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Monday, September 29, 2014

Baptism, Waiting Out the Holiday in the Rain

Well, another great week. It was kind of slow because Tues-Thurs was the big holiday so everyone was gone. But still great. Wednesday was zone conference and it was really good. Pres moon talked a lot about faith and other things. He talked about how we are serving the King, the Most High. The King who has power over everything. It was a very cool thought that I am the minister and servant of the most powerful being of the universe! Pretty great.
Elder Khlot and I taught for 15 minutes on how to effectively work with members. It was good. Tomorrow we meet with the president and all the other zone leaders again for October even though it is still September. And the AP's want me to teach how to use time wisely in the context of street contacting.

Yesterday we had a baptism! He has been learning with the elders for about six months or more. But he is now a member of the restored gospel! It was a good service and he was definitely ready for it. 

So we still have a lot of new investigators in the beginning stage and didn't really have a chance to meet them again because of the holiday. But this week we are hoping to meet with them. One of our good investigators wants to stop learning because he has a new job and said he doesn't have enough money to get married to get baptized, but I think he will come around. His job requires him to work out of town for a full month, so hopefully when he comes back he will want to meet again. 
More rain, that is always fun :) 

This Sunday is transfer calls, and it is going to be big. I don't know what is going to happen, but most likely I will train, because there are 30 new missionaries. So we will have a lot of trainers. Last monday we taught the first lesson to the guy I talked about last time, and it was pretty good, but he was very hesitant and didn't seem too excited to keep learning, but we will see what happens.

We recieved some new investigators who are relatives to members, and they all came to church on Sunday, so that was great. Referral investigators are usually so much better--the support system is very important. 

On Saturday, we planned all these lessons and I thought they would all happen. The one guy who was our back-up plan we didn't even plan for because we thought there was no way we could meet met us. We ended up teaching him. It is funny how that happens and he has potential. We taught the plan of salvation, but he believes in reincarnation and the idea of a perfect ressurrection was very new to him, but we just told him he had to pray to know. He agreed to do that. We'll see.

Well not too many stories this week, but it was good. But the Lord is hastening is work, and I feel that Cambodia is about to explode! 

Picking up some fried rice and noodles on the way home for the day.
Yes, more rain.

A partial selfie with some chickens going to market.

Chillin' in the rain. Where's Noah?

Waiting for Noah with Elder Khlot.

Phnom Penh South Zone.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pchum Ben & Khmer New-Year, But We Continue to March Along...18 Month Mark

So now Phnom Penh is pretty quite, and it will just get more quiet. Everyone went to there homeland for Pchum Ben. That and the Khmer New-Year are the two big holidays and everybody's goes to their homeland to drink, so there you go. I am not sure why everyone have roots in the provinces away from Phnom Penh. The amount of people whose ancestors are actually from Phnom Penh is small. I've asked some people but nobody really gives any good answers, and google is a no-no for me; so, oh well.
This week we taught some more new investigators, some of them seem pretty promising, but now pretty much all our investigators our gone and won't be back until the end of the week, so I hope that we can start meeting with them again, but only time will tell. We are expecting a baptism this Sunday. He has been taught by missionaries for a long time but has never quite felt fully prepared, and it was hard for him to quit drinking. But now he has quit and finally feels ready and wants to get baptized. So that is great. He has a cousin near him that got baptized in June and his aunt is a strong member in Utah so he has a good support system. We are trying to get the rest of his family and his cousins family to learn. So that is great! 
Yesterday was good and bad. We has lesson after lesson fall through, and all the people were contacted showed zero interest. But we kept going and going, and at about 7:45 p.m., right before we were about to go home, we contacted this guy who is super awesome. There was a light in his eye, and he was smart and knows how to think for himself.  He said we could come back and meet him again tonight (mon) at 7. Many of our return appointments are very skeptical, but his I really think will go well. He is one of those people that the spirit will easily touch. 
Last week we started teaching a full family, their interest is very small, but hopefully the spirit will touch their hearts. So right now we have a lot of investigators in the beginning stages, and we have 3 actually progressing or showing signs of progressing. One is someone we contacted a few weeks ago and he is really cool. He really wants to see God, but hasn't and just feels at peace when we pray. We keep telling him that that is his answer! He is busy, but he said he still wants to go to church and get baptized. He is still testing things out, but he's good. :) 
Yesterday we tried to teach these people who were drinking, so we tried to set a time with them again when they weren't drinking and they said, "we drink everyday and we never miss a day." We tried to get them to realize drinking is not good and life has so much more to offer! But they are perfectly okay with drinking and living the way they are until they die. I don't understand how some people are so satisfied with a lowly life. They have no ambition. I wanted to stand up and shout "Arise from the dust! and stop being lame." But sadly people have agency and there is nothing we can do. Just gotta find those righteous, or at least those our desire for a better life. 
But ya that is about it for today, I went on another exchange and friday, it was good, I got some cool pics of his area. 
Our zone got 7 baptisms this week so that was great. 

Phnom Penh

Cooking area & my mudding shoes.

Elder Sok

Downtown Phnom Penh

Phnom Pehn Market Place

Phnom Pen skyline

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Teaching & More Rain

This week was pretty good. We are finding and teaching a little bit more each week. 
At the beginning of last transfer we were getting about 2 investigator lessons per week, 
and last week we got 10. So things are going a lot better. We had 7 tell us they would
 go to church on sunday, but only 3 showed up, but that is still pretty good. 

One of our investigators is doing well, but he isn't married so that is a big obstacle, 
and an expensive obstacle. Another is ready he just doesn't feel he has enough desire 
but he finally decided on the 28th, and I am pretty sure that is a solid date. We were 
hoping for three for sept but we will probably only get him, but we are doing good. 
Another investigator couple weren't able to come,  but we are still working on them. 
We brought some good member help last time and I think it helped. They still really 
aren't praying or reading, but I am not giving up. 

So this week we started meeting with a previous investigator again. He is cool and I 
always feel the spirit in his lessons.  I feel like he is an honest seeker of truth. His only 
problem that is dad is a fortune teller and I it seems that he never guesses wrong. So a 
little bit of the only one God problem but he is definitaly developing faith.  Yesterday he 
wasn't able to go to church because he is selling his moto, but I think next week he'll 
make it. Another is good, super busy but he is very honest in heart, and I know that he 
has felt the spirit. (he is the guy that had the dream) We met him again this week. 

So on Thursday it poured buckets!  It was one of the biggest storms ever. And yes mom 
it does flood very often, the drainage systems here are pretty garbage so some streets 
flood only after a little rain. The road in front of our house is super garbage--it is almost 
always flooded. It's flooded even on days it doesn't rain, because it just takes forever to 
drain. But it is cool biking through a flooded street. And yes it is now rainy season.

We went to a recent convert's house and he wasn't there, so we were just chillin there 
waiting for him and we started talking to his neighbor who is about 18ish (while it was 
raining). Sometimes I start speaking English to students because they like practicing 
English and it is a good ice breaker. And eventually I invited him to learn again, he said 
yes and we scheduled on Saturday on 2. We go back and he wasn't there, so that was 
sad. Then we went back to the recent convert's house, and again he wasn't there so we 
started contacting  his other neighbor. She wasn't really interested and while she was 
telling us that she was too busy to learn blah blah blah, out good friend (the recent convert)
came out smiling and beckoned us, like "come on". I immediately said goodbye 
to the uninterested lady and went and taught him. Maybe this doesn't seem super cool, 
but for someone to actually come and beckon us to learn is a awesome thing. And then 
after the lesson about Joseph Smith, he was like, "Well I want to be answered in a 
dream". We explained that is doesn't always work like that and taught him more about the Holy Ghost and he said, "Well, then I want you to come back every week and teach me." We are excited to to that. He took Lesson 1 really well.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Five Per Month, That's All We Ask. Pictures of Rain.

Well another good week! This week was actually pretty solid, we are finding 
some good investigators, and I am excited to see them start to improve. Last zone
training a big focus was that God is preparing at least five people in each persons 
area per month, and so we need to find the five. And I feel like we have found at least 
five that are being prepared. Two we found a few weeks back we taught lesson one 
but then they got busy (they kinda have an on-call job), but they said in September 
come back. So now it is September so we will follow up on them this week. So remember 
the Dan Jones story, well we followed up with him. We started teaching him and then 
his uncle came, and after we taught the first lesson he said he had a dream. He saw Jesus 
and he handed him a white robe. This is the first he has ever had a dream like that, and 
then three days later we contacted him. So that is way awesome--we meet him again 
tomorrow and I am excited for that. Last night an investigator we have had for a while 
started progressing again. He said he loved what he learned at church and that he wants 
to be ready for baptism by the 14th. The reason he hasn't already been baptized is 
because he said he wasn't really excited or desired to be baptized and wasn't determined 
the serve Christ "to the end." But last night he said he would really try to pray and 
read the scriptures to be ready by the 14th, and he said it himself so I think he will be 
ready. Another guy, is doing really well. It's just that he and his wife aren't married, 
they did a little buddhist ceremony to be married but they haven't done it according 
to the law. It's so expensive to do. But as soon as that happens he can get baptized. 
He is pretty solid. We met another guy, who seemed so prepared, we taught him the 
first lesson, and he was asking the right questions, he was answering our questions 
really well, and I could tell he understood the gravity of our message. We also meet 
him again Tuesday or Wednesday.
The members at trash mountain are doing alright. The active members are doing better 
and the less actives are doing a little better too. The senior couple holds an addiction 
recovery class at trash mountain at one of the organizations, and two really hard core 
less actives came to that. So that is a good start! 

By the way I really like the senior couple here, I have noticed a thread I like all the 
senior couples, I think it must be that all old people who sacrifice to serve must be 
awesome. :)

Yesterday was ward conference, and we had 132 in attendance.  That was super good. O 
ya best thing! So a young couple we have been teaching for about three weeks came to 
church!!! Ya ya ya! I was super happy. I don't understand them, every time we go teach 
them they don't seem interested at all, and the first few times when we called to schedule 
them I didn't think they would say yes, but every times they say yes and it surprises me, 
but the lessons are getting better. And they came to church! So that is awesome.

Elder Plothow
Moving a house at Trash Mountain.

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

On the way with the senior couple to visit an member really far away.

Outside of Edward's apartment.