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