Monday, November 14, 2016

One Hectic Week 9-26-16

So this week has been crazy, hectic, stressful, and not the best week we have had either.  We had some ups and downs, but that is just life and they suck when they come about, but they don't last forever.  It's still in the 90s over here, which I am totally cool with.  

Monday we went to the local park with other Elders and played sports.  Later that evening we went out with some of the YSA and visited some less-active members. 

Tuesday we tried to find some people.  We then went to lunch with less-active lady who is a little off her rocker.  The sisters were there too and it was an interesting lunch as usual.  We then had a lesson with Rebecca and Olivia.  We went over the Word Of Wisdom with them.  It was pretty funny because they were drinking coffee as we taught them haha.  Then we rode our bikes down to our next lesson with Jarvis.  On the way, in almost the exact spot I crashed, Elder Thomas ran over some staples.  It popped his tire and so we had to walk the rest of the way.  We were an hour late to the lesson, but at least we made it.  We went through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He then offered to give us a ride back to our place, which was so great.  Our bikes barely fit in his car.

Wednesday we went down to Knoxville for the New Missionary meeting.  It was pretty good and we got trained on the same things that I was trained on when I switched missions.  We then came back and went on exchanges.  I stayed and got Elder Hoch, who is also a new missionary serving in Signal Mountain.  Not much happened that day after we got back.

Thursday we had District Meeting and then we went and tried to contact some formers and potentials.  We then had to start heading to our lesson with Jacqueline and Letia.  On our way back, we stopped to check the map to see where we were and which way we needed to go, we hear the air leaking out of a tire as we sat there and looked down to see Elder Thomas's back tire was flat again.  We think the tire itself had gotten broken the first time and it poked it a little bit.  So we had to walk again, but we were close enough that we made it on time for that lesson.  We finished the last discussion with them and then set up who would take part in their baptism.  We finished by playing basketball with some investigators and members.

Friday we had to go to the library to order a tire and tube for the bike because it is a custom size and Walmart doesn't carry it.  Later we met Olivia and Rebecca again and went through the Ten Commandments and the Law of Chastity.  Then we headed towards Jacqueline and Letia's because we had a confusing phone conversation with them and it sounded like they were bailing out on their baptism date.  So we headed over and President Griffin and his wife came down because he was going to do the interviews who ended up driving right past us as we walked there, since we didn’t have functioning bikes.  We went over and got everything cleared up.  Some family issues came up that day and it was just crazy for them.  We rescheduled the interviews to be right before the baptism the next day.  Pres. Griffin and his wife then took us to get some ice cream with them which was cool.  You don’t get one-on-one time with the mission president and his wife everyday. 

Saturday more conflict came up with Jacqueline and Letia’s family and it was just crazy.  They were too focused on that so we are rescheduling their baptism.  We went over to check on them in the morning with our Branch Mission Leader and he took us to lunch afterwards.  We got back and waited for an investigator to show up… he never did so we Weekly Planned.  Later we visited some less-active members and walked home.  UT had beat Florida and we passed a drunk college student who was singing a song called Rocky Top.  We joined in singing with him for a minute and then kept walking. Haha

Sunday we had church. Only one of our investigators showed up to church, unfortunately.  It was still good, but we were expecting a lot more.  

So because of what happened this week, I thought I would share a few thoughts on opposition.  It happens to all of us, especially as we strive to do what is right, make the right choices and head down the right path - the path towards God.  The adversary and his followers don't want this to happen and they do everything they can to put stumbling blocks in our way to stop our progression or to make us think it is too hard to overcome so we will give up.  I heard a story recently of a man who had gone to heaven.  When he got there, he was met by Saint Peter.  Peter took this man and showed him another man who was rock climbing.  He asked the man what he saw.  The man said he saw a devil right next to this man and he assumed he was a very good guy because only one devil was around him.  Then he was taken and shown a second man who was also rock climbing and was asked what he saw.  The man said he saw 50 devils around this guy and thought he wasn’t very good because of he was surrounded by so many devils.  Then Peter told him that the man with 50 was a great man and had strong faith which was why it took so many devils to try to bring him down.  The man with only one was weak and gave up too easily.  It only took one to tempt him and get him to make bad choices.  We all should strive to be like the man with 50 or even 100.  The thought that certain things just can't be real or come about because they are "unrealistic," is not of God.  If it is good and leads us to do good things, it is of God.  We faced a lot of opposition this week, as well as our investigators and Satan knows where to hit us to give us the most struggle.  We need to remain faithful and always strive to do what's right and what leads us to God.  We must not be surprised when bad things or "misfortune" comes into our life as we try to do what's right.  If we think we are the only one going through difficult times, remember that everyone does even if we don't see it.  If it gets too hard, there are many people in our lives who are there to help us.  God has given us families, friends, bishops, prophets, the scriptures, and a Savior.  Jesus Christ will always be there for us to help us get through our trials.  His atonement is not just to be forgiven or to be resurrected, but to also gain strength and support during our earthly trials.  Trust that we will receive help.  Know that God will put people into our lives always to help us as we have faith and trust in Him.  I say these things in the name of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Ice Cream with Pres & Sis Griffin

Cool Hike to a Dried Up Waterfall

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