Monday, June 30, 2014

Pictures for the last stretch

So anyways, this will be a short email but as you can see from the pictures, we're having a great time out here. The work of salvation is hastening and it is the most rewarding cause I have ever been apart of. Even when it sometimes gets hard to stay focused because I am leaving so soon, the Lord ALWAYS gives me the extra strength I need to keep pushing harder.
It has been easy for God to teach me new things during this time because of how mentally, spiritually and emotionally drained I feel. In other words, I am completely "broken" after each day because of how demanding the work is. I have learned great lessons about the nature of God. I have learned for myself recently that God is not just an "eternal perspective God" where someday in the future we will reach Him and go home and feel His love. He is a"day by day" God. He has been my God "day by day" throughout my mission. Day by day I have felt His love and His strength. I can feel at home with Him or AT-ONE with Him day by day.
I remember first coming out and looking ahead to the future, two years in advance, and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Sometimes we feel that way in our daily lives because of how far away eternal life or perfection seems. We look ahead towards our goals and begin to realize how inadequate we are today and how weak and small we may feel today. We may feel that only when we reach "our goal" can we find peace, strength, hope and 'rest'. I have learned for myself that is not completely true. We can have peace, hope and rest today. He will give us the strength we need to endure day by day. Most of the time "enduring to the end" can seem so overbearing and overwhelming because of how much further we have to go. Sometimes enduring to the end is simply being able to endure well to the end of each day. We can take it one day at a time and God will help us one day at a time until eventually, someday (as in the case of my mission) we look up and realize that we have 3 weeks left of "our missions" and that He has shaped us to become someone we never thought we could become. I am a living witness that God is with us each day of our "missions". He is there to let us feel His love today. We can feel His peace and rest today. We can find the strength we need through the Atonement to endure to the end of today. He is a personal Savior and He has been and will continue to be my personal Savior.
I hope you all are happy because there is so much to be grateful for. Go out and do good today!
Much love.
Elder Dallin Cutler

These are my crazy companeros. Freakin love these dudes.

this is our ward mission leader. he was baptized 4 years ago. he's a baller. love him.

"planning prayers"

one more of the baptism.

this is the baptism we had for lizzi this past Saturday. Super spiritual baptism.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I am so grateful.

This past week was nuts. We double booked everyday with appointments and went on splits every single day to cover more ground. It was so dope. Time is flying by and its a bittersweet feeling.
We will be having a baptism this weekend for a girl named Lizzy. She is 20 years old and has the cutest one year old boy I have ever met in my life. We met her about a month ago and she has some amazing faith. It has been so fun to watch her countenance change over such a short period of time as she has prayed and read the Book of Mormon. It is such a cool experience to watch other people connect with God and receive revelation for their own life. God is so active in our lives on a day to day basis.  It will be such a sweet experience to watch her make this covenant with God this Saturday. I am so excited for her.
I don't have a lot of time but I want to share a quote that has become real in my life throughout the course of my mission.
"The condition of our soul limits the impact, not amount, of God's love in our lives."
I know this to be 100% true. As our soul becomes more refined through repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the love of God becomes a more active force to impact and influence our lives. It is always there, but it is activated as a more powerful influence through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance through His Atonement. This has been happening in my life.
I have to go to a doctors appointment for my companion. Sorry it had to be short. Love you all.
Elder Dallin Cutler

Monday, June 16, 2014

He is personally acquainted with us, "one by one".

Being in a trio opens up so many possibilities. We are able to go on splits all the time. We are getting double the work done in the area right now with double the appointments. Each night this week we have double booked our appointments. Pretty soon we are going to be coordinating 3 way splits so that we can all go with a different members and cover three times the amount of work. I love this area. 

I have been reminded this week that God loves us personally and is very sensitive and aware of us. He answers every sincere prayer in His own time, but He is never late. It never ceases to amaze me that He is able to do this. He has children everywhere. Each one of His children is dealing with different circumstances, challenges and trials. We meet these children on a daily basis and as disciples of Christ, we have covenanted to be instruments in the Lord's hands. It can be stressful and demanding as we try to meet the needs of other people at the right time and in the right place with the right words. The fact of the matter is that the circumstances of God's children change on a regular basis and so do their needs and wants, including ours. We cannot meet the needs of God's children without God.

I realize that I am an imperfect human being with a limited capacity to serve, love, and understand other people. I just can't do it alone. God is the only One who knows His children perfectly. He knows what they need when they need it and how they need it.  He lets us know what they need and when they need it through the gentle impressions and thoughts that come to our minds as we listen to the Holy Ghost. This is my favorite quote out of Preach My Gospel. Joseph Smith said, "This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed”  It is so important to obey the promptings that are revealed to us by God through His Spirit. As we do we will be able to accomplish His purposes and meet the needs of His children at the right time. We will accomplish things over, above and beyond our own limited abilities and understanding.  

I want to share one of the many promptings I received this week because it's still fresh on my mind. Yesterday, all of our appointments fell through right before dinner so we had a feeling to go knock on the door of someone we met a week ago. We knocked and he wasn't there but a feeling came to my mind that we needed to stay in that area. I had noticed a home and a car on our way into the neighborhood about 100 yards away from where we were and had a "slight thought" to go walk down the hill and knock on the door. It was hot and I didn't necessarily want to, but I paid closer attention and we turned around and started walking towards the house. We got to the door and knocked. A young girl who had to be about 16 years old opened the door with tears in her eyes and mascara all over her face. She told us that right now was not a good time. We told her that we had a feeling to come offer and say a prayer with her and her family. Her eyes lit up and she told us that right before we came, she had just received really bad news about her grandpa. We were able to pray with her and her friend. A calm peace came over all of us as we prayed and I knew at that moment that God needed us at that time in that specific place saying that prayer. Only God could've known that one of His 16 year old daughters in Midwest City, Oklahoma was sitting in her home crying because of the bad news that she had just received. I probably will never know what happened after the prayer, but I do know that God was sensitive to her needs at that time. He sent comfort and peace to that 16 year old girl through revelation adapted to her circumstances. Many times we receive these promptings that push us out of our comfort zones and we brush them aside. When we choose not to act on the promptings we receive, we miss out on priceless opportunities to witness for ourselves the intimate love and concern that God has for His children. 

I love you all. Hope you know how much God really does care. If you don't feel like He cares about you, stop thinking about yourself and go answer someone else's prayer today. I promise if you do, you will witness His love.

Elder Dallin Cutler

Not sure if I sent this one before, but this is the wagers. Sister Wagner was baptized a couple months ago too

This is our apartment. The greatest recliner in the world :)

I don't know what this is because I can't see the thumbnail haha

This is what a normal day looks like in our planner

This is our weekly planning. Happens once a week.

This was a couple of months ago during a tornado warning. :)

Elder Santa Maria and I right before some service.

This is the Dalrymples!! Stephanie got baptized a couple months ago

This is out pet cat :)

From left to right. Elder Ott, Elder Carter, Elder Gardner, Me

Wake up for a morning' run. #hardCoreParkour

Monday, June 9, 2014

The last 5 weeks.

The saddest day of a missionary's life. Transfer calls for the last transfer. But, GOOD news nonetheless. I am "dying" in the Midwest City ward. Couldn't be more excited. I did ask President to send me back to Edmond or Stillwater in a bike area for the last transfer so I wouldn't die a zone leader but he laughed at me. I think he thought I was joking. Anyways I love this area so much. I also get to stay with Elder Gardner and we will be training a new Zone Leader again. So we will have another companion. His name is Elder Bushman and he's originally from Arizona. I have served around him since the beginning of his mission and he's a cool cat, so it should be a fun last couple of weeks. Anyways, I am here to stay in a trio. It'll be a good time.
So we had another baptism this past weekend for Amber Kagley. She is such a faithful girl. The first time we met her she was angry at God and did not believe that He loved her. Hearing her share her testimony is so powerful because of the process that she has undergone to get to where she is today. My testimony of the Godhead has been strengthened through this process. I want to share a couple of details from her story with all of you.
Amber grew up in Utah when she was really young. She is native American and had seen missionaries all the time where she lived but never knew what they were or why they were dressed up. She moved to Oklahoma and started working at Braums (a restaurant out here). Well one day, the missionaries walked into Braums and she describes having a "sudden feeling" to just blurt out "who are you guys?" She is a pretty quiet girl so she said that it felt super weird for her to do that. Well the missionaries invited her to church that week and she came! It surprised them. Well I got transferred to Midwest City the week after she came for the first time and we started teaching her. Long story short, she faced a lot of opposition. She wanted her parents approval to be baptized and so she asked and they said "no". So she came back and told us that she would probably have to wait a year until she moved out. There was nothing really we could do about that. We prayed and fasted as to what to say and the story of Nephi going back to get the plates came to mind over and over. Baptism is a commandment and we knew the Lord had already prepared a way for Amber to keep that commandment. We asked her to go back "and get the plates" and to ask her mom one more time. She was denied again. So after that time, we were a little disheartened. All we could do was turn her to God. We invited her to fast and pray with us that her parent's hearts would be softened. She fasted with us for the first time that sunday and then we invited her to set her own baptismal date. She prayed for two weeks and came to a conclusion. We waited for her to talk to her mom the third time and one day she came up to us at church and said that she was ready to do it. It had taken about a month, but she had received an answer from God on His time. She was so excited. She prayed that night that she would have an opportunity to bring it up to her mom again and it was given. Her mom was excited for her this time around and she was baptized unto repentance this weekend. :) She is going to the temple this week with us this Thursday to do baptisms.
What did I learn? The best feeling in the world is when we are able to successfully help others re-connect with their Heavenly Father. He is the guiding hand and He knows better than we do. It took a lot of fasting, prayer, and patient diligence. There was nothing spectacular about it, other than the fact that she overcame opposition through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She prayed, and received. I know that God speaks, not spake.
We have seen some really cool miracles lately as well. I will share one more. We are teaching another family over here named the Morrells. We went by one night and their neighbor, who is 16 years old was over there. His name is Michael. 4 weeks ago he was hit by a car and shattered his arm. The night we stopped by he was complaining about how bad his arm hurt and how the pain never stopped. We offered to give him a blessing and told him that we would use the same authority that Jesus gave his apostles in the New Testament. We looked him in the eyes and asked him if he believed that Jesus worked miracles. He said yes. We than asked him if he had the faith to be healed. He said yes. We laid our hands upon him and commanded his body to heal. We then left. A week later we came back and heard that the very next morning he was able to move his arm and twist it. He was able to take his brace off and move his fingers too. Not only that, but the pain had completely subsided the very next morning. They were so excited to tell us.
What did I learn? God works according to faith. The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven. The authority of the priesthood has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The power of the priesthood is restored in us through righteous living and is activated through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As priesthood holders, we have been given authority to act in the name of Christ for the salvation of God's children, but the power is activated through faith in Jesus Christ.
God is a God of miracles. He will not "leave us comfortless, He will come" to you. All He asks is for our willful obedience.
Elder Dallin Cutler

the third one is the kitty that we have as a "pet". She can never come in, even though she wants to. We feed her and pet her and her name is "cat". :)

 the second one is how e. gardner and I ice our feet hahaha :)

 So these two are of the girl we baptized this weekend. Such a COOL girl. She is going to the temple for the first time this Thursday with us.

 The first one is "the letter" ;)

The last one is Kara's wedding announcement. Me and Elder Gardner had WAY too much fun that night hahahahhah :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

"He will direct your paths..."

This week was a great learning experience. It has taught me numerous lessons about God's nature and how He answers our prayers and reveals things to us. I think if I could boil it down to one principle it is that God reveals "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little...." (Isaiah 28:10).
I'll be short today, but at the start of the week, I would have never guessed that I would be in the situation I am in now. I can't believe all that has changed so quickly and how involved God is in our lives. I won't go into details but to keep the story short, I will be returning to BYU this year to play soccer instead of the University of San Diego. I don't know all the reasons why and frankly I don't have to. I think that God has given me this experience so that I can understand a little better how the people we are teaching feel. Decision making is difficult because decisions determine destiny. It is so important to make decisions with the help of our Heavenly Father because He sees the end from the beginning and we don't. Our perspective is so limited but God's is limitless. I have a stronger testimony today than I did yesterday that when we strive to make righteous decisions in our lives no matter the cost, life works together for our good. Romans 8:28teaches us this principle.... "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to HIS PURPOSE" If we make decisions out of love and a desire to be obedient to our Heavenly Father, all things will work together for good.
Alot of great things are happening out here in Midwest City. We have another baptism this weekend for an 18 year old girl. She is the only member in her family and she has an extremely cool conversion story that I will share with you all some other time. We have known her for about 7-8 months I want to say. She has had a long road to take to baptism, but her faith got her where she is today. Her experience has taught me the importance of having a personal line of communication with our Heavenly Father. All that she is today is a result of her personal relationship with her Heavenly Father. She prays, she dilligently strives to be obedient, and she gets answers. Funny how it works out that way.
I am nearing the end of my mission but I feel as if we have never worked harder. I have never felt more focused or at home than I do right now. I made a promise to myself in the MTC that I would return with honor, and that is what I have intended and still intend to do to the very end of my life. I am grateful for a compassionate and loving Savior who understands my weaknesses and forgives me nonetheless. He is the way. There is none other.
Elder Dallin Cutler

 Here are a few pics from the OKC!!