Friday, September 12, 2014

Week 9 In the Field: Don't Think You'll Never Get Old !

This Week has been a blast! 

So much has happened and I can't believe this week is already over! Ok where do I start? I know, first things first, on P-day a few of us went the new market. I went in to look around. I decided to get a watch. The lady said it was for 15 dollars and using charm and little luck, I successfully bartered her down to 4 dollars. The reason I say I used some charm is because when she finally gave in she declared, ähh you are a very smart American...So charming!" haha I got a kick out of that. Then we went and played some soccer.

Tuesday was an interesting day as well. We had our district meeting and fixed and reorganized all of our Convert Baptismal Records (CBR's) and then we had a lesson with our investigator Chu Si. He is a really nice guy who has been learning for a while and has a desire to be baptized. We wanted to teach our lesson at the church and were able to get our Branch President to teach the lesson with us.

Well, we were about five minutes into teaching when this white guy comes running through the doors! He seemed frantic and I stood up to greet him and he asked me,  Are you Christian?" I answered, "Yes, we are members of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints". He then said "good." and went on explaining that the end of the world was coming!

He said that he and some friends of his have been researching and have figured out that on the 24th of September, the world would have a huge economic crisis, an earthquake, and then Palestine would announce the end of the world.

I couldn't help but answer, Äww man, looks like I won't be turning 20 after all".  He disregarded my comment and continued on saying that there is a guy named like mayagey (Magog?) or something that will bring the destruction of the planet.

I asked öh really?" and he promptly replied, "Yes! he is even on Wikipedia." I thanked him for the warning and then took his name and number and offered to talk more about what our church believes on these things, and he agreed but only after the 24th because he had to see if he was right or not. (haha)

After that exchange, we went back to teaching Chu Si. We got about five more minutes into the lesson and another man walked in, this time a little quieter. I asked what he needed and he said he was there to learn English I explained to him when English class started, and he understood. So he said he wanted to wait until English class. We agreed, gave him some water and went on with our lesson. We talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how repentance and baptism will bless his whole family along with himself. We committed him to getting baptized on the 21st, just before the end of the world. He accepted!

Then we taught English class and had an great time, we had 15 people there I think and they all had a great time as well… I love teaching that class. The boy who waited for an hour and a half for class is named Bunthy. He is a college student who knows a little English already, but his friends know more than he does so they kind of make fun of him for not knowing very much.

I promised Bunthy that we would be able to help him speak even better than he already did.
After class we went to the Khmer companionship and said he wanted to learn about Jesus Christ! Now he is learning the Gospel with them. That was so cool… Some people are just so prepared for the gospel.

Ok so Thursday was so much fun! We decided we would go out to Kilometer 11 which is a decently long bike ride on a pretty dusty road. So along the sides of the road are these long trailer type transport carts called “Lamonts”. They are pulled by a little moto bike and the drivers just park on the side of the road and wait for customers. Anyways, we were about to Kilometer 5, riding pretty fast.

I looked up and got a blast of dirt in my eyes, I looked down to blink out the dirt… when I looked up, I noticed I was looking at the back of a parked Lamont. I crashed right into the back, flew off the bike, and smashed into one of the metal support beams.

Supporting my theory that I am actually Superman, I broke the metal beam in half. After peeling myself from the concrete, I proceeded to do a damage report of my bike. The handlebars were bent a little, I broke my water bottle and my cute little bike basket was shredded. Nevertheless, I came out of the whole thing pretty much unscathed.
After apologizing to the lamont driver and the crowd of people that had come to see if I was alive or not, I found my companion waiting for me and we continued to teach an investigator in Kilometer 9 instead. We called and he said to come on over and that he had already prepared a wondrous meal for us which scared me a little because he doesn't eat very normal things (even for a Vietnamese).

We arrived and he ushered us into his shack. In the dim light I could see what he had prepared for us... It was three little grilled chicken heads on a plate, one for each of us. On the bright side, he bought a loaf of bread to go with it. People here don't have a lot of money, so I am super grateful for him and his generous nature. We didn't dare deny such a bounteous meal, mostly because that isn't good manners. So we just dug in. It was mostly just fat and skin, but it really isn't so bad. Tasted like chicken... kind of. Then we taught him about the Articles of Faith and took some pictures with him and left.

I will finish this week’s post with Sunday. This Fast Sunday was really special to me. We got ready and left for church. When we got there, one of the lost members that we found a few weeks ago (Em Phong) was there at the church waiting at the door to greet us!  I was so happy to see him, he was all dressed up for church and seemed happy to be there. After welcoming him to church, I walked in and saw two of our investigators (Chu Si and Chu Thanh, the one who gave us chicken) sitting together just talking. I also saw a recent convert sitting down (Em Da Ny) and another Inactive member ( Chi Hong). I was so happy to see all the people he had been inviting to come to church sitting in their seats!

Then sacrament starting and about halfway through the opening hymn, two of the sister missionaries' investigators walked in with a lost member that we found (Chu Thang) and two of our other investigators (Chu Hai and Chu Hung).
I can't express the happiness I was feeling. I immediately went back to sit with them. I placed myself in between Chu Hung and Chu Hai and helped them figure out the hymn. Then as the Sacrament was about to be blessed, I just offered a silent prayer of thanks to our Heavenly Father. The Spirit was overwhelming that I couldn't help but tear up. My testimony of the power of prayer has been strengthened. I could feel Heavenly Father's love for our investigators. I felt just a fraction of the joy that Heavenly Father was feeling because his children were finally reaching out to him.
Then we got to teach Gospel Principles class. We had the most people ever, so far. So many youth! We taught about Faith in Jesus Christ and they were all so involved in the lesson. Em Phong made friends so fast that they all exchanged numbers after class, so cute.
Then it was time for priesthood. I took my seat next to Elder Bailey, who is a senior missionary. He always has a translator and that is usually Elder Barker. For the life of me, I don't know why I offered to translate for him but I did. It was rough, but I got through an entire class translating for him… Especially when he testified of the sacrifices that Christ made for us., but was the easiest part. I apologized to him after the class because even though he had a smile on his face, I know I did a terrible job in comparison to a real translator. (haha)

Oh!  I almost forgot. In testimony meeting we had another crazy experience I would like to call the Ong Luong Fiasco of 2014. Ong Luong is like… in his 90's and is pretty senile. He sometimes gets up and shared in testimony meeting, always about corruption in the church and government, so we all sat up in our seats in preparation for the upcoming speech. As expected, he opened up his blue conspiracy folder and starting ranting about corruption. He had to be escorted back to his seat and as he was nearing his seat, he shoved off the person helping him and pointed at the crowd and yelled out, "DON'T THINK YOU'LL NEVER GET OLD!!". No one could help it, we all started cracking up. I also felt bad.. but it was pretty funny.  (haha)  

Ok everyone! This week was crazy but I gotta go… 

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