Wow, what an incredible week it has been! We really have seen so many miracles here in this area and in this zone. The zone is doing amazing. We jumped with investigators with a baptismal date and investigators coming to church. Some of the most important key indicators of conversion. We did something a little different this week. We got the zone together and made a goal to have all companionships invite at least three people to baptism this week. Then they would report it to us at the weekly call in report. We also told the zone to call us and tell us when they got a baptismal date. We would announce it to the zone to keep the entire zone updated on what's going on. We got six dates this week as a zone. That was so amazing. Two came from our area.
It was so funny because last Monday night we were walking around and getting ready to go home for the night. We were crossing the street on English street in Santa Ana when we heard, "Hey!" come from a car as it was zooming past us. We shrugged it off and continued to proceed to our car. Then as we were getting inside our car I heard the voice of a small girl say "Hey Elder Ollerton!" I looked up, and saw to my surprise, Joby, Carmen, and Christian Manazares. Remember the family I found and taught with Elder Castaneda and they got baptized after I left the area? I came back and baptized one of the boys? Yeah, it was them. They told us that they had just moved into the neighborhood. They moved into our area! It was really cool to see them again and be able to talk to them. We invited them to our ward. They weren't able to come yesterday because Joby was pretty ill. We got a text from her in the middle of church saying, "Hey guys I got some good news for you." We asked, "What's that?" "My husband wants to get baptized." Yeah, for real. Her husband is not a member of the church. I guess they were talking about it and he told her that he wants to be in with the family too. It was so awesome!! We went over and talked to them last night and he was telling us about how he is filled with coraje (not sure what it is in English, but I know what it means...) and he wants to be filled with peace. He was a huge drinker. He didn't want anything to do with us when we found his family. He has really turned about 180 degrees. I couldn't believe it. His heart has changed so much. It's so amazing that when I read that text I was just speechless. I couldn't believe it. We set a date for him to be baptized on the 8th of September. It’s going to be solid too. Joby was so happy that she was in tears. I'm so happy for them and the Spirit was so strong. What a miracle. I testify that the words of Thomas S. Monson are true "Men can Change."
We also had a really neat experience with Gilberto. HE CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was so awesome! We hadn't been able to see him all week until Saturday. We went over there in the morning to see how it was going. He was leaving to go and do some errands. He told us to come back. We got a member that lives in the same apartment complex as he does to come with us, so it was perfect. The member was a perfect friendship for him. We talked about baptism. We read 2 Nephi 31:17, and talked about how baptism is the first step in the path that leads us to our Heavenly Father. We tied it into the sacrament, and how that is the reason why we go to church on Sunday's, to be able to renew that covenant. Then we talked about the Sabbath day. He really was just eating it all up. The Spirit was there and you could just tell that he knew that it was true. Then we reset his date to make it firmer for the 25th of August. He said yes. Again, another great miracle from the Lord. He totally guided that lesson and it was awesome. He came to church and was commenting more than most of the members about the classes. Even in Elders quorum where the topic was about tithing. Which we haven't even taught him yet. So he is looking very good. So awesome!!
We also had another interesting experience on Saturday. We were driving around when we got a call from other zone leaders about a referral a member had given them. They told us it was a man that lived across the street from the member that referred him to us. The member is in the Spanish YSA (Young Single Adult) Ward, so we got to go over and meet him. The man's name is Martin. He is an older man. He is blind. He went blind about a year and a half ago. I guess back then is really when his life went down the drain. He went blind. His mom passed away. He had a heart attack and at one time was pronounced dead. He has a pacemaker. As well because he is blind and has all these health problems his wife kicked him out of his home. So he's been through a lot. What really inspired me about his man is that he still has a great attitude about life and has a great big smile on his face. He loves joking around and laughing. I really found that inspirational. I really have no reason to complain about anything I've been through. He told us that he wants to go to church and learn more from us. He came to church. We got a member to go and get him and to take him home early because he had to take his medication. We taught him a little. We are going to go by more and more. He’s awesome. He has a lot of great potential! We are excited!
Man, it’s just been a great week. I know, and something that I’m learning while I’m out here is, that we always need to rely on the Lord. During the good times and the bad times. “Puro pa delante” we always say. Which means “Keep moving forward” I know that as long as we are doing the Lord's work the Lord's way that we will see miracles. That goes for all things in life. We will be blessed with Eternal life. "The greatest of all the gifts of God" so keep going everyone. Always go to the Lord. I know that He will answer. Keep doing the right, and you will be blessed. Life isn't always easy or fair, but as you keep enduring. That is when you will come out on top and you will be on the right hand of God. I know it. I love you all. Thank you so much for your support. I got one last lap left. Hard to believe it. Got so much more to do. Love you all!
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton