Coming to a Close

I’d like to say I’ll send out and email next week, but I don’t trust myself that much. So this may be the last, we’ll see.
I have loved my mission so much. I really truly don’t feel like it’s ending, but that’s what they tell me. So many great things have happened this past while.
First off Mark Barrett got baptized this past Saturday. It was crazy. His baptism got moved from last week to this week then had to have two time changes and it was super frustrating, but it worked out at the end and was fantastic. Afterwards we went out with him and got Pho which made it that much better, haha.
President Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy came and vistied. My companion and I got to have 3 different meetings with him. He is a powerful guy. Really big too. He told me to not get trunky. True wisdom right there. Haha
My mission really has been the greatest experience of my life so far. I have not loved every minute of it, or do I feel the need to pretend to, but in all I’ve grown so much. Obviously not physically, I still look like I’m 14, but Spiritually. I was really really depressed for as long as I can remember. Since 4th grade I struggled with suicidal thoughts and just really didn’t like myself. I really just kept hoping that something would change, but it didn’t, until my mission. Somewhere around 6 months when I went to Stansbury Park I noticed a lot of change. I had a really hard companion, so I started fasting multiple times a week. I prayed a lot more and did so more sincerely. I studied the Book of Mormon more intently. There wasn’t one moment of change. Like Elder Bednar says, it was more like a sunrise. Gradually and not perceptible from one second to the next, but now I feel like I can say I am a “new creature in Christ”. The changes haven’t stopped, and hopefully won’t ever. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It changes lives. I’ve seen it in others, and now I see it in mine. I revere Joseph Smith for his role in the Restoration and through him I’ve been brought closer to Christ. I am still my weird, goofy, annoying self, but I am now a happy, weird, goofy, annoying self.
Love you all.
Do good, be good.
Elder Dolan

Three is a charm

Ahhh, I love my mission.
This week has been chalk full of great things!
We’ve been meeting with Mark often, even went to temple square. He is
really dedicated to everything. He’s a little weird at times, but a
good time. He is getting baptized this Saturday.
We took him and Carlos (our long term investigator), and a soon to be
missionary to the Saturday Afternoon Session. It was super awesome,
and I ran into a few familiar faces! I really loved General
Conference. There were so many talks that really stuck with me, but
both Christofferson and Eyring just gave me a lot to think about. The
last session would have been SO perfect for Carlos, but he had to take
care of some work stuff. He’s said he’ll watch it through the week
though.
John Bytheway, a somewhat well know LDS speaker came and talked to our
YSA Stake. He talked about different questions. Gotcha, Google, and
Golden Question. Gotcha are questions that are seeking to increase
understanding, Google is for information, and Golden is for Wisdom.
For Golden questions we need to go to God.
If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God.
If any of you lack information let him ask of Google.
He said a lot of good stuff, but that what stood out.
We also are talking with the Director of the LDS Institute at Salt
Lake Community College about doing a booth on campus with a
presentation of the first three lessons and stuff on religious freedom
and the church’s humanitarian efforts. We hope to attract a lot of
student. It’ll be done with the other two companionships, so it should
be fun!
On exchanges we ran into this family moving and helped for 3 hours and
then taught all 15 people (living in the 3 bedroom apartment) about
the restoration. It felt like the sermon on the mount. They were
excited about it and will be having missionaries in Georgia stop by.
A few months ago this one lady asked us to come over to give her
husband a blessing. He was dying, had two strokes. So, in my blessing
I felt inspired to say that miracles would happen that week, and that
he would be healed. We stopped by yesterday. He as chipper as ever and
he was suppose to lose his eyesight apparently, but now he has 20-20.
Talk about a miracle.
A lot more has happened, many miracles.
Love y’all
Be good.
Elder Dolan

Hello Friends and Family,

Today thus far has been really great. We went to the Salt Lake Temple this morning with our Zone and it was fantastic(which is why our P-day is Wednesday this week). I really enjoy being able to go to the temple so often. Every time is different and new things pop out. Sometime arbitrary, but other times- it’s just so cool.
So this week.
We met with Mark on Saturday, and he wants to be baptized! His baptism isĀ April 8th. He has a few commandments he’s going to have to figure out, but he’s just always so willing. In participates a lot in Sunday school and adds insight and it’s just really cool.
We also started meeting with a woman named Maelen (May-lin). She is super rad. She is 22 and recently divorced and has just started coming back to church. She has grown her testimony so much in just a short time. We have some fears though, haha. All the guys in the ward are clamoring over her, hopefully they don’t scare her off too quick. The bane of YSA.
We also had a meeting with our Mission President and some other missionaries. We talked about a lot of different things, but at one point we had some Returned Missionaries come in and they talked about how they adjusted to home life and things they wish they did better on their missions. It was really cool to see these missionaries again, and was a very timely training for me.
5 weeks. That’s it. I have 5 weeks to go full tilt.
I love my mission.
I love the Book of Mormon. Like for real though. That’s not just some like tagline or anything. I’m trying to finish the BoM before I go home ( I’m in like Alma 40) and going through it quicker has made me appreciate it so much more. The Book of Mormon really can help us with so much in our lives, even the small questions.
“The Church is true, The Book is Blue, and Moroni Stands on a ball” -Clayton Leavitt (Returned Missionary)
Love y’all,
Elder Dolan

This is an email

So, believe or not, I don’t have a lot of time, but this has been a great week!
Here’s my letter to President, cause that’s easier.

Our inquisitive investigator, Carlos, is making great strides. He told
us that one of the earlier times we met he felt something that could
be described as a warm fuzzy feeling or something, but without it
being consistent he is fearful to call it the spirit. So, we invited
him and quite a few members of the ward to fast for him. We haven’t
been able to talk about it to him yet, but I have a big testimony in
fasting and I’m sure there are going to be some changes.
We just started meeting with a new LA. Her name is Annikka. She has
had a pretty rocky past. She had to place her child for adoption and
has just struggled with that. But she said after we met she read 3
chapters and had a huge prayer answered and that just got her super
motivated. It’s been nice to see her change.
Mark, our newer investigator, is doing really well. He wasn’t feeling
well Sunday morning, but he “didn’t want to miss church”, so he came.
Great faith there.
We also just met a kid named Cole. Great Example of our WML finding
the right member. They both are into making music on their computer
and they both happen to like this less popular kind. So they clicked a
lot and now the member has taken over on the aspects of taking him to
church and everything. It’s pretty awesome!

In other news, we got transfer calls, I’m staying. I’m was so relieved
and I’m ready for these last 6 weeks.
We also hiked the Living Room today. It’s at the UofU and there are
chairs and stuff made out of the rocks there. I’m super burnt, but I
had a lot of fun. So that’s cool.
Do good, be good!
Love y’all!
Elder Dolan

Lucky 7

We got a new Elder in our Mission! His name is Elder Coco. He’s from
the Philippines and has been waiting for his Visa, well he finally got
it and came in. When we met him he hadn’t slept in 30 hours and hadn’t
eaten either, and then to add on he didn’t have any warm clothes. So
we took him out to buy stuff and then dropped him off with his
companions. He’s the coolest guy ever. He’s so sincere and excited for
the work.
Then he day after I got super sick. I was shaking really bad that
night and then I woke up drenched in sweat. Fun fun! Then for the rest
of the day I was just done. I would randomly get super cold and start
shaking and I felt like I was going to die. So cool. Then the next day
I was fine.
So beside that fun stuff we picked up a new guy, his name his Mark.
He’s really cool and really interested in the gospel. He has heard a
few people talk about it, but when we talked about the Restoration he
was just hooked in. He’s had a few like musculoskeletal diseases, so
he use to be in a wheelchair, but with a whole bunch of surgeries he’s
doing really well. He has also gotten in 4 motorcycle wrecks in the
past short while. Live life to its fullest I guess.
Things are going well all around. A lot of good things are coming up
and I’m loving my mission.
God is good!
Love y’all!
Elder Dolan

The True Converter

His week has been grand!
Carlos, are inquisitive friend has asked to now meet twice a week,
because he has so many questions! He’s taking everything increasingly
more serious. When we first met with him he was very very skeptical,
but a lot of that has seemed to go out the window. He’s been going to
Ward Visits (which is where active members (or Carlos) goes and
visited less-active members), gone to every FHE, service op, he just
took us out to a really nice Lebanese Restaurant, and he just asked us
about the dating culture in the church and is now planning on asking a
girl in the ward out on a date.
I love YSA.
Alondra dropped off the face of the world, which was sad, but she was
at church and we found out her phone has been dead, and she got a new
job with a weird schedule. She seems to love it!
Aubrey, our recent convert, just started Institute (religion classes),
also dating one of the members of the ward. She’s about to get her
Patriarchal Blessing and also a calling. Everything is just moving
fine and dandy.
We use to meet with this guy Masiel, who was recently reactivated, but
he would always ask really dumb questions, like things that didn’t
matter at all, so we stopped meeting with him for a while, but we felt
like taking him to temple square this past week, so we did. When we
were there he said he felt the spirit so strongly and told us how he
had prayed a couple days before about the Book of Mormon and felt a
super strong answer and now he knew it was true. Which is a complete
turn around. Before he would talk about everything from a philosophy
stand point and talk about how we can’t know truth and such, and now
he’s saying he KNOWS the church is true. It was super cool.
We also met a Makai and Teyona. They are close friends, and we met
Makai while visiting some other people, and we asked if we could stop
by a later time. She said yes, but when we texted to confirm she said
we probably didn’t want to meet with her, because she dropped out of
high school and is a single mom. We told her how we don’t really mind
about people’s past, and neither does God, and such things. We met
with her and her friend was there, and we talked about their past and
they both seemed really excited to learn more.
The Elder we live with have been talking about this guy that is just
awesome. He’s keeping commitments and excited to be baptized…
buuutt, they just found out he lives in our area, so we get to meet
him tomorrow, haha.
Then we met this guy that doesn’t really like the church, but his
girlfriend really wants to get back. They are both super into LARPing
and D&D, which the ward they’re in is full of nerds (I say that
lovingly :)) so they fit in perfectly. We’ve even talked about getting
a Dungeons and Dragons night going, because there are tons who play
it, but it appears that the first rule of D&D is the same as fight
club.
Then, a really anticlimactic story for y’all. We met with this one guy
and he has a whole bunch of really really weird view of life, but like
we were cool with it, we talked about his ideas and applied them to
the gospel…. but then at the end, he let us in on his deepest
darkest secret. I don’t feel comfortable broadcasting it, but Elder
Wilcox and I were so stunned after. I felt like I needed to brush my
brain out, or take a shower. People tell us way too much as
missionaries.
Fun fun fun.
So this is super long. Sorry. So much is happening and I’m loving it.
There is certainly more. It’s been awesome to see the Gospel transform
people’s lives and enable them to have more choice.
“Happiness is not found. It’s created through wise and gracious use of
agency.” – Kevin Dolan
Love y’all
Elder Dolan

P.S. My President told me that I need to start planning for going
home. Jobs, school, relationships, etc. so any advice would be well
appreciated. I figured out that I have no idea what I’m doing with my
life.

P.P.S “Assistant to President Palmer” Elder Velez just told me to send
out his email to all my cute lady friends….
Fernando.velez@myldsmail.net. Hahaha

This week has been eventful!

This week has been eventful!

We’ve been moving furniture, taking people to airports, done two exchanges, went to the hospital again, had Elder Christofferson of the 12 come and visit the Stake and then also Elder Pearson of the 70 visited for a Fireside. Then we also met and put an Alondra on date for baptism. She was kind of feeling down when we first met her, but she seems to just get progrssively more and more happy! She is getting baptized on the 25th. She is awesome!
This week has been super good and it has gone by so quickly and seems so long.
Elder Christofferson’s visit was really cool! There wasn’t a whole lot that stood out to me on a personal level, but there were so many things that our Investigator Carlos is struggling with that Christofferson talked about. It’s cool to see how revelation works. The things he talked weren’t super connected, but they all were really pertaining to Carlos and even Alondra.
He brought a great spirit and it his amazing to feel the power in his words.
Love y’all!

The ER and The Temple!

This week we went with Aubrey to the Salt Lake Temple to do baptisms for the dead! It was so awesome to see her excitement about everything. Afterwards we went through temple square and looked at the exhibits of the Prophets. As we explain what each prophet did things would just click and she would just light up.

Then Carlos, our long-term investigator is doing really well. He has been taking everything from a very skeptical view, but things seem to be clicking away. He’s probably more active then some of our members at this point. He goes to every activity, service opportunity, and will even go pickup other members to bring them to church.
We also just started meeting with a very sincere investigator Alondra. We thought she was a less-active when we talked to her and got everything setup, but we found she actually knows very little about the church. She seemed to have some problems with depression, but when she came to Sunday she seemed to just lightup!
The ER deal is that some Elder fell off his bike and fractured his wrist. So, we had to go take him to a Urgent Care. He was a pretty good sport about it. I’ll send pictures.
I love my mission so much now. Having so little time left I feel like I’m on overdrive! I’m so ready to just tell anyone who will listen. Sure some people don’t want to listen and that’s fine, but I’m going to make sure no opportunity passes.
God lives, Christ truly did atone for us, and the Gospel brings joy.
Love y’all!
Elder Dolan

T Minus 12 Weeks

So, there have been a few changes with our mission schedule, so now we
have 2 extra hours on P-day, which means I really have no excuse to
write anymore.
So! Cool stuff this week! First off! Aubrey Haber got baptized! She is
so awesome! She bore her testimony after her baptism and it was
amazing how powerful she is. From atheist to Mormon!
We have transfers today, Elder Ferren is leaving to go be a District
Leader in the Zone and will be training a new missionary, and then I
will be staying and will be getting (drumroll please) Elder Wilcox!
The father and the son are reunited! It’s been 3 months since we’ve
been companions, so it’ll be pretty fun!

I’ve learned so much this transfer. My understanding of the faith and
repentance has grown a lot. My understanding of how everything
connects in the gospel has grown. As I’ve been out longer the more I
learn and the more I realize I know so little.
We tried contacting a guy, but when we knocked the guy wasn’t there
anymore, but the family just instantly invited us in and was super
nice to us, so we assumed they were members. Then, after he asked a
whole bunch of questions about ourselves we found out he was an
evangelical. Evangelicals love the Bible a lot which sometimes to them
trying to bash with us, haha. So we had a long conversation about how
we reconcile our faith with the Bible and it was a lot of fun! We
stayed away from really bashing, we just testified of what we know and
we’re just nice about things. They invited us back over for dinner for
some smoked meats, so we look forward to that! Haha
I love my mission!

Elder Dolan