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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

¡Bautismos por mí les habra!

I love missionary work.  Haha, you are probably all sick of hearing me say that. But that's all right. Good things are worth repeating.
This week we worked a lot with a young man here, D-----. He is awesome. He has a superstrong testimony, and he has a huge desire to do missionary work. His family is great too. They are going through a pretty hard time (divorce) but his dad and his little sister are super strong as well. A few weeks ago when I played my violin with the primary, his little sister was relentlessly staring at me. Turns out, that she is in love with the violin, and wants to become like Lindsey Stirling (she's 6 years old). So, last night after working with D----- for a few hours we went back to his house, and I brought my violin. Surprise!! Imagine her face when she saw the missionaries there with the violin. She was ecstatic. I played a few songs, and her dad was recording many of them. Then, D----- and I played a duet, Viva la vida, and that went sweet.
She really wanted to play the violin, so I gave her a mini lesson, how to hold the violin and bow, and we played the Monkey song. She was so happy.

N---- is a girl that we have been working with a lot lately. She and her mom have been reading the Book of Mormon together a lot lately. She and her mom have a baptismal date as of last Wednesday. D----- accompanied us to the appointment and the spirit was so strong there. We really had a great lesson, despite the screaming 2 year old. They decided that they want to get baptized, and then D----- was super excited to do missionary work, because he had just been part of one of the best moments of missionary work.

This week was great. Elder Moore is doing super, and he and I get along super well. There are all sorts of miracles going on right now in our area, and I wish that we had time to document them all in this weekly email. 

Just know that we are being obedient, and we are working hard to fulfil our purpose as missionaries, which is to invite others to come unto Christ.


¡Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I hope my English is as bad as yours"

So, this week was a lot of change.
I'll give you a quick day by day update.
Monday,
Elder Vera and I got haircuts and then went out to Málaga to play softball with the rest of our (new) zone. It was a ton of fun. Perhaps the most fun p-day that I have ever had. We had a great time there, and then went home to finish packing up his suitcases (he got transfered), and then we went and taught G, the recent convert here in Marbella. She is awesome, and we are trying to get her to prepare to serve a mission.
Tuesday,
My last district meeting as Fuengirola District leader.  Elder Vera and I prepared for the district meeting by going and eating Churros and chocolate (they were super good...)Inline image 1
And then we drove out to Fuengirola to meet up with the rest of the district. We had a good meeting, and afterwards, we spent some time writing memories and stuff to each other. That was good. Afterwards, I picked up one of the office elders and Hermana Fulsom, dropped off Elder Vera and Hermana Hurtado at the train station, and we went to the mission home to prepare for Trainer's training.

Then, I got my son!!!

Elder Moore is a machine. He is from Florida, plays soccer, trombone, and is just as nerdy and quirky as me! I am so happy. We are going to get along super well these next 3 months.
We are super obedient, super hard workers, and together, we are super humble.
However, his first day he said to me, ''Elder Oliver, I hope you take this as a compliment, but I hope that when I have 15 months in the mission, my English is as bad as yours.''

...


...


Thanks...
Haha, well, at least I know my Spanish is really good. That makes 1 out of 3 languages.

Due to our super-obedience and dedication to give everything to the Lord, we have seen some pretty serious miracles here in Marbella. Our investigators are progressing, and Golden investigators fall out of the sky as if we had the Midas Touch.
We've taught lots of lessons, and found lots of new people. And have had lots of car problems. Left and right. Up and down... Seriously, sometimes I feel like I don't ever want to buy a car of my own after the mission.


(Duct tape repair job)

I love the mission. There is nowhere I would rather be. This song describes my feelings here in the mission field. Every day I leave my apartment. Every person that I find on the streets and in their homes. Listen to it. Think of your memories of the mission, or future opportunities to serve. (He posted Phil Collins' song "On My Way.")
Love you all!
¡Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

Oh yeah, and My birthday is this week!! Woohoo! 20!!

I'm Just Tired (Letter from Oct 27)

As you can see, the subject of this email explains how we feel after this week.
Every night, crashing on the bed, dead. No energy left, and the only thing that matters is sleep.

That's all right. It feels good to have worked so hard. I know that the Lord is pleased with what we gave this week.

As a mission, we had a goal of finding 888 new investigators in one week. As a mission, we dedicated ourselves to working harder than ever. Finding in every situation, and teaching while we were finding. Sunday night, we got a text message, 

''For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it beaccording to their faith.'' 2 Nephi 27:23

It is how it is. We did it... 897

It was quite the week. As a companionship, we didn't make our goal of 25 new investigators. However, we did really well, and as a district, we averaged 10 new investigators each companionship.

We worked hard with the youth this last week. Driving to and from the pueblos, knocking on doors, and contacting in the street. They really learned how missionary work should be. Hard, but fun.

J should be getting his mission call within the next 3 weeks, and R should be getting his in January. I'm really excited for these two machines to get out into the field. They are going to be fantastic missionaries.

We saw all sorts of miracles this week. Our week before the week of finding, was one of the slowest weeks that I have had in months. Since Algeciras. We were really nervous about the week of finding, and having to try and lead a district by example in finding. So, we set really high goals, worked our behinds off, and the Lord saw our sacrifice and was glad. By His hand we found many people, and of these many people, many of them are truly searching for the truth. 

Let us give thanks to Him for all that He gives us!


And best of all, We're going to play baseball!!! Our district got changed to the Málaga zone, and today we are going out there to go play baseball and have a BBQ!!

Like I said, the mission should be hard work, and hard play.

¡Os quiero mucho!

Elder Oliver


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So many things to do; so little time!

This week, we are having a week of finding, as a mission. We have a goal of finding 888 new investigators this week in preparation for the the new transfer. That means each companionship needs to find 9 or more news this week.

Elder Vera and I have lots of faith. We like to set high goals, even though sometimes we don't meet them. This week he and I have set a goal of finding 25 new investigators. That is a lot. Like, so many I can't even describe how absurd somebody sounds when they say they want to find that many news. However, we've got Jesus on our side-- the same Jesus that helped us out in our week of 100 futures. And we also have Rodrigo!  Seriously, if this ward does one thing really well, it is create young men that want to serve. Rodrigo recently decided to serve a mission, so we are doing week-long splits this week. I am working all the pueblos (which really never have been worked before) and Elder Vera is working Marbella. We have gotten 4 so far this week!

I don't have much time to write today, because we have sacrificed our preparation day in hope that we will be able to find lots of news this week. It is something that you don't do very often in the mission, because P-day time is next to sacred, haha. However, if the Lord sees our sacrifice, he will reward our efforts, right?   Right.

I just want you all to know, that I am still loving this work. There is nothing I would rather be doing right now with my life, than this. I find such joy in inviting others to come unto Christ because I know that they can be happy just like me, if they apply the teachings of the Gospel to their lives.

I'm excited to train. It will be a good experience. I no longer am afraid that I won't be good enough or that we won't get along, because nothing like that will get in my way of helping other people come unto Christ. 

I love you all! Read your scriptures! Say your Prayers! Listen to the voice of God!
¡Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gemelos!

As I embark on my journey through the college application process (which I should have done before the mission) I realize that I have some severe disadvantages. The main one, is that I really struggle putting together sentences in an educated manner.
Expansive vocabulary? Nope. Ability to deftly dance through English's syntactical sea? Tampoco.
Words, structure, and process of other languages? Que va!
Anyway, I have had a fantastic week so far. We have working really hard on helping people progress spiritually by leaving them commitments. Very specific, and very personal commitments, so that as they go about doing these things, they can look back and say, woah! I really have changed!
That is the best. Change. In fact, this week we taught a woman the Plan of Salvation.
(http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation)
During the lesson, she made several intuitive leaps, commenting on things she learned by processing the new information. As we finished explaining the plan, she said something really awesome, for a missionary. ''Knowing that I was with God before, really makes my life more meaningful. It makes my relationship with him more personal. I want to do everything that I can to be able to return to him.''
We sat there for a few moments, and let the Holy Spirit work his magic. This woman remembered! She realized that God really is her Father, and that he has created a plan for her. Through faith, repentance, and baptism, she can receive the Holy Ghost, which will help her to learn and progress until the end.
We have seen all sorts of nice little miracles this week, things that have really helped us feel like we are doing the Lord's work in the way that he wants us to do it.
I got a call on Friday night from one of the sister missionaries in my district. I answered the phone, and she says 'you're going to be a dad again!' And I thought, 'wow, that sounds really weird.' Just to fill you in, in the Mission, when a missionary is chosen to train a new missionary, they become the Dad, or Mom. Depending if they are an Elder or a Sister. Now, missionaries need two parents, so if there is a new elder, the oldest sister missionary is his mom. If a new sister missionary comes, the District Leader is the dad. So, Sister F was called to train another missionary (her 4th trainee, by the way) and I am the District leader, so I am Dad! Haha.  I already have one daughter, Hermana H, the current trainee of Hermana F.
I got to thinking about how much time in the mission I have, about everything that I have learned here, and then though, oh no! I don't have a successor! I have no sons! I commented this to Elder V, and said, ''I think it would be cool to have a son. But maybe that isn't what the Lord wants. Maybe this isn't the right moment. Maybe I'm like Abraham. Maybe I'm just sterile.''
Not two seconds had passed by after saying this, than I got a phone call. I thought to myself, 'haha, that would be funny if that were president Deere' and I looked at the phone. 
----Pres. Deere----
and my stomach dropped.
I knew why he was calling, and suddenly, I felt really weak, incapable, and like I just wasn't ready to take on more responsibility.
''Hey President! This is Elder Oliver!''
''Hey Elder Oliver! How are you?    ----a little bit of chatting/small talk-----
Elder Oliver, I have an assignment for you. Are you willing to accept?
Sure thing, president!

So, not only will I have a daughter this transfer, but I will have a son as well! Gemelos!
He called me to train a new Elder, which is a pretty serious responsibility. The trainer is frequently the most important companion that a missionary will have. I have had lots of thoughts on whether or not I will be a good Dad. Will I trust in the Lord enough? Will I be a good example? Will he even like me? But then I look to the example of my Dad, Elder R. I have learned a lot from him. And I feel like the Lord will help me be whatever he needs me to be. Just pray with me that I can be humble and be teachable.

What should I name him? Haha.
Love you lots!
Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver
Have a great week!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Long, Detailed Email (According to Elder Oliver)

Well, this week was an interesting week. We saw lots of little miracles, and we were able to feel the love of the Lord in our lives.

We had the opportunity to listen to the living prophet and the 12 apostles this weekend discourse about various topics. I really loved the underlying theme of love and service. How we need to be more Christlike.

As a mission, we are reading the Book of Mormon together, and we are going to finish before the end of the year. Right now, I am in the middle of the Isaiah quotes of 2 Nephi, and, for the first time in my life, it doesn't confuse me! I'm not saying that I understand everything, (especially because I am reading in Spanish) but that I am not boggled by his writings.

One thing that could be helping me out, is that I am studying Hebrew...   WHAT?? WHY?? You may ask, haha. That is alright, I don't really know. I just had a desire to learn something completely new that would allow me to expand my learning and application of the gospel to my life. I can read the language, and I have a basic understanding of the grammar now. What is even cooler, is that as I learn, bits and pieces of Hebrew words that I have picked up through my life (random Hebrew words in the Bible, Fiddler on the Roof, etc.) have started falling into place.

I suddenly have a much better understanding of the style of Isaiah's writings, and his use of imagery.

My district here is the best. We have had a lot of fun watching the General Conference together. We learned so much that can help the people we know.

To follow up on the woman that got kicked out of her house, just know, that God is taking care of them. They are living in a little cabin for a few more days, and then they will move on. It is a rough process, moving between house and house. But since when were the people of God not nomadic?

At the end of this transfer, we are losing one of my dear Arizona buddies, Elder Oldroyd. He's heading back to Mesa.

I hope to be as good a missionary as him some day.

We have started teaching a whole bunch of English speakers, and yesterday we set 2 baptismal dates (for the 25th of October). Pray for us! Pray for them!

Keep up the good work, and let the Lord work miracles in our lives.
Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver

He sent some pictures (and if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I guess it is a long email after all), but no descriptions, so your guess is as good as mine.


 Looks like he's making green smoothies?  Good boy, getting his veggies!

 Pajama day?  I'm not quite sure what's going on here!  

Monday, September 29, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Hey ya'll!

I believe yall is the informal 2nd person plural of American English. Unused in most lands, but prevalent in Southern territories. 

So, regarding the title of this email, this week was even rougher than the last. With the sudden change of weather, people have changed. Which was the least of our problems. We just talk to more people, so we can continue finding as many as we used to.

Remember the woman that was going to be kicked out of her house? Well, she got kicked out, and this week was really hard and really stressful for all of us, because the ward was not capable of helping (there are lots of people here that have needed help). The situation was dismal. There was little hope that she would be able to find a roof under which to sleep, and there was increasing amounts of rain, which makes sleeping on the streets even less appealing.

We were at her house-- which she was able to stay in until Sunday-- and she had all her suitcases packed. Today (Monday) she will be leaving. We sat and talked for a while about how the Lord tests us, and how sometimes, he waits until the very last second to rescue us. 

So, we prayed fervently with her that the Lord might deliver her from having to live on the street, and we read the story about Abraham, when they go up to the mountain to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. We talked about how Abraham must have thought, 'What am I to do? This is my only son!' And he thought that until he got to the altar. Pleading, 'Lord, deliver us!' as he tied up his son. Even till he raised the knife. But, he passed the test. The Lord delivered Isaac out of danger, and provided a lamb, that they might offer a sacrifice. 

Abraham had his suitcases packed, and was handing the keys to the Landlord, but he kept the faith. And we see what the end was.

So, how did this conversation end? We prayed, and we humbled ourselves, and we offered all the faith that we had to God. And then, the phone rang.

On the line was an Angel. The rescuing angel that brought the answer to all of our problems. Well, for a week. But, it was a man that offered this poor family a room for a week, which keeps them off the streets one week more.

A week isn't very long, but the Lord only gave the Israelites 1 days worth of Manna, every day.


Seamos humildes.
Dejemos que obre milagros el Señor.


Love you lots.
Not much else happened that is worth writing. Other major miracles occurred this week, but I won't share them today.



Os quiero mucho!
Elder Oliver