Monday, June 23, 2014

Becoming a senior companion...

June 16, 2014

Thanks for the birthday wishes!!!

So tomorrow I am going to have another new companion.  Elder De Lama is going to reopen an area that was closed a couple months ago for his last week! He is going to live in our house still, until they find one there, so he has to travel 1 hour just to get to his area every day..... I am going to stay in the same area with Elder Sims, I think he has like 6 months or so in the mission!! I'm super excited to help him develop as a missionary and I'm sure we're gonna go baptize the world!!! It's gonna be crazy for a while because we are going to have 6 missionaries in a house of 4, but some how we're gonna make it work!!

We haven't had a lot of contact with the peoiple we have been teaching because it seems that they are just never home, but this week we are gonna have the whole week to work and it's gonna be great!!! We have 1 investigator that could be getting baptized in the next 2 weeks. His name is Francisco. He is 79 years old and let's just say he likes talking, a lot.... He is a great guy, but he is very difficult to teach... He feels like he knows everything that we are trying to teach him, so that's our biggest problem with him, but we'll get there.

We had the oppurtunity to listen to Elder Cabrera, a 70, and Pres Lyn G. Robins, Presidency of the 70, this week!!! It was incredible. Pres Robins started off by talking about the Spirit and how we don't convert the people, but the spirit does, so we need to make sure we are teaching by the spirit! Then he left the time to answer any question and well he only had time to answer 3 questions, but it was incredible how much knowledge he has!!!! It really makes me want to just soak in talks from the church and scriptures!!!! One day I hope to be at that level that I can answer all types of question using the scriptures!!! We also had the interviews with Pres and it was incredible to see how much he cares for us!!!

Over all this week I think I learned that even when we don't feel the Spirit, it is there with us!!! We just have to learn how to recognize it and when it leaves us, so we can change our actions! This week we are going to see miracles and thanks for everything!!!!

Love you all and thanks for all you do!!!!

Elder Oliver

My new companion is funny :) and a testimony!

June 23, 2014

Thanks for the birthday wishes!!! It went great! We played some sports in the church and then on Tues the Hermanas in our district brought some delicious brownies so it was a pretty good birthday!!! I can finally leave on the mission now..... that's crazy!!! I haven't gotten my packages yet, but I should tonight so I'm super excited!!!

Elder Sims is super awesome!!!! He's 18 years old and lived in West Jordan moved to Bluffdale and then moved back to West Jordan!!! Pretty crazy right!! We actually have some friends in common! He is super funny and super awesome!!! It helps to have a comp that has a ton of comedy acts from Brian Regan, Bill Cosby, Dane Cook and others memorized!!! He has 6 months in the mission so he is still working on his confidence a little bit, but heck, by the end of this change he'll be able to train if he needs to!! He's a great guy! Luckily the other guys moved out of the house so it's just the 4 of us again!!!

Francisco is being a little rough... He kind of does remind me of Dad. I really love him, but he talks a ton and thinks he knows everything so it's super hard to teach him... He also didn't go to church this week so we're gonna fix that! We have some good plans to use a ton of members with him and watch a lot of movies so he'll stop talking!!!

It was interesting, Sunday the members opened up to me more!!! Maybe it's because I've live in this ward for 6 months,,,, longer than I lived in wards in the states, maybe it's because I was a lot happier??? or maybe it's because they finally realized that I have stayed here and have had 3 comps leave, but I'm super excited to work with the members more! That was our week!!!! Love you all and thanks!!!

Also, things I have learned this week is the Spirit is always there, we just have to recognize it!!!! I really learned that as I read the BoM I need a question on a paper, in my study journal, and I need to write down all of my impressions, if I don't write down and follow the impressions of the Lord, why is he gonna give me more???? So I have really have been doing that this week and I don't think I have felt the Spirit more, but I surely have recognized a lot more impressions!!! Also, this week  I trulty have recognized the importance of the BoM, I was actually just reading this talk this morning and it was incredible!!!!!

I especially liked the quote from Pres Marion G. Romney,

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives,bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p.67).

I have a strong testimony of the BoM and I would like to invite all of you to read it, ponder and pray about it like it says in Moroni 10:3-5!!!! "Just do it" once  a famous quote by Nike!!! If you have that testimony of the BoM it will strengthen it!!!! If you lack that testimony you will receive it!!! I don't think I did this challenge until the mission and then my answer came to me the first time I testified about this book! I hope you all can learn of the importance of the BoM like I have and like Pres Benson exhorts!!! That's my missionary rant for the day!

Thanks for the email mom!!! It's sad, but Elder _____  mom doesn't really ever write him anything so I'm super happy I always had a letter from you!! It helps me out a ton!! I'm glad you guys are all doing good and moving soon!!! You guys are doing some exciting things!!!! Send me some current pics and some pics of the house when you can!!!! Love you guys!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A lot of catch up from Mom!!!!

April 29, 2014

Hey everyone!!! Right now I am living with my comp, Elder Pike from SLC, UT, Elder Lacey who's family moved to Alpine, UT and Elder Bastidas from Lima, Peru. Unfortunately Jefferson didn't go to church this week. It's hard to teach him with his friends around, they're definitely not that great of influences on him... Other than that this week went really well. We had a great week and so did the whole district so that is super awesome!!! The worst part of this week is that I've had this cold going on for a bit, but it's starting to go away!!! The best meal we had would be these grilled cheese and ham sandwiches we made when we didn't have lunch. And I would say the worst was this churrizo stuff we get ever week... It literally goes straight into the trash. I could understand if the people didn't have money, but they own a meat shop, I think they just give us what they can't sell. We've been trying a lot to get the ward helping us out some more, but it's kind of hard. Unfortunately, our bishop works a ton and can't really do anything until he gets a new job or is transferred. He's hoping that it'll happen this month!!! It's been kind of annoying weather because it's hot during the day. but when the sun goes down at like 6:30 it gets really cold!!!
That's pretty much my week!!!

That's exciting that you're starting physical therapy this week, I hope that goes well! Dad wrote me, so I know that his coughing was a little bit more than bronchitis, so I'll make sure that I keep him in my prayers!!!! I'm super excited to talk to you guys on mother's day!!! I'll make sure to let you guys know next week when we can do it because Pres is gonna let us know the rules he's gonna put today, but I'm really excited that Cam is gonna be there!!! LOVE YOU GUYS TONS!!!!

I was just thinking about a couple of things I might be needing in the next package and I was thinking:
G2 pens, but .5 and smaller
a couple of Scarfs

Thats all I've got for now!

May 5, 2014

Alrighty then! This week has been pretty great!!! We were able to see a lot of success as we went out and worked this week! Actually this week our whole district, even our whole zone had a lot of success this week! The weather is being really annoying this week, it's been really hot during the day and sometimes it's warm at night and sometimes it's cold at night, but it definitely is getting colder! I don't know how well I prepared for this winter, but  I guess we'll find out! The lunches this week were a lot better! We got Milanesas about 3 times this week and those are awesome!!! Unfortunately, every Tues the same family gives us the same nasty food because they can't sell it in their meat place.... But this week we have food every day!!!!! And we didn't even have to do anything!!! We occasionally visit this member who is awesome!!! He used to be the branch pres and his daughter is on a mission right now, so this week he filled up our lunch calendar for the next 2 weeks!!!!! HE is probably one of the only people who are really helping us right now in this ward. It's kind of difficult with the ward right now because our bishopric is kind of absent, but I have a feeling that is going to change soon. Either we're getting a new bishop. or our bishop is going to get a new job so that he'll be able to help the ward!!! Oh, we got to go on splits with the Stake Pres this week and I had the opportunity to go visit a less active family with him! He is a capo!!! He's a return missionary that served in Colombia and he is just awesome!!! The lesson we had with them was just so spiritual and it was incredible how he just told them exactly what the 70 had told him to do with less active families and the love he had for them!!! I learned a lot in that charla! I also learned that stake presidents are really busy people, always meeting with 70's and always having meetings!!!! It was a sweet experience!!! This week unfortunately only Jefferson came to church, but that means he is going to be baptized this Sat!!!! The biggest challenge we are facing right now is that our investigators are never home when they say they're going to be home, but we're starting to do a little better with that!! Thank you for all that you guys do for me!!! Love you all!!!!

That's good that E's doing so much for you guys!!!! Poor Brig, everyone has a bad lesson every once in a while!!! Even we do as missionaries! That's exciting that you guys may be getting new callings!!! Let me know how he's doing!!!! And I hope that you're physical therapy goes well!!! CAN YOU TRY TO FIND MY SKYPE INFO AND SEND IT TO ME!!!!! I was thinking that I will Skype at 3 pm Uruguay time. We only get 40 mins this time! Glad you guys are doing well, well except for Dad, but he's always sick, he'll get better!!! Love you tons!!!

May 12, 2014  Funky Muffins :)

Well we just talked yesterday so this week is gonna be pretty short... I did forget to tell you that on Thurs in the morning, they cut the lights in the whole city from 10-12, well, this is when we do our weekly planning, so we had to plan using candles!!! It was actually really fun, a little distracting because we were playing with the wax and maybe burning some things but it was cool. It really makes me appreciate having electricity! This week was really awesome though! We've really been feeling the Spirit a lot in our lessons and we've been working really really well together! This is gonna be a really good week as well!! For those who don't know, Jeferrson got baptized this week and it was super awesome experience!!! Oh also the Pepsi-Oreo-Dulce de Leche cake was delicious! This morning we made it with Guarana soda and lemon!!! It's so good!!! Thanks for everything and love you all!

A couple things that I forgot.
1, if you can send 17 Miracles that would be awesome, we can watch it in the mission!
2, If you could send Uncle Ryans email that would be super awesome!
3, If you could keep looking for Dad's journal that would be the best!!!

Oh also there was a song that I listened to this morning, it's super super sad and you'll probably cry, but the ending is super awesome!!! It's called "The Little Girl" I'm not sure who it's by, but it's great!

Muffin Recipe: Don't hate on the Pepsi Oreo muffin recipe
3 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
3 spoons of baking powder
1/2 spoon of salt
3 eggs
2 spoons of oil
milk (or whatever, we used Pepsi)
You can also add whatever inside like Oreos (Oreo and Pepsi is delicious)
Cook it for who nows how long, like 11 mins, at like 265 deg. celcius, something like that
Then we put Dulce de Leche on top (Kind of Carmel)

May 19, 2014

This week was a little bit difficult. Looking at the numbers, it's actually pretty terrible. We weren't as focused as we could've been, but luckily we had a conference with Pres Cook this week and that got us pumped up to work!!! We may not have seen good numbers, but we saw some incredible progression with a couple of investigators!!! Unfortunately none of them came to church, something we are working a ton on this week, well actually we had one come to church, but the main entrance is in a weird place at our church so he got confused and left..... but we're going to have a family home evening in the church Wednesday with some members and we're working to have him there so he can get to know the church!!! The members are being a lot more helpful lately!!! The stake pres has started something that the prophet is telling everyone to do which is start leaving with the bishops, missionaries and the members!!! We had a good turnout to do that this week!!! Its really helping the less actives, but its also really helping animate the members and the bishop!! When we start to feel the joy of missionary work and the atonement in our lives we just want to share it with everyone!! Our bishop is working a lot harder now and doing some incredible things in the ward!!! That was pretty much the week! Thanks for all your support!!! 

That's awesome that Dad is doing a little better!! It's rough that he's stuck in the house! I'm sure that's rough on him! But That really strengthens my testimony that Heavenly Father is answering our prayers!!! If you guys moved back to Saratoga Springs that would be pretty cool!!!Also I need ideas that we can use for activities for the youth and family home evenings!!!!

Love you tons thanks for everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 26, 2014

Hey everybody. This week was a good week!!! It was a lot of walking, but it was still a good week! The members in our ward are helping us out a lot more now!!! Also our bishop is helping out and getting involved in the ward as well! We have this one investigator that we are really working with right now named Angelica. She comes from definitely a different background and I'm not gonna lie, I was skeptical about knocking her door, but we knew that her husband was a member so we knocked anyways. That was a great decision! Her husband is less active, but he seems to be fine with coming back and their kids love us!!! Bryan is 7 and Esmerelda is 6 I think!!! They're a little bit rowdy, but they're incredible!!!! Angelica has a true desire to stop smoking and follow God's commandments, including baptism!!! We have some great plans to work this week and I'm sure we are going to see many miracles!!! We had a stake priesthood conference and it was really awesome to be in a room with that many priesthood holders and just learn how we can become better! Also, this week on Thurs Pres Gonzalez from the Pres. of the 70 is coming down to talk to us!!! I'm super excited!!!! He's also going to be checking the cleanliness of all the houses, so we've got some cleaning to do! Love you all and thanks for all of your prayers!!!!

I've learned to get over things fast in the mission with all the rejections we get, what are you gonna do? It's their choice. The only choice we have is if we are going to be brought down and mad and sad for other peoples actions. Why should we ruin our day, week, month for things we can't control.... I'll definitely be praying for you and for mom!!!

A quote I just got about the priesthood! Love it!!!

“Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.

First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?

Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.

Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.

Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments.

Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.

Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.”
― David O. McKay

June 3, 2014

This week was a week of miracles!!! We first got a reference from an awesome lady in the ward and she wanted to help us baptize this family so bad!!!! We ended up going to their house with her on Monday and we had a great lesson with them!!!! Funny thing is, the mom had rejected us before, but when we went with Hna Gomez, she accepted us in a heart beat!!! When Hna Gomez got home she was so excited and happy that they had listened to us!!! Unfortunately, it's not that easy..... We went back with the Hna on Wed and they had read the folleto (pamphlet I think) but they weren't interested.... they were to comfortable with the church that they had.... but that's ok because we planted the seed there to be harvested by some other missionaries! Then we also found another miracle this week and her name is Dahiana! Dahiana is a friend of a recent convert of the zone leaders! Dahiana has got to church 3 times already to church, in a row, and to the baptism of Antonella, her friend!!! She is incredible!!! She's about 25ish and she has the most adorable daughter in the world!!!! Her name is Abril, she's 1.5 years old!!! Cutest little girl ever, but anyway, Dahiana is incredible and has a true desire to learn the truth!!! The biggest problems we have with her is 1. she isn't married.... biggest problem we have as missionaries I think. 2. She doesn't have a lot of time 3. We have to get her to come to our ward and not go with her friend, that won't be to hard though!!! She is definitely going to get baptized, as soon as she gets married!! We've also been getting a lot more help from our bishop!!! He hasn't had a lot of time to work, but he is doing everything he can to help us!!! He's awesome!! Oh, we received changes.... I'm staying for my 5th change in this area.... that's 7.5 months..... That's a really long time for missionaries!!!! I was kind of upset, but this change is gonna be great!! I'm super excited!!! I'll be with an Elder Western, I'm not sure who he is, but I'm stoked!!!! Jefferson, our 10 year old convert, is doing fantastic!!! He's already in Alma!!!! And he's been reading the whole thing with his Mom, who isn't baptized yet, but sure will be soon!! We have this investigator Fransisco, very old, but very awesome!!! He also has a lot of potential!!! The biggest problem we have with him is he just talks so much!!! It's hard to get a lesson in, but he's very smart, nice and humble!!! That's about my week, but I love you all and thanks for all your prayers!!!

There's nothing that we can do except be the examples!!! I've been praying that Dad gets better latley so I hope all these studies and changes will really help him! That's super exciiting about the new house and specially the new ward!!!! Now here's the real question... are there any sister missionaries from that ward serving right now???? No I'm just kidding!!! I've got another 14 months left on the mission before I can start thinking about all that stuff. I'm really excited for you guys though and that's so cool about Cam's job and that he'll be a Crowe!!!! You never would've saw that coming when you guys first got married!!! I really am happy about that!!! It's been incredible, and difficult, but mostly incredible to have had 2 great Dads, both very different, help us to grow and progress in this life! Thanks for the letter Mom!!! Love you guys tons!!! 

June 9, 2014

First of all, something a little crazy, my comp isn't Elder Western, It's Elder De Lama! He's another Peruvian!!! He only has 3 weeks left in the mission :( so I will have a special change soon, but I'm learning so much from him! He was a district leader for 4 changes and a zone leader for 6, so more than half his mission he has had experience as a leader and it's incredible how much I'm going to learn in 3 short weeks!!!! I'm very excited and I've realized how blessed I've been with my awesome comps that I have had, every single one has been a great leader. This change Elder Pike got put as a zone leader!!!! Oh and the other 2 missionaries in my house are the same! I'm excited. It is a little difficult here to find people that are married! They either don't see the importance or they don't have the money. It's kind of a long process and it's hard to get all the documents needed. People usually don't even have birth certificates for them or their kids.... Jefferson is doing good, but we haven't had a whole lot of contact with him or with his mom so we need to get a good charla with them! We are still getting fed well! This week has been a lot colder in the morning and at night, but still during the day it's normally warmish, so you're always putting on and taking off your jacket. This week we found a friend of Milagros, her name is Lucia and she's 15 years old. She is super awesome and very smart! The biggest problem we have with her is that her parents don't want her to be baptized, but that's because we haven't talked with them yet!!! This week we lost a lot of time to work, but this week is going to be better, even though we're going to lose more time... We have a conference/interviews with Pres on Wed and Thurs we have to travel 4 hours to Montevideo because we have a combined conference with the other mission and a 70 from the Pres of the 70. That sounds like our week!!!!

That's awesome!!! He'll get there, it'll probably be better so that he doesn't break himself during the move!!! That would be awesome if Uncle Ryan moved to Utah with all of us!!!  That'll be super good for Clara and Ethan!!! Vamos Arriba!!! That's really cool about Cam!!! I'm super excited about him getting married too!!! Brig is definitely gonna find something in Orem... It's home of the genius mormons and all the boy scout clubs, he'll be able to find a great robotics club and some great friends!!! That's super cool that he's building his own computer, what a genius!!!

I definitely will pray for you guys and I'll send Ethan a letter, make sure he reads it. He really doesn't need to worry about the mission because I'm gonna get home and pound this stuff into his head!!! Something good would be if he really studied Preach my Gospel, or even as a family!!! Especially in chapter 3, it has all the lessons!!! Plus he can ask for the pamphlets from the missionaries, that would be great and simple. Honestly, I got to the mission and didn't know very much at all, but you learn so fast!!! There are missionaries who come in the mission and literally know NOTHING, but they get it done!!! Thanks for the letter and love you all tons!!!!!!! Oh and something that would be awesome is to do Family home evenings with the missionaries!!!! Ask them to prepare a lesson and activity and you guys the treats!!! There's a family in the other wars that does family home evenings every Sunday and all members, converts, less actives and investigators are invited, it's really helped their family and some investigators!!!!

Last thing is I have really learned the importance, from my mission pres and the stake pres, of the importance of family home evening, daily scripture study as a family and nightly prayer as a family!!! I really hope you guys could start doing all that, even if it's just for a short time every night!!!!!

Elder Oliver