Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Turn Around 3-7-16

So this week started off a little shaky, but it slowly started to change into a much better week.  Our tracting has definitely gotten a little better towards the end of this week.  I am also looking forward to the 70 degree weather next week, even though it will be rainy.  So my ponderize scripture this week is John 16: 33 which says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." This is the Savior talking and I just love the things he says in here.  One, you will have peace in Him.  When we look to the Savior for help and for that strength we so desperately need, He will give it to us.  We can be at peace to know that He went through everything He did just because He loves us.  Second, we shall have tribulation.  He tells us straight up that we will have trials and challenges in this world.  Even though they aren't something we love, they are a blessing.  They help us to humble ourselves enough to ask for help.  I think it is interesting how He said that in Him we will have peace, but in the world we will have tribulation.  We are told to be in the world, but not of the world.  When we are of the world, we don't have Christ with us.  We don't see the purpose or have that hope.  Only when we have the Savior right by our side can we be at peace with ourselves and have that hope that is so key.  In the book of Moroni in the Book of Mormon, he tells us that we must have three things in the end and those are faith, hope, and charity which is the pure love of Christ.  Then the Savior finally tells us to be of good cheer, don't be afraid and have fear, for He has overcome the world.  I can't think of a greater blessing than to know that through my Savior, I can be made clean and pure and may have eternal joy.

Monday was a gorgeous day.  So much that we sat outside and let our legs embrace the ever forbidden rays of the beautiful sunlight to our slack-covered legs.  Basically meaning we did a little tanning.  I was sitting in the chair just soaking it in and I was actually starting to sweat just by sitting there.  So that was the best feeling.  I haven't had that in a long time.

Tuesday was Elder Nimmer's 20th birthday so for his birthday we got drenched.  We walked out in the morning and got about a mile away when it just down-poured on us.  We were so wet that we had to change clothes.  We then went out to lunch with some members for his birthday and then just knocked on doors the rest of the day.  I took my umbrella to stay dry, even though I may have looked like a weirdo.  We then had a birthday dinner at the Cousin's and we had steak, shrimp, and broccoli covered in garlic.  It was a delicious meal that filled us up so much that we still felt full the next day.  It was so good!  Right after eating that huge meal, we went and helped some members move into their new house.

Wednesday we went to lunch with a member who played drums for a famous country singer back in the old days.  I think his name has Gary in it, but can't remember.  Well anyways, I referenced 2 movie characters to 2 different people.  First was the member Brother Taylor.  I think he looks a lot like the dad of Tron, or Obidiah in the first Iron Man (the bad, bald guy).  Second was at the lesson we went to after lunch at a less-active's home.  Their son who was there reminded me of the "unicorn" from Men in Black 3 (the one who can see the future and past).  He just talked a lot like him and sounded like him.  Those were just 2 funny thoughts I had. At their home, we talked about the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies on it.  They said they would read it every day.  So our tracting seems to be doing a lot better today.  We have made a few improvements or changes.  For example, we are now praying about which road we should tract on that day.  We still have a lot of improvements to make, but it looks like things are starting to pick up.

Thursday we had Zone Meeting and there were some awesome trainings given.  The one that really spoke to me was on, well, tracting.  Since we have been struggling with that we took tons of notes.  Since having that training, and working on using the things we learned, I believe we have gotten at least 1 potential investigator every day since, which is a major improvement from how tracting normally was for us.

Friday we had another good tracting session and even have a potential whose wife is apparently a member that isn't coming anymore.  He said we could come back and talk to both of them.  We did some phone cleaning later, which is actually really fun.  You never know who you are going to end up talking with.

Saturday not much happened.  We did have a visit/lesson/dinner with the Martinez family.  They are super cool, love soccer, and love to just talk your ear off.  They even invited us to stay and have dinner.  We had homemade, from scratch, tamales.  They were super good.  Later we were trying to contact some former investigators and one of them had a burnt-out porch light.  I don't think our black jackets helped at all either.  The dad came and grabbed a baseball bat before he opened the door.  Once he opened it and saw that we weren't just some punk teenagers, he lightened up and was really nice.  We had no luck so we decided to end our night on a good note by going to one of the local gas stations, kind of like a Maverick, and they sold any-size freezes for $0.69.  It was a sweet deal and a sweet treat.

Sunday not much happened.  We had a good testimony meeting in church.  We had a really good dinner with a couple families as a break-the-fast meal.  That was about all.

Well, that has been my week.  My faith and knowledge has truly grown over this last week.  I have come love how prayer can just be something we do out of habit, but when we add in faith, knowledge, and thought that we are actually having a two-way conversation with our Heavenly Father, then we will start to have a much better experience when we pray.  I just encourage each of you this next week, that when you pray, open up more and talk to God like He is your best friend.  Talk to Him about things that others may not understand because He will understand you completely.  Share your thoughts, feelings, concerns, gratitude, fears, questions.  Make it one of the most meaningful prayers you have ever said.  He is always there and always listening.  I promise you that if you pray with faith that He is actually listening to your prayer, your experience with prayer will be changed just as mine has.  Mine used to be more just out of habit and not as meaningful, but I have learned in just 6 months what it means to truly pray and make it more meaningful.  I had an experience just last Sunday where I was really frustrated that we didn't have hardly anyone to teach and our tracting just sucked and we weren't seeing any success.  That night I expressed my feelings of frustration and said about a 20 minute prayer, just telling Him how I felt.  I asked Him to give me peace and to ease my feelings of frustration.  As I was asking for this at the end of my prayer, my frustration subsided from where it was and even though I was still a little frustrated, I had a sense of peace and a feeling that everything is going to work out.  I know that He answered my prayer and helped me.  I am still working on not making it as repetitious, but as long as I am sincere about all of it, then it is part of my prayer.  I leave with you these things in the name of our beloved Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

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