Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tornado's, Baptisms, Miracles. 12 apostles, and overalls...

This week was nuts. Just when me and Elder Salmon thought we couldn't get busier, it happened and surprise surprise, I am getting transferred to Stillwater, Oklahoma. We will be working on the OSU campus in the summer...no bueno haha. 

So this past week the biggest tornado people have ever seen destroyed Moore, Oklahoma where our mission home and mission office are located. Luckily everything and everyone in the mission was prepared and were all safe. The tornado happened last Monday while me and Elder Salmon were golfing...ironic I know. We could see the tornado in the distance because it was only about 20 miles away but we were told it wouldn't get us. When we got the call about how destructive it was, we put the golf clubs down and went to organize everyone and prepare everyone in our zone. Casual game of golf. Whatevs. 

So anyways, we got a text from president on tuesday to go buy boots and gloves and jeans, but me and elder salmon heard that we were supposed to buy boots gloves and overalls. ;) We were told that we could be called at any minute of any day to get down to moore to help with the clean up. Until we got called we went about our normal activities and taught a ton of people. Here was a COOL couple of miracles that happened.

So Wednesday we had a lesson planned for every single hour of the day. We taught for 9 straight hours and went from appointment to appointment. Thursday was the same thing, except we had a lesson with a new investigator that we found a couple of weeks ago. She is 85 years old. She lives with her daughter and her husband who are members. They are the VonTungeln's. Coolest family ever. So we went over to their house to teach Sister Tinsley for the first time and we sit down to teach and she ended up teaching us. She said "The first time i met you elders, there was a glow about you. You guys stand out and every time I am around you guys, I feel the Spirit. You have a different light from others." She went on to tell us that "I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet without a doubt in my mind and that the Book of Mormon is true. I have read it and I know he could not have made it up." Right before our eyes we were witnessing a miracle that had been in process for 85 years. The Lord had prepared this woman to meet us. She is getting baptized in two weeks and all we had to do, is open our mouths up and invite her to listen. Sometimes it's that simple.

Right after that lesson we went to an investigators house. We have had some struggles with this guy. Last week he dropped us and told us he would never read the Book of Mormon and he didn't want to come to church with us. We stopped by anyways. When we got there, he had a friend over who lived next door who we were also teaching. When we walked in the environment was terrible. Horrible music and they were all smoking and it was just a nasty feeling. We asked them if we could study from the Bible because he wouldn't study from the Book of Mormon. So we started reading out of James chapter 3 about faith and works and obedience to God's commandments. We asked them what they could do in their lives to be more obedient and what they could give up. Corey started to open up to us and told us that the reason he wouldn't read the Book of Mormon was because when he read it, he had a feeling that kept pushing him to read it and he didn't like to be pushed. He told us it was constantly on his mind and that it was getting annoying. We taught him about the Spirit again and told him that's what he was feeling. At this point, the spirit in the lesson was the strongest I have ever felt it in my mission. It was surreal. Long story short, by the end of the lesson, they were teaching each other about baptism and the Book Of Mormon and they both committed each other to be baptized on June 15. Once again, all we had to do was to help others feel the spirit and miracles happened. "Teach the gospel, use words if necessary"...

We also had three baptisms this saturday!! Pedro and Alvaro Huerta and then Adrian Holley! they are the coolest kids ever. I will send pics later. It was really cool to witness those three baptisms!

Last thing was the cool news that we got about the Gauvin family and the 12 Apostles. Remember how I told you guys about my encounter with Elder Andersen when he visited a couple of weeks how he knew me by name and that I played soccer? Well turns out that Elder Andersen told Elder Nelson about all of that and Elder Nelson is now spotlighting the Gauvin Family and the conversion process in his worldwide broadcast training about missionary work that is being translated into 7 different languages. The Gauvins are now being prepped for camera crews who will be here all this week to film their conversion process. Members in the Edmond 3rd ward are being contacted by Salt Lake because many people were involved in this process. I am SO pumped for all yall to see the Gauvin Family and the Edmond 3rd ward interviewed in this broadcast. Truly, it was a miraculous experience that I am so blessed to have witnessed. The Lord works in mysterious ways. The Gauvins will now be a light in helping bring to pass many many other conversions throughout the world. All because one ward decided to come together for the Lords work and exercise a particle of faith. Truly amazing. 

Well it has been a crazy week filled with a whole mix of emotions. Serving with Elder Salmon has been such a blessing this transfer. I have learned so much from him and from the people I have met in Yukon. Not to mention the prank they pulled on me last week. Long story short, i ended up eating 4 Calf Fries (cow testicles) not even knowing what they were. I was disgusted when i found out. But hey, good story right? ;) 

i love you guys!! I have a testimony that miracles happen and that the Spirit is real and that God and Jesus Christ live. I know it and I love it. 

Love always,

Elder Cutler 

the night before the tornado. this is a wall cloud.  

this was a neighborhood we were assigned to at one point 

this was a hospital. leveled.

this is a house we began to clean up behind us. 

the news doesn't do the damage justice. 

this Pedro and Alvaro huerta. Cool kids. One is a rapper and the other is a soccer player!!

this is adrian holley

after some tornado clean up with the bros. 

i love elder hanes. good times always

some of the fellow misioneros. love em all!! we we were dead tired that day!

My brother. We saw SO MANY miracles this transfer. I have never had more fun on my mission then i did with this kid. 

   we did work with this guy. not a member. he came to work with us though. so cool.

Elder Bushman is from Arizona and Elder Peterson is from Logan Utah. Love these elders. 

sometimes you have to have a sense of humor after these things and realize how blessed you are. this guy did. 

Elder Winterton and Elder Peterson.  Winterton is from Pleasant Grove. 

This is the VonTungelns and Sister Tinsley. Sister tinsley is the one right next to me. Such a sweetheart. 

We have been staying with Brother Barlow for the past week cause our apartment has so much mold and I fell in love with his dog named angel. She tried to steal kisses from me every night. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Una otra Semana

So to be frank...being a missionary is legit. It is just perfect. All you have to worry about is others. How perfect is that? Wake up, study from the scriptures and then you get to go out and talk to people about Christ the WHOLE day and not worry one second about anything else but other people. What a blessing it is to be a full time representative of Jesus Christ. It is something that we can ALL have. :)
The Holy Ghost has been on my mind recently. I think one of the greatest things I have learned on my mission is how to recognize and use the Spirit. The Spirit is real. It is a personage and has personality and character traits just like we do. The better we get to know who the Holy Ghost is the better we are able to recognize when we are being influenced by it. It truly is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. I feel so happy constantly when we qualify for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. As we continue to apply the doctrine of Christ, we receive a greater PORTION of the Spirit. It comes in portions as we live worthy of our covenants. It truly will make us happy.
So we got transfer doctrine early. Me and Elder Salmon are staying in Yukon together for another 6 weeks. We are STOKED. We should have at least 5 baptisms coming up within the next 4 weeks. They are planned for now. This ward has really just been on fire. It is an amazing ward. We are teaching almost every lesson it seems like in a members home and we are continuing to find new people through the network because the faith is so high in this ward. It is so cool to see. We hit 20 member present lessons this past week which goes to show how awesome this ward is and how hard they are working to continue to progress the work of the Lord. To be quite honest, we are doing nothing special as missionaries. I am constantly in awe at 3 things.
1. How simple yet powerful the Gospel of Jesus Christ is.
2. How weak we as human beings are when we don't rely on God for all things.
3. How God's power can transform weak things into strong vessels as we keep an eye snigle to His glory.
 Obedience, faith, and love will move mountains...no matter what kind of "mountains" we are facing. Its really that simple. A lot of missionaries will always try and over complicate things. Why? God is a simple God. He tells us what we need to do in simple terms. Keep His commandments and have faith in Him. Then we "shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in Him". Stick to the basics.
I hope yall are doing well. I really love the people out here and just Oklahoma in general. I can't imagine being somewhere different. It feels like home. Keep writing me! I will try and write everyone back before my mission ends. That's a promise. Keep on simplifying. :)
love yall.
Elder Dallin Cutler

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Let the good times roll.

This week was one of the busiest weeks of my mission. We had a lot going on that had to do with administering to the mission. So last Monday night, I was able to go back to Edmond because I had to pick up another inhaler from Dr. Orgill because I am literally dying from allergies out here. Its pretty chill. So on the way we stopped by the Gauvins and man it was so good to seem them!! Then when we got to the Orgills, Sister Orgill had whipped up some "crack pancakes" which by the way are the greatest pancakes i have ever had. She is the reason I gained so much weight in Edmond. She'll have her reward....;) haha

But after that was the start of a very busy week. Being a Zone Leader has a lot of downsides just because it seems like you are always in a car, or meetings. You don't get to spend as much time in your own area as you like. Tuesday we had a historical Mission Leadership Conference which now replaces Zone Leader Conferences because apparently sister missionaries now play a leadership role in ministering to the sisters in the mission. So they came to the meeting and that lasted basically all of Tuesday day. Wednesday we did a specialized Zone Training for our Zone and it was so cool. We got special permission to take them to the temple and then we had a short training on "the role of revelation in our lives in understanding who we can become as children of a God". Basically we asked everyone to spiritually prepare and come to the temple pondering these two things. 
1. What kind of person/missionary does the Savior expect me to become?
2. We don't truly know who we are until we know whose we are. Then we will act accordingly.
They took those things to the temple and miracles happened. The spirit was so strong and we all learned something about ourselves and our roles as children of a God. The Temple really made me think deeply about all the problems in the world and within our own personal lives. I believe very strongly that everything that we do that turns us from God is a result of not knowing who we really are and the potential we have. If we could truly know that, the trials that we face in this life would seem so trivial compared to the glory and happiness that awaits us in the next life. And that's just it, we need to overcome our "natural man" tendencies to view our lives in the mortal perspective and instead view what we go through in the eternal perspective. That comes as we exercise faith in Christ and as we continually re-commit to living a more Christ centered life each day aka....repent.  That is how we gain access to the Atonement which then motivates and lifts us to higher levels of living the Gospel of Christ. But then again, some people have a "knowledge" of what awaits them in the next life, some people truly grasp that. The difference is having a knowledge of something, and actually believing it. As we do things that will help us feel the Spirit, the Spirit can then witness that we are the Children of God and we have divine potential to become like Him, and that witness is more powerful than any physical evidence that we could ever receive. 

Thursday we had a baptismal interview for a woman named Heather Brink who is getting baptized this weekend. In short, Heather is an inspiration to anyone in the world. She has gone through more than anyone I have ever met and I have learned so much from her example. We are excited for her. 

Friday we left early in the morning to do an exchange with the missionaries in Clinton, OK and Elk City, OK which is about 2 hours from where we live #roadtrips #IMissJBiebs. It reminded me of the roadtrips we always went on back home. #yolo. When we got there, I spent the day with Elder Beus who is the District Leader down in Clinton. He is such a good missionary. I loved learning everything that he had to teach me. He is spiritual and has a way of loving everyone he meets. We saw so many miracles that night and set a new baptismal date with a new investigator and found 4 more new investigators. Saturday was my birthday and I completely forgot it was until Elder Hanes texted me in the morning. Love that kid. Birthday's on the mission are pretty quick!! Thank you all for the letters and cards I received. It really made my day a whole lot happier!! I love you guys. 

Well i am getting sick of typing. So i am going to stop because you get the point that my week was busy. The last story i will tell you is something that happened last night. It was a really cool experience that taught me that importance of first observing, then serving. Does that sounds familiar? :)

Last night we were on the way to an appointment. We were driving down the road when something caught my eye and I got a really warm feeling. I don't know why I had that feeling this time because we had passed by this apartment over and over again. I thought about it for 5 seconds and told Elder Salmon to pull over because he was driving. If there is one thing I have learned on my mission, it is to never second guess a prompting. Just do it if you feel it and it entices to do good. So I told him to turn around and we went back to this apartment complex. It was #12 that stuck out to me. It was the sketchiest apartment complex i have ever been in...meth everywhere. Anyways, we walk up the stairs and knock and right away he answers and yells at us to get lost. Sucker punch to the gonads. I knew we were there for a reason, so we went to another door. A girl of about 12 years answered it very politely and said we could say a prayer with her family but she needed to ask her dad. She went to ask him and we heard in the background some very colorful language and the door was slammed on us. Strike 2. I thought to myself that maybe God was just testing me to see if I would obey the prompting. I was okay with that so we started to walk down the steps to the truck and then a guy out of nowhere who had just gotten off his bike asked us who we were. He got off his bike and we started talking to him. He told us that he was at the worst point of his life thus far and that he had had an experience recently that led him to believe there was a God and that we was searching for answers. He was homeless and he fully admitted he was addicted to meth. He said he wanted to change. We said a prayer with him and said he would give us a call. Even if he doesn't I know we were where God needed us to be. This instance taught me that not only does God love ALL of his children very personally but He also knows physically where we are and can put people in our paths that are answers to prayers. How awesome is that. He is very aware. We have no idea sometimes. :)

I love you all! Thank you for the birthday wishes!! I can't believe my teen years are over....doesn't really mean anything, cause I am still the immature brat I always was ;) #sorrynotsorry

Remember to be Spirtually Minded ILife Eternal...so do me a favor and SMILE :)

love ya. 

Elder Dallin Cutler

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