Cruising for the Gospel

Physically and Spiritually Worked Out!

Featured Photo: Cruising for the Gospel!

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everyone! It’s Monday again! It’s going by really fast now. I filled in my planner last night. In the six weeks that are in a planner, I filled in two weeks in September, four Weeks in October, and one day in November. It’s crazy! This transfer is going to be awesome! So I’ll tell you all my adventures that happened this week! Let’s get started!

Man, so starting with the title of the email. I just barely made it back from helping someone move out of their apartment. (Hence why I am emailing later than usual). My arms are killing me. This morning, I got up and worked out as well. SO, I’ve been officially physically worked out. All last week the Assistants have been coming over to our apartment to work out at 6am every morning. It’s great! Because we have more people to work out with and it gives me motivation to, well, work out!

Well, for the spiritual working out part, Yesterday was Sunday. T___ didn’t make it to church, which was disappointing, because once you baptized and confirm a new member, retention is just as important as finding, teaching, and progressing. So that’s the next step. We invited another investigator to come to church and he didn’t come either. So that was depressing. Yesterday was kind of a depressing day, but the afternoon and evening made up for it! In the afternoon, we visited B___, a recent convert, but he wasn’t home. So we taught his wife and grandson, who are decently interested in learning more about the church. Then we had a fantastic dinner with the new bishop! I love his family! They are so great and so funny! After that, we were able to attend the Mission President’s Fireside. It’s a monthly fireside where new members, recent converts, or long-time members speak and share their feelings about the church. It was a great meeting! The last two speakers were Elder And Sister Martino. Here’s the big thing. Elder Martino is of the Seventy and he is touring our mission this week! So it’s going to be a good week!

Well, this morning we helped someone move, and Brother Hartranft was with us. He was talking to us and somehow we got on the subject of Elder Martino. He said, “Funny, my mission president was President Martino.” We both looked at each other and said, “James B. Martino?” So his mission president, who is now a member of the seventy, is here in Minnesota! CRAZY! God works in mysterious, yet non-coincidental ways!!!

EE in MN Sweater
Down with the Natives!

So on Wednesday it was transfer day! I got to see Elder Dygert, Sister Pack, and Elder Vang (little). Elder Dygert broke his collar bone. It looks bad! I just want to hug him, but I’m afraid I’ll break him more if I do…. Elder Vang is still an awesome missionary. He’s in Eau Claire right now! I miss that area! The people there were awesome! But I do love Bloomington, too! I got to take some of the trainers out in my area for a couple hours. I got to take Elder Mitchell and Elder Liaga in my area. Elder Mitchell is from Hawaii and Elder Liaga is from Samoa. So I was literally the only white kid in the car…Haha! But we went to Panda Express for lunch so we were all Asian for a little bit, obviously.

Elder Ellis and Elder Little Vang
Elder Ellis and Elder “Little” Vang
Elder Ellis and Sister Vang
Elder Ellis and Sister Vang

Anyway, we went to go visit a ton of people in Richfield, but no one was home. Everyone was gone. So I sat in the car and prayed while driving. I was like, “Alright, I don’t know who to go visit. I can’t speak Khmer all that well and I don’t know who to visit. Help me!” I thought about visiting this one potential in the area. He doesn’t speak a lot of English, but I figured I could teach him a basic Restoration lesson if I needed to. Well, we got to his house and as we get out and started walking to his home, two women in the street called out to us, asking, “Who are you guys?” We responded with the usual, “Missionaries!” One of them said, “Oh perfect! Just who we are looking for!” Stunned, we walked over to talk to them. Turns out, they are both pretty spiritual people and love talking about God and things. We got talking about the Book of Mormon and they just lit up. They were so excited about it! I went to go get them a Book of Mormon from our car. I opened the trunk and all we had were Cambodian Book of Mormons…DANG! But under the pile, tucked waaaaaaaaay back in the corner, was a Book of Mormon in perfect condition. I’m pretty sure the Lord’s hand was over that Book of Mormon, because in the position it was in, I’m surprised it was as good quality as it was. Any-who, we gave them a Book of Mormon and they loved it. She was flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures, and started reading some of the pages. We will visit her sometime this week with the Sisters and hopefully the Sisters will be able to teach her! It was such a cool experience because everything that happened was totally guided by the Spirit. The timing, the Book of Mormon, the placement, everything. It was amazing! I love finding miracles like that!

Well, other than that, Brother Dunkley was able to come with us to our appointment with T___. He is going to be such a good Ward Mission Leader. He didn’t serve a mission, but he’s going to get the opportunity to be a missionary serving in this position. He’s going to be awesome. He told us to “have a bowl of Wheaties” after every lesson. Which basically means to evaluate what you did well and what you need to improve on after every lesson, which is something we should already be doing, but in the hustle and bustle of Missionary life, we sometimes forget.

My last thoughts for you guys comes from a song. Elder Rudd and Elder Boekweg had this CD that had some REALLY good music on it. One of the songs bears the greatest message I’ve ever heard. Here’s just some of the verse:

There’s a God above

who’s full of love

knows your name

and wants to give you freedom

He’s not ashamed of who you are

or where you’ve been

or just how far you’ve run

The whole song is amazing. But I love that little part. We have a loving heavenly father above us. He watches over us and loves us. He knows our names, our likes, our dislikes, our everything. He is not ashamed of who we are, where we’ve been, or how ever far we’ve run from him. He just loves us. He wants us to be safe and he wants what’s best for us. This song has definitely kept me going throughout this week. I may or may not listen to it multiple times in a day. But I love it! God loves us. I’ve felt that many times this week. I know it’s true.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. It’s going to be a great week this week! Elder Martino will speak to us at Mission Conference tomorrow, and we’ve got a lot of stuff packed for this week! Thank you for all you love and support! I love you all! Talk to you next week!


Elder Ellis

PS – So I hit six months this week. CRAZY! SIX months is gone. The tradition is to burn a tie, but I love my ties too much. I don’t want to burn one. So I “burnt a tie.” Punny, yes I know. I will probably burn the paper at some point. I don’t know when. But I will. Hah! Six Months. Oooo, I’m running out of time!

The Six Month Tie
The Six-Month Tie
The Six Month Tie Burning
The Six-Month Tie Burning…

Published by

Michael Andrew Ellis

I write literary fiction at the confluence of Mormonism, Hmong culture, and the human condition. Here on, 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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