Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letter #8 - November 26, 2013 (1st Letter from Argentina)

After several long months of waiting I am finally here.  I have made it safely to Posadas and for the last week I have been in my first Area of Villa Cabello.  It has been a very tough transition because it is always super hot here (around 90) and always humid (10000000%).  The people here are awesome!!!  I am in a Trio with my trainer Elder Merrill and Elder Worthington as well.  We have been working hard and we have taught a lot!!!  The people here are so willing to listen to our message and the spirit talks to them strongly!!! We try to talk to everyone about baptism and in our first 5 days here we have around 15 people committed to Baptism!!!  Now I know things will not be easy but with the help of the Lord I know we can get everyone of those people Baptized!!  The first night here we got all of our stuff and got dropped off at our Pinch, or our apartment.  It is a dump.  When we got there, rat poop was everywhere, bugs were everywhere, we had no AC, a broken fan, and a leaky ceiling among other things. I was in shock.  The night before we had stayed at the mission home and It was one of the nicest homes I had ever seen.  I was so nervous to even lay on the bed.  We had to have the assistants bring us new mattresses and mosquito nets!  My trainer is always so positive so it helps!  He along with a couple of the other missionaries in the mission were in the MTC with Dallin which is awesome!!!  They said to say hi to Elder Utterton!!  Anyways we are constantly teaching which is great it means we get to stop walking around this inferno.  I would guess we walk around 6-7 miles daily at least.  On Thursday, Elder Merrill had bad kidney pain and he had to be taken to the hospital.  Turns out he had a kidney stone and was ordered to rest for 2 days.  Elder Ake (zone leader) was my step-dad for those 2 days and we had a ton of success!!! A lot of things about the culture here have put me in shock!!  Like for 1 thing half the time we are tracting, we see a ton of drunk guys just walking around trying to talk to us.  One guy even gave us a karate demonstration haha.  Also apparently modesty isn't a thing here either.  Women will breast feed in front of us all the time which is the weirdest thing ever!! There are a ton of churches here to.  One of them worships the Hispanic version of Robin Hood, he is a cowboy named Gauchito gil.  Its crazy!!!  There is another church called San Del Muerte (Saint of the Death). This church has a huge grim reaper pained on the front of it and they worship Death.  Its actually kind of scary.  People here for the most part though are Catholic.  We had to get up in Church this past week and introduce ourselves/ bear our testimony.  It was a good opportunity.  The language is coming along but it is along harder to understand people her than in the MTC that is for sure!!  Oh and there are always random horses just walking around the streets.  I must have seen 1001 stray dogs since I have been here.  Everyone drinks "mate" all the time and it smells like hay.  Overall,  this is a beautiful place and I am excited for these next 6 weeks here!!!  The members are great and our goal is to help them go from a branch to a ward!!  I hope to hear from all of you soon!!
Love you all and pray for you daily,
Elder Ollerton
PS.  The food here is unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Letter #7 November 16, 2013

It is so crazy how fast time is flying!!!  I leave Monday morning for Argentina!!  I have felt the impact of your prayers this week and I thank all of you so much for your thoughts!!! It has been a good week this past week and we started off on a definite high note!!  Last Tuesday our devotional speaker let out a secret that the speaker a week from then would be L. Tom Perry.  So on Tuesday night Elder Duke and I went up to Main Campus extra early.  We left at 5 oclock and took the bus up to Main.  We ate Dinner and walked around for a bit before going to get in line at the door.  When we got to the door, we saw a huge line had already formed!!  So since my companion is 6'7" we decided to make our way to the front!!  We walked through everyone and no one put up a fight haha.  We are one of the biggest companionships at the MTC and it has its advantages!!  I was no more than 15 feet away from L. Tom Perry as he spoke to us.  He is awesome!!  He delivered a great talk with so many great lessons.  One thing he said that stood out to me was "You are on the Lords errand, what is there to fear???"  It made me realize that I am a servant of God and "You can't touch this" (sorry if that was to irreverent, I had to through a personal touch in here) .  Another funny thing I decided to do this week was mess with missionaries at the Main campus (especially the senior couples).  Main campus has that huge map everyone takes pictures by while pointing to their missions.   So when people walked by I would point to North Korea.   I got so many questions about my mission and it was so hard to keep a straight face.  Gotta keep things light hearted in the MTC to stay sane!!!  Yesterday we attended in field orientation.  Basically an all day meeting explaining how things work in the field.  It hit me that I am moving literally across the globe and its pretty scary at times to think about.   But I have faith and I know I will be ok.
Another funny event that happened this week is one of our teachers told me I was looking a little pudgy.  So I asked my teacher to bring a scale to class so I could see if I had gained weight.  I think I was around 190 lbs when I entered the MTC and when I stood on the scale it read 207!!!! I have gained more than 15 lbs here!!!  This gave me a ton of motivation to get more exercise whenever I can!! 
Our teaching continues to improve, we taught Ciro about Chastity, Keeping the Sabbath day holy and The Word of Wisdom.  He had a tough time accepting the Law of Tithing though.  I sat and paused and just let the spirit guide me.  I asked Ciro if he would obey the Law of Tithing if God appeared and told him to and he said yes.  We then talked about how this is a modern day commandment given to the Prophet and how they are the Mouthpiece of God on the Earth.   He sat and thought and then agreed to follow all the Guidance we had given him!  This man is GOLD!!!!!!!  Any ways I love you all and I really appreciate all your support!! Please continue to write and send pictures (Nacho accent) "They are the beeeeeeest, I love it"
Love Elder Ollerton

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Elder Ollerton and Elder Duke - Rock'in the "I Love You" sign.
"Twin Day"

Letter #5 November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013

Another week down here in the MTC.  That makes in 1 month down!! Crazy how fast time flys!! Well I know you all are dying to know how my average day goes in this place so here it goes.  We wake up at 6:30 and get ready for the day,  Breakfast is at 7:30 but most food gives everyone diarrhea so most of the time it consists of a doughnut or cereal.  We then have class from 8 until 12!!!  Its a long 4 hours of studying and trying to learn more Espanol.  We got one of our investigators to commit to Baptism this week BTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Duke and I were so pumped!!  Anyways haha, after class we go to lunch then either Gym or service.  Soccer here gets pretty intense haha good times.  Then we have more class from 2:10 till 5:10.  By this point my brain is fried!!! Following Dinner, we have class again from 6 till 9.  Its a lot to take in but Its a blessing how fast my body has adjusted to this schedule!  The Lords hand is very evident in my life and I love all the blessings and opportunities he is giving me!  Now for the biggest news of the week......... MY VISA CAME THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will be flying from Salt Lake to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Buenos Aires on the 18th.  We then take probably a 12 hour bus ride to Posadas!!  We are all so excited for this news!  We have been praying so hard for this to happen and the Lord has heard our prayers!!  My Spanish grows stronger everyday but I know that It will be a different story once I get down to Argentina!!  I hope I hear from you all soon!!  I love getting all the pictures and things like that!!  You are all so special and I appreciate getting all of your love!!  ( Matt Johnson if I come home and that really is what has happened on the Walking Dead I will cut your arms off ;) haha
Love Elder Ollerton

Sunday, November 3, 2013

 Elder Ollerton and Elder Smith (LPHS baseball teammates)
 Elder Ollerton and Elder Duke (MTC Companions)

Letter #4 - Nov 2, 2013

Hello Everyone!!

I miss you all so much and its crazy to think that I have gone for almost a month!!  Time has flown by in here and I am so grateful for that.  I have had my emotional ups and downs, but overall the first 3 and a half weeks have been great!!  This week we started teaching 2 new investigators, Ciro and Edgar.  The 1st two lessons went great with both of them, we ended up challenging Ciro to be baptized at the end of the 2nd lesson and he said he would pray about it!!!!!  It was awesome!!!  The spirit is so strong with these two brethren.  A funny story about this week... we were teaching Edgar and we asked him if he had ever heard of Joesph Smith and he so "Oh si!! Jose Smith y Poco hontas?" I heard him say poco so I was like what the heck is a little hontas?!?!  Elder Duke leaned over to me and he said "Did he just say Pocahontas?"  I was like there is no way he just brought up Pocahontas.  We sat there for like 10 minutes trying to figure out what a Hontas was!  Finally we asked him to repeat himself again for the 3rd time and I finally realized he was talking about Pocahontas and he was thinking about John Smith!!!!!!!  I was No Joseph Smith was a Prophet, right after I made that connection, Edgar had to leave so our lesson was a bust.  I felt so discouraged and sad that I wasnt able to better help him.  I knelt in prayer and asked Father in Heaven to help me stop feeling this way.  He did and I felt much better.  When we taught Edgar again on Friday,  the other two companionship's in our District got to observe our lesson.  At the end, Elder Worthington asked why I get so frustrated with my Spanish, then the other Elders all agreed.  Then they told me they considered me fluent in Spanish which made me feel great!!  The lord truly has blessed me thus far in my mission!!  I pray for you all everyday and the Lord has calmed my heart!   I have noticed a little lacking in the mail department so I expect a better effort haha Just kidding :)  Mom, Dad how are the goals coming???  I want to hear everything from everyone!!! Keep me posted!!!  I love you all!!!!!!!!!

Love Elder Ollerton