Monday, September 14, 2015

The Real "City of Trees" 9/14/15

So this week I woke up early Monday and got on a plane to Nashville.  We got there and you could definitely feel the humidity, but now I don't really notice it very much, which is good.  Boise may be called the City of Trees, but Nashville, and basically all of Tennessee, has a ton more trees - like way more!  It is so green here and beautiful.

From the airport we went to the mission office for instructions and then to the mission home for dinner.  Tuesday we went to the Stake Center to meet our companions.  My companion is Elder Wardle from Garden Grove, CA.  He is pretty cool.  We are in the Dickson Area, which is about 40 miles outside of Nashville.  The ward boundaries are huge - 2 1/2 times bigger than the entire Nashville Stake.  I am in the Franklin Stake.  We got back and then went out and tracted.  I handed out my first Book of Mormon.  I was pretty pumped.  We then went and visited people and taught some lessons.

Wednesday we had a District meeting and there are only 2 other elders in the District, but they are cool.  Elder Wardle is the District leader.  Afterwards, we went to Subway and to go visit people again.  It seems like most of the people are either not home or they see us and don't come to the door. 

We went and met the bishop.  He is really nice and you can tell that he just really wants his ward to expand and be better.  There are like 400 members, but because the area is so big and some of them have long drives, many don't come.  There are only like 50 people at church.  

We went and saw a lady that had broken her back.  She is elderly too, but very nice.  As we were leaving, we walked out the door and started talking to another old lady named Janet.  She is crazy.  She told us all about her FBI days and how to identify counterfeit money and how she got kicked out of the mini-night store for cussing, etc.  So yeah, she was funny, but crazy.  We then went and saw an 18 year old kid named John.  His mom was there too.  She is baptist, but we had a good conversation and asked them to read and pray about it.  It was awesome.

Thursday we go every week to help clean a historic museum where an investigator works.  Her name is Kristen.  She is so close to being baptized, but has some Word of Wisdom things to work out.  We then went and taught a lady named Ronda who we ran into while tracting.  It was a good lesson.  We are going back to teach her again this week.

Friday was awesome.  We had two great lessons.  We were tracting and met a woman named Maggie. She said that she usually would say no to what we had to say, but this time she said she would like to listen.  It was awesome.  It really shows that the Lord is preparing his children to hear the gospel.  We taught her the restoration.  It was one of the best lessons we have had.  We set up a return appointment so we'll see how it goes.  Then we went to my first dinner at someone else's house.  It was with an investigator too.  We had a good dinner and then we had another great discussion with them.  Afterwards, we were so pumped!   

Saturday we went and did a service project.  We helped rebuild a deck/ramp.  It brought me back to my farm days.  It went well and we had a good turn out.  The people that we did it for made us some lunch.  It was really good and it was my first BBQ since being out here.  Then we went and visited some more people.

My first Sunday here was good too.  We went to church and Kristen came.  We taught her afterwards and she said that she would completely stop smoking and drinking coffee this week.  So keep her in your prayers that she will have the strength to do it.  We then went to a dinner with a member.  It was a half hour drive and so we had a good conversation about the gospel.  He told us about Joseph Smith's "Lectures on Faith."  You can find it on  He said that it has helped him grow his faith and get to the point he is right now.  I encourage everyone to go and read it.  He said that you can't read past step one until you understand it and live it or else you won't understand anything after that.  He has had it for about 3 years and he just barely started on step 2.  

So at this lunch, the man's brother-in-law was there.  He knows a lot about the church, but isn't a member because he of some of his beliefs and intellectual views.  We had a good conversation though and hopefully he prays to know the truth.  

So later that night we went tracting, but no one was home because they were all at church, so what did we do?  We went to my first non-LDS church.  It was the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.  It was very interesting and different from what I am used to.  Afterwards, the man that was preaching came up to us and told us a story about when he was a scrawny high schooler.  He got into trouble and his friend took the punishment instead and showed him his first look at the grace of God.  He said his friend was LDS.  How cool is that?  I thought we were going to get some lecture about how we are wrong or something like that, but nope.

Well, other than that, it has been cool here.  It gets dark at like 6 and then when it's dark, no one answers their doors.  The people are weird.  They think that oh, its dark, time for bed.  But IT'S 6pm!!  Oh well.  The humidity isn't too bad as far as I can tell.  I have gotten used to it, but it is starting to get cold though.  Just a little early in my opinion.  Well, I hope everyone is doing great and if any of you want to know, my address is: 139 Treemont Rd. Dickson,TN 37055. 

However, we are looking around for another place, so I will let you know if that changes.  We live at a members house in their upstairs but we don't have certain things we need, appliances etc., so we are looking for another place.  Well, I will talk to y'all next week and I will get pictures as soon as I get my iPad.  Apparently, I don't have the right plug for my camera, so you'll just have to wait until then.

Elder Ellison

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