Sunday, June 21, 2015

In Which Rainy Season Arrives (finally)

Rainy season has come...

The rains have come to Battambang! It's still an unusually hot, unusually dry rainy season; but the rains have indeed started turning every road into a muddy mess and soaking my bag (not to mention me) completely through. Time to invest in some waterproof bags. 

New transfer has also arrived. No changes for me and my comp, but a bunch of missionaries from my MTC group came to Battambang. So that's been fun. Sister Kimball replaced Sister Young in our apartment. We're all planning to go out to a mountain today after emailing, so that should be fun. Battambang is the best. 

Not a whole lot happened this week. It was a bit of a different week because we were a trio for Thursday and Friday while Sister Young and Sister K. traded places. Sister Koung came with me and Sister A. and we proselyted in two areas. It was a bit crazy biking from one end of the city to another. And at one particular instance we left one house to go to the next house just as it started to sprinkle. Seconds later it turned into a steady downpour and then it started dumping. And it was a 30 minute ride. So we got quite soaked. But the storms never last too long, and then the sun dries us all out. That's just how rainy season goes I suppose. 

Investigators are doing pretty well. Our next baptism is on the 18th of July (shout out to Spencer). It is for the grandkids (Davan, Udom) and Grandma (Chanda) that we are teaching. The kids made it to church this week for the fifth week in a row, and even went out to visit less actives for a youth activity. Our investigators are visiting less actives, it's great. Unfortunately the grandma was sick. The kids have integrated really well into the branch, we just want to make sure the grandma is being fellowshipped too. But they're all doing pretty good. 

Ming Srey Niang (the one who was really upset she couldn't get a ride to church last week) was able to come to church! I was soooo happy when I saw her walk in the chapel. And she had a huge grin on her face and two little kids in tow. Did I ever say how we found her? That was a miracle in itself. She's a neighbor of Ming Thida (our recent, recent convert), but they don't really know each other. But one day Ming Thida overheard Srey Niang talking about a dream in which she saw heavenly messenger which led her to a church near the main market in town. Ming Thida ran up to her and told her that she goes to that very church in the dream, and that she had some people she should meet. And then she introduced us. She's had a number of crazy dreams since then that I don't always know what to make of, but I very much believe that Heavenly Father talks to His children in ways they will understand and assigns meaning to them and in Cambodia, there are lots of dreams and visions and angels. It's pretty cool. 

So this last week we were able to teach Srey Niang and Thida's house, which was really great. They connected well, and spent twenty minutes discussing Lehi's family and how Laman and Lemuel totally missed the boat and should have listened to their little brother. And even though Thida has a moto, the seat is only big enough for her and her son. But she welcomed Srey Niang to ride a bike next to her and she would just drive a little ways and then wait for her. Well, Sunday morning came and Srey Niang was able to borrow a bike! And even though the tires were flat, and she had to hold her baby and bike with one hand down a road she didn't know with big trucks barreling by, she prayed and they all arrived to church safely! 

We've also officially started teaching Thida's little boy. His attention span is short, but he's a good kid. And he really likes primary. We taught him a simplified lesson of the restoration this week and we gave him his very own copy of The Book of Mormon. Once he realized it was his very own copy, he got a huge smile on his face and hugged it. And took it to church on Sunday. He can't really read it though, so Sister A. is going to give him her picture version of The Book of Mormon this week. So that will be really good for him. 

We met with a couple new investigators this week, and have a couple hopeful referrals. So hopefully we'll be getting some more new ones in the next coming weeks. Bong Mei, our no-longer-a-smoker investigator is unfortunately not doing as well. We haven't been able to meet her in almost two weeks. She's been sick for forever and having problems with her husband and now the house is locked and her neighbors say she's gone to PP. We don't know for how long. And she doesn't have a phone. So we keep praying for her. It's like she made this huge big change in her life and that one thing sucked up all the faith and strength she had. I worry about her. Hopefully she'll come back. 

Sunday we went went with a ton of youth from our branch to visit less active youth/young adults. This activity was the brainchild of Bong Nuen, who is not our Branch Missionary but pretty much is and helps the elders almost every day. We had a group of maybe 20 of us all on bikes and a few on motos, and we took over Battambang! We were pretty much a biking gang. We lost someone probably at every stop we made, but we met a lot of people. And the kids got a sense of what mission life is like as we went to a house and no one was home, and then we went to another house and no one was home. But we did meet quite a few people and hopefully helped them feel loved. Our at least peer-pressured to come back to church. Same thing. 

Well that's about it for the week. I'll close with a spiritual though of the week. So the new transfer officially started this morning, and I have set a goal to read The Book of Mormon in a transfer, thirteen pages a day. So my spiritual thoughts for the next six weeks will probably all come from The Book of Mormon because that's going to fill my personal study for the next transfer. It'll be good I'm excited. I've decided to focus on personal revelation. And I'm marking every time the Lord talks to any of His children to learn the different ways we can receive inspiration. This morning I was paying attention to the confirming revelation that Lehi's family members received (or didn't in the case of Laman and Lemuel) in regards to leaving Jerusalem and going into the wilderness. They did not have to trust on Lehi's word alone that the city was going to be destroyed, but they recieved a confirming witness. For example, Nephi had a desire to know the mysteries of God, so he "did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers." 

Sariah also received a witness. Her's came after the trial of her faith, in allowing her sons to go back to Jerusalem, not knowing if she would see them again. For a moment there she doubted that they would make it back, but they did and she rejoiced. And that was the witness she needed. In chapter 5 she says, "Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them."

I think it's interesting that both she and Nephi received revelation confirming Lehi's revelation in different ways. Both came to a knowledge that the Lord was guiding Lehi and guiding their family, but they both had to trust Lehi, the prophet's counsel first. I think this is one of many lessons from this story. That sometimes we have to trust the Lord first before we receive our own witness that it is truth. That's where the trial of faith comes in. But as we do, the Lord's hand will be revealed, and we will know that He is guiding our lives. 

That's all for this week. Happy Father's Day!


Sister Fields

Zone picture after English class before transfers 

Sister A. and Sister Koung. If you can't tell, that is a giant truck of rice that drove down a muddy road and got stuck and then couldn't turn around. Thus causing our traffic jam. A little different from the traffic jams in the city.

Drying everything that got soaked in my bag #rainyseason

The cake we made in our "new oven." Since we don't have frosting in these parts, we spread straight Nutella on the top. It was delicious.

GIANT dead bug we found next to my bike.

The visiting less actives youth activity.

Best comps 4everrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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