Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More serious rain, service and tasty little snacks.

Hello Family

I am at a loss for words (especially english ones) for how much water is sitting on the ground in Cambodia right now. We have had some severe rain storms this week.  We were on our way to an investigators house late thursday night, and the wind started to pick up like I've never seen. It started peeling the roof off our investigators house!  When we went back outside we saw the biggest scariest rain cloud I have EVER seen. It seemed like I could watch it growing as stood looking up in the sky.  I think I'm getting used to these kinds of things so we muttered an "oh boy" and kept riding. The minute I decide I'm getting used to the madness, we were under the scariest, craziest rain blitz I've experienced yet.  We soon concluded it wasn't normal by anyone's standard.  We were racing home as fast as we could and the wind was so strong it was difficult to even ride our bikes.  Lightning was everywhere and the thunder never stopped. 

The good news is we got home safe. We finish planning and stare outside and agreed it was definitely the biggest rainstorm that we have seen since in Cambodia. It rained and stormed all night, and continued until we left the house the next day. When we left, it was absolutely insane what we found outside. The whole city was at least knee deep in flood water. Where there were soccer fields there are lakes, roads were running rivers, and wave pools. I didn't think I'd say this again, but this week has been the biggest adventure so far. 

Of course, this kind of situation is perfect for missionaries.  My companion and I smiled at each other and I said lets get to work!  So first we went to a members house thats quite a distance from where we are. We had no choice but to go on a road close to the river.  At times we were trudging through water up to our belly button. The river over flowed, and for MILES there was running water that was at least knee deep.  At one point we stopped to take a quick picture, then we turned around and my bike was gone! It had floated away in the river. My companion parked his bike and we looked for it for 15 minutes. Luckily, we ended up finding it 20 yards "down stream" hooked on a street sign. It sounds terrible, but I have to admit it's been crazy fun. 
The best part is, we've had the opportunity to help so many, many people who are stuck. Everyone finds it very funny and entertaining that two "french guys" in white shirts and ties are walking through main street helping people in the flood. The worst part for us is our favorite restaurant was flooded. We went in and told them we would always be their most loyal customers.

The flood brought us some good luck because the Kapoong Thom elders are now staying with us. It flooded so bad that it was over 7 feet of water by their house. They had a member take them to another member's house in a canoe. President took them out and they'll be staying with us until the water goes down (it could be quite a while)   

Other interesting notes from this week: 

This week is the holiday called Pshum Ben. It's the fifteenth day, of the tenth month, of the Khmer calendar. They believe it is a special time when the spirits of dead ancestors walk the earth.  And the living can ease their suffering by offering them food to eat by leaving it around the temple and feeding the monks.  It lasts 15 days which makes it difficult to get a lot done. BUT, there's a GREAT upside.  Everyone gives us these tasty little things called Num Soms. They look just like tamales with rice and pork and bananas.  Then, they cook it in a banana leaf and it makes a very tasty snack. We've literally received hundreds of them. Everybody takes great pride in their recipe and we are more than willing to compare and contrast the variations. 

We had president interviews last week. I got to go on an exchange with one of the assistants which was very fun.  He complimented me on my language skills which is always a relief to hear. 

Despite the weather, the work is going well. We seem to find a new investigator everyday. We have 3 baptisms scheduled before the end of the month which is exciting. I'm happy, I'm safe and I have really bad foot fungus. But, I love where I'm serving, I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.


I love you all, I hope all is well at home. 

-Elder Nelson

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