Monday, May 2, 2016

7 months on Saturday

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was long, but we worked hard and saw miracles and loads of
success. Without further ado, here's my week:

Monday: we had to move and clean the old apartment and that took the
majority of the day......I was so mad because what I had to clean
wasn't even anything that had to do with me or Elder Lopez. Other
missionaries who left stuff in different places or wanted to try
something new. It was a mess! But it's done and I'm glad hahaha after
that, we wrote emails and got haircuts, shopped, and started laundry
and that was our day. After that, we had a lesson with a man named
Joel. Joel doesn't believe there was an apostasy and he also believe
that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all one person. He
seems like he's super knowledgable about the scriptures but I don't
know. He's an interesting guy. If anyone has any advice to help him,
we'll take all we can :)

Tuesday: we had a good and busy day. We contacted lots of people in
the morning to see if we could visit them (members and other leaders).
We also got Alan Ortiz to come out with us!!! Alan Ortiz has
officially started his mission papers!!! I'm so excited for him! He's
going to be such a great missionary. He came out with us to a couple
lessons that night. And one that stood out was the Familia Amaya. Alan
truly stepped up to the plate and helped this family in their
challenges. He bore a powerful testimony of the atonement of Jesus
Christ. It was really moving! I'm so glad I had the chance to meet him
on my mission. (If you don't all remember, Alan is the person who came
and picked me and my trainer up from the Mission Office my first day
in the field).

Wednesday: best part of the day was dinner. We had Costco Pizza!!!!!!!
That was my first time having Costco Pizza in like 7 months!!!! Which
reminds me, I have a Costco in my Zone now sooooooooooo you all should
send me a membership :))))) thanks Mom and Dad! Anyways, we had lots
of meetings today. We went and played soccer with the youth. Found
about 15 non members there who are fairly interested in the church. So
we had the Hispanic youth plan days to invite their friends over to
their homes for a Family Home Evening with the missionaries. The youth
are strong and faithful! I'm so glad to see people preparing to be

Thursday: we had district training meeting for the first part of the
day and that went well. I got use my new HDMI-iPad cable! Sooooo I
made like a presentation on my iPad using screenshots and the note
pad, and it looked pretty least I hope so
haha. After that, we had a correlation meeting with the Suncrest 3rd
WML. We talked to him on how we can hasten the work in his Ward
boundaries and how baptisms can go up if everyone puts their shoulder
to the wheel. So planned different things with him such as having the
Ward missionaries go out and teach in the neighborhood. We called it,
a Blitz Split! So each Ward missionary and the people the Ward
missionary council and us would go and knock every Hispanic door in
the neighborhood and teach them a short simple message about Jesus
Christ. (This is kinda only possible in Utah because they have
neighborhood maps with names of each person in each house, including a
baby). So Brother Mangum was really good about planning that. Later
that night, we had a lesson with Carlos Piña. All of his family are
active members and amazing. He has brothers and sisters that are
serving a mission presidents and temple presidents around the
world.....but Brother Piña isn't a member of the church. Why? Well
because he thinks we just need to be good and we can go to heaven.
Also, he believes he doesn't need to read the Book of Mormon. We
talked to him about missionary work. He has a grandson living there
that is awaiting his mission call. We asked him why does he believe
that his grandson is making a good decision. He gave an explanation
that was more secular than spiritual. We talked to him by what power
we are called and then we testified about the Book of Mormon. He said
that we almost convinced him that it the Book of Mormon is true and
that this is the true church, but it wasn't enough. It reminded me of
Paul when he was bearing his testimony to King Agrippa in Acts 26.
"...Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a
Christian." We told him we couldn't convince him that it was true. We
talked about how we need to read and pray about it. He said he has
read and kinda prayed about.  We shared with him Elder Dallin H. Oaks
teaching on Moroni’s invitation that we ask God with “real intent”
regarding the truth of the Book of Mormon. He said: “Moroni did not
promise a manifestation of the Holy Ghost to those who seek to know
the truth of the Book of Mormon for hypothetical or academic reasons,
even if they ‘ask with a sincere heart.’ The promise of Moroni is for
those who are committed in their hearts to act upon the manifestation
if it is received. Prayers based on any other reason have no promise
because they are not made ‘with real intent’” he accepted the
invitation to read and pray with his wife.

Friday: we had weekly planning like all day basically. We had some
really planning and organizing to do!! After that, we went to go eat
Cafe Rio! I promised Elder Lopez that if we talked to 10 people and
hand out 10 pass along cards, so will pay for us. So that's exactly
what we did. We handed out 3 Books of Mormon and 23 pass along cards.
We got in line and someone offered to pay for us. Blessings of the
Lord :) after that, our dinner appointment that never responded back
to us called us and asked if we were still coming......we were like
"uhhhh ohhhhh". So we quickly rushed over to their house (the Familia
Amaya). We got there and they ordered pizza so we had to finish 4
boxes of pizza..... Wow were full..... After the assistants called and
invited me to something called MLC, Mission Leadership Council. I'm
excited! And then we had rush over after that lesson to meet up with
the Zone Leaders for that lesson with Victor. (Victor called us
yesterday asking to meet with us at a church building because he's
ready to be baptized). So we called the YSA missionaries (our Zone
Leaders) to come to the lesson with him. I don't know how it went
because we did temporary exchanges with them. So Elder Florez and
Elder Lopez taught Victor and Elder Arriola and I went into the field
and worked! After that, we pulled over to a gas station to get some
shaving cream because I had zero left...

Saturday: today was awesome! We woke up at 5am (we've been waking up
at 5 for a while now...) for the correlation meetings and other
planning sessions. After that, we were invited to a community
breakfast outside and it was cold and the food was cold and basically
all gone. But that's okay, I got some juice and fruit and I was set :)
soooooo after that, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Elder
Rasband for a little bit during our Mission Meeting. What a powerful
man! He talked to us about repentance and progressing investigators.
One thing he told us is this (with a stern and serious voice): "Don't
you ever think that President Monson cannot fulfill his duties as the
President of the Church. Because he has fulfilled them, he is
fulfilling them, and he will continue to fulfill them... I have knelt
with him and I have heard him pray for the church and the people all
around the world. He loves you all." That really hit me because begin
here in Utah you hear members say crazy things. Some members were
saying, I wonder who's going to be the next prophet or I wonder what's
wrong with President Monson. What Elder Rasband says goes to all those
members perfectly. Anyways, after that's conference, we went and ate
some lunch and had a couple of lessons and got home really tired. Oh
and we had a lesson with Julio Sifuentes!!!! He is still golden!!!
Told us that he still wants to be baptized over here and wants to
attend this Ward!!! The downside of all of this....he's moving to
Provo with his new wife and family. We were like "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
So we got in the car after that and prayed that there will be some way
that he can still be baptized in this Ward (Sharon Park). We felt
comforted that all will go well so we decided to go home and eat some
fruit loops to calm ourselves.

Sunday: we had another meeting super early in the Sharon Park stake.
We talked a lot about Julio Sifuentes and our other investigators. We
had referrals flood in and everything. Oh and I'm not sure if I told
you all but Mario Ramirez found a new house and moved into the
Suncrest Stake. And get this, he was receiving the missionary lessons
in that stake but wasn't ready. He moved around a little bit more,
found him in the Sharon Park Stake and was ready! And now, he's back
in the Suncrest Stake! Anyways it's super cool to see all this unfold
within a short period of time. So when our first sacrament meeting was
going on, Julio and his wife showed up! And then Mario came to us. I
was thinking he was coming to talk to me but he came and talked to
Julio!!! They know each other from work!!!!! Mario bore his testimony
to Julio and said that "you're in good hands, keep going, God is
cheering you on". Julio got up and hugged him. I was like wow this is
soooooo awesome! And during the sacrament, Julio leaned over to me and
whispered a question "can I be baptized next week?" I responded "of
course!" I love being a missionary. After that, we went to the other
sacrament meeting in Suncrest and it was packed like crazy.....for a
baby blessing but also loads of less actives that we've been trying to
get to come to church, showed up!!!!! So as church passed by, we had a
lesson with Angel Fortin! He said he still wants to be baptized. So we
talked to him a little bit more about all of it and he said it's
something he wants to do. I asked "Angel, why do you want to be
baptized"? He thought about it for a little bit and then responded
this "because I want to be with my family again and I know I need to
be baptized to go inside the temple so I can be married for forever
and help my dead family join the church." How powerful is that.
#poderoso sooo in two weeks, he'll be baptized. So after church, we
had a lesson with Luz Lopez. She officially moved out of Park City and
lives in Orem now. We taught her the restoration and she came out and
said I've prayed and I've read and I know these things are true. When
can I be baptized? Literally like that.... Like wow! It was nuts. We
discussed a couple days but we invited her to pray about a specific
date and to let us know on Wednesday (our next appointment). So later
on in the evening, we had a late snack with some drunk Mexicans. They
cooked us some taco type thing, it wasn't really good but it went
down. We talked to them about temples and our beliefs. We realized
they weren't "all there" so we decided this isn't using our time
wisely. Like the lady started laughing when we talked about Jesus
Christ. I was like oh yeah, you're drunk. And then we came home and
made calls for key indicators. Also, President called us and talked to
us about the situation about Julio Sifuentes. He gave us the
permission to teach him and baptize him :)

I really like how President Dieter F. Uchdorf put it in his talk "Lift
Where You Stand": "Individual recognition is rarely an indication of
the value of our service. We do not know the names, for example, of
any of the 2,000 sons of Helaman. As individuals, they are unnamed. As
a group, however, their name will always be remembered for honesty,
courage, and the willingness to serve. They accomplished together what
none of them could have accomplished alone." This can totally apply to
the vast number of missionaries around the world and also to the
members of the church. We personally don't know all of their names,
but we do know what they're doing, what they stand for, and who they
represent. As for the members all around the world, we also personally
don't know their names, but we do know that they were baptized by the
same authority, taught the same principles, and accepted the same
covenants. We (as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints) must put what President Uchdorf said Into practice. "They
accomplished together what none of them could have accomplished
alone". We must work together! We all may come from different
backgrounds and might be on different levels spiritually, but there is
one thing we all for sure have in common, and that is Our Purpose.
What is our purpose? Pray about it and let me know what you think next
week :)

Elder Ovalles

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