Elder Nang and Elder Ellis

I’m Going on an Adventure Again!

Featured Photo: Elder Ellis and Elder Nang

From Elder Ellis:

So this week has been quite the adventure. Well, to start with, I’m emailing late. Don’t worry, my email was having issues this morning so I couldn’t email at my usual time. Me and a bunch of other missionaries around the world! Haha! Anyway, I’m alive and able to use the computer for a little bit.

Where do I start? Should I even try to tell things chronologically? I’ll try. Last Sunday, Elder Anderson and I called President to see if I was getting transferred or not. Hmmm… I already told you this in my last email. So we’ll skip to Tuesday.

Tuesday was Mission conference. That was so crazy. Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy and Brother Donaldson from the MTC came and spoke to us. For those of you who have watched the Missionary movies The District, Brother Donaldson was the Mission President for the District 2, in San Deigo (not 100% sure if that is where it was). Anyway, it was supposed to be an iPad training course, but I got so much more out of it. I went in thinking I was getting trained on how to use and iPad, since I had been away from technology so long (sarcasm), but I left feeling like I was ready to get married. We got so much marriage advice in that training. Haha. (But that’s still a ways off.)

Some Bunny in North Saint Paul
Some Bunny in North Saint Paul

Well, I was able to see Sister Coleman, Sister Pack, Elder Cummings, Elder Dygert, and Elder Gwynn (all from my MTC district) at Mission Conference. It was a great reunion. I told them I was getting transferred…again…into Cambodian work. Then Sister Coleman said, “ME TOO! But not into Cambodian work!” She got transferred to Edina. After meeting old friends and saying farewell to others, I met my new companion, Elder Nang (pronounced “Nahng”). Oh man, is he the BEST EVER!! First off, his old companion was the district leader, now he is. I also found out that the Assistants to the President are in our district, so are the Sister Training Leaders, and the Zone Leaders. Oh, and the Edina sisters. Sister Coleman is in my district now! She was so mad that she got transferred, but then she’s happy because she is in my district!

Elder Nang
Elder Nang: You didn’t just take that picture, did you?

Elder Nang is seriously the best ever. He is from Cambodia and speaks great English for only being here for seven months. He asks me a lot how to say English words, and he teaches me Cambodian words. It’s a good balance. We watched a really awkward part of The District one morning and I told him that was “awkward.” He looks at me and says, “What is awkward?” So I had to try to explain to him what “awkward” is. That is hard. I looked in the dictionary, and even asked the sisters and elders in our district for help. Now, “awkward” is his new favorite word. Elder Nang is the best. I love him so much!

It’s very different being here in Bloomington. We only work with Cambodian people and it’s a tricky task. We have to work in a different way for contacting people. For example, we went to an Asian store to contact once! I think that having a native Cambodian companion will really help me learn the language. I’m also Skyping with someone in the MTC to help me learn Cambodian.

The Falls We Hiked
Cool place we hiked at.

Life is going really well here in the MMM mission. I feel like even though I’m getting moved around like a ping-pong ball, God knows where I need to be. And he helps me in ways that I don’t even know. My first area, Elder Cummings was in my district, that was good for me because I had someone I knew! Then I got transferred and Elder Gwynn was in my zone (for the two weeks I was there)! Then I got transferred AGAIN! And now, Sister Coleman is in my district. I think God wants me to be happy in the areas I’m in, so he intervenes a little and puts people in my areas. Anyway, this week’s email is short again because I don’t have a lot of time. Love you all! Remember to keep on smiling and singing hymns! God be with you till we meet again!


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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