Officially a Minnesotan/Wisconsinite!

Featured Photo: Zone conference photo! Yeah!

From Elder Ellis:

Hello everyone! Sorry I’m a little later than usual. Just had to keep you all on your toes! I’m behind schedule because I’m officially a Minnesotan/Wisconsinite! I finally went Ice Fishing! I wasn’t cold until the end, but it was a great experience! I’ll tell you more down below, so let’s get started!

The Hole

Ice fishing. It’s about as boring as regular fishing, just A LOT colder. It was fun though! Haha. Brother Knapmiller is the one who took us and the sisters ice fishing. He was super nice and we had a lot of fun. We drilled holes into the ice on the Black River. The ice was a good 18 inches thick! Solid! We laid these things call tip ups…flag ups…something ups…I don’t remember. I was too intrigued by it’s design to remember the name of it. Haha. Anyway, it’s basically got a reel that is lowered into the water with two hooks on the bottom of it. The hooks have minnows on them as bait. Anyway, the premise of the design is that when a fish bites, the flag pops up and you know there is a fish on the line! So there’s a lot of waiting to be done. So we went and pan fished for a while. That’s what most of you are picturing ice fishing to be. There’s a hole in the ice and you stick your fishing pole in there and wait. We did that too! Lots of patience. Well, the flag on a few of the traps went up a couple times, but we didn’t catch anything. We saw the flag go up once and we didn’t know how long that flag had been up. When we went to it, the fish had dragged the line sooooooooooo far out that it had almost ran the reel out of line! Bottom line (no pun intended): the fish was gone. This happened as we were preparing to leave, because we had been out on the ice for three hours now and had caught nothing. Not 30 seconds later, another flag from a different trap went up! WE HOOKED A FISH AND CAUGHT IT! We were all so excited! It was great! We waited some more and didn’t catch anything else, but we did catch one northern pike. It was my first ice fishing trip and it was great!

The Drill
The Trap
Caught one!

Well, onto the other parts of my week! This week has been pretty awesome. We worked with M___ a lot this week and it’s been a great thing. She got back from Utah on Tuesday night and she wanted to show us pictures and read us her journal entries, etc. So we talked to her at a Dairy Queen and she just talked our ears off. It was great to hear all of the stories she had to tell and all the pictures she had. She also went to visit my family and told me stories about them too! It was great! We visited her a couple other times during the week because she had a lot to think about.

M___ with my family

Utah was a great testimony builder for her. She told us about how she’s really changed for the better and how some things that were hang ups for her weren’t so much now. So later in the week, we met her at a Dunkin’ Donuts where we did not get any coffee (we didn’t let her get any either, hehheh). She told us about how she’s been praying for a confirmation. She told us about how many times she’s flipped to a random scripture and it talks about baptism. She said she wanted a clear answer and confirmation. We talked to her and told her about how many times she’s already received confirmation. Then for some reason I thought to invite her to be baptized. I invited her to be baptized on February 27th. She was kind of stunned and said, “Oh, every time we talk, I feel goosebumps, chills, and like I want to throw up all at the same time!” She said she’d think about it. Then she said, “I’ve been thinking about fasting too.” The craziest thing was that we, as a companionship, decided to fast specifically for M___ on Sunday (which was yesterday). She joined in our fast and we started it together on Saturday night after volleyball. It was great. We fasted and prayed together and M___ even came to church on Sunday. The first thing she said was, “Guys. I think I got my confirmation, but I don’t know.” She told us that the previous night, after we started our fast, she prayed and flipped to a random scripture. The scripture was 3 Nephi 11:27, because the 27th is the day that we want her to be baptized on. That reads: “And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.” She said that this might have been her answer, but she didn’t know. We told her it was a pretty big indication that it was. We had another good lesson with her after church and she felt the spirit so strongly and so did we. She hasn’t agreed, nor has she disagreed, to be baptized on the 27th. She is still thinking. We’ve fasted and we’ve prayed and this is it. We’re still praying and we are going to find out tonight what she’s decided. I’m so excited, so nervous, so all the emotions. I guess I’ll let you all know what happens next week! 🙂 Ooooooh, cliffhanger.

Channeling my ice power!
At the Sushi Pirate! So good!

Well, the rest of our week wasn’t too noteworthy, besides I’ve already written a lot and there’s a bajillion photos on the way, so I’ll wrap up. Bao took us and her brothers to Sushi Pirate on Friday night, that was amazing! SUCH GOOD SUSHI! We also had to go to Rochester for a Zone Training on Thursday. And we rearranged our apartment and cleaned it up. We found The Best Two Years and watched it. Oh my goodness, I forgot how funny that movie was. Hahahahahaha. Anyway, that’s my week in a nutshell, stay tuned for how things go with M___ next week! I’m praying and hoping for her! Thanks for all your support and love! 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.

One thought on “Officially a Minnesotan/Wisconsinite!”

  1. Welcome to the club! I’m neither a Minnesotan, nor Wisconsinite, but I spend almost every weekend in the winter ice fishing in Minnesota and North Dakota. I’m glad you were able to catch something! It can be very boring (and cold) if the fish aren’t biting.


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