Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference and Defending the Faith

Bonjour tout le monde!

So I had a pretty busy week! My mission, as most of you know, has a culture of high expectations, which means much more is expected of us. My mission president wants us to contact 20 people, have 3 lessons, and one baptismal invitation a day. Well, this can be very hard to accomplish sometimes, especially in my area. My area is pretty dead for the most part. In the Cordelia area, it's a ghost town, and there's never anyone on the streets or home during the day... It's kinda ominous. So getting contacts can be hard sometimes, and we only have 3 investigators, so there are some days we don't even have lessons. But this week we decided to go all out and spend a lot of time finding people. So on WednesdayThursday and Friday we were tracting and contacting and we contacted at least 21 people each day. We were pretty proud of ourselves, (and by proud I mean in the most humble and gracious way of course.) We found quite a few referrals for other areas but we didn't really find people when we contacted in our area, so it was just a day of helping other companionships.

Well one of the days we were contacting, Elder Kimball's friend, Korbin, who is going on a mission soon, messaged him on Facebook and told him he's in Cali for spring break and decided to come see him... So he did. It was super weird. Elder Kimball told them that they shouldn't come, but they did anyways. They found us while we were out contacting and we started talking to them. I had Skyped with Korbin's family my first Sunday here, so I actually knew them a little.. It must have been really weird for Elder kimball, after being out for 7 months, seeing so many familiar faces. I thought it was funny that while we were talking to them, the Bing street maps car drove by and recorded the experience. (Mom you can look on Bing maps and in Cordelia do the street view on Oakwood Dr and you can see the church I go to and if you go further up the street see if you can find me with a group of people. We posed for the camera so we shouldn't be too hard to notice. Don't be too impressed with my soap boxing because those are all members.)

Well I've had some awesome lessons this week! We taught A*****, one of my 'gators, about the BoM. We read the first chapter of Nephi and it really helped her understand the purpose of another testament of Jesus Christ. She's a guaranteed baptism - she's so solid. I also had a lesson with D*** R****, our other solid 'gator. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved everything we taught, but she's not ready for baptism yet, She said she wants to "be in love with the Gospel" before she makes that commitment, which is good that she isn't taking it lightly. She told us she's really excited to get the gift of the Holy Ghost, so that's definitely a good sign. She was the one that watch the general women's meeting and she loved the togetherness and sisterhood that she saw there. I think she also watched conference. We invited her many times to do so and she was really excited about it but I haven't heard if she was able to watch it or not. I'm sure she did though. She LOVES learning more about the church.

Well I thought conference was awesome! I think the Ordain Women protesting group is hilarious. Men and women each have equal, yet different responsibilities. Women protesting and demanding the prophet give them men's responsibilities is like us protesting to be able to give birth... It's just not going to happen. Well the conference talks were so good. I loved how there was a bit of a theme of defending our faith and standing up for what we believe in. As missionaries we do that all the time. President Monson's talk on courage reminds me of his talk 'Dare to stand alone'. I love that one! We are going to be persecuted for what we believe in. The truth is always going to be rejected, and those who speak it will be persecuted with it. The best example of this is Jesus Christ, who never spoke an ill word, who was the epitome of truth and righteousness and yet he was still rejected, as well as all those who followed him. So when we are ridiculed and criticized for our beliefs, we have to have the courage to stand alone and defend our faith! But luckily, we are never are alone. Since Christ suffered for us by himself, we don't have to go through the hardships of earth life alone! I find great comfort from this.

Well it's hard to believe that I'm almost done with this transfer. I get transfer doctrine on Friday, so I might get a new companion. I burn though those pretty quickly - at least that's the pattern so far, so I might have somebody new. We'll see what happens. There has been some crazy stuff happening in Fairfield. There was a double shooting earlier in the week, not far from where I live. And I just so happen to live on one of the most ghetto streets in the area. Lots of bad stuff happens here even though you wouldn't think that just from looking at it. But I did see someone get arrested in front of my apartments the other day. Whenever I tell people where we live they always say the same thing, telling us to be careful and how they can't believe we were put there. So that's a little disconcerting. Well, I haven't given any talks yet and I can't really think of any pictures to send home this week but I'll keep pictures in mind for next week. And by next week I should have a few pictures to send home since Elder Kimball might be leaving so I'll definitely have some by then. Next Monday I'll know what's happening.

I just want to say I have the best job in the world and the best mom in the world. I'm feeling pretty blessed right now.

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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