Happiness DOES Last Forever!

Featured Photo: Aiden and Gage’s Baptism

From Elder Ellis (email dated 8/1/2016):

Hello everyone, this week has been so fantastic. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this past week has been. It’s just… So good. So good. So with that kind of an intro, I hope I hyped all you up! 🙂 So let’s get started!

First off, shoutout to Mai Yang, she visited my family and former Elder Wilkinson in Utah this past week! It’s great to see her continue to progress and do so well!

My family eating pho with Mai Yang, Kylee, and former Elder Wilkinson

Shout out to Elder Sam Corbridge who is finishing up his mission, I think this week even! He has finished his course and set his sails for another adventure! Thanks for all the great updates!

Another shout out to Sister Lucia Montagnoli who is also returning home in a few weeks. I refuse to believe that because we were in the MTC together. Crazy how fast time flies.

Final shout out to Elder Jarek Stevens, he’s got six weeks left. Dude’s going to be married before I get home.… (You better not.…)

Anyway, all my missionaries are returning home. Why?? Because God needs them elsewhere. I’ve got work to do here and I’m so happy I am here! Well, how about we go back to talking about the past week instead of mourning the loss of three fantastic missionaries? I like that better.

The joy of the Gospel

This past week we had a baptism!! Yay! Aiden and Gage were baptized on July 30th, 2016 and confirmed the following day. Gage is fourteen and shortly thereafter received the Aaronic priesthood and is now a teacher. Whew. The spirit was super strong this past weekend. Seeing Gage advance to the office of a teacher and be excited about home teaching just melted my heart. He is so awesome! Aiden is ready to serve too. On his way to his own baptism he asked his grandma, “So when I’m baptized, I’ll get one of those cool black name tags too, right?” He wants to be a missionary so bad, it’s so wonderful to see them with such a fire and desire. Their mom is not a member and came to the baptismal service, so soon she will start learning from us too. I’m so glad I was able to help them find joy and happiness in this gospel. They are like my long lost, never had, younger brothers. I love them so much! We also got to watch meet the Mormons with them on Monday and play dodgeball. They love that game and want to play it every time we go to the church! They are funny kids!

District Cheeseheads

So that’s the biggest highlight of the week. We met with M___ this past week as well. She got her dream job, and she credits it to reading the scriptures and praying about it. How cool is that? She also basically told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true. She can’t deny it. So now we are helping her understand that when she knows the Book of Mormon is true, she knows the Church is true too. It holds it all together! She’s progressing wonderfully!

Lake Menomonie2WithElderSmith_800x600
Elder Smith and Lake Menomonie

We went on exchanges to Menomonie this past week. Ever heard of it? Well, no one else really has either. It’s a po-dunk little college town in the middle of Wisconsin. It’s pretty though! I got to stay in Menomonie with Elder Smith for the day. It was fun! During dinner, I told him the story of how I was able to help Mai get baptized. (I tell that story a lot). He was so inspired by it that he texted an investigator they are working with towards baptism. She texted back and wanted to meet! So we got to teach her that night and it was a great lesson! It was a good moment to see how missionary work can progress just by sending a text to have daily contact with your investigators.

Working on the farm, yo!

Earlier in the week I went on exchanges again with the Redwing Elders. Elder Creager and I spent time in River Falls, south of Hudson. We got the opportunity to work on a farm! It was hot and I only got slightly sunburnt. We had fun though! We will be going back to do service sometime this week!

We take pictures with corn.

Hm… That’s really all that’s happened this past week. Lots. I’m just so proud of Gage and Aiden and their decision to take that step of baptism. And I’m proud of Gage and his decision to be an example to his brother and get the priesthood. I’m just so proud of both of them!


That’s all for this week! Thank you for all your love and support! I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and mission and I’m so glad I have friends here in my mission. I’ve made friendships that will last an eternity and I am grateful for those people! Love you all!


Elder Ellis

Deep thoughts on a random bench in the woods

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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