86 and a Half Street

This Is a Blast!

Featured Photo: “When you run out of streets, the Lord makes half streets for you!”

From Elder Ellis (Sorry so late):

Hello, all my friends! I hope your week was good, mine was interesting, but good! First things first, this email will be cut short because we only have an hour to write this week. Why? Well because it’s the 4th of July on Saturday, so that’s our REAL P-day! Except we can’t do anything with fireworks, haha! But we may or may not do a District BBQ. So that will be awesome!

Elder Wright
Elder Wright: “I’m not listening to this right now.”

So biggest news. We have a new Elder with us. His name is Elder Wright, he is from Highland, UT. He graduated from Lone Peak High School. He’s a really awesome Elder! He’s been out for about a year now. He is serving in the Mission Office, but he lives with us, and works with us on the days and times the Mission Office is closed. Which is mostly evenings and weekends. It’s great though, because in the evening we have the rule of three!!! Which means we can actually visit people! The rule of three states: Missionaries cannot visit someone of the opposite gender unless there is a third member of the same gender that is above the age of 16 present. So basically, we can’t go visit the single Cambodian women without another man present. Which makes sense. It’s a good rule.

Transfers happened this week. It was so cool! I got to see Elder Cummings, Elder Dygert, Elder Gywnn, and Sister Pack! The only one I didn’t see was Sister Coleman! But she’s in my district, so that’s OK. I also got to see Elder Gardiner and Elder Anderson at transfers! It was a family reunion! So the way mission relations go, at least in my mission, is that your first companion who trains you is your father. Your second companion who doesn’t train you is your mother. So people have some fun with family history on the mission. My family history is a sad story. Elder Gardiner is my birth father, Elder Anderson is my step-father (for 2 weeks) and Elder Nang has claimed me as his adopted son. I still don’t have a mother. Elder Wright may be my mother…we are still deciding on that. You probably think this is weird, but I’m a missionary, we ARE weird!

Anyway, Elder Dygert is now training! Holy Cow! He just got done with his training! Elder Cummings is in the same district as Elder Dygert. Elder Gywnn got transferred again, and Sister Pack got a new companion. So that’s the life of my MTC district.

Also on Wednesday, while the trainers had to wait for their trainees, some of them got to work with us for the day! So Elder Nang and I had to blitz our area. Great, except the best conversation I can hold with a Cambodian person is: Hi. Haha. I was with Elder Anderton (not Anderson) for a couple hours. We contacted at an Asian Market. It was the first time he’d ever done that. Haha. Then we stopped by a few potentials who actually spoke English. Not too bad.

Peace out!

We also found out that S___ is going to scout camp! IT’S A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! S___ is like every other 15-year-old teenager. He doesn’t really want to come to church, and he’s not sure what he wants out of life. I love the kid, but I want to spirit-slap some sense into him sometimes! Haha. He left for camp today and he was super excited. I’m glad he is also going with the Young men, because he WILL have a spiritual experience!

Elder Nang and S___ Playing Soccer
Elder Nang playing soccer with the kids.

We taught a new investigator this week. Her name is S___. (I thought Elder Nang was saying “somebody,” so for like five minutes I was asking him who we are going to teach, and I thought he was saying “somebody.”) We taught her husband and he seemed to like the idea of being redeemed for our sins. We taught her and she really liked the idea of Christ too. I think that is a trend with Cambodian people. I said the closing praying in Cambodian and they all were very impressed with how they understood my Cambodian. They were impressed with how well my Cambodian is after learning it for only one month. I guess I’m improving! Anyway, she was supposed to come to church yesterday with T___ (our other investigator), but neither of them showed up. S___ did call us and tell us she wouldn’t make it, so that softened the blow, a little.

We had a member drive us around for the day on Friday. Which never happens for us! His name is J___ and he’s been a member for about seven months now. He actually goes to the TCYSA ward. (Twin Cities Young Single Adults) He’s also -wait for it- Cambodian! So it helped a lot! We taught a couple lessons with him so it was good!

Now for the title of this email. It has really been a blast this week! But what’s even better is what happened two nights ago. So during our nightly planning we heard rain. Which didn’t make sense because it was sunny all day. We open the window and find someone lighting up fireworks in the parking lot! IT was AWESOME! Except it looked like it was on someone’s car…. but still it was a blast (pun intended.)

It also rained buckets yesterday, hopefully I can send you these videos I took, if not, check the blog at a later time. (I’m advertising about my blog!)

Being a missionary is awesome! I sometimes have had thoughts about why I am out here, or what I could be doing if I wasn’t here, but they are immediately replaced by the thought, “I’m doing the Lord’s work, EVERYTHING else can wait!” Nothing is as important as serving the Lord in this area at this time! I have a lot of work ahead of me and it’s going to be hard, but I know that it will be the best for me! I know that if we try our best and do ALL that we can do, Heavenly Father will help us with the rest. I have truly seen that I continue to learn Cambodian.

Nothing else really noteworthy happened this week. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but it’s been an awesome few weeks. I hope you all have a great 4th of July! Enjoy it and be safe and I 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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