Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 11, 2010

Not much else to say or tell because we just barely talked on Monday. But we got 4 new investigators from one member last night. And we got a mom and her two kids as new investigators too. The goal that God set for us is 800 baptisms this year. And at this point we're super behind. But, our district meeting was about the power of God and it really siked us up. And since then we've got a ton of investigators and potential investigators so maybe Kompong Thom is going to explode here in a little bit. Actually I really think it is going to explode in a little bit. We just have got to get it going and keep working as hard as we are and we'll for sure have it.

So that's about it for me today. Take care. We're going to monkey mountain today to see all the monkeys.

May 6, 2010

I personally will be calling you on Monday. So, I will be talking to you on Monday. Haha.

Yesterday we went up to Siem Riap for zone conference. I got to see Elder Zabriskie and Elder Thompson again. I love Elder Thompson. And Elder Zabriskie just has to be the best Elder and most amazing person I have ever met. And there are of bunch of Elders that I am really good friends with in Siam Riap so it was really sweet being able to see all of them. Plus, zone conference was awesome.

We are starting to really try to push our investigators here and it's going to be good for them. We had one that after she learned about the great apostasy she asked "So how can I know which church is true?" It was so perfect. We pulled out the Book of Mormon and taught her about it. It was absolutely off the charts amazing. And her family has a lot of potential to start learning too so I'm super excited over that!!!

This area is going to be a ton of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, it's a little bit frustrating coming from Branch 12 (the greatest place on earth). But I have a real feeling that if I'll just put everything I got into it that it will explode and it will help tons of people come unto Christ.

April 28, 2010

Wow...Kompong Thom is...a mess. It's going to be a really stressful couple of months. The branch has some serious problems. There is no leadership. The one bright spot in the branch is that the youth are awesome. They hold the branch together better than anyone else. I'm already stressed in my mind and I've been here less than a week.

That's the members. The investigators are so hot and cold. That act like they have no desire to learn. But then, they'll make some huge sacrifice to learn or strengthen their testimonies. It's nuts!! So, I'm completely stressed over them too.

New companion is a nice guy. Elder Haws. He's been here 3 months. So his Khmae is still bad and he can't understand anything. So then it pretty much falls upon my shoulders in terms of communication. So, it's really hard!!!

Kaets are really cool though. We have spiders the size of my head here. And they get in the house sometimes. We had to kill one my first night there. Bug spray or Raid doesn't kill them. It just makes them really really really mad! And, they are lightening quick. So we have to kill it the instant we see it or we're going to have some friends sleeping with us that night. Scary! We also saw this 3 foot Komoto Dragon looking thing. It was sweet!!! Got some pictures. But they don't do it justice for how big it truly was.

April 20, 2010

Dear James Family,

Today we welcomed your son, Elder James, to his new area in Kampong Thom, which is about 3 hours north of Phnom Penh. He is happy, healthy, and loving the work. His companion is Elder Haws.

We are a senior couple assigned here in Kompong Thom and love going out teaching with the Elders. We have them in our home often, as it is across from the church where they meet with a lot of their investigators. We have them here for dinner on Sunday and they pay our housekeeper Sophal, to fix them lunch after district meeting on Tuesday. So we know they get at least two meals a week!

Having had a son serve in the Phillippines we know how hard it is to adapt to Asian culture, food, language, etc. so we take a special interest in the Elders. We like to send an occasional picture so you can have a visual update.

Please let us know if we can help Elder James in any way.

Warmest regards,

Elder and Sister Houser

April 13, 2010

With the Khmae New Year things have just gotten really chill around Phnom Penh. It's been a lot of finding because all of our investigators have gone back to the kaets. But, finding with Elder Cheang is really fun so it's not that bad. It just doesn't bear too many fruits, that's all. Today is P-day and tonight we learn how to update CBRs. Tomorrow is CBR day. So, we won't be leaving the house because we'll be doing those all day. Friday is sports day so we'll get to play sports from 10-4. I'll get to see how rusty my hoops skills have gotten in the last year. Haha.

Mexican food and angel food cake? Are you trying to torture me Mom? Mexican food is the only thing I really miss eating.

Haven't had a chance to get anything for my birthday yet. Things have been kind of crazy the last few weeks with a bunch of things going on including the holiday. But, I'm going to get myself some shirts and some pants. That's what I really need. Especially shirts. But, other than that, I don't need anything.

I'm doing pretty good right now. Actually, doing really good. My desire to declare the Gospel has shot up in the last few weeks. The farther I get into my mission, the more I learn. And, the more I learn, the more I realize the importance of teaching people the gospel. And, the more I realized the importance of teaching people the gospel the harder I try. And, the harder I try, the happier I feel. So, things are going well.

April 6, 2010

Thank you for the Happy Birthday. Some of the members threw me a "surprise party" at the church. Let's just put it this way. Khmae's aren't the sneakiest people on the planet. So, I just played dumb and had a good time with it anyway. Haha.

This week has been kind of rough. We had 3 progressing investigators drop us. They had baptismal dates and everything. Things just went wrong and now they're gone. But ya, just means that God has prepared 3 other people for us to teach the Gospel.

Conference is on Saturday and Sunday. I'm really looking forward to that. All of our recent converts are just straight up kicking butt right now. I had no idea they were this strong in the Gospel and their testimonies. And, absolutely amazing.

Khmae New Year is coming up which means that Phnom Penh will be shut down. So its going to be finding crickets and toads to teach because everyone goes to their hometown in the provinces.

We have about 7 people that could be getting baptized after the Khmae New Year is over. So I hope I get at least one more transfer here so that I can see all of them get baptized. I started with them from the very beginning. So, if I get transferred, it will be kind of disappointing. But whatever. It just means that God has other people for me to teach elsewhere.

Gospel is true.

March 30, 2010

Here we have to worry about rats the size of cats stealing stuff. Other than that, it's not too bad.

The next few weeks are going to be interesting. Friday is Zone Conference, then the weekend after that is General Conference. And then it's Khmae New Year so we won't be able to proselyte for 3 of those days. And then comes Mother's Day. Khmae New Year is in 2 weeks. But people are already leaving to go to their hometowns. So, we'll see. It might be straight up finding for a few weeks.

March 23, 2010

Work is going well. Just as busy as ever. Just trying to work harder than the day I did before. I really like this branch and serving with Elder Cheang is really fun. He doesn't listen to me very much. But, he's easily my best companion so far and I'm having a blast so I'll keep my complaints to a minimum this time.

It's crazy how fast time goes by on a mission. Two more months and I will be at my year mark. Crazy. I don't know if I like getting this old this fast. But whatever. I don't think that I have much of a choice.

March 16, 2010

On Sunday I had the opportunity of baptizing someone named Tola. He's awesome. He just came wondering into the church about a month or so ago saying that he really wanted to learn. And, now he's a stud. He goes to institute class. He comes to church. And, he does anything that we ask him. It's awesome.

A few weeks ago our district leader told us that if we have time slots to fill, that God has already prepared them for us. And when he said that I thought it was really profound and took that to heart. And it is true. We keep finding new investigators to meet and fill time slots. It is absolutely amazing. Most of them don't go anywhere. But we have a few here and there that are starting to become really promising.

Cool story. We were going tracting the other day and we met some kid. He rode up while we were talking to some people and he stopped to listen and then he said he wanted to learn. When I saw him pull up, I had something that told me that he was the reason why we were stopped and talking to the other guys and so we set a time to meet him. And, we haven't been able to meet him for a week and a half now but we went by to randomly visit him the other day. He wasn't there. So we were talking to one of his neighbors and just as we said that we were representatives of Christ, a lady was walking by. She turned around and told us that she had learned of Christ before but had stopped. And, she said that she wanted to learn again. It's a family too. Her, her daughter, and her husband. The husband wants to learn but he works from 7am to 11pm so we never have a chance to meet him. But last night, after only the second time of meeting them, we committed them to baptism and they said yes!!! Now I don't know why God had that one kid stop and talk with us that one day. And, I don't know if God was just using him to get us to this family. But holy peeling bananas is that not a miracle of what !?!? That God uses a means like that to get us to this family. And, I hope we can continue teaching him too because he was really good. But, God blessed us with a family on this one.

The gospel is true. I know that every day as I open the Book of Mormon and read for 30 minutes in the morning. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that God loves us and we are his children. And I know that the Lord will prepare a way for us in everything we do here in the mission.

March 9, 2010

Last night it just started pouring rain out of nowhere, which means that rainy season is fast approaching because it does that all the time during rainy season. Right now, it's super hot every day. There is lots of sun. I have a fatty missionary tan.

We had another investigator get baptized on Sunday. Her name is Malis. She is absolutely amazing. Her Book of Mormon has stuff highlighted and written in the margins, and she takes notes and links things together. She is probably the best investigator I have ever taught. She was awesome. And, we also have a baptism this Sunday. So, we're really excited for that.

We had a bunch of new investigators and referrals that were really good but they have all disappeared and we have no idea where they went. It's really easy to move houses in Cambodia. So people just disappear all the time. So it's really hard to keep track of people. And especially because there is no church in a lot of the provinces yet so records are a disaster too. Some stop learning for various reasons like being super poor so that have to work a ton. But, we are trying to encourage them to set aside just a bit of time to learn every week and the Lord will help them. I still have full confidence that this will be a Latter-Day Saint nation.

If there is one attribute of mine that I have seen increase is my love for the people. Now that I can usually understand what they are saying I just absolutely love talking to everyone I see. I can walk up to anyone and just start talking with them for an hour and it's so fun. Most of the time when they see that I am a white guy speaking Khmae, they all come and flock over and then we have like 20 people that we can share the Restored Gospel with. These people are so amazing. It's just so sad that they have rejected Christ and believe in Buddha. But, the Buddhist religion has developed more morally clean people than "Christian" churches of America. I am really starting to realize what Nephi meant when he said there is only Christ's church and Satan's church. That is definately true. This truly is the only church of God.

I can get clothes specifically cut to fit me perfect for cheap. A shirt is about 5 or 6 bucks and pants are about 7 to 10. It's way sweet. I can choose the fabric, they measure me, and then they make it. It's that easy. And, they make it pretty good too. Please stick 40 bucks in my account so that I can get some new clothes because all of my clothes are starting to really wear. They weren't meant for the gruttiness of Cambodia.

We just got transfer announcements yesterday, and I am happy to say that I am not going anywhere and neither is Elder Cheang.