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

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