Monday, 31 October 2011


I hope you all were able to somehow translate last weeks letter. I thought it would be fun to write in Dutch, to practice my spelling.
Well let me start like this.
Tuesday I went on exchanges to Groningen with Elder van Doesburg an Elder who is Dutch. We had a really good exchange and talked to some really cool people. We had a good time and only spoke Dutch.
On Wednesday we exchanged back and when we got to Assen our companions had a delicious Lunch waiting for us. We then had a cool lesson with a Dutch guy and his girlfriend from America. They bought us some hot chocolate and we sat inside of a cafe. It was one of those lesson where they were just really critical bringing up common concerns like "A Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible and need no more." Or that it says nothing about the Book of Mormon in the Bible. When we tried proving it they still did not want to believe. They are really cool though. We had a dinner with the Branch President. We were planning all the pranks we would play on the new missionary when ever he comes. We had a lot of fun and just had a good time. We then went and taught Bernadette. She is so nice and we pretty much finished teaching everything. As we were biking home I got a phone call from the Assistants to the President who told me that I needed to be in Leiden the next day at 1 o`clock. I was like why? They told me to pick up the new missionary. What? They then said you did not know? I was like No! and apparently they knew for a few days now. So we went and Elder Merrill packed for the rest of the night. The next day we went down to Amsterdam where we waited for Elder Brockbank who would go down to Leiden with me and Elder Taylor, Elder Merrills new comp. I got to see Amsterdam. It was so cool. My new comps name is Elder McDaniel and he is from Texas. He is really cool.
Alas my time is up but I'll write more next week. Love you all.

Monday, 24 October 2011

This Week Was Temple Day

Hello everyone
Hallo, hoe gaat het? Het gaat goed met mij en ik ben altijd blij. Mijn zending gaat heel goed tot nu toe. Ik had net mijn eerste doop, een man uit Zwolle, Metske is zijn naam. Ik ben so gelukig. Het is gek hoe snel de tijd vergaat, ik ben nu al 1 jaar op zending. ja vet man.
Yo I am so happy. like I said a man in Zwolle got baptized yesterday. I helped teach him when I was in Zwolle matter of fact, I kind of re found him. He has been investigating for a long time now and a countless number of Missionaries have taught him. I was filled with joy when I found out that everything went good.
Tuesday was good and all but the best part about it was at night we went to a lady with a member and taught about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. It was a really good lesson. She wants to be baptized and wants to stop smoking. Well first stop smoking. After that appointment we went with the Member´s family to a American All you can eat Restaurant. It was really good and we had a really fun time. The De Jonges are so cool and so much fun. I ate so much that I about died. well I about exploded. That same night we took a train down to Apeldoorn to spend the night with the Zone Leader so we would be closer to the Temple since we had to be there at 9 in the morning. We got the Zone Leaders pretty late. It was a fun sleep over but of course nothing too crazy happened.
On Wednesday my comp and I woke up at 4:30 and got ready and then took the train to Zoetermeer which is where the temple is. It was a really cool day and we had lots of fun and it was so nice to go to the temple. Elder Weideman came a 70 out Switzerland. I spoke to him in German.
On Thursday I had my year mark but it was just a normal day.
Friday till saturday I wad a sweet X-change with Elder Bickham and we talked to a ton of people and found some potential investigators. We had a really hard working X-change.
On Sunday an American couple came to church which was cool. My time is up for today. I love you all very much Keep it up. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Amen
I love You all
Love Elder Ellis

Monday, 17 October 2011

Half Way Done

Hello ya'll
I am sorry if some of you are expecting letters from me and are not getting any. It is a lot harder to write letters than I thought.  I am trying to find time to write back to those who have written me. 
It's been an interesting week. I am still waiting for my new companion and so Elder Merrill and I are still working here in Assen and it was a little hard to be focused since we knew that we both are supposed to be doing other things. Like training for me and him being in another city. Also Elder Kuttler one of my old companions went home on Thursday so I realized that I only have a year left. I met him first when He had a little less than a year left. Weird. The mission has changed big time. The District meetings are still good and really cool especially as a District Leader because I am really paying attention to all the input from the other Missionaries so that means that I am learning a lot from the other Elders and the Van Komens. Bernadette is also doing good but we had to change her date to be baptized. She is really positive though.
Wednesday was a cool day because we had nothing planned since that day was left unplanned for transfers but since nothing happened for us yet we stayed and did a lot of finding.
Man I am so happy because they are now selling Olibollen again which are kind of like doughnuts but so lekker. We bought some on Friday night while we were doing some finding in the city. 
I feel that our lessons are really improving and that we have been able to help our investigators more. Sunday was a good day because we went to a baptism for an 8 year old girl from the Branch. After that we rode out to the border of Germany to eat with a member family. We had a lot of fun. I love you all and am thankful for all the support.

Love Elder Ellis

Monday, 10 October 2011

Transfer Week

Well Hello.
So I have to admit that I pretty much knew what was happening for transfers the last week or so. I did not want to say anything because it was still up in the air.
Sunday night one of the Zone Leaders told me that I would be going with him to Leiden the Mission Office on Thursday for some kind of a training. I thought that's weird. He later told me that its a training for potential trainers. I was like "Whaaaaaat?......" I might train.
On Monday the District that I am in decided to do a district P-day where we went to the 150 year Monument with bicycles. We rode from leeuwarden to there and back. 20 km each way..... In Suits since we said we bike all the time anyway so we might as well stick out to people, we did. The way there was really nice and at the monument we met the Van Komens who brought some Lunch Sandwiches. We had a really good time, till we had to bike back and the wind was blowing against us the entire time. It took us a little longer to get back. We still had fun it was just a little trying. On Monday Aswin had a knee surgery. It went really well.
On Tuesday we had a District Meeting talking about General Conference. It was really cool and the spirit was very strong. We also had another good lesson with Bernadette, the wonderful lady who will be baptized soon. She is so awesome and is making so much progress. We had a really good Branch Council and really got a lot of support from the Branch Members and Leaders.
Wednesday was a little slower, the reason, we had to e-mail and go grocery shopping.
Thursday we X-changed with the Zone Leaders and I went down to Leiden Through Amsterdam. I saw Amsterdam and the airport and an airplane which was about..... a year away from me. The Training was really and so inspiring and spirit filled. I feel so lucky that I was considered a potential trainer. After the training we had Domino's pizza. I then hung out with the office Elders for a while because we had to wait for a new car for the Zone Leaders. The rest of the day went really good as well.
On Friday we worked in Emmen and its about a hour bus ride and right as we got there our appointment called us off. Luckily we had something else planned as well.
On Saturday we did a lot of finding and got a couple doors with people not so happy to see us. We just responded nicely and left. We contacted over 50 people which means that we knocked at least over 100 doors since not everyone answered or was home.
Sunday was really nice. Bernadette showed up early and really liked church. I was asked to give a short 5 min talk about something I learned from General Conference. It went pretty good. However it was freezing in the church cause the heater did not work. Half of the members wore their jackets. We then went with the Loorbachs to eat with them and had delicious Lasagna and this time I had just the right amount. We had a fun time with them. I love um.
We had our 4th appointment with Bernadette that week and it was really cool. Then on our way home I received a phone call from one one of the Assistants who then told me that I will be training. Since the New Missionaries are experiencing difficulties with their Visa's they will be arriving a little late and Elder Merrill and I will stay together till then. Its been a really good week and I am excited to train. So that means I am staying in Assen for another 6 weeks at least. I will be in one District for half of my mission and only two cities. I love it though. Thanks for all the support. I love you all. Miss you.

Love Elder Ellis

Today while emailing us!  First time sending pics through email... long overdue!

Typical Jon... One of his trademark looks :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sweet Week

So I am extremely sorry that last week was so short. I feel like that there is always so much that happens that its impossible to even give a small update. By now so much has happened again that I can hardly remember what else happened last week. So I am sorry that my e-mail from last week is unfinished. 
On Tuesday we had a great District meeting and it was great to have the Van Komens back ( not just so they could make lunch) They are so awesome. Oh yeah here is what is cool. A journalist from a Dutch newspaper decided to write an article about the Mormon Missionaries and she chose our District. Which meant she not only followed around the Zone Leaders in the District but to also sit in on a District Meeting, held by me. Yeahh.... great. It went well though, she mostly just observed and took notes. The article she wrote mostly talked about the two Elders that she followed around but I was still worried that she would say something like:"Whoever that young guy was that taught the meeting had no clue what he was doing." But no nothing like that. It all went well.
I went on X-change with my long known friend Elder Wilcken ( since we both have been in this District forever.) We went to the Loorbachs for dinner again and it was delicious like always. They always make fun of me because I eat so slow. I guess I do. Aswin then went back to Assen with us to go on joint teach. Both the Ladies we taught are so awesome and one of them has a baptism date. She also came to the General Conference. It was cool. She text us the next day and said that she wants to be baptized one week earlier. Elder Wilcken and I also had a really cool discussion about gospel things, pfffff... what else do you expect from two Elders who have been on a mission for a while. That is all we think about.
Wednesday we had a great rest of the X-change. We did some finding in the park dragging the beautiful weather with us and had some sweet conversations. The people seemed more open since they were walking their dogs and had nothing else to do anyway. We kept quoting scriptures in our contacts. It was powerful to see peoples reactions to it. After the X-change my normal companion and I went to Fam Keuter for dinner (branch Presidents fam) We had a blast there like always.
On Thursday we had a cool finding hour where I tried to convince a lady that God existed. She said that's just what I believe to feel secure. I told her "No you just believe that he is not real" I asked her if she believes in Gravity and she said yes so I dropped my keys and said that no matter what the keys will fall every time. You can say that gravity does not exist, but in the end it does or else the keys would not fall every time. I then boldly said "God lives and he is real" It was cool how the spirit testified to me as I said that.
All I can do is testify. Oh yeah I also gave my first Baptism interview for one of the people that was being baptized in Groningen. That was a really cool experience.
On Friday we went to the Baptism and the journalist also came with her friend and I started talking to them and answering a ton of questions, one of the members then took over. It was really good.
Saturday was also a great day. On Sunday we got to see the Missionary Superbowl aka General Conference, man it was so awesome and I learned so much from it. It was a sweet day. I have to go. I love you all.
Love Elder Ellis