Monday, April 27, 2015

It's started raining again!!!!

Hello everyone! Hope all of yall are doing great! Stung Mean Chey is doing awesome! And guess what?! Its started raining again!! We are still a couple months away from the start of rainy season, but its nice to have rain every few days to help cool down the heat. Cambodia hot season is soooo hot haha. It’s actually a lot like San Antonio in the middle part/end of July. Imagine like the hottest week of the year in San Antonio and then extend that over the course of a few months and you'll understand hot season in Cambodia. Members always ask me whether its hot like this in America and I'm always like "Actually, yeah it is. But here it’s a lot longer! And in America we actually have a/c so it’s not a big deal!"

Imagine not having a car with a/c and having to bike around San Antonio in July. And then imagine every home you ever teach in doesn't have a/c. And then imagine your own home doesn't have a/c, except for the bedrooms. Haha when we are down in the kitchen making food I always drip sweat into the food I'm making because its so hot down there. I love the heat and the sweat though. It feels so good. It makes you feel like you're working even harder! You give 110% and it feels like you're giving 150%! I'm glad I was raised in San Antonio though. I think it helps me not be too affected by this unreal tropical heat. And here it doesn't even matter that I sweat all the way through my shirt (and through my backpack, and my tie, and my pants haha) because it's not like I'm scared I'm going to be running into any girls or anything! 

I didn't eat anything insane or do anything like that this week. Sorry. I'll try better in the future.

Elder Osborne and I were going around finding people who are interested in learning about Jesus Christ and we passed this place which smelled like grape-fundip. Straight up. Because all of Stung Mean Chey smells like fermented trash it was such a powerful transition that we were almost knocked off our bikes by the sheer power of the scent. It smelled so good. I had to take a picture to remember these heaven-sent flower

Elder Osborne and I have three investigators who are coming up on their baptisimal dates! Srei Niat, Srei Lin, and Om Ae. They're all going to receive baptism on the 9th of May! I'm so excited for all of them. They're all wonderful and show their faith in the most wonderful ways! Srei Niat is so cool. She is someone whom Elder Uhi and I found and taught, along with her parents, but then we gave them to the sisters because it was an easier teaching situation for the sisters, since sometimes the dad wasn't there. Well the sisters were removed a month ago, so I got to start reteaching Srei Niat! Her dad and her mom aren't interested in learning anymore, but they encourage Srei Niat in her learning and going to church! Srei Niat just turned 18 so she technically doesn't need her parents permission to be baptized now, but if she did need it would be right there. Well Srei Niat hasn't been able to go to church in the last month and half or so, because her dad had to sell the family moto to feed the family (they're way poor). In spite of that, she still walked to church 3 or 4 times. That walk is about 45 minutes in the hot Cambodian sun. Such incredible faith! She had to stop walking because it got too hot and it’s not safe for a girl to be walking alone like that. We were talking with bishop in ward council about what we could do to help her. She obviously is converted to the true gospel; that is clearly manifest in her actions (she's already read through Helaman 14, which is insane for a Cambodian!). Our bishop went out and bought a bike for her and on Sunday we went and discretely delivered the bike to her (we didn't want the neighbors thinking that we are just people who come and give out free prizes and stuff to people. We want to help invite people come unto Christ, and that’s hard to do if people are just focused on the temporal stuff. That stuff is important, and obviously the church is one of the biggest charitable organizations in the world, but as elders we don't want people thinking we're the people who give out the stuff. That's not the elder's duty, it’s other peoples.). She was so excited to get the bike! She showed up to church a whole hour early yesterday and just sat and read her scriptures and prepared herself to take the sacrament! Ah she’s so good! 

Srei Lin is also way good. She is the 3rd or 4th cousin of two very recently returned sister missionaries in our ward, Sister Neet and Sister Chan. She has great family support behind her (the cousins and aunt she lives with are all members). She is 13, and although she doesn't know how to read, she goes to church every single Sunday for three hours and listens and pays attention. I'm excited for her as she continues to progress towards baptism!

Om Ae is the step-dad of our ward mission leader. We just started teaching him a couple weeks ago. He is way good. He has never learned about Christianity before (like the vast majority of Cambodians) but he loves everything we teach. He's a little slow at understand, but he is a strong believer. When we ask him questions to ensure understanding and he's still a little bit vague, he always says, "My memory isn't the best, but I feel like all of this is true. And when I feel something is true I hold firmly to it." He came to church for the second time yesterday. He's a great guy.

Little kid who is the little brother of our ward mission leader

On Saturday I led out my first exchange as a district leader. I took Elder Sok into my own area. It was really fun. Elder Sok is such a great humble guy! He's Vietnamese, but he was born in Phnom Penh and has lived here his whole life. Despite Vietnamese being his main language, he still speaks Khmae fluently, albeit with a bit of an accent (although his Khmae is light years ahead of mine, haha). He is so humble. He comes from a family of 12 and he is the only member. They are dirt poor and often don't have enough food to eat, but he loves life and loves working hard and being a missionary. We did work on Saturday! We got six lessons in, as well as a couple unplanned service opportunities. This past week was a lot better for Elder Osborne and I! We got 22 lessons.

Cutting sheet metal for a little spontaneous service, helping a guy build his roof

Unfortunately attendance at church was pretty low this week because it started raining 15 minutes before sacrament, and you know how Cambodians are about rain... But Srei Niat, Srei Lin, and Om Ae all still came! Elder Osborne and I were pumped!

Well all is good here in the Successful Stream! This Sunday is transfer calls and I'm praying that I'll be able to stay here and finish training Elder Osborne, but "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord." I'll let you know next week what I'll be doing next transfer!

Love yall! Have fun and stay safe!

Love Elder Burger

Our bishop gave us 25 kilos of rice for free because he's just gangster like that

The meanest dog in the world. If it didn't have a big fat chain around it, it would have easily taken off my leg

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