Wow, what a week it has been out here in Santa Ana. It just zooms by so quickly now. I can't believe that we are now into August, so nuts! We are seeing a lot of cool things going on out here in the mission. Sounds like everyone back home is doing well, too. That is good to hear. I love seeing the pictures of the camping trips and all that. I hope that everyone can stay safe out there!
So this week we had something a little different happen. We had Mission Council this week. Basically that is when all the zone leaders and the sister trainer leaders get together and we council about things that are going on in the mission. President Bowen addresses us, and the assistants to the president introduce us to what we will be trained on this next coming month as a mission. It was a really neat experience. We learned about something called the "Righteous Routines". It is something that the brethren came out with a while ago. So it's nothing new, but it's something that President Bowen feels like we need to focus on. Which is basically that we center everything we do on our investigators. A scripture I loved about it was D&C 11:21. Which tells us to seek His word before we declare it. Then our tongues shall be loosed. It was a good relation to the fact that we must study for our investigators before we try to go out and teach them something. How can the spirit direct you to tell them something that you don't already know? So it was a really good training on how we must focus our personal, companion, and language study as well as our planning and teaching on the investigators and their doubts. If we can do that, then the spirit is able to guide us to their needs. They are edified and we are edified and we can rejoice together as it says in section 50. So it was really good. Then we had the privilege of teaching the training we received to the zone. They really loved it and it really was something our zone needed to hear. Funny, every mission council I've gone to or training we received I feel like it directly goes with what we need. Spirit really does guide.
So we had an interesting experience on Wednesday and Thursday. This man named Miguel came to church a while ago. We thought he was an investigator of another companionship. That didn't turn out to be the case. So we went and talked to him. Another missionary recognized him from a different ward. I guess this man has been trying to get money from the church to pay his rent and get him some food. I guess he claims he had an accident at work and was on disability and trying to go to court to get some money from the accident. He isn't a citizen. I guess he thinks he is going to win the case and in order to win the case he can’t work at all. So he just moved to our area and asked if he could talk to the bishop about getting some help. He went to church and began to talk to the bishop about getting help. I guess what it boils down to is that he really doesn't want to work, but he wants money to pay for everything. The bishop went over to his home to see what his conditions are like. The bishop said they only rented one room out of an apartment. They have six kids. The dad is about 55 and the mom is about 22.... yeah, not kidding. They are from Guatemala. The bishop saw what was going on. He told us how he saw the kids and they really need help. So the bishop is giving them material to be able to work and gain a living. So that way they can live. They have six kids. It was so crazy to see. Sadly the dad is a little lazy and is trying to get money out of us without doing anything on his part. So our bishop is going to give them food for two weeks, and then help them try to get back on their feet again. We went over to teach them about the gospel. Neither he nor she was really receptive. We hope that we can help them with the gospel. It was one of the craziest situations I have seen out here. I hope we can get the gospel in their hearts and they can act on it. They'd be so blessed if they did.
We had a cool experience the other day too. We were walking to a member’s home from our car after we parked it. We turned around and walked back to the car because we had forgotten a Book of Mormon. Then a lady yelled at us and stopped us on the street. She was a lady we had contacted on the street a while back. She was wearing a back brace and two knee braces at the time. This time she wasn't. She told us that we had healed her with our prayers we left her with. She couldn't walk around or do anything for 7 years. Now she was twisting and twirling around. She saw us and said. "If they come back I’m going to talk to them." She says she wants to listen to us. We passed her to the English missionaries we have in the area. It was awesome.
We are still teaching Gilberto. He is progressing pretty well. We are hoping to get him to church and get him a good friend in the church as well. We are also teaching a part member family. It’s the husband of a wife who is a member of the church. Missionaries have been teaching him for the longest of time now. He is super Catholic. He was relating to us yesterday how he used to organized camps and stuff like that when he was out in Guerrero, Mexico. He is a really nice guy who has already read the Book of Mormon once completely. In fact, when his wife doesn't understand a scripture he is usually able to interpret it really well. So he's pretty cool. Hope to get him as well.
We are continuing to see good things over here. I love it here and I know that the church is true! Keep it up and I love you all so much.
Elder Dallin M. Ollerton