Elder Ellis, Knight of Faith

I Say English-Speaking, Everyone Else Says Hmong

Featured Photo: Elder Ellis, Knight of Faith

From Elder Ellis:

Well, as you all know I got called to the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission, English speaking. My first area is………………. wait for it……………………. Eau Claire, Wisconsin! I’m stationed here in Eau Claire and it’s quite the difference. First things first, I got called English speaking, but I’m with a Hmong Elder learning Hmong. (He’s white, but got called Hmong speaking). I can already hear Uncle Willie’s voice in my head shouting, “I TOLD YOU SO!” So yes, though it feels like vinegar in the throat, Uncle Willie was right. Anyways we shan’t dwell on that. But I’m learning Hmong!

Elder Ellis and Elder Gardiner
Elder Ellis and Elder Gardiner

My new companion is Elder Gardiner. Brother Lor and Brother Abbot should have taught him. (Brother Youngs too). You should remember him. He’s funny, obedient, and knows what he’s doing. (Not when it comes to the kitchen. That’s why I’m here I suppose). He’s been out for 10.5 months.

Elder Ellis and Hmong Elders
Elder Ellis and Hmong Elders

This area is really cool. I’m used to American Fork where everyone on the street is LDS, and there is an LDS chapel on every street corner. Here in Eau Claire, there is one LDS church house to serve Eau Claire, and the surrounding towns. There is a different church at every street corner. On one corner there is a Baptist church, on the next a Lutheran, and after that a Catholic. Pretty crazy for me. The members live all over the place! I can hardly keep track of them!

Easter and General Conference were this weekend. That was a blast. Also, that was a great way to get our foot in the door for other people. “Hey! Happy Easter! Let’s talk about the true meaning of Easter for a minute! [share the gospel] Thanks, enjoy Easter!” And conference. WOW. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever taken so many notes at a conference. Ever. I really liked Wilford W Andersen’s talk about how we know the dance steps, but we have to hear the music. That was a great talk. We need to learn that we must keep in tune with the spirit and once we are, we have to keep practicing it. When we watched conference, it was in the church chapel. Outside in the foyer, there was a TV with the conference broadcasted in Hmong. So I went over and heard my parent’s and friend’s and uncle and aunt’s voices translating. That was cool. I could recognize their voices and they did really good. Elder Gardiner says he’s heard the voices of my parents more than the voices of his own while he’s been out.

I was able to teach one really cool investigator. He’s in a position where he wants to turn his life around. GOLDEN. He loves what we teach him and I even committed him to baptism! Kind of. We haven’t set a date and it was in the first lesson, but it was an invite nonetheless.

The members that are out here are very interesting as well. I met with the Bishop’s family and they are super nice.

One last thing I wish to share with you all is actually something that happened Day 1 in the MTC. We sang the classic song, “We Will Bring the World His Truth.” It’s the men’s portion of the EFY medley, if you don’t know what it is. If you still don’t know, GO SEARCH IT! Anyway there is a line in there that states: “We will be the Lord’s missionaries.” When we sang it in the MTC that first day, we sang it a bit differently, but it made all the difference. We sang it as follows: “We are now the Lord’s missionaries.” It was such a small change, but it meant the world. Because as I sang that song the first day, I realized that I’m no longer going to be the Lord’s Missionary, I AM one right now. It’s been a crazy first half week, but it’s been a busy one. I love it and can’t wait to keep going forward in faith!

Last little thing. Our Mission is known as the MMM mission. Our mission scripture is Alma 26:12: “Many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land.” We are known as the “Many Mighty Miracles” mission. So onward to perform those many mighty miracles!

I love you all! Thanks for all your support and love. I miss you all, and I can’t wait to see you all again. God be with you till we meet again!


Elder Ellis


Published by

Michael Andrew Ellis

I write literary fiction at the confluence of Mormonism, Hmong culture, and the human condition. Here on michaelandrewellis.com, I write about Mormon arts and letters, Hmong history and culture, classic and contemporary literature, existentialism, and my journey as a writer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s