Wow. Well, actually quite a bit has happened since I last wrote on Wednesday! Sounds like all is well back home. Justin is off to football camp and everyone else is off to their normal thing! On Wednesday night I had the delightful opportunity to teach the Young Women at mutual! I'll tell you why. So the stake is doing their first ever-pioneer trek. The stake is about 20 years old and has never done one before. So they have been preparing for it and getting all the youth excited for it. They are doing it the same as we do it back home with the exception of them doing it somewhere in California. A few weeks ago I spoke in church and I mentioned that I had pioneer ancestry. So the Young Women's president asked me if I would come and share my family history with them. They gave me a whole hour to talk about it. I'm really grateful that Grandma Ollerton sent me the written family history. I studied up and really ended up learning a ton about my family history and I just fell in love with it. So, I talked about John and Alice Ollerton. I didn't think I was going to take that long but I ended up taking about 50 min. I talked to them about my trek experiences and how much I loved it and how they were going to love it and I was really excited for them. I also related my story to them and they really ate it up. They had seen 17 miracles not too long ago and I would relate scenes from the movie that were just like what had happened to my family. It really made it more personal. I told them as well that the decisions they make now in their lives are going to affect generations and generations of their posterity. I told them that I am a sixth generation member of the church. They were all amazed at that. Most members in this stake are converts to the church. So I told them how much I appreciated my relatives listening to the missionaries and then coming to Zion in Utah. Who knows where I would be without the gospel in my life? My life would be totally different. I hope that made an impact on them. They seemed to have enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it too. It was really powerful.
Thursday we had a great zone meeting. We met as a zone to get ready for the training we will be receiving as a mission. We received training from the assistants on Tuesday. Normally we would’ve given the training to our zone on Wednesday, but we had the temple trip on Wednesday. So we gave it on Thursday. It was interesting because when we got to the church to set it all up President Bowen was there. He told us "Don't get nervous because I’m here, I’m just here to listen." I couldn't help but be a little nervous because the mission president was there to observe us. It was a great training on how to become powerful teachers. There is a sentence in Preach My Gospel on page 104 that says "The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion" We focused last month on the Book of Mormon as a mission. Now we are putting a focus on the Spirit and really having in our lessons to help those we teach become truly converted to the gospel. It was really powerful and awesome. We had to go 30 min over because of all the participation we had and everything. President Bowen really liked it too. It was also July 4th so we went to a member’s house for dinner where they also shot off a bunch of fireworks. It was something I had never seen before. All the streets in Santa Ana were full of people blowing off fireworks. It was sooo loud and bright. Big ones. Little ones. It was awesome! We were told that there was a truck from Mexico selling fireworks from Mexico. It was nuts! Then we went to the top of our complex to watch the Anaheim Angels lite their fireworks. It was awesome. We had a lot of food and fun with investigators and members.
Friday we had a pretty humbling experience. We were walking to a member’s home at about 8:40 pm when a man stopped us and said he wanted to talk to us. You could smell alcohol on him. Then he told us that he's been looking for guys like us to talk to. He told us that he wants a lot of help right now. He has a drinking problem and wants to change his life. His wife and him keep getting into fights and problems. He has work and money to pay for the stuff he is just making the wrong choices. He was just bursting into tears because he knew that Satan had gotten a grasp on him. He knows that God can help him. He said something that I will never forget. "I know that God put you two in my path to help me." That really impacted me and I knew what he said was true. God really did put us in his path. I'm really glad we went over there instead of going home ya know? We got his phone number and we hope and pray we can find him again and begin to help him. Please keep Frank in your prayers tonight. He really needs them.
Liliana didn't come to church. We went with some members over to her house to teach her the rest of the plan of salvation and she really enjoyed it. The Spirit was really there as the members bore their testimonies. It was awesome. We called her Sunday morning and she told us that she was getting all ready to come to church. We got really excited. When sacrament started she still hadn’t shown up. We got a text from her. She said that she had walked and got to church. She noticed that all the women were dressed up in dresses and skirts. She was wearing jeans. She felt embarrassed and decided to go home and come another week. We felt really bad and we hope we can get her to church. She just needs more friends and that is exactly what we are going to do with her. Get her some more friends in the church.
Well that's about it! It's been a great week and I’m excited for another one! I love you all!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton