Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving in the MTC

Hey Mom!!! 

Where to start…. so much has happened. Well first of all, Elder Christensen and I are the new  leaders - that's why we are staying a week longer than normal. We are going to meet the new arrivals today, show them the ropes, make them feel welcomed and whatnot. The last package you sent me, with all the food, I’m going to take that to their rooms tonight as a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift basket thing.

It’s really cool, we are pretty much the grey-haired veterans now. Oh and yes, that KSL news report about the MTC was us and I was definitely a part of that. It was amazing! We were making bagged casseroles for children in Utah. Apparently one in five children here miss a meal and go hungry. Our goal was to make 350,000 bags of food... and we made 350,280 bags. It was so amazing! That was probably the first Thanksgiving I got the warm fuzzies in my tummy that weren’t a result from too much gravy. I think they went around and filmed the first group and I was in the second one. But when you watch it, just imagine me holding the bag under the funnel, because that's what I did most of the time. It’s harder than it looks! We were working at lighting speeds. My table alone made over 900 bags! We were only 280 over our goal, so if one table was slacking off then we wouldn't have made it. It’s cool to think about that - everyone worked so hard. Oh, and Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a devotional that day too! As soon as he walked in, everyone got spiritually slapped. You could feel the Spirit fill the room instantly. It’s to be expected from an apostle though. Oh, and last night Elder M. Russell Ballard was supposed to talk, but since it was snowing really hard he couldn't make it so Elder Bruce C. Hafen came instead. He gave a really good talk. 

Well, we have a lot of classes…. just hours and hours of classes – it’s brutal. Elder Christensen and I role play a lot and practice talking to each other for when we have investigators. We're getting pretty good at it. We do the same thing with our teachers. We set appointments with them and teach the persona they take on. Last night was awesome. (I feel the Spirit just thinking of it.) We talked to a TRC investigator yesterday (someone who volunteers to come to the MTC and be taught - they could be a member who is acting, a recent convert, or an actual nonmember). We were supposed to do one last week, but he was a no-show, so this was more or less the first person we taught that wasn’t one of us or our teachers. Anyways, last night we had a woman named Belinda, who has ZERO knowledge about Christianity, doesn't even know who Jesus Christ is or what the Bible is. We talked to her for an hour and, long story short (I’ll supply details later, but I’m being rushed now), we got her to commit to reading the Book of Mormon and to pray too, which is apparently a big deal around here since she is a really hard investigator. I hear only one other companionship had success with her and committed her to do something and the TRC people (I don’t know their official title) were astounded that we got her to do that. But it was easy for the most part! You just have to get to know her! It was really awesome, even though she is probably an actor, but it was still so exciting, Moments like those make all the failures worth it.

Things are really great! I get lonely sometimes, but I always power through. Give my love to the family for me. Tell Gianni to put his tooth under a pillow and tell Stephen to hang in there. I still can’t send pictures so I’ll send them when I’m in the field. Just one more week!

Well, I’m being rushed so we can go do laundry. Love you all!

Love, Elder Ellis

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