Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter for February 18, 2013

Hey everyone!

It has been a crazy week this week and a lot has happened especially in the last 24 hours. So last night we got home from working and we planned for the next day. Out of nowhere, I get a phone call from our assistants to the president. They told me, "Elder Ollerton we have an assignment for you on behalf of President Bowen. We need you to pack up your stuff and get ready to transfer to Santa Ana." I was in shock because transfers do not happen for another few weeks. So we had to do what we call an "emergency transfer" So now I’m no longer in Garden Grove.  Now I’m in the heart of the mission, which is Santa Ana.  I'm so dang excited for this wonderful opportunity I have to serve here. I will continue to be the district leader, but of this district here. I'm very excited. My companion will be Elder Castaneda. He is from Arizona. He will actually be my first native speaking companion I've ever had in the mission. So I’m very excited for this wonderful opportunity to learn a ton more Spanish too. I'm going to miss Garden Grove. That area is the longest area I’ve been at. I will miss it so much. I love the people there so much. They became so much like family to me, but I’m very excited to be here and to serve the Lord here. I hear I’m coming to "Little Mexico" which is really exciting for me to hear. So I’m very excited and so blessed to be here with a wonderful district. I hear we have a few people coming up for baptism, which also gets me very excited. I hope and pray that the Spirit of the Lord will be able to guide us and lead us in all the places we must go. I'm also in a bike area, which is really exciting. It’s my first biking area I’ve ever been in. I love it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Well in Garden Grove this week was pretty good. Daisy did not get baptized. We were only able to teach her once this week. She is doing well. She's reading and praying everyday. I guess she's is just having a problem recognizing that answer from the Holy Ghost. Which really can be hard for everyone. Because we all kind of expect us to have some great manifestation like Saul or like Alma the younger. When we realize that it's not like that at all. We have to be quiet, patient, and diligent in searching for that answer. If we are not paying close enough attention we might miss Him talking to us. So hopefully as Elder Burrup and his new companion work with her they will be able to help them out with that.

We are also still teaching Anita. She had us come over and help her move to another apartment. She was able to find another one so that way she was able to move. We helped her move everything. It was great fun. But she is struggling with the reading and praying. I guess one of her close relatives just passed away as well. She is screaming for the gospel in her life. We hope and pray that she will come around. I know that she will. It just might take time.

We are still teaching those other great people I mentioned about last week. They are doing well. We are really excited for them. Sounds like they are doing well. So we are really excited for their area. As well as the district.

That is about it for us. I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that He leads this church. I can't believe I’ve been out a year. I hope I can grow as much this year as I did last year. I have a good feeling it will. I hope I can help others do the same as well. I love you all!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Friday, February 15, 2013

Letter for February 11, 2013

Hey everyone!

What a great week has it been. I had my birthday this past Thursday. I'm now 20 years old. Wow, so crazy to think about that, but it was a great day in which I had the honor of teaching a district meeting. Ha-ha my comp Elder Burrup is so awesome. He made me French toast for breakfast.  I'm so blessed to have such a great comp like Elder Burrup. It’s been a great week where we have been having success in our area and as well the other areas of the district. We are super stoked for these next few weeks.

So we are still teaching Daisy. She is to the point where she is reading the Book of Mormon daily. That is so great. Now we are working on the praying part. She feels really torn between our church and a Christian church that her family attends. We had a great lesson with her about how it's so important to pray. We know that it was by prayer that Joseph Smith was able to receive the answer to the burning question of the soul. We know that it's something that is so key. It takes two parts to receive the answer reading and praying. We know that the Book of Mormon is the evidence that what we are sharing is true. So to be able to receive an answer about it is key. We reset a goal to prepare her to be baptized on the 17th of this month. We are going to work our very hardest to be able to prepare her for baptism. Will you all please pray for her? We know that a miracle can be brought to pass if we can all just pray the hardest we can for her.

We are still seeing Anita. She has been having a lot of problems. Right now she just got kicked out of her apartment. She almost had no place to go. Luckily she was able to find a place to move to just down the street. So this last Saturday we helped her move all of her stuff to a garage while she gets the new place ready to go to move into. Then we will help her move on Saturday. She hasn't been able to read or pray about the Book of Mormon. She wasn't able to go to stake conference either yesterday. We are going to continue to visit Anthony and Jose so that way they can stay active. They are doing well and are continuing to grow. They have changed a lot since their baptism in October. It is really neat to see how much growth can come from making such a great and positive decision like they did. So we hope and pray that she will have the desire to do those things.

We are still seeing the Familia Villegas. They were happy that I didn't leave ha-ha. We are still working on helping them read and pray. We hope that they are able to get those desires to pray so we can help them understand more. We are still on the search for Brenda. We are also seeing Fernanda more. She is little by little gaining more interest in us. Fernanda’s family is awesome. They fed us for my birthday. They even got me a classic Mexican birthday cake. Ha-ha it was awesome and they were so great to make my birthday special to me. They are a great family. I hope that they will be able to see the joys that come form the gospel more and more as we continue to stop by.

We found some really cool new people to teach. The first one I want to talk about is a couple named Araceli and Jose. They are a referral we received from our zone leaders a while ago. One day we were tracting and I had a feeling to go over there and talk to them. They weren't available at the time, but we were able to set up an appointment. We came back and taught the mom, Araceli, the restoration of the Gospel. She accepted it very easily. She is wondering why there are so many churches, and which of all them is the right one. As you could imagine, I got really excited. We went on to explain about Joseph Smith, and she loved it. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted it really easily. She didn't accept a certain date. We know how excited she is though. We are very happy about that find. I can't believe that we hadn't stopped by earlier. Good thing I was able to listen to the spirit on that one. Who knows what could've happened if I wouldn't have listened.

The next really cool person is Aldrianna. She is a mom and has three really young boys. Ha-ha it reminded me a lot of my own home. But we had stopped by a bunch of times without really having that good opportunity to teach her. We came back one day and taught her the restoration. She has a solid background reading the bible, but is not attending a church right now. She accepted the restoration very well. After we explained bout the great apostasy I asked her "So where is the original church that Christ set on the earth today?" She said, "well, none of them are the right one, so we just have to pick the closest one to the truth and follow it. Right?" I knew that she understood what we were teaching her. Which was awesome. We went on to teach and testify about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church. We invited her to read and pray. She also accepted to be baptized on the 10th of March. We got way excited. She seems like she has great potential.

Well that is about it for my week. Things are going great and are really starting to pick up. That gets me excited and anxious to go out and work! I will be completing the first year as a missionary this Thursday. Hard to believe. I hope that I can continue to be just like the sons of Mosiah where they say that they were instruments in the hands of the Lord. Bringing more and more of Gods children to the knowledge of the truth. That is my purpose right now. I know that as we trust in the Lord and work, we will find success. Please keep us, and our investigators, in your prayers. I know that through our faith, God will help us out. I love you all. Please stay safe.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, February 4, 2013

Letter from February 4, 2013

Hey everyone!
So transfers came this morning and guess what? I’m staying! Ha-ha I’m still in Garden Grove for another 6 weeks. I'll still be with my trainee, Elder Burrup. We are very excited about this coming transfer. We have a lot of people that could potentially be baptized. We have gotten a few great elders as well. So we are very excited to get this one going!

This week was a great week. We didn't have as much success, but that is not stopping us. We are determined to find those that are ready to hear the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are still teaching a lot of the same people that we have been teaching. We are still going to gather the elect. We have had some great meetings and instruction from our mission president and his leaders about finding. We are getting very excited to do that.

So first, we are still teaching Daisy. She is doing pretty well. She has a date for next Sunday. She is reading and praying. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom. She accepted it and is doing well. We have had a struggle to contact her because she has been very busy with finals in her school. She is done with finals and we are set on getting her baptized as soon as we possibly can. We are thinking we might set a new goal of getting her baptized on the Sunday after this one. That way she will be more ready and really have a testimony that what we are teaching her is true. She is doing well. She was unable to come to church yesterday. She texted us two hours before sacrament meeting started and said, "The left side of my mouth is swollen and I have to go to the dentist”.  It not only came as a surprise to us, but to her as well. Hahaha. Next week is stake conference, but we hope that she can come and we can get her baptized as soon as we can!

Anita is doing pretty well too. She has been very ill lately. The flu seems to be passing by Anaheim right now. We gave her a blessing. She is doing well, but was unable to come to church because she was ill. We had an interesting discussion with her about baptism. She expressed to us about how she is so confused. She has us the Christian missionaries, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Catholic missionaries coming over. She is very confused by it all. She likes a Christian church that she's going to right now. She asked me if she had that feeling, if that meant going over there was a sign that she should join that church. Then a thought came into my head. It was obvious that it was the Spirit of the Lord speaking to me.  I asked her "Have you prayed and asked God if that church is the true one?" She replied to me that she had not, but she did say a prayer right there and it was answered. We showed her and read Moroni 10:3-5. Also in Matthew 7:7-8 about prayer. I told and testified to her that she could only know if it is the church she needs to join if she prayed and asked God. Then the Spirit would tell her through her feelings. It's so key. One action would solve it all. She understood what I met. Then we invited her to come to church and bring a question she would like answered. Then she would be able to know. It was a cool lesson. It really saved her because she was telling us about how she didn't want us to stop by anymore. Now she is still listening and will go to church. Let's pray that we can help her progress more and more.

We had to drop Alberto. He told us that he would never change his religion. We had a great conversation with his daughter. She has been asking us the most interesting questions. Her name is Fernanda. She is about 21 and is going to a Christian college. She has been asking about the Word of Wisdom, about what we believe in about baptism. What it means to us. She is the first person who asked me about what we think about tattoos. I can tell that she is a truth seeker. She told us that it might take a while, but she would really like to look into the church and even go. We hope and pray that we can get that spark into her sooner. She says she admires what we do and we have been a great example to her. So we hope that we can continue to help her out. See, you never know who you are influencing. We must always strive to be the best examples we can be to others.

We found Brenda!!!!!!! Yaaaaahhhhooooo!!! She said that her normal schedule is that she comes home from her normal job, showers, and then leaves to her other job. At times she doesn’t even have time to come home at night. We were able to find her and she said that her job should be ending soon. Also, she is planning on moving to another apartment. It will be in Garden Grove, thank goodness. So we are not stopping with her. We will find her and baptize her. She's doing well.

Yvonne and Ricardo are doing well. They are having a struggle with reading and coming to church. We have been bringing up their family a lot. They are a young family that needs the restored gospel in their lives. So we are doing our best to help them get it there. I know how much this can bless them. I was bearing my testimony to them about it the other day. I can remember saying that I don't know where I would be if I didn't have the gospel in my family. I know that the gospel was made for the family. So we can be more united here on earth, and in the eternities. Sometimes it takes faith and courage to be able to step into something new. We hope and pray we can help them try this out and see how awesome it is.

That is pretty much it. We are trying our very hardest to help all of these people come unto our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Something that really touched me this week was the topic of Diligence. I picked that as my Christ like attribute (from Preach My Gospel) to develop more this transfer. As I have been reading from the Book of Mormon this past week (2 Nephi 25-Mosiah 7) it talks about diligence a ton. I love in Jacob 5, the very end, it talks about the laborers of the vineyard. How they worked with all diligence to bring forth fruit. How they were diligent in keeping the commandments, which the Lord had given them, and how blessed they were for doing so. I love in Jacob 6:3 how it talks about how blessed they are. In Mosiah 7 it talks about the king of the Lehi-Nephi's saying that if they would work with all diligence, they would be brought out of bondage. I know that is so true. It is all about diligence in his work. Having faith, being dedicated, and being determined. I know that, as we are diligent to the work that the Lord will bless us here in Garden Grove. I know it. The same goes to all of you back home. No matter what you are struggling with or trying to achieve. If you are diligent the Lord will bring you out of bondage. It is through Him, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I do so testify of these things.

Have a great week. I love you all so much!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton