Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week 35: "she said that I should know everything"

This week was awesome!

Monday:  I have been feeling that my District is having some trouble and we needed more bonding time. Therefore, I organized a zone bowling activity for P day. It was great. We went to a Japanese place and ate curry rice, and then we bowled to our heart's content! ...and I won too. Who knew I figured out how to bowl. 

Tuesday: was a little bit  ehhh. Just because we made plans for like 8 lessons....and only ended up getting one. It all good though because that one lesson was really goodJ Oh and I guess the mission has a list of people with singing ability so somehow I got put onto a list of people to sing at an upcoming Conference, where Elder Gerritt Gong of the Seventy would be coming. We had rehearsal and it went really well. They needed my to do bass in the Vietnamese part and then I had to sing in Khmer for the tenor part and then sang the melody for the English verse. It was a good practice though. 

Wednesday we met with our new investigator who sells sandwiches by this huge group of buildings that people use to throw wedding celebrations. It is out in a parking lot and there is no shade. We almost died sharing with him but he is a great learner. Then we tried again to do an English class, but once again we still only had one person come. We had a meeting of how we can improve the class and have decided to do a lemonade stand with handouts and things. I will keep you posted on that one! 

Thursday started out rough but ended up being pretty stellar! We met with a less active member...and it went really well. She accepted the challenge to try and come back to church and to develop her faith more by starting to read and pray everyday. 
Later, we had an insane lesson. We got a referral from some other elders and she finally said that she could meet with us....  She told us this really amazing story about how she had sacrificed living comfortably with her family so that she can go to school in the hopes to start a business so that her children with have a future. But I did not see this coming... After we started to share about the Gospel and the Book of Mormon... all of a sudden started asking questions about the Bible and said that she had studied in Bible school for like 13 years. She began testing me and I answered all the questions but one. I told her that we would love to answer all of them for her... but maybe in the next lesson. She kind of got mad and asked me how I would be able to teach her, if I didn't know anything. Ugh... I told her that there is no way I could know everything. But her answer was that I should know everything. She told me that I need to be better, if I expect to teach anyone out here. To be honest, I wanted to tell her off and throw out a bunch of scriptures and stuff, but I just said that I would try harder and that we would love to meet her again. I hope she meets us again. 

Friday was the big conference! We had the best training with Elder Gong. We shared and learned a bunch of new stuff. Then after we ate some wicked pasta, we sang the musical number. It went really well. People didn't think I sing. Honestly, I don't... except in the shower. But people were surprised so, that was cool. 
Right after the conference, I was feeling the spirit pretty strong and had a huge desire to apply the stuff we had learned. So we went contacting... and some cool stuff happened. 
We found a little family on the top of this building. I asked a few simple questions about his family and then shot him the question, "If I told you that you could live with them (his family) forever, how would you feel?" I testified to him, right then and there that he can!.. and that this gospel and this Church are true. He was very excited and gave me his number. This exact same thing happened two more times that day. It was pretty amazing. 
This was a huge testimony builder to me, that you never have to coax, trick, or sneak your way into sharing the message of the Restoration. Because it is true. They have all heard it before. We are only helping them remember. I saw the Light of Christ working inside them as they pondered the questions we asked and the testimonies we shared. I am grateful for that experience. 

Saturday  we had a big meeting helping the District presidency plan for the District conference coming up this month. I was surprised at how much they wanted to know our opinions. These are fully grown men asking a couple of 20 year old's for thoughts and advice. We got a lot done and then after that we taught a lesson, and then swung by a few members houses to invite them to come to church. Then we had an activity where we shared the mormon message titled, "Leave the Party". It was great. I got to translate it for the youth and shared a brief testimony of standing in holy places. 

Sunday was a doozy. A good number of our Less Actives came to church... which was awesome! After that we taught Sunday school and priesthood. The young men don't have a great desire to attend the class... let alone learn, so I tried a different approach by telling them to ask any question they could think of about the gospel... and we would find the answers together in the scriptures. It went amazingly. We shared about whether or not Christ had a body before this life. I don't know why that one is so frequently asked. Ether 3 has the answer to that. Second was a question about the Three Nephites. Some in the class didn't believe we had people on the earth like that. We opened to 3rd Nephi 28 I think, and answered that question. 
After church we had to go out to branch six and get a few forms signed for the recent converts over there. (30 minute bike ride). Then we had an appointment with a Less Active member in Branch 3 (90 minutes)... a long bike ride. Worth it though. He is one of my favorite people that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Well this week was pretty great! Hope you all have a good one too! 

Love you all, 
Elder Morris

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 34: I have been praying so hard for a miracle to happen.

Ok this week was amazing! 

Monday we pretty much just hung out with the elders from Vietnam after studies. It was fun. They went back to their areas and are happy now. We had a lesson with some members so I thought it would be a prime opportunity to spring the lesson on the new guy, Elder Quoach. I know, I’m a meanie… but that's how you learn. He did awesome anyways! I just supported his thoughts, and it all went great.

Tuesday I shared the district meeting lesson on The Holy Ghost and about recognizing the spirit; I also shared about the Light of Christ. I love learning about this subject… and it just so happens that one of my all-time favorite apostle shares a lot about it as well. Everyone should watch the 3 part video called Patterns of Light by Elder David A. Bednar.

Wednesday we had lunch at a member's house… and it was awesome. They are preparing to go to the Salt Lake temple when they go to General Conference. I am so excited for them. They are a little better-off than most, because the husband, Bun Ly is a big movie start/ movie maker here in Cambodia.
That afternoon we went over to a member family's house because our investigator is best friends with them. We had a really great talk about why the members are so important, and then we invited them to help bring the investigator to the waters of Baptism. They said yes. Things are really going great. 

Thursday was weekly planning. Everything went smoothly and we planned for yet another awesome week! Then we went over to our District President's house to kind of coordinate a little on the upcoming events for our Branch. 

Friday we went to visit a less active member and instead ended up sharing with her father. We shared the first lesson and I invited him to be baptized by the proper authority. He said he was interested in learning more, but wasn't sure yet if baptism was right for him. We will continue teaching him and see where that goes. I have high hopes :)
Then we found out that our Branch President's son had moved back home, and he has a new wife who happens to be Buddhist… and wants to learn, so we will start teaching her as well!

One of my favorite families in the world made a tough decision this week and it was difficult to hear about during our lesson with them. They have decided to let their kids stay in Vietnam to study, instead of living with them in Cambodia. They only want them to have a bright future, and know they can't have that here. I will miss their two children dearly. They are really special.
That night we went over to an investigator's house and his mother had come back to visit for the holidays. She is Vietnamese, but lives in America. She lives in a Viet community in Atlanta, Georgia,  so we had a lot to talk about. She made me promise that when I come home I will come visit her and eat at her restaurant. 

Saturday we had an awesome special training session from President Moon and sister Moon. They taught us about obedience and happiness. It was weird because we kind of talked about life after the mission too. President Moon shared an amazing quote. After that we had another meeting with the District presidency… and then another that evening with the Branch Presidency. Sometimes I feel more like an administrator than a missionary. It's really great though, I am learning a lot. 

“When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”
Ezra Taft Benson

Finally, Sunday! It was fast Sunday! I love fast Sundays. We went to Church and had an amazing fast and testimony meeting. Afterwards, I shared a lesson with the youth about Christ and how He is our example. How we need to let our lights shine and follow that example and share it with others. After we went home and studied, and then I had to go to Branch 6 to get some baptism papers signed! We had two baptisms in Branch 6. I am so grateful that I got to interview those two amazing people. Theirs were great baptisms.

I have been praying so hard for a miracle to happen. My companion and I even made it a weekly goal to have faith such that a miracle would happen for us. It came yesterday. I talked previously about the old lady by our house, who was really sick and had a big family… right? Well, we talked to another one of her daughters, and she wanted us to come and teach her a lesson. We went by there yesterday. She was on her way out, but she told us to wait a few minutes and she would be back. So we sat down with another man who was playing on his phone. We started with some small talk… which led to talking about the Gospel.
The man's name is Chu Long and he said he was baptized in 2006. He told us of how he was a teacher in the Gospel Doctrine class… and how he had had a disagreement with some members, so he left the Church because of it. He bore a strong testimony that he still knows the Gospel is true. I bore to him my testimony that this Gospel is true as well. This Church is the true church. And then the Spirit guided me to invite him to repent and come back into the fold of God. He said he wasn't sure.
By this time, the women we had intended to meet came back. We asked if we could share our message with her… and I invited Chu Long to stay and help teach with us. He accepted and we taught a great lesson on the restoration. He shared beautifully of the atonement and of how the First Vision really did happen. The spirit was so strong. I invited her to be baptized next month and she said yes. She prayed with us to know these things were true… and after the lesson, Chu Long pulled me aside. He proceeded to tell me how he hadn't felt that kind of love… and hadn't felt the Spirit like that in years.
Chu Long then asked if he could come back. I could barely hold back tears of joy as I promised him those feelings and his meeting with us was a gift from Heavenly Father. He said he would change his schedule so that he can help our new investigator (Chi Nhi) come to Church this Sunday.

I want to bear to you my testimony of the power of fasting and prayer. I know that this is His work. I also know that as we prayerfully and obediently seek them, we will see miracles. He has blessed me with the opportunity to see His hand in my life. This Church is true. This Gospel is true. I am so grateful for the mighty change that has… and is happening in my heart. I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Morris