Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 13: Turning 20 in Cambodia

This week was a huge improvement from last week, as far as floods and thieves go. Monday was pretty exciting! I had been told for the past week by every missionary I came in contact with that I had received a package! I was waiting to get them from the mission home so it would feel more like I was opening them on my birthday. So we went to lunch at this place called USA Donuts. They have like Cambodia famous donuts and food. 

We got lunch there and I got an Apple bear claw. It was a pretty darn good. Then we headed over to the mission home to get the packages. I strapped em' down to my bike and I kept one hand on them at all times. I am a little paranoid still about getting stuff stolen...

 Tuesday was pretty fun. We went to a member's house after studies to help him wash and re- paint his cart that he uses to sell his little bread creations. We decided that red was the best color. After about an hour it was looking brand spanking new!

After that, we went to go contact a little bit on the main road before an appointment we had set up with an investigator. We started to contact and group of motorcycle taxis. They all wanted to learn English and we passed out a few fliers for that. I was pretty surprised when one the Taxi drivers turned to me and said, "You are very cute." in broken Khmer/English. (haha)..

Later, we met with our investigator Chu Phong. He is really nice guy and loves to have us over. He made us agree to eat the dinner that they had prepared for us. First, he began setting out cans of Alcohol for us, four each. We explained that we have something called the Word of Wisdom and that we don't drink things like that. He said sorry and gave us some water. Then his wife brought out the food… three different dishes of fish because of a slight communication error from an earlier conversation. They thought that I told them that “I love to eat different kinds of seafood more than anything else”, instead of I don't much like seafood”.

I prepared myself mentally, as we set out the plates and said the prayer. It was actually pretty good, they she brought out a dish of little fish about the size of your index finger in some sort of green sauce. She said that these were really good and we would have to worry about the bones because these fish we could just eat whole. I find out pretty quickly that these fish had not been gutted. (haha Suffice to say… not my favorite dish.
We went home feeling a little un-easy about the whole thing.

I forgot! Tuesday was also my birthday! I lit a few incense candles that I had received and my companion and I shared some candy in celebration of my big 20. 

Wednesday! We went to meet what we call our Eternal Investigator, Chu Hai, who has been learning for around five years now. He has been close to getting baptized for about two months now, but his wife was never interested in learning...until now! We talk about the Temple and how in the temple we can be sealed to family and married for eternity. She got really excited about that thought and now she is learning with us. She has told me that she really wants to get married and they have both agreed to let us throw them a wedding :) 

Thursday was a real treat. We had decided that we would refer an investigator of ours to the sister missionaries. We went to her house and her sisters were both there visiting. One was from Vietnam and she started asking us questions. Both the sisters were probably double my age, but that didn't stop them from asking if I had a wife yet and if I was looking. I answered, "no" to both questions but that didn't stop her. 

After the lesson she jumped up and started grabbing my cheeks saying that she wished she had a child that looked like me that she could hold and kiss all day. I took that as my queue to leave. As I was unlocking our bikes, she asked me for my phone number and asked if I wanted to go grab a coffee sometime, she just didn't know when to quit! I told her that we didn't drink coffee and the sisters could tell her more about why.  Thursday was interesting. 

Friday! We had an exchange with our zone leaders on Friday. I went with Elder Cuong, or Pham in English. I really was taught a lesson on the importance of planning. I was going to be the one leading the day so I had to plan the lessons we would be teaching. I spent a long time thinking and thinking. I just decided to teach a simple lesson to both of the investigators we had planned I planned a lot of scriptures and back-ups for them if the lessons weren't what they really needed. We had our lessons and I was amazing that the lessons I had planned seemed to fit like a puzzle piece to what the investigator needed. I know that if I hadn't taken my time and really thought about them and their needs, our lessons would not have worked out. 

On Saturday, I woke up and felt like I was going to die. I felt like I needed to throw up all night Friday, but assumed it was nothing. In the morning, I had ridiculously high fever and still felt like I was about to throw up. I forced myself through studies, but the sick feeling just
got worse. I took some medicine and it didn't help. We would exchange back to our usual companion at lunch so we just waited it out. We made some curry together during our lunch hour. Luckily my mom left really easy instructions for us or it would have been a disaster. It smelled great but I didn't have an appetite. We decided it would best for me to just sleep it off. I napped for a few hours and I woke up to a puddle of sweat, but on the bright side, my fever was practically gone. It was a miracle. 

This Sunday was great! No floods this time :) I realized during priesthood meeting that for the past four months, my life has been a giant game of charades. I haven't been able to understand very much of what goes on, so I just try and guess based off of the hand gestures and facial expressions of the person talking. I found myself laughing out loud during a story someone was telling that involved something dancing around the room. 

Sunday Night was a night I don't think I will ever forget. We had a family night at President Lam's house again. We had a short spiritual thought and played a fun game where we pass quarters two each other with spoons and forks. After, I thought we would just end and go home, but they turned off all the lights instead. I thought it was another game or something, but then they came out with a cake and a lone candle on top. Of course the cake was carrot. I'm not gonna lie, I got choked up. They heard about my stuff getting stolen and that it was my birthday this week. I made a wish and blew out my candle. I am so grateful for such a loving Branch with such amazingly caring people. They have truly helped my feel at home here.

Last thing for the update: Transfer Calls came. It only seemed fair that just as I became comfortable here in Branch 3, I would be getting transferred to Branch 10. I will be serving in a trio with both the Zone Leaders. I guess that doesn't happen very often. I am both super excited and super sad to be leaving. I am really going to miss these people.

I have such a testimony that Heavenly Father truly prepares people for the Gospel. I know that through love, we can change people's lives… and without love, we cannot teach. I know that Heavenly Father knows each and every one of his children and that if we rely on him and his plan for us, we will find true happiness in this life. I love you all so much, and I hope you have an amazing week as well. 

Love, Elder Morris

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