Friday, September 3, 2010
President Alvarado and I Traded suits! 3 piece baby!
August 25, 2010
Dear Family and Friends!
Wow! I can't believe that school has already started! I hope that all of you are doing well and that school is going well for those of you who are already in school! I can't believe Trent is in high school now. That is really weird. But way to go kid! Now you are a t-wolf baby!
I have heard that BYU starts up this next week and that has me even more baffled. It felt like it was just yesterday that BYU had ended the school year and here we are once again to start another semester! Good luck friends! I love you all and I hope you do well in all of your studies. Don't do too well or else they won't let me back in! Just teasing! I hope the first few weeks of school go well for everyone! As always you are all always in my prayers and I love you so much!
So we had a district meeting this week in the mission office with President Alvarado. It was a really great meeting we were able to talk more about what Elder Vinas had talked about last week during our Zone Conference. We made some great plans about how we were going to step it up and work even harder to bring about success in this beautiful island. Anyways, when we were at district meeting President Alvarado said, "Elder Oviatt, there is a suit in the storage room. Go try it on to see if it fits!" When we had the training meetings with all the leaders a couple of weeks ago we had talked about trading suits. I thought he was just kidding but apparently he was being serious. I went back and the suit fit perfectly! How cool is that! I got a new suit halfway through my mission. It turns out that it was made in Guatemala and belonged to a Seventy and it is now hanging up in my closet. Its just an example of what a great man President Alvarado is and how much he loves us. I'll take a picture so you can see. Or maybe ill just wait. I haven't decided. Anyways, but yeah, I thought that was a cool story that I thought I would start this email with. Most of you probably don't care but hey, you still love me right (at least I hope so).
This week was a pretty rough week for me. Things just weren't going the way that we had wanted them to. These weeks of training have really helped me to learn a lot, and have humbled me beyond all belief. I have grown so much closer to my Savior through the experiences these past few weeks, These trials have made me so thankful for those challenges that we have in our lives. I was struggling through some things this week but I received some great answers from the district meeting that we had. I know that Christ is our Savior, and if we want to have any success in this life it is on Him that we must rely. We can't rely on only ourselves and when we do we often fail. I got to learn that this past week. And while it was a rough learning experience, I am so thankful that we have hard times in our lives so that we can grow so much more. I love this work. Dad told me that it will be filled with all of the joys and sorrows known to man. And they come and go so quickly. How true that is. But through it all, the Savior has always been there for me. I know he lives and that he loves us.
We have had some really cool finding experiences this week. I think this past week our finding efforts ended up finding more less-active members then we we did new investigators. It was pretty cool because that was one of the things that Elder Vinas talked about -- strengthening the church. So we were really blessed to be able to find some great new people to start working with as we continued to search for families.
We found one member named Maria. She was baptized about 15 years ago and had come to church regularly for 2 or 3 years. She had read the Book of Mormon and from what I can see she was a really strong member. She just stopped doing the little things and eventually fell away. We taught her on Sunday and had an incredible lesson. When we talked to her in the street she told us that she had some questions and some doubts. When we went by on Sunday she told us her doubt but it just didn't seem like a doubt to me. The conversation eventually led to the Holy Ghost. She has been attending a Pentecostal church for the past few years. Out of nowhere we asked her to tell us about her baptism into our church and specifically about her confirmation. As we continued to talk about that experience and talk about the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, the spirit flooded the room and we could all feel that peace and that warmth that he brings. I could see the spirit working in her heart and her mind. She knew that what we were telling her was true, not because we had scriptures to back it up, but because the spirit was with us and the spirit was teaching. We left her with a Book of Mormon and invited her to start reading it again. We passed by last night and it turns out that her sister lives next door. Her sister isn't a member, but the first thing that her sister asked was how can we know which church is true!? There are so many churches how can we know the truth? We had a great lesson once again talking about prayer and the spirit and her sister was really interested in what we had to say. But more importantly, once again the spirit was there and I know that Maria felt it. She has been gone for a long time. But those feelings that we cannot deny are starting to come back into her life and I can see the light starting to come back into her eyes. We have another appointment with her on Thursday and we are so excited to see where things go from here.
Yesterday we had some really neat experiences. We had felt that we needed to go work in a certain urbanization of houses. We started working there on Sunday and things have been going great. We had a bunch of appointments set up for yesterday evening and when the first one fell, we felt that we needed to go and talk to the next door neighbor. A mom opened the door and I could see little kids running around in the back. My first thought was that this is the family that we have been praying for. We talked to the mom about the proclamation to the world and she invited us right in. We told her we would stop by when her husband got home from work. Then as we went to our other appointments they all fell through too. By this time we started heading back to see if her husband was home. On the way there we felt to knock the door of the house. A young woman answered the door and came out and started talking to us. After a few minutes she says you know I was baptized in your church like a year ago! My jaw dropped. She was the recent convert that the entire ward had been searching for and we were led right to her door. She had been going through some crazy situations with her housing and stuff and has been all over the island. But she was now back in Vega Baja. We were able to talk to her for a bit and give her a Book of Mormon. We have an appointment to go back tonight and start teaching the lessons again. She was a complete answer to our prayers and, not only our prayers, but the prayers of the entire ward. We had lost one of our sheep but the Lord led her right back to us and we were so pumped to figure out who she was.
As we finished talking to her we returned to Josue and Maggy's house. By this time Josue had returned home from work. He was already getting ready to head out. He let us sit down for just a few minutes to explain while we were there. As we explained God's plan for families Josue liked what he was hearing, but I could tell his mind was elsewhere. As we finished, we both looked into his eyes. We just purely testified about families, and how, if we follow God and Christ, we will be eternally with them. His attitude completely change and I could see that something that touched his heart. It was a simple testimony offered by my companion and I but I know that the spirit was bearing witness to his soul that what we were telling them is true. They invited us to come back on Thursday and we can't wait to get back there and to get started on working with these miracles that God has blessed us with.
I love you all so much. I know that it is a busy time right now. So I am thankful for your prayers and your love. Believe me, your prayers are being heard. And this weak missionary in Puerto Rico is receiving the strength and support that he needs to keep going every single day. I love you guys and I love this work. I hope that you all have a great week and that everyone's school year gets off to a great start!
I love you all!
Good luck with school everyone! A++
Thanks for all you do,
Your favorite Elder,
oh p.s. the pics are from Curacao, enjoy.