I Think It Will Be A Good Week!


Well, I think I hit that hard part of my mission finally.  The past few weeks have been really hard for me for some reason, and it’s required a bit of faith (a ton actually). For some reason I got really.... I don’t even know the word, but in Spanish its desanimado [Spanish translation: downhearted, despondent, discouraged, dejected].  I don’t know why.  So that kinda messed me up a little.  I was thinking that I have to be perfect, and realizing that I never will be I just lost the desire to even try. I just felt that it’s so hard to do the right thing all the time, and the thing is, it’s true.  But thankfully, we aren’t supposed to be perfect.  We just have to give it our best effort, and then the Lord will fill in the rest. That’s why he died for us. I remember reading something about grace, and I think I’ve written a little bit about this before but I’m doing it again... so bear with me. Anyways, I remember reading somewhere that Christ paid for all of our sins. He didn’t pay for 70 percent and we have to make up the rest.  He paid for it all. That is His grace. So we aren’t making it up or paying our part.  We can’t.  It’s impossible. The only thing He asks of us, is that we try our best.  

I have a relatively new area, with a new companion.  And I mean new.  I’m training him, and my companion has a total of three weeks in his whole mission. 2 weeks in the MTC and I think 6 total days here in the field now.  He doesn’t have much to say, and I have a lot to say, I just can’t say it very well in Spanish.  I don’t really know exactly how I can help this new elder (he’s from Peru and I still don’t know how to spell his name right, let alone pronounce it), Elder Sequieros, become a good missionary and fulfill his purpose. I know my teaching isn’t really that good, and I know I don’t know exactly how to do everything, but I’m just going to give it my all and put my faith in the Lord that He will fill in for the things that I can’t do.  I have faith that even though my comp and I don’t have much experience, we will have success in our area.  (ha ha i just started typing in Spanish.)  I have faith that even though our lessons aren’t that good, the spirit will testify to the people that what we are saying is true.  I also need to remember that our message will bless these people’s lives and that it’s a message of joy.  I need to have the desire to bless their lives, which means I need to share the message and have joy while I’m doing it!  How can I share a message of joy when I’m not happy? So I’m going to keep that in mind more often.

I also read something I liked in Preach My Gospel.  I often times think that no one here wants to listen to us and that they won't accept the gospel.  I look at people and sometimes the thought to talk to them pops in my head. But often times I don’t, sadly, because they look scary and I don’t think they will listen to us or accept the message.  Number one, like I said before, I have to keep in mind that the message we have will bless their lives, and have a desire to bless their lives through sharing it.  And two, like it says in Preach My Gospel, I have to remember and have faith in the converting power of the gospel.  I have little faith sometimes, and that’s something I need to change.  

I know this is the true gospel and I know it can change people and bless their lives so I’m going to try and have a little more faith in that this week and remember that the Lord will help us in our weakness. I know that this is the true church, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be here and share the gospel.  I know that the prophets and apostles are inspired men of God and that the scriptures are the word of God.  I was reading in Nephi the other day, and I was just thinking, he really was a faithful guy.  I’m going to try to have faith like Nephi to do all that the Lord has commanded, and have faith that He has prepared a way to fulfill it. I know that the Lord has commanded that the gospel be shared and I know he has prepared a way to do it.  I know that the Lord will help us through His grace, when we put our faith in Him and try our best in all things. So that’s what I’m going to do this week, have a little more faith in all things.  I think it will be a good week! Love you all!
Elder Ollis

Heavenly Father Loves Us No Matter What


Well.... I don’t have much to say this week.  I’m super beat.  I’ve got some stomach thing going on and I’ve spent way too much time on the toilet and staring into it too.  But hey, I’m losing weight.  Gotta look at the good side.

I just want to share my testimony that I know this is the true church.  I know that we have a prophet in this day and I know that without him we wouldn’t know the will of the Lord for us.  I know that the scriptures truly are our guides in this life. They really do contain the things that we need to do to have the blessings that Heavenly Father wants for us. As I look at these things and the many other things we have in our lives as guides, I can see that Heavenly Father really loves us.  He has given us the scriptures, the prophets, the Holy Ghost, his son Jesus Christ, all so we can get back to him.  Sad that we need that much help, but I’m so thankful that I have all of this available to me.  

I know that we aren’t perfect.  I don’t know why, but I think I have to be perfect a lot of the time, and then I have to remember that this life is to progress and learn. Not to become perfect now.  I know that as I try to be better each day that I will be blessed. Sometimes its hard, and I feel like I’ve failed.  But I have to have faith that Heavenly Father loves us no matter what and that He has given us the opportunity to repent.  And that he will forgive us if we do.  The hardest part for me is we have to forgive ourselves too!  I know that the things I’ve experienced here have grown my testimony and I’m so glad I’ve had these experiences.  Just have to have faith in all of this and keep on working always!

Elder Ollis

Maybe We Just Planted the Seed


Well… I finally have a companion. I got my companion this morning in the office. He’s from Guatemala and he doesn’t say much.  So we will see how the week goes!  It’s back to working in my actual area, and I’m super excited about it.  We have a lot of work to do!  We had a baptism this weekend and we have another one this week, and possibly another the week after that! So things are just moving along. The only thing is me and my companion have no idea about anything in the area.  We are getting another pair of missionaries in the area the next transfer too.

We finally met the Ward Mission Leader and the Bishop. He even showed up at the baptism we had, which was a surprise.  He took us to meet the Ward Mission Leader and we set up coordination meetings, so I think things are slowly improving!  Which is always a bonus.  It’s just super tough because we have close to twenty returned missionaries... but they are all tool heads (in the most loving way I can say). (Mother's comment: I was told a tool head is another word for slacker). They would rather sit on Facebook, during the three hour block of church, than listen. So they aren’t exactly the most reliable members to help us out.  But little by little.  

I just want to share an experience we had with an investigator which was super frustrating for me.  We had received a reference to visit a lady so we went and visited her house. She wasn’t there but her husband answered the door.  We started talking and then he invited us in.  We started to talk a bit about the gospel, and he had questions, so it kind of turned into Lesson 1, but in a really different order than it gets taught normally.  But he listened the whole time and the spirit was there. We challenged him to pray about the message we gave. It was an awesome lesson and really unexpected.  So we left and I was hoping that he would pray and that the spirit had spoken to him. A few days later I called him and was super excited to go teach him.  Well, he had mentioned in the lesson before that he had a church, but he would pray and see which church he should go to. I called him and he said that he said he had his church and wasn’t going to commit to anything, but we could come by.  So we went to visit him and bore our testimonies and explained why this is the true church, because we have the priesthood and no other church does.  We explained why that is important and again bore our testimonies and invited him to learn more about the church and then left.  I was super bummed.  I remember saying I had faith that he would be baptized.  But I guess right now just wasn’t the time.  Maybe we just planted the seed. It just goes to show that you don’t know the timing of the Lord, but that He knows what we need and when we need it.  Maybe in the future that man will be baptized. I don’t know, but I know that even if we don’t baptize every person, it doesn’t mean we weren’t successful.  Our job is to spread the gospel.  And if people accept the gospel and are baptized, then that’s always a bonus.  So I’m still going to have faith that one day that man will be baptized. So yah, just a little experience.  And as always, learning how to listen to the spirit more and more! Just loving the mission, hating the heat, and trying to speak Spanish. That’s all!  I know this church is true and I’m so glad I get to share it for two years and live like this!  It’s awesome!  Love you all, and shout-outs to all my Spanish speakers out there!  Whoo! Siguen adelante!  That’s probably wrong, but don’t judge.... still learning.

Elder Ollis

From an email to Tom: Our baptism was for Samir. He is 13 years old and his dad is a recent convert and he's awesome. We are going to drive a Camaro and get in a police chase when he comes to the states.  But he's driving and I'm paying the tickets.  Ha ha.  His mom is a bit harder but we are going to shoot for a baptismal date for the 22 of this month. The missionary who baptized him used to be in the area and came back for the baptism.  His companion is in the glasses.  The other two missionaries are the Zone Leaders I have been living with.

From an email to Sydney:  We went to the park to see the monkeys.  They just hang around and they like to eat chips and churros.  They were shy while I was there because there were so many people around.

And the biggest monkey of all, eyeing his cake to celebrate 6 months on the mission!