Wednesday, September 19, 2012



Mom! You are the best! Thanks for all of the black licorice! You should've seen my face when I opened the package. This week has been great! I've learned so much and come so far! We're basically half-way through our stay at the MTC! I'm trying my best to make the most of every single day! My district is the greatest group of guys that I've ever met! I am having such a fun time learning alongside them. We are a very diverse group of Elders! We have a Scottish Elder, Elder McKechnie, (our District Leader) who is absolutely hilarious. A Canadian, Elder Pilling, who is basically fluent in French already. Elder Willden is from North Carolina and is also very good at French. Elder Grant is from Salt Lake as well as Elder Schultz. Elder Keenan is from Chicago. Elder Wright is from Wyoming. Elder Christensen is from Logan. Elder Olsen is from Meridian. I love all of these Elders! It will be exciting to hear from them over the next two years. Half of us are going to Montréal and the other half to Paris.

This week Elder Keenan and I were called as the Zone Computer Trainers. They must have read my bio... I laughed a little on the inside when they extended the calling. I went from teaching One-to-Ones at the Apple Store to teaching the Sunday Program Outline at the MTC. What goes around comes around. Oh, and apparently I sleep-talk? This morning Elder Wright gave me a list of everything I said. Most of it was just noise, but I said "toujour, chaque jour!" (All day, every day.) I said something in French in my sleep! Ah! I can't get over that! The gift of tongues is real! We've been studying so hard this past week! Here's an overview of what I've been up to:

Wednesday: A new group of Elders came in! It seems like the groups have been getting a lot smaller. The MTC feels really empty right now. There should be a lot more in two weeks, though. I had a goal to only say 200 words in English all day and the rest had to be in French! It worked pretty well. We taught Lyze about the importance of prayer and the role of prophets first thing in the morning. It was a great lesson! In class we talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation. That became our focus for the rest of the week.

Thursday: I had the opportunity to do something really cool in class. My teacher, Soeur Thompson, had asked me the night before to come up with a investigator to be so that in class she could demonstrate teaching the Plan of Salvation. I based my character off of a friend back home and really felt the Spirit as she taught me in front of everyone. It was a completely new experience to me. The Plan of Salvation really is the plan that God has for us. It is amazing how simple it really is. Elders Schultz, Christensen, and Willden left to San Fransisco in the middle of the night to pick up their visas, so Elder Wright joined Elder Keenan and me all day. We taught TRC that night and the funniest thing happened (TRC is Teaching Resource Center, basically just members and RMs who speak French come in and we teach them.) We taught an older lady about the importance of charity when we serve and I asked her what she associated with "l'amour" (love.) She looked really confused and a bit shocked. I then said, in French, "maybe your heart?" And she started saying, "Do I look like I'm dying? I'm still here, am I?" We got so confused and then I started thinking. I had pronounced it as "la mort" which is death. So I had just asked an lady, probably 75 years old, what she associated with death and asked about her heart. It was pretty funny but I fixed it as soon as I realized what had just happened. I'll never mispronounce that word again!

Friday: Lots of French again! I limited myself to 100 words that day. I went over by a bit, but that's okay. We studied the idea of teaching an entire lesson by only asking questions. It was so hard! But I learned a lot about asking good questions. Frère Smith couldn't make it to class so Frère Blosil filled in for him. He taught us so much about French that we hadn't covered! He helped me clean up a lot of my pronunciation and worked on my accent with me. We are going to start meeting every other day to go over small things in French. I read something cool in Preach My Gospel about following up on commitments with investigators. Elder Holland said, "You should be devastated when your investigators haven't read what they said they would."

Saturday: I got letters from the Young Women back home! Thanks for all of the encouragement! I think Austin hit his 19 month mark today! I can't believe that! And I'm almost a month out already! I made a cool badge for PVL that I wear most of the time now so that no one will speak English to me. I had a few awesome hits in volleyball that night! It's such a relief to be able to play every day!

Sunday: I gave the sacrament prayer in French! I will never forget that! French is such a beautiful language! I am having so much fun learning it. We heard from W. Tracy Watson, the Proselyting Director for the Missionary Department in the church. He told a really cool story about how the church handled the "Book of Mormon Musical" situation. I wish I could tell you more about it but I'm basically out of time. Oh! We got news that we'll be watching the Brigham City Temple Dedication here at the MTC.

Monday: We taught Rimas. He's coming to church. We invited him to be baptized and he said he's not ready yet. I bore my testimony of the importance of baptism and he said that he'll pray about it. I said goodbye to another group of Elders and Sisters that I have been playing volleyball with. I'll miss them!

Today: We went to the Temple this morning! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go there! I'm looking forward to the fireside tonight!

I love all of you! Thanks for the letters! Make sure to read from the Book of Mormon! I'm studying King Benjamin's address right now to get ready for General Conference, so if you need somewhere to read from you can start there! Here's to another great week!

Elder Ellis

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