Hey y’all! Guess what?! This past week I became the proud father of a big baby boy named Elder Uhi ("oo-hee", rhymes with glue-tea). His dads from Tonga so that should explain the name, but he grew up his whole life in West Valley, Utah! He's a 2014 graduate.
On Friday morning Elder Kim and I woke up and went down to the mission home at 9:30 with all of the other trainers (there's 10 trainees: 6 elders from America, 2 elders from Cambodia, and 2 sisters from Cambodia). There we had a training meeting with President Moon and the AP's and then all the trainers and trainees got together in a room and President Moon told us who would be with who. That was super fun. There I found out I'd be with Elder Uhi! I knew he was going to be awesome when President called his name and he got up to speak and he couldn't even get out what his name was because he was so overcome with emotion and excitement to serve. I was like "YES! I know that I'm going to be able to do so much work with this elder!" After we paired with our comp Sister Moon fed us all lunch and then we had some additional training and instruction and then let out at 1, which is the time when everyone else shows up at the mission home for transfers. It was super fun seeing everyone. Elder Johnson wasn't at the mission home, which I was a little bummed about because I wanted to show him his grandchild. But I was just emailing him about it, so it's all good. He's super pumped too. The lineage continues!
|Leaving the mission home with our trainees.|
This is such a cool opportunity! It’s so funny watching Elder Uhi. Everything is so new and foreign to him. Everything seems so ordinary and everyday for me! Things like the traffic, open-air markets, drunk crazy people, rats scurrying around shacks we're teaching in, cold showers, the money system, the weather, the insane Stung Mean Chey dust, crazy crying children, the horrendous living conditions of people we teach, teaching a lesson in the slums at night... All things that are completely normal and everyday to me are completely new and mind-boggling for him. I love helping him adjust. He's doing amazing though, definitely better than I did my first couple days. He already speaks Khmae so clearly!! He's so good. My main focus with him right now is really helping him to speak with confidence. Something that I've learned is that if you say something hesitantly, slowly, or with trepidation, people aren't going to understand you. If you start to say something with an “ummm” or say a statement almost like you're asking a question, people are going to be like "this guy has no idea what he's doing. He must not know any khmae." You've got to just say things with confidence, and act like you know that they'll understand what you say, even if maybe you think that they won't. I keep telling him to fake it till he makes it. Speaking up and speaking boldly are two things that really help you to speak a language clearer.
|Elder Uhi and I played soccer for 10 minutes with some kids while we were contacting on Saturday. Afterwards we contacted some people standing around watching us play. I stopped to get some sweet action shots of Elder Uhi.|
Training is teaching me so much. It’s weird to be training right now. I've never even been senior companion! I've been junior companion my whole mission and all of a sudden I'm the person who has to lead in everything. Elder Uhi is amazing though and helps me out a lot. Sometimes he gets a little discourage and feels like he isn’t adding much to the lessons, because all he really feels like he can do right now is add brief testimonies. I know that even if that's all he does, he adds so much to the power and presence of the Spirit in those lessons. Elder Uhi is a really powerful missionary already. Such a great instrument in the Lord's hands. He's teaching me a lot.
Haha, it’s funny though, because I do have to teach a lotttt. I lose my voice at the end of every day. I'll be in the last lesson and I'll sound like I'm 80 years old because my voice is completely shot from talking all day. Haha, now I can emphasize with how Elder Johnson felt his first week training me.
The mission is so much fun! I was so worried about training, but the instant President Moon said "Elder Neuberger will be training.... Elder Uhi" and we went over and gave each other a bear hug (tradition) I instantly felt so calm and at peace. I know that the Lord always expects so much of us. Our responsibilities and accountability will only continue to increase, but the Lord always blesses us with a parallel increase in our abilities as we rely on Him to learn and grow.
In our training meeting President Moon shared a really cool story. Elder Wilson of the 70 came to Cambodia a couple of years ago to speak to the mission. He told about how he had served his mission in Brazil in its early years. Right when he got to Brazil they created the first stake there. He said it was so cool serving there, because there was such an excitement and special spirit about the work there. Now the work in Brazil has boomed in a way that has never been seen before in the history of the church. Brazil has over 1.25 million members, 34 missions, and 6 temples. Elder Wilson said that he has traveled the world over since then, going to countless countries and continents, administering and observing the work of the Lord. But Elder Wilson said that of all the places that he has ever been, of all the missions he has ever gone to, the only place he has ever been where he has seen that same exact spirit of excitement and growth about the work that was present in Brazil when he was serving there is in Cambodia. Ohhhh! We all had chills as President Moon told us that story. What a blessing and an honor to be a servant of the Lord, and what a privilege to serve here in Cambodia!
Our house is super fun! Elder Uhi and I live on the fourth floor! We have three companionships in our house, and all of them are training! Elder Kim is training Elder Uhi's MTC companion, and the other trainer in our house is Elder Long, who served with me in the Pochentong/ Saen Sok district my first two transfers in the country! He just got back from opening up Prey Veng and he is training an American as well! So we have 3 American trainees, two Khmae trainers and me in the house! It is ridiculously fun.
Mom you asked me if I could pick one word to apply to myself for the year 2015 what word would I pick (that’s a super cool idea by the way)... I'm not exactly sure. Give me a week to think of one. I want to make sure it’s good.
Splitting the area means we're teaching less lessons per companionship than last transfer but it definitely opens up the area for a lot more growth! Elder Uhi and I have been doing a lot of contacting! Reminds me of my training!
Ok, I have only have that much. Hope all of y’all are doing wonderful! Don't freeze over there in America! If anyone ever needs to warm up a little, consider coming to Cambodia! Love y’all so much!
Love Elder Burger
|Our district from last transfer. Stung Mean Chey 2! Elder Kim, me, Sister Davis and Sister Harris|
|Sister Davis and Sister Harris|
|The Stung Mean Chey crew last transfer! (check out the muddy shoes)|