Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Week from Mexico

Hey Everybody,
I hope everybody is doing well and is healthy and happy! I want to say the family That I hope you all enjoyed your time in Lake Powell! I definitely missed all of you. I hope that it was a good trip! I definitely was thinking about all the good times that we have had at Lake Powell.
So this has been a really good week!! It was my first week with Elder Cruz and we are doing really well together together. It is something very strange...Companions not going to lie. We are with them all of the time. From Sunrise to sundown. But every companion brings something new to the table. Something that I can learn. We are working really hard and feel my self becoming a better missionary slowly but surely. Trust I am still a long ways a way from where I want to be but I am learning faster and faster.
We tried visiting a lot of people this week and We found a family of 5. They were old investigators that me and Elder Maldonado had taught in my first weeks here. I don't remember if I have mentioned them before but if I have I am sorry. We dropped them because they could not go to church because of there work. But as time has gone on I have felt an impression that we need to visit them again. I told Elder Maldonado and ya he was in a agreement but we never went. Well Monday when Elder Cruz got here I told him that we were going to go visit this family. So ya we went and we found them and I told them I was so sorry that we didn't pass by. They forgave us immediately and were just glad that we came back. This family has so much light in their eyes and in their this a family that could be a strong members in the church and they are only being held back because they work Sundays. It is something that we need to work with them because they cannot receive the blessings of baptism and being a member unless they go to church. This is how I know that I am changing. I am not just looking at these people for baptisms I am seeing them as they are. And what they can become. What heavenly Father has prepared for them. It is something really special. I am trying to figure what I can do to be the missionary that they deserve. What can I improve to become better. Not going to lie....It is hard. There are so many things that I can improve but I am excited that I know I can become better. And I am gong to give my all so I can do so.
Ana was not baptized this week...We are still working hard with her. We had a powerful lesson with her where we just told her how it is. She is practically a member. She has problems with any of the commandments she reads and prays everyday and goes to church every weekend. So we just told her Ana you are ready. You are a member without the blessings and the only commandment that you lack is baptism. She was like wow...you are right. She committed to be baptized this week. The most sure that she has ever been. So I want to ask all of you to pray for her that she mights stay strong in this decision so she can have these blessings. And her and Ivan can grow in the gospel together with there little boy.
I love being a missionary. It is hard and I am tired a lot. But the things that I am experiencing here are so special. So special that I don't even have words to describe. But it is not possible with out all your support so thank you very much. I pray for all of you everyday and I hope things are going well. Thanks for you letters and prayers and thoughts. They are so appreciated! Love you all so much!!
Con Amor Elder Oliver

New Companion!!

Hey Everybody,
Elder Oliver once again reporting from the state of Mexico and the Country of Mexico. I am doing well!!! I am healthy and working hard. The rain is really pouring here. It rains at least one a day and it is really rains. We get soaked haha. But it is part of the experience and actually is pretty fun. 
So with the work we had a pretty good week. We had a lot of lessons and we were finding people to teach and best of all Ivan was able to be confirmed yesterday. It was an awesome experience. I was really happy for him. We had a lot of people at church and ya it was just really exciting. 
However...We also had transfers this week and ya elder Maldonado left for the state of Hidalgo. So yesterday at church we were taking pictures and saying goodbye to all the members and everyone that he had met and taught. It was really awesome. Because It was like a reality check. I have been in this area for 3 months now and I feel like I live here like this is my home. haha. Not really but it is very comfortable. So this made me realize that I need to enjoy the time I have in my areas and make the most of it because the friends I make and the people I see everyday are going to change one day. And it also helped me realize how much I really do love the people here. I saw Elder Maldonado getting ready to leave and i just thought. Wow...I do not want to leave. 
I am so grateful that Elder Maldonado was my first companion here in Mexico I learned so much from him. We also became really close and really good friends. I hope that he does well in Hidalgo and that I will see him again in the mission or after. 
So...I know that the suspense is just killing you guys......who is my new companion?? where does he come from?? what does he look like??? Well I am sorry but you will have to find out next week because ya I am out of time once again.....

Hahaha. Just kidding :) I will tell you right now. His name is Elder Cruz and he is from the state of Vera Cruz. I have only known him for a couple hours but he is really nice. And I have really good luck with companions I think. Because he like Elder Maldonado was for me is the dad of Elder Richardson here in the mission. So ya we were talking about how Elder Richardson is doing. And if everything is going well with him. Which it is! They had a lot of success in there area together so I was glad to here that he doing well. But I am excited to work with Elder Cruz. I am going to miss Maldonado but I know that this is going to be a good opportunity to learn more and become a better missionary. 
Everybody thank you so much for all of your love and all of your support! I am learning a whole bunch of new things here In Mexico. But I think about you and pray for all of you all the time. Your support is so much appreciated that I don't have words to describe. Thank you! Love you all so much
Con Amor Elder Oliver


Hey Everybody!
So I once again have no time to write because we did an activity with our district today and ya there is no time. I am so sorry. This was a tough week...We had zone conference which was awesome I feel like I learned a lot on how I can become a better missionary. SO I am excited to apply the things I learned and We will see what happens. The reason that the this week was tough because Ivan who got baptized last week. Fell in sin and ya he was so sad and felt so guilty. We talked to him on the phone and explained to him that it happens and that he needs to come to church. And ya...He didn't come. We passed by and we have yet to find him and talk with him. We have been praying a lot that we can find him and everything is ok. Because he really is a great person and will be a great member. He told us that he felt so bad that he prayed and fasted after. And Satan is just working really hard on him...So will see what happens...We had a fun day today with one of our recent converts Alicia. We went to house and she cooked for the whole district. Then after we had a water war and ya...I know you are wondering...Yes we are 20 years old. haha. But it was good fun and Alicia is a such a strong member I am excited for the day when she can go to the temple. I hope that I can have the opportunity to go with her. Well I am so sorry that I don't have any time but I want you to know that I love you all very much! And your prayers and letters and everything else is so appreciated that I really cant put it into words...Thank you so much. I will have more time next week I hope. 
Con Amor Elder Oliver
Ps is my last week with Elder Maldonado....I am sad about that. But Hopefully I have another good companion like him.

Miracles Really Happen??

Hey Everybody!!! 
Elder Oliver once again! How is everyone doing? I am doing really well. Healthy and Happy. I hope that everybody had a good 4th of July! I definitely missed the fireworks and the great food but that is ok! I hope all of you had a good time and hope everyone is doing well and is healthy. 
So this was definitely a very special week of mine. One that I am definitely not going to forget. I have mentioned in some of the past emails about my investigator Ivan. He was someone who was not happy where he was in his life. He was scared that he was going to lose his family and wanted to changed. We have been meeting with him for over a month and a half. Almost all the time I have been here in Mexico. We have been working with him and trying to help him get his life in order. He has grown so much and made so many changes in his life. The spirit definitely touched his heart and he is a completely different person. Well yesterday was his Baptism. He came to the church and he was really nervous. But really excited for the step he was about to take. The services really were beautiful and He was able to make his first covenants with the Lord. It was something that I am so grateful that the Lord let me be a part of. I know that we did not do anything. The Lord was able to touch his heart and change his life. I am just glad I was able to be there and be apart of the experience. 
So along with the Baptism of Ivan were going to have 2 other baptisms. Their Names are Jose de Jesus and Carolina. They were a couple with a pretty big age difference. haha. About twenty years. We had doubts whether they were really married or not. We asked them over and over and over and over. And every time they told us that they were married. Really we asked them at least fifty times and explained how important it is for them to be married if they are going to live together. They told us yes they were married. So when it came to time for them to be interviewed for their baptism, we told the zone leaders to really question them and make sure they were married. And after about 10-15 minutes one of the zone leaders came out and told us that ya they were not married. Carolina had told the truth finally. I am so glad that they did. We have not been able to see them since. We passed by twice and cant find them. I hope they are not upset or mad. Because they were really good people who wanted to get baptized. They just have money problems and cant afford to get married. It is sad...I hope in the upcoming week we can find them and talk with them. 
So I know that I mentioned in the title something about a miracle...I am going to explain now. I hope the suspense was not to much to handle haha. 
So we have been meeting also with someone named Anna. Anna is actually the wife of Ivan. haha. We have been meeting with her regularly and she had not really been progressing. All of her family are members and they are all inactive. I think this definitely had something to do with her being hesitant to talk with us. But one visit she told us that ya she is not going to get baptized she thinks that religion is a way to control to the people. So we were a little discouraged with her. But we did not want to give up because Ivan was doing so well and we wanted them to have this change together so they could grow in the gospel together. One day we visited with Anna left a chapter of the Book of Mormon for her to read and pray about. She said she would. The next time we saw her was Saturday. We talked to her about how it went and she told us that it well. We excited to hear that. We asked why. She said that she fell asleep while she was reading......and we were like...oh.....great.... haha. But she said that when she fell asleep she had a dream. She had a dream that she was in front of a big white building and someone invited her in and every was dressed in white and there was a big chandelier. She said that she felt so peaceful and so calm. Instantly we knew that she had a dream of the temple. She had entered the temple and she knew that she was going to go there someday. 
Now knowing what she told us before. I know that this was a miracle. The Lord had answered her prayers through a dream that the church was true and that she was going to the temple someday. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences ever. I am so grateful that I was able to be there. And experience. She still has some doubts about things because she has thought one way her entire life. But she accepted to get baptized and we are planning her service for this Sunday. We are trying to see if Ivan can meet with the bishop and have an interview to receive the priesthood so he can baptize her. It would be the coolest thing ever!!! I hope it works out pray for them please!!!
So ya that was my very exciting week. I hope you guys all had a good week and that you have a good one this week. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the support that you give. I am definitely the luckiest missionary in the world thank you so much for everything 
Con Amor Elder Oliver

Chilaquiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! y.......pansita

Hey Everybody,
Elder Oliver here! Reporting on another week here in the state of Mexico. I cannot believe another week has gone by so fast!!! It is crazy!!! Almost at 6 months!! wow it is crazy how fast it is going. SO I am really sorry I don't have a ton time to write. I am so sorry! But that is also ok because not a whole lot went on this week.
It rained a ton this week and it is going to continue throughout this month. We have been visiting with our people who have baptism dates for this upcoming week we are working hard to make sure they are prepared. And I feel that they are going to be ready. say a prayer for them please!!! 
Ya I am really out of time. ha Next week will be better I promise. But really fast yesterday we ate at one of the members house as usual. We had Chilaquiles!!!!!!!!! By far my favorite food here in Mexico!! It was so good.!!!!! and also the member made me try pansita...Pansita is cow stomach....or a stomach of some other animal. ya.......................Not good. I wanted to throw up. But that is ok because after I ate that I was blessed with cake. And that was delightful. Now don't think that I broke my goal of sweet bread because I did not. My goal is that I wont buy it in the street. And so far so good. haha Sorry I am out of time I love you all.thank you so much for all of your support I hope all is well! I will write more next week I promise!!!! Love you all!
Con amor Elder Oliver

No more bread?

Hey everybody!
How is it going?? How are you doing??? and what is your favorite snack? haha. My answers to these questions are.....GREAT....GOOD.....AND BREAD!!!! haha I know that I have talked about the bread before but it is so good....However...I have decided that I am going to not buy anymore...I know I know, You are probably thinking.. how could you come to this decision???? well I decided that all of my exercise in the morning is going to waste because of bread....So I am going to stop buying bread so I can actually work out effectively ha but I have a feeling that this goal will not last very long because...I love bread...so I will keep you updated. 
Ok now that the important stuff is out of the way...This is how the work is going...Just kidding. The work has been going really well in our area this week. We actually did not have very many lessons but that is ok because Elder Maldonado and I have been working really hard and working better together. It really has been a special week.I feel like I have grown more this week then I have in my entire mission so far. I know....That is crazy right? No it is true. I realized there were a lot of things that I was lacking as a missionary...And I still lack a lot of things. But I am more proactive at attacking these areas of weakness and I feel myself becoming a better missionary. 
Because of these changes I feel and know that our area is being blessed. Elder Maldonado and I sat down and had discussion about the things we need to do or improve in order to earn the blessings that the Lord has prepared for us. We set our goals and we went out to work. And we worked so hard this week! and we did not have any new investigators or many lessons or anything but we kept working. And guess what happened yesterday at church....A couple was there that we had not seen before..We talked to them and they told us they had been talking to missionaries but the had just moved and they were wanting to get baptized...Now I want to ask all of you if that was a coincidence......I don't think so...That was just a cool little story that happened to me this week and a testimony builder for me. 
Another thing that really was cool was we went on divisions with other elders and I was left in our area to go see everybody and plan the activities for the day and everything. Now usually this is no big deal,....however I don't speak Spanish very well and I felt a lot of pressure and was pretty scared. But we went out and worked and everything was great! we had some good lessons and I felt like I didn't destroy the area so all and all I think I am learning which is great!!! 
Well I really do hope that you have a good week and I am so grateful for all of your support and your love and prayers. You really don't know how much that means to me. I love you all so much!! Talk to you next week!!!
Con Amor Elder Oliver

Holy Rain

 Hey everybody!!

Elder Oliver here. Just an update on how am doing and how the week has gone once again. I am doing wonderful. Learning new things everyday in Spanish and about Mexico and the Gospel so ya not too much to complain about. Elder Maldonado and I have been working really hard and we had one of the worst weeks...which is a bummer. But we are really good about to talking with one another and figuring out the things that we can change in order to have more success. We didn't have a lot of lessons this week. And it was hard to find people in their houses. All of our appointments fell through and it was just a little bit of a downer week. But don't worry we are going to work twice as hard and make sure we are doing everything that we have to to do in order to receive the blessing that the Lord wants to give to us and our area.

Now one of the reasons that this week was hard as well was because of the Rain. The rainy season has begun here in the state of Mexico. And I am not going to lie...It rains a lot. When it rains a few things happen first...we get wet. haha But don't feel bad for me because I actually think it is really fun! We do the same thing everyday and the rain is definitely a nice break from the sun beating down on us. But the bad thing is that there is no one in the street. We cant talk to anybody. So it is hard for us to contact people and when we don't contact people we are losing the blessings that come with it. So ya the weather has definitely been something interesting here in Mexico in the Morning it is so hot and just beating us down and two hours the streets are now rivers. haha It is crazy but really fun as well.

We have a few investigators that are really progressing well we didn't have anybody show up for church this week however. We are hoping that if we work harder this week that we are going to see Miguel and Ivan progress and hopefully have a few baptisms. They really are special people! And the gospel is right in front of them eternal life...I just hope that we are doing all we can to make sure that they make the right decision.

I want to share something I have been studying in my personal study the last few days. I have been reading in the new testament. And I came across a passage in Chapter 16 in Mathew I think.....haha at the very end of the chapter Jesus is talking and he says that blessed is the man that takes up his cross and follows him. When we do not focus on the things of the world and focus on the God that is when we are blessed. In one of the following scriptures it says the one who finds his life will lose it and the one who loses his life will have it in the end. When we lose ourselves in the will of the Lord when we drop everything that is important to us and we turn down our will and accept his that is when we show our love for Our Heavenly Father and Our Savior.
 Our will is the only thing that we can give God. Money, our bodies, our cars, houses, everything we have are gifts from God. The one thing that we can give him, the one thing that he really cares about is our will. When we turn down our desires and replace them with his that is when we find real happiness!

I am so Grateful for all the support that all of you have given me thank you so much!! For the letters and emails and packages and prayers. Thank you all so much! I hope all of you are doing well and I will continue to pray for all of you! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!

Con amor Elder Oliver

Look at that nice Missionary tan

Pictures from Josh!

First Transfer Done!

Hey Everybody!
Hey it is Elder Oliver once again! I have had another a good week here in Mexico! I am still loving the food! especially the bread. I am having a blast here, the Spanish gets better everyday! Everything is getting better! It is still hot however and I am sunburned everyday. My poor nose. I use sunscreen 2 or 3 times a day but it doesn´t seem to help to much. How are you all doing? I hope everything is going good! I heard that Andrew did really well on his farewell talk!! Congratulations Andrew I know that you are going to love Mexico! But thanks everybody for writing me and letting be know how you are all doing!
This week we have a lot of work! We have been struggling to find new people to teach but we have been working hard and It is the end of the transfer so it was kind of crazy all week. I want to share an awesome experience that we had yesterday. We had an appointment with one of the contacts we had in the street. She was an older lady. When we passed by her house she was there which is a blessing...haha. And she let us come in and her daughter and her grandson were there too. So we sat down and started talking with them. They were really nice and started sharing how they had been without the word of God for a long time. They said that is why they let us come over because they wanted to have God in their lives again. We shared the first lesson and they all accepted it very well. They said that they were going to read and pray to receive an answer. Then Delia (the contact) started talking and she said that when we started talking about how God is our Heavenly Father she said that one of the curtains in the house behind us went flying open. Like there was a gust of wind. But there was not wind in the house obviously she said that she had never seen it do that before. I don´t know what happened to be honest I didn´t see it. But the spirit was so strong when she shared that with us that I definitely know something happened and the spirit had touched her and they all decided that when they receive their answer that they were going to get baptized. It was such an awesome lesson!!! haha. The mission is crazy so many things happen everyday! it is crazy!!
anyway sorry for the short letter I am out of time but I want you all to know that I love you very much! and I am so grateful for the support and the love that you all give me! I am so grateful! love you all so much!
Con Amor Elder Oliver