Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Bonjour mon famille!

I have one piece of bad news and then the rest is good. This morning as I was doing my laundry with Elder Keenan (I'll tell you all about him in a bit!) I realized that, and it kills me to say this, but, I lost a sock! That's it. That's the only negative thing that has happened since you guys dropped me off. I heard in your letters that Hazel was sad to see me go. Everyone was laughing later because she had come out of the car at the MTC and was sniffing around, it became a story quickly. I am so happy that Elder Moon was able to pick me up at the curb and that we were able to see each other before he left! He and Elder Richards (Andrew Richards from Ammon! How cool is that!) left to Germany early this morning.

I felt bad after you had dropped me off because I didn't cry—I was worried that you guys would think I wasn't sad to be saying goodbye! I have missed all of you so much, but I am staying so busy that I honestly don't have any time to daydream about home! I love all of you! Hannah, I'm really happy to hear that Orem High was a good choice! I don't think I would have the guts to make such a big change in my life like that (but hey, being a missionary is a pretty big change in and of itself!) Matt, are you kidding me! When I was reading your letter I couldn't help but think, this kid is miles above me! The way you write is amazing! Thanks for the advice about learning a new language—I'll keep that in mind as I study French! Oh, and that picture was hilarious. "Hey little girl..." I had to explain that to Elder Keenan because he had no idea what it was. Good times... Kendall, so... what happened? Did you just forget about me all together! I miss you! You were probably just busy being so busy with dance and being chased around by all of the boys at Jr. High. I still can't believe you are at that school! Did you know that that is the first school that I went to from start to finish? Crazy, huh? Longs Creek was K-4th; Tiebreaker was just 5th (with Elder Richards!); Manilla was just 6th; and PGJHS was 7-9th! I hope you're having a great time there! Adam! Your note was awesome! Good luck at your soccer game on Thursday! You'll do great, you always do. Just remember to keep your head up when you're driving in, and lean over when you shoot! I want to hear all about it next week!

So! Let's get to the juice! Elder Keenan is my companion! He is a such a great guy! He's about a foot taller than me—I think the only picture I sent home on the card was of us sitting on the bench together, so you won't get the full effect, but trust me, he's tall! He's from Naperville (somewhere near Chicago!) I remember when I first met him I was so excited because he had so much energy and was really excited about the work and learning French—perfect for me! And! We've been going running every morning at 6 to work off all of the food we eat! Sidenote: I never really believed people when they talked about the MTC cafeteria. The place is nuts. So. Much. Food. I eat a ton, which isn't bad, but isn't great either. Mom, you'd be so proud of me! I've been trying/eating/enjoying everything! For lunch everyday I get a spinach wrap with guac', spinach, lettuce, chicken, green peppers, tomatoes, corn, beans, and some kind of dressing. Back to Elder Keenan, sorry. We are both super driven and come from backgrounds where we have both been used to being the 'leader' type, so sometimes we bump heads a little. But I always quickly get back on track and try to do my best to work well with him. Pray for me, especially that I'll learn to be patient (if I used the wrong patient, you can't blame me, French is messing with my spelling. But that's not a bad thing!) and humble.

Wow... I only have six more minutes... Elder Ellis (Austin) was right, emails are hard. Here's a quick summary of the week so far:

Wednesday: I arrived at the MTC! Elder Moon picked me up! Within two minutes of dropping my luggage off at my room, I was in my classroom in a French lesson. By the end of the day I could speak enough French to ask someone to "Please pass the napkins." Great first day!

Thursday: Waking up at 6:30 wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The day was the longest I've had so far. We taught a few 'mock' investigators in a group setting—kind of like a workshop. Lots of food; lots of studying.

(Sorry, I'm really pressed for time. I need to get better at knowing what I want to say before I sit at the computer...)

Friday: We taught our first investigator! His name is Robert (pronounced: Row-bare.) It was so hard teaching a thirty minute lesson all in French! But I pulled it off with Elder Keenan and we had a great time. More studying. More food.

Saturday: Everybody has been saying here, "Just make it till Saturday!" Well, I made it! We taught Robert again, this time we went off script for most of the time and I was able to see the gift of tongues in action.

Sunday: Church was great. The Temple walk rocked!

Monday: Study. Food.

(30 seconds...)

Tuesday: First p-day. Wrote this. Did laundry. Hearing from a General Authority tonight!

The Church is true!

Elder Ellis

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


well, can you believe it? there aren't that many things you can say you've waited your whole life for—but i really, truly can say that i've waited my whole life to go on a mission. as all of you know, i've been called to serve the Canada MontrĂ©al Mission. i'll be speaking French, which, let me tell you, is getting me pumped! i cannot wait until the first day i can have a full blown conversation in French, accent and all. and of course, i'll be serving faithfully for a full two years, which means i'll be back sometime around august of twenty-fourteen.

this will be my last post until then. however, my mom will be posting my letters that i send home each week so keep coming back to hear how i'm doing. my address will be up at the top—please write me! just because it takes a few more steps than just commenting on a post doesn't give you the excuse to drop a line a say hello! snail mail can be fun. i promise i'll try my best (some weeks i might not have enough time) to write you back and answer any questions you might have.

i have had such a great time sharing my life with all of you. it's been just over a year since i started clay-all-day. in that year we have shared quite a few things together! i wish i had enough time to compile a list of my favorite past posts, but i'm actually pretty tight on time right now. well, i love each and every one of you. thank you for sharing my life with me! so without further ado, my last post (for two years!)

i thought for the longest time of what i could do that would be special for all of my readers—i thought of doing a video, another poster, some sort of drawing. but i think in the spirit of things, the most important thing i can leave you with is my testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. i'm going to do this with proper capitalization if that's alright.

We are children of God. We have a Heavenly Father who created us and placed us on this Earth with a purpose. He gave us a Savior, Jesus Christ, who has provided a way for all of us to return to live our Heavenly Father. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be made clean from our sins through repentance. I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ was resurrected and we will be as well. I know that our families, when sealed in the Temple, are Eternal. We will live our loved ones again.

These things have been revealed to us through God's restored church upon the Earth today, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that the Church was restored through the boy Joseph Smith. I know that God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him in the Sacred Grove when he was just fourteen years old. I know that he was a Prophet of God; and that since Joseph there has been an unbroken line of Prophets on the Earth today. Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet and President of the Church today.

I know that the Priesthood has been restored to the Earth, as well. And that in this dispensation, all of the Keys of the Priesthood have been restored and are trusted with President Monson. I know that the Priesthood I hold today came in a direct line that can be traced back to Jesus Christ.

The work of God is in full effect upon the Earth today. There are Temples around the globe, servicing  the members of the church throughout the world. Temples are the most sacred structures man has ever built. In them we make sacred covenants with God and receive instruction. We do work for those that never had the chance to perform sacred ordinances while living. I know that in the Temples we can be closer to God than in any other place.

Missionary work is a work of love. I know that I have been called by God to serve, to preach, and to teach the people in Montréal. God loves all of His children, and likewise wants them to receive the gospel and the ordinances necessary to live with Him again.

I know this Church and this Gospel is true. It has been restored to the Earth and I am honored to have been called to the work to bring it those who have not yet heard its message of peace. I have a testimony of all the things I have written. I leave it with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Elder Ellis (Clay)


Nicole took these, as well.


here's that amazing photo shoot i promised.
all of these were shot and edited by Nicole.
she rocks.