Monday, January 28, 2013

Letter for January 28, 2013

Hey everyone!

First off, I want to wish my brother, Trevor, a feliz cumpleanos!! Happy birthday man! I love you so much and I miss you a ton. I can't believe how fast you are growing up. I hear you are going to get the Aaronic Priesthood soon. I'm so proud of you man! Good work! Keep it up and stay happy.

This week has been a good week. We are really starting to see some progress in this area and this district. We were again unsuccessful in finding Brenda. We found her last week and set up an appointment to talk to her, but then the day we had our appointment she had to cancel and we haven’t been able to find her since. We are not letting that stop us though. We will continue to stop by and search for her until we are able to teach her. We know that we can have a miracle this week. We just need to keep praying and I know that our Heavenly Father will help us find her again. We just have to trust Him and believe that His timing is perfect. Because it is!

Early this week we stopped by one of the first people that Elder Burrup had ever contacted in the mission. His name is Luis. We taught him once and, like Brenda, he has been difficult to find. We were in the area and decided to stop by to see him. We found him and began to talk again. He said that he had been looking for us because he had been reading from the Book of Mormon and he really, really wants to know the truth. So we had a great lesson on how he needs to read it, pray about it, and search his feelings. Because that is how the spirit works through us. Says Boyd K. Packer: It's more of a feeling. Like it says in Helaman 5:30 it's not anything great, but it's soft. We also explained that church was a perfect place to receive an answer from God. He said he had to work. So we invited him to ask his boss for time off. We were unable to find him after that, but we know that he is really seeking for the truth. That's so important because without that real intention to find out the truth they are more likely not to receive an answer.

We are seeing another family that we kind of stopped seeing for awhile, but they let us into their home and let us teach them again. They are a great family of four or five. They have a lot of respect for the missionaries and what we do. It's Alberto, Maria, and their family. They are fun. They love to listen. We are putting a lot of focus on one of the daughters, Ana, because she loves to read from the Book of Mormon. She is doing well. 

Still visiting the familia Villegas. They are doing awesome. They fed us dinner the other day. We stopped by a few times and taught them about church and part of the plan of salvation. They were so focused and attentive. They usually kind of argue with each other over religion. They are reading from the Book of Mormon. They love having us over. One of the fun things we did when we were there was we randomly decided to sing a hymn. We sang "Love One Another" in Spanish, of course. There is nothing like a hymn to bring the spirit into a meeting. It was so great and they loved it. In fact, about half of the family came to church; two of the daughters, and one of the sons. So they are progressing. The Hermana that referred them to us actually came from San Diego and came to church with them. It was way fun and they are doing great. 

We were only able to see Daisy once this week. She is still up for being baptized. Which is totally sweet. We were able to talk to her about some of the commandments that our Heavenly Father has given us. Like praying to Him, reading the scriptures, etc. She was unable to come to church this Sunday, but I believe she is doing well. She is reading and doing very well.

Anita is doing well also. She is reading and doing very well. We were only able to teach her once this week. She didn't come to church because she was very ill. Everyone around here seems to be getting sick. We've had to give a lot of blessings lately. I love to use the priesthood. I know that we have the power to heal. But she is doing well. As are her kids Jose and Anthony.

Someone cool that we met this week is a new young couple named Ricardo and Yvonne. They are in their late 20's and live in the same apartment as some members. They referred them to us. We were able to teach the husband who is very interested in what we have to teach because of the way that his friend (the member) is living. See, examples are so important. We must always be an example to all that we can. His wife, Yvonne, accepted a date to be baptized without a problem. That was so awesome. We are going to do all we can to get them to church.

So many things I want to tell you and so little time. But that is all I can share for this week. Work is going well. We are having a baptism in the district. Everything is awesome. I love this work. Transfers are next week. We'll see if where the Lord wants me to go. I love this area and the people here. Love you all!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Letter from January 22, 2013

Hey all!!

What a great week it has been, once again. Just the chance to be a missionary right now in the world is so great. I love it so much!

First of all, I want to wish my Mom a Happy Birthday!! I hope that you had a great birthday mom. I just want you to know of the love that I have for you and all you have done for me. You have always been there for me. You are the best! I love you and hope that you know that I will always love you.

So we have had a few great experiences with the people we are teaching. First, we have Daisy. We had a few great experiences with her. I went on exchanges with Elder Centeno and taught her. We had a great discussion about church and why we go to church. About how it's a great time to partake of the Sacrament and also we can receive a lot of revelation for questions that we might have. She committed to come to church and she did come. It was awesome. Also, during the week we were talking about baptism. I ask her this question/statement "So Daisy, it's not that you don't know if you want to be baptized. You just don't feel prepared to be baptized, correct?" She nodded her head as I made that statement. On the inside I wanted to jump up and down. Because she knows this is something that she needs to do. Now she just needs to be prepared. We were able to set a goal to have her prepared and ready to be baptized by the 10th of Feb. It was awesome. So we are going to have some great experiences with her.

We have also been talking to Anita, the mother of Anthony and José. She is progressing. It’s a very slow progression, but nonetheless she is progressing. She is reading the Book of Mormon. She is praying. We had a great lesson with her like we did with Daisy. She is getting there. We were helping her try to recognize an answer from God about this message. I asked her "Do you believe that the Book of Mormon is inspired by God?" She was able to answer that “yes, it is”. We read in Moroni 7:13,16-17 about how anything that invites us to follow Christ and His teachings is inspired by God. She believes it. So then we read the introduction of the Book of Mormon. In the very end it says that those who gain a testimony will know that Jesus Christ is our savior, and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet and that the true church of Christ has been restored. We told her this and invited her to be baptized. She said that she would prepare, because she feels like she's not ready either. Which is where we come in. That is our job, to help them prepare to be baptized. So we tried to make a goal, but we were unable to agree on one. Because she believes she won’t be ready for years. We are going to work with her on that.

We found this cool new guy to teach. His name is Abel. He is a referral from our zone leaders. We found him and at first he wouldn't have anything to do with us. He was just leaving us at the door and trying to kick us off his porch. We were able to chat a little more and he invited us into his home. It was really cool. We had a great discussion about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and to be baptized. He feels very content with his baptism in the Catholic Church, but he said he was going to read the entire Book of Mormon and research it out. We came back a few days later and he was through 1 Nephi 7. It was awesome. He denied our invite to church. We even went to his house on Sunday to invite him, but he couldn't come. He loves us, he always likes to invite us in and we talk. I think there is a good reason why he likes us. The Spirit is touching him. So we'll get him.

We are still seeing the Villegas family. They are doing the same. They haven't read or prayed about the Book of Mormon. Only the 13 yr. old son did and now he was asking us about what they need to do to become Mormon. Ha-ha it was awesome. He prayed for the first time in his entire life with us. It was great. We had a great discussion with him on Sunday because they still hadn't read what we had left them. We talked about the importance of reading and praying. In fact, the sister of the Hermana that we are teaching was there. She was the one that referred them to us. So we were able to talk about their conversion. It took her eight years before she got baptized. We talked bout how key it was for her to read and pray about what we were teaching. Without doing it it's impossible to receive an answer. They have to do both. If they miss one part they might miss out on an answer. So we hope and pray that they read and come to church this Sunday.

Oh another great thing that happened was we got a cool referral from a less active family. We taught him about the restoration and it was a great lesson. Afterwards we decided to stop by Brenda's and see if she was home. It's been very difficult to reach her. She not only works in the mornings, but now the afternoons as well. She's nearly impossible to find. I had been praying for days that we would have a chance to see her and talk to her. God answered my prayer because when we decided to stop by, she was coming home from her first job. It was a miracle. She told us that she's reading and praying still. We set up an appointment this week with her. We are hoping that we can have a miracle with her and get her baptized this Sunday. Please pray for her and this situation. We know we can get a miracle with her.

That's all I have. Thank you so much for all of your support. I love you all so much.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letter for January 14, 2013

Hey everyone!

Sorry I don't have too much time to type right now, but since Wednesday we have had a lot of great things happen.

Brenda was unable to get baptized this Sunday. It was very difficult to contact her. I guess she just picked up another job so now she's working in the mornings and the afternoons. So it's been difficult to find her. Once, we set up a time to see her and we were a little late. We booked it to her house and she hadn't gotten home yet. We are praying so hard that we can find her so we can help her get baptized. She has a strong testimony of the gospel, so we know that she has that desire. We just need to find her. Ha-ha it's hard to teach someone you can never find right? We know that we'll find her and help her out.

We are also teaching Daisy. She said she was going to come to church, but was unable to this Sunday. She had some things she had to take care of, but she still wants to listen to us and all of those kinds of things. We had a cool lesson with her on Thursday where a member was able to come with us. She and her cousin were there, so we decided to talk to them and teach them. The cousin of Daisy was way interested in what we had to share. She loved it. Daisy had already heard that discussion before so she knew what was coming. She almost accepted a date to be baptized.

We are also seeing some interest in Anita, the mother of Jose and Anthony. She came to church and is doing well. We are also working with Sandra and Armando. He found a job, but now we can’t visit him. Sandra is also looking for work so it's been difficult to find her. We taught her once and invited her to church, but she was unavailable to come Sunday morning. So we have a lot of really good people that we are teaching. We are determined to find them so we can help them come unto Christ and to be baptized.

Oh, another neat story. We got a referral from headquarters for the family members of a recent convert that lives in San Diego. I guess a sister out there got baptized and referred her sister to the missionaries. Elders Burrup and Centeno were able to visit them while I was on an exchange, but I finally got the chance to meet them and talk to them. They are a family of six. Really the only interested ones are the 13-year-old son and the mom whose sister is the one who just got baptized. They really are super nice and offer their house to us whenever we stop by. The mom really needs the gospel right now. The rest of the family is like interested to learn more, but not necessarily to change. It's interesting to me to see that. I've been so blessed to have a family united in the gospel. We have been able to grow together, and strengthen one another. Which is really the whole point of the family.  I found it interesting because this family was a little torn between churches/doctrine/etc. Which I could tell caused contention between them. Not necessarily to the point of hatred, but enough to feel tension between one another. We are going to do our best to help show them how much this gospel really can bless their family. They already have evidence. They’ve seen the change in their relative. Now we just need to help them experience it for themselves. I'm so excited to be apart of that.

I went on exchanges with my zone leader this week. His name is Elder Robinson. I loved it. He was actually in my first district out in Fullerton when I got here to the field. Now he has been called to be our zone leader and I had the honor to work with him in my area. It was a blast. We were able to look back at all of the fun times we had back when I first got here. We were able to go to a meeting with our mission president and learn about stress and how we as leaders can help the missionaries we serve deal with their stress. It was really interesting how we were told that we can put so much pressure on ourselves as missionaries. I found that to have occurred throughout my entire life. So we received some very wise counsel from President Bowen on how to help our missionaries deal with stress.

Well, that is my week. It's been good. It's going to be a great week. I can feel it, I’m so glad I’ve been so blessed in my life with so much. I hope that I can get that message across to all that I’m teaching. I love you all. Thank you so much for your support.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Letter for January 9, 2013

Hey Everyone!!

Wow, here we are in 2013. Crazy to think how fast the time has been passing by lately. We are so excited as a mission. We have set some pretty high goals for this next year. I'm so excited to be apart of it. We are going to see some great things out here. I just know it.

So usually I send an email earlier, but today is a little different. We are blessed enough to have a temple in our mission. It's the Newport Beach Temple. We usually go once every three months or so. Today was one of those days. The Quorum of the Twelve told us that when we have a day where we want to go to the temple we have to make that day our preparation day. We had to go to the temple today so we switched our p-day to today. I love going to the temple. I always have. Especially right before I became a missionary. It is such a beautiful and wonderful place to grow and to learn more about everything. What a great place it is to receive revelation for ourselves and for our own lives. I believe at times we can become too distracted with the many things that are going on in the world today. Sometimes so distracted that we cannot hear the whisperings of the spirit. When we go to the temple we are able to listen, to hear, and understand what we need to do personally. We understand that it's literally the House of the Lord. I love it. I love going. Not only is it great for us, but it’s great for those who have already passed on. We can do the work for them, so they can be able to live as an eternal family as well, which in the end is the ultimate goal for all of us right?

We are working very hard in making this goal a reality. We've been working with Brenda. She has a goal to be baptized this coming Sunday. Like with every other person I’ve helped to prepare to be baptized Satan likes to work as hard as he can to prevent it from happening. If one can enter into the waters of baptism Satan becomes much weaker. We have been seeing that so far in the preparation for her baptism. She is ready to pass the interview. The next step is to help her get really excited for it. She feels very nervous about being baptized. She was unable to attend church so we have to do our best to get her as many friends as she can to give her some animo (Dallin's dad translated this with Google translate to mean: encouragement) to get her baptized. It's been very difficult because we haven't been able to see her at all this week. She has all of a sudden been getting called into work to do double shifts. So not only is she beat, but she is also busy. We are hoping and praying that we can help her get her some friends this week. It’s normal to be nervous, but with friends, especially in the church, she'll be able to overcome these feelings and understand how great this is. She loves it all, but she's just a little nervous. I would ask you all if you can keep her in your prayers. Not only that we can meet with her, but also that she can feel comfortable with her baptism and do it. We know that baptism isn't the ultimate goal, but it's the first step to reach that goal. We hope and pray that this miracle will be brought to pass this Sunday.

Daisy is doing pretty good. She’s been having a hard time lately with life. It's hard for her because she is always busy with so many things like sports, homework, helping around the house, etc. She is reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. We had a great lesson with her when a recent convert came with us. I believe that was inspiration from on high. I say that because we had planned on him coming with us to see Brenda. Then she called and cancelled. So we called daisy and she said we could come over. We got him and came over. He told us how the Book of Mormon was able to help him understand that what we are sharing is true, what he had to do, etc. It was nice because she had never heard about anybody else’s conversion stories besides Elder Burrup's and mine. Christian is awesome. He actually was apart of the Jewish religion. Not directly, but he joined them. Then he got talking to the missionaries because his family is members. Then eventually he was baptized and now is getting ready to serve a mission. It's always nice to be able to have a member of the church to come with you and bear testimony. It's been a struggle for us lately, but we love it when we have it. It’s so powerful. Daisy isn't really sure about baptism anymore. She seemed a little upset at something the other day. I hope we can help her understand and I hope the spirit will be able to tell her how important this is. Because if its not by the spirit, then it's not of God (D&C 50).

We are also attempting to see Armando and Sandra. Ha-ha it's really funny because when we first met them Armando was looking for work. I promised them that if they would listen to us and come to church that he would find a job. He did. Ha-ha so powerful and awesome huh? Now we have a problem, we can never talk to them because he is so busy working. I believe that Sandra wants us to talk to both of them and not just her. So last week we set up an appointment to see them at nine in the morning. We were just going to move our study time around. We stopped by and she answers the door and whispers "pasanles" which means "come in" but she said it so softly that I could barely hear her. We came to find out, the hard way, that they were renting one of the rooms in the apartment, not the whole apartment. That is pretty common here. So when we came in we woke up a lady who was sleeping in her bed that was in the living room. Ha-ha we decided to come back that day. We left, came back, and the lady was pretty upset. So upset that she told Sandra that we could no longer pass by. So what they are going to do is they are going to move into another place. They've had problems in the past with her anyway. But we haven’t been able to see them. I think they really liked listening because of the blessing of receiving work after we began to teach them. So we aren't losing them. They are just busy. So we are going to do our best to see them soon.

We found a cool new family this past week. We got a referral form church headquarters from a recent convert family that is from the Carlsbad mission. I actually decided to go on exchanges with Elder Huesca in his area, but Elders Burrup and Centeno went out and taught them. The familia Villegas. I guess they are really nice and are open to listen to us. We are excited to see them soon. I've never met them, but I can’t wait too.

That's about all. I'm loving the work out here in California. We are hoping to see some great things come to pass here soon! I love being here. I love this work. I know it's true. Thank you for all of your support in my behalf. I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton