Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Candle of the Lord

Picture with Elder Osborne back from the khet trip last week. He's up in Battambang now

All y’alls pictures from this week were so cool! Zion's National Park looked beautiful. I can't believe my buddies and I never hit that up when we were at BYU freshman year. We seemed to hit up every other place in western America. That'll be a cool place to visit someday.

And I had no idea you were going to the mainland Maddie! I forgot y’all got to do that for Thanksgiving. Your pictures look like they're out of movies. Seems like fun! Can't believe you're about to cross back over the pond in just a week!

This week was great. In Phnom Penh it was the Water Festival! Well not really, since the boat races were canceled again this year, but it was technically still a holiday since people had off work for three days, so Chaktomuk was pretty packed. By the way, I'm not really sure why they call it the Water Festival in English, because in Khmae it's the "Row Boat Festival"...
So do you remember that Khmae sister, Sister Tep, we knew in the MTC who was going to Redlands, California on her mission? Well, she just finished her mission and came to the mission home on Thursday morning to be released! It was way cool seeing her again, because now she speaks English and we speak Khmae! She didn't want to speak English with us though, I think she was sick of speaking English.  She said in the last year and a half she had only gotten to speak Khmae once. Pretty rough. She's way funny and cool though and will be able to help out the branch's in Battambang a ton!

President Christensen conducted all the interviews for missionaries in the city this week, spread out over like 3 days. Haha, President is so funny. Elder Elieson and I planned out the interviews last week, and he said 15 minutes an interview would be fine, so we scheduled them all out and what not, but President is so social and such a talker that most of the interviews went over and we had to keep rescheduling people haha. Elder Elieson and I still haven't interviewed. Maybe that'll happen later today? We're kind of flexible.

Later today though Elder Elieson and I are going to be taking translation equipment over to the South Stake Center to set it up for stake conference, which is today and tomorrow. Super weird, because I remember the last stake conference in south stake, which occurred my first weekend in the office, and Elder Eppley and I had to take the stuff over and translate for it for two days. Elder Elieson and I have heard conflicting reports about whether it'll be us or a member translating today and tomorrow. As of right now we just know we'll be taking the stuff over. I kind of hope we translate. I think its super fun and here in the near future I might not have too much opportunity to do it more. 

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving! All the different zones had a different senior couple assigned to them for a Thanksgiving lunch. So for East, South, and Central zones we combined under a couple senior couples and they took us to this super nice buffet called Tonle Bassac, down near the Chamkarmon Bridge. It was waaayyy good. I've been to my fair share of buffets in Cambodia. They're all super cheap here. Average price for a buffet would be maybe $7, which, granted, is about $5.5 more than a typical meal you could buy here (since most meals here cost about 6000 rial), but they're all way good.  They've got Korean bbq buffets, American food buffets, sushi buffets, Cambodian buffets, Chinese buffets. This one was a way nice Khmae buffet. I chowed down on so much stir-fried noodles and chicken and frog meat and spring rolls I thought I was going to burst. Made me way sleepy...

We've had a few meetings this week with President about transfers. Crazy that we'll already be calling out transfer switches tomorrow night to the zone leaders. Seems like yesterday that we did that last. I'm not allowed to tell you where I'm going yet, but just so y’all know and don't freak out next Saturday when I don't email, it won't be till next Monday that y’all get another email from me. 

This last week during personal study one day I reread one of my favorite talks from President Packer, "The Candle of the Lord". That's the talk where he relates trying to describe feelings from the Spirit like trying to describe the taste of salt. It's a way good talk and it has some great points in it. Learning from the experience with that contentious man who told him that there was no way he could know that the church was true, President Packer said that "From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually. The Apostle Paul said it this way:

We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:13–14.)"

Another point of President Packer's I liked is that:  "We do not have the words (even the scriptures do not have words) which perfectly describe the Spirit. The scriptures generally use the word voice, which does not exactly fit. These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes, nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels, more than one hears."

Once I came to understand this, one verse in the Book of Mormon took on a profound meaning, and my testimony of the book increased immeasurably. It had to do with Laman and Lemuel, who rebelled against Nephi. Nephi rebuked them and said, “Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.”

As a missionary, sometimes it can be frustrating to describe such delicate things as feelings from the Spirit. Luckily in Cambodian, I feel like it’s a lot easier to describe what the Spirit feels like, just because words you can use for feelings in Khmae are a lot more descriptive. 

I love all of you! Please stay safe and have wonderful weeks!

Love Elder Burger

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