Saturday, October 3, 2015

Three Little Birds

Kean Svaay

Hello, this time back in "Four Faces" (ចតុមុខChaktomok)!! Whew, Elder Elieson and I have slept in so many different houses the last few days it’s ridiculous. Our old house in Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, our new house in Phnom Penh, and then Kean Svaay, all in one week. I think our bodies are begging for a bit of normalcy for beds.

Pouring while sitting in a little wood/corrugated shack in the backwoods of Siem Reap

I think I totally forgot to tell y’all, or maybe I did already, but WE MOVED HOUSES! For years the AP's have lived over about 50 feet away from Tuol Slaeng Prison. But we have now moved to... the house RIGHT next door to the mission home!!! It’s dope, our balcony and the mission home balcony literally have a gap of 2 feet between them. We could just jump it and go to work that way! We're now living with the Chaktomuk elders as well, so there are six of us! It’s a blast. We also are putting lots of extra bunk beds in there for transfers and missionaries coming down to the city, so we don't have to do as much maneuvering, trying to get people to stay at houses that are far away from the mission home. This will make things a lot easier. We've turned it into a "flophouse" as Elder Leavitt so loving called it. 

The rest of our khet trip was great. Monday night we did an exchange with a couple companionships up in Siem Reap. I went with Elder Gardiner and Elder Hills. Elder Gardiner is in Elder Eppley's group and is about to die, and Elder Hills is his trainee. They're both super solid. Then Tuesday morning we all went down to Battambang, to do the zone conference for the Battambang/Siem Reap zones. It was a great zone conference. Then we headed back down to Phnom Penh and went to English class as normal! 

Angkor Wat looked like it was floating. The big old moat around it is like glass in the early morning

Thursday we spent catching up on office work, and that evening we got dropped off in Kean Svaay by the office elders so that we could do an exchange! There were four people from our group at that house: me, Elder Elieson, Elder Paramore, and Elder Christensen. We had a blast together. We talk about it all the time, but it really is so true, we've been so blessed to all be in the same group as each other (us 4 and Elder Zierenberg, Elder Le Nguyen, Elder Morris, and Elder Phat). We're all so close and love doing missionary work so much. It’s so humbling to serve with such great guys for 2 years. What's really cool is that we are all to the point in our missions where we're in positions where we can do even more service! Like last transfer we had members of our group serving as zone leaders in every zone in the city! Elder Elieson was in North, Elder Christensen was in South, Elder Paramore was in East, and Elder Morris was in central. Now Elder Zierenberg is also the zone leader out in Battambang and Elder Le Nguyen and Elder Phat are both training! It blows me away that we've been out on our missions long enough to be able to serve in assignments like those.

Exchange to Kean Svaay/Cbaar Ampov yesterday! There were four members of our MTC group in the exchange. It was a blast! Elder Elieson went with Elder Christensen and his trainee, Elder Riches, and I went with Elder Paramore and Elder Jenson, who are the East Zone leaders.

Well, Elder Elieson and I are still having the time of our lives serving with each other. He's a blast, super optimistic all the time, and I'm learning tons and tons of Khmae from him. As much as we may want to settle down and sleep in our own beds for a while, we will be leaving to go back out to the khets to do exchanges right after MLC ends on Tuesday morning. We'll drive out to Battambang and do exchanges with the zone leaders up there, and then we'll make our way around the Tonle Sap, through Siem Reap and Kampong Thom, to go and do exchanges with Kampong Cham zone leaders! We're super excited. The elders and sisters in those zones are great and they're doing great things in the work out there! We'll be getting back Saturday morning.

When Cambodian storms roll in it is so immediate, its insane. You just feel the air pressure drop just like WHOOSH, instantly. And the temperature immediately drops 15, 20 degrees with it, as a huge wind instantly just comes with the air pressure decrease. Then you hear the rains coming and you can see it, like a dark curtain. Every time it rains...

On exchange with Elder Paramore

Side note: while editing and preparing President's materials for zone conference, we found on the front page of his flashdrive (just to prove that we weren't snooping) this thing called “CCF Three Little Birds”. CCF stands for Cambodian Children's Fund and it’s a pretty big organization here in Cambodia, or at least I feel like it is, but that might just be because they're stationed out of Steung Mean Chey for the most part, and I spent 7 months of my mission out there in Steung Mean Chey. So we clicked on the video and it was so awesome. It showed these little kids mouthing the words to "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley as they walk to school. The houses it showed them living in and the streets they walked on to school is exactly what Steung Mean Chey looks like and the houses which the people I teach live in. I don't know if it’s online, maybe it is, but I'll just show y’all when I get back (I copied it and saved it on my own flashdrive’ haha). I think it'll show y’all why Cambodians make my heart tick.

I love these people so much. I pray that God will continue to open their hearts to His restored gospel here on the earth. The Cambodia Phnom Penh mission really is the single greatest mission in the world. We missionaries here look at each other all the time in wonder and just think "What in the world did we do to merit coming to such a place?!" because it really is the greatest mission I ever dreamed of serving in. I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father and His preparations for each one of us.

Well General Conference is tonight! We'll be watching it tape-delayed next week. Elder Elieson and I are going to ask President though if we can stay the night in the office and wake up at 11pm to watch the new apostles get announced live. He'll probably be down.

Love y’all!

Elder Burger

Editor's note:  This is the Cambodia Children's Fund's video Three Little Birds

Angkor Wat sunrise last Monday morning 

The clouds are unbelievable in Cambodia. My little Canon Powershot only gets shadows of the real thing 

A huge storm about to blow in as we're riding down this raised dirt path which has mango and banana trees going down it on both sides, and it slopes down into rice fields on both sides too. Basically like every country road in Cambodia. Ahh it's so pretty.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience for you. Thank you for sharing!