Warmest Welcome to the New Month!

Featured Photo: Graffiti in LaCrosse…We love LAX!

From Elder Ellis:

Surprise! It’s February! So that month went by so fast. Well this week went by super fast too. So Let’s get started about how this week went!

Many miracles happened to us this week. First things first, it was 45 degrees yesterday. Yup. It also rained.… Like Wisconsin…REALLY? It’s January, and it’s raining! I don’t know if that was a miracle, but hey, I wanted some snow. 😦

Downtown LaCrosse

Well, onto the cooler parts of this week (hah, no pun intended). A lot of our investigators just aren’t holding up to the commitments we are leaving them, so we have had a lot of time to find more people to teach. Finding activities are great! This next week, we have some great finding activities planned. We’ve gone tracting, but everywhere we go, we can’t find a single Hmong home. Then, when we aren’t searching for Hmong homes, we always find one. It’s a crazy little thing that always happens.

We were able to visit Ch___ this week. He came back to Wisconsin. He’s got some stuff to work through, but he’s coming to church and he’s excited to be back! K___ unfortunately wasn’t home so we haven’t gotten to see him recently.

Alley Cat Pose! #thugmormon Just kidding. ;^)

Fun miracle that happened this week! We got a text from our Zone Leaders asking if we were any good at basic Algebra. Well, I got a 4 on the AP calculus test and Elder Lao is pretty good too. We texted back that we were. No response. We were convinced they were just wondering that because we were Asian. Well, a few hours later we get a call from President Forbes asking if we were good at basic Algebra. So there’s a story behind this. It’s long, but here’s the gist of it. There’s a man who is a convert to the Church of 39 years. His son lives here in La Crosse, and the son needs help learning math for a test that will help him get a better job. Son is not a member. LONG story short, we got called upon to help him learn math. Let me just say, I forgot it all. God really helped me remember this basic Algebra, because something happened and he got it. Apparently, I’m a good teacher, but not really. 😉 We also taught him a little bit about the gospel too, just because it was a golden opportunity to take.

Elder Lao and his companion…what?

Anyway, so this week, we also got to spend a fair amount of time with M___ and her family. I think we will be able to start teaching her other family members too eventually. M___ is doing well. Her sister was able to give us free haircuts because she works at a salon! That was awesome! M___ is going to Utah this week and will probably stop in to say hi to my family! 🙂 So look out for her!

How do I look?

We also saw Bao this week. She is doing great! She wanted her mom to start listening to the lessons too, so we got the opportunity to share a message with her. Bao’s brother, Ch___ M___, is so funny. Sometimes he’ll be there just watching Anime in the same room as us. He’s like, “Oh hey guys, this is a really cool Anime, I’ll just ‘happen to watch it’ while you guys are here.” It’s really funny and kind of distracting, because Elder Lao loves Anime and I like Anime, but I haven’t seen any really good ones yet. Haha.

My doppelgänger showed up in LaCrosse!

One final miracle of the week:

Last night we went to visit M___ and Ch___2. We shared some really good spiritual music that uplifted us all. Then we challenged them to read the scriptures every night. We told them about how sometimes when you open the scriptures randomly and the scriptures just speak to you. So M___ tried it. She opens up and the verse she reads (I didn’t get the reference so I’m paraphrasing) says this, “And they were gathered together in large numbers in Sidon and were baptized.” WE ALL started laughing because we have been telling M___ that it’s time for her to be baptized. She said, “Oh my goodness, this can’t be real right now.” We laughed and said, “Maybe that’s what God is telling you.” So she tried it again. The second time, the scripture was some scripture in the Alma chapters. It didn’t apply, yet. So she tried it a third time. The scripture she read was this: “For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying: Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick” (Moroni 8:7–8) We all died laughing, because our lesson was on listening to the words of the Christ. We told her that’s what God was trying to tell her. It was hilarious.

Downtown LaCrosse. Awesome!

So that’s about it for this week. It’s been a great week and I’m so happy to be serving a mission right now. It’s the greatest ever! I love you all! Thanks for all you do for me!


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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