Hmong New Years, Transfers, Miracles!

Featured Photo: Hmong New Year’s is the best!

From Elder Ellis (email dated 11/14/2016):

Hello, my fellow everyones! This week has been so crazy and so fast! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!! Before starting, I just want to say how fast this transfer has gone by. It’s been another six weeks that have literally just flown by. I can’t even comprehend how fast it’s going. Serious, Elder Cummings, Sister Peterson, we only have 18 weeks left. CRAZY! Sister Turner…you only have six weeks left. So time flies! Cherish all the memories and time you have left! 🙂 Elder Thao, in two days you’ll be sitting in your house not knowing what to do, so email me. 😛

Drumroll please…ELDER YANG AND I ARE STAYING IN EAU CLAIRE!!!! Woot! I’m so excited to work here in Eau Claire and party it up for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

So this week has still had too many miracles to even put down, but I’ll try! Last Monday, we had a district p-day and we partied it up in Eau Claire for the day. We played sports and had a lot of fun. It was great! It’s always so good to see fellow missionaries and to have fun with them.

Elder Ellis and Sister Peterson

Speaking of meeting up with other missionaries, on Friday (yeah I’m bad at listing things in chronological order…), we had a Zone specialty training. It was so great to see all the missionaries from St. Paul and the rest of our Zone too. We were trained by president Forbes and other Zone leaders and Sister training leaders and we learned about what the new Christmas initiative is for this year! Best part, I walked out of the chapel after the meeting was over and, randomly, Sister Peterson is there with the Anoka (hopefully that’s right) Sisters. They aren’t even in the same zone, or anywhere near us. Haha, it was good to see her too. #shoutouttoSisterPeterson Friday was long too, I was up at 5:30am and had to drive for two hours to Oakdale and then two hours back from Oakdale. It was rough, but ’tis the life of a soccer mom. #soccermomvan

On Wednesday, we had an appointment with our friend J___. Brother Grawe, our ward mission leader, is such a great missionary. He shared a Book of Mormon with J___ and we were able to go visit him last week and share the gospel with him. HE’S SUPER EXCITED AND READY TO LEARN! (I was on exchanges last week so I didn’t get to meet him, hence why he is in this week’s email.) Well, this week we were supposed to meet him on Wednesday night, but things fell through and his kids got sick. We miscommunicated the text message and we decided we would still stop by. He was super grateful that we stopped by and we had a really good lesson with him about the gospel and even priesthood blessings. He said, “Man, I can’t believe you guys care enough about me to come check up on me.” We responded that we love him because he is a Child of God and he is important to us too! He loved that and we were able to have a great conversation with him. Fast forward to Sunday night and we stopped by and had SUCH A GOOD LESSON!! We answered some questions he had concerning the Book of Mormon and he said, “This all makes sense.” We got to know his kids more and they love spending time with us. It’s so great to see how he is actively trying to have a better relationship with Heavenly Father, WHILE being a single father himself. He is amazing!

Elder Ellis, Elder Yang, Sister Wilcox, Sister Brett

We’ve been working with A___ a lot this week. He came to church! He also has been sharing the gospel with those around him! He came to play basketball with us on Tuesday. It was so much fun! He’s progressing very well and has a huge desire to be baptized.

So funny moment of the week (quoting Sister Peterson): We got invited to a lunch in Chippewa with an investigator. Free lunch, so why not. We invited the Sisters to come as well. Because #freelunch. So we get there, we carpooled because Mom van. #soccermomellis. We get out of the car and meet up with the investigator from Chippewa and start talking to him. We introduce ourselves and begin talking about the lunch. He then told us that it was a seminar for MEN and how they can become better leaders in their homes. All good, except we brought two women with us…#superawkward. Elder Yang, the sisters, and I turned to each other, and we were like, um you two can take the car unless you feel comfortable enough to go inside with a bunch of old guys. Needless to say, they left us. Looking back, I wish someone had told us it was a seminar for men, but all in all it was fun and hilarious! The Sisters were only mad at us for like 3 minutes! Haha.

We found Mai!

So back to the premise of the email, we got the opportunity to go to Hmong New Year! It was my first Hmong New Year on my mission. It was amazing! There were so many Hmong people! I even got to see Bao, Emmaus, Mai, and Chia!!! They came all the way up to Eau Claire to visit us! We had so much fun and I had some Hmong sausage and sticky rice! Hmong New Year is the bomb!!

Those are mainly the highlights from this week! I’m just so excited to work here in Eau Claire for another transfer!

Goodbye, Sister Turner!

Shoutouts to:

Sister Turner! You’re dying in Elk River! Make the most of your final six weeks! 🙂 See you at BYU! Sister Peterson! You are coming to the best Zone ever! Too bad you’ll be on the opposite side of the zone, but have fun pink washing!! (You’ve been all over this email…. #shoutoutsfordays) Elder Last! You’re my new Zone Leader! Elder Cummings, You have fun in the Duluth Zone, I’ll see you in the mission home!


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.

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