Sunday, July 15, 2018

07/10/2018 - Persistence Pays Dividends

Hello Everyone.

Well I will make this brief. This week was quite a week. We had MLC Friday. It was new and very different with a new mission President. So that was pretty interesting. Then we went on Exchanges with the Spanish speaking missionaries. So I was with Elder Fish in the Spanish missionaries area. Kinda a new one for me. Just followed along not sure what in the world was going on. But it was a good day. Then we had a great Sunday. 

Monday we had a couple of cool miracles, we were driving and I saw this van in a driveway that said restoration on it. It was for another Church, so me and Elder Johnson went and talked to the guy in his house. Anyway it was cool because he seemed interested and a really good guy and was willing to listen to what we said. So we are going to try him again some time. Then that same day we were trying to contact a former investigator. They weren't home so we knocked a few doors around. No one was interested but we asked for referrals and a lady sent us across the street to try a house. Anyway, they weren't interested either but we tried next to them and found a lady. So how it happened was this. When I knock doors I kinda am to that point in my mission where unless that person has the guts to slam the door in my face or tell me to go away I just keep teaching because I am tired of rude people. Even when I can tell they aren't interested I just take the time to teach so they can hopefully feel the spirit. So we knock this door and I could tell the lady wasn't interested, but once again I just thought, well until I hear “Not interested” and she closes that door I am just going to teach the restoration. So I did. I began teaching very simply the restoration and got to our Savior’s Earthly ministry. Well at that point she said “ok I will listen” and went and grabbed us some chairs and we sat down with her on her porch and began teaching. It was amazing. We were able to teach and eventually she accepted an invitation for us to return and teach her more. It will take some time, she struggles to accept anything other than the bible and wouldn't take a Book of Mormon, but we will get there. So we picked her up as a new investigator! So that was awesome!

But that is about all that is going on up here. It's summer and our wards are really small because everyone is gone. 4th ward probably didn't have more than 80 people there. So appointments are hard to come by these days. The other thing is Stampede is going on too! So lots of drinking and everyone dresses like a cowboy. And most people if they have time off are down at the stampede. We don't get to go to that as missionaries. But that is about all that’s been going on. Have a good week.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

07/03/2018 - I Guess I Am a First, and There is Still Something For Me To Do Here

Well hello everyone. Another week is gone and on the board. 

First news is that I stayed. Elder Johnson and I will be together for another 7 weeks (six now) and I am excited! I am the first missionary in a whole year to do 2 transfers with a companion in this area. So that is pretty cool. I guess I am a first, and there is still something for me to do here. 

It was a good week. We worked hard and got things all set up for the transfer, Josh's baptism went well. Then we had Canada day on Sunday! So that was fun, got to celebrate the country we all love! It was a little rough, our wards were really empty and so were the streets. And it was rainy and cold. So a little bit of a dreary week but things always get better when people come home from their trips. 

We were also able to meet President Keung yesterday. I love the Keungs!! They are so loving and kind. Kinda crazy how you could feel the love they had for us even when they really don't know anything about us yet. What a learning curve right!? Gosh that would be tough. But they were ready to go and all fired up. I especially loved Sister Keung’s remarks. She said I don't know what I am doing, I am just a mother, President Keung does though. And she went on to talk about how we all, including them, are here by inspiration and foreordained to be here. It was really amazing to consider. (also just imagine them saying that in a New Zealander accent). We had a funny experience with them too. On Saturday Elder Johnson and I got a media referral, so we tried to find the apartment and couldn't find the apartment number. So we gave the number a call and they text us back saying they will call us back. Well they didn't, so that evening Elder Johnson said we should call one more time. So I did. Well, it turns out the number was President Keung's phone from before the mission haha, and he referred us someone he met but accidentally put his number in. So we had a funny conversation as I invited him to meet with the missionaries and he asked what district or zone I was in. Haha It was really a funny experience. 

But things are good. We have a good week planned and a lot to do. Anyway, I am a little tired of writing this email so have a good week and remember to keep focused on the Savior, we were able to partake of the sacrament this week and we promised to do so!

Love, Elder Ollis

Monday, July 2, 2018

6/26/2018 - I Know That No Effort is Wasted

Hey everyone back home,

So I will keep this one short. Not much happened that I thought would be worthwhile to share. It is officially summer here. Canadian schools are finishing up tests this week and Stampede is right around the corner. So tons of people are leaving on vacation because the summer is short, and some people are already talking about winter haha! Gotta love Canada! But we had a pretty alright week. We were out and about and were trying to find people to teach. Not much to say in return but we are doing our best and I know that no effort is wasted. Josh, our investigator, is still going to be baptized this saturday. We are working hard to get that going. So that is exciting! But not much else to say. 

I hit my 17 month mark yesterday, and the sisters that I came out with go home tomorrow (I know the transfers lined up weird and they lost a month) So I have officially completed a sister mission!!!!! But as for the big news, everyone in the mission is just sitting in anticipation for this next week. It will be cool to see all the changes. We have transfer calls going out tonight, transfers thursday, president leaves saturday and President Keung will officially be here. So next monday we get to have a special meeting in the north part of Calgary to meet President Keung and Sister Keung and then everything will be new. I am excited! I am looking forward to having a new Mission President, to see things from a new perspective and learn from one more great man. One that has been called to be here. 

I love this gospel, I love every moment I have to serve. Love you all and keep going, even when we feel like we are ready to collapse.  That is right when we give the last little bit and the Lord will be there to help us. Keep thinking of Him!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

6/19/2018 - Goodbye to President & Sister Miles...and The Lord Wants Us To Be Worthy, Not Perfect

Well it’s me again. So crazy week. Not really sure what happened it was super fast. So to begin we had a good week. It rained a little and it was so fun to be out in the rain trying to find people to teach. We had a zone conference wednesday and it was such a good conference. It was from 2-5, which is remarkably short for a zone conference, but it was really fun as it was at the Chapel in my first area! It was super fun to go back to where it all began. haha. It was also President Miles last zone conference. We talked about the prophet and the book of mormon and how we can be a more exactly obedient mission, but being obedient because we love the Lord. It was great. We heard some last words from President Miles and Sister miles. Then we gave them a hug and said goodbye. They leave in about a week. It was so good to hear their last bit of advice, it was about staying on the covenant path and to marry someone that wants to stay on as much as you. It was great and I will really miss them!

06/13/2018 - Zone Conference with Calgary, Calgary North and Calgary West Zones

06/17/2018 - Elder Ollis with President and Sister Miles

Then we had another cool miracle. Our bishop called us, and said our investigator Josh wants to be baptized. His family was taught a while ago and his mom and brother were baptized but he was not. He didn't want to. So it was exciting after a couple of months of coming to church and pondering the decision on his own he wants to be baptized. He is on date for the 30th of June. Cool miracle. To be honest I didn't do anything. Like really I had one lesson with that family. But it is great news! We also had stake conference. Elder Maynes came, which would have been way exciting except that we just had the prophet come. But it was still great to hear from him, he pointed out something during the sunday morning session that I really liked. He said the Lord wants us to be Worthy, not perfect. How many times do we feel that we are inadequate because we aren't perfect? We should embrace it and move forward. He also said everytime we hear the word repentance we should get excited. It was a great conference. But that was about a wrap on our week. We also got to see president Miles again at our stake conference and say goodbye for the very last time. But love you all hope you have a good week!

06/12/2018 - Elder Ollis and companion, Elder Johnson, with Bishop Barbeau's Family. They are awesome!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

06/12/2018 - I Absolutely Know President Nelson is a Prophet

Well hello everyone. Thanks for your birthday wishes! I sure appreciated them! But we had a great week this week. Had a great miracle that started tuesday. We went to the mall last pday because we have this huge mall here. We were eating lunch and some guy asks if he can sit with us. Well we talk with him and he said he just felt like he should come over here and sit with us, which was great. He is a cool dude and loves Christ so we invited him to meet with us and he said yeah. So we text him and met him Friday and picked him up as a new investigator. It was awesome! Had a great lesson and he had tons of questions about the church.  He had a friend that served an LDS Mission and he spoke highly of this friend. It was cool to see. He doesn't live in our area so we are going to pass him off this next week. But it was a cool experience. Then thursday we had interviews with President Miles.  It was really good, and to be honest, it was the most normal interview ever. I don't think President Miles wants to go because it was just super regular. Haha it was so funny, not quite what I expected but it was good to hear from President. They also sang happy birthday for me, which was super funny. 

Then we had the prophet visit on Saturday so we got to help set up the chairs for the event. Our stake center was packed with over 1400 chairs. It was such an amazing experience! The doors opened to seat people at 4:30 and he spoke at 6:00 but people were lined up before 3:00. Now we would have loved to be front row but that was simply not possible. We had work we needed to get done that day, we got there early and the place was already pretty full so we were back in the gym. But had pretty decent seats. I wasn't able to shake his hand, to be honest hardly anyone could.  They were on a time crunch and they showed up, spoke and left very quickly, so no time for any greeting or anything. It was such an incredible session though. We heard first from sister Rasband, who talked about following the Prophet. It was cool to hear that from someone so close to him. She also talked about obedience. Then Elder Rasband spoke about similar, following the Prophet and how he is a special witness of Christ. It was a really awesome talk, so powerful as he testified of Christ. Then Sister Nelson spoke, she had such an interesting talk. She talked about the broadcast last week and what she said is how much opposition they felt that week before they were going to speak because Satan did not want them to share what they had planned. She compared it to Joseph Smith before he had the first vision. It was fascinating as they talked about how there were so many temptations. Then she talked about how often and how much revelation the Prophet receives since he got his calling. She said she has felt the hastening of the work simply through how often she is prompted to leave their room in the night. It was such a great talk. Then President Nelson spoke, he shared about the Book of Mormon. Very similar to his talk at conference except he seemed much more relaxed and was so funny to listen to. It was a great talk. He shared some of his experiences with sharing the Book of Mormon and then he talked about what the Book of Mormon confirms, refutes, and basically just testified that it will fix your problems if you read and apply its message. It was awesome, we had 2 of our investigators there and they loved it!  They truly felt that he was the Prophet. And one felt the need to read the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. But I just wanted to say I absolutely know President Nelson is a prophet, we were encouraged to go with a question and I definitely received an answer to my question. I know that he is the prophet of God.  During the solemn assembly I felt the spirit confirm that, and I definitely felt the spirit again as we were able to hear from him. I love this work and am so blessed for this opportunity to hear from the prophet again!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

06/05/2018 - Working, Praying and Fasting...And the Lord Provides

Well what a week. Holy crow. (yes that is a common saying up her in Canada)

Anyway. I can't begin to recount what happened this week. But I will fill you in on the highlights. First off. We were working SOO hard this week. We were grinding and really striving to find. It was good. And the Lord blessed us. But we also over did it. A little physically. Haha, we started doing insanity friday night, it kicked my butt. Then saturday we rode bikes all day and did insanity again that evening. Lets just say I can barely walk again. I haven't been that sore in a long time. But the real highlights were when we drove down to Lethbridge on Wednesday for MLC…President's last MLC. I will miss President Miles so much! It was so touching to hear his last testimony at an MLC and see the love they both have for the work and for us. It was awesome. Also weird, all the sister missionaries who came out with me go home this transfer. 

05/29/2018 - Final MLC with President and Sister Miles

Skip a few days and we were biking. Seeking to find people to teach and the Lord blessed us with a dope miracle. We were going and I took a wrong turn and took us up a huge hill. We had to turn around and on our way down a lady asks us for help. She needed help pumping up her bike tires. So we took her to a gas station across the street. Turns out her bike tire needed the smaller attachment instead of the regular one. Well, last week I found a road bike in our apartment and went out and bought that type of pump for it. So we had the right pump and helped her out and she wants to meet with us now! Miracle!! It was so cool. Then Sunday night we swung by a guy we found on Saturday who kinda said sure come back Sunday. Which usually doesn't turn out, but we taught him lesson one and picked up a new investigator!! It is truly what that ward and us needed, to be honest. We had been working, praying and fasting to find someone and the Lord provides. He was a very Christian individual and loves Christ, he’s married and has a cool dog. We are excited to teach him more and he was excited about eternal families and the Book of Mormon. So that was the best!. 

And on monday we had a zone meeting where we presented a training and went to lunch after with Brother Johnson in our ward. It was so cool! Bro Johnson got home from his mission last Wednesday and he was ready to go out with us haha, so we went to subway and he got 2 other guys to come with us. Both were RM's of about 1 month. Haha. (Bro Johnson’s dad is in our bishopric, he is a fly fishing guide. Lets just say we get along really well, he wants to take me out)  Well as you can imagine it was super fun and we talked to everyone at the subway about the church. Bro Johnson bought lunch for a guy who needed it and we taught him quite a bit about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon as we ate and we also gave him one. I Invited him to church and we also gave away a pamphlet and our number to the employees there. It was a good day. 

But I am most excited for the next week. It is going to be awesome, we have interviews Thursday with President, our last ones. Then we have the Prophet on Saturday and Elder Rasband!! We are so blessed and I am so excited. But I hope you all know that I know that Our Savior is there. He loves each of us. And right when we feel we are alone is the moment he always helps us out. So if you feel that way, please turn to Christ! Gotta go!

Elder Ollis

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

05/29/2018 - Just Evidence That the Lord is Looking Out For His Servants

Hello Everyone. 

So THIS WAS A WILD WEEK. Just going to start with that one. So Tuesday we had a great lesson with a less active sister in our ward. Her daughter is not a member yet. So we were teaching her. It was a super good lesson. Then we find out that I taught her sister in Cardston. So small world. Kinda cool little thing that happened. 

Then we got transfer calls. And much to the surprise of us, Elder Sagapolu got transferred down to Lethbridge and I got Elder Johnson from Lethbridge (who is actually from Cedar City, Utah), they did a switch. And I really excited to serve with him! So Wednesday we were biking and had a good day and then transfers Thursday. Transfers are weird here because up in the North everyone meets who is getting transferred in the morning. Then the two vans drive everyone who is going south down to Lethbridge where all the south meets and do transfers, and the missionaries going north get back into the vans and come back up north to meet all the missionaries and their new companions from those coming from the south. My comp was coming from the south. Anyway, weird day because they just put me with another Elder who was waiting for his comp too and we went and did a little work in his area while we waited. Kinda strange day. 

Well we make it back to transfers and one van arrives but the other is late. Well we keep waiting, and waiting. Turns out the transfer van carrying 6 missionaries (including my comp) wrecked, it got blown off the road and rolled 3 times. So we were just waiting for our companions. It was a wild day. Just evidence that the Lord is looking out for his servants, none of them were seriously hurt, the worst was the driver who got a cut on his head and that is it. And crazy thing too, two of the missionaries' seat belts came off when they rolled but they were totally unharmed. But after a long wait 3 elders made it up and 3 went to the hospital and all were released that evening. So we finally got together as a companionship and had to cancel our appointments because President wanted us to go to the doctor to get checked out. So that was the big news. 

The rest of the week went better. We were out searching for people and in member's homes searching for people to teach. We almost picked up a new investigator, we tracted into this lady that seemed interested, and got an appointment for yesterday. But she wasn't home when we got there. We will try again, but it was cool, they had a lambo and a Mazzarati chillin' in the drive way. But that's a wrap of the wild week. Love you all.