Monday, September 7, 2015

Princess Snacks and Doing Hard Things

Elder Ellis in his happy place with easy access to the fridge

Eating princess snacks

On splits with Brice Beare. He is about to go on a mission!

Betty Crocker mode [ON] OFF

Our selfie goes on for eternity

Building a blockade in front of the bathroom door while Elder Christensen was in there. I might add that he started it
by putting a chair in front of my door. I play to win!

If we start a band, this will be our first album cover. We are Chrellisen.

Greetings my loyal support group!

This has been a rather long week for me. I'm not saying it was a bad week, it was just tiring and I often found myself asking throughout this week if it was the next week yet. I have a feeling I am going to have a couple more weeks like that this transfer. #strugglecity. But it's okay, I can do hard things.

On Tuesday we went around Lakeport trying to find new people to teach. We decided to try to see some potential investigators that live on Alterra Street that we have tried to visit in the past. We knocked on the door of a women named Brenda, who we actually talked to last time we stopped by the house. She was very friendly, just like she was last time we talked to her, and she stepped outside to chat with us. She then asked us some questions about the spirit world and life after death. She's has been pondering questions like that since last time we spoke with her and is starting to think she needs to do more with her life. We briefly taught her about the Plan of Salvation and testified to her that those feelings she's having about needing to change and do more with herself were from God. So we set up a return appointment to come back and teach her. And just like that, we picked up another family to teach! Hopefully her husband is home so we can talk to him as well.

We had a very interesting visit to Barry and Priscilla's house. They are the non-active members that Elder Stephenson and I randomly tracted into a little while ago. They are a little bit different from what society would classify as normal.... or socially acceptable. We were just trying to visit some potentials in the apartment complex they lived in, and then Barry ran into us outside and told us to stop by his house. So we did and when we got in there I could tell that Elder Christensen wanted out of that place. He was definitely not feeling comfortable there. So I did what any good trainer would do, and offered to serve them by doing their dishes so we had to stay longer! That meant Elder Christensen had to stay out there and chat with them while I took refuge in their dirty kitchen and scrubbed away! He was not a happy camper. Afterward he updated me on what they talked about while I sought asylum just outside of the conversational boundaries. It was a good experience for Elder Christensen. Situations like that are good to help you get better at talking to people, especially when your companion (me! :D) throws you in the lion's den and walks away. Elder Christensen is doing really well; he is getting more and more comfortable talking to people and has made a lot of progress out here.

A new fire started in Upper Lake.... What else is new? I'm pretty desensitized to wildfires at this point. So many have happened in Lake County since I have been here. Every time a new one starts I just kinda shrug it off. Although if one starts in Lakeport, I will completely flip out so hopefully it doesn't come to that. While we were in Upper Lake we visited a less active family, the Mintons. They own this huge ranch and it probably took five minutes of driving to get to their actual house. I remember thinking "I hope they like missionaries, because if they are mad at the church, then this will be very unpleasant, especially considering how far into their property we are." Fortunately, they liked us :). We had a really nice visit with them and got to at least meet Brother and Sister Minton. Their kids are working/competing at the fair that is in town. They invited us to come back this week since it was pretty crazy on Wednesday with the fire and the fair preparations, so we will stop by and get to know the whole family. And they might feed us in the future! A sure way to a missionary's heart!

We had a really good and efficient day up in Nice and Lucerne on Thursday. Brice Beare, a young man in our ward who is getting ready to go back on his mission in a couple of weeks, met us out there to go on splits with us. Getting members out to lessons with us is probably one of the things I am the worst at, so I felt accomplished having him there. After we hit all the appointments we had in Nice and Lucerne, Brice took off and we started heading back to Lakeport when we felt like we should try to visit a referral we got from some of the Ukiah Elders. We had tried to visit this referral in the past with no success. But this time we stopped by at the right time to find Diana, some other dude and Diana's mother, Liz, out front. Unfortunately Diana and the guy were just about to take off when we got there, but we were able to get to know Liz, who was more than happy to converse with us. Turns out the family is LDS except for Liz. Running into less active members randomly seems to be an underlying theme of my mission. It's almost as if Someone is leading us to them.... Liz was telling us how she believes the church is true but she can't seem to kick some habits that prevent her from being baptized. We set up a return appointment for next Wednesday so we shall see what becomes of these aforementioned visitations.

We did our weekly planning and some service at Angie's house. We trimmed back some vines surrounding her front porch, picked up at least 60 pieces of dog excrement (I guess cleaning feces is turning into a weekly chore for me. Although it's still better than the time I cleaned up human waste while I was in Napa. I am still trying to repress that memory), and helped build a desk all in under 1 1/2 hours. Not a bad days work for service, if I say so myself.

Almost all of Saturday was doing service by cleaning the apartment of our good friend Brother Prior. We had to completely purge his house. For a while I thought the only way to clean his house was to purify it with fire, but luckily it didn't come to that, and we found a way to get the job done with ammonia and elbow grease. We had cleaned his apartment back in the days when I was with Elder Yepez and we didn't get as much done as we would've liked because Brother Prior got stressed out from it all and cut the cleaning short. But this time he was really patient and endured the sanitation process. It was incredibly helpful that Elder Christensen used to work as a middle school janitor. He took the bathroom head on and destroyed all microorganism intruders. While this was taking place, I was attempting to vacuum every square inch of his apartment. I think I filled the vacuum's container at least four times solely with cat hair, cat food and cat litter. So after Elder Christensen tackled the bathroom and I vacuumed the carpet, we tag teamed the kitchen and cleaned it till it was sparkling (by Elder standards) so at least now it's habitable.

We had two lessons on Sunday night. One was with an older man named Billy Ringer, who we taught about keeping the sabbath day holy. Every time we go see Billy he always asks us over and over again how long we have been on our missions, how long we have been in school, what we are going to major in, etc. And he asks us these questions every five minutes. His memory isn't exactly up to par nowadays. We managed to get the topic to church and the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy and invited him to come to church. Church attendance is something he knows he needs to get better at - he is just having a hard time getting back into that habit. We are going to go by again on Wednesday and remind him about church so hopefully it sticks in his head and he comes! The other lesson on Sunday night was with Natalie, the investigator we have worked with much in the past. She brought up her concern about baptism and the huge commitment it is. Specifically she is concerned about paying tithing, since they are in a bit of a pinch financially. We tried to resolve her concern by using scriptures and promising blessings but she is still hesitant. We invited her to pray about it along with baptism and see how she feels. We also invited her to come to church on Sunday and she said she would. Hopefully she and Dave show up this time. They assured us that they were going to be at church the last Sunday Elder Stephenson was here, but flaked on us. I know as they come to church and read from the Book of Mormon that their faith will grow to the point where paying tithing will become a blessing in their eyes instead of the financial setback they see it as now. We are here to help them get to that point.

Well, that was more or less my week. Nothing too incredibly exciting happened. Right now I am in a members home, the Larsen's, for P-Day. We are waiting for the other Elders to get here we are sitting with the Middletown Sisters, getting to know Sister Melgar-Fetzer, who just transferred in. I'm pretty excited for this next week - we have a lot of appointments scheduled, so we should be pretty busy this week. I hope everyone has a great week! And remember, "It is better to be silent and considered a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." BYE!

Love, Elder Hayden Ellis

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