Sunday, March 1, 2015

In Which We Get a New Home

Amy (recent convert, pronounced ah-me) and Sister Khim. It's so hot lately we go teach by the lake/pond by her house.

Welcome to March! And today we start week three of the transfer already. That's insane. But I'll jump right in. It's been a good week. I'll start with our investigators (note the usage of plural!) 

Last Monday night we met with a new investigator. She attends college across the street from the stake center (I might have mentioned that in last week's letter). We had a good first lesson with her. She's never learned about Christianity at all, so we taught it very simply as one does. Most of our first lessons go this way. Whenever I read lesson one out of Preach My Gospel it feels like such a marathon (God, prophets, Christ, apostasy, restoration, okay now read this book). So when we teach it to people who are unfamiliar with the concept of God (mostly everyone), we teach the skeleton version. But there's still so much power in the simple version. We'll teach her lesson two tonight.

Also, the very first day of the transfer we contacted a woman on the road. We got her number and called back, but she never responded. So we forgot about it, until just a few days ago when an appointment fell through, Sister Khim suggested we go visit her again. So we did, and she was home. She welcomed us in. Turns out she's been to our church before, but had never learned with missionaries before. So we taught her lesson one right there and she gave a good prayer, and we invited her to be baptized. Sometimes it surprises me how easy missionary work is. In the MTC, I over thought everything. When our teachers told us we should be extending the baptismal commitment in the first few lessons, I thought they were crazy. These people don't understand baptism. They don't even really know who Christ or God is. But that doesn't really matter, if they are feeling the Spirit. The Spirit is the teacher and the Spirit will testify of what we are saying, and lead them to make the commitments that they need to make. 

Bong Phaa and Bong Makara might be progressing. I'm not quite sure about them still. But we had a couple good lessons this week. Bong Makara (the husband) understands a lot, and he's loving The Book of Mormon. He's through 2 Nephi already! And always has lots of good questions for us about what he's reading. We had to analyze Isaiah with him this week (which was a bit rough). But they still haven't come to church together. We just have to help them understand the importance of the sacrament. And then they'll have the three pillars of prayer, scriptures, and church and they'll be good to go! (I was trying to think of a good metaphor, and I think I chose wrong with pillars...) 

In other news, our recent convert Srei Khuat had her baby! She wasn't due until next month! We stopped by on Tuesday afternoon to teach, as usual, and learned the baby had come last night. She was lying down on a bamboo bed in the open area outside of her rental house with a TINY baby girl next to her. Even though she came early, they are both healthy and doing well. All the neighbors/fellow renters were gathered around her. And with animals and kids running around, the whole place had a stable-like feel to it. For a second she reminded me of Mary, very young (she's only 19), innocent, probably not really understanding all that was in store. But then the train drove past and shook everything up and I remembered I was in Cambodia. 

More big news. We have a new church building! It's very beautiful. It's still just a rental building, but it's big and it's all ours. Before we shared a building with a family who lived there! We helped out a lot this week moving in and cleaning the building to get it all ready to go by Sunday. Lots of good members came and helped out a lot. It was pretty fun. And we're excited to teach English here too. It's right on a big street (our old building was tucked away on an inside road). We didn't have any students on Wednesday night, as we were in the midst of moving buildings, so we held signs advertising English class, and contacted a lot of people who seem interested. So hopefully we'll get a big turn out next week. Free English class! It's seriously the best deal ever. 

Hmm. Other news. Our Branch Mission leader got his mission call! He's the son of Ming Samay, the awesome member I've talked about quite a bit. We opened it at the stake center with a lot of people there. It was exciting. He's going to Sacramento, Khmer speaking!! We thought for sure he was going to stay here. My comp even promised to buy me ice cream if he went out of country. So now she owes me ice cream... He's excited. And nervous a little bit, I think. He doesn't leave til July. He'll only be in the MTC for 12 days because he already knows his mission language, so he won't know very much English. He better start coming to our class on Wednesdays...

Oh! And this Friday we get to have a special treat. Elder Gong from the Seventy is coming to speak to us. We have a conference all day with him on Friday. And guess who was asked to prepare a special musical number? This girl. This girl who took one year of choir and has no musical talent to speak of. Thankfully I have a partner. Elder P, who I've served with the past two transfers in Pochentong. I put him in charge of directing the choir, until he got a call from the APs asking specifically for me to conduct the music for the meeting.... So I've been practicing. My previous experience includes waving my arm back in forth in front of  sleeping teenagers in seminary. So needless to say my skills need a bit of a brushing up. But with the music aside, I'm really excited for Friday

That's all the news this week from Pochentong. A new big batch of Americans are coming in next transfer and making everyone nervous because that means trainers will be needed.... I think I have enough qualified candidates ahead of me, to be off the hook for this batch, but you never know. My comp keeps teasing me that I will train, because she knows it stresses me out! 

I didn't prepare a scriptural thought this week, but this morning I finished reading the first of the four gospels, Matthew, and I really enjoyed. And then I realized I get to read it all again three times over in the next three books. And it makes me wonder why we have four accounts of Christ life. As I read I will be paying attention to the differences and themes that run through each one. One thing Matthew really likes to point out is whenever Christ is fulfilling scripture (when he performs certain miracles, or when he ultimately is atones and is crucified and then resurrected). So pick a gopsel this week and read it. You won't regret it. 

Anyways, off to eat some Indian food and enjoy the rest of my P-day. Have a good week everyone!


Sister Fields

Srei Khuat and baby

One-day old baby.

New building!

Our members/church prep team taking  a lunch break. 

Water buffaloes passing through at Amy's house. When we go out to her house, it still feels like we're in the provinces!

But then we get scenes like this... Traffic has been terrible this week! Sometimes we just pick up our bikes and walk over the medians/wherever we can squeeze ourselves into. 

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