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