Wednesday, October 3, 2012



What a week! Thanks for all of the letters everyone! I wish I could answer all of your questions but I just don't have enough time! I'll get right into the week!

Wednesday was a pretty normal day, nothing out of the ordinary really. But as a missionary it was extraordinary! Elder Keenan and I taught Lyze in the morning about the prophets and the apostles. We told her all about General Conference this weekend and she committed to watching it! It was pretty funny to try to explain how to watch it on her computer in French. We invited her to watch it with us but she will be "out of town" and so she said she would try to watch it on the road. This past week we studied the importance of having investigators come to church. I've seen hints and glimpses in the past compared to what I know now about the importance of our meetings. I wish someone would have pointed out a few things to me earlier on. Dad, will you please make sure to teach the priests in your quorum the importance of the Sacrament? I know that they know the basics probably, but that's not enough. Just make sure that they really get how important ordinances like that are. I finally finished moving into our new room at the end of the day which was nice. I'm sure that by the end of my mission I'll be an amazing packer/un-packer like my Dad!

Thursday was a wonderful day for Elder Keenan and I. We really focused on changing the way that we plan our lessons to let the Spirit guide more than we have let it in the past. We prepared our next lesson for Lyze which I'll tell you about later on. I really relied on a few experiences that I've had in the past serving in an Elder's Quorum presidency and the way that we would do things in our meetings to be led by the Spirit. We both loved how the planning went and are going to keep using/adjusting it as necessary! In class we talked a lot about how to teach the law of tithing. I knew that it could easily be a hard thing for some investigators to accept, but then I watched a few example lessons and wow! I completely underestimated it! I'm not sure if they were trying to scare us or what, but the videos were pretty intense! There were some really tough questions being played with and I just wondered how anyone could possibly feel the Spirit with an outlook like that. I'm just glad that I have such a strong testimony of tithing. I really truly do attribute every success in my life, school, occupations, and otherwise to tithing. I know that I have been blessed with the jobs that I've had because of tithing. There is a real joy in giving back to the Lord! And if that's all that I can say in the moment to an investigator then so be it! The Spirit will surely take over and either they will accept it or they will not. We had two great lessons at TRC. One with an older woman who broke out into song for us and another with one of Frère Smith's old MTC companions. We had a zone meeting to improve our language study plans which helped quite a bit!

Friday seemed so fast! We played "Le Vrai Français" as a district. I think I may have already explained it...If I didn't and it really keeps you up at night not knowing what it is, send me a package with cinnamon rolls or black licorice and I'll tell you! And if not, send them anyways! We taught Lyze and it was such a powerful lesson! We ended up hardly teaching anything that we had planned for. The Spirit was there and I know that she felt it and recognized what it was. We have to go super slow with her because she has a hard time understanding some of the principles. We try to teach as simply as we can but sometimes we just have to explain it a few times and she will start to understand. Elder Keenan and I got haircuts! I won't lie—I was pretty nervous that they wouldn't do a good job but it actually turned out really good! For everyone that doesn't know, I've only had my hair cut once by anyone besides my mom or my aunt Melissa and it made me so mad. I guess it's just something that has been engraved in my subconscious, "Don't trust anyone but Mom or Liss with your hair." I got to do something that I've never done before that night! I've been on the receiving end of many interviews, but never have I been the one behind the desk! I was pretty nervous but I knew that the Lord would help me open and would guide my questions. I learned so much that night!

Saturday started off pretty bad (don't worry, it got a lot better!) We have service every Saturday morning at 6. We used to have it in our building but when we moved our assignment didn't. We woke up and walked to the old building but our cards wouldn't work anymore! So we were out in the cold (so cold!) and knew that someone on the inside was counting on us to clean the building and I wasn't about to take everyone back to let them fall asleep and not fulfill our responsibilities. We prayed and on my first swipe of my card the door opened! It was a miracle at the MTC! I was put on mirrors and mopping. I like those jobs. (I'm running out of time...) I learned some really great lessons about leadership and about life in general that I recorded in my journal. We taught Rimas that night and he took us so off topic! It was hard trying to keep him focused because he kept wanting to get off on some really deep doctrines. That's one thing that I want to get better at is helping investigators stay focused but not so much so that I'm making decisions over what they need and what the Spirit wants.

Sunday started off pretty cold as well. While I was shaving one of the Elders in my room shut our door and none of us had our key. So I had to run in shorts and a t-shirt up to the front desk with my face half shaved and stinging from the cold to get a spare. Other than that, Sunday may very well could have been my favorite day here so far! (I don't have much time so this may end up being just a list of things...) We had mission conference and heard from the MTC Presidency and their wives. All really great messages. Deep knowledge and understanding of doctrines comes from diligence and obedience. A poem called "Calf Paths." Find it, read it, send me a copy please! Oh and make sure that Grandpa Pedersen gets a copy! He'd love it. The whole time that I was listening to it I could just hear him laughing (you know the hardly-any-air-laugh.) Another poem—I don't know what it's called but I wrote down a few lines: "There is a high road and a low, every man decides which way his soul shall go." Find it please! President Benson once said, "Christ changes men. Changed men change the world." I instantly thought of a line from Apple's "Think Different, "Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." "The Gospel comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable." Watched "Testaments" after the fireside. We started our Consecration Week as I named it. My district gave up English for the week in order to show our sacrifice to the Lord in hopes that we will be blessed with the French we need that will sustain us.

On Monday I finished "Our Heritage" from the missionary library. Lots of studying, preparing, eating, and studying.

This morning we went to the Temple! I had a really good experience there (like always! It's the Temple!) I started Jesus the Christ again—great book!

I love all of you and I really hope that you are doing all that you can to be true to the knowledge that you have! Make sure to watch General Conference this weekend! And try to do something for someone else!

Elder Ellis

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