|Sunshine and Rain in Paraiso|
To answer Sydney’s questions about my area…the houses are either cement or corrugated metal and wood. A lot of houses don’t have windows. Having a washing machine is for people that are well off. People throw their garbage in a pile and burn it. Most roads are dirt. It’s always hot and humid and rains a little in winter. When it rains the people go inside and sleep or drink coffee because it’s cold. Motorcycles are popular. Moto taxis are used a ton and school buses are frequently driving around as the city buses. There are tons of different churches and people put religious stickers all over their cars. We are surrounded by mountains…. and the light every morning on the mountains out our window is awesome. My camera doesn’t do it justice. I will try to get a good picture for you sometime…. Corn is a staple here, rice is very common and chicken is the most popular meat. We have corn tortillas with every meal. Dogs, chickens and cats run free in the streets. Lizards and frogs are common too. The people are really uneducated so it’s hard to teach and we have to teach simple lessons. They are also pretty poor. Kids run around naked pretty often, which is a little odd. I have a ton more I could share but, that’s all for now.
…We had transfers and I have a new companion, Elder Reyes. The first day was pretty rough and I couldn’t believe how sad I was about Elder Rivera leaving. But my new companion is from Guatemala and he’s awesome. He lived in Utah for his sophomore and junior year so he speaks a little too much English for my liking, but we are working hard and my Spanish is getting better. He has five months here and I have three. We are both eighteen so we are really inexperienced, but we are working like crazy. He’s really good about talking with everyone and that has helped me grow more confident in my Spanish and talking with people. I’m exhausted every night. Elder Amezcua and Chuqisala had to tell me to go to bed one night because I fell asleep kneeling by my bed.
…Mom, I just want to say, that for the past three weeks your topic of choice has been something I learned in the week. Service and charity, it’s like we have phone calls Sunday night and talk about these things and coordinate them. Love you much and so glad you’re my mom! So, this week I got a new companion. In my personal study one morning, I was studying in Preach My Gospel about how to begin teaching investigators. There were scriptures beginning with Moroni 7:46 and to the end of the chapter, and I read it and my study took a whole different approach. These scriptures are about charity. I learned that I need to have more charity. Charity suffereth long, beareth all things, endureth all things. Right now in this area, I need to have charity and bear through the challenges we are facing. Charity is also the pure love of Christ, and that is what I need to show towards my investigators. I learned a few things from these scriptures and told myself that I would have more charity this week; that I would smile and be happy at all times so these people can see what the gospel can do for them. I also had been skimming through Preach My Gospel and the section about serving and I read over it too. I prayed for opportunities to serve people this week.
|A Week of Service|
Then we began companionship study and my companion asked what I studied. It turns out we both studied charity. We talked about charity, and we both made a resolve to look for opportunities to serve people. God really does answer prayers. We helped a man move some metal out of the back of his truck and then gave him a pamphlet. We helped a couple move their belongings into a new apartment. We have a return appointment with them. I know that as we serve these people they will see our love and they will be more open to the gospel. I know these opportunities were an answer to my prayers. As I’ve tried to smile more to everyone and really tried to show my love for these people, this week has been so much better. Things right now are awesome. My new companion loves working and we are working hard and talking with everyone. I feel so much more comfortable talking to people. The Spanish is slowly just unfolding in my mind.
This week was also pretty challenging because I had to show my new companion the area. Turns out I don’t know the area really well. There are no addresses here in Honduras, so it’s really hard to find places. Also, my old companion didn’t show me half of our assigned area. We learned we have another area to go teach in now and that doubled what I thought was in our area. It’s pretty sketchy too. We walk down in a ravine, over a river and then back out. It looks like something out of The Jungle Book. We won’t be going there at night. But we met some investigators that the previous companionship had been teaching and they are close to baptism. So right now, I’m just loving this mission.
We are working hard. I can understand almost everything right now and I’m still learning more. It’s awesome here! I’m so tired at the end of the day, and I love it. I have faith and hope that a few of our investigators will be baptized soon, and also that the ward will get more involved in this work. We are working on getting the branch to have ward councils and missionary coordination meetings. I have hope that this will work, and the work will move much faster and progress into something better. I love this work and I’m so glad to be here. I can’t believe it has been three months. Time is flying. I’m so thankful to be here. That’s all for me.
Love, Elder Ollis
… Dad, you have been an amazing influence in my life. You have taught me so well. I now realize why you did some of the things you did with me the last few months before I left. I’m so glad that I have the dad I do and that you are so strong in the gospel and willing to serve. You are an amazing example. I’ve learned how to work because of you. My only wish is that I would have listened more to you…I’m so glad I get to come home and help Thomas prepare for a mission. I’m so excited for him…. You are an amazing dad, and honestly when the time comes I will try to be a father like you. I love you so much and I miss you a ton. But I’m so glad for the things you are doing at home with school. Happy Birthday and don’t forget your colonoscopy!
Love, Elder Ollis