Featured Photo: Elders Boekweg, Rudd, and Ellis at Minnehaha Falls
From Elder Ellis
Hello everyone! This week has been quite the week! It’s been a good week though! Lots of mini-miracles and lots of fun! So let’s not waste a moment of time!
So the subject headline doesn’t sound too good, but I promise you it will all make sense.
The Satan part of the subject line is what we will start with. On Tuesday, we had a Zone Conference and IT was good! During that Zone Conference, they told us that they were installing these little black boxes into all the mission cars. These black boxes are plugged into the car and yell at us when we speed (usually about 7-10 mph over the speed limit), drive aggressively (slamming the brakes, flooring the gas, turning too quickly, etc.) or if we don’t have our seat belts on. There is also a card we have to use to “sign in” with the black box so the device knows who is driving. Every time we commit a violation, President Forbes is informed. So that’s scary. It’s good because it’s supposed to reduce accidents and speeding tickets. But they could have had a different voice to yell at you when you commit a violation. When you speed a little, a red light goes on and a voice comes on saying, “Check your speed.” They literally recorded the voice of Satan. It’s a dark, demonic, and robotic voice that yells at you. It’s so scary when you are driving a long and you don’t know the posted speed limit, and all of a sudden, you hear the voice of Satan telling you to slow down. I quickly learned how to use cruise control! The device’s name is the TIWI. It stands for something. Maybe like Teenager Intervening Watcher Intelligence. Probably not, but I named ours R3-TIWI, because I can. It’s Satan. It’s R3-TIWI. It’s horrible.
Well, on to the miracles part of this week! All that was hoped for this week didn’t come to pass. T___ was not baptized this week. BUT instead she did get interviewed by our Zone Leaders yesterday as is ready for Baptism NEXT WEEK! We are going to work out all the fine details and such, but I’m so excited for her and I can’t wait for it!
Speaking of yesterday, miracles happened! T___ made it to church yesterday, but she called us and told us that she couldn’t make it to the church at 3pm for her baptismal interview. So we called president and asked if we could go to her house to interview her. He approved, and so we took the Zone Leaders with us to T___’s house. Well, Elder Boekewg and Elder Nang (for translation) interviewed her, so I took Elder Rudd on a walk around that area to find some Cambodians to teach. T___ had given us a referral of a family that lived down the street from her, so Elder Rudd and I went to go meet them. There were three of them sitting in the garage, so I approached them and said “Hello” and “How are you?” in Khmer and they were stunned! They started speaking to me in Khmer and I said, “Well, that’s my basic knowledge of Khmer!” And they spoke pretty good English so that was a relief. But as we were talking to them I was able to share the gospel with them. I asked them if I could share more about the gospel in Khmer. They agreed to let me share with them. I bore my testimony to them in Khmer the best I could. They all understood me. It was great! We prayed with them and invited them to learn more and come to church even! They are such great people! As we were walking away, Elder Rudd was just so surprised. He said that I sounded like Elder Nang! I was so grateful the Lord helped me speak to them in Khmer. I know that I couldn’t have done it without Him!
More miracles ensued this week. A couple of weeks ago, we were biking and contacted this Cambodian man. Remember this story? Yeah, well, we went to go see him earlier this week. He wasn’t home. We had spent all day looking for new people to teach and we didn’t find him either. I was a little discouraged. So as we were walking away, we saw this man walking down the street. My first thought was, “I’m going to teach this man.” I went for it. I started talking to him and asked him where he was going, etc. He just kind of talked and kept walking, so we said goodbye and started for our car. Then a voice called back to us. It was this man! We went back to talk to him and he asked us if we were Jehovah’s Witnesses. We told him that we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we preach the gospel and try to talk to everyone, you know the whole sha-bang. He then asked us, “Alright, do you have a few moments to talk about religion?” “Sure!” we responded. I thought, Great, he’s going to bash on us or try to prove us wrong or something that won’t end well. He then folded his arms and said, “Alright. I’m listening. Teach me.” I was stunned. I was floored. I’m pretty sure my jaw was on the ground. It took me a second before I actually said something! We ended up teaching him briefly about Modern-Day prophets and how God still loves us today. It was a great lesson. We thanked him for listening and told him that he was one of the only people that actually wanted to learn about the gospel. He then told me something that touched my life and that reminded me of why I need to keep going on my mission. He said, “While Christ was on the earth, he taught people, healed people, helped people, and so much more. People still rejected him and hurt him and eventually killed him. You elders are doing a great thing preaching the gospel. Keep your heads up even when you do get rejected. Because Christ was rejected too and He is on your side.” It was seriously the coolest thing ever. He was someone who was just looking for happiness. He taught me even though I thought I was going to teach him. He lives in Chicago, but we gave him our number and he said he would definitely call us.
On Saturday we were able to go to the ward Corn Feed. It’s a celebration that happens yearly in August and we eat corn. LOTS OF IT! There was boiled corn, grilled, corn bread, pop corn, corn on the cob, corn salad, and just CORN! Oh, and pulled pork sandwiches. We were rained on a couple times, but no biggie. Oh, and also my county was in a tornado watch for 24 hours that day, but there wasn’t even a tornado. Just a really awesome thunderstorm that happened at 10pm. The corn feed though, that was such a great gathering. We ate and talked to many people in the ward. Even better, there were some people who were scouting out the park for a summer activity and we got to talk to them about the gospel. It was a great experience.
This week has been really good. Last week for P-day, we went to East Bush Lake and played games on the beach! It was great! Ultimate Frisbee and soccer! The frisbee only fell into the lake a few times! Haha!
This week was such a great week, busy, but that’s what makes it great! Next week will be better and I want to do everything I can to get T___ to take that first step to eternal happiness. She is so ready and so strong! I can’t wait! I love you all and cant’ wait to talk to you all again next week and share with you the more miracles I will have next week! Thank you for all your support and love! Have a wonderfully fantastic week!