Tuesday, September 19, 2017

919/2017 - 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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

08/29/2017 - So Whatever It Is, I Am Excited!

Hey y’all.

Well another week flew by. So let me tell ya about this week. We had interviews, which are always good. I have the best mission president. So it was good. We were challenged to throw ourselves at the members. So that is what we have been doing, we have 18 member lessons this coming week. Which is great. We were also able to meet with our bishop in coulee ridge to talk about some things that are going on. What has been happening is ward council is about to be dissolved basically. Our ward mission leader moves this week, and the young men’s president and elders quorum president move in the next few weeks. And I think the high priest group leader is going to be changed. So basically our ward is going to be completely flipped. So we have weekly coordination meetings with our bishop to help him out and he is kinda filling in for WML. Which is awesome. Our bishop is the best. We also met with the RS president and offered help it was really cool because she said she never thought of asking us for help and she told us she would love to keep us in the loop and then gave us some names to follow up on. So that was awesome.  We also got another bishop in Chinook. He is a great man and will be an excellent bishop. But similarly that ward council is going to be flipped soon. So tons of changes to come. But things are going well.

The YSA sisters had dinner with a member in our ward and they said they loved us!! So things are improving. We also found miraculously 2 potential investigators tracting. Which is rare. It was wild, I give my spiel at the door to this lady, I said something like families can be together forever, would you like to hear more and she was like yes. Which caught me off guard. So that was cool. But things are going good. I am all fired up and super pumped to keep working here. I have this feeling Elder Vea will train here and I will leave. But I am here to do the Lord’s will. So whatever it is, I am excited! I love this gospel brothers and sisters. It is true. Don't ever doubt that. I love you all see ya next week. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

08/22/2017 - Zone P-day at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

Hello from the north. Don't forget about me.

Well Brothers and Sisters sorry I was so late. We had a zone pday and went to this cool rock canyon place called Writing on Stone. It was fun and a nice break from the same old basketball. So sorry I don't have a ton of time. But to let you know how this week is going....

It is been tough. We try and stay positive but currently we only have about 3 investigators. And that is between two wards. And none of them are progressing. Needless to say we are doing a lot of finding by ourselves. Which is really hard here. However we had an excellent meeting yesterday that gave us a little idea of what we need to be doing. Since we purged this area we were kinda at a loss with how the ward has been helping and what we can do to work with them. Well we had a meeting with our high council men over missionary work and he told us all the stuff our stake has been doing and we need to be doing so we are super excited because it gives us a little more to do than knock doors in a mormon town. So we are excited. As for that the only other thing I could mention right now is we had zone conference and it was really good. It applies to me so I am not going to bore you with what we learned and tomorrow are interviews which is super exciting. But that is how things have been. But to tell you what I mean by this is a mormon town. Yesterday we went to Costco to get hotdogs after District meeting cause it is a super good place to talk to people. Anyway, we had six elders in all. None of us paid and we received 60 dollars between all of us because members would walk up and say "Elders, let me pay for that."  And give us a twenty. Even though a member had already payed for it. This place is weird. It was super funny though, Elder Pentz walked into Costco with no wallet. He said "boys I walk by faith today." And sure enough a member paid. It is super awkward I hate taking money from them but they always say they insist and we cant really deny them buying us food. It is like denying blessings. But that is southern Alberta, have a good week!

Elder Ollis

In an email to Mom: Yeah we went to some place way out in the middle of farms. It is called Writing on Stone. Kinda like goblin valley but with a river and no red rocks but it is cool. it is a zone pday. So president Miles approves it and we get to use a write off. Meaning we don't count the kilometers to our monthly alotment. No it wasn't our area but we can do special zone pdays where we get Presidents permission to leave. We also almost ran out of gas and some lady on a farm filled up our car....And running out of gas wasn't my fault. We got a ride because our car has had some issues. It is all ok. All according to rules, it was just a funny moment. And we just pulled off to a farm as we were driving past. I took lots of pictures but I'm running out of time.  I will send them next time.

From Mom: So I decided to look up Writing on Stone. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located about 100 kilometres southeast of LethbridgeAlbertaCanada, or 44 kilometres east of the community of Milk River, and straddles the Milk River itself. It is one of the largest areas of protected prairie in the Alberta park system, and serves as both a nature preserve and protection for a large number of aboriginal rock carvings and paintings. The park is important and sacred to the Blackfoot and many other aboriginal tribes. Writing-on-Stone Park contains the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains. There are over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of works. See images below I found on the Park's website.

A path through hoodoos in the park.

The park is located in the Milk River Valley.  To the South are the volcanic Sweetgrass Hills.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

08/15/2017 - And I just hear, "Hi missionaries, wait that is THOMAS!"

Heyo everyone. 

Well this week flew by. And had a lot of weird stuff happen, and some cool stuff. First off, it was really weird that I saw the Tongas, a family from my home ward. Let me describe what happened. We are walking down the street, and I just hear, "hi missionaries, wait that is THOMAS!" Which was weird because I hadn't heard that name in forever. Anyway they ran across the street because they were across from my area and sure enough I was standing right there in front of someone from home. It was the weirdest thing I have experienced. I apologize to them however, as I was shocked, and in my mind I wasn't supposed to really see people I knew.  So it freaked me out and I said we had to go kinda quickly.  But one thing I did learn was that I cover where Sister Tonga grew up. So that is cool. 

Anyway this week we were still trying to figure things out and meet up with investigators who seem like they probably will drop us because we aren't the sisters. But that was expected. We are currently working with quite a few LA's (less actives) because finding in Lethbridge is really hard. We also called all the Part Member Families in the ward to try and pick up some new investigators. So we have quite a few lessons this week. We are worried however that they are just really nice old people who just like to have company. So we will see if there is anything solid. But that has been our work here.

This week is zone conference, which I am excited for. And before I go I wanted to tell a story of the last zone conference in southern Alberta. So we get people thanking us for what happened all the time, but last transfer the craziest thing happened. All of the south, basically all the missionaries that don't cover Calgary got together. Near the end of the conference someone felt inspired to leave. Sure enough outside across the street they see smoke rising from a retirement center. They rush back into the zone conference and all the missionaries rush across the street to help evacuate all these older people into the church to get them out of the smoke and away from the fire. It was a miracle, honestly many lives were saved because of someone listening to the holy ghost. So I hope there won't be a fire this week, but I know that our Savior is leading this work, he guides us if we seek it and we can find those he has prepared. love you all!

Note from Mom: We received this video from the Tonga family shortly after they saw him on the streets of Lethbridge.