I performed with!​

​Looking good for the service project ;)​

​My favorite alto who performed with me in the double quartet!​

​I'm literally obsessed with these Christmas lights.​

​Ran into Zack Holland at the MTC!​

​Happy Black Friday everyone!! ;)​


Mirupafshim! Të dua!
Motra Olsen

Sister Natalie Kay Olsen
2005 N 900 E Unit 125
Provo UT 84602

Monday, November 21, 2016


​​Mirëdita Secili!!!
Wow a lot happened this week and we have another fun upcoming week with Thanksgiving! I've been here at the MTC for 6 WEEKS now and I just have 3 MORE! I wanted to start off thanking you all for your examples and your support in my life! I truly am so grateful for every smile, kind word, advice, and support that you have given me. I love you truly!
So this week my zone and I had the opportunity to be hosts and welcome all the new missionaries coming into the MTC. We go to the entrance on the curb where families drop off their missionaries and help a missionary get to their residence and classes along with comforting them after leaving their family. I got to be a host to one of the international sisters from Canada and I just loved hearing about her excitement to serve and getting to know more about her home. In addition to hosting, we got new members to our zone. We welcomed 2 Dutch sisters.

So some fun new things about Shqip: First off the language is really coming along! We are now familiar with the grammar and sentence structure so we are just fine-tuning and really working toward progressing big time these final 3 weeks. One thing we learned this past week is that yes Shqip has the verb conjugations of simple past, imperfect past, present, future, and like 5 other tenses but in addition there is a "wishing tense" and a "wow tense". What that means is that if you're excited about something or shocked about something you use the "wow" tense. Wow, that must mean that I'd need to use it a lot ;) Then the wishing tense is when you desire or wish for something, then you completely conjugate the verb. Also in addition to many verb conjugations, there's about 7 different ways to say every noun (there are 5 cases). The language truly is beautiful and SO FUN.

Just some additional notes:
1. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Gary E. Stevenson this past week at a devotional!
2. I've been having a lot of rehearsals this last week and one day I was late to class. Due to my delay, our teachers have us "tract" (basically missionaries doing door approaches to strangers) if we are late. We arrived to class and saw a chair in front of the door with a Book of Mormon and a note saying, "You're late! Don't forget to pray..." it took us about "3 doors" to be let in haha
3. I had the opportunity to speak in a Sacrament meeting yesterday for the workers here at the MTC. I was told to pick my own topic.....I of course had to speak about gratitude. I just wanted to share with you a little message from my talk.

Doctrine and Covenants 78:19 

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

Something that I've really learned is the importance of gratitude. Especially learning a language, it is easy to get discouraged, but as I look back and see the things I know now compared to what I know yesterday, that is something to be grateful for! I can be grateful for the little things, the positive things throughout the day and just know that these are blessings from my Father in Heaven. I have even thanked my Heavenly Father for trials because it is through them that I have learned and grown closer to my Savior. I invite you to note your blessings each day. Whether that be the person that smiles to you in the street or a friendly note from a friend. I also invite you to read President Uchtdorf's talk "Grateful in Any Circumstance" (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng). President Uchtdorf says, "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?

Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our ​circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our​ ​present-​day challenges.This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the​ ​heart and expands the mind.

​Gratitude heals. Be grateful in all things and through gratitude we can be comforted in our times of trial and recognize the Lord's hand in our lives. I love you all and I am so grateful for you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week!

Shqip Words of the Week:
1. Mirenjohje (meer-en-yo-hyay) means gratitude​

2. Darkë (dark) means dinner
3. Bekimet (beck-ee-met) means blessings

We of course had to welcome the new Dutch with tons of treats.
Hosting with some others missionaries!
The Sister I hosted from Canada!
Another sister I hosted.
My District! We have the Albanians and the Turkish speakers.
My beautiful companions!
All the sisters in our zone including the new Dutch! Shoutout to Zuster Barker from Kaysville in my zone! (She graduated with me)
My companions and I with President Bertosso (one of the MTC presidency) We've become really close to him as he's been comforting us in a lot of things. :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Halfway through the MTC

We Pershëndetje Secili!!
I'm officially a ONE MONTH missionary and do you know what that means? I'm halfway through the MTC! I still love being here at the MTC. I can't even think about leaving right now especially with how much more I have to learn about the language. I compare forming sentences in Albanian to doing a 1,000 piece puzzle :) But it is actually a ton of fun! We had to say goodbye to all of the Dutch missionaries in our zone as they are headed to the Port of Spain and to Belgium and the Netherlands. We get new Dutch this week and as Sister Training Leaders we get to welcome them so we're pretty excited!

So this last week I got asked to sing in a double quartet at the upcoming Thanksgiving Program next week. I get to sing throughout the program and I'm pretty excited! We have a lot of fun things coming up these next few weeks and then before I know if, I'll be headed to Albania!

 So this last week I had an incredible experience with my Motrat. We were at the front desk and we ran into a man named Jose. He told us that he's been coming to the MTC to be taught by the Spanish missionaries here. He said that in the lessons it's been very broken Spanish but when the Sisters talked about the lessons it was very clear. We were just sharing with him about where we were going and when we were about to leave, he told us, "I have one question for you sisters, why do I have to pray about this book? (referring to the Book of Mormon)" He said that the sister missionaries gave it to him and told him to pray about it, but he didn't understand why. It was a special experience sharing with him why I have prayed about the Book of Mormon and that he can experience that to. I shared that when I pray to God, to my Heavenly Father, I ask for comfort and I ask the questions that have been on my mind. Then through the Book of Mormon, I am comforted and my questions are answered. I shared that I prayed for this book to know for myself that it truly does testify of Christ. I experienced the importance of simplicity in teaching as I shared this with Jose and he had a better understanding for the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. I had a little taste of what I will be doing in the field. in Albania, and I truly felt the love that God has for each of us! 

Moroni 10:3-5 (in the Book of Mormon)

3Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it... 

4And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true ; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power... 

5And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. 

I wish you all the best this next week! You are in my prayers! :)

Shqip Words of the Week:
1. Shpres (as it sounds) means hope
2. Gjalp Kirikiku (jahlp kee-ree-kee-koo) is probably one of my favorite words. It means peanutbutter :)
3. Të lutem (tuh loo-tem) means please in Shqip but translated literally means "I pray thee". I'm telling you, it's like biblical talk.

My Albanians :)
One of my roomies, Schrad Novër, going to Hungary. 
The Christmas lights are on.

My Dutch sisters leaving. :(
​Saying goodbye to all of the Dutch today! This will be me in 4 WEEKS!

Monday, November 7, 2016

That's My Jam!

C'kemi Secili!!
I hope you all had a wonderful week! So this week we had a lot of things happening. Here at the MTC on Sunday nights and Tuesday nights we have devotionals (like giant assemblies where all of the missionaries gather together and hear from a speaker). Before we have a speaker, usually there's a musical number by a missionary or by the MTC choir (made up of 1,000 missionaries). So this week I auditioned for a musical number in an upcoming devotional and I was selected! I will know in about 2 weeks when I will perform but I am so excited to sing again! I am singing, "Abide With Me 'Tis Eventide" (hymn # 165). It is absolutely beautiful!

Every Friday, we have TRC (I have no idea what that stands for) but we have return missionaries or native speakers speaking Shqip come into the MTC and we teach them a lesson. This last TRC, it really hit me my progress in the language as I was able to converse and joke and understand in Shqip. One of the Sisters we taught was Motra Jackson-the missionary whose blog I read entirely. It was funny teaching her, I let her know that I read all about her 18 months in Albanian on her blog...it might've sounded a little creepy but that's fine. :)

We're finally really getting into the language and I am LOVING it! We have been having a ton of grammar lessons now and I feel like it's a puzzle...it will take a lot of practice but it has been a lot of fun! The language is very biblical meaning that the informal "you" form in English is "thou". So pretty much we go around telling each other "Are thou ready to go?"

On the Tuesday night devotional, we were blessed to have one of the 12 Apostles come and speak to us!! President Nelson came with his wife and shared his love for us and our service. He taught us about trusting in God for with God, nothing is impossible. He also shared with us that the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, told President Nelson to tell the missionaries hello for him. It was so special having a prophet of God there with his sweet spirit! I got to sing in the MTC choir as we sang "Praise to the Man" about Joseph Smith and I felt such a powerful spirit as I sang, "Millions shall know brother Joseph again". I have the opportunity to go and share with the millions about the prophet Joseph Smith who restored this gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Finally, I wanted to share something that has really stood out to me recently. As Thanksgiving is approaching, we have been talking a lot about gratitude and living in thanksgiving daily. I have come to understand the need for gratitude at all times, especially throughout our trials in life. As we daily count our blessings, and find the good through our difficult times, we will experience the most joy! I have even thought about thanking God for my trials because it is through them that I have been strengthened and that I have grown closer to my Savior and felt the MOST joy! 
"Waiting for a beautiful future causes us to lose the beautiful today". I have so many things to look forward to like going to Albania and serving the people there. But then at the same time, I have so much to be thankful for during my time here at the MTC, growing closer to my Savior and learning how to represent Him and to faithfully serve Him. As we look at the beautiful today, count our blessings daily, and are grateful in every trial, everyday can be beautiful!

I love being a missionary and I am SO THANKFUL for thou! ;) Have a wonderful week! 

Shqip Words of the Week:
1. Jam (pronounced "yahm") means "I am"
2. Lumtur (loom-tour) means happy
3. Falënderoj (fall-en-der-oy) means "I am thankful"
Falënderoj and Lumtur
On Halloween, we followed through with going Anti-Trick or Treating and dressed up as ghosts.
We decided to organize our massive amount of food into what we call "sustenance", "slightly sustenance" and "not at all sustenance". We are far from it.
We got our mission shirts!
Read the Libri I Mormonit (Book of Mormon). It's a good book and best part: IT'S TRUE! We read it everyday together in Shqip!
All the Sisters in our zone. Our Dutch are leaving us next week!
Elder Harris (Albanian Elder) and us Motrat had to say goodbye to Elder Harris's twin as he is heading out to Sweden today! We're going to miss calling out to our Swedish brother everyday!
​My ZONE! I love them! They are my family, for real. :)