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!
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!!!