Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11/21/2017 - What A Commitment...

Hello everyone. Another week done and time continues to pick up speed. Why does time do that? (I actually know the answer to that, but I just won't go on a tangent) But anyway, not too much noteworthy to share, so I will share two experiences. One of them is mine and one is not. I was just pumped for the other missionaries and they are in my district so I am sort of responsible for them.

First one. This week was Zone conference and we had a General Authority there, Elder Nattress of the Seventy. It was super awesome, such a good zone conference. It was especially cool because we talked about two things, family history and the new Light The World initiative. And me and Elder Woltron were inspired, because we had previously felt that we really needed to start using both of them. We had made plans and were already beginning to use these two things in our area. But anyway. We were all able to shake hands with Elder Nattress before it began and each time he would ask the missionary where they are from and say thanks for serving. Well when I got up there he looked at my name and said Elder Ollis (and he pronounced it correctly) and asked of course where I am from. I told him I am from taylorsville Utah and he asked if my father served a mission. Of course I said yes, and he asked where. Sacramento was the answer and he said he did too. He remembered my father from his mission. They served the same time! It was super cool, and such an awesome experience. I talked to him after the zone conference and he was able to share some of the areas he served, and I told him we were able to attend the temple dedication. It was a super cool experience and he was very complementary of “The Older Elder Ollis” and he told me to say hello. And, I wanted to share this as it was Dad's birthday this past week! Happy birthday! 

11/11/2017 - Proof for his mother that he is ready to
"bring on winter" and -40 degrees!
The other experience was a cool one our district had. Another set of Elders picked up a new investigator and put him on date. They weren't able to get him baptized and so they had to push it back so they asked him to pray for the date. Dec 9 is when their investigator felt it should happen. A lot sooner than the elders wanted or expected, but they decided to make it happen. So they didn't bother to dodge it anymore and taught the word of wisdom to him. He loves his coffee, just bought a new coffee maker, and loves smoking and ice tea. So he agreed. Dumped his cigarettes in the toilet, and his coffee, dumped out all his ice tea and sold his coffee maker. What a commitment for someone who wants it! Love you all!  Elder Ollis

In an Email to his parents:  …We do come from good stock. On both sides. We met with a family history consultant this week because we are trying to connect family history to missionary work. Get this, if an investigator gets baptized and takes their own family names to the temple within 2 months, their activity rate sky rockets to 90%, whereas without that experience it is only 20%. Pretty incredible! But anyway, what I found out is on mom’s side we are related to John Tanner.  He had three wives and we are from his second wife. Do you know who he is?  He is basically responsible for the Kirtland Temple and he saved it. So his story is that he was about to die because of a diseased leg, so he met the missionaries, and was healed.  So he gives basically everything to the church. He was VERY wealthy and saved the Kirtland temple.  It is a super good story. Joseph Smith called him Father Tanner. Another great example of commitment and faith!

The church made a movie about him and we watch it all the time because it is for investigators.  It’s called: Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story. It is on the D&C Videos with the restoration movie, only a stonecutter and mountain of the lord.  Or I’m sure you can find it on lds.org or youtube. It’s a great movie!

You can find it at the link below:
Treasure in Heaven: The John Tanner Story

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

11/14/2017 - I Love My Savior...He Truly Does Love Us

Hello everyone!

Another week in a blur. To update, we went on exchanges twice so it felt like I was never with my companion again. But it was a good week, super busy and tons of lessons and things are going well. Our investigators right now are doing alright, we have one named mike and weren't able to meet him for a while but he contacted us and we are meeting regularly again and we didn't even have to remind him to read his scriptures. He just started up again! It was an amazing miracle! But other than that I have some sad news from Nicole. We already knew we wouldn't be able to baptize her for a little while because of a ton of legal things that I just don't want to go into. But turns out she is going back to seattle for a month and then edmonton for another month and so we won't see her until january, and there is still a chance in January she will have to go to Quebec for a while too. So basically we visited her last night and said good bye and committed her to continue reading the BOM while she is away. But none the less I am so excited to be here, I was super sad to have to say goodbye as it is highly likely I will be transferred before she returns. That is how it goes sometimes, but nothing stops the work of the Lord.

But this week I read something that gave me even more of an appreciation for the savior. He really does love us. This is one of my new favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, it is 3 nephi 19. And what I found was so cool. As I read it, I thought of the new testament and the chapters where the atonement is performed and the parallels between the two. One with a good example and one with a bad. So what I found was that in both scriptures, the Savior directs his 12 to pray, and he goes a little way off to pray, returning 3 times to his disciples. Now in the new testament, he finds them sleeping, and on the third time he says "sleep on." But think about how much better it could have been if they would have prayed, and what the savior would have said? Luckily in the BOM we have an account of what it would have been like, "and jesus said unto them: Pray on." (verse 26)  Now I wanted to point out a few things. The savior is not performing the atonement again, but the parallel between the two is what I found fascinating. And the other thing, is the significance of what happened each time the savior left the 12 in the book of mormon and the things he prayed for. In verse 28 it records what the Savior prays for, it says "father, I thank thee that thou has purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me." And the wonderful thing I realized was that our Savior is praying for his servants and their investigators. How amazing is that! I love my savior and I am so grateful that I have this chance to represent him. He truly does love us.

Elder Ollis

The attached picture is of our investigator Nicole, her boyfriend, who is a recent convert, and their baby as we said goodbye.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

11/7/2017 - All It Takes Is For Us to Open Our Mouths and Share What We Know Is True


This week was awesome. Super fast to be honest. Can't believe how that flew by. But anyway. It was amazing. Thursday it snowed a ton. Friday it snowed a ton and Saturday it snowed. Not enough though. So we are thrown into winter and I love it! It is strange though because there is no thanksgiving here in november everyone is ready for Christmas, especially with the snow. Also this week on saturday is Remembrence Day to remember all those who served in the armed forces in any way. So everyone wears a poppy on their chest all week. So lets go Canada!

Anyway this week was super busy, super stacked and I don't know what else to say. We were in appointments all week and it is looking like our next week will be similar. We are going on exchanges tonight and thursday night too, so Elder Woltron and I won't be together too much this week. Which is always super weird. But anyway things are going good, just the eternal conflict of trying to find people to teach. But I love this work, I really do. And I love the book of mormon so much. In fact, this week we made a ring tone for our phone so every time someone calls or text us, Elder Holland goes off saying "the book of mormon is true, the book of mormon is true." And it is!!!! I love that book, and brothers and sisters, it changes lives! As you apply the principles it teaches it will strengthen us and help us overcome all of our problems. It is the best book and came from so much sacrifice. I love you all so much and am so happy to be here to serve the Lord. We are going to find someone this week and I will tell you about it next week. So have a good week!

Also on another thought. BYU's last home game this season is particularly special. They will be playing in honor of a kid named Kevin and he is from Cardston, a city not far from where I am now. He had osteoporosis and passed away about 2 weeks ago. He was 19 years old. Now let me tell you why this is so special. Kevin loved missionaries and missionary work. He was severely disabled but that never stopped him from sharing the gospel in any way he could. His facebook account was full of him helping others and reaching out to lift. He had an incredible testimony, but brothers and sisters, he touched my life as well. This week we were able to help move a lady who hasn't been active in the church for years. And her husband does not like the church. But because of Kevin and his testimony (he was her nephew) this family accepted help from the missionaries to help them move and hopefully at some point missionaries will be able to teach them. He is such an example.  All it takes is for all of us to open our mouths and share what we know is true. And that is exactly what Kevin did. And is what we all can do as well. So when you all see that game, lets cheer for Kevin because we know exactly what he is doing now. Sharing the gospel.

Love, Elder Ollis

The photo is of our snow cones we made. We scooped up fresh powder and poured maple syrup all over it. And fun fact, Canada is the only nation in the world that has a national reserve of maple syrup. Well, joke’s on the world! Syrup is more expensive then gasoline. Who is laughing now?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

10/31/2017 - One of Them is Fishing and the Other is Canucks!

Hey everyone! 

So this week was super fast. Can't believe it is P-day again. But not looking forward to today since as you know it is Halloween.  And yes there is Halloween up here. Which means we go in at 6. So basically today we do p-day stuff, eat dinner and go home. I think I might explode cause we can't do anything this evening. I really just want to work! Also we got permission to go to the temple next Tuesday so our email time will probably be pretty short cause we have a drive we have to make to Cardston, but I am super excited because I haven't been able to make it to the temple since April. So thankful that our mission has 2 temples!

But nonetheless we had a really busy week, tons of lessons and tons of trying to find, the usual grind. But we were able to find a new investigator this week! Her name is Kaitlyn Laine and she was a media referral, which usually doesn't lead to much but this time it worked! Anyway we had a lesson with her sunday night. She had met missionaries before and was supposed to be baptized but she didn't get baptized and lately she felt she needed to contact missionaries again, so she found us. But she is 27 and single so we will have to pass her off to YSA but at least we found someone! As for that we had an awesome lesson this week with our investigator Nicole. We taught her the Word of wisdom and she is going to live it. She is from seattle and she said coffee will be really hard but she can do it. I have confidence she can. She is so ready for baptism. The past few lessons we have gone through the interview questions and taught what we thought she might not know or understand, and she is ready! The only problem is she needs to get married or split up. But the problem is, because of a ton of legal complexities, they can't get married for several months and it won't be in Canada. So we are going to have to try and have them live separately, but the hard part is they have a child. So we are praying! ! We want her to be baptized so bad and she is right there, but one really big thing needs to change. But that is kinda how it goes.

As for that we have another awesome, super busy week. We have to take our car into the dealership to get it fixed, so this week will be awesome because we are supposed to get snow tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and SATURDAY!!! I am so pumped!   We are basically going to be digging ourselves out this week! I especially love knocking doors in the snow cause each stair case is a slope, and I can get in a few turns. You just always have to be finding where you can put in some powder cuts! haha. Also BYU won! I knew they couldn’t be the worst team in college football! Especially not until I go play there!

But as for that everyone I just wanted to leave you with a testimony.  This week I have changed focus on my study and thrown myself at the book of mormon. Let me tell you, I love the book of Mormon! Let it also be known that I KNOW that book is true. I love in the intro Joseph said a man will get closer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book. And it is true. That book is full of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that if we apply to our lives, we can make it to live with our Father in heaven. He loves us, and there is nobody that is outside of his reach. And the way to reach to Him is through the book of mormon. I love you all and I am so happy to be a missionary! It is honestly the best thing I have ever done and I have never been this happy in my life. I love you all and I love the people of Canada. President Monson once said he has a few soft spots, one of them is fishing and the other is Canucks! It is so true! Love you all!

Elder Ollis

Thursday, October 26, 2017

10/24/2017 - We Always Have A Reason for That Visit, So Don't Cancel

Hey y'all,

So this week was another one tough one but we keep working and it keeps working. The story of our lives lately has been appointments that fall through. Let me be stern with all of you back home. DON'T LEAVE MISSIONARIES TO DRY. That is a commandment so just don't do it. We always have a reason for that visit, so don't cancel.  And don't forget if you set one up. But anyway. Now that I got that off my chest it was a strange week. First the events that happened. So Mom this is to you. WE ARE TOTALLY SAFE. And were safe all week. But last tuesday we had some crazy wind. I mean I heard 130+ kilometers per hour. Insane! Apparently it knocked a train over. And it knocked out power in lethbridge in some areas. And in the midst of that, we had a fire right next to our part of the city and parts of the town were on evacuation notice and they evacuated an appartment in our area. So that was nuts. Also had another strange experience, these Jews let us in their home and bashed with us for a while. It was strange, we were both right and often saying the same stuff. But still disagreeing.  Anyway, that was about our week. Tons of work, trying to contact and searching for more people to find. But that is what a missionary does! I love it! Anyway we are excited for a super busy week. And a ton of fun. Love you all and don't ever forget our Savior. He loves each and everyone of you, I can testify of these things. Miss ya tons and keep putting in work! I know I will!

Elder Ollis

Thursday, October 19, 2017

10/17/2017 - But Nonetheless We Kept Working

Hello everyone. 

So this week was hard, but super rewarding. Full of miracles that I felt were pretty sacred and I'm not sure I want to share. So first off the reason it is hard. We had tons of appointments this week but the story of this week was they would fall through. Basically we had 13 lessons fall through all week. So we had to find 13 hours of unplanned work which is hard and frustrating and super annoying because knocking doors sometimes feels like a waste of time.  But nonetheless we kept working. We have been working off some lists: part member families, prospective elders, and unbaptized children to find those people who need a message, or who have non member friends.  So that was our week trying to contact and teach those people. Unfortunately, not too much success. 

10/6/2017 - My sculpture of Christ out of sand
This week is also transfers, and I think this will be the first regular transfer I have had in a while! No wild changes! In fact I think my district will stay pretty much the same, we get one sister and one elder. As for that we had some cool experiences but still are trying to find people. I hope you all have a good week. Miss you tons.

Elder Ollis

10/16/2017 - My District

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