Sunday, February 1, 2015

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!

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