Monday, May 27, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

Even though it's only been a few days since I sent my last email late last week so much has happened! I'll pick things up where I left off last Wednesday! So, after I sent my email...

We went over to Louis and Landry's apartment for a lesson. Landry was actually in Québec City unexpectedly to go visit a friend so we just met with Louis. He is doing so well! When we got there he had cleaned the apartment and had his Book of Mormon on the table waiting for us. We wanted to do a follow up lesson on the Restoration and start teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. We had the whole lesson planned out (something that we normally don't do!) and it went... well I didn't go anything like we planned! We asked him about his reading from the Book of Mormon and he was excited to tell us about what he had learned. We had him read Alma 32 and he loved it! He had a lot of questions about who Alma was and we ended up telling the story of the Book of Mormon again. He really liked it and would sometimes fill in where he could. Afterwards we started to introduce the Plan of Salvation and he wanted to know about President Monson. So we decided to watch the highlights from this last General Conference. He absolutely loved it! We had to go at that point so we left him with a good bit of the video to finish. We are going to try to commit him to be baptized the next time we meet on Wednesday! Pray that he will be open to the invitation! After that we went to go contact a few of the referrals that we had received earlier that week. No one was home but we knocked around the area and talked to a few people. We read with Eric before going home that night and then got all unpacked from our trip to Québec.

Thursday! We had a pretty busy day full of missionary work! In the morning we went to the Friperie like normal and helped them load bags of clothes into the semi. They were pretty backed up with the amount of donations from spring cleaning and asked if we could come again the next morning as well for an hour. I really like the people there! Hélène, the manager, told us that "les Elders" have been coming ever since 1993! That is so nuts! But anyways... We did some knocking and tried to contact the referrals again—still no luck. So we went out to St. Blandine to see Karole and Calvin (remember "Husband"? Yeah well his name is actually Calvin.) They were doing pretty well! They told us about some crazy news from the States. Those tornadoes in Oklahoma sounded intense! We started to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and it became apparent very quickly that we are going to have to go very slowly with them. The rest of the day was filled with knocking and pass-by's.

Friday! So at this point we knew we had permission from President Cannon to go to Montréal for the weekend with our branch for Stake Conference. We were planning on having Louis and Landry come with us and get a ride from some of the members. We hadn't heard back from them yet and we were supposed to be leaving in a few hours so I gave them a call. Louis answered and told me that they weren't coming because now he had to go to Québec City. We were devastated! We thought that that meant we couldn't go to Montréal so we called President Cannon to see what to do. I told him what had happened and this is what he said, "Well if you don't go then who's going to help in the temple?" I was speechless. I finally asked, "Wait, what?" He said, "Really the only reason I'm sending you to Montréal is to work in the temple on Saturday morning. Your branch is doing baptisms for the dead, right? And they don't have enough endowed priesthood holders so you'll have to help." We were so shocked! We got to go to the temple!! So we quickly packed our stuff, ran to the Friperie and helped for an hour, then met up with the members who were taking us down and got on the road! We got our sleeping arrangements figured out on the way and would be staying with the missionaries in Longueuil. We stopped to have dinner with the Fourtina's at their home and then they took us to the apartment. We got there at about 9:30.

On the way to Montréal we stopped at a Fromagerie and bought some "kwick kwick" (squeaky) cheese! So good!

And some garlic bread. Also delicious!

And stopped in a forest for a break. I just woke up.

Saturday morning we woke up, got dressed and then went to the temple! I cannot tell you how big of a blessing this was! It was incredible. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the temple lately and to be able to go and partake in the work there was beyond what I could imagine! Elder Ruby and I did an endowment session in French and then helped with the baptisms. It is amazing how much you can learn when you listen in another language. You pay attention to smaller details and they way things are said. I have a new appreciation for the temple and outlook on my relationship with Heavenly Father. What a blessing! So we spent almost the entire day in the temple! The rest of the day was spent doing missionary work with the Longueuil elders. That night we went to a session of Stake Conference and I ran into Caitlin! It was so good to see her active as ever! 

Knocking with Elder Laguan. Cool guy!

Sunday we went to Stake Conference and learned a lot! I got to see and catch up with some old friends from Montréal! Then it was back on the road to Rimouski! We drove almost the entire day and made it home safe and sound! It's good to be back in Rimouski!

I'm out of time! I love all of you and I'm grateful to have so many supportive friends and family members! I hope you have a fantastic week! 

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

What a week! This is going to have to be a short email because I'm actually writing on Wednesday with President Cannon's permission but we don't have a lot of time. But, that's life! We work with what we have!

This week in summary:

-Two major trips
   On Tuesday morning we left Rimouski to go on splits with the Elders in Chicoutimi, a fairly large town on the other side of the St. Laurent River in the Saguenay region. We drove to Rivière-du-Loup and then took a ferry across the river to St-Siméon where the Chicoutimi Elders picked us up. We drove the rest of the way with them and then spent all day Wednesday there and did the trip back on Thursday afternoon. On the way home we picked up some hitchhikers in Rivière-du-Loup and took them to St. Flavie. They were really nice! 

Le Traversier

The Elders on the other side

Driving to Chicoutimi (dirty windshield!)


A horrible sign we saw. (Attention to our children. This could be yours.)

A funny door sign we saw while knocking. (No solicitors & Jehovah's Witnesses)

An (interesting?) find while knocking in Chicoutimi

Splits with Chicoutimi! Elder Wright, me, Elder Messinger, and Elder Ruby

   Then on Monday (as in two days ago) we left at 11 in the morning to drive to Québec City (about a 3 hour drive) for Zone Conference. Our zone went together to the Montmorency Falls in Québec City then played ultimate frisbee (juniors vs. seniors—we won!) and finished off by getting poutine at Intuitions. That night President and Sister Cannon invited Elder Ruby and I over to their hotel room for "one last one-to-one" lesson on her Mac before they leave in June. It will be sad to see them go! I've become great friends with them inside and outside of teaching them how to use their computers.

Montmorency Falls

A few elders in my zone

Elder Ruby and I

Poutine with Elder Freeze!

-Zone Conference
   The Zone got together at the stake center in Québec City where we had some great trainings from the AP's and President and Sister Cannon. Elder (Austin) Heder is an Assistant along with Elder Williams who was in the MTC with me. It was a great conference and I learned a lot! And I finally got my mail! I got the DVD that my Dad made for our ward's missionary experience (which I just watched—job well done!) and a surprise package from Phil in the Montréal YSA! (Thanks, Phil!) I also got a nice handful of letters from some friends and one from Elder Christensen from my MTC district who is serving in France!

-Missionary Work
   We met with a number of less-actives this past week. We have been seeing some great success in meeting with them. This past Sunday we had a total of 31 people at church! 31! We're almost halfway to being a ward! We met with Landry and Louis and finished teaching them about the Restoration and committed them to be baptized. They still have a lot of questions and want to make sure they have a few more answers before they commit to that. But with our upcoming weekend we should be able to help them find those answers (we might be going to Montréal with them for Stake Conference! President Cannon told us that we can go with the members this weekend! Montréal, look out! Papa's comin' home!)

-Random stuff
   We got our tires and oil changed on the truck (I don't think I've even taken a picture of our truck... I'll have to do that soon!) and then took it to the carwash before our trip to Québec. We had a fire with the Dupont family and made s'mores while we sang songs with the guitar! 


Monopoly with steak and lobster! Elder Messinger came through!

I won...

Well! That's just about all I have time for today!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

Monday, May 13, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

I was trying to come up with a witty way to mention the fact that we just barely skyped and how looong it had been since we'd seen each other... and then I gave up! So anyways! It was so nice to see my family yesterday! Can I just say/sing one thing really quickly? I love technology! That was the best (and only!) Mother's Day gift I've ever received! You all look great and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute we spent talking!

And for everyone else—you should hear my little sisters play the guitar and the piano! They rock! Speaking of things that rock... Rimouski! This week has been so great!

Monday night we had Soirée Familiale with some of the members and taught the Plan of Salvation with balloons again! Everyone really liked it! It's a fun way to teach it because it's beyond visual! It's threedee! 

Tuesday! So remember how we were supposed to go get Tim Horton's with our neighbors? Yeah, well she came over at like 6:45 in the morning with a cigarette in her her mouth and cancelled on us because someone was in the hospital... I didn't catch all of what she told us but it sounded pretty fishy... Anyways! Later that day after lunch and a mini planning session we went out knocking! We had gone through the area books to find some old investigators that could still have potential and made a list. We were knocking in this apartment building and everyone was super mad at us and telling us to leave. I think there was something in the water that day... For some reason I was feeling really brave and I just kept telling everyone, "Yeah okay, well we're just going to keep knocking so have a nice day." They didn't like that. Then we got to the last door in the building... The lady opened and said, (In English) "Are you the Mormons?" We said yes and then she replied, opening the door a little wider, "Well then come on in!" We made sure there was another man inside and sure enough there was so we went in and sat down on their couch. They were really nice! Apparently missionaries have gone there before but stopped coming for some reason. We didn't know it at the time (we found out yesterday) but apparently she was a member a long time ago in the branch! There was a problem with her not being married but living with this man and so she stopped going. Long story. They were very nice, though! Later that night we had moose stroganoff for dinner! I. Love. Moose. It is seriously the best meat ever! After dinner we read with Eric and then knocked the rest of the night.

Wednesday started off as usual with district study. And as usual, it went really well! Then we went over to Eric's for our daily reading. He's been making some great progress! We make sure to stop and try to explain things as we go (especially now that we're getting close to the Isaiah chapters) and ask if he has any questions. He hasn't really asked any yet but he'll make a comment every once in a while about a part that likes! We went back to the apartment to eat and then headed back out for a full day of knocking! We found two really cool brothers in an apartment building. Landry and Louis are from Africa and have been in Rimouski going to school for about two years. They were very welcoming to us and open to the Book of Mormon. We had a great lesson with them about the Book of Mormon and explained it using the pictures in the front. They had some good questions about prophets but we wanted to be sure to have a return appointment so we said that we'd answer them when we came back. We set up an appointment to come back Saturday and then left with a prayer. We were so excited to find them! It's been a while since we've found someone to teach! And we found two! Score! Later that night we had a lesson with Yvan and Chantale and laid out a plan for the next few months until his baptism. We gave a short summary of each lesson and then talked about prayer. We really need to get him to start praying on his own. The only way he, or any of us for that matter, can find out the truth of all of this is through prayer. He was pretty set on not praying that night and got a little frustrated at the end so Chantale said the closing prayer. It was a great lesson nonetheless!

Thursday! Service à la Friperie! I love that place. Tossing trash bags of clothes into the back of semi is probably the funnest things that one can do. Our neighbors were waiting for us when we got back. (They are the funniest people ever. I'll try to get a picture with them soon.) They wanted us to help them go pick up some more furniture they found on the side of the road in Rimouski-Est. We did. And then after that we went out to knock some more of St. Blandine! We found another super cool couple that had met with missionaries before! They were extremely nice and spoke English! Karole is from Rimouski and her husband (I can't remember his name, so I'll call him Husband) is from Columbus Ohio! He is one of the funniest people I've met here. He is a retired police officer and loves horses. They met in Ohio at a horse show and he dropped everything to come live with her in Québec! They're madly in love. It's funny. He gave us a tour of his ranch and then we went inside and talked for a bit. They are really nice people! (Okay I'm totally out of time... Danny Harding just emailed me and we've been chatting it up.) That night we met with Frère Hébert for our weekly correlation meeting.


Friday we did our weekly planning, met with Israel Ouellette and then had dinner with our neighbors. He made the biggest plate of couscous I have ever seen in my entire life. We watched the Restoration DVD with them and then went over to the Bujold's for our book club. We've started reading "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" with Roland because he won't read scriptures but he still wants to read. It went really well! Oh and Jean-François called! We left a note at his door earlier and he called to tell us that he got it. We should be seeing him next week probably.

Saturday. Landry and Louis cancelled because they had to go to Québec City. We went knocking in Mont-Joli and met a few cool people. 

Sunday was the best! I got to talk to my family! That's all I have time for!


We got mail from our district leader in Chicoutimi. Every night he asks if there is anything he can do for us and we just tell him, "Steak and lobster, my friend. Steak. And. Lobster."

Elder Ellis

Monday, May 6, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

I hope this email finds everyone enjoying the sun and in a happy mood! We had another fantastic week up here in Rimouski. The spring, or in French, le printemps, has finally arrived after a few weeks of off weather! And we definitely took advantage of it!

On Monday after our normal p-day stuff we had correlation with Frère Hébert and talked about the progress that we had made in the area during the past week. We had a lot to report! After our correlation meeting a few of the members came to the chapel for Soirée Familiale. C'était formidable!! We had a great lesson and some snacks afterwards.

Tuesday we decided to venture out a bit and profit from the beautiful weather. So after our daily reading with Eric from the Book of Mormon we headed out on the 132 to a small little town called St. Blandine. It is such a quaint little town tucked away in the hills and winding woods about twenty minutes from Rimouski. While there we met a lot of very situated people—everyone was nice but was very set on not changing. "Born Catholic! Gonna die Catholic!" kind of attitude. I love those people... We almost got caught in the middle of a huge fight while talking to a nice old lady. Some drunk teenagers were fighting with nightsticks and chasing each other in cars. It was intense! When we got back to Rimouski we passed by Shirley-Anne to give her a Bible and to check up on how her reading went. She was there but didn't answer the door. That was the third time that happened so we decided to drop her. 
St. Blandine (Power lines!!)

I thought this was pretty funny. Dinosaures!

Wind power! (And power lines!...)

Wednesday was (I'm sure) one of the most memorable days of my mission! I'm not sure if I've mentioned the famous and mysterious "Rimouski Marble" yet... It is a legend among missionaries that have served here and remains to be a mystery for those that haven't. It is tied to an amazing family and a long story that I can't even begin to tell. Needless to say, after 10 weeks of searching (of course it wasn't our primary objective the whole time, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn't on the back burner since we arrived) we have found them! And in fact we are at their house right now! Dora and Ruud say hi everyone! They are amazing people. I'm sure I'll tell more of their story another time. For now that will have to do! After receiving our marbles they sent us off with about 10 pounds of frozen moose meat. We went over to Eric's and read with him—you can already see the change that is being made in his attitude and appearance! The Book of Mormon is having a profound influence on him! Right after we finished reading with him we got a call from Sylviane asking if we could come help move some stuff from her basement to her garage. We went over and helped her and her niece with Frère Hébert and then sat and talked and got to know each other a little better. Apparently Frère Hébert was a pilot in his teenage years! That man gets cooler with every day we spend with him. We knocked for pretty much the rest of the day.

Dora and Ruud

Thursday! Let's see... We had district study and we got to meet a new elder in our district—Elder Sloot. Elder Freeze is training him in Alma. Elder Ruby gave a great training on asking inspired questions. We read with Eric and then Catherine Dupont wanted to come knocking with us so we met her at the residence buildings at the local community college (if you want some good reading about Québec's educational system, look up CÉGEP.) We knocked around the area and she did a great job! She told us that a lot of the people we were meeting were classmates and that it was fun to be able to talk to them openly about her beliefs. She'll be going on a mission in about a year so we are trying to help her gain some good missionary experiences. Later that night we went over to the Lévesques to help them with their missionary work. We did a few role plays on how to talk about the Plan of Salvation with friends and family. Catherine was also there and we gave her some help on an English essay she is writing on non-traditional casting in theater. It was fun to be analyzing a topic from an essay point of view again but I definitely do not miss it! After that we stopped at Chantale and Yvan's to pick up a few bags of clothing to take to the Fripperie in the morning.

Elder Ruby getting manhandled by a snake! (This was at Isreal's house. I shared a talk with him that I wrote in Montréal about sacrifice. The introduction talks about chess and I know that he loves chess so afterwards we played... I totally beat him! It was awesome!)

Friday, Friday, gotta get d... no. Friday! We had a great time as always at the Fripperie! I love doing service there! While we were doing our weekly planning later that day we got a surprise call from Debbie! She told us about a great experience that she had at work with one of her coworkers. They were talking about religion and it turned to "The Mormon Church" and there were a lot of people saying some nasty stuff about us and one of her coworkers started defending the Church! She decided to speak up and they were able to have a good conversation about our beliefs. She asked him afterwards how he knew so much and he said that he has always thought that the Church was one of the best in the world because of the examples he has seen set by members. She told us his name and where he lives but forbid us from going over for another week or so so it doesn't seem too suspicious like she sent us or something. I can't wait to meet him! Later that day Soeur Dupont called us to ask if we could come lock the chapel. When we got there they were meeting with the Lemauge family from Montréal! It was great to see them again! He is the Institute President in Québec. I got to know them really well while I was in Montréal. We talked for a bit and they offered to take us to dinner! We went to a really nice restaurant, La maison du spaghetti. Mmmmm. I got manacotti to see if it could beat my mom's... Not even close! But it was delicious quand même! 

After dinner we had a lesson with Yvan. Earlier that day at the chapel I had printed off a one page 2013 calendar that we were planning on using with Eric to make a reading chart but forgot it in the car. When we got to their apartment I had a feeling that I should bring it in, so I folded it up and stuffed it in my pocket. After about ten minutes of chatting and catching up I remembered it was there and suddenly it clicked. It was time to help Yvan find which day he was going to be baptized. We talked for a bit about baptism and at just the right moment I pulled the paper out, put it on the table in front of him and waited. He was terrified at first but after talking for a while we decided that it was his decision and would give him some time. I've never prayed so hard for someone to receive an answer. After about three minutes of straight silence he muttered, "The twenty-fourth. I want to baptized on August twenty-fourth." We were so happy for him! It was a big step for him. I hope I'll be around Rimouski for that day!

So... Saturday! We had lunch with the St-Jacques family and taught the Plan of Salvation using balloons. I had a crazy idea that morning of how we could do it and we ran to Walmart to grab some balloons and construction paper before leaving. After about twenty minutes of drawing and cutting we were ready to hit the road! It was a great lesson and the idea worked! I was happy with how it turned out. (I'm running out of time... Time to summarize!)

Plan of Salvation with balloons!

That afternoon we were going to have dinner with the Duponts who live about an hour from Rimouski in La Rédemption. Catherine invited her friend, Esther, to dinner and a lesson after. So on the way to their house we stopped in Mont-Joli to see Soeur Dupont's mom. We sang a hymn and talked for a bit about her family. At the Dupont's we had a wonderful dinner and got to try sea snails! It was super weird... the texture was almost too much but I was able to get it down! We taught the same lesson afterwards with the balloons and then had to get on the road home! 

Bourgot! Sea snail! Mmmmm

Not so mmmm!

Esther, Catherine, Elder Ruby, the Dupont's, some kid

Sunday! (I'm out of time!) 24 people at church that morning! It was wonderful! We have been working so hard and are being blessed for it! After church we took President Fourtina around to meet some of the less-actives. That night while we were eating dinner and listening to a talk we heard someone knocking our window. I went to check who/what it was. It was our neighbor across the hall. She was asking if we could help them pick up some furniture across town with our truck. We offered to help and ended up spending the rest of the evening helping them. They offered to feed us dinner on Tuesday and Friday for helping! We finished the night by calling Sister Hedge (the one who lives like eight hours from Rimouski) and reporting on church to her! She is a great lady!

A man on a horse! I took that over my shoulder while driving at like 90 km/h.

I think the Baggins' live around the corner from here...

Well! That was our week! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! And as for my call home next week! I'm two hours ahead and our church ends at 12:30 here. We're thinking about going out to the Dupont's so we can skype so that means I would be skyping around 3 our time. Just plan on being logged into skype that afternoon and I'll send you an email on Sunday once I know what time we are going to be leaving with the Duponts! But like I said, just plan on about 3:00 my time, 1:00 your time. I'll find a way to get in contact if there are any changes in plans! I can't wait to talk to all of you!

I've been counting down!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis