Saturday, January 2, 2010

September 8, 2009

Hey padre. How is it going? From all the stuff that I've learned here on my mission already I think the one thing that is most common is the fact that you were right. This week I really realized why you always told me that I needed to learn how to make small talk with people. When we do it with new investigators and while street contacting I have absolutely no idea what to say!!! I should've learned like you had told me to. And doing in Khmae is way harder! Here the only thing they talk about is food and family. So I'm going to start trying to learn some recipes and just asking about different kinds of foods they make so that I have something to talk about with them.

There is so much good food here. It’s ridiculous. Everywhere you go you can get this amazing food for dirt cheap. The most I have ever spent on a meal here is like 3 bucks. I've eaten some weird things too. They have these like chunks of blood they put in soup and stuff like that. It’s gross. Elder Sweeten said that 3 months in the country and I'll literally have an iron stomach and be able to eat anything. I've also eaten crickets too. The crickets are massive here. You tear off the back legs and the wings and then just pop it in like you would an M'n'M. They actually aren't bad at all. They're pretty good. I haven't had a chance to dig into any tarantulas yet. But I will, don't worry.

Elder Sweeten has really been working with me on my pronunciation with me this week and I'm speaking a lot more clear. This language is ridiculous in terms of the sounds that are made. So we read together out loud a lot so that we can practice because he said that the best Khmae speakers are always the ones who can read the best.

This last weekend was a huge holiday where the whole country goes back to their hometown and gets hammered. So finding was hard this week. But we managed to get 8 new investigators. They don't look very promising, but we'll see. We always try our best and we pray really hard for them everyday. We read that the average missionary teaches 20 lessons per week. Over the last 4 weeks we have average over 42 lessons per week. We can barely keep track of the amount of investigators we pull in. We never have time to cook food at home so we usually eat out. It’s a good thing it’s usually under 1 dollar. And we only get like 20 minutes of the hour we can take to eat and study because we have to run to another lesson. But the work is really good here. I don't know how some of our investigators are going to turn out. But I never stop praying for them. Please pray for them too. These people need the gospel in their lives so bad. They'll never escape the poverty in this life, but the blessing we promise them are so much more. And I'll never understand these people. They barely have enough money to eat yet every single family always asks if we're hungry and if we want them to make us food. It’s incredible how some of these people are. Yesterday we were walking down this really poor pocket and they were building a house out of some wooden posts that were staked into the ground and then they were nailing thin sheets of tin to the wooden posts. I could see over the roof of the house it was so short. And most of the houses here and can't even stand fully upright in. The poorer people usually only have one bed to sleep on for families of like 6 people, and the poorer ones don't have beds at all. So I'm pretty sure I could live in absolute poverty if I needed to. I'm already used to it. And they only have enough money to eat rice every meal. So tell the kids they have no idea what a sucky life is like. Some of the poverty I have seen in my short months here no one deserves.

I never understood how much parents could really mean to me until I started living in a poverty stricken country. But this place is going to progress really soon. The generations of the Khmer Rouge are starting to get older and a lot of the kids are really smart and work really hard in school.

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