And God Answered My Prayer


Well, hello again all you family and friends. Hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and are suffering from all the food you ate, ha ha.  My Christmas was basically a normal day.  Just a bunch of fireworks and some tamales, so not much to tell you all there.  We had to go to the house at 7:00 on the 24th and that was it. Christmas in Honduras is very different.  But anyways, it has come and gone.  

I don’t have much time, but I just wanted to share an experience I had recently. I honestly don’t really remember what I said exactly, but the other day I kneeled down and started to pray.  And I actually stayed awake this time, so that was the first miraculous part.  But I just remember asking my Heavenly Father that I could find greater joy in this work.  That he would prepare people to listen to our message.  Things like that.  I don’t really remember exactly what I said, just saying if it’s not His will, I’ll just keep working.  But I prayed and asked help from God.  And then I went to work, and we actually were able to find some of these people.  I was able to see an answer to my prayers this week.  I’ve been really frustrated and down about the work lately, about how baptisms just aren’t coming and how we don’t have many people that want to listen and act on our message. And God answered my prayer.

Christmas day, we were walking to an appointment we had set, and it was like the second visit.  We hadn’t taught very much yet, so we shared the restoration, and at the end of the lesson we challenged her to baptism. She said yes and we set a date, which is always the hard part, and she just accepted without any comment or doubt.  It just happened.  So after the appointment I walked out and I was just thinking, and I thought WOW!  I remembered my prayer and how I had asked God to help us find prepared people, and there it was.  Better yet, the same thing happened again.  We had another appointment the other day with a guy who was really interested and had lots of questions.  It was funny because the first time we went, he told us he had a Book of Mormon.  He had it in the house since he was little and he had always thought that Samuel the Lamanite, in the painting in the Book of Mormon up on the wall, was a bad guy. ha ha. But anyway, we had an appointment, and he told us he would call us. I’m thinking, well we´ll never talk to him again, because they generally say that when they aren’t interested. But we called him and set up another appointment, and he said yes.  So we went and taught about the Book of Mormon for the second visit and then challenged him to baptism.  He said yes, so we set a date.  He expressed some concern about how he had to change things in his life, and know more and everything, but we talked and explained about how he can change through the gospel.  He then accepted the date too.  So this week we were able to triple the number of people we have with a baptismal date.  

I know that was an answer to my prayer; that these people were prepared by God. I know God listens to our prayers because He loves us.  I know that when we express the desires of our heart and ask for help, He will help us according to His will. I know that as we do that, we will also grow closer to Him and come to know Him better. I hope that we can all keep praying to come to know our Heavenly Father more. 

Love, Elder Ollis

12/29/2014 - Elder Ollis Breaking into the Church
In a separate email to his sister:

This week we had to break into the computer room in the church.  It’s crazy here.  They have a four-inch metal doors to close the room with the computers.  And in the church they also put reinforced metal gridding in the ceiling.  So I crawled up between the roof and the ceiling and opened up the ceiling tiles and used a wood pole with a wire to grab the keys that they locked in. ha ha, I’ll send the picture.

It's a Great Gift to Me!


Merry Christmas you wonderful people out there!  I hope you all are stoked for the 25th.  This week I won’t write much, because we have a missionary Christmas party in like a half hour, so I have to go quick, but wanted to just fill you all in.  This week took a weird turn, and it's finally stopped raining in my area.  So it’s like a billion degrees again.  We are going to cook for Christmas.  ha ha.   As for the work, it was a pretty good week.  We were able to set an all-time high with member lessons here in my area.  This week we only had one investigator show again... so a little down, but hey, half of everybody was gone.  Here in Honduras everyone just goes back to the little village in the mountains where they grew up until January for Christmas.  So ya, that’s been a real downer because that means that our dinners are falling through too..... so that’s a bummer.  No dinner Christmas day... oh well?!

I was also a little disappointed this week with our missionary activity we planned with the branch.  We had planned to go and sing carols to some of the inactive members and investigators that we have.  And well...... two people showed up at the church, and it wasn’t even for the activity. It was for institute class.  So that was another bummer.... and then we sat and talked to the two men that showed up and one of them just basically told us there’s not hope for the people in La Jutosa.  That he’s tired of talking and that he’s depressed because no one listens.... lots of sad stuff.  So we have to figure out how to get the members excited to do missionary work somehow...

So that’s basically everything that happened this week.  I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all remember the true reason, the birth of the Savior.  Maybe we could all just take a break Christmas day and think of some of the things He has done for us.  I know I already shared a bit, but just repeating the same thing, He has given us His life.  Everything He did, was for us.  His suffering in the garden of Gesthemane (I don’t remember how that is in English anymore), in the hands of the roman soldiers, on the cross, all of that was for our salvation.  I love how the scriptures teach us these concepts.  It’s a lot clearer than I can teach, especially in 2 Nefi 2 verse 6 and 7.  And it’s in Spanish so I won’t write it.  But He died for us, and all we have to do is have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and turn to him, repent, and follow Him. And that is how we receive of His mercy.  I know that Christ lives, and that He died for us, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to learn so much more about His sacrifice here in the mission.  I’m thankful that I get to be His representative and teach these truths: that salvation is for all if they turn to Him, and that is the only way.  It’s a great gift to me! Merry Christmas!

Elder Ollis

We Have Claim to the Mercy Christ Offers Us


Wellllll there’s currently 10 days till Christmas! So I think tha’ts pretty swell. I honestly have just run out of ideas to write... so here comes another really short letter.  This week was pretty good.  We had a Multi-zone Conference and it’s always good to hear from President Dester.  He’s pretty awesome.  His wife is really funny and everyone says she looks like my Grandma Draper.  She can’t speak very much Spanish, but she always tries, it’s super awesome.  So anyways, after that we had a pretty good week.  We had three investigators in church, that’s more than I’ve had in a while. Francisca, our investigator with a baptismal date, didn’t go.. so bummer there.  But we had a lesson with Gladys and we taught about the importance of going to church in the plan of salvation.  It was a great lesson, and her daughter is now listening too.  And then at the end, she said, like almost everyone in Honduras, “vamos a ver,” or “we’ll see”... so I didn’t think she would come to church, but she did!   I’m sure there was a little bit of divine help.  

I just wanted to share a few thoughts about going to church.  Beside the fact that it’s a commandment, it’s something really important.  Our purpose here is to prepare ourselves in this life to meet God, and there is no better place than in church.  There we learn then things we need to do to return to God.  We learn about the gospel and His plan for us.  It’s also part of repentance.  There was a conference talk about that in October.  I don’t remember who it was, but he talked about the importance of the sacrament.  Really when we take the sacrament, we are promising to remember Jesus Christ, to follow Him and His commandments, and take His name upon us, and that’s part of repentance.  When we repent, we have to be better than before and progress, and as we take the sacrament, promising these things each week and striving to complete these promises, we are also in the process of repenting and being better and progressing.  And when we are doing that, we have claim to the mercy Christ offers us and we can be clean.  Which means we can return to God clean.  I know it’s important to go to church.  It’s not an option.  It’s necessary for our Salvacion.  So go to church if you’re not, and keep going if you are. It’s for your salvation.  

Love you all and happy birthday to my old sister Charlee, love ya a ton!
Elder Ollis

A Firm Witness that "He is the Gift"


Hello everyone, hope you are all excited because there are 17 days till Christmas... that’s like super awesome, even though I already got my Christmas package and opened it... ha ha.  Anyways, it was another week with some rain on and off.  It’s really difficult because the clothes don’t dry because it’s not sunny and it’s always so humid. But that’s why they gave fans in the houses I think.... not to cool off, to dry clothes ha ha.  

So this week for missionary work was pretty good.  We had Stake Conference and we were able to bring a little, old lady that’s progressing.  She’s getting really excited about the gospel, is reading and praying and yesterday was the first time she’s come to church with us.  We are really happy about that. We also went to visit another lady that we have been teaching and it turns out she read 120 pages of the Book of Mormon between appointments. So that’s always a good surprise.  Her husband however, isn’t so interested.  He listens, but he always works and can’t read at night when we come so he has to read Sunday, but he doesn’t, and he hasn’t come to church yet.  And, they aren’t married.. so that’s the big, sketchy part in the middle of all this. But Gladys, so she’s called, is getting excited too.  She’s already come to church once too.  So we are slowly working our way to a baptism.  

Sadly, I didn’t get to see the [First Presidency] Christmas devotional... that’s what happens when you live in the boonies... but I just wanted to share a few things. I’m sure you all know now about the program the church is using about “He is the Gift”.   We are using that as missionaries to try and find more people to teach about Jesus Christ during the Christmas season.  I was sitting there thinking the other day about Christ and about all he has done for us, and it’s really a lot.  Each and every one of us has been given a gift more important than anything else by a loving Heavenly Father.  We just have to receive it.  Christ’s birth brought to this world so many wonderful things and was really the most important event in history.  By this gift to the world from our Heavenly Father, we, as his sons and daughters, have the chance to be able to live with Him again.  Through Christ we have the opportunity to repent of our sins, to experience the joy of this process and be clean, and become the kind of people that God wants us to be and keep practicing it when we fail.  Through Christ we have the eternal gospel.  His teachings are our map to return to God.  He taught us the things we must do, the necessary steps to live happily and worthily.  Through Christ we have the hope of a resurrection.  We have the knowledge that death is not forever, that one day we can see our loved ones again.  All these wonderful things came through the birth of the Savior.  I’m so grateful for His birth and for this Christmas season. I hope we can all remember, after the havoc of Christmas morning, after all the wrapping paper has been strewn across the floor, that not one of the gifts that has been given equals the gift that God has given to each and everyone of us; His firstborn son, Jesus Christ.  

Love you all and hope you remember that.  I’m so very thankful for Christ in this season. I know He lives and I’m glad I get to be His representative here in Honduras.
Elder Ollis 

PS Elder Olaveson says hi. 

Note from Mom:  The video associated with the "He is the Gift" program Elder Ollis refers to is absolutely beautiful.  If you haven't watched it you can see it by clicking the link:  

I'm Always Looking for the Little Things


Well another week passed by. I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving because I didn’t even realize it was Thanksgiving in the morning. And I did absolutely nothing for Thanksgiving….ha ha.  But that’s life, the next one I’ll be home... weird thought. Anyways, its been a pretty long week.  It’s been raining on and off for about five days, which means that we don’t get water.  So basically we haven’t had running water for like five or six days.  And I haven’t showered in three days either.  Honduras problems.  So other than the fact that I stink, it’s been pretty normal. 

We had a cool experience this week, I guess a little miracle, or at least something I’m grateful for.  So we have an investigator that we met.  We met him and helped him carry a bunch of Pepsi bottles to his house and he was friendly.  He’s a violinist too, which is pretty cool.  So we’ve been talking to him for a few weeks, and he wasn’t really paying attention to our messages as most of the HondureƱos do.  That’s a big challenge by the way, getting people to pay attention.  They love listening to the word of God but they kinda just zone out and sit and stare at you.  But anyway, he just started paying attention and really listening and is turning out to be a pretty good investigator.  He still hasn’t gone to church but... little steps.  The other problem we had was that we were pretty sure he wasn’t married. We didn’t remember if he had told us he was married to another lady who he didn’t live with now.  And that’s like the worst nightmare, because to pay for a divorce is so expensive, it’s basically impossible. And then he would have to get married again too, divorce his old wife, and remarry.  But it turns out he was married, but only for seven months and his wife paid for a divorce and everything.  So basically we just have to get him and his wife married and the best part is he has almost all the papers he needs to get married already!  So it was a little blessing I guess.  Nothing much, but we are lacking in people that want to listen, and having people progressing to baptism so I’m always looking for the little things.

So anyways I hope you all have a great week and enjoy this Christmas season, because now it’s December and there’s like 24 days till Christmas! Remember why we celebrate this time of year, and remember that our goal is to be like Him.  Love you all and keep working hard, and I’ll try and write more interesting letters in the next few weeks, ha ha, sorry bout it.

Elder Ollis