Well hey guys! I hope everybody is healthy and happy! Had a great week here in the desert, sorry excuse me, Stung Mean Chey. I love this area so much. It is going to be SOO hard to leave it. One of the hard parts of the mission is that you don't leave all your friends and family just once, when you enter the MTC. You leave all the friends and family you've made every 3-4 months. I love all of the recent converts and investigators that we meet with SO MUCH. Man, this ward is the greatest. And guess what?!!! WE GOT 101 PEOPLE AT CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!!! We set that goal when I first got here back before Thanksgiving. We were almost there in late December, but the time change for church in January pushed down the number of people going. But we did it! The work is progressing here! Next week another investigator that Elder Uhi and I have been teaching, Bong Phiarun, will be baptized! He's so good; it’s unreal. Truly one of those people that the Lord has prepared to learn about His true church. We were asking him the baptismal interview questions yesterday to prepare him for his upcoming interview and his answers were unreal. He has such a great strong testimony, and he's had so many wonderful experiences with inspiration from the Holy Ghost and with the Book of Mormon as well! I'm excited! (if you can't tell already).
Elder Uhi and I were reviewing the First Vision this week with Vichika, and after we recited Joseph's account word-for-word we asked him about his testimony about it. He said, "Elders. This story is more wonderful and awe-inspiring than any legend or myth I've ever heard of. You know why? Because it's true." Ohhh wow, what a response, especially from a seventeen year old! And I know it's true! Something I might try out this week is taking Elder Anderson's advice from last conference and record myself reading Joseph's account of that morning, and then playing it back and listening to it in my own voice. If an apostle recommends it, it’s probably going to be worth my time!
One of the main highlights from this week was zone conference. And guess who was presiding? Elder Gong of the Seventy! He's the president of the Asia area, which has 3.5 billion people inside of it. Actually, he told us that our area technically holds 50.4% of all the people living on the planet, so we technically can say that our area has more people than all of the other areas in the church combined! He talked a lot about the spirit of the work in Asia. It truly is rolling forth, and it’s easy to see that big things are going to be happening in Asia in the near future. Elder Gong is the nicest guy; it was really great sitting and learning from him and his wife and from President and Sister Moon as well. After zone conference I had a really, really neat opportunity. Elder Gong randomly selected 5 or 6 missionaries to have personal interviews with. I had the privilege of being one of them! It was so neat, I've never had a one-on-one interview with a General Authority before! I felt like it wasn't so much an interview though, as much as get to know you. He asked about where I was from and about my family. Then he asked what I've liked about my mission so far and changes that I had seen in myself up to this point. Then he asked me to bear my testimony about the Book of Mormon to him, but in Khmae! Haha, I was like, wow ok! The great part about that is that the Spirit is a universal language, one that we can all feel and understand. Afterwards, he bore his testimony to me and then that was it! Only about 3-4 minutes or so. Such a cool experience.
We taught a bunch of people this week about General Conference. We're trying to get the hype going, trying to get people super pumped for it. It really is such a special opportunity, and I think we take it for granted. Back in Joseph Smith's time people would walk hundreds of miles through thick snow just to see a living prophet! We don't have to do that now; we can enjoy it from where we live in our own languages!
This morning I was reading in D&C 128, which is a letter from Joseph Smith to some brethren in the church. The whole section is amazing, but I'd like to share a couple verses:
24 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the deadspeak forth anthems of eternal praise to the KingImmanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
24 Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.
I don't think there are any other scriptures that motivate me to do temple work as much as these do! Isn't the gospel amazing! I know that we can serve our ancestors and our deceased family members, and that even though they may be gone for now, we can live with them forever as we follow the true gospel of Jesus Christ and become what He wants us to become. I love this gospel so much! I know it’s true!
Love Elder Neuberger
|Translating for Elder Allred's spiritual thought at English class|
|another pic from english class|