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