Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We moved to a new house, dodged bats, waded through flood waters and walked the planks.

So this week was another interesting week because we moved! The water was always out from 8-930 (when we need to shower/cook) There were also lots of mean dogs nearby. They have one that’s usually locked up. But when its not, it always tries to attack me. On our last week, I got a solid kick to its jaw and it left whimpering. It was a storybook ending as we pulled away. 


I need to mention that we felt really grown up moving. We didn't have any senior couple help because we are so far away, so it was just us four, moving our whole house!

So for this week my regular, American companion went with our district leader to Phnom Penh for training. So once again its just me and Elder Hem, the cambodian elder.  Last time, he was able to take advantage of my "greeniness."  But this time, I am prepared. I wake up early every morning like Rambo and counter plan out every time when he could possibly be up to “something.”  Also known here as a,"tvee baab." (which means to do something bad like sin. But, the phrase is commonly used among missionaries for pranks.) This time I will not be vulnerable.  It’s very funny.  My kind of situation. 

Yesterday, I went proselyting with Elder Hem. We had a VERY severe rainstorm last weekend and our church attendance was way down.  I have to say I was really bummed about it. But this week, I started to figure out why it’s so difficult for members to come to church under certain conditions. For instance, we were on our way to our first appointment and our path eventually led straight into a “lake.” Elder Hem turned to me and said, "Now, we take our shoes off." Huh?  So, we hid our bikes in the jungle, rolled up our pants, and started wading through fairly deep water to get to our investigator. We started walking through a village and it was actually cool how they adjusted to the flooded conditions. They rigged long planks so that the villagers could walk from house to house without getting wet. Very cool! 
 When we came around the corner our investigator yelled, “ELDERS!” super loud and stood up very fast. He couldn't believe that two men in suits were willing to get all dirty to meet with him.  I could tell that we had instantly earned the respect of our investigator. The lesson we taught him went very well.  And, like I’ve said in earlier emails, it felt amazing to make extra sacrifices to meet our investigators. They truly are children of our Heavenly Father, and it’s our honor to offer them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Interesting trivia for this week:

One time I noticed this huge, creepy bird. Then, I realized it was a bat.  Elder Hem pointed to the distance and there were literally 300 bats were flying our way! When they were on top of us they started to swoop down and kept coming very close to hitting me. They made strange, loud creepy noises.  It seriously gave me the chills.  Not my favorite thing about Cambodia.

The Cambodian language is coming along. I wish it was much better.  However, me and my companion “had a moment” the other day. He looked me in the eye and told me he was super impressed. He never gives compliments so it was a big deal. I've enjoyed having him as my trainer.

Next week I'll know where I'll be when Uncle Rick comes to Cambodia! I really hope its in Siem Reap.

Much Love,

-Elder Nelson

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