Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to the Work of Angels

Hola Familia y Amigos,


I write you one last time from the great country of the Dominican Republic. Next week I will be writing you from the beautiful beaches and sunny shores of Puerto Rico. I cannot wait to finally get out into the field and start doing some work. Our stay here at the CCM has been great and really helpful but now that the time for action has come, I cannot wait to get out into the field and start preaching the truth to all of God's Children who are searching for something more in their lives.

I know that mission calls are a special thing and I know that a lot of my friends have received theirs. I'm so happy for you all and I hope that you are studying your hearts out and preparing as hard as you can. The time sneaks up on you and it would be nice to be way far ahead when you enter the MTC. As you prepare for your missions realize that your call has come from the lord. My stay here in the Dominican has taught me a lot of things, but one of the most important things that I have learned is that your call is specific and your call comes from God. Interacting with the people here and walking on the streets has taught me something, I wouldn't like it here. But I know that Puerto Rico is where the Lord knew I would be most effective and it's where He knew He could mold me into the person that He wants me to be. I'm so excited to get out there (if you can't already tell)! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Because of the change in schedule that will be occurring next week, you aren't going to hear from me for about a week and a half. I'm sorry but know that I love you and know that unless you hear about some fiery plane crash in the middle of the Carribean, I'm safe and sound. (And just to ease your fears even if there was a plane crash we have the power of God on our side so I'm not to worried about what would happen). Know that I still love you all even if you don't get a letter. And know that you can write me a ton now that I will be in my mission and it's the US Mail system again! I look forward to hearing from you all about your lives and about what has been going on.

Thanks for all of you who sent me emails or letters this week. Mom and dad your dear elders were perfect. And grandma and grandpa thank you so much for telling me about your trip to Yellowstone. The writing was so beautiful! Thanks for all you do for me Grandma and Grandpa. I hope all is going well with the new house! Mckay, Trent, and Jenny - thanks for your emails and your love. It was great to hear from you. Dad tell the Bristows that Tyler is an awesome missionary and I love him for his example.

Ok sorry about that do you want to hear about my week? ok :)

This week flew by and I'm glad it did. I can't imagine what it is going to be like in the mission field. On Sunday we watched a devotional that was given by Jeffery R Holland a couple of weeks ago in Provo for the mission presidents conference. We were all kind of bummed that we didn't get to be there because Elder Holland is so animated about missionary work and because there were 7 other APOSTLES there. It would've been cool! But I'm glad we still got to hear it. He talked a lot about how we need the spirit and at the start of his talk he said "Welcome to the work of Angels/" That hit me really hard. I know that this is God's work and I know that this is the "Work of Angels." There are angels here helping us everyday whether it's to learn faster, speak better, find the people we need to teach or to just get a lift when we are down. This truly is the work of angels and your prayers and love help so much. Thank you all for all that you have done to support me thus far. I promise you that the Lord is thankful for your support of me and I promise you that He will bless you.

The University was actually kinda crazy this week. We had a great story last week like a told you so I was kind of expecting something a little less uplifting this week. And i was right. Ha ha. We were pumped to go back and I had a great feeling about how we would do. . . and we did well. But man! It was our last time at the University and satan was working hard to discourage us. Everyone we talked to for the first while didn't seem that interested. And then all of the sudden this guy, seriously a son of the devil, came up and starting cursing us. He was telling us how the church is a scam to steal money from the poor Dominicans and send the money back to the United States. I say he was a son of satan because of the anger I felt from his presence, He tried to speak to us in Spanish first, and we didn't understand. But even though he wasn't speaking English, and we couldn't understand, the spirit left us like that! I felt so empty and I felt so angry. We tried to testify to him and he wouldn't listen. People are so stubborn and so stupid, I can't believe it!

I read a scripture in Luke this week about Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus does miracles and the Pharisees tell the people not to be deceived. I know there are those of you who have received miracles and blessings from the Lord and have been deceived by people like this guy. Don't be deceived by people who deny christ and deny his gospel. Don't be someone who looks past the mark of Christ and has to suffer for your stubbornness in the next life. This is the work of God and i think it's amazing how people can say that we deceive people.

The guy didn't rattle me at all, don't worry. I thought it was interesting that I would read that scripture and have that experience the same day. It actually strengthened my testimony more then anything. I know nothing happens by accident so I know I was supposed to share that with you today.

It was really cool because after that we tried to teach another lesson and the spirit was gone. So we said a quick prayer and then we talked to two awesome grandmas and their families about the plan of salvation. The spirit came right back and we were on fire. I love this work. Satan tries as hard as he can to stop the work of the Lord but it will never stop. I feel bad for those who reject the word of God because they have been deceived by the workings of the devil and the designs of evil men. I hope that they someday figure out the truth and they realize that the Church of God is on the earth today and it's this one.

I know for a fact that not only does God know what we need but satan knows what will hurt us. But I promise you that when you endure and have faith, you are blessed with more then you can imagine. Moroni 10:7 talks about how faith is a principle of power. When you are faithful through difficult times in your life the Lord will grant you His power to overcome what you need to overcome. The Lord blesses those who are faithful. I see it everyday and I know I will see it even more during the next few weeks.

Again I want you to know that the man didn't rattle me at all. I just felt prompted to share it and share my rebuttal with boldness. I love this work and there is absolutely nothing in the world that could make me question whether I should be here. This is the work of the Lord and there is nothing else that I would rather be doing with my life.

The rest of the week went well. It was cool because every time that I would have a spiritual experience this week, whether the spirit would prompt me to say something, or bring a Spanish word or a scripture to my mind, I would remember that quote by Elder Holland. This truly is the work of angels and I am loving every minute of it!!!!!

It's good to hear about your lives back home and I can't wait to hear more when I get to Puerto Rico. I realize that it was a challenge to get mail to me here but you all still tried your hardest to let me know how it is going back home. Thank you so much for your love and support. I am learning so much and at times I wish I could come home now and share what I have learned with you so we can joy in this work together. Or maybe even have you come along with me. But I want you to know that while it's hard to be away for two years, there is nowhere else that i would rather be. And there is nothing else that I would want to be doing! And there is nothing else that the Lord would want me to be doing.

Trent! Congrats on making it to the state playoffs! That's so awesome! You guys are going to do great! Remember who you are and the type of kid that you have been raised to be. You have been blessed with a tremendous gift. Don't you ever forget why. If the time comes and you have to choose between a baseball game and God, I know without a doubt that you will make the choice that is right for you. The choice that God wants you to make. And be careful bud . . . that choice may be coming up sooner then you would expect.

I am trying to write you all letters today but again, today is so hectic because we are getting ready to leave. If you don't get a letter from me this week know that it's not because I don't love you. It's because I didn't have time. Missionary work is so busy but I love it. I love hearing from you all and I will have time to check my email again in a few hours. I would love to hear from you all again so drop a line!

I hope that this letter was OK. I know that it has been all over the place and a lot of the stories probably didn't make sense. But that's Ok. I'm learning Spanish and that kind of throws me off. If my spelling stinks I'm sorry. Spanish is a lot easier to spell because everything is spelled the way it sounds!

I love you all so much and I love your support and love! Thank you for all that you have done to add fuel to the fire. I know that your prayers send angels to help build me up and I know that you all are receiving angels and blessings for your support and love that you have given to me.

If you have any questions email me and I will answer them quick.

Love you all so much!!! Write soon!

Remember to read and pray everyday, as you do i promise that you will grow closer to God and that your testimony will grow, it has for me.

PS I will have you know that I am still the same silly boy who speaks before he thinks. Yeah, the Latins know English . . . so don't say things under your breath if you are ever down here. Oh . . . and don't be sarcastic, they don't get it.

I'm trying to become a better person everyday and the Lord is helping me every step of the way! Write soon! I'm sorry if I left anything out. If I did, email me quick and I will respond.

MUAH! Love you all so much

With eternal love and Joy, Your missionary

Elder Oviatt

Write you from Puerto Rico in a week YUAH!O!@O!@ # !!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tropical Storms and University Goodness

Hola familia y Amigos,

I hope that all is going well in the great country of the USA. I was so sad that I had to be in a completely different country for the fourth of JULY, but I hope that it was filled with fun, family, and delicious food. The elders y hermanas here in the CCM still did a pretty good job of celebrating though. We all wore red, white, and blue and we sang American songs all day to open up our classes and studies. I hope that it was fun. It was hard to be in another country for one of my favorite holidays but all is well because there is honestly nowhere else in the world that I would rather be.

Thank you family, grandma and grandpa, Jenny and Bishop Belliston for your emails and letters. I got like 8 dear elders yesterday and I was so freaking happy. It also made all of the other elders jealous because they would show me their letter that they got and then I would try and hide mine but they still saw them. I got 10 letters in all so thank you for your love and support. I will write you all back today. Hopefully you get my letters in a speedy matter. It's good to hear from you. Dad thanks for forwarding those emails to me. For those of you that emailed me, I'm not sure if I will be able to respond today. I will try. But if I don't, know that I still love you and care about you and that I will respond next week.

I hope all is well back in Utah and hope everyone is doing OK. Punky I heard you got your call! I don't know where yet because you are going to tell me but I want to know so freaking tell me kid! Congrats! I know that you will be blessed for the two years of your life that you are giving up to serve the Lord and His children. One of the elders here said something that I thought was way cool. I'm sure most of you have heard it before so if you have i'm sorry. We were talking about tithing and how we can teach it even though we don't pay on our missions. He talked about how our missions are like tithing on our lives. 10% of 20 is 2 --2 years out of 20 to the lord. I know that all of you who are preparing to serve, have a call and are getting ready to serve, or wanting to serve, will be blessed for your desire and willingness to serve. I know for a fact that the Lord wants you out doing His work. There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, more important that you could be doing then serving the Lord and His children.

If you have doubts then forget the doubts and decide today that you are going to buckle down and prepare to serve the Lord and His children! Congrats Punk! You are going to be a great missionary. Congrats to Allen and Steeby again too. Thanks for being great guys and great examples to me. I can't wait until you get the opportunity to put on the black name tag and be a warrior in the fight against satan! Keep up the good work.

How is Jordan Fisher doing? Can someone tell me? Let him know that he is in my prayers and I hope that all is going well with his health issues.

Thank Josh, Cooper and Austin for their great examples of service that they were to me while I was preparing. I love hearing the stories about their reporting dad, thank you so much.

Anywho, I don't have much more time so I will tell you about what happened this week.

We were supposed to get Latins last week in our room but 6 of them couldn't come, meaning that 6 North American elders wouldn't have the opportunity to live with two Latins. Me and Elder Zenger were two of those 6. We were disappointed because we wouldn't have native Spanish speakers in our room. But it's OK because we've been speaking 100% Spanish anyways. The Latins are crazy though. They are loud and loving so I fit right in with them. But you can definitely tell that they come from a different background then the white elders. The CCM to most of the Latins is a 5 star hotel. So they are a little crazy and excited to be here. Their testimonies and their love for the Lord and His gospel are so amazing. It was way cool and very spiritual the first Sunday they were here. It was fast and testimony meeting so a lot of them got up. One thing I love is how the church is the same everywhere around the world. Gospel truths don't change between Utah and Guatemala, they stay the same. If that isn't evidence that this is the Lord's church then I don't know what more you want. I think people who reject this message are crazy. I realize that many are lead away by satan and his servants and that makes me so sad. But for the normal people who just say no, I will never understand.

Sorry that last paragraph was kind of all over the place. Basically all I was saying is that the Latins are here and itss awesome. We play basketball with them and I love it. Dad, I know you don't like the NBA very much but that's OK because the Latins make up for your hate by obsessing over the game. haha. There is one elder who yells "Kobe B!" every time he makes a shot. And when one of the elders from our district goes crazy and does a cool move they all yell "LEBRON!" It´s hilarious. I'm sure I will have more stories next week.

We got to go the university again and this week was great. Me and Elder Zenger were just worn out in the morning on Monday and the University wasn't looking very appealing to us. Shame, I know, but that's how it was. As we were walking out the door I looked at him and I said, "you know what, something amazing is going to happen today." I'm glad that the Lord gave me that feeling because guess what, not only did one amazing thing happen, but two things did. Trust those promptings when you get them. Elder Bednar once said that every good thought you have when you are being good is from the spirit, and that´s true. ANYWAYS back to my story. . .

We went to the university and I knew in my heart that the Lord was going to show us something way cool and did He ever. We went to a spot that felt good and we started to teach. We taught two guys who didn't seem really interested but it was OK. They still wanted to hear more about our message. While we were teaching them, a guy came up and tapped Elder Zenger on the shoulder and said he wanted to talk to him. Elder Zenger turned around to talk to him and I finished up teaching the other two guys and got their information. Then I went over to Elder Zenger and the new guy. I didn't know this at the time (Elder Zenger told me later) but what he asked Elder Zenger was "Where is your office? I want to join your church." I jumped into the conversation when Elder Zenger was talking to him about God. The guy thought the Godhead was one person, like a lot of people do. So we taught about the plan of salvation and the pre-earth life. He said he thought that that sounded right and he asked how we knew all of that so we taught him the first lesson right there and give him a Book of Mormon. This lesson was cool because he understood English but spoke Spanish, so it was a total "Spanglish" lesson. But what was way cool was that at the most important parts, the first vision and the Book of Mormon, we taught it in Spanish. I later thought of that scripture that says everyone will have the chance to hear the gospel message in their own native language. I know that the Lord was directing us every step of the way. Not only to be in the place where he would see us but also to help us teach the most important parts of the lesson in Spanish! I love the overwhelming feeling that comes when you are teaching someone the Gospel of God. I love it so much and can't wait until I get to have experiences like that all day every day. But, like I said, not just one, but two amazing things happened that day.

After we taught him we gave him a Book of Mormon and got his info for the missionaries here. Then another guy came up to us and said "Ï want a Book of Mormon." We were like "what?! OK, sweet." We talked with him for a little while and found out that he had talked to some other elders a few weeks before but they never came to his house to teach him. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and what it was and what he did was so cool. He had his Bible and he had questions. It was cool because unlike most people in the world he wasn't bashing with us. He had sincere questions. He asked how we believed we could be saved and shared the scripture in the Bible when Jesus talks about how it's only through Him that men are saved. We were able to answer his question 100% and he felt the spirit testify to him that what we were telling him about authority and priesthood power was true. And then he read the scripture and the end of Mark when Jesus tells his apostles to preach the gospel to every creature upon the earth. Then he asked if that's what Jesus had told us what to do and why we were here. My jaw about dropped and I told him that is exactly why we are here.

I want you to know that the Lord prepares people to hear His gospel and to hear the message about His son Jesus Christ. God is literally our Heavenly Father. He is literally your father. He loves you with a perfect love and that's exactly why He sends us out to find His children that He has prepared to hear His message. I know that God loves you and I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour along with yours. I know that you can feel God´s love if you are humble and you ask for it. I know that when you feel like you can't go anymore, Christ is there with His arms open ready to take upon your burden and to help you through it. It is through Christ that His missionaries find the strength to keep working every day and it is through Him and His authority that we are cleansed, and that we are able to live with our Father in Heaven who is a perfect exhalted man.

I love this work so much! I love you all and I miss you all but there is literally no other place on earth, there is literally nothing else in the world, that I would rather be doing right now then serving the Lord and His children. Bringing the message of Christ and His redeeming love to those who feel that there is no hope for them in this life. I know that there is hope for us in this life and it's through our Brother, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I love you all and wish a lot of times that you could be here with me so that I could enjoy these great experiences in your presence. But I know that the Lord has blessed us with this great technology so that we can be closer then ever before. Thank you for all of your love and support and know that your letters and emails and words of love add a fuel to a fire that continues to grow every day. I hope you know that I love you and while I wish I was home with you at times, this is where I need to be. This is where Our Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Stay strong and remember to pray and read every day. Satan will try to take away those things in your life that keep you close to your Heavenly Father so don't let him. Those of you who can go to the temple, go every week. I only get one more visit to the temple for 22 months next week. The temple is so important! I hope that you go every week and serve the Lord and His children. Missionary work isn't the only work of God on the earth and I know you know that.

Thanks again for all of your love and support! I love you all so much! Write soon! And know that I am excited to see you soon. Only 22 Fast Sundays left until we all get to have another fiesta grande!

MUAH! Stay strong Familia y Amigos and know that I love you.

With all my love, your Missionary,

Elder Oviatt

Happy 4th!!!

Hola Mi Familia Y Mis Amigos, Como Están?

I hope that all is going well back in the greatest country on earth. I'm so sad that I get to miss the 4th of July this year. The 4th is like my 2nd favorite holiday. I love it so much and I'll miss the big parties and the big fireworks. But I know that you all will have fun without me. Lemme know how it goes ok! I love that holiday because we get to spend some good quality time with family and friends but I want you all to know that I miss you and love you so much. Even though one of my favorite holidays is this weekend, there is still no other place on earth that I would rather be.

Thank you so much Family, Grandma and Grandpa and Jenny! I got 10 letters this week and let's just say that all of the elders were pretty darn jealous. Thank you so much for your love and support. I wrote you all back today and I hope that you have been getting the letters that I have been sending. Dad if you haven't will you email me back so I can figure out what in the world is going on with the letters. Thank you so much for your love and your words of support. It looks like just the regular mail takes about 2 1/2 weeks to get here and the pouch and dear elder mail takes about a week. Again, if you don't feel like writing a letter (I know it's a hassle), you can just email me here. I won't be able to respond but I would love to hear from you. Iif you wrote me a letter before I came and you haven't gotten one back, I'm sorry. I promise more letters are coming. We just don't have a lot of time to write. But yeah, if you want to drop a line on email feel free to do so. I can check again in a few hours I would love to hear from you! Thanks for your email last week Brother Christiansen, it was great to hear from you! I hope that the Ruby's Inn campout went well with the 2nd ward. It sounded like Trent and the 6th ward guys had a blast so that's good!

Trent congrats on hitting 3 home runs, that's just flat out ridiculous. Keep up the good work. Mckay, be nice in California. Make lots of money and send me a pic in Puerto Rico. Thanks for all of your love and support you two.

Anywho, I'll tell you a little about my week.

This week wasn't very exciting, at least not as exciting as it was last week. We went to the university again and I didn't get to have a gift of tongues experience this week but I still had a way cool experience. We were teaching these two girls and a Haitian man came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. He said "I want to join your church, how can i join." I think my jaw dropped. I was so amazed. It was awesome and it really bore witness to me again that the Lord prepares people. And in order to get to those people you have to be living right and follow the promptings of the spirit. Me and Elder Zenger almost didn't go to that same spot this time but we did because we felt like it. It was so cool.

I noticed something else that happened while we were teaching. We were teaching the 2nd lesson, the plan of salvation, to these two college girls. We asked where they thought we came from and both of them had a different answer and then they started to argue with each other. The gospel is such a blessing in the world today, and I am so disappointed when people choose to reject the truth, when it is staring them right in the face. If you are lost and you want the answers I know where you can find them. They are in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is His church and His gospel. You don't feel lost when your shepherd is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and you are apart of His true fold. You might feel lost if you weren't a part of His flock. I can see why you might feel lost, or you might be stumbling with the answers to important questions. If you aren't a part of His fold please come and join, if you were and you left, why would you not come back to His fold and follow His example?

I hope you all can feel the Savior's love in your life and you know that He knows exactly what you need when you need it. I have felt that time and time again in my life and already on my mission probably a thousand times. Don't ever lose sight of what you have and what you have been given!

Besides the University we got to go shopping. I was excited to go because I needed some stuff. We got to ride a bus into the city and I don't know if you have ever ridden a bus in a 3rd world country but it was ridiculous. I felt like Punky was driving the bus. It was insane but it was so fun. I never felt scared because I knew we are the Lord's servants and that He will protect us. But also because we were in a huge bus and we were passing people like we were in a NASCAR race. Anyhow after that adventure we finally got to the store.

The store was called La Sirenia, which means the siren. Yeah like the mythology sirens. It was funny because the store was like a two story Wal Mart. It was insane! It was huge and it was pretty nice. I was impressed. I wanted to go talk to some people while we were waiting for everyone else to shop but Elder Zenger refused to stray away from the other missionaries. I was sad but it was also probably smart. I know we wouldn't have gotten lost but I'm sure time could have gone by and we could have made the bus wait for us which would have been bad.

Elder Zenger is my comp. He's cool! He's a ton like Ian wheelhouse which is crazy. I feel like me and Ian are comps so I love it. Hey Ian, miss ya! How's mission prep life for ya? Anywho we are doing great together and we keep each other on track. Both of us are about on the same spiritual level which is nice. We like to challenge each other with tough Spanish or doctrinal questions and I love it. I was glad that he wanted to stick with the Elders at the store. It would've been sweet to contact but it was probably smart to stick with the other elders.

Other then that, my week has been all studies and all sleep. I've loved every second of it and the only thing better would be if you were all here with me. But that's OK because I get to share it with you through email which is such a blessing.

Today we got the Latine missionaries, or the native missionaries, which means that we will have to speak a lot more Spanish. I'm nervous because I still can't really carry on a great conversation but it will help so much. I'm so thankful for the blessing that the Lord has given us. We are all supposed to get two natives in our rooms. But me and Elder Zenger's new roommates aren't here yet so hopefully they come. If not then oh well. The Lord does what He thinks is best, it's best to just press forward with faith.

My scripture thought this week comes from 2 Nephi chapter 1 verses 7-10. It's a fourth of July. The Lord makes a promise to Lehi that if the people would keep the commandments on this land then they would be blessed with a land of liberty and freedom. I am so thankful that our founding fathers were great men who followed God. I'm disappointed in the status of the world today and their lack of faith in God and diligence in keeping His commandments. But I know that if you do your best and set a good example you will be blessed immensely. Go USA I love it!

Anywho, I best be off. We have to go pick up trash at the university. Hopefully I will lose another 5 pounds from all of the sweat because of the humidity. I'm sure you all wanted to hear that. For those of you keeping track at home I've lost about 30 pounds. I love it.

Stay strong and know that I am praying for each and every one of you. Never forget that you are a child of God and that He loves you just as your own parents love you. Remember to read and pray every day so that you can keep that evil satan guy away. I love you all and hope that your lives are great. Drop a line I would love to hear from you today before it is over. Thanks for all of your love and support I love it. There is no better work then this work and I am so excited to be a part of it.

With all the love in the world and the Eternities,

Your Missionary, Elder Oviatt

HAPPY 4TH!!! Bang, boom, KABOOM! :)