It was another crazy week! It’s been fun to hear about all the family is doing right now. I hear they are in Lake Powell or probably have just recently returned from that trip. It sounded and looked like a blast! Congrats to my brother Tre Tre who took 6th in the state Hershey Track Meet! That's awesome bud! Great work. Everyone is just growing up so fast and I can't believe it. Ha-ha I love all the messages my mom sent me from all the family down in Powell. Ha-ha I Love you all so much and I miss you all so much too.
I'm emailing later than I usually do. Because we went to the temple today in Newport beach. It was soo awesome!! I always love going. It's a place where I have felt the most peace as well as knowing that I’m also assisting in the work of the Lord in helping those who have passed on be able to participate in the saving ordinances. It was soo great and we probably won’t go again for a bit but it's something on my mission that I've always cherished.
So, we have had a busy week. We had another service project that we did for someone in the mission office last Tuesday. It was really fun and we were able to help him throw out some old furniture that he had been keeping in a storage unit for a long time. It had been pilling up for a long time and since he was helping setting up apartments for the new Irvine Mission he needed some help throwing it out. So we helped him out with that and it was fun. Some missionaries would go with him in a U-Haul and fill it up while other missionaries loaded the garbage into dumpsters. Ha-ha it was good times. I also had my first stake reports. That was really fun. Basically, it is when all the zone leaders from the Spanish mission get together with the stake presidency and talk about how the missionary work is going in the wards. We only have two wards in the zone so we didn't talk too much. But it was fun to see how it all worked on a stake level. Our whole mission in Spanish is one stake. So it was really fun and we had a good time with the stake presidency.
Other than that we have just been busting it, trying to find and teach more people. We had a good day on Saturday. We went on an exchange with the Garden Grove district leader. I got to be with his companion in my area. It was pretty interesting because I haven't been in the area for too long and I really only had a small knowledge of the area and people. Elder Robinson has been in the area for about nine months and knows everyone here and everyone knows him. Ha-ha So we went out finding. With faith that the Lord was going to guide us to someone that was ready to hear the restoration of the gospel. We were in the same apartment complex where Liliana lives when we knocked on a door and a large man came out and we began to talk to him. All I said was that we brought a message of Jesus Christ and how it could bless his family forever. Then out of nowhere he gets up and comes to the door. As opposed to when he was sitting down in the first place. We had a great discussion on the restoration and he said he would love it if we came back and that he wanted to come to church as well. So we were really excited about that. We had a great exchange and we really were able to learn a lot. Like, just go out and find. No effort is wasted. A lot of the times as a leader I see discouraged missionaries who think that they are wasting their time here. No effort is wasted on the mission, or in life as long as there is a benefit involved.
We are continuing to teach Liliana. She is doing well and we are hoping that she comes to church this week. We had a church tour with her and her kids. They really liked it and the spirit was there, especially when we showed her the baptismal font and as we went to the chapel. I played a hymn to show her what the music we sing is like and she really liked it. Sunday came around and we got a text form her saying that she was really depressed. She is really going through a hard time right now. Her husband left her this past week. And all four of her kids are blaming it on her. Its really sad and we hope and pray that as we continue to teach her the gospel she will be able to experience true joy that only can come from our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we have to suffer to learn how to experience real joy. It's how the Lord reminds us that He's there. I know that true joy comes from living the gospel. It’s so great to know that we have it today on the earth. So please, please keep her in your prayers. I know that we can witness a miracle together as we pray for her.
Something else that was pretty neat that happened yesterday was that we had something we call mission council. Basically it's when all the zone leaders along with the assistants gather together at the mission home with President Bowen and talk about what's going on in the mission and how we can better help our zones. We also receive training from the assistants as to what we will be training in district meetings this next coming month. President Bowen spoke about how soon, missionaries will be able to use Facebook, Skype, text, email, and other things to find, and teach investigators. It's really neat and something really historic. We will be able to do so much work and be able to help retain all new members too. It's gonna be great. The assistants trained us on how to have the spirit with us as we teach and the importance of teaching by the spirit. In chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel really outlines it well. I love it because Ezra Taft Benson said that without the Spirit you will not succeed in this work regardless of talent or ability. That is a pretty profound statement. So we are really going to focus on that as a mission to be able to do the Lord's work the Lord's way, because if it's not done His way it is not of God. So I’m really excited and we are going to see a lot of good things happen in this month!
I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love it so much! I will never stop being a missionary. I love it so much. It was soo good to hear from you all and I can't wait to hear from you all soon!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton