Elders at the Forbes

Fired Up and Ready to SERVE!

Featured Photo: “Power of Three, uh, Four,” courtesy of Sister Forbes

From Elder Ellis:

I think only Tristan will really understand the intensity of the Subject title, but it really does apply to this week!

This week has been a crazy week! I can’t believe it’s already been one week!! So last week I had a half a P-day on Monday because we were celebrating the 4th of July on Saturday, that was awesome. More on that later! This week, we also have a partial P-day this week because we get to go to the TWINS GAME this week!! It’s this Wednesday so that’s going to be pretty fun! So I only have limited time to write this week, but I’ll probably still write an email that is rather long.

Last Monday we had dinner at the Dumas’ house and we played ladder golf, and had a nerf-gun war with the other missionaries too. It was a blast! S___ WENT TO SCOUT CAMP! He left last Monday morning! That’s a miracle! He doesn’t like to go to church because it’s “not fun.” Church isn’t supposed to be “fun,” it’s spiritual! But I mean he’s like 15 years old, so I can kind of see where he’s coming from. So this past week has been S___-less and it was…different? I mean we just taught S___ and C___ all week. But still.

Tuesday we had MZLC, well, Elder Nang did. Haha. MZLC is Minneapolis Zone Leadership Conference. Elder Nang and Elder Morgan (both District leaders of areas in the Minneapolis Zone) went to that and Elder Carbonell and I stayed here in Bloomington and worked here. That’s crazy. I found out how little Cambodian I really know. Haha. But still we had a really good experience and met some cool new people! I also found out how scared I really am of snakes. As we were walking up to the Mission office, I saw a stick fall off the brick wall (it’s as tall as my knees). I looked over in confusion, because why would a stick just fall off a wall? Well, it was a moving stick, and I then realized it was a snake. I jumped and shrieked, whatever you want to call it! Elder Crapo and Henrie later caught it and named it “Satan.”

Wednesday, we had a really good District meeting and also ate at Chick-Fil-A. For the first time here on my mission. Spoiler alert! It tastes the same…haha! In the evening, we went with Sister Nelson (the same Sister Nelson who worked with me in Eau Claire. [I don’t remember if I mentioned that.]) and Sister Matagi to help a less active member named Pam do some yard work. I MOWED THE LAWN!! For the first time in like a year I got to mow the lawn! Also, I was in a shirt and tie, so cross that off the list of things I never thought I would do!

Thursday was great! We taught a lesson with our investigator S___ T___ and his wife O___ N___. (Don’t worry about pronunciation, I still can’t pronounce them correctly.) We taught them about Christ and His Atonement for us and the first part of the Plan of Salvation. It was a really good lesson. Also, I prayed in Cambodian and they understood it! So it was awesome. We committed them to come to church, but S___ had work and O___ can’t drive, yet. (We often pass by this one part of town where she is found practicing parallel parking with her husband and two other Cambodian friends.) We told her we could get her a ride! Then after that we had dinner with the Beechers, they are such nice people. President Beecher I should say. He is in the Mission Presidency. So, that’s always nice. He loves having missionaries over, and his wife makes everything from scratch. SUCH GOOD FOOD!

Friday was an amazing day as well. We went down to Shakopee and did some teaching there. We taught two of our investigators down there: T___ and S___. Both of them are so receptive to the gospel. S___ has a nine-year-old daughter named E___. She came and she prayed for us at the end of the lesson! It was so cool! I think that we should bring Ch___ and C___ over to joint teach with us because C___ and E___ would be best friends. T___ also was really receptive to the Gospel. We talked a lot about the importance of Church and why she should come to church. She asked Elder Nang about how he was converted from Buddhism to Christianity and he showed her the “Wrong Roads” Mormon Message. Which explains how sometimes we go down a road so far and realize it’s the wrong road, even when we get the impression that we needed to go there. It’s God’s way of telling us that the other road is 100% for certainty the road we need to take. It was really cool. We asked her to pray but she didn’t want to. So I got a prompting that we need her to pray right here, right now. So I used the best tactic we have to get someone to pray. ME! I’m learning Cambodian, so I asked her, “If I can ask you to pray in Cambodian, will you pray?” She agreed, so I asked her in Cambodian if she would pray for us! That’s one way I often use to help the Cambodian people to pray!

Man, Friday just keeps going on, so we also tried to teach another investigator named Ph___. She is an older woman who loves the idea of the Gospel. She really wants it for her sons too. We met one of them on Friday. His name is J___. He is going through some depression. We invited him to church and he was all for it. Then he kind of backed out of it. He set down the cards we gave him which had our information on it. The second he set those cards down the spirit was gone. He was telling us that we could go, and it was just rather uncomfortable. Elder Wright and I both felt that it was time to go. Elder Nang also agreed and so we left. We cannot teach people while there is a spirit of contention there. It was really weird. He totally did a 180 on us. He was ready to go, then just denied us. So, that’s interesting. We still want to teach Ph___ though, so baby steps.

Capt America Bands
Captain America bands!

Saturday was the 4th of July! We went all American on Saturday! We visited Ch___ because we worked in the morning, which was basically studies all morning and then stop bys. Elder Nang got a package with a bunch of American things, two American flags and American Flag candies, so we decorated our car all American. We also happened to eat lunch at Mcdonald’s, could we be more American? We stopped by target and I bought Captain America sweatbands and socks. MORE AMERICAN! Then, we went with a ton of other missionaries to St. Paul and partied there for the remainder of the evening. It was great! I got to see all the old Hmong Missionaries and my old companions from North St. Paul. It was great! Elder Crapo took all three of us and six other Sister Missionaries in the Vanimal up to St. Paul. (It’s a 15 passenger van we call it the Vanimal.) It was a little weird, we were three of five Elders out of nine Sisters. Haha, it was a party though! We BBQed and played volleyball, there was a wiffleball game going on. President Forbes showed up in a polo and jeans. THAT WAS WEIRD. It was like, President Forbes, in NOT a suit! That threw me off. It was a blast! We left St. Paul around 9:00 am and we didn’t get back until 10:15 pm -ish. It was great though! Pretty great for a no firework 4th of July.

The Vanimal!

Sunday was a great day too! (We are almost to the end!) Church comes around and we arrange a ride for O___ to come to church. The Thompsons gave her a ride and SHE CAME TO CHURCH!! Her son did too! Then after the opening prayer, M___ came in with Ch___’s family and S___ CAME TO CHURCH TOO!!! IT was like a spirit-slap to the face how awesome it was that he came. That was the second time he’s come to church since I’ve been here. It was a great sacrament meeting. It was testimony meeting and so I got up and bore my testimony. Towards the end of my testimony I thought, “I have two investigators here that are Cambodian, one rather large Cambodian member family, and a companion who is probably trying to translate for our investigator.” So I bore a small portion of my testimony in Cambodian. It was great. Once I finished speaking Cambodian, I looked over to the Cambodian section and like everyone was nodding in agreement, because I apparently said it all correctly. Haha! We also got to have dinner with President and Sister Forbes last night. It was great! Sister Forbes took pictures and sent them to Mom and Dad. She’s always doing that. Haha.

So that’s how great of a week it’s been. This week has really fired me up! So I am ready to serve the people of Minnesota! It’s been great! I love you all! Thanks for your great support! Also, thanks for actually taking time to read my super long emails, even when I have shortened time. Haha! See you all in two years!


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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