Monday, December 28, 2009

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2010 Baby!!!!

December 28, 2009

Good morning family and friends!

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish you all one of the best new years that you could have! It was great to be able to talk to my family this past week on the phone. What an amazing opportunity that was to be able to be able to talk with them and share experiences with one another! Family, I love you so much! Thank you to all of you for all that you do for me! I hope that your Christmases were all amazing! Good luck with the new year!

So I don't have a lot of time to write this big email and I know I am not supposed to apologize, but if this email isn't very big it's because I have 10 minutes to write 3 more emails. But I hope that I can share with you a few of the great experiences that I had this week.

The highlight of the week was Christmas! We had a big party with all of the missionaries and we went and played football. One lady asked if we were a football team and we said "no . . . we are a different kind of team. A better team!" hahah

Other then that we sure had an amazing week. We found a great new investigator named Winston. We found him on Christmas Eve and we taught him the first lesson. While we were teaching him I had the opportunity to tell him the Joseph Smith story. It was so amazing! I had words and phrases coming out of my mouth that I have never even thought of using before. I told that story dang good and I know it was because I wasn't the one telling it! It was the spirit! I know that this guy needed to hear the message loud and clear. We have a return cida with him this Friday and things should go well.

My other cool experience came from church yesterday. I had the opportunity to translate for sacrament meeting. Like I have told you before there are all sorts of people in the church down here in Aruba. The church meetings are in Spanish because most of the members speak Spanish. But there still are members who don't know Spanish so the missionaries translate for them. No one wanted to do it yesterday and I thought I needed to just get up the guts to do it. So I walked up to the front (praying harder then I have ever prayed in my life) and put on the headset to translate into the microphone. I just kept praying and praying and praying and I knew that the Lord would help me. And wouldn't you know it, He did! My translating was not perfect by any means but it was a lot better then I expected it to be. Especially with the Papiamento. A member of the bishopric gave a talk in Papiamento, and I was scared out of my mind. But again, with a sweet prayer, I was able to feel the Lord helping me out and I was able to translate the message for the members who needed it.

It was such an amazing experience. I want you to know that I know God knows us. It seems like I say that every week but it is so true. He is our Father in Heaven and He loves us. All He wants is the best for us and that's why He sent His Son to the earth to suffer for our sins. That is why He has given us this great gospel to help us learn and grow and become more like Him and that is exactly why families can be together forever.

I really have to go now but I want you all to know that I love you so much! And that I wish you the best new year! Good luck and stay safe! Next week I will have more time to write! Sorry!

I love you all, Happy New Years!

ps - next week is transfers so I may not email on Monday. Sadly, Elder Bailey will be leaving :( I'm sad but it sounds like I am going to be island training so keep me in your prayers! haha

Love you guys! Happy New years!

Bon Pasco! !Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!!!!!! I love you guys!!!!!!

December 21, 2009

To the best Family and Friends that a missionary could ever ask for!


I hope that you all have had a great start to the Christmas week. And I hope that you have an even better week and a very happy and merry Christmas! Thanks to all of you for all that you have done in your love and support! I hope that you enjoy the snow and the lights and the fun that comes with Christmas! But more importantly I hope that you enjoy the spirit that comes with this awesome day! How blessed we all are to have a savior in Jesus Christ. And how blessed we are to have a loving Heavenly Father who would send his son to die for us! I love you guys and I hope that you have a merry Christmas!

Thank you dad and mom and grandma and grandpa for the Christmas present! I just opened it right here in the email cafe and it made me feel so warm and happy. Thank you for your love and all that you have done for me. I love you guys so much and I hope that Christmas is awesome!

Anyways, this week was a great week and the best news from this week is that we had a baptism! It was so amazing! It was a little different from the last baptism that I had in the mission but it was still amazing to see Vivian enter the waters of baptism and commit and covenant to become a new person in Christ. On Saturday we had a lot of preparation for the baptism but all went well. We went in the morning to fill the font and get everything else ready and then we came back at 6:00 for the baptismal service which began at 7:00. It was such a neat ceremony. The missionaries from our ward (there are 8 of us here believe it or not) sang a song for the two investigators getting baptized and it brought a really neat spirit into the room.

When Vivian walked into the font she looked at the water and said "Wow! There's a lot of water there" to my companion Elder Bailey. Then she said "I am going to get wet! My whole body is going to get wet isn't it!" I smiled when she said that. But the most amazing feeling in the world is the feeling that comes after the ordinance is performed. Every time you hear that little splash of water the spirit just floods into the room and tears always well up in my eyes! I am so blessed to be in the service of the Lord and to be able to see people make this change in their lives. I will never forget the light that Vivian had in her eyes at the end of the night, and the light that was still in her eyes during the next day.

On Sunday we were to have her confirmation and it was really neat! She came a little late and Elder Bailey and I were really worried. Usually you don't like to baptize people and then wait a week for the confirmation and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. She showed up during the sacrament portion of the meeting. Up until that point we were just praying over and over that she would show up. Sure enough, she did and she was able to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her blessing was incredible. One thing that I want to share with you that I thought was really cool is that she has had a lot of troubles with her kids. But in the blessing the bishopric member told her that the Lord knows and loves her and that the blessings of the gospel need to be provided to her kids and that she should help them to follow her example. When I heard that I just about fainted. Haha. She has a daughter that is 9 and can get baptized, but she has been really reluctant to have us teach her. I think that this blessing is going to help! We should be having another baptism in 2 weeks and I am just pumped.

I am almost positive that I told you guys about the new family that we found last week, the Wauban family. They are doing great. We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and the mom was a little reluctant to stop some of her habits. Of the 5 things that the Word of Wisdom tells us to avoid, they participate in 4. So it is going to be a huge commitment for them. What was really cool was to see their son and the love in his eyes when he begged his dad and his mom to commit to this so that they would stop smoking and drinking. They eventually said that they would do it and at the end the boy asked whoever was praying to bless his mom and dad with strength to stop smoking. It was a really neat moment, and it was really cool to see how truly inspired the Word of Wisdom is.

I hope that this email doesn't seem overly serious or overly flooded with spiritual experiences. I know that Christmas is this week so again I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And before I go I'll share one more experience from this week.

This week we had a lot of cool experiences with prayer and receiving answers to our prayers. We had a baptismal interview on Friday for Vivian and we needed to get a hold of her so that she could get interviewed and be baptized! All day on Friday our phone was not working. The service wasn't working and at the end of the day our phone died. And then the charger broke! It was incredible to see all of the opposition that was trying to get in the way. Needless to say, we prayed really hard on Thursday that we would be able to set up the interview with Vivian on Friday. Friday morning the phone was still dead. We prayed again and wouldn't you know it the phone turned on for 1 minute and we were able to grab the numbers that we needed so we could get in touch with Vivian. Needless to say all worked out well! Behold the power of prayer! I loved it!

Another cool experience we had was when we were tracting. We had had absolutely zero success and we had barely talked to anyone. Anyways we said a prayer and as we started tracting I looked up into the heavens and I said please just one lesson. Wouldn't you know it, the very next house we knocked on we met Rodney -- an awesome new investigator. Elder Bailey and I just turned to each other and laughed at how awesome it was that the Lord answered our prayers so quickly.

Over and over things happened like that this week and it was totally awesome! I know that the God loves us and that He really does hear our prayers. When we ask with a sincere heart He WILL hear us and He WILL bless us!

Sometimes I worry that it feels like I am being way to serious and I hope that is not the case. I am just too excited to be able to talk to my family this week! I want you all to know how much I love and how much I hope that you have one of the best Christmases ever. Christmas just isn't the same down here. It's 90 degrees and the Christmas lights just don't look good on a desert backdrop. Believe it or not it's really hard to feel the Christmas spirit in the middle of the desert. But it is still the best time of the year and I hope that you are all loving it up back home!

We are going to have a lot of dinners and stuff with the members and other missionaries this week so things shouldn't be too bad. Friday we have a big party with all of the missionaries on the island at the senior missionaries' house so that will be fun. It still won't be the same as waking up on Christmas morning with my family, but I'll get to talk to you guys so I'm still pumped!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas again. I really feel like this email is a little dull for a Christmas email but what the heck we had a baptism this week and that was so awesome!

May your days be merry and bright and all your Christmases be.... crap! I forgot it! hahah! I hope that you all have a great Christmas week and that the spirit of Christmas is strong and alive in your hearts. Merry Christmas! Ya'll don't party too hard!

Merry Christmas!

PS I heard BYU plays Oregon State tomorrow! Go Cougars! They are going to make up for the debacle they had last year! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Gooooooo Cougars!!!!!

On the 2nd day of christmas my true love gave to me....Paradise :)

December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

I hope that you are all just doing absolutely amazing and I hope that this week goes well for all of you! Good luck with finals (those who have to take finals) and I hope that all goes well!

Grandma, I feel terrible that I did not wish you a happy birthday last week so . . . Happy Birthday! I hope that you had an incredible birthday!

A lot of you have asked about Christmas and how it will be down here. To be honest, I actually have no idea what it is going to be like. But when the mission president was down here we were able to celebrate Christmas with him and his wife and all of the elders on the island and that was awesome. We had zone conference on Tuesday morning and after the conference was over we all hopped into taxis and they drove us to a huge hotel resort on the coast. We hopped out and went downstairs and there in the hotel was an awesome tepanyaki type restaurant! It was so fun.

It was funny to see all of the missionaries packed into the restaurant but it was a really great experience and one that I will never forget. It was so nice for the President and his wife to do that for us!

Anyways, thanks to all of you who sent letters to the mission office before they came down. They came down with letters for every elder. But I had the blessing and the privilege to receive upwards of 30+ letters so to all of you who wrote me a letter thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed Paris Caitlyn welcome back to Utah, I'm sure you are loving it hahahahah! Anyways thank you so much for your love and support. I have been able to stretch out the letters until Christmas and I counted and today I found that I have just enough to count down one per day until Christmas! You are all such a blessing to me. Thank you for all that you do!

This week was so awesome! The biggest news this week is that we found a great new family that is just so awesome and so prepared. We found them on Wednesday night when we were tracting and they invited us right in and sat us down outside under their great big palm tree, which happened to be decked out with Christmas lights. It was something I never thought I would see or experience in my life, but it was incredible.

I was amazed at how much the Lord had prepared the dad and this family to hear the message. The dad told us that all week he had been watching the Jesus week specials that the history channel was doing and he had a ton of questions for us. Besides that the 13 year-old kid said that he is sick of not going to church. He begs his mom every week but they just don't go. She said it's because she doesn't feel that the church they attend is right and so why waste your time. We taught them the first part of the first lesson and the dad absolutely loved it. We went back the next night to finish the lesson and he told us that he explained the apostasy to his pastor friends the way that we had explained it to him and he said that they all said that it was true and they had never heard of a better way to explain. Oh how I love glass tables. Anyways, the lesson the next night was just incredible.

The thing that I love about this family is that they are already inviting people to come and hear our message. Anyways, on this night they invited their sister who lived across the street. We told about the restoration of the gospel and they absolutely loved it. We introduced the Book of Mormon and they all had wide eyes and open mouths. They couldn't believe what we were telling them and the excitement that they had was just incredible.

The dad ran inside and grabbed a Book of Mormon that the mission president in the 70s had given out as a gift, but the rest of the family wanted their own too so we gave each of them their own and they were ridiculously excited. We told the teenager about the stripling warriors and the other cool stories that the Book of Mormon contains and he couldn't wait to read it. He told us that he can't wait until he can be a missionary.

As you can imagine we were on cloud 99 for the rest of the week and it was just an incredible lesson. On Tuesday we have a return appointment with them and I am not sure that I have ever been so excited for a lesson in my mission. This family is so prepared and I hope that God will bless us with the opportunity to lead them to the waters of baptism.

Our baptismal date, Vivian, is doing just great. This week we were able to visit her 4 or 5 times with members and that was just incredible. She has not touched coffee since we committed her to living the word of wisdom last week and last night we made baptismal plans for this Saturday. I haven't been able to be a part of a baptism since Wilton and Myra so I am absolutely pumped for this opportunity that we have to see Vivian enter the gate to the rest of her life in Christ on Saturday.

On Saturday we had a funny day. The mission is sure a roller coaster. As you can imagine this week was just a great week with zone conference and with finding this new family and with Vivian progressing and everything. But as most of you know in the mission when you are up high you know that sooner or later you are going to be brought down. On Saturday we had a day packed full of lessons. We had a great first lesson in the morning and we had just stopped tracting and called to confirm our next appointment.

All of the sudden my bike tire went flat so we walked to the bike store to try and buy a cheap tube that could get us through the day. It was a blessing that we got there just before they closed. I bought the new tube and went outside to put it on, by this time the store was closed and when I unrolled the tube we noticed that it would never fit my bike! They sold me a little kids tube! Hahah! It was so crazy.

Me and Elder Bailey talked about how weird that day was. We ended up taking the rest of the afternoon trying to get our bikes back home because we were quite a ways from the house. Elder Bailey and I love to work and needless to say that day was a hard day for us.

It was cool to see the complete 180 that the lord blessed us with the next day on Sunday. The day before everything had gone wrong but yesterday everything went right! I know that story may not mean a lot to you guys but it was just cool to experience that low but have the Lord bring us out of that horrible day and bless us with a day that went perfectly! He loves us and knows us perfectly, I have no doubt about that in my mind.

I hope that all is going well for ya'll back home! I do miss the snow but it honestly doesn't even feel like Christmas so there really isn't a problem with homesickness or anything. I miss you all sometimes and wish I could be there freezing my butt off with you sometimes but then again, I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be. There is nowhere else that I would want to be right now other then here.

Thanks again for all you that you do! The letters were absolutely awesome! I hope that you all have an amazing and great week and good luck with finals those of you who have to endure through that! I'll be praying for you! hahah!

I love you guys so much. We are going to build sand castles on the beach today which should be fun, Don't worry, we aren't going to go swimming! They don't send buck dogs to the islands. I love you guys! Have an absolutely amazing week! Merry Christmas again!

Say hi to the snow for me! I"ll say hi to the beach :)

December 7, 2009

Bon Dia! Mi Famia y Mi Amigonan

I hope that all is "hopi bon" with you all back in home. Make sure that you take your coat outside so that you all don't get sick from the freezing cold! hahah! I hope that you are all enjoying the snow though. You should enjoy! IT really isn't Christmas without snow. I'm just sorry that the snow has to last for another 3 months!

Speaking of Christmas, the Christmas devotional was absolutely amazing! I know that last year they broadcast it on KBYU and BYU-TV as well as playing it in all the churches. I hope that you were all able to see it! It started at 9 o' clock here, which was a little weird, but it was so awesome. It was great to hear the voice of the prophet of God along with two other apostles and prophets of the Lord. I loved the messages they shared about focusing more on the Savior for Christmas instead of all of the physical things. The program was amazing and as we left the church I was expecting to feel the chilly December air and the sound of snow crunching under my feet. It was a little weird to walk outside and feel the 85 degree nighttime air with a nice ocean breeze. Sorry but as much as you say you hate the snow, Christmas just isn't Christmas without being bundled up and freezing your butt off so enjoy it! haha!

Thank you to all of you for your emails and I am so excited to get your letters tomorrow at the zone conference. Anyways here in Aruba things are going great and to answer all of your questions . . . Yes I am still loving it! I love it here! It's so awesome! It was a little difficult to adjust to riding our bikes all over the island, but now it's great. I love it.

It's such a joy to be able to be working here in the service of the Lord. And it sounds like some of you have more questions so I will try and clear up a few of those.

First off . . . dad asked how long the missionaries stay down here. I will probably be down here on the islands for 6 months, but really it's up to the Lord so there's no set time. But the deal is with our passports we can stay on Aruba for 90 days and Curacao or Bonaire for 90 days, so all in all that's a total of 6 months. So yeah, I will probably be down here until my year mark in the mission which is in May! I can't believe that it's that close, haha!

2nd . . . Jenny asked how many elders are on the island. I didn't know this but she said that the island is like 6 miles by 13 miles, and so yeah, the island isn't very big. But on this beautiful island there are 10 elders and 2 sister missionaries along with a senior missionary couple. So yeah, even though the island isn't very big, the word is being proclaimed loud and clear. Even though none of us can speak Papiamento very well. (haha) But that's OK. It's not your language that converts people it's the spirit of the Lord.

So yeah, those were some of the questions that I got this week. If you have any more just send them along and I would love to answer them!

This week went absolutely amazing! We are working really hard to find some great people who need the gospel in their lives. And the work continues to progress. The biggest news from this week is that our investigator with a baptismal date, named Vivian, is progressing great. She has such a strong desire to change her life and become a disciple of Christ. It's so awesome to teach her. We taught her on Saturday night. We had passed by basically every day that week to try and teach her and every time she had an emergency and had to go or something like that. It was Saturday night and we went to visit her. She wasn't there again. We were so discouraged it was pretty bad.

We decided to visit her neighbor who is a member and teach him a quick lesson. As we were living his house I told him we were sorry that we hadn't been able to teach Vivian with him this week (we had taken him to every dropped appointment that we had). I told him that my goal this next week would be to teach her with him.

We began to ride off and me and Elder Bailey stopped by her house one last time to see if she was there . . . and she was! I know that it doesn't sound like a big deal but to us that meant the whole world. All of those silent prayers that we had been saying that she would be there were finally answered and we had an absolutely amazing lesson with her member friend by our side. Elder Bailey did a great job of teaching her about following the prophet. We committed her to following the prophet and then we moved into teaching the Word of Wisdom. As I began to teach the Word of Wisdom the member was so excited that he jumped in and started talking about coffee!

We were both shocked because usually we talk about coffee last because it's the one that people have the most problems with and we knew that Vivian had troubles with coffee. But he jumped right in and started to teach about coffee! We were a little worried but it turned out perfectly. Vivian told us that she has had an addiction to coffee for years and that she has been trying to quit but she just couldn't do it. She told us that this commandment from a prophet of God was a blessing from God. She said that it gave her the desire and the will that she needed to take that step and cut coffee out of her life. It was so awesome to see how choice she really is and what a desire she has to change her life and follow God.

She says that she doesn't have faith but she is one of the people that I have talked to in my mission that has the most faith. Faith is having works along with your beliefs and she is one of the first people that I have met that is honestly willing to change her life and make the changes that the Lord asks her to make. It's so amazing to see how truly prepared she was to receive her message and I know without a doubt that she will be ready to enter the waters of baptism on the 19th.

I have one more story for you and then I have to get going so we can do everything that we need to get done. This week we were teaching Aileen, a recent convert from San Marteen. She speaks English so it's really different to teach her, and it's actually really hard. But we went over on this day to ask her if she had anyone that needed the gospel. We read her the scripture in Matthew that says those who lose their life for the gospel will find it, and she said that's so true! She said if I don't share this gift that God has given me then I really don't deserve it!

I learned such a great lesson from Aileen (like i always do from investigators and new converts). We truly are blessed to have this amazing gospel. I did a horrible job of sharing the gospel before my mission. But really we are given an incredible gift by the Lord to have His message. I thought that was an awesome insight by a lady who has her head screwed on right.

I hope all of you are doing great and that all is going well. I got to eat fish eyes this week and they were pretty good. It was like sucking salty bloody slime off of a small pebble, but it really isn't as bad as you would think it is :) hahah!

I love you all and I hope that everything is going well back in Utah. Here in Aruba the work continues to progress and we are finding and talking to everyone we can so that this message can cover the earth. Thank you for all of your love and your prayers. I really do feel your support, even if you don't think I do. I do! I promise. Have a good week, good luck! Be safe, be healthy, and a big good luck wish to all of you who have finals this week! Make sure to get lots of sleep!

Good luck . . . just one more week to go and you'll be done!

Monday, November 30, 2009

YES! GO COUGARS!!!! My First week in Aruba


Well hello family and friends,

It was so great to hear from all of you in your emails this past week. Thank you for all of your prayers and your support in your letters and your emails. It's a little rough to be here in a new country again, trying to learn 2 new languages (mostly just one), but your love and support are helping so much! Don't worry things aren't nearly as bad as they were my first week in Puerto Rico. hahah. It's just a little difficult to adjust to not being to communicate with anyone again. But that's OK because I am learning a ton of stuff and I am loving every minute of it. Be sure to keep me in your prayers because I can use all the help that I can get hahah.

I'm not sure how much I told you last week and I think it's because I didn't really know that much about Aruba yet. But today I will tell you a little more about my new country, and i hope you love it! Aruba is a beautiful island, it's sooooooo much different then Puerto Rico though. It's so dry and desert here. It's weird, it feels like southern Utah. It rains every now and then but nowhere close to the kind of rain that we had in Puerto Rico. The beaches are beautiful of course and the sun is amazing. By Christmas I should look tall, dark, ripped, and handsome. Too bad you are all thousands of miles away and you can't see me! :) haha! Guess you'll just have to wait until I get back.

Anyways a lot of you had questions about the people here. I absolutely love the people here and to be honest I think they are just amazing. Like dad said, Aruba is tourism. That's what it is. That's why the country is here. It's here for the rich tourists. But the people here are so loving and humble. I love it! What's cool about this experience is that every person and every family comes from a different country and a different place so there is a ton of different cultures that I get to be a part off. Already I've talked to a ton of Colombians and people from Venezuela?! (I don't know how to spell) Anyways the fact is I am loving it and the people are so open and friendly (except for the dutch people on vacation . . . they just want nothing to do with us). But that can be expected haha. Did I also say that there are a ton of people from Jamaica here too. Yeah, it's fun. I am teaching in 3 different languages each day and I'm loving it! Ahhh it rocks here!

The people here all speak about 4 or 5 languages. Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish and English. Some people speak other languages like french, but the big 4 are those. Papiamento is basically a mix between Spanish, Dutch and English, with a little Portuguese and French mixed in. We are supposed to learn Papiamento here first and then try and learn Dutch. Dutch is ridiculously hard! hahah But Papiamento is coming along nicely. It's a hard situation to be in again, but its such a cool experience to have to rely big time on the Lord again.

Don't get me wrong, I love Puerto Rico, and I always will, but I think this is such an awesome experience.

The downer about the islands though is the whole package thing. As far as I know the mission will not bring packages down here for us. So if you want to sent me a package, I will give you the address. But to be honest, I don't need packages. Just send lots and lots and lots of letters to the mission home because i will get all of those. :) Oh and do it quick! They'll bring them down on the 7th and I think that's the last time this transfer.

So yeah, that's a lot of information about Aruba. I am loving it. It's a big adjustment, but i am loving it! Thanks again for all that ya'll are doing for me. If you want me to answer any more questions just let me know.

But now I am going to talk about the work because I don't want you to think that I am just down here on vacation! haha The work is going well down here. It's a big adjustment from the area where I was just serving in Puerto Rico. But I like it a lot. We ride bikes all over the island. This is nice because it's a good leg workout. But it is also hard because our tires get flat or pop constantly. My first day here we had 5 flat tires! hahah. But we bought some extra thick tubes to solve the problem and that seems to be working.

As for our investigators here we have a baptismal date with Vivian on the 19th. She had a date before but it fell through so we set another one with her on my second night here it was great! She's doing well and I think that if we can help strengthen her testimony she will be getting baptized on the 19th!

Other then that we have been working hard to find people this week. Yesterday we found Angelica and her family. This awesome family has 5 cute little boys who love our magic tricks and a great set of parents who want the best for their family. We have an appointment with them on Wednesday and I am really looking forward to it. It should be a good one!!!

So other then that the work is just continually progressing. I will however share a neat experience that I had this week. I had to teach in Spanish this week for the first time without a native speaker by my side. It was really scary but I said a prayer and asked for some help and the Lord sent it right away. I taught the lesson in great Spanish and didn't seem to struggle at all. I know that it was the Holy Ghost helping the whole time. It was such a great experience to know that the Lord really was there for me and that He was helping me to teach these people that needed to hear the gospel. I know He loves us and is there to help us. I am so thankful for this Church, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the knowledge that God IS our Heavenly Father and that He loves us!

Well that's about all I have to write this week. I am sure next week I will have some better stories to tell you. But yeah, if you have questions about Aruba lemme know!

It was great to hear that BYU won on Saturday. There were some members in church from Utah who told us that they had won but I couldn't believe it until I heard it. O ye of little faith! I am sorry and I hope that you will all forgive me! But what a neat game! I hope you all enjoyed it for me!!!!

I love you guys so much! Thanks for all you do. Keep me in your prayers and if you have a minute write a quick letter to the mission office! I love hearing from you all!

Have a great week! Read and pray every day!

Go Cougars!!! YEAH!!

Happy Thanksgiving.. FROM ARUBA!!!!!!


Hola Familia y Amigos,

I just heard the roar of a cruise ship outside and I am sitting in an email cafe in the middle of a bunch of high class tourist shops, that's right I'm in ARUBA!

The zone leaders called me on Saturday morning and they said, "Elder Oviatt, start packing you are headed to the islands." I was really shocked but it was a really neat experience. Even though I had no idea what to think, the song "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" just kept running through my head so yeah, my transfer was a blast, . And I'm sure you are all dying to hear so I'll let you know a little more about it.

For those of you who don't know there are 3 more islands (besides Puerto Rico) in my mission. They are Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. What is way cool about these islands is that they speak a language here that they don't speak a lot anywhere else in the world. It's called Popiamento. It's a lot like Spanish but it's also very different. They also speak another language down here, you might have heard of it, it's DUTCH. The cool thing with the Dutch is that it's a lot like German. The whole time I was in Puerto Rico I was trying to think back on my time in German class and I couldn't think of a single word. I landed in Aruba last night and it all came back to me. It's a really cool experience to feel the influence of the spirit helping you with the gift of tongues. Which is such a blessing considering that I will be trying to teach in 4 languages :) How Cool is that?!?!?!!

I don't have a lot of information to give you on Aruba because I just landed here last night. But from what I can tell I am going to absolutely love my time here. It's a lot different then Puerto Rico. It's a ton drier and a lot hotter. Puerto Rico is a tropical rain forest and Aruba is like Utah by the ocean. There is a group of cactus outside my apartment. It's pretty cool! I feel right at home! hahah

Anyways my new companion is Elder Bailey. He is from Riverton, Utah. He's way cool and I know that we are going to have a great time together. He already helped me a ton this morning with me Papiamento so I can't wait to see where this transfer goes.

So yeah, that's the big news from this transfer cycle. I'm sure a lot of you are shocked (like me) but that's just what's so cool about this experience. There is nothing like the mission, nothing in the world. And I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be here!

My last week in San Sebastian was awesome too. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for the package. I was able to eat all of the candy before and I brought the pajamas down to wear on Christmas Eve! Woohoo! And thanks for all of the rest of you who wrote letters and stuff. I left yesterday early early in the morning but don't worry, if you sent me a letter, I will eventually get it.

The biggest event that we had last week was that we had a Ward service project up at the home of Wilton and Myra. We helped them paint and clean up the yard. It felt a lot like an Extreme Home Makeover and it was so cool to see the way that the members have welcomed this family into the ward. I know that the Lord has also blessed them tremendously for the decision that they made to be baptized and to come into the church. For my last weekend in San Sebastian, I couldn't have wished for a better ending.

So yeah, it's crazy to be on a different island, and even farther away from you guys, but I feel such a feeling of comfort here. I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be and I am so excited to get out and get to work! I hope that you all have an amazing Thanksgiving this week. They don't celebrate it down here but the landlord of our apartment does, and he invited us over for Thanksgiving Dinner, so yeah . . . that will be fun! And I can't believe that we are so close to Christmas. I can't wait to hear you guys!!!! But that's still a long ways away. There's a lot of work to be done still.

Before I leave I want to leave you with a really cool experience that I had this past week. We are reading the Book of Mormon as the mission and we are going to finish before the end of the year. I was reading the other day in first Nephi chapter 17 verse 3 and when I read it I thought it was a really cool scripture, but then I really didn't think anymore than that. Two days later we had a trade off and I was in the other area of Las Marias. We went to a family that had been really struggling in the church. Elder Schaeffer and I went to their home without a real lesson plan. We were just going to talk to them and to see how we could help. As I sat down, I couldn't get this scripture out of my mind. When I started to talk I shared the scripture and it set the tone for a lesson that was just awesome. I did nothing in that lesson. The spirit did it all. That scripture was what the family needed to hear and I know that the Lord worked through His missionaries to share the message that He wanted that family to hear. I love this work and I am so thankful for our Heavenly Father and His love for us. We are His children and He does want the best for us. I know that to be true. This is His Church on the earth today, without a doubt in my mind.

I love you all. I hope that you have an amazing week of thankfulness. I am so thankful for all of you and for all that you have done for me in my life. I will forever be grateful for the family and friends that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with! I love you guys!

Write soon . . . I'm not sure what our address is but the fastest way for me to get your letters will be if you send them to the mission office in Puerto Rico. They come down every few weeks for meetings and when they come down they bring all of those letters. So yeah, don't be shy about writing a letter! I love hearing from you guys!

Thanks again for all you do! I cant wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My email this week


Hola Family and Friends!

I hope that you all had a fantastic week back in chilly Utah and I hope that all is going well and almost perfect for you all in your lives right now. Thank you so much for the letters and love and support that you all sent to me this week. It was so great to hear about what you have all been up to and of the cool experiences that you have been able to have. It was also nice to feel the warmth of the love and your support for me which help me to continue to work hard in this great and marvelous work. I will always be thankful for the blessing that I have been given to be part of such a great family and to have such great friends! Thanks for all you do guys!

So this past week was a great hard week of work here in beautiful San Sebastian. We have had a rough past few weeks with the number of investigators that we have had drop out, but it was great to be able to work hard and see the blessings that the Lord had in store for us. As much as I miss you guys back home, I am so thankful for this opportunity. I know without a doubt that this is the place where the Lord wants us to be.

Our week was full of hard work, and a lot of it was just that . . . work! We had a lot of opportunities to find new people and invite them. This week we will have the opportunity to teach a lot. Because this week was used mostly to find new investigators to teach, I don’t have a lot of cool or exciting stories to share with you. But that’s OK because it was still a great week of work and I know that next week we will have some really cool experiences to share. But just because I didn’t have a lot doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any good experiences.

On Tuesday night we taught the entire family of our newest baptismal date Rut. By the way Uncle Todd I have a really cool piece of information for you, Rut and her mom are from Hungary. Do you remember very much Hungarian? Do you have any cool phrases that I could say to them that would make them laugh or smile? Haha! It’s so cool to see the type of people we get to meet here. Who knew that someday I would meet a Hungarian family living in Puerto Rico?? Anyways we had a lesson with Rut and we ended up teaching her whole family.

This lesson was one of the most amazing lessons that I have been part of in my mission. This family is so humble. They don’t have a whole lot but what they have is really the only thing that we need in able to work with people here . . . and that is faith and a desire to learn more. I can’t tell you what an amazing feeling it was to be guided by the spirit to say the things that I needed to say. I don’t know that I said a whole lot of my own words during this lesson and I know it was because the spirit was working through me to touch the hearts of these people. We taught great together. We taught like we have never taught before and we felt on fire. My Spanish was amazing and Elder Blandon and I were making connections and transitions that we have never been able to make before. We talked afterward about how amazing the lesson was and we both made the observation that this lesson felt really different.

As I thought about this lesson more and more I thought about the desire that these people had to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and their desire to change their lives. The Lord wanted His message to be made loud and clear to His children in this moment. I have no doubt in my mind that it was for this reason that He helped His lowly servants teach an amazing lesson. This is the Church of Jesus Christ in our days, I know it is! And I know that our Heavenly Father wants the best for His children. I know that this is the reason why He has established His church once again over the earth. He wants the best for all of His children.

There are a lot of great people in the world who go to a lot of good churches and do a lot of good things. But I know that the Lord wants the absolute best for His children. We all have problems. Some of them are bigger then others. But the key is that our loving Savior suffered for each and every one of us. He knows our problems and He knows our sorrows. He wants the best for us. And it’s for this reason that He has established His church on the earth again. I know my Savior lives and I know He loves us. I am so thankful for the sacrifice He made for us and the power that we can find in this sacrifice to change our lives and become better people.

Sorry if that was a little out of place, but I write what I feel I need to write in these emails and I felt that I really need to write about that. Anyways . . . besides that lesson, we had a great week. We found a lot of new people who have a real desire to learn more about the gospel.

This weekend we had a Stake activity and a Caribbean Area Conference with Elder Ballard. The activity was really fun because it was a talent show and the talents that the people shared were native talents in Puerto Rico, part of the culture here. It was so cool to see that and to realize how much I love this land and these people. The meeting with Elder Ballard was really neat. He talked a lot about how we can all receive personal revelation to do those things that we need to do in our lives. He challenged all of the investigators in the audience to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it comes from God. Then he promised that they would be able to know perfectly that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is the Church of Christ in the last days. It was such a blessing to hear from an apostle of Jesus Christ and it was really cool to realize how Jesus Christ is guiding us through His messengers today.

I know that this is His church and I am so thankful to be here serving Him. I hope that you all have a great week this week! I look forward to your letters and your emails. I hope that BYU does well this week and you all better remember not to wear red next week! Haha! I love you all so much and I hope that you have an amazing week.

Love you all! Have an amazing week.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning Sent 11-9-2009

Hola family and Friends!

I woke up this morning to the beautiful tropical rain and I couldn’t believe it! In the five and a half months that I have been in my mission I have never seen the rain in the morning! It was so beautiful and it reminded me a lot of Utah! It even had a little chill to it and reminded me of a nice September morning in good ole Utah. But then the rain stopped and it shot back up into the 80’s. Oh what a blessing it is to be in paradise. I hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful weather in Utah! haha!

Anyways, thank you to all of you who wrote me this week. It was so great to hear from all of you. Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much for the talk on the Book of Mormon. I learned so much. I read it as soon as I got it. This morning I have been telling the other missionaries about it and they thought it was so cool too. So yeah, thank you so much. You have no idea how much it means to me! Mom and dad, thank you for your letters. It was great to read the ward newsletter and to hear about the other missionaries and how they are doing.

OK, well this week was an all right week. We have had 6 baptismal dates drop on us during the last two weeks. That has been kind of hard and discouraging along with some other things that have happened these last few weeks. But that’s ok! Our mission president told Elder Blandon and I that our faith is being tried right now because we need to be able to grow and improve the work even more in the area. I really liked that and the more I have thought about it the more I know that to be true. We really do grow the most in our hardest times!

Anyways, even though we have been struggling to find investigators and good solid people to teach we have still been blessed to be a part of some awesome miracles. And I would love to share some of those with you guys in the short time that I have.

The first one was on Tuesday. Monday night Elder Blandon and I both had the very strong impression that we needed to visit Wilton and Myra in the morning. The problem is that they are in school during that time, but the impression was still there. So we knew that we had to go. We went at about 1 o' clock which is a lot earlier then we usually do. When we got there, the mom ran out to us and said I am so thankful you guys are here. I have been praying that you would come! Myra is really sick and I need your help. I’m not sure if I have ever told you this but Myra is diabetic and it is pretty bad. Anyways, on Tuesday she woke up and was having some problems. When they checked her blood sugar it was around 550. It had began to go down a bit but we told her mom that we could give her a priesthood blessing to help move the process along. It was so neat to be able to lay our hands upon her head and give her a priesthood blessing. I’m sure that a lot of you have had experiences like this but it was a really cool experience to see the way that the Lord works. I know that our Heavenly Father lives and he loves us. We are His children and He hears our prayers. I know that this is true with all of my heart!

Another miracle that we had this week was with some of our investigators that we have had for a while. We have had baptismal dates with them but this last week we couldn’t get a hold of them and we were really worried about what might have happened. Not that anything bad had happened to them physically, but if they had been shown some more of the crap that our other investigators had been given. Anyways, we prayed every single day that we would be able to at least communicate with them to find out what happened. Yet still, every single day we couldn’t find them. Finally on Friday we prayed before we left and then we walked straight to their apartment, and wouldn’t you know it, guess who was walking across the parking lot. We ran up to them and said hi and asked how things were doing. It turned out that everything was fine, they just couldn’t answer their phones and stuff. Anyways to make along story short, we were able to visit them on Saturday and things are going great. They weren’t able to come to church yesterday because of car issues and that is why their baptismal date fell through, but we are going to pass by later this week to set up another date and things are going to go great.

We were blessed with the opportunity to set another baptismal date with a lady named Rut. Rut has a strong desire to change her life and is going to need a little help, but that’s OK. The Lord is able to work with those who are humble and have desires to change. Anyways when we set the date it was cool because she checked her calender to make sure that her lip ring would be out by then so that she would be clean for her baptismal day. She is a great lady and I can’t wait to see where this one goes!

I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this work. I know that this is the work of the Lord and I am so thankful for the opportunity that He has given me to dedicate these few months of my life to serve Him. Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer. He knows our pains and our sorrows and He is there for us. He is always there for us. He is the one true friend I have in this life and I am so thankful for him.

I love you guys so much! It was good to hear that BYU won again. Hopefully they do well again this week! Thanks for all you do! I hope that everyone's tests and lives go well! Have a great week! I’m praying for you.

Go Cougars!

It's November and it's 80 degrees! Where am I?!?! Sent 11-2-2009

Hola family and friends,

Well like always I just spent 20 minutes writing my email to all of you guys and then guess what . . . it got deleted. So I won't be able to write as much or in as much detail as I wanted too, but well that’s the life. I guess I said something in my previous email attempt that was going to hurt someone and the Lord didn’t want me to send it! haha! I hope that is not the case but anyways here we go . . .

I hope that you all had an amazing Halloween this past week. We as missionaries didn’t get dress up and go out. We had to stay inside. But it was fun. We played Risk and talked about how we can improve our work! It was a good Halloween. But definitely not the same as the ones back home. I hope that you enjoyed it!

Anyways this week was perhaps one of the hardest weeks that I have had on my mission. I learned two things: the first is that the mission is an emotional roller coaster, and the second is that we must experience opposition in all things.

The week started out great! I had a day of amazing Spanish where I talked was able to speak as I had never spoken before. I also taught like I have never been able to teach before. It was an amazing blessing from the Lord and I felt like I was on fire.

And then Friday came . . .

We had a lesson with the family we thought were our most promising investigators, Alexis and Alexandra. We were ready for what we thought was going to be an amazing lesson with the Branch President. We came in, we all sat down, and we sang the opening hymn. Alexis and Alexandra didn’t sing with us. After the prayer they pulled out the list.

Someone had handed them a great little list of anti-Mormon scriptures along with some other anti-Mormon stuff. They began to read off the scriptures and even though we answered every question with complete ease, the seed of faith that had been planted by the Lord had been removed and buried by some conspiring servant of the devil.

It was hard to go through that lesson and to hear all the opposition that they had chosen to believe. It was so full of contention and so false that the spirit was just gone. It was really cool to see the way it came back when we all bore our testimonies and when we knelt down to pray. I could just feel the love of the Lord that he had for these people. I started to just bawl like a baby.

Every time that I had looked at this family I would think about how families can be together and how they were choosing the path that the Lord wanted them to be on. We now knelt in prayer knowing that they had chosen to get off of that path. I just couldn’t help but deeply feel the sorrow I had for them. It was hard for me to realize that they had just delayed their opportunity to be sealed together as a family. It was a hard night (as you can imagine) but as we went back to the apartment, I had the opportunity to pray and ask Heavenly Father to get me back on my feet. It was amazing to feel His love pick me up that night and the next day during stories.

I want you all to know that I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. There is no doubt in my mind that He is at the head of the church. This church receives so much devilish opposition. This opposition is actually the most blatant evidence that this is truly His church. Why would satan try so hard to destroy a church if it wasn’t the church of God? I hope that none of you have had to deal with this crap . . . having someone try to destroy your faith in God and in our Savior. But if you have, I would encourage you not to listen to man, but listen to God. Get down on your knees and ask Him yourself. You can’t deny a witness from God and God will never lie to you. He will tell you the truth! But a man will just tell you what he wants to tell you, true or not.

I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to fight in this spiritual war. Satan’s influence in the world is so strong and he is growing everyday. Moms and Dads, don’t let him tear your family apart. God created this gospel to help our families stay together and live in a way that we should. The teachings in the Church of Jesus Christ are His teachings and they bless the family. And the biggest blessing of all is the knowledge that our families can be together forever.

I hope that you all have an amazing week! Enjoy the crisp fall weather and I will enjoy the nice tropical weather.

Never forget who you are, a Child of God, and never forget to do the things that will bring you closer to Him!

I love you all so much thanks for all you do! Have a super fantastic Week!


Happy Halloween! Thanks Bishop Weight! Sent 10-26-2009

Hola Familia y Amigos

I hope that all is going well in good old cold Orem, Utah. First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. I hope that all goes well for everyone this week.

Thanks to all of you who wrote me a letter or an email this week. It was so great to hear from you. As always it was great to hear from you and hear about how things are going!

I want to thank Bishop Weight for all that he did for me in his service as young men's president. I've thought a lot about how the young men's leaders all around the world carry a lot of responsibility. They have to help these young men grow up and be prepared to serve missions. I want to thank all of my young men's leaders, but especially Bishop Weight, for all that they did to help me get where I am today and to help me stay on the straight and narrow path. I know that Bishop Weight has helped a lot of people in his life but I doubt that there are any who are more thankful for his service and his help then those young men that were with me and before me. Thanks for all you did for us Bishop Weight! You are an amazing man and an even better example to all of us!

As for the fires, I don't think that you have anything to be worried about mom. I have yet to see any smoke from the fires. Bayamon is about 2 hours from San Sebastian and as far as I know all that happened is that some big gas tanks caught on fire so they have to wait until all of the gas burns out. Yeah the air will probably be bad for a while but I imagine it will be a lot like a forest fire is back home. And as always all the missionaries are safe. You have nothing to worry about. We are in the Lord's hands and He will protect us.

It's too bad that BYU lost but esta es la vida. Always perhaps another day or another season for BYU, but as always go cougars! :)

OK . . . well this week was absolutely amazing. The work here in San Sebastian is improving so much and I love it. We now have two more baptismal dates and the family is just awesome. We contacted Alexis and his wife about two weeks ago. Last Sunday they came to church and they absolutely loved it! We had a family home evening on Monday night in the home of the Sanchez family, one of the strongest families of our branch. It was such a great lesson they taught about how we can use family home evenings to improve my family. Alexis and Alexandra loved it and said that they were going to try and implement this in their home next week. It was great to see the kids of both families interacting while the parents of both families were talking about how we can better improve our family relations. God created His plan and His gospel in order to bless our families and help us receive the ordinances needed to be exalted and live together forever as families. It is great to see how truly blessed we are to have a program like family home evening. It really does bring our families closer to him!

Wednesday was the day that we were going to put the baptismal challenge with them and the lesson went so much better then we could have ever dreamed. We were both a little nervous because Alexandra called us the night before and said that she had some doubts but it turned out her doubts were just questions about what is a Lamanite and a Nephite. I can't tell you how nice it was to hear that was all.

The lesson we had with them was so amazing! The spirit was incredibly strong and I could tell that they knew what we were teaching them was special. Alexis had a big problem when we showed him the picture of baptism. The girl in the picture looks pretty young and he started talking about how he doesn't believe kids should be baptized, even at 8 years old. It was a great opportunity for me and Elder Blandon to share our testimonies about the way we felt on our baptism days. That helped to change his attitude a bit, but then his wife told a story of their son who came home from church and when they started to pray that night he told his mom that they were doing it wrong, that isn't what they learned in primary. With tears running down all of our faces she told us that there is nothing more that she wants for her kids then to want to follow the Savior at 8, that was the thing that helped Alexis changed his attitude. It was great to end that lesson and commit them both to baptism. They said that they were both a little nervous and they never thought that it would come this fast but the spirit was so strong in the room that there was only one answer that they could give. And I am so thankful they gave it. They said that they wanted to prepare to be baptized on November 14th and once again, I was the happiest man in the world!

Friday night Alexis came to the priesthood activity with us and had a blast. When we left he was shaking all of the members hand's with us like he's been a member for a long time. It was great to see him interacting with the members like that. It really does feel like he has been attending our branch for a while now. It's crazy to think that at that point he had only been to church once! Talk about a miracle.

Yesterday they came to church and they loved it again. Both of them were participating in their classes and asking questions trying to learn more and understand more. It was so awesome! I can't wait to see how this family ends up. Every time I look at them I can't help but think that families really are forever and that this is what God wants most for them. I really hope that all will go well and that they will continue on the path that they have started on. I know that they will though because they are so awesome and so strong!

Other then that we had some other cool experiences. We have a member in our ward who has been going through a hard time in her life right now. We went to share a message with her and we both felt prompted to share a message from Moses 7:29. It's a message that we have shared before, but in this moment we really felt like we needed to share it. As we started the lesson she couldn't believe that we were sharing this scripture. She said that she had just read that scripture in the morning and wanted to ask questions and talk more about it with someone. That was cool enough as it is but what makes this story even better is that we started sharing this message about 3 weeks ago when I read that scripture in personal study. And 3 weeks later we were the answer to the prayers of one of God's children. I can't tell you how amazing and how humbling that moment was. I read that scripture 3 weeks ago and never did I think that 3 weeks later the Lord would use that scripture to answer someone's prayers. The Lord truly knows us and loves us. If you want proof, look at the fact that I was prompted to read this scripture 3 weeks before I would use it to answer someone's prayers. What a blessing it is to be in the service of the Lord.

I also had my first dog chasing incident this week. We were contacting up in the mountains and there was a nice little dog following us around. Then Mack the big rotwiler??? (I don't know how to spell) spotted us and chased us down the street. It was funny to see all the cars laughing at us and it was great to think about how officially i am missionary :) It was a fun experience. One of those only in the mission experiences that you never forget.

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and your support. You have no idea how much it means to me! I hope that you all have a fantastic week this week and I hope that Halloween is good for all of you! I love you all!!!

Don't forget to read and pray every day!

Thanks again Bishop Weight!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

5 Months!!!!

Hola family and Friends

Thank you so much for your letters and your emails this week. It was so great to hear from all of you and I can't wait to hear from you again. It seems like I say the same thing every week to you guys but it is so true. The letters and the love that you send me really does mean the world to me so thank you.

It was great to hear that Trent is doing better and that grandma and grandpa are getting all moved into their new house! What an exciting time. I'm glad that you guys are all doing well.

Punky and Allen, good luck on your missions coming up. You guys are going to do great!

OK, well I don't have much time to write today. But that's OK because of the short week I don't have that much to write about so, yeah hope you enjoy the stories about another week in the life of Elder Oviatt.

Well this week was so good. We had transfer meeting this week and the transfer meeting went well. One of my best friends in the mission who is leaving in November, Elder Scheaffer, got transferred into our district. We are all really excited about that. I am happy to say that easily, hands down, we have the best district in the mission.

But the actual work this week went well. We found a new family this week and I am happy to announce that they are absolutely golden and that they are going to be our next two baptisms in the area of San Sebastian. We taught them the first lesson and they absolutely loved it. Their names are Alexi and Alexandra and they have a great family. Their problem with religion was that they both were going to separate churches. When they started to have a family they realized that this wouldn't be a good atmosphere in which to raise their children so they just stopped going to church altogether.

We taught them the first lesson and the fact that Jesus Christ has establish his gospel once again on the earth. Part of that restoration is restoring the truth that he established the church to seal and strengthen our families. That really touched their hearts and they loved it. They told us that they would be at church Sunday and sure enough, yesterday we had a new family in the church. But what was even more amazing was to see the way that the members reacted to this new family. Usually they are happy when we have a new investigator in the church but I have never seen them act the way that they did with this family.

The Elders Quorum president and the Relief Society president whisked the mom and dad off to class and the Primary president welcomed the little boy with open arms. It was so neat to see the little boy run into sacrament and RUN and sit by one of the primary teachers. The family had to go sit by him because he didn't want to sit by anyone else. I ended up sitting by myself on a lonesome row but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I know that the Lord wanted this family to be found. He needs them in His church because they need to be able to live together forever. I know that God loves us and wants the best for us in our lives. It is great to be able to see His hand in the work everyday. From being led to a house, to seeing Him change the attitudes of members of the church, His hand is in this work and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a part of it.

In other big news, I got to buy a bike this week and what a screamin' deal! 60 bucks! I was pumped. The thing is that I bought it from a missionary who was going home because he got injured and every missionary who has used the bike has had to go home early because of medical problems. But I don't believe in curses and I know that I am going to be just fine.

We had a lesson on Saturday during our tracting time that was just amazing. I have had the opportunity time and time again to participate in lessons with people who have been looking for the truth and they know not where to find it. Often times I feel frustration for all of the confusion that there is in the world. I know that God's true church is here and He established it through the prophet Joseph Smith. It is a blessing to be able to testify of that everyday. But it is hard to testify of the truth and to see how confused people are. But that's what is so neat! Even though these people don't have the truth their loving Heavenly Father gives them the opportunity to hear it. We taught a young lady this week who had lost her mother and her marriage was struggling. She needed Christ's love in her life and she needed to know that families can be together forever. She loved the message that we shared with her and while she told us she wouldn't be able to come to church, she said that she was going to read the Book of Mormon because she needed to know if our message was true.

The fact is that Heavenly Father truly does love His children and He has provided a way for all of His children to be happy. I can't imagine living in heaven without my family. But to know that through the power and authority of Jesus Christ, our families have the opportunity to be saved and lived together forever is such a blessing. I know that God loves us and I know that through his son Jesus Christ, we can have the opportunity to live with Him and our families forever. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be here and as much as I miss you guys I wouldn't be anywhere else.

I love you so much! I hope that you all have fun at the party on Saturday! Cheer loud for me and Go Cougars!!!!

3rd Transfer with Elder Blandon & First Baptism

Hola familia y Amigos




Thanks to all of you who wrote and emailed this week. It was great to hear from all of you and to feel your love and support. I want you to know that I love you all too and that I know the Lord will bless you for your love and your support.

Well the big news that you are all dying to hear is whether I got transferred this week. When we have transfers here in Puerto Rico, we are notified Saturday night if we are going to be transferred. Then on Wednesday we all go to a meeting in San Juan where we trade companions and have a meeting with the President.

Well Saturday was an amazing day because we had our 1st baptism since I have been here in San Sebastian. But it was also really nice because that night we got a call from the zone leaders and they told us that we would both be staying in San Sebastian for a 3rd transfer together. It was great news to hear because we have done a lot of great work together and we have a bunch of investigators who are progressing greatly. Neither one of us wanted to leave and we were blessed with the opportunity to stay here and work together.

So . . . to answer all of your questions, no I am not going to be transferred this transfer. I get to stay in San Sebastian and serve the Lord's children here! I can't wait. This transfer is going to be amazing. So yeah . . . same address just in case any of you want to write ;)

OK, so now onto the good stuff. Saturday we had the opportunity to see our two favorite little investigators enter the waters of baptism and be baptized in the same manner, and with the same authority, that our Savior was baptized with. It was such a special day and I am not even sure that the description that I will attempt to give will even come close to giving it justice. I had the opportunity to baptize Wilton but the most amazing part of that day was to see those kids dressed in white. To see the light in their eyes and to think about the huge step that they were taking in their eternal progression and their journey back to our Heavenly Father. I had the privilege to baptize Wilton and, like I said in my other emails, these kids are so shy! But Wilton was really excited to be baptized. He walked into the font and as I started the ordinance, he started to go down. It was funny and it was really neat.

It was amazing though to see the smiles on their faces that day. I know that this is the is the Church of Jesus Christ and it was amazing to be taken on the journey with these kids to the waters of baptism. Every thing that happened along the journey, the way we found them, all the deadlines we had to meet, and the baptism and confirmation, everything was a miracle and I could see the hand of the Lord in every step of the way. It was such a blessing to be apart of the baptism, but it was also a really humbling experience to know that we did nothing to make this baptism happen. But in fact it was the hand of the Lord the whole time. What a blessing it was to be apart of this experience it is something that I will never forget.

The confirmation went well. As you know for convert baptisms we hold the confirmation on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting and it was a little scary for us when they showed up half an hour late to church. But again we had another miracle and they were able to make the journey from the home to the church and later in the day the kids were able to be confirmed, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing it was to participate in this! I know that my description did not do justice to the feelings of the day and I hope that you will forgive me. I will send you the pictures and it will all make sense!

So other then that we actually had a really eventful week. This week we had the opportunity to teach an amazing family. The mom's name is Mary and I am not sure what the other names of the family are, but our experience with them has been amazing. We contacted them earlier in the week and the mom said missionaries helped her paint like 20 years ago. She said she wanted to learn more so she invited us back later in the week. We came back and she was kind of hesitant to listen to our messages. She said that she was already meeting with missionaries from another church and she didn't want to get confused. We told her that we respect that but somehow we ended up teaching her the first lesson. I honestly don't know how we did it. But all of the sudden they brought out chairs for us and we sat there and gave her the first lesson.

From the minute we ended the hymn the spirit was way strong and her countenance changed. She wasn't hesitant anymore but in fact she was really interested. The lesson went well and it was one of the best lessons that we have taught together. Not because we are great teachers, but because the spirit was so strong. And because the spirit was directing the lesson, we talked about the Book of Mormon and her husband loved it. She took a copy and wouldn't let go. We were both really excited and couldn't wait to go back. But what was really neat about this experience is that the spirit changed everything. We asked what she thought about the lesson and she said that she loved it. That she has never felt that warmth before in a religious setting. I know for a fact that isn't an accident or a coincidence. The influence of the spirit is real. I know it is.

But as the scriptures say, there is opposition in all things. This week we went to the house of one of our most promising investigators and she opened the door and came out to talk to us. We asked if she was reading the Book of Mormon and she said "a little, but I am reading this book about religions too." Sure enough, she pulled out an anti-Mormon book and my companion started to read it to make sure it was what we thought it was. I read along too and as soon as I started to read I could just feel darkness and anger. A totally different feeling from when I read the Book of Mormon in the morning. It's sad that there are people in the world that have to go out of their way to destroy the faith of others. But how great it is to know that Jesus Christ has restored His gospel once again on the earth and His power and authority is here.

It was a great week this week and I look forward to another great week of work in the Lord's service this week. Thanks again for all that you do for me. Grandma and grandpa the pictures and the books were amazing. Thank you so much. Wilton and Myra absolutely loved the book. I told them that they had grandparents in Utah now too, and they loved that. Thank you for all that you two do for me. You are amazing.

Good luck this week and never forget who you are and what you stand for.

This is the Church of Jesus Christ! He is at the head and He directs His church through His servants the prophets in our days. How blessed we are to have been given the gift of the gospel and what a blessing it is to be able to serve him! I love you and I miss you all, but there is no where in the world that I would rather be. Have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Hola my family and my friends

This weekend was an amazing spiritual weekend and I can't get over the amount of spiritual feast that we had to partake of. I absolutely loved conference and I hope that you did too!

At the start of my email I would like to apologize. This email is not going to be very good. I have like no time to write because it is almost 6 o'clock here which means it's time to go work again. But I will try to do the best I can at filling you in on my activities and learning experiences during the past week.

Well thank you so much mom, dad, and Jenny for your emails and for your love and support. It was great to hear from you all and it was great to hear that you loved conference. I actually didn't have time to read your emails as well as I would have liked. Would it be possible for you guys to mail your emails to me?! I know that's ridiculous but we can't print them and though I read every word, I didn't have time to be nourished by every word.

Conference was so amazing! I loved all of the sessions. Each one was special in it's own way but I especially loved the feelings and messages that were shared. It seems that God wants us to know that He loves us and He really is there! I can't believe how amazing this conference was. It seemed so different from the last one and I don't know why. As hard as it was to be away from home this weekend I still felt your love during conference.

We watched conference at the Stake Center in Mayaguez. They had a TV for the missionaries in English so we could understand. The sessions were all amazing. I can't get over how good the talks were! I wanted to be home during Elder Bednar's talk so I could try out his new advice. And holy cow! President Monson's talk in priesthood session pretty much changed my life (along with his talk Sunday morning). I loved conference so much and I am glad that we all had the chance to be spiritually nourished this week.

I know that you all have about as much time as me -- that is no time, But it would be great if you wanted to talk about your favorite talk. Write me and tell me why you liked it! I promise I will write you back. One of my favorite parts about conference is sharing my feelings with those close to me. So yeah and holy cow, can you believe Elder Holland!. Yeah, he blew us all away too!

Just so you know, they don't change the times for the sessions here. We just watch them live with you guys. Which means we watched them during the times that we usually don't have the sessions in Utah. That was a little weird but it was cool too. Priesthood session got out at 10:00. Can you believe that!!!!

Anyways conference was amazing. I wish that I could talk about it more but alas I have no time to write. So a quick update on my area and then I'm out of here. I am so sorry this email is so short. I love you so much and I actually feel sad for not being able to write you more. Just know that I love you OK?

Anywho this week was awesome. Wilton and Myra are going to be baptized on Saturday and it is going to be absolutely amazing. I cannot wait. The experience that we have had with them has been amazing. The Lord has truly been instrumental in leading us to His children who need to enter the waters of baptism. That is going to be great!

A cool story from this week was that I had a companionship exchange with the Elders in the area closest to ours. I was in charge of all the lessons that day because I was the one who stayed in our area. I was so scared and so nervous that I wouldn't be able to talk right or communicate the things which we needed to, but the Lord blessed me so much and my Spanish was actually pretty darn good. I feel stupid for not having more faith but I want you to know that God lives! He is our Father in Heaven and He knows us and He loves us. I love you all so much and I hope that you feel His love too!

I'm glad that BYU won. I hope that they do well this week.

Like I said, my email was going to be brief today and I am so sorry. But I want to leave you all with a quick scripture reference before I go. It's in D&C 25 verse 10. It's a good scripture to have in mind, especially after the things that we have heard this past week in conference. I hope that we can all seek faith and not the world. I hope that we can all become a little better because of this conference like President Monson said.

I love you all and I am praying for you so much. I am sorry again that this letter is short. I promise that next week will be amazing. Speaking of next week, we have transfers so my pday will be on Tuesday not Monday next week. But more importantly, I am pretty sure that I am going to be transferred. So if you are planning to send me a letter, you might want to send it before Saturday or I will never get it.

I love you all. I know that the Lord will bless you for your love and support! Don't forget the feelings that you felt this past week in conference because that's exactly what satan wants you too do!!!!

Work hard and pray hard! I love you all forever.

Your son, brother, friend and missionary,

Elder Oviatt!

Thanks and sorry again! I love you guys!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Conference Weekend!

It was great to hear from all of you this past week and I am so thankful that Trent was able to have a successful surgery. It was sad to hear that he fell on the repaired shoulder just hours after the surgery, but I am sure that he will be fine. I am praying for you!

Mom and dad, thank you so much for your letters and your emails. You are both so loving and it is an absolute blessing to have you two as my parents. Jenny thanks for the letter! You are so sweet and the pictures rock! I hope that all is going well with school and work! Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much for your letter. I got it today and I didn't have time to read the story but I can't wait to read it, they are always great and I love them so much.

Thanks to all of the rest of who I know are always praying for me. Again, hopefully someday I will be able to write you a quick email or letter but for now, know that I love you and I am praying for you and I wish you the best.

Well this week was a great week. We had our interviews with the president this week, something that happens every transfer cycle. When I talked to him about the investigators in our area he gave me some great news! He said that Carmen's kids, Wilton and Myra, are great blessing to the branch here and that the Lord wants those kids to be baptized. Usually, if people don't come to church three times we can't baptize them. In their situation, they live 40 minutes from church and have no car. But they have some of the strongest desires to be baptized that I have ever seen. So we got permission to baptize them when they are ready!

Something that is a huge blessing in our lives and the lives of the people here in San Sebastian! I am so pumped! It's so amazing to be a part of this work and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I know that those children were led to us because our Heavenly Father wants them to have the saving ordinance of baptism performed. He wants all of his children to return to live with Him in the Celestial Kingdom and at some point in all of our lives, He gives us the the opportunity to decide, yes or no. It's cool to be the instrument in His hands that gets to ask the question and act on the response.

So yeah, if you can't tell I'm pretty excited to be having a baptism this transfer :)

Oh and secondly :)

Our other investigator is progressing also. Maria told us that she loves the Book of Mormon and that she knows it's true. We just found out last night that she has an issue that we need to work on but it's amazing. Before my mission I thought of missionary work as teaching lessons to regular people. But I never really thought about all of the different circumstances that these people will be living with. It's amazing to realize that we really are teaching His children, but all of us are different in every single way. And yet, He has a plan and vision for each of us and He knows each of us perfectly. I am so blessed to be a part of this work and to have the opportunity to see that vision and to feel that love for the people that we work with. If any of you are thinking about a mission or not . . . it's a no-brainer. Get out here and serve the Lord! Where do you think he wants you?!

We did have the chance to have some really cool stuff happen to us this week. It's always and adventure trying to meet our goals. We set goals at the start of each week and plan how to accomplish them. By the end of the week, if we accomplished them, it's always seems to be in a totally different way then we planned, and it's because the Lord led us every step of the way.

It was Friday night and we were working hard contacting. While we were knocking on doors I was going over the numbers in my head and I realized that one of goals, lessons with members, was going to be really hard to accomplish by Sunday. We prayed that morning and asked Heavenly Father to help us. We prayed "we don't know how we are going to accomplish our goals but we know with your help we can." Well, when we got done contacting, we went to an appointment with an investigator that we have had for a while -- Lillian Lebron. Lillian knows a lot of the members in the branch but none of them could come with us on this night. We went to her house and knocked on her door and guess who answered. Her son who is a member. Talk about a blessing and a miracle from the Lord. That lesson started an awesome weekend of blessings and small miracles and only through the hand of the Lord and His love for His children were we able to accomplish our goals this week.

We also had a cool experience yesterday when we were contacting. In San Sebastian there are two types of neighborhoods: neighborhoods in the city where all of the houses are really close and it can take you 2 hours to contact a street because there are so many houses; or the mountain neighborhoods where the houses are so spread out that it can take you two minutes to contact an entire street. Last night we were contacting in the mountains. We got done with one street and started walking back. I noticed a house in the distance that we had not noticed earlier.

I looked for a trail and sure enough we had walked right past the trail. We went and knocked on the door and there was nothing. Then again and nothing. We started to leave and Elder Blandon said he just felt someone say "go knock, go knock" so we turned around and knocked on the door. When we did this last time, a great young lady came out and in the humid Puerto Rico evening we taught her the first lesson about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. She took the Book of Mormon with enthusiasm and promised us that she would read it and pray about it. It's amazing to think that if we didn't follow the promptings of the spirit we wouldn't have been able to find this young woman that the Lord had prepared to hear His gospel. What a blessing it is to be an instrument in His hands!

Well this weekend is general conference. One of my two favorite weekends of the year. It is going to be interesting to watch it here in another country two hours ahead, but I can't wait! I will probably miss you all a little more this week because of conference and the sights I will get to see, and the memories that I will remember. But I want you to know that I love you all and as much as I miss you, there is no other place that I would rather be then here in beautiful Puerto Rico serving the Lord. I hope it goes well! I love you all.

OK, one last story and then I have to get going. This weekend on Saturday we were going to teach Maria and we were going to teach about the spirit and promptings of the spirit. But when we were trying to make the lesson plan we kept hitting blocks in our planning. It was getting really frustrating and finally I just told Elder Blandon that we couldn't do it alone. We needed the Lord's help. So we dropped to our knees and within 15 minutes we had a lesson plan that we felt great about. We gave the lesson and during the lesson there was no doubt in my mind that we had been inspired with the things that we were teaching. We really are God's children and when we ask Him to help us He will be there to help us. I know it's true because I go through stories like that every day. Never be afraid to get on your knees and plead for help. Just as your earthly father would help you, your Heavenly Father will help you too!

I love you so much and I can't wait to hear from you all again. It was great to hear that Trent is doing OK, that grandma and grandpa sold their house, and that BYU won! Woohoo!

Thanks for all that you do for me. I love you all and I am praying for you all constantly.

With all of my love that I can give,

Your son, Friend and Missionary,

Elder Oviatt

PS Go cougars!

Monday, September 21, 2009

We just won't talk about that one :( haha - September 21, 2009

Hola Familia and Amigos

It was so great to hear from you this week. Thank you for all of your love and support and your letters and your emails. You have no idea how much it means to me and how much it helps.

Well I got the news about the BYU game . . . and well Go Cougars! They'll win next week. It's too bad about the perfect season being gone and all that nonsense but it's OK, the BCS is done in a few years anyways.

So Mom and Dad thank you for the package. It was so great to get it! Thank you so much for your love and support. Did you get the memory card that I sent this week?!?! I sure hope so, it has all of my pictures on it.

Trent, man, surgery :( That's rough. I am so sorry. I know that you are going to make it through and I want you to know that you will be in my prayers for a long time. Don't ever be afraid to ask your earthly father for a blessing. And never, ever, ever, ever, be afraid to drop down on your knees and ask your Heavenly Father for a little extra help. I know every thing happens for a reason bud. There is a divine plan and vision for each one of us. Yours happens to have shoulder surgery in it, lucky you :) I love you man and I am praying for you. Let me know how it goes. And enjoy the love and support but not the pain :S Love you bro!

So this week was a good solid week of work. I felt really good about what we did this week but the thing is that we just did a lot of working and teaching and there weren't really any crazy stories that happened to us. So I am sorry if this email is kind of boring. But hey, you get to hear about beautiful Puerto Rico so I hope you enjoy.

Today I am in Aguadilla. I just got my Puerto Rican Driver's License so it's official estoy boriqua! (I am Puerto Rican). It was hard to give up my Utah license and take the new one. It felt like I was giving away part of my old life. But it was still cool to know that I am officially here for two years!

Anywho, yeah . . . so I am writing you this email and I can look out the window and see the beautiful west coast of Puerto Rico. You guys are way out there. I just waved to you so hopefully when you get this you'll wave back! I love you.

OK, so this week we had one investigator in church. Maria, who we have been teaching for a long time, came with her cousin this week and it's a good thing we came. Saturday afternoon we biked an hour to her cousin's house to teach her and in the middle of the lesson, a lightning storm developed. The lightning struck the street in front of the house! It was crazy! We totally moved and my vision went all blurry for a few seconds of the loud thunder. Anywho, Sunday she came to church and got to participate in Sacrament Meeting with us. That was awesome. I think she really enjoyed it and she is really starting to get a stronger testimony of the gospel. Hopefully the Lord will bless us with a baptism in the next few weeks.

Our other two awesome investigators, Milton and Myra (12 and 11 years old) didn't come to church yesterday. These are the kids of Hermana Carmen who lives about 45 minutes away by car. The edge of our area haha. Anywho, they don't have a car and so they have to rely on their dad for a ride to church. Apparently he couldn't give them a ride yesterday. Anywho they are great and they are going to get baptized they just need to come!

This family is so sweet they don't have that much. In fact, they barely have anything but they know so much about the gospel and they have such a desire to get baptized. Every time we teach them the spirit floods the room and we have an awesome conversation. The Lord knows these kids and knows what's best for them. I have no doubt in my mind that is the reason why we were led to them. Anywho this Saturday they had written our names on the wall along with the member who always comes with us and also their own names. It was so cute and so special. I will take a picture of it and sent it to you. It's cool because they feel a special joy when we come over and it's not because of us, it's because we bring the message of the God. The love and joy that they feel when we come over is the love and joy that we can all feel with the message of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

This week was a pretty hard week for me. For some reason I was really thinking about home and for some reason my Spanish was just down. I was so down this week that I started to look for all of the bad in every day. Satan was working me so hard I couldn't believe it! Saturday was awful. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Nearing the end of the day all of our goals were basically gone and we needed a miracle in our last two hours of contacting to reach our goals for the day. I was so angry and negative. But luckily, the Lord helped to change my heart.

We had a miracle and we got to teach 3 first lessons in 2 hours, which absolutely never happens. Usually it's 0. And as we started to walk to a less active member's house to visit her, we were talking about how we needed to get a lesson with a member to reach our goal. The lesson needed to include a non-member with a member present. We arrived at this sister's house and there was a non-member friend visiting her. Many of you might say that it was luck/ No it wasn't. I know for a fact that it was the hand of the Lord helping His son and His missionary who desperately needed a lift. I had a change of heart that night and I realized that often in life, we do the things that the Lord wants us to be doing. Often in life, we have goals that He wants us to work towards. And often in life, we have a picture in our mind of how God will work for us to help us get there.

This is so wrong and it's been a problem that I have had for a long time. God is there and He loves us. We are His children and He wants the best for us. When we do what He wants, He will bless us. And when we work towards the goals that He wants us to accomplish, He will bless us with the ability to reach those goals. But what is cool is that most of the time it will be in a totally different way or manner then we think because we are on His timetable, and He knows what is best for us. We will usually always accomplish our goals of what we know He wants. But He builds us and shapes us into even better people, and helps us reach even better goals, by taking us on His path, on His plan, which can be a totally different path and plan then we usually expect.

I know that sometimes life just seems like it's crap. You're down in the dumps and there is nowhere to go. But these are the best times to look at all Heavenly Father has blessed you with and all you have been given. You have the opportunity to learn and grow from this crappy experience and grow closer to your Father who loves you with a perfect love.

I hope that whenever you guys have a hard time this week that you will get down on your knees and ask for help. I promise that your Heavenly Father is there for you and He loves you and will answer your prayers.

I read a scripture this week that I love, Ether 12:27. If men will humble themselves before me I will make weak things become strong. God is everything and when we humble ourselves and look for His hand in our lives, it's amazing to see how much strength He has given us.

Well that was cool. I wasn't really planning to write all of that but it's amazing how the spirit works so yeah!

Well that's about it for this week. I want you all to know that I love you so much and I pray for all of you every single night.

I miss you like a freaking pain, but there is nowhere else in the world that I should be right now.

Thanks for all of your love and support and all that you all do for me. I know that you will be blessed.

Until next time, your son, brother, friend and missionary

Elder Oviatt

P.S. Good luck with the move grandma and grandpa! Thanks for all the letters and love

Oh and

P.P.S. GO COUGARS!!!!!! 11-1 :)

2 More Baptismal Dates!!!! 54-3?!?!?!?!?!?!?! -- September 14. 2009

Hola Familia y Amigos

It was great to hear from you all this past week! Thank you so much for your love and support and your letters and your emails. The shoulder thing with Trent sounds so weird. I'm glad that he is still able to hit the ball but that's so crazy that you are able to do that with a torn ligament in your shoulder. It's a cool blessing too. I'm glad that this week the news was no surgery, hopefully it will be the same next week.

And holy cow 54-3! And I am hearing that BYU is ranked #7? Wow! What a season to be on a mission. No, I'm just kidding. I am glad that they are doing so well. In all honesty, I would much rather be here in Puerto Rico on Saturdays serving the Lord, then being in Orem sitting on the couch watching football. This is where the Lord wants me to be and there is no other place I would rather be. But thanks for the updates and I hope they do well! Go Cougars!

Anywho, this week was absolutely awesome! I will start off with the best news! We have two more baptismal dates with the kids of Carmen, or Carmen's kids is how you say it in English (I think). Anyways, we were so pumped when we committed them to baptism. These kids are really shy but they absolutely love the Book of Mormon and they love learning about Jesus Christ and His gospel. When we asked Carmen if it would be OK to baptize her kids she said "of course." And then we asked if the kids wanted to be baptized and they said "of course" also! We were so excited but there was still more that had to be done this week.

In order to be baptized as a convert you have to go to church 3 times. So if we wanted to baptize those kids this transfer they needed to come to church this week. The problem is that they live so far away (about 30-45 minutes) from church and they have no car to get there. Luckily Carmen asked her dad if he could drive them down for church. He said he could but because the mom is in a coma, he would not be able to pick them up. Carmen demonstrated her faith in the Lord and she came to church without knowing if we would be able to find a ride back or not. We have great members in the branch of San Sebastian and they were more then willing to take her back home. The kids absolutely loved church, even though they are so shy. They loved the feelings that they felt there and they loved the opportunity to take the sacrament and think about Christ. They also loved making more friends. Carmen said that she loved it so much and that she will definitely be back.

I am so thankful for this awesome family and what is even more amazing is that the Lord basically gave us this family to teach. We didn't contact them or anything. They called us. But it's just another story to add to the principle that if you have faith and work hard and know that things are in the Lord's hands, He will bless you with more then you can imagine. I get to see that every single day and I know it to be true.

So if you are struggling right now in your life, get out and do something that the Lord wants you to do. Go to church. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Serve your fellow men. Work to become the best example of Christ that you can be. That's why we are here and I know that if you will demonstrate your faith and sacrifice your comfort by doing something that your Father in Heaven wants you to do, you will be blessed with more then you can imagine.

This week was also way cool because I got to go on a trade off with one of the Zone Leaders in Cabo Rojo. Cabo Rojo is actually right on the ocean and so I got to serve on eday in a city that's by the ocean. It was terrific! We had a baptismal interview with a guy who is a fisherman and believe it or not his house is literally on the docks. During the baptismal interview we were sitting on the docks looking out to the ocean talking about scriptures and our investigators. If I am making you jealous then good! Know that I love you and that you should come visit Puerto Rico when I am done :)

The gospel is so simple it is absolutely amazing. I love it. We had a lesson this week with a guy named Luis and Luis had thousands of questions. That was actually the lesson. He just asked us question after question after question. There isn't an answer to every question, but the simple truths of the gospel can answer many. It's amazing how simple and yet perfect the gospel is. It's definitely a testimony that this church and this gospel were organized and created by a Being who is not of this world. A Being with a perfect knowledge. I love it so much and I am so thankful that I have to opportunity to testify of these truths every single day.

But of course it's not the missionaries that do the convincing of man. It is the Spirit of the Lord. Yesterday me and Elder Blandon were contacting and we ran into this young man our age. I wish I could remember his name, but it's OK. Anywho he pulled up in his truck with his muddy dirt bike in the back and we started talking to him. It turns out that he actually races bikes for a living and he was out practicing for a tournament next week. Anyways, we started to talk to him about the gospel and when I started to talk my mind went absolutely blank and I couldn't think of anything to say! I couldn't speak Spanish anymore and I didn't know why! I didn't know what was going on. Luckily, the scripture in D&C popped into my head. It is the scripture which says open your mouth and it will be given unto you.

I opened my mouth and all of the sudden I started talking about the plan of salvation and the three questions that the plan answers: Where did we come from? Why are we here? And where are we going after this life? After I got done I was amazed at how clearly the Spirit was able to work through me and how clear my Spanish was. The guy was really interested and he began to ask about those questions. Elder Blandon and I were able to give great answers explaining the first two, but before answering the third question, we said that we would need more time to explain it. So we asked if we could come back during the week and he said he would love to have us back!

That was such an amazing experience to have and what is even better is I did absolutely nothing. The spirit of God is real and His job is to help testify of the truth and convince men that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I usually almost never talk about the plan of salvation when I contact because we are usually talking about the restoration. But for this person, it worked. And it worked for this person because God knew exactly what His son needed. This guy needed to know that God is there, He loves him, and he wants the best for him. I was so thankful that I could have the experience to be the instrument in the hands of the Lord at that particular time! What a great experience. But the best part is that you don't have to be a missionary to have these experiences. You can do the same thing at home and I know that you will be able to have the exact same experiences.

I know that this Church is the Church that Jesus Christ has established in our days. He was at the head of the Church when it was restored almost 200 years ago, and He continues to be the Head of the Church today. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve Him and as much as I love you all, and miss you all, there is no better place for me to be right now.

I hope that you all have a good week this week. Thank you for all of your love and support. If you ever feel like it you can write me and say hi :) I'll try and say hi back :) Your letters and emails keep me going everyday so thank you so much.

I love you all. Remember to read and pray everyday and know that I am praying for you too!

Good luck!

With all the love in my heart, your son, brother, friend and missionary,

Elder Oviatt