Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12/12/2017 - I Love it Here Already!


Well another week is gone and to update you on the going ons.

So if you remember those photos I sent last week of the temple? Well, that is my area. Haha. I am now in Cardston!!! We cover 5 wards. Which is a lot. It has been quite the headache trying to figure out who is who and in what ward. But I love it here already!

12/11/2017 - My New Zone - Cardston Canada

Cardston has a population of 3000 people, and about 80% are LDS. So as you can imagine we do a lot of work through members. It is such a fun little town. I see the temple everyday, all day in fact. We live about a hundred yards from it. It is super cool. I love the people here already, our area is HUGE. In fact it touches my old area, about 45 minutes away. We have a Blood Tribe reserve that we cover and tons of farms. It goes to the US border. We actually have some members that live in the states and come to church here in Cardston. And so as you can also imagine the people are a bunch of super friendly farmers. I love it. Sundays they wear their best boots to church haha. It is so awesome. We also get like 50% off just about every store in Cardston because a member owns it haha. 

Our zone is HUGE. We never see them because they are all just too far away. We have 3 districts and 9 companionships in it and ours is the Cardston district. It is me and my comp Elder Crockett, from pleasant Grove Utah, and two sets of sisters. So we are oddly also the district leaders haha.

That is about all from me. love you all and hope you have a good week.  Elder Ollis

12/10/2017 - Cardston Temple at Night

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12/5/2017 - I Would Ask, Can Ye Feel So Now?

Hello everyone! 

Well another week is gone. Crazy. So on the update… sherry wasn't there for our appointment and we set up another appointment for tomorrow. So we might just be chasing her around trying to meet her again. But it is ok. It happens like that. We also picked up a new investigator last night. We had a lesson fall through so we were tracting into some former investigators we wanted to meet and knocked on mr. Krueger's home. He is an old dude from south africa and he let us in. He had some questions for us and we came and sat down with him and he just asked some simple stuff. We testified of all sorts of things from the restoration to the plan of salvation to the book of mormon. But he said he used to have a book of mormon and read a little and lost it so we gave him one and told him to read. He seemed really interested in that. Also this has never happened to me, it was a neat experience. We had some other cool miracles too and the work is going well.

11/28/2017 - Symbols on the sidewalk of Cardston Temple
Last week was super cool, we got to go to the temple. The Cardston temple is SOOOO COOL. It is super old and HUGE. But it has some really unique things. Such as the celestial room was not white. It had tons of wood, gorgeous paneled wood and gold designs. It was really unique, and quite a different feel. I enjoyed it a lot. Also there are these cool symbols on the fence and sidewalk that when it was rededicated, President Hinckley specifically asked to be placed. I took a picture and will send it. (yes this is ok for me to do) They are for a cool purpose, so when the 10 tribes are found they will see those symbols and know that it is a house of God. This temple has tons of cool history and stories.

11/28/2017 - Visit to the Cardston Temple
And lastly this week is transfers. I know that I will be leaving. Calls go out tonight, I don't know where, but last night President called and asked me to be a Zone Leader. So I don't know where, but I know I am leaving.

Lastly I wanted to leave you with a spiritual thought. I have recently felt like I should study and teach the atonement as often as possible. so that is what I have done for investigators, less actives, and members. all I have done is tie everything back to the atonement. And I had some thoughts for you. I was studying in the book of Alma. And brothers and sisters what I found this week is that really everything, in some sense, is part of the atonement. Joseph smith said everything is an appendage to the atonement, and that is right. We know the atonement is Christ’s suffering, so we can receive strength and forgiveness for sin. Well think about it, if you have had a difficult calling and felt strengthened by the Lord, is that not the Atonement? #LightTheWorld is about us being like the savior, is that not making ourselves “at one” with the savior? Atoning? And that is only the start, everything is about the atonement. But I wanted to leave you with some more thoughts, some personal application. These scriptures have been on my mind all week, I feel that they have made me a better missionary. Alma asks us in chapter 5 verse 14 "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" I sure hope you have, I know that I have. And experiences like that are great, but there can be more. Now verse 26, "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" Brothers and sisters, that is what we have to strive for. Feeling that love always. Love you all! Elder Ollis

11/28/2017 - Cardston Temple

Elder Ollis

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

11/28/2017 - I Really Am So Grateful. It's Hard Not to Be.

Well hello everyone. So to address the important stuff, Elder Ollis is a prediction Wizard. lets just say that. I totally called Auburn long before the season began. I don't think it was the spirit that helped me but just probably watching and reading too much about football before I left. Anyway please let me know how it goes. Also sorry if I don't email lots of you back this week, I really do appreciate your emails but we are going to the temple this week and so we might not be able to finish our time when we get back. But I really do appreciate the emails. 

I missed all of you on this wonderful thanksgiving weekend. And on that note I just wanted to leave you with a few things I am thankful for because I haven't had a chance to share (it wasn't thanksgiving in Canada). I am so thankful for my family, and the wonderful examples they have been to me. I really love each and every one of you. I am so grateful for my dog cooper, who I may miss more than my family. I am so grateful for the atonement and our savior jesus christ. I love him so much. I am so grateful for this chance to serve a mission. It is a humbling experience to know that for this short time I represent our savior. And regardless of how inadequate I am to represent him he helps in every step. I am also grateful for the wonderful freedoms we have. I also am grateful for college football. (I just had to add it.) And for large pads that save my brother as he plummets to the earth. I also am so grateful to have two wonderful temples in my mission. That is a wonderful blessing. But as for that brothers and sisters I really am so grateful. It's hard not to be. Regardless of how hard life is, it always can get better through the knowledge we have. 

But to update you on this week, it was bitter sweet. It was hard, we had a lot of dropped appointments but we saw some rewards. We found a new investigator, her name is Sherry and she has somewhere between 9-12 cats. I don't think she knows how many there are. But we were in the right place at the right time, taught her the Restoration on the door, and prayed with her and got a return appointment. So that is a new investigator!! But she wasn't there for the next appointment. So I will let you know how things are going with her. 

But that is all. Love you all. I just might send pictures sometime.
Elder Ollis

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?