Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter for April 29, 2013

Hey everyone! 
Man! It has been a crazy week out here in the mission! So, I was suppose to get a new missionary to train with Elder Vincent. As we were transferring and getting the apartment ready for the visa waiter I got a call from the Assistants to the President. They told me that I was being moved again to another area with a new companion. Ha-ha it was crazy! So after the initial transfer I got transferred again. Ha-ha another emergency transfer. It was crazy. So I’ve been moved to another Santa Ana ward and I cover a part of the city of Orange and Santa Ana. I'm back to a car and my companion's name is Elder Garza. He has been out on his mission for about 18 months. He is from Texas and he is a great missionary. We have really been going at it. He’s already been in the area for about 3 months. So he knows a bit about the area. We have been in finding mode and it's really been fun. The weather has been great so it's been perfect for being out, walking and knocking doors! We have been working really hard and we have had a successful week! I love the ward too. We have a recently called area seventy in the ward. Elder Acosta. He was the stake president of our stake right before he got called this last conference. He was the last ward mission leader here too. We have a solid ward and I’m really excited to be here and to work with everyone here. Here we go! 

Our first day here was really fun. We went out and started with knocking and we were all over the place. We found a great new investigator. Her name is Suly. She is a young woman who has two sons. We contacted her on the street. We were with a recent convert who knows everyone in his neighborhood. We were in an apartment complex looking for an investigator when we saw a little kid running around and playing. This recent convert (whose name is Jorge) yelled at the kid "Hey! Se encuentra tu mama Suly?" he said "Si" and got her. She was expressing to us how she has been having some hard times recently and how she is starting to try to change her life around. She's starting to read the Bible for the first time. We told her how much the gospel could really bless her and her family's life and you could see in her eyes the sincerity of how much she really wants something like that. She loved it and invited us back to her home. We haven’t been able to find her in her home since, but we found her mom who told us when Suly's usually home. We are very excited and we know that she will love the gospel. 

We have a few baptismal dates. One that was already set before I got here was a lady named Lourdes. She is a great and really nice woman. She is really set on being baptized. I guess the only thing that is keeping her back is that she has a difficulty coming to church on Sunday’s. In order to be baptized she has to come at least two Sunday’s. She works a lot on Sunday’s and that's why. We are going to try to help her and see what we can do to help her get work off on Sunday. She loves reading from the Book of Mormon and all that we teach. We just have to help her get to church. She had a date to get baptized on the 5th of May. But we will be switching it to a later date. 

We had a great experience on Saturday too. We were out trying to find an investigator that they had been teaching for a while. We knocked on the door and a lady that lives in the same apartment as the investigator told us that the investigator wasn't home, but we then asked her if we could share a message of the gospel with her. She invited us in. We had a member of the bishopric with us so we went inside. She told us how she has a nephew back in Mexico who just got baptized and joined the church. He would always tell her about how awesome the church is and all. Her parents even went to church out there in Mexico. It was awesome! We had a great lesson about the restoration and she gladly accepted a date to be baptized on the 19th of May. It was soooo good! She seems really solid too. So we are going to get her church. And she is doing well! 

We are finding a lot of new and great people. I love this mission. We are seeing so many miracles. I’m hearing of a lot of miracles occurring in other areas I’ve been in too. I love the work. I know it is the Lord's work. I feel so good. I love it. I love you all! I hope that you all stay well. 

Love, Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

[This is the letter Dallin wrote me today.  I thought it was cute and shows more of his personality.  I hope he doesn’t mind it being on the blog]

Hey dad,
Good to hear from you. I'm glad all is well back home. I guess I just wanna tell you I love you and I’m really glad that God has blessed me with a father like you. I love you and I’m so grateful for you in my life. Thanks for the update on everything. I’m really happy right now. It’s been a crazy week. Oh by the way. I have been playing the piano since I left. I get to play sometimes in the priesthood opening exercises or at district meetings. It’s really fun. I will try to cut on weight. I think I’m about 200 lbs. right now. Oh, I was gonna ask you. Do you think it would be okay if I could get a new suit? I have one. But I’ve had it since I graduated from high school and it’s getting tight. I know of a place that has suits for about 88-100 dollars. What do you think? 
I love you. Thank you so much for everything. Talk soon :)
[This is to his mother]
Hey momma,
All is well here. Glad it's the same there. I’m sorry to hear about Camers. [Cameron, Dallin’s little brother bit a hole in his tongue] Poor little guy. I’ll be sure to keep him in my prayers. I always do, but for sure! Ha-ha! Yeah I’m going to follow your advice for cutting back and losing weight. I never thought I would have to say that at the age I’m at but I am! Ha-ha but I’ll be good. I know I can eat better and I’m going to cut back on everything. I got the package. Thank you so much I loved it!

I love it here. Thank you so much for you letter. I’m loving it here and I love the mission. I hope all stays well mom. I love you and keep it going! We will talk soon! Love you!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Letter for April 22, 2013

Hey all!!
Wow, what another crazy week it has been here! Well, the transfer call has come. I have been released from being the district leader and I've been called to train a new missionary once again! The fun part about this one is that it's actually not going to be a missionary that will stay here. It's a visa waiter who was reassigned to come here until he obtains his visa to go to his assigned area. So I’ve been assigned to a companion who will co-train with me. I will be with Elder Vincent and the visa waiter. I won’t be picking him up until tomorrow, but we are really excited. I've changed areas as well. I’m still in the Santa Ana Ward. I just switched to a different area in the ward. I will still be on bike as well. We are very excited because the area is really starting to pick up. We are experiencing the wave of missionaries. We are getting 33 new missionaries. So crazy! We are excited to get to work. This area is going to be awesome and I’m really excited to work here! Elder Castaneda will be staying in the area and will be training a new missionary as well. We are going to have 10 missionaries assigned to our ward. We are coming! We are going to see some great miracles these next six weeks together! Lets work! 

Okay, so Marcos didn't get baptized. It was kind of a bummer, but we learned that we needed to postpone his baptism to a later date. We are still teaching him and he is doing very well. He came to church and liked it again. We are going to continue to work with him until we can get him to baptism. I love the guy and I’m going to miss him a lot. 

We are also seeing Mari. We were unable to see her and teach her this week. We had a great experience when we went by one day and checked up on her to see how she was doing. Elder Castaneda asked her if she had been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and she said she had been. We asked her if she thought it was true. She said that she does believe that it is true. What a miracle. She has never told us that before. She is progressing very well. We are still in pursuit to getting her a new job and helping her out with getting to church. I know that we will be able to get her to baptism. She is so close. I know she will be baptized. Now we are working on a date. 

We also weren't able to visit the Alcantar family. The dad got a job, which now occupies most of his time, and it's really difficult to find him. We came back to their home last night and they told us that they are reading from the Book of Mormon and praying. I'm going to miss them too and I hope that they will be able to be baptized on the 5th of May. 

That is basically what is going on! I’m hearing about a lot of cool things going on back home! Shout out to my brothers doing so well in their sports! Jalon too. I hear he is doing very well which is so good! I love you guys so much! I can’t wait to get to the new area and work! I love you all so much! Hear from you soon!

Elder Ollerton

Monday, April 15, 2013

Letter for April 15, 2013

Hey everyone!!

What an incredible week it has been over here in Santa Ana! We have seen soooo many miracles! I love it. First off, I wanna congratulate Jared and Melinda on their new baby girl! I hope all goes well and continues to go well with everything. I love you guys so much! My brother Trevor is getting super tall! Man I’m not even gonna recognize you when I get home! Also I saw a picture of some lovely snowfall. We are seeing a cloudy day here in Santa Ana. Pretty weird ha-ha it's usually sunny or partly cloudy. Sounds like all is well back home and that is really good! I hope you all can continue to have happiness and witness miracles given from our Heavenly Father. I know we have been seeing tons. 

The first miracle that occurred is we found a super prepared son of god to listen to the restored gospel. His name is Marcos. He is about 17 yrs. old. He is way awesome. We found him through tracting. We actually stopped by his house a while back and contacted his brother named Juan. He seemed interested and invited us back to teach him. We came back one day and Juan wasn't home, but Marcos was and he invited us in. We taught him about the restoration. In the middle of teaching him he asked us a very simple, but sincere question. "What do I need to do to get to heaven?" We started to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Which is 1.To have faith in Christ 2. Repent 3. Baptism by immersion. 4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 5. Endure to the End. He really just ate it all up. He told us how he wants to change his life. He has a lot of habits that he really wants to quit and we taught him that it's through the gospel he can do that. Of course we are not perfect and we will fall. But Christ suffered everything to help us out. We taught him that and he loved it. I can remember during the lesson a thought came into my head. Once Elder Castaneda stops speaking, invite him to be baptized. It was so clear and I followed that prompting by the Holy Ghost. He gladly accepted. Now I had no idea what date to invite him for, because he seemed so sure. I asked Heavenly Father to help Elder Castaneda know what date he should be baptized. He invited Marcos for the 21st of April, and he accepted. What a miracle! He is doing sooo good and is improving a lot. We have been teaching him for about 5 days. He came to church yesterday, and he went to a baptismal service of someone else in another ward. We are going to go over everyday and get him baptized this Sunday. What a miracle. I know that the Lord guided us to him. I know that this gospel is going to change Marcos' life for forever. 

We are also teaching the familia Varlera some more. We had an awesome lesson with them on the importance of church. You could tell that they were really feeling the spirit as they were listening. It looked like the Hermana was about to cry. We invited them to church and they accepted to come. They didn't come yesterday. Bummer, but I believe that with all of my heart that we will get them. Maybe not while I’m here, but I know that that family will get baptized someday. 

We are still seeing the familia Alcantar. We are keeping in contact with them and they were unable to come to church with us this week because they went to an Angels game. They are doing very well though. I love being over with that family. They have some of the coolest things. After one of the lessons we had with them they showed us perhaps one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. A pet chinchilla. En serio. It is so awesome. Ha-ha and they have this blue dust that it uses to shower itself. It is sooo cool. Ha-ha I’m gonna get a picture of it one of these times and send it to you all! 

We are still teaching the Acosta’s. We are trying our very best to keep teaching Kimberly. But we haven't been able to find her too much. But we had a great lesson on one of my favorite scriptures from the book of Mormon. Helaman 5:12. I love the promise that is found in this powerful verse. We discussed it and how they can build that foundation. We heard a great conference talk about that not too long ago. It's so important that we build that foundation. Because we are beat upon by so many things now days in this world. So much to do, so many temptations that surround us. Satan is trying to bring us down. But I know, that if we can turn to the Lord, whether that is through sincere prayer, scripture study, or church we can build that foundation.  We will feel of the love that God has for us, and we will never be able to be brought down. I know that. For the Savior will lift those burdens off of us like He says in Matthew 11:28-30. I know it. I feel it little by little. 

Another great thing we are learning as a mission right now is about vision. How we can learn to set a vision and how we can accomplish them. In our last district meeting we had a great discussion on the section in chapter four of PMG (Preach My Gospel) called "pray with faith". What I got out of that meeting is that effective prayer requires great effort. I know sometimes for myself I have a hard time concentrating during my prayers or I don't know what to pray for and things like that. I learned that good prayer requires meditation and serious thought. And then we go to the Lord and have to concentrate. My companion talked about how when we pray we need to make sure we aren’t praying for things that would take away anyones agency. How we need to understand that others will have their agency. I thought it was very good. A scripture that I love in D&C 42:14 that says that it will be given to us by the prayer of faith. That is how we can gain that vision and see those miracles. As you can see, it works. God really does hear our prayers. I know it for sure.

What a great week it has been. Transfers are this next week. So we'll see if I get transferred out or not. You really never know until they call. But wherever the Lord wants me I will go. I know that this is His work. I love it too. I love you all. I'm sorry if I haven’t been able to write you back. Shoot me an email if you can. I'll try to get back to you a.s.a.p. I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Letter for April 9, 2013

Hey everyone! Sorry I don't have too much time to email this week.  It has been a great week once again. I didn't email yesterday because we went to the temple this morning. It was a great experience. I love going there. It is the most peaceful place to be on the entire earth. I love it so much. What a great day it has been already!

So yesterday we had a great experience. We went over to a person’s home that we contacted a few days ago. We had a good talk with him at the door and he invited us to come back another time to teach him more. We went by yesterday and taught him and his family. They are the familia Alcantar. We are teaching the dad, mom, and three kids. We had such a great lesson with them on the restoration of the gospel. They were all totally focused and you could feel the spirit so strongly. You could tell that they were feeling it as well. They are going through a hard time right now in their lives. The dad said that they are looking for a church that would really fit their kids. They have a lot of young kids. We smiled as we told them about the wonderful primary program that we have and how much it can help them out in their lives. They accepted a date to be baptized without question. They are going to be baptized on the 5th of May. We are very excited for them. They are a super prepared family and we got very excited about that.

We are still seeing Mari. She is doing very well. She came to conference with us on the last session on Sunday. She was actually quite ill. We gave her a blessing right before the session and then we attended the session. She really liked it. We stop by everyday and see how she is doing. She is getting happier and happier. She even told us that she feels happier. She says it's because she is reading from the Book of Mormon. So she is doing very well. We are hoping and praying everyday that she will be able to be ready by the 21st of April to be baptized. I know that we can get her there. God will help.

We also started reteaching one of our investigators named Beto. We had a good talk on the prophets with him. We retaught him the restoration and he easily accepted a date to be baptized on the 21st of April as well. We even invited him to come to conference and check it out for himself. He didn't end up coming. He has really good potential and we hope and pray we can get him to baptism as soon as we can.

Well, conference was super awesome. A lot was discussed on missionary work. I really loved the very first session of conference. How we can build that foundation in our own lives. I love that scripture in Helaman 5:12. I love the promise. It’s so important that we do our best to build that foundation for our own selves. I also loved the talk on forgiveness. I know that our savior came into the world to redeem us from our sins that we too may be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that without a doubt. I am sooo grateful for that too. I'm eternally grateful.

I love you all so much. I hope you all have a great week out wherever you may be. Stay true to the faith.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton