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Monday, December 30, 2013

A Baptism & A Week In Pictures

View over Ta Khmau from the building where Edward teaches a weekly English class.

The recently baptized member with her younger brother.

A farmer's home outside of the city.

A leader in the branch.

A leader in the branch.

Doing service at the Killing Fields Museum.

President and Sister Moon and two of their daughters at the mission Christmas program.

The main street in Ta Khmau.

This was taken from outside the front door of Edward's apartment. Six missionaries live here.

A residential street in Ta Khmau.

On a boat in search of an investigators home.

A typical street Edward visits while proselyting.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day Skype

Screen shot of our Skype episode.

Because of Christmas coming in the middle of the week Edward did not email, but we talked with him on Skype that evening. It was great to hear his voice and see him. He is doing fantastic and is expecting a baptism soon. He is feeling very comfortable with the language. In fact it seems odd to him that there was a time that all those Khmer squiggly marks had no meaning.  He is eating well and is healthy. We could not be more pleased with his service in Cambodia.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Branch Christmas Party (Sorry No Photos)

Well another week has gone by in good ol' Cambodia. This was a pretty good week, ups and downs like always but good. Sat was the branch Christmas celebration we were at the church all day cause E. Brittain was helping everyone with their Christmas skits, because he is amazing at the piano. The Christmas party was fun, a lot of people came. Two less actives we have been working with came, didn't come to church yesterday, but I was still happy to see them come to the party. Around 7:00 there was a dance.  At the beginning there was this really scary rap music playing, and I was hating it, finally I asked the branch pres, "do you like this?" he said, "honestly no, do you?" I said, "not at all".  Then without saying anything else the branch president went to the dj's and told them to play less scary music. I felt it was the Emperors New Clothes, nobody liked it, but nobody wanted to say anything. 

Investigator update
 A new investigator is amazing! He said he has wanted to join for a long time, but he has never had the courage to ask anybody, but he finally did. We taught him and he accepted baptism. He said that a new life has come into his life and that he used to get mad really easy and now he doesn't. He is seriously the perfect investigator. Every time we teach him a principle he says, "what do I need to do to apply this in my life."After we taught him the Atonement he said, "how can I show my appreciation for this." It is incredible. 

Another investigator is also incredible, she is getting baptized next week. So we hand out a lot of pamphlets with our number on them about the restoration, and her little brother got a hold of one, and told her about it. And she became interested and called us! And just to let you know, that seriously never happens, when they actually call us. And she said she prayed really hard to know if God was really there, and then two days later we showed up. Pretty cool.

Another young man and young woman 25, 27 didn't come to church this week :( But they came to the Christmas party and brought five of their friends! 

Another, 24, is new after about 6 weeks of trying to meet, we finally met him, taught him the first lesson, and committed him to baptism, he accepted! It was an awesome lesson. He was super interested in the Joseph Smith part, because he told us he wondered why there were so many Christian churches. But he didn't come to church :( but next week hopefully. 
Love you all so much! Merry Christmas!
Love, Edward

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Winter" in Cambodia

Well first off, Merry Christmas! I can't believe it is snowing in Utah, that is sooo crazy!  Last night biking home after our last appointment it was one my coldest moments in Cambodia, and it felt like a cool late August early September evening probably around 65 degrees or so, and all the natives were freezing, it felt nice. The weather the last couple of weeks has been really nice, still hot, but not blasting hot. 

This week has been great. Elder Brittain and I just get along great. And this week we taught at two new English classes. The first one is professional and we teach for an hour and at the end can give about a 10 minute spiritual thought. We told about Joseph Smith and asked if anyone wanted a Book of Mormon, and 6 people raised their hand, we were about to get some of their info but the teacher said we couldn't. So next time we will just write our number on the board and and tell people to call it. But we have another English class we went to, it is actually a cool story. So we were escorting a member home after helping us in a lesson, and afterwards we stopped to contact this lady before heading home, but while I was contacting her, another guy who was a former investigator came and talked to E. Brittain, and said he wants us to teach at his English class at his house and we could share "the news from the Gods". So the next day we did, and about 7 of them really were interested. We went again, and the number went down to about 4 interested. But that is still great. And we taught two of them yesterday and they accepted baptism and  came to church for all three hours, so I think they are the only ones really interested, but that is still great. Two new investigators. 

Public Transportation

Family Home Evening

Elder Brittain, on the way to an investigator's house.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Baptism, Thanksgiving, Too Hot for Christmas

"Yesterday we had two baptisms!  Testimony after the baptism was good. He said that his sins are now washed away, and that he knows he is supposed to follow the commandments for the rest of his life."

"Thanksgiving in Cambodia was fun! Every Thursday morning we do weekly planning, so we just did that then went to eat at the senior couples. They had ham sandwiches, jello and coleslaw, it was very yummy. We all shared what we were grateful for that we didn't realize we had gratitude for, but since coming on the mission we do. And I shared my awesome family! Obvious I was grateful before I just didn't realize how much I love you all so much!"

"Afterwards we just went out proselyting again, it honestly felt like a normal day. That night we shared the First Vision with a bunch of slightly drunk dudes who offered us beer. We denied but they kept offering then I said, actually we teach people not to drink beer, so then they gave us 7Up instead. But after we shared a little about Jesus and Joseph Smith they said we could come back a later day and share more, but not sure; they were a little drunk."
"What is going on? My mind is so confused! Why is it so hot in Dec? For me it still feels like July!  And actually Dec is like the coolest month, haha."
Thanksgiving Day, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Adventure Continues

"Well, the adventure continues in Cambodia. This week was pretty good. Yesterday we had 3 investigators come to sacrament meeting! Whoot whoot! The highest I have ever had in TaKhmau. So that was sweet! The three were Bong Ciang, Lookpu Bora, and Sokran. And because of that Ciang, and Sokran will get baptized next week. Sokran is a 11 year old girl and her family is already members.  Ciang is good. He keeps our commitments, of the five weeks since he accepted baptism he has come to church 3 times the two times he missed was one he went to visit his parents a ways away, and the other was district conference in Phnom Penh which was kind of far."

"So we have this one area about 45 min bike ride south away from the church, that has about 7 families, that all live with next to each other. It is called Kauh, Ko (cow island) this is where Sokran lives. Well on Sat, when he went this one member gave us four people who wanted to learn about the gospel. At first I was stoked, 4 people, awesome! But then I started to realize they where all mothers with newly born babies, and that the lady talked about how the senior couple gave away free milk for babies and how expensive milk is, so I put 2 and 2 together and we have four new mothers who want free milk! Ugh..... I am not sure what we are going to do.  Because actually if you are an active member with a new child the senior couple will help you get milk. But I don't want to teach people just so they can get milk But I think we are still going to teach them, but just have awesome lessons so that they will truly be converted. "

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Companion in Ta Khamu

"Yesterday and Saturday was district conference, and that was great. Saturday was a huge focus on member and missionaries working together, and so hopefully the members will get excited to help the missionaries. And what was really cool was that two Area Authority Seventy's came. One that I don't know, but the other was Randy Funk, and he just spoke in general conference. So that was sweet. I got to shake his hand, it was a good experience. And this week on Thursday is zone conference! So I am pumped for that too."

Edward and his companion have three investigators who have baptismal dates. They are excited to help them progress toward those dates. Because Edward's companion is new to the area, Edward is responsible to plan the proselyting and teaching. He is looking forward to the challenge.
New companion, Elder Brittan.

Outgoing Ta Khmau district.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Staying in Ta Khmau. Receiving Elder Brittan

Yesterday for church our investigator came to church again! He really is our only truly progressing investigator, but that is okay, the others will start coming, I hope. But he is doing really really well. Last night we met and he said and I quote: "I love reading the scriptures" He also said that he had a great experience at church and he loved the testimonies of the members And he said that at first he was confused at everything we said, but now things are starting to make sense, so that is awesome!"

I am staying in TaKhmau, but Elder Decker is being transfered. My new companion is Elder Brittan from Idaho. I remember him from the MTC. He was one group ahead of me.  I really feel that Elder Brittan and I will just do awesome things, although I am a little nervous but I have a lot of responsibility now and I hope I will be able to fill up our schedule, but I bet Ill do fine.

At a buffet we visit last week.

The wound is healing fine.  Phew!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Great Investigator, "Special" Meat, & Wound Recovery

I went on an exchange with Elder Vore. Saturday night we biked an hour away to this place called Bah Kuu, and it was very pretty. I'll send some pics. Oh, and there I ate dog...a lot. I didn't know it was dog till afterward. The dog was actually pretty good, not of the missionaries were touching the bowl the dog was in, and I was like to myself, "well, I guess I'll just eat it", and it was good so I ate most of the bowl that nobody else would touch. Afterwards they told me it was "special" meat, that is what they call dog meat. haha

 This is the awesome miracle story of the week. We contacted a man about a month and a half ago and he said we could come back and share a message. When we first started teaching him he said that he could never go to church but we could teach him. He owns a little shop where he fixes bikes and sells food and treats. Whenever we teach him, during the entire lesson we have to stop and and he goes helps customers and then he comes back and we continue. (shows that nobody is too busy to learn) I love this guy. Elder Vore and I taught a killer Plan of Salvation and committed him to baptism. I honestly didn't know what he would say, there was a very very big chance he would say no way! But he said, "yes, I believe what you teach me, and want to do what you say", then said, "what do I need to do". We said, "go to church", and he said, "what time does it start?" And we told him, then we left. I was super happy, but a lot of people have told me that they will go to church and haven't. But yesterday he came!!!!!!!! Miracle. Shows the power of the Holy Ghost, there is no way he would have come without the Holy Ghost. Him coming to church was really a miracle. I always thought he could do it, but I knew it would be hard. So happy about him.  

Bah Kuu, about an hour's bike ride from Ta Khmau.

I am actually supposed to clean it myself every two days, so today at night I will clean it and replace the bandage. But this is a lot smaller than it was at first. and the white stuff is the anti bacterial stuff they put on. (I think)  And yes, it is a little scary, I wasn't  worried at all (I thought the doctors were taking way too many precautions) until about now (ha, ha) everyone is making a big deal. I'll definitely be very careful with it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Investigators, Cyst Removal, Hamburgers and Donuts.

Right now we have four progressing investigators, which is great! Before we had about one. So the work is getting better. 

Conference was great! It felt like I have 3 preparation days in a row. All the talks were great. My favorites: both of Elder Uchtdorf's talks and Elder Edward Dube (not just because he has my name hehe). Well, honestly I liked a ton! I can't name them all. But a lot of really good talks.  I really felt the Lord loves for me. He knows my weaknesses. Even though I can still do better and I am striving to get us working harder. I felt the Lord accepts my covenant. I just felt full of hope, that the lord will fulfill his promises to me. 

This week I went to see the doctor a lot. The first time they drained all the puss that was inside the cyst. And they cut it open a little more and drained it more. But it wasn't the classic doctors visit. Usually at the doctor everything is super professional. This one for Cambodia was honestly really good, but sometimes my doctor (a small asian woman who could speak english) would ask the nurse for supplies and the nurse didn't know what the heck the doctor was talking about. What was really nerve racking is when the nurse brought over the cutting equipment and just dumped it on the little table next to me. The nurse looked like he had no idea what he was doing, and the doctor kept having to tell him what he was doing wrong or kept telling him to get things, that he didn't know existed. So to begin the doctor gave me a shot to numb it up, but she was the worst shot giver ever, she stabbed it in and was moving it around in my leg, it hurt so bad! And it really didn't even work because when she started cutting my leg a little it hurt a ton! She saw me flinch so she gave me another shot which hurt like crazy. That one finally worked though because it only hurt about half as much afterwards. But honestly everything went great. I have to go in and the clean the wound and redress it every other day, probably for another week, cause now I just have a big crevasse on my leg. But the good news my stupid big cyst is gone. Tell Sam he'll be happy, he hated that thing. 

Pretty scenery near the home of a member of the brach.

Clean study desk.

Saturday we found this place that is called USA Donuts. They sell hamburgers and donuts. And I had a hamburger and it was like an classic American hamburger it was delicious! And the donut too! It was a taste of home. And on Saturday I got a haircut, like dad and Ethan, but they left the top way too long. But I thought it looked fine, but that night I hated it, so I grabbed a pair of scissors went to the bathroom and cut it. And now it looks great! Obviously not a movie star haircut but it looks good. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Good Investigator to Church, Companion's Birthday, and a Sore Leg

Yesterday we had one investigator come to church, so we are still kinda struggling with our investigators but the one who came is a new investigator and is very interested. She is a niece to another investigator and listened to our Plan of Salvation lesson, and then she came to church, I was super surprised to see her there, and super happy. 
This week is that I went on an exchange with Elder Stanley. It was in my area so I was pretty much senior comp. We met with a few people, and we found a really old member who has been inactive for over 10 years but his kids might learn. And at the end of the day I was able to do all the tasks that missionaries are supposed to do, meaning my language skills are now good enough where I could be by myself and still do everything I do now. So with the language I feel pretty good. But still working hard so I can speak clearly.

Elder Decker's birthday was this week and we had pizza. It was really good. There some nice restaurants in Cambodia. 

Remember my old cyst on my leg. Well, it is getting bigger and is red and it hurts really bad when I touch it.  I'm going to ask Sister Moon, the mission president's wife, today.  I will probably have to get it removed.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Staying in Ta Khmau

We got three new investigators this week, so that is great. I am not sure how interested they really are, but we will find out. Right now we only have 2 firm, solid investigators. One is a 50ish year old man, the rest of his family are members, who are kind of inactive and he has started to learn. He is super awesome, but it is hard to get him to church. The other is an 11 year old girl in a family who are already members. If the family are members the kid can get baptized at 8 without learning with the missionaries. But if they wait until later, then they have to be taught my the full-time missionaries. One investigator who is really interested, but isn't sure she wants to give up Buddhism. I like teaching her. I really feel she will get baptized, she is truly interested and willing to learn, and asked a lot of questions. And I really feel like she will pray and get a testimony, but who knows. But when we taught her the restoration, I had a, "I love being a missionary" moment. It was an awesome lesson. Really being a missionary is awesome. 

Along the banks of the Mekong River.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

No changes, Fish eyes, and Fishing.

So transfer calls were yesterday and.... everything is the same; no changes.  

This week was good. We started teaching a former investigator and she is really interested. And we had 100 people at church yesterday which is great! So the branch is doing well. It feels like I just got to Ta Khmau but, it has already been six weeks. Nuts. Crazy. 

Cool things that happened. Last week the mission president came and had breakfast and studies with the district, they brought pancakes and yummy eggs :). It was fun. I ate fish for the first time since forever last week. It wasn't terrible. I ate a fish eyeball, that was nasty, the texture was all slimy, the taste was fine, but I almost gagged cause I was thinking about it too much. Elder Decker was sick last Saturday so I took a nap, first nap in the country! And sunday I cooked, some fried noodles. It was scrumptious.  Your son is learning how to make food. (And more that just pb&j.) :)

Yay for Christine and Lyndon, that is soo awesome, love the name. Very excited for their new baby. General conference is coming up soon so that will be fun, but we watch it about 4 or 3 weeks after it comes out.  

Life is good. I wake up, stretch. Eat, study, go preach, come back eat, go out preach some more, come home. Plan, write in my journal and repeat. It is great, it finally feels natural, not like this is a weird lifestyle, no it just feels like life. O ya baby. 

Well love you all so much, it was great to hear from you! Love you sooo much! 
One of our investigator grows bananas. yum!

Rainy season at the Mekong River in Ta Khmau.

From a porch of an investigators. Awsome tie!

On Tuk Tuk. 

Caught no fish, perhaps Edward is a better fisher of men.