Monday, December 26, 2016

365 Days to 365 People 12-5-16

Hey everyone.  I'm emailing this week from soaking wet Bristol, VA.  It has been raining so much here that there have been flood warnings across our whole mission.  It's been crazy!  We finally got the rain we have been missing all Summer and Fall.  Also, next Monday, our P-day will be moved to Wednesday due to a Half-Mission Conference with Elder Neilson, President of the Missionary Department and in the presidency of the 70.  We are going to be meeting with him for most of the day so that is what is happening next week.  Well you probably want to know about our week which was decent and the reasoning behind my subject title so let’s get into it.

Monday we sat outside and froze with the sisters as we played a bunch of board games.  I also got a haircut which was probably the best one I have ever gotten from a Great Clips.  Not much else happened that day.

Tuesday we do service at a member’s farm each week.  We picked strawberries and then started pulling up the stakes that hold up the tomato plants.  They have a huge field of them.  We work there with the Sister Missionaries too.  Towards the end, we took some of the rotten tomatoes that are everywhere and started throwing them.  Elder Anderson and I had the stakes and so we played Babe Ruth for a bit.  Yes, we did get sprayed with tomato juice in the face when the stake and tomato made contact.  After lunch there, we went back and showered of course.  We later tried to see some potentials we found last week, but no luck with that.  That evening we went out with our Ward Mission Leader and saw a couple less-actives. 

Wednesday we went and saw a lady named Miss Rush.  She has been meeting with missionaries for almost 4 years now.  She feeds us and takes good care of us and in return we teach her our beliefs to help her understand more.  After that visit we met with some investigators named Dakota and Chris. We mainly just fellowshipped and got to know them a little better.  Chris can make huge rings with his vaping.  It’s pretty cool actually.  Too bad he will have to give that up if he joins the church -haha.  That evening we had a Book of Mormon class at the church.  I would really like to get some non-members to it to help them learn more about it.

Thursday we had District Meeting which was pretty good.  That afternoon we tracted for almost 4 hours.  For the first 2 1/2 hours no one was home, wanted to listen, and some wouldn’t even take a Light the World card.  It was starting to get dark and when it is dark, people are winding down. That’s usually not the best time to knock doors, but we had such a pitiful first part that we were determined to make the end of it count.  Still, no one was interested, but we handed out triple or more of the cards than before.  So that ended our work on a much better note and I count it as a success for the day.

Friday we weekly planned.  Later we had to refill the car with fuel and get some air in the tires.  After about 4 different gas stations that either were out of service or didn't have the type of gas we needed, we finally found one.  This is where my title will somewhat make sense.  At one of the gas stations we stopped at, an older gentleman came over and started talking to us for a few minutes.  We gave him a card and he thanked us, like most people do out here, for what we are doing.  He told us that we should be grateful and happy if we are able to help one soul that day and sometimes we may not even know it.  He said to just think; if we helped 1 person a day for a year, that is 365 people we have helped.  Wow!  What great insight on that!  There really is a success every day with at least one person.  It also goes along with the Light the World initiative of helping just one person each day and to continue doing it even after Christmas.  You too can help at least 365 people in a year.  Later we met with a man named Don.  He is an older gentleman - like in his 80’s old.  I will just say that cleaning is ESSENTIAL!  His house was not the worst one I have been in, but to describe it, the moment you open the door a wave of rotten mold mixed with urine smell rushes over you and you don't get used to it - even after an hour.  Boxes and clutter are everywhere with mice climbing all around.  Yes, I really did see and hear the mice.  My appreciation for clean living continues to grow over my mission.  And just remember, that is not the worst I have been in.  We saw a couple more people that day, but not much else happened.

Saturday we went out with some of the Priesthood of the ward and tried to visit a few less-active men.  We then saw Miss Rush again.  We had a good gospel discussion with her.  After her we met with Josh and Kara.  We originally were going to meet Josh, but Kara just came and joined in.  She is actually way more interested than he is.  He was a little too focused on the football game.  I will just stop and say that my self-control to not watch sports has grown, but it takes just about all of my strength to not look - haha.  Anyways, we taught the Restoration and invited them to our Ward Christmas Party on Saturday. 

Sunday we had a great Testimony Meeting at church.  Later we had a lesson with David and then got to watch him and Sister Young get married.  We later visited with the Fonsecas and then played a couple games with them. 

This week I just want to take a moment to express my love for this work in which I am involved.  It kind of occurred to me that I love being a missionary.  I love serving the Lord and being able to share my testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ with people every day.  Even the bad moments or weeks, I love it.  Back when I was still somewhat new to mission life, I easily could have gone home after my time was up and been fine.  As I think now, it is a little bit of a scary thought that one day down the road, I won't get to be doing the things I am doing now.  I know that I can still be a missionary even when I am home, but it will not be the same.  The joy I get to feel each day as my companion and I get to help people and see their lives change is indescribable.  I love being a missionary and having this chance to devote all of my time and efforts to serving the Lord and fulfilling His work and the plan He has for me each day.  There is nothing I have done in my life up to this point that is greater than this.  I have come to learn and know what it means to love the work and people.  I know that this is the true and full gospel again on the earth and that we can gain eternal salvation with our loved ones and Father in Heaven again through the sacred ordinances performed by God's proper authority.  These are my thoughts and feelings that I wanted to share this week with you all and I close in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Tour Of His Bristol Missionary Apartment
I Ask Him To Video All His Apartments Just So We Can See Where He Lives

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