Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Russian Holiday Quarantine...

Hello family!
It was good to get to talk to you all on Saturday! (except Kortney, Ben, Kennady, Clark, and Owen.) And I hope you all enjoyed your fun time canoeing. I’m jealous. But, I’m glad that I got to delay you for a little while :P
Happy Mothers Day again. I love you. You’re my favorite mother!
It’s been a crazy (and somewhat fun… FUN? Wait… I thought men couldn’t have fun….) couple of weeks.
Back in Kazan we had branch picnic for the 1st of May… it’s a holiday apparently. Good time filled different team competitions. My team won every game. Much to the dismay of Elder wood who was on the other team. I didn’t even have to argue over the rules… we just simply dominated. 2 of our investigators showed up and had a good time with all the members. I can tell I’ll be missed in kazan. The man we baptized said he’ll keep praying that I get sent back there by the end of the mission, I encouraged him to pray on! Our newly found investigator (who is golden) also said she would miss me and even tried to give me a hug. She hasn’t read her little white handbook of missionary rules. I even got a gift from another member apon leaving. Hand knit house slippers. Pretty neat.
And well, now I’m back here in Novo-k. the members were happy to see me again. Especially Pasha, Mesha, and their mother and bobooshka. ( we baptized masha in February… 13 old boy. Their whole family baptized one by one in the fall/winter)
My new companion is Elder Maximov and I think we fit well together. I don’t intend this cycle to be the easiest, but I do think I will enjoy it. I’m starting to feel some of the responsibilities of being a leader now… deep breath.
One particularly exciting thing. I finished the Book of Mormon again on Saturday, and as we often should, put Moroni’s promise to the test (If you read the Book of Mormon, and ask God having Faith in Christ, a Sincere heart, and real intent then He will answer your prayer through the Holy Ghost… your thoughts and your feelings.) It’s always good to test the things that the scriptures say so that we can receive a personal testimony of their validity. So Saturday I prayed. And waited. Yesterday was another Russian holiday (day of freedom) and since there are lots of crazies on drunks on this holiday we were invited to the “Samara Zone Mini Conference / Russian Holiday Quarantine.” There we watched the Joseph Smith Film, President and Sister Sartori talked to us, and we had a testimony meeting. And somewhere in that 3 hours… I got my answer. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Undoubtedly. It is the Word of God. I knew it before, and I’ve gotten my answer before, But I am greatful for a loving Heavenly Father who will answer my prayers each and everytime I ask. I am greatful for the Book of Mormon and how it has helped me to become who I am today, and also help me realize the potential my Heavenly Father sees in me. I am greatful that through it I have gained a stronger testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and his loving sacrifice for me. And I am greatful that I have been blessed with all the right tools (family, leaders, scriptures… etc.) that have helped me to find that faith for myself.
It is true. I do not doubt it. I hope I can help others to find this peace and happiness that I have.
Well, Family… I love you!
Love, Elder Ellis

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