Elder Nang, Olson, and Elder Ellis

Grateful for Everything!

Featured Photo: Elder Nang, Olson, and Elder Ellis.

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everyone! It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving so I have to be grateful, and boy am I grateful for the things that have happened this past week! I don’t want to keep you waiting, so let’s get started!!


First things first! I’m sure you are all wondering how the baptism went! Well, Olson was baptized on November 21, 2015, and confirmed a member on November 22, 2015! His baptism was the greatest. We met with Olson twice this past week. On Wednesday we visited him and told him all the things he needed to bring to the baptism, change of clothes, towel, white shirt, etc. On Friday, when we visited him, he was so excited he already had everything packed away ready to go! He usually wears jeans and a T-shirt to church and so that is what we were expecting him to wear to the baptism. When he came to the baptism, he showed up in a full-on suit and tie! He was so excited! The baptism went well! I’m just so happy for him! He is going to be a strong member of our little Cambodian section in the Bloomington Ward.

Elder Ellis and Olson
Elder Ellis and Olson

Another Commitment

The other miracles that ensued this week were amazing ones as well. On Monday last week, we called up Roger to come with us to visit C___. (Side note: Roger just hit his one-year mark of being baptized in the church! He was baptized November 22, 2014! Yay for him!!) We stopped by her home and taught her a wonderful lesson about the Atonement. It was a powerful and wonderful lesson to be in. The spirit was so strong, it was almost tangible! C___ is doing so well. That Monday I got the strongest impression to set an official baptismal date with her. We set it for December 12, 2015. She is excited and called her sister about it!

We also visited her on Thursday after District Meeting. I went on exchanges with Elder Coon, a missionary who has been out for two months now, and we again brought Roger. She loved us coming over and we helped her with some home-improvement projects. Brother Dunkley texted us and told us to invite an investigator to dinner that night with them. We decided to invite C___ to dinner with the Dunkley’s. We went to dinner and at about 5:30 she came!!! We had a wonderful dinner and she got to meet the Dunkley’s and the other missionaries! It was such a good experience for us all! Then we invited her to come to church on Sunday, and to make sure she would come, we had a member pick her up.

Elders, Olson, and Fellowshippers
Elders, Olson, and Fellowshippers

This part get’s it’s own paragraph. Haha. We had Ward Council on Sunday morning. We got out at 8:20 and tried to call her. Nothing. No answer. Called again. No answer. Texted, nothing. So I said, “Brother Dunkley are you doing anything?” “Nope.” “Well let’s go get C___!” Turns out that was an impression from God, no doubt. We got to her house and her phone was on silent by mistake, and she had just woken up 5 minutes prior to us getting there. Also, she was still planning on coming even if she drove herself, but probably would have ended up at some other church, because she didn’t know where ours was. So God was watching out for us to make sure that she got there on time! And she did! She loved it! She is going to come again next week and stay for all three hours! (She had some errands to run.) I am so happy that she was able to make it to church! She is now progressing and officially set to be baptized on December 12, 2015!

Other Miracles

Yesterday, one of the coolest things happened. We went to go visit a family that we’ve been trying to visit for the past…three months or so. Maybe even longer! Every time we go it’s piak doh saa after piak doh saa (excuse after excuse). “I’m too busy.” “He’s at work.” “He’s sleeping.” “We have company over.” The classics. Well, before knocking on the door we tried calling him, no answer. So we were going to go back to the car, but I saw a rake, some leaves, and a broom. I said, “No one can deny service!” So we started raking their leaves. Five minutes later the door opens up and he asked, “What are you guys doing? It’s so cold! Get in here!” So we were able to get in and teach him. It was a cool miracle. It also was a literal representation about what I trained on during District Meeting.

For District Meeting on Thursday, I read the account from Alma 52 and how Moroni and Teancum team up to take the city of Mulek by storm. Their first few attempts were not very good ones. Moroni finally comes to the aid of Teancum and they try to reason with the Lamanites to battle on fair ground. Do they? No. So Moroni comes up with a plan to “decoy” them out of the city of Mulek. Teancum leads his army to the side of Mulek and draws the Lamanites out to the plains that they had wanted to fight on in the first place. Then the army of Lehi comes and meets them to fight as well. After the Lamanites see Lehi’s army, they begin to retreat only to find Moroni coming up the rear. Moroni went through the wilderness and around the back of Mulek and took the city. Needless to say, they won. Point is, when we have plans, often times they fall through. So we should plan better back-up plans that are…different, or outside the box! It worked! Service got us into the door to teach!

Anyway, long email today! I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission! It’s Thanksgiving, and I won’t be home with my family, but I’ve got a bunch of people to help take care of here. So many people here–members and non members–don’t have families to eat with either, so I have to help them too. Be thankful and grateful for the things you have! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!


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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