Monday, February 24, 2014

Letter #22 February 24, 2014

I don't even remember what week it is now, which is probably a blessing ha ha.  This week was great!!!! After writing on Monday we went and did a Family Home Evening with a family and talked about having unity in the family to help one another through our trials!!!  It went really well and I am so glad that I am being blessed with comfort as I take control of lessons.

We did Divisions on Tuesday and Elder Vindas, who is my Zone leader from Costa Rica, and we went out to our area and worked as hard as we could!!! We had so much success!! As a matter of fact, we are 12 days into working here in Puerto Esperanza and have yet to be rejected!!!! The people here have truly been prepared to receive us and this is truly evident!!  In total on Tuesday we taught a total of 11 lessons and found 21 new investigators. I went to bed that night exhausted but so happy for the work we had put in.  Wednesday we went to Puerto Iguazu to switch companions again and on our way back to the terminal we met a man from Sandy, Utah!!!  We bought our bus tickets and we had an hour long wait.  This man took us to a restaurant and bought us something to eat.  We were so pumped, not only for a meal but to speak English!!! haha Little things here I miss, like being able to shower without shoes.

Thursday night we went to the Bogardin`s house to talk to their son Nico.  We had a goal to baptize him this week but he really didn't want to get baptized and we didn't know why.  We took a walk just Nico, Elder Seethaler, and I, and we just talked about how he was feeling and then he really opened up to us.  We committed him to be baptized on Saturday and he told us he would!!! This kid is only 13 years old!! Saturday came around and we had a baptism!!! Nico asked me to perform the ordinance and Idk what is it but every time someone asks me to do it I get butterflies!!! We went to Puerto Iguazu for the baptism because all the rivers here were filthy from the rain.  When we got there we changed, took pictures, and then half way through our service, I led Nico into the water and baptized him.  When he left the water his countenance was completely different!  He was so happy and we all could see it!!! We had some refreshments and the whole time Nico was super happy and I could tell he finally understood the significance of Baptism!  We hurried to the terminal to catch our bus to Puerto Esperanza and ended up having to wait an hour.  When we finally got on the bus, the same drunk girl who we had met last Sunday got on the bus and greeted my comp with a kiss hahaha.  Then she tried to get me but, like Joseph of Egypt I fled hahaha.

Sunday President and Sister Lapierre came and attended our church service which meant we needed to have a lot of investigators in church.  We went around Sunday morning with little hope because the night before we had a HUGE lightning and thunder storm.  When this happens not even the members go to church. With mud covered shoes we set out to find people to take to church with us. There were alot of people that didn't even answer their doors but in total we had 26 people in church!!!  But 15 of them were investigators!!!! Majority of our church attendance this last week was people investigating the church!!! I was so happy! We had a great church service.  Elder Seethaler and I taught a Sunday school about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In Sacrament meeting I gave a talk about Missionary work and President Lapierre gave an awesome talk as well!!  After Church we said goodbye to President and Hermana Lapierre and they told us how proud and impressed they were with our start here to this new area!!  We patted ourselves on the back and then got back to work! Yesterday we taught 10 lessons in like 4 hours and we had a ton of success.  This week, we are focusing on getting a couple married and then next Saturday we hope to have around 15 to 20 baptisms!! Fingers crossed!!!! Also today we went to Iguazu falls and it was incredible!!!

I love you all and pray for you daily!! Stay safe and God bless!!!
Elder Ollerton

Monday, February 17, 2014

Letter #21 February 17, 2014

Well Everyone,
This week has definitley been one of change and having to get adjusted to things again!!  Monday and Tuesday were spent saying goodbye to Members and investigators in San Vincente and then finishing packing.  It was difficult but at the same time I am growing to understand the need for change and understanding to have faith in the Lords need for me somewhere else.  Wednesday Bright and Early at 4 o'clock we hopped on a bus to head to Posadas and find our new companions.  I had to say goodbye to Elder Izurieta in Obera about 2 hours outside of Posadas so that he could stay and wait for his companion.  It was a fast goodbye and I am going to miss that guy a lot!!  When I got to the terminal in Posadas I was greeted by Elder Sattler and Elder Duke and it was great to catch up and talk with those guys!!  I knew that Elder Seethaler my new companion was coming from Paraguay and he would be arriving later so I just got comfortable!! We all talked and laughed together about anything and everything.  Then out of a taxi came Elder Seethaler.  First impressions,  well he was playing with playing cards doing magic tricks, he also was super sweaty and had a weird accent.  He came up and gave me the hug of death!! He squooze me so freakin hard my back popped like 5 times haha.  Elder Duke just started laughing.  I was like o' crap I may have got my first weird comp.  Elder Seethaler, Elder Piriz, and I hopped on a bus headed North towards our new areas.  It was a 5 hour bus ride to our first stop and then another 2 hours to Puerto Esperanza.  I slept most of the way but when I was awake I spoke nothing but Spanish surprisingly.  Elder Piriz doesn't speak English so I didn't really have a choice. haha.  We left him at our first stop and Elder Seethaler, our zone leaders and I rode the rest of the way to our new area.  Puerto Esperanza had missionaries 25 years ago but for whatever reason we are the first ones there in 25 years!! We have around 10 members here, all of which are from the same family, and all of which are inactive.  We had a grand total of 16 people in Sacrament meeting and we have no idea how!  In short Puerto Esperanza is awesome!! In 3 days of working here we have found 51 investigators a lot of whom have been people who just stop us in the street and want to know who we are.  We have 45 people with a baptismal date of March 8 and most of them are huge families of around 10 people or more!!  We are truly being blessed here and we can already tell that the church in Puerto Esperanza is about to explode in numbers!!! We had a really cool experience this week with the most active member in the city.  This family has an 18 year old son who has gotten into drugs, tattoos, and just a lot of bad stuff.   When we passed by on Valentine's day it was this son's birthday and he wasn't with the family.  The dad told us all about how he was feeling and about how he was very concerned for everything that his son was participating in.  We began to talk to him about faith and he told us all about how he knows that things are going to get better but he still didn't understand the trial and why it was happening.  I felt prompted to share D&C 121.  The story of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail.  I shared it and then bore testimony of the truthfulness of what it said.  This father asked me to say a prayer for his son and so with this family we knelt and prayed.  When I finished I looked up and this father was in tears.  He walked over to me and hugged and held me.  I felt the love that this father had for his son and it really made me miss my dad.  I know that our Heavenly Father is the same way with us.  He really does weep when we are sad and when we mess up.  He loves us so much and this experience was something that I will never forget.  In short,  Puerto Esperanza is amazing and everything about it is perfect!!  Our pinch is huge, 2 stories!!!  Short rundown for the week, Elder Seethaler is from Payson, turns out he is super awesome and we have a great time!!  I live in a jungle,  super accepting people here, and our pinch awesome. Also there are some of the freakiest bugs here ever!! haha 
I love you all and I hope to hear from you all soon!!
I Love you!
Elder Ollerton

Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter #20 February 10, 2014

Hello Everyone!!

This week was super hard.  We didn't have a lot of lessons the reason being that I was super sick for 3 days and couldn't leave the pinch.  We ate with Hermana Kata on Wednesday and after we had a pretty good meal she brought out what I thought was peaches.  Long story short... NOT PEACHES!!  I woke up the next morning so sick I couldn't leave the apartment.  We called the nurse and she told me to go take an antibiotic, but the thing is I have no idea what it is called so it turned into a "tough it out" kind of thing. haha.  We studied a ton this week and the scriptures have just come alive for me these past 4 months!!!  I have decided to read the New Testament this past month. Reading about the life of our Savior is something very special!  I sit and read, and wonder if I would have had the faith to be healed.  It shows me things that I need to work on in myself and then helps me set goals for the week.  Once I got healthy again, (3 days later) we worked hard.  We knew the transfer was coming to an end and we wanted to finish strong.  Saturday night we went and visited Ramona´s family.  When we got there we could tell there was tension between the family.  What had happened is Ramona had text us saying that she wasn't home when she actually was.  Her daughter found out that she had lied to us and it turned into a huge fight!  Ramona tried to ask Christina for forgiveness but Christina was still angry!  Ramona began to cry while telling us this story.  Christina got mad during this time and just left.  We felt that we needed to share something special.  Elder Izurieta and I sang Love at Home and talked about the Lamanite  mothers that gave their sons to war.  We talked about how God knows our needs especially the needs of mothers.  She still had a hard time with it so we called Christina and told her we wanted to have a prayer before we left and she came back.  We went into their house, knelt down, and prayed for this family.  The spirit was strong and the next day when we went to their house, they were drinking Mate together (this is very significant here)!!  We shared more about the Book of Mormon, what it is and why we need it.  Then we challenged all of them to read it.  They accepted except for Christina.  Normally in these situations I let Elder Izurieta talk some sense into them, but this time I felt something inside me.  I looked at this family and suddenly it hit me, I knew these people before this life and now it was my job to help them.  I realized that I have been set apart to preach the gospel for 2 years. I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon and told them how I felt about it.  Then I looked at Maxi, it was his first time listening to us.  We asked him if he would read and he told us he didn't have a book.  We gave him one and we heard him say to his cousin that he wanted to read.  While I was talking I looked over and noticed he had began to read and was in 1 Nephi 3.  He had taken the first step of Faith to find out if the church was true!! We had a prayer and left while the Spirit was still strong!! I know I was blessed with the Gift of Tongues to be able to help this family understand how important the Book of Mormon is.  
Today the transfer ended and we were going to be told whether or not we are getting transferred.  The hermanas called us this morning and asked us if we had heard anything so we told them that they are both getting transferred.  They called our bluff but we kept our joke going.  They came and talked to us in person and some how I kept a straight face.  They told us they wanted a copy of the tablera.  The tablera is a sheet with every missionary on it, who their companion is, and where they are going.  We said ok and then we had no idea how we were going to keep our joke going!!    We ran to the church and hurried and made a fake tablera!! It looked completely legit!!!!  The hermanas saw it and almost started to cry it was so good!!! Then we got a call from the zone leaders like an hour later telling us the real changes. The hermanas were not happy with us .haha.  I am now getting transferred to an area called Puerto Esperanza.  I will be opening this new area with my new companion!! Packing is the worst but I am excited for this new experience.  It is about 7 hours north of Posadas, and 30 minutes away from Iguazu falls. If you don't know what that is you HAVE TO look it up!!! It will take your breath away!!.

I love you all and I appreciate you prayers and thoughts!! Stay Safe and I will see you all in a quick 20 months!!!

Elder Ollerton

Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter #19 February 03, 2014


Hey Everyone!!!
This has been such a good week!!  It started off rough because I was sick.  But once I was fully better and able to get out of our pinch, we worked hard!!  We did a lot of walking this week as we had families that we had to visit, but it was a great week overall!!

We had some great lessons with our investigator Ramona and her 4 daughters.  They recently lost their Dad and so we were pretty excited to share the Plan of Salvation with them!! It went awesome and I took the initiative with the whole lesson.  I have been trying to do that a lot more lately!  I felt the spirit so strong when we talked about life after death and how when we die it isn't the end.  I watched one of the daughters, Cristina, get tears in her eyes while we talked about the plan that our Father in Heaven has for us!! It was an awesome experience!!

We talked to Elder Merrill this week to make sure that we were still having a baptism and his answer was, "Ya we are. And, have Elder Ollerton bring his baptismal pants!!"  I was so happy and I started to cry!! Not only was the Marquez family getting baptized, they had asked me to baptize them!!  I called President to make sure that we still have permission to go and he said yes!!  We decided we would leave Friday night and have all of Saturday to visit people.  After our lesson on the Plan of Salvation with Ramona, it was about 7:40 because we had given Ramona a blessing after our lesson, and we had at least a 30 minute RUN to the house and then another 10 minute run to the terminal! We called a taxi, and then took off.  We got to the pinch with around 10 minutes before our bus left.  We changed our clothes packed a back pack and literally sprinted to the terminal!! We barely made it to our bus and we were off to Posadas.  We made it to Posadas in 3 hours which was a miracle!  And we stayed the night in Elder Merrill and Dukes pinch.  They are a good time!! We spent the night catching flies and gluing strings to their backs then flying them around. ha ha.  It was hilarious! The next day we had a meeting with President LaPierre in the morning and then we went to eat in the Plaza downtown.  While we were eating we had a homeless guy come up to us and drop cain on us for not buying him a sandwich.  He was kinda sketchy and he was getting pretty close to me so I was getting ready to defend myself if need be.  ha ha Crazy stuff!!  We went to the Baptism and It was such an awesome experience!!!  I also took the 1st picture in the history of the world with that whole family smiling!! It was such a different countenance on their faces after their baptisms!!  When It was time to leave the youngest son ran up to me and began to cry.  He buried his head in my leg and just told me thanks for everything.  He said he didn't want me to go!! I started to cry but promised I would be back soon!!!  It was great!!! The worst part of the day was when we learned that the next bus to San Vicente was at 4:45am in the morning.  We had a crappy sleep in the sketchy terminal ha ha.  Oh the Adventures of the mission!! We got on a crappy bus that broke down an hour outside of the terminal, and then had a baby throw-up as well. ha ha.  What a weekend!! I

 am so happy for the blessings that I have had this week and I am grateful for your prayers!!! I love you all and hope you are enjoying the cold!!!
Love you!!
Elder Ollerton