Friday, August 26, 2011

I'll never be able to explain what the rain is really like here.

First of all, I finally took a picture of the sunset we see every night.  The picture still doesn't do it justice.
I'm officially comfortable handling raw meat.  We helped prepare the food for the branch dinner. These are very skinny chickens.

Rainy season is starting to build here in Cambodia!  It’s a relief because more rain means less sun, so I'm not complaining.

Quick rain story I to share:

We had a powerful experience teaching a recent convert family the other day. They live a good 1.5 hours away by bike, from where we live (which is rare). We were having a rough day and many people canceled on us so we decided that we would go visit this family that we hadn't seen in a long while. It was quite the ride! We passed lots of temples and cool bridges and things I swear only existed in movies or make believe. It was mind blowing.  At one point, I looked down and there was literally a "herd” of monkeys, like 20 of them. I stopped my bike by one and we just kind of stared at each other for a while. It was weird. And big news!  I saw my first elephant in Cambodia. It had a big platform on top with a lady sitting on top all dressed in red. Very cool. 

So anyway, we definitely went "over the river (and mountains) and through the woods" to get to this house. We meandered through a crazy random village and sped through miles and miles rice fields. The whole time I was thinking, “Man, who in the world went proselyting way out here?”

We finally get to the house...and, they weren't home. So we walked out back to see if they were in their field...but they weren’t. However, all was not lost, we were greeted by some big, giant, scary, black pigs.  See picture.

So, we went back to our bikes and there were two little kids (picture attached) standing right by our bikes. We asked if they knew where this family was. They said yes.  Then, they started walking across the road, so we followed, and followed...and followed. We ended up winding through a bunch of rice fields. The whole time I was thinking, what are the chances that these random kids will actually lead us to these people? We soon realized, we were again in the middle of nowhere with at least a mile of rice fields stretching in every direction.

Suddenly, a ways off, we heard someone yell  “ELDERS!” from a few rice fields away. It was the man and his wife we were looking for and they had been working all day in the fields! They asked if we wanted to share a message with them right there, and of course, we happily agreed. It had to be the most spiritual lesson of my mission so far. This location was completely quiet except for a few birds chirping, crickets and frogs.  Very peaceful. We taught about the Plan of Salvation. It was wonderful. I felt a guilty for being a little negative about going all that way out to teach them because they were SO amazing. They truly have been prepared and are ready to learn the Gospel. 

Then, right as we were finishing up the lesson, the wife turns around really fast and says. Looks like it’s about to rain!  Which was weird because it was sunny.  Then we noticed, because it was so quiet, that we could hear the rain hitting the rice fields about a mile away.   Then during the prayer it got louder and louder. By the end of the prayer we could look in the distance and see mist rising from the fields.  That’s how fast things change around here. The wife started panicking and told us to run or else we would get wet. So, my companion and I started running. The rain was getting louder and louder, and we were laughing and running like crazy to outrun the rain, getting completely exhausted through a mile of rice fields. We ended up getting back under cover and right as the rain hit! It was pretty fun trying to outrun the rain.  Of course, we ended up getting soaked anyway riding home. 

This experience and many like it really remind me of Gods love for each of his children. The family we met had such a light in their eyes. It was an honor to meet with them.

Mom, thanks for posting my letters and pictures on the blog!
I love you all!

-Elder Nelson

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