Monday, July 7, 2014

Letter #35 July 7, 2014

Hey Everyone!!
This week was crazy!! We were running in all directions and we were drained in every sense of the word.  Tuesday we had Leadership Council in Posadas so we hopped the border once again.  It was an awesome day full of learning.  We talked all about being yourself and not trying to be any other missionary.  That is a huge problem here.  We all see missionaries that are just awesome and we try to adapt ourselves to them.  President LaPierre talked about how we weren't called to be anyone else other than ourselves.  I was called to be Elder Ollerton.  It has been a tough week trying to find out what I have taken from other missionaries and what truly is me. 
We were Posadas until Wednesday doing Leadership Council, and then paper work through Thursday.  We only had 2 days to work this week so that was also stressful.  Trying to find time to help other missionaries, and help people progress towards baptism is hard. Finding the balance between them is even more difficult, especially when I am not even in the same country.
We got out and worked hard through the rest of the week and ended up with a huge payback on Sunday.  In total we had 40 people in church, that is the most I have seen in 7 months!!!  We also had 13 investigators!! We are being so blessed here in Ita Paso.  I love the area and on top of everything it only rained once this whole week!!!  We are focusing on 8 people that we want to baptize this month and if all goes well, it will be amazing!! We have a lot of kids that love to come to church and listen to the gospel, and we love teaching them!!  We use a lot of visual aids (not just because they are young, but also because they speak a lot of Guarani) and also games to help them understand.  They always ask us when we are going to come back and when church is.  Super cool!  I am also trying to get more comfortable with all my Zone Leader responsibilities.  We have a lot more to do now.  We received a call on Saturday at around 12:30 from some Sisters in an area around 30 minutes away from ours. They told us that they needed baptismal clothes.  Their baptism was scheduled to start in an hour!!  We grabbed the clothes that we had and headed out the door to go to the bus.  Right as we got out the door, we saw the colectivo (bus) passing on the street above ours.  Elder Magdaleno yelled, "GO CATCH IT ELDER!!"  I don't know why but I just took off on a sprint!! I must have ran over 200 yards to catch this bus and I was dead beat tired when we got on.  I realized how out of shape I have gotten in a quick 9 months!!
We have been working with a lot of less active members and most of them are coming back to church.  We set a goal to become a branch within the transfer.  We are only 1 Priesthood holder shy of becoming a branch!! Keep all of us here in Ita Paso in your prayers :)  We are working hard and doing our very best to help the church progress.  The Lords hand is evident everywhere even in places that we never would expect.  We have a less active member that lives around 3 miles from our house.  We walk home every night from their house. It is very dark with little street lights anywhere.   Every night when we are about to leave, the family prays for our safety as we walk back.  Night after night we see some sketchy guys that drive by, but we are always protected.  The Lord truly knows his children and watches over us all even if we don't know it.  As I read the scriptures, I have come to realize how often the word Diligence appears in one way or another.  I know that as we are all diligent, in everything that the Lord requires of us, he will watch over and protect us.  I hope and pray that we can do everything that we can, so that the Lord can pour out all of his blessings upon us.

I love you all and hope you are all loving life!! Stay safe!!

Elder Ollerton

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