Into the Fray, and the Crisp Autumn

Featured Photo: “And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy[!]” — 1 Nephi 8:12

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everybody! This week has been a hot and cold week. I think Minnesota is more bipolar than Utah! Today it’s supposed to be 75 degrees, but the other day we had frost warnings and it dipped into the 20s at night. So…that’s an adventure! People keep saying it’s supposed to be a mild-er winter, but we’ll see.

Let’s get started with the report of this week shall we?

First miracle that ensued, we went to Kohl’s to buy some stuff last week, and I bought this nice sweater (pictures attached). It was on sale and the woman at the cash register is a member of our ward! So she gave me an additional 20% off the already on-sale sweater. That was a cool miracle. Plus I look cute in this sweater, so, of course I’m going to buy it. I never thought that I would end up at a Kohl’s on my P-day. It took my mom hours to get me to go to Kohl’s to do any kind of shopping back home. Especially clothing shopping…but things have changed…haha!

Sweater Cool
Sweater weather is the best!

On Monday also, for the evening, we were with Elder Torrie. He was physically dying (e.g., going home) and had to go home on this past Thursday, so he spent the evening with us. Fun fact about him, he’s from Alberta, Canada, and has his own album on iTunes. So he’s like kind of famous. I think the album name is Limewall or something? Anyway, his first area while he was here about a year ago was Lakeville. About a 20 minute drive south of Bloomington. He said that while he was there he taught a Cambodian man there, so we decided to go and visit this guy. We get there and it was dark, and cold, and we were in a trailer park.

Well, we knocked on the guy’s door and nothing. We kept knocking. Nothing. Elder Torrie was a little discouraged at this point and was about ready to give up. I told him that we will meet with the guy tonight, one way or another. His trailer was dark except for one room. Still knocked and nothing. I thought, there has to be another way in. Or another door or something. We walked around back and found another door. We knocked a few times and soon he appeared at the door! His name is O___ and we got to teach him that night! It was such a great experience! Elder Torrie was excited to meet him again and we had a wonderful lesson. Elder Torrie kept thanking me afterwards because I had never given up hope that we would find him. We taught him again on Friday and invited him to be baptized. He agreed. So now we just have to work with him and continue to meet him! So from that I learned that we should never give up hope. If it didn’t work out well the first time, well find another way in, so to speak. Look at it differently and try again! Never loose hope! 🙂

Well we visited a lot of people in Savage (approximately five miles south of Bloomington), and we had some good success there! We met with people we didn’t ever meet before and gained some new potential investigators. That was a good day.

On Wednesday, we had a Q&A with the youth of our ward. It was the weirdest thing ever. Not that it was bad or anything, but I’m used to asking the missionaries questions, not answering them. So it was quite the twist on the tables. It was great though. I love working with the youth. The smiles that they have when we talk about missionary work just brings me joy! I’m so grateful for the youth all over the world. How powerful the youth really are is just amazing.

On Friday, we visited O___ again, and he told us of some other Cambodians that live in that same trailer park. We visited another Cambodian man and he’s kind of interested. It’s funny because most Cambodians say, “I’m Buddhist, but I want to learn more.” We call those “eternigators,” or Eternal Investigators. Because they want to learn more, but don’t really want to do anything about it. It’s fun to talk with them though!

We had a wonderful dinner on Saturday with Brother Besselievre. He’s a cool guy and we helped him tape up his windows for the wintertime and he fed us spaghetti and chicken for dinner. It was good food!

Sunday was just amazing yesterday. I love going to church and reading the scriptures now. They just are so much more delicious to me! It’s great! Sunday’s are just the greatest days!

It’s getting more crisp and colder for the autumn. I love it. Sweater weather!!!! That’s the best!

All the Leaves Are Brown
“All the leaves are brown…,” but I’m not dreaming of Cali. I love it here!

That’s really all for this week. On Wednesday, we have the opportunity to go to the temple! I’m excited to go back to the St. Paul temple. I’ll have more pictures next week! Also, next week is transfers! Holy WOW, this transfer has flown by! Odds are, Elder Nang and I are staying together, so that’s going to be exciting! I don’t have anything else to write, sooooo I guess I’ll be signing off for now! I love you all and always remember to never give up hope! Keep on hoping on! Have a wonderful week!


Elder Ellis


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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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