Friday, March 3, 2017

Week of the Roller Coaster 1-30-17

Well the end of January has come, which is my last one in the mission field.  Kind of a weird thought.  This week brought us a little bit of snow again and has also had some ups and downs.  More ups then downs though.  Let the week begin.

Monday was awesome!  We went down to Johnson City and hung out with a bunch of missionaries.  We also played basketball with a bunch of other people at a community center.  That was a ton of fun and my team won almost every game, even though we played against a lot of kids that know how to play.  In one of the games I jammed my finger super bad.  It hurt bad and I thought it was broken, but I continued to play anyway.  Ball is life, right?  Then that night we had Family Home Evening at the Richard's with our Bishop and his family and an 18 year old kid named Ethyn who attends the college in town.   We also got a text earlier that day from Lina saying she didn't want to meet anymore because it is hard for her to understand with the language barrier.  So that was super sad.  We tried to see her a couple times, just at least one more time, but she never answered the door or our phone calls or texts.  We hope to get a hold of her at some point, but we are going to give her some space for a little bit.

Tuesday we started out doing service at the Richard's.  Later we had 3 lessons fall through.  We were super bummed out.  We tried contacting some less-actives and then we got some ice cream to lift our spirits.  Ice cream makes everything better.  We then had a late dinner with some members at a place called Cook-Out.  It is pretty good - we need them out west.

Wednesday we went to Kingsport for a Missionary Worldwide Devotional broadcast.  We got to watch the Missionary Council discuss certain things about how we as missionaries should be working and teaching.  Then at the end we got some big news.  They changed our schedules a little bit so we can now go to bed earlier if we want and we have more flexibility with our schedules.  P-days also got longer, so that was pretty cool.  Once we got back to our area, we did some finding and at one point we were in the boonies.  We were driving back and were told by Elder Garmin (the GPS) to turn onto a road.  It ended up being a one lane dirt road to nowhere with no way to turn around.  We drove on it for about 4 miles until it was getting dark and we didn't have cell service.  So if we were in trouble, we were kind of done for. 

Thursday we did some tracting for a couple hours and hardly anyone was home.  Later we got to our lesson a little early so we did some tracting around their home and we found a potential investigator. Then we had our lesson with Zach and we taught him the Restoration.  He is a 12 yr. old boy who is the only member of his family that isn't baptized yet. 

Friday we did some weekly planning.  Later that day we had another lesson with Zach and we taught the Plan of Salvation.  We also set a date for baptism on Feb. 18.  So that will be exciting.  Later we had an awesome lesson with Dan.  The member who came with us basically ended up teaching the whole Plan of Salvation, which was awesome.  We set a date with Dan for March 4.  He accepted, so we will be working with him on that.  He is in a wheelchair, but wants to be able to walk when he is at church.  We ended up giving him a Priesthood blessing.  It was a much different blessing than I have ever given.  I gave the sealing part of the blessing and half way through, Dan just starts saying his own prayer right in the middle of it.  We just sat there with our hands on his head and listened to him pour out his soul and show his faith in God for a couple minutes.  Finally, we finished the blessing.  It was cool to see him show his faith like that even if it was a little different than normal.  After him we gave another blessing to a less-active that was going in for surgery in a couple days.  She was crying during the blessing and even though it might not do anything, she felt the Spirit during that blessing.  I know that at some point she will come back to church.

Saturday we did our usual service at the Davison's.  Then we went to a funeral for the husband of a less-active.  He had actually been a potential investigator in our Area Book, but now he is being taught by someone else.  Then we saw Bill again after about a month.  We talked about a lot of different things and hopefully it will start to click for him because he has a lot of questions.  We tried contacting a few other people after that for the rest of the evening.

Sunday was an alright day.  Nothing too special happened.  That evening we had dropped in on a less-active family.  The wife shared an experience she had a while back that had many instances where you could see God watching over her and the people she was traveling with as they went to the temple.  I won't go into it, but it was really cool. 

Well I would like to share something with you guys that I learned this week.  I actually learned this from the member that came with us to our lesson with Dan.  We were talking about Adam and Eve being in the Garden of Eden.  While they were there, they did not know the difference between happiness or sadness.  Good or bad.  They were literally in a state of innocence.  Almost like a new born baby.  The garden that they were living in at the time was prepared by God and it was amazing.  It provided them with everything they needed and it was beautiful.  Now this is what I learned.  Adam and Eve did not know about the beauty of this garden.  They had nothing to compare it to and so it was just where they lived.  They did not think too much about it.  I never had thought about how they didn't know about the beauty of the garden like we do.  We all wish we could have been there or seen it, but they knew nothing else.  So that is just what I wanted to share from this week.  I would like to leave you all with a little quote that can help all of us in times of discouragement or when we feel like giving up. "The strong people dig down deeper, and find a better way."  I hope that this can help any of you or someone you may know.  It helps me all the time.  I leave this as my hope and prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

My Poor Jammed Finger - Ball is Life!

On State Street Right On the Border of TN & VA

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