Common Loon…But Now I’m a Wisconsinite!

Featured Photo: New voyage with the Pinta on the St. Croix River!

From Elder Ellis (email dated 7/18/2016):

How do you catch a unique loon?
Unique up on it.
How do you catch a tame loon?
Tame way, unique up on it.
How do you catch a common loon?
Common, tame way, unique up on it!

Okay haha poor jokes aside, it’s been a good week. So Elder Oldroyd and I went tracting and we like to play a game and make it fun. So we give each other words that we are supposed to use when talking with people. Elder Oldroyd gave me the word, “common loon,” which is the Minnesota State bird. I’m a Wisconsinite now. So after talking with this one guy at his door, I asked if I could tell him a joke. I proceeded to tell him the joke posted above. Hahaha it worked! Fun stories!

As you can see I’ve had a lot of fun the past few days. So let’s get started!

I’m now in Hudson, WI. Wisconsin wants me. Anyway, Hudson is a pretty beautiful place. It’s right on the St. Croix river and it is HILLY. Like, oh my aching thighs. We bike about 50 miles a week. We still have a car, but our area is huge, and because we’re zone leaders we have to drive like 200 miles to get out to Eau Claire. Ah. So we have to conserve miles. It’s been a crazy past few days though. Just getting adjusted to being a zone leader.

The field is green in Wisconsin!

So on Tuesday last week we said good bye to everyone in Chaska. Ah, it’s so sad to see everyone and say my goodbyes. It was bittersweet. Elder Bezzant and I said a lot of goodbyes while Elder Wilson and Elder Christenson (another Elder we had with us) worked in Chaska. It was a good time.

On Wednesday morning, I packed it all up and headed out to Bloomington. I got to say goodbye to Christy and Jesse Wednesday morning. So sad to say goodbye to them. I found my new companion, Elder Oldroyd, and saw my Hmong brothers, and then we headed off to Hudson.

Utah Avenue!

We visited a few people, but I’ve been introduced to so many people recently I can’t remember who’s who. But I do remember visiting with this one family. The Ballard’s. Their son, Ike, went to Fresno, CA, Hmong speaking. So he tried to speak Hmong with me, but Kuv tsis paub hais lus Hmoob. So that’s fun. Ike reminds me a lot of Elder Gardiner. Shoutout to him, because he’s in Provo now and he’s awesome. I miss him!

On Thursday, we visited our date sets A___ and G___. They are younger kids, but hey are on fire and ready to get baptized. Their date set is for July 30th. So it’s coming up! 🙂

On Friday we had a ton of stuff to do as zone leaders. We had to get a zone focus together and account with the assistants and yeah. Our area is super spread out and so we had to drive like 30 minutes to get to a lesson and 45 minutes to another. So driving time makes for good conversation. It’s good.

New comp! Elder Oldroyd!

We also visited another date set of ours. Her name is M___. She’s the mom of a recent convert and she has a lot of questions. Deep deep deep questions too. She needs to do the small and simple things and then act on her faith. It’s all good though. These things take time!

Sunday was interesting. We had a lot of people we needed to go see. We biked around and headed to Roberts. That’s where the awesome joke with the common loon happened, see above. And we had dinner with an awesome family the Bringgolds. They celebrated someone’s birthday, it was Brother Bringgold’s dad. He turned 89. He and this other old guy there were hilarious. Like for real, it was like two teenage boys stuck inside old people’s bodies. It was hilarious. Hahahaha!

So that’s life in Hudson so far. It’s wonderful! Thanks for all your love and support! I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!


Elder Ellis


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Michael Andrew Ellis

I write literary fiction at the confluence of Mormonism, Hmong culture, and the human condition. Here on, 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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