Monday, February 1, 2016

That's no church mouse!

This last week we killed the rat that lived inside the podium at church. I act all cool like I did anything. In reality I was too scared to kill it (while I'm totally fine seeing rats now, dealing with them personally still repulses me), so I was just the one who shook the podium and scared it out and then yelled to Elder Walker who was hiding behind the corner with the metal handle of a long feather-duster to kill it. But got the job done. Not a very big rat by any means, but still...

It was way windy when I took the pic, that's why I look so skinny. But I have lost weight. I think I'll be able to gain it back pretty quickly when I get back to America. No matter how much I try and eat here it doesn't come. I sweat too much

What's going on fellow បារាំង's and អាគាំង's. I hear it’s pretty cold in parts of America. That blows my mind, because the elements are melting with a fervent heat over here. My goodness, hot season is coming early this year. All the Cambodians say this hot season will be one of the hottest ones of all time. Buckle up boys and girls... Or on second thought, maybe don't. Seat belts get wicked hot in the sun...

You've gotta love the heat though! You just feel like a missionary as you work. You feel like you should be on the cover of the Liahona, because your shirt, pants, and even your tie knot is soaked through with sweat and sweat is dripping off the end of your nose like a leaky faucet. I thank my lucky stars every single day that I got sent to a hot mission. I would have gladly gone to a cold mission, but I was praying to come to a hot one. I hate the cold. Even a couple weeks ago when it got down to like 65, 70 degrees in the mornings and evenings, I thought I was going to freeze to my bike right there in the middle of the rice fields and die a cold, silent death.

Contacted these guys after teaching Ming Phen, up in Phum Kook Trea. They were plastered, and while I don't normally contact drunk people, they repeatedly called out to us and then wanted to talk. So we talked with them, invited them to learn. Afterwards I had to get a picture of this drunk guys shirt. I would never have forgiven myself for not getting a pic of it. Now I'm just kicking myself for not buying it off him right then and there. Such a cool shirt, in the middle of some lost country village in rural Cambodia... Diamonds in the rough!

This last week was neat. We met this long time less active from Kampong Thom! We had run into him while contacting last week (this guy is different from Vanet/Vannan, who are two other long time less actives we met while contacting about a month ago. They're everywhere out here!) This one's name was Sopheak. He's a great guy! He actually knows Elder Vuut, which made me way pumped, and I told him he was my companion over a year ago (which seemed weird too, because it seems like yesterday that we were together). He's about thirty, and he is in this village way up north about 6-7 kilos off the national road, but we met him outside the elementary school in Prey Cho where he works as a teacher. He was way nice, and we got his number off him and gave him a call a couple days later and ended up meeting with him! We gave him a Book of Mormon, and reviewed with him about the Restoration. He remembered names like Joseph Smith and stuff, but wasn't too clear on the doctrine and things like that. But as we reviewed with him about the Book of Mormon, even though he didn't remember what it taught super clearly, he told us about the feelings he used to have as he read it. He said, "I remember feeling happy as I read it. Like, it didn't matter what was happening, if I read I would feel at peace and happy." Then he continued, "I know this is a good book. It’s funny, I remember having different problems in my life and I would just open the scriptures and read and I would always read a verse that helped with my problems and questions!" 

Isn't the Book of Mormon amazing? Critics say that Joseph Smith made it up. Haha wow, what an amazing and praiseworthy feat if he did!! (He didn't...) A book that has changed the lives of millions upon millions of people, and helped them have a more personal relationship with, and understanding of, the Savior; not just people in rural New York two hundred years ago, but in rural Cambodia in the present day?! Really? A made up book? I don't care who you are, you can't write the Book of Mormon unless you were inspired of God. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets thousands of years ago in the Americas. These prophets were contemporaries with the people of Bible. Their records were compiled and abridged by an ancient prophet named Mormon around the year 400 A.D. onto gold plates. These plates were buried in a hill, and about 1500 years later an angel sent from God showed them to Joseph Smith, Jr., and through the power of God Joseph translated them, to bring this record of God's dealings with His children to the people of Earth once again. The Book of Mormon doesn't take away from the Bible. It supports it. Together they give a united witness of the divinity of Christ and the reality of God's plan for His children. The Book of Mormon is from God. Unbelievable? Unlikely? Skeptical? That's what I would think myself if I hadn't tried it. Read it for yourself and ask God through prayer if it it's completely true or not. He will answer you personally. Consider it an experiment. Free copy of the Book of Mormon

Riding out to Phum Prey Rumdeng in the north because everyone in Phum Baray always tells us there's a bunch of Christians up there. Turns out there's zero, and they directed us to Phum Baray because they said there were a bunch of Christians there instead. Do they collaborate with each other in practical jokes?

This week on Saturday we had a fireside, which Elder Walker and I put together with Puu Dee. Puu Dee showed up a few minutes late, because he was coming from Phnom Penh, where he had to go to the hospital for a check-up, and we didn't have any treats or anything, but it was still great. Elder Walker and I talked about both the spiritual and physical preparation and discipline we need to keep the Sabbath day more holy, and to have the Spirit present in our Sacrament meetings more.

Sunday, the next day, we only met at church for an hour because of a variety of factors, including Puu Dee not feeling well, only 1 of the assigned 4 speakers showing up, and the power was out, helping us all understand a little bit better why people call old factories like our church building "sweatshops". 

Down in a ditch on the way to Phum Sangkae to visit Pu Van and Ming Pheak, two less-actives

This week, in y’alls free time go listen to two talks by Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "But For a Small Moment" (BYU speech) and "Settle This in Your Hearts" (conference). Do it. They're unbelievably good.

Love y’all!

Elder Burger

More highlighter sun pics. YOU CAN NEVER SEE IN THE PHOTOS. I hate it. Doesn't show what it looks like at all. Frustrating.

Phum Prey Rumdeng. Quiz: Is it in rural Cambodia or rural Africa? Who knows? It's all savanna just the same

Down in a ditch on the way to Phum Sangkae to visit Pu Van and Ming Pheak, two less-actives.

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