Well, we finally got to take a breath. Its been a wild couple of weeks. We had a ton of new missionaries come in (biggest group in the history of Cambodia) followed by having 5 general authorities show up. Afterwards we took a big road trip to the provinces where in 3 days we went to 4 provinces and taught 2 Zone Conferences. We went up to Battambong to Siem Reap afterwards we went down through Kampong Thom for a couple interviews then after that finished with a Zone Conference in Kampong Cam. It was quite a week. I really enjoy teaching in Zone Conferences. I've noticed that I'm able to feel the spirit strong when my main focus is to help build missionaries. I feel like I've been blessed with the ability to relate to people. I guess you could say I like to try to put myself in other people's shoes. And then say what I feel impressed that they need to hear in order to help them. It was quite the road triip. It was a blast being with President and Sister Smedley. Also, Sister Smedleys sisters were visiting so they came along in the van. We were all in a crazy silver van together and it was pretty funny. It was fun to be in Siem Reap again. I didn't have a chance to visit any of my recent converts but we went up and visited some of the people that I know in Srah Srong. It was fun. i suddenly noticed their very thick accents. I can see now why I talk a little funny. That week we stayed in 3 hotels. The one in Siem Reap was the best. It was awesome, unreal. Hot showers, full sized beds, the whole shabang. I even used conditioner, then I used the blow dryer on my hair. It was... wonderful. We're teaching a man named Isaac right now. He's awesome. He should get baptized next week. He's got some of the funniest quotes I've ever heard. That's all I've got. Pretty busy! love you all. Elder Nelson
I had NO idea what goes into making a mission work! Its interesting, because as a missionary you focus on your one little area and your own investigators. Then, as a district or zone leader you worry about your respective zones or districts, but still a relatively small area. When you are in the office, all the sudden you are put into different situations where the whole mission is concerned.
I finished being trained last week and it was a crazy couple of days. We had transfers (with 23 new elders coming in) so we have to do a lot of instructing for that and then did several hours of teaching. Then we have to translate for the new Cambodian Elders and etc etc. Its crazy and its hard work. It will definitely get me prepared for school! We are required to do many things things that no one will ever see or know. Had no idea. My new companion, Elder Ott and I are having a blast. It's really fun being with him. We are both pretty good at keeping things loose in stressful situations.
Example: Last night we'd just finished a long day. We were driving back completely exhausted. We got a phone call from an elder saying that he needed a mattress. (A little frustrating, who waits 30 minutes before lights out to ask for that?) We were absolutely exhausted but, drove back to the mission home and got the mattresses. We were the only ones there, so we decided to ride the mattresses all the way down the stairs. Sounds dumb but it was REALLY funny!
Other things we did this week: Conducted a devotional of very emotional departing missionaries and their families with the senior couple from the office. Picked up all the new missionaries. Learned how to drive a stick shift. Gave instructions to all the trainers in the mission. Coordinated all the bus tickets. Shuttled Elders to bus stations. We got to be a part of a last minute transfer meeting with President. (super cool) And so much more...
Also, OUR INVESTIGATORS ARE SO COOL! I'm now in the international branch so we teach people from many places in the world. Mostly Nigerians right now. They have an amazing accent and are the nicest people. I feel like the Lord has really been looking out for me. I actually wanted to serve in Africa my whole life and right now, we're teaching many Nigerians. Some are refugees others are here playing soccer and others are here to teach. So awesome. The other day we took Solomon (a super buff 19 year old Nigerian man who is leaving soccer to serve a mission... to Nigeria) to help us with teaching Isaac. (another man from Nigeria) They started talking after the meeting and said something to each other and then went off for like 15 minutes about their ancestors.... turns out they're from the same village in Nigeria! It was super cool. We're also teaching 4 Sri Lankan refugees. They got baptized last week. They might have to go back to Sri Lanka next week. But we'll see. We're doing zone conferences next week so its pretty much going to be one big road trip. I have to admit it's been a little overwhelming for me and I'm sure my companion as well. There are many times when I feel completely inadequate for this calling. I'm companions with one of the better Khmer speakers. The Standards are pretty high. I usually speak really slow so that people can understand. But now all the sudden I have to learn to focus on what people are saying and then translate quickly and its been super hard for me. I have faith in the Lord and that He wouldn't call me to this unless I was ready, but at the same time there's so many things that I'm simply not very good at. Its a blur every day. There's much more qualified elders that are older than me that could probably do a much better job. It's a struggle, but it will be good for me. I just need to rely on the Lord, and everything will be all right. I love you guys so much. Read your scriptures and stay safe. Elder Nelson.
Hows it going? So this week was pretty uneventful. Wait, I did get a box of cereal from the senior couple? That's big news. We had a leadership conference this week in the city. It was pretty fun. Its nice spending time with the Elders from around the mission. The meetings are always very spiritual with President Smedley and it serves as a nice boost for the next couple months. ITs so cool to see how people change as they go throughout their mission I'm so proud of everyone in our group and everything that they have done. I feel like our MTC group is pretty strong. This is likely my last week in Pochentong. I've been here for 6 months. Transfer calls are on Sunday. I love this place. If they left me here I wouldn't mind it at all. Elder Blocker and I are having a great time right now. An apostle is coming next week. Super exciting. The district center is getting all prettied up for it. But other than that its just the usual things. Sounds like everything is going really well at home. Thanks guys. Love you. Elder Nelson
Another good week. Elder Blocker and I kept ourselves busy and were pretty efficient. We had 45 lessons, 8 investigators at church and 1 baptism. Not bad. There's this one guy, Lookta Say, and he's "a baller," he is 77 years old. I feel like he was the reason I came to Pochentong.
So about 4 1/2 months ago Elder Nielsen and I were teaching an inactive member of the branch presidency, Om Non. We'd been hoping to find new investigators and towards the end of the lesson we were about to say the closing prayer and I looked at him and said, "Om Non, there is someone down this street that the Lord has prepared to be baptized." He kind of laughed and didn't say anything. We said the closing prayer and then stayed for a couple minutes and talked with the family. Apparently, Om Non had secretly snuck out and a few minutes later came back and said. "Elders, I found him!" Elder Nielsen and I looked at each other and started to laugh a little bit but we followed Om Non out the door. He said he had left because he suddenly remembered hearing that there was an old guy who believed in Christ, just down the street. He went over there and told him that he needed to meet with some missionaries from our church. He was very strong in another church and wouldn't really listen to anything we said. But, it was obvious he had great faith. So Elder Nielsen and I decided to continue teaching him. His name is Lookta Say.
He started to progress more and more and things came up that were difficult, going to church, reading in the B.O.M. The usual things. There were several times when Elder Nielsen and I came very close to dropping him. But we would always pray about it and feel like we really needed to keep meeting him.
Then, things started falling into place. He prayed about the B.O.M and had a dream that it was true. Priesthood blessings were given to his wife, and the church ended moving to an area closer to his house.
He started to walk to church every week. He started following the commandments and then things just started to take off.
It's been wonderful seeing his progression in the Gospel. His testimony of Jesus Christ is so strong, his faith is remarkable.
His baptism was one of my favorite days in the mission. He was so happy when he came out of the water and you could see the light in his eyes.
No mail came last week for Khmer New Year so we're expecting a lot today.
A couple days ago there was this guy buying food on the street. He was wearing a seahawks jersey. (first one I've seen in Cambodia) and so I went up and asked to take a picture with him.
Other than that. Pretty normal week. A lot of hard work. I've had a really bad stuffy nose/sore throat/ ear aches this week. It lasted the entire week and I always felt like I was out of energy. Elder Blocker really did help me out a lot. Such a stud.
I love you guys. This gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
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