Miraculously Perfect Timing!

Featured Photo: Michelle’s baptism!

From Elder Ellis (email dated 9/12/2016):

Hello everyone! It’s Monday already? How quickly these weeks fly by. Well there was a lot that happened this week, so let’s jump right into it!

The biggest thing that happened this week: MICHELLE GOT BAPTIZED!! Woot woot! It was a very sweet and spiritual baptism. Michelle invited her younger brother, her niece, T___, and her parents. It was so fantastic. She felt the Spirit and even bore her testimony after her baptism. It was so wonderful! She thanked her daughter, us as missionaries, and talked about how much she loved this gospel. She talked about the Book of Mormon and how important it is to read it. She said, “I’ve only just finished the first book of Nephi and I’m getting baptized, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for when I finish the book!” After the service, she told us that she wants us to be T___’s missionaries too. How sweet! So we have some new people to teach soon! Ah, Michelle is so wonderful! I’m so proud of her for coming so far to come so much closer to Heavenly Father. It was amazing!

Another miraculous turn of events happened earlier this week. It reminded me of a few things which I will tell you at the end of this paragraph. Or paragraphs…. Anyway, I got the opportunity to go on another exchange with Elder McClain. This time he was with me in Hudson. So Wednesday morning, we hopped on our bikes and biked down to downtown Hudson. We stopped by a member and talked for a little, dropped by the library to check the map, walked near the pier, etc. So I thought, hey, there’s a less-active member who lives near here. Let’s go visit him really quick! He was out in his garden picking tomatoes! He gave us a bag of tomatoes and then had to leave for work. He told us that the tomatoes needed a “better home,” and if we took them, they would serve us better than him. We didn’t have a car, so we just stuffed the tomatoes in our bag and went onward. It was nearing lunch and I decided we should stop by one more person. Our “music man,” Kasey. For those who have served in Hudson, you know that this is the man who recorded Sunny Vang and helped him create a fantastic song. Seriously, we got to listen to it, it was PHENOMENAL! Anyway, we had a good chat with him and he showed us some of the things he was working on. He’s really cool and is willing to listen.

Anyway, so we biked up this huge hill—not my favorite thing at all…. And after the hill, we were biking along, and I noticed a guy sitting down on the sidewalk beside his bike, rummaging through his bag. I said hi, but kept going. Instantly, a thought came to my mind, “Go back and ask if he needs help.” I thought, “Uh…I’m tired from that hill, my legs are sore, I’m sweaty, and I’ve already passed him. Why do I need to turn around and go back?” The thought came again, “Go back and ask if he needs help.” I realized I was thinking too much about myself and turned around. I stopped by him and talked to him. I asked if he needed help. He looked up and said, “Oh, I don’t think so. I’m just looking for money so I can buy some lunch.” I asked where he had come from. He apparently had biked from North Minneapolis! This man looked scruffy. He clearly hadn’t slept in a bed for quite some time. He may possibly had been homeless. He looked up an said, “I think I’m going to try to buy something from McDonald’s.” He gave the face of disgust. I thought, Hey! We have tomatoes! “Would you like some tomatoes?” I asked. He perked up. “Tomatoes?” He asked. “Yeah! We just got some from a friend of ours, and we probably won’t eat them anytime soon. Would you like them?” I responded. “Sure. Tomatoes are better than McDonald’s.” So we were able to give him the tomatoes and have a wonderful chat about the gospel. It was so cool to feel the Holy Ghost speak to me and to act on that prompting.

Well, the miracles don’t stop there. We went to Chipotle shortly there after. We got our burritos and everything and the woman at the counter said, “No worries today, sir. Lunch is on us today.” I was super confused, but then a woman came out of the kitchen and said, “Hi Elders, I used to go to your church in St. Paul. I just love missionaries, so lunch is on me today.” I was so surprised. It was so wonderful! It reminded me of a scripture Matthew 6:31–33. Basically, it says that we don’t need to worry about food or water or even clothes, as long as we put the Lord and his kingdom first, all these things will be added unto us. It’s true! Also, God’s time is the best time!

Chalking is so fun!

We also got to go out to Barron this past week. It’s waaaaaaaaay out in the middle of nowhere. But I got to go with Elder Cummings! It was good to be back with him again for a day. We did some chalking and had a blast!

Action shot! Pinky hit!

Today, we are going to do the Oakdale Zone Olympics! Beach volleyball, softball, and grilling burgers. It should be awesome!

Oakdale Zone

We had stake conference this past weekend too. It was good to hear from our stake president. He’s so real and funny too. I love hearing from him. He really fired up the stake to get ready for some miracles.

Oakdale Zone

Speaking of miracles, this week, as a zone, we decided to do a finding activity as a zone. We all would take one hour out of the day and at the same time we all went tracting or contacting. Saturday we did this activity and we tracked in Lakeland, MN. It’s a small town on the other side of the river from us. We went knocking. We got yelled at. Then, we found this 89-year-old woman named L___a. She loves the Lord. We had a great conversation about the Gospel and she accepted a Book of Mormon! We’ll go back on Tuesday to visit with her. Oh, also we met a guy who does taxidermy. Cool!

May your barn never burn!

Well, that’s all the time I have for today. Hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all and thank you for your continued love and support!


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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