Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tie-dye bloopers & changes ahead

Hello everyone!! Wow these weeks are just flying by!!! Ok so this week I think I will start out with a funny story! Well actually this is more of just an Elder Steadman is an idiot story! haha So on Tuesday I decided I needed to do some laundry because I was starting to run pretty low as far as clean clothes go! ha So I threw a huge load of whites in and then headed out to proselyte for the day! Well when I came back at the end of the day, I went upstairs to take out my clothes and to my wonderful surprise I had left a couple of pens in my instead of coming home to some nice clean white shirts, I came home to some nice clean tie-died shirts! haha They look pretty good for shirts I could wear after the mission, but not for while I am on the mission. They just do not look too appropriate! ha Needless to say, I have learned my lesson on checking all of my shirts BEFORE I put everything in the wash rather than just throwing everything in without looking! Ok so there is Elder Steadman's blonde moment of the week! haha 

"Yeah, it is dung! My neighbors just had it spread all out right next
to our house for like a week haha! Smelled awful! Still there haha :)

As far as investigators go, this week I want to talk to you all about Sopoan! He is an investigator that actually came up to us and asked if he could learn! So we have been teaching him this past week and he is so awesome! He has two cute little kids that love to sit and listen to the big white people speak khmer as well! :) The coolest part is that every time we go and teach him, he gets a pen and a paper out and takes notes the entire time, asks us to repeat ourselves so he has time to write it down, and then he studies it in between the times that we meet so that he can remember everything that we have taught him! He is pretty much a dream investigator!!! He is keeping all of the commitments that we have given him as well, and is reading the Book of Mormon and praying every single day! It’s pretty cool to be a part of watching this young man change his life for what he truly believes to be right! :) He has a baptismal date scheduled for this next month and every time we go over to visit him, he makes sure he is still ok to get baptized on that day haha he is so awesome:)

As far as other news goes, this week was transfer calls!!! I found out this week that I am getting transferred! Not going to lie, when I found out that I was leaving Stung Meanchey I was super bummed because I have really just fallen in love with all of the people that live here and was hoping that I would be able to stay for one more transfer! But then I found out that I am headed to Siem Riap, which is pretty much where every missionary in the mission dreams to go to! There are only 6 missionaries that serve in this area at a time, so the chance of serving there in your mission is not very likely. So when I found out that that was where I was headed, I was super excited for the opportunity to be able to go there and serve! Siem Riap has one of the 7 wonders of the World called Angkor Wat, and it’s only a small bike ride away from my house which is pretty cool! :) Overall I am super excited to be able to go see a different part of Cambodia, but Stung Meanchey will always have a very special place in my heart!

Well, that’s all of the information I have for you this week! I am sure next week I will have some cool pictures and hopefully some cool stories as well! Loving my mission so very much and so excited to continue helping the people of Cambodia learn about Christ in Siem Reap! Sure love you all!

Until next week!
Elder Steadman:)

Austin says he can actually read this! It says, "The holy day is a
day to rest and also to worship."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Golden investigators and high 5's

Hello everyone! :) Well this week has been kind of crazy! Unfortunately this week I had to say goodbye to one of my companions. I was lucky enough to be his very last companion on his mission and he was so awesome! He taught me so much about how to be a good missionary and also to go as hard as you can until the very last day of your mission! He was an amazing example to me and I plan to model much of my mission off of his! So obviously since my companion left I got put in another companionship and luckily I did not even have to move houses! I combined with the elders who were already living in my house, so now I am in another threesome! These next couple weeks are going to be kind of crazy because we are running both areas for 2 weeks until the actual transfer happens, since my old companion went home a couple of weeks before regular transfers. So now the 3 of us are in charge of 2 areas and that just keeps us super busy which is really good:)

These pics are from Elder Schleede's goodbye party

This week I had 2 awesome things happen! The first was on Tuesday. We were walking into one of our Member’s houses and, as we were walking in, a guy came walking up to us... weird I know... and asked if he could learn more about our church. We continued to tell him, “No, we do not do that. If you want to know more you can look us up on our website,”......hahaha SYKE!! We were super excited and set up a time to meet with him! This Saturday we went to go teach him the first lesson at his house and he took notes the entire time we talked and asked lots of amazing questions and then we committed him to be baptized at the end of next month and he accepted!!! Oh just wait, it gets better! He showed up to church this week with his two little kids! They tried to stay for all 3 hours but the littlest kid (age 3) had had enough for the day so they went home, but he was well fellowshipped by some of the ward members and told us that he is very excited for when we get to come to his house and teach him again! His wife is not yet interested in learning from us, but he says that if we keep on coming and she sees him get baptized, he has faith that she will want to follow after his example! I LOVE CAMBODIA!!!

So if that was the end of my week I would definitely say that it was an amazing week, but it wasn't!!! This week we also had a kid show up to English class that Elder Schleede and I had contacted earlier, and after English class we invited him to come to church this next Sunday! He was so appreciative and asked if he could meet with us...we continued to tell him that that is not in our job description and he would have to find some other guys who had dedicated 2 years of their lives to teach about Jesus....haha SYKE again!!!! The only day he can meet is Sunday because he works every other day besides Sundays from sun up to sun down, but he came to church like an hour early to learn and then we met him after church to teach him some more and then we had baptisms later that day and he attended that too! So that was like 6 hours of church but he loved it! We invited him to be baptized and he said, "So wait, when I get baptized that means I get to follow Christ for the rest of my life, right!?" We said yes and he said, "Oh yes! Thank you so much Elder." I gotta say this one more time! I LOVE CAMBODIA!!! The people are so ready to receive the gospel here it’s insane!! I love being able to be just a small part in the Lord's big plan to spread the Gospel all across the world, and more specifically all across Cambodia! This is the true church! I know it with all of my heart and I feel so very blessed to be able to work for the Lord here in the Kingdom of Cambodia!!

Ok, so this week I decided to go with the funny story at the end of my letter! So this week on Sunday before church, my comps and I went into the Church to go and grab a drink of water and then to go to our next appointment. The Bishop’s kids were running around in the halls and as they ran past me I put my hand up kind of high for each of them to give me a high five. One by one (3 of them), they all jumped up to give me a high five and then as the last kid ran past me, he saw that my hand was clearly too high for him to reach, so he decided to give me a below the belt five instead! haha Needless to say he put me out for the count! haha So the end of that story is we were a little late to our next appointment and I had a bit higher voice during that lesson then I usually do! I love you all so much! Prayers coming your way from Cambodia!

Elder Steadman! :)

New companions: Elder Myers (center) and Elder Khem (right)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Keep on keepin' on in Stung Meanchey

Hello everyone! Well just another great week over here in Asia! :) So I guess I will just get right into it this week! I just got a call from the Assistants to the President! For those of you that do not know, this is my companion’s last week here in Cambodia! He leaves Friday but he leaves in between transfers, which means that transfer calls came a little bit early for me this transfer. Luckily though I am staying in the area that I have been in! This is a huge blessing because I love the members and work so much over here, and I really wanted to be able to stay a little bit longer so I am super happy about that! I will be in a threesome for 2 weeks (until the real transfers end) and then I will be getting another transfer call to see if I go or if I stay another transfer here in Stung Meanchey!! I am pretty bummed to be seeing my companion go! He has helped me so much over these last couple of weeks! He knew the language super well and was always so willing to help me try to improve my Khmer every day! I am definitely going to miss that!

Elder Schleede

As far as investigators go, the person that I want to talk about this week is Srei Ohn! She has been gone the last couple of weeks because she went to go visit her home country for a while! My companion and I were kind of nervous to have her gone for so long, and we were a little bit worried that she was going to forget all that we had taught her over that last couple of weeks! Christianity is a completely new thing for her so everything that we taught her was completely foreign and new to her! Anyway, the day that she came back we went to go meet with her and we went into the lesson just planning on reviewing all of the things that we had taught her so far. But then when we asked her the questions about what she remembered, she basically recited from memory all that we had taught her! It was SO awesome! One reason why it was so cool is because she knows that she has a bad memory, and so every time she prayed she would always pray that Heavenly Father would help her remember the things that she had learned with the Elders. It was super cool to see her prayers being answered right in front of my eyes! She says that she prays every single day and when she prays most of her family will laugh at her while she prays, but she does it anyway. And then she told us that one day after she was praying, her sister said that she wanted to learn about Christ as well, so that was super awesome to be able to have her example touch one of her sisters enough to want to learn from us! She (Srei) is going to be getting baptized this week and I cannot wait for Sunday to come already!

I love the work that is happening here in Cambodia! It’s growing so rapidly!! So many more people know about Jesus here! Whether it is from us or from other sects, people are gaining knowledge that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them so very much, which is a message I feel so very honored to share with these humble people:) I love my mission! :) And I love all of you!

Until Next week! :)

Future missionary?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A (not so) boring chapter

Hello everyone! :) Well I am just going to be straight up honest with you all this week! I got to the computer place to write to you all about how fun and amazing my week was here in Cambodia, but the truth is this week was a pretty regular week!! ha We all have them right!? I mean I’m sure all of you thrive off of my crazy adventures every week, but I can’t supply you with amazing material every week! It’s just not possible! ;) I mean have any of you read a book and just been like, “Man! I loved every single chapter of that book!” The answer is probably not! There are always a few chapters that are a little boring and you read just because you are already halfway through the book! Am a right!? :) (Besides the Book of Mormon and Bible… all those chapters are good!) But I am very sorry to inform you all that this is one of the boring chapters! haha Now this does not, however, mean that this was a boring week for me! I actually quite enjoyed this week! We did lots of contacting and had a lot of lessons and that was super awesome because I love the people that I am teaching, and even more than that- I love teaching the Gospel! This week was a fantastic week to be a missionary! But not so fantastic to read about in a letter home!

I guess actually I do have one cool story that I can share with you all for this week that I just remembered!! This week we had the opportunity to feel like missionaries that serve in America!! So let me explain:) We were walking down a row of houses and we stopped at this house because there was a guy outside washing his moto and so we stopped to talk to him and started into a gospel discussion. It turns out that he was actually already Christian and had been for over 5 years, which was pretty cool to hear! Then the crazy part happened! He said, "Man it’s hot out here! Why don't you guys come inside and you can share your message with me?" We were both shocked! I think our faces looked similar to the faces of Cambodians when they find out that we can speak Khmer! haha Anyway, of course we accepted his invitation and we went inside! We taught him the first lesson, and as we taught the Spirit was very strong! It was such a great blessing because right before we went up to that house, we found out that 2 of our investigators we were teaching had moved back to their home country and could no longer learn, so my companion and I were kind of down about that. But then we found this Family (Dad, Mom, Daughter, Grandma) who have been prepared before we met them by God! He spiritually prepared their hearts to hear our message and I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father trusted me enough to put them in my path and let them hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ through my weak and imperfect mouth! The miracles of God seriously never cease to amaze me here!

I seriously feel so unworthy for all of the things that Heavenly Father has given to me the last couple months of my life! I did not know that someone could receive so many amazing blessing in so short a time period! It helps my testimony grow stronger and stronger each day that I really do have a Heavenly Father, and not only that, but He knows who I am and He cares about what I do! That is my testimony to you all this week! I know that God knows each and every one of us perfectly!! He knows exactly how we feel inside and we can feel of His comfort through the wonderful gift of prayer!! This was a gift given to us so that when we have those hard days we can get on our knees and pray for comfort and He will be there! And when we have the amazing days we get on our knees and we thank Him for all of the blessings that He has given us that day! And when we have a normal day we get on our knees and ask Him for things to help us become stronger and thank Him for the things that make our life easier! We have been given so much! Especially in America! You don't realize just how lucky you are until you go to a 3rd world country and see just how happy these people are with next to absolutely nothing! It truly is amazing! I don't know exactly why Heavenly Father trusted me with the gift of the knowledge of the Gospel in these Latter-Days, but I am determined to try and show him as hard as I can how grateful I am for this knowledge by spreading it across Cambodia with all of my heart, might, mind and strength!! I LOVE MY MISSION!!! I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Much love,
Elder Steadman:)