Saturday, January 2, 2010

October 6, 2009

Well we went from having 4 investigators to having about 20 in a week. We pulled in a referral of 2 families that make up about 7 people that are EXTREMELY interested in the gospel. One or two more lessons and the baptismal commitment is coming. Then we got 2 ladies who are already Christian who we just started teaching. And they are amazing. We already taught them the Joseph Smith story and everything and they seemed very receptive to it. The one is going to have her family learn too. We also have a family of a mom and 2 daughters who are getting baptized in 2 weeks. And then we have one more investigator who is getting baptized the week after that.

I've had a huge jump in the last two weeks in terms of my language. I can say and understand way more that I ever could before. I pray so hard to learn this language fluently by the time I get out of here in 2 years. And I pray even harder that I can learn to teach like my companion does. He is so good at teaching. He puts everything so that they can understand it and its amazing how good at teaching he is. We get a long really well and it proves to me that God loves me a lot because while I was in the MTC I prayed so hard for a good trainer. And I got one. Awesome.

In our weekly letters, we wrote to President Smedley and said that we needed help. So he heard about the old Branch President (who has been inactive the last 5 or 6 years). The guy had run off to Siem Riap, and President Smedley drove the 6 hours up there, told him to come back, brought him back, and now the dude is going to help us get all the members back. When he was Branch President, they averaged about 200 people at church every week. Right now we average about 60. And the dude is an absolute stud. When he was Branch President he would go everywhere with the Elders and he always made sure everyone was getting taken care of and had friends and had callings. So now that dude is going to start helping us again. I love President Smedley. He doesn't speak the language, but man, he means business. And he gets work done!!

We meet inside a big house. Other branches have these massive 2 story buildings to meet in. But we just meet in a house that the changed around to be a chapel. It’s cool. We have hymn books with a total of about 45 hymns. Haha. And we have a piano. I've actually been working on my playing skills. Haha.

There are so many members here. But no one knows where they are. I used to take home teaching, mutual, scouts, ward activities, stuff like that for granted. But now I understand why they are so dang important. In one area there are about 500 members. But only 100 go to church. And no one knows where the other 400 are because people move and get lost. One Elder said that they went searching in some lost area and found some members that hadn't seen Elders for 3 years. It’s nuts.

One cool experience I had is that we were preaching the gospel and I just had this huge overwhelming feeling that the gospel is true. And I just remember thinking to myself, "What the heck. Don't tell me that. I already know it’s true. Tell this guy we're teaching that it’s true". But still, what a loving Heavenly Father we have who cares enough about us just to let us know the gospel is true. I've also seen Satan try and work his magic. We were preaching to a group of literally 30 people (these people are about as poor as poor can possibly get), and we're teaching really good and bearing testimony of the restoration and everyone there is really into what we're teaching them about...and then this super hammered guy walks in and causes a ruckus. But the people listening loved us and so we came back and taught them again and about 20 of them want to go to church on Sunday. And we were talking to this one guy who had just got his appendix taken out. And he just so happened to be staying at his mom's house for the night so she could take care of him while he's resting. And he told us that he has believed in Christ for 3 months now and that now he is trying to find the true church of God. And as soon as he said that, his phone rang, his mom came out to talk to him, and about 50 other things happened trying to keep this guy from listening. Satan is good at what he does. But we bore testimony to him and taught him about the Restoration. That is when I had the huge feeling the Gospel was true. I hope he felt it as well. He lives in a different area, but he gave us his phone number and asked for ours and said he would read the pamphlet we gave him. So we'll see how that goes.

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