Taught a Lesson Dressed as a Cat!

Featured Photo: A Treat for Halloween!

From Elder Ellis (email dated 10/31/2016):

Hello everyone! Man, this week has just flown by, it’s gone so fast! And, it’s Halloween! So Happy Halloween! Or for my league playing friends, happy harrowing! Crazy. I hope you all have plenty of fun activities planned for today, one of which includes reading the rest of this email! So I’ll get started with my week! 🙂

Halloween Party

As for the title, well, for the Ward Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, we dressed up like cats! The Sisters were mice. The trunk or treat ended a lot faster than we expected. We finished around 8pm, which still gives us an hour for proselyting. We left the church around 8:25pm or so. We had our whiskers on and all. We figured by the time we got home and changed back it would be about 8:50 or so, not enough time to do anything really. So, we thought about it and started heading home, we were thinking of names to visit and nothing was coming to our minds. Suddenly, as we were driving, I got the distinct impression to visit E___, our 17-year-old Micronesian member-buddy! I figured if there was anyone who wouldn’t judge us for showing up in a cat costume, it would be him. So we stopped by and had a super good lesson with him about the Atonement. We invited him to come to church and he said he would. We promised him that we would bring pancakes to him on Sunday morning so that he can wake up and be ready for church. So yesterday morning, we woke up and brought him pancakes AND HE CAME TO CHURCH!! I’m telling you the power of food helps people come closer to Christ! Cookies, pancakes, crepes, you name it!

Cats and Mice

So another great moment of the week happened on Saturday. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention in my previous email that we’re a trio again! Not with Elder Hickman, which doesn’t make it the return of the Titanic Trio, but Elder Rodriguez from Chippewa is partying with us in Eau Claire for the next little while! Reason being, his companion isn’t feeling too well and has been sent to the mission home to get better. So instead of sending Elder Rodriguez a new companion, they gave us Elder Rodriguez, a soccer mom van, and two areas to cover! Adventures happen people.

So anyway, back to the funny, great, painful, testimony building experience from Saturday. We got the wonderful opportunity to do some service for a part-member family in Chippewa. The service project: dismantling an old 1950’s shed with a sledgehammer. Have you ever held an 8-pound sledgehammer and swung into a wooden wall? I highly suggest it if you want to relieve some stress. Ah, so much fun. So this time instead of helping someone build something, we destroyed it. Well, this is where the fun part is. I got smashing some walls and they were still nailed into the corner. So I went outside the house and started pulling them off. Easy. Except one pesky board. I tugged, yanked, and pulled. Finally it broke free, but I lost my balance a little because #inertia. I stepped back, regained my footing, and I felt a pain shoot up my leg instantly. I look down and found that I had stepped on a board with a nail sticking right out. I was wearing my vans (mistake #1) and it had gone straight through the vans through my sock and right into my foot. I cringed because I knew it was going to bleed. I also thought of Tristan…similar story. So Tristan, I know how you felt when you karate kicked a board with a nail in it too. It hurt! I pulled it out and knew it was bleeding. I didn’t want to take my shoe off and look at it because I knew it would hurt more if I saw it. So I just walked it off. I almost fainted because of the loss of blood, or because I’m squeamish around blood, one of the two. Later after we returned home, I checked it out. I should be alright (Mom, make sure I got my tetanus shot please!).

Thor’s hammer got nothing on me

Well, now for the more spiritual side of things. I had a nail stab my foot. As I was walking around with the pain of it, I thought about Christ and his crucifixion. He had nails driven into his hands and feet. I only felt a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of this pain. Like this was nothing compared to what He went through. I can’t imagine the pain that Christ went through to suffer for our sins. After feeling all the pain of the Atonement in the garden of gethsemane, He was scourged and crucified. The pain is incomprehensible. All this He did voluntarily. I know that our Savior knows the pains we go through, no matter what pain that is. Whether it’s from stepping on a nail or to the loss of a loved one, or to the pains of emotional/mental depressions. He has felt our pains before. He knows our pains, and He can help us become stronger and overcome those trials. It was quite the interesting testimony builder.

Another miracle that happened was Sunday. Sunday was just a day of miracles. So we got six people to come to church yesterday! It was great! I also gave a talk in church yesterday as well. It went well. I’m not afraid of giving talks anymore! Until I get to the pulpit. Haha. It went well though. After church we helped the Sisters by giving a blessing to a less-active lady they’ve been working with. After the blessing I felt we should visit another less active that lives nearby. We knocked on the door and she answered and said, “How did you guys find me?” Tears began to fill her eyes as she told us all her struggles and strife she has gone through in the past few weeks. She began to tell us about how she struggled with a lot of things and just wanted to get back in line with God. She told us about how our meeting was a perfect timing. She came home late last night and found this old cross on her bed that says “Faith, Hope, and Love. Of these, Love is the greatest.” She thought it was weird being on the bed because it’s usually hung up on her wall in the family room. She knew it was a sign from God that it was time to get back. We shared a message with her and the whole time her cheeks were streaming with tears. She said she knew we were sent from God and the whole time was teary-eyed. It was such a testimony builder to listen to the spirit and follow promptings.

Love is the greatest!

G___ is doing great this week! We visited him on Saturday night and invited him to come to church. G___, his daughter, and her family came to church yesterday and they enjoyed it. It was great!

A___ came to church yesterday too! He is so excited to come to church and learn more. He loved everything that was said in church today. After I gave my talk, I talked with him and he said, “Everything you said in your talk touched me. I know that your talk was meant for me. I took a lot of notes from it!” It touched my heart just knowing that I was able to help someone through my talk. Best thing that he said yesterday was, “I love church, I’m even more excited to become a member!” We are going to set a date with him this week! SO EXCITING!!!

Finally, we visited D___ this past week. He’s doing pretty good, we had a solid lesson about the Restoration. He was all prepped to come to church, but his daughter wasn’t able to make it, so he couldn’t come. Oh well, he’s doing great though!

That’s pretty much it for this week. Thank you for reading this email and making it to the end of this email! I hope you all have a great week and have fun!!! Love you all!!


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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