Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day and Embracing the Crazy

Mother's Day greeting from me and Elder Yepez
Skyping with the family - Gianni, Mom and Stephen.
Skyping with Mom for the last time
Zone Conference with President and Sis. Alba
Elder and Sis. Seeley will be returning home just before the Alba's go home. I'll miss them a lot.
Generation picture with Elders Hacking, Hansen and Orr. We all came out together.
Me and Elder Hansen
Elder Meiners, my old companion and new tech elder.
Hermanas Figeroua and Steiner
My two-week companion and now AP, Elder Morely.
The new Samoan on the block, Elder Tafua.
Driving Elder Yepez home from Zone Conference. If you look in the lower right hand corner there is a little black box
on the windshield that is called Tiwi. I don't like Tiwi.
Clearlake is prettier than I expected.

Happy Mother's Day!!

It's like my favorite day of the year now! I'm so grateful for my mom. There is no way I would be out here if it were not for her.

Alma 56:47-48
47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Just like those faithful young men, I too, have been raised from an early age to love God. My mom raised me the best way she could and she did it by herself. And because of that, I'm on a mission serving the Lord. I am so blessed to have the mother I do. I'm not sure what I did to deserve the mom I have, but I am so grateful for my mother and all she has done for me. I LOVE MY MOMMA!!

On Tuesday we drove to Ukiah for zone conference. It was a pretty sad conference since it is President and Sister Alba's and the Seeley's last zone conference ever before they go home. I still can't believe their time is finally at hand. They have been here my entire mission, so it's going to be an adjustment having someone different in their stead. But if there is anything to learn from a mission, it's how to make adjustments. So I imagine I'll survive somehow.

So I have a sob story for you. It was my birthday the day of zone conference and no one remembered my birthday! At the end of each zone conference they call up people who are having birthdays coming up, get a picture of them all together, and give them birthday cards. Well they started calling people up who had birthdays from then till August and they totally forgot me. My birthday was that day! After they called everyone up, (minus me,) I started laughing and telling Elder Hansen they forgot me. President Alba standing nearby heard me and made the big announcement that it was my birthday and sent me up. Of course they didn't have a card for me but that's okay. President and Sister Alba forget my name a lot, so it's starting to become a joke with some of the other missionaries and me, so it didn't bother me that much. I just thought it was pretty ridiculous.

At least the Alexanders did something for me! They fed us that night and had a birthday cupcake for me. I love the Alexanders! They make me feel special.

At zone conference we also got these new devices that basically monitor every stupid thing we do with our car, called Tiwi. It knows if we speed, if we don't have seat belts on, if we accelerate/decelerate too quickly - just about everything. Plus we have to log into Tiwi just about every time we get into the car, and gets mad at us when we don't. And if we violate any of these things, it files a report to President Alba. So it goes without saying, being the designated driver just got a lot more stressful. It feels like there is a cop sitting in the backseat waiting for me to mess up. It goes without saying, I don't like Tiwi.

I am quite pleased to say that I am going to learn many life skills here in Lakeport. The Alexander family has a lot of projects happening around the house that we help out with a lot. Just the other day I worked with cement and placed fence posts in ground. So now I am an experienced cementist! We are also going to help them with other projects that involve roofing, flooring, plumbing, etc. So my time here should prove to be quite enlightening!

I have learned that the drug/trashy parts of my area are more northern in Lucern and Nice, (pronounced niece). We go there every Thursday so I'm sure if I'm going to get any crazy from this area, it's going to be from there. Lakeport is too normal for anything super weird to happen here, so if I want to embrace the crazy, I need to expand my horizons and look for it elsewhere.

Love you all and hope everyone has an awesome week!

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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