August 1, 2017


Bainbridge, Georgia


Ethan Scott Belliston

I am thankful for The Plan of Salvation

Hey Guys! This week has been full of spiritual highs and lows. I love hearing from you all!!! Please update me on your lives!!!

Monday, July 24:
Preparation Day...boring stuff. Cleaning, Dishes, Laundry, and emailing (the fun part).
Tuesday, July 25:
Today started out with teaching Faith and Zach. Faith continues to grow and ask more questions about the church. Later in the day we went to a town in the north part of the Branch called Donalsonville. It is another small town and is only a little bit smaller than Bainbridge. Elder Belliston and I decided to go street contacting. We walked around the town and the surrounding areas for about 4 hours with no luck. I said a prayer to myself after having a door literally slammed in my face. Immediately after the prayer I knew which direction I needed to go to. It was like I had gone that way before. We were lead to a home at the end of town. This particular home was at a dead end and and there was no one living in the homes surrounding it. We knocked on the door and met a boy, named Malick, who told us that his grandmother was looking for a new church. We talked with him for a little bit and then got his and his grandmother's information. After leaving his home we walked around for about another hour when suddenly we were stuck in a rain storm. After about 5 minutes in this storm we were completely soaked. Water had gotten into my water proof shoes and now they were wet. Luckily, everything in my bag stayed dry. This rain seemed to make my day so much better. For dinner we ate at the Branch Presidents house. President Taylor and his wife both shared their powerful conversion story and it made the day way spiritual!
Wednesday, July 26:
Today I decided that I was going to fast for more missionary experiences. Specifically that one of our investigators, named Amaris, would be able to feel like she had enough confidence to join the church. We went through the day and had a small service activity. When it came time to teach Amaris I said one last prayer. We got through an amazing lesson on the Plan of Salvation and then we asked her to be baptized on the 26th of August. She said yes! Elder Belliston and I are super excited for her to be baptized and become a member of the church. I know that she will be able to find happiness and joy as she comes closer to our Father in Heaven. After teaching Amaris we biked around Bainbridge looking for people to teach and were able to find a woman named Jessie. Jessie is member of a baptist church here in town and has an amazing testimony of the Bible. As we were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon she became very interested so we set a return date to meet with her.
Thursday, July 27:
Today, first thing in the morning, Elder Belliston handed me our cell phone and had me read a text message sent to us from our Zone Leaders. It told us that Elder Huffaker's parents were killed in a plane crash Wednesday morning. Elder Huffaker was one of the Elders in my residency in the MTC. From what I have been told, it was a four person plane being flown by some friends of the Huffaker's. As far as I know the plane was only in the air for a few minutes after taking off from one of SLC's smaller airports. All I ask is that you keep him and his family in your prayers. I grew to be very close to him in the MTC and I know that this will be hard for him. Later in the day Elder Belliston and I were biking around Bainbridge and met a man who was blind named Kenny. Kenny has been blind since he was 29. He became blind after getting shrapnel in his eyes while fighting for our country. He showed much interest in the Plan of Salvation.
Friday, July 28:
Today we met again with Jessie in the morning. It went very well and she loved to hear that we have a living prophet on the earth today and asked lots of questions about President Monson. Later we met with Kenny. We are not sure how much of our lesson on the restoration he retained but he expressed that he felt the spirit. Most of the rest of our day was spent talking to and meeting with less-active members of the church.
Saturday, July 29:
Today I was able to experience my first Zone Conference. Basically Zone conference is a 6 hour training. We are addressed by the mission President and his wife. We also were able to receive some training from President Salmon. He spoke on the role of members in missionary work. He said "Missionaries are called to harvest! No longer are they called to plant seeds. It is the role of members to find those individuals for the missionaries to teach." President Smith (our mission President) taught on how to find investigators and the best way to invite less actives to church. We were also trained by other Missionaries in our zone.
Sunday, July 30:
We had lots of meetings before and after church. One of the meetings involved me. I was to introduce how to start and teach a family history class. I have been asked to teach a family history course every Wednesday night. For those of you who don't know, it has been my calling for the four years leading up to my mission to aid my ward in family history work. I know that I was called to learn about family history work to help members and non-members in this branch.

Scripture and Quote:

Alma 40:22-25
"22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.
23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
25 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets--
26 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God."

"Love is intended to last longer than time, to span the veil of death and continue everlastingly."
-Robert L. Millet

We can never forget our loved ones who passed on before us. Be we forget to remember that we will see them again. That because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement everyone will be resurrected. We must also remember that our loved ones never truly leave us. They are always with us; on our left and on our right. Never seen but always felt. Pushing us, helping us and lifting us in ways we will never see while on earth. I know that Elder Huffaker will see his parents again and I know that they will be there to help him throughout his life. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the joy I have in knowing that we have life after death. I love my family and friends that have helped me get to this point in my life. I love you all and this I say in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


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