Thursday, June 25, 2009

1/24th of the way home! JK :)

Hola Familia Y Mis Amigos!

I hope all is well back home in the United States. Here in the Dominican things are doing just terrific. I want you all to know that if you ever want to lose some hard core water weight come down to the Dominican and have some rice and beans and then go run around outside for a few hours. I've already lost 1-2 inches of my waist and I'm absolutely pumped :) But I'm not here to lose weight I just thought I'd let you know how my health is doing. Mom to answer your question the rice and beans here are nowhere as good as they were at the Weight's house. They serve us rice, and beans literally, that's it. Rice with a scoop of brown beans on top. So yeah, that's what they do in the MTC. But I'm sure when you get out into the real world it's all good.

I'm sorry that I have only been talking about food. Here! I'll talk about something better... MAIL!

Thanks to Mom and dad for your emails and dad I got your dear Elder letter yesterday. Thank you so much. Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you so much for your pouch letter. I loved it. It was so helpful. Thank you for the scriptures and your words of encouragement. Dad, as far as I know my family and friends can email me, but the email has to come from you. At least that's what they told us. I'm not sure if that means just don't let friends email or what, but as far as I know the email has to come from my family. I would be alright if people sent you emails and then you forwarded them to me because there is no rule against that. But again, I'm not exactly sure if the principle is no email from friends or no random email addresses. So yeah, whatever you feel comfortable with. I would say though today, since we've been trying to get this mail thing figured out, if someone wanted to drop a line through email it would be fine. Just have them send it to you and forward it to me. Yeah, it's a mess. I'll check my email right before dinner and print out any last emails. I love you all and I hope that you are doing fantastic!

Trent good luck with your eagle project! That's awesome. You are going to be a great man. Stay on the path that you are on and you will go far. An eagle project may seem tedious but the reward for such a small thing is pretty cool. You will be forever recognized as someone who can lead others and there is nothing wrong with being recognized as such! Good luck and keep me updated.

Now, I'll tell you about my week.

The weather down here is incredible! It's only rained at night which makes me mad, but oh well. I heard it's been raining up there like crazy and I'm sorry. I'm jealous, but I'm sorry. That really makes baseball a mess. Anywho weather has been good and the people have been even better.

On Friday me and Elder Zenger taught our first lesson in Spanish in a foreign country. It was definitely an interesting and faith testing experience. I loved it. My Spanish is very little at this point but when the Lord wants to get his point across he will step right in and help you. I can't tell you how many times this week that I have been talking to real person (like not just my teachers) and when I start to teach these words that I have barely even studied will pop into my head and my Spanish will just start to come alive. I am nowhere near where I need to be but it's amazing to feel that help come even when I am just talking with people on the street or people during our simulations.


I hope I told you this last week but every week we get to go to the university down the street and practice contacted and speaking in Spanish. The university is pretty big, like 125,000 students and so there is no shortage of people there to teach. And the cool thing is that people down here are so humble and so receptive to your message that, unless they are late for class, they will listen to what you have to say. I think Americans could really learn a lot from the people down here.

Anywho last Monday like the 22nd?!? We went back to the university. It's amazing how much your Spanish improves down here. Last week I could barely speak at all and it was bad because Elder Zenger was sick and couldn't speak either. So I couldn't communicate and it was really difficult. I promised myself that wouldn't happen again and with a lot of hard work and all the help in the world from the Lord I was feeling very comfortable about teaching this week.

So we got there and we went to the same spot that we were at last week and a few seconds into trying to talk to people I looked at my companion and said, "Elder, I'm not feelin it. Let's go to a different spot." He said he was feeling the same way so we walked down the street.

Right there we saw 3 brothers and we started talking to them. They gave us Los Libros De Mormon to give out so we were supposed to teach the first lesson and then find people who would take a Book of Mormon. We taught them the first lesson and two of them didn't seem really interested but the third one was way interested. He wanted to have someone to talk to about God and Jesus Christ so we gave him a pamphlet and then had him give us his address so the missionaries could go and talk to him.

And Then.... Oh Baby!

We walked down the street a little more and I saw this guy sitting on the wall. As soon as I looked at him I knew we had to teach him. I walked over as fast as I could and asked if we could share a message with him. He said "yes" so we began to share it.

We started talking about God, families and prophets and then we started talking about Jesus Christ and how he was killed and so were his apostles. He totally agreed and he told us that it made him sad that his apostles died because that meant the true church was lost.

I was Pumped...

We couldn't communicate with him perfectly so he kept drawing little pictures. The picture he drew here was of Jesus in heaven and the people on the earth sad. It was pretty sweet. After we talked about that we went into the apostasy and then I had the opportunity to talk about Joseph Smith. I want you to know that the first vision is powerful. The spirit just swells up in you whenever you are telling it to someone for their first time. It's even better in Spanish if you can believe it. I talked about how confused Joseph was and then I said "in his words" and the first vision came to me like it never has before. I said it perfectly and with such clarity that I had no idea what was going on. The guy's reaction was amazing he said "YES!!! OF COURSE!! FINALLY"""

He literally started clapping his hands and started to tear up. I can't tell you how the Spanish flowed from my mouth after that point. I was spitting out words that I have NEVER NEVER EVER EVER studied in my life and so was my companion. It was amazing! And how clear and how fast we both were speaking and I know for a fact that neither of us were speaking but it was in fact the Spirit of God helping us to reach out to a lost Child of God and bring him into the Fold of Jesus Christ.

He drew another picture that showed me and Elder holding hands with Jesus and then coming to get him and taking him to Jesus. I'll draw it on my letter home today. It's really touching. My companion told him about the Book of Mormon, and he said that it makes so much sense that Christ would appear to the people in the Americas. He told us he would be done with the Book of Mormon in a week and we challenged him to read 3 Nephi 11 and pray about it and he said he would for sure.

It was probably one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had in my life. It was awesome to come back to the CCM (MTC) and not be able to come even close to the Spanish that I was just barely speaking. It just bore even greater witness to me that Me and Elder Zenger were not teaching that lesson, God was.

I am so thankful for my mission and for the opportunity that I have to serve the people of the Dominican and the people of Puerto Rico. I can't wait until I can get out there and serve the people of Puerto Rico. I love this work so much and as much as I miss you all at home and as much as I love you, there is no place I'd rather be in the world then under the Caribbean sun, in the middle of the ocean, serving Him and His children.

The rest of our week here was just studies and sleep. My Spanish is slowly but surely increasing everyday and I am so thankful that the Lord helps us every step of the way.

Tuesday we got to have a Seventy come and talk to us and he talked about becoming truly converted on your mission. It was really cool to hear him speak to us and I really enjoyed his talk. I hope that all of you are living every day like you know you should and you are taking every opportunity that you have to serve the Lord and His children.

I am so thankful for this gospel. I have never once felt lost on my mission even in the middle of a strange airport or even a strange country. A totally different feeling then what Jesus talks about in Matthew 15:14 "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." This is the Church of God and if you are in a position where you feel lost or alone then you need to come unto Christ and be baptized under His true authority. His cleansing power is real and his atoning sacrifice is real. Anyone who rejects the opportunity to truly become clean is making a mockery of everything Christ talked about.

I am so thankful for everything you all do for me! I love you so much. Go ahead and send an email to my dad today if you want to say Hi. I haven't heard from a lot of you in a while so drop a line!

I love you so much and miss you all but again I want you to know that this is His work and His Gospel and there is no other place then here that I would really be. If you were all here, it would be so awesome! But it's pretty darn good without you too :) I love you family and friends. Don't you dare forget the things you have been blessed with and the love that your Savior and Redeemer has for you.

Drop a line, Stay Strong, and remember to pray,

With Eternal and MUY Fuerte Love,

Your Missionary, Elder Oviatt

PS looks like Dear elder will work the best but the pouch works well too! Love you all MUAH! Write soon!

God Be with you until we meet again

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First P-Day Email from the Dominican - 2 parts

Hola! Mi Familia Y Mis Amigos!?!?!!?

How is the Good ole USA?! haha! The Dominican is so sweet. I absolutely love it here! Before I talk about my week and what happened with travel, I have some business to take care of.

Allen! Congrats on your call to the Baltic States. That is so freaking tight. They send all of the really smart (both spirutually and mentally) missionaries there, along with those who have the most faith and who will work the hardest. I congratulate you on your call and I hope that you are excited to get out and serve the Lord! I hope that you are preparing now and you are studying the scriptures and PMG like crazy. The more you feel comfortable with teaching the lessons, the more time you can spend studying the language and it is such a blessing.

Steeby! Congrats on the call to Greece. That's freaking amazing. You're gonna love it! Again, study PMG and know it like the back of your hand and you'll be fine.

Thanks to all of you for the packages and letteres that you sent me before I left Provo. It was so nice to hear from you all before I left. And the cookies and treats were awesome. Grandma and Grandpa, thanks for tie. I look awesome.

Ok sorry I did that, now do you want to hear about the Dominican?

We were supposed to leave last Thursday so that we could get here Thursday night. We had to get up at 2 in the morning in order to get all ready to go and be off by three. We got up to the airport and right as we were about to board, they came up and said that our flight got cancelled. So we had to go get our luggage and get everything figured out! Everything went well and we got all our stuff and we got flights resheduled for the next day. So that's why we were a day late getting here.

Thanks for the news about the camera. I'm so glad that you all found it and I hope you like the pictures. Put them up on the blog because some of them are way sweet. And Jen, don't worry. I got a picture with your friend. I'll send it home soon.

Anywho, we finally left Friday morning at 4. And it was sad to say goodbye to the Provo Temple and the mountains. But all went well and it was finally nice to be leaving and getting started on my mission. When I sat down on the plane, I started talking to this lady in her 60s from Chicago, (that's where we were flying). Anyways, I found out that she had 2 daughters who had gone to BYU and were converted there and that her son in law had cancer and wasn't doing well at all. She said that she was really mad that she wasn't able to see her daughter get married in the temple, but she knew it was what they wanted. I taught her about the plan of salvation, which is a little hard to do on an airplane. Then I commited her to reading Moroni's promise that night! It was so cool to place my first Book of Mormon, it's such a huge high. Better than any drug you could ever take in your life. I learned something from that experience though, the Lord truly prepares people to receive the gospel. This lady was ready and I am so thankful that I had the chance to teach her.

We left Chicago an hour later and landed in Miami around 4. It was nice to be in first class for that plane ride but I had to sit by another missonary so darn, no teaching opportunity. We landed in Miami and then I went to call you guys. Thanks for talking to me dad! It was nice to hear your voice. Mom, I'm sorry you weren't home when I called. I want you to know that I truly love you!

After I hung up I noticed that there was this family watching me on the phone. I sat down and had a very strong feeling to go teach them so I grabbed Elder Ward and we went to teach them. I don't know why I was supposed to teach them but let's just say it didn't go well at all. It was a group of 4 African-americans who were very strong in their knowledge of the 4 gospels in the new testament. They were also very strong in all of the Anti-Mormon crap in the world. By the way, it is crap not truth, if you have let that stuff lead you away from the church, then I'm sorry, but you've made an awful mistake. Anywho, the lesson didn't go well and it was a bad place to teach. I felt so terrible like I had failed the Lord. And that I would be a horrible missionary. Elder Ward also let me know how horrible of a teacher I was, which is always a great help when you are feeling down.

Anywho, I was feeling so crappy and I prayed and asked Heavenly father to help me. When we went to our gate, these two Dominicans asked me what I was doing! They were so nice. One said that he was the king of tourism in the Dominican and that he would love to take us around town. He said that he loves the temple in Santo Domingo and was mad when they wouldn't let him go through. It was an awesome teaching opportunity so we taught them about temples and then we gave them a pass along card and challenged them to read the Book of Mormon.

I know for a fact that the Lord knows each and every one of you and that He loves us all. I know He loves me because He helped me get through a rough time and He lifted me up when I was down. I know He will do the same for you. Just Remember to pray.

The flight to the Dominican was a little frightening. It was over the Atlantic at like pitch dark of night, but it was fun. The flight was awkward because the two guys I was sitting in between were Dominican and spoke little English, but it was fun.

The Lord blesses His missionaries because all of our bags were in the Dominican all safe and sound, which was such a relief to me. We got through customs just fine and then we met our drivers.

We have to go to a service assignment now, but I will get back on and tell you about the Dominican MTC in a few hours. I hope all is going well back home. I love you all so much.

I haven't gotten any letters, and I think it's because we can't send them straight to the Dominican MTC. They have to go through the pouch system. I left the address to the pouch in my last email, but I don't know if you have it. Will Mom or Dad email me back and let me know if you know how that works, and if not, I will find out how it works.

I love you all, got to go serve the lord! BYE

Eternal love,

Elder Oviatt

Hola again! I´m sorry that I had to get off the computer. We had to run and do a service project on our P Day. Anywho, back to the story.

Ok, so I think I left off at when we landed. We landed in the Dominican and the minute we walked off the plane I could tell that we weren´t in America. I think that Mckay said that Brazil smelt like marshmallows. Well, the Dominican smelt sticky and old. Like Trents candy. Anywho, we got off the plane and we got our bags and then we walked out of the airport. We walked out and OH MY GOODNESS! haha! If you´ve ever been in a place with 100% humidity, you know what I am talking about. Within the first 5 seconds of being outside our clothes were drenched with sweat. It was way cool. We loaded up in our vans and headed to the MTC. The temple was so beautiful! When we pulled up I felt right at home. It was so cool. I was reading a talk this morning from last conference about the boy who told his grandpa that you are never lost when you can see the temple and it´s true. I felt right at home as soon as we pulled up. We got here at like 1 but the mission president and his wife still fed us and welcomed us in, it was so nice!

The next day we got thrown into our new home, no english, pure spanish. It´s so so so so hard but I am absolutely loving the opportunity that I have been given to learn this new language and to learn to love the people. We went to class and had lunch. Lunch here is the same everyday, a huge plate full of rice and beans and chicken and beef. It has taken me forever to adjust to the food but I think I am finally coming around. Luckily, they have good water here or else I think I´d be dead.

The MTC is right next to the temple. It´s cool because all of our rooms and classes are on the 4th floor and then we go down to the first floor for meals. I really like it here. It´s a lot more personal and one on one than the Provo MTC is. Of course it´s awesome to look outside the window and see the beautiful temple and then the ocean right behind. It´s a sight I never thought I´d be able to see.

I want you to know that not only am I learning spanish, but I am learning a little french too! The MTC is the MTC for all of the Carribean which means all of the Elders that go to Haiti or that are from Haiti come here. The Haitian elders are so awesome! They speak french and they have to have a translator, but they are so humble and so strong in the gospel. It was cool to hear their testimonies on the first night because they said they found out the church was true the same way we do, through prayer and the Holy Ghost.

That´s one thing that I really love about this place. The Church is the same worldwide. That´s something that you can´t find anywhere else in the world. Even thousands of miles away, the doctirine taught in here and in the temple, even in Haiti, is the exact same. It´s truly a testament that this is God´s Church upon the earth and that this is the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I don´t have very much longer but I will tell you about a cool experience that we had this week. We got to go teach people at the University the 3rd day we were here (I think it was Monday). It was so awesome, but so hard. I don´t know a lot of spanish so it is very difficult to get my point across and to get to tell the people what I want them to hear. But what is cool is that they still feel the spirit and they know that what we are telling them is important and even if we absolutely butcher the spanish, they still want to learn more. I love it!

Anywho, besides that I think this week has just been class and sleep and eating. I miss you all and I love you so much but I want you to know that I am so happy to be in the Dominican serving the Lord and His children. As much as I love you all I still know that this is where I am supposed to be and this is where the Lord wants me to be.

Before I go I´ll give you the information on the p√≤uch system. Like I said I know you have been trying to send letters but I haven´t gotten any. I'm not sure how the pouch system works, so I am going to have to ask Mom or DAD to try and find out but here is the address

Elder Jonathan Sterling Oviatt
Dominican Republic MTC
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City Utah, 84130-0150

And a lot of elders are getting Dear elders too, so that system works for sure, but i don´t know if it´s still free here.

Anywho, I have to be going, my time is almost up. I think I may be able to check my email again later so if you want to say hi drop a line. I can´t respond but I would absolutely love to hear from you all.

Mom and Dad, I´m sorry that I didn´t respond to your emails. Thank you so much. Your words really touched me.

I love you all and I hope that God is with you while I am away, I know He is with me.

With eternal Love, Your Son, Grandson, Friend, and Missionary...

Elder Oviatt

The Dominican Republic is Sweet

Hola Mi Familia y Mis Amigos.

They wanted us to write you and tell you that we are in the Dominican safe and sound. I want you to know that I know this is definitely where I am supposed to be. The MTC here is awesome! It's right next to the temple and there are only about 50 missionaries here but it's an amazing place. The Spanish is insane but I am loving every minute of it. I got a new comp to, Elder Zenger, he's a stud.

Anywho we're not supposed to be on for very long so I have to go now. Write me! I miss you all and I miss talking to you so keep me updated.

I love you all so much! The longest day of my life ended well. We got here at about 1 in the morning this morning so I'm safe and sound in the beautiful Caribbean! Aren't you Jealous?! I placed my first Book of Mormon on the plane yesterday and then I screwed up a lesson in the airport in Miami. I'll tell you more about it on Thursday (that's my new P-Day)

Stay safe, stay strong and remember to pray and grow closer to Christ every day through study. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you!

Love, Elder Oviatt

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flight Cancelled!

Elder Oviatt's flight was cancelled this morning. He has returned to the MTC and will try again tomorrow. He is doing well and eager to get to the Dominican. You will also note that the MTC address in the Dominican has been modified from that posted previously.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week 3- My last week in Utah

Hola Mi Familia Y Mis Amigos!

I want to thank you all for your love and support that you have given me this week. I want you to know that your love support and prayers are felt every time that I get a letter or a package from you.

Thank you so much for not only supporting me but for supporting the work. As I go to gym everyday, as all the missionaries are running across the street, it's cool because it's like we are literally the Lord's army. I can see us all dressed up in the armor of God preparing to go out and fight satan and the world! Thank you for all of your love and support it really helps.

Jen, Natalie and Sterling, thanks for the cookies they are delicious and thanks for the huge package mom and dad. Suprisingly I'm not fat(ter) yet :) Which is good. And grandma and grandpa, thank you so much for your package. The bookmarks are awesome and I loved your letter. I hope that as I travel to the Dominican we can all still communicate as easily as we do here.

On that note, I might as well tell you that I am going to the Dominican this week! Yay! Excitement! Joy! Rapture! Yeah, it's pretty nice to know that in 48 hours I will be in paradise, and away from the beautiful mountains of Utah. We leave at 3 in the morning on Thursday which is just a tad early, but it will be totally worth it, I can't wait to get out in the real world, even if it is just for a few hours.

Allen, a little birdie told me that you got your mission call this weekend, luckily this little birdie didn't tell me where you are going so you get to! I'm excited to find out where you are going and I am so thankful and proud of you for being willing to serve the Lord and His children. As you prepare, do the things that the packet tells you to do, but also study PMG with all your heart. The more prepared you are whien coming into the MTC, the more effective you will be when you leave!

Anywho, this week has gone be so fast. We got a new district here and they are all way good elders y hermanas. They have already learrned about as much spanish as I did in my first 2 weeks so I think that they are going to do just fine. And yes for those of you who are wondering, I know or I know you know some of the elders in my district, just a hint, their mission is Dallas Texas Spanish speaking.

The spanish is coming along. We have learned so much already it's unbelievable. As you can imagine, learning a new language is just a little difficult but I want you all to know that when you trust in the Lord and do all that you can do, He sends down blessings that you couldn't even imagine. He is there and He does care about you. But before He will bless you He has to know that you are willing to work your hardest at whatever He asks you to do. I hope that is the case with all of you guys. If the lord EVER asks you to do something, whether it be serve as a misisonary, serve as a bishop, serve as a primary teacher or just be a great church member, do it with all of your heart and I know you will be blessed.

We had Fast Sunday this Sunday which was a little different in the MTC but it was still amazing. Fast and testimony meeting was awesome! I got to bear my testimony in spanish and I felt really good about it. It's amazing how much the Lord blesses us here at the MTC and I know he blesses you out in the world too. I've seen it and felt it.

One of our zone leaders said something that I really thought was interesting. He said that he couldn't believe anyone could reject the gospel after hearing that. I couldn't help but think to myself that I feel the exact same way. I can't believe how people think that this church, this work of God and His Son Jesus Christ is the work of men or even worse the work of the devil. There either is a God or their isn't. If there is a God, then you probably believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. And if you believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, then your probably believe in the Atonement and in baptism.

Folks, the only way that you can truly be clean through the atonement is to be baptized under the authority that God gives to his prophets that are on the earth. The authority that Adam had. The authority that Noah had. And the authority that Moses had. Jesus Christ gave that authority to His apostles while He was here on the earth. But the people didn't want that authority. Just like Adam, Noah, and Moses, the people rejected God, Christ and thier gospel.

The fact is that if you believe in Jesus Christ then you must want to become clean. The only way to do that is to be baptized the right way (Ephesians 4:5) in the right church. There are only 2 churches in the entire world, out of the millions of churches on the earth that claim to have God's authority, that cleansing authority on the earth today. It's the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. I won't even go into the catholic church. Let's just say, there is a reason why the church needed to be RESTORED and not REFORMED.

We have the authority of God on the earth today and if you want to be clean, then come unto Christ and be baptized under that true authority. You wouldn't pull over your car if an ice cream man asked you to while driving. But you would if a police man did. The same applies to Authority and baptism. Baptism without the true Authority of God and that ability to truly come unto Christ is like trying to pull over someone in an ice cream truck, it just doesn't make sense.

Sorry if I have offended any of you. I realize that I have spoken extremely boldly. But hopefully I have not been overbearing. If I do, I apologize and I would hope that you would take the time to email me and tell me about your concerns but there is a bigger reason why I wanted to talk about that authority and that reason is families.

We can be sealed together forever through that authority that I was talking about. We learn in Mark chapter 9 that Christ taught that families are forever. HELLO! What is the only church on the earth that not only 1) Teaches that families can be together forever but also 2) has the God given authority that is needed in order to seal families together for time and for all eternity.

I know that families are forever and I know that it is through the power and authority of Jesus Christ that we are able to do so, His atonement doesn't just cover our sins, it covers our whole lives. He wants you to be happy, it's His work and His glory. How can you say that being with your family forever will not be one of the happiest things in this life. He lives and He loves us! I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in the grove of trees on that beautiful day in 1820. I know that he talked with them face to face and I know that they told him that a church and the AUTHORITY needed to be RESTORED not REFORMED.

I love you all and I want to thank you for you desire to come unto christ and be clean.

The work here is going great. I'm sorry that I didn't talk much about what went on this week again. But most of it was learning anyways so I wanted to show you what I've learned. Don't you dare try and tell me that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and that God has changed. That He doesn't speak to His children any more. God is the same through eternity. He has answered my prayers and the prayers of millions of people throughout the wold. I love you all and want you to know that this work is truly to work of GOD! We are learning so much here and I'm excited to get out and teach! Thanks for all your love and support they truly are a blessing to me.

Until next week in the Dominican! I love you all!

God be with you until we meet/talk again, and remember FAMILIES ARE FOREVER! I know that for a fact!

With eternal Love, Elder Oviatt

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MTC week 2 - The Lockdown

Hola! Family and Friends It's so great to be able to talk to you once again. I want to thank you all for your love and support that you have given me this past week with your letters and your packages. Thanks for the coconut bread Jen, Elder Ward, Maunga Miller and I scarfed it down in about 5 minutes. And Mom and dad, thanks for bringing me the glasses it was hard to realize that you were just barely in the same room as me but I'm so glad I have them. I also have 2 packages waiting for me in the mailroom. I don't know who they are from but I want to thank you for them. Everytime I get a letter or a package it keeps me going. It's like adding fuel to the tank so keep the fuel coming! It wouldn't bother me if you wrote every day. Just know that I love you all and I love to hear about how your life is going.

I'm glad to hear that mom and trent are having fun on their summer vacation. I looked outside yesterday and I couldn't help but think about how much fun ya'll are having on your new found freedom. And I'm glad to hear that Mckay is dating. Sorry if that was embarassing bro, I just had to say it. Next time buy tickets so you don't look like a fool ;) Jk I love you!

Enough chit chat, I say we get down to business.

First off I just want to say that I have had an amazing experience during my first full week at the MTC. We didn't get any new elders last week and I'm glad. We still needed time to get into the swing of things. So many amazing things have happened this week, let me share with you a few:

Me and Elder Ward were teaching a lesson this week to one of the helper teachers here at the mtc. I got to the part where we teach about the great apostasy and I just kind of started to ramble on about how the authority was lost. Then I went into this huge history lesson about Martin Luther and John Calvin, it was kind of crazy. Anywho, during my long shpiel, the teacher stopped me and asked what the heck i was doing. He had a great point. I wasn't teaching the lesson to the investigator, I was teaching the lesson to teach the lesson. I have found that the hardest thing to do while teaching a lesson here is to meet the investigator's needs.

Preach My Gospel is such an amazing book and it allows us to follow the spirit and talk about whatever topic the investigator needs to hear. I am getting better at it and it will come. I just want you to know what a blessing Preach My Gospel is and I hope you all are studying, it's not just for missionaries. Anyway, sorry about my soapbox moment about PMG haha. The teacher told us about how much this should mean to us. The authority that allows the atonement to even matter. The authority that is needed to truly be baptized and come unto Christ was lost. We find in the scriptures that the there has to be one true gospel and one true faith (it's Ephesians 4:5 if you don't believe me). That true authority and true gospel was lost meaning that the cleansing power of the atonement would be lost. I know that the authority is once again on the earth and that we can truly come unto Christ and be baptized. We are so blessed to have the true authority on the earth so that we can be baptized and come unto Christ to truly be cleansed by his atonement. I decided right then that would be the focus of my mission, it really was a turning point for me.

Sorry about that long story it means so much to me and I want you to know that this is what truly matters, baptism is the first step we take to get to the ultimate step, temple marriage, and we need that same authority that seals us together as families to bring us into the gospel. I want you to know how much it means to me that we have that power again on the earth. God loved the world so much that He gave His Son. Can you honestly believe that He would let His Son's sacrifice not be able to apply to us because the authority was lost from the earth. No GOD LOVES YOU! And He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He sent prophets in the past to carry that authority and I know he has sent prophets in the latter days to carry that authority so that we can TRULY come unto Christ. AUTHORITY means something! I hope you all are so grateful for what a blessing that authority is.

Sorry I felt really prompted to talk about that more, but now I feel like I should talk about spanish to here we go....

Spanish is a crazy language. I love it and I am so excited to learn it. But what we are learning right now is a hard concept to learn. It's so amazing how much we have learned already. The people in my class who had been in Spanish for 3 or 4 years in high school said we passed what they had learned within the first 4 days! I know that we are blessed from the Lord and that we have that gift of tongues. I feel it every day that I try to learn and I know that the Lord wants us to be able to communicate with His children in their native tongue. I have to keep working hard though. Faith without works is dead, so I'm studying every day to learn the language!

Thank you for your prayers for Saturday night in the TRC. WE call it game day here. It's where we go and teach fake investigators but it's a real situation. We had to do an approach in Spanish and it was so hard but it was so amazing. I would forget what to say and then all of the sudden it would pop into my head. I know it's because the Lord is looking out for me and because of your prayers that we are progressing so fast. I want to thank you so much for them. I can testify that they are truly helping me.

And keep them coming! Me and Elder Ward just found out yesterday that we have to teach a lesson in Spanish tomorrow (Wednesday). It was so crazy to find out because we barely even know how to contact them let alone teach the entire first lesson. I know that it is such a blessing and I am so excited to learn how to teach. Once the teaching comes, I think spanish will take off. So keep the prayers coming! They really do help.

I am hesitant to tell you about what happened at the MTC yesterday, but they told us that it had been on the news and so I feel that it's ok to say something. There has been a swine flu outbreak at the MTC. Mom please don't fret, everything is under control. But they aren't letting anyone leave the MTC for a few weeks and they aren't letting the parents come to say goodbye to the missionaries this week. If you could pray for those that are sick I would really appreciate it. Elder Ward and I are doing just fine but it's kind of a big deal right now. Me and Elder Ward are supposed to leave next week but they may not let people leave for 2 weeks! I know that the Lord has a hand in everything and there is probably a reason for this, but I just wanted you guys to know so you don't freak out when you hear it on the news. The people in charge here are truly inspired and they have taken every precaution possible to keep things under control . . . and it sounds like it is under control. There were only a few cases but they were taking extra good care of us so mom and dad please don't worry! We're fine. But the missionaries need your prayers to get better so they can get back to work.

I'm sorry that I only wrote one big email. I will try to write smaller ones next week. I hope stake choir is going well. Music rocks! We sing all our himnos in Spanish now but even though I can't really understand all of the words the spirit is still there.

My time is about to run out but I want you to know that I know that the work I am doing here is the Lord's work. We learn in Moroni that if you want to know whether something is good or bad, you look at the fruits of that something. The fruits of missionary work and the Church are fantastic! Our goal isn't to bring members into the church. It's to bring people unto Christ so that they can be baptized and be sealed forever as a family. Mom and Dad, thank you for being such great parents. I know our family has been blessed. God loves families! He sent us here to them for a reason. Love your family members!!!!

I love you all. I hope that you have a great week filled with the spirit! God be with you till we meet/write again!

With Eternal Love, Elder Oviatt

PS. I am still the 4 square champ. I want to challenge all of you to a game when I get back Loves!

Elder Oviatt

P.P.S Keep the letters coming! You can use Dear Elder while im here at the MTC. It's free and it rocks. Thanks for the letter from Dear Elder jen, and thanks for all of your letters family!!! I love you, stay strong and pray!!!
Elder Oviatt