Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

My little piece of the land of the free 
and home of the brave (baby).
I'M AMERICAN. I know it. I live it. I love it. 

Supposedly one of the days last week the temperature got up to 47 degrees! I did the math and that's 116 Fahrenheit! What the heck?! I think I remember it, too--I don't remember which day; I just remember it being unbearably hot last week. Haha. It was tight, though. The longer I'm out here, the more Cambodians tell me how black I am for a white person, and they think it's funny that I want to be black like them. Also the less active individual that told me it got up to 47 isn't the most reliable source of information (since I asked him if he would go to church and then he said he would for sure, and then DIDN'T). So if somebody could fact check that, that would be great (legitimate request for information, or just wanting someone to email me? you'll have to risk it and find out). [Editor's note: I looked it up. The high temperature for last week was 102 F, but with the humidity, it felt like 120!]

 Grilling. Perpetuating the deforestation of Cambodia
 one piece of charcoal at a time. 
[Colette, look! He's wearing the jandals you gave him.]

So for any prospective Cambodian missionaries (I know huge audience, haha): COMPARE THE GOSPEL TO COOKING. A lot of times we get people that either just don't want to understand what we teach, or just can't. So we try analogies all the time. One of the people we were teaching just did NOT get the point of the gospel and having to do all the things in it. (It was just mostly that she didn't understand the point of going to church.) So we compared the gospel to the ingredients in curry--with church attendance being the meat. And I basically just explained that curry can't be delicious even if you forget just one ingredient. Well, actually the cool part was that she explained that to us. And then we were like, "Ming! It's just like the gospel!" and she like understood it completely We were super excited and were about to close this fire lesson when she tells us...that she is going to be busy for the whole month of June, so we can't come back any more. Haha. But, hey! We learned that cooking is a good way to teach! 

The whole Chaktomuk ward!

So from the onset of this week, I was super tired. I don't know why. I was going to bed and getting up right on time every day and eating enough food. And for the first few days of the week this was turning into frustration at about 4 or 5 in the afternoon--frustration with myself and with constant rejection. One night I was just reflecting on my day and realizing that we teach so much about peace and happiness, but I am not even applying those concepts in my own life. I have been teaching about how having the gospel and attending church can give you blessings when I wasn't even taking time to appreciate those blessings for myself. So that night I prayed that God would help me feel peace and happiness as I helped Him save people. The next day the tiredness was still there, but as long as I kept my head up and kept working, I felt happy. As long as I was teaching people, I felt the peace that what I was teaching them is true. 

Phnom Penh is my hood! 
Not really, but give it 2 more years and maybe...

So thank you for taking the time to read this! I know there are so many other things you could be doing, but if there is anything you could get out of this email, it is: Don't forget that peace and happiness from God--anytime you feel a lack thereof--is just a sincere prayer away. 

Love, Elder Hall

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