Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 2, 2010

Yesterday we spent all of P-day moving to our new house. So, they've given us a little bit of time to e-mail today. The nwe house is way, way nice. So, we're excited.

Things are starting to pick up more. We're working harder than ever trying to find new investigators. I'm desperate right now. I love families. That's what I want, to teach families.

August 24, 2010

This week has been way rough.

I set a goal of baptizing 5 families while I was here. Just this last week, we have had 2 families drop us, 1 that we dropped, and 1 that is currently in the process of dropping us. We have also had 4 or 5 other investigators that have gone down the tubes. So, now we're pretty much all out of investigators. I tried to work so hard to get those families to progress. I loved them, I served them, I helped them, and what of it?

Now we have tons of free time, contacting and finding does nothing. No matter how hard I try to strengthen the members, to help them keep the commandments, to get referrals out of them, I haven't seen any progress at all really. Even when we use the stuff we learn from zone conference nd other things, it still gets us nowhere. Families who were drifting into inactivity when I got here I haven't been able to save, families who are semi-active I haven't been able to get them fully active, and families who are fully active, I can't get to save up money to go to the temple. I've never loved an area or the members as much as I have here. But, it still doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere. When I first got to Cambodia, I just wanted to learn the language and baptize people. Now that I've been here a while, I've realized there is so much more to being a missionary. So, I've been trying really hard to be a missionary, and I haven't seen any improvement.

Maybe I'm just focusing on the bad things this week. But, it's been way rough. On the bright side, we have found 2 new families that might want to learn. One famliy is Christian. We have taught them once. The father used to be a minister in some other church. He knew a lot about the Bible, which I don't know at all. And, he was asking some tough questions. But, I was getting those crazy flashes of knowledge that I didn't know I had, and we were able to not only answer his questions but completely dominate them and revert it back all to the restoration and the Book of Mormon. The family seemed to be pretty impressed by our message. So, hopefully, they go somewhere.

Another positive. There was a lady and her daughter that we found which I was in Branch 12, and they were way awesome. And, I never got to see what happened to her. But, the other week, the Elders in that area told me that she is now baptized and is the new Relief Society President, and that she wants to thank me for finding her and leading her to find the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a way cool feeling.

PS. Remember that one karate tournament that I forfeited because I wouldn't fight that girl? I remember it the other day and laughed at it because it is real funny.

August 17, 2010

We had talked to this guy once for about 10 minutes, but he wouldn't let us inside his house or anything like that. But, he did agree to meet us the next day. And, that night he had a dream. He came to church with his son on Sunday. Only one hour, but it's better than nothing. They are going to be a way big struggle. But, I think they will be converted if we can help them push through everything. We asked them why they wanted to learn with us, and they said because they love us and feel happy when we come. So, that's a start.

Work is going good. We're really trying to work with the members because a lot of the members need a lot of testimony boosters.

August 10, 2010

We're down in Phnom Penh for the next 5 days for leadership training, so our P-day is today, not Wednesday like usual. So, Elder Nebeker who has been here for 3 weeks, and Elder Christian, who has been here for 4 months, are roaming around together. I don't know how they are going to understand anything that is going on. But, hopefully, they'll be able to do it. So, I just thought I would tell how everything is going.

On Friday, I hit my year in the country mark. I'm super old now. That's so crsy.

We've gotten a bunch of new investigators. And, they are all doing way, way awesome. I'm super excited for them. We just had 4 people get baptized on Sunday, and we got 2 more coming up way fast, so we were worried about running out. But, God hs blessed us like crazy since Sunday, and we are back to having a new investigator pool of way good investigators.

July 27, 2010

We have some baptisms coming up here really soon. Our investigator who had an abortion passed her interview on Sunday with the mission president. So, now we have got to interview her two kids and they'll be getting baptized. She had problem on Sunday though. Some of the "old" members in this branch think that the new members should serve them and treat them like gods, so they treat new members and investigators like dirt. And, one of the old members did that to this investigator on Sunday. And, that investigator wanted nothing to do with going to church anymore. And, we tried to schedule to meet her after church, but she said she didn't want to.

So, after church, we just went over there anyway. She said she didn't want to learn. I told her too bad. She protested again. So, I said when we don't want to learn is when we really need to learn. And, I told her to get her kids and her scriptures and that we were going to learn, so we went and sat down and waited. We taught about obtaining hope through the plan of salvation and the atonement of Jesus Christ. She cried the whole time and wouldn't commit to go to church next Sunday. So, we read the thing in Moroni about charity. And, we committed her to follow Moroni's council and pray for charity. She wouldn't. So, we had her pray right then and there. She finally did, but there still wasn't much sign of progress.

So, the next day we went over there and met her. We were teaching more about the plan of salvation. And, she started bringing up what had happened on Sunday, and I told her not to but she wouldn't listen. And, after she had been telling what happened to the member, I opened up the D&C where it says if we don't forgive people that it's a bigger sin on our part. I then had a feeling that came from the Spirit to tell her how I felt. I then told her that what that member did was wrong. Then I told her that I never wanted to hear of it again, that she was never to think or say of it again either. I then told her that she was going to forgive this woman who offended her. I then told her that I didn't come to her house nearly everyday for the past 3 months teaching her about the gospel of Jesus Christ, teaching her how to be like Him, and how to follow Him, just to have her lose to the first major temptation Satan is going to send her way the week before she and her kids are supposed to be baptized. I told her that I might as well have not have ever come, or ever started teaching, or ever had her learn. So, then I very stearnly told her that she was going to still continue learning with us, that she is going to keep going to church on Sunday in order to take the sacrament and receive Christ's atonement, that she is going to keep preparing herself and her kids for baptism, and that she was going to forgive this woman. I then said that we will be coming back every day to make sure of it too, and that we were going to teach about happy things that are spiritually uplifting, such as faith, hope, charity, love, service, the restoration, the atonement, and any other thing that will prepare us spiritually for the kingdom of God.

I have worked so hard trying to help this family and doing everything I possibly could for them to lead them unto Christ. I fasted, I prayed, I read the scriptures, I loved them. So, when I told them all of that, it was with every fiber of my soul. We've been doing the things that I said we would do, and I think she is in for a speedy recovery. She is doing very well. She's excited to meet us everyday now. And, it's exciting to teach her too. That family means everything to me. And, they are well on their way to baptism now.

Some Buddhist holiday was the other day. And, everyone went to the Buddhist temples to go worship idols and other things that come from the great apostasy that has led them to be greatly fooled by the false traditions of our fathers. One family that we're teaching didn't go, they said they wanted to follow the true God that could actually help them in life. When we told them they would have to take down the shrine and get rid of all the false traditions, they didn't seem too happy about it. But, they didn't go to the wat. So, they're making way good progress. They still haven't taken the shrine down, but I'm pretty sure God could help us whip up a dang good lesson on taking it down, and they'll be more than happy to take it down after that.

God is working miracles every day. It's such a cool site to see. We got some baptisms coming up here real soon so it should be pretty exciting. And, our investigators are all doing pretty dang well.

July 20, 2010

Nothing really to report. I'm super old in the mission now. I didn't know half of the Elders that were at the mission home for transfers. My new companion is Elder Nebeker, fresh out of Kimberly, Idaho. He works way hard. And, he tries really hard at the language. And, we've taught some dang good lessons together already so I think I'm going to enjoy the next 3 months or so because he's really excited to be here, and he's excited to be doing this work. It'll help motivate me some too.

One of our families had a miracle. The dad sat in twice now for the entire lesson. And, he came to church for 2 hours. He's managed to lay off the booze long enough to actually learn a bit. And, he seemed really interested about what was going on at church. So, we're hoping that him progressing will really help his family too. All of our investigators are really good. And, I would say that some of them are even stronger than some of the members. One family of a mom and 2 kids should be baptized real soon. She's going to have to get interviewed by President because of an abortion. But, she's way awesome. And, she has really repented a lot. She's been to many Christian churches. And, they've always wanted her to get baptized, and she never felt it was right. But, she said that this time, it just feels right. And, that God wants her to join this church because this is His only true church. Pretty cool.

Please pray for Cambodia, especially for Kompong Thom, and especially for us and our investigators. We want families really bad, and solid priesthood holders at that too.

June 13, 2010

Transfers are on Friday, and I'm going to be training. Elder Donnelson is going to be the new zone leader so I'm becoming the district leader. I've served with Elder Donnelson for more than half of my mission now. We work really well together. And, looks like we'll probably be together another 2 transfers I'm guessing.

We had a baptism on Sunday. Her name is Lomang. Probably one of the weirdest people I have ever taught. But, she knew the Book of Mormom was true, and that this was Christ's restored gospel upon the Earth. She was the best pain in the butt I've ever taught. Sometimes, I wanted to slit my wrists because she is kind of immature. But, she has such a strong testimony that we just had to endure. It was good.

Don't worry about our conditions. They're not bad. It's the people that we teach that got it really bad. We go through some pretty narly stuff in order to teach people sometimes. It's pretty fun.

The work is going well. And, the mission is absolutely booming. We are only about 30 baptisms off pace of getting 800 in a year, and the mission keeps growing and growing. One branch in Phnom Penh had 250 people at church and 58 of those were investigators. Our branch hs seen tons of growth too. Maybe not that much, but we're way newer. And, we had no one to teach when I first got here and now every hour of the day is filled with appointments. God is smiling down upon us. And, the whole entire mission is working ridiculously hard.

Please pray for families. That is what our focus is. And, we've been getting some. Pray that we will have families to teach. Pray that the Lord will lead us so that we can teach full families. And, pray that God will soften the hearts of the men in the families we're teaching in all of Cambodia, because WE NEED PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS. This country is ready for the Gospel. And, it's so amazing that we have a change to be a part of this.

July 6, 2010

4th of July was a blast. The senior couple made burgers. It was like I was back in America again for a meal. It was so awesome. No fireworks here. All holidays here function around Buddhism.

The work is going really, really well. We're really trying to keep it up. And, we're finding miracles to occur every day. It's so awesome. Members are the greatest thing ever. They help so much when they join in on the lessons. A lot of them run blind or with very simple faith. But, we're seeing the progression in everyone as they help us teach.

Me and Elder Donnelson have been talking a lot about trying to get this place going. He's our district leader. We've grown to be like best friends living in the same house together. When we first got here, this place was dead. But, we have seen so much growth and progression s we have worked so dang hard to dominate both of our areas. Kompong Thom has easily been my most favorite area ever. It's just so chill here. And, I have a feeling that I could be here for a long time, too. I've set my goals, and I'm working hard to meet my challenges. And, as long as I keep it up, God will help me obtain those goals while I'm here in Cambodia, and especially while I'm here in Kompong Thom.

June 29, 2010

Well in Alma, we learn that God has many ways of bringing salvation to his children. And through the Atonement of Christ, the sins of little children are swallowed up. And, because of the Atonement, we will all live again. I've never lost a son, and I hope that someday I never do, but we can be comforted that throught the Atonement of Christ, we can all be saved and live together again. My heavens, isn't God so wonderful? That he sent his Son for us. But death is just another step in the Plan of Salvation. Death is just another step in becoming like God himself. So, Ian is just a step ahead of all us now, isn't he? And, not just a step ahead, but a step ahead and on the right hand of God.

We've gotten some new investigators this week. We keep growing and growing and growing and most of our investigators are doing really, really well. It's been suck a miracle for us to see so much growth and that God has been so merciful to us in leading us to all these people to teach. And, in having members help us and see the joy and happiness that comes in people's lives, and to see the changes within their hearts and souls as they "have no more disposition to do evil." My heavens we are being blessed right now. And, because I'm going to have to work even harder and be even more obedient to all the rules, and to try and thank God for all the blessings.

I'm exhausted every dy when we go home, and I'm 24/7 worried about and stressed over all the ways we can help our investigators. But, the joy that comes from being in the service of God, I'm loving it here. And, I know the trials are going to keep coming and that the more blessed we are, the more tried we will be. But, I know that God will be with us.

Happy 4th of July and Father's Day.

June 23, 2010

We're working really, really, hard and we're being blessed by the Lord for it. When I first got here it was a nightmare. I was so worried about having people to meet, because we had no one. But, we just had our first baptism here. Elder Haws got the baptize her which I was really excited for because that's his first time doing it. But, now we've gotten more and more referrals and we have 6 families we are now teaching, along with 8 other individuals we're teaching. We're so full everyday now it's so beautiful!!

We had 29 combined investigators at church on Sunday and 89 people which is more than we have every had ever. 20 of those 29 were ours and the 9 were all miracles that they came. Me and Elder Donnelson were getting ready to rejoice and cry as all of our investigators were brought to church by members, had those members directing them from class to class, and overall the warm welcome they received from everyone. It was the greatest most exciting thing ever. The Lord is blessing us out of our minds right now. And, as Nephi of old, I will have to praise God all the day long, in triumph or defeat, in joy or sadness, in health or sickness, because of the great, many blessings he has poured out upon our heads.

I biffed it way hard on my bike this week. We were luckily riding out to a little village out in the middle of nowhere so no one saw but Elder Haws. I have a fatty bruise on my hip! I'm good though. It was actually really funny. I just have a fatty scrape on my arm now.

June 17, 2010

We went to Siem Riap for Zone Conference. Still haven't gotten to see Angkor Wat though. Super Wack! Oh well. Someday, I'll just go see if with you and dad when you come.

Work is slowly picking up more and more. We're getting busier and busier, and I think that soon, we'll be busier than we ever thought we could handle. We'll just try to keep working as hard as we can, relying upon the blessings of the Lord, and he will bless us for it.

The Gospel is true. No matter how hard it rains, no matter how many times we get turned away, to Gospel will still go forth, and we will be blessed for doing the work of the Lord with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength.

June 9, 2010

We had 24 people that were at church on Sunday that are non-members. Some we can't teach until they've been to church for 8 Sundays in a row. But, they sacrifice a ton in order to get to church. They're as poor as dirt poor can get. But, they're doing really well.

We have one family of a mom, Jannii, her son, Songvatt, and her daughter, Sokvan, and they are really excited to be baptized. They are progressing well and keep any commitments that we give them.

We also have another family that would be doing awesome, but the Dad is holding them back. But, he's joining in on the lessons now. It's a dad, mom, 2 sons, and a daughter. They are all super uneducated. But, the mom and kids are doing well because they are trying really hard to learn and they are being really blessed for it too. The dad is a struggle. But, with the Spirit constantly working on him he'll come around sooner or later.

The other family is a mom, dad, and 2 sons. We've only met the dad once because it's rice season and he's off in the rice fields 24/7 right now getting the rice ready. But, the mom and kids came to church on Sundy, and really, really liked it. She's received us a lot better since going to church, and she says that she really wants to go again.

While it's hot for you, we've been getting poured on. Rainy season is definitely here. I've been super tired lately. But, we keep trying in order to have success.

June 1, 2010

We're going through some hardships. We do every week though. So...ya know...nothing new. But we're just fighting through. Patience, patience, patience. I'm still working towards my goal of finding and baptizing 5 new families. We just got a new one the other day. That puts us at 3 solid legitimate families. But, two of them, the husbands drink a lot. And, they've been drunk 2 or 3 times in row when we showed up to teach. So, like Jacob of old in teaching the Nephites about the law of chastity, I will have to wake them up to the word of wisdom. The moms in those families are so good, and I've seem them in tears over their husbands drinking. I'm really hoping that the Spirit is with us as we try to change these people's lives.

You should be happy that Kylie didn't get bit by the spider that we saw last night while we were teaching! This 6 or 7 inch tarantula (yes, it really was that big) came out of nowhere while we were teaching. And, they are like lightning too. That thing darted across the floor. It was terrifying!! It could eat a human child! And, the saddest part is that they get even bigger than that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

May 18, 2010

We have seen some miracles the last few weeks. I've been studying a lot on prayer, receiving revelation, and then diligently following up on faith. Actually, I've been studying everything, but ya. So, President Smedley told us to be specific in our prayers. So, I thought I'd try it. So, in my prayer, I said, "God, I want to find a family. And, I want to find one that has prepared to hear the Gospel. I want it to be a mom, dad, and 2 young kids, 1 boy and 1 girl. And, I want the girl to be slightly older than the boy. And, I want them to walk up and start talking to me so tht I know that is the family we need to teach. And, I want the dad to be super interested so that he could be a leader in helping them get baptized." So, the next morning, we got up to go to the market to buy food. And, some lady walked up to the veggie lady I was buying from. She noticed I could speak Khmae so she started talking to me. Turns out she was a Christian and that she was interested in learning. So, we scheduled to meet her. And, we biked the 16 kilos to her house. There we met her husband and her 2 kids, a boy, a girl, the girl being slightly older than the boy. (Crazy huh?) And, we taught them the whole first lesson, and the husband was super interested. The whole time you could just tell he knew everything we were saying was true. He tried to Bible bash a bit. But, everything he said we completely turned it around on him to the point that he knew that everything we were saying was completely true. In the end, they denied us. We tried to schedule with them, but they wouldn't. So, that night I was praying so hard for that family, and then it just hit me. That family was EXACTLY what I had asked for. But, they completely denied us. And, we've been trying to schedule them to meet again, but they won't. And, we can't exactly "stop by" because it takes an hour to get there and an hour to come back. So, I've just been trying to figure out what to do to teach them again. I know if they hear the message again, they will believe it and start learning with us. The first time that we taught them, the Spirit was off the charts. So, that was cool that God answered my prayers like that. But, it is heart breaking at the same time.

We've gotten a few referrals lately, and we've gotten a lot of new investigators. We got about 10 potential families we could start teaching here really soon. We are bursting at the seams right now in potential for our area. It's insane!!! And, I've been praying my heart out that God will turn all these potential families into eternal families and that we can just have a chance to be instruments in God's hands into bringing salvation unto many of their souls. I have never prayed harder than I am right now. I've never taught with more passion than I am right now. And, I've never been more bolder in my words than I am right now. The work is about to go crazy right now in Kompong Thom. It seems like almost anything we ask for, God just instantly gives us. There are more miracles too, but for time sake, I'll tell you about them next week.

May 12, 2010

It doesn't even register to me anymore that I'm speaking a foreign language. It just seems like its natural and that everybody does it. Going back will be weird when I actually have to speak English to someone.

It was so nice talking to you guys on Monday. That was really, really cool. Sometimes I forget that the outside world still even exists. It's just completely normal being here now. Not speaking Khmae will be weird for me.

We got 5 new investigators last night, including a mom and her two kids (the dad died in a car accident). And she was a Christian before so she is really interested in learning. And then we had one girl in the branch give us four referrals (all who seem really good). So, I think things are going to start picking up here. Please pray for all of them. We've been getting a lot of potential investigators that we're going to be meeting here in the next few days. So, I'm really hoping that we can bring the spirit into their home to teach them and that they will continue learning. Things are going to start booming here. I can just feel it. It's just going to take some real serious work and diligence on out part. But, it's going to be there, and we are going to do it.