Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reporting Live From Knoxville, TN 6-6-16

I will start by putting an end to your confusion as to why my heading says Knoxville and not Nashville.  I found out on Thursday that the Cookeville Stake, of which I am currently serving in, is leaving our mission to join the Knoxville Mission. This will give the Knoxville Mission 6 stakes within its boundaries so it can qualify for a temple eventually.  The catch though, kind of, is that all of the missionaries currently serving in that Stake will be moving missions as well.  I will no longer be serving in the Tennessee Nashville Mission.  I will now be serving in the Tennessee Knoxville Mission, or for my case, the Tennessee Mission.  This will come into effect June 15.  It is a sacrifice on our part to leave our mission and our friends in it, but it is all part of “hastening the work” of our Lord.  The reason they are doing this now is to coincide with the transition of the new Nashville mission president.  Nashville Mission’s new president will start the beginning of July so they are moving us a week or two before that.  So that was some big news for us.  I will now be going more eastward, switching time zones by an hour, and will have the chance to serve in North Carolina and Virginia, on top of Kentucky and Georgia.  It is going to be an interesting adventure.  So other than that big news, my week was fairly normal, except for a few awesome things.

Monday we went fishing.  I almost dragged in a 10lb+ catfish.  I reeled him in all the way to the bank and then he broke my hook off.  It was huge!  Then later we finally got to see Emily after about a month of trying.  We taught her some of the commandments and the cool part was that she is already halfway through the Book of Mormon for her second time.  She is marking her favorite scriptures too.  It was awesome!  She even went to Girl’s Camp this week too.  I also found out last week that Roger finally got baptized on Saturday.  I am so pumped for him.

Tuesday we helped at the Food Bank like normal.  Then we saw Jim and while we were talking, Elder Christensen felt prompted to tell him that he could receive an answer to his 4 year-long question this week. We don’t know what it is, but we know he can receive an answer.  We made sure he understood that it would only happen if he had faith, with no doubt and that he would need to have a desire to act on whatever the answer will be.  We shall see Tuesday if he ever got his answer – I hope he does.  Later, we had a lesson with Frankie.  We went over the Baptismal Interview questions with him and talked about each one to make sure he understands it. We also reset a date for him to be baptized on June 24.

Wednesday we helped the Smiths stack hay bales. That was fun because it was like being back on the farm.  We then drove up to the Kentucky border since it was 2 miles from where we were at.  I unfortunately didn't get any pictures though.

Thursday we had Zone Meeting and interviews.  So some awesome things happened in addition to us changing missions.  I first had an interview with Sister Andersen, while my companion was with President.  She is super awesome and has a huge, strong testimony.  Then I had an awesome interview with President.  I had written down a couple questions that I wanted to ask him.  One piece of advice he gave me was that as I continue on my journey to get to know the Savior, I should pick one of the gospels that talks about His mortal ministry and get to know who He was, what He did, and how He did it.  So that is something I will be starting to do and I encourage each of you to do the same.  It truly is important that we get to know our Savior and who He is.  Then later, we were at the Book of Mormon study class and we got a call.  The girl on the other end tells us her life story and how she was given a Book of Mormon and once she started reading it, she never put it down.  We were pretty pumped.  We haven't met her yet, but hopefully we can this week.

Friday not much happened worth mentioning.

Saturday was another day of nothing worth mentioning.

Sunday we had church and later that night was awesome.  We got to go to a live concert in Sparta with the Nashville Tribute Band as they sang from their newest album, Redeemer.  It is worth checking out.  So before the concert, they asked all the missionaries to go to this room where we got to meet the band and talk with them.  We also said a prayer with them and took some photos.  I was able to see a member from my last area who is their manager.  So that was cool.  The concert was pretty good too.  The Spirit is so much stronger live than off the CD even.  It was an awesome experience.  My companion knows half of them from other areas so I was able to talk with them a little more than most people.  They are super cool.

So that was my week.  I want to add my testimony to the message shared at the concert we had this evening.  I know that Christ lives and is coming again.  I know that He is our exemplar and that if we do as He asks and as He did, then our lives will be so much more.  We are trying each day to be our best and we should be trying our best to be what the Savior would want us to be.  He is our Redeemer and Savior and I love Him so much.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Doing a Little Bee Keeping Out Here
Dinner With Bowling

Last Meeting With The Andersons

Saying Goodbye to Nashville Mission

Last Nashville Zone Conference

Nashville Tribute Band Concert

"Hallelujah" by Us and Cloverton

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