I hope everyone had the best Christmas ever and are all stoked for the new year!! This year for Christmas President LaPierre and his wife gave everyone a personal journal, a Book of Mormon in their native language and a red pencil. This next year we get to go through and reread the Book of Mormon, and mark everything we learn about the Savior. We are to write in the journal anything we want to remember about our experiences with this new opportunity and everything we learn about Christ. I think it is a great idea and it would be awesome if everyone did the same. There is always something we can do to improve our lives and this is a great way to have those things made more apparent. This past week I talked to my family through Skype and it was an awesome experience but very difficult at the same time. I left the members home in tears and I wanted to be home with my family. The next day I woke up and realized how blessed I was for something as small as carpet, or being able to shower without having to wear shoes!! So many things that I just overlooked when I was at home. This week I made a conscious effort to once a day say a prayer of gratitude, a prayer where I don't ask for anything. When I do this I immediately want to work harder and find more people to share this message with!!!
Now time for investigator updates!!! This Sunday we had the entire Marquez family attend Church!!! It was the 3rd time for Mario, Nico, and Gabriel. The 2nd time for Leo, and the 1st time for Neomi and Rocio. They all made it through all 3 hours!!! All 3 hours were about Family Search. Although this is a very important item (family history), 3 hours was a little much and it went clear over the families heads! After words we went back that night and brought Hermano Zorilla with us to teach them about how the Gospel has blessed our families and how it can bless theirs. Neomi had 2 of her older children there as well to listen to us!! We taught 11 people in 1 lesson!!! Also....... THEY ACCEPTED THE INVITATION TO BE MARRIED!!!!!!!! That is the single biggest obstacle we face here in Argentina. People live together but just don't want to get married. I just had a thought as I sit here writing this. All of you that are reading this and are married, or have parents married in the temple, can you send me an email of just a paragraph or 2 about the blessings you see in your family from being married in the temple. I think if they heard it from people who have experienced it, it would be very special!!!
Saturday when we were tracting, we walked by and wanted to stop and talk with Cristian and Ayelen who we hadn't seen in 2 weeks!! They had a couple there from their church who starting attacking our beliefs and quizzing us on scripture knowledge. Elder Merrill handled it well, but then they starting talking about Joseph Smith and how the Book of Mormon is false doctrine. My blood began to boil. The women stood up and got in my face yelling about how it is not our fault that we are preaching false doctrine, its our parents fault for teaching it to us. I was about to lose it!!! I had to leave. I could not listen to this women sit and lecture me about things she had no idea about. I was so angry and I was upset that Cristian and Ayelen would let that happen right in front of them! When we got back to the pinch we were eating lunch when we got a text from Ayelen and Cristian asking forgiveness for the way that their visitors had acted and they wanted us to stop by to share more of our message!! We went by yesterday and talked more about the Book of Mormon because they had a ton of questions about it!! They also had a ton a questions about Baptisms for the Dead!!!! I had no idea where this was coming from it was crazy!!! But we told them that we would look into their questions and give them better answers!! We have been so blessed this week!!
Now time for a funny story!!! Last night we had around 45 minutes left and so we decided to go visit a less active member. We always get food from her so its a good deal. haha. We showed up and her son was hammered. So naturally..... we sat there and played Jenga with him. haha He sat and smoked and swore up a storm while we played Jenga haha!!!!
Anyways my time here is changing, I just heard I am getting transferred to San Vicente about 2 hours south of Posadas. I have loved my time in Villa Cabello and everything about it. I know the Lord directs our lives and there is a reason I am going to this new place!! My companion is Elder Izurieta from Buenos Aires!! He is going to be the Branch President in this new area to!!!! Lots to learn!! I love you all and please continue to pray for me.
Love Elder Ollerton