Monday, January 11, 2016

Welcome the Vietnam Hanoi Mission

Here's the Kampong Cham zone at zone training last Friday.

VIETNAM IS ITS OWN MISSION!!! Wow, that blew my mind! We found out Friday morning, when we had our January zone training meeting. The AP's called the zone leaders right before it started and they told us. So neat! Elder Hassell, President Hassell's little brother, who I emailed y’all about maybe 6 months ago, is going to be the new mission president. He'll end up serving the normal 3 years for a mission president, since he came to the mission right around last July. I'm so excited for him and Sister Hassell and for the country of Vietnam in general! What a blessing for them! It must be about to open up to non-Vietnamese foreigners here in the next few months maybe! This must be in direct relation to Elder Holland's visit to Vietnam back in August. He must have felt through the Spirit that the time had come for them to make the next step. I'm so excited for them!

Elder and Sister Hassell.  This is when they first arrived in the mission back when I was serving in the office.

Map of the New Vietnam Hanoi Mission

I feel so blessed to have witnessed the Lord's hand in such a wonderful way since I began my mission. I have seen the prophetic statements made in my patriarchal blessing, father's blessing, and Stake President setting apart that have come true. One especially I remember from dad's blessing to me, that I will see the Lord move forward His work in marvelous ways as I serve. That has come to pass beyond anything I could have imagined. In the duration of my mission I've been blessed to witness the 20th anniversary of the Church in Cambodia, the first two stakes created in Cambodia, 2 new provinces opened to missionary work in Cambodia, the first two patriarchs called in Cambodia, the official recognition of the Church in Vietnam, the coming of an apostle to both countries, and now the creation of the Vietnamese mission. Such a neat time to witness the Church progress in the Cambodia/Vietnam mission!

So transfer calls came. Elder Smith will be heading up to Siem Reap to be comps with Elder Chhouk, and I'll be taking Elder Chhouk's comp, Elder Walker, down here. I'm way bummed to see Elder Smith go, because we've been doing work together, but I'm also way pumped to be with Elder Walker! He's in Elder Smith's group, Elder Smith is Elder Brewer's kid and Elder Walker is Elder Eppley's! It's going to be a blast!

Our investigator Ming Sophal was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday at Church! It was awesome. We also had a new investigator come whom we met with this week for the first time, her name is Ming Pane. We've taught her about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and she is very curious to learn more. She is a special kind of investigator because she already understands the concept of different denominations in Christianity (that is like the hardest concept to get Cambodians to understand) and so she understands how she needs to find out if this specific sect is true. It makes me so happy that she is making a quest for truth, instead of mildly looking into the church of some frenchies. We ran over to Ming Sophoah's house (Puu Dee's wife) and asked her if she would sit next to our investigator (Ming Pane) who would be coming to church. She was like Ming Pane? Wait is she kind of big-figured, light skin? We were like yeah! She was like “She's my cousin!”  Wow so neat! And the other member we wanted to fellowship her, Ming Sophal, happens to know her as well! These are the benefits of serving in a community where everybody lives their whole lives (it’s not like people are moving out here at all). They are born and raised here, and so everyone has family and friends everywhere. It’s just a big ole network.

Ming Sophal had a super cool blessing come to her right after her baptism. So to support herself, she sells watermelons at the market, and a couple days after her baptism, she sold 440 watermelons in one day! Holy cow! So neat

Another cool experience this week (although sadly this one isn't spiritual) is that Elder Smith and I were riding our bikes at a pretty good clip down this country road and it was twilight, so really hazy light. This road is pretty twisty-turny. So we're riding down and something startled this cow I guess, and it bursts out of the vegetation of this house right next to this tight corner right in front of me, so I hit my brakes as hard as I can, and since it’s Cambodia and the road is nothing but pure dust my bike went into the craziest power slide you've ever seen. I felt like a bmx rider. My bike tire slid out for a solid second but I kept riding. Easily the smoothest moment of my life. But the only people who saw were Elder Smith and the cow.... That's just kind of how life works I think.

Last p-day playing touch football behind the local high school in Kampong Cham

This week was good otherwise. Taught thirty lessons and contacted almost ninety people. One of those rare weeks where the numbers actually reflect all the work you put in. I love this group and all the people of Prey Cho. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to do hard things. Boy, are missions not easy, but I couldn't think of a better way to show my gratitude to Heavenly Father and my Savior. I know that They are pleased with where I am. That's all that matters to me:)  

I love the Church and know it’s true.
Love Elder Neuberger

Editor's note:  This is a story from Elder Smith's blog a couple of week's ago.  It is a great story and worth sharing:  

I wanna share one miracle that happened to one of our members. So right now everyone is harvesting their rice and planting. The lady we live with has some big rice fields. She sells the type of rice that all the rich people eat. It's super good and sweet. She went to her fields and started to throw the rice seeds in her fields. Her neighbors started making fun of her, because they said they saw 30 rats in her field the day before and the rats were going to eat all of her seeds.  So she dropped her basket and prayed in faith that the rats wouldn't eat the rice in her field. Then she just continued to throw all of her seeds. All of it. That's a ton of faith. The next day when she came back all she saw in her field was a huge python as thick as her leg in her field. The snake ate and scared all of the rats away. So sick! God is in the details of our life.

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