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