Looking Towards the Future

I Say English-Speaking, Mission President Says …

Featured Photo: “Looking toward the future.”

From Elder Ellis:

Well, there’s some more news coming towards you! President Forbes came and talked to us, the Karen Elders, and the Karen Sisters on Thursday. We talked about the Karen people in the area and how the area is doing. We talked about how a Senior couple may be put into our area. But the problem that would arise is that there would be four sets of missionaries total in the North Saint Paul area. Details are still being worked out on that one. But the big news was yet to come.

After the meeting, President Forbes stands up and says, “Well, you guys talk, I have to talk with Elder Ellis.” My heart stopped. He then says, “Elder Ellis, lets go on a walk.” My mind was like, “Top 10 things people say when you get in trouble!” I was worried that he was going to be mad at me for not getting enough investigators or something. First thing he says is, “How do you like the area?” I thought, He’s going to transfer me again. Well, he continued to talk to me about my language background. My thoughts were now turned to the fact that I will probably be transferred to Hmong work…officially, this time. After a long walk around the church, he told me he wanted to transfer me. To Bloomington. To speak Cambodian. CAMBODIAN! Like the language from Cambodia. I didn’t even know that existed in my mission!!! But the only area is Bloomington. My new companion will be a native from Cambodia too. So I’ve now spent six weeks in Hmong work, two weeks in English, and possibly the next 22 months in Cambodian. It’s been an adventure so far. I can’t wait to get started, but I also want to stay in one area! I literally just got to know the people.

Selfie with the Skyline
Selfie with the St. Paul Skyline

Well, other than that, some other experiences we had this week. We went biking this week. Thanks to Aunt Chao’s spin-biking class my legs were ready for it. Until we hit a real hill. I was dying. My everything hurt. It was a good kind of hurt. But I need to go biking more often!

Elder Ellis Biking
You never forget how …

On Tuesday, we went tracting in this area a few blocks away from our apartment. We saw this guy hunched over in a hoodie on his porch. We stopped and talked to him. He’s Hmong and his name is L___. We taught him the Restoration on his doorstep and left him with a prayer. We set up a return appointment for Thursday and left. Thursday rolls around and we go to meet him. He was super excited to meet us. He’d read from the Restoration pamphlet we left him, and he said that when we left, he just felt happier. We taught him more about the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. He told us that he felt so much hope when we taught him. He has a crazy backstory that I won’t go into because of time’s sake. But he was at a point in his life where he was going to commit suicide soon. Then, he met with us. He said that it was because of us meeting with him on that Tuesday that changed his life. Forever possibly. We then taught him once more before handing him over to the Hmong Elders, since he is Hmong.

North St. Paul Missionaries
North St. Paul Missionaries

That experience proves to me that I am where I need to be, when I need to be there. I may have only been here in St. Paul for two weeks, but the Lord needs me elsewhere. My work here is finished for now. I know God has a plan for us and he knows what’s up. I love you all! This email is semi-short this week because well, it’s Memorial Day and the libraries are closed and I’m at a member’s house. I do still have some pictures from Eau Claire too! Love you all! I’ll send you some more experiences from learning Cambodian! AH!! AH!! I can do this!! Give me mountains to climb and rivers to cross! Because they make me better than I was! That’s our famous P-Day song. Search for it. Erin Thomas, “Mountains to Climb.” 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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