Monday, June 22, 2015

Getting Acquainted with Siam Reap

Some architecture that I took a picture of on the way to the internet cafe 
(because I didn't have enough pictures for this week).

[Elder Hall didn't have time to send an email the distribution list this week--last week his distribution list got the email and I didn't :) So this post includes some excerpts from his email to me]

Thank you momma!

I love you too! Thank you for the spiritual thought too, because it helped to inspire me to apply that principle, because even though I can't visit the temple often, the next best thing is sincere prayer. So the more often I pray the better I will be able to recognize Satan's influence. Which ties in with D&C 10:5. So thank you. 

[This was my spiritual thought:  At the temple yesterday, I finished about 45 min before Dad did, so I sat in a chair and read Moses 1. Moses is visited by God and sees His creations and His glory. After all Moses' instruction, God leaves, and Moses is apparently unconscious/asleep for several hours. Almost immediately after he comes to, Satan appears and tries to get Moses to worship him. Moses says, "Um. I was just in the presence of God. I couldn't even look at Him without being transfigured, but you I can see with natural eyes. Where is your glory that I should worship you?" Then in Mos. 1:15 he says, "Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve." Because Moses has so recently beheld God's glory (and it still lingers with him), he is better able to discern good from evil. I applied this to myself and realized that frequent, regular temple attendance works the same way. When I go to the temple, I feel empowered by God to go back into the world and obey, serve, love, etc. If I return often enough, I will always be better equipped to see Satan and his temptations for who he is/what they are....And I believe that scripture study, prayer, family home evening, etc can work the same way.]

At a bus stop in Kampong Thom

This week a change of scene was really nice. Also having six elders in the same house is nice, because I feel more motivated to work hard due to every male's internal competitive side. There has been a lot of learning this last month. Ways to turn to the Savior: I have found that just thinking of Him in quiet moments, like when I'm showering, or when I go to bed helps. I am learning to shift my testimony to be firmly founded on Him. 

Birthday package...yes received. I have yet to celebrate, because I don't really ever have time haha, so if I find some time, I will put the candles in something and send you a picture.

On my birthday I rode my crappy new bike all over the city of Siam Reap getting oriented and finding members and less actives houses!  (Siam Reap in the city is not Cambodia. It's California. I'm not kidding, so many white people.) Then we ate at a Mexican restaurant for my birthday--I kind of just pretended like it was for my birthday--and went and taught a few people and had English class! Super fun day. 

Getting spiritually AND financially wealthier out here in Cambodia.
[That must be his birthday money he withdrew from his account.]

I have not seen Angkor Wat yet. It's not too far away from our house, though, so one of these p-days I will go and take plenty of pictures. Actually, before I leave Siam Reap I'll probably go there a few times. Don't worry. 

Elder Jones is my new companion, he leaves to go back home in a month and a half, so he knows Khmae reaallly well. He's also really into movies and I found out he likes Vampire Weekend yesterday. We had a tender moment when I found out he hasn't heard their new album "Modern Vampires of the City," because he was on his mission. I told him how good it was, and he started crying on my shoulder, but i told him it would be ok. Nah I'm just kidding--he didn't start crying, but I was super mind blown that he hadn't heard any of those songs (Diane Young, Step, Hannah Hunt, Bicycle, Everlasting Arms...). He's super easy to get along with, knows how to cook, and wants to go to USC and get a film degree (which sounds super awesome), so I made him promise that he would let me write one line in a movie when he makes it big. 

The sky

So Siam Reap has pretty much two cities. There is the city on the west side of the river which is California--hotels, white people, Mexican restaurants, american super markets and tuk tuks galore. The city on the east side along the national road is more like real Cambodia. I live in a very Americanized area of Siam Reap about a mile or two north of where the national road crosses the river; however, my proselyting area is on the east side of the river and south of the national road. My apartment is very close to the church, so that is nice. Also, if you are wondering if I will be in the jungle or riding through huge rice fields at any point here in Siam Reap, the answer is probably no. Which is a little bit of a bummer for me, too, but I could probably get to stuff like that if I rode for like 30 minutes away from the city, so maybe one of these days Elder Jones and I will go check it out.  

That's pretty much all I got for today. Life is good, Cambodia is better, being a missionary is the best. 

Yeah, sorry about the lack of pictures. I thought I lost my camera for a few days, but it turns out it was in my backpack the whole time. Haha!


Elder Hall

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