Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy 1 year anniversary Elder Steadman!

Hello everybody!!:) Well this was just another week that went by as fast as ever!! So this week I was lucky enough to get a package in the mail from my amazing parents!!:) It could not have been any better! There were a whole bunch of letters from some of the youth in my home ward included in the package and it was so fun to be able to read their cute little notes that they sent to me! It definitely was one of the highlights of my week!:) Thanks Mom and Dad!! I love you so much! :) So this week was another really good week! One small surprise that we had was on Monday night… I was calling the sisters because every night I have to call them to make sure that they are home safe and so when I called them one of the sisters picked up the phone, but when they answered the person talking was not the voice that I was used to talking to every night, but it sounded so familiar!! Finally I asked who it was that I was talking to and she replied Sister Jepson! Ha I was surprised and asked her what she was doing in Stung Meanchey and she told me there was a small emergency transfer for the sisters because there was a problem in another area and now she was going to be serving here as my same area!! I was super pumped when I heard about that! It's been so fun to see each other around so much! It's super weird as well because the last time that we were with each other was in the MTC and we did not know the language at all! Haha and now we are able to speak and listen to the people without hardly any difficulty...most of the time! (Keep praying for me!) So yeah, she is in my district so I am able to see her all of the time!! Now we just need to get Elder Quirante over here and I think I will be the happiest Elder on this entire planet!!:) So that was the surprise that happened this week!:)

Reunited with an old friend :)

As far as other news goes, this week was a little bit hard to get lessons! Ha mainly because this week was Chinese New Year and so everyone and their dog does not go to work… they will just go back to their hometown and so most of the time Phnom Penh is kind of a ghost town because most people are from a Province! The people that did not go to a Province would gather together and drink their faces off!! Haha so contacting was kind of funny this week!! I think we got invited to a house like every 10 yards we walked because everybody wanted to have a drink with the random white guy! Haha but once I told them that I didn't drink and actually wanted to teach them about Jesus instead they lost interest in the random white guy quite quickly!! Hahaha it was ok though because even though I did not get any potential investigators this week, I was giving it my all and also had some dang good laughs along the way! :) Drunk people in Cambodia are different than like any drunk person in the world! One job that lots of men here have is called driving a Tuk Tuk! It's a motorcycle with like a small carriage thing attached onto the back of it so that they can take people places! Anyway so it's kind of notorious that if you have this job, you also enjoy drinking a lot haha because you have a lot of down time so lots of them will just get together and drink with each other! So we had to go to the mission home this last week for my companion because he is in the process of getting his visa and stuff so when we went we decided to take a Tuk Tuk to get there. So we went up to this guy and asked him how much it was and he was absolutely plastered! Haha he could not really put a complete sentence together so we started to walk away, but then he offered us a price that was literally half the price that it usually costs to go to Phnom Penh! I turned around and made sure that I heard him right and he nodded his head (kind of in a circle motion) and so I hopped in! Ha it was a price that I could not let go! Plus the permanent driving speed here is like 10 mph cause there is always traffic so it is literally impossible to go any faster than that! So in my mind I was thinking, “What is the worst that could happen!?” Haha but before my mom kills me for telling this story, here is the craziest part! Cambodians are amazing drivers! This guy could not complete a sentence to save his life, but he was an unbelievable driver! He avoided all the bumps and was able to snake through traffic no problem! It made me kind of laugh a little bit! So I guess it's not true what they say! There actually are some good Asian drivers!;) Man I love Cambodia:) Anyway, we offered him a pamphlet and asked him if he wanted to learn, but he was not interested at all! Maybe one day though he will remember that pamphlet and give the Elders a call!:)

Let's see, other than that nothing exciting really happened to me this week! We had some investigators show up to church this week, which is always an amazing blessing!:) There was one investigator who called us and told us that he was not going to be able to come because he was going to one of his friend’s wedding, but then when we got to church we saw him walk in and he had also brought his sister, who we had never met before! He told us that he left a little bit early from the wedding so that he could come and worship! I was so pumped!! After first hour we asked him if he was going to continue to stay and he kind of hesitated for a second because he was originally planning on just coming for that hour and then going back, but then he decided that he wanted to stay for the other hours as well and he stayed for all three hours! Not only that, but his sister ended up staying even longer than that! At the end of third hour they were practicing singing for an upcoming Sunday and she stayed to sing with the members! It was super cool to see the members just instantly welcome her into the group! The Church here in Cambodia truly is amazing! Everyone is just best friends… it does not matter how long you have known each other or how old you are, as soon as you walk into the church building you are family!! It's amazing to watch! I think it's exactly how Heavenly Father would want things!:) Anyway, so we talked to him after third hour and he expressed how glad he was that he had stayed for all three hours and really enjoyed getting to know people better because usually he ends up leaving after first hour, but he told us that because he stayed longer he was able to make more friends and feel a lot more comfortable! :) He is going to be getting baptized in a couple of weeks and he is very excited!:) Anyway, that pretty much sums up what happened in my life this last week! I am so grateful to be out here serving in Cambodia! I already feel like I do not have sufficient time left here to do everything that I want to do and be everything that I want to be, but I am so grateful that I still have the time that I do left! :) Which to some may seem like a very long time, but the way that my mission has been going so far, I am very scared it's going to go by way faster than I want it to! Ha I love my mission and would not want to be with any other people in the entire world right now than the people of Cambodia! This place has filled a spot in my heart and will forever fill that special spot for as long as I live! I know that this church is the church of God and that He is the leader behind this Gospel! I know He loves each and every one one of us so very much and through His wonderful plan, we can live with Him again someday! If you don't know of this plan, I invite you to learn with Elders or Sisters close to you and find out for yourself just a little bit more about how much your Heavenly Father truly loves you! I promise that this message will bring more happiness and blessings to your life than any other thing this world could possibly give to you! I love you all and am always and forever thankful for your love and support! Thank you for those who have not forgotten about Elder Steadman way over here in Cambodia!!:) I hope you all have a great week! Much love coming to you from the Kingdom!!:)

Elder Steadman
Dead lizard... time for a prank...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentines and Vietnamese

What's up!!:) Well this week was another great week here in the kingdom of Cambodia!! :) This week one cool thing that happened was transfers! So luckily this transfer I did not have to leave my area, which is super good because this is the best area in Cambodia!!:) So in my area there is another Elder that is serving here… his name is Elder Lauritzen and he is brand new and he is super cool… we have like the exact same personality and get along super well, so whenever we get to see each other it's always fun to talk and joke around with each other! Unfortunately, he’s been living at the other house in Stung Meanchey, but this transfer the AP's called him and told him that he and his companion would still be proselyting in this area, but that they would be moving into our house for this next transfer! When they told me this I was super excited because we were going to be able to be around each other a lot!! He is a super cool kid! Hopefully one day I can be his companion as well!! 

So that was the exciting news that happened this week, but this week there also was some sad news. Since I have been in this area we have had an investigator named Ming Bopha and she is super awesome! Her testimony is unbelievable and she has such a strong desire to get baptized, but unfortunately this week we ran into some very bad news with her! We met with her on Wednesday and she started to cry and she told us that her husband was not going to let her meet with us anymore. So really fast just some background on her husband. He beats her and is only around the house one week out of the month and the rest of the time he is in a province. She has asked to get a divorce for him and he will not let her. He does not let her leave from the house ever unless she gets permission from him first and he hates us because we go to her house and teach her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he hates the "Jesus" church. For a long time she still wanted to learn with us so she would let us come over to her house, but now he is coming to the house and does not tell her when he is going to be coming. So this week she told us that she is not going to be able to meet with us anymore because he is going to be at the house a lot more and he does not want us to teach her. The one good news about all of this is that they have a kid who the dad loves a lot and that kid loves to come to the church and play with all of the kids at the church and so he has decided to let them come to worship at church each Sunday, but will not allow her to keep on learning with us. When I heard of this I really didn't know what to say to her, but then a scripture popped up into my head and it was 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." And then I bore my testimony to her that the Lord has prepared a way for her to accomplish what she has gained knowledge of! The hardest thing is sometimes we just cannot see that path as clearly as our Heavenly Father can, but that does not mean that the path is not there! We have to show our faith in him by taking those first few steps in the dark and then once we have shown our faith then He can begin to light the path for us so we can begin to see what His plan is for us and what we need to do in order to be able to follow down His path. I committed her to keep on coming to church each and every Sunday and to pray that her husband will have his heart softened. I promised her that as she does this with faith, one day her husband will soften his heart and allow her to follow and become baptized and become a member of this church! It was really hard to say goodbye to her because she has been learning for such a long time and her testimony is so very strong, but I know that one day she will be able to learn again and until then she will be able to continue in faith by coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. So yeah, that was pretty much the hardest thing that happened this week, but overall this week was really good!

We had a lot of investigators at church this week as well! Still not all of them, but soon I think we will have all of our investigators attending church!:) One thing I want to do a little bit better this next week is contacting! This week we struggled a little bit at going out and contacting people and trying to get more investigators! I think I fell into some of Satan's temptations this week by finding things to do besides contact haha… not that they were completely unproductive things to be doing, but contacting and trying to find investigators would probably have been the better thing to be doing! For some reason this week I was being kind of lazy in going out of my way to talk to people! Usually I like to talk to everything with a mouth, but this week for some reason I was a little bit lazy! But that's ok, because this next week that's not going to happen! You just wait and watch… I'm going to have some new investigators and some cool stories to tell you all here in the next few weeks!!:)

I am so grateful to be out here serving my mission right now! There is not a better place to be serving than right here in Cambodia!! One funny thing that I have decided to do this transfer has to do with a little planner that you get every transfer; this book is where you put all of your notes and plan who you will be teaching and at what times you will be teaching them. So I went to the mission home last Sunday to get a new planner for this upcoming transfer and I saw that the planner had been translated into three different languages. There was English, Khmer and Vietnamese. Well, I know how to read English already and I also know how to read Khmer, so I decided to mix it up a bit and go with Vietnamese! I can’t understand a single word it says, but it's ok because I have what it looks like in English memorized already! So yeah, basically I'm weird!! Haha you have to do the weirdest things to entertain yourself sometimes out here on your mission!!:) It's going to be a Vietnamese planner with nothing but Khmer and English written in it!:) Anyway, that's all I have for you! Sorry it is kind of short and boring this week! We did not have a whole lot happen, but maybe next week will be more exciting! We have a baptism set up in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I will have some pictures of that for you all to look at in the near future! Know that I love you all and that you are all in each and every one of my prayers!! Oh yeah and Happy Valentine's Day to you all as well! This is a different Valentine's Day than I have ever had before, but it's filled with more love than any of my previous ones in the past! I love the people of Cambodia more than words could EVER put into description! It's an everlasting love and I also have a deep love for my family back at home! Thank you so much for all of your letters that you all send each and every week!! I don't know what I would do without my sweet momma bear and dadio!! Along with my two gorgeous sisters and my absolute stud of a brother!! It truly is the perfect package that I’ve got back at home!! Could not ask for a better family!!:) I love you all so much!!:) I also love all of my friends!! :) Especially those of you who have taken the time to write me!! You really find out who your true friends are out here on your mission!! Haha You know who you are so there is no need to list off names!!;);) I love you all and hope that you all have an amazing week full of love and happiness!! Much love headed your way!!:)

Elder Steadman

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another transfer in stinky, wonderful Stung Meanchey

Hello everyone!!:) This week has gone by in like 2 blinks it feels like!! So I don't know where in the world January went but it seems crazy to me that we are already in February!! I'm not going to lie to all though this week was just one of those weeks where not a whole lot went down!! Honestly, I was pretty grateful for it!! The last couple weeks there have been some crazy surprises and curveballs that I did not see coming! Ha so having a week with no AP calls and just me and my companion doing missionary work was pretty nice!:) Except at the beginning of this week we were not really allowed to do a whole lot of missionary work because my comp had a whole bunch of doctor interviews as well as interviews with the Australian embassy so that he can get a visa to go and serve the rest of his mission in Australia!! I was super happy for him that he is close to being able to go and serve there, but as far as the beginning of this week went, we did not have a whole lot of time to meet our investigators which was kind of a bummer, but luckily later in the week we were packed with lessons every hour! That's always a good feeling!! :) Also- I almost forgot! This Sunday was transfer calls! This was like the fastest transfer ever!! So the Zone Leaders called me on Sunday and told me that my companion and I would be staying here for another transfer! I was obviously super excited about that news because I love Stung Meanchey!!!!:) I am hoping I can at least serve here a couple of transfers more! I really would be not mad at all if I spent the better part of my mission here!! It's the stinkiest smelling place in Cambodia, but you cannot find a better group of people in Cambodia than the people in Stung Meanchey!!:)

Anyway, this Sunday was a pretty good Sunday! We had a few investigators at church, which was good! Not as many as we were hoping to have, but hopefully we will have some more next week!!:) This week I also got to give a talk in sacrament meeting! They asked me to talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the importance it has played in my life!! Well obviously this was like the easiest topic ever to talk about for 10 minutes because my knowledge of the Atonement has changed my life in pretty much every possible way you could imagine!! I cannot even imagine where in the world that I would be right now without the Atonement of Jesus Christ!! I was able to share some of my favorite scriptures about the Atonement and also share some spiritual experiences that I have had in my life personally as well!! Overall, I expressed the importance of using the Atonement of Jesus Christ every single day! Sometimes we can feel scared or we can feel like we don't have a good enough reason to use the Atonement, but in all reality all of those thoughts are coming straight from Satan!! Jesus knows that all of us will do wrong and make mistakes and whether they are big or small he wants us to come to him each and every day and ask him for forgiveness so that each and every day we can feel clean and free from all of the things that we have done wrong in that day! Another part of the Atonement is also comforting us in times of difficulty in our life!! Jesus is the only person ever who can know exactly how we are feeling and exactly what we need in order to feel comforted! If we ever feel like we are alone and don't have someone that we can turn to, once again, this is Satan trying to convince you of something that could not be further from the truth!! So show him just how wrong he is by getting down on your knees and find out just how much someone really does know how you are feeling! I promise if you do this that whatever you are going through, you will start to gain a knowledge that you are not going through your trials all alone! There's always at least one person that's by your side for every single struggle that you have! He is always trying to help you keep moving forward and as you pray, you will be able to better hear that still small voice that will help you and bring you comfort!

Anyway, I also had to teach third hour about fasting! I didn't know that I was going to have to teach beforehand, but it ended up going super good!! I shared one story in my life that I have never forgotten of when my family and I were able to see a miracle when we fasted as a family!! I remember that when my mom had my little baby brother Luke, she was in the hospital and she had a problem with her leg and was not able to walk. When she went to the doctor they told her that it was going to take quite a few months, and could even take a year, to be able to fully heal. When we heard this news, my dad decided that we were going to fast as a family for my mom that her leg would be able to heal quickly! I remember that this was the first time in my life that I fasted and had a real desire to see a miracle happen and truly believed that through our fasting we would be able to see blessings come from it! I think up until that point in my life, I fasted because I had to and my parents told me I needed to, but that fast I did it because I wanted to and I truly did believe that it would help!! Anyway, I remember that it was only a couple weeks after we had fasted that my mom was able to walk and then a couple more weeks and she did not have to wear her brace that the doctors had given her! Looking back, this truly was a miracle that Heavenly Father gave us and I believe with all of my heart it was because we fasted and we fasted with true desire and faith as well!! The reason we fast is to show that our spirit is stronger than our body and when we don't eat, we humble our physical body and our spirit is then strengthened! I am so grateful for this commandment because basically this commandment is just a reason for Heavenly Father to pour out blessings upon us! So that lesson went really good as well and the Spirit was super strong!

Other than that I don't really have a whole lot to share this week! I am sorry that this week was not very exciting… hopefully something a little crazy (but not too crazy) will happen next week so I will have a little bit more of an exciting letter for you all!!:) I am so grateful to be able to be serving a mission right now at this point in my life and I would not trade the experiences that I am having out here for anything in the world! I know that the message that I go out each and every day to share with the people of Cambodia is a message from God and I feel so very honored that He has trusted me to go out and share it with the wonderful people here! I could not imagine wanting to be anywhere else in the world!!:) I love my mission so much and I love the person that it's helping me become as well! I love you all as well and am so thankful for all of your support that you give to me each and every day through your prayers! I love you all and hope you all have a great week over there in the land of the free!:) Much love headed your way from the Kingdom!!:)

Elder Steadman

Soccer with Elder Q & the other missionaries in Phnom Penh

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Church pills" and potholes

Hello :) So this week has been super awesome! And super fast!! Seems like the cooler the week is the faster it goes!! This week was a week that was very much needed!! The reason why I say that is because the last couple weeks we have not had a whole lot of success with investigators and last week we only had 1 investigators show up to church, which was kind of sad! So we have really been trying to work closely with all of the members so that they can trust us and then give us referrals of people that they know that want to learn about Jesus Christ as well!! Well this week we seriously had like 7 referrals come from the members!!:) It was so awesome to see our prayers get answered so quickly! We are way too blessed over here!!:) Not to mention, all of the referrals that were given to us were awesome!! This week we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to teach everyone at the times that they are available to meet during the day!! What a good problem to have as a missionary, right!?:) Most of our investigators are super busy until the evening, so our day doesn't really get crazy until about 4 or 5 and then it just goes absolutely insane!! It's not even the hot season yet, but I'm still sweating like I just finished a marathon!:) Haha it's a good feeling though, working your heart out to help people come closer to Christ!:)

So one of the referrals that we got from the members was a husband and wife and her three kids! They originally learned with Elders about 4 years ago, but then she had to move unexpectedly and had to leave her house and she did not have a cell phone so they had no way to contact her to find out where she was, so she did not learn for a really long time. Then she met one of our members and the member had the courage to talk to her about our church and then asked her if she wanted to learn again and her response was, "Of course I do! I would do anything to start learning again!" How awesome, right!? When we went over to her house, she kept on trying to apologize to us for not keeping in touch when she moved, but we just told her not to worry about it another second longer! We were just glad that they were able to be found again and have the opportunity to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ again! We taught them the first lesson and lots of things came back to their remembrance, which is pretty cool!:) And then we invited them to come to church this Sunday as well! She immediately said that she would be there!:) Unfortunately the husband works on Sunday, but he said that he was going to do everything that he could do to try and be able to make it to church as well!! Well, when Sunday came around, the anticipation was high and we were as curious and anxious as ever to see who was going to be able to make it to church! We called all of our investigators before church started to remind them and also invite them again so they felt welcome! Anyway, 1 o'clock came rolling around and we didn't see her, but then I got a call from her and she told me that she had been trying to find a ride, but hadn't been able to find one. She said she was going to try and find one as fast as she could and she just called to tell me she was going to be a little late! I told her not to worry about it and that we were just happy that she was going to be able to make it! Sure enough, about 15 minutes later she showed up with her cute kids! She has the fattest little baby… he is so cute! I will have to take a picture with them next week! :) Anyway, her husband was not with her but she said next week he would be able to come because he had requested work off already for next Sunday!! She stayed for all three hours and all the members made her feel really loved, which was awesome! Then the coolest thing happened! At the end of the third hour we had an awesome surprise...her husband showed up!!:):) We were so pumped! He apologized for not being able to make it for worship, but said that he wanted to show us he has faith by showing up anyway!! Man I love my mission!!:) This family is so amazing- it’s not even describable!! We walked him around the church and showed him all the rooms so he would feel comfortable next week when he comes, and then there was a member just hanging outside of the church when we got done, so I introduced him to the member (who was about his same age) and they just hit it off! He told me after, "I already have a friend to sit by next week. I love this church!" I know that this almost just sounds a little too good to be true… Trust me, I know! I had to keep pinching myself just to make sure I wasn't going crazy! :) Haha anyway, that was one cool story that happened this week for us!

Oh and I have a good funny story to tell you all as well! :) So this last week we went to go visit one of the old members of the ward and he is super awesome! He is a little bit out of it because he is like 70 years old, but he is seriously so hilarious!! So the other day we went over to teach him and he was really good at paying attention while we were teaching the lesson, but then when we finished the lesson he told us that lately he had been sick but then he found some "church pills" and these pills had completely cured him of his sickness!! He asked us if we wanted to see the pills! Of course we had to see with our own eyes what these "church pills" were all about! So he went into his house and a few seconds later came back out holding a little bag with pills, which he then handed to me. They were knock-off ibuprofen… I think! Haha he then told me these pills were also "repentance pills". All you have to do is pop one of those suckers and your sins are just cleared right out of you!! So far, this was the hardest it has been for me on my mission to hold laughter in the gut that I just wanted to bust out!! :) hahahahahaha He then continued to tell us that they were LDS certified and if we needed any we could just let him know because his neighbor (not a member...but apparently sells LDS pills) is the guy that sells them to him! Hahaha in my head I was thinking, “Man I wish I knew about those babies a long time ago!! That seems so much easier than the way I was doing it!!” ;);) hahaha Just kidding… but seriously, how funny right!? :) ha He is a little off his rocker, but he is one of my favorite members here because his heart is so sincere and he just loves me to death, which just makes me love him to death right back!! He told me that he looked up my last name on the Internet the other day on his computer (he doesn't have a computer haha) and he said it’s a name of much prestige and he feels honored every time he has the opportunity to even say it! How can you not just love this guy!?:)

Ok, one more story for you all this week and then I'll let you go! Hang in there, I'm almost done!:) Here in Stung Meanchey the roads are notorious for being very VERY bad haha, so when you ride your bike, you always have to be on the lookout for potholes and semi-trucks and crazy moto drivers… it's pretty much like the super old jumper frog game that everyone has played at least once in their lives! Haha except if you get squashed there is no second life!! Haha anyway, so I was riding my bike and I was looking over to my right for just a second and then when I looked back straight ahead there was a huge pothole! And when I say a huge pothole that is an understatement! This looked like a huge meteorite landed in the middle of the road and they removed the meteorite, but never fixed the crater it left in the road! This thing was huge!! From a distance, I'm sure it looks like a road leading down to an underground parking garage.... HUGE PEOPLE!!! Anyway, by the time I saw this cliff it was too late and I just had to go at it straight on! So that's what I did! I was waiting for what seemed like minutes for my front wheel to finally hit the bottom, and as I finally came down I put all my weight on my left wrist and then heard those pops that everyone loves to hear inside your wrist. Haha the pain shot through my body like lightening and I knew it was pretty bad! Well, long story short, I found some tape at my house and I taped it up and now I just ride my bike with my right hand!! It's definitely a bit of a challenge because of the roads, but that's ok because I have always wanted to be better at riding my bike with my right hand anyway!:) Nothing can keep me from going out and spreading the good word!! :):) Anyway, that's my small accident story for this week! :) Don't worry mom, I will make sure and be more careful the next time around!;) Even though these roads are like a nightmare, I would not want to be in any other area in Cambodia right now!! I love this ward and all of the members!! :) I am so lucky to be here at this time!! It's hard to relay in words just how much I love everything about my mission right now! Every hard, happy, sad, funny, and painful thing that happens… I just love it! I love the ride man!! You’ve gotta laugh a little, right!? I mean who sprains their wrist riding a bike, right!?:) Haha I guess that's why my buddies at home call me accident prone!:) Haha well that's all I’ve got for you this week! I hope that you all have a great week and know that I love you all so very much and you are all in my prayers every day!!:) Don't miss me too much… I'll be home sooner than I want!;)

More changes and record-breaking...

Note from Mindy: Sorry everyone! I really enjoyed Austin's letter last week and in my mind, I posted it to the blog like every other week. However, when I went to write him this morning, I realized that was apparently all in my head! I apologize for the delay... now you'll get 2 letters from him within a day or two :)

Hello everyone! :) Well another week down! Seems like time is going wayyyy to fast for my liking! Haha well this week was another week that had a good surprise that we didn't see coming, as well as a pretty cool spiritual experience! I guess I will tell you about the surprise first this time! :) So this last week on Friday we got another call from the AP's! I'm telling ya, I am really getting sick of them calling! I mean don't get me wrong I love them to death, but I am always so scared every time they call that they are going to take me out of my favorite area!! Ha well this time I had a pretty good reason to be scared! I answered the phone and they told me that there was an emergency transfer that day! An emergency transfer is when somewhere there is a companionship that has a problem or someone goes home early or something along those lines and then they have to move a whole bunch of missionaries around in the middle of the transfer!! When he told me this, my heart dropped!! I was scared that I was headed out, but then he told me that one of my companions (Elder Bostrom) was going to be the one leaving the area!! I felt super bad for him because they told him that he had to pack his stuff that night and they would be there to pick him up the next morning at 6:30 a.m.! That gave him all of about a couple of hours to get his stuff all put together, because they called us at 6:00 in the evening on Friday! So we cancelled our 7:00 meeting that we had and we went and let him say goodbye to as many members as we could in the hour and a half that we had before we had to go into our house! I took tons of pictures for him so that he would have some good pics of this area to jog his memory! He was bummed I could tell, and I could not blame him. I would be way bummed as well, but he took it like a sport. I know his new companion and he is like twice as cool as I am, so I am sure he is going to love it in his new area!!:) This is the second emergency transfer that I have been involved in in my mission and in both of them, my companion ended up leaving me! And both of them were in Stung Meanchey! Haha so I'm not the best guy to be companions with in Stung Meanchey if your goal is to stay in the area for a long time! :) Haha anyway, that was the surprise that we had for this week! Now it is just me and my companion that I am training (Elder Sorn), and he is just an absolute blast! I am not kidding when I say that he is like a stand-up comedian!! He is one of the only Cambodians that I have met who really understands sarcasm, which is like my favorite humor in the world, so being companions with him is a blast every single day!! Work hard and laugh hard!:) 

I asked Austie why his comp is dressed like it's
winter and he said, "Haha he's not use to AC!" 

The other cool experience that happened to me this week was on Saturday I went on an exchange! That's when you go to someone else's area or they come to yours and you are companions with each other for 24 hours! So I went on an exchange with Elder Nuum, but he came to my area instead of me going to his and my companion went to his area with Elder Nuum's companion for the day! Elder Nuum is Khmer and he is super cool! He is almost done with his mission, but he still works super hard and is always looking for someone to talk to on the street, which is super sick! Not to mention he has been on his mission for almost two years so with all that experience, it seems like all of the contacts that he has are amazing! He totally knows how to take ANY conversation that we are having and relate it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It was so cool to see and I was just trying to take as many mental notes as I possibly could of things that I could start applying in my contacting so that I can have successful contacts like he does! Anyway, on Saturday we were walking around just contacting some people and then we were close to a house of one of our less-active members in the ward and I felt like we should go and visit him! So we walked over to his house, but when we got there no one was home and all the locks were around the door. So my first thought was, “Why did I have a strong impression to come here if he is not even home!?” I asked this middle-aged woman who was standing close to his house if she had seen him and she said that he had been gone since the morning and she did not know when he was going to be coming back home! So then I just started talking to her a little bit and asking her where she lived and it turned out that she was next-door neighbors with this less-active member, which seemed weird because I had been to that house quite a few times but I had never seen her before! Anyway, I asked her if she had seen us before and to my surprise she told me that she had learned with the elders before! She then went on to tell me that she had learned with them all the way up to just a week before she was supposed to get baptized, but then both of those elders got transferred and when they got transferred they had not kept a teaching record for her and so when the new elders came in they had no idea about her or that she was an investigator! Then she said that she stopped going to church because she felt weird because she wasn't a member yet, but no one was helping her to become a full member! My heart was so sad that those missionaries had not been more careful in making sure that something like that could never happen to one of Heavenly Father’s children, but my heart was also full of joy that Heavenly Father put her in my path so that I could talk to her and re-invite her to learn with us again! When I asked her if she would be willing to learn again she accepted without any hesitation and not only that, but she invited us to her house on Sunday evening so that we could begin to start teaching her again!! I told her that I would never let something like that ever happen again to her and told her how happy I was that she was still willing to learn with us!!! As we were walking back to our bikes, it hit us just how cool that experience was! When we were contacting, we had no specific place that we wanted to go or people that we wanted to talk to, but once again Heavenly Father guided our footsteps and led us to another one of his lost sheep that was ready to come back into the fold! Man I love missionary work!! As cliché as it is, these truly are the best two years!

Unfortunately, as it sometimes it goes on the mission, Sunday did not go exactly as planned! When I woke up I had a super sick stomach and I could not get up in the morning to proselyte, but I knew I really need to make it to church so I toughed it up and went! I kind of had to chuckle a little bit to myself as I was getting ready and thought about how a year ago if I was even remotely close to as sick as I was that day, the VERY LAST thing that would be on my mind was if I was going to be able to make it to church or not! Haha oh how things have changed in just a short year!:) ha Anyway, after church and the church meetings were over I went back home because I could not stand it anymore!! Ha gotta love the stomach bug! Speaking of records that no one wants to break (referring to last week’s letter), I hit up the bathroom 15 times on Sunday!! Haha I mean you can't help but laugh a little bit at that one! That's just ridiculous!! I wish that I could tell you all that I enjoyed all of those 15 visits but I would most definitely be lying to you! :):) Haha but it's ok because I am feeling a lot better now and hope to be able to go and enjoy a good p-day! Please pray that I don't go trying to break that record ANY time soon!:) Hahaha but you all have to know that even on the hard days or the sick days, I would not want to be anywhere else in the world!! I love that each and every day I get to wake up and my only worry is what I can do to help people come closer to, or have a new knowledge of, their Heavenly Father! There is not a better or more enjoyable work that I could be doing right now on the face of this Earth!! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be able to come to Cambodia and teach these wonderful people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love my mission! Every single minute of it!!! I appreciate all of the prayers and love that all of you send to me each and every day! It is what gives me strength and what keeps me healthy (almost all of the time....pray harder;)) so that I can do the Lord’s work with all of my heart for these short two years! I love you all so very much and am always sending prayers your way!

Much love!:)
Elder Steadman
អែលឌេីរ ស្តែតមិន

Umm... stomach bug? Or maybe this could be the problem!