Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week Six (First Baptism)

Hey all!!
What a crazy week it has been!! I'm sorry i didn't write yesterday. As you could see it was memorial day. and the Library was closed. Plus we had Elder Tinti with us. He is Elder Larsen's trainer. He left to go home today. He wanted to go and see some old investigators that he taught in his old area. So we were his escort. Sorry I don't have a ton of time. We are taking Elder Robinson (in my district last transfer) to pick up a new missionary he will be training. but I will tell you of some of the cool experiences that happened real quick.
So this sunday we had a baptismal service for Rosa Estrada. She is going to be a solid convert.This is my first baptism of my mission. It all went smoothly thank goodness. We got a program set up, we got everything put together. It was kind of stressful though because the English Elders had a baptism right before us in the same building. But none the less we got them out and we got started on time. As we were taking pictures with her (i attached one here. i hope you get it) she was telling us that as she was changing she got a message form somebody telling her that her son might be getting released from jail soon. That was something she had been praying about for years now. and the miracle occured as she was getting ready to be baptized. That was a promise we made to her as we were teaching her. It just goes to the that the Lord has our back and is willing to help us out. What a miracle it was. We first had a song and a prayer. We asked Rosa's sister Leticia to give a talk on baptism. She went up there to speak and just started to cry. She literally stood up there and started to cry for about two to three minutes. That was probably the most powerful moment of my Mission thus far. You could feel the spirit so strongly. Also you could just feel the love between Rosa and Lecticia. This was truely a miracle. I say that because Rosa had no desire to get baptized. But through her experiences of praying and reading the Book of Mormon she came to know for herself that it was true. Leticia almost couldn't believe that she was getting baptized. It was so powerful. After that we had a talk by Hermano Jauregui. A member of the bishopric. The baptism, a short testimony meeting afterward. Then we all went over to the Estrada's afterward to celebrate. This was probably the best day of my mission. Because as a missionary you work so dang hard. and to see someone you taught change and be baptized is truely the most amazing feeling ever. I testify that this work is true.
 We are still trying to work with Vivi and getting her baptized. She has been having a tough time recognizing her answers. We are going to talk to her tonight. She loved the baptism so hopefully she decides to get baptized this sunday too. What a miracle that would be if she did that. Please pray for that to happen. Oh and a really cool thing that has happened about this. So vivi is friends with the Estrada's. They have a bunch of friends that are her age that are really good friends. They are now getting interested in the church. One of Vivi's friends, her name is Alicia, got way interested. We talked to her mom and we got permission to teach her and if she chooses to do so we can baptize her too. We also did the same with another friend. Her name is Xantel and she is way interested too. When we go we end up teaching all of them together. So it's getting pretty interesting with that!
So earlier in the week we got a call from the sister missionaries that are in my area. They sent us a refferal of a man who wanted to hear from us that only spoke spanish. We went over and we got talking about the gospel and he asked us the question. "which of all the churches is the right one?" We went straight to Joeseph Smith and the restoration. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he accepted a date to be baptized on the 17th of June.  We came over later in the week and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ from preach my gospel. He believed it all and told us that the Book of Mormon is true. in fact he read on from what we asked him to read. He knows it's true, and  he wants to get baptized. He told us that he would do whatever it takes to get baptized. He came to church and loved it so much. He was so amazed by how friendly we are, he also loved the classes. We asked him if we wanted to come to the baptismal service and he accepted. He came and right after the service he had a ton of questions. Like "Do I need a lot of family here to be baptized? I don't have a lot of family." He asked that because Rosa's family came. They ALL came. so he was wondering if he needed that. we told him no. He said when we think that he is ready to be baptized he wants to do it asap. So we talked about it and plan on having him possibly getting baptized this sunday. He is what we call "un hombre de oro" a golden investigator. What a miracle! Truely shows that the Lord is guiding his missionaries to the elect.
So we just ended my first transfer in the mission (6 weeks). We counted up the total. and Elder Larsen and I taught 109 lessons. We aint slowing down either. What a miracle from the Lord. We are so blessed in this area. I went over to transfers because we had to take an elder there. I ended up seeing Elder  Jordan Sumsion there. I don't know if you know this yet. But Elder Jordan Sumsion was just made Assistant to the President. Yeah that's right...AP. Pretty incredible huh? He has changed so much since I last saw him. We caught up for a bit and all. so i'll be seeing him around a lot more now. Awesome.
I got all of the pictures. Thanks for the update. oh and dad FELIZ CUPLEAMOS A TI!!!! Happy Birthday Dad. you are truely the best Father any son could ask for. Thank you for your example. Thank you for everyting. I love you so much.
Thank you for the updates!!! I probably wont be getting a written letter to yall this week. but next week for sure! Cuidanse! Les Amo mucho!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I am practicing putting on photos

This is Dallin and Elder Larsen in their apartment.  We have a few other photos and even another video clip.  Let me know what you like to see/watch.

Dallin's Dad.

Week Five (May 21)

Hey all!!
It has once again been a very crazy week out here in the mission field. So many things have gone on and a lot of changes have been made. So here they are:
Investigator wise...Rosa was supposed to get baptized yesterday, but guess what? She didn't...She called us during the week to have us help her out with moving some stuff from a storage unit she had but was losing because she was unable to afford it. After we rushed over to help her we got talking about the program for the baptism, and she said she wasn't sure that she could do it this week. As you probably could guess, my heart sunk clear to the bottom of my foot. She went on to say that she got called and scheduled to work that sunday. The day of her baptism. And she was scheduled to only work on that sunday this month. Of course. Plus other family members would be unavailable to attend because they didn't know it was going to be here so quickly and they needed to schedule work off. So we are planning on having the baptism this sunday instead. She is going very strong right now. We are so dang proud of her. This is really such a miracle from the Lord. When I first got here she had no desire to be baptized. She said there was something different about us than the other Elders that were there previously. She really prayed one night, and that is when she got her answer. And she has been going strong since then. We are so proud of her and are continuing to pray that this week goes by smoothly for her.
Miguel.....oh boy. So we taught him word of wisdom and the law of chastity. He said he has no problem with the Law of Chastity. But he's had a problem with the Word of Wisdom. He has told us that he can't do it. We've  been trying to work with him to help him. but nothting seems to be working at all. So we decieded that if he doesn't come to church than we were going to drop him. He has told us for the last four weeks that he was going to go to church, but hasn't. He didn't come this week. So we are going to go over someday and tell him that we can't teach him unless he is really willing to keep his committments. really sad..but at least we planted the seed.
Michelle....She keeps telling us that she doesn't feel ready to be baptized. We kept praying and searching for why that would be, and we began to look for a way to teach her so we could help her feel more ready. She didn't realize she was going to be baptized this next week. And we figured out last night why she doesn't feel ready. It's because she ahs a boyfriend in Jail right now. He will be getting out soon. She knows that she wants to get married to this guy. But she knows that he wants to go back to mexico and live there for a while. So that would mean she would be breaking the law of chastity. And she doesn't want to make the covenant of baptism knowing that she is going to be breaking one of the commandments of God. So she really means well. It's just too bad...So essentially we will be dropping her too. Pretty sad but we understand. Its a very complex situation. We hope she gets baptized soon.
With Vivi, things are looking very solid with her. She has trouble with not praying or worshipping the virgin mary. Throughout the week we have been talking with her about that and trying to help her understand why. She prayed, and yesterday after church she told us that praying to God just feels right. Also, the restoration, the plan of salvation, and everything else helps her feel good and it just feels right. We explained that it was the Spirit testifying to her the truth. She knows she has an answer. So she is going to get baptized on the 27th also. So we plan on having possibly three baptisms this week. What a Miracle!!
So those are some of our main investigators right now. We met this cool guy named Hunberto yesterday. The sister missionaries gave us his name because he speaks spanish. We go over there and he told us that he is looking for the truth. He wants to know what's right. So we taught him about Joseph Smith right there and he accepted to be baptized on the 17th of June. So we have a few new investigators. Pretty exciting.
Also, we were in the middle of our studies and we got a call from sister terry (senior missionary) telling us we were moving apartments. We had to move EVERYTHING!! couches, beds, desks, fridge, you name it and we had to move it. It was such a pain!! Now I know what it's like for you all to move out. We were so grateful that we had the help of the district. or else we would've been moviing all day. It was a cray day that day.
It's been such a crazy week. My spanish is getting better little by little. We've made a goal to speak more and so we are trying to do that. Also, i've been trying to knock more doors and contact people more so that way I can get out of my shell. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. haha I feel like I'm such a robot and so tense and all. But i'm getting more experience everyday. I hope and pray that I can continue to grow.
Alright, Bethany and Paul. Congrats on the baby this week!!! and Duncan and Lynzi, Congrats on the marriage!! A lot of great things are coming up and I'm so excited. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you everyday. I'm trying to get ya letters asap!!
Well it's time to go!! I'll write you all soon! have a great week!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Friday, May 18, 2012

Week 4 in the Field

Hey everybody!!
It's been another crazy but awesome week out here in La Habra! We've seen a lot of miracles today. I think in my opinion this was the best week i've had in mission thus far when it comes to the adjustments and getting into the routine and all. It's been a difficult and long process but It's been worth it and I know it will be worth it! It's funny though because we are moving apartments pretty soon. We are moving because of our neighborhood. Our very next door neighbor is what we call "nuts" haha I don't remember if I told you but my very first day our here in the field I came to the apartment with Elder Larsen to move and unpack. I hadn't been in the mission field for more than a few hours before a drunk guy was yelling at me saying a bunch of crazy stuff. It scared the heck out of me. haha and also the other day we came out and he was like "wazzzup guys" and then he went on to say to me "man...you look dead tired. You okay?" hahaha As he was saying this I was in shock because he had these HUGE black rings under his eyes. and He looked dead tired. Pretty sure he was on something, but that is life out here! haha So it sounds like we could be moving tomorrow, but we will see for sure.
So, We seem to be losing some of our investigators. I say this because hardly any of them are coming to church. A lot of them aren't showing realy interest either. We still have our goal to baptize three people by the end of May. We had a miracle occur yesterday. We got Rosa Estrada to come to church yesterday. That was a huge step because with that she can now be baptized this next coming Sunday. We have taught her all she needs to know now. So we are going to be stopping by to make sure she is all ready to make her baptismal covenant with the Lord. What a miracle! She has been taught by the missionaries for a long time now. So we are so proud of her. Please Please Please pray for her this week.
So with Michelle, She is doing awesome as ever. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chasity. She accepted to follow both of them because she knows it's what she needs to be following. We have a small conflict with her though. She has a lot of piercings on her face and such. She found out that in order for her to be baptized she can't have any of those things on. It was hard for her to take at first. But I noticed that the last time we taught her she had one less face piercing on. So in spanish we say poco a poco. or in other words little by litttle she is coming along! She missed church this week which was a bummer. But she is getting super close. We have her scheduled to be baptized on the 27th of May. So please pray for her too!
We also found a new investigator this week. Her name is Vivi. She lives in the same apartment complex as the Estradas. She's fourteen, and she's friends with some of the Estrada Girls. It's always nice to have an investigator who has a friend who is a member of the church. It's been tough to teach her because we have to get permission from the parents to teach and baptize investigators who are under the age of eighteen. Her Mom is always working when we have the chance to go over there and try to teach her. So we havent been able to get the chance to ask for permission, until this week. I was on exchanges, but I heard that they caught the mom and asked for permission. Not only did she accept that, but they also taught her the first lesson and committed both the mother and Vivi to be baptized! What a miracle no? It was so awesome to hear about that. Vivi will be baptized on the 27th of May also. We have a ton of work to do with her so please pray for her!
So with Miguel we taught him the plan of Salvation last night and he generally accepted it. He feels a lot better now. He is starting to recognize the spirit which is so awesome!! But then he asked us about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chasity. And sure enough, We got problems there. He wasn't hesitant about telling us what was going on. So we have to push is date back now. Will you all pray for him too??
So those are our main investigators!! I went on exchanges this week with our district leader Elder Samuels. He is finishing his mission at the end of the transfer (two weeks) It was so great to work with him. I was also on bike so i got a lot of great exercising in. So here is some of the advice I want to share that maybe can help you in your lives right now and even help the Missionary preppers get ready. Okay...Learn how to be patient. Things wont always go your way, but as you learn to cope with the things that bug you. You will be able to conquer a lot. Some great scriptures that go with that that I read this week were in Alma 32:40-43. Also, don't think that it is a sin to talk about stuff about home and such things when you are on your mission. But when it comes time to go out and work, focus on the work. Don't get too distracted or else you are going to not have the spirit with you. If the spirit isn't with you. Not only can't you teach, but you won't be able to find "those that will receive you" Be obedient!! That is how  you serve a sacred mission. Learn to be able to communicate with others your concerns in a loving matter. Especially with your companion, make sure you know what you are both thinking and how you feel about certain things. READ FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON DAILY!!! And when you do this look for the prinicples that help you out, but also think to yourself "how can this help someone else out?" That's where the revealation comes in. And you remember the scriptures better.
So that is what I learned this week! Oh and Dad to answer your question I leave at one only for the first twelve weeks! After that I leave to go to work at noon. That's how every other Elder is. Okay!! thank you for your letters! Tell the sumsions Thank you for the tie!
It's been such a great week! I loved having the chance to talk to my family yesterday. Another tender mercy of the Lord. I loved hearing about everything that is going on! Keep me updated!! Tina and Breanna tell me the names of the Elders here and Iook for them!!! Expect letters coming and my photo card!! Write you soon!!! Les Amo Siempre!!!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week Three in the Field

Hey all!
Wow! another great week has passed by! Elder Larsen and I have  been working very hard and have seen many mircales from the Lord! I'm also very excited for this week too in that we can witness many more mircales from the Lord.
So with our investigators this week. We were actually suppose to have a baptism this next sunday on Mother's day. Her name is Rosa Estrada. She is about your age actually. she lives in an apartment complex which is pretty much inhabited by the entire Estrada family. Everytime we come over it's a party because they love the missionaries and there are a ton of little kids who like to climb on us and play. And they live about twenty feet from each other so they are always together all the time. they are a part member family. Rosa's brother was the first convert to the church. Then followed his little sister Leuticia. So there kids are all members. So we are working on getting the rest of the family baptized. This includes Rosa and her family, and Rosa's parents. Rosa has a strong testimony of the gospel. She has been taught by the missionaries for over two years now and we finally got her to commit to a date. Which was a miracle in it self. We started teaching her all of the commandments that she has to keep in order for her to be baptized, she has been keeping those committments. So Elder Larsen and I got really excited. But then Sunday rolled around. And she didn't come to church. Earlier this week we figured out that she has been going to see her oldest son who is in prison on sunday mornings when we have church. It's a predicament. Cause it's good that she wants to see her son, but she needs to go to church in order to get baptized. She committed to come for sure this week, she wants to get baptized bad. So I belive she will.
So with Michelle it was a very interesting week. We started to go over the commandments with her too. She has a lot of problems with them so we started to teach them to her so that way we can get her prepped to be baptized on the 27th. One night we were at her house eathing dinner (cause she lives with her mom too) and then we started teaching her about the ten commandments. We committed to obey them, then right after she started to ball. Tears just streaming down her face. Her Eyes got really red. and she started to complain about her life again. about how she doesn't have a job, and she has no money to help out her four kids (she's 25 yrs old). and that there were more problems that we didn't know about that were going on. I can remember my heart pounding, and I had a thought in my head that we needed to give her a blessing. So we proceeded to do so. I was the one taht gave the actual blessing. Let me tell you, I have only given two blessings in my life, and I have only been apart of a blessing a handful of times. But Let me testify to you that the priesthood is real, because I felt it touch her spirit as I was giving her a blessing of comfort. There is nothing like a priesthood blessing that brings in the spirit of the Lord.
So remember that Golden investigator Miguel? So last sunday we got a text from him saying that he was going to be gone all week. We thought to ourselves that we were losing him. That he was just saying that because someone had scared him and that he really didn't want to talk to the missionaries anymore. But He called us last night right when he got home and wanted to talk to us. He's a very interesting person. Normally 20 year olds don't really think about the sins they have, but he is very worried and feels very dark. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and told him that it's through baptism and making those covenants that we can be clean again. WE are going to be teaching him a lot this week and i'm very excited to see him progress.
So right before miguel called we went to a door that we had contacted earlier and we taught him the first lesson in preach my gospel. His name is Carlos. and i thought he was just being nice to us because he had kinda kicked us off of his porch before, but we went back to teach him and he was like "what is the process of baptism?" I looked at Elder Larsen thinking "are you serious?" haha we gave him a book of mormon and told him we would come back to teach him.
Okay you wanna know about my area/apartment/everything else? so I'm gonna give ya a brief description and i have to get off soon. So my area is La Habra and Brea California. The majority of the people that live here are Latinos. So we have a lot of opportunities to teach. A lot of the area is a bunch of small apartment complexes that cover a lot of the area. In fact I live in a small apartment complex. we have a one bedroom apartment that has one sink, bathroom, and one bedroom. the walls are painted white and we have some pictures of Christ up on the walls. My bed is a little high because it's a bunk bed that got spilt apart. I'ts a very mirrory apartment. In the bedroom there are two sliding door closets. we use one for supplies and the other for our clothes, but they both have reflecting mirrors that are on the doors. plus the bathroom is apart of our bedroom. So there are mirrors everywhere. haha. All of are neighbors are latino. And our nextdoor neighbor is what you call a nutjob. My first day i got here he was completely drunk and yelling at me and i got a little scared. haha but none the less i'm good now. I just laugh whenever I see him, which isn't that often. The weather has been pretty hot. but there is usually a nice calm breeze going on so that is great. Oh and there are seven elven's and donuts shops everywhere!! but the best place is panderia. where they sell "pan dulce" or sweet bread. I'ts like a bakery but a pastery place too. and it's cheap so we love going there. So good!!
The members here are awesome. They feed us good. We usually are fed dinner and we have to make our own breakfast and lunch. But Elder Larsen likes to cook so he cooks for the both of us everyday. So it's been nice with food. I'm not suffering yet with that! It's funny because most of them can speak English too and they know i'm the new guy so they let me get away with speaking English. which is bad cause Spanish has been really really frustrating for me this week. We try to speak only spanish outside the apartment but i usually ended up getting mad and spoke only english. haha but i'm trying to get better everday.
Okay so I will be calling home on Sunday.  I will be calling you guys at anywhere from 3 to 5 California time. I know that will be interfering with your family actuiveis so If i cant reach ya at home i'll call Dad's cell phone. So have it ready okay? I'm very excited to hear your voices. I don't know when you got the last letter I wrote home, but i wrote one already and i'm going to respond to your email in mail. but don't be suprised if i get choked up a little. I love you guys and I am still trying to get over my homesickness.
Well that is my week in a nutshell!! I'll be talking to you guys in a while! Les Amo Mucho!!!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton