Monday, January 7, 2013

NINETEEN


Bonjour tout le monde!

What a wonderful first week of 2013! I couldn't have asked for a better way to start the year than to be serving the Lord! I just got to the mission office (we've abandoned doing our emails at the Apple Store because it's just so busy all of the time—not a bad thing!—and I prefer to sit while typing) and I was surprised by a few letters! I don't know when I'll be able to respond to them but here's a quick shout out to my fabulous family! Derek and Karrie, your Christmas card was phenomenal as always! I've always enjoyed getting your card. Pippa looks great! I'm glad I got to see her before I left. And Mom, Dad, and kiddos, well done on the Christmas card! I liked the snowmen. And you even made my carrot nose crooked just like real life! Haha. Alright, let's get to the week.

On Monday we spent a portion of New Year's Eve at Olde Porte in Montr√©al! I took a few pictures that I'll send along. President Cannon told us that we should be off of the streets at 6 so we headed over to the Ville Marie chapel to help the Spanish branch set up for their party. They were nice and offered us food to eat for helping. Long story short—I ended up eating cow uterus... yeah. I have nothing to say. I'll stick to the, how should I put this, "less wild" meats. I considered setting an alarm that night for 12:00 midnight to celebrate but I've learned to get every wink of sleep that I can.

Tuesday felt like a completely normal day. Elder Baker and I were doing our studies and then I realized that I needed to write a thank you note for someone and was about to write the date and had a little moment. 2013! How cool is that! I've always loved thinking about "the future", growing up it was my favorite thing to imagine. I'm glad that the years we're in have a futuristic sound about them. "Welcome to the year twenty thirteen!" And then something else hit me—I'll be spending every second of this year in the service of the Lord. No matter how cool the future is, nothing can beat that! I'm excited to work my hardest this year and put in my full efforts! Anyways, the day... It honestly felt like we were working in a ghost town because everything was closed down, everyone was sleeping in, and the roads were completely empty. I probably saw three or four cars the whole morning. Nonetheless, there was work to be done so we got knocking! We got a call from a less active member who has been trying to give up some habits and try to come back to church. He asked us if we could come over to answer a few of his questions and to consecrate his apartment. We went to see him and had a wonderful conversation with him about the Plan of Salvation. After our conversation I was (I don't know the right word) excited or anxious? to have the opportunity to use the Melchizedek Priesthood to consecrate a home for the first time. 

Wednesday morning Elder Baker and Elder Bell left early to go to one of their meetings so Elder Riff and I were able to go on splits again to zone study. It's always nice to see the whole zone again! There was a lot of emphasis in the talks on attributes that we should strive to gain. I'm looking back through my planner and my journal as I write this and I thought I should share a little note that I wrote on gratitude. "Gratitude provides power over pride." It's true! If we have gratitude we have no room left in our hearts for negative feelings towards others. During the zone study there was a really cool object lesson that I loved. There were three Lego sets on the table. The companionship that was teaching asked three other companionships to come up to and to build the sets. One set had the full instructions, one had half of the instructions starting from the middle, and the last didn't have any. We all had three minutes to build the correct Lego set. You can probably guess the outcomes of the three sets. The lesson was that you always have to build from the basics—start from the beginning and use the given instructions to come to the end result. We know where we want to go in life and in the plan that God has for us; we've been given guides in the scriptures and our leaders, the prophets; and we can make it. Just make sure you're always returning to the basics—your relationship with God; your relationship with others, your family, friends, and enemies; your faith, hope, charity, and gratitude. After zone studies we did quite a bit of knocking and then met Caitlin at Schwartz' (a smoked meat place) to plan her baptism program! She's going to be baptized on the 12th! How exciting! I am so happy for her! Afterwards we met the Sisters and few of our investigators at Laurier to watch The Testaments. I love that movie!

(I'm going to have to shorten things—Elder Heder keeps telling me to hurry up because they want to play pickle ball downstairs.) 

Thursday was a lot of knocking! We had a dinner appointment at the Aloi's and were able to have a great conversation about some of the trials that they have faced in their lives. I absolutely the Aloi's. They are a strong family and are a great example of true discipleship. That night I was sending off a letter to the Westover Sisters and I lost our apartment key fob thing. We got all the way to the metro before realizing it so Elder Baker and I said a prayer that we would be able to find it. Sure enough we walked back a few blocks and found it just where we had envisioned it after praying. I am glad that the Lord gave me that opportunity to show us that through our faith all things are possible, no matter how big or small. 

Friday we did our weekly planning. It took almost the entire day and after we had soup and baguettes and then taught Institute. I was glad to be able to help out that way.

Saturday we went with Cedric to see Lordine but she wasn't there. He took us out to lunch and I got some really good smoked meat poutine. We taught a lesson that night to a nice guy named Alex about prayer.

Sunday we had a combined meeting with French and English and did some knocking.

I'm sorry I had to cut that short!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

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