Thursday, March 29, 2012

Six Weeks in the MTC...and all is well

Hey everyone!!
Wow! It's hard to believe that I have been here for six weeks. Only tres mas to go! So with our investigators, they are all doing well, we are currently teaching all about the commandments they need to follow for baptism. Oh and Abraham, our TRC investigator, Just got a baptismal date. How exciting huh? Elder Farnsworth and I are planning on picking up a few new investigators within the next few weeks. So we are keeping very busy.
So Saturday was a very interesting day. The morning seemed to be going pretty normal. We had class with Hermano Corbett, and then we had personal study. Since i'm in training to be the Zone Leader I went to do personal interviews with the current Zone Leaders. We were talking to Elder Seely (district leader of my district) and he brought up a concern about someone in our district. He was never sleeping, he would end up sleeping in class and during our personal study time. He always looked like he had something going on in his head. You know, like when you see someone stare at the same spot for like ten minutes and they just look. For me when I usually do that it's when I'm deep in thought. I knew it was the same with this Elder. I heard there was something going on with him and that we needed to have him in our prayers. I had decieded that moment that I was going to fast for him. After we were done with our interivews I walked in and had a question concerning doctrine. I was talking to Elder Lyman about some of those doctrine questions, and then all of a sudden, Elder Nobles taps me on the shoulder, I look at him, and he had tears just rushing down his face. I instantly knew what was going on. My fear had turned into reality. He told us taht he had some stuff he had to take care of, and the district president said that he needed to take care of this buisness at home. So in other words he was going home. He asked taht we give him a blessing right before he left. Elder Seely gave the blessing, but i was in the circle. I have never felt such great power surge through my body than ever before. I could feel the spirit so strongly. I knew that everyone else did too, because everyone else was in tears just like me. was incredible. Dad, I never thought you would be right when you told me how hard it'll be to leave your district because they feel like family to you. Let me tell you that I know now that this is true. To me it was almost, i stress almost, it was almost like when i was saying goodbye to you guys. It was so hard to see Elder Nobles leave. But it was so good too. Because I know that he is making the right decision to go home. So that way the companionship of the Holy Spirit may be able to dwell with him always. Isn't it such a wonderful blessing to have the Holy Ghost? I know it is so good to have. Because the Holy Ghost is there for us to do the right things. It's there to protect us from the temptations of the adversary. Which is critical to do in this life. So that way we can obtain eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20)
So another quick thought I have is on the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This week I heard a thought by someone in our district about how he would start to pray and repent daily. He would feel the love of the atonemnent as he would do this. I don't know how bad this is to say this, but i never really thought about asking for forgiveness everyday. We all know we sin. and It's so important we repent daily. So that way we can always have the spirit with us. Like I said before. It's absolutely crucial that we ahve the spirit with us always. So that we can be guided and sanctified. So i would jsut encourage you all to try it and see the power it has.
I'm so excited for conference! I hear as missionaries conference is the best because all of the talks talk about missionary work. I'm so exicted to be able to learn from our Heavenly Father's prophet and apostoles. Because it's through them that God speaks to us. (D&C 1:38 i believe). I can promise you all, especially the upcoming missionaries of our Heavenly Father. If you go into conference with a question. I can promise you taht our Heavenly Father will answer it through our prophets, seers, and revelators. So I challenge kyou all to make some questions. Prayerfully watch and look for that answer. Becuase you may never know how God will answer you prayers.
Thank you so much for all of you letters and the package! I love hearign from all of you! I cant believe that Kylie and Madeline are engaged, well I can, but you know whtat I mean!! haha And CAmeron I want you to write me a letter and let me know how the pinewood derby goes! I'm so glad taht you are through 1 Nephi as a family! Keep reading! There are so many great treasures in the Book of Mormon that I have never realized before. I hope you all find a time to read them personally too. Because it's so great! I've read from 2 Nephi to Enos this week and i've found so many great things! I love it!
Well for whoever wrote me this week expect another letter back within the next few days! Sorry i have to go now. But i love you all and miss you all so much!! talk to you all soon!!! Te Amo Mucho!!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hey everyone!
It's been another crazy week here at the mtc! but it's been a good one! it's hard to believe taht i only have like three to four more pdays left here. Uncle Jared was right when he said "the days are long, but the weeks are short" it's so true! and i've had so many great experiences this week!
So to start off, i have three investigators. and this week elder farnsworth and myself got two out of the three to commit to bapismal dates! awesome huh? when the spirit is there to testify to the investigators its so awesome to witness the miracles we see daily! but we still have a lot of work to do with both of them. one has a problem with the law of chasisty and the other has one with the word of wisdom. but we are working diligently to help them make the right step to come closer to Christ! Our third investigator, abraham. is making huge progress and we've only taught him three times! we are going to ask him again tonight to commit to baptism. i hope he has received the answer that he needs to follow the example of Christ. I love teaching! i love the spirit it brings and how it not only strengthens the investigators testimony, but mine as well!
I had a crazy thing happen last friday. so i was going to the bookstore with my companion to get some items. and elder farnsworth saw a friend of his. so we stopped by to talk since we had a lot of time before class. I see another elder stand next to him and i, he looks so familiar. i look at his tag and i read the name "elder wind" i thought no way. I went up to him. and asked him if he remembered who i was. he looks at me for a few seconds and then yells "DALLIN!!" yeah, it was my roommate i had when i first went to efy when i was fourteen. it has been roughly five years since i have last seen or talked to him. but then we looked back at all of the great times and caught up with one another. he was heading to tempe, arizona in a few days, he went to hunter high. and we caught up on everything else. it was funny because he told me that the day berfore he was thinking about me and how cool it would be if we saw each other. it was so great. we are gonna start writing each other now because we became such good friends at efy. i can't believe i havent talked to him in that long period of time. so our friendship has been reunited! What a miracle no? I also see zach gardanier a ton too. in fact the other day we had a whole conversation in spanish. at the end we were like i'ts so weird taht we can speak spanish to each other. I also saw the markgrafs which was a great experience. and i saw les chappel this morning at the temple!
so on sunday i was in the classroom doing some personal study out of the book of mormon, and president cosgrave came in and asked if elder farnsworth and i could go out and talk to him. He then proceeded to ask us if we would be the zone leaders in training, so in two weeks time we would become the zone leaders of our branch. Wow! it was such a humbling experience. I can't believe i'm giong to be a zone leader. i just hope and pray that i will be able to serve the fellow missionaries in my zone with a love that Christ would. especially becaause we just got a new district in yesterday. I know that i have been called for a certain reason. and i know i will find out soon!
so the mtc is making a choir for conference. they had us fill out a survey telling us that we needed high school experience in order to be in it because of the limited time of practices. i filled one out hoping and praying taht i would still get called to sing. but i didn't...but it's okay because we ahve two from our district taht's going to! i'm so excited for them!
so the other day we read ether 12 as a class for a reading out of the book of mormon in spanish and english. i decided to search it out and study it for some things i found were very interesting. The importance of faith is so crucial for our salvation. we read in the early parts of chapter 12 taht without faith we cannot work miracles. this applies a lot to us missionaries. but i think that it's so important that you all understand the truthfulness of it. when i read this i began to think of football all over again. when we played timpview. i can remember practicing and preparing, i really believed and knew that we were going to win this ball game. and sure enough the miracle occured. becasue everyone thought that they were unbeatable. if i didn't have faith would we ahve won? who knows. but i do know this. without faith, we cannot work miracles. which is a huge part of testimony building in my opinion . i encourage you all to study ether 12 and ponder the words they say and how it can apply to you. you'd be suprised at what you find!
So guess who came and spoke at devo the other day? Elder Dallin H. Oaks! it was again so cool that i had the chance to be in the presecne of an apostle of the Lord. He spoke ont he importance of having the spirit with you as you teach. and a way we get that spirit is through partaking of the sacrament. It's so important that we do not take the sacrament for granted. pay attention to the promises we are given if we keep the covenants we renew weekly. we are promised that we will always have His spirit to be with us. I can testify that as you do this you will always have the spirit to be with you! and with the spirit you are able to receive revealation. which is something that we need in all of our lives!
Well my time is up for this week! i hope everyone is doing well and that Grandpa Hutching and Grandma Ollerton are recovering quickly from their procedures! thank you all so so so so much for our letters and packages! i'm sorry if i cant write ya this week, but i will get to you as soon as i can!!
La iglesia is verdadera!! Te Amo!!
Elder Dallin Ollerton

Thursday, March 15, 2012

MTC Hump Day!

Hey everyone!!
So today is my fourth pday here at the mtc. which means my first month of my mission is complete. Pretty crazy huh? it seems like it has gone by quickly, but at the same time it's been an eternity here! haha but i'm doing good!
So last friday elder farnsworth and i go into teach one of our 'investigators' and he was totally drunk! haha it was a difficult situation to handle. cause we would try to have him read scripture and he would fall asleep while reading. he would also pass out while we were teaching him. we didnt know how to handle it, so we gave him a short message and told him we would comeback. and yesterday we taught him again and I could feel the spirit so strongly. I was prompted to say and promise some things to him. like if he started to stop drinking he would be blessed. He must have felt it too because he committed to us taht he would live the word of wisdom! way cool huh? when the spirit prompts you do not ignore it!!
and later that day i had a meeting with one of the zone resource teachers on finding and applying principles of the book of mormon. ya know, i really wanted to learn how to feast upon the words of Christ. Because i knew taht if i would be able to i would be able to use the scriptures more effectively in my teaching. plus my testimony of the book of mormon would be strengthened. and sure enough that happened! i learned how to really feast. and my eyes have been opened a lot more wider than they were before. if you look back at 1 nephi chapter one. it is totally talking about joseph smith and the resoration! cool huh?
so my district was randomly picked to be in a new program at the mtc. they call it trc progressing investigator. it's basically like trc ( when you teach members) but its a investigator. i guess the mtc hire actors to come and play an investigator. so we have no idea who they really are. some could be members, some could actually be nonmembers. we have no idea about our. and they are natives so we get to hear the real accent and everything too. so this is about as real as it could get here in the mtc. which is really nice because now we can have an experience like missionaries in the field will have, but we can experience it here. so its a good way to practice our spanish and teaching skills. my investagator is Abraham. he is a 57 year old teacher. has five kids. one passed away. and he has been apart of the baptist church for 20 yrs. elder farnsworth and i were really worried at first. but he totally opened up to us. he wanted to know where his son is. it was so neat to be able to teach him about the plan of salvation. we told him he could find his answers through the book of mormon. so i gave him mine. hahaha cause we didn't have a paper copy. but we got one now so we are going to switch with him today when we teach him. but it's been such a good experience. i'm grateful we have him. elder tonga and seely got a hardcore catholic lady who didnt have any interest and told them not to comeback. haha but they did anyway and they got her interested. the Lord works many miracles.!!
We are also continuing to teach Claudio, he is so close to baptism!! i hope and pray that the spirit can testify to him the truthfulness of the gospel. I know taht these investigators aren't necessarily real. well one may be now. but i it's so important that we as missionaries do this as we prepare to enter the field. These investigators were real investigators at one point. so its interesting to see the people my teachers had the opportunity to teach in there missions. i cant wait to get to california! it's gonna be so great!
Thank you so much for the packages! tre tre thank you so much for the tie you picked out for me! when i got it the first thing i did was put it on! i love it! thank you so much! Thank you for keeping me updated with everything back home! sounds like you guys have all been out hiking a ton! sounds like so much fun!! oh and thanks for the story about cameron. i laughed so hard when i read taht letter. hahaha! tell him i love him and miss him dearly! i hope easton does well at sunshine! those were some of the best memories i have from baseball! its something he'll never forget! Justin i wish you the best of luck at track! and freaking write me! i wanna hear everything tahts going on!
So it's been an adjustment! but i'm finally getting used to life here at the mtc! one month down, one more to go until i'm out to the beautiful state of california!! oh btw i will be sending pictures home in a letter today! so expect to see some of my adventures thus far! Well it's about time for me to go! i hope that im writing enough for you! i love you all!
Yo se que el evangelio de Jesucristo is la verdadero. Yo se que espritu santo es un guiar por nosotros. cuando ustedes escuchan el. ustedes poderan bendice todos los dias! Te amo todos mucho!!
Elder Dallin Ollerton

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week Three and On We Go!

Hey all!!
Wow! It's hard to believe that i have been here for three weeks! next pday i will have my first month of my mission completed! weird huh? but what a week it has been!
So last week we got a new district. They seem to know quite a bit of spanish which is really impressive. haha wanna know something funny? one of the new elders in the district is 6 feet, and Eleven Inches tall! crazy huh? When i get a print i will send it to you asap! you should be getting a bunch of pictures within the coming week. the machine has been down so it's been delayed, but it will get there nonethe less!
So we are teaching two "investigators" claudio and lionel. Elder Farnsworth and i have been struggling with our progression with them. but they are progressing now! It's so hard to communicate with them when you don't know the language, but when you put your trust in God He will never let you down! it's been so incredible to see that as we have been teaching. I can also see progression in our spanish. we are now to the point where we just write a really basick lesson plan in english and that's it! no more scripts, just what we know off of what we have learned. it's amazing. when i heard taht you would learn more spanish in three weeks than in three years of high school i didn't belive it. but now let me testify that it does happen!!
So the food here is amazing. the reason why i'm telling you that is because i've gained six pounds since being here! haha at this rate i will gain like fifteen pounds! haha i find myself eating more and more everyday. so for you upcoming missionaries, just know that the food here is amazing! haha.
So Elder Farnsworth and I got new roommates. Elder Brinely (former district leader) left to go to the MTC in madrid spain. So a new trio was formed. Elder Lyman, Elder Nobles, and Elder Anderson are now a trio. So elder lyman moved into Elder Nobles and Elder Andersons room. Then Elder Tonga and Elder Seely moved into my room. I was so happy! Cause those Elders are so entertaining. in fact we were up late just messing around! which is bad, but i hope it'll get better cause i do like my sleep! haha
So let me just tell you taht i love prayer! what an amazing blessing it is to be able to speak to our Heavenly Father directly for blessings we need as well for others. I have had many prayers answered this week. This testifys to me taht God does listen to us. He loves us and wants to hear from us! So do not underestimate the power of prayer. It will bring you peace, joy, and guidance as you listen and look for those promptings.
So sunday was my first fast sunday. it was way different than what i expected! we couldn't eat til six. something i never really got used to growing up. plus testimony meeting was all in spanish. I wanted to go up, but i didn't. I know that next time i will be getting up and bear my testimony! That night we had a really fun fireside. Alex Boye, a professinal singer, came and spoke to us. What really hit me the most is when he said to us...if you don't think that you have a purpose here. let me be that testimony, because if it weren't for the missionaries. I would not know about this gospel. You will be remembered by those you teach. They will remember your name forever. So if you don't think you have a purpose for being a missionary, think again...i can remember thinking, holy smokes, someone is in anaheim, waiting for me to teach them. I need to better prepare myself so that i may be ready to teach them about Christ. Pretty amazing.
Later on that Night i watched a talk by Elder Bednar on recognizing the spirit. You wanna know what he said? He said that as long as your being a good boy/girl, keeping your covenants and doing your best. You don't need to worry, because the spirit will guide you automatically. Crazy huh? He shared a shory about how he gave Pres Packer money when he was a missionary in germany. it turned out because of that money he pretty much saved the Packers butts, or else they would have been stuck in germany. i'll write more about it because i'm running out of time.
What has been going on with everyone? is everyone doing okay? Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all of your letters and packages! they make my whole day when i come home! keep me updated and i will do the same as soon as i can! i love you all!! Te amo mucho!!
Elder Dallin Ollerton

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letter on 3/1/12 Two Weeks in the MTC

Hey Everyone!
Holy cow! Another week has past us. This week has gone by so much faster than my first week here. Which has been nice. but i feel like i'm so behind! So one of my companions, Elder Frei, left to head out into the mission field. AKA roseville california. he was such a great example to Elder Farnsworth and i. I'm gonna miss him a lot. haha he had to report to leave at 3 AM yesterday morning. ha Lets just say i didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night, but it's all good!
So I had a crazy experience the other day. I was sitting in the choir seats for devo on tuesday and guess who came in?? Elder Holland! I was able to see him and listen to him speak to all of the missionaries in the MTC. it was incredible! his talk was a lot like the one in preisthood session of confererence last time. He got up and told us that we are one of the main symbols of the church, and we cannot do anything to compromise this great tradition. He also spoke about the importance of having a testimony of the Book of Mormon as missionaries. So Justin, Easton, all other future missionaries. If you do not have a testimony of the Book of Momon, strive to get one now! I can testify that it will help you in the mission field. Elder Holland also taught us the importance of staying a missionary when we get off of our missions. People look at RM's as an example. I know that the RM's i know have been such a great example of this principle. So i will be the same when i get home. but that won't be for a while! haha!
So with my spanish, I have felt like there has been no progression at all. I'm pretty frustrated because i can see a lot of progress in a lot of the other missionaries in our district. I guess i'm kinda like zach and wish it would all come at once. i just know that i need to work harder so i can become the best missionary i can be. Teaching our investigators has been a real struggle also. Ever since Elder Frei has left, We have been struggling with our teaching. Our two investigators seem to not be making any progress. we can definitely feel the spirit as we teach. So i hope that they can too, that way they may be able to become members. Dad, do ya have any advice for me on how i can improve both? i know you've been through the same thing as i ahve.
so let me tell you a little about my district. Elder Brinley is our district leader. he went to byu and he is heading to barcleona spain. he is a really good basketball player and he has a great testimony. Elder Lyman is from blanding. it turns out we played each other in the ute shoot my senior year. he played for san juan. and they Beat us!! haha funny huh? He is in the national guard too so he's a tough cookie. he's going to madrid. but he has a soft heart. Elder anderson is from kansas city. He is coming with me to Anaheim. he is such a chatter box. he always makes great comments in class. Elder Nobles is from toole, he's a quiet guy and is going to everett, washington. Elder Seely is from Canada, but he grew up in st george. He is huge! like my height, but he has the biggest arms i have ever seen! haha he's heading to long beach California. His companion is Elder Tonga. another really big guy who is from cokeville, Wyoming. He is going to long beach too. And you know about me and my companion. We really do have a great district. I love it!
Thank you so much for all of your letters and packages! it's really so nice to be able to come home after a long and hard day and be able to read about what's going on back home! sounds like a lot of great stuff is going on!
Dad, Sounds like youre busy! i hope you are diong well! keep me updated!
MOm, i did get my suit pants! thank you and sorry for taking so long to get back to you on them.
Justin, How's it going? how did your bridge contest go? how are all the ladies treating you? haha let me know what's going on!
Tre tre, I heard you're sick!! :( are you feeling better? I hope and pray you get better soon! Sounds like you are doing really well at basketball! keep it up!
CAMERON!! I loved the letter you sent me! Are you feeling better too? I hope so! cause it's no fun when you can't play with your friends!!
Well everyone my time is up! i hope i was able to write enough!! if you have any questions jsut write me! oh and please please keep me updated!!
I love you I love you I love you!!
Elder Dallin Ollerton