|At the Medford, Oregon Temple|
Okay... so I'm just going to start this email off with something pretty heavy. Brace yourselves because I have a mild confession to make. My companion, Elder Haynie, and I might of been an accessory to a drug deal.... but it was completely accidental! Allow me to explain. Elder Haynie and I were riding our bikes around 7:00 pm, and we had no set appointments and were thinking of who we could see. Then a Hispanic gentlemen rides up next to us on his bike and we strike up a conversation. His name was Juvano, and he said he couldn't talk to us for long since he was on his way home and he had to carry two bags back on his bike. So, us being the stupid but service-loving missionaries that we are, offered to carry one of the bags to his house so we could talk on the way. He cheerfully agreed and Elder Haynie grabbed a bag and we started following him and talking. Well we quickly learned he just got out of jail.... which wasn't fun for us to discover. But we brushed it off and assured ourselves that he definitely needed the Gospel in his life. So we start talking about the name Mormon and where we got the name from, and we told him about the Book of Mormon and he seemed fairly interested. When we got to his house he told us to wait outside and he went in. As soon as he went inside the smell of drugs and cigarette smoke hit us like a freight train... So we were just standing there... reflecting on the potentially bad decision we just made. Elder Haynie looked at the bag, and asked me what I thought was inside, and I told him not to look! If we didn't know what was inside, then we couldn't be held accountable! So Juvano came back out, grabbed the bag and said there was someone who wanted to talk to us. He sent out his friend, Josiah, to talk to us. The conversation was short but to the point. He called us Jehovah Witnesses, yelled at us and slammed the door. We just stood there, telling ourselves that there was no way that just happened! Well a couple of days later we were talking to one of our less active members we're teaching named Y*****, who also happens to be one of the six police officers in Crescent City. We asked him if he knew a Juvano and Josiah and he told us he had arrested them a couple of times and they have a history of drug use. So we told him what happened and (after laughing at us for being so easily played) told us we need to be more careful. So the moral of the story is that sometimes a missionary's desperate desire to help becomes idiotic. Oops.
Well on a brighter note, I was able to attend the Medford temple on Thursday, and it was a really awesome. The temple is so tiny and adorable - I just want to pick it up and put it in my pocket and take it home. We met some Elders there from the Eugene Oregon Mission and I forgot to ask them if they know an Elder Blair! I also got to go to a surprise party and help out with that, and a baby shower in the same day. So that was pretty awesome. I've never been to a baby shower before.... Lots of women there talking about stuff that was way over my head and trying to guess baby food flavors... I just summarized the whole thing right there. We tried talking to people but of course no one was focused on what we had to say.
Well we just taught M***** again yesterday. We're almost done with all the lessons he has to have before he can get baptized. We're so close! I'm so excited! K*****, another one of our young investigators, is also super close. He really wants to see a baptism before he's comfortable setting a date though so we will take him to M******'s. We also talked with D*****, another person we're teaching, but it seems to be going nowhere. She just doesn't understand repentance and doesn't understand a broken heart and contrite spirit. I feel like everything we say just bounces off her. I don't know what's going to happen there.
Well, mom, thanks for the package! The cookies are really good. Probably my favorite part about it. I can't believe every thing that's happening back home. So much is happening and my life is on pause for 2 years, it's just a weird feeling.
Well I love you all! Try not to be too critical of the fact that I accidentally became a hardened criminal out here.
Love, Elder Ellis