Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

The whole Stung Mean Chey crew!
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had just as good of a Thanksgiving as I did! For Thanksgiving we all went over to Elder and Sister Belcher's house (by "we all" I mean all the missionaries in Stung Mean Chey wards 1, 2, and 3 plus the Assistants to the President). Lunch was so good it almost made me cry. Somehow, (I still don't know how) the Belchers managed to procure all the necessary ingredients to make us a huge Thanksgiving feast. It was all you could eat turkey, mashed potatoes, pineapple and cherry jello with slices of banana, yams, cinnamon apples, gravy, pie, stuffing. The list goes on and on. Oh my word, there was so much food. I had four or five platefuls before I was done. The Belcher's house is ridiculously nice, like it’s pretty much a mansion. It was so nice of them to feed so many of us. Oh wow, my mouth is watering right now just typing about it. It made a welcome break from months and months and months of nothing but Khmae food. Khmae food is amazing and I love it, but imagine if that was all you ate. Imagine if all you ate was American food! You'd get sick of it. The great thing about America is that if you're feeling like American food, it's 5 minutes away. If you're feeling like Mexican food, it's five minutes away. Same thing for Italian, Chinese, sushi, steak, fried chicken, barbeque, Thai... So much variety in America. Not so much in Cambodia. Even if there was I wouldn't be able to afford it. I still love Khmae food so much though. Khmaes love me whenever we eat at their homes because I love whatever food they make me. It’s all so good! They also think I'm secretly not American because I prefer eating rice over eating bread. That's cool that y’all ate Burmese food. I bet it has a lot of similarities with Khmae food. Haha I'm laughing right now because y’all asked me if there's vegetarian food in Cambodia. Ummm no, vegetarianism only exists in America and India. I'm almost 100% sure that that "vegetarian curry" y’all ate is not a traditional Burmese dish. I have never ever seen a meal where meat is not included in it.

All the elders who were over at the Belcher's house on Thanksgiving (all Stung Mean Chey elders and then the AP's as well)

Elder Yorgason took a selfie with Elder Asay, me and Elder Bostrum. Yorgason is AP, Asay and Bostrum are trainees 
Yesterday when we were riding our bikes over to Chaktomouk for stake conference this black guy dressed in church clothes frantically waved me down. I stopped and talked with him and it turns out he is a member in the International branch and he was lost and couldn't find the stake center! He is from Cameroon. His name is Biston. So yeah, we showed him over to the stake center. He was so grateful, not for us but for God. It’s so true what our prophet President Monson said about being an answer to another person's prayers. There truly is no more sublime feeling!

This is basically what 75% of my area looks like. Dust and factories. Easily just as scenic as San Fran. Y'all missed out...

This week we had 2 baptisms! Vit and Thol! They're amazing; both are just absolutely golden. We definitely have a lot more investigators and progressing investigators here in Stung Mean Chey than we had in Pochentong. Like a TON more. This week we taught 26 lessons, and we would have taught a lot more if we didn't have four hours of stake conference, Thanksgiving, and baptismal services to attend. Last week (the week I arrived) we (well Elder Kim. I was only there a couple days that week) taught 35 lessons. The second day I was here (that Saturday) we taught 9 lessons in one day! The work is really progressing here and its fun to be a part of it.

Two of our investigators were baptized yesterday! Vit and Thol.  Elder Kim is on the far left.

Elder Kim is the greatest person ever. I love him to death. He's super funny, super hard-working, super obedient. It's also super fun because we're basically peers in the mission. I also found out this week that I'm older than him! He doesn't turn 19 till April of next year (asking Khmaes their age is always really sketchy. You have to ask them their exact birthdate and year to find out how old they are. If you ask them their age usually its a year older than they actually are). I'm praying I get to spend another transfer with him but I think he might be going. He's only been here in Stung Mean Chey 2nd Ward for a transfer but he's already served in every other Stung Mean Chey ward! He's like the king of Stung Mean Chey!

This is Elder Kim's bike. He did the paint job himself after disassembling the entire back and fitting it out with new deluxe parts and what not. What a boss...

Haha last night Elder Kim and I were staying up talking once we had turned the lights off and he started singing the lyrics to the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. Turns out he loves the Beatles and Elton John. I was like "Elder I LOVE you!"

A couple answers for questions:
When is your mission Christmas party?  On Christmas day? On the 24th and 25th of December we have mission conference and various activities for Christmas. It’s going to be a blast. I can't wait. On the morning of the 26th (the evening of the 25th over in America) I'll be skyping y’all.

Living so close to Elder Kim's family do you run the risk of running into people he knows?  Ya, Khmae missionaries see people they know all the time. Its just kind of something you've gotta deal with. It’s only a problem when missionaries are purposefully meeting people they know. That's when its a problem

Do you take your bikes into your apartment at night?  We keep our bikes inside our house at night’

Well that's all I've got. Sorry if all your questions weren't answered, I don't have a lot of time today.

A couple spiritual thoughts though:
I love in D&C 28:16 how we are told that we should declare the gospel with happiness! This is a gospel of joy! We should let people know that by the manner in which we teach about it!

And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing.  D&C 28:16

I also read in Luke this last week (I'm currently reading through the New Testament) in chapter 18 verse 19 and 20, and it talked about the incredible reward of missionary work. What we sacrifice is nothing in comparison to what we gain!

I love y’all! Stay safe!

Love Elder Neuberger

This is the back of Elder Kim walking to the soccer field behind the church.

Dead rat. You know how common dead squirrels are in Inwood? Imagine that but with dead rats. Dead rats are bigger, uglier, and smellier than squirrels

Elder Kim throwing the dead rat away. It was outside of a members house which we were cleaning for service.

See, Cambodia's not all bad!

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