Monday, November 30, 2015

BEST MISSION EVER


Dear Family and Friends,


This week has been filled with fun and food and lots of spiritual
experiences! Here is my wonderful week:



Tuesday: So much walking and so much cold around us. It was brutal. We
had a Correlation Meeting with the Daily Dose Couple. (Daily Dose
Couples are senior missionaries that teach English to less
members/recent converts/non members, they bring me up the gospel and
invite us over). The Daily Dose Couple are Elder and Sister Jacob.
They're awesome!!!! After that we had a lesson with the Bautistas. He
always has really good questions about the stories we're reading with
him. The sister not so much..... She wants to learn and feel the
spirit but she's not willing to do what it takes to do that. She's a work
in progress :) anyway, we did a lot of finding efforts for the rest
of the day and taught a couple lessons with some non members. Around
8:30pm, we had a Ward soccer event (every Tuesday), soooo we invited a
bunch of NM, LA, and RC. It was fun! When it wasn't our turn to play,
we would find those people we invited and teach 5-10 minute lessons.
It was nice :) we taught a sister and her daughters how to use the
Gospel Library app.



Wednesday: the coldest, the rainiest and the windiest day ever........
It was awesome! Hahaha! We did so much walking throughout the day. In
the morning, the Bautistas cancelled on us because they wanted to go
watch some soccer game or something like that, I was pretty upset.
Next time, I'm gonna ask him, what's more important: your salvation or
soccer? JUST KIDDING, I wouldn't do that hahaha. But if it comes down
to it....I will. It's happened before and we had to drop people
because of it. Anyways, after some finding efforts in Garden Park
(some apartments near one of the trillions of chapels in Utah), we had
a meeting of sorts with Obispo Chacon. He isn't a bishop anymore. He's
on the high council over missionary work. So we had a meeting to see
how we could make stake correlation meeting more effective. After
that, we had to run over to another chapel in a different stake
because my companion needed to do a baptismal interview for the STLs
(sister training leaders. Basically the female zone leaders but not
really). After that we taught a couple lessons near the trailer parks
and then dinner time came around........10 minutes before
dinner.....our dinner cancelled on us and gave us 10 dollars for us to
go buy something to eat......... No comment.......... Lastly, our
neighbor gave us sooooooo much extra food he had from something. So we
got a huge turkey, lots of meat, potatoes, cereal, milk, bread, etc. I
don't know why.....



Thursday: TURKEY DAY! Thanksgiving was awesome. I love food and the
people and the holidays!! In the morning, both my companion and
I felt prompted to take the food we were given and some extra to the
Bautistas. The brother has been out of work for sometime and he's not
receiving workers comp so they've been eating junk. We both felt it
would be nice if they had some nice food to eat for this holiday.
Sooooo we got the food and put it on their door step, rang the door
bell and ran (we did this because they would have said no just because
they would of felt embarrassed). Some of the other elders invited us
over to a breakfast with a family in their area soooo we went and it
was to die for :))))) soooooo yummy. Fruits, juice, loads of bacon and
sausages, and more! I was so happy and satisfied. After that, we went
to the turkey bowl against Orem Lakeridge. It was flag football and we
dominated. I actually don't know who one because it was pretty even
and we didn't keep score so no one got their feelings hurt :) haha.
But president and sister Killpack were there and they played a little
with us!! It was exciting to see President Killpack run like 20 yards
for a touchdown. Made my day. After that, we rushed home and shaved
and shower and got dressed and walked over to our lunch appointment.
The lunch was with the Brown Family! Loads and loads of mashed
potatoes and gravy........if there was a minute I wasn't eating, they
would chastise me and tell me to eat more....... So I had like 6
plates and 2 plates of deserts......I couldn't take anything
else...... After that, we already time for our first dinner. We went
down to the trailer park to eat with the Ramirez family. Even more
food! I just couldn't do it but I did it anyways! The Hermana cooked a
ham with a raspberry chipotle sauce......it was sooo good. I love ham.
So we left to go eat with the Machuca family........I literally died
there. The Hermana gave me the biggest plate of potatoes and ham with
melted white cheese on top............. I was dying and barely could
finish it.......she came over and gave me more. She said she would be
offended if I didn't finish it......sooooo it took me a while but I
finished it and then she gave me 4 big tamales.......those we soooo
good. I was fine stuffing those down. But it was nice having a dinner
with them and their family. We were able to see what was holding the
Hermana back from coming to church and what not. On our way home from
the Machucas, we saw a recent convert family (just the mom and two out
of three of her kids are members. The father isn't interested [yet],
and the youngest isn't old enough to be baptized) and they were locked
outside of their house because someone left the keys inside...... So
we spent 30-40 minutes helping them break into their house. It was
just the non member husband and my companion and I. It was too
cold for everyone to be outside of the car. Sooooooo we prayed and
then we got the door open. It was a miracle!!!!! The brother has
always been cold and has never let us in or was nice to us but the
first thing he said to us as the door was opened was "Come on in!". It
was the best thing ever. This is a new start and I'm so happy they got
locked out, because without this experience, we wouldn't have gotten
the opportunity to talk with the brother. Lastly, we went home and
died. :) I slept well.



Friday: a couple meetings but at least we were warm. In the morning,
we had DTM which was again really nice and fun. After that, we went to
lunch at Los Mitos (an argentine restaurant). The owners are Mormom so
they let us eat for free :) but we only eat there every other week!
After that, we stopped to visit with a couple families in Garden Park.
We then walked over to our apartment to do Weekly Planning which
usually lasts 3-4 hours..... It's rough but it's effective! After
that, our dinner cancelled and gave us money. We didn't even bother to
buy anything. We just finished planning and ate cereal and soup. It
was nice :) after that, we went down to the trailer park and it was
soooooo cold. I was dying but I was a little warm. I had two socks,
PJs under my pants, a sweater, my coat, two scarfs, and my hat. The
wind made it worse...... We stopped by the Ramirez Family but only the
Hermana was there. She really likes to spoil the missionaries so she
brought three chairs, blankets, a huge plate of food, water, chocolate
de abuelita, and some warm pads. It was nice. We ate and talked with
her for sooo long. She's an amazing sister and we taught a lot of
spiritual lessons with her that turn emotional. She's just a wonderful
sister.



Saturday: I don't remember what we did on Saturday. All I know is that
all of our lessons outside of the trailer park cancelled on us.......



Sunday: church is always such a wonderful experience. Partaking of the
sacrament every Sunday is such an amazing opportunity for all of us.
We waited for the Machucas but they never showed up......we were
sad..... But in the middle of a talk, we got a text from Hermano
Machuca asking what time is the English service because he wanted to
come to church! We were so excited! We told him 1pm and we waited for
them and everything but they never showed up....... We went to other
church buildings to see if they went there instead but they weren't.
We were pretty sad. We've been trying to contact them ever since but
no reply.........it isn't good. Soooooo please pray for this family.




Anyways! That was my week. I love my mission and I love Jesus. Oh and
invite you all to watch the new video by the church called "A Savior
is Born". Please share it and send it to your friends! And I invite
you all to pray and study to find out WHY a Savior was born. The
church is true, the book is blue, and I love you all too!




Love,
Elder Ovalles






Monday, November 23, 2015

GREETINGS FROM THE 801 (SOMETIMES 385)


Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you've all had a wonderful week and life has been treating you
well! Here is my week:

Tuesday: WE HAD A MIRACLE! We had a lesson with the Bautista family.
They're an interesting bunch! Since I've been here, they've always
been "too busy for church stuff" as they would say, so I've never
taught them. My companion already knew that we weren't going to get a
lesson with them. He thought taking a break from visiting them
would help. I didn't know what to think, so I prayed. I prayed that we
could teach them frequently because they need the gospel and they need
that spiritual guidance in their lives. So I prayed on Monday for them
and the next day, we found out Hermano Bautista got hurt at work
and can't walk or do anything really. He has to be home in bed for 6
weeks. Sooooooooooo we've been teaching them everyday sometimes even
twice a day. And this experience not only helped us as missionaries
but it has also opened their eyes to fullness of the gospel.



Wednesday: We taught the Bautistas again and it was great. The brother
has so many good questions about the Book of Mormon. And it makes me
happy because that shows he's reading. His wife (well not really his
wife but soon to be.....it's a long interesting story that I'll share
in 1 year 10 and a half months) isn't too "fond" of reading but she
likes listening to what we have to say. But after having that lesson
we had lunch at Cafe Rio!!!!!! With........ELDER PAUL AND AMANDA
FISHER!!!!! It was soooooo awesome to see them and catch up with them.
Since I took Elder Paul and Torgensen to Chipotle before I left (yes,
I was nice enough to let them get guacamole too) Elder Paul treated my
companion and I to cafe rio and it was soooo good. After that, we
tried a lot of finding efforts and we couldn't find anyone. It's hard
to find people home around that time of day. Everyone is working and
in school. So it's difficult in the afternoon. We loaded up on lessons
after dinner. Soooo basically 6pm-9pm are the times we get lessons
during the school week.

Thursday: We taught the Bautistas and then we had DTM and it was
pretty fun!! My district is soooo funny and they're all extremely
spiritual people. I love them. Hermana Olivero is Dominican (from Santo
Domingo) (she's one of three in the entire mission. Me being one of them, and
Hermana Ortiz being the other. Hermana Sanchez is from New Jersey but
she's Mexican. Elder Barlett is one of the APs (AP: Assistant to the
President) and he's from Sacramento and he's hilarious. Elder Florez
is from Southern California, the hills....... Haha but he's also one
of the APs and he's awesome. Elder Spiers is one of the zone
leaders and he's from Mississippi and he's built. His dad owns
a gym so he spent a lot of time there. Elder Allen is from Oregon and he's
super smart about mostly everything. That's my district :) we had to
walk all the way to the vineyard because our fellowshipper cancelled on
us. (It's almost 7 miles in total, there and back)......it was brutal.

Friday: we taught the Bautistas earlier because we had our program in
American Fork. When we entered the door, he was already asking
questions about what he has been reading. It's so great!! I feel like
he'll get baptized when he can walk...... Haha. Anyway, after that,
we went to American Fork for the Musical Fireside by our mission. It was
amazing and it was well attended by lots of non-members, recent
converts and less actives. It was filled with the spirit and song. I
wish you all could have been there to see it! Oh and I made lots of
new friends with the missionaries. But I'm going to speak about one
specifically. Her name is Hermana Rackley. And she's soooooo funny!
Her companion too! But when I read her name tag I asked if she was
related to Mary Ann Rackley and she said yes, that's her Aunt!
Soooooooo that was really cool. (Mary Ann Rackley is an old friend of
our family's and was in our Ward. She came over like every Sunday back
in the day!).

Saturday: it was so cold and so long. We taught the Bautistas and it
was a wonderful lesson about Joseph Smith. After that, everyone
started calling and canceling on us....... Sooooo we had no more
scheduled lessons for that day.... soooo we were caught off guard. So, we
did a lot of walking and tried visiting families but no one wanted to meet
with us for lots of reasons. Such as, boxing was on, the soccer game was tight
, I'm leaving to go to church, it was rough. Anyway, we had dinner with
a sister named Judith Mendez and her son. It was awesome!! They took
us to this fancy Mexican restaurant where I ate and I was filled to
the max with carne asada y horchata. I literally couldn't walk to the
car......But it was soooooo good. Later that evening we had an
extremely spiritual but extremely short lesson with a less active
sister named Hermans Cruz. We talked to her about enduring to the end
and how we can press forward in life. It was nice :)

Sunday : Sundays are always awesome. And it was awesome for multiple
reasons. It turned 11am and none of our investigators, less
actives, or recent converts showed up to church. I was sooooo sad :( then we
started singing "There is sunshine in my soul today", and that gave me
hope. I said a little prayer and as soon I was finished 10 people and
their families showed up for all 3 hours of church. Miracle? I think
yes. :) Anyway, after church we went home to prepare a lesson and it
was super good and as we left our apartment, the sister cancelled on
us. It was sad but it was okay. We had dinner with the elders quorum
president and his wife, the Espinosas. They're awesome. He served his
mission in North Carolina and he showed us all these cool things
from his mission. Hermana Espinosa made something her mom used to make
called Gumbo. It was sooooooooo good. I ate two big bowls of it.

Anyway, that was my week! Hahahhaa I invite
you all to share the gospel with someone this week. I promise you as
you do so, you'll feel the love of Christ fill your soul with joy. The
church is true, the book is blue, and I love you all too!!


Love,
Elder Ovalles

Monday, November 16, 2015

AM I LIVING IN SOUTHEAST DC?!


HEYYYYYYYYY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!


Life is good and my mission is great! (You'll see why I captioned my
email "Am I living in Southeast DC" soon).......Here is my week:




TUESDAY: Today was crazy. Like everyday is, haha. We tried a lot of
finding efforts but it's pretty hard because the Latinos we try to
visit aren't home from 5am-4pm. It's rough. Most of our lessons today
were in the trailer park. We taught a couple that's been going
through some serious marital problems and they really need the gospel.
We've been teaching them for awhile but it's hard to teach when the
spirit of contention is sitting right there between them. So please pray for
them so they can come to know and feel the happiness the gospel
brings.



WEDNESDAY: most of the day today we had a training at the mission
office. It was basically to see if the trainers and trainees weren't
murdering each other. There were some companionships that we're having
some real problems that haven't been resolved. I'm glad Elder Barbosa
and I cleared things up and got to work. A couple of weeks ago it was hard
to approach the situation but then I remembered that I inherited my "bold
gene" from my mom. So I just straight up said this is what's
happening, this is how it's impacting us, and this is how we can work
better. (Don't worry, it was said with love and humility). And because
of that, we've had so much success! Sorry for that little tangent.
Anyway, we had a couple of families cancel on us early in the afternoon.
Like an hour before dinner. Then my companion said we need to talk to
people so I took him up on that. So while we were biking away from
an apartment building, I saw a guy sitting on a bench and I went
over to talk to him. His name is Elias and we taught him the restoration.
Turns out, our Spanish ward has been looking for his family for a
little over 6 years. Soooooo finding him was a miracle!!! So after
dinner, we brought our stake president out with us to a lesson with
Silvestre. Silvestre is guy in his late teens who has a pregnant
girlfriend. His girlfriend is a less active member and Silvestre isn't a
member. For a while we couldn't get a hold of them but we did earlier
in the week and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday. Anyway, we
taught a lesson about scripture study and set up a reading plan for
them. Also, we reinforced the law of chastity again. At first
Silvestre was kind of confused so I kinda just laid it out there for
him. I said if you want to be baptized, you either have to move out or
get married. He said he doesn't know so we invited him and his
girlfriend, Karla, to pray about it. They said they would. After that,
President Jensen gave them some advice and I think that really helped
them.



Thursday: today was a slow day but it was nice. We looked for a lot of
inactive people and found a couple that just happened to be home.
Anyway, the day was slow and we thought we weren't going to have a
lesson with an investigator which is really rare. But the Machucas
called back and said they could meet, soooooo we went over and had an awesome
lesson. Sister Machuca was dealing with a crying baby upstairs so we
just had the lesson with Brother Machuca. We went over the baptismal
questions with him so he would be prepared for when he has his
interview.



Friday: today was just filled with sooooo much finding! It was
awesome. We found a couple of new investigators and they were just so
solid. We are going to follow up with them later.



Saturday: "Am I serving in Southwest DC?!".......I say this because my
bike was stolen.......... It was stolen right in front of our
apartment......... I was freaking out and I was like "who would be
hindering the work of the Lord by stealing my bike?!?!" My bike
was locked up through the frame of the bike and also through the wheel
and a pole. Sooooooooo we spent most of our free time looking for my
bike. We did find my helmet like 10 houses down on someone's yard. So knocked on their door 


but it was an old lady so I assumed

it wasn't her haha. We reported it to the police and everything soooo
they're "looking for it". "Am I serving in Southwest DC?!" I say this
because we got back to our apartment and the water wasn't working... the
toilet was acting up and it was just gross!!!!! We said a prayer and
went on with our day and taught a beautiful lesson on the plan of
salvation to the Garcias and it was awesome and we had a couple other
lessons with less active families. "Am I serving in Southwest DC?!" I
say this because when we get to our apartment, we realized that our
front and back doors were unlocked..... (If anyone knows me, I like
keeping things locked and I always remember to lock doors and cars and
what not. So we know I locked the door). We checked to see if anything
was stolen. Later, Elder Barbosa said he thought it happened earlier
this week to but he wasn't sure if he was just being crazy. But it was
confirmed when we found mud foot prints in our kitchen. Soooooooooo
when we went to sleep, we brought our expensive things to out room and shut and
locked the door and barricaded the door with the extra bed we have. It
was fun :)



Sunday: it was awesome. Church is always awesome. I love it!! We had
someone speak about staying in the boat. soooo remember friends, stay
in the boat!!!! Haha, anyway, we had lunch at a member's home
and there were other members there too. They had yummy food and
someone said to eat this jabanero or habanero (I'm not sure how you
spell it). But they said if I ate the smaller one, it would be less
spicy so I was like oh okay.......WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE. I was
crying and my throat was burning. My mouth was numb. It was
awesome!... They gave me lots of milk and salt and ice cold water. They
were laughing but they felt so bad. I was laughing, but crying. They
said I'll be able to learn Spanish faster now hahahhaa ha.




I love you all and I miss you all! Please read the Book of
Mormon. If you read 7 pages everyday for 12 weeks, you'll be done with
the book. Jesus Christ is awesome and the church is
true.




Love,
Elder Ovalles


We ran into a lady who was making hats and she told us to try them on!