Monday, April 27, 2015

A Farewell to Napa and Embracing a New Adventure

A genuine Napa vineyard picture

In the vineyard with Elder Eccles

Our district: Elders Evans, Despain, Eccles, Francom, Lamunyon and Hermanas Gonzales and Kall

The Napa building, that allegedly fulfills prophecy - the steeple casts a shadow on
Governor Bogg's grave at a certain time of the day 

Bro. Perry

Bro. Pike, my ward mision leader

The Dreyer family

One of the many Ellis families here. Like I mentioned before, there are a lot of Ellis families here

Mitch Blaziek and Kip Woods. Mitch is less active and I have met with him every Wednesday
night at 7 pm for the past few months. He is such a good guy! As you can see by the tears in
his eyes, it was a pretty emotional goodbye.

The Moores

Sis. Harris, a less active member who was reactivated while I was here

Tess Brown and Rick Lawley - a part member family that feeds us steaks!

The Lord needs workers tending his vineyard! Matthew 20:1-16, D&C 21:9 and D&C 138:56

Napa vineyard

My beloved Daniel Herrera. He is the most golden investigator I've ever met!

The Bobzians

My faithful steed for the past 4 1/2 months

Happy Transfers everyone!

So I bet you are all dying to know where Elder Ellis, the Beloved, will be transferred to next! At least this is what I WOULD say if my mom didn't already know where I was going! You know, I'm under the impression that this is not the first time she knew where I was going before I could email home about it. Well I'll try to keep the excitement going for those of you who still DON'T know where I'm going. I'm being transferred to Lakeport! Lakeport is in the Clearlake zone, which is fairly notorious throughout the mission. Allow me to paint a picture for you all of what I soon will encounter. Lake County is built around Clearlake (which is a lake), and some of the surrounding cities are Kelseyville, Clearlake, (which is the city on the east side of the lake), and there is Lakeport, (the city where I will live on the west side of the lake.) So, I must dismiss some misconceptions some of you may have when you hear "Clearlake", because this is quite the misnomer: Clearlake is anything but clear. I have been informed that it is the most vile and disgusting lake one can come across on the west coast. If you look at it on google maps it is incredibly green, so that's an indication right there of the water quality. I have been warned more than once not to swim in the lake. Also might I add, that Lake County is also acknowledged for its copious amount of drugs, and the addicts who are using aforementioned drugs. I hear that even some active members grow weed there. It's just not a big deal to them as it is everywhere else. So this area will certainly be where my best mission stories come from. I have even been warned to never walk around barefoot because of the amount of syringes scattered about. I think that might be a little extreme but still noted.

So Lake County is definitely a pretty low income area. Most of the roads haven't even been paved. I hear from Elder Francom, who I live with now and who has already served there AND who is accompanying me and transferring there yet again, (he is displeased about this), that Lakeport is far nicer than the rest of Lake County. So at least most of my roads are paved. I also hear there is a lot of success here due to the humility that generally follows poverty. I'm excited to hear that the ward I'll be serving in may already have some baptism coming up!

Now I can finally tell you all something I'm positive none of you know - who my companion will be! Drumroll drumroll drumroll drumroll drumroll.... Elder Yepez! He is from somewhere in SoCal but I'm not sure where. But he definitely is Hispanic. Yaaaaay! Another diverse companion! I have never talked to him but I have heard of him before and hear he's a great guy. He has been out on his mission longer than I have. I actually might be his last companion if we stay together for 2 transfers, which is quite possible.

My zone is SUPER tiny. There's only 5 companionships in it. Every other zone I've been in have been double that. But there will be some familiar faces in it. My old companion, Elder Kimball, is in my Zone. So is Elder Merrell, (whom I love), Elder Hacking who came out the same time as I did, and of course Elder Francom who is transferring there with me. So basically I know half the zone already... Small zones tend to be a lot more unified and closer together than bigger zones. It was like that in Crescent City since the six of us were practically our own little zone up there. I'm really excited for this next transfer! I know all my crazy mission stories are going to be coming from this area so I'm pretty stoked about it. It's funny the looks people give me when I tell them where I'm going - it's like I just informed them I've contracted cancer. I'm more optimistic about my new area than they are. I'm going to miss all the wonderful Naponians I've met, but I'm looking forward to meeting many new people, even if they have less teeth than the average individual.

So I've had some pretty amazing lessons this week with our investigators with baptism dates. Daniel is so amazing - I just want to shed tears of fire. He calls and texts us daily and tells us how he loves us and we are his brothers regularly. He retains SO much from everything he reads! He came to church yesterday and told us how things just feel right when he's with us and how he's happier than he's ever been. It's amazing to see how someone like Daniel, who's informed us a little bit about what his life was like before and how it wasn't in harmony with God at all, can be so prepared and ready for the gospel. I'm so blessed to have had a hand in helping Daniel receive the gospel into his life. 

Well this transfer has had its ups and downs. Elder Eccles has definitely been the toughest companion I've had so far. There have been quite a few times when I felt like I was doing everything by myself, including the teaching, finding, planning, the whole nine yards. I definitely have developed more patience for those who may not be the easiest to get along with. It wasn't an easy transfer but I'm better for it. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be working on the Lord's hour. The blessings that come from service to the Lord are immeasurable! Love you all!

Our Mother's Day Skype is coming up soon! I'll see you then!

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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