Featured Photo: Teaching a ghost!
From Elder Ellis (email dated 10/24/2016):
Hello everyone! It’s been another week! Too fast at this point… It’s already Monday. So many things happened this past week, so I’ll get right to it!
On last Monday, we went with the sisters to visit one of their investigators and had lunch with them. It was fun, we also planned out our costumes for Halloween, stay tuned I’m still debating if I want to attach a sneak peek below. It was pretty fun.
We’ve also been able to get in contact with the less active from before (the one who I met for the first time when I was here 18 months ago). She really wants to come to institute classes and participate, but her schedule is crazy hectic and she works two jobs. So we are praying for her to be able to fit institute in her schedule. Her name is X___, so I guess you can say, “We will X___… (Hehe, Hmong puns).
We weren’t able to meet with G___ this past week because he wasn’t feeling very well at all. He is a good guy. We’re helping him progress toward baptism.
We visited D___ this past week too though! He is doing so well. We still feels he is being called to his other church right now, but has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. So, at this point, it’s really a game of connecting the dots of “If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet, and everything we are teaching is TRUE.” So we’re working on that this week.
We had a pretty awesome miracle this past week. Well, I guess you can say we had a lot of amazing miracles, so here’s the start of this one! On Wednesday night, we met with our bishop of the Ward to talk about the missionary work in the area. (Best idea ever, I love our bishop, he is so missionary minded it’s awesome! [I also still love Bishop Whitehead, just FYI, he’s still pretty cool. #peanut butter m&m’s]) Anyway, so he told us that he ran into a kid that was taught by the missionaries before. His name is A___. He’s about 18 years old. The missionaries taught him before and dropped him because he wasn’t progressing. This was very recent. I remember hearing about A___ when I was a Zone Leader, so it’s pretty recent. Well, Bishop got a new address and phone number for him, because he had gone off the map for a while. He told us to try to go see him. Well, fast forward to Saturday night, and we were driving clear the heck out to Altoona (it’s not too far) to go visit Alana (one of the Sisters’ investigators, the one we had lunch with on Monday) and her family and play some games. As we drove by, I saw this street name. I looked at it and said, “There’s someone that lives there that we need to visit.” Elder Yang looked at me and said, “No one lives there.” On the way back, it dawned on me that the street was the same street that bishop gave us to go find A___. I had written down the address, so we found it and went to go visit A___. It was about 8pm and since the winter is coming it gets dark around 5pm, so it looked pretty late. We knock on the door and a woman opens up and we ask her if A___ in home. She responds, “Yes, but he’s in bed.” So we ask if we can come back the next day (Sunday). She says that’s fine. So we get back into the car and I back up to get out. Elder Yang is behind me and suddenly I saw two people instead of one! Turns out A___ had come out of the house and chased us down! He told us how he desperately wanted to get back into contact with us. He wants to change his life and turn it around. Cool experience, right?
Well, it continues. Yesterday afternoon we went with bishop to go visit him. Bishop seems to have met him and knows a little more history with him. Plus, Bishop is super bold and a boss too. Bishop straight up told him, we were here to teach you and help you, but don’t waste the missionaries’ time and don’t waste your time, if you aren’t going to put forth the effort. Boom! Super awesome. He said he wanted to get right into it. So we are going to start teaching him again! Miracle!
One of the other miracles that happened this week was when we visited this one Hmong family. According to our records, they are less active. So we stopped by and no one answered. We stopped by several times this past week and finally on Saturday someone answered! We talked to the grandma and she was kind of interested in what we had to share. After we got done talking, she asked, “Does your church do family history and genealogy? I really want to do more for my husband, who is dead.” We looked at each other (in reality Elder Yang looked and me and asked me that question in English, because Kuv tsis paub hais lus Hmoob), and I said, “Yeah, of course we do!” And we began to tell her more about our family history center and invited her to come to church. She has a granddaughter who isn’t baptized who would like to learn more too! So we are excited to begin teaching them!
On Sunday, we were tasked with giving talks to the ward. I spent most of the week planning out my talk and what I’m going to say and everything. I know. I actually planned out my talk, shocker! I was the last speaker to go. About halfway through the talk before me, Brother Vue, the 1st counselor in the bishopric, walks over to me and tells me, “There isn’t enough time for you to go, so can you go next week?” I agree, but inside, I’m like, “Aw man…I actually prepared this talk too.” On top of that, I was the only one of the speakers sitting on the stand!!!! Elder Yang had to translate to Hmong so he sat off to the side a little ways. The other two speakers didn’t want to sit up on the stand, so I WAS THE ONLY ONE UP THERE AND I DIDN’T EVEN SPEAK! Haha. #awkward!!!! So that was my funny moment of the week. Oh, and I had to teach gospel principles without warning. #spiritleddiscussion So my Sunday was crazy. Haha.
Well, I know this gospel is true! That’s why I’m still here! I’m so grateful for this gospel and everything about it! I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and meet the people I’ve met and talk to them. I’m just amazed at the love Jesus and Heavenly Father offer to me everyday. I know this gospel is true.
I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week! Thanks for all the love and support!