Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter for September 30, 2013

Hey all!!
Wow, It's hard to believe that another week has gone by. It's been a little warm over here in Santa Ana. We are loving it though. I think, if I’m correct, that the rainy season is right around the corner.  I hope we can get some rain soon. I love rain. I thought, before the mission, I was going to love always being in the warm California climate. Now I always say "Man! Why does the weather always have to be the same!”?  Change is always nice.

This week I had the opportunity to go on a fun exchange with one of the Elders in our zone. His name is Elder Smith. He is 6'10 ½”. Yeah, he is a giant! He is always full of jokes and laughs. It was fun to be able to go back to that area again. I had done some exchanges in that same area about 9 months ago. It's one of the hardest areas in the Spanish program. There aren't too many Hispanics that live there. The areas that do have Hispanic people the missionaries in the past have destroyed  it. Meaning they have probably knocked on every single door in the area at least 10 times. So we went in there to help them out and see what we could do. We had to go to the dentist in Anaheim in the morning. Dad or mom I don't know if you know of any Selman's that live in Springville? The last name sounds so familiar and so I just had to ask you all. Anyway we found some cool new investigators and had Tinga at a member's home. I love tinga! It's chicken that has this tinga seasoning. It's cooked with some onions and it's served on tostadas. We had Agua de Jamaica. Probably one of my favorite drinks too. It's basically the hibiscus plant boiled in water. You filter out the plant and then pour some sugar in it. It's soooo good. You can get it in powder to. I love to buy it. Anyway, I just love the culture and the food of this mission. I hope I can continue to have it after I get home.

We have found some pretty cool new people this week. Our people with baptismal dates aren't really progressing too well. In fact we haven't been able to see Liliana or Alex at all. they have been pretty flakey lately. So we will sadly have to drop them and see if we can find some new investigators that will continue to progress. We still have Dalia. The lady we found through an FHE (Family Home Evening). She is doing pretty well. She lives right next to a member who is quite the missionary. She invited Dalia to come over and read the Book of Mormon with her during the week. Dalia’s been reading it and having good experiences with it. We hope to get her to General Conference this week. We found a guy on the street named Miguel. It's pretty funny cause we unknowingly knocked on his door a while ago when he wasn't there. He told us that he is looking for a church and we told him to come. He didn't, but we hope to get him there. The "Utah rocks" lady is doing pretty good too. We invited her to be baptized, but she said she can't because she is scared of her husband. So we are going go have to work with the husband, but I know that the Lord will help us out with that.

We are seeing good things happening this week. The zone is looking good too. We hope to see some baptisms pretty soon in the zone, which is exciting. I know that this is the Lord's work, I know that this is His church. I love it with all of my heart. I'm so excited to hear from the Lords servants this week at conference. I love you all. I hope you all have a great week. Love you!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dallin on a hike

Dallin on a hike in Peter's Canyon.
Dallin and Elder Spencer, from Springville. 
They had pre-calculus together.

Letter for September 23, 2013

Hey all!
Hard to believe another week has flown by here in Santa Ana.  First, I just want to congratulate Easton on his farewell and now he'll be heading off to the MTC (Missionary Training Center) real soon! I'm so proud of you.  You will be a great missionary! I love you man! Serve Him with all you’ve got! I know you will. Love you man.

Good to hear all are doing well with your sports. Football is in the air over there in Utah and I love hearing all about the updates! I hope all is well with all of you over there. I hear the weather is taking a turn over there in Utah. It is here in Santa Ana too. It’s been a chilly 75 degrees on average over here, maybe just a tad cooler than that at nights. Needless to say, I am putting my sweater in the trunk just in case. Honestly, I've been getting a little cold at nights! My comp thinks I’m crazy. So I hope I’ll be able to survive when I get back home in the end of winter! I'm so gonna die.

We have had a very busy week. We have had a lot of interesting things happen as well. We were unable to get in contact with Dolores, the "Utah Rocks" lady. She had to cancel on us due to her mother being very ill with cancer, which is understandable. She told us she has a list of questions for us for when we can finally get to talk to her about the gospel. She really looks up to us. At least that is what she says. So just so you future missionaries know EVERYONE watches the missionaries and what they do. That will happen to you when you go on your missions. We are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. We learn in the Bible that Jesus is the light and life of the world. Members and non-members have often told me that there is just a light about us, as missionaries, that is so bright and something they want to follow. I just want to make it clear that we are not the light. We are carriers of the light, which glows from Christ. It's a big responsibility but the Lord will always be there to help. I hope that we can get Dolores to church or at least sit down and talk with her this week.

We saw Hermana Clara Ramoz this week. She is doing very well. She is progressing very well. Our bishop went over with us to see her. She asked us where the couple we brought the time before was. I found that quite an interesting question. She told us that her husband has been getting jealous of just men coming over to visit her and talk to her about the gospel. He is always drunk and out of it. He doesn't treat his wife very well, and he wants nothing to do with the church. We told her we would return on another occasion to see her. We set up an appointment. We called another sister from the ward. She and her husband came with us. We taught the plan of salvation, about how her family can be together forever. How through Jesus Christ all would be healed and all would end up good. She loved it. The couple we brought bore powerful testimony abut it. Hermana Ramoz still wants to feel more. She wants her family to be in on the gospel. The couple we had with us shared some experiences about how the conversion of a certain family all started with the mother getting baptized first. This really helped her out. The spirit was there. I loved it. The couple went by and picked her up for church. She came to church!!! She loved it too. It was so neat to see how the Lord set it all up because the topic in Gospel principles was "families can be together forever" and bishop addressed some of the concerns she had expressed to us in the past. It was all totally guided by the Holy Ghost. It was so neat. She wants to come back. Which is always a great sign. So she is doing very well. I am so excited for her. I hope we can keep getting her that support that she needs to progress. I know we will be able to.

We had a neat experience on Saturday as well. A few weeks ago we had a training on how we can help the members become "Member Missionaries" We have been trying to help the members in our area be able to share the gospel with their friends and help them in the conversion process. We went to a certain member’s home and set up a date for a goal to be able to invite their friend to listen to the missionaries. She said let’s do a noche de hogar in my house this Saturday at this time. We said "perfect." So we came over and we had the coolest family home evening. They brought over a sister I had taught once before and a less active family brought a friend too. So it was like a triple whammy! It was pretty cool and the best part is that they came to church on Sunday! So we have some great new investigators! It's pretty exciting! I love it.

So the work is going on great! Gilberto, the recent convert, just got the Aaronic priesthood. He is doing so well they are considering asking the stake president if he can be ordained an elder to be in the elders quorum presidency. He is awesome. I love the guy. So many things are going so well. I love it. I love this work!! This is the best work ever! I hope we can continue to see a lot of great things as the weeks keep going! Love you all!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter for September 16, 2013

Hey everyone!

Another week has just flown by here in Santa Ana. We have really had things turn around here in our area and in the zone. We have set 3 new baptismal dates and have also found some really cool new potential investigators. The Lord is really guiding us to those elect of his and it is really awesome!

We had a really fun activity on Tuesday. We helped our housing coordinator throw away some old trash from storage units. Here in our mission usually the missionaries who are learning a language don't have many opportunities to do service.  Elder Collett asked us to help him get rid of old apartment furniture. It was a really fun service. We got these huge dumpsters and we threw a lot of really old stuff away. Stuff from the early 2000's and such. That was really fun. Later on we went over to an investigators home. His name is Omar. We have been trying to find him at home for the last while but have never been able to find him. One night his mother opened the door and told us that he wasn't home. She told us that she used to go to church in Mexico and she really liked it. She told us "You know what, I'm going to listen to you guys." So she did. We began to talk about the family. Then she began to sob. Expressing to us that she was having family problems and was thinking about moving back to Mexico. We told her that through Jesus Christ all of the problems she had would be healed and made right. The spirit was so strong. She accepted a date to be baptized. It was so amazing. We came later in the week with some members and they told her their conversion story. It was so inspired because what they said was exactly what she told us she was worrying about in her life. So it's amazing to see how it's all working out with them. We hope to see some progress with them this week.

Remember Liliana? We saw her again this week and taught an amazing lesson with her. We brought our relief society president and her husband (former stake presidency member) and talked to her about faith to repentance. Hermana Solano told her of their conversion story and what a blessing it's been in their lives. She loved it. We read Moroni 8:25-26 with her. She expressed to us how tired she is of life and everything. We told and testified that following Jesus Christ would give her the strength to endure these trials. She also accepted a date to be baptized. It was amazing. We have a problem though, her husband seems to be keeping her from coming to church and allowing her to progress. He says that he's not against her coming to church, but it always seems that at the last minute he brings something up so she can’t come. I would ask you all back home if you would pray for this man that he might soften his heart and come to church. We hope that will happen. If so, that would be a huge miracle in itself.

The other day we had a cool experience. We were just tracting and decided to stop by this family that I used to teach with my last comp. On our way a lady yelled at us and said "Hey I just got back from Utah! Your native land!!" I got kind of excited and it was a lady that I had actually already talked to once. She had a shirt on that said "Utah Rocks" and under it had all these pictures of Utah national parks. She went to SLC, Park City, and St. George. She went to the temple and told us all she learned from the missionaries. She couldn't stop telling us how beautiful it was and how lovely the people of our church are. She said that she wants to move to Utah and become a Mormon! It was so funny! She seems so golden. It was so amazing! We are going to see her tonight. We didn't get to talk to her much when we saw her, but she wants to learn more about the church and even come to church. We had stake conference yesterday and she wasn't able to come, but we hope to get her there soon.

As you can see, we are seeing a lot of miracles here in the area. The zone is on fire too. We will be seeing a lot of baptisms soon in the zone. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us. I know that with our faith in the Lord we are going to be able to do this. We are going to get these people to partake of the waters of baptism. I love this work. I know that this is the work of the Lord. It's my hope and prayer that all stays well back home. You pre- missionaries keep reading your scriptures and Preach My Gospel. Those are going to be key, as you get ready to be missionaries. I love you all! I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, September 9, 2013

A few photos

 Dallin and his companion Elder Aguilar-Nene
 Dallin and Elder Farnsworth (MTC comp)
 Celebrating with the Stake
 Celebration with the Stake
Dallin with Anthony and Jose

Letter for September 9, 2013

Hey everyone!

Since Wednesday (the last time I wrote) we have been very busy. We have seen a lot of miracles in our zone. We had a baptism in the zone, which is awesome. We are seeing nothing but miracles out here in the zone! On Thursday some of our elders got into a car accident. It was nothing severe at all. A Vietnamese man rear-ended them. Since all six of the elders are in one ward and they only have one car between the six of them they were all together when it happened. We were in dinner with my recent convert Elsa when we got a call from them telling us what happened. I was kind of freaking out because they made it sound like it was bad. We rushed over there to make sure everyone was all right. Turns out it was just a scratch on the bumper. They were all fine. We missed some good opportunities to teach, but thank goodness everyone is all right!

Our investigators we have are really struggling. Alberto is really having a hard time with everything that is going on in their family still. In fact, there have been a lot of arguments in the family. Their son is having his problems, they have no jobs, they had to pay rent, etc. Everything seems to be just falling on their heads right now. I would ask you all if you would keep them in your prayers and ask the Lord for a miracle with this family. We have been trying to teach them about faith. I shared with him 3 Nephi 13:31-33. Yes, all the time we worry about what in the world we are going to use to help support us we need to look for God first and keep His commandments. Then He will be obligated to bless us with what we need. It's one of the amazing principles taught by King Benjamin as well. They aren't putting God first. We are going to try to help him do that. One day the wife took the kids on an "errand" and didn't come home. Alberto called us in tears. Please pray for them. They need all the prayers they can get. We know that the Lord will help us. We are going to exercise all the faith that we have.

We are still seeing a lot of good things happen. Gilberto, our recent convert, is doing very well. He seems to be one of the strongest converts I've seen thus far in my mission. He is coming to church. Going to hang out with members. He studies. He comes to church in a white shirt and tie we have given him. He is doing awesome. Now he is going to start accompanying us to appointments. He's super awesome. So we are seeing good things with that.

We had a cool activity on Saturday as a stake. It's called "el dia de hispanidad" It's basically a big celebration of the different Latino cultures because our mission is so unique with having different people from different countries. We basically got together as a stake and ate food from different countries. Then they had a program where all the wards would do a different dance from different countries. It was cool! It was super fun to go because I have been in almost every ward in the stake. I had food from sopes to empanadas to tres leches dessert. It was a blast! They do it once a year. So this will be my last as a missionary. So crazy to think.

It's been a great week this week. We are going to be doing a lot of finding this week. So be expecting to hear some different names. I love this work so much! I love you all so much. Thank you for your support in everything! I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton