Sunday, July 10, 2016

Last Week In Nashville 6-13-16

So this was my last week in the Nashville mission.  As of this Monday, I am now in the Knoxville mission.  I get to meet my new mission president this week.  I am looking forward to that.  This week was super hot! It got into the 90s a couple days.  I also got to see the fireflies come out. They were popping up all over the grass, which was super cool to see.  Too bad we don't have those in the west.

Monday we didn't do too much except we helped the Millers hoe their garden after dinner.

Tuesday we helped out at the Food Bank as usual.  We had appointments fall through, which was disappointing.  Later we drove down to the Zone Leader’s apartment and stayed the night there.

Wednesday we woke up early and got to go to the temple for the last time.  I don't think I will get the opportunity to go again for over a year now.  It was a really cool experience.  Our whole zone got to go.  We got to see President and Sister Andersen for the last time.

Thursday we saw Jim.  Unfortunately he did not get his answer yet.  We believe the reason for that is because he doesn't have a testimony about the Priesthood yet and he is starting to lose faith and hope after not getting an answer for over 4 years now.  We gave him a blessing of comfort so he could know what God wanted him to know at that time.  Later we gave Frankie a blessing too.  He had picked up a dead bird and got the bird flu.

Friday we had a couple more lessons.  We saw Frankie again and he was feeling much better and more energetic and hungry.  We also gave a 95 year-old lady a blessing because she was sick too. By the end of our visit with her, she was perky and full of energy and didn't even seem to have bronchitis anymore. The power of Priesthood blessings is very real.

Saturday not too much happened.  Later that night we hoed some more of the Miller's garden.  It looks pretty good so far, if I do say so myself.  I thought that I was done pulling weeds after I left home, but it looks like I will never get away from those wretched things.

Sunday we went to church, obviously.  Half of the ward was gone because of vacations and what not.  Later we had a Stake Priesthood meeting.  The Stake President, Pres. Day, said something pretty cool.  He said, "We need Real Men.  Real Men build up Zion.  Real Men keep the commandments."

President Day is right.  We need Real Men as well as Valiant Women.  These people can be you and me.  We need to look at ourselves and ask a couple questions.  Are we helping to build up Zion?  What can I do to start helping or to keep helping?  Am I keeping the commandments?  What do I need to change to become a real Man or a Valiant Woman?  If there is anything that Satan has wrapped a chain around us for, we need to get rid of it and cut it off.  Break those bands with which we are bound.  There is a quote I want to share with you that comes from the Addiction Recovery videos the church put out.  It says, "Because of the love and grace of the Savior, you do not have to be what you have been." So if there is anything in our life that we can't forgive ourselves for, just know that our loving Savior loved us so much, he made it possible for the marvelous, miraculous gift of forgiveness for us and others.  We can change and be forgiven by Him if we ask and the trick is for us to forgive ourselves.  If there is anything that we are doing that isn't what God would have us do, then we should throw it away.  Get rid of it.  In this day and age, we need more Real Men and Valiant Women more than we ever did before.  The Lord's work is moving forward quicker than ever.  He is the Coach and we can choose to be the spectator who enjoys the game while it is going, but the thrill is gone after that final whistle. Or we can be the players on the field, all working together for that one goal, and when we win, that thrill will be there FOREVER.  Who are we going to be? We can either stand back and try and figure out what to do or jump on board and have eternal happiness, as well as help others feel of that same happiness.  It's our choice. I know that for myself, when the Lord calls to me throughout my life, when it's my time to get out there, I want to always answer, "I'm READY! You can trust me and I will not let you down."  When the Lord calls us, what do we want to respond with? I hope that each of you will look at yourselves and see what is it that you can do become a better Real Man or Valiant Woman and then do it.  Don't just think about it and dream it, but make it become a reality and you will be blessed.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Last Temple Trip of My Mission
Just a cave - No big deal

Zone Temple Trip

Naptime on the way back from Zone Conference

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