Sunday, January 18, 2015

"The record breaker for records that no one wants to break :)"

Hello everyone!! Well this week was definitely a week with a twist that I did not see coming!! Haha but that's a good thing! I love my mission! Always keeping me on my feet!!:) So first of all I will tell you all the normal stuff that happened this week and then I will tell you the cool surprise!:) So on Monday this last week in the morning we woke up early and we went to go and play some soccer! It was an absolute blast! Except for the fact that I cannot play that dang sport to save my life!! Haha I give my bro mad props for being good at that sport because I just look like a joker every single time I play!! Ha needless to say, I volunteered to be the goalie where I felt a lot more comfortable only having to use my hands!:) haha Oh and Elder Quirante was there too! So I got to see him, which was awesome, and then after soccer he came with us to go and eat at just a small little restaurant thing and then we went back to his house because it was closer to where we were at than my house was, and we got changed into our regular proselyting clothes for the day! Then we went to the mission home and had a good time seeing all of the Elders! It's fun being back in the city because every p-day you get to see so many different Elders!:) So yeah, Monday was a good day!

Also another cool thing that happened this week was that we were contacting in an area kind of close to where we live and we saw this lady out selling bananas and for some reason we felt like we should talk to her. So we started talking to her and asked her if she had ever learned about Jesus before and she told us that she used to go to church every single Sunday, but that she just got busy and stopped going. We asked if it would be ok if we came back again another day to share more about what we believe in our church and she was super excited that we teach people at their houses on weekdays instead of her having to come to the church to learn every time with us! So she immediately accepted!!:) She also told us how much she missed going to church on Sundays, so we invited her to come and try out our church this Sunday! Unfortunately she was not able to come this week because she had some big family event that she was going to so she was not going to be back home in time to make it to church, but she said next week she really wants to come and try it out!! Since the time we have contacted her, we have had two more lessons with her and each time I can just see her face light up every time we share more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's pretty awesome!:)

Ok, so are you all ready to hear the surprise!?:) ha Ok fine… I'll tell you!:) So on Thursday this last week I was in a lesson with one of my less-active members in the ward when I felt my phone vibrate. The first time that it rang I did not look at it. I figured when I was done with the lesson I would call whoever it was back. Then they called a second time and I still did not look at it, but then they sent me a text message on top of calling me two times! So I tried to wrap my lesson up and then when we finished the closing prayer, I took out my phone to see that the Assistants to the President were the ones that had called me twice and sent me the text message as well!! I opened up the text message and this is what it said, "Please call us back as soon as you can!!" Haha well I'm not gonna lie, I was a little bit scared! In those moments, for some reason, you cannot help but think, "What did I do wrong!?" Haha But after nothing came to mind I figured I was in for perhaps a different surprise! So I called them back and asked them what was up! They then proceeded to tell me that there was a new Khmer missionary and he was supposed to start his mission about two weeks ago, but he got into a small moto accident so he had to wait another extra two weeks before they could clear him to start serving his mission. Then they told me that he is now all healed up and ready to be a missionary and they want me to be his trainer!! Ha I couldn't really believe it at first, but then when I finally came to my senses I said ok!!:) They told me they were going to be dropping him off in Stung Meanchey in about an hour! Sure enough, an hour later I had another companion with me!:) His name is Elder Sorn (អែលឌើរ សន) and he is super cool! He is from Tuk Tlaa (ទឺថ្ឡា) and he is a very hard worker! He loves to laugh a lot too, which is good, but he still knows how to be a hard worker! I am super excited to be able to keep on working with him and train him for the next couple months! At the end of March or beginning of April he will be heading to Australia to serve his mission, but right now he is waiting on his passport and stuff so they want him to start his mission here and then when all of that stuff comes he will head out to Australia. Sometimes it can take a while, so they don't want him waiting around forever for that stuff! This Sunday it was pretty cool because we were talking to some of the members and I overheard my new companion talking to one of the members in our ward and they were asking him how it was being companions with me and the very first thing that he said was, "He actually gets up on time! I didn't know missionaries actually obeyed that rule!!" This was a great reminder for me because sometimes we forget that people are always watching us! There are some days where I think if I could, I would give away my firstborn child for an extra hour of sleep haha, but I cannot forget that there is always a pair of eyes on me and any bad habits that I have will be carried over to him so I need to try and do my very best to be the greatest missionary I can so he can take some of the good things that I have and then a lot of the good things that he already has and combine them so that he can be one amazing missionary!!:)

I know that for us as members of the church, we are always in the spotlight! Whether we recognize it or not people are always watching us and people are always watching what we are doing, so we need to all try our very best to follow all of the commandments that Heavenly Father has given us so that when people look at us they can know that we PRACTICE what we teach!! I will be the very first to admit that I was not a good example of that for a very long period of time in my life and I regret that so very much!! But we can all start today!! If you haven't been following what you know to be true, it's not the end of the world! All is not lost for you! Heavenly Father still loves you! All you have to do is get on your knees and repent and talk to whoever you need to talk to in order to get on the path of repentance! I promise it will be a huge burden that is lifted from you if you don't just put it off and do it TODAY! Get back on the right track because Heavenly Father needs YOU to be an example to his children and to be a light to those who are still in darkness!! And for those of you that are already following and being a good example...keep it up!!:) Keep being amazing! I am so thankful for people like you and your example because without people like you, I know for a fact I would not be on my mission right now!! All right, well there is my little spiel for you all this weekend! :) haha So yeah, that's the big surprise this week for you all! I am training! I still don't feel like I am super ready to be training, but I know that this is a good experience that my Heavenly Father is giving me to help me become a better missionary!! I am going to do the very best to train him so that he will be twice the missionary that I ever was!!:) So right now we are a companionship of three! This is the fourth time that this has happened to me on my mission and I have not even been out a year yet!! Haha lots of missionaries always make fun of me for always being the record breaker for records that no one wants to break!:) haha But I really don't mind! As they always say, "Three heads are better than 2 heads."... or something along those lines!;);) Anyway, that's all I have for you all this week, but I want you all to know that I love you so much! I sure do miss all of you so much but I would not trade the experiences I am having out here on my mission for the riches of the world!! I love my mission and love the people here way too much to ever trade it for any worldly treasure!:) I love you all and hope that you all have a very amazing week! Oh, but before I go I have one more very important announcement!! This week is a VERY important week! This week my favorite brother in the whole world is turning 21!!! Or is it 12!?!? I can't remember anymore because the last time I Skyped him, his voice was all deep and manly!!:):) So I need YOU ALL to do me a big favor! Because I am half way across the world, I can't give that stud a big birthday hug, but all of you can! So if you see Luke Steadman this week I want you to give him the biggest hug you can and then let him know that his brother over here in Cambodia loves him SOOOOOO MUCH!!!:):) I love you Lukey Bear!!!:):) Have an amazing birthday week big guy! :) That's all for this week! Much love and prayers headed your way from the Kingdom!!!:)

Love, Elder Steadman

Monday, January 12, 2015

A dog eat dog world...

Hello everyone! So this week has seriously just flown right by! Can someone please tell time to just slow down a tiny bit?! I am just starting to get a hang of this language!:) haha This week was super good, but it was also a lot of really hard and hot and sweaty work! haha So last week at the beginning of the week on Tuesday we got a call from the Sisters that are in my district! They called to inform me that they had gone to the mission home to do an exchange to switch companions with each other and on their way back to Stung Meanchey, they had taken a couple of wrong roads and now were totally and completely lost! I asked them to tell me some things that were around them so that I could help them get back home and they told me they were near a bread store, a photo shop and a gas station named Tella. Well, I got what I asked for, but it didn't help too much considering that describes almost every Main Street in Cambodia!!:) haha So I told them to tell me the name of the road that they were on so that I could go out and find them! Unfortunately, I had never heard of the road that they were on but I just figured we would go by the Spirit and my companion and I hopped on our bikes and headed off to go and find them! Well, long story short, we asked a lot of people if they had ever heard of the road that the sisters were sitting on and finally found someone who had and so we followed his instructions and finally found the road that they were on and then we called them and told them to be looking out for us and no sooner had I hung up with them than I heard two girls screaming from across the street! Haha it seriously was a small miracle that we found them because they were in the middle of nowhere and a far ways off from their home! They were very appreciative and even had bought us a soda so that just made the long hunt for them totally worth it! :)

Then later in the week I finally ate dog! Ha I was contacting people at around 7 at night and then there were these people that called us over to talk to them and they were eating this meat and it smelled really good, so I asked them what it was. They told me that it was special meat haha and after I asked some further questions, I found out that “special meat” was in fact dog meat! They offered me some for free and so I could not decline! I am sorry to all of you who are dog lovers! All I have to say is I think dogs are happier when they die over here! It's not such a happy life for them! As they say, it's a dog eat dog world! Or human eat dog world!:) haha

Anyway, the rest of my week was super good! We had some investigators show up to church, which is always just the greatest ever, but we also had quite a few that had to go back to their hometowns to visit their families! We are hoping that they will come back soon so that we can continue to learn with them all!!:) Overall, this area is super good! We have been doing lots of contacting lately because lots of our investigators have peaced out to their hometowns, but our contacting has had a lot of success! There have been quite a few people that we have talked to just on the side of the road that have offered to have us come back to their homes and teach them about Jesus Christ! It's pretty cool when someone who you have never met before in your life feels something that they have never felt before and they invite you to come back and continue to teach them so they can learn more about that feeling and also come to a knowledge of the beautiful message that we have to share with them! I love my mission so much right now! I love being able to be back in the area where I first came when I was brand new in the country. It's so fun to be able to see some of the people from my first area… people I could not really talk to back then because of my lack of being able to speak Khmer at the beginning of my mission, but now I can speak with them and actually understand what they are saying back to me! What a blessing Heavenly Father has given me! I love my mission and I love every single day that I have to be able to preach the gospel to the people of Cambodia! That's all I’ve got for you this week. Hopefully I will have something more exciting to tell you all next week! Until then be safe and have a wonderful week!

Much love from Cambodia!!
Elder Steadman

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Nothin' but love baby

Hello everyone!! Well, I am back home!!:):) At least my home in Cambodia anyway!:) For those of you who don't know, when I started my mission my very first area was Stung Meanchey, and now as luck would have it I am back in this area again! Only this time I am serving in the first ward!! Saying goodbye to some of the people in Siem Reap was a little bit hard because I really loved some of the members over there and I will miss being able to teach them, and also I had some investigators that were getting baptized this week and next week. Unfortunately I will not be able to see them make that sacred covenant, but I know that more important than me being there to see it is the fact that they actually do make that covenant with their Heavenly Father so that they can be able to walk the path of God with all of their hearts and eventually be able to return and live with Him again someday! And one day we will all be able to see each other again and that will be a joyous day where we can all be happy with each other in the kingdom of our Father! :)

Anyway, the goodbyes were a little but sad but it was hard to be super sad because I was also extremely excited to be headed back to my favorite area in the mission!!:) The bus ride to Phnom Penh was kind of long and a little bit painful because I got super carsick on the way there! Thankfully we stopped about 3 hours in to our trip and I got some car sickness medicine and that did wonders! And since we had rented out an entire van to ourselves, I just laid across the aisle and fell asleep and by the time we got pretty close to Phnom Penh I felt tons and tons better!!:) The first day here was so awesome! I knew so many of the people from this ward like right off the bat just from seeing them around the church when I was here last! They all remembered me as well, which made me feel so good:) To be honest, there were people that remembered my name and I did not remember their names! So I made it a goal that I am going to know everyone's name in this ward! Literally everyone! I have already got all of the young men's names down and about half of the names of the older people in my ward and then I just have to memorize the young women as well! I seriously can't even tell you how much I love this area!! It kind of feels like a blast from the past coming back here! I feel like I am back at the very start of my mission again, except this time all of the people that I could not understand when I was last here I can now hear what they are saying to me and actually be able to reply!:) Ha the members have been super nice to me here! They say that I can speak super clear now and they can understand what I am saying to them, whereas before my sentences were a little bit hard to understand!:) haha

My companion is super awesome! He is just coming out of his training so he has only been in the country for just 2 transfers! He is super awesome and tries so hard to learn the language every single day! I wish I would have tried as hard as he does at the beginning of my mission to learn the language because by the time he gets to be my age in the mission, he is going to be a professional! He reminds me a lot of myself when I was in his position just 7 or so months ago when I had to lead out my area coming out of training just like he is having to do! He is doing a great job though! This last week my mouth has been hurting super bad! It's just always sore and I was trying to think to myself, “Why is my mouth so sore!?” And then it hit me! It's because I have been speaking so much English lately that my mouth is not used to it! Haha The last like 5 months of my life I have had to use English only every so often, but really I have hardly ever had to speak it unless I was in English class! Now I have an American companion and we are always speaking English in between our lessons and also at the house and this whole English speaking thing has got my mouth all tired and sore!:) Speaking English is so overrated!!:) haha

But seriously I love my mission so much right now! This ward is so organized that it's seriously insane! It's pretty much as close as you could get to an American ward here in Cambodia! They even have home teaching here, which is seriously unheard of!! When I heard they had that I like almost started crying for joy! Haha They also have a Preach My Gospel study class that we teach every Sunday and this week we had like 10 young men and young women sit in on the lesson! It was so cool!:) Also, another thing that is amazing about this place is that our house is so clean here!!! In my house before, there were six elders living all together and so it was literally never clean but here there are only four elders and literally everyone here knows how to clean their own dishes!! Seriously… somebody pinch me I think I might have died and gone to heaven!:) haha

Anyway, I don't really have a whole lot more to tell you all because this week has mainly just been a week of a lot of traveling and a lot of saying goodbyes and also a lot of saying hello agains :) But next week I am hoping to have a little bit more information to be able to relay to all of you! Know that I love each and every one of you! You are all in my prayers every day! My mission is truly teaching me to love everyone that I see! Even people who have done wrong to me or who have hurt my heart, I have learned and continue to learn that I need to love them too!! You know why!? Because I have hurt people’s feelings and been mean to people before in my life and when I am in that situation, all I want is forgiveness from them for the rude things that I have done to them. I can't recall a time where I have requested someone's forgiveness and they didn't give it to me! That is the true meaning of love right there! So if they can do it then I need to do it as well! There is no room in my heart for hate anymore! I have held in a lot of anger and hate in my heart up until these last couple weeks of my mission and then I just decided, you know what!? I don't have room for you anymore! So I kicked it to the curb where it belongs! I love everyone! Yes you! Even you! I love you!:) Hate is just a nasty thing that Satan will try to use to bring you down to his level! Don't fall into that trap! The guy’s a tool!!! I invite all of you this week to think of someone who may have offended you in the past or who maybe you just do not like that much for other reasons and I invite you all to pray to Heavenly Father and ask for His help to love that person rather than hate them! I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that eventually as you continue to pray each day, your hate or distasteful feelings towards that person will diminish and in return a great love for them will start to grow inside of you! This is the power that the Atonement has to bring to each one of us! The Atonement is not only used for us to ask forgiveness of our sins! It can also be used to help heal our hearts and find more love each and every day for our fellow men! I love this Gospel! I love the person that it is helping me become! I love my mission! I would not trade the experiences that I am having out here for any amount of money that this world has to offer! I love my Savior and I am so grateful for is eternal sacrifice that was given to us with love unimaginable to the human race!! I love my Father in Heaven and I am so grateful to Him for giving me the opportunity to come and serve in the best mission that this world has to offer! Try to not to be too jealous!:):) I love you all and hope you have a great week!

All my love,
Elder Steadman