Monday, August 18, 2014

8.11.14 New Area + Baptism = Hard Work & Blessings

Hey Everyone. How's it going today? I hope this email finds you well and safe and feeling the spirit. I've been blessed so much this week by the Lord. He's been helping us so much in our work and in our teachings. I've had 2 special experiences that I would like to share this day:
1. During a lesson on Thursday night we were teaching a family. The son, who is 19 years old is the only member and he's super strong. The rest of the family is devoted Catholic, but so is everyone here. During our lesson we were explaining that in order to know the truth they need to read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it. One of the sisters then says," I don't want to read a book and pray about it." She then goes on to say that we are too young, inexperienced kids, and the only thing that people want in life now is money. And me as an american they just look at me like I'm just super stuck up and things and have tons of money. Anyway... my companion and the member that was working with us talked with them for about 20 minutes. Usually I'm the guy to would just try to argue back, but I did something different this time. I just sat and listened closely to what they were saying. The Sister also said that she wants people to be frank about the teaching, eloquent works, and jazzed up lessons. Just almost as to persuade her to join our church, not because of the Holy Ghost, but because of us an missionaries. While they were talking I prayed. I asked God if I can for once be a little bold with this woman and just tell her how it really is, straight up, our church is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, all other churches are false, the whole deal. As soon as I said the Amen, I was overcome with just this feeling of peace and hope. I'm not sure if it was a real voice speaking to me, but almost as if I just heard someone say, "Go for it Elder." When it was mine turn I just opened my mouth and it was literally filled with powerful words and strong testimony. I've never taught so boldly my whole mission or felt like that before. I testified that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and he saw God The Father and the Son and they told him that none of the other churches were true, including the one that this family belongs to and that's why there was a need for a restoration. Then I told them that the Book of Mormon is from God and it's true and the most true book of the earth. Other things were said that I don't remember, I just really remember telling them that their church was false, which I've never done before in my mission, nor would I usually say that, but the spirit said that I could. So, I obeyed. I don't know, it was just an unusual experience that I don't normally have, but it was amazing.
2. I wanted to give an update on the Family that we're teaching. The Narciso Family. The mom is always super busy working from morning until night to provide for their family and the dad takes care of the kids. It's both of their seconds marriages and they're really trying hard to make it in life. I'll actually say this is the MOST GOLDEN family I've ever taught in my mission. I've always wanted to baptize a family, with a kid, not just the parents, and now it's finally going to happen on September 6. We were teaching them yesterday and the mom just goes off on how much she's been searching for the truth. She said that she's been to so many churches, been members or just joined other groups, everything, but all of them were lacking something she said. She said that her son was afraid to go outside and hang out with people, he was bullied during high school and dropped out, but ever since we came and introduced the church to them, he has tons of friends and he's always at the church with the young men for activities and things. Their son even came with me on Splits this past Saturday. While I'm listening to this mother, I'm just thinking about how amazing it is that God has just prepared somebody so much. Almost as if it's fake! I was shocked at how prepared this family was. I'm still shocked. I was so happy yesterday when they all accepted to be baptized on September 6. The mom, dad, and the son who is 15. They have another son who is 7, so he'll just be baptized when he's 8 years old. I introduced the father to the Bishop yesterday and the Bishop was thankful, I don't think many Elder's do that I guess because he complained about it last week, so I just introduced Brother Narciso to Bishop yesterday and he was happy. Sister is making some other friends with the relief society and it's just working out so well. The son is in young men and doing great and has friends! I'm one happy missionary right now.
We had a baptism this past week of Sister Reselle. I baptized her. Then I also baptized the candidate of the Sisters as well. Sister Reselle is 15 and at first didn't want to listen to the missionaries, but she slowly wanted to and now she's a member. Her mom and Sister are members too, they're really cool. We like visiting them. My goal is to go for the dad. That's what I want. I don't have much time left, but I'm going to try to at least get him to church before I go home. He's not super interested, sort of just, belief in God is all you need type deal. We call it, "Dios man gihapon" Which means, it's all just about God. People say that to us all the time like, look we all believe in God, that's all that matters. But, little to they know, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father actually have a church here on the earth that's been established! I love it! ;)

I miss you so much and I hope that you're all having a great week. Elder Reynolds who lives in the house with us goes home this week... which sucks to see, but I'm right behind him. And Garner goes home too this week. I probably won't see him before he leaves the island, unless he's here at the mall for p day, which I don't know. Sorry mom, I didn't take pictures of my house this week, I'll do it next week though and send it to you. This week is transfer week so my companion could get transferred, but we don't think it's likely. He's only been here 4 weeks longer than me so we're both fairly new to the area. Things are going well and we're working hard. I love this work. Sometimes, I don't even want to say goodbye to the work, but life needs to happen. I can't just be single and do nothing with my life for the rest of it. We call it, DO WORK SON!

Love you and miss you all! Have a great week :)
Halong Pirme,
Elder Ellis

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