Monday, August 31, 2015

How to be a Cambodian Millionaire (or at least look like one)

Wyatt with Elder Holland. (I think the photographer 
might have been shorter than Wyatt. He cut off the top of Wyatt's head. 
Oh well...happy to have this pic!)

Adding up all of our referrals and contacts, we have 18 investigators/strong potential investigators--17 of which are male. SEVENTEEN. God is sending all these people because he knows that this ward is in trouble and doesn't want it to die. So about 10 of them we have already contacted, and the other 7 are yet to "find free time," but really that just means build up the courage to meet with us, because meeting with Christians in this country is completely taboo. But it doesn't matter, I've met this situation before; they will eventually come through. The other 10 are absolutely great. Two of them have baptismal dates, and the others we have barely taught, but will hopefully have baptismal dates eventually. 

 Sunday Selfie @ church

Phirum, for example, was contacted by Elder Cook and I while we were contacting in the park. We started walking with the flow of people and the first person to our left was a guy.

Elder Cook (in Khmer): Where are you going?
Phirum (in pretty broken English): I'm taking a walk. 
Wyatt (in English, more jokingly because this never happens): Would you want to learn about Jesus?
Phirum: Nods his head.

I thought he didn't understand what I was saying, so I said it in Khmer. He confirmed the yes. So we got his number, asked him when he was free, and kept walking with him. Then when it was almost 8, we went home. So we called him the next Saturday and he wasn't free, but he said he would be free the next Saturday (3 days ago), so that day, I called him and asked him if he wanted to meet and he said he could meet at 4. So we met him at the park (where we contacted him), and we all rode down to the church building together (tactics--if he sees how big our church is, it gives us some reinforcement that we are a legit organization). Then we taught him how to pray and gave him a book of Mormon, because we didn't have a lot of time. At the end of the lesson, he freaking volunteered to pray. That absolutely never happens. He prayed and started saying stuff like, "Thank you for giving me an opportunity to get to know you, God, and thank you for the Elders." Thinking back on that moment, that was the first time that he had actually communicated with God in 21 years. Super cool moment. Then he came to church the next day! This is just one example of investigators in this pool that God has given us to work with. Missionary work is amazing. 

We are also teaching a man who is less active. Every time he prays he can't remember the word "amen," so he just says, "Alright God. That's it." That's just one example. One time (with Elder Gardiner) we found him on a Sunday morning to remind him to go to church, and he was like, "They have church on Tuesday?" Haha. Ok anyways, we really had to come to adjust our teaching with him. Since he has a hard time remembering, we decided to try a new technique. We taught him for 15 minutes 3 times that week about the word of wisdom and literally read the exact same scriptures each time. And if I could have remembered what I had said verbatim the time before, I would have repeated what I had said verbatim each time. And hey, guess what? I think it actually got through. His apartment smells a lot less like smoke, and his bottle of cigarette butts has been at the same level since then. That is a funny little man, but he is still a child of God. 

 Another baptism yesterday.

It's cool to see what active members look like after like a year of activity. They have typically secured themselves some sort of job that they can subsist on, and they stop drinking and smoking (so they have extra money to buy nicer clothes and comb their hair and stuff). They just stand out. Seriously, the old members that are still active here all look like millionaires compared to the rest of society. 


Elder Hall

 Elder Palmer, Elder Jones, Elder Lambert, Elder Osborne, 
Wyatt, and Elder ? @ the meeting with Elder Holland

Wyatt's little sister asked, "What's the most interesting thing you have eaten?:

The most interesting food I have eaten is like every meal that I get fed, because since they don't waste any part of any animal, you never really know what you're eating. They even eat the chicken feet lol. 
They also roast crickets, and they taste like bbq chips, so those are good. And outside of the city they have these huge ants called angkrong that you pick off the tree and eat and they taste like lime. I think that's all the bugs I've eaten, but so far they were both good.

Wyatt, ?, Elder Neuberger

Oh and one more thing, if you didn't know Khmer or spanish, you probably wouldn't be able to tell them apart. I'm listening to these Cambodian commentators for a soccer game that is playing in this internet cafe (the game was last night, I think, because the stadium lights were on full blast), and they sound just like the mexican commentators on Univision. Haha.

 Cambodian ward members (including the 2 newest!), Bro and Sis Oveson 
on the right (their blog has more details about the baptism).

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