Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Already Another Week Down 4-25-16

Wow!  It seems to me like this week just flew by.  This email will be a little shorter than the others because there isn't too much to write about.  Our week was a little rough, but it was good.  My ponderize scripture this week was Numbers 14: 11 "And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?" Here the Lord has done all of these marvelous things for the children of Isreal and yet, they still don't have the faith or trust to do the things He wants them to.  How long until they believe me?  Not how long until they believe in me?  This is a question that we should ask ourselves as well.  If we do believe Him, then we have full trust in Him with anything He will ask us to do.

Monday not much happened. The most exciting thing was when Elder Smith fell out of a tree a few feet and may have a hair-line fracture in his hand.  We still need to get it checked out.

Tuesday we helped at a Food Bank.  Then we had a good lesson with Jim.  We answered a lot of his questions, some he has had for a long time.  Then we had a lesson with the Asberry’s and we invited them to be baptized. They said they weren't ready yet, but they will be soon.

Wednesday we had District Meeting and then did some service at a member’s house.  We later found out that the daughter of the Asberry’s told her friend at school that she wants to be baptized. We are so pumped.

Thursday we had a brief lesson with Adam.  Then not much else happened.  A lot of appointments fell through this week.

Friday we weekly planned and then the craziest thing that happened was at dinner.  We saw these three cats that would climb up the sliding screen door whenever you walked up to it.  It was pretty funny.  I also met a guy who was the president of a biker gang in New York.

Saturday we saw a couple less-active members.  Then we helped a member clean up his daughter’s bridal shower.  That was about it.

Sunday not much happened either other than church, which is always good.

Well I hope everyone had a good week and will have a great one up ahead.  Thank you all for your support and I pray for you guys constantly.  I love you all and hope you all have opportunities this next week to share the gospel with someone.  It is an amazing thing, so why should we keep it to ourselves, right?  Share it with everyone!  Thank you and talk to y'all next time.

Elder Ellison

E. Smith & I Waiting for an Appointment

Crazy Cats

Getting E. Smith's Hand Checked Out

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Back To The Sticks 4-18-16

So I am now in Jamestown. It is more in the sticks than Dickson was.  I like it so far.  My new address is 246 Rugby Ave Apt A3, Jamestown, TN 38556.  A lot of the people here are awesome.  We had a pretty good week so far.  It has been pretty hot and the temperatures are on the climb.  We don't have a huge teaching pool, but the people we do have are pretty solid and we are hoping some choose to be baptized soon.  My ponderize scripture was Doctrine and Covenants 6: 36, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."  This is a great scripture because the Lord Himself is telling us to always look to Him.  As well as to never doubt or fear the things to come.  Through Him, all things are possible.  We have been told by President Uchtdorf to doubt our doubts first, when they come.  The Lord is number one and always will be.  All I can express to you all is to ALWAYS look to Him and never stop.

Monday was my last day in White House.  The other Elders in the district came down and we played disc golf.  Almost got under par, but was 3 throws short.  We also played a little football.

Tuesday we made the long 3 hour drive from Nashville to Jamestown.  It is the area that is the furthest east in the mission.  Our area is huge.  It is like a 20 minute drive to the nearest town.  They don't have neighborhoods and the homes are really spread out so tracting is super hard.  Elder Smith is from Lubbock, Texas.  He is super fun and we get along pretty well.   I basically met all of our investigators in one day.  Our best lesson was with a girl and her dad who are a referral from some awesome members.   We taught them the Plan of Salvation.  They accepted it and they said they would pray to know if this was true.  We are hopefully going to set a date next time for them to be baptized.

Wednesday I got to meet our district at District Meeting.  We then had lunch and stopped by an elderly lady's home just to visit and well, of course, she wanted to feed us so we had two lunches.  We were so full.  She is a very nice lady though too.  Then after a couple hours of trying to find some people to teach and share the restoration with, we had dinner and I didn't even eat half of it because I was still so full.

Thursday we had a lesson with a guy named Adam.  He is a super nice guy.  It was a good lesson.  We shared how this gospel can bring happiness into his life even more.  He has gone through some hard things in his life.  One is that he has terets (yes I know that is wrong spelling but I have no idea how it is spelled haha) (Tourette Syndrome). I feel bad for him because of some of the struggles he has with it, but I know God still loves him and will help him.  Then we gave a member a blessing before he started his new medication.  We also did a little service for them.

Friday we did some service for the Millers.  We helped them put up a chicken coop.  That was fun and hot.  We had to watch out for lots of ticks because they were everywhere.  It also was really hot and we got a little sunburned.  It felt good to be back to those days though.

Saturday we didn’t have much luck unfortunately. We helped a member clean the church because she was doing it by herself - we just couldn't let that happen.  Then when we were at dinner with a member, they randomly asked me right before I left to bear my testimony to them.  I didn't hesitate at what I was going to say nor did I just go through the normal things that people always say.  I was very surprised that it only took me a couple seconds to know what to bear my testimony on – that is new for me.  I will share it with you at the bottom.

Sunday we had church and not much else throughout the day.  We had dinner and then I got to teach my first New Member lesson.  It was awesome and super spiritual.  I was surprised because I shared a little bit from Hank Smith, who I have mentioned earlier, to talk about the Book of Mormon.  Then later that night, I was shown by some members that some of the stars out here move.  It is a little weird, but they actually move up, down, left, and right.

As I said earlier, I will share with you my testimony as I did at that member’s home.  I know I have shared it before, but it is so important that I have to share it again:  I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have prayed about it and felt that confirmation from the Holy Ghost that it is God’s word.  Throughout my own life I have seen the difference between when I was reading it and when I wasn't.  I was a completely different person, at least in my own eyes and perspective, and I never want to be that person who didn't read it again.  Family scripture study is great, but I NEVER want to miss a day with my own personal reading.  Even if it is just one verse at night.  If we miss even just one day, that wall that we have been building upward and layering to protect ourselves from Satan, will have him pounding on it with a sledge hammer every day.  The day we miss, is the day he will hit and a crack will form.  Then he will swing even stronger and harder.  We need to always be reinforcing our wall of protection with the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon.  Today I kind of realized something.  The Bible is from another person’s point of view who just wrote down what they saw.  Those things are all great and the principles are to, but it is just like school.  We are taught these principles, but then we need to have an example of how it works.  That is the Book of Mormon.  It shares exactly those real-life experiences that people went through.  They actually tell you what they felt and how they got through it.  It shows how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can actually be applied into our lives and how it can help us.  A great example of this real-life experience is from a prophet named Alma.  It shares what his experience was with the Atonement.  If you don't have a copy of the Book of Mormon, get one.  If you do, then read Mosiah ch. 27 and Alma ch. 36.  These are wonderful examples and there are lots more.  This book is true and I know it.  Everyone can know it too if you will just read and pray with an open heart , open mind, and with real sincerity.  I love this gospel and I don't know what I would do without it.  I love my Savior and I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Saying Goodbye to the Cousins

Last Day With Elder Nimmer

Say Hello to Lois

New Companion - Elder Smith

My Term In The White House Comes To An End 4-11-16

I am leaving the area of White House.  It has been a good 4 ½ months and I will miss it, but the Lord has need of me elsewhere at this time.  I am headed to Jamestown, TN.  I will be serving with Elder Smith.  I already kind of know him from my first transfer here to White House.  I have heard that Jamestown is in the sticks, redneck land, and a little rough for missionary work, but I am looking forward to the challenge and I hope to improve at least one thing there.  Also, if any of you have inspirational or motivational quotes, I would be very grateful for some.  I have run out and don't have any to fill my journal with.  My ponderize scripture is 3 Nephi 22: 17 "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."  This scripture is very comforting as a servant of the Lord, especially here in the Bible Belt.  Not only am I blessed, but all those who are righteous and follow the Lord.  We are all His servants.  If anyone tries to condemn us or put us down because of our beliefs in God, none of their words or actions will prosper against us.  We will be watched over.

Monday we played some disc golf for P-day. That was about it.

Tuesday we went to the Bishop's Storehouse.  We also found a new investigator while tracting.

Wednesday we had our last District Meeting of the transfer and then tracted into another new investigator. We also saw the Bitters and talked about Conference.

Thursday we worked on the farm.  Not much happened after that.  We went to visit AIM church that evening and they had a good service.

Friday we saw Brother Blaylock and then went and saw the Whites.  We gave her a blessing and I did the anointing.

Saturday we went and helped the Worthingtons some more with their concrete project.  We got our transfer calls at lunch.  Then we visited an awesome member family that evening.

Sunday I gave the opening prayer in Sacrament since it was my last Sunday there.  We tracted into a potential investigator named Jim.  Later we visited with our landlords and I said goodbye.

Well, this week was not the greatest, but there were still a few awesome things.  One of which is that the General Conference talks came out on Gospel Library and we have been listening to and rereading those since they came out.  We are looking for the main point, the invitations that are given, and then the promised blessings that come from fulfilling that invitation.  My testimony continues to grow every time I listen to these talks again and again.  They are the words of the Lord through His prophets and Apostles.  I know that they are.  I know that if we feast upon these words for the next 6 months, until our next council from these men, we will be blessed.  Our lights within us will grow and people will see the change in us.  Our testimonies will grow as well.  I leave you with this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Last Day Working on This Farm

My Crazy District

Last Time For Me To Work on the Worthington's Concrete Project

The Church Is True 4-4-16

Well, the end of the transfer has come.  Oh, wait, not yet.  This transfer is 7 weeks instead of 6 because of the change at the MTC.  So this is going to be our last week before transfers and then we find out Saturday what will be happening. This last week has been full of ups and downs, but at least ended on one of the greatest moments with General Conference.  I will talk more about that later.  Not too much happened though throughout the week that is worth noting except for a few things.  My Ponderize scripture this week was John 15: 16, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."  This scripture can apply to prophets, apostles, missionaries, and other church leaders, but I think this can apply to each of us individually as well.  As we have come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, brother, Redeemer, and friend, we feel the love and see the blessings that come from this knowledge.  So what do we do now that we know this?  Share it of course.  Christ wants each of us to share it with others and not keep it hidden.  "Let your light so shine..."  He has asked us not to hide what we know or our good works.  He has asked us to help and serve others.  It is hard sometimes to stand up, get out from underneath the blanket of fear, and show forth the light of Christ which is in all of us.  There are many people out there in the world who's light has dwindled and it is our responsibility to help them fuel that flame again until it is a roaring fire that cannot be put out.

Monday we played some sports with the Spingfield Elders.  Then we had a lesson with Roger which went well and we set up his baptismal interview for Thursday.  That didn't happen because his wife, who he is separated from at the moment, went into the hospital for something and it isn't going well at the moment.  So he is out of town helping her for a while.  We are praying that she gets better soon and he can get back in time to make his baptismal date and not miss it for the second time.

Tuesday we did service at the Worthington's.  Later, as we were walking to where we wanted to tract, we met a lady as we passed by her house.  She had met the missionaries in the past and we talked with her for a bit.  She started crying during our conversation and she agreed to meet with us.  So that was the reason I think we were supposed to head that way because no one else was interested on the street we knocked doors.

Wednesday we tracted pretty much the whole day.  Later we went to dinner with the other Elders and had a fun time there.  Then we went on exchanges and Elder Ihler came to White House with me.  If only Mortensen were there, then it would be back to the old “trio” days.

Thursday nothing happened.  It dumped on us later and there was some awesome lightning though.  I also got a haircut from a member before our dinner with them.

Friday nothing really happened.

Saturday General Conference started and there were so many great talks given.  We were at the church all day except for in the evening when we had dinner with a family and then watched the last session with them.  I noticed that a lot of the talks were focused on families.

Sunday we finished up a great Conference.  My favorite talk was the last talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  Throughout his talk, I felt the Spirit so much stronger and I even felt like I might start tearing up.  You could just feel the love he, the other apostles, and the prophet had for each of us.  I am so grateful to be a part of this church.  I am grateful that I was able to watch General Conference and hear the words of council they had for us.  I plan to go back through each talk and write down the main principle, the invitations given throughout the talk, and then the blessings that will come as we act upon those invitations.  I know that by doing this, we can truly strengthen our faith and build our testimonies.  I know this church is true.  I know we are led by a modern prophet named Thomas S. Monson and by the other 12 Apostles.  They truly are God's servants.  I know these things to be true and say them in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Ellison

This was outside a church - Had to get a photo
Dinner at Ward Mission Leaders Home


Gotta love the free haircuts