Monday, August 10, 2009

Received 8-10-2009 - Policemen and Bums in Wheelchairs‏

Hola Mi Familia and Mis Amigos,

I have to warn you, we had a new missionary conference in Ponce today which is about 2 hours from San Sebastian, so I had to wake up at 5:30 to get ready and to write some letters before we left. So if I seem a little off today, I'm sorry. Know that I love you and I'm not going crazy, just might be a little tired :)

Ian and Cody, good luck with your missions. That's so awesome. It'll be great to all be in the same army together. I can't imagine what it would've been like to fight in the army of Helaman with 2,000 other of my friends and compadres. But I have to imagine that it would feel a little something like missionary work. I love you both and wish you the best. Remember the most successful missionary is the Spirit. You are only there to deliver the message. The Spirit is the one that convinces.

Punky! Where the crap are you going.?!?!?!?! If he won't tell me, will someone else please tell me. haha I'm dying to know. Congrats on your call though man that's awesome

Week 3 of my time in Puerto Rico has come and gone. That's another week lived and another week loved. I want to thank you for all of your love and support this week. I received several letters from you all and it helped me so much. Thank you for your letters and your love. They seriously come right when I need them. It seems that any time that I am having a little rough spot or a hard day, a letter from one of you will come in the mail! Thank you so much for your love and support. I know that it is hard to do but it really does mean a lot to me!

This week has been great. I can tell that it's summer even though I live in a place where the temperature doesn't really change over the year. But now it is really hot! It gets up close to 100 every day, then the thunder storms roll in and cool everything off which is nice. It's so green and beautiful here. I hope that you all have the chance to visit someday. It's seriously something that you can't describe.

This week was busy! We had my first zone conference and my first Stake Conference on the mission. Both were great and I got to see the ocean both times which was cool. I really enjoyed what President Martineau talked about during our zone conference. He talked about being led by the spirit as opposed to having the spirit. Both are good but a good missionary will know what to do and where to go because he is being directed by the spirit. It was a great conference and I look forward to the next one. Another reason why it was so good was because I got to see all of the other elders that traveled to Puerto Rico with me. They are all in my zone apparently (Except for Elder Zenger, but I got to see him today) so it was way cool to talk with them and to share our experiences of our first weeks out in the real world in the real mission.

I don't know that I am 100% adjusted to the the mission life yet. I still think of home and think of what I would be doing right now and it's hard to imagine that I am living a completely different life now, doing completely different things. It's fun and difficult to adjust but I know that this is where I need to be, and where the Lord wants me to be. Because of that, I know that he will help me get to the point where I feel that this is my life.

One reason why I kept thinking about home this week was because school started here again today! Crazy huh mom? When does school start there? When does BYU start up? It's crazy to think that a year ago me and all my friends were going to our 1st year of college together. Crazy how much things have changed.

Well OK, I guess some of you might feel that this email is pointless, so I will start talking about some of the experiences that we had this week. This week was a good solid week of work! I enjoyed it. We didn't have a lot of appointments so we did a ton of tracting which is always fun. But we found a lot of great people who are interested which is definitely a good sign. We tracted into one family who is great. They have a 14 year-old son who reminded me a lot of Trent. He's a great kid and his family is really interested in the gospel. When we were teaching them they were way interested in our message about prophets and then we shared with them the Book of Mormon. We read the Introduction with them and they all had huge smiles on their faces. It was such a neat experience. They knew the book was true without even reading it or praying about it. It was definitely an experience that I will remember for a long time.

It was cool because what told them that the book was true, and what told them that our message was true, wasn't our words - it was the spirit. The spirit is the thing that testifies to people and that is something that I have already learned a lot on my mission. You can use all of the flattering words you want, but if you don't have the spirit with you, the people you are teaching aren't going to become converted and they aren't going to truly follow Christ. It's amazing how powerful the spirit is and I am so blessed to be able to be a part of the work where I can feel it every day.

We taught Victorio the plan of salvation this week. Victorio is like 65 years-old and I'm not sure what he really believes. He is very interested in the gospel and so we are really trying to teach him all we can. Anywho . . . we began teaching him about the pre-mortal life and he had all of these questions and doubts. He said that we were telling him a fantasy and that he doesn't believe in fantasies. He was questioning how God could make us all by himself. As soon as his said that I felt prompted to talk about how our parents in heaven are literally our parents. Luckily he speaks English but it was such a neat experience because we don't usually (actually we never) teach that deep. But I felt prompted to do it and the words that came out of my mouth were not mine and they touched him. He really liked what he was hearing and it made sense to him.

He then began to question the creation and Elder Blandon asked what he believed. He talked about the magnetic forces and stuff and Elder Blandon asked if this was imagination too. It was quite the comeback and he used the opportunity to teach about the importance of prayer. Right then Victorio prayed and I know that he felt something different. After the lesson, I asked Elder Blandon if he had ever askeded that question before and he said no. He said it just popped into his head. Holy cow! Wow! Yeah! The Lord is behind this work. There is no doubt in my mind. His hand is in everything and when we have the chance to realize what miracles He performs for us everyday it is incredible.

My scripture this week is a scripture that President Martineau uses all of the time. It's 3 Nephi 5:13. He always says make these words your words. I hope you will read it also and know that your time and call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ never ends.

OK well I hope that this letter was better then the last two weeks. My first one was a total meltdown and I feel sorry. Last week was just a mess because my mind was all over the place. If my emails need to improve just tell me.

Before I go I want to share with you two funny stories about my week. First was Thursday night we were walking back to our apartment and we saw a man in a wheelchair at the bottom of the hill trying to push himself up. We ran over and I pushed him up while Elder Blandon talked. He's a great guy. He's homeless and doesn't have a job, but he believes in Jesus and he goes and begs for money every day so that he can feed his family at night. It was a really cool experience to be able to serve him and push him up that hill. I don't think that I have ever felt love like that for a man that society avoids. I hope that you all look for those opportunities to serve those around you, even if they are those that society avoids.

And last but not least, my adventure today. We had to drive to Ponce and we were late. Luckily we caught up to the zone leaders on the freeway. I didn't know where we were going and so I was following them. They don't have a freeway system in Puerto Rico only a big "state street" type road that goes all the way around the island. Anywho . . . the speed limit is 55 and they were going about 75. I didn't want to get lost so I kept driving their speed. They changed lanes and slowed down and I kept going. Turns out they did this because there was a cop right in front of them. YEAH WOOPS! I got pulled over on my mission. Like the 3rd time driving. It was funny. The cop was a great guy though. I told him that I thought it was a freeway and he just told me to go slower next time. No ticket. No record. No anything. I'm sure it helped that I was shaking and that I was a lost Anglo. But he was such a nice guy and I know that the Lord blessed me not to have to pay a huge ticket. I learned a great lesson today. Never follow your leaders into dangerous places. And Cops are good People. I love them! Hahaha

I hope that this email was uplifting and humorous and that you could feel my love. I love you all so much. Grandma, Grandpa, Jenny, Family and Friends, thank you so much for your love and support. I love you all so much. I know that the Lord is blessing you for your love and support. I hope you know that I love you and miss you and that I am praying for you! Work hard and always follow the spirit and you will go far in life.

I hope that this email was better! Lemme know if it wasn't.

God Be with you until we meet again!

Your Missionary,

Elder Oviatt

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