Monday, 30 January 2012

Hello Everyone!

Good Morning or whatever it is wherever you all are.
It has been a good week. I love this work and am learning to love it more and more.
I did get sick this week which was a tad bit challenging but I still worked the entire time which in the end was really rewarding since I could see the blessings that came from it because I was doing my best and working my hardest.
I went on exchanges with Elder McCarlie one of the Zone Leaders. I realized that I am not that familiar with the city yet. We did find everything eventually. We had a really good time and just worked, worked and worked.
On Wednesday we had a really good day, we looked up a lot of people and found a couple new investigators. We also looked someone up in the Hospital. The lady is so amazing and has such strong faith. She kept saying that Jesus did the surgery and not the Doctors, meaning that Jesus watched over her.
We also had an appointment with a cool lady and her 16 year old son, but when we found out that she was not home we just went in and had a good lesson with her son. Our joint teach was a 17 year Priest from the Ward. It turned out that they used to go to school together and that they are friends. It went really well.
After that we biked quickly to another Investigators house and walked with her to a member family's house. We taught the Plan of Salvation and that went really well.
On Thursday we had a really good lesson with a new guy that we found. He had a lot of good questions and is looking for truth. He has investigated a lot of different religions so he is really confused. When we walked outside only my bike was standing next to his house so Elder Li reaches into his pocket and finds it empty without his keys. He looked at me and I looked at him and said "Je heb toch niet de sleutels in je fiets vergeten?" In English meaning "You did not leave the keys in your bike, did you?" Well he did which also had the apartment key and for the church. So we walked home and had to wait all day for the other companionship to get home at night. We laughed so much and thought that it was really funny so it was not to bad. Elder Li now has another bike that he is using.
The last couple of days I have really been working on being a better Missionary and being more effective and efficient. It has changed my behavior and the work. I feel so much more motivation and help from above. I feel a lot more inspired and lead. Its amazing how just changing your thinking and mindset can make such a big difference. I love it.
We have been teaching a lot of lessons to people on the street. Its so sweet especially when you or your companion testify of what he or I have just said. It is so powerful.
Church was so good yesterday. The things we expected did not happen but instead the unexpected happened. It was amazing. A lady who was super positive that we found a few weeks ago through a member referral completely dropped us the next day after the first visit. We were really shocked and disappointed.
Well a few weeks later and she came to church with the members that referred her to us. She loved it and was so happy. She told us how sorry she was and that she was told by others that our church does not believe in Jesus Christ and that we are crazy and all that anti stuff. The sister (one of the members that referred her to us) had talked to her in between and the lady kept thinking to herself "How can they not believe in Jesus and be such an amazing woman who is so Christ-like?" The member ended up clearing up anti false information. The lady is so happy and asked if she could have the book of Mormon back. The lesson learned is that Missionaries can do all they want to help people but it is because of the example of everyday members who live Christ like lives that people see what the Gospel really is and offers. I am so thankful for members who live the gospel and are examples. It opens the door to Missionary work and Miracles. Thank You to all those who are Christ Like. Now remember that doing things not so Christ like is also an example to others and can give bad reputation to the church and the rest of the members.
I have to go
I love you all and miss you. May we all become more Christ Like by BEING like Christ and not just DOING.
Love Elder Ellis

Monday, 23 January 2012

Another Baptism

Hey Everybody
I am doing so good and am having a lot of fun.
Last Monday I already told you all that I went to Amsterdam and that we went to the Anne Frank huis. It was way fun. We also went to this really good burger place called Burger Bar and all i can say is that it was probably the best Burger I have ever had. It was huge and just delicious. There are no words to describe it.
When we got back home we biked to our appointment with the family that was baptized on Saturday the 21st. Yeah I forgot to mention that we had some people ready for Baptism. Well at the appointment they had their Baptism Interviews and they were all ready to go.
On Tuesday we had a dinner appointment with Fam Herrebrugh who actually went to Austria before my mission and they talked to Hans Malzl (my uncle) and Samantha (my sister). Samantha told them that her brother (me) was going on his mission to the Netherlands. Well here I am eating with them (well not right now but last Tuesday.
On Wednesday we had District Meeting with Interviews combined. Of course we had a delicious lunch again, without the Van Komens, so that was my first District Meeting without them since I left the Groningen District. The District meeting that I held went really well and I think we all learned from it. We had good role plays. Fun. And don't worry my interview went really well too.
I am not sure if I mentioned how much we bike here. For example we will bike one direction 15 or 20 minutes and then to get to the next appointment we bike that same distance plus another 30 minutes the other direction. We do plan our appointments as effective and efficient as possible but no matter what you have to bike a ton. Also it si very windy all the time which is good when going one direction but when you have to bike back it really blows. haha get it?
We found a new lady who is actually a referral from Germany. She is amazing and just gets the message. she understands it completely. She now has a baptismal date. We are very excited for her.
When we eat with Fam Pantophlat we really get spoiled because they can cook. Man and so can Elder Li, it must be cause he is chinese. Elder Li is so awesome and I am learning so much from him. I love that Elder.
On Saturday we had Debbie, Andy and Tristan get baptized and it was so cool to see. Debbie is the mother and the two boys are her sons 16 and 12. I love that Fam. Her good friend came too and we hope that she will want to get baptized too.
Yesterday at church Andy asked if I could confirm him, so I did. It was a very powerful spiritual experience.
We also ate with the Bishop who loves Austria so he wore his Lederhosen and his wife made Wiener Schnitzel. It was so much fun. I love Austria especially when they showed me pics from all their vacations there.
Well that's it for the week I love you all.
Love Elder Ellis

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Week....?

Well Hello Everybody.
I am doing great and had a very good week. We seriously taught so many lessons and are just finding people left and right. This is the Lords work because he is guiding us to the right people. I am so glad that I am here on a mission and helping people receive the gospel. I never realized how strong of an impact I can have on someone just for opening my mouth to strangers all day inviting people to listen to the message we share. Even a small little act of service can make someone smile and laugh or really help someone in need. I learned to always stand ready to help people.
I don't have much time but this last week we had some really good appointments where we could feel the spirit.
Elder Li and I are getting along very well and are having a lot of fun together. We are a powerhouse like another missionary has said.
Today for P/day we went to Amsterdam and that was so cool. We had the best Burger I have ever had. It was so Delicious. We then went to the Anne Frank house and saw her hiding place. It so sad to see what happened in world war 2. I am so glad that I speak Dutch cause now I can read the her Diary in the original language. I am excited to read the book after my mission. Well in Amsterdam you have to be very careful where you look. It can be pretty bad on certain streets. There are coffee shops everywhere and you smell marijuana no matter where you are. It was fun though.
I love you all and miss you. Sorry for not writing, but no joke we are so busy with missionary work.
Love Elder Ellis
P.S. Beterschap an the Crooks (I don´t remember how to say that word in English)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Almere is the Bomb

Hey everyone!!!
I am now in Almere and I am so happy and am excited to get to know everyone here (meaning members and the investigators)
Elder Li and I are having so much fun like we are always laughing and smiling. He is Awesome.
We have  lot of Investigators and some really cool people lined up for baptism. We are doing our best to help these people achieve their goal.
Almere is a lot bigger than Assen and District meeting will be in Amsterdam every week. I get to go to Amsterdam.
There are always people to talk to no matter where you are. It is so much fun. You know I love talking so here I get to do that a lot.
I am also in a 4 man apartment and that is a blast. we cook food together and just have fun and share miracles with each other.
One thing that is a little hard sometimes is that Almere is a lot bigger than Assen and we use bikes so we will bike as fast as we can in a direction for 30 or 40 minutes to get to an appointment on time. The best is when we bike home at night and we just book it as fast as we can. It is a good workout. I am really hoping to loose some weight while I am here. The Ward is also really cool and the bishop has Austrian Parents or something like that and went to Arizona on his mission. Also there is a family here who both the father and mother served their missions in Austria. Brother Reiche served in Salzburg around 25 years ago. They promised me to make me some Schnitzel and Spaetzle and other Austrian food. I am so happy to be on a mission. I love the gospel and have a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love God and that is why I serve him. I also love and miss all the people from Assen and Zwolle and of course my Groningen District, and The Van Komens who I will get to see them on Thursday.
I love you all and miss you.
Love Elder Ellis

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

Hello everyone.
I am sorry that I did not e-mail last year/week. Monday my P-day was a holiday here in the Netherlands so the library was not open. I was also really busy the rest of the week so I could not e-mail. I hope that everyone had a good Christmas and a Happy new Year celebration. I also hope that you all will have a good start into the year 2012. I am very excited to work in helping people come unto Christ. I have set some goals for this year and am excited to accomplish them.
I found out about transfers last night so I guess I should go ahead and tell you all what is going to happen. I am ........ finally leaving.
I am leaving Assen, I am leaving the Groningen District that I have been in my entire Mission so over a year, and I am even leaving the Apeldoorn Zone, I am however not leaving the country (Netherlands) I am going to Almere which is pretty close to Amsterdam which is also where we will be having District Meeting every week. My new Companions name is Elder Li, he is Chinese but grew up in America. He was Elder McDaniels (my comp in Assen) MTC companion. I am super excited, I will also be the District Leader in Almere. Oh another funny fact, the apartment that I will be in is a four man apartment, Elder Merrill and Elder Fullmer will also live there. Elder Fullmer has been in my District and is really cool and Elder Merrill used to be my companion in Assen for 2 transfers and 2 weeks. So it will be so much fun but we will stay focused on the work so no worries.
Well I will write my address at the end of my e/mail.
Now, Christmas was awesome, I talked to my Mom in Austria and the Stouts in America. We were at a members house for Christmas day and we had fun and ate really good food that he made. The next day we also had a Christmas dinner with another member since they have the 2nd Christmas day here.
I went on another exchange in Zwolle with Elder Bickham and we worked really hard and had a good time. It was so cool to be back in Zwolle.
All in all we had a really good week and a lot of fun times. Good dinner appointments and even sometimes Lunch.
I love the members here in Assen and will really miss them all. I will also miss the investigators. I will miss Assen and most of all I will miss the Van Komens. The are the best. I love them so much (they are the senior couple in Groningen for those of you that don´t know).
At a certain appointment we were teaching someone who has read a lot of Anti stuff online and is more busy looking at really negative stuff than looking at positive stuff. Probably more negative than the Scriptures themselves. This person is very religious but against the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I once again bore powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the Church. I felt the spirit so strong and my testimony grew. Let us all bare our testimonies more this year and let people around us feel the spirit when we do. I love you all and miss you.
A very happy 2012.
Love Elder Ellis
new address
Elder Jonathan Ellis
Stadhuisplein 13a
1315 HV Almere Stad
I love you all.