Monday, July 3, 2017


These past two years just might have been the fastest two years of my life. I remember the moments before I left home like they happened yesterday. But looking back and reflecting on everything that has happened in these past 17 transfers, I am eternally grateful that I chose to serve a mission. It has been a life-changing experience. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God (Mosiah 2:17)." Serving a mission has brought a rich, colorful meaning to those words. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that he sent His son, Jesus Christ to pay the price for our wrongdoings, and that through faith, repentance and baptism we can be cleansed of them and can be worthy to feel the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I have never known that with as much certainty as I do now. 

On Sunday, July 16 at 11:00 AM I will be giving my homecoming talk to report on my mission. This will take place at 4100 St. Johns Lane Ellicott City, MD. All are invited to attend.

I want to thank everyone that supported me before and during my mission, and I hope that at least a couple of people will support me afterwards too. I love you all!


Elder Olivier

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Almost Home

We received this email on June 26.

So this week was pretty monumental. The mission executive secretary called us up to talk about.......flight plans. I think my mind still hasn´t wrapped itself completely around the fact that in less than a month I will be back in the states. At the beginning of my mission two years seemed like such a long time. Now, looking back, it seems like hardly any time at all.  On July 14 I will arrive home. 

We also went on splits with the elders from Manacapuru this week, which is one of my old areas. I was kind of wondering how Manacapuru was going to be (will the people that I baptized still be active? Will everyone remember me?), but I was comforted to be able to see tons of people again that I had come to love, and was super comforted to see several of the people that I had baptized, even though we only stayed there for one day and our schedule didn´t allow much time for me to visit people. During the day we went to the english class that one of the members gives every day at the church (still!) and the first person that we saw there was a young woman that I had taught with Elder Fernandez over a year ago. That was such a happy moment. Actually, the whole day was a happy moment. 

Actually, my whole mission was a happy moment. I can´t believe it´s coming to a close. I don´t know if I should be happy that I´m coming home or sad that I won´t be here in Brazil anymore. 

This week President Castro goes home and Presidente Caetano will arrive. So for the last week of my mission I will have a new mission president. I´ll see how that goes.

If anyone wants to send me one last email, next Monday will be the last day that I will be able to see it!

Have a great week! Love u all!

Élder Olivier!

Father's Day

We received this email on June 19.

Happy Father´s Day, Dad! 

My week was good. The work in our area is pretty slow right now, but we should have some baptisms coming up. I haven´t looked for any athletic shoes yet, but maybe next week I´ll try to find some. Things have still been a little hectic because we still have to bring a bunch of stuff from our old house to our new house, but everyone we ask to help us seems to cancel on us.....But this week someone will help us for sure!

I got the package! There was lots of stuff in it! Easter candy, a BYU shirt, good-smell shoe balls, hair gel, sunscreen, peanut butter, oreos and some other stuff. Thanks so much! 

Congrats Zach on your eagle project! Looks like you´re been dying to get that over with! 

Have a great week! 

Elder Olivier

Here are some pictures of President Castro´s last mission council that the secretaries finally sent this week!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Baptism Explanation and New Apartment

We received this email on June 12...

Last week was a very adventurous week. 

We baptized Elza (the more elderly lady) and Cagila (the young lady). We have been teaching Cagila ever since I arrived here in this area. It took a while for her to get baptized because she works all day every single day and at night takes college classes, so we could only ever teach her on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. She works on sundays a lot too, but when she isn´t working she always goes to church with her uncle, who is a member. She is super receptive and accepted baptism super easily, but her main obstacle was her schedule. But we finally got her into the water.

Elza is the mother of a member from Itacoatiara (iiiitaaaaacooooaaaachyyyaaarrraa)named Joel. Itacoatiara is a city close to Manaus. Now Joel is living in our ward boundaries. One day we were knocking doors and no one was letting us in all day (ALL DAY) when we finally found someone really interested who..............lives in a different area. So we passed her address to the AP´s so they could pass it along to the other elders. So we were kind of discouraged that day because we only found one interested person but she lives in a different ward. I mean, that´s a good thing but....we want to baptize people in our ward too! But then, thirty minutes later Joel called us and asked if we were the elders from Colonia. Heck yes we are! He said that he is a member from Itacoatiara and he wanted us to visit his mom that same day. So we got the address and we went to it. It turns out that Elza´s husband had passed away that same week, and it looks like they had already been taking the missionary discussions before, except they weren´t actually married yet. They had also gone to church a ton of times already. But we got there and Joel had already explained a bunch of stuff to her, telling her that she could be baptized and in one year she could do the temple work for her husband so he could be baptized too. We taught her a little about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and she actually asked if she could be baptized that saturday. Elder Marcolino and I looked at each other and then looked at her again like, heck yes you can! After we made some phone calls to the bishopric to plan the baptismal meeting, and we planned to teach her the rest of the lessons (Joel had already taught her a lot, about coffee and stuff). So that was the story of how the worst day ever became the best day ever. Lots of prayers answered. 

The bottom part of my shoe was coming off, so I panicked and went to the "Casa da Butina" aka Brazilian Boot Barn to buy something to wear on my feet. Luckily they had dress shoes/boot things. I bought the  most conservative ones I could find for cheap-ish. I asked the guy if they would last 3 months, and he looked kind of offended and said that they would last six years! .......we´ll see about that. You´re talking to a guy that burned through two pairs of eccoes in 20 months!

Our new apartment is way better than the old one! The move was interesting because it was difficult to find people to help us. Most people here don´t have cars, and even less have trucks. So finding someone with a truck was a challenge. We managed to move all the big stuff (fridge, beds, dressers, stove, table, washing machine) and we still have to get some of the small stuff (books, chairs, microwave). It was a challenge to get the stuff into our new house because we live on the second story and our spiral staircase is super narrow. So there is a random door on the side of our house that is there for the purpose of getting furniture in and out. We had to lift all of the stuff to the door and I had to grab the stuff and pull it into the house. It was super lucky that I didn´t fall and die while doing this. It all worked out in the end. 

Love, Elder Olivier

 Our new house

The most obese baptism clothing I have ever seen!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Exciting Week!

We received this email on June 5.

This week was President Castro´s last leadership council. We had it at the mission home instead of at the mission office. It was really cool. We ate lots of food and learned lots of stuff. The new mission president will give the next training. It´s getting to that point where it´s starting to be the last of everything. Last area, last mission council with President Castro.....Believe it or not two years doesn´t last forever. 

This week we worked a lot, like always. Today we are moving apartments today (finally!) so we won´t have to walk for almost an hour to get to church. Exciting stuff. That also means that I don´t have much time to write this email.  Until next week!


Élder Olivier!

Group from leadership council that goes home with Elder Olivier

Elders from leadership council


Happy Memorial Day!!!

We received this email on May 29, Memorial Day.

Our week this week was good! I´m not sick anymore and now I feel way better! This week we found a bunch of new people and hopefully we´ll be having some baptisms in the next couple of weeks.... This week was transfers and I´ll be staying here with Elder Marcolino! So we´re still wondering if we´re both going to end our missions here in the same area at the same time or not. This is President Castro´s last transfer. In the middle of this transfer we´ll be getting a new mission president, which will be weird because I will go home one transfer after he arrives. I haven´t gotten my flight information yet, but I should be getting it in the next couple of weeks.  It seems like everyone that arrived the same time as me is going home earlier! Everyone from my MTC group goes home in July, except us here in Manaus. 

We haven´t moved apartments. We´re still waiting for the pres to approve our new house.

My sd card got a virus! I don´t think I´ll use it anymore in this internet cafe in our area. I´m trying to recover the lost photos. Maybe I´ll just wait until I get home to show you guys all of my pictures? I´ve gotten viruses before on my sd card but this one is a little different, so I don´t know if I´ll be able to get the pictures back.

Looks like you guys had a blast at Hershey park! No, I´ve never been to Hershey park before. That would be cool to go there when I get back! If you guys are all right with going there for a second time. Did you guys eat lots of chocolate?


Elder Olivier

Monday, May 22, 2017

Not Sick Anymore!

Elder Olivier sent this email today!

Working here in Manaus is definitely a lot different than working in my last area. I´m in a different state so almost everything is different- the people, the culture, the food. It´s crazy how within the same mission areas can be so different. 

I´m still adapting to being in Manaus. Manaus is wayyyy hot. This week I actually got a little sick with dengue, so I had to rest for a couple of days until the effects passed. Now I´m 100% better! 

This week we had zone conference, which was actually combined with another zone. The zones separated and we gave a short training to our zone, then they combined again and President Castro, Sister Castro, and the assistants gave training. Good stuff. 

A thing that Sister Castro challenged the mission to do is to read the Book of Mormon, underlining the names and titles of deity. It is amazing to see how much the Book of Mormon talks about the Savior. Joseph Smith once said that through reading and pondering the Book of Mormon, a man can get closer to God than he can through any other book. I know that to be true. 

Have a great week!


Élder Olivier

Zone Conference (Elder Olivier is front row, third from left.  His Companion is front row, second from left)

Leadership Training Meeting (Elder Olivier is second row, third from left)