Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Families Being Brought Together 6-12-17

So this was another OK week just doing a bunch of “finding” and trying to figure out how to pick the area up even more.  We had a couple guys yell at us to go away which is always different.  One of them was a less-active member.  We didn't even say anything.  Not a word and he said don't ever come back.  Twice.  Then shut the door.  Oh well, that's just how it goes.

We had our last MLC with the Griffins.  It was a very spiritual meeting.  We have our last Zone Conference this week too.  It's so sad that they are leaving, but our new mission president sounds awesome.  We are told that they are very similar so it shouldn't be too much of a difference.  I get almost exactly a month with our new mission president.

Transfers are next week so we shall see what the results are for my last transfer.  I'm pretty sure I will stay here with Elder Frederick, but I will keep you posted next week.

Highlight of the week: we had a lesson with our recent convert family.  They have an 11 yr. old daughter who is a little bit autistic and afraid of water.  Well she has been doing much better with water lately and we asked her if she wants to be baptized and she said yeah.  So we put her on date for Jun. 30.  We are looking forward to that.  In order for the family to be sealed together forever, she has to be baptized to go into the temple because she is over 8.  It's so awesome to see this family progress and just knowing that they will be sealed together in about a year brings me so much joy!  Stephanie also got a calling in the Primary with the 4 yr. olds.  She said that that is what she used to do a while back.  So it is something that she likes, which is good.

We have been doing a few member visit lessons and talking about the Book of Mormon.  All of the members we have seen so far have a few people they have in mind to give a book to or to invite to hear the gospel.  Hopefully we can be getting some referrals from them here soon.

That's about it from me this week.  My comp keeps telling me how much more time I have left and just a bunch of trunky comments, but I just let him all the things I will be able to do that he won't for another year haha.  It is sad that time is winding down, but I am very grateful for each day I'm given to serve the Lord.  I hope you all have a great week.  Love ya.

Elder Ellison

Facials - Mine Failed!

District

Last MLC

Magnolia Trees Are Everywhere!


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Power In The Pages 6-5-17

Hey everyone.  So this week wasn't the best of weeks.  Good things still happened, but the work was kind of slow unfortunately.  May has come and gone which is just crazy to me.  I just want time to slow down so I can get everything done and learn everything I need to before this service is over.  There is just something about missions that you learn things and do things you never would have without it.  It is amazing!

So first off Daniel and Stephanie (our recent converts) went to the temple on Saturday.  They said they enjoyed it.  They want to go back to be able to do it for their own family names.  They are making some huge progress. 

Next we had a couple exchanges this week.  I was back to my old area for a day with one of them.  That was kind of fun.  Brought me back to the good ol' days of downtown Chatt.  We also went with the assistants (Aps).  We had a really sweet lesson with a guy they tracted into.  This man shared how he is just lonely and needs some company and to feel like he is wanted and cared about.  We got to tell him about Home Teaching and how a big part of our church is taking care of all the members.  We also asked him about baptism and he said he had been baptized before, but he would get baptized again.  It was cool to see that for him it wasn't a big hurdle. 

This past week there were a few times where we have had to express the importance of the Book of Mormon.  I would like to do the same now.  There is a power in the scriptures that we can feel as we study from them.  We have been told that the Book of Mormon can help us grow closer to God if we live and apply the principles it teaches from within than any other book.  In today's world, we CAN NOT risk to go a day without reading our scriptures.  When we read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, we are arming ourselves with the Word of God which is the most powerful thing we have in this world.  We are spiritually building up a wall of defense every time we read and when we do it each day we are strengthening that defense.  If we miss a day, our walls of defense get a crack which will grow the more we miss until we are exposed on all sides.  Today in church we were told that we cannot just read the scriptures anymore.  We have to be studying them every day.  There is a difference between reading and studying.  When you are studying, you are feasting upon the Words of Christ.  When you read, you are nibbling on a snack.  So I want to ask all that are reading this entry, if you have only a Bible, read your Bible every single day and study from it.  If you only have a Bible, obtain a Book of Mormon to further your knowledge and understanding of our Heavenly Father’s plan and the purpose of Christ's ministry.  If you know someone who doesn't have both a Bible and Book of Mormon, then get them one and share your testimony with them of how they have helped you and blessed you.  If you have a Book of Mormon, read it and study it every day.  I promise that if you do this, you will see a difference in your days because I have.  It's so much better if you have it every day.  Your spirit will be full.  Matthew says it the best, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you."  If you want more peace, joy, love, patience, charity, kindness, meekness, hope, faith then study the scriptures daily.  Every single one of us has at least 15 min. a day of free time, if not then you are too busy.  I share these things with all of you because I love you and care about you and I want you to be prepared for anything and to be better off.  The scriptures have changed my life.  I am so grateful for them.  I love them and the new things I learn each day in my studies.  I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Elder Ellison

What?

P-Day

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reunited 5-29-17

So this week was a pretty good week.  We had a couple exchanges and we have a few people that we are working with right now and getting new ones as the weeks go by. 

So first off, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Bingham, my “son”.  It was really awesome to be able to catch up and see how Bristol was doing. 

The next highlight is Daniel and Stephanie.  They are going to the temple this Saturday to do baptisms for the dead.  We are super excited for them.  Also Daniel passed the sacrament with us on Sunday.  He did a great job.  Next up is blessing it.  This week we taught Daniel all about the Priesthood and what it can do.  So we are going to help him get more involved.

Our teaching pool is really low and we don't have too many solid people to teach right now, but a miracle happened this week.  On Saturday a member called us and told us about a friend of his that wants to meet with us.  He said his friend has lots of questions and is ready to make some changes in his life.  We are really excited to start teaching him.

Sunday night another miracle happened.  We went to contact a former and in the notes it said a man answered and told them to never come back.  So we went anyway and I was prepared for it again, but we didn't even need to knock on the door.  The lady we were trying to go see was in the garage.  We started talking with her and had a great lesson over the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost.  Half way through, her husband came out and sat down and we talked with him.  He was pretty cool and we got a return appointment with them for later this week.  We are pretty stoked to be teaching them.  The best part is her mom is a member and she helps answer her questions and even reads the Book of Mormon with her to help her out. 


Well that is about it from my end this week.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week.  Remember what the Lord has said, "For behold, ​​​angels​ are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.” (Alma 13:24)  “And ye are called to bring to pass the ​​​gathering​ of mine ​​​elect​; for mine elect ​​​hear​ my voice and ​​​harden​ not their ​​​hearts​; (D&C 29:7)"

Elder Ellison


Civil War Signal Lookout Post

District

P-Day With Future Missionary & Future Convert

Day of Service with Senior Couples

Monday, July 10, 2017

The "No Title" Email 5-22-17

So I couldn't think of a subject title for this week, so that is what I came up with.  This week has been full of exchanges, interviews, and much more.

So the first thing I want to share with you is our first exchange.  I went with Elder Charles.  We had a good day.  First off that morning, I was studying out of Preach My Gospel in chapter 5 which talks about the Book of Mormon, and in that section it talked about how people who have little to no knowledge of Jesus Christ will come to know who He is by reading the Book of Mormon.  Later that day, we ran into a lady from India and a young man from China.  Neither had been in the country for very long.  We first talked to the lady from India and she told us that she had been wanting to learn about Jesus Christ and who he was.  So we gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it.  I testified that she would learn who Jesus Christ was while reading this book.  The man from China did not accept a Book of Mormon, but the interesting thing was that God had placed two people in our path that day, in the Bible Belt, who did not know about Jesus Christ.

During one of our tracting sessions, we prayed that we would be able to hand out 3 Book of Mormons. Well, we handed out exactly 3.  One lady told us she would take and read our stuff if we took and read her stuff.  We said OK and she came back with two little books that were the Gospel of John in the New International Version (NIV).  That night we spent a while comparing that version to the King James version.  Some of it was kind of different how they translated it, but there are also some pretty cool and enlightening parts as well.  One of the coolest things that happened during this time was when we talked with a man who was working on his home.  He was not interested and before we left we shook his hand and asked what his name was.  He said it was Charles Ellison.  I stopped and was like, “Hey, that's my name.” and we talked a little bit about family history.  As we were walking away, Elder Charles was like "Hey, if you put our two names together that makes his name."  We laughed about that for a while.  It was pretty cool.

This week I also learned how to roof a house.  We did basically everything from decking to shingles.  It was really fun.  It also helped us get to know some of the members better that we don't talk to very much.

The big highlight from the week was interviews with President Griffin.  It was our last one.  In the interview he asked 2 questions.  The first was; how have I seen myself grow and change since I landed in the airport back in Sept. 2015? The second was; with my time left, what do I want to become before I leave?  It was a great interview and it will be sad to see him go.  He has taught me so much and has helped me through a lot as well.

That was my week. Have a great week y'all (haha). Love ya, bye.

Elder Ellison

We Tracted Into Charles Ellison - His Name Is The Same As Both of Ours

E. Frederick & E. Stevenson

E. Frederick

We Found Snakes!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Last Call! 5-15-17

Well if you haven't heard, transfers were this last week and so I am now with Elder Frederick.  He is from Glendale, AZ.  He is really good at the guitar, at least way better than me -haha.  He has been out for roughly 10 months.  It is possible he could be my last companion too.

Well to start off this week we had some awesome lessons with our 2 convert families before Elder Smith left.  It was super cool to see that one of them is talking about their kids going on missions, but the mom doesn't want that to happen - haha.  Our lessons were on missionary work, repentance and keeping the commandments.

I gave 2 baptismal interviews this week.  One was a guy I knew back in the Chatt Branch, but never got to teach.  He was going to be baptized a year ago, but slipped up the night before and then missionaries lost contact for a while.  Well he has come back again and his interview was one of the most powerful ones I have done.  The man that was sitting before me was a changed man in his heart.  He had a true desire to only follow God and not give in to temptation.  He also had a desire to be sealed to his wife and kids in the temple.  He cried for nearly the whole interview just because of how much God had helped him.  It was an awesome experience for me to witness someone's conversion.

The last few days we found a couple awesome people to teach.  One of them is a guy named Johnathon who we tracted into.  We had a super awesome Restoration lesson with him.  He told us he really wants to read the Book of Mormon and find out for himself if it is true.  We are going back to see him this week again and hopefully he will come to church on Sunday as well.  We also hope to have his wife join us in our lessons and then we can help them progress towards the temple to be sealed.

We also taught a couple who was a referral whose names are Matt and Azelle.  We taught them the Restoration lesson as well which was super good.  The member gave a powerful testimony at the end.  They had some questions about the Spirit which we were able to help them understand.  We also taught them the importance of the Book of Mormon and why we need it.  Those were the 2 main topics of discussion during the lesson.

I also just want to share a thought that I bore my testimony on at church.  It is the principle of "You never know."  You never know if something you say or do to someone else will affect them or help them out with something.  You don't always know the back story or the aftermath of these things, but you don't always have to either.  Sometimes we do, but the point is, we should always be an example of Christ and strive to help and serve those around us all the time.  If we can all do this, then the world will be a much happier place.  Always know that you are great.  You can do great things.  And the people who get to interact with you each day, even for just 1 minute, are extremely blessed, and will be forever.

Well that has been it for my week.  Full of lots of blessings from the Lord and I thank Him for them.  I am grateful I had the opportunity to talk to my family yesterday for Mother’s Day.  Happy late Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms out there.  I can't believe that was my last one.  Time flies by as people say, but on a mission it really does.  I love all of you and I hope that you have a great week.  Always remember that your Heavenly Father is watching over you and can help you with everything you ask for.

Elder Ellison

Hunting Some Lost Elders On Our Hike

Catie - YSA Investigator

Recent Converts

Recent Converts

The Petersons - Awesome Senior Couple in the YSA