Monday, November 9, 2015

In Which My Investigator Runs Away to France

Me eating a Khmer sandwich after a Relief Society activity this week. Don't let the smile or the sandwich deceive you. It's nasty. The meat is 90 percent cartilage.
Dear Friends,

Sometimes I don't know what to write. Even though I know I'm having crazy, unique experiences everyday, when you're in the middle of the missionary routine, it doesn't really feel like it. You just get up, study, teach, eat, teach, sleep and do it again. Throw in some district meetings and some English classes. So maybe I'll just focus on a few people I spent a lot of time with this week. 

Sister L., my koon (#shoutout)
She's is doing amazing. She's all I could ever want in my posterity (don't worry, Sister X., I claim you too!). And she's doing so well. We read at about the same speed. She unfortunately came down with some sort of a weird flu/bug on Wednesday. So we stayed in and she slept it off. So I had some time on my hands. I think someone should start a tumblr entitled: "What I did while my comp was sick." Except tumblr's probably not a thing anymore. Here are things that I did: read a good few chapters of Khmer BoM, watched a never before seen (by me) section of the District, cross stitched, figured out transfers with sticky notes of the floor (unfortunate news, I don't think there's anyway I'm getting out of training again next transfer), danced to the Nutcracker, made Kraft Mac & Cheese. So it was a good time, but much more fun when Sis L is well. Good news is she's feeling much better now. And I'm sad that our time is starting to come to again. Not really, we've still got four weeks. We'll live it up!

President Christensen
I had a really good chat with him this week. I confided in him recently that I've been stressing out lately about the work. I always tend to think that I could or should have done things differently in any given teaching/contact situation. I forget that other people have agency. And I just feel a lot of pressure right now training, being the one who really knows the language. But he reminded me that all of that doesn't really matter that much. His focus for us is us. Which relates back to what he's been teaching us about being deliberate disciples. He wants us to work on us first. He told me the church is a whole lot less worried about baptismal statistics than they are about strong missionaries. The real growth of the church comes not in recent converts, but in the missionaries themselves; missionaries who come home, become strong members who serve in the church and raise families in the gospel. I thought that was way cool. And it's helped me remember to keep everything in perspective. 

Ciat and Navy
They are our couple we've been teaching for a while. Unfortunately although they've had really cool spiritual experiences, they aren't really progressing. Turns out Navy is going to go to France with a former 78-year-old lover of hers. And Ciat is going home to his srok. Also they are not legally married, like he had thought earlier. Basically, they've still got a way to go. However, they have seen miracles already since they've started giving the gospel a try. They've majorly cut down on drinking and smoking. They are so much happier now. So we're planting seeds here. Someday they'll be ready to join the church. In the mean time the gospel has already had a big effect on their lives. 

She's a 16-year-old kind of les-active young women in the Tuk La-ak ward. She's the sister of a recent convert we meet regularly. Our recent convert has been having a hard time lately, so we prepared a lesson about Joseph Smith in liberty jail and planned to read D&C 122 together. When we got over there Bunya was there as well and wanted to learn. We prayed and she started in with her questions. And she had some good ones! Basically they all stemmed down to why bad things happen to good people. Why trials were necessary. Does everybody have an equal amount of trials? After discussing with her for a while, we realized that our lesson we planned for Lida (her sister) wasn't really meant for her. It was meant for Bunya. I don't know if it satisfied every question she had, but I do know the Spirit led that lesson. The Lord knows exactly where we need to be; and when we do our part, He will lead us. Even if it's just helping a young woman. Something Sis L said this week I really liked. Our purpose is to invite OTHERS to come unto Christ. Not just investigators. The Lord has a plan for each of us, and if we're humble and willing to work, He'll use us to accomplish His purposes. 

She came out of nowhere. Really though. She just showed up randomly at church on Sunday a week ago. She stayed for the last two hours and had lots of good questions. But when we tried to schedule to meet her during the week, she didn't want to commit to anything. She said she was pretty busy, but that she'd try to come to English class. We ended up calling her anyway that week and she said she could meet us right after our Saturday morning English class. After class we saw her sitting in the lobby and she said she had been too busy to come to class, but had come just to meet us! So that was exciting. We had a really great lesson one with her. She's smart. She's studying to be a doctor right now. She's had a lot of people in her life encourage her to look into Christianity, but she hadn't up until now. As we taught she totally followed lesson one (which is a bit of a rough one to follow sometimes). She had questions about the apostasy and authority. We committed her to read and pray about the BoM and she said she'd give it a try. Then she came to church yesterday. She had read the whole introductory pages and had questions. So we're way excited to teach her this week!

So Nan
Another English class find. She came to church for the second time yesterday too! But we haven't even taught her yet! We'll teach her tonight. We're hoping that she can make time in her schedule to meet us. We're getting lots of great referrals from English class these days!

So that's about it for the week. Hopefully that was at least mildly interesting. If not, wait til next week because a trip to Ankor Wat is in the works! Cam meel sen, as they say, or, wait and see. 

But to end with just a scriptural note. This week I'm reading my favorite section of the Book of Mormon, the second half of Mosiah. It always reminds me of a Shakespearian play with all these groups (the wicked priests, Alma's people) running around in the wilderness and bumping into each other. In chapter 21 Limhi's people are in bondage (bondage that came about from their poor choices). They tried several times to fight, but ultimately humbled themselves and submitted to being in bondage. As I read this chapter I thought about how the Lord answers our prayers. Sometimes it's in the way we want it, but often it is not. Simply because He's got His own plan and He knows more than us. But we can't be so caught up in our own desires that we fail to see His hand. For example, the people of Limhi so badly wanted to be brought out of bondage. They cried unto the Lord. In verse 15, He was "slow to hear their cries," because they had been so disobedient, but "nevertheless, the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage." In the verse 16 we learn that they began to "prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger." Though this was not the answer to the prayer they were hoping for, it was nonetheless a merciful answer from the Lord. Like them, we need to make sure that we are not so caught up in what we want that we miss all the blessings the Lord is giving us.

Well, I think that's all for this week! Until next time. 

Sister Fields

A little puppy showed up at our investigator's house. It basically just a ball of fluff. This is the same house as the rats and the fire. Something is always going down over there. 

Guavas we got from a less-active family. We recently found them, and they've started coming back to church. And free guavas! Win, win, win.

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