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Sunday, November 23, 2014

YOSO & the Meals I Eat

Well this was a good week. For the first time since Elder Asay arrived we went a whole week without either of us getting sick. 

On Saturday we got a really cool new investigator.  He had a ton of questions and he really didn't let us teach, but just had all these questions. He is a thinker. He is able to think past just work eat, sleep, work; eat, sleep, work--which a lot of Cambodians just can't get past at all. But he was just super cool and I can tell he is really searching for something good. He says every religion has its pluses and minuses, and he wants to take the best of all of it and make one religion. Of course he knows that can't happen, but he is definitely teachable and seems to have potential.  He is the one that scheduled a return appointment with us, and I love when that happens. 

Friday Elder Asay and I did a YOSO day, something Elder Asay came up with which means "You Only Serve Once!" We wanted to be more like Alma, Peter, and Paul and truly declare repentance and contact with all our hearts.  So on Thursday we both fasted and Friday was great. It was one of the most successful contacting days I have ever had. We had a lot of return appointments, and phone numbers of interested people. We already have a new investigator from it. So that was fun. 

We have two investigators in Trash Mountain whose wives and kids are recent converts and they want to be baptized too. But they smoke and drink. But recently they have been doing a lot better. They both came to church yesterday. One has been a super heavy drinker. For the past year or so he has been decreasing a lot. Then about three weeks ago he fell back and started drinking more again.  When he was drunk he hit his wife and kids, and they finally got sick of it and left for about a week and took everything. I guess that awoke something in him and he prayed really hard and finally truly committed himself to stop drinking. So he has been clean for about 2 weeks now. And last week his wife came back, and they are doing really well, but he is still smoking two cigarettes a day but he is working on it. :) 

Another investigator didn't come to church this week, and we think that we are going to postpone his baptism. We are now shooting for December 14. 

Last night we met with two recent converts who are cousins but for the past little bit they haven't been doing so well. Last night we talked about praying, reading, and going to church--the three basics. They said when they did those things it made all the difference and really helped their lives have more peace and happiness. The Spirit was super strong and it was a really great experience! So do the small things! They make a big difference. 
Here are some photos of some meals we eat.






Stir fried tomatos. We made this ourselves!

Our own cooking!




Monday, November 17, 2014

Dry Feet and A Couple of Good Investigators

Well this week was pretty good. Elder Asay and I really worked hard.  And I feel that this week we worked very  hard. We contacted a cool guy, he cuts hair and he believes in Buddhism and Christianity. Most people here think that religion is more like guidelines of life so more than one can be correct. He was really cool and when we visited him after the two days of the initial contact he already read to chapter four in 1 Nephi. Our other investigators are doing well. We are hoping for two baptisms on Nov. 30th. One is pretty solid and progressing very well. Seriously no problems with him. The other is a teenager and is a son of a moderately active member. So he is on the border, but we will see what happens. 

Yesterday was great at church. A lot of less actives and recent converts came, it was great! I taught 2nd hour, Gospel Essentials. And third hour was awesome. The elders quorum president who has been a member for a little over a year gave his testimony. He was the guy I wrote about last week who had no food. He was like, "I left my old church were they were paying me 130 dollars a month just to teach at church on sat and sun. And came to this church which I get no salary. But the blessings that God blesses me are my salary. This church is so much better than...then he names off Buddhims and a bunch of other christian religions" His favorite scripture his in Matthew where it says seek first the kingdom of God, then the other things that you need will be given to you. He is a boss.

Buddha actually said that there would be another come after him that would be more holy than him, and would be the last. And he would have scars in his feet and hands. Once I saw a picture of a monk looking guy with scars like Jesus so ya cool stuff.  
The rain is ended and both I and Elder Asay are happy about it. Riding through flooded streets and having our feet always wet gets old after a while. :)  

Every day we usually teach a lesson in the morning at 11:00. Eat lunch. Have one lesson between the hours of 1:00-5:00 and we do a lot of contacting in the afternoon. And from 5:00-8:00 we have three lessons. The early afternoon are rough hours, and we pretty much contact the whole time during those hours. But the barber dude we found during those hours so it can still be somewhat productive.
For thanksgiving we are going to the senior couples house, the Belchers.  They are cool and nice. And they said we'll actually be having turkey and thanksgiving food. Not to be ungrateful, but last years ham sandwich did not fulfill my Thanksgiving crave. :) But this year will be much awesome.
 
We have an investigator who is super Buddhist. He likes meeting with us but nothing sinks in. No matter what we tell him or ask him, he just responds the same way. But hopefully the Spirit will chip away at him a little by little. 

This week I was sick on Wed. First time taking a full day off of proselyting from being sick. And first time throwing up on the mission. I think it was food poisoning. I slept all day. But now I am feeling great and back to my normal self. 
Our bikes broke down to we took a ride on a Tuk Tuk.











A selfie with Elder Asay





From the courtyard of the chapel.

Elders from the zone eating lunch.

Elder Asay eating lunch.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Bon Om Tuk

So this week was Om Tuk, which is probably the third biggest holiday in Cambodia. It celebrates the end of the rainy season and the reversal of the Tonle Sap River.  To celebrate all the major Wats (temples) bring a really long boat two people wide and about 20 people long. And race each other at Phnom Penh. I wasn't able to see it in person but the mission president showed us a video and it was cool.

Our investigator pool is looking up. Yes, we gain and lose investigators a lot. But we have finally got a few that seem to stick. Our most positive investigator right now is a very quiet and sober man. Doesn't talk much. But he has kept every commitment we have given him. And he is 2 for 2 for church attendance. Right now he has a date for November 30th which I think he will be ready for. His aunt just got baptized with the sisters yesterday. 

We have a new couple we have been teaching for a couple weeks.  One is the son of a recent convert at trash mountain. They are gaining faith and doing very well. They aren't ready to go to church or to commit to baptism, but they both said since we started teaching them, they have felt more love, less anger and he drinks less (didn't even teach about the Word of Wisdom yet) and they are just overall happier. She got a new job but said she would ask for sundays off to learn and maybe go to church. They are really cool. I love it so much when people feel a change in their life!!! IT IS THE BEST!!!! 
Another investigator is still doing well, he is so solid, not able to come to church because he was out of town but still doing well. As soon as he is married he'll get baptized. 
We are teaching another man and his daughter. His wife and other daughter are recent converts. His only problem is drinking and smoking. And he is trying to get rid of that. We are not going to baptize him until he has quit for a good while. 
Another young man is fifteen years old. His mom is a less active, recent convert. He is super nice just has problems coming to church but yesterday he did come so that is solid. 
So these are the investigators we have been teaching for a solid while. More than just one or two lessons. 
But yesterday we taught a new guy. Very potential. It was one of the best first lessons I have ever taught. We taught him yesterday morning. 
A less active we have been working on for a while finally came to church and paid tithing so that was great. 

So now it is raining pretty much every day. And the streets are flooded a lot. Especially the one in front of our house. It is always flooded. So everyday our goals is to make it past our road without getting our feet wet. Sometimes we win, sometimes we have wet feet all day. :( But anyway, one night after a long hard day of work we were biking home through our flooded street (by the way, has potholes all over the place so I am taking dips and ups all the time and when it is flooded we can't see where they are) but I was biking and I my front wheel started going down. And I expected it to stop falling, but it didn't. And it just kept falling and falling until I went flying off my bike. It turns out I peddled into a big drain pipe and I flew off my bike and into the flooded street. Good times haha. But the bike was fine and I wasn't going very fast so it wasn't a problem, just a funny story. 

Wednesday, because of the holiday, we had meeting at the mission home all day so that was fun. And English class went well. Elder Asay was sick on Thursday so we stayed home all day. I had pretty much a two day break. :) 

Yesterday we visited a really active, awesome member who was sick and had no food. That was kinda sad. These people have hard lives. He is one of the coolest members ever. We blessed him and then he said, "Elder, the prophets were right, I should have collected my food storage, if I had I wouldn't be in this problem." He wasn't complaining or mad at God or anything, but he felt bad he hadn't done better. So that showed a lot of faith. 

We are giving a lot of blessings, and a lot of people are being healed. God's work is really amazing. 

I am loving life, the mission is great. Elder Asay and I are getting a long really well. I enjoy training much better than a zone leader. 

This is a picture similar to one Maggie sent from Chile. The sign in her picture read, "Smile"(see below). This one reads, "Do Not Litter".


This is a random image taken from the internet showing the Bon Om Tuk celebration.