Temple Trip Elders and Sisters

New Windows of Opportunity!

Featured Photo: Left to right is Elder Ellis, Elder Nang, Sister Volz, Sister Peterson, and Sister Thatcher

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everyone! It’s Monday again already? That was a fast week! Well, for me anyway. I hope you all had a wonderful week. I love telling you all about my many miracles that have happened this week, so let’s get started!

This week was a great week. So much happened. First things first. I got sick this past week. Ugh. That was no fun. I think I caught the cold, but I’m doing a lot better now. My head just feels as stuffed as a turkey on Thanksgiving. Or anyone who eats that turkey on Thanksgiving. So I went to bed early on Monday night.

However, the best miracle happened on Tuesday night! Elder Foggin and Elder Boekweg needed to go on splits with us because we had our weekly coordination meeting (where we meet with various members of the ward mission to discuss the progress of our investigators and how the members can help). So Elder Nang and Elder Foggin went to some appointments and Elder Boekweg and I went to the coordination meeting. After the meeting, we still had about 15 minutes until we had to be home, so I took a gamble and said, “Why don’t we go visit C___ tonight.” (She’s the one that had kids and we calmed her and her kids with the “I Am a Child of God” song a couple weeks ago) She’d been MIA for the past week and a half, so it was a shot in the dark. It was a bulls eye shot though, because she was HOME! We got to teach her and talk to her!

Autumn Days
Aren’t the fall colors beautiful?

The coolest thing was she was on the phone with a friend playing with some fortune cards and the one she had in her hand said, “Your help is on the way.” Then, after she read it, we knocked on the door! (I’m not endorsing fortune cards here.) We had a great lesson and she told us the most amazing thing. She said that she’s been listening to the song “I Am a Child of God” all week since we showed her that song. Then she said, “I also found more songs that I like too! There’s this one about families are forever! I love it!” That was the greatest feeling in the world! Just to know that the song “I Am a Child of God” touched her enough that she continued to listen to it, and FOUND MORE! I love that! We were able to set up another appointment to visit her, but things happened and times were changed, so we haven’t been able to meet her, but we’re still in contact with her!

Temple Trip EE and E Nang
Elder Nang and I in front of the St. Paul Temple!

Wednesday was my favorite day ever. It was just such an amazing day and I was so filled with the Spirit. We had the opportunity to go to the temple. Our ride cancelled on us at the last minute. So we had to spend Tuesday afternoon trying to get another person to take us. The Eden Prairie Sisters were able to find someone with a van and Sister Volz was able to take us to the temple. It was such a great experience! The temple is one of the places where I can feel the most peace and the most love of God for me. We went out to lunch afterwards and were able to have a great conversation with Sister Volz and the Eden Prairie Sisters. It was just so great! Then, in the evening, we had our ward Fall Festival, a yearly festival that involves games, fun, and candy! The best part was ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATOR FAMILIES CAME!!!! It was the coolest miracle, because we told them about the fall festival once last week, then texted them about it and tried to call them, but they didn’t reply; however, they came to the church and had a blast! We were able to teach them briefly about how important church is and a member was able to come with us. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Temple Trip Name Tag
Elder Ellis at the temple!

Friday was a day of miracles as well. We had some Zone Service at a rock garden! We literally moved rocks around. The gardener had to have a master’s degree in the placement of rocks or something, because we dug holes in random spots, rolled large 50lbs rocks into these divots, and called it good. When we were done, she told us how beautiful it looked and how it was the “exactly what she had envisioned.” I thought it was just a bunch of rocks in random spots, but she’s the gardener there. Haha. We got rained out though, so we only had about 1.5 hours of service in the cold, wet rock garden. It was fun though! We also got to teach O___. Oh O___. He deserves a paragraph of his own. So look below.

Rock Garden Service
The Rock Garden!

O___ is the new investigator we picked up when we were with Elder Torrie. (See the last few weeks for a full bio.) We taught him on Friday, and we decided to bring Sister Gaffeney with us. She’s a ward missionary and she’s also pretty cool. We had a great lesson on the Word of Wisdom, committed him to live it, and set a baptismal date for November 21, 2015. Woo hoo! Such a great lesson! We also invited him to come to church, but he is currently taking care of someone so he can’t come for all three hours. We told him to come to just the first hour, which is sacrament meeting. Fast forward to Sunday and no one showed up. 😦 Suddenly, Sister Gaffeney comes walking in with someone. I thought, “Man, she doesn’t usually come to church with people, who is that person?” IT WAS O___! He was wandering around the parking lot, wondering if this was the right place. Sister Gaffeney just happened to be going in and knows him, because we just happened to bring her to the lesson with us. MIRACLES people! These things really do happen! It was the greatest. He really loved church and got to meet a lot of our Cambodian members. That was so cool!

Wow, this email is getting long! I’ll be quick with the next couple of miracles. We were down in Shakopee and we were passing by this one house. There was an Asian woman sitting on the bench and we went to go talk to her. She’s Thai and she was from South Carolina. We had a really nice talk about God and Jesus Christ. It was so cool; we started talking and she said, “I know who you guys are. You’re Mormons. I have a friend who was Mormon and I even went to your guys’ church a while ago.” It was a cool experience, because we were able to talk to her and just have a good conversation. She’s Catholic, but loved listening. She asked us profound questions like, “What are your trials with being a missionary? And what makes it all worth it?” It was a great experience.

Okay, final note. New windows of opportunity. The title. It’s transfer day today. I’m sad to say that I’m leaving Bloomington. I’m going to Thunder Bay to serve in Canada.

Elder Ellis and Roger
And this is my new companion!


(They call their one dollar coin a looney and their two dollar coin a tooney. TeeHee!)

HOWEVER, I have been called to serve as the District Leader here in the Bloomington District. I’ve taken Elder Nang’s place as the district leader. Elder Nang and I are still working together in Bloomington, so I have six more weeks to change the world! Or well, to change Bloomington. Haha. That’s the news for the week! I totally got you, didn’t I?

Elder Ellis in Chef Coat
Thanks mom for the chef coat! What’s cooking?

I’m excited to serve and fired up. This email is long, but you’ll have all week to read it! So I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers! I 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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