Monday, April 27, 2015

I love where I am serving!

April 27, 2015

Carrollton is Sick!

the mission is going amazing! i love where i'm serving! Carrollton, MO is sick! we had an exchange with one of the assistants to the president (AP's) this week and it was pretty funny cuz he was just shocked at the work we have going on with only 3 active members in the town! (Hayes was transferred to Carrolton, Mo, population 4000 with only 3-4 active members of the mormon church) just a couple of weeks ago). we have 3 people committed to baptism and we are teaching another family. its amazing to see the Lords hand in the work!

we've really been blessed this week. we are gaining relationships with our investigators and they are trusting us more and more!

we had a pretty cool experience i wanted to share with you. we have been talking with this lady that has us come by when here kids arent home cuz she didnt want them to bother us while we were studying! and she hadn't texted us back for a couple days so we went by to see if everything was alright. when we showed up she apologized and told us that her kids had been sick and that she had been in and out of the hospital with one cuz his white blood cell count was through the roof. so we asked he if she believed in healing by the laying on of hands like in the bible and she said yes. so we asked her if we could come by later that night when her husband was home to give their child a blessing. She said yes! so we got there and asked her son if he wanted the blessing and he readily agreed. then we asked him if he believed that Christ could heal him and he said yes. so we gave him the blessing and then gave the rest of the family the Book of Mormon to study and then we left. we stopped back by after their doctors appointment on Saturday and he was completely fine! 

the Lord is with us and his healing power is real! he can heal us from both our physical ailments and the ailments caused from sin! I love being a missionary!

Hope you have a great week! 

love you! 
Elder Rollins

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Wrestling Story

April 20, 2015

Dad’s Book
by Adrian Robert Gostick
Wouldn’t you be jealous if your dad treated your friend better than he treats you?

Dad’s Book
Dad never wanted me to wrestle. “One wrong move and that nose of yours will break like a peanut shell,” he said on more than one occasion. But Dad encouraged Sam. In fact, when I stepped onto the wrestling mat, he usually didn’t watch but would spend his time warming up my best friend for his match, making him laugh, loosening him up. 

Sam and I would wrestle most Thursday nights. We’d fight at the little gym at our school, or Dad would get the car started and take us to Crowsnest Pass or Sparwood in British Columbia or even across the border into Montana. 

He may not have approved, but Dad was always there. He’d wash off the coal dust and put on his Sunday boots, and we’d spend the best part of the evening in an overheated gym where I would lose more matches than I won. 

Sam, however, never lost. He was smaller than I was, a lightweight, with long arms and short iron legs. He wasn’t LDS. In fact, there were very few of us in town. But my family treated Sam like one of us, especially since his father had died the previous summer, coughing in his room until the end. Now and then Sam would come to church with us, but most Sundays he’d hitchhike to Crowsnest to play pool.

We were 16, and in a year we’d be gone from there. But in the spring of 1934, we had a carefree life—unaware that it couldn’t last.

On a Saturday in April, Sam stopped at my house with his old wrestling shoes hanging by their laces around his neck. Dad cranked the Ford, and it fired on the second turn and sputtered to life. We all climbed in for the ride to Sparwood.
“Who you boys wrestling tonight?” asked Dad as we drove by the coke ovens on the way out of town. Cold air was rushing through the floorboards and swimming around my feet.

“Ed said he’s bringing a truckload of kids from the coast,” said Sam, turning sideways in the front passenger seat. I noticed then that he had a pack of cigarettes stuffed in his shirt pocket. Dad noticed too. 

“Good,” said Dad half-heartedly. “That’ll be … er, a change.” We nodded, waiting to see if Dad was going to talk religion. He was.

“Sam,” he said, “were you ever baptized in your church?”
“Don’t know that I ever had a church,” Sam replied. “We went to the United once, when my mom’s family was in town, but …”

Dad interrupted, “I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just our Church believes in baptism, but a lot of religions do it differently. I was just wondering how you were baptized.” I rolled my eyes. Dad was so obvious.

“I …” Sam didn’t know what to say.

“I’m sure Jed told you all this, but when Mormons are baptized and confirmed they take upon them the name of Jesus Christ. And we believe a person must be completely immersed in water, not just a sprinkling over the head.”
Sam looked back at me. I hadn’t told him anything about baptism. I couldn’t read his face, but I guessed he was wondering where this conversation was going.

“Hmmm, interesting,” was what he picked to say.

We reached the bottom of the border pass, and Dad revved the engine to get the Ford up the facing hill. It was a steep climb, and the old car slowed to a crawl. Dad talked to it all the way up, patting it on the dashboard like a horse, and promising it a sugar cube if it made it up without quitting. We laughed. Dad was usually full of jokes, except when he talked religion.

The mountain pass got steeper just as we reached the snow line. Suddenly, a burst of steam blew from under the hood. The car shook and thumped, and Dad pulled it over to the side only a few hundred yards from the top. He shut it off and pulled the park brake. We all climbed out while Dad found his water jug in the trunk.

“Jed,” Dad said to me as he grabbed a rag and pushed down on the radiator cap, “What does it mean to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know. Pray. Read the scriptures.” It was the answer we gave in Sunday School every week to every question. It was also the answer I gave Dad every time he asked a religious question in front of Sam.
Sam chuckled.

“Thanks for the effort,” said Dad, and he twisted the cap. We all jumped back to let the steam hiss out of the brass radiator. While we waited for it to cool, Dad asked, “Could you give it a bit more thought?”

I sighed. “It means being good. Doing stuff that you’d do in front of the Savior, if he was here with us.”

“That’s better. It also means we are representatives of the Savior on earth, which is a pretty big responsibility.”

“Why are we talking about this?” I asked, upset that Dad was distracting us from wrestling and fixing the car.

“Because I want to ask Sam something.” He poured water into the radiator slowly and then tossed the water jug back in the trunk. On his way back, he reached into the front seat and pulled a copy of the Book of Mormon from a paper sack.
“You’ve come to church with us a lot, Sam,” said Dad. “And I think it’s time that you found out if what we are doing is true.” He handed the book to Sam.

“This was my first copy,” Dad said. “My dad gave it to me when I was a bit younger than you.” We all stared at the battered book. I felt an ache of jealousy that Dad was giving my friend something that should have gone to me. I didn’t even have my own copy. I couldn’t help being resentful.

“Would you read it?” asked Dad.

Sam shrugged and stuffed the book into his pocket. Then we stood awkwardly for a few minutes until Dad decided the radiator was cool enough to continue.
“I’m going to try going over alone,” he said. “I’ve seen Sam thrown to the mat enough to know his head is full of rocks. I think the dead weight is slowing us down. I’ll see you at the top.”

He cranked the car, and it fired. He drove back down the hill and up for the far rise. A minute later we turned to see the Ford racing up the hill toward us, revving with an increasingly deafening roar. It passed us but slowly. We ran to catch up and put our shoulders to give a good push.

At the top, Dad stopped the car and let it idle. Then we all stood in front and stared down at the green and white Elk Valley, the far side climbing peak after peak into the golden horizon. Sam and I were anxious to get to the competition, but we stood there with Dad, looking at the view for a minute.
Dad finally broke the silence. “Thanks for the push, rock head,” he said to Sam.

“No problem.”

“Sometimes you need a little help in life.” Dad reached over and patted the book in Sam’s shirt pocket. “There’s help in there. In fact, just about all the answers to life’s questions are in those pages. And I know you’ve got questions.” Sam nodded but didn’t say anything.

That night Sam won on points over a tough red-haired kid from the coast and then had an easy time pinning a local guy he’d beaten many times. I was almost pinned in my first match by a little kid who was quick as a gunshot. But the second match, I got paired with a Crowsnest kid from our Consolidated High School whom I’d beaten before. He was a good wrestler but had dislocated his shoulder once and couldn’t go left. We were in a clinch late in the second when I shot at his strong leg and was able to lift him off balance and trip him to the mat. His back was exposed, but before I could finish him off, he spun free. Still, the move gave me enough points to win the match. Dad didn’t say much, but he patted Sam on the shoulder and said something funny as we left the gym.

Two weeks later, the teachers at the Consolidated let us out early without telling us why. My sisters and I ran home and crashed through the door only to find Mom and Dad sitting at the kitchen table. Their faces were white and gray, the color of locomotive steam, and they told us the mine had closed and Dad was heading east that night—to find work in the Ontario mines. He’d send for us when he got settled.
I turned cold. My younger sister yelled that she couldn’t leave. I remember Mom and Dad holding her and saying something comforting, despite her rage. And I remember taking Dad down to the station, carrying one of his heavy suitcases.

“Sell the Ford if you have to … if you can,” he said to Mom on the platform. Then he kissed her.

The train let out a groan and inched away from us. Dad reached down the stairs and shook my hand. “Don’t let Sam slip away,” he said, and our hands were pulled apart.
I resented that, at the time. I hated that my father’s last words to me were about Sam, and I kept it in the pit of my stomach for a long time.

Several weeks later, we had a big meet. I saw Sam from the front room window peddling his bike up the street. We had a 10-mile ride to make, and the district finals began at five, so I didn’t expect him to stop for long. But he didn’t stop at all, and I had to grab my shoes, run outside, jump on my bike, and race to catch up.

“In a hurry?” I asked near the corner.

“What took you so long?” he asked, smiling.

We rode to Crowsnest in near silence; the only sounds were the rhythmic metallic clink of my peddle rubbing against a chain guard and the heavy rumble of passing lumber trucks on the highway. By five we were waiting in a hot gym as a man with a megaphone and a few sheets of paper stood on a chair and began reading rules. The wrestlers were grouped according to weight and record, the man explained. The athletes with the best league records, like Sam, would face the wrestlers with the worst league records in the first round. Losers would go home; winners would go on to the medal round. So-so wrestlers like me would face the other so-so wrestlers, and then, if we won, would meet the top kids.
He began to read names, and Sam’s was one of the first called. He’d wrestle third. I’d go sixth, which meant I’d have to wait almost an hour. I was excited and nervous and knew that I’d be tired for the match if I didn’t relax. I moved Sam into a corner of the gym and spent my time getting him warmed up for his match. I remembered what Dad used to do—practice moves, stretching, and the like, although my jokes weren’t as good. We kept ourselves away from the crowd and the faint ring of the bell and cheers of the boys. Finally I heard, “The winna!” and looked around to see the ref holding one boy’s hand in the air. That’s when I noticed a familiar figure in the doorway—out of place. It was Mom. She smiled and waved, and I ran over to her.

“You shouldn’t be here,” I said. “It’s a gym.”

“I can go anywhere I want,” she said. “I’ve come to see you and Sam wrestle.” I shook my head, but it was obvious she was staying. “And I brought you something.”
She held a box tied with string. It had a return address in Ontario.

“Your dad found work,” she said.

I nodded and ripped the box open. Inside was a letter and something bulky wrapped in newspaper.

“Open the letter first,” said Mom.

I shrugged and did as she said, pulling the letter out of its envelope as I walked outside to read it alone. It was in Dad’s unmistakably bad handwriting made worse because it was written on a bumpy ride. He began:

“Dear Jed, I’m here. The train ride is long, three days of wheat fields and another couple of pine trees, so I got to thinking about you and Sam.”

I stiffened with the thought of Sam sharing my only letter from Dad, but I read on.

“As you know, I did some missionary work with him, and I hope the Spirit can touch him. He needs that direction in his life. I guess it was embarrassing for you sometimes to be put on the spot, but I wanted you to share that missionary experience with me. I care a lot for the Church and believe in the restored gospel with all my heart. I hope you can carry on the work without me.

“Somewhere near Winnipeg, as the wheat fields began to end, another thing occurred to me. I got to worrying that you didn’t know why I paid so much attention to Sam, and that maybe you felt like I was a better dad to him than to you. I guess I need to apologize for that, but after Sam’s own dad died, it was obvious that he needed a father in his life, even more than you did at the moment. You have a maturity and a direction that Sam doesn’t. I can’t tell you how proud I am that you’re my son. I guess that’s all for now. We’ll meet up soon enough and talk then.

“P.S. The package is for you. I hope you do well in the district tournament, but remember that Sam is a much greater challenge in the grand scheme of things. Good luck.”

I folded the letter carefully and reached into the loose paper inside the box. Even before I unwrapped it I knew by the feel that it was a book. I pulled it out and breathed in the deep scent of new leather on the copy of the Book of Mormon.
I don’t exactly know why, but I had to shake my head to fight back tears. I can’t say what moved me—if it was the valuable gift from my penniless dad, or the fact that I finally understood that he was not playing favorites with Sam. He was just trying to be an example. And something whispered to me, just then, that I could do the same. Suddenly I knew that it wasn’t important if I won or lost my match that night. It was more important to be there for Sam, to be an example, to lead the way.

Later that year we settled near the mine in Sudbury, Ontario. I remember lying awake one night after getting a letter from Sam. He wrote that his mom and he had let in a pair of Mormon missionaries that were knocking on doors enroute from Lethbridge to Cranbrook. Sam let them in because he knew a good LDS family, and he didn’t think it would hurt to learn more. He wrote that they were coming back on their return trip through town.

I fell asleep about then, thinking that our new house was quiet, peaceful, and that it was nice that my family was together under one roof. At that time, I was not afraid of anything, because I knew we’d pull through. We had before.
Something told me we were together forever.

i found this while i was going through and decided that i would share this as my week report. the way we live our lives can make a difference in the lives of the people we care about!  we must be the example the Lord wants us to be and be willing to share what we believe cuz we are going to be with these our brothers and sisters forever! :)

love you! 
Elder Rollins

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little Blackie

April 13, 2015

this week was a good week. we saw lots of signs of God helping us! we also had a ton of rain! 

we have been working on getting out and just talking to people so it was fun to get out and talk to everyone. missionary work is starting to be a real joy again!

we had some sweet appointments with the people we are working with and hope to see them begin moving forward. we had a really good lesson with crystal about the restoration. she really felt the spirit! the Conner's are just super amazing with working with her. 

we helped a family we had been trying to teach move out. it was nice to get some more physical service in! :) but sad because thats 3 less people we have to teach. 

so, we stopped by one of the families that we are working with cuz we felt the spirit tell us that we should go there and see them. when we got there they were all pretty upset because they lost their cat that they had for only 4 days. the only place they had not been able to look was in their attic, so i scaled the walls to see if the attic would even open up. then we called over brother Conner to see if he could see anything further but no luck. we hung around and talked with them and Brother conner was able to meet the new family in the ward which was really good! since he's their home teacher.

so our mission just got the little black boxes. we named ours little blackie and he's very nice. the black boxes track our driving ability so that they are able to see who is a good enough driver to actually drive mission vehicles. it measures speed, seat belts, turning, acceleration, deceleration, and how hard we hit bumps and from that creates a profile on our driving. it talks to us and gives us warnings as to what we are doing wrong so its a good thing to have! 

its been a good week and we have been blessed by god! :)

love you Elder Rollins

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


April 6, 2015


Elder Hayes Rollins
220 S Locust St.
Carrollton, Mo 64633

i was transferred to Carrollton, MO probably to spend the remainder of my mission here. i am never really happy with exchanges but this is what the lord wants and i know that for sure so i am happy to just be doing the lords will. its a small area. people wise we have about 4000 people in our area and only 4 or 5 active members. but the faith of these members is very strong and they are all doing their very best to share the gospel with others! its amazing to see the Lords hand at work with so few in numbers but so great in faith. i'm glad my new comp is younger in the mission. :) His name is Elder Arnesen from West Jordan UT. 

we had a  fun little easter reunion! Elder Bitton and I are serving in the same ward again! i was so stoked! :) its good to have a friend like him still around! the rest of the week was good as well!

i began a new study in my Book of Mormon by the prompting of a member in my previous ward. He said he wanted to give us some words of wisdom and so he told us that he had the opportunity to sit in on a couple of disciplinary councils for 2 returned missionaries. then he told us to avoid Pornography like the plague when we get home!! then he told us that the young men had been given an assignment to do before they were to see the stake president again. the assignment was that in the next 90 days they were to read the Book of Mormon and point out all the times they see the atonement in it. So i decided that i would like to do this as well. so i started and its been incredible to see how much of the Book of Mormon is about the atonement or signifies it or symbolizes it. The Book of Mormon truly does testify of Christ and that he Lives!

i cant believe how much i've changed in just the past few weeks. mom its amazing to get to serve the lord there is nothing better i could have done in my life. thank you for always helping me see this as something that i would go and do. it really has been the best 21 months of my life! its hard seeing it coming to a close. but i'm expecting the next 3 to be even better. after serving a mission i think i can live life with anyone lol

We’re finally getting ipads! Every week we receive an hour to get on to and learn the site, in preparation for getting ipads. i wont have the ipad for very long, so this week i took the liberty to check out the lds news room to see whats been going on in the world and this is what i found.

this is an excerpt that came from an interview from Hugh Hewitt interviewing Jeffery R Holland after he gave a religious freedom speech at Chapman University.

Hugh Hewitt: What are you telling your young people?

Jeffery R Holland: I’m telling young people to believe. I’m telling parents to believe. I’m telling, families and participants in the family of all ages to believe in God, and to believe in help, and to believe in the future, to believe in themselves, and stay close. The family is the fundamental unit of society. It is certainly the fundamental unit of our church. I guess, probably, it’s the fundamental unit of everything. Our friend, Michael Novak, said that when things go well with the family, life goes well. And when things do not go well with the family, life is, or can be really miserable. Let’s start there. Let’s work better at home. Let’s work better with parents and children. And if we can master some principles in that little circle, maybe we can extend them to the state and the nation and the world. But better to start closer to home, and I believe God will bless us in every way to succeed in that most fundamental mission we all have, and that is to save and bless the next generation.

We must Believe! 

I believe in Christ he is my Savior and Redeemer. He is the Only Begotten of our Father and He is the Light and the Way back to our God. I believe that through Christ my family will be together through Eternity! I believe that because of Christ that all man kind has a future and has the opportunity to become what ever they desire that we can learn from our mistakes and change and do better. we are a lost and fallen race, we are weak and mortal but through Gods plan and through our Savior we may become strong and receive Eternal life!

I love you! 
Elder Rollins

i'll remember to pray for the horses and for you guys! it'll be good to have haylee home! man i do miss our family dinners! We only get dinners with members 1-2 times per week.