Monday, July 20, 2015

Killing a Companion and a Pregnancy

Happy Transfers!

So this was quite an emotional week for Elder Stephenson and me. I handled it a lot better than he did, considering I wasn't the one going home and I've sent a missionary home before - I'm a little better versed in this particular field. Elder Stephenson had many of the same feelings Elder Yepez had, and most missionaries in general have. But he's excited to be going home overall. I'm happy for him, he's a hard worker and did a good job of working till the end. Viva la Stephenson!

Last Monday we decided to go see Nathaniel, a less active that Elder Mathusek and I taught while on exchanges. His front door was open when we got there and he must have heard us coming because he came out to meet us. He seemed pleased to see us, speaking in his soft, almost British-sounding voice. He asked us questions like whether we had any baptisms happening and how our meeting we mentioned went that day. Then he started getting weird and asked Elder Stephenson what motivated him to do this work, and Nathaniel made it clear throughout the conversation that he wanted him to tell the truth. Apparently Elder Stephenson's answer, his love for Jesus Christ, was not sufficient because Nathaniel kept asking him weird questions. He inquired if he was doing it so he could have an eternal family and sit at the right hand of God in the eternities. When Elder Stephenson said that he did want those blessings, Nathaniel demanded we depart from his property and never return. He claimed we were arrogant, and even had the audacity to call us Satan. Then Nathaniel retrieved his broom and began to hit the side of his house as hard as he could, curse at us, and made a hostile move towards us. It was rather odd. I've gotten a lot better at handling those kind of intense situations so it didn't bother me too much, it just stood as an example of the overwhelming crazy that is here.

On Wednesday we traversed the paths to Upper Lake and visited one of the less active members up there, Sister M*****, and sorted her recyclables in our proselyting clothes. We just rolled up our sleeves and started sorting her nasty beer bottles and other recycling that has been sitting in a pile for many months. It just goes to show when missionaries ask if there is anything they can do to help, they don't care if they are wearing a suit and tie. They want to know if there is anything they can do to help, and they will do it!

So that women we met at Safeway who wanted to feed us sushi - well she did it, and it was SOOOO good! I love sushi, that was such a good dinner. We have had awesome dinners all week with our favorite members. I promised I would hook Elder Stephenson up for his last week, and I delivered!

Transfer Doctrine came in, the test results came back and....... I am pregnant! I am training a new missionary! For those of you who don't know, missionaries have a very peculiar vernacular. When you first arrive in the mission you are "born in the mission" and when you go home you "die". Since I am this missionary's first companion, I am his father and he is my son. Yes, it's weird, but one has to find ways to entertain oneself out here and this is how we, as a whole, do that.

I saw Elder Chris Castro (the new Elder Mom told me about from East Brunswick, New Jersey) on the incoming missionaries list, so his arrival is indeed confirmed. I will meet him when we are being assigned our greenies on Wednesday and I will talk to him then. The possibility of me training Elder Castro did cross my mind, but when I brought my thoughts before the zone leaders, they dashed any chance of that happening by telling me he is the only incoming Spanish-speaking Elder, so he definitely won't be assigned to me. On Wednesday we will see who I get!

Overall, transfer doctrine was insane. The mission is changing so much. There were so many white washes, which means both the missionaries were either taken out or placed into another area. That only normally happens when the missionaries are doing something terribly wrong or really big changes need to happen. An area in our zone is getting white washed out, but on the bright side, my good friend, Elder Mallory, is coming here! I am so excited! He is also training a new missionary so we can train our younglings together.

 On Saturday I was asked to give a talk about the pioneers in Sacrament Meeting the following day. Of course I agreed to do so and thank goodness my mom sent me an email earlier in my mission about my ancestor pioneer, Doris. That saved me and I was able to basically wing a last-minute talk using that. I didn't have much time available for preparation, but surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all. That's another thing my mission has helped me with - I am getting better and better at public speaking. My mission is slowly fixing everything that is wrong with me! :D

I finished the Book of Mormon again two weeks ago. I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father lovingly provided additional scriptures to bless and guide the lives of his children - because we sure need all the help we can get. I am also reading the Old Testament, in Numbers. In case you're wondering, no, I really haven't gotten any further from where I was before. Numbers is such a hard book to read!

The plans for the next couple of days are going to be crazy. I am in Santa Rosa today in a trio with Elder McFadden who is a Zone Leader in Santa Rosa, and Elder Hacking who is a Zone Leader in Davis, both of whom sent a missionary home as well (so many missionaries went home this transfer). So I'll stay with them tonight and go to the transfer devotional tomorrow. Then Elder Hacking will get his companion and leave (and so will everyone else who is transferring except for the trainers) and I'll probably stay with Elder McFadden and his new companion, Elder Taylor all of Tuesday. I'll be dropped off at the mission home on Wednesday morning and be assigned my greenie, and then go through some tech training and take off for our area by noon. So it'll be a crazy next couple of days. I'm super dupes excited for it and can't wait to go at it this transfer. I'm so determined to be a good example for my new companion it's ridiculous.

Well, that was my past week, and there's more good stuff to come. The church is true! I love you all, BYE!

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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