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