Monday, January 19, 2015

Free donuts on me!

Elder Uhi and I chilling with our nightly dinner:  a fruit smoothie and baay chaa (fried rice).  We're too exhausted to make dinner and there's a smoothie and baay chaa place like 30 seconds away from our house.  So about 4-5 nights a week we stop there on the way home.

Hello everybody! I hope everything is going well on the home-front. 

My past week was amazing! Full of so many opportunities for personal growth and advancement! I love learning! I was talking with another elder the other day and we were just like man, if we somehow won the lottery, we could just go get a million degrees from universities on a million topics. How cool would that be? The mission is so neat. Everybody always calls the mission "the university of life" and that’s so true. So many skills are developed on a mission in such a fast manner. Eight months ago could I have gone up to strangers on the street all day every day and initiate conversations with them? No, let alone do it in Cambodian. 

The Lord helps expand our capacities so much, and in many ways that we don't truly realize. The mission is SO AWESOME! We learn and grow so much every day! The reason that we do so is because it is so hard! Having all your plans fall through at 3 o'clock in the afternoon in the baking sun on a dusty road in Cambodia is not fun, especially when you know that absolutely no one is available to meet for the next 3 or 4 hours, investigators and members alike. It's not easy putting that smile on your face, but the instant you look at your companion, smile, and say "Let's go find the people that the Lord has prepared!" the Spirit INSTANTLY buoys your spirit and makes that smile feel more natural on your face, as if to say "That's the attitude I'm talking about!" Ahhh man! Sometimes it's all I can do to not stand up on my bike and scream "ONWARD!" as we set off to go contact or to go teach a lesson. Missionary work is so hard but so rewarding, so exhausting but so energizing at the same time! Those spiritual highs you get in lessons as you testify about the Savior are the things that carry you through all the low-points. I know that this gospel and this church are true! 

Yesterday Elder Uhi and I were teaching an investigator of ours, Phiarun, who is super good! He comes to church every single week, but it's kind of hard to meet with him because he's only really free on Sundays. He loves Jesus Christ though and he keeps inviting his friends to learn with us. So we teach him and two of his friends now, every Sunday! Yesterday we were teaching him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and as I was testifying about baptism and restored priesthood authority to do sacred ordinances.  I felt the Spirit fill me so completely to the point that I felt that it must have been shooting out of ears and eyes! I was thinking, this is as close as I might ever get to be glowing like Abinadi. I seriously felt like the Spirit was shining forth like a light from Elder Uhi and I. It was so strong I almost couldn't speak. The Spirit really does accompany us as we strive to have the worthiness in our thoughts, words, and actions. We truly can have the constant companionship and upliftment from the Holy Ghost if we live our lives according to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ!

Sitting in a bike shop getting Elder Uhi's bike fixed.  I'm trying to take pictures to help y'all understand just how dusty Stung Mean Chey is, but the pictures can't really capture it.  I hope y'all can kind of see and understand though.

Haha, that's funny that you talked about Cambodian donut shops dad because everyone I talk to here that has a sibling or child in America (it's not super common to have an immediate relative in America, but its definitely not super uncommon either), says that they own a donut shop. I heard that rumor in the MTC too from another missionary. The rumor holds true! I'm super excited to go and talk to them after the mission. Please start keeping a record of all of these people and the addresses of their places! It'll pay off for you in two years when I'm getting free boxes of donuts for y'all! 

Eat anything unusual recently?  Have you eaten dog?  As far as anything unusual I've eaten recently, I can't really remember. Nothing new that I haven't told you about (I don't think). 

Do you ever speak in church? Ya, since I've come I've spoken in church just twice. I spoke a couple weeks ago on how the sacrament will help us to be worthy to go to the temple. Yesterday I didn't speak, but I translated for Elder Belcher when he got up to give a talk on member missionary work. That was fun (but stressful). I hate translating. Me having a conversation in English? No problem. Having a conversation in Khmae? No problem (most of the time). Having to try and take a sentence and translate it to another language that isn't similar at all? Yeah that's hard. It gives me such a head ache.

I feel like some people think that languages just translate directly. Well they don't, especially Asian languages like Khmae. Translating English to Khmae or Khmae to English is like trying to fit a square-shaped block into a circle-shaped hole. Good thing yesterday I was going from English to Khmae though. Khmae to English is so much harder. Every Sunday I go and sit right behind the Belchers and translate sacrament meeting for them and I feel like they must think I'm such a dunce. I keep saying Khmae words when I'm meaning to say them in English, or I'll just be trying to translate fast so I'll just start translating it literally like a computer would, like: "older sister Sophia thanks you all together for having presence in this location today." Haha. Ugh, translating is the worst. 

How often do you do exchanges with your district leader?  We do exchanges with Elder Kim once a transfer. That’s it.

How many people are attending your ward?  The last couple weeks (since we switched hours) we've been getting about 75 people a week. Before that, like last transfer we were getting 95, 96, 97 people out every week. I don't know what happened. I think some people just refuse to go in the morning and just go to the 3 o’clock hour still

How is the family that is neighbors to Thol doing?  That family we were teaching that is a couple rooms down from Thol is doing super good. The daughter came to English class on Wednesday and they came to church on Sunday. The daughter requested that the sisters start teaching them though because she just kind of wants to learn from girls who are about her age. So we gave them over to the sisters. I'll still see them a lot though (I hope! I'd better see them a lot!) 

Ok that's all I have. Sorry if I left out something you were dying to know. I love all of y’all to death! If anyone reading this hasn't emailed me recently, repent and then email me immediately because love hearing from everyone!  Have fun! 

Love Elder Burger!

 I'm sorry.  I had to  It was so easy!

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