Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 14th--Conference in the Philippines

Dear Friends and Family,
I must say that I was very impressed with the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. That was by far my favorite session of all of General Conference. I encourage you to read it over again. I will do it when my Liahona from the mission comes. We get a free one each month! :) In English! It's weird to think that on my mission I will watch 4 general conference's and since I've been on my mission I've already watched 3! Even though I went to the MTC right before conference, so it's not like I have a short amount of time still, haha, but it's just funny to think about. It's totally a different experience watching conference as a missionary though, that's for sure. This upcoming week is the mission tour with Elder Nielson of the 70. I don't think I announced over my email that Elder Anderson of the 12 is coming on November 2. I'm super stoked for that one! This week we'll spend 2 nights in Bacolod. Wednesday night and Thursday night, because we need to be there Wednesday night because the mission tour starts on Thursday morning, then Thursdaynight because all the zone leaders will have a meeting with Elder Nielson after mission tour. It's pretty cool and I'm more than excited for the after meeting.
Monday we did our P day and normally we just have a normal p day, but we wanted to do something a little different. We went to a place called people's park and took pictures. It's a way cool place right on the beach. There's a swimming pool and one of the members is a lifeguard there. It's a nice place and tells a little bit about the history of San Carlos. It's like 5 pesos to walk in I think, but it was worth it and we got to take some cool pictures. Then that night we just packed and got ready for our exchanges with the Assistants on Tuesday.

People's Park
Tuesday we woke up and went to Bacolod to meet with the AP's (Assistants to the President) for our exchange. It usually will happen every other transfer. So we just met them at the mission office and then from there we went back to their apartment and got ready for our exchange. We had a little planning session and then out the door we went. I worked with Elder Doane! Do you remember him? He was in my Victorias house with me and was my Zone Leader for a transfer in Cadiz Zone. It was good to work with him. He's super good at Illango. That was interesting going back and trying to teach in Illango. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I still understand and the gift of tongues is still a real gift! So we actually taught a lot of people. There area is all city and it has tons of people and the members are great and they give tons of referrals and they have tons of people and members help them in their efforts. It's a super established ward. I'm rather jealous, but it's super hot in Bacolod so I count my blessings. We taught 4 lessons to investigators and I actually was able to teach 2 lessons completely in English. That's how cool it is in Bacolod. They use English Book of Mormon, English pamphlets and people understand it. That night we closed our day and talked about the exchange and just broke down how we can do better in San Carlos Zone. It was good.

AP Exchanges
Wednesday we came back to San Carlos and it took a super long time because the road from Bacolod to San Carlos, the shortcut road, there's a long way too, it had been damaged a ton because of a storm that swept thru. There was so many mud slides and things that happened and the road is okay, but the side of the road are not, so it was super sketchy, but still pretty as usual. That drive has to be world famous. It's so nice. It's not even on the map though, that's how cool of a drive it is. I have a map of Negros Occidental and Oriental and it's not found on the map. It's way awesome! Then I got ready for another exchange with San Carlos Branch 1 Elder's.
Thursday I worked with Elder Garcia in Branch 1. Elder Shaffer, his companion, worked in our area in Branch 2. Elder Garcia and I taught some new less actives that they had found and went and visited some members and taught them too. They still have the same investigators that aren't progressing and there are tons of problems, just being shy and being offended. Super funny. I love offended members, they're my favorite to talk to because I pretty much make fun of them while talking to them and they realize how stupid they're being because usually the thing they're offended by is something completely random and dumb. So once they realize that, then they just laugh at themselves. For the most part. We taught a less active the plan of salvation. For some reason on Sunday I put 2 pieces of chalk in my bag. On Thursday when I'm at this LA's house I realize she has a huge concrete wall... that's her house. Concrete. So I drew the plan of salvation on her wall in chalk and taught it to her at the same time. She was totally fine with it and it was an amazing lesson! She was totally stoked on it. Even though she's less active and all, she still know/remembered some of the stuff, so that's okay. 
Chalk Talk
Friday we got up and got ready and did our weekly planning session for the next week. We had no food in the house because we didn't buy an on Monday because we knew we were going to be in Bacolod with week so we wanted to save our money to eat in Bacolod. So... I lost 4 lbs. this week. DIET! haha. Then we went to Sipaway Island! It's an island right off the coast of San Carlos City. I encourage you to google earth it. It's way cool! We got to ride a pump boat with is like the boat Elder Groberg rides in Other side of Heaven, but I'm willing to bet mine was worse. haha. Elder Sobreviga went there last week while I was in Bacolod doing fingerprinting so we went and followed up with all the people that he found there and taught them the restoration again. It was a good day and the island is way beautiful. Tons of beaches and things. There's a concrete road that goes all the way around it. It's a pretty big island actually, bigger than you'd expect. There's a recent convert named Melissa. She's originally from Sipaway and we're teaching all the family out there. We just need some people from there to come to church here, be baptized, and then we can do a special sacrament out there on the island and then grow the kingdom that way. It should be way good. We'll just let the Branch worry about all the details and we'll just get them to come to church first. 
Going to Sipaway


Saturday was a great day. I invited Elder Wilstead and Elder Pulsipher over and their companions obviously for Conference Breakfast! We just wanted to do something that was American because it was all our traditions to do sort of a breakfast thing back home. So I made pancakes, Elder Wilstead made 24 eggs, and Elder Pulsipher made 2 packs of Bacon. It was honestly the best thing we've decided to do in awhile and totally hit home. It was delicious! Conference was then just amazing! I'm super excited to re read it again.

American Conference Traditions
Sunday was more of conference and then we went to Canlaon to do an interview for baptism for them. Then came home. We taught Roberto and his wife about the Restoration. I swear that guy forgets stuff soooo fast. What's a prophet?... no clue. ugh... you knew last week. And we found out he drank a shot. GREAT! So, then we explained that's bad and he knows it's bad. We were super just bold and told him that's super bad, especially now that he's baptized. Repentance lesson here we come.

This week's been good and busy. This next week is going to be even busier. Also, they're putting sisters here in San Carlos. They're going to split our areas! So San Carlos One will have 2 sisters and we will have 2 sisters. The San Carlos 1 Elders are going to move to our apartment. That's going to be fun! haha. And then I found a house last week for the sisters to live. I guess you can call me the house finder, because that's number 2 I've found in the mission for missionaries. It's pretty fun actually. Sister's are going to be weird... I've never really had Sisters in my zone... I did in Cadiz, but they weren't in my district. Now they'll be serving in my branch with us. We'll have 2 separate areas though that we cover so it'll be okay. 

I miss you all back home. I hop you know that. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts that you throw my way. I know this work is true and I will work as hard as I can especially the next 11 months! "Leaving it all on the court". I love you. 

Elder Ellis

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