Christmas sounds so nice in America! Honestly, as much as people don't like the bustle of Christmas because it distracts from the real meaning of Christmas, at least there IS bustle. And listening to Christmas songs and hymns just isn't the same without cold weather. It feels so wrong here. Haha. I just want to wear a Christmas sweater and sip hot chocolate by the fire.
Wyatt and Elder Lambert on an exchange
Also we tried to think of a way we could vamp up the Christmas activity in Kampong Cham this year, so as a district we planned out this huge idea of having a big ol' bonfire right in the middle of the city where they have this vacant land, having some treats, and somebody gets up and sings, or relates the Christmas story, or does something--all the while we have missionaries contacting all the people. It was gonna be perfect. Then we found out who owns the land where we wanted to do it: Hun Neng, the Prime Minister's brother. Hahaha. So we abandoned those plans, because you have to take your case to the Provincial Hall, and they take maybe three or four weeks to get back to you, which would land us in January. So we decided on next year. Haha, but it led to a lot of discussions about more effective ways to get contacts, so there may be some events coming up!
Wyatt and his new companion, Elder Tatton
Next week the Kampong Cham missionaries are planning on going to Mondul Kiri for P-day, so that means no email from me next week. But that's all good because we have Skype on that Saturday!
Ming Da showed up to church this week and so did Vanna, so that means next week we have a baptism and the week after that as well! I'm super psyched. Bong Vuen got the priesthood yesterday too, and told me how excited he was for it.
|Wyatt, Elder Lambert, and Elder Long (who is having his last meal in the mission field)|
So, in a country such as Cambodia, where the only people that celebrate Christmas are the Christians and the popular stores in the city (to attract white people), the extra stuff that comes with Christmas is absent: the snow, the present wrapping, the hot chocolate, the Christmas lights, the ugly sweaters, the Santa Clauses, the mistletoe. It's a little sad, because all of that stuff is really nice, and it reminds me of the Christmas season, but it's not important. What's important is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. And think, the members here in Cambodia get to start fresh, with nothing to distract them from the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas here is so pure. Teaching people about the birth of the Son of God isn't mingled with the worry of getting everyone's presents and staying within budget and arguing over who gets to put the chimney on the gingerbread house; its 100% focused on the fact that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
|Serving in a rice field|
Srov, or unprocessed rice
So just try to keep that in your thoughts. Those who look to Jesus this Christmas season will feel the true spirit of Christmas. So get out there, do some service for someone (it can be something small), and don't forget why we have this holiday (I'm mainly looking at you Claire and Sofie, make sure mom and dad have the best Christmas ever, ok?)