D&C 20:10-12

10 And thy brother Oliver shall continue in bearing my name before the world, and also to the church. And he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause; and lo, I am with him to the end.

11 In me he shall have glory, and not of himself, whether in weakness or in strength, whether in bonds or free;

12 And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.

Monday, April 13, 2015

4/13/2015



Well, I'm heading out to Sevilla!

And so is my comp. But only for one day.

Anyways, this week at church a member family arrived about 20 minutes late. Just after the sacrament was passed out. After the meetings as we were all leaving, S, C's daughter (4 years old) starting crying and almost threw a fit, because she didn't get to take the sacrament. Tears streaming down her face on to her dad's shoulder, she said, ''Why did we even come to church if I didn't get to eat the bread and water?''

Now, we all know what a 4 year old was thinking, and what she meant to say. However, there is a profound truth to what she said. If we just go through the motions in our lives, why are we even doing the things we are doing? We've got to get into the groove of doing things because we want to and because the are worth it.

Anyways, Elder Pond and I have been getting along really great this week. We have teamed up to try and make an amazing paella (typical delicious Spanish meal). We bought all the ingredients (except saffron), and we are going to give it a try.

We invited lots of people to be baptized this week. We cooked a mean batch of hash...browns. And we are planning on being even more obedient and diligent this week than last.

The weather has been funky, but that is nothing that we can't handle.

Anyways, Y, V, K, and P y familia, are all doing really well.


Os quiero muchísimo.
Elder Oliver


ps. I have been called to be the district leader of the Cartagena 2 District. Let's see if round 2 I do better.

pps. I will send pictures next week!

4/6/2015



Haha, that was probably one of the greatest Uchtdorf moments ever. We didn't get to watch it live, but going back and watching a little bit of it this morning I had a good laugh:) 

I have to say, I really had a fantastic general conference. There were so many things that just touched my heart, and I felt like every single talk was directed straight to me. However, I have already heard several people say that same thing, and I am starting to think that we are either all perfect clones of each other or we have been touched by the Holy Ghost.

Anyways, which was your favorite talk this time-round? I really, really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk on Sunday morning. I needed to a little cheer-booster to fuel me for these last 3 months of the mission, and that was exactly what I needed. There is nothing better for me that helping other people experience the powerful life-changing effects of Christ's atonement.

Anyways, this week was a good week. We have been working really hard on trying to get organized and cleaned up (apartment checks are tomorrow, and we don't know who is going to be checked), and getting the members to be more united. To help us out with that, we have decided to bake some true blue American Chocolate Chip Cookies for them. We made a quadruple batch of cookies, and we may have to eat all of them. Why? I'll tell you why.

I started out the cookies by browning the butter. I did it perfectly, and after adding the rest of the wet ingredients we threw in everything else that we needed. Mixing it up, we realized that we had just made the most delicious batch of cookies known to man. It was so creamy. The vanilla was perfect. There were enormous chunks of chocolate drowning in butter. Is this why we have to eat it all? Nope.

So, it was late. Almost time to go to bed, so we stuck a loosely fitted lid to the pot, and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I didn't realize that I had a pot of fishy stew in the fridge as well, and that is what threw a wrench in the whole program.

So, fast forward to yesterday, right after conference. We were in the apartment baking cookies, and after the first sheet came out, we both tried a cookie (or two). However, we didn't enjoy each cookie as much as we thought we were going to. There was a distinct flavor that we couldn't pinpoint. Could it have been the browned butter? Was it the type of flour we were using? And then.  Uh oh.  We both realized that our dough had infused the smell of the fish soup. And nobody wants to eat chocolate fish and chip cookies.

The cookies aren't terrible. In fact, they really are delicious. However, if you focus, you can distinctly taste the fish. So, we're not really planning on handing out those cookies to our members.

Anyways. Our investigators are doing really well. Y is progressing, and she fasted with us on Friday! We are going to follow up with her tonight to see how it went and what she learned from conference.

¡Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

ps. Since I will be missing the 4th of July (by 3 days) we had better have a BBQ when I get home:)

3/30/2015

This morning we went on a hike, Elder Pond and I. We marched around the mines here, found a couple bottomless pits, and ate some kebab for lunch. I think I am going to eat more kebab on p-days, because the money I spent on kebab was less than the amount of money I saved on NOT buying junk-food at the grocery store, haha.


Anyways, this week has been a really weird week. Among the weird things, we managed to help a lot of people this week. There have been lots of opportunities for us to serve our members. On Saturday C moved from a little development that is far away from Mazarrón, to Mazarrón itself.

This last Sunday we didn't have a very good turn out. There were only 5 of us at church, and instead of having Sunday School, we went out and searched for those members that weren't at church. Turns out that most were sick, so we gave one a priesthood blessing, and had good chats with the others. It doesn't help that the hour changed, so a lot of people were probably still sleeping.

Don't forget to see the new video from the church, and share it. Think on Christ. He is the one that can save us from our own destruction. We can become better through and through, by him.

Y has been progressing of late, but she just doesn't think that she is ready to take the first step of showing her faith by being baptized. We are going to pray and fast with her soon to help her realize that she is ready.

Sorry for the short email today. Myldsmail was down for a while, and I wasn't able to respond to most of you, however, know that I love you all.

Os quiero mucho.
Elder Oliver

3/23/2015



This week has been a really good week out here in Mazarrón, but WOW! Not nearly as interesting as your week! You guys are awesome. I can't believe Porter and the gang won the rock competition.

Rock on...

Anyways, this week we did all sorts of cool things, we fixed a computer, took a bus to Murcia, and taught one of our friends every day!

Whats more, we did some math, studied the scriptures, and made lots of phone calls!

Doesn't my week sound super interesting?
I bet.

Anyways, the math was a miracle, not that we were able to figure out the problem, but that in helping J (a less active here) with his math homework in the locutorio, he has totally opened up. He used to be pretty indifferent to us,  Now he actually smiles at us when we come into the locutorio. It's pretty awesome. Maybe he'll come to church this week with us.

As a companionship we have a goal of getting 11 of our 13 members that live in Mazarrón to church this week. We had 8 this week. 9, the week before. We were happy with the turnout. But not satisfied. We will never be satisfied until we get 13 of 13. 

The Good Shepherd isn't satisfied either. 99 of 100 isn't enough, but 100 of 100 is. Y is progressing pretty well, but she didn't come to church this last Sunday. She has been reading my copy of True to the faith still, and loves it. Now her excuse of not enough information doesn't count, haha.

V didn't come to church either this Sunday, however, he is doing well. He has done a lot of the paperwork to be able to bring his son to Spain, and he is on track to be able to repair his shattered family. He started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning this week. He told us about the first couple of chapters, and he totally loved it. He really like the second chapter of Nephi.

C came to church, and he is working a ton now. He is really happy of late. We have not been able to meet with him, but he has come to church on his own again. 

Elder Pond is doing great. He really is proof of the benefits of study before the mission. He shows all sorts of potential in just about every aspect of missionary work. He and I have been having a great time here in Mazarrón. Tons of fun, and we are helping to pull this place together, and make them more united.

Pray with me that we will will be able to set a baptismal date on these three people. And that those fighting to be able to get married will be able to get married ASAP.

I have been practicing the violin a lot lately. And getting better. My hands are a little rusty, but despite that, my improv skillz have improved a ton since I left. I need to practice a bit more, so I am going to be spending my spare time on my violin.


That was basically this week.

I love you all, and I hope that this week can be just as awesome as last week.
Keep on rockin'!
Os quiero mucho
Elder Oliver

3/16/2015

Lots of good news this week!
First off, Elder Pond is doing great! His language skills are developing rapidly (he has a good teacher ;)  ),  working super hard, and having a blast playing ping-pong in our apartment.

So, we don't have a ping pong table, or a net. But we have paddles, balls, a jump rope, and an empty room. So we laid the jump rope on the ground, and we have developed our own little ping-pong/raquetball sport, so that is what we do in the mornings for excercise.

Our apartment is not the best one in the mission. The floor tiles are chipped, so the give the appearance of ALWAYS BEING DIRTY. We actually live pretty clean (and organized! Surprise!), and it always looks dirty. We spent some time this week going to hardware stores and repairing all the broken appliances and walls and doors, etc. I'm turning into a real handy-man.

Anyways! I have just realized that Elder Pond is my little brother. I think his name is Porter Pond (his name is actually Andrew, but oh well). He likes to tinker with electronics, built a forge in his backyard, made bows and arrows, knives, etc. He is seriously a clone of Porter! I feel so blessed, to have one of my last companions be somebody so easy to get along with. He makes me think a lot about my brother. I miss him. And all the others. They're the best brothers/sister ever.

This week we found C! He dropped off the map for about 2 weeks, and we were really worried about him, but he came to church out of the blue yesterday and is doing really well. He is working a ton, and recognizes it as a huge blessing from God.

V and Y also came to church this Sunday. We have seen them both a few times this week and they are doing really well. I gave Y a copy of True to the Faith in Spanish, and she has been reading that and has resolved many of her questions. V is doing well and has been searching for ways to continue solving his many problems, and he really is progressing with that.

Life is good. Tomorrow we're going to Murcia for a tri-zone conference. Last week we taught tons of lessons (good start to the mission!) and everything is going better:)


I love you all!
Have a great week, and go do some cool stuff.

Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

3/9/2015 email



So, these last 2 weeks have been a lot of work, tiredness, and stress. We had to get to Cartegena for interviews with President on Tuesday (the 24th) and we spent the entire day there in the chapel waiting for our interviews.
In my interview President told me how much he trusts me and then BOOM!  ''Elder Oliver, I'd like you to train a new missionary this transfer. Will you accept?

             --sudden jolt of nervousness--
''Of course, President''

So yeah. I was super sad that Elder Q had to leave Mazarrón. He was such a machine and we saw miracles everyday together. He is heading out to Sevilla and he will be missed here in Mazarrón. His companion will be Elder F, another missionary from my group.

The craziness started that day. He started packing and I started figuring out how I was going to train again. What I can do better and how I can learn even more. 

That Saturday, we celebrated Elder Q's birthday, even though he doesn't have a birthday this year, and we got ready for Sunday. Sunday was a miracle. We had 26 people at church and the spirit was so strong there. We had 12 of our non-member friends come to church, and that was awesome. Some of them even went up to the pulpit and bore their testimonies of Christ. 

Monday was a long day. We said our farewells at the bus station in Cartegena, and then we all went our separate ways. I was on a bus all the way to Málaga, and it was a long ride. The nice thing about it though, was that we were on a nice bus, the SUPRA. I watched Wile E. Coyote for most of the ride.

We arrived in Málaga, and met up with a bunch of Elders who were basically on their Deathbed. This week, Elder Larios, Dansie, and Berry all died (a few of my past companions).  That evening, we spent the night in the mission home, had a little trainer's meeting, and ate a delicious pulled pork dinner. We stayed the night with Elder Bean and Berry in Fuengirola.

Tuesday, President let us have a p-day of sorts. Elder Bird (yeah! Elder BIRD!!!) and I chilled in Fuengirola all day and we got caught up on everything that has happened in the last 10 months. He is training an Elder right now, from Washington. Elder Gozart, I think. Later that evening we were presented to our new companions. My new comp is Elder Pond, from Pennsylvania. He is a great kid. He is helping me out a lot with BYU stuff, because he has already gone to BYU for a semester or two. He and I get along great, and I don't think that we will have any problems. We have our top pet-peeves in common, so we won't be bothering each other. His Spanish is great. He likes learning, and is a really hard worker.

Y and V continue resolving their doubts, and they are really progressing in their study of the Book of Mormon (it's true!   -the book-), and they have been feeling the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

I love you all, and I am very grateful for everything that God has given us. Keep being awesome! I loved your emails this week.

Next week I will send some more photos. My camera died just now, so I have to go back and charge it.

Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

2/28/2015 email



Well, great news about BYU! And great news out here in Mazarrón!  I have been called to train a new missionary again, and Elder Q has been assigned to the Sevilla 2 ward as a Zone Leader. He is seriously the YOUNGEST zone leader that I have ever heard of.

The reason I am writing you today, is that I don't think I will be able to write you on Monday. I will be on the bus all day heading towards Fuengirola and that evening we will have meetings. I don't know if on Tuesday we will be able to email, and Wednesday we will be heading back to Mazarrón.

I hope you have a great day! Love you a ton!

Os quiero mucho:)
Elder Oliver