Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Glen Harold Oliverson
Glen Harold Oliverson, age 90, passed away Jan. 29, 2014, surrounded by his loving wife and children. Glen was the second child born to Harold and Lucy Pearl Olsen Oliverson in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, on July 14, 1923.
His family moved to Preston, Idaho, in 1930 to take over the family farm, where Glen learned the value of hard work and was raised in a wonderful gospel-centered home. He loved all athletic sports and as a youth looked forward, after a long week of farm work, to the Saturday afternoon baseball games. In high school he participated in basketball, track, baseball, wrestling and was a standout in football. After high school Glen received an athletic scholarship to attend BYU, where he played baseball and football before entering the military in World War II. He served for three years in the Marines and the Navy and was assigned ship duty in the Pacific Theater. After the military in 1946, he returned to BYU to play more football and to complete his degree. He was a member of the first BYU football team to finally beat Utah.
Soon after returning from the military, he met the love of his life, Francine Dunkley, from Whitney, Idaho. They were married Aug. 14, 1946, in the Salt Lake Temple. They have five children, 23 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren.
After graduating from BYU Glen coached football, basketball and baseball at Preston High where he had many 1st place region teams and most importantly had an opportunity to work with young men and help them develop personally. His philosophy was that sports and the playing field were like life and much could be learned there, including the value of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, how to win and how to lose but most importantly, to never give up. Glen also coached football and baseball at Sky View High School in Smithfield and was the Athletic Director there for many years. He was recently inducted into Sky View's Hall of Fame. Throughout his life he remained a diehard BYU fan, attending as many BYU football games as possible. He was usually one of the first in the stadium before each game.
Glen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and throughout his life has served in many callings including bishop and patriarch. Glen and Francine served missions in Australia and in Independence, Mo. They also faithfully served in the Logan Temple for many years.
His greatest joy was his wife and family. As a family we spent many wonderful hours together in a peaceful loving home where his demeanor was one of gentleness and love. "Thank you," Dad, for taking us wherever you went from the football game sidelines to thinning beats on the farm. We love you.
Glen is survived by his wife, Francine Dunkley Oliverson. His children Micheal (Kris) Oliverson of Smithfield; Marcene (Ron) Karren of Centerville; Kim (Nancy) Oliverson of South Jordan; Nancy (Curtis) Brough of Logan and David (Katie) Oliverson of Smithfield. They have 23 grandchildren and 52 great grandchildren. Glen leaves behind siblings; Robert (Ester) Oliverson, Gordon (Kathy) Oliverson, Ethel (Hub) Rockwood, Elaine (Orval) Benson and Helen Oliverson, sister-in-law.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Ray Oliverson; a sister Margaret Robb, and a grandson Smith Nyman.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Monday, Feb. 3, at the Smithfield 18th Ward chapel, 625 E. 600 South, Smithfield. A viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at the Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E. Center St. in Logan, and at the church prior to the service on Monday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Military rites and interment will be at the Smithfield City Cemetery.
The family would like to extend thanks to the staff at Legacy House in Logan, and also to the Sunshine Hospice staff for their caring and concern for Dad. Condolences and memories may be shared online at -

Monday, January 27, 2014

Be Kpota

Bonjour!                                                                                                                        01/27/2014

This past week has gone pretty well. We’ve actually been able to get a lot of work done so that’s been nice too. My new companion got here on Tuesday, so I was able to get right to work with him and things have been good. In particular this week has been great in that we were able to have 15 of our lessons with a member accompanying us, which is the most I’ve had for a week, but its the best to see how much the Ward strives to help us as missionaries. We have 3 baptisms coming up this week and a couple the week after, and every single one is the contact of a member, along with that we’ve found a lot of new Amis this past week, and all from the members, they have been the best! In particular there is a member named Abraham, and the guy is incredible. He is getting his papers ready right now for his own mission, but he is already incredibly zealous and loves working with us, and if anything falls through and you need someone to come translate quickly, he’ll give up whatever he’s doing to come help you, its been the best! Its really nice as well also with the new Amis as now we're at the point, where we don’t really have time for all of them, so for now we really have to narrow down who we see each day. My new companion is cool, I love him. He’s only been a member for two years actually and started his mission after his first year as member; right now he is 26 years old. He’s pretty nice though; he was a big rapper in Cote DIvoire before and had a bunch of contracts and such. Either ways the work has been going forward, and it’s been pretty fun.
 This past week I had a weird experience in the middle of a lesson when the Bee Gees came on in a little boutique playing music next to our lesson, then after that came some Rod Stewart, it was difficult but I was still able to stay focused ha-ha. As well this past Sunday I got to see one of our converts give a talk in Sacrament meeting which was really awesome to see, and to see how well he is still progressing. Also in the apartment Elder Haggard got the worst food poisoning I’ve seen in my entire life. Honestly it got me so scared of anything close to that. Not since the first month or so have I realized again how dirty and unsanitary everything here is, but I’ve been completely sure to keep an eye on that this past while and have been taking my doxy, it was terrible! Also it got so hot one of the nights here so we decided to take it to the roof (with my Mosquito net), it was the best night sleep I’ve had yet. Usually the temperature of the room where I sleep is 91ish. On the roof though it got down to 81 degrees, the problem was I was freezing cold all night because of it. It was a good night either way! 
But things are going well here and the Ward is doing good! They really are incredible, and I see a big part of it is due to the incredible Bishop we have here that leads out in everything, its been really nice to have their help, and now in this past week they have found a new building closer to our secteur here in Be Kpota, so that will be much nicer rather than having to go to Tokoin each week. We had a really funny FHE this past Monday night and had some Igname, hands down my favorite food here for sure!
FHE night with some members in the ward.

Me and my Gata
 I’m really looking forward to this next week with the General Authorities coming. It’s been nice having those talks to study as well! At first I was looking at them and wondering how they all applied together, and how they even applied to the work, but after studying you really see how much they apply, and already I see how they’ve helped me see much more how to help our Amis gain faith, and how to help them truly gain a testimony for themselves. One of my best Amis right now is a woman named Akpedze, she was one of our toughest Amis at first, and really wouldn’t keep any commitments, we got her finally to start reading in the Book of Mormon, and its incredible to see the change that happened. Since then though it’s been even better to see the even bigger change she has had. This past week we got to teaching the word of wisdom and chastity, where usually there are a few problems, and I know a while ago there would have been many problems in her case, but as her faith has been strengthened so much in keeping her other commitments, it was like nothing for her to be able to accept keeping those couple commandments. Its the best to help the people understand really why God gives us commandments, because something I’ve seen most is really most people don’t understand why we have commandments, even though it is so clear sometimes. This past week has been full of many blessings though no doubt, in seeing some of the new Amis we have found, and how well the work has gone forward with the new companion has been a huge blessing, and I have for sure seen many prayers answered.
       Something I’ve learned is best to do with some Amis, is to show them how to find the answer and get them started, then let them find it for themselves, and in doing so they gain faith. 
        I’m glad everyone is doing well over there, I love and miss you all a ton and hope all continues to go well, thank you especially for the prayers especially this past little while, I hope they will continue! It’s been tough but I know it will pay off some day! Have a great week and I love you a ton!
Elder Oliverson

Monday, January 20, 2014


Bonjour!                                                                                                 01/20/2014

Things are going well here! I hope all is great back there in America.  We had a good district meeting this past week, I love the district and apartment that we’ve had here in Be Kpota. Elder Kouadio mentioned something that I love and is very true, that every companion will have his weaknesses, but if you focus on those too much, you lose sight of their strengths! But if you do the opposite in focusing on their strengths it can help you lose sight of their weaknesses, and it really reminded me of something President told me, in that, we can't change people. So sometimes you have to work with what you have, and not worry about certain things, and that’s the best way. The work is going well though. We have three baptisms coming up on the first, and some more the week after that so that’s really exciting! The best part is I realized every baptismal date we have is a contact from a member, and someone we’ve worked with the members. This ward seriously is the best no doubt. We actually visited a young family this past week in our ward, and the husband found the church in Ghana in 1999 and got baptized, and his wife followed and was baptized in 2001. I came to realize then that they have actually been members of the church longer than I have. We have some amazing members here in the ward! Along with that our English Class was awesome, we got 19 people there this time which is my record, and like we told them we'd only do it if they brought us contacts, and sure enough they all came rolling in with different friends so its been great for us with the work as well! We also got some news Friday night though, there was a little problem in a secteur, so they had to do a transfer, so now my companion Elder Imoukhuede is getting transferred, and Elder Sahue an Ivorian is coming to be with me. I’m hoping things will continue to go well, I really enjoyed the time that I had with Imoukhuede actually! We got along great together, and put in some good work in the secteur.             At church as well we got to see our baptisms from a couple weeks ago get the priesthood so that was awesome as well! One top of that I got the best news finding out that the wife of Ambroise back in Gbegamey is now Relief Society president over in Benin, and his daughter is Primary President, I was so happy to see how well they are all doing!! We have an Ami in particular right now as well who I’ve been thinking a lot about. It’s an 18 year old named Aquete. He is an Ami we found with some of our ward missionaries. The first lesson we found out he is an animist, or voodoo, but we still had an amazing lesson with him, left him to pray, and some other commitments. Since then he’s had the strongest desire to follow the lessons and to come to church. The problem though is his family found some of our brochures, and found he’d been talking to us and has disowned him, and only takes him back if he stops. He’s still continued following though, and technically he’s 18 so he doesn’t need permission to be baptized, but at the same time, he is extremely poor. Which is strange saying that because everyone here is very poor, but in his case its something I really notice, so being disowned by his family would be an extremely rough thing and hard to take. We’ve been working with him still, and with the members in trying to help him, and he’s no doubt been in my prayers hoping he'll be able to have the blessings of the gospel in his life. On a lighter note though. It was a little funny when we were with a member, and this year they are now on the Joseph Fielding Smith manual for the third hour, which they think is the coolest thing. And they just started to realize how many prophets have had the name Smith... And were convinced that God loves the name Smith, so if you have that name your chances of becoming a prophet are high, Ha-ha, I think we helped them understand a little though! This past week we also got three talks by Elder Bednar that Elder Whitney Clayton asked us to study before he comes, so that has been really cool as well! But yeah all is great here, I love and miss you all a ton and hope all is going well there!
     Its incredible how much your testimony grows on the mission, and how close you grow to the Lord.It’s the best having the love and support from home. 
Love, Elder Oliverson
                                                        Imoukhuede and me!

                  Mangezvous! With frere fidele, and one of our upcoming baptisms Komla

                                                Me with the Attiogbes from back in Kegue!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book of Mormon

Bonjour!!                                                                                                            01/13/2014
First off thanks a ton for the info on the new Mission President because we had no idea at all!! That’ll be awesome! I’ll miss President Weed a ton when he leaves, but it will be cool having the native French Speaker coming as well, that will be fun! This past week has been pretty good! It was nice getting back into being able to working without the distractions. Beyonce is still coming along well, and should be getting baptized soon!! The only problem is Beyonce isn’t her legal name... so when we do the baptism I won’t get to say Beyonce. It will still be cool though! Ha-ha, English class went really well too. We didn’t want to waste much time so we told the members we wouldn’t continue it if they didn’t bring their friends, sure enough they brought a ton so we ended up getting a ton of new contacts so that’s been nice as well! We also had a Zone meeting this past week so that was fun as well! I’m really looking forward to the visit from Elder Clayton and Elder Vinson in a few weeks, and they’ll be interviewing a few missionaries in each country, so that would be cool as well. The work is going well in our secteur though, we have a partial member family we’ve been teaching, and will be baptizing the rest in a few weeks, as they want to go to the Temple on the next trip to get sealed, so that will be fun! We also have a few other Amis that are coming along really well and will be getting baptized in two weeks also. It’s been cool with Beyonce, as I’ve seen that these past weeks as she’s started to really progress again, she’s actually been reading in the Book of Mormon each day, and its pretty obvious to me, is its mainly due to her reading in the Book of Mormon. No doubt that book can solve any problems. I really liked the talk by Elder Packer this last conference about when he was having problems in his Stake, and he asked a Seventy what he could do, and all he said was tell them to just open the scriptures and start to read. Really that’s all we have to do to help us have more peace in our lives, and it gets even better when we do all we can to apply the things we read in our lives. But the week went pretty well! We had a wedding we got invited to on Friday, so we went there with the Zone leaders and it was pretty fun as well.
        This Sunday was good like usual also! I always love the time where you find out while they are announcing the talks in sacrament that you’ll be talking, and you’re one of the only two speakers that will be talking.... It actually went really well though! Ha-ha no doubt if you put in the spiritual preparation each day, it pays off in times of need. But I chose to speak on Obedience, but more on Perfect Obedience, and talked a lot about how there is the camp of the Lord and the camp of Satan, and the commandments are there to help us rest protected in the camp of Satan, unfortunately we sometimes try to push the line, with the small things that we don’t see as important, and that’s when we lose the spirit, and Satan can take bigger hold on us. But if we strive for perfect obedience, we can always have the protection of the Lord. It made me remember a lot too a day when me and Desvergez were walking back from the cyber, he had seen some pictures friends had sent him from back home, and we were talking a little about how yes, they’re in the world and they might seem to be having fun, but really, at that time we were the happiest we’ve ever been in our lives, and you could really feel it. That was our biggest realization that happiness really does come in obedience. Ha-ha it took us a little time, but we finally got it! Things are going well though, and the work is going along! We’ve had a lot of inactive work which has gone well also... you really see that many of these people have no desire to come back after having been chastised and put down,and you also see that in simply loving them and serving them, and trying to look forward with them, they really can come along. So the work is going really well! Also this past week has been great as I got Bryant’s package, which had the iPod shuffle was packed with conference talks, so It’s been the BEST having those! Also with the workout bands. The only problem is I’m too weak now to get them to stretch at all so I’m not sure what to do. Ha-ha, but yeah and today we got to go to the beach so that was nice as usual! I also found out that one of our Amis back in Kegue is getting baptized this week, so I was happy for that as well!
        But yeah the ward is awesome here, I love the members. 
I love and miss you all a ton! Thanks for everything!
Elder Oliverson

Just makin some pate!

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year

 Bonjour!                                                                                                             01/06/2014
This past week has been pretty well! I hope you all had a great New Years Eve! That day we had a good day of lessons, and the evening the ward had a really big New Years Eve party. I was just assuming it was one of those ones where no one shows up because they have other places to go. But most all the members were there and it was awesome! It was one of the funniest times being with all them together. They had a lot of food and stuff for the kids, and then out of no where turned to the missionaries and asked for games, for some
reason assuming that we knew a ton of church appropriate games that we could play. Luckily I had a few that I pulled up from the sleeve. Again like in Gbegamey I lost my reign as champion of musical chairs. It was still really fun though! I also had a really fun time enjoying
some fireworks with the deacons. That brought back some memories!  Of course we got to sleep on time that night, the only problem here is about every single house does a ton of fireworks all night, and the ones here are insane compared to what’s back in the U.S. So it wasn’t easy sleeping! New years day was spent a lot eating with members including our bishop we have here who is incredible. 
     The week has been great though! We have had some good lessons and had some good baptisms the past week as well. Two that I’m really excited about are Jacques, and Fauman, who are at mission age, and are already preparing to get out themselves. That’s one of the things I love most about the ward here is all of our branch missionaries, who are willing to be with us every single day. It was also nice with the baptisms, as we did them back at the building up in Kegue, so I got to go back there and see some of the people from up there, which was fun. Things are going well with the work though, and its coming along well. There definitely isn’t a lack of work to be done in the secteur, and there is always someone to visit which has been nice. Sunday was fun as well! Our church got moved to 9 o’clock with the New Year, as we share the building with Tokoin, which is a better time for us as people are more likely to come at 9 than at 1. But it was good for sure! I got to give a lesson on Charity for the second hour, which is the best to give lessons on certain subjects as it forces you to study more into the topic, and you end up understanding much better the topic. 
        The work is going well though! I’m especially excited for one of our baptisms coming up as her name is Beyonce! How lucky is that? She’s awesome though and has come along well. She has had a little rough time, as before she came to church every week, but something happened, that offended her in a way, and she stopped coming, she wouldn’t explain to us why, and finally opened up. It made me think a lot of the story with Moroni and Pahoran near the end of Alma, where you see Moroni blow up on Pahoran, and insult him even, then comes to find out that Pahoran had his own problems for himself and couldn’t help. The best part is you see though that Pahoran wasn’t even the least bit offended, and just let it go like nothing happened. I remembered too reading a quote by Elder Bednar where he explained that it is impossible to be offended by someone else. The only way to be offended is if we let ourselves be offended, which if you think about it is very true. Luckily with a little help from the spirit she is back coming to church and all is well with her! But yeah all is great with the work! My studies are all going great as well! The Book of Mormon is seriously incredible! The thought by Elder Bednar that only we can offend ourselves made me think a lot about our agency we have, and really we can make a lot of difference with this
ability. I saw a lot in particular in Alma 62:41 for example, where there was many problems in the land, and there were certain people who fell and became hard hearted because of them, and others who were humbled and became better people because of them, no doubt this
applies a ton to life, as you see that trials really do either make or break us, but we always have the choice. 
       Today instead of going on the gorilla hunt we decided to go to the Voodoo market, as I’ve been before its free to get in now, and as I brought other missionaries they love
me now there! So that was fun to go again. It was crazy as well as we ran into two other Americans, one being a Togolese who moved to America when he was 17 and is living in Washington D.C., and the other being a random white guy from Florida. They knew about the church of course, and at the same time weren’t at all interested, no big deal, it was cool talking with them though! 
       Also we found out that in a few weeks Elder Vinson and Elder Whitney L. Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventies are coming to visit us in Togo so that will be awesome for sure! But yeah, things are going great though! My companion is good, we have
an incredible secteur, so I wish we could get more done in it, but its going all right.  Thanks again and I love you all.
Elder Oliverson

Me with Dorcass, she's Ivorian.