Featured Photo: Pie for Elder Crapo!
From Elder Ellis:
Hi everyone! Long time no email right? Haha! Well, this week the email won’t be as long because I emailed on Wednesday, so there isn’t a whole lot to update you guys on. (But because I’m me, the email will probably end up being really long, but we won’t dwell on that.) There have been some crazy things that have happened in the past few days. So let’s get started!!!
First off, it’s transfers this week. Spoiler Alert! I’m staying in Bloomington. Haha, no shocker there! However, we got a new Zone Leader, and two of the sisters in our district are leaving. Sister Young and Sister Nelson. So there are stories behind these sisters. Sister Young is apparently my Grandma. So when a new missionary is put into their first area, the oldest Sister in the district becomes their “Mom”. We missionaries do “family history work” to keep ourselves busy and entertained. So when Elder Nang was put into Bloomington last November, Sister Young was the oldest Sister in the district, making her Elder Nang’s “Mom.” SO that, therefore, makes me her “Grandson” because Elder Nang is my “adopted father.” Then there’s Sister Nelson. Of the time I’ve spent on my mission so far, only two weeks out of the four-and-a-half months I’ve been out, we have not been in the same area. So basically my first six weeks in Eau Claire, she was in my area. Then the 10 weeks I’ve spent here she was here as well. So there was only two weeks that we have not been in the same area. CRAZY! I will miss those sisters.
Anyway, back to the cooler miracles of the week. On Saturday, there was a baptism for M___. She was one of the investigators the Sisters were working with. Back in the other email, I mentioned that we invited T___ and S___ to the baptism, right? If I didn’t, well, we did. So yeah. Anyway, The baptism was at 10am. At 9:25, S___ called us. She was like, “Can I still go to the baptism? I just don’t have a ride.” We told her that she could obviously go! She said, “Oh okay, I’ll go see if T___ still wants to go!” So we sent them the address and went to the baptism. Well, we got to the baptism and it was 10 and no investigators. We asked Brother Cardon (Ward Mission Leader, who was also conducting the baptism) to stall for a little bit. I remember looking out the front doors of the church and just praying. I prayed that T___ and S___ will arrive at church and be able to witness the baptism at least. Right as I finished my prayer, I heard a voice shouting, “Oh! Elders!!!” It was Sister Schriner! She was the member that came with us to visit T___ and S___ earlier this week! Right behind her was T___ and Sonvanda and E___, S___’s daughter! It was the coolest thing!! They made it in time to watch the whole baptism! After the baptism, we took them on a tour around the church. Brother Cardon also joined us. We ended in the Chapel and had a really good lesson on prayer and the importance of coming to church. The spirit was so strong and they all felt it! Such a cool experience!
We committed T___ to come to church on Sunday and she DID! She brought her daughter and they made it through Sacrament meeting, but T___’s daughter didn’t make it through nursery. So she had to take her daughter home early. T___ said, “Maybe next week I’ll just come by myself.” So that was cool that she committed herself to come to church!
Well, there was another really cool miracle that happened while I was on an exchange with Elder Rudd, our Zone Leader. We got to go to Minneapolis for the day. Just before dinner the mission office called us and sent us a referral. She said that someone called THEMSELVES in. Someone was looking for missionaries and they called themselves in and referred themselves. That NEVER happens. So they gave us the address and phone number of this person. We put it on the back burner because we had some appointments to make. After our 6:00pm appointment, we left and we got a text saying that our 7:00pm appointment fell through also. So we were left with nothing to do. We decided to go visit this referral. We get there and she opens the door. She looks at us and says, “Oh! I didn’t know you guys would get here so fast!” We sat down on her porch and just started talking. She said, “A lot has happened in the past two years of my life, I know I need a change. Mormons have popped up in my life constantly and I just know that this is right. I want to get baptized into this church as soon as possible.” Elder Rudd and I looked at each other with our jaws on the ground. Then she said, “I also want my two daughters to be baptized as well.” That also NEVER HAPPENS! We taught her the restoration and the whole time she was like, “Yup, I agree with that. I know that it’s true.” When we got to the First Vision, everything we said she agreed with. HOLY COW! We left her with a Book of Mormon and a blessing on her and her home. We both left and were just so awestruck. It was the coolest thing. That is why our 7:00pm appointment fell through. We were needed at that time in that place.
That is a lot for a little time, but I know that the Church is true. So many little miracles have happened this week and I know that God is guiding me. I had a rough time studying Cambodian this week because we were so super busy, but Joseph said something that has inspired me since, and will become a life motto for me. He said, “A setback is an opportunity for a comeback.” That is such a great motto and it’s true. Setbacks give us those opportunities to make the best of comebacks. And I truly have seen that this week. I love you all! Thanks for your support and love! I’ll see you all in two years (or less)!