Monday, April 18, 2016

Khmae New Year

SO this week was Khmae NEW YEAR--the week where nobody does anything except for drink, throw water at people, throw powder at people, ask for money, turn on super loud music, and dance. If I had to choose a second on my list of countries to get born before this life, I would have put Cambodia as number 2. (minus the drinking)

This is an American returned missionary's business

There is this thing where everyone at the party stands in the road (well actually everyone just parties in the road) and if you want to get past them you have to pay them 1000 riel or get hit in the face with powder or get drenched in water. There are all these "moto gangs" that just ride around on these streets and then they get stopped by the roadblocks and they just stop and party with each other for a few minutes and then they go to the next roadblock. It's super cool because there is the national road that goes along the river and then in between the national road and the river there is another more residential road that all these roadblocks are on. In the course of a kilometer there are probably 7 or 8 of these roadblocks.

Bong Heem unfortunately couldn't meet with us for the whole week because he was busy partying, but we are hopefully going to meet him either tonight or on Wednesday. Bong Somrong is the first counselor's little brother, and he COULD meet with us this week. He has fallen in love with the concept of a remission of sins, and starts saying stuff like, "Ok. I promise to God that I will go to church next week" or "I promise to the Lord that I will not drink anymore" so there are definite signs of conversion occurring for him. He also finds us before we find him. Sometimes we will go to our first counselor and ask him where Somrong is, and he will tell us that he's gone to his hometown for the week and then Somrong will just walk up and say he was waiting for us. I get so confused when the first counselor does that, but whatever. Haha.

Also we had Zone Conference last week, city lunch, cleaning day, and branch party, so the proselyting took a hit, but this week is back to normal, and I really want to find a family to teach, so that is what I am going for. 

Elder Hall

Bombs That Pierced Right Through Me

Fun fact: Recently called missionaries that enter the MTC Jun 22 will only be in the field with me for 4 months.

Many of the missionaries that were in Wyatt's MTC group.

So General Conference: Were there any bombs that just pierced right through me? Absolutely. Just to name a few:

1. Humility can be found when you have meaningful prayer. I can't actually remember who said that, but a lot of my past goals for myself have been to be more humble and to have more meaningful prayer, so by one comes the other. We acknowledge through the sincerity of our prayers the dependence we have on our loving Heavenly Father. 

2. Forgiving somebody is not excusing that person from judgement. 

So Saturday morning we got to head over to the south stake center and watch General Conference with all of South zone and east zone. Shout out to elder Osborne for coming back from the kites. Then we just stayed there ALL day until all three sessions that day were over, then we went home, slept, woke up, and went back to the south stake center to watch the rest of conference. Actually, the reason everyone watches it there is because the international branch is in South stake. So we got to steal some food from them and talk to some RMs from Cambodia that are now starting up their own businesses here. Oh and I got to talk to this couple from Bangkok and learn some new Thai words like "i have to pee" and "where is the bathroom." 

From Oveson's blog. Thank you Bro and Sis Oveson!

To preserve the chronological order of this email I will now talk about the beginning of the week. 

We met Bong Somrong who is now our most progressing investigator. He was super excited to hear that baptism can cleanse us from sin. He also had a really good question (that set me up for elder Bednar's talk) that was, "We are just worldly people. We always sin. If we get baptized once and then sin again, do we have to get baptized again?" So we explained to him about the sacrament and the purpose of holding the sacrament each week and attending church each week. He sucked it in like a sponge. He knew it was true. It was cool. We plan to meet him tomorrow morning next. 

Bong Heem we also met with. He is still having trouble with receiving an answer. When we ask him how he feels when he prays, he says "I just feel normal, nothing different from real life." He wants to feel something I know, because then he wouldn't be meeting with us all the time, and he prays fine, and he has real intent, he just doesn't really read that much. He doesn't put in enough effort to receive an answer as he should. So we tried to explain this to him, and I had a prompting to tell him that if he read all the way up to Alma, God would give him an answer before that point. He kept looking at how much reading that is (he has only read to chapter 6 in 1 Nephi), but I don't think he was too daunted. We will find out today, we have our Branch New Year party (I promise I will take pictures of that) today and we'll see him there. 

With only 9 months left I am now starting to see why Gordon B Hinckley's father's advice of "forget yourself and go to work" had so much effect. I keep having a thought, "I've learned how to work hard, I've learned how to study the scriptures, I've converted 100%. What possible benefit could I have of going another 9 months?" But that is quickly shot down by remembering that the next 9 months are not for me, but they are for the people I'm serving. 

Elder Hall

Funny quote from Wyatt's email to his baby sister:

"The weather is super nice. I am never too cold. I don't like the cold. I get to sweat all the time. Good practice for my future so that when I am always walking around in a fresh million dollar suit I won't sweat as much in America since it's cold."