Monday, August 10, 2009

Received 8-4-2009 - Week #2 in San Sebastian

Hola Again my Family and My friends!

It was such a blessing to receive your letters and to feel your love and support. Not only through your words, but also through your prayers. I prayed to God that He would be able to give me strength and I knew, that if I asked you all, that you would respond and you did! I want to thank you all for getting me back on my feet when I was down. I love you all so much and I can't wait to write to you all and tell you "thank you." If it takes me a while I'm sorry. But know that I love you all.

I also want to apologize for my letter last week. I sounded pretty down and I'm sorry. I am so happy to have to opportunity to serve the Lord. Last week was just totally overwhelming. If you don't know me that well you should know that me and my family and my friends are so close. Being separated from you and realizing that I won't see you for 2 years. And that I might not have the opportunity to see some of you ever again, was really hard for me. But you know what? This is where I am supposed to be and this is where the Lord and you all want me to be, so I am here. My dad gave me some great advice this week. You can't see the end even if you want to. The mission is an adventure and not a destination. You have to take it one day at a time and take it one step at a time. I have taken that to heart and it has really helped so thanks dad.

I want to thank those of you who wrote me this week. All your words were perfect and they helped so much. Jenny thanks for the pictures. It looks like you had a blast in Cancun!

If you have written me a letter while I have been out I want to thank you . . . all of you. I read every single letter that I have received during the time that I wasn't getting any because of the new address. There were words that you wrote 2 months ago that helped me last week so thank you all. I love you all and I miss you all. One day at a time and we are going to get through this together.

I hope you don't feel a burden that you have to write me a ton of letters. But your letters do help so much. Like I said last week they add fuel to my little testimony. Don't feel like you have to write me every single day. But if you ever miss me or want to talk, drop me a line! And I will try and write back. It's always great to hear about your life and what's going on back home. So thank you to those who responded to my plea.

I feel close to you when I read your words and sometimes I think about a fun experience we had. I cried for joy when your letters started coming in my new area. You are all angels from heaven. Thank you so much for your love and support. I know that the Lord is so happy with the way you have helped out his missionary.

Anywho, enough of the sob story material do you want to hear about San Sebastian?

San Sebastian is crazy pretty. So green! For those of you who think anywhere in the US is greener than here, I am sorry but Puerto Rico has you beat. I don't think that there are plants here that grow different colors other then green. I love it. The flowers are beautiful along with everything else. One thing that is taking awhile to get used to is the humidity. Puerto Rico of course is an island in the middle of the ocean but it is also a rain forest. Especially in the Mountains. It rains every day. The humidity is bad before it rains but man, it's rough after too. It's OK because your letters get me through the dripping sweat every day so yeah thanks again.

The people here are great. So loving and so unique. If you have ever been to Puerto Rico you will understand what I mean when I say that the people here live a different life. If you don't get what I mean then come visit because it's awesome.

The Branch here is great! They all do anything that they can to help the work progress which is such a help. It strengthens my testimony every time I see them come teach a lesson with us, or drive us up the mountain, and then come pick us up two hours later. (We are currently without a car and some roads are impossible to bike up.) I know that they want more sheep in His fold and it's a big testimony builder to see the length and the effort that they make to do so.

Our investigators rock! We have only a few but that's OK because we are working on getting a lot more. Tito is a 20 year-old guy who is way interested in the gospel and I think we are going to be having a baptism soon which is so exciting! :) Guanda has a nice little family and she is pretty interested in the gospel also. Those are the people that were investigating before I came. They are really far along and it's cool to see how they have changed. But what is really cool is to see the change in people from the start.

One of our new investigators is named Victorio. This guy is so awesome! I think I talked about him last week. He is open to learning about anything and he wants to know if the church is legit, and so he is doing all that he can to find out. Something that a lot of people struggle with here, not that they are bad people or anything, but a lot of people don't feel a need to change religions. I understand and respect that. But what I respect even more is someone who is willing to listen to what you have to say. And that's exactly what Victorio has done. Yesterday was awesome because we only taught him once and he showed up to church! I loved it! It got me so fired up to get out and keep teaching and keep finding those people who need the gospel in their lives.

Before I go I want to leave a quick testimony of how the Lord prepares people to hear the g ospel. We tracted into a pastor the other day and yesterday a man who would not listen to a word we had to say. The man yesterday said he already knew our message and when we asked him what we believed. Of course it was anti-mormon and filth and completely wrong. But he didn't want to change and he didn't want to know the truth. His heart was hard and the Lord would have no way to work with it. So we moved on. I know that there are people here that the Lord has prepared. There are those that he will lead is to. But without His influence and without the spirit those people won't be able to tune into our message and we will not be able to find them. The spirit is so important. Without it you are nothing. That is something that I have discovered this week.

Your words and letters help me to stay on top of things so that I can feel the spirit. Your words do not distract me at all but in fact help me to stay on top of things and feel that spirit. I love you all and your love and support is helping me to become the man and the missionary that the Lord wants me to be. This is His work! I am but a lowly servant trying to do the best that I can. Without Him I am nothing.

Thank you for your love and support. I realize that this email was a little all over the place.

I love you all so much and I can't wait until we meet again. Keep the support coming when you have time to give it. I love you so much and I know the Lord will bless you

Until next week, your Missionary

Elder Oviatt

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