Saturday, January 2, 2010

September 29, 2009

I've been talking to people a lot more lately. I'm starting to understand a lot more now so I've started small talking to people more. But I still don't understand everything. Someday I will though. Please keep praying for me to learn the language really fast and really well. I wanna know this language fluently by the time I get out of here. A language this hard is not worth forgetting. Haha.

Here, everyone is Buddhist because their parents were, who's parents were, who's parents were, who's parents were.......When we ask them why the practice it and if they believe it they usually say, "No, I just do because everyone else does and my parents did too. “ But in terms of Christian stuff, they have no idea what anything is. And Khmae doesn't translate from English at all. Like the word "resurrection" in Khmae it translates to mean "to live again". And Buddhists believe in reincarnation, so we have to explain the differences to them. It’s really difficult. And when we ask them who created the earth, they have no idea. Life before this and life after this like never occurs to them. They're always like man, I've never thought of that before.

Our branch is about as fragile as people who have just been baptized. We have to do everything. We spend a few weeks in one class trying to strengthen it, and then the other classes suffer. So we spend time working with them and then nothing gets done in the classes we just spent time working in. And as soon as we get callings out to people they stop coming or show up super late so that they don't have to do anything. And everyone leaves after sacrament. Our branch has had Khmae Elders for the last 1 year and a half. And I'm not going to blame it on them because they've never seen how church is run in America. I will always appreciate how much more organized church is American now. We teach lessons every week. Then we can't help out our investigators. And then when everyone leaves after sacrament, our investigators are always like "Why can't we go too?" A ton of our referrals have fallen through since the big holiday we had. We keep trying so hard to find people. But a lot of people here are just not ready yet. And none of the people here have any concept of God or anything like that, who he is, what he does, why he's important. We have to review stuff all the time with them. We've been relating every lesson to the Restoration, because that's what President Smedley said to do. So even if it’s something like listening to the Spirit, we still relate it to us having the opportunity to do this because Joseph Smith restored the church to the earth again.

We did just commit one family to baptism. It’s a mom and her 2 daughters. They're getting baptized in about 20 days. They're awesome. And we have another baptism in that time too. She's a returned Khmae Elder's girlfriend. She understands a lot. And one of our recent convert's husband came to church. We were like SWEEET!!! So we're going to keep working with him. We also have another investigator named Paulla. She speaks Thai, Khmae, and Vietnamese, but she can only read Vietnamese. So we teach her in Khame but we read with her in Vietnamese. She's leaving on a trip for a few weeks though and so we gave her a Vietnamese BOM and she was really excited and said she would read it while on her we'll see how that goes. But ya, we're starting to plan better and we're even pushing meals off to try and get more people right now. We literally ask every single person if they know anyone that wants to learn with us.

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