Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter #32 May 19, 2014

Hey Everyone!!

Another week gone here in the Puerto Esperanza.  I want to throw a quick shout out to Justin and Amarae! Congrats on the calls!! You two are going to kill it!!
This was definitely a crazy week with a lot of success.  This last Tuesday after our Zone meeting, I did divisions with one of my Zone Leaders Elder Ortiz from El Salvador.  He seemed super quiet on the phone and so I didn't really know how he would take to my personality.  Turned out he was awesome!! We got along great!!  He was looking to learn from me as well as teach me.  We had a ton of success looking in a new part of our area that I have never been to before.  It's clear out in the jungle and so its quite a walk to get there.  My only worry about this new area is that the distance will make it so nobody will come to church.  We went out there and immediately found success. We found a new family with a ton of people!!  We talked a little about the church and what we do and we left them with a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation.   We passed by two days later, taught it, and committed all of them to be baptized!  We went by on Saturday night so we could meet their Dad and it turns out he drinks... a TON.  He couldn't even sit still he was so drunk.  He kept trying to take us off on tangents and so we ended the lesson and decided to return the next day when he was just hungover and could listen to us.  We went back the next day and he was the same!! He drank and drank and drank.  We had plans to teach about the Book of Mormon, but I decided to just cut the problem off right then.  I started to talk about the Word of Wisdom and the first thing I said was that we can´t drink alcohol.  He immediately asked me why that was bad.  I thought,  "are you kidding me??" We explained to him why we have this commandment and then he actually tried to argue with us that even Christ drank! We cut that argument down pretty fast ha.  We have decided now it would be better to teach the family when he isn't there and then teach him separately.  Pray for them please ha.  Our divisions ended up lasting for 4 days because Elder Ortiz´s companion Elder Cross got stuck in Posadas doing his document paperwork.  I was super excited for the divisions because Elder Ortiz was super cool!  We had a ton of success and I am so grateful for all the opportunities we are having to find these people!  Other than that It was a pretty normal week.
It has been really cold here lately and so I am a little sick with a cold or something but nothing big.  If you would have told me 5 months ago that it would be cold here I would have told you that you were crazy!  But it actually happened!! I admit it, I am from Utah and I can officially say that I am cold here.  Also this week I officially completed 6 months here in Argentina! Time is flying! 

I love you all and hope you all have an amazing week!!!
Elder Ollerton

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Letter #31 05-06-2014

Hey Everyone!
What a week it has been!! We started off this week by doing divisions with the Assistants.  The best birthday gift I could have received from President and Sister Lapierre.  I learned a ton and to end the day we had a huge "sleepover" with the Zone leaders and the Assistants for my birthday.  I had a blast!! This week was my last with Elder Seethaler so we just tried to have a good time while still working.  It was not easy as he gets closer and closer to seeing his family.  We saw so many miracles and one of them was one I will never forget.  We have recently discovered a gold mine of prepared people living in the Old Folks home.  This is all thanks to our buddy Carlos.  One day he called us over and talked to us.  We ended up talking with a ton of people from the Home and we visit them frequently.  While in our divisions on Tuesday, I talked with Carlos with one of the Assistants Elder Silva.  Elder Silva is the one responsible for the opening of this area so he knew Carlos already.  We had an awesome lesson and Carlos told us that he wanted to be baptized and Elder Silva told him he could on the 31st of this month.  My comp was very mad because he wanted to see Carlos get baptized.  So we went back the next day and started to talk with him, and Carlos told us that he had attended 80 churches and he knew that this was the right one.  He also told us that he had a desire to be baptized this weekend!! So we called our leaders and asked and the next day they were in our area doing a baptismal interview.  He passed and we are so excited for him!! He is 71 years old, and can barely walk, but the faith that this man has is absolutely incredible!  We planned everything out and decided to do the baptism combined with the baptism of the Bogardins daughter Laura who turned 8 this week.  We got to the Home early so that he could get ready and we could help him to the terminal at his own pace.  We ended up just jumping in a taxi and heading off!  We finally got to El Dorado and then had to walk to another bus stop, the whole time with this little old mans hand tightly in mine so he didn't fall.  We walked slowly and eventually made it to the chapel.  We got everyone changed and had a great service!!  We ended up having to baptize Carlos 3 times because his frail little body kept floating up.  The 3rd time we had 3 people in the font to help him.  He left the font with the biggest smile and I could tell that he understood.   He knew and felt what he had just done was right.  It was such a cool experience to see someone who was barely 8 and someone who probably doesn't have that much time left here in this earthly state, enter the waters of Baptism and make the same covenants with our Heavenly Father.  We walked back to the bus stop slowly, and we waited for the bus there.  As we waited I walked over to Carlos and asked him if his feet hurt, he told me yes.  Then he said something that touched my heart so strongly.  In his soft, weak voice he said "They hurt, but I came and did what Heavenly Father wanted me to do, and it was worth the pain."  I was almost brought to tears as this little old man bore a powerful testimony to me in 1 sentence.  There were so many miracles this week and I cant wait to share them with all of you later.  I know this Gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly are leading and guiding us today.  I hope you all have a great week and an awesome Mothers day! Thank you for all the birthday wishes this past week and for your continued prayers and support!!

Love you all!!
Elder Ollerton