Elder Ellis and the Light

Patience Is a Virtue

Featured Photo: “There is a light…”

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everyone! It’s been a week already? Time seriously doesn’t exist when you are serving the Lord. This week marks a momentous occasion! I finished the 12-week training program! Therefore, I’M NO LONGER A GREENIE!!

Transfers are also today. Big news!! I’m not getting transferred! But according to the transfer sheet, we are getting a third person in our companionship. So that’s exciting. Sister Coleman and Sister Young are staying in our district, so that’s a relief. But Sister Jenkins is leaving us. Sad day!

This week has been a pretty good week. It rained like crazy this morning! A thunderstorm hit Bloomington at about 5am and the power went out at 6am. I slept through everything. Naturally.

Panda Bear Coupon
Ready for anything …

On Tuesday we had a Zone Service project in Minneapolis. It was the best thing ever! We helped plant a rose garden! I got a lot of cuts from the roses, but it was so worth it! Elder Hughes, Sister Coleman, and Elder Nang kept trying to throw worms or other bugs at me because they loved to see my reaction. I think I got that from my mom. Haha.

Planting Roses
“A rose is a rose is a rose …”

On Wednesday we had district meeting. Sister Jenkins did the most amazing role play/lesson thingy. So here’s what we did: (hold on, because it won’t make sense at the beginning) Sister Jenkins told us that we had to go to different places in the room and pray by ourselves. We were to pray for two things: 1. Some investigator to act as. 2. Some investigator to find. We then were supposed to go find and talk to another missionary in that room and teach them. They were going to act like the investigator they prayed about and the other one would teach them. This was an activity to show how through our faith we can find the people that God has prepared for us as we ask for people specifically. “Specifically” being the key word.

Sister Coleman decided to come and talk to me. I was the missionary first. I began to teach her and we ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation. At the end of the role play, she told me who she was acting as. She was a college-aged girl. She just recently moved to Minnesota. Her Dad died recently and she was wondering why God would take her Dad away when he was so young. She was looking for a plan. Now after she told me that I smiled. I told her about the person I was looking for, word for word exactly what I wrote down, “I am looking for someone who is going through a trial. Recently moved here. Don’t know why they are here. Looking for a plan.” It was awesome. Sister Coleman just smiled and turned around and said, “That’s SICK!” It was so cool. We both felt the spirit strongly. I happened to be a student too, who was searching for light and happiness. She was looking for someone similar who didn’t know how to pray. I was half of the person she was looking for. But it was really cool to see how even in a role play setting IT WORKED! We need to pray for specific people to find!

I also got the opportunity to go to the sealing of Sam and Sheila! It was a great experience. I got to see Kelton and Sam and all the Hmong missionaries from the areas I served in. It was great! So happy to see them!

Happy Couple Plus Missionaries
Happy couple!
Sam All Grown Up Now
Elder Ellis with Sam and Sheila

Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Hughes and spent the latter part of the day in Minneapolis. It was great! We had some mini-miracles happen to us. We were teaching this one less-active family. First miracle was that we got to teach him, because apparently he hardly ever wants to be taught. Then, when we were preparing to read scriptures, I thought I heard Elder Hughes say, “You pick a scripture Elder Ellis.” So I whip out my Book of Mormon and start looking for one. They were talking and eating, so I thought and thought about a scripture to share with this less active family, who I don’t even know. I thought about one of my favorite scriptures: Alma 37:37, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings.” Elder Hughes then gets his scriptures out and says, “Alright, I’m going to share a scripture with you today.” Dang, heart broken, I don’t get to share a scripture. “It’s in the book of Alma,” he says. My heart skips a beat. “Chapter 37,” he continued. “WHAT THE HECK?” I thought. “Verses 32-37.” I about flipped the table, I was so excited. The spirit guided me to find that scripture. IT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER!! Brother Shaffer (the guy who was with us for the night) looked over and said, “Oh look, Elder Ellis is already there.” I was speechless. It was awesome! I can’t describe the awesomeness of that moment.

On Friday we did more service at a place called Feed My Starving Children. We packaged food for kids in North Korea. Anyway, it reminded me a lot of the days I spent in the Namify warehouse. Why? Well, I was sealing the bags shut with a machine similar to the one I used back then. It was fun though! Elder Henrie is a beast!

Saturday, we tried to find people. Unfortunately, tracting isn’t the most effective way of finding Cambodians. So we called up some of our potentials to see if we could stop by. Turns out, just about every Cambodian was having a graduation party! We got invited to two! So we, being the bold missionaries we are, went to both! Never have I seen so many Cambodians in one place. In Minnesota. It was awesome. The first party we went to, we stayed in the garage because we didn’t know anyone, and the person we were meeting there wasn’t there yet. Cambodian people are so friendly though. This one guy talked to us about religion and how he’s a Christian. He taught us this trick where if you fold a paper a certain way and cut it straight down it makes a cross and spells out life. It was pretty cool. It was like 2:30 in the afternoon and there were coolers of beer. He offered us one. I almost laughed and wanted to teach the Word of Wisdom. But we just declined nicely. Anyway, we set a return appointment to go meet with him and his family. We’ll teach him! Then the other graduation party we went to was on the other side of town. (Thank you HF for a car). We were actually invited by the host to attend this one. SO MUCH CAMBODIAN FOOD! It was awesome! Delicious. And we contacted a lot of people there. We’ve got a whole new pool of potentials to teach! It was great!

Sunday we taught one of our new investigators named T___. We met her last week or so. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she thought it was cool! She loved the idea of living with our Heavenly Father. She loved the thought of Jesus Christ and that we can be forgiven. She seems golden! We just need her to come to Church. It was also Father’s Day so we made C___ a Father’s Day card from the materials we had on hand (including a Santa Claus!). He loved it so much! He was showing it to everyone. Even President Forbes! (President Forbes happened to come to our ward this past Sunday) We’ve been teaching C___ and his family everyday this week because C___ (the youngest girl) wants to get baptized soon! She’s eight, so we are working with her and C___ to get him ready to baptize her! It’s exciting!

Father's Day Card
Father’s Day Card

That’s really all for this week. It’s been a great week. I’m excited to continue to serve here in the Bloomington Cambodian area. It’s crazy, because we don’t have a huge teaching pool, and we don’t have members to come teach with us (because no one else speaks Cambodian), no members to feed us, and our investigators don’t seem to know the importance of keeping commitments. If there’s one thing I think the Heavenly Father is teaching me right now, it’s PATIENCE! The people who believed Alma had patience and they were going through much harder trials than me. Go read Alma 24:9-16. Always remember to have patience in your trials. I need to remember that a lot as well. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thanks for all the support and love you give to me! 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.

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