Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Conference Weekend!

It was great to hear from all of you this past week and I am so thankful that Trent was able to have a successful surgery. It was sad to hear that he fell on the repaired shoulder just hours after the surgery, but I am sure that he will be fine. I am praying for you!

Mom and dad, thank you so much for your letters and your emails. You are both so loving and it is an absolute blessing to have you two as my parents. Jenny thanks for the letter! You are so sweet and the pictures rock! I hope that all is going well with school and work! Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much for your letter. I got it today and I didn't have time to read the story but I can't wait to read it, they are always great and I love them so much.

Thanks to all of the rest of who I know are always praying for me. Again, hopefully someday I will be able to write you a quick email or letter but for now, know that I love you and I am praying for you and I wish you the best.

Well this week was a great week. We had our interviews with the president this week, something that happens every transfer cycle. When I talked to him about the investigators in our area he gave me some great news! He said that Carmen's kids, Wilton and Myra, are great blessing to the branch here and that the Lord wants those kids to be baptized. Usually, if people don't come to church three times we can't baptize them. In their situation, they live 40 minutes from church and have no car. But they have some of the strongest desires to be baptized that I have ever seen. So we got permission to baptize them when they are ready!

Something that is a huge blessing in our lives and the lives of the people here in San Sebastian! I am so pumped! It's so amazing to be a part of this work and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I know that those children were led to us because our Heavenly Father wants them to have the saving ordinance of baptism performed. He wants all of his children to return to live with Him in the Celestial Kingdom and at some point in all of our lives, He gives us the the opportunity to decide, yes or no. It's cool to be the instrument in His hands that gets to ask the question and act on the response.

So yeah, if you can't tell I'm pretty excited to be having a baptism this transfer :)

Oh and secondly :)

Our other investigator is progressing also. Maria told us that she loves the Book of Mormon and that she knows it's true. We just found out last night that she has an issue that we need to work on but it's amazing. Before my mission I thought of missionary work as teaching lessons to regular people. But I never really thought about all of the different circumstances that these people will be living with. It's amazing to realize that we really are teaching His children, but all of us are different in every single way. And yet, He has a plan and vision for each of us and He knows each of us perfectly. I am so blessed to be a part of this work and to have the opportunity to see that vision and to feel that love for the people that we work with. If any of you are thinking about a mission or not . . . it's a no-brainer. Get out here and serve the Lord! Where do you think he wants you?!

We did have the chance to have some really cool stuff happen to us this week. It's always and adventure trying to meet our goals. We set goals at the start of each week and plan how to accomplish them. By the end of the week, if we accomplished them, it's always seems to be in a totally different way then we planned, and it's because the Lord led us every step of the way.

It was Friday night and we were working hard contacting. While we were knocking on doors I was going over the numbers in my head and I realized that one of goals, lessons with members, was going to be really hard to accomplish by Sunday. We prayed that morning and asked Heavenly Father to help us. We prayed "we don't know how we are going to accomplish our goals but we know with your help we can." Well, when we got done contacting, we went to an appointment with an investigator that we have had for a while -- Lillian Lebron. Lillian knows a lot of the members in the branch but none of them could come with us on this night. We went to her house and knocked on her door and guess who answered. Her son who is a member. Talk about a blessing and a miracle from the Lord. That lesson started an awesome weekend of blessings and small miracles and only through the hand of the Lord and His love for His children were we able to accomplish our goals this week.

We also had a cool experience yesterday when we were contacting. In San Sebastian there are two types of neighborhoods: neighborhoods in the city where all of the houses are really close and it can take you 2 hours to contact a street because there are so many houses; or the mountain neighborhoods where the houses are so spread out that it can take you two minutes to contact an entire street. Last night we were contacting in the mountains. We got done with one street and started walking back. I noticed a house in the distance that we had not noticed earlier.

I looked for a trail and sure enough we had walked right past the trail. We went and knocked on the door and there was nothing. Then again and nothing. We started to leave and Elder Blandon said he just felt someone say "go knock, go knock" so we turned around and knocked on the door. When we did this last time, a great young lady came out and in the humid Puerto Rico evening we taught her the first lesson about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. She took the Book of Mormon with enthusiasm and promised us that she would read it and pray about it. It's amazing to think that if we didn't follow the promptings of the spirit we wouldn't have been able to find this young woman that the Lord had prepared to hear His gospel. What a blessing it is to be an instrument in His hands!

Well this weekend is general conference. One of my two favorite weekends of the year. It is going to be interesting to watch it here in another country two hours ahead, but I can't wait! I will probably miss you all a little more this week because of conference and the sights I will get to see, and the memories that I will remember. But I want you to know that I love you all and as much as I miss you, there is no other place that I would rather be then here in beautiful Puerto Rico serving the Lord. I hope it goes well! I love you all.

OK, one last story and then I have to get going. This weekend on Saturday we were going to teach Maria and we were going to teach about the spirit and promptings of the spirit. But when we were trying to make the lesson plan we kept hitting blocks in our planning. It was getting really frustrating and finally I just told Elder Blandon that we couldn't do it alone. We needed the Lord's help. So we dropped to our knees and within 15 minutes we had a lesson plan that we felt great about. We gave the lesson and during the lesson there was no doubt in my mind that we had been inspired with the things that we were teaching. We really are God's children and when we ask Him to help us He will be there to help us. I know it's true because I go through stories like that every day. Never be afraid to get on your knees and plead for help. Just as your earthly father would help you, your Heavenly Father will help you too!

I love you so much and I can't wait to hear from you all again. It was great to hear that Trent is doing OK, that grandma and grandpa sold their house, and that BYU won! Woohoo!

Thanks for all that you do for me. I love you all and I am praying for you all constantly.

With all of my love that I can give,

Your son, Friend and Missionary,

Elder Oviatt

PS Go cougars!

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