Elder Ellis And Elder Yang

Roller Coaster Under the Lunar Light

Featured Photo: Hmong brothers of the Yang clan unite! Peace be with you!

From Elder Ellis:

That sounds like a children’s book!

Well, hello everyone! I can’t believe it’s Monday again! I remember going to bed last night thinking, “Is this day already over? I swear it just started!” Time is going by all too fast. Anyway, I’m glad to be able to email you all! Let’s get started!

Last night, as most of you should know, there was a Lunar Eclipse. It was happening for us around 7:30–9:30 pm (when it looked the coolest). As we finished planning for the day, we walked out of the church and heard Elder Foggin shouting to us, “It’s happening! The moon is turning to blood!” It was really cool and really pretty! I tried to get a good picture of it, but light pollution, and my camera isn’t the best, so no “good” pictures of the blood moon. Haha! It was cool!

Blood moon
Moon turned red over one tree hill, but we’re still here! Righteous!

This past week has been pretty good. Like the subject states, it’s been a real roller coaster of emotions. There were some definite ups and downs. So I’ll start with the downs so that we can end this email happy! 🙂

This week we had two investigators drop us. It was so saddening. C___ told the member family who lives near him (we had them bring him to church a couple times), that he doesn’t want to learn from us anymore. Then, we visited S___ and she told us that she is no longer interested in learning more from us. So that was a huge downer for the week. It’s always so hard when you spend a lot of your time working with some people and they progress so far, then for whatever reason, they don’t want to learn anymore. But that is why God gave us agency. He knows that people will choose good and evil and there is always a way to return. So maybe they will come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel one day.

On a brighter note, we had mission conference this week and boy was it good! Elder James B. Martino came and taught us this week about working with the members in the ward. It was AMAZING! He related to us the story of Alma and Amulek. Alma goes to the city of Ammonihah and gets rejected. Before he turns away, an angel appears to him and says, “Don’t go yet, go back and teach them.” So Alma hurries back and runs into Amulek. Who is Amulek? The scriptures teach us that he is a “less active” member of the church. He grew up learning about the gospel, but lived a life of partying and not so righteous acts. After learning from Alma, he repents, and even helps Alma teach the people of Ammonihah. The story goes on that Alma taught the people, but they complained that he didn’t have a “second witness”. Then Amulek came and he, being a man that they, the people of Ammonihah, knew well, he “astonished” the people of Ammonihah and some of them were converted unto the Lord. Then the people brought Zeezrom, who was a lawyer and tried to question Amulek and Alma and still Zeezrom did not prevail. Eventually, Zeezrom becomes a missionary with Alma and Amulek, but that’s later on in the story.

Anyway, point to all this is, when we work with our investigators, there are members who can “astonish” them and help them come closer to Christ. They may not be the members we think they should be. Because Amulek was a “less active” member, and he still helped bring thousands of souls to happiness. So we learned a lot about working with members. It was such a good training.

Then after the training, Elder Martino and President Forbes inspected our apartment. That was scary! Elder Martino and President Forbes both said that our apartment was the cleanest apartment they had ever seen! President Forbes even said, “We ought to bring some sisters over here and show them what a real clean apartment looks like.” So cleaning for 3 hours on last P-day…totally worth it. Plus our apartment looks so much better when it’s clean.

Chicken Not Pie
Chicken “Not” Pie – Good eats with Elder Ellis

Finally, to end on a happy note. This week we were able to find four new investigators! Those are some good stories, but the one that takes the cake is this one:

On Saturday, we went down to Savage and tried to find people to teach. We stopped by this one family that we talked to last week, but nothing. They weren’t there. So as we were walking toward the car, a little bit discouraged, we saw some people gardening. We thought we would go talk to them. As it turns out, they were a Cambodian family! We talked to them about the gospel and they are actually pretty interested. They love learning about religions and finding out new things about the world. So, we have a return appointment with them for this coming Saturday! I was also able to teach them a little bit in Khmer. They told me my Khmer is so clear. That was a good thing, because I’m not sure if people can really understand me!

That’s really all for this week! It’s been a good week with ups and downs. Things happen, but it’s always to help you in ways you never thought it would! There’s a quote that I remember from a while ago, I don’t remember who said it, but it’s good!

“A stumbling block can become a stepping stone.”

Sometimes we trip and we find these road blocks, or “stumbling blocks,” and we just don’t know what to do. I’ll tell you what we can do. Work hard and counsel with the Lord. He can help that stumbling block become a stepping stone. That has definitely helped me this week!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you all for you love and support! Keep looking for miracles and ways to turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones! Love you all!


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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