Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 1st: Transferred, New Companion, and New Leadership Opportunities

Dear Family and Friends (I'm sure only my parents read this haha),
The rumors are true. Most of you have heard from Facebook from members in Branch 1 that I've been transferred. They are true. I'm now serving in Branch 2 and have been made the Zone Leader in San Carlos Zone. Today we have a Zone Leaders meeting, called MLC (Missionary Leadership Council). It consists of Zone Leaders, AP's, President and his Wife, Coordinating Sisters, and I think maybe the office staff missionaries, but I'm not sure. It's going to be cool. The meeting is in Bacolod and it's on the first Tuesday of every month. So I'm able to go to Bacolod once a month now, eat some good food, and get any needed supplies. Not that I really need anything, but I do like these rubber shoes and I need to buy some like once a transfer since they brake fast, but they're way nice and easy to clean.
Elder Sobreviga & Ellis (Zone Leaders)
San Carlos Branch 2
The transfer was a surprise to me. I had no idea. I just received a phone call and it said to move tomorrow to San Carlos 2 and I will be the new Zone Leader in the zone. So... that's all the happened. I don't ask questions, I just do what I'm told. It was a shocker for sure.
My email might be a bit different today since I don't have much time, that, and nothing has really happened. Freddy Mahinay was still baptized on Saturday and I'm counting it as a baptism. I didn't attend however because Elder Sobreviga, my new companion is sick with Dengue. I guess it's a blessing from living in our house and being a Zone Leader. It's like a WELCOME TO THE CLUB gift of something. I don't think I'll get it though, I should be fine. I'll wear my deet mom at night and I'll make sure to stay away from mosquitoes. Our work this week wasn't much since Elder Sobreviga is sick. However, we did do some work in the late afternoon and night time. But I'll tell you a little bit more about my area.
San Carlos Branch 2 is actually a great place! There's some mountain areas, and there's an island. I asked President yesterday if we're allowed to work on the island because there are less active members there and we have some referrals there too. However, his reply to my text was, "No". I'm a little upset, but I know I'll be blessed by following his council. If you remember this was the last area of Elder Edem before he transferred to Mabini with me. I know that he went to the island, so, I'm sad that I can't go. It's in the area book as part of our area and it is the branch boundary. However, we'll leave it up to the branch to do the missionary work in that part of the vineyard.
On Saturday the branch does what's called a "Caravan". They get a bunch of members and they go to less actives families that live a little bit farther away from the church. The members talk with them, we bring some food and we just fellowship them. So this Saturday we went to a place called Stampar. On our way there Elder and I were talking to a man on the side of the street that told us the person that we were going to try and visit was in the Hospital. So... now we were all the way in the mountain for nothing because he's not even home! So, even though it was a little bit of a waste of time, it was still fun. I got to see a crocodile. There's a man who keeps it at his house in a little pond thing. Don't worry, there is a gate! But it was cool. He has two of them, one of them is HUGE, and the other is a little baby. It was cool to see a crocodile!
We taught a few less actives this week here. There's not a ton of investigators, but we'll get some more. There was a problem with unity between the Elders and the branch last transfer, so that's something that we need to fix. But the branch is totally willing to help with the work and it's awesome. We had a great meeting yesterday. The Auxiliaries are actually pretty well put together. The only thing that's really missing that I see, is young men... there's not that many and the leadership for them is a little not there yet. But, it'll get there.
Less Active put a picture of Jesus on the door, but we knocked anyway!
There's another investigator that's a part member, Brother Johnny Caballero. His family is all members, but they're like kinda less active, but they sometimes come to church, so we're not really sure. He's been to church twice so far, but not yesterday. SAYUNG! However, we've set him a goal date for Sept. 21 for Baptism. So we're hoping and praying for that day.
Other than that, nothing really happened. We didn't work that much, I've just been spending all day in my study chair reading the scriptures, listening to conference talks, and studying Preach my Gospel like an animal. I'd like to think I'm a PMG scholar already, but I'm not. It's a goal for President for us to become PMG scholars. I will become it.
I'm sorry my letter is short this week. I will make sure that more things will happen this week and I will tell you how my meeting in Bacolod went! We've got a goal to baptize 10 people this month. It's a goal only, but we know that if we do our best and try our hardest and be obedient that the Lord will bless us. We're going really start getting the branch involved in helping us. We received 6 referrals yesterday and so we're really excited about that. One of them is on the island though... so we're sad. But it's okay. We'll get it working! I love this work.
I'm learning to box in my spare time (not!)

 I do have a testimony of this work. I know I don't share it that often. I really do love being a missionary. Sometimes, yeah it's hard and I get down. But isn't that life? Life isn't perfect and tons of trials are going to arrive to us! So this is only a glimpse of what life is going to be. It's crazy to think that Elder Nickell comes home in a month and half. That is just blowing my mind. It's cool though. I'm almost at one year and I"m super stoked! This next year is going to be great. I'm not a new missionary anymore and I'm more experienced and I will know how to speak better and to help people better. With more experience comes better results. I'm very excited. I do know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on the earth. There's no way it's false. There can only be one church that true and it's this one. I taught a 45 minutes on the spot lesson in Gospel Essentials yesterday on faith and it rocked! I think... the Lord was guiding me. I had no preparation, no materials, no manual, my Preach my Gospel was at home. I just had to go from knowledge and the scriptures and it was fantastic! I went from Faith... and moved into the Restoration of the Gospel and it was such a blessing form God that I was able to teach and not be scared. I think it's weird, but actually... I kind of like teaching. I think it's going to be something I have to do in my future. I'm satisfied when I teach, it's sort of weird and it brings me joy. I know Faith is real. We just need to trust our faith and move it and keep pushing and we will receive that witness of truth.
I love you all back home. Keep pushing forward with life and do well in school. I can't believe the twins are Juniors in High School. Just remember, study hard.  I love you guys. Thanks for all the things that y'all send me. Oh... the Krusteaz pancake mix, is... gone. I've eaten it all. Can... you send more please? hehe. That's one for the books to put in any package y'all send me, if I can request that? A syrup like... every 3 packages cause that lasts longer. hehe. Thanks family, y'all are the best. I love you so much and I miss you. Look for picture on President's facebook tomorrow!

Elder Ellis

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