My Invitation is that We All Take Conference Seriously


Well, it’s been another week here in Rio Lindo Cortes. I don’t have very much time or much to say this week either. We had a pretty difficult week.  We are having a little problem finding people who will progress. We have a few investigators that were really interested, but we haven’t been able to find them for various reasons. So it’s been pretty uneventful here, just trying to find new people to teach.  We were able to find the husband of one of our investigators who came to church two weeks ago. And he was really open too. He talked to missionaries when he was little, so I hope we can baptize the both of them. Our good friend Obidio (he calls us on the phone frequently for nothing, and one time he told me to not forget to pray) has had a pretty rough week too.  First of all, his wife has stopped cooking for him, because he listens to us. And on Sunday, a bunch of family, a few of which are pastors, came to his house, and I’m sure just bashed on him. We tried to go talk to him, and his granddaughter came out and told us he would talk to us in our appointment on Monday.  So, unfortunately, I think we might have lost him too.  Other than that, just contacting... I also am speculating, that I will leave this next change from Rio Lindo.  I don’t know, it could happen or not, but I do have three months here. So who knows.  

I just wanted to talk a little bit about something really important.  Right now is my favorite time of year.  Here comes General Conference, and then Christmas too, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now.  I’m so stoked for General Conference.  It’s such a blessing that we have a living prophet in this day.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is the mouthpiece of God, and the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators.  There are many people who think that the prophets ceased with John the Baptist, but according to Amos 3:7, the Lord won’t do anything, until He first reveals His secrets to a prophet.  The Lord is revealing His secrets in these, the last days.  

The other day, we contacted a lady and we were talking about Christ’s primitive church, and I asked her how she would feel to know that there are 12 apostles here on earth just like in Christ’s time.  She said that it interests her, and she would have to listen to them to know if they were true or not.  I wanted to scream, “COME TO CONFERENCE ITS GOING TO BE SICK,” because it really is a blessing that we get to listen to prophets, and apostles of God. I know that if we heed their words, we will never go astray.  They truly are inspired men of God.  Christ is guiding this church through his prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  What a blessing it is, to know that we have divine guidance through leaders that really are inspired. I know that the prophet is God’s messenger for us, and that what he says is the word of God. That is why it’s so important to follow what he and the other prophets and apostles are saying.  

My invitation is that we can all take conference seriously.  Sleep well before, and stay awake, having prayerfully pondered some questions, so we can receive the answers to those questions through the speakers that will address us in this conference. I hope we can all learn and put in practice what we are taught by the prophets and apostles, so we can stay on the straight and narrow path and follow the Lord’s counsel that we will receive. I know that there is a prophet of God on the earth that is capable of guiding us through, and warning us of, the many dangers that are in this earth.  So lets heed his words! Love you all and listen this weekend!

Elder Ollis

All That Is Required of Us...Just Be Obedient


Well hello everyone, it’s been another long week here in Honduras.  It was way hot this week, so that was pretty hard.  But here I am.  This week I don’t have much to say, just wanted to share a little scripture that I really like. And I honestly cannot find it right now…and I have no time.  Joking, just found it. 

In Mosiah chapter 2 verses 20 to 22 it talks about a very important principle.  It explains that even if we served God all our lives and dedicated everything to him, we would still be indebted to him.  God gave us life.  He sent His only begotten son to die for us, He blesses us, He watches over us.  We will never be able to repay [Him] for all that He has given us.  But verse 22 is very important, and really shows the love God has for us.  All that is required of us, is that we do what He says. Nothing more.  Just be obedient. God could ask so much more of us. He has done so much for us and yet asks so little.  Just to be obedient.  And again as it says, when we do that we are blessed.  So even doing that (being obedient), He blesses us even more.  It’s a big chain.  He is always blessing us and we will never repay it. 

I can see the love God has for us in this scripture. All He asks is that we obey. I know He loves us and wants us to return with Him, and we can do it.  We can do it through the gospel, and through Jesus Christ.  I know God loves each of us. I hope we can all understand this simple principle and do what God asks of us, which is to obey.  I know that as we do this, we will be blessed.

Love you all,  Elder Ollis

He Takes What We Have and Makes Us Into Something More


Well, beautiful people, it was an awesome week!  Things are starting to click with my new comp and our lessons have improved a lot.  And we were able to find some awesome new investigators this week!  We found a lot of people who are interested to listen to our message.  We actually had a lesson of almost two hours yesterday with a man, just answering his questions. And, WE FINALLY HAD PEOPLE THAT CAME TO CHURCH, wooooohooooo!  For the first time in three weeks we had two investigators come to church.  So it was a pretty good week.  I know we still have to improve things next week too, but we made some progress this week, so I was pretty happy.  

I was just reading the other day in Matthew, and the scripture was pretty thought provoking to me.  In chapter 15, verse 33, we have the story of when Jesus fed four thousand men with 7 loaves of bread and some fish.  But specifically in verse 34 was what called my attention.  When Jesus asks his apostles (translating here, not exactly what was said in English, I’m sure) “how many loaves do you have?”  He didn’t ask them to go find more.  He just asked them for what they had.  

I had a thought come into my head, something like, He only asks what we have.  I sat there thinking about this story and it really struck me as something that we can apply to our lives.  The apostles only had a few loaves and fish, and Christ only asked them for what they had.  We too, have only little that we can offer to Christ in comparison with what He gave us. Many of us have callings, difficulties, and things like that.  But Christ only asks for what we have, and all that we have.  As we keep reading these verses, we see that with the little resources the apostles had, He composed a miracle.  He fed all the people there and “all ate and were full” (v 37) and what was left over, filled seven baskets (v 37).  He took what they had to offer and multiplied it and made it into something miraculous, something beyond what the apostles were able to offer.  He not only fed the people, but there were left overs.

I sat thinking about this. Christ only asks for what we have, even all that we can offer him, our best.  And through His grace, He takes what we have and makes us into something more.  Through his grace we can receive divine strength beyond our own.  As we give our all, our might, mind and strength to Christ, He can take that and, through his grace, give us strength to do all that we need to do, even miracles.  We can receive strength to do all we need ¨to feed the four thousand¨ and not only that, we can receive strength to do more than necessary, even ¨to fill seven baskets.¨  That is His grace. I honestly can’t explain exactly how I was thinking.  But they received His help to complete what needed to be done.  But not just complete the task, there was more when they finished.  It’s the same with us.  As we give our all to Christ, He can take what we offer and help us with what we need.  But we can also receive strength to do more than just complete something.  We can prevail.  

I know Christ can do that. I know His grace is real.  I have seen it.  He has helped me in things that I can’t do, or where I was weak.  I know He lives and that He will come again.  I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be His representative.  I know that as we give our all to him, He will make us strong to do more than just survive, but to prevail.  I love this gospel, His gospel, and I know its true.

Love you all, and have an awesome week!
Elder Ollis

Maybe I'm Just Planting Seeds for the Future


Hello, you lovely people!  I hope you all had a great week.  I had a pretty good week.  Sadly, my comp, Elder Trejo, had to change.  Which was a bummer because he’s been my favorite comp so far.  And now I have a new comp named Elder Colindres from El Salvador.  Things are going alright with the changes, just getting accustomed to each other’s teaching styles, and if you are in the mission you know what I mean. 

So this week was a little rough, because for the third week in a row no one [meaning, no investigators] came to church.  I was a little disappointed on Sunday.  But I felt the spirit in the testimony meeting and I felt better after, and I was able to just keep working and feel alright.  I think the Lord is really trying to teach me something here in this area.  We had some success here, and I really have bettered myself as a missionary in many ways, and now the success has stopped basically. 

Now, I’ve shared many times, experiences that have helped me to learn that this is the Lord’s work, and I know it is.  I know He is preparing people. However, I think He is teaching me something a little different.  I know this is His work, and I know I just have to keep working hard, having faith, being obedient, seeking His will, and doing my best.  And that’s all I can do.  And if that means that there aren’t baptisms, even though I’m doing all that, it doesn’t mean I’m failing.   Something my sister said to me today, which is really true and is something that I’m learning and having to trust, is that many people take a lot of time to accept the gospel and that maybe I’m just planting seeds for the future. And maybe that’s all the Lord wants me to do right now. I might not even see the harvest.  I think that the Lord is teaching me that I have to keep going forward and doing what’s right, even though there are problems and there’s not the success that I want. That I have to keep doing what He requires, even though what I want isn’t happening. So, like I said, I’d like to see some baptisms, and if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. I know I just need to keep doing what the Lord requires, which is to give my best.  So that’s the plan!

I know that as I work my hardest, keep improving my obedience, keep growing my faith, and keep seeking the will of the Lord and following it, I will have true success, because I will be trying to do what the Lord wants me to do. I know that as I’m learning this, it will benefit me for more than just my mission.  I love this work, and I know this is the true gospel that changes people’s lives. I’m so thankful for the opportunidad I have to share it with others, and to be a representative of Jesus Christ.  So with that I’ll just keep trucking along and getting it done!

Love you all and keep pressing forward, doing what’s right, and keeping the commandments, because that’s what blesses us.

Elder Ollis

P.S. I realized I typed a word in Spanish without thinking, ha ha, if you find it you win!

**In a letter to his dad, Elder Ollis wrote:  "We went to Pulhapanzak with the district today.  It's a waterfall and one of the "wonders" of Honduras.  It's pretty cool, but I can't send photos yet, I have to buy a card reader.  Remember, I only have access to old, antique computers."

So this is what we found online:  "Visit Pulhapanzak Falls near Lake Yojoa in the province of Cortes and see Honduras' largest waterfall.  Measuring nearly 140 feet, it appears to come out of nowhere, emerging from the tropical forests on the periphery with a raging torrent....When traveling through Honduras this is one sight you will not want to miss."

Are We High-Output, Low-Maintenance Members?


Well another week has gone by.  It was pretty good because we were able to go to a meeting and listen to Elder Alonso of the Seventy.  He’s absolutely hilarious. It was an awesome meeting and I was able to learn a few things.  I especially liked a quote from our Mission President’s wife.  She asked, are we high-output, low-maintenance members?  That was a really good question, and obviously I put it in my notes, but as a missionary.  Am I a high-output, low-maintenance missionary... it was something that I liked.  We as members of the church should be high-output, low-maintenance members.  

I’m comparing this to a car... so here we go. I know there are people in the world who are awesome about maintaining their cars.  They always change the oil, keep air in the tires, all the little things.  And generally these are the people that have their cars for a longer time before they die.  They don’t have problems, as compared to someone who never changes the oil, or does any of that stuff.  And their car serves them well.  Now we don’t have to change our oil, or check the air in the tires, or things like that, but we do need maintenance.  

We, as children of God, have to keep ourselves maintained.  And we can do it through the study of the scriptures, daily prayer, and weekly church attendance. These small and simple procedures will keep us better spiritually maintained in the long run. They require effort and consistency just like changing the oil, or checking the air in the tires, but if we do them, we will not be left on a lone road in the desert wishing that we would’ve done them.  They will keep us maintained.  If we do these things, we will be high-output members.  We will be capable of many things. We will overcome our problems, we will have strength in difficulties, and we will be able to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities. We will be the kind of person that He wants. We will have stronger testimonies. If we do these things, basically we will be a lot better off.

Now maybe that comparison doesn’t make much sense, but I loved the quote, and I know that if we do these things, we will be much better off.  Keep reading the scriptures, praying daily, and going to church. Keep yourselves well maintained to make it through the hazards and problems on the road that is life. I know that if we do these things, we will be ok. I know this is the true gospel, and the only true church that contains the true gospel, and I know that through these things, we can return with God.  

Love you all, Elder Ollis