Monday, June 1, 2015

Losing a Fish and Preparing for Baptism

I tamed the ADHD beast! The little fur ball was like this for 20 minutes. He was totally
under my power.
Elders Yepez, Ellis, Francom and Kimball
Oakland Temple
Our tiny little zone! Top row: me, Elders Kimball and Francom. Botton row: Elders Smittenaar, Merrell, Hacking,
Akhmetov, Yepez, Sisters Bear and Haefeli


I've had a very busy week of teaching the almost-baptized, Bob Lininger, so most of this week was focused on him.

We went fishing on Monday with Chris Alexander. I was quite confident before, but now I am positive - I am terrible fisherman. I caught absolutely nothing the entire time! The only fish I was close to catching was one that Chris hooked and then leisurely gave me the pole. So right there it already doesn't really count as my catch since Chris did most of the work. But on top of that, once I reeled him in all the way, I didn't pull him on the dock quick enough and he jumped right back into the water! They didn't let me live that one down. Even Chris' 5 year old son caught more fish than I did. At least I'm better at being a fisher of men than a fisher of fish.

We've had a lesson with Bob nearly everyday this week. He has really grown on me since we've been teaching him. We've been joking that he is better off than us since his baptism will wash away 85 years of mistakes and ours only took care of 8 years. He isn't too keen on praying yet, but he did say the closing prayer at the end of the lesson on Tuesday. He told us it was one of the first vocal prayers he has ever said. Even though he had written it down on paper and it was only 3 sentences long, you could feel the spirit strongly. He even started getting choked up during it. Think about it: three sentences doesn't leave one with a lot of time to get emotional (especially when one factors in the "Dear Heavenly Father," and "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen" parts) so it was a pretty immediate reaction. Bob did the same thing in his interview with Elder Francom. He brought a prewritten prayer but it was so powerful and he began to cry during it. I <3 Bob.

We had a temple trip on Tuesday. We left at 6 am and embarked on an incredibly long and arduous drive to the Oakland temple (if you look at Calistoga Road, the one connecting Santa Rosa and Clearlake, you'll know what I mean by arduous drive.) Temple trips like that always make me feel grateful that it was only that far, and that we have so many temples so close to us instead of making a several day trip to go to one - although it was nice to drive through Napa to get there. The temple was great as usual. I always feel so carefree. The temple is truly the best and most spiritual place on earth, the second being the home. I am truly grateful for the temple. Without it we wouldn't be able to be sealed to our families for all time and eternity.

It was Elder Yepez's last District Meeting on Tuesday. He is so incredibly trunky. So this is what it's like to send a missionary home! Some bummer news is that Elder Yepez's family isn't coming to pick him up from his mission anymore. That was the original plan but they had to change so now Elder Yepez has to fly home. Personally I'd rather do that than get picked up. I want the plane experience! But he was pretty excited to get picked up by his family so that's a bummer.

Bob Lininger passed his baptismal interview and he has the green light to be baptized on Wednesday! He is so funny. When we gave him the baptismal questions yesterday to prep him for the actual interview, he was having trouble remembering the lessons, like law of chastity, Word of Wisdom, etc. So I wrote down a summarized version of each lesson for him to study over before the interview. When we saw him yesterday at church and asked him if he went over the questions and was ready he responded with a "Dang right!" and proceeded to his seat. He also jokingly reminded us if it didn't go well and he failed he was going to tell our zone leaders we didn't teach him well and throw us under the bus. He is hilarious.

In regards to your question, Mom, about what makes a good Ward Mission Leader, here are my two cents. My best ward mission Leader was definitely Brother Pike. He was very dedicated in his calling and would have us call him every night and report to him how our day went. He hardly ever missed a Sunday missionary correlation, and whenever we didn't have a dinner or there was a cancelation, he would have us over for dinner. He just always made time for us and was always missionary minded. As long as Bro. DuClos just gives it his all, he will be a good Ward Mission Leader. There's a reason the Lord call him to such an important job.

Well that's been our week, mostly teaching Bob Lininger, but it's worth it to see him get baptized and eventually go to the temple with his family. It's sad to hear the news about Elder Perry. Mom, I saw your email while looking for something the Tech Elders sent during a tech training and it was a huge bummer on my day. But I know he did his job here and the welcome home he's getting must be incredible. I'm so grateful for dedicated apostles and prophets who lead and guide us back to our Heavenly Father.

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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