Saturday, October 31, 2015

Office Life

Modeling a bike vest from the Thailand mission. It says "I'm a Mormon" in Thai on it, as well as has the website address in Thai. Elder Kim got it went to Thailand to have surgery. We're going to try and sell everyone on it because we think they're way cool and would help with safety as well, I guess.

This week was good. Got a new desk so that was exciting. Also conducted a mission-wide bike inventory to accommodate for changes in transfers. Thrilling...Haha, just kidding. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to make my weeks seem cool to y’all, cuz I sit in an office planning things all day, but this week was actually way fun (well they all are).

First off, we did a lot of planning for MLC this next week. Planning training with President is always so much fun. It's been such a blessing to be able to be around him and Sister Christensen so much.

We'll be doing a lot of follow-up about past councils we've done, just knowing where issues lie now. Elder Elieson and I felt really strongly to do training about basic lesson structuring. It’s so important to know how to put together a lesson. Many people don't tell people a summary of what they're going to teach before they teach them, or tell them how this message they're about to share will be applicable in the life of that person. Sometimes as missionaries we just teach but we don't think about where we're going. Every sentence has a direction. We've got to take the people we teach places. We've got to go down to their level and build clear, simple staircases to bring them up to where we are. Lessons have to be purpose-driven, not just blocks of time that you go and talk to somebody.

Teaching skills is something I really started paying attention to when I had the opportunity to train another missionary for the first time. Before that, when I was in my own training and when I was with Elder Vuut and Elder Kim, I was a lot more preoccupied with learning the language and being good at it. But then one day it just kind of clicked that that wasn't what I was called to do. I was called to invite others to come unto Christ, and if I couldn't do that in a clear, precise, easy-to-understand-and-relate-to sort of way, well then it would be all in vain. So then I really started actively trying to improve my teaching skills. Preach My Gospel is such a wonderful book. It teaches us so well the way that we can teach others. I am naturally such a horrible teacher that I've had to look at it a ton, haha. Both covers of it have worn off at this point. It's held together by masking tape and bright neon green string. It’s also been through its fair share of monsoons. But the teachings inside of it are the same. I plan on treasuring and applying the principles of Preach My Gospel the rest of my life. You better believe my kids will be getting their fair share of it during family home evenings and what not.

This last week was fun. Sunday all of South Stake went to Steung Mean Chey building to watch General Conference, since so many people couldn't watch it a few weeks ago when they showed it for the first time during Pchum Ben. I got to see many of my recent converts!! Oh man, I know I say this a lot, but it is the most amazing thing to help people come unto Christ and see them continue on that road. Alma 29:9-10 always seems to be in the back of my mind: "

9 This is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

Monday/Tuesday were normal office days, planning logistics, conducting inventories, planning training, preparing agendas, coming up with district meeting topics, etc. 

Wednesday was super fun. We went on exchange with the Central Zone leaders (Vietnamese missionaries in Phnom Penh)! I went with Elder Morris. He's the coolest. He's a living legend already in our mission. He's also in my group and I served with him in the office for three months. We had a blast going around, walking through alleys/rat holes/railroads trying to find Vietnamese people to teach. The Vietnamese in Phnom Penh are dirt poor, mainly because, to put it very delicately, Khmaes do not like them . . . at all. So it was fun going around, contacting all day long. We taught a couple lessons too. In one of them Elder Morris just had to translate for me the whole time, but in the others the people we talked to actually knew more Khmae than Viet so we just taught them in two languages. That was a great exchange.

Then Thursday we got back to the office, caught up on some work, and Friday we were exchanging again. Elder Elieson went with the South Zone leaders and I went with Elder Cook and Elder Rom, who actually live with us and proselyte full time in the Chaktomuk ward. Elder Cook is training Elder Rom. They're hilarious and love having a good time, but they're also just about the hardest working companionship in the mission. Elder Rom already knows a ton of Khmae (both of his parents are from Cambodia and he was raised speaking it). They're locomotives. I love Chaktomuk area. There are some great investigators/members here. You would never know they were here though unless you went looking for them. Chaktomuk is almost entirely made up of alleys/sketchy apartment buildings. The tourists here never know though, because they're just going to the main street attractions. But just 30 feet behind those attractions are the dark, dank, dirty alleys of Chaktomuk.

Sombor (our mission secretary) brought his brand new baby into the office Thursday. President just about flipped he was so excited, haha

The senior couple in charge of P.R. here has started a new "Families Can Be Together Forever" campaign here. They gave each missionary 150 cards that have the Cambodian Mormon Newsroom website on them and in Khmae "Families can be together forever". They also bought Facebook ads which will be going to almost 500,000 people, plus they bought 15 signs to put on the back of tuk-tuks. I've been trying to see one for a couple days now. Well when we were riding through Chaktomuk yesterday, just like 5 feet in front of us this tuk-tuk peels off the sidewalk and starts driving right in front of us with one of those signs. Elder Cook, Rom, and I got way pumped! Then not even three minutes later another pulled off right in front of us! Haha it was awesome.  

Another cool thing this week is that Elder Uhi reached his year-mark! That's crazy. Can't believe it’s been that long since we've been together. Feels like yesterday...

In a couple weeks Sister Esplin and Sister Marriott from the General Primary and Young Women's Presidencies will be coming to Cambodia with their husbands! Man we get so many General Authorities and officers here! Since I've been here we've had Brother Tanner from Sunday School presidency, Brother Gibson from Young Mens, Elder Snow of the Seventy, Bishop Davies from the Presiding Bishopric, Elder Gong and Funk of the Seventy several times each, and of course, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. President Christensen was laughing as he was telling us this, he said that Elder Funk, in the Asia Area Presidency, told him that: "You know President, you have to know. The reason y’all get so many General authorities and officers is because Cambodia is at the top of the list of 'Must-Go' places at Church Headquarters! Everyone wants to go there!" Well I can't disagree with that.

I love y’all! Hope y’all have a great week! And a happy Halloween too I guess. If they still celebrate that over in America. I don't know...

Love, Elder Burger

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I Walk Among Giants

Greetings from... Chaktomuk! I'll be serving here another transfer with Elder Elieson! I'm super pumped to keep serving with him. He's a blast and I'm learning a ton from him. It’s kind of a dream come true to get to serve with him. All of my companions have been so great to be honest. I can't believe how blessed I've been. Same with my areas: Pochentong, Steung Mean Chey, and Chaktomuk. I love all three with all my heart, although for whatever reason (well there's a lot, first and foremost the people!) my favorite area would have to be dusty, trashy, hot, smelly Steung Mean Chey. That is my own little version of the Promised Land, running with milk and honey and wonderful experiences. I keep telling everyone that whenever I get a new area I'm just going to be sent back there.

Pochentong and Chaktomuk have been so wonderful as well. Chaktomuk I honestly don't know nearly as well as my former two areas, mainly because we really don't have the time that we want to have to spend in it, but it’s still great and I love it. I miss some of the members over in Pochentong so much it makes my heart hurt. I was amazed that some of them remembered me when I saw them at Elder Holland's meeting! I didn't think anybody over there would remember me at all! I was a little baby កូន back then.

Ahhh, the mission is the greatest! Cambodia honestly is my favorite place. The people, both good and bad, make me want to be able to pray for them with the depth and sincerity of Alma as he prays for the Zoramites in Alma 34. If only they would all immediately come unto their loving Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. But I know it can't be like that. Salvation is not a cheap experience. 

My time in Chaktomuk has flown by though! I can't believe I'm going to be serving here for as long as I served in Steung Mean Chey! It was 3 transfers in Pochentong, 4.5 in Steung Mean Chey, and it’s looking like at least 4.5 here in Chaktomuk. Obviously the Lord still has some lessons he would like me to learn from the people I meet in this area.

Transfers this week were super fun. We had 11 people finish their missions though. It’s sad to see them all go, since I know all them pretty well. The weirdest part is that one of the missionaries finishing was Sister Lindley from my MTC group! I can't believe that it is already time for our sisters to be going home. Can a mission really be this fast?! The rest of the sisters in my group will be going home in about a month, and then it will be just us elders.

One of those people whom Elder Elieson and I meet regularly is a man named ហៀង (Hiang, the diphthong  "ia" sounds like the name Mia). He is a recent convert, about 50 years old, and is pretty hard of understanding. Haha, I mean that lovingly. We try and teach him time and time again, through metaphors, stories, straight doctrine, reading, watching films, to help him to understand just the basics: Restoration, Plan of Salvation, the priesthood, and the Atonement. But every time he interrupts us and starts going off on false doctrines. We listen to him though and continuously adjust our teachings accordingly. For example, last night as we go over to his house, which is an apartment on the third floor of this concrete building that is hidden through a couple dark, dank alleys just a couple hundred yards from Phsaa Thmey, we had planned to teach him about purity and holiness in the priesthood. But right after the prayer he goes "Elders, I've begun reading in my scriptures again!" We were of course thrilled, but then he kept going "Yes, I learned today about the two priesthoods, Aaronic and Melchizedek. The Aaronic is the one we use in the family and the Melchizedek is the higher priesthood, and we must leave our families, because we have to devote ourselves full time to the service of God, and so we can't have families if we have that priesthood because where would we find the time to support them.” 

That's a small example of the kind of thing he says every lesson. Haha, I love him. He really does have the strongest testimony of Christ; it’s just the details that he doesn't understand. That will come with time though. He then went off about how man can't be perfect (which we assured him was correct, if man was on his own) and that man can't become perfected or like God, even through the Atonement of Christ, because we will only ever keep falling and sinning. It is always such a powerful and humbling experience to feel the Holy Ghost work through as an ordained minister of the true church of God. Elder Elieson and I bore witness of the infinite power of the Atonement of Christ, and used examples and metaphors that seemingly popped into our heads to explain how, even though in this life sometime we are without hope and feel that true progression and growth and a complete remission of sins is ever beyond our grasp, if we will trust in Heavenly Father and in our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can be lifted out of the pit of despair and sin. Maybe not completely in this life, but certainly in the next. 

Another one of the people we teach is our inactive ward mission leader Reaksmey. Elder Elieson and I have found out that we always can pique his interest if we talk about the priesthood with him. Everything else he kind of ignores and brushes off, but when we talk about the priesthood his eyes open wide and he gets this sparkle in his eyes as he tells us about the old times, when he used to go out with the missionaries to go and teach people all the time and how he has given blessings through the priesthood and seen miracles occur. He told us of a recent miracle he had had during Pchum Ben, when he went up to his home khet of Kampong Thom. His brother had recently broken his leg. They were all sleeping in this wooden house, about 20ft by 10ft square. There were a bunch of people sleeping on the floor, and no one in this community approved of Christians. In fact, Reaksmey said it was an old "magic house" where people used to cast spells and do magic. He said there were lots of dark spirits around and the only way he could sleep was to pray. He did that every night he was there to keep him safe. But one night he got the prompting that he needed to give his brother a blessing. So he silently crawled through the sleeping people (who don't approve of Christianity) and put his hands on his brother's head and gave him a priesthood blessing as he slept. His brother hadn't been able to walk for 20- some odd days already. 3 days later he walked around just fine. I'm excited to keep working with Reaksmey and see his progress (and try to get him out to church!)

This week we were in a threesome for a couple days with Elder Olsen as well, because Elder Bostrom was up in Siem Reap doing his Angkor Wat visit with another elder. Wednesday, while we were in the threesome, we got a call from one of the office elders' long-term investigators in the international branch, who has gone to church every Sunday for years and years but can't be baptized because he isn't married to his wife, and some clauses in Cambodian law that I don't fully understand somehow prohibit him and his wife being married here. He was sick with dengue fever in the hospital (which is a sickness that a good amount of people get this time of year). Even though he is not a member, this man, Don, has the strongest testimony of priesthood power. So the three of us elders, as well as the international branch president Ith Vichet (who actually lives in Singapore but flies back and forth from there and Cambodia every week), gathered around him and gave him a blessing in the middle of that Cambodian hospital. Giving blessings in hospitals in Cambodia, something I've had the opportunity to do many times, is always a special experience, because they aren't like American hospitals where almost every patient has their own room, or if not, they share a room with maybe three other people and they have privacy curtains that they can draw at any time. No not like that at all in Cambodia. Most of the time it’s a big, unairconditioned, stuffy room with anywhere from 10 to hundreds of cheap metal military beds in rows. No privacy in the slightest. But you always feel a special sense of being on the Lord's errand when you go. It’s a cool feeling. President Vichet gave the blessing. Don, who looked super sickly and could hardly sit up to receive the blessing, immediately stood up and shook our hands, saying he felt a ton better and he knew that the only thing that could do that was the priesthood of God.

President Vichet is an amazing man. It’s been so cool to have regular interactions with him since I've entered the office. I don't know if any of you know his story, but he is the man who single-handedly brought the Church to Cambodia back in the 90's. You can read his story here: Bringing the Gospel Home to Cambodia.

It’s amazing serving in a country that is so young in the gospel. The church is just 21 years old here. Imagine if you got transported back to the year 1851 in America. Imagine the spiritual stature of the men and women you would associate with in the Church on a regular basis there. That is how it is here. I am blessed to walk among spiritual giants. I regularly meet with men like Ith Vichet, Leang (our mission realtor and the first missionary to ever leave from Cambodia), Eng Bong Huac (North Stake President), and Uk Sophal (South Stake President), men who have been obviously foreordained and called of God to help establish the Church here in their native land. My mission is the greatest. I am so grateful to God for sending me here, for preparing me to meet this wonderful people.

I love y’all! Have wonderful weeks! Next time I email y’all will be November. How weird is that?

Here's a talk for y’all to go and study/ponder this week (Elder Elieson and I listened to it in companion study while preparing to teach a less-active about the Law of Chastity. Hope it’s not too weird to attach a law of chastity talk to a letter? I hope not. We should love and appreciate all of God's commandments and not feel awkward and apologetic talking about them). It’s called "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments".

Love Elder Burger

P.S. - I was going through the old mission records and found the record of Sister Goto from 8th ward!! I remember clear as day, when I was like 10 or 11 or 12 her mission call being announced in Sacrament Meeting to Cambodia, and just thinking how foreign and unknown of a place and mission call that was. Well, lo and behold, a decade later here I am. Funny how life happens like that.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


At Aeon Mall, the most developed place in all of Cambodia. This is a big statue celebrating Pchum Ben. The dish is called a "jan srak", which is what people carry food to the wats in, and the banana-wrapped packages is this sticky rice thing called an "ensom", which is kind of like a tamale, but made of sticky rice and has either bananas or pork/soybean on the inside. During Pchum Ben everyone and their mom gives you ensom. It took a little getting used to during my training last year, but I love em now!

Another Pchum Ben come and gone. The typical exodus from Phnom Penh ensued, although here in the heart of Chaktomuk, just a couple hundred meters from Hun Saen's mansion and the Independence Monument, things weren't nearly as quite as they were out on the city fringes in Pochentong last year. Last year we would bike around forever not seeing anyone. This year there was still a small amount of people in Chaktomuk but it wasn't quite as ស្ងាត់ឆឹង  like Pochentong last year.

Conference last week was amazing. It was so much fun going and viewing it at the South Stake Center with the other missionaries in the south and east zones.  Man oh man, there were so many good talks. I don't know if I'm just more spiritually mature, or if a bar-raising has actually occurred, but I feel like the Seventy have really been picking up their game recently at conference. Elder Elieson and I were laughing, feeling bad for the guy who has to follow Elder Holland, but he actually did a great job (Elder Foster)! So many good talks given. One of the ones that Elder Elieson and I have really taken to heart and started applying, along with several other companionships we've talked to, is the one by Elder Durrant about "ponderizing". Have y’all started doing that yet?! This week Elder Elieson and I are doing 2 Nephi 1:23: "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust." We are ponderizing it in English, and then just straight memorizing it in Khmae. Pretty cool idea from Elder Durrant, nothing particularly new or outrageous, but I think he sold everyone on the idea of pondering and memorizing scriptures.

Something that I did this conference, that I've never been particularly good at before, but which I really focused on doing, was not writing down the things the speakers said. I mean I'm going to get a Liahona in a month with all of it word for word anyway! Instead I wrote down impressions and especially questions that came from the Spirit. By the end of conference I had 30-something introspective questions written down. I've rewritten them all out in my study journal and I'm excited to begin studying them, one by one, to seek for ways that I can improve myself. I feel like most of the questions I wrote down had to do with things that I want to do better. I'm so glad I did it like that because now what I have is basically my own personal Alma 5 to reflect and study on for the next 6 months!

The rest of the week was good. Monday and Tuesday the whole mission (well in Cambodia at least) had mandatory deep cleaning days. Nobody is sober or at their homes during Pchum Ben, so proselyting is completely ineffective, including contacting. So everyone had to stay inside and get their houses spotless. Lucky for us in the office, we just moved into a new house so ours was pretty clean. Which was good, because since we're in the office, we still had work to do! So Pchum Ben didn't really change up our office schedule too much. Tuesday night we got everyone in Phnom Penh together at the South Stake Center as a reward for going hard deep-cleaning. We put on Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. That movie is so good every time! Then we all had ice cream. Flavors: Chocolate and taro… Haha, Asia.

We also had a couple transfer planning meetings with President. Those are always fun. We had the final one this morning. Calls will be going out tomorrow night! Gotta love the excitement of transfers. I'll let y’all know next week what I'll be doing. 

Starting Thursday night, we went on exchange with the North zone leaders and another companionship in Tuk Thlaa. I went with the zone leaders, Elder Uhi and Elder Beacco out in Pochentong. It was a blast. I love getting to be able to go out on exchanges with my son! Both of them are awesome elders, which made it fun. We tried emphasizing planning out specific hours in the day where we will totally focus on finding, not just making finding a backup plan for when lessons fall through. That's something big we've been trying to get going in our mission. Making finding a priority, not just a backup plan all the time. We also focused on effective studies and studying for the investigators. Recently, that’s something I've really been trying to work on for myself and I've seen progress in my studies. Keeping a regular study journal is definitely the x-factor. On my mission, whenever I've been good about keeping one, studies always go so much better and revelation comes clearer and more often. I think it shows the Lord that you care about what He reveals to you if you write it, instead of pondering it for a second and then dismissing it.

The exchange was fun though. We were out in Chaochau for most of the day. That's the far west side of Phnom Penh. It’s in both Stung Mean Chey 2nd ward and Pochentong, so basically my whole mission I've been serving out there!

One of my favorite talks from conference was Elder Holland, of course, how could it not be? On my mission in a million different ways I've come to appreciate you and your different talents Mom. Many of them I can't believe I didn't recognize or notice before the mission but now I can't help but look back in awe at how amazing of a mother you've been to me. Thanks for being so firmly converted to the gospel my whole life. Your quiet discipleship when no one is looking is I think the single greatest testimony builder for me. I remember driving back from priesthood session one time with dad and we were discussing how we could both do a better job of more regularly studying the scriptures and Dad said, "You know, your mom is the best example of that. I don't remember the last time she went a day without reading the scriptures." All the times where I've stumbled on you reading in your scriptures in your room, or, as a little kid, barging into you and dad's room early in the morning only to see the two of you kneeling down together in prayer before dad went to work, have had a greater impact on me than any family home evening lesson y’all ever taught (although those helped a lot too. I think my testimony of the Book of Mormon began to be kindled as me and Maddie dressed up in bathrobes and acted out being Moroni). Through those experiences I can completely agree with the stripling warriors and say "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." So thanks for your example and testimony. It carried me through high school, and college, and now 10,000 miles away on a mission it still strengthens me.

I love you Mom, and all the rest of y’all too! Hope y’alls weeks are great. ហើយក៍ សូមសិក្សាក្នុងព្រះគម្ពីរមរមនជាទៀងទាត់ណា!

Elder Neuberger

My whole mission I've wanted to show y'all a photo of a dog meat stand but I've never gotten around to it. You bike past them all the time, and they always seem to be on the same type of street: a street kind of off the main road a couple hundred meters, dusty, but still a decently busy street. Those sorts of streets always have dog stands. So here y'all go, finally decided to snap a pic of one while on exchange in Pochentong yesterday. This is about 200 meters behind the airport.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

General Conference and a confirmation

We purchase a lot of bikes. I've bought somewhere around 50 since entering the office. Since we buy so many, we are tight with the bike guy. He usually throws in a gift or two when we go and make big bike purchases, since we're ម៉ូយ's (regulars). This time he gave us ផ្លែទៀប, or custard apples. I've seen them all the time since coming here but have never been brave enough to try them, since they look pretty nasty. They're all scaly and black and green and kinda rotten looking. But you just peel off the scales and eat it and it's so good. Tastes exactly like trolli gummi peach rings. Spot on. Just got a bunch of seeds that you've gotta spit out.

General Conference is here!!! Isn't it cool, that although the Saints over here live 10,000 miles away, and speak a language completely unintelligible to English (or most human languages for that matter. It’s probably more related to Martian), and even though 99% of members don't have Wi-Fi or TVs in their homes, that we can all still watch General Conference within just a week of it happening?

Isn't living in the fullness of times so cool? The Lord has certainly laid the foundation for a technological infrastructure that could facilitate the growth of the true church in this last dispensation! 

This morning we went over to the South Stake Center and watched the Saturday morning session. There were so many great parts of it. I really liked the talk by Elder Lawrence about receiving little correcting revelations that will gradually help us progress on the path of discipleship. The other talks were great as well. I love the metaphors that President Uchtdorf always uses. It seems that everyone was talking about the end goal of exaltation and the journey of discipleship, and how the ship that carries us on that journey is the Church, which is propelled forward by the priesthood power of God.

So quick run-down on this last week:
Last Saturday President was totally cool with us staying over in the office and watching the beginning of conference live so that we could watch the new apostles be announced. Problem was that they weren't announced in that morning session. So we went to bed disappointed. But we woke up in the morning and one of us had gotten a text from a member who translates for General Conference telling us about the 3 new apostles! Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Renlund! Wow! Elder Rasband and Elder Stevenson were names that had been speculated quite a bit between us here, but boy was Elder Renlund a surprise! Good for him! His talk from last conference was quoted all the time by Elder Morris and I: "Twas I, but tis not I". Haha, we used that phrase 20 times a day when we were in the office together. 

When Elder Elieson first read off the text though, I didn't feel right. I felt just like I had before he read the text. There was no feeling that came washing over me or any confirmation that these men really now held the office of an apostle. I was alarmed a bit, but didn't worry about it. I thought that maybe God would require a couple of days of prayer and asking for me to have that confirmation for myself. Well sure enough, Monday morning comes and first thing we do when we get in the office is pulling up the video on of President Eyring announcing the new apostles. As I watched this warmth slowly started coming over me and immediately after, as I knelt and prayed to begin my personal study, I asked for a confirming witness of whether these men really were apostles, and whether they were really called of God or of men. In that prayer I had such a wonderful witness that these men now are apostles. I am excited to return to the South Stake Center in just a few minutes to watch the afternoon session and to have the privilege of sustaining those three men as well as all the other general authorities and officers of the Church.

This is really such a cool apostle-calling time for me personally because, even though I clearly remember President Uchtdorf and Bednar and Cook and Christofferson and Anderson receiving their calls, this is the first time where I have clearly known who the new apostles were before they were apostles! Like I've studied and listened to these 3 men’s talks for years! In high school, I honestly couldn't have named all the 12 apostles for you off the top of my head. In college I could at least do that much, but I couldn't probably name anyone in the Presidency of the Seventy for you. But since I've come on my mission I have come to love and adore the men and women who lead our Church, especially the Apostles, but also the wonderful men of the Seventy and the men and women in the general auxiliary presidencies. They really are all chosen servants of God.

Tuesday we had a great MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) in the morning. There was some great training on how to run Zone Training Meetings by Elder Elieson and some really productive councils on studies and finding people and obedience. Those three topics are really something we're trying to hit hard and fine tune.

Immediately after MLC, President and Sister Christensen hopped on a plane with Elder Morris and Elder Thai, the Vietnamese zone leaders, to fly to Vietnam to do zone conferences there. I'm way pumped for Elder Morris. He's been waiting his whole mission to be able to go to Vietnam and now he finally has his chance. Way cool how the Lord prepares opportunities for all of us.

After MLC ended Elder Elieson and I did a couple runs shuttling people to the Khmae and Vietnamese bus stations, for those who don't live in Phnom Penh. Then right after we finished that we swung back to the mission home, grabbed Elder Zierenberg (from my group) and Elder Sok, the Battambang zone leaders, and started our drive up to Battambang. It was a way fun drive with those guys. Only problem was that National Road #5, the road leading out of Phnom Penh to Battambang, was crazy bumpy as we were exiting Phnom Penh. This little high pitched squealing noise started and it kept getting worse and then going away and then getting worse and then going away as we drove (I just typed "drived" and then had to look at it for quite a while to determine that "drived" is in fact not the past tense of 'drive". Khmae'll mess you up like that too if any of y’all ever decide to learn it). We tried getting it checked out in Pursat but every single car mechanic we stopped at, which was about 5, said that it was too late to fix a car. Haha, whatever.. So we kept going and made it to Battambang safely.

Wednesday I went with Elder Zierenberg and Elder Sok. They're a blast. They are both really solid elders who are doing a great job leading their zone. It was fun learning from them on that exchange. 

So after Battambang on Thursday Elder Elieson and I were planning on driving over to Kampong Cham and doing an exchange there on Friday, but one of the zone leaders there broke his foot and went to the hospital for it the day we left for Battambang so we called him Wednesday night and decided between the four of us that maybe pushing that exchange back would be more effective. So instead of continuing on through Siem Reap and Kampong Thom as planned, we headed over to a mechanic in Battambang, who said that it wasn't any problems with ball bearings or axle like we thought, but he said that our brake pads were just swollen from mud and water. We took his word for it and kept driving on, weird sound and all. We made it back safe. I tried to take lots of photos to show y’all a little of what the Cambodian countryside looks like. 

So we've been back for a couple days now. Yesterday we went to zone training meeting in the morning in Steung Mean Chey, then we ran over to the Service Center and picked up the conference dvds, then spent the rest of the day running them over to the North Stake Center, Stueng Mean Chey and Kean Svaay. 

This morning we had to run over to the bus station to deal with a problem that was created when the Service center sent out the conference dvds to Posat but put the wrong phone number on the package so when the elders went to pick it up they wouldn't let them take it. So we had to go and deal with that. There was so much chaos there. There was literally like 400 people crammed on this tiny street corner which is what the bus station is. It’s because Pchum Ben is starting right now. It would be like going to the airport in America a couple days before Christmas.

Well I love y’all! So excited for the rest of conference!

Elder Burger

From our exchange a couple of weeks ago. Elder Elieson, Elder Neuberger, Elder Paramore, Elder Christensen
This mountain is where the kings are buried. Its called Phnom Oudong, which means tall/high/grand mountain. There is a big Buddha statue in the wat at the top. The legend is that the Chinese, way back when, thought that the reason the Khmae Kingdom was so powerful was because of a dragon that they had, which lived in this mountain. So they went and filled the dragons cave with water and stuck a huge gold Buddha on top of the cave.
The drive between Battambang and Phnom Penh. I think the prettiest part of the whole drive is the section between Posat and Kampong Chhnang 

Soccer field that looks like a quidditch pitch. I don't know why, but Elder Elieson and I just thought it's way cool looking

 Entering back into Phnom Penh