Thursday, August 28, 2014

Week 6 In the Field: "You like the women?"

Hello My Lovely People,

Things are going super well out here! Elder Barker ( my companion) and I are now taking over the other half of the district for sure! It is a lot of ground to cover but on the flip side, I get to traverse the jungles more now. We were looking around in the jungles and found a couple cool spots. 

I found a toilet in the middle of nowhere and then we tried to climb over this wooden fence and all these people came over. I thought they were going to kill us because it was getting dark outside, but they ended up thinking we were lost and helped us out. They said not to go back to where we came, because there are a lot of snakes and stuff (haha). 

We also had a big Branch activity! It was so much fun! We got five investigators to come and we played Pictionary and it was hilarious. It seems that members don't really know how to draw at all. 

We also ate some weird food after, but it was pretty ok. I have to get used to the food here still…for sure.

We also got to conduct a family home evening at a member's house, where we made a bunch of scones with strawberry jelly in the middle and they loved it! We played a game where we see who can stay straight faced for the longest. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't keep a straight face for too long. So it was my turn and I started off really strong, but then the Branch President just leans in and says, "You like the women?" (hahaha) This was in English, and it was so unexpected, I almost died laughing. It was so much fun.

We are working with all of our investigators to quit smoking. They are all doing super well! We had a lesson with a less active member, and her son who just got baptized a little while ago. We wanted to teach about faith. So we stopped at a flower shop and bought a cactus, because it was the cheapest. 

It turned out not to be the greatest lesson, because the son wasn't there. Plus outside her house, some people were throwing a riot party. A riot party is where workers who are on strike hire a DJ and party in front of the building and clog up the road for days. They sure listen to some lame music. 

Ok well… besides all of that, the week was pretty normal. The language is coming along and the Khmer is pretty simple to learn. Thanks everyone for everything! I love you all so much!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 5 In the Field: Braving the Monkey Bridges

This week was pretty wild I guess. (haha) We met up with this druggie dude again and he I guess said that he has just been using us cause he thought we were like "nurses". This guy is from Ireland and stuff, so we taught him in English. I got kind of mad and told him that we aren't nurses and told him what our true purpose is. He hasn't shown up again to meet with us which is sad, but I don't think he was ready to hear our message. Um what else,

Oh! We like combined forces with my main man Elder Cuong from southern Utah. He had to join up with us because his companion went home. So we have been rockin a tripanionship which has been a blast. Lots of places to go and a lot of people to meet because we had to pick up his area too. We have been all over the place.

So much biking but hey, one day I am gonna have some seriously huge legs. We have been teaching these three investigators consistently now and they are learning super well. Chu Hai, the one that we have been having a hard time getting to make commitment and take steps in faith, came to church on his own yesterday and stayed through all three classes! I am so happy that he is finally aligning his life with heavenly father's plan for him. So cool.

We have a few baptismal dates and another accepted baptism. Ahhhh!

I have been reading a lot. I love personally study time so much. I just finished Our Search for Happiness and now I am into Our Heritage. I am also reading Dad's book which is super good! I am kind of glad. I was lazy and hadn't read it till now. It gives me a lot of comfort out here to know that I wasn't the only one who feels like a fish out of water.

It's crazy here. I saw a guy like fly by on his moto and like hit a cement curb and go flying and stuff. He wasn't seriously injured but his bike was. Crazy people.

We went on more monkey bridges last night and these ones were the scariest so far (haha) It's kinda fun actually not scary. The people have to put them up and take them down every couple days because it rains super hard and then when the water goes back down they have to take the bridges back down. These ones were not built very well (haha). It's the luck of the draw with these things. We had to take a little boat to an investigator’s house. We couldn't make it there because the bridge broke. This little kid was guiding us the whole way, telling us to be careful and which boards to walk on that were more safe. (haha). He saw that we had gotten stuck and then jumped into the water and swam off.

We were all like "this little kid just duped us!" But five minutes later, here he comes paddling a little boat over to us! Such a nice kid and his family is really nice as well… and super willing to learn.

Then it rained super bad and we all got completely drenched, we had to like wade through puddles and stuff... That was fun. I love the rain. It was so loud we had to yell to each other just to hear. We went to the branch president's house for family home evening/birthday party for the first counselor. It was fun, we played this game, It’s called the adjective game. There are two judges who would lay out a scenario. Then they go into a room and cover their ears while the group decides on an adjective. One we picked was “old”. So they had to play out the entire scene where everyone acts old and then the judges have to guess what the adjective is. I was chosen to act out a scene where one guy is cooking and he sets himself on fire and two people have to save him using only wind (air). The adjective was dieu, which is like slang for a guy who is "fancy", or kinda like femmy. (haha) I was one of the people who saves him. It was pretty dieu... Now everyone says I’m the "fanciest" guy around. ugh... (haha) It was super fun though.

Then we had to drop off the sisters at their house and stuff.

Oh! That reminds me! We moved houses. We are now in the house with rats everywhere. They have killed enough rats to make a leader board of their kills. It is actually kind of impressive. One of the achievements they unlocked was "Say Cheese", only achieved by blinding the rat before killing it. (haha) crazy stuff. The place is super unorganized and dirty, so I clean in the morning before studies. It's actually starting to look nice.

 I gave a spiritual thought in class after we taught the lesson. I guess I did ok, I am improving a little at a time. I am also trying to memorize the sacrament prayer in Viet. 

Love you all to death and I will see ya next week. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 4 in the Field: Finding Lost Sheep

This week was a pretty big (wild) goose chase.

I was looking through all of our files… since it seemed like they haven't been touched in a while. I found a couple inactive members that I felt we could help come back to activity. Their names were Em Phong and Chu Thang.
Em phong was baptized when he was 14 and has been inactive for almost two years. There was an old map of his house but no phone number or anything. Chu Thang is like in his 60's and they didn't know anything about this guy other than that he was baptized a long, long time ago.

We started with Em Phong and went over to the building (the record) said he used to live. We asked some people around the area if they had heard of him, and we got a lead that a kid with that name worked as a delivery boy for an air conditioning company. We followed said lead and went to his work.

The lady in front said that he did (in fact) work there and that he should be coming back from a delivery any minute. We waited creepily for the kid. He came back and he was like, "Hey! I haven't seen you guys in a while." (haha)  He said he was getting off work in like five minutes and that we could come to his house if we wanted.
We went to his house and he let us teach him a lesson. He said he was super glad to see us, and that he will try and come to church again. We also asked him if he would help us find other people who might be interested to hear about the Church, and he said he would! That was so cool!

Then there is Chu Thang, this old sucker was pretty hard to find. We managed to acquire an old phone number of his and called there and got a lead to a little village out in the boonies of the city. We asked around there and we got his number. We called him and he said he would meet with us!  

We found him on his moto (motorcycle) and he said to follow him to his house. I thought he would like drive slow or something, but he just took off! (haha)  We were literally chasing this old dude around these little roads! (haha) We finally caught up to him and he lives by a different railroad in a group of little shacks on stilts over yet another sludgy poop river. (haha)  So nice.

We started to teach him and a guy came in and asked Chu Thang who we were. He told him we were missionaries and invited him to listen to our lesson. It quickly turned into a lesson for this new guy and Chu Thang like taught him with us, bearing his testimony and explaining hard concepts. It was truly amazing.
We invited this guy to be baptized and he said he wasn't sure… but he wanted to keep learning. Chu Thang also said that he wanted to try and come back to church and that he would help us any time we need him to find other people to teach. He is amazing.

We found these people who haven't been found in years! I am grateful for that.

Next, we got our investigator Chu Hai to come to church again, he had such a good time. Everyone calls him the “Eternal Investigator” because he has been learning forever!  My teachers in the MTC even taught him. (haha) But now he says is ready to try again for baptism and he says that this time he is going to do it!

I gave him a white shirt of mine and my favorite tie. I know he will do it this time. We are now teaching the English class that was set up. Our Viet class last week had a grand total of zero people come. This week, my companion and I made signs and danced around and stuff in front of the church, and pulled people in. We had 17 people in our class this week.

I talked to one guy who shared an amazing experience with me. He said he has no money and his family is too poor to support him. He has been praying to be able to learn English so that he can get a better job and help his family. I bore my testimony that God answers our prayers and will always listen. He took a Book of Mormon and said he wanted to read it. That class alone resulted in 8 return appointments to learn about the Gospel.

This all just shows that our Heavenly Father requires action and effort from us before he can give us miracles.

Well this is by far the longest email ever so I am going to be done. I have to go get a haircut and stuff.

Here's some more pics:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 3 in the Field: My first Pottifar's Wife Experience

So yeah! We got 96 contacts this week and doubled our lessons from the week before.

I am constantly asking myself, "will I make this area better than when I came?" That really motivates me to do better and better. We are working pretty hard and I am super happy.

I think I will be in Cambodia for at least 3 transfers, probably more.

Khmer is fun and I have contacted in Khmer already.

I love to just meet new people and find out everyone's amazing stories!

OK... not to brag (haha), but I get so many people tell me that I am "pretty". It gets annoying when I am trying to contact. The girls like whisper to each other and then look at me and giggle, which means I am either funny looking...or the other. I did have a couple interesting experiences with that already.

One lady like yelled out while I was riding by, "Goodbye Handsome Man!". Made me laugh super hard (haha) and Then we were contacting and this lady like asked me to follow her and then stopped me and said some things I won't first like Pottifar's wife experience (hahaha). I just said thank you but no, and then said I had to go. Plus I think she was on drugs.

My companion is cool. I actually asked about the whole "beautiful" thing and (according to him) they say that they think Americans are good looking... but they think that half Asians are super good looking or something, I don't understand it at all (haha).

On P day we wake up and go to the phsaa which is Khmer for market ( seiu thi in viet) and get some groceries. The meat is all like hanging on hooks with flies and stuff on it. Then we usually get eggs, rice and fruit and stuff. After that, we do studies and then go to the internet shop to email. Usually we spend like two hours or so which is not enough time at all.

Today we are going to the new market which is like the tourist spot for Phnom Penh and then to soccer. We always play soccer, it is fun but I just kinda mess around cause no one is like super good. I like it a lot though.

Then we come back to change and go out to do the work. We have like seven lessons planned for today... which means we will probably teach maybe two.

Ummm... this last week was super cool. We went on exchanges for a day and I went with elder Coung. He is super. We went out to the kilo's which is like in the provinces of Phnom Penh. There are a lot of fields and cows and stuff. We went out to the these houses over the poop water, walking all along these things they call monkey bridges. They are like little wood planks over the poop rivers. Even scarier than the last one for sure. This water is like up to your chest. They are not sturdy (haha).

Then we went to contact this lady. We were told she spoke Vietnamese. She makes food by the railroad and I started to talk to her all by myself for once, which was super nice. I asked her some questions and then asked her if I could share a message with her about our church. She was super busy but agreed to listen. I asked her about her religion. She said Buddhist, which is super common. When I asked her what she thought the purpose of life here was, she looked at me all teary eyed, and said "I don't know". It like broke my heart and made me excited at the same time. I feel so sad that she doesn't have the gospel in her life... yet happy because I get to share it with her. :). So I told her about eternal families and our life on earth as she listened really well. I was so happy that she wanted a pamphlet and she started reading it right away. She wanted to meet again which is super cool.

Yeah... And then we had a birthday party type thing for these two elders, and that was super fun and one of the elders made a cake and it was super good. well that was my week, hope everyone is doing well!