Monday, November 28, 2011

Elliot's November 28 email

Here's the latest email from Elliot.


Yeah Brother Sorenson got special permission from President to give y'all a call while I was there. I figured you might have been heading back from Utah at the time. It was pretty cool though being at his house and talking to him and everything. They're a way nice family. And he has some cool mission stories.

And I'm glad you got the videos! I've been trying to learn a little bit of the piano but I'm not very good. I can play the right hand okay. And don't worry about the story mom! That's actually a really long time ago now and I haven't really had anything like that happen since. No more guns pulled on me lol. [Check out the videos we got yesterday to understand the gun story.]

I'm doing well out here. Shawn has passed his baptismal interview and will be getting baptized this Sunday! Another investigator is doing pretty well too. We're having to push her date back a few weeks just to make sure everything's ready but she is doing well. We just need to finish teaching her the lessons. We're trying to find some more new investigators now so that we can still have people to teach after they get baptized. The work's going really good though and that makes me happy!

I'm glad you guys had a good Thanksgiving weekend! I did too. For Thanksgiving we played football with the Taylors, went to Shawn's baptismal interview, had a huge lunch with the McReynolds, took a nap (we weren't allowed to proselyte), went to dinner at the Grays with Shawn, and then stopped by the Jankas' house to visit a bit. It was way fun but I ate too much food. I was so stuffed haha.

This week we have a Zone Leader Council on Wednesday and Temple Conference on Thursday. Between that and the baptism we should be pretty busy. We're also going to be getting another companion for a week. Elder Curtis is going home a week early for some family stuff so we're getting Elder Clements. Then we'll probably be in another threesome the 2 weeks after because Elder Soto is going home mid-transfer on the 20th. Can you believe transfer calls are this Sunday already? This is going by way too fast.

I'm happy and well! I'll think about some Christmas presents. Maybe a new suit? I'll let ya know.

I love you!

Elder Elliot

New videos of Elliot!

I found a great surprise in my email last night: two videos of Elliot! He recently had dinner with the Randy Lusk family in Moore, Oklahoma. Elliot is currently serving in the Lusks' ward, the same ward attended by the mission president and my mission companion, John Sorenson. Brother Lusk has a photo studio (Alpha-Omega Productions) and was testing a new camera in his home the evening Elliot and Elder Soto went for dinner. Brother Lusk shot a couple of videos and sent them to me last night. With his permission, I've posted them here on the blog. It's great to see Elliot!


Elliot and Elder Soto singing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mormon Messages: "Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them"

"Men's hearts failing them for fear . . ." (Luke 21:26.)

This video recounts the harrowing experience told by Elder Russell M. Nelson as the plane in which he was traveling caught fire. It's a powerful story of the peace that comes through the gospel. For those of us who are weak in the heart, fearful in the heart, he teaches us to be patient with ourselves and allow the Lord to make up the difference as we fall short of our goals and aspirations. Enjoy the video.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Elliot's November 21 email and picture

Here's the latest from Elliot in Moore, Oklahoma.


Is the LA auto show going on? It was always way fun going to that. Next year? [Elliot always loved to go to the LA Auto Show. Here's proof.] And I've always wanted to attend the temple in Spanish. That'd be cool for sure. We were told not to during the MTC so I haven't had the opportunity to yet.

This week was awesome! Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with meetings most of the day, but they were good meetings. Then Thursday I wet to Wichita Falls to baptize Adrienne! It was a super spiritual experience. The service was great and it was cool seeing everyone again. Friday I went on exchanges to the Spanish Central area with Elder Christenson (one of my roommates in the MTC). We taught some good lessons and had dinner with the Ramirez family who had me over for Thanksgiving a year ago. Also on Friday I interviewed Amparo, one of their investigators, for baptism. It was the 6th interview I've done and the first in Spanish. I was nervous going into it but soon Spanish just started coming back to me. I love doing interviews. She was baptized on Sunday by Elder Phillips and Elder Soto confirmed her. On Saturday morning, Elders Christenson, Whipple, Garner, and I went to a flea market in Midwest City. They've recently started setting up a booth there and its pretty cool. We got a lot of referrals for our zone and it was fun. On Sunday we met up with Shawn and we're still one for his baptism this coming Sunday, so assuming his interview goes well that'll be awesome. Our other progressing investigator, Jan, is still on for the week after so hopefully everything works out!

Good luck with the temple class! That's exciting. I hope y'all have an awesome Thanksgiving! Say hi to everyone for me.

Love ya!

Elder Elliot

P.S. In the picture is Elder Lang, me, Adrienne, Elder Jacobson, and Elder Talbot

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mormon Messages for Youth: "Practice, Celebration, Dedication: Temple Blessings in El Salvador"

I really enjoyed this Mormon Messages for Youth video about the recently-dedicated temple in San Salvador, El Salvador. The video demonstrates how a temple can affect the lives of all, young and old, and it was fun to share the experience of three youth as they participated in the dedication and celebration of a new temple in their home country. We've included several stories about the importance temples on Elliot's blog (here, here, here, herehere, and here).

More information about the El Salvador temple may be found here, including the text of the dedicatory prayer offered by President Henry B. Eyring, a news report about the dedication, and more photos of the temple.

And here's some facts about the El Salvador temple, also from its website.

  • The El Salvador Temple is the first temple to be built in El Salvador and the fourth to be built in Central America, following the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple (1984), the San José Costa Rica Temple (2000), and the Panamá City Panamá Temple (2008).
  • The architectural design of the El Salvador Temple, which features graceful arches and conches throughout, is inspired by the Spanish colonial architecture of the region.
  • A motif of the Flor de Izote (pictured) — the national flower of El Salvador — is used throughout the El Salvador Temple including in the art-glass windows and mahogany wood from Honduras and nearby countries. The limestone flooring is from Israel.
  • The El Salvador Temple was dedicated on the 84th birthday of the president of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson.

Enjoy the video.


Here's another video about the dedication of the El Salvador temple.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oklahoma State University women's basketball suffers tragic loss

On January 27, 2001, ten members of the Oklahoma State University men's basketball program lost their lives in a plane crash while returning home from a game in Colorado. We remembered their loss here on Elliot's blog.

Tragically, history has repeated itself, this time for the OSU women's basketball program. Yesterday afternoon, head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed in a plane crash on a recruiting trip to Arkansas. Also killed were former state senator Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula. The Oklahoman has extensive coverage on the accident and on the lives of those lost in the crash.

We echo the words of OSU President Burns Hargis:
The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims.
News coverage:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Elliot's November 14 email

Here's the latest news from Elliot.


Actually if  I could get a few more boxes of contacts that would be nice. I think I still have 2 or 3 boxes but that probably won't last all the way until the end of the mission.

And I didn't know JK got his call! Iowa, huh? [JK McKeon of Newhall First Ward spoke in church yesterday before leaving on his mission to Iowa.] Maybe ya'll had told me that. But that's cool. Does he report this week?

This week I'm going to Texas to baptize Adrienne! Ella va a ser bautizada [she is going to be baptized] on Thursday and she asked if I could baptize her and President gave me permission. I'm super excited.

Me and Elder Soto both got pretty sick this past week and were out for most of Friday and Saturday, but it was still a really productive week. I also had the opportunity to do 2 baptismal interviews, the 4th and 5th I've done, which is one of the coolest things to do on the mission. I'm gonna be conducting another interview on Friday this week, only it'll be my first in Spanish so I'm kinda nervous. My Spanish feels pretty rusty, but I'm sure it'll be another cool experience.

We also have a couple of investigators with baptismal dates here in Moore. One is going to be baptized on the 27th. He's way legit and we've taught him most everything. Another investigator is supposed to get baptized on December 3rd. We have to help her overcome a few challenges before then but she really has a desire to be baptized and has been coming to church these past few weeks. Life is good here. The members are excited, we're excited and things are looking up. We have a dinner every night from now through the first week of December, so I'm getting taken care of. Everyone here is way helpful.

This should be Bro. Sorenson's number [my old missionary companion]. We're having dinner with the Sorensons on the 26th.

This area is fun. It's cool being in a 4 man apartment. Our other 2 roommates are Elder Curtis, who was in my district in Wichita Falls, and Elder Clements, who is a relatively new missionary. There's always something funny going on and always someone to talk to. This zone is the most concentrated in the mission. Pretty much every P-day the whole zone gets together to play sports or games or whatever. This past week we went to the park and played football and I think we're going to the park again to play that and kickball. It's cool seeing everyone when in a lot of other zones you don't see all of the other missionaries except maybe once or twice a transfer. Also, we got a Christmas tree. Never too early to have a Christmas tree.

So everything is sweet out here. Hope y'all have an awesome week!

Love ya!

Elder Elliot

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two missionaries killed, one injured, in Texas accident

We were saddened to learn of a tragic accident yesterday evening involving three Mormon missionaries. Two of the missionaries, Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong, 21, of Taylorsville, Utah, and Elder Derek Jason Walker, 20, of Fairfield, Idaho, were killed when they were struck by an automobile while riding their bikes in Donna, Texas. A third, Elder Zachary Todd Harris, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama, was seriously injured in the accident. The latest reports indicate that Elder Harris has been released from the hospital. The three occupants of the vehicle fled the scene on foot. The driver turned himself in this morning, while the search for the two passengers continues.

The Church released the following statement about this tragedy:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missionaries involved in this tragic incident. We pray that they will be comforted as they mourn the loss of their loved ones, who served others selflessly as missionaries.
We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the Strong and Walker families, whose sons dedicated their lives to a service they loved. We also pray for the full recovery of Elder Harris.

As parents of a missionary serving not far from these young men, we cannot imagine the pain the loss of a missionary son or daughter would bring. Words do not provide meaningful relief. But the knowledge of the Lord's love for us may ease a loved one's suffering. We know that He suffered all things for us, that He might strengthen us in our times of need.
 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
(Alma 7:11-12.) The Savior's mercy will undoubtedly be with the families of these fine young men.

The Church has published a statement on missionary safety on its website.

News coverage can be found online:

Pictures from the LDS Church News may be seen after the jump.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Will Hopoate: Rugby star, missionary, and a Mormon

History has a way of repeating itself. A few months ago, we posted a story on Elliot's blog about Sid Going. Sid was a rising rugby star in the early 1960s, and he was also a member of the Church. Faced with giving up a promising (not to mention lucrative) professional rugby career, Sid chose to serve a mission for the Church in Canada. At the completion of his two years of service, Sid returned home to New Zealand, where he renewed his rugby career, played for the All Blacks rugby team, and became one of the legends of the sport.

Flash forward 50 years. A young Australian named Will Hopoate is a rising rugby star. His team, the Manly Sea Eagles, recently won the Australian National Rugby League championship. Like Sid Going before him, Will is a member of the Church who has opted to leave professional rugby for two years while he serves a mission to Brisbane. Will already has a contract waiting for him on his return with the Parramatta Eels, but that's an uncertain future two years off. We hope he will have a very successful mission and return to a rugby career like Sid Going.

Sid and Will met shortly before Will left on his mission. They both spoke to youth at a meeting in Canberra. Speaking of the decision to serve a mission, Sid said:
If I didn’t go, I don’t know if I would’ve have had the career I did. I came back a much more mature person, knowing the goals and directions I wanted to go. It was the best decision I made at the time, and I’m sure Will will feel the same. I think the decision is the best decision he could’ve ever made.
Will added:
I was never the most obedient child, but I have found that if I put the Lord first in my life, everything else just falls into place. Everything just takes care of itself ... He blessed me to play first grade, He blessed me to play State of Origin, He blessed me to play in the finals ... In my heart and soul, I know that those things are blessings from God.
Here is a great "I'm a Mormon" video from Will that tells his story.

And here are several examples of the tremendous media coverage about Will and his missionary service:

Elliot's November 7 email and pictures

Here's the latest email from Elliot, with pictures after the jump.

Hey familia!

Earthquake!!! I sure did feel it in Moore. It was actually a pretty intense one. We had Elders Nield (my first son in the mission [meaning Elliot was Elder Nield's first missionary companion in Oklahoma]) and Doyle staying over for Stake Conference. We were sitting in the living room (all 6 of us) when we heard what sounded like the neighbors blasting some bass. Then all of a sudden everything started shaking. Elder Soto sprinted out the door, down the stairs and across the street while everyone else just took cover away from anything big that could fall. It was pretty funny. It made me think of the '93 Northridge earthquake [actually '94] when we were all under the table eating Cheetos. Good times.

This has been an awesome week for sure. Elder L. Tom Perry came to our Stake Conference which was super cool. He gave a couple of way powerful talks, with much of it pointing to both the Doctrine of Christ (4th Article of Faith) and the blessings of temple attendance. I got to shake his hand and talk to him for a bit. His witness of God and Jesus was way powerful.

We have 3 people with baptismal dates right now, 4 people came to church, and the ward is very excited about all that is going on. We've been busy between all that is going on and our responsibilities as Zone Leaders, but it's sweet. And Adrienne is going to get baptized next week! I'm going to see if I can get permission to go back to Texas to baptize her. Either way it's way cool.

As a zone leader I get to drive a truck, and I love my truck. I ll send you a picture!

Things are going really well here. The work is sweet and I'm excited to be able to help out in this work of extreme eternal significance.

Les amo!

Elder Elliot Adair

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New pictures of Elliot

President and Sister Taylor posted some great new pictures on their blog, including several with Elliot. The pictures of Elliot are from a November conference of zone leaders, probably in the Oklahoma City area. And we also get to see his new companion, Elder Soto. Enjoy the pictures.

November Zone Leader Council
Top: Elders Cook, President Taylor, Phillips, Ali'ifua, Atkinson, Olsen and Duke
Bottom: Elders Soto, Elliot, Frampton, Hansen, Linford and Kimber 

Elders Ali'ifua, Elliot, Frampton and Hansen 

 Elliot, Elders Soto, Frampton, Hansen, and Cook (?)

 Elliot, Elders Soto, Frampton, Hansen, and Cook (?) 

 Elder Soto, Elliot

Elders Cook, Kimber, Ali'ifua and Elliot

Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter

Here is the most recent Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter from Sister Connie Hollingworth (pictured), with reports from Elliot, Javan Hatch, Merisa Hicks, Kyle Hill, CJ Norris, and Carlton Reininger.  We really appreciate Sister Hollingworth putting this together every month!

This will be Merisa's last contribution to the ward newsletter. She returns home this week. It will be great to have her back.

Enjoy the newsletter after the jump.

Mormon Messages for Youth: "Book of Mormon: Messages from Heaven"

This is a great video about the Book of Mormon. It features the testimonies and experiences of a group of youth from Eastern Europe, who committed to read the Book of Mormon for 20 minutes a day and record their thoughts and impressions in a journal. Hailing from Bulgaria, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Armenia, these youth are great examples of the power the scriptures can have in our lives.

The video also contains brief excerpts from addresses given by the Prophet Thomas S. Monson at the April 2011 General Conference, "Priesthood Power," and by Elder Henry B. Eyring at the October 2011 General Conference, "A Witness," as they bear testimony of the importance of the Book of Mormon.

Enjoy the video.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oklahoma's rockin' again!

Elliot is getting his share of earthquakes in Oklahoma! Early on Saturday, a 4.7 shaker hit in central Oklahoma, along with a series of smaller aftershocks. Then, less than an hour ago, a 5.2 quake hit about 40 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, near the town of Sparks, Oklahoma, and was felt across a wide area. Another report puts it at a 5.6. It will be interesting to read Elliot's email on Monday to find out how strongly he felt it in Moore.

Update: USGS just upgraded the quake officially to a 5.6. A Twitter comment says that's the biggest in OK history. And now there are reports of significant damage in Lincoln County, where Sparks is located.

Update: Here's a video report from msnbc about the earthquakes in Oklahoma.