Wow. I really don't know what to say. These past couple months have been such a journey, filled with mostly ups but also some downs. This last week was one of those downs. I struggled for several days with terrible discouragement, homesickness, and depression. I eventually realized that Satan was throwing everything he had at me though, because he realizes that my district and I are about to go and do great things through the Lord in Cambodia. I talked to a couple of the elders in our district and they had been feeling exactly like I had. Same thoughts, same feelings, same doubts. Satan played a tough game this week but we made it out. How could we not be victorious?! We are THE LORDS MISSIONARIES!! With Him we cannot fail!!
I feel like I'm not as gung-ho as I should be about going to Cambodia. Obviously I'm thrilled to finally leave Provo and to go and work some good in this world, but I'm nervous. Really nervous. I still don't speak Khmae all that well. I don't know if I'm ready for the incredible heat and humidity or for the diseases and sicknesses which infest places like Cambodia. Even though I'm nervous though, I'm not scared. I was prompted to read the first 9 verses of the Book of Joshua in the celestial room of the temple this morning.
1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them,even to the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:1-9)
Those verses helped a lot. So did many of the other scriptures which the Spirit guided me to during my personal studies this week. The Lord really is looking out for each of us, even me. He is so aware of me and loves me so much. That love which He has for me has come to mean so much to me over these past few weeks. My love for the Lord is only going to continue to increase as He blesses me with the gift of charity.
That’s so funny that Brother Morgan knows President Jackson and his twin! President Jackson's twin is also a branch president here at the MTC! He's actually the branch president of the Portuguese which share the floor where our classroom is, so we see him all the time. It's really weird seeing the twin walking around at devotionals and stuff. It just looks like President Jackson is walking around with a different woman on his arm haha.
Glad my box made it. I felt a little like the Weasley's sending something through the mail. I had no idea whether it would work or how it would work. Glad I can work the post system though . . . Confidence booster! My other box ought to come sometime next week. I sent it a few days ago but I didn't do it through the priority mail because it was so light that it wouldn't have been worth the cost. I put one of my English name tags in there. Y’all can put it up on the fridge or something, do whatever.
Good to hear that Girl’s Camp was awesome. It must feel awesome to finally have some relief mom! Hahaha, that’s so funny about Riley sleeping in the car. That's so easy for me to picture in my head. That’s cool what y’all did with the Faith Walk. I think that sometimes we don't learn enough about the mortal life of Christ. We learn so much about His death and life after His death that we forget that He lived for us here as a mortal as well.
That is so cool about Travis! I can't even imagine what it would be like to have the Prophet read my words as an example of the transformation which should occur in all missionaries*. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful examples of missionary service from my cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and especially my father. I hope I can maintain the type of relationship with my converts that you still have with your converts from back in New Zealand!
Sherman’s coming back?! What?! Tell him that I say hi please! Congratulate him for his mission for me too!
I don't have too much more to say. I've been living basically the same life here for the past 9 weeks. It's been a miracle that I've found different words to describe my experience every single week because it feels like every week is exactly the same.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in 4 different priesthood blessings. I gave a blessing to Elder LeNguyen (all the elders gave blessings to their companions) and then gave a blessing to Sister Christensen (Elder Elieson assigned all the elders to give a blessing to one of the sisters). After that I had the opportunity to stand in two more blessings, one for Elder Klein (who finally got to leave this morning after 14 weeks in the MTC!), and another for me and Elder Elieson's friend Elder Nixon, from BYU. Elder Nixon is very, very sick. I hope he gets better soon. He's only got like 2 more weeks till he ships out to Taiwan! It was such a cool opportunity to feel of and witness that much priesthood power as we watch everyone in our district receive blessings. I'm so grateful that all of the elders in our district have lived their lives in such a way to be able to give powerful priesthood blessings. Heavenly Father works miracles only through pure vessels.
Oh and by the way Elder Anderson came and spoke to us Tuesday. That,s half of the Quorum of the Twelve which we got to hear from in our time here at the MTC! What a once in a lifetime experience!
Well I'll call y’all Tuesday. Expect the call sometime around 9-10pm (your time). Just kind of be ready for it all night. Now that I've figured out the post system we'll see if I can work out a payphone.
I love y’all! I love the Khmae people! I can't wait to finally fulfill my lifelong dream of going out into the field and serving God's children! Have a great week! Liasenhowee!
Love Elder Neuberger
* Editors Note: At the new Mission President’s seminar held at the end of June, President Thomas S. Monson quoted a piece of the final letter Mitch’s cousin Travis wrote home from Mongolia:
“Now, beyond those who come to membership in the Church, you will find that your missionaries, themselves, will change and grow as they serve to the best of their ability, thus securing blessings for themselves and for future generations.” President Monson read a portion of the last email a missionary sent to this family before completing his two-year mission in Mongolia.
The missionary wrote of some “tangible” changes that had come as a result of his mission: a new language, experience with a foreign culture, increased knowledge of the scriptures and a greater capacity to express doctrines of the gospel. Less apparent and measurable, but at least as important, wrote the missionary, were changes of fortified faith and purified purpose, of relationships with deity and with his fellow man and changes that “turned a distracted, disoriented teenager … into a committed disciple of Christ, filled more fully with charity and an increased interest in service to others. I am now ready to stand proudly with Paul and to ‘give every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in me.’ ”
President Monson said, “This message from a missionary to his family represents the transformation which can take place in each of the young men and young women who will come to you as he or she works diligently and fulfills the responsibilities of a missionary. Yours is the opportunity to assist each one in doing so.” (President Monson counsels new mission leaders, LDS Church News, June 27, 2014)
|The Cambodian District|
|My name tags came in . . . finally!|
|My name is finally on the Cambodian pass-down flag!|
|Our "elders" picture from the first night we were here in the MTC. It's taped up in our classroom. The sisters in our district (and one Cantonese sister) tried to replicate it.|
|I got my "prawkah domnung law aw robaw yung" laminated. Monsoons aren't going to be a problem for it now.|
|The copies of the Book of Mormon I'm going to place in the airport.|
|View out of our class window of Mt. Timp|
|Elder Curtis, Sister Abby Wallace (Hugh's girlfriend from BYU), and yours truly. Let's go!|
|The Cambodian District|
|Zone pic. Our zone is so much different than when we first got here. I really, really miss the old missionaries, but our new zone is cool too.|
|The elders of our zone.|