And the Best of All! He Said a Perfect Prayer!


Well, hello people! I’m still alive! I think just a little bit dried up and leathery after the heat this week. It was a killer.... and it’s still going to get hotter.  This week begins “Semana Santa,” or basically a week where everyone goes on vacation and it’s really, really hot!  But the week ends with one of the coolest things ever…General Conference, and Easter too.  So I think it will be a really good week, even though we might not have anyone to teach, ha ha. 

This week things were good.  I’m on a mess load of pills to take care of last weeks run to the doctor’s offices. I should have to go back and have a scan thing to make sure things are good on Wednesday or something like that.

This week we did an awesome service project that involved a lot of wood and machetes and axes.  So I was pleased.  We split and cut and stacked a bunch of wood and I about sweated my brains out. It’s like when you are in the wrestling room with three sweatshirts on to lose weight and you’re completely soaked in sweat, except I was in a t-shirt and pants.  So afterwards I was dead.  And then we fasted the next day... so I was pretty dead that day.  But the Lord blessed us with rain to cool us off the past two days.  So it’s been nice.

As for the investigators, we had a lot of appointments fall this week, but as always, Hermano Chema has come through!  He went to church yet again this week.  We’ve been reviewing lessons to prepare him for his baptismal interview and he’s remembering what he needs to.  He even went to church in a white shirt yesterday.  And the best of all!  He said a perfect prayer!  He’d always end in the name of the father and the spirit and something else like that, but he finally did it right!

La hermana Bertha didn’t come to church this Sunday, and I honestly don’t know why.  She still has to get married... so we will see what happens with that.  We were also able to find a few men that were legitly interested in our message.  One of them actually contacted us as we were buying dinner.  So we were able to get a few solid people to teach the gospel to. 

Also this morning, I heard something that really made me happy.  We were talking to our cocinera (our cook), and she said she backed us up in ward council.  She told us that she told everyone in council meeting that we walk and work our tails off, and she said that the council is fasting for us.  Her son had gone with us one day to visit and all the appointments fell and we walked a ton.  He told her about it.  So it’s good to know the ward is backing us up.  We also had a presentation on the area plan that will help members participate more in the work and the members seemed to like it.  So now they all know and we are going to help them out and I hope the work will grow! 

So not much else, love you all, keep working hard, and I’ll do the same!
Elder Ollis

A view from our hike to the Rock of Merendon

Reunited with Elder Moeno, my MTC Companion!

He Calls Us His Professors


Well, another week has come and gone... crazy how that works. I finish one week and then another comes right behind it.  Anyways, this week was pretty... pretty crappy I’d say.  Sorry, can’t lie it’s a sin.  First off it started when I went to the bathroom, and I realized something is not normal [blood in his urine].  So I called the nurse, and I had to go a see a doctor, and I had a urinary infection.  Probably too much information.  So then as we were going to the pharmacy with the nurse/sister missionary, I mentioned I had another ingrown toenail that I didn’t know if it would have to be removed.  So she was like well let’s go see that doctor today too.  So then we went and removed ingrown toenail number five, and the doctor said I have fungus in my toenails.  He said I have to take a medicine, but I have to go take a blood sample to see if my blood is good to take it.  So then we went to take my blood and the results came in like two minutes before the foot doctor closed and he gave me the prescription.  We went and bought it and hobbled back to my area with one toe in a bandage.  Number five down, and I think I should be due for one more ingrown toenail right before I leave.  I’m so popular at the doctor’s office, I walked in and he said, “I thought you finished the mission”.... ha ha, we are good friends.  

We also had a whole bunch of other things that happened this week that required time so we were a little off the mark this week.  On Thursday I did get to go on divisions with the ZL’s, which means I got to reunite with my old MTC comp, Elder Meono.  It was a good time!

As for the work, things are good. Our 85-year old man, Chema, went to church this week again. And he went to see a baptism the other Elders had.  We pushed the date back a few weeks to really get him ready for the interview, because he’s old and forgets a lot, but he’s awesome!  He calls us his professors.  It was really funny the other day.  We’ve been trying to teach him to pray, and I told him to just repeat what I said the first time, like when you help a little kid.  But then he started doing that every prayer.  So we explained to him that he has to do it by himself now.  And so he starts out... Heavenly Father..... and then he’s like, see, that’s where I don’t know what to say.  ha ha He’s just like a little kid.  So I helped him and then we finished and he got all mad and frustrated, and I don’t know how to explain it, maybe pity would be the word.  But we just explained to him, we are here to help him. He’s been improving in his prayers and can almost do it by himself.  He always forgets the ending. He’s just the funniest old man ever.  He’s always got his cowboy hat too.  He should be getting baptized for the eleventh of April.

Bertha, our other investigator with a fecha [date], has to get married.... so that’s a dagger.  We also found another lady named Selena.  We taught two lessons with her, and we missed an appointment with her because she left to go do something.  So we finally got to meet with her again, and I’m not going to lie, I thought she wasn’t interested.  But it turns out she read Moroni 10 and had a few personal testimonies, that when we ask God for things, He responds.  She said she felt peace when she read it and that the words of Moroni are true.  We challenged her to baptism for a date and she accepted.  She didn’t come to church on Sunday for some reason, but it was just the complete opposite of what I was expecting.  I literally left the lesson and said to my comp... what the heck was that?  I hope it turns out the Lord really prepared her and she did find for herself that the Book of Mormon is true and gets to church!  I sometimes doubt and fear that the people lie to us about things, but I guess I just have faith that the gospel touched her life because it does have that power.  So those were the highlights and that’s all!

Elder Ollis

Christ Says...Come As You Are


Well, hello again, all you people who might still read my emails after all this time... if not... sorry for the spam mail (ha ha).  This week was pretty cool because we had our meeting with Elder Neil L Andersen, Richard J Maynes, Dean M Davies, and Elder Ochoa. So a lot of general authority was present.  I lied and said Elder Nielsen was coming.  Sorry, I was thinking of Elder Andersen’s first name and confused myself.  Anyways, it was just a short meeting and I actually got to shake all their hands too. And it was kind of funny because Elder Andersen wanted to speak Spanish with us and he spoke like a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, and French, all in one.  It was pretty interesting.  He talked about how the investigators have to know about the atonement and we have to know the scriptures to teach it to them.  He challenged us to learn from memory five scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and five from the New Testament that teach about the atonement.  He promised that if we did it we would have a confirmation that they are true as we remembered them in our hearts.  I don’t have my notes with me so I don’t really have much more I remember to share with you all, sorry.  But it was a good meeting and I learned quite a few things.  I hope I can complete the challenge because I know the promise he made will be fulfilled because he’s an apostle of the Lord, and I would love to feel that confirmation. It’s always good to have a spiritual confirmation of the things we know every once in a while just to strengthen our faith.  Like I mentioned a while back, I learned from Elder Ochoa that we should be more focused on following the spirit in the mission. And I feel like I’m not very good at that, and sometimes feel like I don’t have many spiritual experiences.  But I know that if I accept this challenge from a servant of God, I will have that confirmation.  

I just wanted to give a big shout out to the family for the package.  I seriously doubted the microwave mug cakes and they turned out to be legit.  I also loved the book about the atonement my lovely madre sent me.  The quote for the day said something about how Christ doesn’t say “you don’t meet the standard, come back when you’ve filled the standard.”  He says...come as you are. I really like that quote because really there is no standard.  I remember reading that all of us are on different levels of our spiritual progress and there shouldn’t be any reason to judge anyone else.  Christ accepts us as we are when we come to him humble enough to accept and follow Christ’s and God’s will. Because it’s the same.  That’s something I have been seeing in my mission.  After the conference with Elder Ochoa, I’ve been really straight forward when we contact people, telling them that our message is for those who want to learn and listen and are willing to change their lives to do what God requires of them. It’s sad to see so many not accept that, but what God requires of them is the gospel. That’s what he requires of all us, that we complete principles of the gospel to the best of our ability.  And like the quote says, as we come as we are to Him, striving to live the gospel each day, He accepts us, helps us, and through the grace that is possible through Jesus Christ, makes us into people that we could never become on our own. People ready to enter His kingdom and participate in all His blessings He has for us

Elder Ollis

[In Draper’s email to his dad:  “We had four new investigators in church on Sunday and have three baptisms scheduled on March 28 and April 11!  The work is moving right along. We are doing a lot of visits with members and encouraging them to give us more contacts. The ward we are in is awesome!”]

He Said I Looked Like Joseph Smith


Well, hello everyone! This was a hot week as usual, and for more than one reason.  I think I’m finally realizing to distinguish the gangsters from the normal people in my area.  Also gunshots were heard up the street last night. 

But in more important news, we finally have an investigator with a baptismal date! We were able to contact a reference of a really evangelical lady, and it was her uncle.  It turns out it’s some really interested old man.  He can’t read or write, but we taught him about the plan of salvation.  The first lesson and he was telling us he knows what he’s missing.  So we challenged him to baptism for the 28th and he said he would.  He even came to church on Sunday and they talked about tithing in sacrament meeting.  He said he wanted to pay tithing after the meeting, so he paid tithing too!  He doesn’t understand a lot but he is really interested. 

We also had another investigator come to church yesterday that we didn’t even think would come.  So I think things are starting to progress. We learned from Elder Ochoa that we have to be clear with the people.  As we’ve been doing that, we’ve found some people who appear interested.  So we just have to follow up with them and work hard.  The members are still pretty apprehensive about the missionary work, but we are going to keep pumping them up.  Things are looking pretty good. We should be having some success in a few weeks. 

I’m just really excited because we are going to have a meeting with four general authorities this Saturday, Elder Anderson and a few others.  I don’t remember all of them but it will be pretty crazy.  I hope to learn a few things from an apostle. It should be exciting!

Also a funny experience this week, the patriarch of the stake is in my ward right now.  And he totally said I looked like Joseph Smith in his testimony at fast and testimony meeting on Sunday.  Ha ha! It’s not true, but hey...  So things are good, just have to keep working hard and the results will come with faith and patience!

Love ya all, Elder Ollis

"The Best Mission in the World"
03/09/2015 - Recent Mission Leadership Conference
"The Best Mission in the World"
San Pedro Sula Oeste

Members and Missionaries Together


Well family and friends, it was a pretty long week.  Honduras just went into summer this week too. It’s been really hot…really hot.  But that’s life here.  I hear you all are freezing.  Anyways, I don’t have much this week.

This week we had a mission conference with Elder Ochoa. It was pretty cool.  He talked about some things that we should do as a mission.  That we need to follow the spirit more to find the people that the Lord has prepared. He also talked about how we should be planning weekly goals, not just monthly goals. We should be planning to have baptisms each week.  So it was pretty motivating.  I guess I really need to start focusing on the spirit more to find those people the Lord is preparing.  I’m also really excited because we are going to have a meeting with Elder Nelson!  An apostle is coming in two weeks!  So super stoked!

My comp and I don’t really have much to work with right now.  The elder that I came for, didn’t really do much. So we fasted and went to the meeting with Elder Ochoa hoping to receive a bit of inspiration as to what we should do as missionaries.  He’s in the presidency of the area of Central America, and they have been trying to put the members to work in the mission[ary] work here.  So we came up with a plan, following the area plan and what we learned from the mission conference, and made some goals about what we want to do here.  We want to put the members to work, and we have been passing around a form for them to fill out with names of people that they will prepare for the missionaries.  Using that form, we will get more people to teach and prepare ourselves to have baptisms each week in the next change.  

I honestly have felt and know that the area plan that the area presidency is putting into practice here is inspired. I feel that if the members have a desire to work, and they work with us and put in practice what the area presidency is saying, we will have a lot of success here.  It’s a big ward, and I’m excited to see what we can do. I know this plan is from God and we will receive a ton of blessings here in this area, if we follow it, members and missionaries together. So things should get pretty good.  As we say here, vamos a echar fuego!  (English translation:  Let’s take fire!)

Elder Ollis

03/02/2015 - Zone picture with Elder Ochoa and President and Sister Dester