Monday, February 23, 2015

New Year's is finally over

Wowwww! What a week! Fast, but certainly difficult. It was Chinese New Year from Wednesday to Saturday, and people were out in srok even longer than that. It was kind of like having a recurring nightmare of Pchum Ben (do you remember that way back in September? Feels like yesterday. Gosh, mission FLYS by!) The good thing is that Chinese New Year only lasts a few days, while Pchum Ben lasts for a few weeks. It’s still pretty hard not having anybody to teach, and then everybody you contact in the streets is drunk. So Elder Uhi and I did a lot of contacting for English class this week holding signs on the road outside the church building, because in our reasoning we figured that people riding motos would probably be a bit less drunk than people just standing around or sitting outside their houses. We contacted 106 people this week so it worked out pretty well. Taught just 14 lessons though. Still a lot though. Grateful for the lessons learned this week for sure! Heavenly Father truly is trying to help us be better! Not to make the relationship seem casual, but sometimes it just seems to me like I have a personal spiritual trainer, who works with me 24/7 to help me target which spiritual muscles of mine need the most work. Heavenly Father truly knows us perfectly.

Community in our area

With regard to the new stake presidency, that is crazy! I had a confirmation of dad becoming the new stake president last night actually while I was lying in bed. I was thinking about y’all and thought that y’all must be at stake conference right then, and I don't know, I just had the strongest/quietest feeling in my heart that dad would be called as the new stake president. It’s not because I thought dad was the coolest or most prepared guy in the world (although that is what I think), I just kind of had a quiet feeling in my heart. Kind of cool how the Spirit confirms things like that to us. That means that you'll be the person who releases me dad! That honestly makes me super happy because that moment is going to be super bittersweet, so it'll be nice to share it with you dad. I'm super excited for the growth and opportunities you'll have these next few years in this calling, and I'm sure serving with President Conrad and President Lindberg will be awesome as well! 

This week I contacted my first បារាំង(white guy)! We were contacting this one guy and this white guy walked out of nowhere and started speaking to us in Khmae (to be kind, I won't say anything of the quality of his Khmae, haha. I'm glad he's trying to learn it though, more power to ya...). Then he started speaking English and said he was from Massachusetts and that he had grown up in the second largest Khmae community in the U.S. in this little town north of Boston called Lowell or something like that. He moved to Cambodia 5 months ago. I was like Wow 5 months, that’s a long time! And then it hit me that I have been in Cambodia 2 months longer than him... Weird... But anyway, he was nice for the most part, we talked to him for about 20 minutes about religion. He grew up as a Jehovah's Witness, but is Buddhist now. He started attacking our beliefs at the end of it, trying to tell us that our beliefs are crazy and that we're really provincial/traditionalist/old-fashioned and that eventually our beliefs would catch up with the times. With these kind of people there is really nothing you can do but testify, so that is what Elder Uhi and I did. It was a really sweet experience, the Spirit was there helping us so strongly. I do really like a talk from last conference by Elder Lynn Gl. Robbins of the Seventy. He said "The scornful often accuse prophets of not living in the 21st century or of being bigoted. They attempt to persuade or even pressure the Church into lowering God’s standards to the level of their own inappropriate behavior, which in the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell, will “develop self-contentment instead of seeking self-improvement” and repentance. Lowering the Lord’s standards to the level of a society’s inappropriate behavior is—apostasy."

So true. We always need to remember that we serve God and that it is His perfect plan. I love picturing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's smile of approval as I meet people and testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that Heavenly Father has created a perfect plan for all of us to return to live with Him and with our families forever. Even though people may reject our glad message (and sometimes vehemently so) I know that Heavenly Father is always happy with my service as I continue to serve this mission for Him.

The thing that I love about Khmae is that it makes everything look cool. Even normally mundane things like daily schedules and lesson plans.

This week was Elder Uhi's 19th birthday, so we went to Pizza Company, a pizza chain here that is pretty popular. That was fun. I hope it was his best birthday; even if was harder than the rest! Haha, mission birthdays are the best. I still remember my 19th birthday in the MTC so clearly. That was the day the Spurs won the National Championship. Best birthday present ever. Man, that seems like yesterday!

I have a few questions for y’all:
Did y’all ever get to see the movie Meet the Mormons? I remember it came out during my training, and Elder Uhi and his group got to watch it in the MTC, but I've never seen it (although I want to really, really bad). Was it good? Or did y’all not see it?
-Are gas prices still crazy cheap? Just curious
-Why'd y’all decide to name me after Guy Hill? Were there any specific attributes of his you'd hope I would take after? Just curious
-How many weeks are y’all setting aside for when y’all come pick me up?

Shoes outside of the mission home at english leadership training (you always remove your shoes before entering a home in Cambodia). If you think this is a lot of shoes you should see it on transfer day. Thats like four times as many shoes as this pic!

There was kind of a weird milestone this week, and it doesn't even directly involve me. The group right above me hit their year mark. Woah... It’s coming up for me too. NOOOOOO. I NEVER WANT THE MISSION TO END... The mission is the greatest. If there were any advice I could give to people back home it would be to go out with the missionaries on splits often and to immerse yourselves in the scripture. Oh, and go to the temple as much as possible. And one more thing, do lots and lots of family history work! I don't think there is anything better that can help young people prepare than those four things.
I love all of y’all so much! This church is true! If there is anything I learned about myself this week, it is that my testimony cannot and will not be shaken by men. My faith is in God, not in the words of men. Even after contacting someone who was pretty anti-Mormon, the Spirit still confirmed the truth of this church unto me.  I love D&C 6:22-23

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

Church is true y’all. If you're having doubts look not to men but to God. He has promised to reveal the truth of all things to us through the Holy Ghost. I know that that promise applies to each one of us, because we all truly are beloved sons and daughters of Him. Have great weeks!

Love Elder Neuberger

Contacting for englsh class with a lizard on our shoulder. Classic Cambodia

Our phone belongs in a Hello Kitty Museum

Yeah no, you read that right. 20 bucks for a pint.

A few different communities we saw this week in our area 

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