Wow, I can't believe another great week has gone by. It seems that it goes by faster and faster. I can't believe it. I guess that is what happens, as one grows older. It's amazing. Sounds like everyone had a great pioneer day back home. Here most people have no idea what that is. I celebrated it in my heart!
We played baseball last p-day and I was sore for about 4 days. I was walking around looking really stiff. We set some good goals this week as a companionship and we saw some really good results. On Wednesday we had an interesting lesson with Liliana. She was supposed to get baptized this Sunday but because she hasn’t come to church enough she was unable to get baptized. She told us that she was going to come and then she never showed up. We went over to her house for an appointment, but we didn't have a male member with us. So we asked her if we could come back later so we could actually enter her home, she said yes. We started calling every member we could think of and then finally a man named Hermano Martinez told us that he could come with us. We went over and started talking about how she's doing with reading and praying. She is doing very well there. We also asked her how she felt about baptism. She brought up some concerns, which is really good. When we started teaching her she was really closed off and really didn't like to express to us her feelings. Now that she has been able to participate of the fruit and knows that this is all true she is actually more open to us. She asked us if she were to join the church would she have to distance herself from her family since they don't follow the word of wisdom and the other commandments that we follow. Hermano Martinez came right in and told her she wouldn't need to do that, but she could use it as a way to invite her family to come to church and to see what it is like. He shared how he was converted to the church and how he was able to invite his brother. His brother eventually joined the church as well. She really liked that and you could tell that she was more at peace. We talked about how we wanted to invite her family to church, too. We had a great lesson. She then expressed how she was nervous and wasn't ready to be baptized yet. She feels like she needs to change a lot before she can be baptized. Then we discussed baptism and how it's important that we do our very best to keep the commandments, but we don’t' need to be perfect to be baptized. If we did then there would be no reason for baptism. We read with her in 2 Nephi 31:17 about how baptism is the door that opens up to the path, which leads us to God. We need to take that first step. Then Elder Robinson came in and shared Moroni 8:25-26 and talked about how she will be clean again. She really loved it and we moved her date of baptism to the 4th of August. We had another lesson with her and she was telling us how on the weekend she was sharing the word of wisdom pamphlet with her friends. They got mad at her and left. She was really bold in sharing the gospel with her friends, which is so neat. She didn't come to church again though :( So we will have to move her date again. We have got to get her husband on board too. We are going to see them tonight and invite him to listen too. That way he can be a better support to her. So pray for her. She is soooo close!
We went on exchanges again in Garden Grove. I went back to my old area. Man it was like taking a trip back into time. We went back and visited a lot of people that I taught when I was there because the area is struggling a little bit. In fact, when we went over to see Anita she told me she was cooking my favorite Mexican dish. Enchiladas Verdes. She invited us to come back and eat, so we did. We talked and right now she has no desire to be baptized. I know that she will be someday, whether it’s in this world or the next, she will. I guess we just have to give it time don't we? I love that family so much. I baptized her little boys and they are doing great. It was a really fun day and we had a really good experience together.
Friday was kind of a hard day. We had about 5 scheduled appointments that all cancelled on us right before we were going to see them. We were able to meet a really cool new guy on Saturday named Gilberto. I guess Elder Robinson taught him on exchanges. He is the roommate of a less active member in our ward. They taught him the restoration and they set a baptismal date for the 25 of August. They told me that he is really good. We went back and he had read the pamphlet, and the introduction to the Book of Mormon, which is amazing. He was also asking us a lot of questions about his reading. Like about the Urim and Thumum and stuff like that. We taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it. He is really receptive and really promising. So we are excited about him. He didn’t come to church either. But we will get him.
We didn't have anyone at church again this week. That was kind of hard. We are going to put a lot of focus on it this week. That way our investigators can keep progressing. That is one of the biggest steps for an investigator to take in his/her progression. Church is so important and if we can’t get them there, then there is no way they will be able to get baptized. The good news is that Garden Grove had 2 baptisms on Sunday, so our zone is doing very well. I love being a zone leader. It's a lot of fun and I love serving other missionaries. I love this work. I love this mission. I was thinking about it the other day... when my time comes to go home, it's going to be pretty hard. I've come to love the people so much. I love this stake, the wards, my companions, and everything else. This is my home. Anaheim will always be apart of me. I love the Lord. I love His work. I will always do it too. I love you all. Have a great week.
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton