After spending 2 years serving in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, Elder "Kalai" Ellis will be speaking on Sunday July 9, 2017 at 11:30am in the Nuuanu Ward (622 N.
Judd Street, Honolulu, HI 96817) sacrament meeting.
A true Thailand Bangkok Missionary. His bike is decked out with all the necessities. Rocks to throw at animals that chase you and then a carrier thing attached to the top tube to put in a baton to swat away the animals if they don't run away after getting hit by rocks. You think we are joking but he wouldn't do this if he wasn't serious.
Had an AMAZING activity at a huge park over in Udorn. It was a combined effort with a ton of people. We got around 40 members of all ages to go with us into this park and just pass out a ton of English inviting cards. After the activity we finished off with a light dinner and some games.
Went on a switch off in Sakon Nakhon. Went over to teach this child. Such a good lesson! Taught about how God is our loving Father in Heaven and also how the gospel has been restored to the earth once again. He also is way down to follow the example of his mother and Jesus Christ and get baptized this month.
Funny story. As we taught the kid (Bro. Nickie) we had already invited a bunch of people to come and sit down and learn with us. Everyone was either asleep or "busy." So we just taught him, then helped him do some dishes. Literally 30 minutes after we initially invited everyone in this house, out comes all the MEN. They were all inside sleeping and just started to coming out to eat dinner. We were short on time cause our bus also left in less than an hour so we shared some quick thoughts, got the return appointment, then rushed on our way back to Udon....
Yes back to the province of Udon but not to the actual city. Got back from Udon that night at around 10 pm then the very next morning left off to a smaller city in the province to work with this elder. We also tried our luck at fishing using these big nets that you just lower and then raise. Bonus points to my companion for the switch off, Elder Hansen, he had caught more fish than I had. But just saying. 1 fish isn't all that much hahahhaha.
After we finished the fishing/finding moments here in Kumpawapi we rushed back to the church to start teaching English. But this was the sight that we saw above us. It was like a veil of darkness just coming across the land and taking away all sunshine and happiness. In other words "Rainy Season."
The last Family Night on my mission. The two in the middle are a young couple, both are counselors in different auxiliaries and are really good at what they do. Their children are named Ice cream and Pistachio. Super super super super adorable family. Love them and all their service for the branch.
"Behold now, I do not say that these things shall be, of myself, because it is not of myself that I know these things; but behold, I know that these things are true because the Lord God has made them known unto me, therefore I testify that they shall be."
I've spent my last two years testifying to people about the reality that God is real, that Jesus is the perfect example to us all, and that the true church of God has been restored upon the earth. Pretty legit, not gonna lie. I've traveled all throughout Bangkok and the country side, and even into Laos, and I know that these things are all true.
The comfort, peace, joy, and happiness I have as a result of my knowledge of this gospel is UNREAL. I know these things are true and can't deny them. I've been changed for the better and it's not stopping here.
But yeah. I'm way stoked to get back in the ocean.
last but one in a series of things; second to the last.
This week flew by. So much happened. We've been spending a lot of time in the middle of nowhere but it's ok cause we have a lot of our investigators out here. It's pretty beautiful to be back in the country side.
Crossed the border to go to Laos and do some passport work and also have a companion exchange with the elders in Laos. "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."
Such an AMAZING EXPERIENCE. This is a country where you don't proselyte like a normal missionary. You go there, and you are literally a full time English teacher. But these missionaries are still preaching the gospel through their dedicated service and constant love! They have been baptizing like crazy. We had the opportunity to teach with the Laos elders and it was amazing. One of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. Just a quick summary of what has been happening in Laos the story goes a little like this...
Almost 8 months ago, all missionaries in Laos had gotten taken out of the country. Which is a pretty big deal when there are only 6 missionaries for a whole country. So then the work there went dark. Occasional visits were allowed but at that time, there were no church meetings and no missionary work happening at all. Just recently, missionaries were allowed back into the country, but still could not do much missionary work. Then they finally got a church building. To understand the magnitude of how important this church building is, as long as they are on the church property they can teach and preach. The Laos elders have people in their investigator pool, not just people but families, that have been waiting for 7+ months to get baptized.
I met a family and one such person that has been waiting. Ever since the last missionaries left the country, this person had still read and prayed every day. One of the reasons she gave as to why she wanted to learn was because she wanted to be a missionary and share this gospel. This is someone that just had a desire and that desire carried her for 8 months. Then the other family is absolutely adorable. A whole family unit with two children that aren't 8 years old yet. And they have waited together and have supported each other the whole time through. Laos is a land of a million elephants and twice as many miracles.
The rest of the week. The time flew by. Just woah. Where has it all gone? I'm not too sure myself, but things have really been going well.
This is probably the last baptism we'll see in our companionship. She is the mother of a member from Bangkok. He had just gotten baptized and really wants the rest of his family to learn of the gospel. So yeah. We biked out almost 20 kms multiple times a week to go and teach her and help her. When she comes to church her first Sunday in Udon, funny story, half of the branch is her family. They all know each other and everyone is so excited to see God's hand working in everyone's life. Miracles are happening. Lives are being changed. Stoking so hard.
"And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father."
Keep on loving.
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.
Ate some baguettes and some mango sticky rice pancakes
With the Laos Elders
This one is for you Elder Bouwmeester. Throwback to Samut Prakan
Loaded up into a tuk tuk and then went out into the middle of the villages to visit a ton of different member families
The mission children with the uncle on the far right.
Heard that the first summer swell came in. Stoked.
Went to Bangkok to See Elder Cook. SO AMAZING. SO much inspiration and guidance. Went into the meeting so prepared to learn and the more you prepare the more you get out of these meetings. I've got a ton more motivation to work until the very moments of my mission here in Thailand.
A baptism almost 4 years in the making. Mother on the left, sister on the right.
His mother used to drop off another member at the church for a year and while she brought this member she had begun to learn with the missionaries. Almost a year later from her first encounter with the church her and her daughter were both baptized. They were full of excitement and wanted to share the gospel with him, Brother Anon. He was stubborn. Learned with the missionaries for over a year, and then went off the radar. Went to a different city, lived with a relative and just got into a bunch of bad stuff. At the end of last transfer, we had an idea that we needed to find him. But we had no idea where he was. The next week he shows up to sports night with his sister, we play some basketball, and then invite him to church. He comes, and we ask him when he wants to get baptized. He takes a date for the end of the month and yeah. Comes to church, keeps commitments, and passes his interview.
"And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard."
When we went to the conference in Bangkok, had the opportunity to meet with a bunch of members and friends. So full of joy seeing people that I haven't seen in a long time. So full of joy cause these are lives being changed for the better. It's such a real work with a great reward of joy and happiness.
We got our whole zone to fly down to Bangkok together for a meeting to see Elder Cook. 22 missionaries on a plane. Good times. Even funnier is that for our trip back we bought 11 of the 21 seats on the bus! Parties.
Went to go teach some members and an investigator, so we park our bikes on the side of the pathway. 25 minutes later as we are getting ready to leave, this thing was on my seat. I'm not too sure what it is exactly. Just a bit random to be chilling on my bike seat. There's been a lot of stuff happening this week but honestly it just feels like everything has blended together cause I haven't emailed in like 2 weeks. Also barely took any photos so I'm not too sure what happened. Yeah we have flown back and forth a ton these past two weeks. Met a bunch of people. Taught one of the older brothers of a member, he's 20 years old. He always talks about how strong he used to be, so every time we go and teach him we start our lesson off with 25 pushups and then end the lesson with another 25. Just a little something to get the blood flowing.
It's been super rainy. Flooding and muddy. Basically means that all the shirts I have left needed to get washed as soon as I get home for the day. In this rush, I forgot to take a black pen out from my pocket and ran a load in the laundry. Lo and behold I check the washing machine 30 minutes later and the black pen exploded over two shirts (coincidentally neither of those shirts had any mud/dirt marks). The countdown for shirts is now at three, two short sleeves and one long sleeve shirt. Which is also ironic cause someone just reminded me that 3 weeks from today I'll be in Bangkok again having my last day as a missionary. HAHAHHA wow.
Yeah. I don't feel old. But then again....who knows.
"And it has been said that the most important event in life is death. We live to die and then we die to live. Death is a kind of graduation day for life. It is our only means of entrance to our eternal lives. And it seems to me to be a very helpful procedure to spend a little time preliving our death. That is, what kind of person would you like to be when the last hour of your life arrives?
The last hour is the key hour. That is the hour that judges all of the other hours. No one can tell whether or not his life has been successful until his last hour. As Sophocles said, “We must wait till evening to know how pleasant the day has been.”"
"To Die Well" -Sterling W. Sill
Went on another companion exchange with an elder that had shared this talk with me. Yes, it is a bit old, but wow. It really summarizes how to just live and ease transitions of our life. Many times people think about their mission and stress out about their "Death Date" aka the day in which they stop being missionaries. In these final weeks this is the last hour of my two years. A great time of reflection and a time to keep on working hard until the last minute. So yes, my mission may be coming to a close soon, but that is no reason to let things go out of control. Things will still be the same, the work effort will never leave me, and the love and attributes I have developed will remain. I want to get down to those last few moments being satisfied with the things that I have done and the person I have become.
Companion Exchanges with Elder Morris Ft. 10 baht Coke from our investigators
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Pretty sure you're somewhere in the Pacific ocean atm, but I'll see you in a few weeks so it'll be chill.