Monday, October 29, 2012

Letter from October 29, 2012

Que Pasa???

Hey everyone! What another great week it has been out here in the beautiful city of Garden Grove. We had a miracle yesterday. We were able to have 2 baptisms! I talked about them for a little bit in my last letter, but I’ll explain more about it now. So we have these two little boys we are teaching named Anthony and Jose. Anthony is 11 and Jose is 8. They have been listening to us ever since I got there to Garden Grove. We really weren't focusing on them though. We were focusing on her mom Ana. We discovered though, that she wasn't the one we needed to focus on first. Rather we decided to focus on Jose and Anthony. First, Jose had a huge desire to get baptized, Anthony not so much. I'm not sure what happened to Anthony, but something did. I'm sure it was the spirit testifying to him that he needed to get baptized then Anthony and Jose both told us that their dad said they could get baptized if they would like to. That was another miracle because Ana and her Husband Jose are separated and are going through a bit of a divorce right now. So we had no way of contacting him or getting permission from him. So that was amazing. Then we talked to Ana. She wasn't really sure to let them get baptized or not. We talked to her, and she decided to let them do as they wish. This was huge especially for little Anthony. He has a lot of things that he wants to change in his life that aren't really the best things. He knows of the importance of making that change. It's going to take a lot of time to get him there, but we knew that baptism was a great start for him. He has changed a lot and I'm very proud of him. Jose is an awesome kid. He is eight, and he really reminds me a lot of my brother Cameron. He is funny and loves to laugh a lot. We just taught those two everything we needed to teach them, and then they passed the interviews. We had the baptism yesterday. It was a beautiful program, and it went very smoothly. I had the honor of baptizing little Jose. It was great. The spirit was there for sure; even Anthony said that he was feeling something special. That was the first time I had heard him say anything like that. It was so cool so see him feel the spirit. He is awesome. Jose is Awesome, and I’m so proud of them.

Another cool thing that happened this week is that we started to teach another relative of that familia Gomez/Valero. Ha-ha her Name is also Ana. She is seventeen and has a lovely 2-year-old daughter named Harmony. We went over and talked to her one night. She expressed to us how she wants to change a lot. She really believed that we could help her do that. Because of the testimony that Dania (one of the recent converts) she came to know who we are and what our purpose here as missionaries. She accepted a date to be baptized on the 11th of November. It was really cool to see that desire and faith that she can become a better person by making these covenants with our Heavenly Father. She has already come to two ward activities, and she came to church. She loved it too. So she is looking really good right now, and we are very excited for her.

Speaking of the ward activities. We had these Halloween ward activities the other day. We had one with all the combined wards that go to our building (one English ward, our Spanish ward, and a Korean Branch). It was super duper fun. There was food of all kinds. There was Sushi, chili, hot dogs, and the best was dessert. Classic Pan Dulce. Soooooooooooo goooooood. Family, after the mission I’ll have to show you some places that have the best pan dulce ever. It's amazing! Oh and there was trunk or treating of course. The next night we had a ward fundraiser (missionaries got in free, ha-ha love being a missionary). It was called "baile de los cincuentas" or a 50's dance. We had food, and there were a ton of members, and four of our investigators came too. There was like a swing dance contest, where all six of us missionaries were the judges and stuff. It was great fun. Ha-ha

So as far as our other investigators: We are still trying to see Gudleia. She kinda ignored us the other day. So we are think that we might need to stop seeing her. It's a real bummer because I thought she had a ton of potential. Oh well, I guess we will see right?

We also have Diego. He has a date for the 11th of November. He is doing super good right now. We are still going to prepare him for the 11th. He has come to church twice now. He also came to all of the ward activities. So he is loving it right now. Doing super good, we plan on working with him a lot more now that Anthony and Jose have been baptized. We are also trying to work with Ines and Kate. We have to get permission from Kate's dad to get her baptized. I hear He is not a fan of us, but we'll see. I see a lot of potential in them.

That is basically it. Just seeing miracle after miracle each day. I love being a missionary. There is nothing better than it. I know that the Church is True. This is the Lord's work, and it will continue to flow through the earth until all have heard His message. I love you all so much and thank you so much for your support! Need anything let me know! I love you all!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letter on October 23, 2012

Hey all!!

What an incredible week it has been out here in Garden Grove. Sorry to get to you so late in the week. We just attended a session at the Newport Beach Temple. This was my second time going to it. We only get to go about once in every 3-5 months. I loved it! I love going to the temple. It is a place where one can be inspired by the Spirit in whatever situation he/she may be in. I love having a temple in the mission where I serve. What a blessing.

This week has been crazy. So remember Ana right? Well we are also teaching her kids named Anthony, who is 11, and Jose, who is 8. They have been coming to church with us these last few weeks. So, Elder Walker and I were going to invite them to be baptized soon. But the funny thing was that during sacrament meeting on Sunday Anthony leaned over to Elder Walker (I was with another investigator) and said, "Hermano, I wanna quit all the bad stuff I’m doing and I wanna be baptized." I was amazed. Because the last week we were teaching them and he told us that he didn't want to be baptized at all. But I guess he experienced a change of heart and decided how great that would be for him. What a Miracle! He is surrounded by a group of guys that aren't the best influence for him. So to see him want to change was amazing! And his brother Jose has always had a desire to be baptized. So what we did is we set a date for this Sunday. We got permission from the father and mother. Which was difficult because they are in the process of getting a divorce. And they both approved. So we are going to see them everyday and then get them baptized. What a miracle, huh? I am so grateful that the spirit was able to testify to them of the importance of being baptized. Wow!! We'll let you know how it goes!

Also, So I was talking about the Gomez family the last time. The mom and daughter just got baptized and are now inviting everyone. Well we've been doing a lot of focusing on the other kids that live in the house. There is Diego and Joslyn. They are 14 and 16. They haven’t really shown much interest in the church at all. Especially when I first got here to Garden Grove. Lately though, they have been showing a desire to listen. We had a huge miracle happen to both of them. We had this awesome lesson with Diego. Where Elder Walker basically talked to him about his life experience and how he related a lot to Diego. He kept going about how he got his testimony of the church and how important the church is to him. Elder Walker said that if he had to, he would give up music for the church. That is something that he is going into for a career after his mission. It was really neat to see the spirit work through him. What did I do during all this? I didn't say a word. Why? Because the Spirit told me to keep my mouth shut, and let Elder Walker do it. It really pierced Diego's heart. After that lesson he committed to be baptized. He also committed to coming to church. We went out and got him a shirt and tie with some slacks for church. He was so excited and he came for the first time to church. Which that family thought would never happen. He loved it too. Once again on the spot I had to teach Gospel Principles with Elder Walker. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great lesson and Diego enjoyed it. He loved priesthood too. It was a miracle. Joslyn never talked to us and straight up told us that she was never ever ever going to come to church. But I think due to the influence of her younger brother and older sister she actually came to church and she loved it. Everyone was so amazed. It was an amazing Sunday. We had 7 Investigators at church this week. The best I had had before that was 4. I think that was the best Sunday of my mission. So many miracles happened that day. Yahoooooooo!

Gudelia is doing well. We are still trying to teach her as much as we can. It's hard because she is always gone. She came to church with her brother and nephew this week though. I sat by them at sacrament meeting. Which was all about missionary work, which is exactly what the ward needs right now. Anyway she loved it, but had to leave after sacrament to see some family that came to visit. She is reading and doing well as always.

So that is all of the big stuff that is happening in our area. We are very blessed over here. Right now we have 8 people committed to be baptized. We are going to do everything we can to get them there. We know we can.

Also something fun that I did this week was I went on exchanges with Elder Arjona, my district leader. He is actually from Madrid, Spain. He is also a very hard working missionary. We had an incredible day in his area as well. We went out and started to find like crazy. We found a former investigator who was actually back into reading the Book of Mormon when we found her. She committed to be baptized as well. We also found more formers that said that they liked our church the most out of all the other churches they had attended. So that is a lot of great potential there. We ended up teaching seven lessons. All in a bike area, too. I rode a regular bike, where Elder Arjona rode a "fixey" That is a fixed gear bicycle, which is a huge thing over here in this area. Haha. It was fun cause the weather was perfect. It's been pretty chilly over here like 65 to 70 degrees hahahaha.

I am loving the mission. We have seen so many miracles over here. All thanks to the Lord, too. I'm hearing of a bunch of miracles that are passing by back home too. I love doing the Lord's work. No matter how hard it can get sometimes. The important thing is to remember one thing. It's something my trainer would yell at the tops of his lungs. That is "Go Forwards! Not Backwards!" I love that verse from the Doctrine and Covenants. It's D&C 128:22. I love it. Thank you all for your support, and you love. I love you all. I hope to hear from you soon!! Les Amo Siempre. Espero que Dios Les bendiga este semana!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letter: October 15, 2012

Hey family!!

It has been another fantastic week out here in Garden Grove. We have
once again seen a lot of miracles. We were tried this week too, but we
tried our best to work diligently and it paid off.

So we spent a lot of time this week at a certain house/street. The
family we often visit is the home of two recent converts. They are the
Familia Gomez. They are awesome. They've invited so many of their
family members to listen to us and to come to church. Many accepted
the invitation. I'll give you the names and what is going on with
them. They actually end up being about half of our investigators.

So first we have Ines and her daughter Kate. They were listening to
the missionaries before I got to this area. They never really
accepted baptism until my first week here. They have a date for the
fourth of November. We kind of got really worried about them because
they actually live outside of our area. President Bowen has given us
permission to teach them though. We don't really have the time to go
out there, but if we get lucky we can catch them at the Gomez home. Up
to about Friday we hadn't seen them, which worried me because we need
to see them in order to be able to teach them what they need to know
and do in order to be prepared to be baptized. We went over to the
Gomez home to celebrate the birthdays of Hma Gomez and one of her
daughters Jocelyn. We went and sure enough Ines was there. She
brought up a great question. "Why don't you believe in drinking
coffee?" I took this opportunity to teach her about the Word of
Wisdom. I even pulled out the Doctrine and Covenants to show her what
it says and the beautiful promise that is given to us if we follow
this commandment. She loved it, and she told us that she is going to
give up drinking coffee and drinking. It was awesome, and she also
committed to church and came. She loved the classes too. So she is
doing really well. We just need to see her daughter Kate. We'll get
there "poco a poco"

So the next person is awesome. Her name is Daisy. It is the cousin of
the familia Gomez. I guess she had seen the missionaries before and
when we got here she asked her cousin Dania (one of the recent
converts) if she could get taught by the missionaries. She is about
sixteen years old, and is a faithful Christian. Which is really good.
The first time we taught her was on Saturday night. We taught her in
this huge group of like ten people at the home of the familia Gomez.
We taught her, Ines, and their neighbor. It was kinda crazy. We taught
her the restoration. She showed a lot of interest in reading the Book
of Mormon. She even came to church as well. She thought it was very
interesting. It was a lot different than the church she attends, but
she wants to learn more. We are seeing her tonight as we do a FHE (Family Home Evening) with the familia Gomez.

We also have Ana. She is doing better. We finally got her to commit
to a date. We wrote a plan out with her about how we are going to help
her get baptized. She picked the date for the 16th of January. We are
going to work with her and get her for that date. In the meanwhile we
actually talked to her 11 year old and 8 year old sons about the Word
of Wisdom. They loved it and committed to live it. The 8-year-old son
has a really big desire to get baptized. So we believe that we are
going to put our main focus in them. They both (the sons) actually
came to church. It was a miracle. So we are doing good there

We also had a HUGE miracle last night with Gudelia. We went over
yesterday morning to invite her to church. She had already gone to a
Catholic church with her family. We decided to comeback later that
night. We did so, it was perfect timing too because she showed up
right when we did. We played around with the kids for a minute and
then had a lesson with them. Afterwards we went and taught Gudelia. We
had planned about a week back to teach her about the covenant of
baptism and the importance of being baptized. So we started by reading
with her in 3 Nephi 11:37. Then we explained how baptism is a
commandment. Then the spirit really kicked in. It got to be so strong
that I was literally opening my mouth and not even knowing what I was
saying. It was awesome. I had the prompting to open up Mosiah 18:8-10
and read it with her. I followed it. She explained how she knows what
we teach is true, and how the Book of Mormon is true. And how willing
she is to keep that covenant. I told her to read verse ten. You could
feel it strike all of us with the powerful feeling of the spirit. Then
I had another prompting to invite her to be baptized again. She has
been invited at least 100 times by the missionaries that have been
teaching her. She accepted to be baptized. She accepted  to be
baptized on the 11th of November. We are going to have to work so hard
to get her ready, but we can do it. It was such a great lesson. It was
so cool to see Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 fulfilled. It was

So that is really who we have right now. We are still teaching a lot
of great people who are reading out of the Book of Mormon and are
praying. We have also faced a lot of difficulties as well. We went
over to see Araceli on Friday and she opened the door and yelled, "I've
been trying to hide from you guys! Here is your book, and I don't want
you guys to come back to teach us ever again, Thank you and Goodbye!"
It was pretty devastating, but we decided not to let it bug us and
press forward, and we have been blessed with so many miracles.

I'm so grateful for all of the blessings our Father in Heaven has
given us. We still have a lot of work to do here. I know that as we
work diligently we will be blessed. I have been reading a lot about
that in the Book of Mormon. In the book of Helaman is all about when
Nephi goes out and preaches. He was rejected, but it talks about how
he went about with "unwearied diligence" In the end we can see that as
he did that the Lord made him so strong. In 3 Nephi 7 we learn that as
he worked diligently that his testimony and teachings were so powerful
that the people, even though they didn't like it, could not deny it to
be the truth. So amazing, and I know that that is true. So always be
diligent, no matter how hard things or times may be, and then "if thou
endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high"

I know this church is true! Thank you for everything! I love you all
and can’t wait to hear from you soon! Les Amo siempre, y tengan una
buena semana!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton