Sunday, January 1, 2017

The First Flurries 12-14-16


This email will be a little longer due to the extra days because of our Zone Conference.  This week was full of snow, exchanges, and learning. 

Monday we just hung out with the other missionaries in our District.  We played board games and sports. 

Tuesday was a great day.  We started out working at the Richard's farm.  We helped clean out some of their storage sheds because it was raining.  Later we did a bunch of finding.  We were looking for this one less-active in a trailer park, but they had moved a while ago.  The guy who lives there now is named David.  We talked with him for a while and had a great conversation.  He had a great story of how God has helped him in his life recently.  He got emotional in front of us too.  We asked him if we could come back and share a message that will bring him closer to his Heavenly Father and he said we could.  Later we met a less-active who started out a little rude then changed.  She became very nice and even said she wanted to come back to church.  She called us Sunday morning saying she still wanted to come, but was super sick, which was a bummer.  We then met with one of our investigators.  We first went in planning to teach the Restoration, but as we started, I asked how he has seen God's hand in his life?  His answer took the whole lesson in a different direction and we learned so much more about him.  Now we can better teach to his needs. Today was again, a great day.

Wednesday we met with a guy named Travis.  We are trying to encourage him to come to church.  We then met with Miss Rush and had a good gospel discussion with her.  Her only thing is that she doesn't want to find out if these things are true yet - so we are not too sure what to do to help her. Later that evening we had Book of Mormon class.

Thursday we had District Meeting.  The Zone Leaders came and we had exchanges afterwards.  I went to Johnson City with Elder Simmonson.  He is from Grace, ID.  He has been out just a couple weeks more than me.  We did some finding and then had a lesson with one of their investigators.  We also helped one of their neighbors put up her Christmas lights.  It didn't look too bad at night.

Friday morning we were in studies, and I looked out the window and I saw these huge flakes of snow falling from the sky.  It didn't last too long and nothing stayed on the ground.  That morning we went tracting and it was really cold and windy.  There were really little flakes of snow too.  So later we exchanged back and we did some more finding until we had to do weekly planning. That night we had a lesson with an investigator and her less-active husband.  It was really frustrating for both Elder Anderson and I - we ended up dropping them since they don’t really seem interested in learning right now. 

Saturday we saved the lives of some chickens and ducks.  We went to a member’s home in the morning to do service and as we went to let out their animals, a light had fallen onto a bag of shredded wood and it started to burn.  When we opened the door, it was extremely smokey.  We are lucky we got there before the animals became rotisserie chicken and roast duck.  That afternoon we went out with Tyler who is a senior in high school.  We saw an investigator named Don and had a good lesson on the Spirit.  We saw a few other people that afternoon.  That night we had the ward Christmas party.  We had a couple investigators show up, which was awesome.  We had more people there than we do for Sacrament meeting.  Hopefully those people that don't normally come to church will start coming. 

Sunday we met with David and they fed us dinner.  We shared the Bearing our Burdens Mormon Message.  That was about it for our day.

Monday was an awesome day.  We got to learn from Elder Neilson of the 70 who is one of the heads of the Missionary Department.  I learned some really awesome things from him, his wife, and President Griffin.  First was President Griffin.  He took the allegory of the vineyard in Jacob 5 and made it into a parable and compared it to us and how the Lord sends us to where we need to be and who we need to be with for a specific reason.  We also are sent there at specific times or else our experiences would be completely different.  We are there at those specific times because it will be something we need to learn at that point in our life and service.  Then Sister Neilson talked about companions and how we can get along with them better.  It also is helping us learn how to spend the rest of our life with our Eternal Companions.  Elder Neilson first talked about how we are assigned to labor.  When choosing someone's mission call, one of the Apostles will pray and receive revelation on it.  Sometimes we are assigned to the mission, but he said that sometimes we are assigned to the Mission President and his wife.  For me I think that maybe I was sent to the Nashville mission for some specific reasons and then when the Apostle re-prayed over my assignment to switch Missions, I was assigned to the Griffins.  Still trying to work that one out.  He also taught us that our job as missionaries is to help connect people to Heaven, to help them receive revelation on their own through the scriptures, prayer, and coming to church.  He said that if he was to give us another name, it would be Inviters.  He told us that if he was to look up what words we used the most on our mission, one of them should be "will you...?"  He taught us on what we can do for finding and we were able to figure out some of the most effective ways to find people to teach.  Another thing I learned was that this gospel is a forward-looking gospel.  God doesn't reflect back on past mistakes and sins and nether should we.  The thing that stuck with me the most though was his comment about fear and faith.  He told a story about an Elder in his mission when he was serving in Finland and he told us that when fear is present, faith is gone, but when faith in Jesus Christ is present, fear can never exist.  That got me pumped and wanting to exercise more faith.  Fear only comes from the adversary and the only way to overcome it is to have faith that the Lord will help you.  As my dad would say, "F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real."  So that was about the extent of our meeting and so it was really cool to learn all of these awesome things and be re-energized and uplifted in the work.

Tuesday we went to the Richard's farm again.  Later we did some finding and handed out a ton of Light the World pass along cards; even when it was dark, rainy, and cold. 

So what has become of the world today in the holidays?  We all can see that everything is now more commercialized and we are forgetting the true meaning behind what we are celebrating.  If we break down Christmas, we get Christ and mas.  Mas in Spanish means more and so we need more Christ.  That is partly why I think the church came out with this great service program entitled Light the World.  We are all focused on getting other people gifts which is good, but do we remember to give our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ a gift?  When we serve others, we also serve God.  Serving others can be the gift we give to Him and to show our love.  It doesn't have to be anything big or complex.  Simplicity is key and even God delights in plainness.  It doesn't matter who it is either, the thing to remember is to just do it.  Show forth the Light of Christ within you and then we will have more Christ, not just during this time of the year, but always.  These things I leave with you in the name of He whose birth we celebrate now, Jesus Christ, amen.


Elder Ellison

District & Zone Leaders 
NASCAR Bristol Speedway


Miss Rush's Dog
video

McKay Opening His Christmas Package Titled "Joy To The World, Nanaimo Bars Have Come"





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