Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Letter for December 31, 2013

Hey Everyone!
Well what a week it has been! There have been a lot of changes! We had a great Christmas! I loved it. We spent a lot of time early in the week just singing Christmas Carols to the members and even non-members. We actually found a few new investigators during the week because of it! They are actually very interested in learning about the restored gospel. So it's really awesome! But I have some news: I've been transferred to a new area for my last transfer! I have been moved to the Buena Park 3rd ward. It's an interesting story. So, for about 20 years half the ward was covered in the Anaheim Mission and the Long Beach Mission covered the other half. So the ward consisted of both Long Beach and Anaheim missionaries. President Bowen has been fighting ever since he got here to make it all part of our mission. Since the ward is in the stake which is covered by our mission. They had to take it up to the missionary department of the church. It has finally been approved and they sent all new missionaries to the ward!  It's pretty wild! This ward has always been known for the great missionary work. I hear we have a great ward mission leader. This ward baptizes a ton every year, anywhere from 35-50 people a year. So it was pretty crazy that I got called to serve there. It was really hard to leave the members and investigators here in Santa Ana. I said my goodbyes. We actually had great progress with one of the part member families in our ward. The non-member is named Jesus. He is married to a member. He has been listening to the missionaries for about 8 years now. No one has been able to break him at all. He's catholic. He used to run EFY like camps for the Catholic Church when he was in Mexico. So He's pretty big into what he believes. We decided we were going to talk to him frankly and boldly. We talked about my father’s favorite thing in the world: There is a law. We have our agency to obey the law. With every decision comes a consequence. We read with him 2 Nephi 2:27 and Alma 34:31-35. We asked him if he had a desire to know the truth about if our church is the right path for him. He said, "Yes" then we invited him to do two things. 1.) To pray and ask God for knowledge of the truth. 2) To follow as the Savior wrote in John 7:17 and to live the principles we teach. He said he would. We addressed a problem that we know he had with the Word of Wisdom. We committed him to stop doing what he did. I told him I’d even give up some things in my life. So we are doing this together. He's been free of doing it for at least 5 days. They are sure now he's on the verge of joining the church. It was awesome to watch. I know he will join the church some day.

What a week! I’m in a new area with a new companion. We are both new to the area and the ward. We hope we can get things rolling along. We cover all of what used to be in the Long Beach Mission. We were told we are going to have a baptism this week. We also have some part member families we will be teaching. We are stoked! I'm excited! See you all soon!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Letter for December 23, 2013

[This is Dallin's Dad.  Sorry I forgot to post this letter on the 23rd.  Christmas was kind of crazy.]

Hey all!!

Really brief, I'm really stoked to talk to you guys on Wednesday!! So here is the plan with that. We are going over to the member’s home of the same people I Skyped you all last time for Mother's Day. We are gong to have a breakfast at 10am our time. I would plan on a call anywhere from 10 am to 12pm our time here in California. I know it's not really specific, but I figured you would all be there at that time. I love you all!! It’s been a very, very busy week this week with meetings and trainings and parties. I'll have to let you know more about the week. We had a huge Christmas party as a ward. About 20 non-members were there. It was awesome! Rosario came as well and she loved it. So did her kids! They, like a lot of our investigators, are going to be out of town so we wont start teaching them til the weekend. We are working a ton with the members in finding new good people to teach. We are really excited. I love this work. I love the Lord. Dad, I know that you had some questions about the online proselyting. Remind me of them when I call so I can answer them for you. If you all have anymore questions to ask me let me know. I'll have about 40 minutes to talk. I sure do love you guys! I'm so excited to see your faces and be able to talk to you! I love you all so much and we will see you on Wednesday!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letter for December 18, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Wow! It's hard to believe that it's already been over a week since I last emailed you all! We had to change our p-day because on Monday we were training our zone on how to use Facebook in the missionary work. So now all missionaries in our mission will start using Facebook as a part of their work. It's really exciting to see! I love it!  We had interviews with President Bowen yesterday too so we couldn't have our p-day then. So it's today! I loved having interviews with President Bowen! He is a powerful man and I want to be just like him. I look up to him so much. I'm so grateful I have him as my mission president. He is the best!

Elder Prieto and I have been very busy. At the same time we have been working super duper hard. That family that I told you about that had the passing in the family is doing pretty good. We haven't been able to visit them lately because they are still working on a funeral. The problem is they don't have a budget sufficient to be able to hold a funeral. We thought it would be best to visit them after the funeral was held. So we are still waiting for that to happen. We haven't been able to see the Ruiz family much. Everyone lately has been busy with Christmas coming up and stuff like that. We have been able to meet some really cool new people though! Last Wednesday we set up an appointment with a lady we ran into while knocking doors. Her name is Kim. She is still fairly young. We brought a member with us to teach her about the restoration of the gospel. I asked her, "How have you seen the love of God manifested in your life?" that really set the tone for the rest of the lesson as she was able to share with us an experience that was really precious to her. We continued to teach her about how her family can be together forever. She accepted to be baptized on Jan 12th!! She is really awesome! Now we are going to work on getting the rest of the family involved. They too have been really busy due to Christmas. But we are going to see some great things with her.

We have some great members over here in Santa Ana. They do so well with sharing the gospel and inviting their friends to listen to us. We got a referral from a member. We got the address and went over to visit her. Her name is Rosario. We don't know too much about her. What I do know is that she's interested in learning more about the gospel. We knocked on the door and she immediately invited us right in. We couldn't go in due to the fact that she was home alone, but we set up an appointment to see her soon. She knows more than one member of our ward. The first member she mentioned was different than the one she was referred from. So she's already got a few fellow shippers. It's awesome!

Our zone is doing so well. We are so blessed to be here in this part of the Lord's vineyard right now. I love this work. I know that Jesus is the Christ I know that through Him we can one day live in the presence of Father. I'm so grateful for that it's through His gospel that makes it possible.

I love you all. I hope you have a great week!!

Elder Dallin Ollerton

Monday, December 9, 2013

Letter for December 9, 2013

Hey Everyone!
Man, another fast week this week! I can't believe that it's Monday already! I feel like I was just here emailing you all! It's been a wild week! A lot has happened lately so here I go! 

Monday night we had a very interesting and out of the normal experience. We got a phone call from our mission secretary asking if we could go over to the UCI (University of California at Irvine) Hospital and give a blessing to someone. It's in our area so we headed over there. I guess a non-member who lives by one of our church buildings found President and Sister Bowen and asked them to send missionaries over to give a blessing. We got to the hospital and checked ourselves in as visitors. We went to the elevator. As we exited the elevator, two women approached us and introduced themselves to us. This was a little out of the norm compared to the other blessings I've given at hospitals. We learned that the lady we were going to bless was in very serious condition after having a stroke. She was rushed to the hospital, and she was in a coma when we arrived. She was an older lady. Her family all immediately came to the hospital. One of her daughters is a new member of the church. She came directly from Mexico to be here with her mother. She couldn't find missionaries out here, so her other sister, who is the sister that got in contact with our mission president, knew about the need for us and that's how we got there. We learned very quickly how serious the situation was, and how much they were relying on the priesthood to help this woman. They said they didn't want to pull the plug on her. We entered and saw this lady lying in her hospital bed. I anointed her with oil. Then my companion sealed the anointing and blessed her. I do not recall what he said in the blessing. I do recall what I felt. I could feel the spirit very strongly. It gave me a feeling of peace and of comfort. I knew that everything was going to be all right. We prayed with them afterwards. They invited us back to pray with them. We did so. They wanted us to come back again to pray for her. We called them on Thursday to see if we could come over on Friday. One of the daughters said that the lady had passed away just hours earlier that day. It was a very sad feeling for me but I was also comforted because of the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. We had shared this message with her family at the bedside of this wonderful lady. How the family can be together forever. I know right now is a hard time for them, but they want us to come over and share more of God's unique message we have for them. We have their information and everything. They want us to come over badly. It's so interesting to see how the Lord prepares the hearts of His children to receive the restored gospel. I know they will accept it. I hope and pray for this family that they may feel our love in this difficult time. The peace of this plan will come to them soon.

We have been on the search for people to teach! We found a cool new family. It's the Ruiz family. Sisters from the English ward found them while they were knocking on doors. They figured that the Ruiz’s would be better suited for the Spanish ward. We went over one night and a lady opened the door and began to ask us a lot of questions about what we do as missionaries. Such as: Where are you from? How long do you do this? What are you going to do after your mission? How much do they pay you? Things like that. We began to share a message of the restoration. She told us that lately their family has been looking for a church to join. She has four kids. Three of the four are married and have moved out. They are looking for a good church to go to as well. We really hope and pray that we can get teaching the whole family soon. The husband works a lot, but he seems just as interested. So we are really excited to start teaching them! 

We also went to a lady's home on Saturday. This lady we knew had been investigating the church about two years ago. She was going to get baptized. For some reason she stopped going to church and listening to the elders. We've wanted to go over and try to teach her again. We've been trying so much for the past 6 weeks or so. She's never ever been home. I was on exchanges with Elder Pace when we decided to go over and see her again. She was home. We helped her carry some groceries from her truck to her apartment. Soon I discovered why the Lord hadn't put us in her path until right then. She told us the past weekend she went to see her friends from Peru get baptized up in the Los Angeles area. She said she had never been to a baptism in our church before. She really loved it a lot. She felt a peace and tranquility. She now wants us to start coming back. It was pretty cool! We are stoked to have her in our teaching pool now. She already knows a lot and having recent convert friends will be perfect for her!

We really are seeing a lot of miracles. The members are working great with us too. We have about 10 referrals from them received in the past week. We are all very excited in doing the work of God together. It makes me so excited! I love this work. I know that this is His work. I know that Jesus is our Savior. What a great time of the year to be able to remember His birth and help those who are having a hard time. I love you all! I hope you have a great week! Can't wait to hear from you soon!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2nd Photos

 At a member's house while he cooked us fish tacos.  They are amazing!!
Cookies I baked from scratch for the Thanksgiving dinners we went to.

Letter for December 2, 2013

Hey everyone!
Another great week has swooped by here in Santa Ana. I love it, every bit! We had a great Thanksgiving this week. I heard about the one back home and it sounded like a lot of fun! I hope all were able to reflect on what they are grateful for in their lives. I have much to be thankful for. I'm SOOO grateful for my family and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is what helps me carry through all my trials and difficulties. I don't know where I would be without it! I know that is the reason why I’m out here participating in this great work. To help others be able to participate in the great blessings that come from the gospel. It will affect generations and generations. I'm grateful for the missionaries who taught my family in 1838. Since then at least five generations of family have been affected by the gospel. So amazing! It just goes to show that this work really is the work of God.

We have been on a search! We have been searching for a lot of new people to teach. Ana and Jorge were progressing a little. They are such a great family and I love them so much. They just aren’t sticking to it. Which really makes me sad. We brought a great member over with us to help invite them to church. Ana and Jorge said they wanted to come because they believe it would be a great time for their kids to learn more about God and be able to become the women that they need to become. We were excited. I've been trying to get them to come to church for the last three months now. So we were super duper excited. They didn't come. It about broke my heart. So it looks like if they don't start acting soon we will have to stop teaching them and continue in search of someone who is hungering and willing to act. It's really hard for me because of the relationship I’ve developed with them. Please keep them in your prayers. 

We did find a cool new lady name Josefina. She has about four kids and has another kid on the way. She is due when I go home.   Anyway she told us how she didn't live the best life before. She ended up in the hospital and told God that if He would help her she would go to church and change her ways. She did just that. She's talked to missionaries before and wanted us to stop by and teach her more. We began to teach her and her kids. They are super awesome. We hope that we can continue to help them become more familiar with the gospel. They have a lot of great potential and I'm really excited to be able to begin teaching them!

So a funny story of the week: So you know about a year and a half ago I got bit on the leg by a Chihuahua and I had to go to the hospital? Ever since then I’ve been a little more attentive and nervous around dogs. Well, we were on our way to visit an investigator. I saw a dog out of the corner of my eye. It was not on a leash and was in the middle of the street. Then out of nowhere I hear running and barking. It was not just one dog, but 2 dogs!! They chased after us in the middle of the street. They got about 2 feet from us. I just stayed put and was ready to kick one of them as hard as I could. They didn't bite us. I thought they were going to though. We tried to make our way back to our car and they came back at us! So we had to walk all the way around. We were quite a ways a way from our car and the dogs were right next to the car. I decided to try to use the panic button on our car to scare them away...and it worked. We got to our car and drove off! I almost got bit again! My heart about stopped too! It is funny looking back. I don't know why they always come after us!!

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you all! 

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton