Featured Photo: Elder Ellis and Elder Lao — The Hmong Kids
From Elder Ellis:
Hello, everyone! It’s Monday again! For me at least, for others it may be Tuesday, or Wednesday when you read this, but for me it’s Monday! So I have had a great week this week! It’s been one for the books, actually just this weekend will probably take up the majority of this email! So let’s get started!
I’m going to start with the most amazing experience I had this last week. Yesterday the Assistants had a baptism for one of their investigators. They have been working with him for three YEARS! He finally decided to get baptized. His name is Brooks and he is the sweetest, most amazing, most Christlike example to me. He had some issues with being baptized because he has a disease that has rendered his muscles inoperable. He was confined to a motorized wheelchair. When he decided to get baptized he invited the first missionary to teach him to come and baptize him. Elder Craft, or now Alex. So Brooks’ story starts in January 2012. Elder Craft and his companion were tracting the area around the church and were offering to shovel people’s driveways. They knocked on this one house and heard a voice call, “Come in!” There is where they found Brooks. It all started with service! The baptismal service was the most spiritual baptismal service I have ever been too. Because Brooks was in a wheelchair he had to have four people in the font with him. Elder Crapo, Elder Henrie, President Beecher, and Ex-Elder Craft. It made me realize that baptism is one of the greatest things that we can choose to do in this life. Brooks was confined to a wheelchair and couldn’t use many of his muscles, and yet, he still chose to be baptized. He did whatever it took to get there. It was so amazing! The spirit was there and very present in that meeting.
On Saturday, we spent the day in Shakopee. We went to go visit this guy who we talked to a week ago and he let us in and we taught him and HIS WHOLE FAMILY! It was great! They were pretty cool and wanted to learn more. That was so cool! We then went to teach So___, and her Husband was there! He’s usually never present for the lessons because he doesn’t want to learn! But this time he was in the room with us. The lesson went well, but I could tell they were distracted by the TV, with some political show going on. After that, we went over to teach T___. Man that was a great lesson and deserves a paragraph of its own. So look below!
T___’s lesson was amazing. We got there and she told us that some other missionaries came by and talked to her. I was so worried. I was thinking, “Aw man, the Jehovah’s Witnesses…NO!!!!!!!!!!!” I asked her who they were and she said that they were from our church. AND THEY KNEW US! It was the weirdest thing because I know that Elder Crapo and Elder Foggin (The new assistant) didn’t cover that area. Turns out it was the Prior Lake Elders! Elder Fabrizo and Elder Roose! They meet in the same building as us, but later at like 11am. They somehow tracted into her! She was excited to tell them how she is learning from us and how excited she is to get baptized! Well, we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she told us she drinks coffee…. Heartbroken! Because she wants to get baptized on August 23rd! She told us that she would agree to live the Word of Wisdom and do her best to stop drinking coffee. We told her that if she stopped from the time that we talked to her, until the day of her baptism, she would be good. She is still super excited to be baptized and was wondering what she could do to break the habit. I think that she will break the habit and be able to be baptized! We are visiting her a lot this next week too, so we can check up on her and help her with anything!
Well, our Saturday doesn’t stop there. After dinner we went to go visit a potential of ours, but he was gone, but there was a couple of people there so we decided to teach them. Turns out they are his roommates! They were a little skeptical of learning more about our church, but we told them that we want to get to know more Cambodians and also teach a little about the gospel! They agreed and we are going back to visit them next Saturday. Coincidentally (but really there are no coincidences with and omnipotent being), they know Moni! One of our Cambodian members that comes to church every week! It’s great how the Lord works in such mysterious ways!
Rewinding to earlier in the week, after dinner on Tuesday, we stopped at a park in Bloomington. We kind of just talked and ate and we met this woman from Ghana. She was super nice and we taught her about church and the Book of Mormon. We invited her to our Missionary Bible Study class and she wants to come! She agreed to come later in the year, because when she starts school, she will have classes at Normandale College on Thursdays and Normandale is close to our church! So it works out great!
On Thursday, we went biking and biked over 12 miles! I kept talking to myself as if I were in Aunt Chao’s Spin class. I would tell myself to “Turn up the tension” when I was going up a hill. Haha! That’s how much of an impact that class had on me. We biked to our investigator’s apartment: S___ T___. We’ve been teaching him for quite sometime now, but he works every other Sunday, and is kind of avoiding us, but not really. So this lesson I just tried my best to find out what he was thinking. I asked him why he was meeting with us, why the gospel is important, and why he wants to get baptized. He answered all of them, in very simple terms. We set a baptism date for him on August 23rd as well, but I think that we may have to push it back, because we haven’t met with him a lot recently. That’s okay though.
Last bit of information, Bishop Adams got released yesterday. SO SAD! I just got to know him, and he was an AWESOME bishop. Almost as cool as Bishop Whitehead! Bishop Adams worked with everyone in the best ways ever! Brother Christensen was called to become the Bishop now, and I don’t know him very well, but I know that he is called of God and is going to really help the missionary effort in this ward. It’s going to be great!
Well, as for the title of this email, “Spirit Bombed.” This week I was spirit bombed. Usually I do the spirit bombing! Spirit bomb is a term we missionaries use when we teach a lesson that is just so full of the spirit you can smell it! It’s literally the BOMB! This week I was definitely spirit bombed. I just took time to realize all the times this week that the Lord guided us to find those he needed us to teach! Brooks baptism was definitely a spiritual bomb. I am so happy for him and it was such a great experience for everyone to see him overcome his trials. We all have mountains to climb, we have to conquer them and make sure that they don’t conquer us. We can do it! Remember: God never said it would be easy, he said it would be worth it! I love you all and thank you all for your continued support. I’ve almost officially been out five months now and I can honestly say, I’m running out of time. I need more! I hope you all have a good week and continue to look for the Lord’s hand in your life each day! I love you all!