Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Just so you know, this letter may be all over the place because I'm in the middle of moving from one building to another. Our Branch Presidency wants the whole zone to be in one building to make it easier on them and to have more unity in our zone. So forgive me if what follows is a whole stream of nothing.
This week has been one of the best! Elder Keenan and I are making a lot of progress in our lessons. We've dramatically changed the way that we plan and study and so far we like we what we see! We're still teaching our teachers as investigators—Frère Smith is Rimas, and Soeur Thompson is Lyze. We extended the invitation to be baptized to both this week and they both told us that they would think and pray about it. I honestly cannot wait until I get to teach real people in Montréal! Frère Smith challenged us a while ago to pray for the people that we will teach, that they will be prepared to receive the Gospel.

I got a package from Stephanie and Todd with the most delicious homemade granola bars! I meant to write a letter to them today, but moving has been so time consuming! So thanks a bunch to the Santiago Family! I heard that Grandpa Pedersen had eye surgery a few days ago. I sincerely hope that everything went as planned! And congratulations to Todd and all of Vivint. It was wonderful news to hear that 3One3 went smoothly! One of my favorite aspects of the Gospel to teach about is families! I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the knowledge that we have that families, through the power of the priesthood and the blessings of the temple, are an eternal unit.
On Saturday night I met with the Zone Leaders for a quick interview to see how everything was going. It seemed a little odd because I had been interviewed the night before by my District Leader, Elder McKechnie. I didn't think much of it and then just before sacrament meeting started Brother Mangum from the Branch Presidency asked if he could talk with me for a second. I was made District Leader! I wrote a lot of my thoughts in my journal so you'll have to look out for that, Mom. I know that my experiences prior to coming on my mission have prepared me for this. So for the past two days I've been working extra hard to make our district stronger. We've set a few pretty ambitious goals together to really get us ready for the field. I am so happy that I get to serve with these Elders! I really do love every one of them! So here's the breakdown for the week: (I didn't have much time to get everything together, so if this is choppy just play along!)
Wednesday: We taught Lyze in the morning! Elder Keenan and I both think that this has been our best lesson yet. Our French was pretty spot on. But more importantly we felt the Spirit and we know that Lyze did as well. It was a really moving lesson for her and she made some good progress. (These lessons, along with all of role playing activities, have become so real to me. If anything, we are teaching a member of the church true doctrine, and regardless of whether their salvation is on the line or not, the Spirit is there and we all feel it.) Elder Pilling and I played volleyball with the Tahitian district. That was so much fun! I had a really good discussion with President Zimbleman about a scripture that I found and he had me read "The Grandeur of God" by Elder Holland from October 2003. If any of you haven't read that talk I would absolutely suggest reading it. And even if you have, it would be a good idea to read again and gain a better picture on the loving nature of our Father in Heaven.
Thursday: Thursdays have become a favorite because we get to do PVL all day as a zone and TRC in the afternoon! PVL-ing has been such a help! One of the goals that we set as a district is on October 1st to drop English almost completely and only use French. I can't wait to see how that turns out! In TRC we met the coolest old man ever! He speaks 10 different languages! 10 languages! English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Ukrainian, Russian, Dutch, and I think Polish? He showed us an app that he uses on his iPad—it's the Book of Mormon in all 10 languages. It has 10 columns, each one with a different language. I can't wrap my mind around that...
Friday: We taught Lyze again in the morning and she said that she still needed a little more to think about baptism. It was Nicole Tucker's birthday and I sent a letter to her, I hope it got there in time! We studied a lot and worked hard all day. (I'm just about out of time...)
Saturday: We did our weekly planning and got everything planned out down the smallest detail. I absolutely love planning now! We have every minute of every day mapped out almost a full week in advance! I wish that I had that skill in school—it would have helped so much! We taught Rimas in the afternoon and had our best lesson so far with him! Lots of French, food, and studying.
Sunday: I was called as District Leader. We attended the 3 o'clock session of the Brigham City Temple Dedication which was amazing! What a great time to be in the MTC! We'll get to watch General Conference here as well! I went to my meetings and got a lot of advice and teachings on how to be the best leader possible. I've served in multiple presidencies before but never have I been in charge. There are a lot of responsibilities that I have now and I am looking forward to doing my best! We heard from Spencer B. Allen of the Missionary Department in the Church. He gave a great message about the power that we have as missionaries.
Monday: We taught Rimas in the afternoon. Our lessons didn't go at all as planned but it was still great. We ended up teaching about the Gift of the Holy Ghost instead of the Priesthood. It was what the Spirit wanted and what he needed! We had a good workshop on mapping our progress as missionaries and mapping the progress of our investigators.
Tuesday: We went to the Temple this morning! Always a blessing! We packed up and did laundry and have started to move into our new building. I'm looking forward to the devotional tonight!
Well, that's all the time that I have! I am having the time of my life serving the Lord! I would encourage all of you to fall in love with scriptures—spend time reading from them with specific questions in mind! I promise that you will receive answers to your questions if you give the scriptures enough time and attention and follow promptings. There is nothing better that you can do to improve your life than keep the commandments and follow the teachings of the Prophets. I am so excited for General Conference! Do everything that you need to be prepared to listen and receive personal revelation during that weekend.
Elder Ellis

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