More pictures

Here are some of my favorite people in Russellville! These past couple days have been crazy trying to visit and say goodbye to everyone I love so much. There will likely be more next week! 🙂

​Brother and Sister Evans! They are now active! Love them

​Sister Adams

​Hansens! Sister Hansen is my hero

​Sister Hart! Goodness I just love her! She always calls us "my little sisters" and is the greatest southern cook.

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Leaving my heart in Russellville

Hey y’all!

Well… my time in Russellville is finally up. 6 months sure makes you feel at home in an area! I have come to love everyone here so deeply. The northwest corner of Alabama will always hold a very special place in my heart! What a blessing it has been to serve here. I have learned more here than I can possibly express!

I’m going to Leeds, Alabama which just east outside of Birmingham! I’m excited to be so close to the big city. I will also be serving as Sister Training Leader in Leeds which slightly terrifies me but hey, I’m always up for adventure! My companion and I will be over the sisters in the Birmingham zone which is a way big zone and so different than the one I’m in now. I’m excited for sure! Sister Beck was also called as an STL and will be staying in Russellville! Russellville is now the STL area instead of Tupelo. This came as a hugeeeeee shock because last week at zone conference President pulled us both aside and told us we were staying together in Russellville for another transfer. So sorry to everyone I told I was staying in Russellville… I’m just as surprised as you are haha.

Yesterday at church was soooo bittersweet! I am so incredibly grateful for the time I’ve spent here and for the lifelong friends I’ve made and also very sad to be leaving home! Onward and upward!

Tuesday we had zone training in Russellville. It was all centered around "We Invite, They Commit, We Follow up." Why do we invite people to make and keep commitments? Because it’s our purpose as missionaries! The missionary purpose starts with "our purpose is to invite others…" Idk why I never made that connection before before but I love thinking about it with that perspective!

Thanksgiving was wonderful! We spent the morning giving thank you cards to workers in Walmart who had to work in the holiday. It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done! New tradition, for sure. We then went to Russellville to have lunch with the Whites! They live way out in the backwoods and are the most wonderful deep southern family! Sister Beck and I both tried pecan pie for the first time and it was great! It’s super popular in the south. Later that evening we had dinner with the Vandivers. 2 huge southern Thanksgivings. Trust me, we were almost dead. So grateful for members that take such good care of us!

Saturday we went to a baptism and it sure was beautiful! The elders have been teaching a man named Brother Yifter from Ethiopia and he just shines!

Sunday night we went with the Red Bay sisters (Red Bay is getting closed btw. so sad.) to a Methodist church service in downtown Tuscumbia. It is the most beautiful church. We met some of their members this past week and they invited us to their service. Everyone was super kind and we were able to talk to the preacher for a little bit! Going to other churches really helps me to understand the culture in the south. So many people are so deeply rooted in their religion. Going to other churches also definitely confirms to me that our church is the only one with complete truth!

I am so so sad to be leaving Sister Beck. We were only companions for 2 weeks and I have learned so much from her I can’t even count! She is the greatest missionary I have ever met and one of my greatest friends! She is such an example to me! She has been through so many hard things in her life and you would never be able to tell. She has amazed me every single day! Now we’re both praying we’ll get to be companions for a whole transfer in the future 🙂 GOSH I JUST LOVE HER.

Alabama won the Iron Bowl! We went over to a less active’s house Saturday evening and they were watching the last few minutes of the game and it was just insane. When you’re in the south, football is religion. Roll tide roll.

Don’t forget to #LIGHTtheWORLD aaaand don’t forget about me when sending out Christmas cards 😉

All my love,
Sister Oscarson

Our car got egged 😦

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Blessed beyond belief!

Hey y’all!

Wow! What an incredible week! It is hard to believe how blessed we are!

Sister Beck is the greatest missionary I have ever met! She is so bold and loves the people so much and just absolutely radiates! We have SO much fun together and I love teaching and working with her! She is basically my long lost best friend. Turns out we have very very similar family situations and it has been so great because we can talk about it and we both get it! Other people say they get it but you don’t get it until you’ve been through it, so it has been the greatest blessing to have her! She is suuuuper talented and I’m not even kidding you she is a master violinist- she traveled the world playing the violin- she got permission to bring her violin on her mission and she is a really good fiddler too so she fiddles in our apartment all the time and I can’t get enough of it! I could go on and on forever on how great she is and how much I love her!

Tuesday and Wednesday we had exchanges and I stayed here in Russellville with Hermana Knaus! It’s super fun to be with a Spanish sister! We were able to have a super amazing lesson with our 17 year investigator Destinee! She prayed for the first time in about 10 years and it was so powerful. She has such a strong desire to learn truth and has lots of really great questions. She kept saying how familiar all of this sounded! That night Sister Hart had us over for dinner and made us homemade fried chicken and banana pudding. The southern squish is so real y’all.

Thursday night was one of the most amazing of my mission. We were walking around downtown Tuscumbia contacting people. It is the cutest cutest cutest place and they had just turned the Christmas lights on so there were lots of people there! Sister Beck and I were just so filled with Christmas joy! (she loves Christmas just as much as I do!!!!) We also looking for a food pantry people had told us about that was nearby but we’ve never been able to find that we really want to do service at. We went up to an older man and he immediately starts hardcore bible bashing. Nothing we’re not used to so we just stand there, it’s all you can do, and he says, "now what do you have to say about that?!" And we say, "actually, we were just going to ask you if you knew where this food pantry was." He then apologized a million times and he walked us right to where the food pantry was and talked to us for a long time and showed us the whole downtown and told us stories about it! He then gave us a bag of fresh Louisiana oranges since he had just come from there! We parted ways with him so happy about what just happened, and we stopped to wait for the light to change so we could cross the street. There were 2 women waiting next to us so we struck up a conversation with them. She asked us where we’re from and we said Idaho and Utah and turns out she’s from Montana! She asked us if we’ve ever been to temple square. A couple years ago she was in Salt Lake for a 2 week long conference and visited Temple Square. She told us about how she couldn’t get enough of the movies and displays and just the feeling there! When she went up and saw the Christus she described it as the most spiritual, powerful moment of her life! She spend every evening on Temple Square during her time in Salt Lake and she has read the whole Book of Mormon and part of the Doctrine and Covenants and lds.org! Somehow she has never met with missionaries before! God is SO aware of her, things lined up perfectly so that she would be crossing the street at the same time as us! No coincidences there! Miracles upon miracles upon miracles. God is definitely preparing people to hear the message of the restored gospel.

Friday we had zone conference in Tupelo, Mississippi! So so fun and there are always so many incredible things to be learned! BUT my favorite part by far……. Sister Sainsbury introduced this year’s Christmas iniatiave the church is putting out!!! Y’all…. IT’S SO GOOD AND I AM SO EXCITED. The video is perfect and tomorrow we are getting the materials like pass along cards for it and you best believe I’m giving every one of those out and dousing everyone with Christmas cheer. Christmas as a missionary is already the greatest thing ever. CAN’T WAITTTTT #lighttheworld

This week I came across Acts 5:31 and 3 Nephi 12:10-12 and they really struck me.

Acts 5:41 "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."

3 Nephi 12:10 "And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."

What a blessing it is to be counted worthy to suffer persecution God’s sake. Always remember that!

The infamous Iron Bowl is this Saturday. It’s the Alabama/Auburn game and I’m telling you that rivalry is as heated as it gets. I’m way excited to watch everyone go crazy. Although proselyting will be a struggle.

"Well, that’s all have to say about that." -Forrest Gump

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

All my love,

Sister Oscarson

Emergency transfers?!

Hey y’all!

It’s true, we were involved in some emergency transfers and we sure had a crazy weekend!

Sister Mathis and I were innocently eating dinner on Friday night and President Sainsbury calls us. He told us a few companionships have been struggling and some changes need to be made. So Sister Mathis got transferred to Hoover (which fun fact is the most religious city in America) and I got a new companion from Corinth, Sister Beck! Friday night we ran all over the apartment to get Sis. Mathis packed up because these transfers happened Saturday morning.

It was so hard to say goodbye to Sister Mathis. My trainee got taken away from me in the middle of her training! I know she will do great things in Hoover and it will be so fun to see her in the near future.

The past 48 hours with Sister Beck have been stellar! She is the most fantastic missionary! I am so excited for these next couple weeks together. She is powerful, that’s for sure! We figured out that we’re basically the same person. We have so much in common it’s crazy. 2 people in the ward yesterday pointed out that we’re basically general authorities haha (Julie B. Beck and Bonnie L. Oscarson) We’ve served with some of the same companions and knew each other before this so the transfer on our end was a breeze!

Other than that everything else that happened this week seems irrelevant… plus I can’t remember it haha.

We did have an awesome zone activity earlier today! There is a sweet hike in Russellville we did called Cane Creek Canyon and it was beautiful! It felt so good to kind of be in the mountains again! (Alabama has nothing close to mountains but I kind of felt like I was there!)

Today is International Day of the Bible! I have come to appreciate the bible so much more on my mission. Being in the bible belt I can’t help it haha! Everyone share your favorite bible verse on social media with the hashtag #biblecelebration
Here’s one of my favorites:
Proverbs 17:22- "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Have the most blessed week!

All my love,

Sister Oscarson

​New companion what what


Joy is a gift for the faithful

Hey y’all!

Life just keeps moving right along down here! I couldn’t ask for anything better!

Not a super eventful week. Sister Mathis and I have had some sickness but we’re on the mend now.

Tuesday we were asked to lead a bible study at a nursing home. Neither of us have ever even been to a bible study but it turned out to be really great! It’s a skill I’ve been needing to learn. Alabama is alllll about their bible studies.

On Thursday we went out with the whole day filled with what we thought were really great plans. Throughout the day one by one they all started to fall through. We were like "ok obviously the Lord has different plans for us we just need to figure them out." We prayed several times for guidance and still nothing was working out. And then finallllyyyy at the very end of the night we figured it out! We were able to visit someone who really needed it and we never would have suspected it. We were able to realize afterwards how all the events of the day worked together perfectly to lead up to being where we were needed when we were needed. I have absolutely no doubts that the Lord is 100% involved of every aspect of this work!

Aaaand Friday was my half birthday and I will take any excuse to celebrate. 19 1/2 never felt so good haha!

A couple weeks ago when we had interviews with President Sainsbury he challenged all of us to memorize scriptures and we all set our own goals of how many we would memorize. It has been such a huge blessing for all of us! I challenge each of you this week to work on memorizing a verse of scripture. There is so much power in it!

I also finallyyyy got to pick cotton this week! All the cotton fields have already been picked but there’s always lots left over! That’s one item off the mission bucket list.

Yesterday in relief society we had a lesson based on President Nelson’s most recent conference talk! Here’s a quote from it that I really love:

"If we look to the world and follow its formulas for happiness, we will never know joy. The unrighteous may experience any number of emotions and sensations, but they will never experience joy! Joy is a gift for the faithful. It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ. He taught us how to have joy. When we choose Heavenly Father to be our God and when we can feel the Savior’s Atonement working in our lives, we will be filled with joy."

I know that this gospel is the only way to true joy! Joy is possible and worth fighting for.

Love y’all! Have a blessed week!

All my love,
Sister Oscarson

​This picture was taken after the single weirdest lesson of my life

​We found this chicken on the side of the road and I SWEAR TO YOU I CAME SO CLOSE TO CATCHING IT