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