Monday, January 27, 2014

Letter for January 27, 2014

Hey everyone!
Another week has flown by here in Buena Park! I can't believe that in two weeks time I’ll be back in Springville. Just so you all know. I'm not trunkey!! I love it here and it's gonna be hard to leave. Even this ward. I've only been here for a little bit and I’ve already developed a great love for the members and non-members here. It's great! We have seen a lot of great miracles out here and I love it! 

So, a funny story from last Monday just after I emailed home. We were doing some shopping in La Habra (We live around there) and we went to a small shopping complex. I was at Ross. We at a Chick-Fil-A. We were on our way to what looked exactly like our car. I was driving and Elder Contreras was walking in front of me. We were talking and he opened the passenger side door to find a woman in the drivers seat. He was making his way in the car when he realized there was a woman right in the drivers seat and it wasn't our car at all!! We probably gave her a really good scare! Good times out here in the mission! 

So Enrique (Arroyo) is slowly progressing. We plan on giving him a good talk tonight. He expresses a lot of desire to change and to progress in the gospel. We found him smoking yesterday morning as we were inviting him to church. He said the whole family of 5 was coming (They got back together). They never ended up coming to church. We were pretty disappointed. We are going to have to see what's going on and if they really want to listen to us or not. I hope we can help him. We were talking to some members who asked about him and we made a good game plan together on how we are going to help him. Lets pray for them!! 

Kately is making really good progress. She is reading in the Book of Mormon and praying every night. Her mom isn't so sure she wants to approve her getting baptized. We stopped by one night and her mom invited us to eat dinner with them. We did and got to know her more and got on her good side. We don't know what's going to happen. I hope she can get approval so that she can get baptized on Sunday. We will hope and pray that all goes well with that!

We found a new family this week! Their names are Fabiola, Jennifer and Jesus. It's a mom and two kids. Other missionaries have taught them before and we finally made contact with them. It was a really powerful lesson! The spirit was there and they all accepted to be baptized in the beginning of March! It was awesome! We hope we can get them to church. They weren't able to make it. For some reason these last three months it's been really difficult to get investigators to church. Not sure why. We hope to get some there so we can help them progress soon! 

I love it here. We are seeing a lot of good things! I miss you all and I can't wait to see you all soon! Love you all!! Talk to you soon!

I also wanted to wish my brother Trevor a Happy Birthday this week! I love you brother and I hope you have a great day and know that I’m thinking of you a lot! I can't wait to see you soon!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Letter for January 21, 2014

Hey all!
Dang, another fast week! I'm now 3 weeks away from returning to Utah. I just heard from our secretary that it's freezing cold over there! It's going to definitely take some getting used to when I get back! I was out on the golf course yesterday for p-day. It was the first time I have been out in a while! I went with the one and only President Bowen. That's right. I went golfing with my mission president. It was pretty legit! It was Elder Contreras, President Bowen, and myself. We had a blast together! We just went to a driving range to hit a bucket of balls. We went to the golf course that Tiger Woods used to hang out on all the time. So that was pretty neat. I loved being able to spend some time with President. He is the Man! I really look up to him and I hope I can become like him someday. He's a great golfer. He learned right before he came out to be mission president here. Elder Bednar came out here to the field right before I got here and asked him "What do you do to relieve the stress of being a mission president?"

"Nothing." President responded.

"Well, lets go shopping." Elder Bednar said.

I guess Elder Bednar is the man who really got him going on golfing. He's the right man to do it! It was a blast and I really enjoyed being with him.

We had a really good stake conference on Sunday. All the stakes from southern California had a stake conference. They did this special broadcast from Salt Lake City to all the stakes out here. Elder Arnold spoke, as well as Elder Anderson and President Eyring. It was all focused on hastening the work of salvation. President Eyring mainly focused on working with family members who are not members of the church or are falling away. I really liked the whole conference! I love this work and it really pumped up a lot of the members here in the ward.

Tuesday was a hard day for us. We had about 5 appointments that fell through. We kept on trucking though. We finally found the Arroyos! Well, We found the father. He was in his van on the phone when we showed up to his house. He came out and we asked him how he was doing. He said he wasn't doing so good. He was drunk. We asked him what was going on and why he hadn't been returning our phone calls or texts. I guess there have been a lot of problems and long story short he's leaving the house and moving to Vegas with his brother. They had been ignoring us because they didn't think we would want to help them deal with their problems. We gave him a good talk telling him that was the exact opposite of why we are here. He decided he was going to change because he fell back into his bad habits. He knows this is all true. Poor guy is just having a hard time. I hope we can help him get over this hard time in his life. He's really miserable. He was explaining the problems with tears running down his cheeks. We were really sad too.  He said that now he is going to listen to us no matter what and that he is going to get baptized. Now he knows of the blessings that will come through it! We had a great talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how through Him we ALL can be healed. He's making progress. So now after he leaves in a few weeks he can get baptized in Vegas and the rest of the family can get baptized too because the law of chastity problem will no longer be an issue. Now we are on a search for mom and the kids. I guess they've been staying at her sister’s home in Santa Ana till he moves out. We really hope we can find them now! Pray for this beautiful family. I know that through the Lord all will be made well!

Kately is making some really good progress. She came to stake conference on Sunday. We visited her periodically throughout the week with Hermana Lopez (the wife of our ward mission leader and also in the YW presidency). They took her to conference and she loved it! She really likes everything about the church. We are going to slowly try to get her more involved with seminary and mutual as well. We also changed her baptismal date to the 2nd of Feb. We felt impressed to change it to give her just that extra week to be able to prep and get her final approval from her mother. We have seen a lot of progress with her in the short time we have known her. It's really quite amazing. She's seeing it too. She's not arguing so much with her mom or siblings. So it’s been really good!

We met someone new this week! Her name is Elizabeth. She is the daughter of an investigator we are currently teaching. She is really cool. She really hasn't been too religious in her life. She opened up really quickly. I believe it's because she could feel the spirit right off the bat. She told us of a near death experience she had. We were able to tie that in with the great plan that our Heavenly Father has given us. We shared a little about it and how the church had been restored to the earth today. She accepted to be baptized on the 23rd of Feb! That was really exciting to find her. Her father is also very interested in joining the church too. We are seeing a lot of progress!

I love this work. This work is just soooo amazing! I can't believe how fast it's coming to a close. I'll always be a missionary! I know this is the work of God! I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, January 13, 2014

Letter for January 13, 2014

What a week it has been this week. I can't believe that in a month’s time I will be heading back to the Ville! In the meanwhile, we have been working hard in bringing the children of God back to His fold. I'm sorry I don't have much time to write, but I'm going to try my best!

We haven't been able to teach the Arroyo family all week. We think part of it is because they've been so busy lately. We also think the dad has fallen back into his old habits and is embarrassed to tell us about it. There have been many signs of it around. We hope that we can find him tonight and help him get back on the right track. The family didn't go to church either. We also found out by the kids that there are some other Law of Chastity issues. So we don't think that the parents will be ready for a while. We are going to focus on getting them to church so we can get the kids baptized. Then later on will come the parents. They are an awesome family and I love them to death! We hope that we can get them going.

Kately, we had a miracle experience with her. We asked her if she had talked to her father, and she said she did. He told her that he would respect any decision that she wanted to make as far as religion goes. That is a huge step! Her father has never accepted that before with the former elders. She’s been taught everything already and could essentially get baptized whenever she wants to. We are gong to help her get some friends from the ward so she's around good influences. She really needs it right now for how young she is. We are excited for her and can’t wait to get her going for the 26th of Jan!

We went on exchanges on Thursday! That was a lot of fun! I got to go with Elder Farnsworth and I went to my old area in Garden Grove. We went and visited a lot of old investigators that I had been teaching down there! Some actually accepted the invitation to be baptized!  It was amazing! That was a fun exchange even though Elder Farnsworth was a little under the weather! I love that guy so much!

I’m out of computer time but that was the week in a nutshell. We hope to continue to see more good things throughout the week! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton

Monday, January 6, 2014

Letter for January 6, 2014

Hey everyone!!

How's it going everyone? Well it's been a great first week here in Buena Park. We really have been seeing the hand of the Lord in all things we are doing since neither one of us know the members, area, or investigators. We have really had to rely 100% on the Lord to guide us in the right direction. I know I neglected to tell you about my companion and area. My companions name is Elder Contreras. He was born in Mexico, but was raised in Texas. He's a big guy. He played football and did a lot of wrestling down there in Texas, so you don't want to mess with this guy! No, he's super funny and super fun to be with. He's also a workhorse. I really couldn't have asked for a better companion to end my mission with. Oh, by the way, I'm still a zone leader. I just got sent to be a zone leader over a different zone. So it's still fun to be working hand in hand with our missionaries over here. We have a great zone and I’m stoked for this transfer! Elder Farnsworth (MTC comp) is one of our district leaders. So we get to finish our missions together! It's pretty crazy to see the growth we've made. It’s awesome! Our area is pretty big. We cover all the city of Buena Park and a little slice of Anaheim. Knott’s Berry Farm is in our area. We pass it all the time when we go out to teach people. I've never seen it before, but it looks dang fun. Our church building is right across from Knott’s as well. There are a lot of different nationalities that live here. In fact, the other day we got talking to someone who is from Lebanon about the gospel. She was really funny, talking about how we Mormons aren't polygamists like she "saw" in a movie. We have been getting a lot of that lately. I made it clear that we aren't polygamists. She got a kick out of how I was white and was speaking Spanish. She loves the Lord and wanted to come to church. We gave her the address. We hope she comes! It's very diverse here. I love it! It gives us a lot of fun adventures! We have really great members. I'm excited to be here!

So, we didn't have the baptisms this Sunday we were hoping to have. We went to see the Arroyo family the very first night we got to the area. The 3 kids were planning on being baptized yesterday. We talked it out with their mother. She wants to be baptized with all 5 of them together. We were okay with that. We set a goal for the 2nd of February. We know there were some challenges ahead of us so we made the goal for that day. We talked to the father. He loves everything about the church. He wants to be baptized too. We talked about his problem that he has with the Word of Wisdom. We came to his home while he was doing his thing. Right then and there we taught him about the blessings that come while keeping it. We committed him to stop and to live this commandment. We returned the next day and he had given in again. This is natural. It all starts with degrees when it comes to an addiction. So we talked to him and recommitted him to stop and to live this commandment. We asked him if he wanted a blessing to help resist this temptation and he accepted. We gave him a powerful blessing. We returned the following day and he told us that he didn't smoke. He didn't even have the desire to smoke. When we gave him the blessing he felt that our hands were really warm. He got a chill throughout his whole body. Then he felt totally relaxed afterwards. When he was at work he would reach for a box and then he would have an empty, painful feeling in his stomach. He would turn away from it. Pretty amazing huh??? It's so cool to see what the priesthood of God can do. It can do anything! It can heal the sick and help anyone in spiritual need. If there is anything I’ve learned on my mission is just that. He is solid. The family is solid. We are going to work on another big obstacle this week. They need to get married. We are praying that they will be able to do that before the 2nd of February. Pray for them!

We are also teaching a girl named Kately. She’s super awesome as well. She's about 14 and has already been taught everything for baptism. She wants to be baptized too. Her grandma is a member and that's how the elders in the past found her. She's been to church tons already. Her only set back is her father. He goes to a Calvary chapel and is strongly against her being baptized. Fortunately we don’t legally need his permission for her to be baptized.  Her mom has full custody of her. She still wants his moral support. She was with him on Saturday and we committed her to talk to her father. I would imagine as a father of a different faith it would be very hard to support her as she wants to make this change in her life. We hope he will be able to see the fruits of it and be wiling to let her be baptized. We are going to see them tonight and see if she did it.

We also have a great part member family named the Luna family.  They have two kids. Over the span of about six months one by one, starting with the kids they have been getting baptized. Now the only member of the family that isn't baptized is the father. He is basically a member of the church. He's been to church faithfully every Sunday since July. He reads the scriptures with his family. He does almost everything that a member does. The reason he isn't baptized? Because he wants his family to come up from Mexico to see him get baptized. They are all working on visas and passports, but it's being delayed. That's a new doubt I haven't heard about before. We hope that we can find a way to overcome it. We think he says that as an excuse because he smokes. He tries to hide it, but we know it. We are going to visit this beautiful family tonight and try to get a goal set up for baptism. That would be so awesome. He knows it's true. He just needs a little push like all of us do now and then.

What a week! I'm so excited! Only so much time left! I just want to let you all know that I love the Lord and this work. It's the most amazing, hard, and satisfying work. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Dallin M. Ollerton