Welcome to the USA!

Featured Photo: Look who came to visit me: my cousin, Yee, my sister, Katherine, and Niam Tais!

From Elder Ellis (email dated 8/22/2016):

Hello everyone, I can’t believe it’s already been another week. Seriously, these weeks are going by so much faster than I expected. I also can’t seem to remember most events that happened earlier in the week. Multiple times I remember, thinking back, “Really? That happened this week?” It’s been great though.

As per the title of this email, I got welcomed into the United States of America this week. We were talking to this elderly woman, a less-active member of the Church. She’s the sweetest old lady ever. Wouldn’t hurt a fly. She noticed I was…ethnic. She asked where I was from. I responded, “Oh, I’m from American Fork, Utah.” She then replied, “Oh, I have no idea where that is, but welcome to the United States of America! We’re happy to have you!” I just kind of laughed and said, “Aw, thanks!” Then I gave Elder Oldroyd a blank stare. It was pretty funny! Unfortunately, I have no spiritual thought related to this experience, though I probably could if I really thought about it. But it was a funny experience either way!

What a wonderful P-day surprise! My big sister, Katherine!

Well this week..Let’s get started on how well this week went. Yesterday was amazing. It was Sunday. We happened to have Ward conference. M___ came and LOVED IT! She was able to meet the stake president and she even stayed all three hours! We had a “linger longer” after church (There’s food, we eat, and we linger longer, hence the name “linger longer.”). She was invited by many people to come join them to eat and talk and get to know each other. It was awesome to see how she was being fellowshipped so well!

Going teaching with a future missionary!

Later that day Gage went teaching with us. We were able to visit with this referral we received from a ward member a little while ago. She’s an 80-year-old woman who was previously taught by the missionaries. She was wondering if they were going to come back and teach her. So we showed up! We had a great lesson with her and even left her with a Book of Mormon. She’s wonderful, and we are looking forward to working with her more!

The confident knock of the Lord’s representative!

Last night was also the mission presidents fireside! We were able to bring Gage and Aiden to this wonderful fireside and they enjoyed it. I enjoyed it as well. Elder Morgan sang a beautiful version of “I Stand All Amazed.” It was his last time singing as he goes home this Wednesday. I also got to see the Lymans, Christy, the Hardys, and Pamela from Chaska! It was amazing to see them again! Pamela is doing so well! She is preparing to go to the temple and it makes me feel so good to know that! Ah, I love it!

Well, M___ is doing great. In our lesson on Saturday she asked us if she could move the baptism date closer! It’s now set for September 10, 2016! So that’s even better! We’re so excited for her. She’s really excited too and she’s making tons of friends in the ward. It’s just so great to see how far she’s come!

In other news, this past week we were able to visit with one of our ward missionaries. He has this 1907 player piano. Basically it’s a piano that plays by itself. He played songs for us like “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, “Blue Velvet,” something from Mash, Scott Joplin’s ragtime medley, “Spanish Eyes,” William Tell overture, and so many more! (I sound like Billy Mayes advertising Oxi clean…)

Oh! I totally forgot to mention this at the beginning of the email! I just get so excited about all the other things. Brother Duane Ward was baptized on Saturday! He was a former member who made his way back to the fold of God and was baptized this Saturday. It was a great service. He loved it. It was short and simple. Some of the best things are short and simple. It was good to see him make his way back and to be a part of his story. It really testified to me that God loves all his children. “There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness” (President Boyd K. Packer). It was amazing.

As for transfer news…I’m staying in Hudson with Elder Oldroyd! That’s a relief. So it’s going to be a great six weeks! I’m excited!

St. Croix River

So that’s pretty much it for this week! It’s been such a good week full of miracles. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to serve and teach God’s children. It’s been such a great adventure and it’s so fun! I love it! Thank you all for your love and support! I hope you all have a great 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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