Thursday, September 19, 2013

Anxious to be out in the field--next week!

Hola!!!! So I'll start with proselyting. It was cold and supposed to rain, but it didn't LUCKILY!!!! We got a new area this week and it was a lot bigger, nicer and more developed. There were all sorts of stores and stuff we could go to. Even though it was freezing we got ice cream cuz there was a giant ice cream shop. it was great. we had another week of success. Well we started out having a ton of success and then for the middle 2 hours, out of 5, we had nothing it stunk! We decided to pray for people to teach and we went another 30 mins without success and then went on a rampage.We asked 4 people to get baptized, got 5 references and taught like 7 lessons! It was awesome! There was probably only one person we taught that would actually get baptized, but it would take some huge life turn arounds!!!! Unfortunately we only get an area for 2 weeks, give our references to those missionaries and then thats that. Unfortunately ,we don't get to know anything about our contacts. But its all good. Other than that my week has been pretty normal. I was good about writing in my journal and now I'm getting a little lax because all the days are pretty much the same. One of my companions is bugging me a little lately. Well kinda both of them. they like to wander around in the halls during our classes and study time and it bugs me. Plus they can't seem to quite get the concept of obedience.... The biggest rule they cant follow is eating outside the cafeteria... such a simple rule, but they cant follow it. Oh well... I'm super ready to get out of here!!! It's nice and stuff, but we've learned all the Spanish we have to learn and i feel like the only way to get better is out in the field. I'm outta here on Tuesday though!!! I get 5 mins to email that Monday, but after that i will always be emailing on Mondays so you'll have to wait until next week.

We had some incredible lessons this week. We learned a ton about the Priesthood. The best thing I learned was about Priesthood and Blessings. Priesthood Blessings don't work through faith... they work through the Priesthood Authority.... I thought that was super cool. The only faith they have to have is to ask the priesthood holders for the blessing. We also had a lesson on the power of the scriptures and how much you can get out of them. Look at John 12:4 and see how much you can get out of that, because our mtc president showed us so much, it was insane!!! He ended the lesson by telling us we should not go fishing and told us to write it in our journals "I will not go fishing". After Christ died Peter went back to fishing. We need to not go fishing, we need to remember what we learn on our mission and keep living that way. We then had a video devotional by Neil L Anderson yesterday and it was spectacular. it was called "First Love, Then Sacrifice". He talked about blessings and sacrifices, mainly about missions. He had a quote I love! "Sacrifice the things we love, We love the things we sacrifice." It was great. That's all I got.

That's really sad about Fernando's family. I'll keep them in my prayers, too bad she declined the blessing, that would've been great. I'm glad everyone is studying the gospel more!!!!! How's cam doin, I haven't heard from him? I guess him and Katie are still doin good? How's Ethan doing in learning Spanish and preparing for his mission? Hows Brig doin down in Mexico? I'm super glad Clara is reading her scrips and stuff that's great to hear. When people send me packages I really just want candy for now!!!! Like starbursts and sour patch kids and candy like that. Maybe some sweet ties too! That's all I can think about for now. Love you all!!!

Elder Oliver

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Today's letter and a scheduled phone call!

Hola!!!!!! How are you doing? I´m doing great!!!!!! I finally got over my cold thing on tues and I feel great! Proselyting is so fun!!!! This Saturday it was rainy and a little bit chilly, but it was so fun! It poured the day before and the day we went proselyting so the streets all had about a foot of water on the streets, so it was definitely an experience! There was actually this one guy who practically swam across the street and we stopped him as he was walking into his house. he actually shut the door on us and ended up turning around and opening it for us. He let us in and took us to a back  room of his house. The house was ghetto and smelled super bad! In the back room was this guys friend. It  was actually his friends house and he took care of him. This guy was, I assume, paralyzed in this bed and the bed was just dirty and it was pretty nasty, but we actually taught these two guys a lesson and ended up asking him to get baptized and one of the guys said yes, it was so cool!!!! We decided to eat around 3 and had to search for a place. IN the back of our area was this built up freeway so we ate under that. It actually had tables for us to sit underneath it, it was stinky but at least it was dry! We had a ton of success this Saturday as well! We only got 17 contacts, but what do you expect when its raining buckets, that's what they say down here i guess. Our Latino roommates left on tues, it was sad. They were both from Colombia. Elder Romero is probably going to be prophet one day and elder Cabrera just always said flip, fetch, or you're a freakin boss Elder, it was hilarious!!!! It´s definitely a Spanish overload down here!!!! We´ve learned all but one tense and its a lot!!!!!  I can hold a simple gospel conversation if people slow down for me and try not to speak in a heavy accent. I still have a ton of tenses i need to memorize and i need to learn some words that normal people use, but I´ll get there. My comps and i are doing really good at our I.P.s (fake investigator). We actually had a super spiritual experience last night with one of them. We tried to do an all Spanish day on Monday and it only lasted until dinner before people started quitting, it was hard and a little annoying. I'm stoked for proselyting this Saturday, but it seems like it'll be another rainy day... and a lot colder. It'll be a new area too!!!! I'm still way excited! I´m more excited to leave though!!! Only 12 more days until I´m out in the real world.

I´ve really learned to love the scriptures down here! A lot of the times I wish I had more than an hour of personal study. We all learn so much from our CCM president! He taught us about the spirit world that blew our minds. He spent 55 mins reading scriptures and explaining stuff we knew in order to lead up to the last 5 mins before we went to dinner. Every single person walked out of there with jaws dropped and blown minds!!! It was wild! I don't have enough time to explain it, but it was so cool! We also had a great lesson on Jesus and his relationship with Heavenly Father. He just makes you look at scriptures in a whole new way!!!! And then Hermana Openshaw gave a lesson on oaths and I like a quote she shared,
"We have nothing to give to the Lord because he has given us everything. The only thing that we have to give is our will." Some apostle said that, but I loved it!

 I'm glad Clara's learning that stuff, I gave her those assignments! I hope Brig and E get into learning Spanish, because it'll help them so much! Thanks for sharing that story! Our I.P. last night we felt the spirit super strong. We had a lesson wed night about teaching people not lessons and we learned that a good way for that was to relate and share personal experiences. It just so happens our IPs wife just died a month ago and he feels like Dios doesn't love him. Well I shared my story and the spirit was so strong, I know we all felt it! Its an awful thing that happened to us, but I feel like it'll be a blessing on my mission to be able to relate to people like that and bring the spirit! Ive done all my temple sessions in the temple have been in Spanish except last week so i can remember what it said, but Spanish again!!! We still have the old video though :/

I leave on the 24th at like 5am. In the airport I can call you so that will be super early for you guys but i wanna call. I need to know what phone and ill give you more deets when i know!! Did you find the package thing? People can start sending them to my mission home! I want candy!!! CANDY CANDY CANDY!  I love you, good to here from you.

Elder Oliver

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Visa Update and Halfway Through the MTC and mailing instructions

Found out yesterday from church travel that after Wally and Evelyn sent Bailey's birth certificate apostile, Bailey already has his visa!  I wish the government worked like the church:)

Received a letter from Bailey because today is his P-day.  Here is what he had to say:

So we got the new missionaries last Thurs and they are really annoying and cocky. There's a couple that I like, but most I´m not to fond of! There's this one, Elder Luke, that is honestly the exact same as Cam! It's really weird. He's actually probably my favorite missionary here, outside of my district. Proselyting was definitely the most awesome, crazy, best thing I've ever done! The drive out there was the scariest because people drive like maniacs!!! And as we were driving we realized how ghetto it is. We finally got dropped off at our area with a map, a sack lunch and a time to be back at the bus. It was definitely a little scary, but I'm glad one of my companions is a big hockey player who used to fight for fun! I'm also glad that I wasn't a sister missionary cuz that would be way scary!!!! We definitely did the best out of all of our district though, we had 27 contacts, 3 lessons and got 4 references. It was so fun!! Besides being ghetto, having HUGE stray dogs running around everywhere, being hot and sweaty, and not understanding people it was a great experience!!! We talked to everyone we saw and most people were super nice!!! Everyones Catholic so they're not usually interested. Plus from like 3-5 is Siesta or "nap time" So we had 0 luck then. We talked to about 7 people worth mentioning. 1. This old man was getting stuff out of his trunk and we asked if we could help him, he said no, but we could talk. So we talked and found out he was Catholic and his grandpa was from Jerusalem and he tried to teach us Arabic. It was pretty fun, but we gave him a BoM and went on our way. 2. We've learned a couple 3 minute lessons for teaching people at bus stops and we actually used one! this guy was in a hurry, but willing to listen and we gave him a BoM as well. 3. We found this little farmers market thing and we were like that's cool, but all those people are working, but I felt like we should go down there so we went and this guy was like "misioneros misioneros!!!" so we talked to him for a while and he knew a bit abt José Smith, so we taught him some more and then another guy came up and we couldn't understand him, like most people, so the guy we were teaching taught him!!! and then another lady came up and he taught her!!!!!! Unfortunately we only got 3 BoMs so we didn't have enough, but we gave them all the directions to the capilla and hopefully they go!!! Our teacher told us he would give us more BoMs since we destroyed out there! 4, This guy was limping on a cane and we asked if we could help him, but he just wanted to talk as well! So we talked and he said he was really close to Dios, but hated religion cuz he said its corrupted by people, which is mostly true. But we asked for his address and he said no, but he gave us his work address. He just doesn't want us to interrupt his kids study, which i understand. 5. was this drunk guy having a bad day. he kept falling asleep on us, but I feel like we made his day better. 6. the last guy we talked to, I don't even know... Down here they slur there words together and don't finish them completely and this guy happened to have no teeth, so we pretty much listened to him for 30 mins and then had to go cuz the buss was there. I don't think I understood a word. I don't think I understood really anything from anyone, except no I'm catholic. It didn't matter, we just bugged them, and bugged them until they let us share a message or closed there door. We actually had 0 success knocking doors... Oh well! That was definitely my favorite part of the week and it'll be my favorite until I leave!!!! We had fast Sunday this week and it sucked!!!!! But oh well, it was good for me! My teachers say my Spanish is coming along really well, I kinda feel like that, but the past couple lessons have just overloaded my brain. It doesn't help that I've been sick with a cold or something for like a week straight. I think its finally getting better, but I dunno. The other day though, we learned 5 new, hard, grammar principles in 3 hours and it was just ridiculous!!!!! It's going great here though! I love it here, but I really just wanna get out into the field!!! This Saturday it's supposed to rain, but I think it'll add to the adventure of proselyting!
I´ve learned so much this week gospel!  Pretty much all i learn about the gospel comes from our genius spiritual giant of a CCM pres. He  taught us about the aaronic priesthood in a way that I've never even heard! It's an aaronic priesthood duty to bring the people unto Christ, by bringing them to the Atonement... I've never been taught that. He also had a spectacular lesson on the Atonement and Priesthood. But what he said about the Atonement got me, " We must go through anguish, like Christ did, to become a god. To fell anguish we must have charity," He talks a lot about becoming like gods, because that really is our goal. He also told us in priesthood, talking about the aaronic priesthood, that everyone in that room WOULD become a bishop sometime in their life. I thought that was way sweet. And then Sunday we had pres Eccle, i think that's the spelling, come in and teach us about sacrifice and the blessings that come from it and a mission. He talks every Sunday, hes super cool. Hes the FBI liaison??? for Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. Yesterday we watched a devotional from last month by Richard G Scott about prayer, but what stuck out to me the most was he said every good thing in his life has been because of a mission. I've heard that from a few people and its really stuck out to me!
I'm glad you guys are all doing good! I'm excited to here about the hotel!!!! I've been given Clara some assignments if you haven't noticed so she should be able to pray and at least start to bear her testimony in Spanish! I miss you guys and love you all! I'm glad at least Ethan is learning Spanish and that you guys are studying more about the gospel! I really wish I would've learned to love it like i do now before i came, but at least I have that for the rest of my life. The shipping stuff should be in the welcome email I got from my mission pres and his wife. You cant stuff to the CCM, but you can start sending it to the mission home.
Elder Oliver
Because many of you have asked, here is some information regarding mailing things to Bailey: 
Mission office: after 3 weeks, until a new address is posted (letters or packages)
Elder Bailey OConnor Oliver
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Dalmiro Costa 4635 Bis
11400 Montevideo
Phone 598 2-619-4534  (you will need this to ship through a private carrier)
The recommendations are these:
Send small things (pictures, thumb drives, memory cards, etc...) in padded envelopes
Uruguay does not allow ANY personal hygiene products to be shipped
Do not send anything expensive
If you send something that my require a duty to be paid, include a prepaid visa card so Bailey will have the money to get it from customs
Pouch mail:
Elder Bailey OConnor Oliver
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Post Office Box 30150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0150
Pouch mail instructions:  Write or type your letter on plain white paper (one side).  Fold the letter in thirds and tape shut.  Write both the regular mailing address and the return address as you would on an envelope and stamp it as regular mail.