Wow! What a week it has been. We have had a lot of great adventures. First off, I just wanna give a shout out to my Dad. It's his birthday today and I just wanted to let him know how much I love and appreciate him. You mean so much to me. You have been such a great example and role model in my life. I don't know where I would be without you. I hope I can become a man like you someday. One who is firm to the faith, his family, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you Dad. I hope you have a great day and I hope you know that I’m thinking about you today. I've been so blessed from my Heavenly Father to have such a great mortal father. I love you Dad. Keep it real.
So yesterday I had an interesting experience. So about a year ago I went to a dinner at our bishop's home. It was when I was serving in the Anaheim 11th Ward. He asked me where I was from and I told him Springville. He said he had family there. We came to the conclusion that his niece is one of my dear and good friends, Carolina. He told me they come up every year and visit them during the summer time. It was pretty cool. Anyway, yesterday we had a stake activity called an "Elotata”. It's where all the wards in the stake get together and have a huge potluck picnic. All the wards brought different foods and everyone would go around and try the different foods. I got there and began to walk around to all the wards in our stake. Out of nowhere I hear a girl scream "ELDER OLLERTON!" I turn around to see my good friend, Carolina Villalobos...hahahahaha can you believe it!? She came up to visit her family and I guess she came with them to the elotata. We just happen to run into each other. Ha-ha! Seriously I wasn't expecting it at all! Like at all! We caught up and talked about you for a little bit. We talked to her grandparents who I used to eat with every week when I first got out to the city of La Habra. Ha-ha crazy huh? We chatted for about 10 min with her family and then we parted. She told me that she's going on a mission and I told her good luck and everything. Ha-ha it was so funny! The Elotata was the best. I ate Tinga, ceviche, carne asada, tons of different salsas. Sandilla con tajin. It was delicious. We even got to play sports with the members. I got to re-live the glory days as I played football with the members of the Garden Grove 10th Ward. It was a blast and I was beat after the activity. It was really fun to catch up with all the members from the old wards I’ve served in. I've served in 5 out of the 9 wards in the stake. So I know a lot of the members here. It was really fun.
This past Sunday was a great one as well. We were able to attend the confirmations of Mari, Joby, Carmen, and Christian. I had the honor and the privilege of confirming Joby a member of the Church. I was so happy for them and they looked so happy. Angel, one of Joby's sons who hasn't been baptized yet asked me if I would baptize him. I said I would be delighted to. So I will be returning soon for his baptism. What a miracle this is. I heard that Joby's husband has also accepted a date for baptism. What a miracle. So many things are going on and it's so great. I love those guys and they are so awesome!
Let's see. Oh on Thursday while we were studying in the morning we got an unexpected call from our zone leader, Elder Robinson, asking us if we could come and help with a service project at members home. I gotta say, it was probably the most fun service ever! Ha-ha we got to help in a demolition project. Ha-ha a member is remodeling her kitchen and I guess they were pretty much destroying it and rebuilding it. So I got a sledgehammer and went to town on their walls. Ha-ha I learned something cool. I guess California homes aren't required to have insulation. Ha-ha it was super fun and it took us from 10am to about 2pm then we had to leave because we had an appointment with a member. It was fun though. Ha-ha it reminded me of when we tore down Grandma and Grandpa Ollerton's kitchen when they were in Greece. Good times!
So we are still teaching Eliseo as well. We are thinking about changing his goal for baptism to the 9th of June. He has had a hard time overcoming smoking. We've been trying to work with him on it. We know that the Lord can help him overcome this addiction. He has a lot of other stuff going on in his life right now so he gets stressed out and smokes to relieve his stress. We are going to do our best to get him to substitute something else, or even give him a blessing as well. He is a great guy and wants to do the right thing. Please pray for him that we may know how to help him overcome that challenge. We are still teaching his roommates Daniel and Alan too. They all struggle with smoking. So we have some work to do don't we? Ha-ha I have complete faith that the Lord will help them overcome this problem. He has helped a ton of other people do it. I know it.
We are now teaching some new people. Well, I guess the missionaries have been passing by their place for a while now, but I haven't really taught them before. Their names are Maria and Maria. Ha-ha they are two young women and they are in laws and live in the same apartment. We had a great discussion on the plan of salvation with them. They loved the puzzle and were able to understand that it's so important that we do and choose the right here on Earth. It all depends on what we do now with the time that God has given us. They loved hearing how their family could be together forever. They said they were going to come to church. We even went over and woke them up, but they said they were not going to be able to come. We talked to them last night about the restoration. They have this question that is so great. "Which of all the churches is the true church?". We told them how they could find out. It all made sense to them. It was great because they would ask questions like "So has the church been restored?" or "How can we know that it's the restored church?" We gave them Moroni 10:3-5 in the Book of Mormon to read and pray about. We know they will get an answer as long as they read and pray. It requires both parts. I know they'll get an answer.
We have another cool new investigator named Pureza. We found her this week through knocking doors. We weren’t even talking to her. We were talking to another woman. She was inside the home though and I guess she was listening even though we couldn't see her. We were talking about the restoration and how because of it families can be forever. She came up and asked us if we had a pamphlet or something. She told us straight up that she was pretty interested. As you could imagine, that made me brighten up. Ha-ha she told us to come back and we did. She had forgotten about our appointment and only had a few minutes. We went in and taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really liked it and told us that she didn't work on Saturday’s or Sunday’s. She also told us that she would be baptized if she came to find out it was true. It was really neat. So we are excited for that.
It’s been awesome. It's the last week of the transfer. So we'll see if I stay or if I go. Ha-ha. I love being a missionary. It has changed my life for forever. I love it so much. I know that this work is true. I'm only the Lord's instrument. I'm an instrument in His hands. I always will be too. I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton