The Last Letter from Elder Ollis


Well here it is everyone, the last letter to come from Elder Ollis... wow. Two years has changed a few things and I honestly have no idea what to say in this letter to really express what I feel.  The mission has been a very special experience for me. I went into the mission very ignorant, not knowing much, and I feel like I have definitely come to have a testimony of this gospel and everything included with it.  

My scripture before the mission was in Ether 12, about how the Lord makes weak things become strong.  In some aspects, I feel like that has been fulfilled in my mission. I have become more patient, I have come to love the scriptures, I have come to know a lot more about how the Holy Spirit works, and I have come to learn another language.  Those are a few things that I have really been able to improve.  

I know that this is the Lord’s work. I have seen it. I saw Him prepare people to receive His messages, even while he had a very incompetent instrument in His hands…me.  I have seen people change many parts of their lives to follow the will of the Lord. I have experienced more than a few health problems, some of them I will be bringing home with me (ha ha). But all of this has been an experience that I would never trade. I have had some of the most frustrating moments of my life in these past two years, in some of the most difficult circumstances.  Honduras is not an easy country in which to live.  But I have been happier in these two years than in any other time in my life.  I’m so grateful to have been able to help people accept the gospel. I get so happy to hear that many of them are still following faithfully.  

I know this gospel is true. I know that the scriptures are the word of God. I have enjoyed the opportunity to study them.  I know that as we strive to be obedient, we will be happier, even though it’s often the harder path.  I know that God loves us.  He has given us so many things to help us come back to His presence: prophets, the scriptures, prayer, revelation, inspired local leaders, and patriarchal blessings…all of this because His purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life.  He gave us the gift greater than all... that of his son, Jesus Christ.  He gives us the opportunity to be forgiven and cleansed from our sins, which impede us from coming into the presence of God.  But our salvation and redemption from sin is conditional, and is based upon our obedience to the perfect plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only thing that we can do for ourselves. There is no other way. We must live the gospel. If not, we will be subject to the demands of justice.

I know, and many of you know, that I’m a perfectionist. And I’m not perfect, so I’m really hard on myself generally. My mission President told me in my last interview that the Lord is saddened that I’m so hard on myself because He doesn’t see me that way.  He doesn’t see any of us that way. I’m still developing and learning the concept of the love of God.  He loves us in a way that I don’t understand fully yet.  He only wants us to try our best and He is willing to take that little effort and give us His divine help, His grace, so that we can come back to him.  Truly the Lord loves us.

I’m so glad I have been able to serve Him as a small show of my gratitude.  I know I haven’t been perfect.  I’ve tried to work hard, and when I faltered, I tried to repent and be better. I hope the Lord accepts my efforts. I know that the gospel is something I will keep living. It is the way to real happiness. I know there’s a lot more after the mission. But for right now all I need to do, and all we need to do, is to keep living the gospel the best we can, because in the end, nothing else makes a difference.  Through faith in the atonement of Christ we can have hope to be able to come into the presence of God.  

Well, that turned out to be really long.  I love you all, and I will see you all on Thursday hopefully!

Elder Ollis

It's Been an Awesome Opportunity to Serve the Lord in Honduras


Well just to start off, one of the kes on this computer doesnt work.. so if ou can figure it out ou win the prize.

So this week was prett good.. just reall tiring.  Sunda was prett long ha ha.  but this week was prett good because we had an activit with the ward.  We had planned to have a movie night and see Meet the Mormons with the members and have them invite people.  It’s alwas prett stressful to plan an activit but we did it and it came out fine.  We ended up having 80 people come!  The onl bad part was that I didn’t even get to see the movie because the four missionaries in the ward were all passing out popcorn and soda during the whole movie.  So I still have et to see the movie ha ha.  So things went well for our activit.

Other than that, I don’t have much else to sa.  It’s the last week of m mission... other than that.... nothing exciting ha ha. It’s just prett craz to think about all that has changed.  It’s been an awesome opportunit to come and serve the Lord in Honduras.  And I know I haven’t done everthing perfect, but I have tried to do m best, and I was able to improve in a lot of things.  So I guess this last week, I’m just going to tr and forget that it’s actuall m last week and just put it all out on the line. I hope to be able to just work hard, focus, and worr about going home when I actuall have to do it. ha ha.  So wish me luck! 

Elder Ollis

p.s. If ou haven’t figured it out et, the letter missing is y ha ha

In a letter to Draper’s Dad:  Yes, I believe that I did bring more than one soul unto Christ, and most importantly myself too.  Dad, I love this gospel, I love the scriptures, I love serving and I hope I get a calling soon, I love teaching. I love the Mormon Messages, conference, thinking about serving in the church, and all of that.  It motivates me to always read the scriptures, pray, and strive to be more spiritual.  I just don’t want to lose that focus when I get home.

07/27/2015 - Elder Ollis and his three amigos

How Great is His Joy for the Soul That Repents


Well I don’t have a ton of time right now.  We had a pretty crazy day and I don’t have much to say.  This week was pretty normal again.  My comp and I are just trying to find more people to teach, trying to talk to more people.  It’s always a challenge for me for some reason.  It just gets really tiring listening to the same excuses from the people about why they don’t want to listen to us.  Sometimes I wish they would just tell us straight up, no.  One of the challenges of serving in Honduras, but it’s coming along.  

We had an investigator, named Raquel, who has been a big challenge for us.  We have been doubting if she has a testimony.  She’s had a lot of doubts and at the same time she doesn’t remember what we teach after a week.  So we haven’t been really sure about what to do with her.  But yesterday she mentioned that she didn’t have any doubts.  We talked about some of the things that were a challenge for her and she was fine with it all.  So I think she might be getting baptized soon which is pretty cool.  Get one more in… ha ha

We have interviews with President Dester tomorrow, which is always a good experience. I’m looking forward to learning from him.  President Dester is pretty much the best mission president ever. I don’t care what anyone else says of their mission president.  He’s seriously one of the most Christ like people I have ever met.

Anyway, as I was reading the Book of Mormon these past few weeks, I got into the part where the signs of the death of Christ are shown in the Americas, and the people hear the voice of Christ in the darkness.  In those chapters and a little later too, it stuck out to me how many times Christ mentioned that we had to repent and come unto Him.  It was pretty interesting to see how many times he said it.  Really, it shows the love that He has for us.  Christ really wants us to come unto Him, to use His atonement to be able to become like Him and live eternally with our Father in Heaven.  He wants us take advantage of His gift.  The scriptures talk about how God is happy when a soul repents.  Doctrine and Covenants 18 verse 13 says... in my translation, which isn’t exact.... “and how great is His joy for the soul that repents.”    I often times, as a perfectionist, think of God as exacting and just.  And He is, but at the same time He has more mercy than we know.  That’s why He gives us the opportunity to repent and rejoices when we use it.  So we should repent no matter how hard it is, and we will come to be more like our brother Jesus Christ.

Elder Ollis

7/20/2015 - Exploring a cave with the zone
06/2015 - The top of the peak on a hike with the zone (I believe this is from his last area)

Swallowed Up in the Joy of Christ


Well another week has come and gone. Not many left.  Weird. This week was pretty good.  My comp and I are just working hard trying to get things going.  We don’t have too many people progressing which a little frustrating, but we are trying to find more people to teach.  So I hope things pick up there.  I don’t have too much more to say about the work.  We have found a couple of people who seem pretty interested and I hope they progress. 

I just wanted to share a small thought today. My lovely mother reminded me of this today. She mentioned a scripture in Alma Chapter 31:  “and the Lord provided for them….and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.  Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.”

It reminded me of a small thought that I wrote in my study journal when I read this scripture.  I reflected a little bit on the mission I’ve had when I read it.  I thought about how I had suffered a few afflictions... the heat, frustration with a companion, people, dangerous areas, sickness… a few things.  And then I thought about the other part, about all that being “swallowed up in the joy of Christ.”  This scripture describes my mission experience very well.  I’ve had problems, challenges and afflictions, but all of that has been swallowed up by those small moments of happiness… when someone reads the Book of Mormon,  when someone gets baptized, when we find a convert who is still continuing faithful.  I’ve said more than a few times that the mission is the hardest two years I’ve had in my life, but I’ve never been happier!  I don’t know how to explain it.  But Alma does, ha ha.  

All the challenges of the mission have been swallowed up in the joy of Christ and I have been able to feel that.  It’s not all the time, but when I feel it, it’s great.  I won’t try to describe, sorry.  The Lord has definitely strengthened me since the first day I got here. I’ve been able to experience what Alma did, in my own mission. And the mission is awesome! So just that little thought for today. 

Elder Ollis