Monday, November 5, 2012



Well, well, well! How about that wimpy email last week? I'm so terribly sorry! We were just so busy last week with the mini-transfers and grocery shopping and whatnot. I'm not one to count days or anything but... can you believe that this is letter #10? Yeah, I know, right? Time flies when you're working hard! I'll have a little more time from here on out for my emails, but sadly not quite enough time to write about the previous week. Just trust me that it was amazing! I couldn't have asked for a better first week in the field!

How is everyone doing? I don't hear much from anyone up here in Canada—just some house-keeping: It takes two US stamps to send letters up here or one international stamp! Thanks for the great email, Mom! It sounds like the family is taking care of itself without my craziness to keep the mood light! If anyone (seriously, anyone!) wants to send anything just use the Mission Office address (the one at the top of the blog) because I'm there almost every day. Alright, lets get to the good stuff!

Tuesday was terrific! We started the day off with a lot of knocking and a lot of rejection! It's so much fun to knock and see people's reaction to us. I've been working on different door approaches—mostly just to get them to stay at the door and hear us out. It's amazing what a quick, deep question will do! I've been using my sales techniques from Apple to the extreme and it's starting to work. (But let's be honest—it's Apple, it's going to work!) After knocking we went back to the office/church building/our favourite place to teach to get ready for our lesson with our friend Karen. (In French, to avoid the negative connotation, we call our investigators "amis de l'Église" or "friends of the Church" cool, huh?) We got all ready and then she told us that she couldn't make it so we went and contacted a little more. We had a dinner appointment (DA) on South Shore (the South side of the island—Montréal is on an island) with a really cool girl named Anne. (And remember, I'm in the YSA so all of the people I'm talking about are about 25ish, just so you get this right in your head.) Her dad is a senior elder here who works with the employment center. We had tacos and salad and some really good juice. She said that she is going to start having us over for dinner once a week! I'm especially excited for that because she is a great cook! Then when we got back to the church that night we finished the transfer with Elder Smith and got him paired up with his new companion and sent them off to their new area! We finished the night by teaching an English class at the church which was totally eyeopening to me!

Wednesday was wonderful! We made some calls in the morning after our studies and then went off to district study at the office. We talked a lot about the different techniques that we use to find people that will listen to us. After district study we taught an amazing girl named Caitlin! She is the biggest example to me and my first investigator! We have a baptism set up with her on the 17th! We are so excited for that! Since the beginning of teaching her she has gone above and beyond in her reading and every commitment we leave with her. One day she came up to me and showed me all the church apps that she had downloaded on her iPhone (including BYUtv!) and I showed her how to use each one of them to their fullest. In the lesson we taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity because we knew she could handle both in one day! And of course, being Caitlin, she totally accepted both and started telling us how much sense they made and that she has believed the same thing her whole life.That night, after teaching Caitlin, we went back to the mission home. President and Sister Cannon have asked me to make the Christmas card for the mission this year! Word got out really quickly who I am, with computers, Apple and whatnot, and so I've been going around to the different offices and helping with computers. Anyways, Sister Cannon just let me loose on her MacBook Pro to design the card and I came up with a pretty sweet idea! I won't spoil what it is—they'll be sending it home for Christmas so you'll get to see it! We handed out Halloween candy all night with President and told stories and then he took us back to our apartment afterwards. Our apartment is just Elder Baker and I, and yes, Mom, I've done multiple deep cleans! It is pretty small and was really dirty but I've turned it back around! We live in the same building as two other teams (we call companionships teams to avoid the connotation in French of being a couple, and we call our companions our colleagues.) 

Thursday was... th-awesome? That doesn't work... We went on splits with the Zone Leaders (Elder Heder and Elder Pohue) which was so much fun! I helped Elder Pohue with his English and he helped me with my French in our studies. Since Elder Pohue doesn't have a license to drive, I got to drive all over the island to get to our appointments he had set up for us! It was nice to be behind a wheel again!  We started off by visiting a less-active member and listening to his story—what an interesting man! We taught him about King Benjamin's inspired words on the subject of service and invited him to come to church with us and told him that we would save a spot for him. (Elder Pohue told me that he came! The Zone Leaders go to a different branch than us.) After that I helped him install an old fax machine! I've never done that before so I'm glad I got it to work! It's amazing how far we've come since those days! Elder Pohue and I went knocking and taught a lesson in a door and I committed her to be baptized in December! It will be fun to hear how Elder Pohue and Elder Heder progress with her! She had a lot of faith! She also had this cute little black kid who kept asking me to hold him but I couldn't and it broke my heart! He was the cutest little kid I've ever seen—besides Adam, of course! (Speaking of Adam, how are you doing bud? I heard that you were an awesome Zorro!) Then we went to another DA with an awesome member called Costa and helped him set up his Christmas tree! He loves Christmas just about as much as I do! It was fun listening to MoTab Christmas music and telling stories about how I used to try to catch Santa! He gave me a mini Christmas tree to put in the apartment!

Friday was fantastic! We had our weekly planning—I love planning so much! After planning, since it was Elder Baker's one year mark, we went to a place called Bocadios for empanadas! They were so good! I guess real empanadas are fried? I loved that part! (But Mom, your empanadas are still the best, of course!)  We knocked a lot and had a lesson with Caitlin about tithing and fasting and once again she blew us away with how much she had done! She has been studying the testimonies of the Presidents of the Church and learned about each Apostle on her own so we gave her a copy of Our Heritage to read to satisfy her craving for history about the Church. We went to Institute with her and had soup and baguettes (a tradition that the Institute has is soup and baguettes before each class!) 

Saturday was splendid! We went back to Bocadios for lunch with a recent RM from the New York New York North mission! (Okay, speaking of New York, what in the world is going on down there? We keep hearing about sharks and floods and we're worried that we may have missed the Second Coming??) We had a lesson with a recent convert named Emma and let one of the YSA teach most of the lesson on the Restoration because she is putting in her papers this week. The Cannons invited us back over to their house to get more done on the Christmas Card and for dinner so we spent the rest of the day there. Saturdays are tough here because the universities around here are known for partying and so everyone is wasted from the night before. But that will change soon with the work progressing! 

Sunday was super! We had Stake Conference with the French stake and then a bunch of meetings (we have double the meetings because we work with two wards—the French and the English.) Caitlin told us some sad news—her parents are really upset with us teaching her and want to her to wait a year to be baptized. She has been so strong and is so ready to be baptized! We talked with them and clarified a few things and she is making the decision to either be baptized on the 17th or in 6 months like her parents want her to now. So we are just praying that she will make the decision that is best for her and for her parents. I guess that's just another thing we'll run into by teaching the youth around here. All in all, though, I know it will work out!

I'm out of time now but just to answer your last two questions, Mom—We take the metro everywhere, so busses and subways. And Facebook is pretty limited, we just spend 20 minutes everyday on it at the office and yes, it's separate from my personal account but I have my own missionary account!

Well, I guess that's it for this week! Je vous aime!

Elder Ellis

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