Well, I felt this week was a good week.  Unfortunately, the baptism that fell through last week didn’t happen this week either.  We went to go and fill up the font and the water came out brown… Honduras problems.  So, next week, hopefully.  But it was a super good week because we have a new investigator who is seriously the best investigator I’ve ever had.  His name is Jonathan and I mentioned him before.  He’s seriously legit and I’ll just write a little and explain what’s been happening so far.  Number one, He’s the son-in-law of a member in our ward.  We are teaching the niece of the lady, and he just one days asks if we gave the lessons. So we asked if he wanted the lessons, and he was like yah.  He had already been coming to church before that.  So the day he asked us that, he already had given the family home evening message on the priesthood.  He had studied the pamphlet on the restoration that we left him, and looked up stuff on the church’s website and everything.  It was a good lesson.  So then we went to teach him the first lesson on the restoration and we explained everything, and about the Book of Mormon, and he asked us about the urim and thummim and everything.  

05/26/2014 - Jonathon, a missionary's dream
investigator.  Study tabs and all!
I remember him telling us that he was studying the pamphlet in the bus and at work at his lunch hour, and he said that something inside of him is telling him it’s right.  The pamphlet was all marked up with highlighter and everything.  Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and challenged him to baptism and he said yes!  We also challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it’s true. The next lesson we asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon.  And he said yes, he had read up to 1 nefi 7, but he read it like five times, over and over.  He was explaining things in it to his wife who’s a less active.  I asked him if he prayed, and he said yah. Then I said, what do you think?  He said I don't think, I feel it’s right.  It was SO AWESOME AND THIS IS WHY I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!  I just wish every single one of my investigators was like this.  I mean, come on, he marked tabs in his scriptures that he bought, he fills out the study section in the back of the pamphlet we gave him one day, he goes to church every week.  Last week his wife was sick and he left her home and still came.  Now here’s the kicker. He doesn’t even live in my area.  We can’t baptize him in my ward because he doesn’t live here.  He lives somewhere else, but is always at his mother-in-law’s house.  And they are looking for a house here, but sadly, I don’t think I will get to see his baptism.  I’m afraid I will be changed out before they move here.  

We also were able to set a baptismal date with a lady that was really difficult. We baptized her son, Samir, like two months ago and her husband is a recent convert too.  But she didn’t get baptized with him.  He went to the United States, mojado, as they say... illegally.  And so she’s been really struggling.  She was really hard before and we’d always talk about baptism and everything, but she never wanted to do it. But she said, “when my husband is in the states I’ll get baptized.”  So he got there recently and we went to visit her the other day, and we talked about getting baptized.  I reminded her of her little promise and she was like, yup, ok let’s do it. So she’s getting baptized the seventh of June.  So yes, a good week for me.  

I had a few thoughts I wanted to share as I studied the Atonement this week, but I don’t have time. So next week!  Love you all and I know that this church is true and that through the Atonement we can be better and return with God.  And I’m grateful for that, and for Christ.  I love you all and the mission too!

Elder Ollis

I Know He is Preparing Investigators, I Have Seen It


Well, I don’t really have that much to say this week again...We don’t really have a whole lot of work right now.  My area isn’t exactly a poor area, so the people have money and have work, and they are always working. It’s really hard to find times to meet with some of our investigators because they are working all the time.  So that is killing us right now.  We are also to the point in the cycle of missionary work, where we are starting to cut some of our investigators because they aren’t progressing.  Sadly, we had to cut a family yesterday.  They weren’t really reading the Book of Mormon or coming to church when they had time.  So they aren’t making it a priority and important.  They aren’t progressing and they won’t grow a testimony if they don’t do the things we leave for them to do.   Faith without action is dead.  We have to show our faith through our actions.  We have to have faith to do the actions too. Faith is something we have to have to receive an answer to prayer. So, if they can’t show their faith by their actions.....they won’t receive the answers we hope they will receive.  

We were supposed to have a baptism this weekend too, but that didn’t happen either.  It will be this week however.  We just needed a little more time to teach some things again.  So we are at the point where we have to start finding new investigators... This is going to be a time when I have to put even more faith in the Lord, because this is His work.  I know He is preparing investigators, I have seen it.  I know there are people in Cerro Verde that are waiting for the gospel and I know it will bless their lives.  I’m going to put my faith in that and try my best to be listening for the spirit so that we can be led to those people.  One of my greatest challenges is talking to new people, but we have to.  I’m going to try to focus and pay more attention to the spirit and have the faith and courage to follow the promptings and thoughts I receive in all moments.  I hope to become a better tool in the Lord’s hands as I better myself. The spirit is so important in this work.  So I’m going to strive to do all things possible to allow it to be with us this week and I’m going to talk to everyone.  I know as I strive to have the spirit and listen and follow it, we will find more people, more people willing to listen and act, and the people God is preparing. 

Just one little funny story to finish, this morning I was outside the house, and we have an avocado tree outside.  I was chopping one with my machete and then I was thinking what is aguacate in English.... and I couldn’t remember what the word was in English! I had to look it up in Spanish-English dictionary, ha ha....  Well, I love you all and I hope you can all listen for the spirit and have your own missionary opportunities.
Love you all!  See ya next week!

Elder Ollis

I Just Hope We Can Help Them All


Well..... this week was a pretty good week for two reasons.  We had a baptism and I got to see my family which is always awesome.

So to start the week off, I don’t even remember. I didn’t really have much happen, just a regular week, until about Friday and Saturday.  We did get to go into San Pedro Sula on Wednesday.... We went and had a meeting and we got to learn some of the things that will help us be better District Leaders, and that was much needed because I had no idea what I was doing (ha ha) still don’t.  But anyway, it was a good opportunity to learn how to be a good leader and what I should be doing.  I was glad I was able to be there.  I just hope I can put [it] in practice and help my district.

05/10/2014 - Erika's Baptism!
So the next thing that was awesome was the baptism of Erika!  She was our investigator that scared us last week.  She didn’t want to quit drinking coffee and said she wouldn’t come back to the church.  She didn’t drink coffee the next day and for five days didn’t drink any.  She drank a little, then for the rest of this week didn’t drink any.  So she got baptized this week!  She’s super awesome.  My companion had the opportunity to baptize her and we had members at the baptism too.  So it was much better than the past baptisms here!  She got confirmed on Sunday and everything went fine.

…. We also had another investigator pop up.  We have a lady we are teaching that lives with a family of members.  One the daughters in the family is married and her husband has been coming to church.  He’s super awesome and asked us more about the priesthood yesterday and always is paying attention in church and everything.  He doesn’t live in this area yet but they are moving here in June!  I hope I will have the chance to teach him….but it’s just another one of those people who just pops out of nowhere prepared by the Lord.  It just reaffirms my testimony again, that this is His work and He is in control.  

Well I don’t know, that’s all I’ve got to write this week.... nothing really significant, just the daily life in the mission, teaching and everything.  We are still in a little phase where we have investigators that we are teaching and we are focused on that and helping them progress…. We also found another lady who is interested and we taught her two times now and she accepted the invitation to be baptized.  So we just have to keep working and help the investigators we have to progress, get baptized, then find new ones. I just hope we can help them all!

05/12/2014 - P-Day at the park with monkeys!
This one likes me because I gave him a whole bag of chips!
Me and my comp have to work hard this week and use all our time wisely. We need to work with the members and help them share the gospel and as always, we can always improve in our obedience. I know as I have a new assignment, I have a new determination to work a little harder and be a little better.  I know this church is true and I know that it can bless people’s lives and change them.  I remember talking with Erika about some things and how she used to have a bad mouth and stuff, but one day at work when people were talking bad she got up and left and everyone was like what the heck... people had noticed changes in her and she was even standing up for the church when people were saying we worship Joseph Smith and everything.  That’s the change and that’s what the gospel can do.  

I know it’s true and I’m glad I can be here to share it with others. I’ve got my little list of things to improve this week and we’ll see how it goes because I know I can be better, and I want to be the best missionary I can be.  I want to be able to say at the end that I tried my best and I can be satisfied and proud of my efforts. Even in life. Because we aren’t here for very long in the plan that God has for us. I hope we all can work towards that.  I love you all and have a good week!

Elder Ollis

Best Mother's Day Ever!

05/11/2014 - (post made by Elder Ollis' mom)

We were told to plan on skyping between 3:00 and 5:00.  At exactly 2:14 Tom received an email from Elder Ollis announcing "he was trying to connect."  Needless to say, we bolted from the ward building (church ended at 2:00) and raced home.  It took about 20 minutes to finally make the connection but we were able to see and hear him in living color!  And what a wonderful visit it was!  Here are a few things we learned from our time spent together….
  • We got to see the hole in his second pair of shoes….two down, how many more to go? 
  • Even in Cerro Verde, Choloma, which is a more developed city than his last area, he gets municipal water through a hose into a 50 gallon holding tank at his home.   The water is delivered sometime between 3:00 am to 2:00 pm and is available every 3-4 days.  It is very unreliable and they have gone as long as 8 days without water to fill their empty tank.
  • The people regularly protest the government because of the water situation.  On the way to their baptism on Saturday they were unable to drive to the church building because of a mob of protestors blocking the street with fallen trees.  They had to park the investigator's vehicle and walk to the building.
  • He is blessed to have a 3 ft tall refrigerator, stove and microwave.  However, they can only use one appliance at a time because there is only one outlet above the refrigerator.
  • He recently purchased fishing line and hook and is determined to catch a fish the next time they visit the beach on P-Day.  
  • He learned how to sew and has repaired two shirt pockets, a hole in one shirt and the hem of a pair of pants. 
  • White shirts and ties are the current forest fire gear!  Forest fires are very common due to the hot season and the irresponsible use of cigarettes.  Elder Ollis and his companion have helped put out fires on two separate occasions dressed in their missionary garb.
  • His Spanish is coming right along.  We laughed at his "accent" and his regular use of Spanish and English in one sentence. 
  • According to Elder Ollis his teeth are getting yellow because he eats so much lard!
  • Chicken feet is the most exotic thing he has eaten.  He refuses to eat "mondongo soup" which is made from cow feet and tripe (the last stomach of a cow).  
  • And although he is many miles away, he still asked Tom to report on whether or not he has had a colonoscopy.  

It was very apparent he is feeling more at home and comfortable with the language.  We met his companion who is from Peru, only six weeks in the mission, and speaks no English. A friendly wave, hola, and como estas were enough to feel how much he loves Elder Ollis.  Or maybe it was the kiss he gave Elder Ollis on the top of his head and the two thumbs up.

Elder Ollis loves his Mission President, fellow missionaries, and especially his companion.  The work is hard, but very rewarding.  He gave loving words of counsel to all of us and challenged us to "talk to more people and share the gospel."  He sends his love and best wishes to all and appreciates the continuing support he receives.  And one thing is for sure….he is still the funny, jokester, man of many faces we miss and love!

We wish to thank all of you who keep him in your prayers!  We love you!

Tom & Leslie and Family

The Lord Trusts Us to Move Forward and Do the Right Thing


Just want to share a little bit today… an experience I had this week that was a real scare.  We had a baptism planned for this past Saturday, however it didn’t happen.  We went to the house of this lady [who was to be baptized] three days before the baptism and taught the Word of Wisdom and we didn’t think she would have a problem with it.  Well, we were wrong.  She flipped when we explained that coffee is included in the list of “no-no´s”.  She said that she has been drinking coffee since she was a girl and wouldn’t quit.  She said it’s just better not to go back to church.  She told us we were inventing commandments. Well luckily we had a member with us and she was able to talk a little. But basically we said we know this is true and we’re not inventing it, and the only way she could know that, is if she prayed and asked God.  So we asked her what she wanted to do... try and do it, or not and just stop the lessons and quit going to church. Well she said she wouldn’t try.  So we said thanks for listening to us, the church is still open and we hope you can pray and ask and find that it is all true, and we left.  I was so bummed out.  I thought we had lost our golden investigator! So the next day we saw her daughter and we talked to her. She said that her grandpa got mad at her mom and they put a goal in practice and she didn’t drink coffee that day.  We went to see how she was doing three days later and she hadn’t drunk coffee in three days.  So all is good now and we are planning for her baptism this Saturday!  Oh yeah, her name is Erica.

We had a really good lesson too with another investigator named Juan Carlos.  He asked us in his lesson how he could have a spiritual experience in prayer and he said he really wants to have an answer for himself!  There’s the true intent!  So that was an awesome lesson and I hope he will read and pray about the Book of Mormon and recognize his answer!  

We have a family of four we are teaching too.  The mom is a member but has only attended like three times in her life.  Her kids are really interested.  Well, at least two, one of them was interested then started listening to some friend of his say stuff about the church and now he doesn’t want to listen.  But we had a lesson with the other two kids, and the girl named Lizbet, said that she knows the Book of Mormon is true! Her brother Cristian, is reading it and still doesn’t feel like he has an answer.  But I have hope, so we are going to commit them to baptism.  They didn’t come to church this week however and I was super bummed about that. There’s that agency thing again.

So we have some people that are progressing little by little. I have 
05/06/2014 - Elder Ollis and his fellow missionaries at
Wendy's.  I'm not sure how many there were, but I
guess they still have  appetites of growing boys!
hope they will be baptized soon!  Things are going well, just have to work hard and keep focused and listen for the spirit!  I was also made a District Leader this week... we´ll see how that goes. Love you all and I hope you guys can find opportunities to share the gospel too!  I know this church is true and I know that sometimes we fall into a routine, where life doesn’t really have anything significant.  But that is the time when we just have to stick to the basics and do what we should and The Lord will guide us through!  I don’t really know how to explain it very well, but sometimes an answer to prayer is nothing, because The Lord trusts us to move forward and do the right thing. And I think that happens in life.  We may feel that we have been abandoned or we haven’t felt his guide, or we haven’t had a real spiritual experience lately, but I think it’s because He just trusts us to keep moving and do the right thing.

Love you all and SEE YOU ALL (family) ON SUNDAY!
Elder Ollis