Monday, March 30, 2015

Four Faces

Being in Cambodia is most definitely the coolest and most interesting experience of my life

Monument honoring the late King Norodom Sihanouk

So this past week has been absolutely crazy. We flew out here to Cambodia, all of the process was super insignificant except for when we actually arrived in Cambodia. We got here in the thick of the heat and surprisingly it was the same kind of heat that I had been working with Brother Bergstrom in over the summer. I'm not gonna lie its super hot. But I have had a bit of experience with super hot living Texas my whole life. So Ill be alright. 

Phnom Penh airport

Anyways we got here and went straight to the mission home and on our way I took a video of the traffic. Which should be on the Google drive. I was baffled haha. I also didn't know that in just a few hours I would be biking in it. So anyways we get to the mission home and nothing super cool happens we just sleep over for the night and the next morning we get our new companions and areas. So I was assigned to Chaktomuk area with elder Gardiner from West Valley UT. Chaktomuk means "four faces"and its the area right up against the Mekong river on the southeast part of Phnom Penh. 

So if anyone has seen Skyfall recently there is a scene right in the first few minutes where he is following a guy and then he runs out side and there's a street with just chaos going by and tons of motorcycles and mopeds and noise. That's straight up what I see when I step outside every single morning. It is AWESOME. I wish I had time to take more pictures but I'm trying to make the people that live by me not think I'm a tourist so I don't take pictures and I make sure I say all the words with a good Cambodian accent. Yesterday I was buying soap from this shop like right outside our house and there were two brands and he was like asking which one I wanted and I said "muay na kobaan" which means like "either one" and he started cracking up because I was white and i knew like a few words in Khmer. I actually didn't understand why he was laughing at first so I had to ask my companion later and that's what he told me. 

So there are also three main smells that I have seemed to mainly smell here in the city. 1. Rubber and tires 2. burning wood/ campfire smell 3. fish that are either being cooked or rotting. All of the smells that I have smelled here consist of one or two of these smells. In fact the rubber and campfire combination isn't that bad, and the campfire and fish isn't that bad either, but when you combine the fish and rubber it makes me almost gag. But it's all good...I have 2 years to get used to it.

I have a whole new perspective on traffic lights and it only took 3 days. Right after my mission I'll probably rack up a few tickets from running red lights. But let me explain: There are basically three types of roads. Big, Medium, and Small. So when two big roads intersect they usually have a traffic light. Which most people obey and would be dangerous  not to, but the people that really need to be somewhere can make it across fine. And as the light starts to count down (they have timers, which if they didn't I feel like they would totally ignore the lights altogether) at about 5 seconds left everyone just starts going. So here is where I needed to practice because taking a right turn and going straight is super easy but turning left is tricky (yes, I may need to mention that the roads are just like the US, they drive on the right). SO here is what you do. you go left before anyone starts across the intersection coming from the other side, and you start riding into oncoming traffic (mom just try to imagine that the cars and motos are made out of pillows) so then once you are on the very left side of the road you wait till there is a break and you shoot over across however many lanes of oncoming traffic there are, and then you go all the way across the lanes that are going your direction to get to the very right side of the road and then you're good to go. Until you need to make another left turn.

I believe this is Elder Gardiner. I found it on Elder Nhem's (right) blog. 

 I will talk more about the people we teach in next weeks email I just wanted to like create a setting for each lesson so you actually know what its like.

Love, Elder Hall

Wyatt's Travelog in pictures:

At the MTC, ready to go.

Getting psyched to bike all over Cambodia for 2 years.

Time to go: at the MTC travel office.

Waiting for shuttle to SLC airport with Elder Osborn.

SLC airport


Missionaries can't watch movies on the flights, so they watch the map.

Hong Kong airport?

About to arrive in Phnom Penh

Last companionship selfie with Elder Ros

Cambodia, Phnom Penh mission home

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

And We're Off!

Wyatt's MTC District (from Elder Ros's email)

Elder Hall had a lot of packing to do, so he didn't have much time to email. Here's a snippet of the email he sent me (his mom).

"So here I am, last week of the MTC man. This is crazy. I cant believe Im leaving to Cambodia and starting my real mission. I guess the only thing I can say is that I am ready to just go out there put my head down and get to work. 

"Ok. I don't have any pictures and I don't have an email since I have been packing all day so you can just tell them that. I'm sorry"

Last photo at the MTC (From Sis Sheffield)

Here's a snippet from his companion's (Elder Ros) letter that mentions Wyatt:

"One more thing, as me and the district travels to Cambodia, over there we'll meet completely new companions.... It's going to suck to me completely new companions.... It's going to suck to leave my awesome and phenomenal companion Elder Hall! We have such a strong brotherhood companionship bond with each other it's not even funny. God bless you Elder Hall it's in my prayers that you'll do great with your trainer."

We also talked to him in the SLC airport tonight for about 30 minutes. He sounds happy and excited! He recited the alphabet in Cambodian, counted to 10, and bore his testimony. Hopefully, we'll hear from the mission president in a couple of days that he made it safely!

Angkor Wat

Update--I found this on Sis Sheffield's blog: "QOTW (quote of the week): 'I love going to yoga at the country club by my house. They work your hips so much. Afterwards I felt like a new-born baby trying to walk for the first time'- Elder Hall"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Travel Plans and Visas Have Arrived!

Well I decided to do something about how much weight I have gained here and challenged my friend to a competition. To see if I could gain more weight in one week than he could lose. Don't worry mom I think it's becoming muscle weight because it isn't showing up anywhere else. Actually it could be my brain. I feel like the Cambodian language could probably weigh about 15 pounds so maybe that's it. 

Yes I have my travel date. So I leave the MTC at 3ish on Tuesday the 24th. Then I fly from SLC to LAX at 7 PM and from there to Hong Kong at 11:30 PM California time. So I have like a 3 hour layover. The flight from LAX to Hong Kong is 16 hours so it will either be nice to catch up on sleep or it will suck because I will get really bored and not be able to sleep. So in the process of that flight I will cross the International Date Line and experience the shortest day of my entire life. I will literally spend like 5 hours experiencing March 25th, 2015. So I get in to HK at 6 AM and then 2 hours later we fly to CAMBODIA. I will step foot in Cambodia for the first time at 10 AM on March 26th, 2015.

I am beyond excited to be there, mostly to serve the people of Cambodia but like 4 percent of it is so I can finally have something for people to read when I send emails home. I cant wait to have real investigators, real doors slammed in my face, real conversions, and real baptisms. The reality of me being in a foreign country for a whole two years is starting to set in and I can't believe I have such an amazing opportunity. 

Spiritual Thought of the Week: A lot of my recent scripture study has been in the New Testament and I just started so don't laugh at me but I'm in Mark chapter 15 where the multitude is condemning Jesus to death. Pilate is literally like "what the heck why do you guys want to kill this innocent man who just didn't say a word about all of the accusations you brought against him?" and the next part is what strikes me. The multitude rather than answering just kept yelling "crucify him." So I think this is how Satan works sometimes. He can sometimes get us to forget about reason and just get caught up in our emotion so strongly that they literally crucify the Savior of mankind. So we need to always check our emotion and remember, is this good? Don't get me wrong, emotion is good, but sometimes it can cause us to make rash decisions, just like Satan wants us to do. So we just have to be careful.

SO tune in next week for my email recapping each member of my district in honor of our departure into the field. 

I love all of you guys!

Elder Hall

Me and my travel info.

Elder Palmer and I in Sacrament Meeting. 

I swear this is his actual face. somebody just said before this picture -elder ros picture yourself in the forest... squatting down next to a peacefully flowing stream...taking a dump-

Elder Lambert playing piano.

I (Becky Hall) got an email from Elder Ros, too. I thought I would share what he wrote about Wyatt. It makes me smile:

"Well, I have less than 8 days left until I go and invite so many of my own people and family to Christ! It seems like the time I spent in the Provo MTC went by so fast as I reviewed how I spent my time in the Provo MTC, listening to all my Lookkruus and all of the missionaries testimonies in my branch, and after all I trained in here! I love my Teacher/ Lookkruus and Zone so much. Best of all, I love my companion Elder Hall, we trained so hard together as brothers, doing our best to teach with the spirit, speak with the spirit, continue to prepare with love, and learn everyday. We're going to have a hard time separating ounce we come to Cambodia to meet our new Senior Missionaries soon. Will be updating in next P-day before I depart start to Depart to Cambodia... I hope. Hahaha I love and missed the Syracuse Ward, Syracuse Community, and most of all my family including my Pomeranian dog "Prince". 

Monday, March 9, 2015

I Could Pass Kindergarten in Cambodia


This coming week is my second to last week in the MTC and while its been super fun here, I cannot wait to leave to Cambodia. I am starting to be able to read Cambodian at maybe an english readers kindergarten pace. And there are about two words per verse that I cant understand and it usually ends up being names like "Laban" and "Lemuel" and then I feel really stupid because its pronounced just like it is in English lol. Also words like "abhor" and other really complicated words in english I always have to look up. Anyways, not much to report considering the most interesting plot twist of my week was moving the cambodian flag from the chalkboard to hanging in the back of the room so that we can use the chalk board. I love everyone! And just remember to make sure that when the Lords "wedding" comes you will have the wedding garment on and not get cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22)! Pip pip cheerio! Im just kidding I cant end like that. Ummmm be like the stripling warriors and do not doubt God so that He can deliver you! (Alma 56:47-48)

Love, Elder Hall

Monday, March 2, 2015 pounds

I don't really have much to report, except I think its way warmer here than it is in Texas (I would expect nothing less from that bipolar state). OH! And I have gained like 15 pounds since I have been here. lol I dont even know where it's going because my waist isn't getting any bigger and neither is my neck, so I think it has to be muscle mass which wouldn't make sense because we only get like 45 min a day to run around in gym, during which time I usually run a half a mile and play basketball... so IDK whats happening. It's not the scale either because I have been weighing myself consistently since I have been here. 

Yeah I know not the most interesting things happening. All of the people in my zone that are older than me are gone as of yesterday so we are the next district to leave, which is in three weeks, and then I promise people will read my emails. 

Life is good. And I cant wait to leave for Cambodia.

Elder Hall

Here's a video Wyatt also sent us:

"I promise that I know way more cambodian than I showed you in the video, i was just saying things that you would probably recognize a little."

Wyatt also bumped into Kayla Stonely, a BYU student from Trophy Club. She sent us this picture.