Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 3. Sweaty, dirty, happy.

Hello family,

Another week is on the books! And it was a good week for sure.

Good news.  We’ve found a few more investigators. I realized I've been talking a lot about what Cambodia is like and not much about our awesome investigators.

So, I’d like to write a little about one in particular. His name is Sambo.   He is scheduled to be baptized on July 24th. He actually used to be a Buddhist monk. He's what I like to call, “an absolute stud.” That means a really great guy, over the top.  He is very smart and has great faith. He has a job that requires him to work all night every night.  It’s the only job he can get right now. We're hoping to get him to come to church. But it would mean very little sleep. It’s a tough situation for him, but we think he’ll start coming.  Like I said, he really is a stud.

There was also an experience that I had at Om Nret's home. The 6 or 8 people in Om Nret's family are already members but he, the father, isn't. He has a difficult Word of Wisdom issue, so missionaries in the past haven’t been able to help him move forward. We decided that we are just going “go for it” and do whatever we can for him. We hope to complete the family and improve their experience by having Priesthood in the home. Initially, he wasn’t interested at all. We prayed to know if it is worth our time to go all the way out there and we got a very powerful confirmation that we needed to be teaching him. So, our lessons have continued and he’s become more and more interested.  A couple of nights ago, we got to teach just the wife and the father (which was special because usually there's like kids running around the house and it’s kind of chaotic) we taught “the Restoration” and “the First Vision.” The Spirit felt so strong.  My companion had me teach the first vision.  I was so nervous because this was such an important lesson. After I finished explaining the first vision, I bore my testimony of it and then returned the lesson back to my companion. He looked at me with this somewhat shocked look and I thought I had said something wrong.

We finished the lesson and it went very well. We went back outside and my companion said,  “Elder Nelson that was awesome! Your pronunciation was super good. Om could totally understand you!”  I was so happy because I’d never been able to say things exactly right before. But for those few minutes I could and it was really cool.

However, the next time we went to visit him he told us he “didn’t want to learn today.” We were worried this meant he didn’t want us to come back.  Then all of a sudden he said, “because I didn't read my Book of Mormon and I feel badly about it. Can we meet tomorrow?”  We were like, YES!!!   It was super exciting because he's never actually read the Book of Mormon on his own. And we usually have to beg him for appts.  So, our hopes are high that he will continue to progress and he and his family will greatly benefit.

Interesting note, this week my regular companion goes to Phnom Penh for a leadership-training meeting. So, for the next four days I'll be with a 25-year-old Khmer companion. He doesn't speak any English and of course, I don't speak great Khmer. It should be a funny week. Before my companion left he informed me that Elder Hem likes to play jokes. Uh oh. I'm actually excited for the week.  We will be the only two missionaries out here in the middle of nowhere. Quite a responsibility.

Things I’ve observed In Cambodia this week:

-Strange weather:  There was one night where it was totally clear out with a million stars. But, off in the distance there was this big pillar of a cloud that shot way up into the air. It was a “lightening cloud” so every 10 seconds it would light up and everything around us would light up!  It was super warm and wasn't raining where we were.  Kinda creepy, but very cool.

-We’ve found a small village that we're pretty sure no missionary has ever found before!  Details to come.

-New skill:  Everyday my chain falls off my bike. I've figured out a way to keep pedaling and put it back on.

-All the people here are extremely nice and kind.   I can't believe I’m so lucky to be sent here. It truly is a dream everyday.

-I finally got to speak English to an American the other day... Unfortunately he didn't like Mormons. Not so nice.  Bummer.

-We were walking into a meeting at church and this Cambodian guy comes out whacking and beating the ground like crazy, with a bamboo stick. He was attempting to kill THE BIGGEST cockroach I’d ever seen with a bamboo stick. Very unsettling.

-I’ve seriously thought to myself 100 times that I’m definitely going to adopt a Cambodian child when I get older.  Every one is so cute and amazing.

-My legs are getting very strong.

-Weirdest thing this week.  I saw a breast-feeding man.

My mission is awesome and I love it.

Love you all,

Elder Nelson

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