Tuesday, October 10, 2017

10/10/2017 - Because the Lord Blesses You When Work Hard

Dear family and friends back home, 

How are all of you? Hope things are going well for ya. Things are going well here too. This week was awesome. We worked so hard, which absolutely was the best. I love working hard. Honestly I can't really handle wasting time because the Lord blesses you when you work hard, and I am even more excited for this next week. We are super busy. 

But big news we had a cool miracle. Randomly last friday we got a text from some old contact named nicole. She said she hadn't met with misionaries in a long time and wanted to meet. So we met her that night and picked her up as a new investigator. It was really cool because when we walked in the first thing I noticed in her home was on the CD rack.  It was a primary songs CD. And one of the first things she says is she knows the Book of Mormon is true. Wow!

As for that this week was thanksgiving. Yesterday to be precise. It was a difficult day, we couldn't get any member lessons, or investigator lessons, and just about everything in our day fell through. So it was knocking doors. And no one would answer. One hard thing about this mission is it gets dark early, and people do not like us knocking on their door when it is dark. Even if it is only 6:30. So you ALWAYS try to fill your evenings with productive things because if not, it is really hard. But other than that brothers and sisters, Just keep doing what you are doing, keep Christ as the center of your lives and keep praying for BYU. I do. Because prayers do make a difference. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful, exciting week. And share the gospel! 

2020 Heisman winner, ELDER OLLIS

10/7/2017 - Retrainers Mtg Lunch
Elder Ollis with his companion on the left

10/7/2017 - Retrainers Mtg with all new missionaries and their Trainers

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Hello everyone,

Well, this was a super fast week. HOLY COW I LOVE CONFERENCE!! What a spiritual refresher, it honestly was the best thing, the most useful thing to me personally. Honest, this area is hard and I needed a bit of a boost. And yeah, I got that between a fantastic zone conference and general conference and Monday, a great district meeting. I was pretty proud of it. So things are going good.

But before I talk more, I want to address a critical concern. I have felt a lot of pressure from my fans to say this, but I’m officially going to walk on to BYU, that quarter back position needs to be filled and I just can't take the pressure anymore. So Mom and Dad if you could get me eligible for the NCAA. And everyone write me in for your Heisman ballots in the 2019-2020 season. And book a flight to the playoffs because we are going!!

But back to the mission, General Conference was fantastic. I can't pick a favorite because that is just unfair, they were all so good. My favorite session was Saturday morning. I don't know who picked the speakers but who ever it was, picked literally all my favorites and put them in one session. (Thanks heavenly father!) President Uchtdorf (which since serving with a German comp, you all pronounce it super wrong), Christopherson, Holland, Oaks and I don't remember who the seventy was but it was fantastic! I love it and am going to get it all this week to listen to.

Yesterday we were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and I went to their area. Well it always happens like this to me, but Elder Woltron and Elder Fellows picked up two new investigators in a night. I have never done anything like it, and of course, when I am gone. And worse off, they are YSA! So we find, but don't get to teach. But that is how it goes sometimes! But I know brothers and sisters that the Lord has a work for us. No matter what it is, no matter if we are finding for others. I love you all.

And just one more quick note, it snowed yesterday. It was supposed to be done and melted by 12 but Canada doesn't care. We got nearly a foot. It was amazing. Also our car froze shut so we had to pry it open this morning. I sent photos.

10/3/2017 - First Snow of the Season

10/3/2017 - Elder Woltron walking through the first foot of snow

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

9/26/2017 - I Love This Gospel. I Love My Savior.

Well hello everyone,

Well this week was crazy quick. We had interviews, which are always super good because President Miles is honestly the coolest and most uplifting mission president. We were so stacked all week it was nice, moving from lesson to lesson, and I only hope to keep it up this week. This next week is going to be honestly the best. We have Zone Conference on Friday, so we get to hear from our mission president, then general conference for the next two days. It is the best line up since college football weekends back home, but even better because general conference has eternal importance. Unfortunately college football does not (though I personally believe it will be in the Celestial kingdom, because it wouldn't be celestial without the playoffs haha).  Big news is we found a NEW INVESTIGATOR! Such a miracle. We were going back to teach a less active guy in our ward. And the dude is the man, he just brings his interested non-member friend and we pick him up as a new investigator. It was super cool. I was looking in our area book and this area hasn't found anyone new since about may or june, so a LONG drought. But the bad news, and this is just my luck. The new guy doesn't live in our ward. He lives oddly enough right next door to some sisters in our zone. So we will have to pass him off. That is just the story of my life this week. We got about 3 referrals, all YSA. So that is cool.

But I did want to share a spiritual thought, because even when things are tough (and they are tough here) we can always be uplifted by our savior. So this week in my personal study I finished the Articles of Faith. So I had to find something new. Well, I was pondering about nephi, and how he said he loves the plainness of Isaiah. And it confused me. I also remembered our savior said to study the words of Isaiah. So I bet you can guess. I have begun an in depth study of the words of Isaiah. I printed off a bunch of study helps, read through the ensign, which offers help, opened 2nd nephi and of course d&c which offers explanations. I have come to love the words of Isaiah! And here is why. They aren't scary. Nephi tells us he loves the words of Isaiah because it talks of Christ. That is why he put it in the BOM and it is absolutely a testimony to our savior Jesus Christ. Another thing nephi says is he delights in the plainness of the gospel. Let me highlight the plainness of the words of Isaiah. Because yes, they are plain. I found out what nephi was meaning. So here it is. In Isaiah chapter 9 it’s very easy to see what nephi meant. So first lets go to chapter 8. I am not going to make it easy. Isaiah 8: 14 says " and he shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Now in Isaiah a helpful hint, if you don't understand something think of the savior, its probably who he is talking about. Same here. He gave us a parable, or visual. We are in a river, the water, flowing down in one path. Our savior is a rock. No matter who we are, we cannot move on without changing our course. No one can. Regardless of what people say, they cannot avoid our savior. Everyone has to change course and everyone will acknowledge him. Which is so beautiful. Our savior is for everyone.

But now lets remember that as we move to chapter 9. There is a common theme in the scriptures, if it repeats 3 times it probably is worth giving it a little thought. Such as when our Savior tells Peter to "feed my sheep" on the banks of the sea of Galilee, or the fact that the savior himself visited 3 distinct groups of people. The People in israel, the nephites and the lost tribes. But I feel as important as those are, Isaiah goes through chapter 9 to describe the horrible sins Israel committed against Him. But read verse 12, " for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." He goes on in verse 17: " his arm is stretched out still" and verse 21:" His hand is stretched out still." Brothers and sisters that is the plainness of the gospel as nephi said. Our savior has paid the price, and his hand is always outstretched. Regardless of all the other doctrine we members like to ponder and talk about, regardless of all the people in the world that try to deny our savior, this one simple doctrine can never be revoked. That our savior loves us, enough to lay down his life for us, so that all of us can reach for his hand. No matter what we or anyone else has done, we can always have our savior on our side. And I love him for that. Brothers and sisters I love this gospel. I love my savior. I know that regardless of our mistakes, nothing is short of his mercy. Love you all and don't forget the “plainness” of this gospel.

Elder Ollis

09/14/2017 - Posterity Picture with Elder Ollis
Elder Wiwchar, left and Elder Ollis, center and Elder Walton, right

09/02/2017 - A Piece of Home and the Greatest License Plate Ever!

09/10/2017 - A castle in Lethbridge

09/19/2017 - The Coulee

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

9/19/2017 - I Am Excited and Honored to Train Him

Hola everyone. 

So this was another goofy week. We were busy all the way up until thursday saying goodbyes from elder Vea and teaching appointments, then I picked up my new companion and just about every appointment cancelled. So it wasn’t the best intro to the mission I wanted for my new companion. But let me tell you about him. So his name is Elder Woltron. He is from Germany, Bavaria, so the southern part. He was born in Taiwan and has traveled all over the place and he is a big goofy kid, in the best of ways. He is a little older, 21. I am excited and honored to train him.

We met with some members this week, their names are the Tanners. It was crazy because they lived in West valley for 20 years. I was hoping they would know my Nana and Papa but they lived in the Hunter stake. But still pretty wild how close it was to home. Anyway, there isn't much more I have to say. We just keep doing the Lords work. Also I am now a district leader. But love you all and hope you have a good week. 

Elder Ollis

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

9/12/2017 - The Only Thing We Can Change is Ourselves...So Pray for Charity

Hey everyone. So this week flew by once again. So first off President just really knows how to mix things up. So this week as I previously mentioned, was transfer calls. And I was right, Elder Vea got a transfer call. But so did I! So I am training here again and Elder Vea is going to Raymond to train there. It is wild. So friday we had to drive up to calgary with Elder hernandez in our zone to trainers meeting. That was a lot of driving and a long day. But that is how it goes. Which means with us training our entire zone except the Zone leaders and Stls are training! tons of Greenies! It is going to be another wild transfer. The craziest thing was at trainers meeting there were Zone Leaders who will be training a new missionary. I have never heard of anything like that but it is happening, and here comes another huge influx of missionaries.

09/08/2017 - Trainers Meeting in Calgary
Elder Ollis, left front and his companion, Elder Vea, to his left
But as for that our stake also had stake conference this weekend. We had a seventy come to it since our stake recently got reorganized. It was Elder Maynes. So we got to shake his hand but that was it. But President Miles also came and spoke as did the first counselor in the temple presidency. It was really cool, and President definitely had the best talk, so grateful for his service. But that was our week, mostly tons of visits and appointments and finding and tons of smoke.

So not much else to say except I would like to share with everyone a scripture I think we all need. It has become increasingly frustrating as we meet with people to hear them talk about all the problems with the world right now. As there are many, terrorism, disasters, political turmoil, poor economy and so on. And I am not trying to blame them, but it is frustrating to hear people everyday point out an issue. But no one EVER proposes a plan to fix it, or ever does anything to maybe help improve the awful world we are in. And it caused me to reflect on what things we see are wrong, and most importantly, what can I do to help. It is just like faith, it is one thing to say we believe but another to act. And a scripture struck me this week that I feel we all can do, and must do. Open to Moroni 7, some scriptures I’m sure you have heard before. But go to verse 46, moroni tells us about charity. "Wherefore, my beloved bretheren, if ye have not charity, yea are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail." This Christlike attribute is as moroni says, the greatest of all, but why? It is because as he said all things must fail. And look around at those terrible things, I think things might be failing, and as things fail we can only strive to live as Christ would and love others. It is the only solution. It is so easy to point out the faults and the failings, but those aren't things we can change, the only thing we can change is ourselves. Now look at verse 48. How do we get this gift? "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his son, Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God, that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope that we may be purified even as he is pure." Brothers and sisters there are things we can't change, but we can be a force for something better. I know as we love, even when it is hard, believe me it is hard. But I know that if we do, if we strive and pray with all our hearts for that gift, it will make such a big difference. And as we all do this, I know things can get better. So pray for charity and pray for the ability to love all. It is of course the First and Great commandment. 

Elder Ollis

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

09/05/2017 - We Are Supposed to Remember Him. So Please Do.

It is called poaching. Poaching is when you find, teach and baptize someone not in your area and stewardship. Well the sister missionaries we replaced had a baptism this weekend. Turns out, the girl was 17, not YSA.  Stolen from right under our nose. A little frustrating. But other than that our week flew by. We had a gator [investigator] we had found that moved so we passed her off to the sisters, (the sisters are ruining my life right now, ha ha) and they are going to put her on date this week so that is great. We were on exchanges, and I was with our district leader Elder Pentz. Not much to say there just another busy day. Things here have been so busy, which is good. Honestly it is crazy how quick time is flying. We are going through lots of changes. They should start calling some people for a ward council soon, and we have stake conference. So things should go well.

We were able to meet up with tons of members and have tons of people we are going to see and follow up with. Things have smoothed a little. As for our investigators, we don't have anything solid. I am not trying to sound down cause I am not, I am just giving you straight facts. We have 3 in Chinook. Mike has been investigating for a long time. We only read scriptures with him because if we start pushing he will leave. Like literally stand up and walk out of the lesson. So we are trying to get the fellowship to do it because he trusts them. He doesn't have much of an interest in coming to church. Stephanie, we just found out yesterday she is moving in a few weeks. And she is living common law and smokes. Has a long way but has some of the most pure intent I have seen in the mission. Then there is Marsha. marsha, marsha, marsha. She just won't keep commitments, won't answer questions and her fiance wants her baptized. But we won't baptize her because she doesn't care, doesn't know anything, and won't listen. Then in Coulee Ridge we have one named Marylin. She has been investigating for years. She is called a dry Mormon because she goes to church, lives like she should, except she smokes, and believes everything, she just won't get baptized. Also we haven't met her yet. She has been out of town.

Training calls go out tomorrow night and I have this sneaking suspicion one of us is leaving. Which is sad. I have loved serving with Elder Vea and I hope to be able to do one more. But you just never know. Elder Vea is a great missionary and I think he will train because he hasn't yet. This is a good area and there is another big transfer coming where President is going to have to open a few areas to take in the influx. It will be wild again.

As for that brothers and sisters, I want you all to know we are loved by our heavenly father, he gave us his son Jesus Christ and I know it is only because he loves us so much. Let us never forget that as we take the sacrament each week, we are supposed to remember him. So please do.

Elder Ollis