Wednesday, July 30, 2014

7.27.14 Great Training + Transfer = No Baptisms for Elder Ellis' bday ( Sad)

Dear Weekly Readers ;)
Kamusta na kamo tanan? It's been a good week in the Philippines again. We're just battling the rain every day, typhoons, storms, rain, dogs, crazy people, less actives, angry members, no power sometimes, Bacolod trips, trainings, getting to the mountain in a rain storm just to do sacrament, having 8 investigators at sacrament, trying to do our best given all circumstances, and I'm wasted tired and just want to sleep. But, it's not like my bed is that comfortable anyway, haha, so no real point in doing that. I can sleep when I get home. This week President training was really good. He talked about how God is preparing all the people to receive the message. Not just some people. Why would God only prepare "some" of the people? Why wouldn't He prepare all of them. It made sense after I thought about it for awhile. I just then wonder why everybody doesn't accept the message if they're being prepared. I guess that everybody has their agency. We've still had a pretty good week. I guess you saw the pictures on President's facebook and the video of us teaching. If... you even understood it. haha. 

Tuesday and Wednesday we worked super hard because we knew that we were going to be gone on Thursday and then half of Friday. Tuesday we left as early as we could, and we were just totally wet by 2pm. I was just miserable, but we just continued on the work. I love it though. Nothing better than showing up to their house (investigator), you're totally wet and they're like, you still came even though it's pouring rain. Then I just tell them, "that's how much we love you." They just laugh, but it's true. I've honestly just grown to love some people here. I know they're all children of our Heavenly Father, but it's just weird. I guess nobody could understand unless you've experienced it. You can have tons of trials and things, but when I visit people, I just feel like, everything will just be good, work out, and that these people love me back too ;) It's funny, the Filipinos are just great people. Even with the messed up traditions that they have. It's still cool. We met a school teacher who's just finishing up college and she seems super interested in our message and we spoke some English together. She's the one hiding in the back in that picture that I sent. Wearing blue I think. She was way cool, not shy at all, asked questions during the lesson and everything. I hope our follow up visits are good. We've got another investigator that supposed to be baptized in the coming week, but she just won't come to church now. I think there's a little bit missing in the "upstairs" if you know what I mean. Whenever we ask questions she'll start talking about the answer for about 3 seconds, then it ends up with her husband just fell over a rock the other day and her daughter is doing good in school, and they want to go somewhere in a couple days to go do something, it's just really weird. I don't enjoy it, just no spirit because she takes it away! Oh well, just something we'll work on I suppose. She hasn't come to church the past 3 weeks though. Every time we ask where she was it's just weird different reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

Wednesday we were punted up in the mountain in Tampalon, however, we found a cool new family that we started teaching. Not married however, so that's a bummer!!!!! Always happens! It's pretty rough. We found a pentecostal investigator and I don't know much about them actually. I've never taught one, nor studied their doctrine like the other churches. We taught the dad on Wednesday then went back and taught his daughter on Saturday. She's a baptist! We were like... so why are you different from your dad. She said, "Well they're pretty much the same". That just goes to show you how much they know about their religions or at least about those 2 religions. Of what I DO know, they're not similar... at all. Her brother in law is a pastor of the pentecostal church, when we gave her the Book of Mormon, she like, "I'm going to read this to the pastor". We said, "Go AHEAD". So, we'll see what happens. 

Our 2 days in Bacolod were really nice. The ZL's have a truck and they next to us, so we just rode with them. It was free because he somehow clowned someone into filling it up at the office. haha. So that was a plus. Elder De Vera (Wilsteads companion when they were AP's) he goes home in 2 weeks. He's our ZL with Elder Parry (from Lehi). They're way cool. We listened to Bruce R. McConkie talks on the way up. I don't know how much to actually take as doctrine that the church supports or if like, everything he says is true. Because I've heard quite a few things he has said been contradicted by another apostle or something. So I don't know. Same thing with Mormon Doctrine, the preface says that it's according to the things that he's studied and according to what he's learned. But his talks are still really good. We got to eat some food and do a little shopping. That night we had our training and I already told you about that. Hope you really like our video ;)haha. Not prepared for that at all. 
Zone Training

Elder Merciales & Ellis

Friday and Saturday the rain just continues. I love it! Washing my pants every night isn't my favorite, but it's alright, just the sacrifice we've got to make ;) Saturday we found another awesome family! They're a born again family, I think the mom is the only active one though. We met them on Wednesday though, just while walking by. We walk by again on Saturday to go to a different family that we were planning on visiting, then the dad calls out to us! ELDERS! So we go and teach his family! The have 4 kids, married, their daughter is a college student, so we met her because she was visiting, but usually she's not there I guess. We gave her a Book of Mormon to take with her back to her boarding house. We'll give them family one when we go back on Wednesday or Thursday. We've found some good people up there. 

Sunday I was the one who went up to do the special sacrament. Nobody from the bishopric came with us, just me and Brother Whenie the Recent Convert. There's one other priest up there in this group. So when we got there, I was like, who's presiding? Turns out... I would be I guess. I conducted, passed the sacrament, blessed the sacrament, chorister of the music, and presided. Weird huh? Only once in a life that happens I guess! Right when we finished sacrament there was a wind/rain storm. We couldn't leave the house! For 2 hours! And then we had to get back down the mountain and back to the church for a fireside. I was a speaker about the Book of Mormon. I think it was really good and they liked it. We were doing it for Recent Converts and for Investigators, but none of our investigators came, only Recent Converts and other members. It's okay I guess though, it was mission accomplished. Then we just went and worked a little bit after that and it was fun ;) Loving the Philippines!

Love you guys! Hope y'all have a great week! I'm going to kick it here for 9 more weeks ;) Halong kamo pirme!
Elder Ellis

7.21.14 Kabankalan Ward + Tampalon area= FUN for me!

Dear Friends and Family,

10! (That's how many more weeks) Weird to think about, but it's honestly the thing that's pushing me to do more work and work harder. Next week I'll be hitting single digits. Crazy. I honestly don't know what to put in my emails anymore. I just have the same thing to say every week, just different people and different places. So, I'm sorry if y'all have just gotten super sick and tired of me emailing you. 

We've been working with this man, named Brother Gordavilla. He's over 60 years old, hair longer than Ashlyn's, has been smoking since he was 9 years old, and he now knows that it's not good. He's super skinny, poor, and doesn't know what to do, till we came along. Yesterday we taught him a lesson, I was actually with a member, not my companion, we did splits so that we could cover more area. I worked with Whenie. Our recent convert. He already wants to serve a mission and stuff. We just had a really good lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the doctrine of Christ) and focused on Baptism. He's never been baptized he said, not even into the Catholic church. At least that he can remember is what he said, so we invited him and excepted a date for Aug. 30. He then went on telling us that he doesn't think that he can quit smoking, but Whenie just bore his testimony because Whenie had a smoking problem too and was up to 20 sticks a day. So Brother now has hope and we're going to help him. But I just promised him if he prays and comes to church, God will help him. He can't read, but he can write his name. So he can't read the Book of Mormon or anything we give him. But we've read with him. His wife can't read without glasses, and she doesn't have any. So neither of them can do much if we're not there. I guess that's just going to be a focus for us now. He's way cool. I won't give up on him. 

My companion and I have literally just started tracting pretty much any where we go. They call it OYM (Open Your Mouth) it's like the new word for "tracting". They like to disguise it... but really it's called, "tracting". We don't have to knock on doors, because most people have them open during the day or they're outside doing something, so it's not just knocking on doors, but it's just talking to people. A lot of people just say, "Oh you're talking about God, here I'll listen". Then in the end they say you can come back! GREAT! Then you go back and they're like, ah, Brothers we're really just Catholic, but thanks. Or whatever else. It's alright now, there's always got to be someone willing to except the message everyday. We found some families this week. A new family in Tampalon that seemed interested, but it sucks when you find out they're not married, one had a previous husband so it's impossible to get married, and that means they can't be baptized. So, it's sort of like a catch 22. We teach them, if they want to be baptized, they can't. However, if we drop them, we just gave up on someone who could possible enter the Kingdom of God. Life's rough. In Tampalon there's tons of people that aren't married, I would say most. Since it's in the mountains they just don't care, they're like, we could do all the work to get married, or just live together, it's free, and... it's just the same thing. So, that's pretty much it. A ton more people would be baptized in the Philippines if they made divorce legal. President is all for it. However, the Catholic's I guess don't believe in it..? If you marry someone, you're stuck with that person. But... they didn't think about the "what ifs" and things like that I guess. The Government has been trying to pass it for awhile, but it keeps getting shot down by a ton of people I guess. I don't know... it hurts our work, but nothing that we can't handle i guess. 
We're super busy every Sunday and nobody listen's to us. They hold 3 sacraments at the same time and only 2 of us Elders. We've asked for one to switch to after church, but they told us no, then ask us to come with them, and we have to say no. Oh well. I've adapted the culture and am super just laid back now when things don't go my way. Nothing I can do about it, so... why worry? Don't! haha. 
We got so wet, but Sister Lucerna took care of us!

Sharing the same birthday!

Investigator Family

We should be having some baptisms coming up on my birthday I think. I don't know if they'll go through, but we're just hoping for the best. You never know here... We found a cool river in Tampalon to baptize them in, WATERFALL, so we'll see how that goes. The way to get to it would be hard to old people, but it's way cool. The water is a little sketchy, but it's a river ;) So, it's clean. 

Sorry not a super long email, just going to keep it short, email President, then go to lunch. Nothing really going on today that exciting. This zone is pretty boring... I'm tired of putting on fun activities, but nobody in this zone would even want to come. So, just hang out on p day, do laundry... do the rest of the stuff. Love you guys! Have a great week!
Elder Ellis

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

7.13.14 Stay Focused and Good Things Will Happen!

Dear Family and Friends,
How is everyone doing this week? I hope y'all are doing great and that y'all are safe and stuff. I see that your vacations are going well! ;) I'm glad that y'all are just relaxing and stuff. I just keep telling myself I can rest when I'm dead. This week has just been tons of work. I'm super tired. I'm glad there's such thing as a P-day... but still, we can't sleep on p day, but at least we get to sit and "relax" which is just getting all the other stuff done. Cleaning and preparing for the week. Last week we played basketball. It's the first time I've played since La Carlota Zone, which was about 2 months ago. But it wasn't as fun as it was in La Carlota Zone, not many people play basketball in this zone. The areas are also too far away that they don't want to play that often. All is well though. Then we had a dinner appointment at a family that their son is an RM. Their family is pretty cool. He came home from his mission, his girlfriend waited for him, they got married in the temple and now they're continue their life as poor college, working students, but their super happy. That's the blessings of serving a mission I guess and just being active in the church doing everything that you're supposed to do. 

Tuesday we worked in Tampalon. It's an hour drive away and we take a jeepney to get there. It's far, but the area is going alright. I was reading in the Liahona this week about the work in South America and how they went from having only a few baptisms in the beginning, but now look at South America and the place is insanely growing still at super fast rates. So that was just inspiration to me about this area that we've opened up. It'll be hard for a few years, but once it gets going well and working well and they can support themselves, there will be more baptisms to come! We teach about 10 lessons every time that we go to this area. All investigators. It's rough just because there's no church yet. They just meet at the house of one of the members there. Many people see that as the issue, but it doesn't matter where you hold church. The actually building is just the blessing of progress, but you've got to start somewhere. They've all seen the actual church here in Kabankalan though, so they know what the potential is. They think we're just super rich... which, the church sort of is, but they just think all Mormons are rich. They're shy to come to church because they're poor or what not. It's always interesting to explain that most of the members are poor too, but the commandments that we live come from God and he blesses us enough to always be able to live, eat, and have extra sometimes as well. I was reading about that with the Law of Consecration. Not only our needs, but even our wants can be taken care of. It just shows that God doesn't only give you small blessings, but if you really open, he'll give you an abundance of blessings. Room enough that we can't receive it. (3 Ne 24:10). Even though it's about tithing, we can apply it to everything else as well.
Nanay Flor. We're going to baptize her on August 2nd (my b-day)

Wednesday we had our zone training meeting since it's the start of the new month... well sort of. Last Wednesday was transfer day, so our meeting got moved to this week. It was good. It's sort of a lot of the same stuff, just reminding us to continue in the things we do. I mean, there are newer missionaries and others who having heard some of the things that are taught, so it's good. After that we ate some lunch and went to work. Lo and behold, it rained! Hooray. Our day was still successful. We don't teach a lot of investigators here in the proper area. All of investigators are in Tampalon, which is super rough for working here in the proper area. So we're going to try and find some here in the proper area. It's just so big, we don't know where to focus at first... so it's something we're still trying to figure out. Here in the proper we've been trying to focus on less actives and recent converts and in Tampalon getting baptisms. There's just so many less actives right now and we're trying to split the ward, so the less actives are really needed if we're going to have success in splitting and then having good attendance. There's tons of problems with less actives and most of it is just pure laziness. It's like a slap in the face... haha. Love it.

This is how we eat in the Philippines ;) Put all the food in the middle and GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Budol Fight!
Thursday we worked in a different area called Ilog. It's a huge place! It's actually the former capital city, way back when, before Bacolod. But, there's no church there or anything. It's now just a municipality. It's not too expensive to get to the church here in Kabankalan for them though, so it's reasonable. We have a new family that we're teaching and the dad is a faith healer, which is complete witchcraft. We don't teach the dad, only the daughter and the mom. They seem super interested, but it's just like oh your message is about God so we'll listen sort of deal. I'm just going to start inviting everyone I see to be baptized so that this never happens again. I'm sick of it. We're here to baptize people, not just help them know Jesus more... which is actually true, but there's a bigger purpose. So we're trying!
They mock me....even in the Philippines!

Friday we went back to Tampalon and we were met with more success there! We found some other families. The hours are really messed up there because if we don't leave by 4, we'll never get home because of the jeep and tricycle schedule. So we just do our best with the time that we're given there. The members there always come with us to our teaching appointments. They are all super excited to have the work in their progress. They're still way young in the gospel, but It'll progress eventually. I won't see it, but years to come, I can see this place being awesome!

Saturday morning we had a great activity to help the ward missionaries and the full time missionaries to get together, bond and have a training. We trained on helping them with teaching investigators, not just bearing their testimony, but actually helping in the teaching as well. So we did some practice teaching too, I have it on video. Super funny. You won't be able to understand when I play it for you, but it's just funny the things they say. I can only imagine what I said when I was a new missionary. We just worked the rest of the day! ;) Successful! No baptism this week, but hopefully soon...

Sunday was a mess. They've started a new sacrament in Lupni. It's an area that's also ours. So that's 3 sacraments that we now do. And...2  of us. They did the Lupni and here in Kabankalan at the same time... And the one in Tampalon Elder Mercials and a ward missionary went to do, so I had a ward missionary as my companion. So we couldn't be at 2 places at once. I don't know what they think sometimes. They do it without thinking about the missionaries. We'd like to be at both and invite our investigators... but they just want to bring up the attendance so budget will increase and they can split the ward, not thinking about investigators or things like that in mind. I don't know. We'll go to that one next week I guess. 

So... that's a wrap up of my week! ;) We're super super super busy. I don't have time to think, which is perfect right now actually. I can't get trunky. Which I'm just counting this as a tender mercy from the Lord. Pushing forward everyday. I hope that all y'all are doing great! Keep enjoying your summer. Hope you're not burned out by the time that I get home in September so that we can still have some fun! haha. I know the work is true and the book is blue! May you ever keep going and pushing forward in reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Blessings are awaiting you!
Elder D. Blakeman Ellis

7.6.14 Transferred....back to the same area!

Sa Akong Barkada,

WHAT'S UP EVERYONE! I hope that y'all are doing good. I know some of you heard that I got transferred last week, which is true. I got transferred to the other side of the city, then found out that our areas are actually just being combined! So now we've got a huge area. Elder Merciales is my new companion. His old companion was Elder 'Iloa and my companion transferred, so now we just got put together and all is well I suppose. I'm also the new district leader. The zone leaders got moved to a different area, they just opened up a new area in the mountains about 40km's south of here in Candoni, the first missionaries there and they did the first sacrament ever yesterday up there and there was 19 in attendance! They had 8 investigators. President Lopez was in attendance as well. The 19 includes some kids too of the investigators they had, but still, that's a pretty cool start I think. I want to do exchanges up there some day, it'll be way cool. Which I'll actually get the opportunity to since I'm the district leader. Then I have 2 sisters in my district, one from Arizona, she's been out about 10 months I think and her companion who is from Marikina, which is up in Manila, she'll go home with my batch. So she's almost done. 80 days! ;) haha. 12 Weeks, that's super crazy. I've got 12 more chances to get a baptism. That's it. I've got to work harder and get these people baptized. I have a personal goal to baptize 10 more people before I go home. Then the other Elders are from an area that's up north, Himamaylan. There's Elders there. So that makes 8 in my district. So it's better than the other districts that I use to have of 4 Elders and things that made district meeting no fun at all! But we're going to be good.
This week we've finally had a miracle performed!!!! After all the hard work that we've put in to try and get Jemma baptized and her mom saying no, then we just got bold with her last week like I told y'all and just said, Sister, you've got to decide, not your mom. You're a big girl, you can do it if you want to. So she prayed about it, got an answer and then on Tuesday morning she texted us and said she wants to be baptized on Saturday! ;) BOOM! So luckily there was already a baptism planned for the sisters so we just told our ward mission leader to add a name to the list. The cool thing is that President was invited by the sisters because they were baptizing a former pastor, President likes being invited and talking to them and stuff, so he was just there already, so it was just a bonus I guess. 
Jemma Denopol, 21 years old, oldest of 7 kids. She lives here, but when she returns to her home, she'll be able to bring the gospel to them ;)))))

We went to the Lumacad Family on Tuesday morning because we were transferring and then when we said goodbye Sister Lumacad was in tears... like just bawling that we were both leaving at the same time. Usually it's just one at a time, but she was shocked that both of us were going. I didn't tell her when I got back to Kabankalan that I was still here, but I waited to visit them. Then when she saw me she was super shocked and was super happy. haha. We had a fireside on Saturday before the baptism and she was our speaker since she's a recent convert... but she told the whole story. Then I was just laughing. She said, "Then Elder Ellis transferred, but then he came back, so it's all okay now" The whole room was just laughing. It's nice to know that I'm a bit loved here. I think this is the only place that has ever really like me back. San Carlos people liked me too. I really like Kabankalan though, it's nice!
So, I'll tell you about the new part of my area. It's super far!!!! Love it! We do a special sacrament in a place called Tampalon. It's about an hour away from Kabankalan and we have to go every Sunday after church here, we usually split with members so that I can work and here and Elder can work there since he knows the people better, that's what we did yesterday. There's about 20 members up in the mountain, but we have a TON of investigators that we're teaching too. We work there like maybe 2 or 3 days a week and we're really trying to build it up and apply for a group. After that, we can build it up and then apply for a branch. Once it becomes a branch, they can build a meeting house. But it won't happen in my time here. I've just got to prepare the area for all this to happen. The first elders that went up there to start the sacrament, was Elder Edem (my old comp) and Elder Allam (I was his zone leader in San Carlos). So they had some good missionaries. The lack right now is Men. The only way it's going to grow is if we focus on men so that the future can have a good foundation. The last 2 elders baptized a few children, which is good for the kingdom of God after this life, but for the future of the area, just a little lacking on the actual focus. It's hard to get man baptized because they're usually busy, not interested, or in tune with the spirit, but I know that God can help us fulfill what we're needed to do in this area. I'm super happy to be here. When I was on the other side, I was like ah, Tampalon sucks, I never wanted to do exchanges with them to go up there, but now that it's my area, I like it and I want to go there. haha. 
The flood! There was no other way to get to our investigators house to teach her, but take off the shoes and suck it up ;)

Family Home Evening @ Cornelio Family again ;)

The Mom and Dad of all missionaries in Kabankalan Ward, but we never get to go visit because they're not in our area, but on transfer days we can go and say goodbye, so we went and they fed us breakfast and we said goodbye... little did any of us know that I was going to come back.

This week we've found some cool new families, I like it. I really want to just baptize a whole family, mom, dad, and kids. I've done mom and dad and the kids underage, but I would love to baptize just a whole good big family. We've found one right now, unfortunately, they're not married, so that's just a whole mess. I hate how when you find people willing to listen and accept the message, there's always a problem. Either not married or had a previous husband so they CAN'T get married, just tons of problems with marriage here. The area recently just changed the rule so that papers need to be done with the city hall if they're not married something that costs money, and most people aren't willing to spend money just to get papers signed when they can just live like they are and it's okay and they're poor anyway they say. I don't know, it's hard, but still fun.
I watched a video at our ward fireside called, "Called to Serve". I guess it was made in the 90's. I've never seen it before, but I really loved it. It had pictures of the MTC and stuff and interviews of other missionaries and missionary mom's and dad's. It was a good video and really got me thinking. I really love being here. It's going to be SUPER hard to leave. I know sometimes I talk like I don't like it, or I'm excited to come home, but the people I've met, been able to help, bring into the church and into the kingdom of God, I'm really going to miss it. I'm going to miss the people so much. I've gotten so close with some of the members here just knowing (or hoping) that this is my last area. I've been just making memories and getting close with them. I love this area. It's super nice. I was super bummed when I was getting transferred, but super happy when they told me I was coming back, only angry that I had to go 2 hours away for them to tell me to turn around and go back and move to the house over. All is well though. I wouldn't give up this opportunity for all the world! ;) I love being a missionary. I'll miss it for sure. I know the church is true now. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know the Priesthood power is real. I know that we have prophets and apostles that guide the WORLD! I know that this is God's work. Nobody can stop it from progressing! I know that God answers prayers and fasting. Just the baptism we had on Saturday was a miracle. I love it!

I love you and miss you guys so much. Y'all are always in my heart!
Did you read your Book of Mormon today? I did.
Elder Ellis

Friday, July 4, 2014

6.30.14 It's Raining, It's Pouring!

Dear Friends and Family,
District Meeting

Good-bye Sister Buban
"Another Sunny Day has come and gone away"... But I'm not coming home yet. I don't know if y'all know that song. Just by my favorite Country Artist. haha. I love you guys. How's everybody doing right now? I hope all y'all are doing better than I am. It's been another rough week, not too bad though, just TONS of rain. It's rained every single day without a doubt and it completely destroys our work. When we teach the rain hits the tin roofs and they can't hear us, we can't hear them, and then we're all confused by the end of lessons. Our umbrellas aren't the large so the complete lower half of our body gets soaked. Yesterday it rained from 3pm-9pm straight hard rain like a typhoon, but no wind. We were up in the mountains and walking home was like walking in a river. We finally found a tricycle and then even then the tricycle was getting buried in the water that was on the road and we were just super wet. Luckily we were on our way home though, so it wasn't too bad. I'm not going to complain or anything about it. Just a good experience I guess. I'll count it as a blessing. I like having fun and fun moments. Things that would never happen back home, I just laugh and enjoy the moments! ;) Yellow power ranger go!

Alright, well, I'll get the sad stories over for the week. I know I'm only supposed to write uplifting things and such, but I've been writing about this one family for weeks now and I thought I'd give you an update rather than not telling you. The Trumpita Family dropped us this week. After last week they accepted a date for baptism for Aug. 2, and they were super stoked about it and everything. The Dad wanted to quite smoking and mom wanted to go to church with the family and everything. On Wednesday when we went back to visit nobody was home, but the dad and he said, "Brothers, we're not going to go to your church or read your bible because it's forbidden." I mean, if I was to translate it, that's it. We didn't know why or what he really meant. There's a member that lives next door, the one who gave us the referral for them, she said that she would talk to them and let us know how it went. I'm super bummed about it because they were doing so well and reading and stuff, I just don't know what happened. Our guess is that a less active or something talked to them about the church or something. We don't know.

Next sad story; No matter how many times we discuss Authority or the apostasy to the Artisano family, it just doesn't seem to stick. I mean, we're talking about the mom here, she's the super like active listener in the whole group. So this week we just got up the courage and committed them to be baptized. The neighbor that always comes in our lesson, Bro. Jonel, said yes without any hesitation. The mom was like, I've already been baptized into my church. The funny thing is and I can't figure it out is why she doesn't go to her church. She's been to our church 3 times now, so it's just super funny. We invited her and she was super hesitant and said, well no. Then we said, Sister you remember the authority thing? She said yes... then we said, well, the authority was brought back during the restoration. I guess she can't wrap her head around the concept of the Priesthood, which nobody can really her. However, by the end we were like, well sister if you find out that it's church through your prayers, will you be baptized. Then she said yes. We always ask how her prayers are and things and no matter how many times we commit her to pray about our message she just won't do it. From my perspective, she's afraid to find out that her church is wrong because that means that she has to join our church. She just thanks God for the word or God and that God is loving and good. She's a born again Christian. Very nice women and I love her to death. I just don't know what more I can do or even my companion that will help her understand. We've gone slowly, very slowly over it, read from the bible and the Book of Mormon about how they help each other, she said the Book of Mormon is true because it's about God. But hasn't prayed about it or anything, just because it's about God it's good. So frustrating sometimes. Anyway, they all came to church last week and we invited them again for this week, and they didn't come! We don't know why and we thing maybe we scared them when we invited them to be baptized, but at least we know now if that was going to be the result in the end then at least we can focus our work somewhere else for a little bit instead of focusing on people that have no desire to progress. I don't know, just a bit rough really right now in finding and teach. And the rain is not helping one bit.
Gemma and Gennevibe are doing well. They always come to church and read the Book of Mormon and keep all commitments that we extend to them. The talked to their mom finally last week and the mom said no. So Gemma is 21 years old so it doesn't matter what mom says about her. Right now it's about her own choice and if she wants to risk it or not. I told her to personally go for it. It's for a good cause and she can be the bridge to the rest of the family for the gospel. Y'all know I was always a risk taker. haha. However, for her younger sister who is only 11, we said, just live the lifestyle of a member of the church. Even though she can't be baptized, she can still live the principles of the gospel. So there's the status of them.

Since members aren't super good at giving us referrals in our area we decided to try doing a lot of finding this week on our own by just walking up and down the streets (very few actual streets) but we would just talk to everyone that we saw that was sitting on the side of the road just hanging out. I just wonder why when we aren't looking to talk to every sitting on the road, there are tons of people on the road doing nothing. The day that we wanted to talk to everyone that was sitting on the side of the road, nothing. Nobody was outside. There was a funeral that everybody was attending of one of the neighbors. WAAY KLARO! Oh well, that's life. I just accept it and move on.

I've been doing some really good personal study this week. I'm in the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon right now. I never realized how much he testified of the Book of Mormon and the restoration. I guess just a lack of understand for other religions, but it's pretty clear in the Book of Mormon Isaiah chapters. It also says in the footnotes that there are tons of differences in the Book of Mormon "Isaiah" and the Bible "Isaiah". Too bad the whole world doesn't believe the Book of Mormon because it's a lot simpler to understand if you ask me than reading it from the bible. Oh well. I realized the humor in the Book of Mormon when they're talking 2 Nephi Ch. 29 about saying the Bible comes from the Jews. It's just funny how they're talking about how much the Gentiles hate the Jews yet they believe the words that they wrote and not from their own people, the Gentiles. Just a kicker that I find funny in the Book of Mormon. I know that the Lord has a sense of humor and that's why people who say that you need to be 100% serious all the time in the mission are a joke because you can see in the prophets and apostles that they joke as well. Obviously it's appropriate joking and jokes, not bad things, but you get what I mean. 
FHE with the Lumacad Family

Well, that's my weekly report. I hope that all is going well with y'all there! We're going to work hard this week on finding new investigators because our others are obviously not working out right now so we need some new ones! I love you guys and hope that y'all are having a good week! Have fun at girls camp! Go kill it! I miss camping so much!!!!!! I sometimes feel like I'm camping here though... but still, I have a roof. I want a tent sometimes ;) In the mountains, next to a river. Love it! Have a great week! It's transfer week, so who knows what could happen! I don't think I'll transfer though, I just got here! Love you guys!

Elder Ellis