Monday, December 31, 2012

Letter for December 31, 2012

Hey all!

Wow, well first off, Merry Christmas to all! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We had a great last week in Garden Grove celebrating the birth of our Savior. We went out to carol on Christmas Eve. We were invited to have a great Christmas dinner by some members. It was awesome. I had a great phone call home and we stuffed ourselves with a bunch of Tamales. It was great. What a great time of year this is. Now we are coming up on the year of 2013. I know that this year will be full of miracles! I know that if we can continue to put our trust in our Heavenly Father, He will guide us to where we need to go. We will be able to overcome our problems/challenges, and we will be able to obtain the happiness that we all want. (Moroni 7:33)

This last week was a good week as far as the work goes. We had a funny experience the other day. We went on exchanges. I came back to my area and Elder Burrup told me that he wanted to study our area map more to get to know the area better. I had a new map that was just printed hidden somewhere. He laid it on the carpet and he told me. "Elder, I think our area is bigger then what we thought."  It turns out we never received the notice that there was a change in our area boundaries. It must have changed when I got here. So it turns out our area is twice as big as we thought. What a pleasant surprise (not to the Elders who thought our area was theirs). We picked up a lot of new investigators and they lost a lot. They are determined to find more. Ha-ha funny huh?

We are still teaching Brenda. It's been difficult to find her lately, because of the holidays. We were only able to teach her once. We went over the word of wisdom. We still have a lot of things we need to teach her. She is doing very well though. So we are going to try and see if we can get her baptized this week. It’ll be a huge miracle if we do. If not we believe she will be prepared by the 13th of January. Her daughter Britana is so awesome. She loves coming to church and loves it when we come over. She’s always like "oh hi guys" ha-ha so they are all doing very well.

We also have Armando and Sandra, some new people that we found not too long ago. They are a very young couple that just moved here from queens, NY. They are from Guatemala and love living here. They have been having some hard times because it's difficult to find work around here. We began to teach them and told them that as they accept what we teach they will be able to see many miracles. Including finding a job. We went out this last week teaching them a few times. They didn't come to church yesterday, but they did the Sunday before. So they really liked it. They also accepted a date to be baptized. It was very cool, but what just happened yesterday that was really neat is that they told us they were moving to Los Angeles for work, but then while we were at church we got a text from Sandra saying that Armando got work, and that they were going to stay here in Garden grove. I believe that is a sign from our Heavenly Father for them. It's been really neat. So we are going to continue teaching them. Very excited for them.

We are also seeing Daisy. The cousin of Dania. She is doing very well as well. We are helping her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon because right now I believe that she has a lot of real intent. She tells us that she is going through a hard time right now in her life. It seems to be the really hard times where our heart is more open and receptive to the gospel. So she is looking for the fountain that can quench her thirst. Just like Christ tells us "I am the fountain of the living water." and as long as we partake of that water we will have eternal life. We talked to her about he restoration and the plan of salvation. She really likes it. It's different. She is very Christian. She is going to come to church and told us that she would prepare to be baptized on the 20th of January. We are going to work hard with her in helping her gain that testimony and partaking of that living water.

That is pretty much it for this last week for us. It’s been great. I hope and pray that you all have a happy new year. I know it's going to be a great one. I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letter from December 22, 2012

Hey all!

Sorry I don't have too much time to write, but I thought I would mention a few highlights of the week and how everything is going in Garden Grove!

This week has been amazing. We’ve been so busy getting ready for Christmas and teaching. We are seeing some amazing progress with Brenda. We went over to teach her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I asked her about her reading in the Book of Mormon. She was able to recite what she had read by memory. She read the introduction and 2 Nephi 31. She loved it and is getting ready to be baptized on the 6th. We were so blessed to find her. She has been very prepared by the Lord to listen to the missionaries. She loved church this last Sunday is getting excited about this Sunday. Her daughter Britana is loving church too. They came to an activity we had for the ward and loved it. Brenda was helping out the relief society with serving the food. Britana was playing around with the other children. They loved it. We as missionaries had to do a skit in front of the whole ward. It was great fun. We also found a ton of new and great people to teach. We had a really neat experience where a member brought his relative to us asking for a blessing. We went to another room to perform it. It was going to be given to a nine-year-old non-member who was getting ready to have surgery on his foot (of course). I was talking to him about the procedure that was to be performed. He was getting his flat feet fixed through taking care of one of the tendons. You could tell that this boy was pretty nervous about it. I put my hand on his shoulder and went on to explain to him that my father is a podiatrist and that I know a lot about what he does. I told him that he will be good and that he doesn't need to be afraid about the surgery, and how the doctors are experienced and will take good care of him. I think that brought him a lot of comfort. I had the privilege of performing the blessing where I basically said the same things. It was powerful. I love exercising the power of the priesthood. When I do this I am able to realize that we really do hold the power of God and are able to act in His name for the blessing of others. I think he went out feeling a lot better. It was a really neat experience.

We are continuing to teach Rosio. She actually came to church last week. We haven't been able to find her much this week. We are hoping and praying that she comes to church this Sunday. Same with Juan.

Well that is basically it. We are finding a ton. We have been staying very busy this week. Teaching a lot. Doing well. I love being here doing this work. I hope you all have a merry Christmas!! And a happy new year!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, December 17, 2012

Letter for December 17, 2012

Hey all!

It has been a really good week. It's transfer time again. My trainer, Elder Larsen, has been called to be the new Assistant to the President. I have been called to serve as a district leader. That is all of the Elders that are in the Garden Grove area. We just received Elder Centeno who was actually one of my first district leaders I had when I arrived to the field. He will be going home after this next transfer. It’s going to be a transfer full of miracles. I'm so excited to be able to work with this ward and with this great group of Elders.

It has been a really good week this past week. We had a lot of great miracles this past week. Last Monday we were out trying to find an investigator. She wasn't home and we had nothing else to do. So what did we do? We went out and started to knock doors. I told Elder Burrup "Alright Elder. It's your turn, you pick a good one." We proceeded on to the next door. We knocked and a lady opened the door. We proceeded to tell her who we were. Her name is Brenda. She told us that she wasn't attending a church right now. We taught her the restoration telling and testifying about how she could live with her family forever. I asked her "how can we reach this goal of having an eternal family?" she replied by saying "Only through the church of God." We went on to the restoration of the church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and challenged her to read and to pray about it. We set up another visit, but had to cancel. So when I was on an exchange with my district leader, Elder Arjona, we went to her house to check up on her and to see how she was doing. She had read from the Book of Mormon and really liked it a lot. We went on to teach her about the plan of salvation. She really liked listening and asked us a lot of questions. Then she accepted a date to be baptized for the 6th of January. It was incredible. The spirit really was able to help us find a truth seeker. She came to church and made a lot of friends. She really liked the services. She is doing very well and it was such a miracle that we were able to find her. Wow!

We also had another person we are teaching come to church. I believe I have talked about her before. Her name is Rosio. WE had kept trying to invite her to church just to see how it is. She is reading from the book of Mormon. She told us that she believes it's true. Which is so awesome. She was able to come to church for the first hour with one of her kids. She liked it too. She also made a lot of friends at church. So it was a good experience for her too. We are going to continue to work with her. So we can help her, step by step, feel comfortable and converted to the Gospel. She is doing very well.

We are still teaching Juan Garcia. We are making progress with him. When I was on an exchange, with Elder Arjona, Juan told us that he cannot come to church at times because he has to watch some of his daughter-in-law’s kids. We told him that we could find him a way to get them to church. We are going to work on that and try to get them there. I think little by little he is going to gain a testimony. We are still trying to help him recognize his answer about the Book of Mormon. We had a really good lesson where I showed him Helaman 5:30. Sometimes the spirit speaks to us so softly that if we have any distractions we just might miss what it's saying to us. I believe that is what Elder Packer said. It's in PMG (Preach My Gospel). Like if one is drunk, do you think he can feel the spirit of the Lord? No, because the person is so disillusioned that they cannot feel it. That is why we must be clean, worthy, and always listening for those quiet whisperings. It was really good. He's been asking us some challenging questions as well, but all you can do about that is testify of what you know and then invite them to show an act of faith by doing something to help them know. He is doing well. We hope we can get him and his family to church next week.

We have also been trying to see Ana. She seems to be having a really good time right now in her life. It's hard because every time we go over she tells us she's busy and to come back. We come back and she's not home. I understand she's busy. I guess the gospel isn't the first thing that is on her mind right now. She was unable to go to church. So we are struggling to get her to the gospel. We are trying to work in harmony with her cousin Dania. It's not going so well. I have faith we can get her. It just might take some time, and we'll be back sometime.

We've also been starting to teach Daisy again. She is doing well. We are helping her trying to read the Book of Mormon. It can be hard because she's in high school (Justin’s age) and life can be super busy. I know though that if she can make time to try it the Lord will bless her as he will every single one of us.

As you can see by the first paragraph, we have been doing some finding. We have been very successful in finding new people to teach. We were able to talk to one of Dania's friends this week. His name is Raymond. He has a lot of real intent as well. Only one problem, he doesn't speak any Spanish. We are going to send him off to the English Elders to see how he does. By the way it looks the gospel is something he could use right now. But who doesn't need the gospel right now. Ha-ha we have been able to find a few more investigators to teach and they are in the works of becoming great potentials

Something fun about this week was that I was able to have the opportunity to go on an exchange with my district leader, Elder Arjona. He is actually from the Madrid, Spain area. He knows English really well. He has read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price all in English while he's been out on his mission. He really reminds me a lot of Elder Larsen. He has a love of the Lord and for the work he is doing. I was able to be inspired about how we can work with the ward better. Our ward is awesome. I love being in it. He also gave me a lot of great advice on how to be a good trainer. He told me patience and communication is key. I can definitely testify of that. I'm starting to give Elder Burrup the reins now so he can take over this area in seven weeks because he might have to. So I was really grateful for that time I had to be with him.

Elder Burrup is doing amazing. This week, in the 12-week program, he had to start to take the lead in daily and weekly planning. He also had to carry out the plans for the day. He did it with such ease or at least it appeared to be easy. We work really well together. I'm very glad the Lord was able to bless me to have such a great companion like Elder Burrup. Even though he may not have as much time as me in the mission. I’ve been able to learn from his example of how to really love and talk to everyone about the gospel. What a great job he is doing. I love him and I’m so proud of him.

This work is going great. I love being here. I'm very excited for Christmas. Thank you all that have sent me a letter and/or a package. I just want to let you all know that I will try to respond to a.s.a.p. It can be difficult because we are busy. I just want to let you know that I love you all! Thank you so much. Have a Merry Christmas!!!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, December 10, 2012

So close and yet so far...

 Dallin's Aunt, Uncle, Cousins visited the Mission Home
 They delivered a bundle of joy
 Dallin's Church
 Aunt, Uncle, Cousins make life nice for Dallin

 Pictures of the Baptisms in the Mission
This one is self explanatory

Letter for December 10, 2012

Hey everyone!!

Another week has flown by again here in the beautiful area of Anaheim. I just received news that my little bro Jalon got his call to Concepcion, Chile. Congrats man! You are going to do some great work out in the mission field. So proud of you.

So this week has been interesting, we have been searching for the same people. We are trying our best to help them receive the blessings that are waiting for them as they accept the gospel in their lives. We have been successful. We went looking for Luis. A man we found a few weeks ago that appeared to be interested. We knocked on the door and a girl came to the door and told us that he wasn't home. We began to teach her. She said that she would read the Book of Mormon and would be baptized if she came to know that it's true. It was really neat.

We have started to teach Ana again. She is doing pretty good. We got a chance to teach her with her cousin Dania. When we went over she appeared to be a little down in the dumps. We began to teach her about the Plan of Salvation, when I received an impression that she was a little more focused on other things. I stopped the lesson (Elder Burrup was teaching) and asked her "Ana, what's wrong?" Later we figured out her problem. We were able to teach her that because Christ had already suffered for everything we have already done we can always go to Him and He will guide us along the way. She is looking for a way out. I told her that it was by Jesus Christ she could overcome it. She said she was going to come to church. She was unable to though. Hopefully we can help her feel that spirit to help her know the truth and help her receive those blessings.

We were talking to Sonia a while ago. She had a goal to be baptized on the 16th of December. She told us that she wants the support of her husband and family.  Elder Burrup and I decided to sit down with her husband. He is actually a member of the church. He got baptized when he was nine and then never really went to church after that. We are trying to get him all psyched about going back to church again. We taught him a few good lessons on the Doctrine of Christ and the reason why we go to church. Yeah, it's a commandment that we should go, but more than that it's an opportunity to partake of the sacrament and to renew the covenant we made at baptism. We can be made clean again because Christ suffered every sin for us. Because of that we can become clean and worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again. As we were teaching him, he got excited and said he was going to talk to Sonia. We showed up to help them get to church the next day and the husband was there, but Sonia had left. He said he wasn't going either. We were disappointed of course. We know that we can get them to church. It's gonna take work but we can do it.

We are also teaching Rosio still. She said she was possibly going to go to church, but she was unable to come. She is reading from the Book of Mormon though, so she is doing well. We are just struggling to find her. We will do it though.

Oh, a cool experience about some new people we found to teach. We decided to knock some doors in a random area. We got to the complex and I saw an open door out in the distance. I told Elder Burrup to follow me. We knocked it. They were a little apprehensive at first about listening to us. Then we got in the house and started to teach them about the restoration. Then it went into the Atonement and how their problems could be solved by it. It was really cool to see the spirit change their demeanor about us. They really enjoyed it. They said they would accept to read the Book of Mormon and pray. It was a cool experience.

I know that this is the Lord’s work. I know that it is true. Although we may have our struggles, whether it would be to find people to teach as missionaries, or trying to find guidance to a question as members. God will help us with these things. But what we need to do first is "seek ye first the kingdom of God." Then God will give us all the things we need. I know that to be true. I know that as we obey the commandments. Heavenly Father will guide us, because we will have the spirit with us. If we can always have the spirit, we will know all things that we must do. I know that to be true. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton