Sunday, March 25, 2012

Christian congregation wants us to teach them!

February 12, 2012 letter

I'll start by saying I'm pretty sure I'm typing on a computer from the 60's. The keys all stick and it makes a squeaky noise every time I click a key. 

This was another good week. It was action packed, and we saw good things happen. First off, Elder Nielsen got in another bike accident so we spent some more quality time in the hospital. I was in front of him so I didn't see it happen but I remember stopping my bike and him coming up to me with a big rip in his pants and blood everywhere. I guess someone cut in front of him and swerved to avoid him and ate some pavement. He's doin ok. His hand got pretty torn up and his knee was scratched but he's gonna be alright. I feel like every missionary that comes here eventually gets in a couple moto accidents. I remember in Siem Reap my bike got tied up with a moto and I flew over the handlebars and busted my helmet in half. Its something we get mentally prepared for. and whenever we're at the mission home and somebody is telling a bike crash story.. there's always someone with a story to top it.... Coolest mission in the whole world. 

So the other day we were going to the store to grab a few things for lunch. There was a lady sitting in the front and I said hello to her and she replied "jeh khmer chbah mec" Meaning: "know cambodian clear, why?" (very informal)  Before I could reply this lady comes up and goes off about how we're christian missionaries and we know good Khmer to help us proselyte. She turns to us and says she wants to go to church with us on Sunday and asks if that is ok. I laughed and said of course! 

We sit down with this lady and within minutes, 4 or 5 more adults sit down and it starts feeling like I was making a business deal. I guess this group started their own Christian church and they wanted us to come and teach. They concluded we knew more than them. We agree, on the conditions that they come to church with us. They said once we know each other better and trust us then they will go. They set up an appointment for us to go teach their church at 3 o clock next Sunday.  So they show us to their church. We had to walk through a dump, climb a ladder over a brick wall, down a ladder on the other side of the brick wall. Then walk through a little village and to a small house where they worship. We all sat down in a circle and I led a discussion about the gospel. We went around and had everyone bear their testimony. It was great. People were telling amazing stories about their lifes changing and what Jesus meant to them.

I then asked so when you teach the word of God, what do you teach from. They replied that they use the bible. I said, Oh, thats awesome! That probably means you use the Book of Mormon too right?  They all got quiet, looked at each other and were like Book of Mormon? I haven't heard of that. Do we use the Book of Mormon?. Then one of them turned to me and was sorry they didn't know what the Book of Mormon was. I replied really?! Oh boy! Ok, next week at 3 we'll come and teach you all about the Book of Mormon. They all got super excited and started saying Hallelujah! but in Khmer its AAALLEEELLUUUUYYYAAA.  I was able to give a brief explanation about what the Book of Mormon is. So now we have an arranged appointment to go teach a church the gospel. They said they all want to go to church with us and worship with us. They are very prepared for the truth. They are definitely honest seekers of truth who know not where to find it. 

Then they asked me to say the closing prayer and I was honored and said of course. They all took a deep breath with each other and then starting praying in really low tones of voice really fast. So I bowed my head and prayed too. I assumed when I stopped they would stop too but they kept going. So I looked at my companion he was laughing, and I just put my head back down and said another prayer. I figured I just had to outlast them so I said a pretty long prayer. As each person finished I would thank Heavenly Father for them and by the end I was the last one to pray so I expressed my gratitude for the Book of Mormon and ended my prayer. They all gave a big AMEN and then started clapping and saying alleluyaaa again. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. 

They have such strong faith, next week were going over with the senior couple and the Branch President. Lots of potential there. Man I love the people here so much. 

I love you guys 

Elder Nelson

Interesting side notes
-I drink 3 gallons of chocolate soy milk in a week 
-I found a pull up bar!
-I still teach second hour
-We broke the time record to the city from our house.. 26 minutes. 
-I got a new bike.. super nice. It has gears! and both brakes work! 
-Almost finished with the new testament 

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