Monday, June 30, 2014

First baptism!

Hello everyone!! Well this week has been super awesome with lots of great eventful things!! To start off I will talk about my experience at the Killing Fields. So right when I got off of email last week, we headed to the Killing Fields. On the way there I did not really know what to expect or what emotions I would have, but when we did get to the area and walked around, it was such an extreme amount of emotions that flooded into my heart it is too hard to explain. I will never be able to comprehend the things that happened only a few decades ago here in Cambodia, but going to the Killing Fields gave me just the smallest taste of how tragic the history is here. We were given a headset coming into the gate so we were able to hear stories from soldiers and stories of each of the different sites that they have marked off and some of the things were hard to listen to. As we were walking around, we came to a site where there were 450 dead that were buried in just a small pit. Some were buried dead and some were buried alive. As we stood there, I could feel the Spirit so strong in that particular area. I knew that these were God's precious children that had been so brutally killed, and I gained a strong testimony of the power of Family History work and giving these people the chance to receive everything that they could have received in this life in the next. Overall it was a very emotional, but very amazing experience! It amazes me that even though these people have such a hard history, they are still so happy and so so kind! I have the best mission ever!

The second event that happened this week is that when we got back to the apartment after the Killing Fields, we found out that one of the AP's (Assistant to the President) was going to come on a transfer with us the next day! So we were pretty excited for that! The next day we met him at the church and we went straight out to go contacting because one of our appointments fell through. So we were walking and we pass this big group that was eating and the AP was like, "Hey, let's go talk to them!" So we were like, "Ok, yeah, we're down!" haha So we walked over and my comp just starts like yelling to all of them about our church! It was SO sick! We felt like the missionaries from back in the day that stood up on the boxes and started preaching! haha It was a super cool experience! But the rest of that day was super good! Except when we got home our A/C was out and we had a notice saying that we did not pay our bill ha, which was not true. We had paid it like 2 weeks earlier. So I had my first night without A/C and that was not fun!!! haha Needless to say, this guy did not get a whole lot of sleep!!! But it was still an experience you have to have sometime ha :)

Ok, last bit of news for this week! I saved the best for last!!! So this week I was lucky enough to be able to baptize someone!! We have been teaching this family and their names are Bine, Khlung and Dome, and they are all so amazing!! So we asked them who they wanted to baptize them and they each chose someone different! Bine chose Bong Narit (her son-in-law) and Khlung chose my companion (Elder Lao) and Dome chose me :) I felt so lucky to be able to be chosen by her! She is so cute! She is 12 years old and the nicest, most hardworking girl you have every met!! So on Sunday, I was trying my very hardest to memorize the baptismal prayer and just saying it over and over again so I could try and make this the very best experience possible for her! When the time came, my heart was beating like crazy and I was SO nervous, but when I started to speak the words just flowed right out, just like they were supposed to, and when I lowered her into the water and brought her back up, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit! I felt so honored to be able to help Christ in bringing people into His fold and serving here in Cambodia!! Everything about the baptism was perfect and it went better than I could have ever imagined!! I know I have already said this a million times in this letter but I AM SO LUCKY!!!

From left: Dome's friend, Elder Lao, Bong Narit, Khlung, Dome,
Elder Steadman, Bine (Khlung & Dome's mom), & Seanna (Bong
Narit's wife & Bine's daughter); I don't know the cute babies' names.

Gosh it's so amazing to be able to watch people change their lives and see them come closer to their God! I always thought of a mission as a huge sacrifice but really this, so far, has just been a huge blessing! There are hard parts and there are things in my future that I just don't know about anymore! But I have never been at more peace about where I am in life than I am right now! I KNOW I am on the Lord's errand, and when you are on the Lord's side, He has a way of giving you a better future than you could have ever imagined :) Just like He did with the wonderful baptism experience I had this week! I love my mission and I love all the wonderful hard things about it! Thanks for all the love and support you have all given me!

Until next week,
Elder Steadman :)

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