Monday, August 26, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

So let's see... fifty-two. That sounds like an important num.... it's been a year already?! What! Crazy, huh? It's just as hard for me to believe! It seems like just a few months ago I was buying socks at CTR Clothing and packing my bags! I've had quite the year and I feel like I've become, bit by bit, a little more like our Heavenly Father would have me be. It is an amazing thing to spend all of your time doing things for others and even more amazing to watch the gospel work in their lives. I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am right now doing what I'm doing. I can't say that it's been clear blue skies the whole time, but the sun always shines somewhere above the storm clouds. It's been a positive attitude and outlook on life, coupled with a firm testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ, that have elevated my vision and brought me through difficult times. Knowing who I am, among all other facts of life, has brought me the most comfort. We are all here for a reason—to learn, to progress, to make choices that will shape us, and to prepare to meet God once again. Hang on to that knowledge and no matter what confronts you, you will be able to find the lesson to learn, earn it, and move on. Life is a lesson and it takes a lifetime to learn it. In all reality, though it has been a year, it's a flash in the eternities. So I guess that means, see you in a flash! 

Oh, and this past week! 

Quick updates and then photos...

Tao and Eliana went dress shopping and she had a little shopping miracle! She has a dress and they are ready to be married in a few weeks! The lessons are going very well them. We just finished the plan of salvation and she loved it! They are turning into quite the scripture readers! We also found another family of investigators—a grandfather, his daughter, and her daughter! Three generations! They are all reading the Book of Mormon together.

Found a cool street!

And another!

Taught English class with Elder Sloot's awesome drawing skills

And the plan of salvation!

Rode a deer...

Found a rabid missionary

And enjoyed some powerline shots.

Elder Ellis

Monday, August 19, 2013



Bonne journée!



I ran out of time sending emails to friends. So I have an idea. I love letters. You love me! I love when you send me letters! As much as I love computers and emails and stuff... there's something special about paper! I know it kills trees but it saves time! (And trees can be planted again... time, well that's another story.)

Nonetheless, here's my week in a word or two! épanouissant! fulfilling! Tao and Eliana are getting married on September 21st and baptized on October 5th! I couldn't be happier! Plus I went on splits with the assistants and got to reminisce about high school with Elder Heder! Good times!

Elder Ellis

Monday, August 12, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

I'm sure you're all wondering what in the world I'm doing and facing in Terrebonne so I'll get right to it! I'm going out on a limb to try to send some pictures you can actually see what I'm up to and it might take a century and a half from this computer so... I'll upload the pictures and then comment on as many as I can with the time that I have left.
This is the apartmentship. Left to right: Elder Maryott (New Zealand), Elder Lucas (Tahiti), Me, Elder Sloot (British Columbia, Canada—my companion!)

Hannah, you have a fan.

We've been cutting this guy's grass and I almost hit this little guy. His name, the human guy, is Pièrre. We just dropped him...

Elder Sloot and I have so many spanish dinner appointments. Here we are at the Ampuero's making cauosa. Or something like that... It was so good!

The result of all of those dinner appointments...

Kidding, still looking good. Humility....

We've been teaching an English class. We have a regular student (seen in neon) named Claude. He speaks almost perfect English and we're questioning why he keeps coming back. We played some hangman after a lesson.

We just had zone conference last week (and a mini high school reunion!) Elder Austin Heder, Sister Lindsey Del Castillo, and me! Mighty Vikings '11!

Relaxing in a car wash on a super hot day. The weather here is nuts. There have been a bunch of tiny flash storms of rain lately. But it's mostly a million degrees all of the time.

On preparation days we play volleyball at the Poirier's house. They have the craziest backyard. They are a really nice family! There are always about six young men that come to play with us.

This game is the best! It's in Frère Poirier's backyard. I'm going to make one when I get home. The Uncles would love it at family reunions!

A funny sign that we saw in a hallway one day. If you look at it long enough you'll realize what's funny about it. 'vous êtes ici' means 'you are here' (the blue dot). 

A cool picture I saw on someone's fridge.
I love knocking. You find the funniest things... please, find me!

No solicitors. (Except school children.) Guarded by Clint Eastwood. Like I said, you find funny things.

There aren't any sunsets here. But there are powerlines. And these ones are geometrically beautiful!

I have about a minute left. But I wanted to tell you about our main investigators right now. The De La Cruz family has some extended family members staying at their house. We have been teaching them for a while but they're unlike any other investigators I've ever had because they only speak Spanish and so we have to use a translator. That can be difficult sometimes but we're making things work. They will be baptized on the fifth of October (in between sessions of general conference!) and we are planning their wedding with Bishop Munoz right now. They are doing really well!

That's all for this week! Thanks for everything you do! Keep being living testimonies of the Gospel!

Elder Ellis

Monday, August 5, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde,
I'll just get this right off of the bat: I'm kinda stressing out right now because of something that just happened. I don't feel like sitting down to write right now would be a good idea. I've had one of the best weeks of my mission and I'm sad that it just ended this way. Elder Sloot is one of the best companions I've had and I'm so grateful that the Lord put us together. We have learned a lot together this week and have worked extremely hard to bless the lives of the people here in Terrebonne. I know I am where I need to be and that I was called by revelation to labor here and now.

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"
D&C 122: 7-8

I love you all and pray that the Lord watches over you!

Elder Ellis

Monday, July 29, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

Something has changed.... I can't quite put my finger on it... I wait! My fingers are on it! The keyboard! And the computer! And the... well just about everything else! I'm in Terrebonne! I'm doing my emails today in the public library. I hope I can figure out a good system for sending pictures. Oh, speaking of pictures. The worst thing has happened. I'm not completely positive on this yet, but I may or may not have (read: most likely have) thrown away my photo card on accident. I know, I know. It was only just a few weeks ago that I was asking about it and then it (finally!) came in the mail and then when I was in the middle of moving... well. Let's just pray that it isn't in a garbage heap up in Rimouski. 6 months of pictures.... Ugh. Anyways! Moving on! 

Yes, I'm transferred! It was incredibly tough to leave Rimouski. I've found some seriously great friends up there. I hope to be able to have another chance to see them again while still on my mission! I don't know if you remember or not, but on that first Sunday when I arrived there, we were met by seven unknown faces at church! I was a little nervous, seeing as I was training Elder Ruby and we both had a pretty tough time with the language and accent. As I was saying goodbye last Sunday it was almost overwhelming to look out over the makeshift pulpit at thirty-eight of the most happy, most friendly, most loving and caring faces I had come to know in the past five months. I will miss them so much, but I know they're in good hands! Elder Bangerter and I were going non-stop this past weekend trying to get everything prepared for him and his next companion. In between several "one last" breakfast, lunch, and dinner appointments we were able to stop in to say goodbye and give counsel to all of the members and investigators. That was one chapter of my life I'll not soon forget, and one that will be re-read time and time again throughout my life I'm sure.

I spent Tuesday evening and a good part of Wednesday travelling from city to city making my way down to Terrebonne. I drove the truck one last time to Québec City where we stayed overnight with the zone leaders. Then the next morning, Elder Wright and I left early with their car drove to Montréal where we arrived a little ahead of schedule and decided to stop by a few old favorite spots. We surprised Elder Ruby and his companion at my old apartment downtown (where Elder Wright will be serving now!) and came out to find a parking ticket on the car. Not cool. So if $52 just happened to show up in my account one of these days (preferably within the next 25) that would be much appreciated! We then went to the mission office for a meeting, then off the Berri-Uqam where I met my new companion Elder Sloot and finally up to Terrebonne (a good hour and half drive north of Montréal)!

We got straight to work and went to the Bishop's house to eat and to coordinate our efforts with his vision for the ward. It'll be so different working in a big ward but I'm excited! Sunday was so weird sitting in a chapel surrounded by members! Most of the members are hispanic and speak both French and Spanish. It is becoming pretty apparent, though, that I'm going to have to learn a good bit of Spanish soon. We have a few investigators where the language barrier is definitely apparent. We'll see, though. Other than that we've just been busy doing lots of knocking and getting to know a lot of the members. Elder Sloot doesn't know a lot of them and since I'm so convinced after Rimouski that the best way to work is with the members, we've made it a priority to get to know them and gain their trust. It's a little different living with two other missionaries (the apartment needs some work!) But I'm liking it so far. Okay, I'm basically out of time and this computer is older than the golden plates so I'm not going to try to figure out the picture situation just yet.

À la semaine prochaine!

Elder Ellis

Monday, July 22, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

Apologies are due in advance for this super short email that I'm about to write! So as for me and this past week! Not a whole lot happened but at the same time, huge things happened. Another reason this email is going to be short is because, well I have to spend some time *cough cough* packing *cough cough*. We got our transfer calls and this time... I'm the one who's leaving. I don't exactly know how to explain how I feel about it because I have made some life-long friends up here in Rimouski and it will be tough leaving them. This branch is like a family to me! We are all so close and I am so blessed to have been able to get to know them. I consider myself a member of that branch! It was definitely hard yesterday having to say goodbye. We have a few (read: many) appointments before I leave. We're having dinner with members tonight, then breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow with different families! They all wanted one last meal with me. Ahh. This is the hardest part about being a missionary. I love these people! At the same time, I needed a change. I've felt stagnant for a few weeks and even though I may have covered it up nicely in my emails, I'll be honest—I've had a pretty tough time. But what is life without a little opposition? So I'll be headed to a city just north of my old stomping grounds in Montréal called Terrebonne. (Good earth!) I'm excited to see what I have to work with! If I'm remembering correctly I'll be serving in a ward of about 80+ with a missionary who got here two months ago from British Columbia! He'll be my second Canadian companion! His name is Elder Sloot. Oh! And Elder Bangerter tells me that I'll be living in apartment with another companionship! I'm looking forward to that!

I didn't take any pictures this week because I was waiting to get my other photo card in the mail. Speaking of which..... I got my mail!! (I'll be getting my mail much more frequently in Terrebonne.) Thanks for all of the birthday cards and packages and notes and black licorice! Oh and those girl scout cookie crunch bars... those are out of this world!

Okay, gotta run. Love you all!

Bonne semaine!

Elder Ellis

Monday, July 15, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

So this isn't a big deal or anything, but I'm

Booya! That's so weird to think about. But I guess it was kind of inevitable. (Catherine made me that for my birthday. Cool, huh? She knows my style!) I had a wonderful birthday! It was definitely different from any one that I've had before and I loved it all the same! I was able to give a talk yesterday on the Book of Mormon and launch a challenge to all of the members of the branch to read Le Livre de Mormon in thirty days! Which was quite funny to me because basically one year ago I launched the same challenge to my friends and readers (okay, that makes it sound like my readers aren't my friends. You guys are my friends. And apparently the only people who send me mail!) But, along with last year's challenge I had put my photoshop skills to the test and made a bookmark to help keep track of the reading. This year I was able to put my photoshop and French skills to use and come up with this:

The French version!

I was quite happy with how it turned out! (And while I was working on it I was able to do a little chatting with my lovely mother through email. That was the best birthday present I could've asked for!) I made one for every member of the branch and few extras to use during the last year of my mission.

Anyways! Back to missionary life! After church we went over to the Dupont's in La Rédemption for dinner. It was pretty funny because we were all joking that we were going to be celebrating France's Independence Day instead of my birthday (to keep it a surprise for me...) and when I got there they were flying the French flag. I love that family! We had the best chicken I have ever eaten... ever! and homemade chocolate eclairs! 

And then! Catherine's sister, Fanny, has had this long-standing tradition to have people write, draw, doodle, paint on her walls and I was honored to be invited to make my mark!

le ciel - the sky

So I got a little bit of photoshop, acrylic paint, and....

...watercolors in this week! Not bad! I haven't painted in years! I really like it!

So that was my birthday! The rest of the week was great! We were able to help Eric and Sheila with some of their computer problems; see Raymond and Rollande and talk about faith (and listen to Raymond play on an organ that he made!); and go to a nice little café for a lesson where we totally got stood up! It was great! At least they had super delicious crêpes! 

I hope you all had a fantastic week! And thank you again for all of the warm birthday wishes! Speaking of warm things and seeing as I don't have a picture of a sunset this week, enjoy this picture of me celebrating my last day as a teenager!

You can always find another reason to celebrate!

Bonne semaine!

Elder Ellis

Monday, July 8, 2013


Bonjour à tous et à toute!

So it's that time of week again! Let's get to it!

Elder Bangerter and I are doing great! Rimouski is doing even better! This week was a mix of interesting happenings and eventful run-ins! 

Our zone leaders wanted us to come down to Québec City a little early so we could all get together and play ultimate frisbee for P-Day. So Monday morning we got in the truck to make my favorite three hour drive. I really do love it! Québec is a beautiful place! Ultimate frisbee was pretty fun. I had a nice wake up call from my out-of-shape-self but ended up scoring a few goals and proved to be a useful addition to the "Senior Companion" team. I love the missionary life! Later that night after regrouping we split up to knock an area on the east side of the city. We talked to a lot of really interesting, but not so interested, people. 

Tuesday we had our zone study and got to meet the Patricks (my new Mission President's family)! They are such a nice family! They have 7 kids (one is still in the States in school.) John, Emily, and Daniel will be in Montréal for the three years. Thomas leaves on his mission in a year, and Marie is going on hers (to France) in about a month. Katy lives in New York and will visit every now and then. We got to "informally" chat with all of them for a while and get to know them. Their kids love me. We already have a secret handshake and everything! After zone study we drove back to Rimouski and stopped at the St-Jacques for dinner and a lesson on the way home. Another family that I love! They are doing great! 

John, Sister Patrick, Emily (front), Marie (back), Me, Thomas, President Patrick, Daniel, Katy (I think...)

Wednesday we had to do a little bit of shopping because we left so early on Monday. So we filled the fridge and then passed by a bunch of people that we've been meaning to see. I had to return the violin which broke my heart! Ruud and Dora are leaving deep into the Gaspé for the summer and I probably won't see them when they get back so our time together came to an end. I rather liked that violin. I need to find a way to get my hands on another one.

Thursday we went to the Friperie and did our normal thing (which is: feel totally awesome hauling hundreds of bags of old clothes and building walls out of them in the back of a semi.) It was the 4tof July so naturally we sang all of the patriotic hymns in the hymn book and pledged allegiance to the flag. It felt so good to do that again. I really do love America. We had dinner with the Bujold family which was nice. Yvette is getting ready to go to the temple and so we started teaching Temple Prep to her. It was also like 105 degrees that day. It's been like that all week. Kidding--I don't know how hot it was. But it's been super hot lately. And humid... I'm not a fan of the humidity. Not at all. 

Friday we planned for the week and then went out to visit Shirley Woods in the woods. We finally met her chum (Québecois for boyfriend. I love Québecois.) We talked about pioneers and how we can be pioneers in our day without walking thousands of miles. They gave us an air conditioner which made our apartment somewhat survivable in the heat!

Also somewhere in the week I forgot to mention that we had dinner with Eric and Sheila again and... I'm now a member of Greenpeace! Yup! Someone came knocking on our door a few nights ago and I talked to her for almost 20 minutes. I finally surcame and subscribed. But all in good order. I used my card that expires before the payment will be made :) Of course I knew what I was doing and why were talking—before she left I told her that I had something for her. I held a copy of the Book of Mormon with our number inside and she reached out to take it. The second she touched it she started half laughing half crying. I asked what was so funny and she said, "I don't know, you tell me! It's your book!" We then went on to talk about the Spirit and she started telling me about her long search for the truth. I assured her that the search for truth is not an endless one and that she had just found it. Corine is meeting with us later this week and we plan on inviting her to be baptized.

I apologize for the lack of photos this week. I filled up my card and looked around for my other camera card and couldn't find it! Mom, will you check if you've sent it back to me? I'm sure you have but I don't want to admit to myself that I'm letting my desk get  a little cluttered and anywhere I can shift the blame... well, you get the idea. Thanks!

Bonne semaine!

Elder Ellis

Monday, July 1, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

Can you believe that it's July?! I turn 20 in two weeks (*hint hint* birthday packages are much appreciated)!! Crazy!! This is going to be a quick one because we have to get on the road and voyager à la ville de Québec. We have a zone activity later today (I think we're playing ultimate frisbee or something...) and then a zone study tomorrow morning where I'll be meeting my new mission president, President Patrick, (you may recognize him from the broadcast last Sunday), and his wife. I'm excited to finally meet them! I won't lie, it'll be a little weird having a new mission president. Well, not weird. Just different.

That'll take some getting used to...

Anyways, we have to get on the road in a few minutes so here's a quick look at what we've been up to in Rimouski!

We had Elders Wright and Cowling (Elder Ruby's MTC companion!) come from Chicoutimi for splits on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning. Tuesday night we took them to the St-Jacques for dinner and lesson. They made us homemade poutine! So good! The St-Jacques are, as usual, doing amazing! Every time that I see Frère St-Jacques I'm just overwhelmed with how the Gospel can really change people's lives! Chantale had called earlier that day and wanted us to visit with the Chicoutimi elders so we swung by and... wow. They had a new neighbor over named Jossé. She's super nice, very caring, but it's apparent that she's been through a lot in her life. We talked about life and the blessings of a life lived according to the Gospel. Midway through the lesson a girl from the same apartment building ran into their apartment screaming and crying covered in blood. We had no idea what was happening but Chantale was apparently adept to this sort of occurrence and knew what to do. After calming and wiping her down she asked if we would pray with her. We did and boy was the Spirit strong in that room. We later found out that her ex-husband had come to threaten her then-boyfriend and she got between them and really took some hits. We gave her a blessing of comfort and Jossé was just shocked at how things had panned out. The next day we went over to check up on France (the girl who was in shock) and to help Jossé move into her apartment. She kept asking questions about what had happened and it opened so many doors for teaching opportunities. She already has a testimony of the power of the priesthood and suggested that we give a blessing to Chantale based on something that she knew was going on her private life. We have high hopes for Jossé!

Besides that, we met a journalist this week and we are going to have an article written about us! That'll be a great way to spread some awareness of who we are and what we do! I gained a new appreciation for Patriarchal Blessings and the wealth and depth of knowledge that can be had when living according to the Law of the Harvest. Elder Bangerter and I have really gotten to know each other and have become great friends already. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord in this capacity! 

We have to get going now, but not before pictures!

Splits with Chicoutimi. Never trust a camera to take a picture of you—you might get cut in half...

Oh, I also won at my first game of Risk ever. (Star Wars Edition)

Breakfast with four missionaries

Things coming up in July... the 4th! America!

My Birthday!

...and Pioneer Day!

We got sick of bringing our bikes up the stairs into the apartment so we chained them to our truck...

We rearranged our apartment. Now I can always keep an eye on Elder Bangerter.... creepy.

My last Scottie Dog. Mom, you know what that means :)

Well, I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week! Happy 4th!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

Well this is odd... I'm writing you on a Tuesday! It's just as good as the day before, just a few hours later. Yesterday was Québec's version of the 4th of July, "Fête de St-Jean Baptiste", only supercharged with alcohol and crazy parties. Needless to say, since stores were closed and the setting sun brought with it the invitation for the wild ones to come out of the woodwork—it was not an ideal day for mormon missionaries to "prepare" for the week. So we're doing that today—President's orders. 

In nearly the same way that any worthwhile novel closes with it's paragraphs packed to the penultimate punctuation with precious passages of paciferous palabra—this week had quite the peroration.

Oh great... now I have to keep that up. Well, en tout les cas, I don't have a lot of time for my email today because the elders from Chicoutimi are crossing the river to join us in Rimouski for a few days. C'est-à-dire: I'll be brief. This week in pictures...

During our studies on Tuesday morning we received an unexpected call from the Cannons. Sister Cannon had phoned to inform us that they would be arriving in Rimouski in a matter of hours for one last visit to the "Rimouski Genius Bar." (They'll be leaving for home this Saturday after spending three years as the Mission President (and wife) of the Canada Montréal Mission. From the first day of my mission to last of theirs, I've been their "go-to tech guy.") They spent two full days with us on a rare vacation to the Gaspé. During those two days we managed to dine with them twice, we had steak at a bar (I had quite the filet mignon!), and salmon à la Maison du Spaghetti, hours of talk of life and the Gospel, dipped ice cream cones and shared one last Rimouski sunset. 

I could not have asked for a better way to spend time with my mission president and his wife before they go home. I was able to use my skills to help them one last time with their iPhones and in turn... well, I got an iPhone.


Among other things during the week...

I got back to some of the basics and started practicing cursive again in my spare time.

Learned how not to eat. (Hot dogs stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, covered with mashed potatoes, smothered in gravy, and drizzled with JDawgs sauce.)

I did a lot of dishes. Do people ever complain about a pile of clean dishes?

Got some good reading in.

One of the books I'm currently perusing is God, Man, and the Universe. President Cannon has given me permission to open my library a little more.

Invented a "blind" variation of chess...

Had a root beer float in an ice bowl...

And managed to take a very blurry photo.

Oh, and tons of missionary work. Yvan is making progress despite the stressful fact that he'll be losing his bike shop shortly. He surprised us with two bikes that he put together for us after hearing that we've had to walk everywhere for the past month.

We've been teaching a new investigator named Richard about the Restoration and found two new investigators, an older couple, yesterday afternoon. I was sad to see Louis move to Québec City but the Lord is watching out for us and blessings us for our committed service.

I pray that all of you were able to tune into the broadcast on Sunday night. It was, as aforementioned, quite the capper to an action-packed week. We truly belong to the Church of Jesus Christ and are led by divinely inspired leaders. What an exciting time to be a missionary!

I'm sorry this email was so short and focused on just about everything but missionary work, but I've got to get going. Have such a great week!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis