Happy Thanksgiving!

Featured Photo: Thanksgiving at the Bishop’s house

From Elder Ellis (email dated 11/24/2016):

You can clearly see what’s on my mind for Thanksgiving. FOOD! Yum!! So I know you all have been dying to hear from me, it’s alright, hold the applause, I’m here. The mission has decided to have us email on Thursday instead of Monday. So that is my leave of absence for the past three days. You’ll hear from me again in like…three more days? So next week’s email will be shorter. Just like your soon-to-be-Thanksgiving dinners, this email will be big and delicious! I’ve got a lot of good stories to tell and a lot of time too. So here we go! 🙂

It’s Fall! Yeah!

Let’s start off with a crazy story, just to spice up (haha pumpkin spice my fav pie ever) your morning and your Thanksgiving day. It was early one Sunday morning…the weather outside was frightful…the fire inside didn’t exist because we don’t have a fireplace.… We received a call from an unknown number at around 7am in the morning. It was a man from the hospital. He asked for a couple things that he needed, like a Bible and a Book of Mormon. He also asked if we could come visit with him for a little bit later that day. So we agreed to do so. At church, we found a member to come with us. It was our Elders quorum president. El presidente. Six pm rolls around and we unite forces with our Elders quorum president and go to visit him. He also called and asked us for other scriptures and socks. We also found that his place of abode in the hospital was the fourth floor, not the last door. I’m not sure if the hospital system is the same elsewhere, but Brother Ness (the Elders quorum president) knew exactly what the fourth floor meant. We get up there and we come face to face with a big sign that says, “Behavioral Health Center.” In other words, WE WENT TO THE PSYCH WARD! The crazy house. The cuckoo hut. Let me tell you…it was crazy. Our man came out to visit with us. He read us some scriptures and told us that he was basically Jesus. He also proclaimed to be America, and Gid from the Gadiaton Robbers. He claimed to have ties with random terrorist groups around the world. So that was fun. He wrote us a Christmas card though, so that was thoughtful. It was quite the experience. So I can cross “visiting the psych ward” off my bucket list of things I thought I’d never do on my mission. I should really create a real list. I’m sure I’ve said that multiple times throughout my mission….

Anyway, on to bigger and better things! That was like the appetizer! Last week was transfers and Elder Yang and I stayed in Eau Claire, so we didn’t really have to do anything because we weren’t moving. We did have to help Elder Rodriguez clean the Chippewa apartment and help him pack. That was fun…not really. Tuesday was spent cleaning and packing…I can’t really remember all the details.

Who let the dogs out?

Wednesday morning, we said goodbye to Elder Cummings and Elder Rodriguez as they sojourned to Bloomington to go to their new areas. Elder Cummings left the eastern-most point of the mission to go to the western-most point of the mission. I’ll miss him dearly, but I’ll see him in the mission home in about four months… 😉 Wednesday was kind of a blur, to be honest. It was just go, go, go! That was fun though. It’s always good when you can’t remember the details of things.

A___ is doing well. He wasn’t able to make it to church this past week, but we did have a lesson with him on Tuesday night. (I started doing things in chronological order, but I got bored…#ButreallyIcan’trememberdetails) We talked about prophets and he loved it. He basically said that he believed everything about the Church. He is so excited to be baptized and become a full member of the Church. We are so excited for him too. We went to play frisbee golf with him on Tuesday night (last Tuesday night…Nov. 15th). See I can’t do the whole chronological order thing. Anyway, A___ is progressing along quite well, we are excited for him!

Ready for the Turkey Bowl!

J___ is doing well. We visited him just a couple days ago. We haven’t been able to visit with him too much lately because he has been busy. It’s all good though, because he loves the gospel! He has such a desire to become a member of the Church, and isn’t afraid to put forth the effort. He asks questions and receives the answers entirely. It’s SO awesome. I love him! It’s like a dream.

Oh! In other news, IT SNOWED HERE IN EAU CLAIRE! Finally. It seems like we were the last area in the mission to get snow. I swear every other area got hit with a huge amount of snow, except us. Until now. But we only got hit with a snow/rain mix. So basically slush…no fun. And no snowman building. But it looks like we’ll be having a white Thanksgiving!

First Snowfall!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we are doing so many things today for Thanksgiving and it will be so much fun! We are going to Whitehall (which is about an hour away from Eau Claire—still in our area) to have a Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with a member family, it should be fun! I love Thanksgiving because it’s the time of the year we get to reflect upon the things we are truly grateful for. I love it. To end my email, I want to share with you all somethings I’m grateful for.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve a mission. It has been such a wonderful experience and I am so grateful for all the people I’ve met. There are so many people that have touched my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am also so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of Him that I can repent and become a changed man. It is because of Him that we all have the chance to become better people. I am so grateful for this gospel because it is what refines us and makes us better. It’s so wonderful to know that we all have unlimited second chances. I’m so grateful for Christ’s atonement and all that He has done for us. I love serving a mission.

Weekly Planning! Gotta have eats!

Anywho, I am running out of things to talk about and say. It’s all a blur and I can’t remember much, so forgive me if next week’s email is even smaller. Haha. I love you all and I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful week. Count your many blessings and remember what you’re grateful for! 🙂


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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