Monday, June 24, 2013

Letter for June 24, 2013

Hey all!
Man, it was sooo good to hear from all of you and to hear what is going on back home. Tre tre! Congrats on winning the 100 meter man! I’m so proud of you! You are the man!! I hope you do well at the state meet so that way you can go to the Hershey meet. That would be awesome! I was also very impressed by the neat duck shelter you all made together. Ha-ha that will be fun and exciting to see when I get back! Cameron! Congrats on winning your games man! You are also the man! I just have the best brothers in the world, huh? I would have to say so! I’m glad you all had a good time at the family reunion and scout camp and all of the other stuff you are all up too. The cabin sounds like it's coming along! So neat. All these wonderful adventures. We are having a lot of adventures of our own!

Last Monday we had a crazy thing happen. So we got news from our bishop that there is a boy in our ward that is the only member of the church in his family. I guess because of the conditions in his home he was taken away from his family by social services. So our bishop got the ward council together and organized a project to completely redo the apartment by the next time social services came by to inspect the home. I believe they were going to take him to a foster home or something if conditions didn’t improve. They asked us to come over and help with the project. We started on Monday and they were going to come over on Tuesday afternoon to inspect the home. So we got there on the scene. The apartment blew my expectations. I went into the apartment and instantly had to cover my mouth from the stench. The tile was so dirty and broken and falling apart. The kitchen was covered in filth and the walls were too. There was clutter all over the place. The worst of it was the bathroom. The shower was stained with black stuff all over it and the room was dirty and cluttered. There was so much hair in the sink that there was standing water.  We could barely see the floor in the whole place and when we did it was gross. I really wanted to weep when I got in there. Knowing that people were living in conditions like this. We went to work. Young women and the relief society began to clean; we got rid of the toilet and a lot of clutter. We had to move a lot of heavy stuff out of the home. We even went and took down the dry wall because there had been a leak in water pipe for a long time. We got to repaint the rooms and clean up everything. It was sooo neat to see the effort from the entire ward. We had, I would say, about 50 people from the ward there helping. It was really true Christ like service and charity. All for one boy too. It was amazing and so cool to see. It will be something that I will never forget. What made it even neater was that all of the ward members knew how to fix everything and got it all donated too. Our ward is full of members that are plumbers, construction workers, cleaners, and all that good stuff. We did some serious damage. It looks sooooo much better. I know that this church is true and that we have the best members in this church. That was so amazing to see that love that we all have. The boy isn't back home yet. Currently he is staying with another family of the ward. He'll stay with them until he goes home. It was amazing and now his family wants to join the church and so do their neighbors. So amazing. We are seeing a lot of great miracles.

Tuesday we had interviews with President Bowen. It was awesome. I can say that I have the best mission president in the world! Ha-ha We were about an hour behind schedule so my interview was about three minutes long. He asked me how I was. How the zone was, and then I shared my testimony. Ha-ha it was great though.

We had a good day where we met with a new investigator named Lupe. She is really awesome. She is a very prepared person. She was asking us about how she could find the truth and know the true church. She was even telling us about how her husband was asking about where we came from, why we are here on the earth, and what happens after we die. So we really are working with them and they are very prepared. She accepted to be baptized on the 14th of July. We hope we can get her ready to be baptized by then.

We found another great investigator named Liliana. She is awesome and we found her knocking on doors. Her sister is a new member of the church in Mexico and she wanted to learn more about the church. We taught her the restoration and she really liked it. She really wants the best for her four kids. She told us that she wants to come to church and was going to come. She even lives about two blocks form church so it's really easy for her to go even without having a car. She wasn't able to come though. She also accepted a date to be baptized on the 21st of July. So we are going to work with her as well. She is passing through a hard time. She was telling us how she didn't grow up with a father or a mother in Mexico. So she had a hard childhood. She got together with her husband and now is suffering. The husband doesn't love her and doesn’t treat her very well either. She was sobbing and telling us that she is so tired and wants someone in her life that loves her for the way she is. It was so sad and again, I wanted to cry. We were able to tell her that the gospel can heal and help her overcome all the difficulties that are passing through her life as well. I know the Lord will help her and bring her happiness as long as she chooses to follow it. We will be there to help.

Yesterday I had the great opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. I spoke on "the strength of a testimony". I only had 10 minutes and they flew by so fast. Basically my talk was all about missionary work and the affects that one pure testimony can have on people. I shared that one's testimony doesn't have to be anything large or grand. It can even be pure, small, and sincere. I shared the story of the conversion of Brigham Young. His heart changed the second he heard "a man without eloquence. Nor talent for public speaking" he was converted and ended up being a huge influence in the lives of millions of latter day saints. I shared with them the story of the Ollerton's and how they were converted by Heber C. Kimball in England. How through his testimony I'm here today. Generations have been affected by the testimonies of these people. I told the members of our ward how they can be the same today. Your testimony can have an affect on generations of people. Even a small one. So I invited all the members to share their testimony with someone. Promising them that they will have an affect on someone. It was powerful and really fun to speak on.

Well I have to go. I love being out here in the mission. I love you all so much! I can' wait to hear from you all soon.

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, June 17, 2013

Baptism Photo

Elder Robinson, Elsa, Frank, Dallin

Letter for June 17, 2013

Hey all!!
Wow! What another crazy week it has been again out here in sunny southern California. Out here in the best mission in the entire world! Ha-ha I love it out here and we have witnessed a lot of miracles out here in the area and even in the zone! It's awesome and just makes us super happy! I just want to give a shout out to my father, because it was Father's Day yesterday and I didn't have the chance to talk yesterday. Dad, happy Fathers Day. I have the best dad anyone could ever ask for! My Heavenly Father really has blessed me. Dad, thanks for all of your wise advice and counsel you give me all the time. Thanks for all the laughs and the times we've had so far together. We are going to continue to have great times like those for forever! Ha-ha Dad, I love you and I’m so grateful for you.

We had another great miracle on Tuesday. Elsa Got baptized!!! YAAAHHHOOO!!! She is doing awesome. Even though I haven’t' been in the area for a very long time I’ve known her for a while. She has made such a great change in her life. She looks the happiest since I’ve known her. She always has such a great radiating smile on her face now. What great power comes from following the gospel. She's doing so well. A member of our ward, Frank, baptized her. He was really excited about that too. All the youth were involved as well as the relief society, she has a lot of great friends. She was very social yesterday at church too. So she is doing amazing and she's going to make a great member of the church.

The sisters in our district had a baptism as well. They had theirs yesterday though. We have the keys to all the stuff they needed so we had to stay and help out with it. I guess some of their people that were planning to be in the program didn't show up because right before the program started they asked me if I would speak on the Holy Ghost. Ha-ha As always I was honored to be able to do that. They baptized a little girl. It was a miracle because her mom is actually a member. She spoke at the baptism as well. She is a less active member. She told us that she had not been to church in 13 years. Yeah, just a little while, eh?  Now that her daughter is baptized she plans on going more and more and she hopes that all of her family will eventually come back into activity. How powerful that was. Just the decision to get baptized by a nine year old made such an impact on her family. So amazing. They are doing very well. Those sisters are really doing some great work over there. I’m so proud of our zone.

We had a great day yesterday. The only bummer is that we didn't have any investigators that came to church. Saul and Elsa were confirmed members of the church yesterday. That was so great and I could feel the spirit so strongly. I had the privilege of confirming Saul. Ha-ha I love that guy and he is doing really well. Ever since he has been baptized every problem that he has been having is being solved and figured out. He is really experiencing what it says in Mosiah 2:41. So that is good. I already talked about Elsa. She's doing really well. Now our next plan of action is to start teaching their family the gospel. Elsa has a son that was being taught by missionaries. Saul has a few of his children that live by him. So we hope to get them involved as well!

Okay. So I don't have too much time, but right now we are trying to find more people to teach. So next week expect us to be reporting a lot of new people out here. We are working with a bunch of people and we are now just in the mode of filtering. We had a cool experience yesterday where a person who was referred to us from a member came to church yesterday. It was funny because we got the referral and contacted them. Then Elder Acosta, the area seventy in our area and ward, invited them to church. They weren't the original members that referred them to us. Ha-ha so the Lord is really preparing them to listen to the gospel. They invited us to their home and we are going to begin to teach them.

Ha-ha okay, funny story to end the letter. Yesterday we were out tracting and we went to a home, which we contacted not too long ago. There was a little Chihuahua dog out in their front yard. I think you all can see where I’m going with this. Ha-ha Normally the dog was tied down and would bark at us when we would stop by. But it wasn't tied up this time...ha-ha and it charged me like it was going to attack me. Now, I remind you all that I was attacked and bitten by a dog about this time last year... ha-ha so I jumped really hard when it charged us. But the dog just pretended like it was going to bite us but never really did. Ha-ha it chased us down the whole block! It was ridiculous!! Ha-ha but we didn't get bitten so it was all good! Ha-ha things we deal with as missionaries sometimes. I about drop kicked that thing, ha-ha!

I love this work. I love you all Thank you for everything! Can’t wait to hear from you all soon!

Elder Ollerton

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pictures from June 10, 2013

 Dallin, Elder Robinson, Saul, Elder Groesbeck
 Dallin, Saul, Elder Robinson
Elder Thorne, Elder Casteneda, Angel, Dallin

Letter for June 10, 2013

Hey everyone!

Holy smokes!! It’s been a crazy week and sooooo much stuff has happened. We have seen so many miracles from the Lord this week. I have had a great first week in this area and as a zone leader. We have seen so many great things happen in this zone!

So, we had a baptism yesterday. Wait make that two baptisms yesterday. We had a baptism in our area yesterday, a man named Saul. He is awesome. The previous elders in the area were teaching him and everything. Ha-ha I came in and we taught him a few times and had great experiences with him. Saul is from Chihuahua, Mexico. I guess a member in the Anaheim 11th Ward found him. She works for the census or something like that and was contacting people. She is from Chihuahua as well and that's how they began talking. Out of nowhere she invited him to church and he accepted. He went to a different ward. The missionaries over there talked to him and got his address and sent his name over to us in this area. That's how we got to know him here. He’s really awesome. My comp is from Chihuahua as well and Saul actually knows parts of his family. So that's really neat. He's been going through a lot and has made a lot of changes in his life so that way he could be baptized. Now because of those changes he's going to court and charges are being pressed. But he is firm to the faith. It’s so inspiring. We had a great lesson with him on obedience and how even though life is unfair sometimes we know that the Lord will bless us as along as we are obedient to the commandments. We got him an interview and he passed and was able to get baptized. It was a great and spiritual experience. Ha-ha he already wants to go through the temple, but he will have to wait a year. He's so awesome.

We also had a great experience in another ward. I was called and told that Angel wanted me to baptize him. He is part of the family of Joby, Carmen, and Christian that were baptized a few weeks ago. I had the privilege of baptizing him. What a great and beautiful experience that was. Angel is 13 and can be, you know, a thirteen year old. After I baptized him he was totally calm and felt such peace. It’s soooo cool to see that even a moment in time can really change a person. It was soo good to see their family and see that everything was all good. I hope that they can get the dad now. I know they will. What a miracle of the Lord. I love that family so much and they are so great. I’m so proud of them.

What a great way to start off the transfer huh? The zone did a great job this week. We tripled our numbers in some of the key indicators. We are all really motivated and are seeing miracles. We are having another baptism this week. We are going to have the service tomorrow at 6pm for an investigator named Elsa. She is really awesome as well. I haven’t been able to teach her too much, but she is great person that also has had to make a lot of changes in her life. She has had to give up coffee. That was her biggest challenge. The way we helped her with that is through a substitute that is called "Pero".  It's basically like a wheat coffee drink. She says she really doesn’t like it but it's making all the difference. She passed her interview with flying colors and we are very excited for her too. Those other elders did a great job.

We have had a lot of crazy experiences happen too. Ha-ha my first day as a zone leader we got a call form the assistants to come and help them pick up the new missionaries that were arriving form the MTC. Guess how many new missionaries came? Oh, about 31. Ha-ha can you believe that? You should've seen that sight. Just an escalator full of missionaries. It was soo neat and so powerful. We had to get a U-Haul truck to help get their luggage to the mission office. It was soo neat. While we were driving a handful of them I ran into an elder that was coming from Japan. His name is Elder Halvorson. He asked me where I was from and I told him I’m from Utah. He told me that he had family there and a cousin on a mission in Chile. Ha-ha I was like "Hey! I know some Halverson’s, and one that's on a mission in Chile!" ha-ha we got to know each other and everything. It was sooo great. Ha-ha he's going to be a great missionary. What a small world it is huh?

Well I gotta go, my time is up! I love you all and can't wait to hear from you all soon!

Elder Dallin M Ollerton

This is an excerpt from Dallins letter to me, his dad.

We have seen some great things out here in the field and I’m so happy. I have a great companion, Elder Robinson. He is from Chihuahua, Mexico. Ha-ha seriously he really is. Ha-ha nobody out here believes him until he starts singing the Mexican national anthem. Ha-ha it's so funny. You remember when the prophet Brigham Young sent people to settle in Mexico? Well, he is a descendent of them. So he is from Mexico, but as white as you and me. Ha-ha it's awesome. He speaks perfect Spanish and has been out here as long as Elder Larsen. He’s going home in August. He is 100% cowboy. He loves horses and has trained a few of his own.  He's twenty years old; he left on his mission when he was 18. I’m still younger than him though. We are really excited to be together and I'm really excited to be in this area. He was in the same district I was when I got to the mission. So I already knew him really well. I love it.