Holy Toledo. Elder Eccles is unlike any companion I've ever had before. He's especially unlike Elder Chan, whom I'm still used to being with. Before the transfer I had heard he was awkward, which isn't accurate. How can I describe Elder Eccles in a few words.... Short. Hyper. And talkative. Very talkative. I'm still adjusting. I feel like I just got the little brother I didn't want. Although so far we get along pretty well. He has a lot of medical problems. He has something called Elias (I think Elder Ellis means Celiac), which apparently means his intestines don't work or something? I'm not really sure. But he also has really bad insomnia and wakes up 5-10 times a night. He informed me this has been a recurring problem throughout his mission and he hasn't had a good night sleep since he's been out. Not to mention his ingrown toe nail problems. So he's overall a medical disaster. Although the bright side is that after I made him call the mission nurse, she told him to made a doctor's appointment in Vallejo or Fairfield. Wooooooh! Road trip! I'm pretty stoked to drive to Vallejo and I'm really pumped to go back to Fairfield!! Hopefully everyone hasn't moved yet and we can visit some families I haven't seen in a long time!
Elder Eccles and I helped out with some service for one of our members, Sister Wing, by helping her set up her garden. We put up some chicken wire to keep the deer out and whatnot.The really fun part came when she asked us if we would help smoke out some gophers that were terrorizing her yard; she asked us to dig in mounds of dirt made by the gophers, find the tunnel, stick a dynamite-looking smoke bomb in the hole, light it and bury it like our lives depended on it. How could we possibly decline? So we helped her smoke out her gopher problem! Reflecting on it, I'm not sure if gopher-slaying is an approved missionary service opportunity... If done incorrectly and fumes are inhaled, it can prove to be quite lethal... But live and learn, I guess. Now I have an option to open a pest control company later in life called "Eccles'n'Ellis Extermination Crew. Euthanizing critters since 2015". So there's a possibility for later on.
We had the first District meeting of the transfer. It's always pretty strange to start a new transfer and have a ton of new people at your district meetings. I feel like as soon as I get used to the people in my zone it's already time again for some to transfer out and others to cycle in. Glorious news! I found my pen! Somehow Elder Despain had it and I saw him using it in District meeting. Prayer works! #tendermercies #godisourlovingheavenlyfather
Elder Eccles had a really tough break down and got pretty depressed. He didn't really have any motivation to work and was just feeling really bummed. I called the zone leaders to come over and help me give him a blessing. It didn't take me very long to figure out why I am with Elder Eccles. He has a lot of problems that I use to have. He doesn't feel like he fits in with a lot of the other missionaries, which I totally know how that feels. That's pretty much how I felt my whole childhood. So I know how he feels. I hope I don't sound like I'm just trashing on my companion, because I'm not. I love the kid, and I know that we both were put together for a reason and that we both have a lot that we need to learn from each other.
We had some really good lessons this week. We taught this one woman named Charene who was a referral from one of the members of our ward. Things went incredibly well with her. We had a really solid lesson and she asked a lot of good questions. At the end she had a Book of Mormon in her hand with a determination to read it. We also taught Donald and Elizabeth Hall the second half of the plan of salvation. We re-invited them to be baptized and they really plan on pondering this question. So it's just a matter of time before they feel the Holy Ghost and say yes!
Sorry this letter seems overall negative, I'm really not trying to trash on Elder Eccles. Hopefully I can live up to the expectations of me this transfer so I can help build him up. All I know is this next six weeks will be a challenge.
Love you all! The Church is true!
Love, Elder Hayden Ellis