Monday, March 31, 2014

Blitzes and Walking Away from Rap

Hello mother and beloved associates!

I'm so glad everything is starting to work out! And it only took a little under a year! What stellar progress!

Well I'm doing pretty well myself. I'm sooo pumped for General Conference! If a mission was like school, and p-day was recess, then General Conference would be field-day!

I already told Gianni to be on the look-out for a family I am teaching called the Amados. This family is related to the Seventy, Elder Carlos H. Amado, who is suppose to speak at conference. Elder Kimball and I are teaching the Amado's son and Brother Amado's girlfriend. J*****, the son, wants to get baptized but his mom won't let him, so that's the only problem there. We've taught A***** the first lesson and she's really interested so we'll see what happens there. Well I digress. The point is that the Amado family said they were going to General Conference to see Elder Amado speak. I think that is so cool! So if you happen to be there and miraculously see them, go say hi! They are such a wonderful family.

Well I believe I'm going to watch Conference at a members' home... If not, I'll see it at the Stake Center. I'm super excited. We're promised that if we watch conference with a question in mind, our question will be answered. So I'm definitely going to take that offer and go with it!

To answer your questions, Mom,  I don't really talk much with my old companions. The only reason that I know Elder Whittingslow is returning to the mission field is because I talked to him on Facebook. Since he is not presently a missionary, that's acceptable. We can't use Facebook to talk to other missionaries in our mission. I haven't talked with Elder Christensen (my MTC companion) since after my first transfer, and that was only briefly. I miss that boy. Well, I'll have plenty of opportunities to see them, so I'm not real worried about it. Elder Kimball and I butt heads every once in a while. It's definitely the toughest companionship I've been in so far, but I guess that's not saying much since my first three were so great, (brief, but great). Don't get me wrong, Elder Kimball and I get along for the most part, but there just are those things about each other that really tick us off. Like we were contacting last week and we started talking to some gentlemen in a garage who were quite the fans of illegal substances. And that was what a majority of the conversation consisted of, was them preferring to use the aforementioned substances rather than do something productive like, I don't know, come closer to the god that gave us life? Then it moved to them talking about how Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and were trivializing all that he did. Well we told them that if they wanted to know they had to read the Book of Mormon and find out for themselves. One of them said he would read a page if we listened to some raps that I knew wouldn't be appropriate. So when he started playing them (and sure enough, wildly inappropriate) I walked away and told him to have a good one. I'm not going to bargain my values for something I know to be wrong. Elder Kimball got mad at me, saying we should've stayed and given him a Book of Mormon. But I felt good walking away, so I know I did the right thing. Again, we get along most of the time, but sometimes we get on one anothers' nerves - something we need to work on.

Well, mom, I'm pretty sure the email to delete the XBox Live account is your old email. And my shirts still fit fine. I haven't gotten that big yet. But the other night I did rip my suit-pants trying to pick something up off the ground... I think it's because I leaned under the table in an awkward way to pick up the spoon - at least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself. But to be safe, last week I started to do P90X with one of the other missionaries every other night. Sooo,  I appreciate everything you send, mom, but to play it safe maybe send less sweets and make it a once in while thing.

On Saturday Elder Kimball and I went on exchanges with our district leader, Elder Welch, and his companion, Elder Higinbotham. I went with Elder Higinbotham in my area and I got to drive our 2014 Ford Fusion, so that sat well with me. It was a really fun exchange, though I did spend most of it consoling him. He essentially had an emotional breakdown because his directions got us lost and I went 30 miles over our mileage allotment. I felt bad for him. He was really stressed out. (Mom, imagine Stephen at a rock concert. That was more or less his anxiety level). But we had fun on our exchange. He's really pretty good at contacting. We met a man who had been taught by the missionaries before and he knew that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and had accepted the invitation to be baptized. But the missionaries stopped coming by because his wife scared them off. He doesn't live there anymore so I referred him back to the missionaries of the area. So that was awesome.

That same day we went on a blitz, which is where all the missionaries in the zone go to one area and try to find people for that companionship to teach. I hadn't been on a blitz until I got to Fairfield since Crescent City was so far away from everyone else and it was impossible for us to participate in one. This is the second blitz I've been on. The first one wasn't really noteworthy. We went to Rio Vista and didn't really find anyone for the Hermanas to teach. But this time I went to the Fairfield 2nd's area with one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Merriam and we just tracted in the rain like nobody's business. We met this old Catholic women from the Philippines and she was really nice. She is also a guaranteed baptism. We talked for a while and it went well. She's open to have the missionaries come over. We gave her a pass along card with the SLC temple on it and we started talking about temples and she said how beautiful she thinks the temples are. We invited her to be baptized she said yes. Then we prayed and the spirit was so strong she started crying. To top it off, after we left the house we prayed to know what we should do next, and we felt prompted to walk down this road that didn't have any house along it, and it was raining so there was no one to contact, but we did it anyways. We walked for a little while and still didn't understand why we decided to go the way we did. We could've stayed in the same neighborhood where all the houses were and kept tracting but for some reason we were told to walk down a road that had no houses. Well we came to this private apartment complex-looking place called Paradise Valley. The reason we knew it was a private facility was because of the gate and security station in the front. So we decided to try to go in. I figured we would be stopped, but we decided to be bold and persistent like good missionaries are! We started awkwardly meandering over and sure enough the security guard came out and told us we couldn't go in. He told us that it was a retirement home and we had to be there to see someone specifically. Well we did the only logical thing to do at that point.... we went over and started talking to him! He's a really cool guy. His name is Gabe, and he goes to the college across from the ward in my area and I invited him to come sometime and said he might check it out. Though we didn't know why we went there at first, we trusted there was a reason we felt like we needed to be there and we met a great guy. Follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I testify that he won't let you down.

The church is true, the book is blue! I love you all. Enjoy General Conference!

Love Elder Hayden Ellis

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