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

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