The Titanic Trio!

Featured Photo: Elder Hickman, Elder Yang, and Elder Ellis harvesting peppers

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

Hello everyone! For the record, this form of the word titanic refers to the awesomeness of us, not the ship that was sunk by an iceberg. 😉 On a brighter note, it’s Monday again! Which means you get to hear from me again! So great. I know, hold the applause. 🙂

This week has been so crazy, so let’s get right into it!

At the beginning of this week, I was in St. Paul with my Hmong brothers. Now I’m in Eau Claire with Elder Yang and Elder Hickman, my Hmong and Mikas (white) brother. Last Monday, we just hung out for P-day and went to the mall. Elder Thao and I went to a guitar center and played around with the sound equipment. That was a lot of fun! Basically I was a DJ for an hour. That night, we visited with Ph___ and her family and gave her a blessing. She was going through a hard time. Ph___ amazes me. She knows this gospel is true and does everything she can even though she isn’t baptized. She even does her own family history! She sends her kids to the temple to do the temple work for her! She’s amazing.

Ready to ua teb!

She took us out to lunch on Tuesday. I got to go to Hmong village in St. Paul and it was amazing. It was like a small Hmong new year. And all the food was authentic Hmong food! IT WAS SO GOOD! Saying goodbye was hard, especially for me to say good bye to Ph___. Her kids said that even though I was only here for two weeks, I fit in perfectly. I’m going to miss them so much. Most of the rest of Tuesday was spent saying goodbye and packing. Ugh, I hate packing. Unpacking is bad too. I wish we could just snap our fingers and poof! It’s moved. Or put the stuff in my pockets like the villager from animal crossing…(Video game reference).

Wednesday was transfer day. Okay, so today was crazy. This just….ah. Okay. So Elder Frehner and I had to go to Bloomington because we were transferring. There were a few things we needed to do because people forgot things. So we loaded up the car, two missionaries’ suitcases, three bikes, and a bunch of boxes with junk in it. We were running late and had one last thing to do. We get to the parking lot and go over the speed bump and hear KER-CLUNK! Elder Frehner looks back and says, “No way….” I looked back and realized our bikes weren’t there anymore. THE ENTIRE BIKE RACK FELL OFF! It was pulled right out of the hitch on our car. It reminded me of the time Sister Turner’s bike rack fell off too in St. Cloud. Haha, oh, fun memories. We tried to put the bike rack back on and I guess it bent, so it didn’t fit anymore. So we ditched the bike rack (which the bikes were still attached to) and left it at the Eastside Elder’s apartment. #rebel We still made it to Bloomington on time though! I got to see a bunch of people I know. The Sisters I came out with are gone now. They went home. They are home. Ah, weird. I got to see Elder Cummings and Elder Boothe again! I also got to see Sister Peterson and Sister Turner. Elder Smith was there and so was Elder Nang! He goes home in like six weeks, how crazy! This transfer meeting was the last time I may see some Elders and Sisters. Since I’m cast out in Eau Claire, it may the last time I get to see Elder Nang, Elder Thao, Elder Smith, and Sister Turner. I hope I get to see them once more, but I may not. I’m grateful to have been able to got to know them. It only gets harder from here. #allmyfriendsaredead

We loaded up the Chippewa van and set course for the easternmost areas of the mission. It was basically a road trip. I drove out there and basically everyone in the van fell asleep, except me of course. #momstatus So that was fun. Once we got into Eau Claire, we got right to work. We visited a Hmong couple and had a good conversation with them. They have a lot of potential. We went to the church for our Wednesday night bishop’s meeting. Bishop Ashby still remembers me! 🙂

Thursday was a long day, but all in all we got work done. We went to a famous restaurant in Eau Claire. Muang Thai! It was sooooooooo goooooood. And there was sushi!! Best part was that they gave us the food for free, because a member owns the restaurant and she has a missionary serving. She always lets us eat there for free. In turn, we help them with dishes and things. Thursday nights, we also have a scripture study class and mostly less active members came. We also had institute. We show up there because the teacher, Brother Hilton, would like us to. The topic this week: preparing for eternal marriage…yeah. How many people were there? Three missionaries, two single sisters (not the missionaries), and one other single guy. Brother Hilton was also out of town. Oh, and one of the sisters there wasn’t even a member! So basically, we gave marriage advice. #Top10thingsIdidntthinkIwoulddo #awkward

We had a lesson on Thursday with Glen. He’s one of the Sister’s investigators. They passed him off to us and we are teaching him now. He has a baptismal date set for November 12th. So we are going to work hard for him to get there! He even came to church yesterday! He’s a great guy, with swag blue shoes. He’s got a lot of potential. I’m excited to work with him!

Saturday, we spent the early afternoon washing dishes for Muang Thai! So much fun! They gave us more free food.

We had an amazing lesson with Daryl. He’s such a good guy. His daughter was baptized a few months ago. He has been learning from the missionaries for a while now. He sits in a wheelchair and can’t use his legs. We shared the talk from Elder Stevenson about the Book of Mormon and he loved it. He even committed to baptism on November 5th! 🙂 Woot!

Late on Saturday night, we visited the Freemason Temple right next door to our apartment. It was strange, but it was cool. We also won some free stuff. I got a free sweater and hat, and Elder Yang got a $10 gift card to Walmart. We’re so boss. It was great.

At the Freemason Temple

Sunday was amazing. I was recognized by many a people. It was good to see that I actually had an impact on these people. It was awesome! We also met some new Hmong people we’ll be talking to more often soon!

Well, that’s my novel of an update for the week! It’s been great to be back! Sadly, Elder Hickman may only be with us until tomorrow or Friday, but he’s been so great to have and it’s been a great past few days. #titanictrio

Love you all have a wonderful 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, 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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