Friday, June 16, 2017

Elder "Kalai" Ellis - Returns Home - Speaking Assignment on Sunday July 9, 2017

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. 

Images from the airport on June 16, 2017.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

​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.
Helaman 7:29
"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.
I'll be back in a few Hawaii.

Pau Hana time.​

Elder Ellis

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Penultimate Email. Ft. Switchoffs in Laos

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.

Ether 12:34
"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.

Elder แลลิส
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

Mini Hearts for the fam.

Laos dude.