Featured Photo: “English or Cambodian, Jesus Christ is still the center!”
From Elder Ellis:
Well, hi there everyone! It’s been another great week! I wish I could write you in Cambodian, but there are some symbols that I don’t have here on an American Keyboard. But when I get my iPad that will change! 🙂
Speaking of Cambodian work, I Skype with someone at the MTC two times a week to learn Cambodian. His name is J___ H___. He went on a mission to Long Beach California, Cambodian speaking, and also lives here in the Bloomington ward. I finally made the connection when someone in the ward told me about him. He’s currently studying at BYU. He’s great! I’m glad that I get to work with him and Elder Nang to learn Cambodian. As we were Skyping one day, I thought to myself, Why am I here learning this language? It’s hard and confusing. Cambodian has 35 consonants, 32 sub-consonants, 14+ vowels, and various diacritical and punctuation marks. And to top it all off, they have a different alphabet with characters. After pondering about it a little, I looked up and directly in my line of sight the first thing I saw was a little phrase on a piece of paper. It said, “Because you’re a perfect fit!“ I took a moment and was like, “What? That’s an answer to my questions, I guess!” Turns out it was an indexing ad, because we were in the Family History center, but on that entire page that phrase is the only one I saw. Crazy!
I am slowly learning how to pray in Cambodian and now I’m learning to testify. It’s crazy. We went and visited a few investigators and I pretty much just sat there and smiled. I tried to pick out a few words, but all I could get was Preahyeesuukrih (Jesus Christ) and Preahvoobeidaa (Heavenly Father). It’s a start.
This week we had some mini miracles happen. We went all the way out to Shakopee (it’s like 10 miles south of Bloomington [I may be exaggerating]). It’s a nice little community. We knocked on this one door that had shoes out front and three Toyotas. Totally Asian. No answer. So we headed down the street and saw this Asian lady standing on the sidewalk. We started talking to her and Elder Nang, bless his soul, he’s so bold. He goes right up to her and says, “Hi! You look Asian, what Asian are you?” I was ready to walk away, because you usually don’t go and just ask Asians which Asian you are. Haha. But believe it or not, she’s Cambodian, and so was her whole family. She had to leave, but she told us to go talk to her brother. So we did. We set a return appointment for Saturday. As we left, a car drives by and Elder Nang says, “Oh Asian person!” They happened to park in the house right next door! We go talk to her and yup, she’s Cambodian too! We set a return appointment with her too! It was crazy. After going back later in the week to visit them, they weren’t interested, but they did tell us that basically half the neighborhood was Cambodian! We went and started to do some contacting. We knocked on a house that had shoes outside and some lady opens the door. Doesn’t speak English at all and she’s from Turkey. We tried the house across the street. Cambodian Family! (Not really interested) Then we tried another house. This Asian lady opens the door and Elder Nang starts speaking Cambodian to her. She gets this confused look on her face and then says, “Yeah, I’m Lao.” We talked to her for a while and found that she lived in Minnesota all her life. So not really Cambodian, but still a nice lady to talk to.
It’s been a pretty good week this week. I got to go on exchanges with Elder Fuller. I spent a day in Minneapolis. It’s awesome, but the roads are crazy. We had a member with us for the latter part of the night. We had three appointments lined up and all of them fell through. Right after the last one fell through it was only about 6:30pm. We had the whole night to do stuff and nothing to do! Then we got a phone call and someone needed help moving into their apartment building. We were able to get the Edina Sisters and us and the member we were with to go help this old woman move. Turns out she was moving into an apartment on the 15th FLOOR! The only things we had to move stuff with was an elevator, three shopping carts, and a small sized U-Haul truck. We did it though! It was so much fun being with Elder Fuller and Sister Young and Sister Coleman. It was such a blast! I don’t know how, but we made moving fun! One way was seeing how packed we could make the elevator I guess. Haha. I love exchanges because I learn so much! I learned a lot from Elder Fuller. He’s our Zone Leader and he’s also leaving on June 24th. He dies at the end of the transfer! (“Dies” is a missionary term for going home).
This email is much longer than I anticipated it to be. I probably left out a lot of details too, but that’s OK! I do have a challenge for all you alls. (Hope you enjoy my English, Dad ;).) My challenge for you this week is to watch some videos! The first video I saw this week really helped me realize why I’m going through some of the challenges I’m going through. It’s called The Will of God. It’s a Mormon Message. You can find it on mormonchannel.org. It’s a really good story from Elder D. Todd Christofferson. I love it! The other thing I want you all to listen to is a talk I heard a couple times already. I love it. It’s about and hour long, but it is so worth it! It’s called Conversion of a Catholic Priest, by Bill Carpenter. It’s a great story and well worth your time!
I love you all! Thank you for all your support and kindness! I hope you all have a great week and I will follow up with you on those videos. I’ll follow up one way or another ;). God be with you till we meet again!