Monday, July 13, 2015

Homemade Sushi and a Late Return

Greetings my much beloveds!

I have very conflicting feelings about my week. On one hand, it was a week of much jubilation and merriment in our various activities, but on the other hand, it wasn't as successful as I would've hoped it had been. But overall it was a very good week!

For our Pday activity we went mini golfing in Clearlake. I think it was one of my most fun P-days. We had such a stellar time just goofing off. We didn't keep score, and we kind of took turns at first but that slowly transitioned to moderately organized chaos with everyone going at once. Elder Stephenson and I took videos of just about the whole thing, because there was always something hilarious happening! We are really tight as a zone and all have a lot of fun together. I've noticed that smaller zones of missionaries tend to be closer and more unified (and I should know because I've been in the largest zone in my last area and the smallest one in this area.) So I think I have a pretty close-knit zone.

We had this transfer's official Zone meeting (I say official because Elder Stephenson and I basically taught an unofficial one last week). Everything that was taught by the Zone Leaders and Sister Bear, our STL, was about having a fresh start in our missions with our new Mission President. We have been informed that all the rules that we had with President Alba very much still apply now with President Wright... Well duh. He's not going to revolutionize the mission rules his first week here! Afterwards the Elders cooked brunch - I was on egg duty, Elder Stephenson was on pancakes and Elder Mathusek was all over bacon, and it was all delicious!

We had a rather concerning encounter with our good friend, Brother Prior. We went over to see how he was doing and to help him out with the type things we give him a hand with. While we were talking to him he dropped suicidal hint.... Well not so much a hint as him saying the words, "I'm just not sure what to do anymore guys, I'm thinking about committing suicide... Oh! You fixed my phone!" We are really worried about him. He's a danger to himself and he can't really take care of himself at all. And of course like all people who are in this situation, he doesn't think he needs the help we want to get him. I honestly believe one of the reasons I am here is to get Brother Prior some sort of assisted living and get him the help he needs.

Thursday was our Nice and Lucerne day, and it was suppose to be a very busy and a really good day. We had 7 lessons planned, and two other potential lessons. But I have learned that things don't generally go as planned. So out of those 7 lessons that were suppose to happen, only 2 of them actually happened. We also got dropped by one of our investigators, Robert the Lamanite I like to call him, that we picked up last week! Despite the lack of success we had, it was still a pretty good day. What made it really nice was the rain. We got a ton of rain this week and it was so incredibly refreshing! Missionary work in the rain is so much fun, but I guess it's easy to say that considering the 100° weather we have been enduring here.

Elder Stephenson had his departing interview with President Wright in Ukiah on Saturday. While we were there President Wright informed me I probably won't be returning home on time (Nov 23), which I was a little disappointed to hear. It's not that I'm overly upset that I'll be out here longer (since I'll probably only be coming home 2 weeks later) but I'm a little bummed that I won't be able to return home with the missionaries I came out with. I'm sure the Lord will be able to use me in some way in the mere two weeks I'll be out here longer. (The 2 weeks isn't set in stone but I'll probably come home 30 days before school begins so I'll be out approximately 2 weeks longer.) So you will all have to survive two weeks more without me.

We didn't have dinner that night so we decided to make sushi with the salmon our good friend Von gave us! Adventurous, I know. We went to Safeway to get some supplies for the sushi project, like cucumbers, cream cheese, and a nori, which is the bamboo mat used to roll the sushi. While we were looking for a nori, we met a woman who worked there in the sushi isle in Safeway. After talking with her for a while, we discovered she is married to a member and she gave us a nori for free! We were really grateful since the only way we could've gotten one was buying this kit that had one for $40, and that wasn't going to happen. She also said she wanted to have us over for dinner on Wednesday and make us sushi! Heck yes! So we went home and made sushi, or rather, we tried to make sushi... Elder Stephenson and I gave it our best shot. I think we did alright considering it was our first attempt ever. Of course we got a video of it so the experience has been visually documented forever. Well to summarize the experience, the sushi we made wasn't pretty, but it was still delicious!

I lost my thumb drive with all my pictures stored! I really want to find that thumb drive. Seriously, keep me in your prayers that it will turn up because I really want to get that back ASAP!

So we found this awesome video that I dearly love. I think you all will find much joy in it as well. "PANcakes!"

We get transfer doctrine so we will see who my next companion is this week! This transfer went by waaaay faster than last transfer. It's ridiculous to think there is only one week left in this transfer. Elder Stephenson goes home on the 21st and I will have my next companion on Tuesday. We are getting 20ish new missionaries this transfer, and apparently I have been recommended to train by the zone leaders this upcoming transfer, so maybe I'll have a new companion - which would be a nice change of pace considering I've spent the last 3 months sending them home.

I just got amazing news from my good friend today! This friend of mine has been having some struggles with the gospel for the last couple of years, but suddenly, today he sent me an email telling me that his love and testimony has been rekindled for this gospel, and that he is planning on putting in his mission papers next year!! You all don't understand how EXCITED I am about this! It was probably the best news I've gotten all week!

Today for Pday we went to the Cobb area to check out this waterfall and do a little bit of hiking. It was a really picturesque day and we had a lot of fun. Even though there is hardly anything to do here in Lake County, there's a ton to do around here - at least there's a lot of outside stuff to do. If we don't get creative with our plans, like going and checking out a waterfall, we are just going to be sitting at the church being bored. So we really try to think outside the box over here!

Well that's my week! Like I said, it wasn't marked by lessons, but more by activities and things that happened. So overall it was a pretty fun and eventful week. Hope everyone has a great upcoming week!

Love all around!

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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