Monday, May 19, 2014

Mountain Biking and a Missionary Farewell

Hey Mom,

Well Fairfield is pretty on and off when it comes to the weather. One week it will be in the 90's and the next it will be in the low 70's. I need some consistency! Tracting in 90 degree weather is truly dreadful, and trust me I've been doing plenty of that. Tracting has gotten so much easier for me - I use to be terrified of knocking on a random persons' doors and trying to share the gospel with them, but after doing it for 2 full transfers, it's not a big deal anymore. Turns out, I don't care if people don't like me, or if the sign says 'no soliciting', I'd rather do what I know makes Heavenly Father happy, and not a dinky plastic sign.

Well, on Monday we went mountain biking! I borrowed my bike from one of our members, Brother Amado (he is dating and fellowshipping my investigator, E******). It was so much fun - at least the downhill part was. On the way up was a pain, and we did a lot of walking our bikes, but when we got to the top and started our way down we were soaring! I'm surprised I didn't crash and die! We were taking corners pretty fast. I didn't even know I was good at mountain biking, which can be measured by leaving the trail unharmed. So I was pretty pleased.

There was also an event in Fairfield where police officers from all over Northern California come and compete in bike competitions. It was so cool to watch. We heard all the commotion from our apartment so we had to check it out. There were a ton of cops there going through obstacle courses on Harleys, BMW's, Kawasaki's - you name it. There was also a lot of other stuff going on like canine unit demonstrations and tons of police vehicles that you can go in and check out,(which explains the picture of me sitting in the back of a police vehicle - I couldn't resist getting a picture). Of course we used the police event as an excuse to talk to people, but to be perfectly honest, we mainly wanted to be there to watch.

Well, we had some really great discussions this week. One of them was with our investigator M****. He understands everything we teach him! It's awesome - he is a sponge and absorbs everything. He understands the Book of Mormon and says it makes so much sense to him when we read it with him. When we give him the pamphlets to read, he reads them before we visit him again. He reads over it and understands it so well, and he has so many questions and comments when we come back. So it's really nice to see that he reads and retains what he learns. We invited him to be baptized and he wants to and is excited to be, so we are going to set a date with him next time we see him. We also had a really good lesson with E**** on Wednesday and we resolved a lot of her concerns. Most of them pertained to her mom who passed away when she was younger. She is really concerned about her, and she wants her mom to be saved too. When we told her she could be baptized for her mom she was really interested and excited to hear that. She really wants to be baptized for her. She also really likes the fellowshipping and how friendly the ward is. It's very different from her church, that barely acknowledges the fact that she isn't coming to their church anymore. It just goes to show how important ward fellowshipping is. By the time the lesson was over, after she had prayed for the first time, she was asking us when she could be baptized. It was so great! I was on a cloud the whole lesson! So she's going to think about it more and we will set a date next time we see her.

Elder Kimball and I went to an after party for a missionary farewell yesterday. We were invited because there were nonmember neighbors that were also there, so we talked with them for most of the dinner. Sister Bennion gave a really good talk during sacrament meeting, but It was a little condensed because her father, who spoke before her, went over by 20 minutes. The bishop had to step up and tell him to wrap it up. It was super funny because Brother Bennion really doesn't care what people think, so he ignored him and kept going!! He's so funny. The whole thing reminded me of my farewell. That feels so long ago! But it's only been six months. It's crazy to think how quick time is flying by. Well Sister Bennion is leaving Wednesday to head to the MTC and from there she will go to the Phoenix Arizona mission! I love going to farewells! I get to re-experience the excitement I felt when I was getting ready to leave for the MTC.

Thanks for sending the package, Mom! Did you also send Grandpa's institute notes or is that coming later? If you send them later can you also include the institute manuals with them? I'd like to have paper copies of them as well, but I'm not sure where to get them here.

Well, transfers are almost here and we find out what is happening on Friday. It's likely I'll stay here and get a new companion, but you never know. Sorry this email is a little bit shorter, but I find myself with less and less time to email each week! Love you all.

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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