Monday, June 27, 2011

Frusrating week...

Hello family!
This week was not a very fun one.... but at least it was a quick one.
We had one investigator (who reminds me of my GRAND mother because she has the most valuable unique spiritual insights, and takes enough thought to gift me with 'something laying around the house' even when there isn’t a lot of resources for gifting. (Anyone can go out and buy a gift... it takes wisdom and love to gift with something you already have)) Anyway, now that’s explained, this lovely investigator was supposed to get baptized this week and was all but ready... until we talked about tithing. She did not get baptized, and probably now wont for a while. So i was frustrated about that.
Tithing is a hard thing for a lot of people to have faith to pay in Russia apparently. And it’s quite frustrating when you see from the right perspective that tithing an opportunity God has granted us with so that we can show our love for him and secure blessings for us and our families that we so desperately need.
We talked to one member about tithing this week.... she couldn't pay because she would be buying a new tv. She would pay exactly the amount for the new tv each month that was needed for her to be a full-tithe payer. Well... God ended up blessing her and in the end the electronic store wouldn't sell her the tv she wanted.
Other frustrating things from this week: when i say something in clear Russian.... the investigator looks at me... then to my companion and says "translate that please". My companion then repeats the same words i said and suddenly they understand.
I guess the good thing is that i can speak Russian.
Well... that's about it from this week.
i love you all!
Elder Ellis

Monday, June 20, 2011


Well I ran out of time to say much today.
I'm still in Novo-k, still with Elder Maksymov, but now without a district.
They decided that we're too far away. So now it’s just us... all alone. I'm not too happy about it... but... His will not mine.
I feel cabin fever coming on.
well, catch ya next week.
hope you enjoyed the pictures of us at the kiev temple. love you all!
love, Elder Ellis

Monday, June 13, 2011

busy week...

Hello hello
Bru... The baby... is a cute one. I made sure to show the lady at the post office (where we usually use the internet now that we changed apartments) my new plemenik… but she didn’t really seem to care. The girl that cut my hair last week didn’t seem to want to talk about him either. Probably because he hasn’t been given a good name.

It’s been some week in Russia. Started out we traveled out to some members who live out in the middle of nowhere. (I baptized the 13 year old son when I was here in Feb). To travel there we have to take several different transports, hitchhike a little, and wait long periods of time at bus stops in the middle of nowhere. Not a very effective day of missionary work, but that is why we only go out there once every month or so. At one of the bus stops we had a guy pull over to talk to us. It turns out he met with missionaries a while back until he moved out to the middle of nowhere. After 2 hours or so, we finally made it to the village where the members live. They live in a small village that has more chickens than people (in their defense, there are a lot of chickens) we helped them work in their garden, ate lunch with them, and talked about who they could invite to hear about the gospel. That night my companion ended up throwing up all night and I didn’t feel so hot either. The next day my companion slept and I cleaned our apartment and made some calls. We both just got over our sicknesses, and I hope I’ve seen the last of my diarrhea.

But, despite our sicknesses, we had a rather successful week. We found some new investigators, had a wildly full house at church, and set up a baptismal date for the 25th. The Lord really helped us out as we worked despite our excuses we could have had. Our newest investigator (with a baptismal date) reminds me a lot of my GRAND mother. And she already gifted me with something ‘lying around the house’. (I got my package this week from my GRAND mother! Thank you!!!!!!) Speaking of mail… I got the pictures you sent, mom, and I was way excited to see some canoes, and some good ol’ reminders of some of our more “special” memories.
Well… this has been kinda scatterbrained and short… but I gotta go.
Transfers are coming up this next week, and it sounds like it’s going to be another drastic change for everyone. Should be interesting.

Love you!
Love, Elder Ellis

Monday, June 6, 2011

8 Board the plane to Kiev...

Hello family!
This last week has definitely been an interesting one.
there’s been many stories of horrible weather in Missouri, and the tragedies as result, I myself have been a little sick, and we haven't been able to focus on the souls in our area this last week... But i really see how blessed my family has been in this past week. I was most excited to hear the news about my new nephew (although i wasn't happy about the name), my family is safe, the explosion in Ushesk didn't affect any missionaries (I was told i had to say that. Ushesk is an area in our mission. Apparently there was a big explosion there? The missionaries who serve there were in samara at the time for visa trips) and i had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the Kiev Temple and learn and serve there. We have many blessings.
Really the only news worthy things that happened with me this week. So I’ll talk a little bit more about my trip to the Temple. It was a long day. 2 am to 3:30 the next day. Airports, buses, boarder control, passports, traffic, half of my companions belongings (he had us take some things with us to give to his parents... 6 carry-ons worth of clothes that he would have known he would never have an opportunity to wear... had he read his call packet....) overall a long and kinda hectic day.
But once we got in the area of the city where the Temple is located... the whole mood change. Even without knowing that the Temple was near, the area just had a different feeling to it. A feeling that I haven't felt since I’ve been in Russia. Yes, we've had powerful spiritual lessons, wonderful testimony meetings, and great lessons taught to us in zone and mission conferences... but none of those have had quite the same feeling of just being NEAR a temple. It’s such a blessing to have a temple near... for all.
Before we actually went into the temple we had a wonderful lesson taught to us by the temple president about the importance of temples and the covenants we make there. We were all blessed with a great gift of Knowledge. It was quite the experience. But it didn't end there. We were able to do a session in the temple and learn there, and then the next day (back in samara) we had a wonderful uplifting mini zone conference. I hope that all these will help me to teach with more spiritual power.... when we finally get a meeting set up. those have been quite low. partially because we were out of town, out of country, and all other obstacles this past week we had.
Well, gotta go
Love you all! Say hello to bru.... the baby.
love, Elder Ellis