Happy Birthday Mom and Riley!!!!!! I hope y’all had the best birthdays ever. It’s too bad y’all couldn't stay in Florida an extra week to celebrate them there. But lets be honest, a birthday spent in Texas, the Republic of, is the greatest.
This week has been way fun (and stressful). There are so many different things convening at once. Today Elder Holland will arrive. He's doing a 4-hour leadership training meeting for all the bishoprics, branch presidencies, and district and stake presidencies in Cambodia and Vietnam. Elder Eppley and I aren't involved with that at all.
What we're going to be doing today is preparing a meal for 130 people tomorrow with the office elders and Senior Training Sisters. We're going to be making baay chaa (fried rice). So today we've got to cook endless pots of rice and cut up all the meat and veggies beforehand. It’s been taking so much time. We really don't have a pday. I'm only getting to email in short 30 minutes bursts. I just cut about 8 kilos of raw meat by myself, and I still have 4 left, although now I've somebody else helping me. After cutting meat for an hour and a half my fingers were all raisiny from the meat juices and they were all clenched up from holding the knife, haha.
Tomorrow what the schedule is looking like is Elder Eppley and I, and all the zone leaders and sister training leaders, have to get to Diamond Island (a convention center) at 7:30am to have everyone get a bit of training on being ushers. Then at 8:00 the doors open and all the missionaries should be there at that time to sit in the seats at the very back. All members and everyone should be sitting in their seats by 8:30. The hall we're going to be in has room for like 2000 people or something like that. I don't know, I haven't seen it yet, but the Service Center asked Elder Eppley and I to go tonight and take a look at all of it. So we'll be doing that this evening, going and helping them get everything set up.
Elder Eppley and I thought we would be able to just usher and sit down and everything would be all nice and easy. But this last week, while on exchange in North zone, we got a call from the Service Center asking us to be the Khmae-to-English translators for the big member meeting in the morning! That meeting is going to be from 9:00-11:00 and the majority of that two hours, for basically everyone speaking except Elder Holland, is going to be in Khmae. So all the non-Khmae people in the meeting, including Elder Gong and Elder Holland, are going to have my voice and Elder Eppley's inside their ears... Ohhhh man, talk about stress. Elder Eppley knows Khmae, but I sure don't! Geez louise. I'm not going to lie; I'm way scared to translate for an Apostle.
In my mission, I've been in the habit of reading my patriarchal blessing and my setting apart blessing and my father's blessing. There are always different phrases that stand out in those 3 blessings to me in different times that I read it. This last week as I was reading I felt comforted as I read that the language will come to me in times of great need. Here's hoping that Sunday morning qualifies...
On Wednesday Elder Eppley and I went on exchange to North Zone. He went with the zone leaders, Elder Long and Elder Elieson in Tuk Thlaa, which is Elder Eppley's birth area, and I went with my son, Elder Uhi and also Elder Ros in my birth area, Pochentong!! It was so much fun. I got to see a few people that I taught when I was there a year ago. I was surprised that anyone remembered me. I was just a little កូន back then! It was so much fun going around with Elder Uhi for a day and seeing how he's grown. He's such a good elder, it’s insane. And he's going to be a zone leader!!! Elder Elieson and Elder Uhi will be combining their areas, Tuk Thlaa and Pochentong, and will be serving as zone leaders together. I’m so proud. In other transfer news, Elder Morris is leaving the office, which is sad, but I'm so happy for him because he will be going back to Central zone to be the zone leader over both Central zone and Vietnam. We just combined those zones in this mini transfer (we also changed up the zones in the khets so now it’s Siam Reap and Battambang together and Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham together.) We're all way pumped for Elder Morris, because this means hell finally be able to go to Vietnam! He has no Vietnamese blood so he can't serve there, which is understandably way hard on him, since basically everyone else in the program has some Vietnamese blood and they go back and forth between Vietnam and Cambodia. But now he will be able to go in and do exchanges! Good for him! Also, Elder Steadman and Elder Quirante, who are the biggest buddy-buddies in our whole mission got announced to be companions with each other in Kampong Thom whitewashing! That was a superrrrr fun call to make. Those guys have been dying to serve with each other their whole mission. So on transfer calls night we called them first and put them both on speaker phone, and then I told them that they would be serving in Kampong Thom with each other. They flipped, haha.
Our mission is really on the skeleton crew right now. We're having 9 missionaries die on Monday. It’s going to be really sad to see them ago, I think especially Elder Bao, Cuong, and Tran, who are all Vietnamese elders. They have really changed the whole Vietnamese program from the less-than-savory thing it was in the past to a pillar of strength in our mission that everyone is excited about. Plus they're the 3 funniest elders in our mission. We were driving around with them yesterday to go to lunch and we were dying laughing the whole time. They're great guys.
Well I don't really have any time today. Sorry it’s so lame. I would really appreciate y’alls prayers to help me and Elder Eppley translate tomorrow. I think Elder Holland might appreciate it too!
I love y’all! Have a great first week at school!
Love Elder Burger