Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week One in the MTC

Hello Everyone,

This week has been an emotional roller coaster! We received Spencer's 1st email. I wasn’t expecting it at all. We were looking for a handwritten one in the mail either today or Monday, so this was a real treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. BTW: We were going to go on the boat on wed, the day he went into the MTC. We were all ready to go but the boat keys were lost. We took them into the house after our last trip, which we never do for this exact reason and we can't find them. We were sure that Spencer had hid them and forgot to tell us because he told me the day before he left that we couldn't take the boat out or he would be mad. haha the joke is on us! Now the dilemma is....where are the boat keys?

Have a great day and we'll talk to you next week


(From Spencer October 15, 2011)

Hey Everyone,

Garrett you are so funny i didnt hide the boat keys. Dumb! But i did hid your wand in my suit case hahaha i have your wand. Anyways it has been a super long last 3 and a half days. When i got here they hearded us like cattle from our car to get our nametag and all our info then to the book store where we got like 25 lbs of books up to our rooms. Im on the 3rd floor. Then dropped off all my stuff then went to meet our comps and our dristrics. My comp is Elder Harrington. He is a doofy but cool kid. He is from las vegas but has bee going to school at the y for the last year. He is alot like marshall really tall palled basketball and is sometimes to sarcastic. But i really like him he is a good balance for me. Our distric is so bomb! We have this elder in it that looks exactly like kevin its a little creepy how much he looks like him. He has probably become my best friend here in the mtc. The days here take forever we have like 6 hours of class room instruction everyday and 3 ours of comp/personal/laguage study. Way to much sitting! But the language is coming along ok we already know how to meet/greet someone, bear our testimony, and pray. But its like when a little primary kid does it hahaha. WE started teaching our 1st investigator yesterday all in spanish. That was wild. But me and my comps hung in there. Its just crazy to think that only 5 days ago i was at home. It still really hasnt hit me that i am not going to be able to go home for the next 2 years so im not home sick yet it feels alot like EFY way weird. But no GIRLS!!! The weird thing is is that we got a way good looking female teacher who has only been home from her mission for 5 months making her our age. No bueno! but im having a great time trying my best not to eat too much of the food lol its a struggle. i just hope i wont gain too much weight. I told my comp he has to help me and if he has too pull food away from me haha. But everything is going great after this week i will have my p-day on friday the rest of the time im in the mtc so expect my emails then. Oh yeah, what im going to do for you mom is when i finish a journal ima send it home so i dont have to lugg it aroud so you can get more detail out of that lol. Hey connor can you do me a favor a check my gmail im expecting an email for when or ifithas already come can you forward it to me its all the same stuff from my fb account. and mitchell you had better have sold those games and if you havent DO IT and send me the money haha. And dad i told diann in her thankyou card to make sure you were going hard and not standing around talking hahah. Oh mom guess what half of the shots i was supposed to get on that card i font have to get. its only going to be like 150 bucks instead fo 350. But send everyone my love dont worry about me im doing fine. Cant wait to get more stuff from you guys haha.




(from Garrett to Spencer October 12, 2011)

hi Spencer,

how are you? we were going to go to the lake and we cant find the boat keys. mom said you would be mad if we went. so i was wondering if by chance you hid them from us. they have been sitting on the telephone desk.spence we have been home from our trip we have torne the house apart. WHERE ARE THE BOAT KEYS!

your brother,


(from MOM to Spencer)

Spencer, October 20, 2011

It was so fun to get your letter on email, and honestly, I now check my gmail account everyday just in case you snuck a letter through. You would be proud of me. I have been really strong and I cried all my tears those last few days, and every once in a while I well up with a few tears, but it's been easier than I thought. I miss you tremendously! I subbed at Greenfield Elementary on Wed and as I drove in to the parking lot, I thought how you came and picked me up all those days, and you brought me pop, too. I've thought about calling you a couple of times at home to check on something for me and then remembered you weren’t there. Haha, I know that you are doing great things. Dad hasn't changed your name on his phone and Mitchell called him the other day. He picked up the phone and with a panicked thought he wondered why you were calling him. Haha.

It's still really hot, upper 90s. I cant wait until it cools off. I’m so ready to start wearing jeans, but it too hot. Auntie Bev and Uncle Ken were here in town and we met up with them and Grandma and we went to lunch in Cave Creek at the Mexican place we used to go to when we sold jackets up there. It was fun. They were here only for a couple of days. So it was fun to see them. I have been subbing at Gilbert High in foods, Child Develop and HERO. The teacher is a friend of Diane Wright, Sis Hinton, and her father, Bisop Arrington, dad's old Bishop died on sunday. He's the old man that always sat behind us in 9th ward. It's been fun. I go in for A hour and Im done at 1130 and I get a full days pay! That makes $16 an hour. I can handle that! I'm really tired because you know me and mornings. Other than that there really isnt much going on. Shelly and Mike are all moved in and it's kinda nice to have them here. They stopped by on Sunday just as we were sitting down for dinner, so we set 2 more plates and they joined us. Luckily I had cooked extra.

That reminds me about the cooking thing. It's so weird to have your spot opened, but lots of times someone is sitting there. I still think about what to fix according to what you like. Its funny. And I can't seem to get the portions right either. I keep making too much and then Connor won't eat half the time so then we really have a lot of leftovers.

School is going fine for the kids. I think they are finally caught up from the week they lost and they all pulled decent grades. We had parent/teacher Conf today, and Mrs. Collins wants to take Garrett out of Resource all together and see how he does. He is really doing well in school and is comprehending most everything. That was encouraging. He hasn't had anymore episodes like he did your last night except when he found out you took his wand. I had to hold him and snuggle with him for 1/2 hour. Keep it safe and bring it home! Connor is still battling the sunday thing. We called him out on sunday and said he wasn't feeling well. He had to call in anyway. He told them he had a migraine. He'll tell you about his work. I think he is finally an official Maintenance Guy. I overheard him tell Dad this afternoon. Dad has changed up his workout and he is training with Holly. He doesn't do as much cardio and he's doing new weight stuff. So he's not at the gym as much. DeAnne doesn't like it cuz he doesn't do all of his cardio at the beginning. He does it at the end. We got Mitchell pre-registered for EFY. He is still helping Andrew mow lawns so he should be able to pay for half.

Oh, by the way. I forgot to tell you in the last letter.....(dad wanted me to say this and I forgot), Your best friend Emily Cardita will be there some time the end of November I think. You will still be there when she goes in. She is going to SLC Temple - ASL. She's excited. She looks different. It's amazing the change you kids do when you decide to go on missions. It's like the Lord is starting to prepare you as soon as you decide to make the committment. OK, enough about us. Now for the Questions.

How are things Going?

How is your Companion?

What is he like? family? Interest? etc.

How is the language?

Have you gotten to hear from any General Authorities?

Did you see Sis Marble? Allens?

Have you received my package? My DearElder letters? (I just sent a little something today, so you should get it by Monday)

Is it cold?

Do you go outside?

Are you glad you have a coat?

How is the food?

Are you doing ok with your eating?

How is the exercise?

Have you been to the temple? Do you get to go?

Hows the dorm? sleeping arrangements? Living arrangements?

Will there really be a "Halloween" there? should I send candy? If I do you have to promise not to open it until the "party" and then you have to share it!

What have you heard about the mission/mission president?

We found your Ipod. How much music and what kind of music?

How come you wrote to Connor and not me? I will work on your list and get it in the mail. We found your pocket knife thing, your Ipod and your hymn book when we were looking for the boat keys. (we still haven't found them) haha really, you want a fan? That will be expensive to send unless I can find someone to get you one, like Jan. I'll work on it.

Do you need stationary/stamps?

Would you like a plastic envelope to keep letters, memoribilia in?


Where is your driving records and your international drivers license? There is nothing left in your room. In your box in the kitchen?

How are you doing on money?

Did you get your shots? I was excited to hear that it wasnt going to cost as much!

Well, that is enough questions for right now. Let me know what you want for Christmas. I will have to send it to the Mission home early. I havent decided if I will send your birthday then too or maybe I'll wait and do it at your half bday like Brett does for Tyler and Megan. Let me know what you think. One big package or one now and one in July.

We love you! We miss you! We are proud of you! Is there anything we need to be doing that I havent done yet? or that Im not doing because I don't know about it? Let me know. Work hard. Don't get discouraged. You are a strong boy that can do anything you want to when you set your mind to it! I have updated your blog 3 times this week. It's been kinda fun. We always post it on your fb and mine so everyone can see it. I haven't put your first letter yet, but I have group-sent it to family and friends. I will hopefully get it done tomorrow. Alma Don sends her love and is excited to hear how your MTC experience is. I hope you are doing well and you are happy you made this decision. You are going to make a great missionary. Take care. One thing I didn't do just before you left was tickle your back and I actually miss doing that!

I Love you!

MOM =)

p.s. make sure you date your letters so we can keep the in order!

(From Spencer)

Dear mom and everyone,

Everything is going great. I kinda messed up on some stuff so its going to be a short email this week but ill write you today some time. I just going to do the nececties in the email this week. It is intense but awesome. i can feel myself shange everyday. The language is good and my comp is great. Dont worry about the fan or candy i havent heard anthinf special about that. The weather is way cold right now i can see my breath untill about noon. no bueno! Sorry i didnt write you mom i thought my emails were enough. lol. I just need to be able to call to ask you for stuff haha. But ya i love you all. I wish i had more time to write but ti is great and dont worry

Love your missionary,

Elder Spencer Olsen


(from Spencer hand written, typed by MOM)

Dear Mom,

Sorry my email was so short. You wrote me a really long email and it killed a lot of my time to actually write my email. So what I saw other elders doing was writing their emails on their journal in So I did the same. I wrote my email answered all your questions and copied the email. And when I logged in my email I had like 12 minutes left. Ipened your email, hit relpy and went to pase what I had wrote and it didn’t. And when I logged in to my email it closed and didn’t save the journal entry. So I’m sorry.

But everything is going great. My comp is way cool. His name is Elder Jarod Harrington. He is from Las Vegas, plays basketball (he is 6’5”). Overall a chill guy. His is similar to me, goffy and precistant.

The Language is coming…I definetly know more than when I entered. We had to teach a fake investigator in Spanish after like 4 days after being here. It was hard but helped a lot. The guy ended up being our teacher. So we have 2 teachers.

Last Tuesday we heard from Richard G. Scott. My district sat like 10 rows from the front. Probably the best devo I have ever been to. We get to have a devo every Sunday and Tuesday. On Sundays, its normally someone who works in the church offices but on Tuesdays are supposed to be the ones the General Authorities come to. I guess we missed Elder Holland by like 3 weeks.

Sis Marble came in last week on Monday. When I saw her I went to give her a hug but like right as I opened my arms I realized I couldn’t. Haha! The Allen’s came in today. It was great to see them. It was just a quick encounter, they were doing all the 1st day stuff.

I actually got your package on Saturday that you said you had sent. But I have gotten all of your packages and the dearelder’s. I got one from Lauren that 1st day and I got one from Gma today. She did it on her Iphone so it was really weird. Lol.

Like I said in my email, ya it is way cold. The jacket helps when we have 6:30 gym time. The run over there is so cold. But I’m not looking forward to it getting colder. We have 4 Elders in my district that leave next Tuesday for the Guatamala MTC. Everyone is jealous. I know I am. That 1st Wednesday to Sunday felt like 2 months. It took forever. But after Sunday it has sped up.

The food is ok. It’s just like eating at the Cannon Center. The 1st few days were hard but I got the hang of eating only what I need. I also promised my Branch Pres. That I would watch my weight. He is a funny but intense guy. Like Bishop Webb and Pres. Peterson mixed into one. He is a great guy. Whenever we have 6:30 gym I run 1 mile before I do anything else. We have 6:30 gym 2 a week. Every other day we go out and play soccer. But soon we will only be able to go to the gym not the field.

For the temple they give us a 3 hour time slot on every P-day. Ours is at 10:05. On Friday we did intiatories. But the lookest thing was one of the guys in my district has a very good family friend who is the Temple Recorder. So he took us on a tour. He told us he was taking us places nobody gets to go! We went upstairs in the Temple. The Provo Temple is circular se we went on the outer ring on the inside of the temple and went in to their projection boot. So I guess the provo temple is the only temple where you can see temple to temple. Out of the North side of the building you can see the Timpview Temple – way cool. After that he took us on the roof! We stood right next to the steeple and right on the edge. The guy who took us on the tour had a camera. So he took some really good pics of us. He said he would send them to us after we left the MTC.

The dorms are just 2 sets of bunks, 4 closets and 2 desks. The 2 Elders we were sharing with moved the other day so its just me and my comp in a room meant for 4 when there are other rooming that are like up to 7 Elders. Oh well.

I guess there is going to be nothing for Halloween. And the treats are great but can you send me healthier ones like salted almonds would be awesome and the All fruit rollups.

I haven’t heard anything about the mission or mission president. But there is someone in my Zone who is actually from Queen Creek and he knows someone who is there right not. So I asked hime to email his buddy and ask him. So I should know something this Friday about it.

Ya I most definitely did not hide the boat keys. I bet this is God telling you not to do anything fun while I’m gone. Sounds like the Lord is on my side. HA!

For my Ipod, just as much music as you can. If you go to there are some really good songs you can download for free I think. But it doesn’t matter in the MTC we can’t listen to it here but send it before I leave here.

Stationary and stamps would be helpful. Stamps are expensive. They are $.44 a piece. Lots of paper and envelopes too. Also yes to the plastic envelope. I just need you guys to constantly post my email telling people to send me their addresses on my FB. But yea that would be awesome to have that stuff.

I’m taking as many pictures as I can. It’s kinda hard in the MTC because we are always in class. But I have taken a few.

My driving record and International drivers license should be in that box. If not there check to see if it is in the records drawer in your desk. That’s all I can think of.

Money’s fine. I only used my card once and the rest has bee the cash I had with me on the plane so I’m good for now. Oh yeah, it was a bad trade with Lauren on the camera. The one she traded me sucks so bad. It really does eat batteries. And I haven’t gotten my shots yet. They are going to give them to me all at once. So I don’t have to get them or pay for them until like Nov. 24th so I’m set.

Thank you for all your blessings. I’m so excited to get out on the field. It’s so hard to stay sane in the MTC. But it should get better.

Love Your Missionary,

Elder Spencer Olsen

Oh, P.S. Can you get me Kevin, Darin, and Harrison’s email and addresses for me and Chandler! Oh and for Christmas ties and socks. Seriously the washer and dryers here already ate 3 of my socks. Also tell Jensen to email me. I have a question for him.

(From Spencer)

Dear family and everyone,

Week 2 down 7 to go. The MTC is a weird place because you really just experience the same thing over and over again. So there ios really nothing too exciting to write about haha. But I do have one cool thing. So on tuesday we were out playing soccer and i was running aroud do my soccer thing. So the soccer feils is on a hill not flat ground. So when i stopped one time my body kept going and my feet stopped so i rolled my ankle pretty good. Mom wait till you see those pics hahahah. Worse than when mitchell had that thing drop on his foot. But its prefectly fine i have been walking on it. My ZL's made me go see the doctor so i went and he gave me some rehab for it and a new ankle brace he wants me to wear for the next year.

Hey Garrett,

Thank you for being the only brother to write me 2 times since i have been in the MTC. It was way cool to get your dearelder yesterday. That is exciting that you have a solo in the primary program you guys need to figure out how to record it and send it to me. And that is awesome that you are gettimng out of resource. I am so proud of you. Just work hard. If you do your part and pray for hevanly father to help uyou anything is possible. I know that because i am were i am right now. Keep up the good work.

Hey connor and mitchell,

Thanks for not writing me. I even sent connor a hand written letter and still nothing. LAME SAUCE!!! Well i hope everything is going great for you out there for you guys. But it would help to hear from you so i can write something for you :-P


You working on your spanish yet. I sure know i am. It is super intese. So if you are going to try to learn it start now! It'll be fun for you i think to be able to talk to everyone down at the apt. But yeah it'll be great for your memory to do that. And tell everyone at the gym im doing great and i wish i would have spent more time there when i had the chance haha.


i wrote you like 2 days ago so i really dont have much to say. But im having fun and doing great.

Well like i said days are the same here at the mtc. Class study gym more class. So ya but it is alot of fun . Well we are headed off to the temple now ill talk to you all next week.

Love your favorite missionary,

Elder spencer Olsen

P.s. Mitchell can you get me a hacky sack. One of the good sand ones from zoomies. It would help alot

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Have an ELDER! Now We Have to Say Goodbye!

Elder Spencer Olsen - Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Reports Oct 12, 2011
Monday, Oct 10, 2011, we gathered around the living room in our home to set Spencer Olsen apart to be a missionary for the Lord for the next two years. What a spiritual experience that was. The President Bluthe asked dad to conduct the meeting. We sang Called to Serve and Grandma Linda offered the opening prayer. Dad then turned the time over to President Bluthe. He said a few words and then asked Dad to share his testimony. How proud we are of our Dad and the example he has set for the family. Then Mom was asked to share her testimony. She just hopes that she has been an example and teacher to her son so that he can go out and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then Bishop Webb was asked to share his testimony. What a great man he is and a great influence he has been in Spencer's life. Then President Bluthe set Spencer apart as a missionary. What a beautiful prayer it was. Many things were told to Spencer that will help him throughout his mission, and we all know that he will be blessed and protected. He will have the Spirit with him to spread the word. Then Spencer was asked to share his testimony. How proud we are of him. He is a great young man. It was at that time that we felt that he is ready to go. There was such a sweet spirit in our home. And we are so thankful that we have the opportunity to have a missionary go out and represent our family, his leaders who have taught him well, but especially Jesus Christ. President Bluthe said a few more things, he turned the time back to Dad. He asked Sam, Spencer's mentor, to give the closing prayer and then it was official. WE HAVE A MISSIONARY.
We were happy to have Mom & Dad, the boys, Aunt Shelly and Uncle Mike, Grandma Linda, Bishop Webb and Sam there to share this special occasion with us. Just before the Stake President left, he had one arm around Spencer and shaking Dad's hand and said, "Now, you're going to make sure he will have a companion with him and that he goes to bed by 10:30. Missionary rules apply as soon as you become a missionary. That means no t.v., music, alone time, but especially hugging girls! Of course he could hug his Mom, Grandma, and Aunt Shelly.
Tuesday was an emotional day. We were flying him up to Provo on Tuesday night, and he was going to stay with our cousin, Jan. She was going to take him to the MTC on Wed. She has 5 boys and has done this many times, so we knew that he would be in good hands. We had a few more things to do to get ready. Inigio, our apartment manager, wanted to see him, so Spencer went with Dad to California St. (our nickname of our apartments) to say goodbye. He called Grandpa and Lauren and talked to both of them while his last batch of clothes were washing. He had to finish packing, do the power of attorney and his 2009 taxes (long story-thanks to Aunt Shelly they got done). With all that needed to be done, he still found time to go play racquette ball with Connor one last time. We got everything done right up to the last minute, of course. And then the time came.

We were going to go to Kona Grill for sushi and calamari before we left, but we ran out of time. We had been to just about every eating establishment in the last month or so that we could think of except Kona. I guess he'll have to just dream about it! So we went to Ned's Sub. The owner had served his mission several years ago and was honored that we would come to his place for Spencer's "last meal." He gave us all free drinks and chips in his honor. We also bought a tee shirt, and the guy said' "Wear that tee-shirt proud in Honduras!"
We arrived at the airport about an hour early. We sat around for about 15 minutes and then Spencer really started getting antsy. He just wanted to go. The hugging began. Mom didn't want to let go, but it had to be done! We walked him to security. Dad kept saying, come on Spencer, just one tear. I want to see a tear. He turned around and gave us a big smile and wave and turned back around and walked away. That was it. Mom loves the last picture of him! She will keep it in her mind until he gets home.
He called us when he go to Jan's that evening. And then he called in the morning. He spent the morning his favorite Youth leader, Chris (he moved to Provo), and went to his favorite hot dog stand. He went to Walmart for a few last things (a mattress pad cover and some goodies). And then he went to his cousins Italian Place for his last, last meal. He called us from there but he was done saying goodbye. We told him we loved him one more time and that was really it! Jan called about 15 min after she dropped him off. She was so excited for him. He looked so happy and the Elders that were assigned to him, took his bags and walked him away. She said he is going to be a great missionary. Have I said it enough....He's going to be a GREAT MISSIONARY

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thank You for the Love & Support

We have great friends and family. Many people have helped support Spencer on his mission and we truly appreciate it. Some of our closest friend through a Missionary Shower for Spencer. Thank you to those who hosted and helped make that night so wonderful! He was showered with gifts that helped him cross items off the packing list. And many people helped financially also. We were able to go back to Pomeroy's and buy his luggage, socks, an alarm clock, and a few other essentials. We also had to buy him a coat that he would wear in Utah. He is going to the tropics, but will be in the snow for the next 2 months.
Spencer was able to speak twice, also. The first time he spoke with a High Councilman in 9th Ward. He did a great job, but he needed to clean up his talk a little. For their musical number, we had all four of our boys sing, "We'll bring the World His Truth." What a great honor it was to have them sing and they did an awesome job. What a proud moment for Mom and Dad. The next week he spoke in our home ward and how emotional was that! We have been in that ward for 14+ years and we have some good friends there. He started out his talk by asking everyone in the congregation to look at their hymn books. When he was a young boy, he wrote his name on the side of a hymn book, and he really wanted to find it. The 2nd Councilor in the Stake Presidency was on the stand, who used to be our Bishop, got up and went to the pulpit and whispered something in Spencer's ear. Come to find out he had seen it a week or so earlier in the Relief Society Room. Well, after church we went and found it. He wants to keep it for Spencer in his office for safe keeping, so it was returned to him. It was quite hilarious. They had all of the Young Men, including their leaders sing, "We'll bring the World His Truth." Another proud moment.
We had invited several friends from our gym to hear Spencer speak, so we had them all over for dinner after church. We had Costa Vida - Wendi's Version. We had so much fun! Brett's family came up from Tucson, along with Grandpa Clarke and Uncle Mike. We wish we could have had more family, but that's the sad part of living so far away from the ones you love.
The other great event that happened before Spencer left was that we were able to have his brother, Connor's, Eagle Court of Honor. Even though we were so busy getting Spencer ready, we needed to take the time and Honor Connor in his great accomplishment. It ended up being a great day with lots of friends, family and leader's who were there to support him. The two highlights were we had the four brothers dressed in their scout uniforms sing again, "We'll Bring the World His Truth." There wasn't a dry eye in the audience. The other was Connor leaned over to mom just as the meeting began and asked if he had to have a Mentor picked out. Mom neglected to talk to him about it. So when it came time to give out the pin, he choose his brother, Spencer. Well, if you didn't have a tear during the song, then you for sure had one at that moment. Even the two brothers managed to drop a tear or two.
What a difference and hour makes! They love each other so much, yet .......

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let the Buying Begin

When you receive your call, there is a booklet that is included (the call is a separate letter than the booklet) that tells you all of the things you have to do to prepare to leave on your mission. There is a packing list, so we read through that and thought, oh, we have 4 1/2 months to get everything, no problem. Mom joined and learned a lot about the mission and what was good to take. Shoes/boots and luggage were the two main concerns. We decided to go to Utah for the 4th to visit family and shop at Missionary Mall and Mr. Mac's. We had a great time in Richfield where our family is from and spent an afternoon at Fishlake! Caught 3 beautiful trout in 50 minutes. And then we headed to Provo.
We first checked out Missionary Mall. They give you a free tie just for coming in to check them out. Spencer tried on a suit and looked at their shoes and decided to go see Mr. Mac's. We ended making our first purchase. Waterproof Ecco Boots. We were ready to go. That was all we bought in Utah.
We figured we would go to Pomeroys in Mesa, and help the Arizona economy. We ended up getting his suit, pants, shirts and 6 ties from Pomeroys. It seemed to be a really good deal and one stop shopping was great for us. The best part was that we discovered a great little Italian sub shop next door that is to die for!!!
From there we had to go places and see people and eat food before Spencer was going to be leaving for 2 years. We went waterskiing several times, and because of Spencer's weight loss he was really able to master the wakeboard. We saw movies, we hung out together and just had some great family time together.
We took two great trips before he left. The first one included the whole family (well almost). Lauren was able to come home and take a trip with us to Grandpa's house in Los Gatos. Unfortunately Dennis wasn't able to get the time off to join us & he sure was missed, especially by Lauren who was away from him for over 2 weeks. But we sure enjoyed having her here with us.
Our trip started by an afternoon at Newport Beach. It was a nice day, but a little windy. The water was so cold that even the older ones who when they were little jumped into glacier water in Canada, wouldn't get in. It was so fun to have the family together.

We stayed at a hotel by Knottsberry Farm and then drove up to Magic Mountain. We were there in line 15 min before it opened and it was so crowded that we only got to ride 3 rides by 5 pm. It was crazy. The 2 of the 3 were the scariest we have ever been on. Spencer didn't think so. He was able to go on the one behind us in the picture 3 times. The crowds died down by the late afternoon so we were able to go on a few more rides before we left. The best part was we got a picture with Spiderman, Mitchell's Hero! We left for Los Gatos and arrived at Grandpa's @ 3 am.
Uncle Brett & his family were at Grandpa's, too.

After recovering from Magic Mountain and driving for 2 days, we went on a family picnic to Vasona/Oak Meadow. This is a tradition to take pictures on the Fire truck and Airplane. We took Togo's (anyone from California knows that this is the best sub-sandwich store-an icon) for lunch & enjoyed a quiet afternoon with the cousin's. We were sad that Kevin's family wasn't able to join us.

We decided to head up to the city and play tourists for the day in San Francisco. It was free day at the Exploritorium. Unfortunately Aunt Michele's Suburban broke down on the way up, so by the time we got to our destination, everyone else in the Bay Area had the same idea we did. There was a line half way around the Museum with over an hour wait. We decided not to go to the Science Center, so we headed to Military Fort under the bridge. That museum was closed, also. So we went to Lombard Street and ran down it and then over to Coit Tower. We met up with Michele and Grandpa and went to Fisherman's Wharf for crab and clam chowder. Then a walk
Tourists in San Francisco along the wharf lead us to Ghiradelli for free
chocolate. We ended the day at the Oakland Temple and realized that it was the day before
Allan & Wendi's 23rd wedding anniversary.
We did take a day and went through Grandma Joyce's sewing room. I don't know what was harder, cleaning out her clothes closet or her puppet factory. It was a very emotional day. She never made a collection of all of her puppets, and she only had two bird puppets, one went with her and one is with Grandpa. Luckily there is just enough supplies to make a puppet for each of the Grandkids. If Brett has anymore kids, we'll have to figure something out for that baby. Wendi now has a project to make 16 Bird Puppets. We ended the trip with Brett leaving and Kevin coming down. We were never all together which was sad, but be spent the last evening at the Los Gatos Cemetery. Hunter placed a can of coke on Grandma's headstone. With a few tears and more chuckles, we said good by to the family and left earily the next morning for the awful 13 hour trip home.
Elder Spencer Olsen went to the Mesa Temple, August 11, 2011
Grandpa and Lauren were able to be here with us when Spencer went through the Temple, along with Uncle Brett, Aunt Michelle, Arnon, Sam, and Bob & RaShel. What a neat experience that was to be in the Temple with our 2 oldest children. What a proud day.

So our last family trip together without Lauren and Dennis =( was to Lake Havasu. It was a great trip. We had fantastic weather. It was the end of September, and it was still 105*. We took the boys out of school the week before the end of the quarter and they had to play catch-up when we got back, but it was worth it! No one was there. It was like a ghost town. We had great water and skiied to our hearts content. There is a great rock jumping spot and the boys were jumping from about 40-50'. We were so glad we took this trip as

this will be the last waterskiing trip we will take as a family for at least 3 years and probably even 4 years. Connor will get home from his mission after October and Spencer will be at school so it will have to be in the spring of 2015 when we can all go out on the boat, unless they want to ski in freezing cold water. Let's just hope the boat will still be alive for that long. She is 20 years old.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THE CALL! The Journey Begins

After years of learning, growing, and maturing, Spencer's Mission Journey has begun. With doctor visits, wisdom teeth pulled, shots given, weight loss, and interviews completed, the papers were submitted. And then the wait for the White Enveloped to come in the mail began. It was June 3rd. No one had checked the mail that day because everyone thought that everyone else had done it. The boys had been to the midnight showing of XMen First Class. They were winding down from the movie at 3 am and Spencer decided to go check the mail because he hadn't seen the envelope on the kitchen counter. He came running up to mom and dad's room at 3:15 in the morning shouting, "It's here, it's here. Let's open it!!" Of course mom said no because we were going to skype Lauren and Dennis (his sister & bro in law in ID) and Grandpa Ray (in Los Gatos) that day at 1 pm. He was disappointed but calmly handed the letter over to Mom for safe keeping (threatening anyone - Mom- not to open it).
We had to do somethings to be able to skype 2 people at the same time but we were successful. Let's just say it took all morning to do this!! The time came to open it. We had the family, Grandma Linda & Grandpa Clarke, the Greer's, the Kerr's, the Snow's, and the Morrison's gathered around in the living room. We had the computer on the coffee table with Grandpa Ray & Lauren & Dennis on skype and mom's cell phone connected to Uncle Brett (who was at Mormon Lake for Girls Camp) and Connor's cell phone connected to Uncle Brett's family in Tucson. Spencer got out his trusty old pocket knife, carefully sliced open the envelope, put a piece of paper over the call and began to read the letter. He announced that he would be going to Honduras and everyone began to scream and shout! We quickly calmed everyone and he continued to read. He started to laugh and said that he couldn't say the name of the city he would be going to. It ended up being Tegucigalpa, Honduras and he would report on Oct 12, 2011. Everyone cheered except for Connor and Mitchell. It would be 4 1/2 months until he had to be to the MTC in Provo, Ut. That meant that Connor would not get the little car until after his 18th birthday (October 1st) and Mitchell would have to wait that long to get his phone. They were a little disappointed about that, but what were they going to be able to do about it? WAIT!
Everyone was excited, and when all of the hugging and saying goodbye was done, the phone calls began. We first called Uncle Kevin to let him know, and to see if he could help us with the pronunciation of the city. Kevin served in Guatemala in the late 70's so we knew he would be excited and be able to say the name. It is pronounced Te-gu-ci-gal-pa. Just like it is spelled. Honduras is just south of Guatemala and the people of Honduras travel there to attend the temple. Spencer really never picked a specific place to go for his mission, all he knew was that he wanted to go some place that is warm and doesn't snow! I guess he got his wish. We were all so surprised that he would be going to Honduras. We had a world map out for people to guess where he would be going. No one guessed Honduras, but there was one guess to Central America. Now mom had to start learning about the country her son would be living in for 2 years.
Lauren had her computer out googling everything she could about the city and telling us the things she was learning. We found out that there were new Mission President's that would be starting their mission on July 1st. They are from El Salvador. That is pretty exciting to have a president from the area. We also discovered that there is a temple being built right in Tegucigalpa. There is no completion date set yet, but it will be sometime in the spring. You can go to and find the link to temples and see the progress of the temple being built. How exciting is that to have a temple in Honduras! We read through the packet that was sent to see if he would stay in the Provo MTC or go to a Central America MTC and found out that he would stay the whole time in Provo. We finished reading to see what things he would need for his mission. Let the buying begin!