Sunday, March 29, 2015

Livin' it up in the jungles of Cambodia

Hello everyone!! :) Well another week in the books!! This week was a little different from the regular though as far as new areas go! Ha so I’m not going to lie, the goodbyes this week were super hard! I love the members of Stung Meanchey sooooo much and cannot wait to be able to see them all again next year when I come back to visit with my parents! So there were some hard goodbyes, but I went onto the bus to my new area with a positive attitude and ready for another amazing adventure! I think that adventure is the perfect word to describe the next couple of months that I am going to be spending here! Haha so it turns out that I am not really serving in Kampong Cham! I am about 20 miles out from the city, literally in the middle of nowhere!! Haha I'm not kidding when I say that either!! There is literally nothing here… it’s so crazy! The closest market to our house to buy any kind of food is about 25 minutes away, and in our area there are only a few shops including a bike shop, a shop that sells bamboo juice, a small gas station, and 1 factory where lots of the people in this area work! Ha it’s so sick! I literally feel like I am just living in the jungles of Cambodia!! Our house is super nice though! It's just me and my companion here and all of the other missionaries are in the city super far away from us so that's kinda cool that we’re just out here all alone livin’ it up! :) haha Our house does not have a shower, so I finally get to have the pot and bucket experience for showering! Truly I think that I would have been disappointed if I did not have the chance to experience that in one area while I was here! And come to find out, I think that I like it better than a regular shower!! Once you pour that first bucket on your head and you get over the initial shock of how cold the water is, it’s awesome!! :) Honestly, I kinda like the cold water because it cools me off after a long hard and hot day in the sun!!

Anyway, so in the area that I am in now they do not even have enough members to have a branch yet, so all that we have down here is a small group! And we also have a group leader here and he is so awesome!! Literally the nicest guy you have ever met in your entire life! So we also do not yet have an official church building here to worship in either, but luckily we have rented out a nice little house that we have made into a small sacrament room! Unfortunately, they do not have ac in that house, but it’s ok because we got permission from president so that we do not have to wear our suits on Sunday at all, so that's pretty tight! :) Anyway, this week was super good! We just went around on Saturday and Sunday and my comp, Elder Xiong, showed me all of the members and our investigators as well! We have tried to do lots of contacting since I got here and luckily we already have a new investigator, so that's exciting! :) On Sunday there was a power outage so we did not have any electricity to turn on the fans in the Church building, so needless to say it was an extremely hot Sunday! Haha, but luckily the electricity came back on in the evening so we had ac to sleep in at our houses! :) We had 23 people at church which from what I understand is pretty average, but we are hoping this next week we will be able to have a lot more members who are inactive come back to the church so that they can take the sacrament and meet some of the new members that we have here as well! This area is going to be a lot of fun! I can tell that this area is going to stretch and pull me in a lot of ways, but I can also see that this area has an incredible amount of potential! It just needs two missionaries who are willing to put in the work and effort... and luckily it does! :) I am excited for this next transfer!

My comp is a total stud! Before he came on his mission he was a cook so as you can imagine I am just in jungle paradise!! Every night we always have an amazing meal! This Sunday he made egg rolls that were seriously to die for!! And I must say that I am VERY happy to do ALL the dishes every night with no argument at all! :) haha Man I don't know how I get so lucky with everything in my life, but I sure do feel blessed and know 100% that my Heavenly Father is looking out for me over here and loves me very much!!:)

Well for this week that's pretty much all that I've got for you!! I will let you know how this next week goes! Love you all! Keep me in your prayers and pray that the people here will have a willing heart to learn about Jesus! They strongly believe in Buddha here and so lots of people don't want to learn, but I know that through the power of prayer that Heavenly Father can and will soften their hearts and lead my footsteps towards those who are currently being prepared to hear the message that we have to share with them! Thank you all so much for all of your love that you are sending me each and every day through your prayers! I truly can feel it every single day! Being a missionary is the greatest blessing I have ever received in my entire life! :)

Love you all so much! :) Until next week! :)
Elder Steadman:)

P.S. A note from the missionary mom: Austin is playing it down, but he hurt his wrist in his bike accident a few weeks back and has been in quite a bit of pain. They are sending him to physical therapy to try to help it heal so he can stay on his mission. Please keep him in your prayers that his wrist will heal properly. Thanks so much! Love, Mindy

Monday, March 23, 2015

New adventures ahead

Hello everyone! Well another week down already! This was another great week here in Cambodia! So this week I did some fun things and some things that I thought would be fun that turned out different than I expected! Ha anyway, so first of all this week I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Lauritzen! It was super fun! At the beginning of the day we decided that we were going to work as hard as we possibly could! And we did!!:) We had lots of lessons and were able to visit lots of members, as well as have some good contacts in between the lessons! It was a blast!! By the end of the day, we both smelled soooo terrible, but we felt proud of the stench that we gave off!!:) haha He is a hard worker and I'm pretty sure he is way further ahead of where I was when I was his age in the mission as far as the language goes!

Another thing that I did this week was I had the chance to be able to go and be a translator for this organization called Operation Smile! When I heard about it, I was super pumped because I have not yet had the chance to be able to go and be a translator for someone else… especially for a doctor who helps people for free! So I was super stoked! They told me I was to go on Thursday from 12:00-4:00 and so when Thursday came around, I was at the hospital by about 11:45!! It took me a while to find them because they didn't tell me where to meet and I was trying to explain to the front desk lady what I was there for, but she did not seem to know where they were either. Then this guy just came out of nowhere and asked me if I was there for Operation Smile and I told him yes, and then he told me to follow I did! Haha Anyway, we found them and they gave us these plastic chairs (that were too small for me) and just told us to hang out in this big room and when they needed a translator they would just call me over! So do you all want to guess how many times I translated that day? It wasn't easy, but I managed to keep track of how many times I translated for the doctors that day!! A whopping 1 time!!! I was so ticked! We just sat on those plastic chairs for 4 hours and waited and then the one time I translated she called me over and asked me to ask the patient if there was anywhere on him that hurt....yeah... I looked at her to make sure she was serious because this dude had literally just got out of surgery from his mouth getting completely redone, but she just looked at me like, "Well, go ahead and ask him." So I did! He looked at me kind of weird and I kind of gave him the "it's not me… it’s the crazy doctor" look and then he just pointed at his mouth and I figured there was no need for me to translate that back to her haha… so yeah, that was the extent of my translating! I really feel like that experience was a huge help in really stretching me in the language...NOT!! So yeah, it kinda sucked and I would have much rather been out proselyting and helping my investigators, but I guess looking back now it's kind of funny how big of a joke it was!!! Ha the only thing that was cool that came out of it was that I met a doctor who was actually Mormon as well and she took down my mom’s number and told me that she was going to call my mom and let her know that I was happy and healthy! Ha she was a really nice lady so that was pretty lucky that I got to meet her!!

Hmm… I think the only other funny thing that happened to me this week was I finally convinced my companion to get rid of his unibrow! I have been trying to convince him to get rid of it since we started being companions and he finally agreed to let me pluck a gap in between his two eyebrows!! Haha that probably sounds really rude that I told my companion that he has a unibrow haha, but here they like to speak EXTREMELY straightforward when it comes to things like that so I guess I have become kind of numb to whether or not that would be offensive to a white person or not! Haha anyway, it took me like an hour to pluck all of his hairs, which is understandable considering that there literally used to be no gap haha, but now he is looking super sharp and all of the American Elders have been complimenting him on his new and improved look!! Haha I must say that he really is much better looking with that baby out of the way!!:) haha

Church was super good this week! We had investigators show up to church, which was awesome!! The lady that I talked about last week is still progressing and yesterday we watched the Joseph Smith video with her and at the end when Joseph Smith's father gets baptized she just smiled and told me that soon she would get to do that too!:) She is so amazing!! Another really cool thing that happened at church this week was there is this kid in my ward and he is super cool and he is around 19 years old! When I first got into the area I kind of made friends with him and when I first got here I asked him if he had a desire to go and serve a mission and he told me that he did not really want to go on a mission. Well, as I have been serving here, I have been trying to teach him and show him just how amazing and fun and spiritual missionary work is and I have tried to take him with me to lots of investigator’s houses so he can practice teaching as well. So this week at church we were talking and out of the blue he just told me that he wanted to turn his papers in this year!! I was sooooo pumped!! There was another story exactly like this a couple weeks ago! I don't know if I told you guys or not… I forgot already! Anyway, when he told me that, I was so pumped! And now he has tons of time to help us go out and teach our investigators because he is on a break from school! I was so pumped to be able to talk to him and be able to show him how amazing this work is, and through the convincing power of the Holy Ghost he has changed his mind and decided to go and serve the Lord!! Oh so sick!!:) I love this work!! I love my mission!!:) So after church this week we usually have that Preach My Gospel class, but this week Elder Lauritzen and his companion had a baptism, so we invited all of the student that usually go to the Preach My Gospel class to go to the baptism instead so there could be a lot of people there to support him!! It was a good baptism and the Spirit was super strong as well!! Overall this week was a lot of fun!!

Oh and one more thing happened this week… I almost forgot to tell you....TRANSFER CALLS!!! So the Zone Leaders called and told me that this transfer I am leaving Stung Meanchey!! I am not going to lie, when they told me that my heart sank a little bit because I just love this area so much and I have had so many amazing things happen here so I was a little bummed to be leaving so soon!! But I know that this new area is right where Heavenly Father wants me to be!! I am going to serve in Kampong Cham!! Literally everyone that I have talked to says that it is a super cool place to be serving!! It's a province, so that's going to be sick!! Another cool think is that my area is actually like 25 miles out from Kampong Cham! So I live with just my companion in our own house! The other Elders live in the city, but we live at a place called Skun! And that's our proselyting area! Where I am going to serve, we actually don't even have a church building! It's just a rental house, but then apparently every 3 weeks all of the members take the long ride to Kampong Cham to worship at the church building that we have there! So yeah, I am going to be in the middle of nowhere so that will be sweet!!:) ha It's a really new area so apparently there are not really any less active members so we just will be trying to find new investigators and people to teach, so that's pretty cool!!:) Honestly I am super excited, but it's just super hard saying goodbye to such an amazing ward like this one here in Stung Meanchey!! It really is just as hard as saying goodbye to family! I just don't know when I will be able to see them all again and I just love them all so much!! It's so hard saying goodbye!! That's literally the worst and hardest part about missions!! Becoming so close to all these amazing members and then having to say goodbye and not knowing when you might see them all again! Plus I have already served here twice, so the chances of my coming back and serving here again are like slim to none! Dang it man!! Haha I already feel homesick!! Not homesick like from America, but homesick as in my home here in Stung Meanchey!! I have been here for so long and could easily fill out the rest of my mission here with great pleasure!! But I know that Skun has great things in store for me as well and I am excited to go and have a sweet adventure over there!! :) Oh yeah, and my companion’s name is Elder Xiong haha… he is American! I know- I was surprised too!! Ha he came out in the same group as Elder Lauritzen and he said that he is just the sweetest guy ever and super easy to get along with, so that's super good news to hear considering it will just be the two of us posted up out in the middle of nowhere!! Haha how cool!! Just gonna go live in the boondocks in Cambodia for a couple months!!:) Can't wait for the adventures that lay ahead!! Well, that's all that I have got for you this week! I am sure that I will have lots to tell you all when I get into my new area!! Well, I have to get going! I have got to go say a lot of sad goodbyes!! Not fun!! Haha wish me luck!! Much love to you all!!:)

Elder Steadman:)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

This is what a mission is all about...

Sup peeps!! That phrase is still popular right? Man I feel like I have been on my mission forever!:) haha Well it was another great week here in Cambodia!! Nothing out of the ordinary really! Just some sweaty lessons, crazy food, sweaty bike rides, naked babies everywhere, sweaty contacting, talking with a lot of drunk people, sweating while thinking about how much I'm sweating, topless old women, wondering why my companion does not sweat nearly as much as I do, half-naked middle-aged men yelling at me to come and drink with them, oh and have I mentioned that I have been sweating a lot lately? Haha for some reason people love being naked here in Stung Meanchey!! Haha I think I really would have enjoyed this place before my mission as well, considering that I was not all that big of a shirt fan before my mission either!! :) ha No but seriously, this week was soooo awesome!! So I have like a super cool story for you all this week!! But before I tell you that, this week has also been crazy because we got 9 new investigators just this week!! Haha so nuts!!! And 7 of them came to church!! So that's super awesome!!

Anyway, so the cool story! So this week on Saturday we went to go meet with one of these families that had 3 new investigators that we had found earlier in the week! We met with them on Thursday and then planned to meet them again on Saturday night. When we came back over on Saturday, we were bummed because they had left for the evening to go out and party or do whatever normal people do on weekends...totally forgot!! Ha anyway, so we were sitting outside of their house and then their neighbors came out and they were talking to us and asking us some questions and then the topic came up of why we were trying to find them and what we wanted with them. I told them that we were missionaries and we teach people about Jesus Christ! As soon as I said this the wife started to laugh at me and make fun of me a little bit! Well this just made me want her to listen to our message even more because I knew that it could bless her life so much!! Anyway, we kept on talking about Jesus and then we got to the subject of prayer and she really started to gain an interest! It was so cool to literally watch her whole countenance change! To go from someone who thought we were crazy to eventually inviting is into her house to continue to teach her! Yeah...she invited us into her house!:) So then we began to teach her and her husband about prayer and the power of prayer! She had told us about how busy she is and how she does not have enough time to even breathe during each day! She told us when we first started to talk to her she had absolutely no free time to meet with us, but as we continued to teach her, her heart was more and more softened! She told us she could learn on Wednesday evening, Saturday, and Sunday!! We were so pumped! We continued to teach on prayer and taught them how they could pray on their own at any time they wanted to and that they could pray for blessings that they wanted to see in their lives! I promised her that if she prayed with all of her heart, that Heavenly Father would help her have more time in each of her days and help her still be able to have enough money to support her family! As I said that promise to her, I knew that it was direct inspiration given to me from God! We then asked them if we could come again on Sunday evening and they immediately accepted!

So the next day was Sunday and we went back to their house to meet with them! They could not come to church because right now she still has to work on Sundays. Anyway, we went back over and we felt very inspired to share the Plan of Salvation with her! It was so awesome! She could not keep her eyes off of us and she and her husband listened to every word that we said! Also, a neighbor came and joined in as well! The coolest part of this whole experience, and one of the coolest things that has happened to me on my whole mission, was at the end of the lesson I asked her to say the closing prayer. She was nervous, but still agreed to say it! She asked me what she could say or ask for and I told her that she could ask for good health or for safety or for more time off or work or even if she wanted to she could ask about the lesson that we just taught! I told her that she could pray and ask Heavenly Father if everything that we had just taught her was true and if it really came from God or not. Right as I finished saying that she looked up at me and stared me right in the eyes and said, "I know it's true. I can feel that it's true already." I could not wipe the smile off of my face for the next hour after that lesson! I felt like I was on cloud 9 all the way back to my apartment! How amazing!! To watch someone go from making fun of you for believing in Jesus to looking up at you with such a strong hope and desire and faith in her eyes, and have her tell you that she knows that what you’re telling her is true… that's just about the greatest gift that any missionary could ask for!! Not to mention this all happened in a matter of 2 days! It's amazing the miracles that you are able to see out here on your mission!! I know that this was not at all because of me!! God placed her in our path because He knew that she was ready to receive this gospel and as long as we were a little persistent, He knew that afterwards she would know that what we were saying was true! It just reconfirmed my testimony that God knows each and every one of us perfectly! He loves us all so very much! I felt so lucky that God trusted me with this wonderful young couple! I am so grateful that He gave me the right words to say at the right time so that we could help these 2 lost sheep come back into the fold!

I am here to tell you all there is not a greater or happier service to be doing on this earth than serving a mission for the Lord! And on top of that, I get to be doing that service in the very best place that this whole world has to offer!! I would not change these experiences for anything! I don't know why I am so lucky as to see and feel and do all of these amazing things, but I am eternally grateful for every experience that I have had so far out here on my mission and can't wait for another year ahead of doing the exact same thing, but just enjoying it slightly more because I don't have to worry as hard trying to learn a completely new language:) haha Anyway, that was my amazing story for you all this week! I will definitely keep you updated on how they are doing! If you ever are lacking in things to pray about in your daily prayers, please feel free to put her (Bong Srey) in your prayers that she will be able to get some work off so that she can come and worship on Sundays and also not feel so overwhelmed with life!!

So yeah, that's pretty much it for this week! We have a lot of new investigators, which is super good because a week ago we did not really have a lot at all, but now we are going to be a lot more busy which is good!:) It's not that fun when you’re not busy!! Haha but when you’re busy, you sweat a’s a love/hate relationship!:) People would always tell me you would get used to the heat and now I'm beginning to think that what they wanted to say is that you get used to sweating your guts out for 2 years, rather than your body adjusts to the climate here...that makes a lot more sense I feel like!:) haha Well, I think for this week that's all I’ve got for you guys!! Just want you all to know that I know that what I am doing out here is absolutely 100% true!! I know that this is God's work! I feel and see His hand in it every single day! I have learned so much more about love while I have been out here really truly trying to gain a love for the people here in Cambodia like my Heavenly Father has a love for them! Which really has not been that hard because they are the greatest people in the whole world! I am so grateful for all of the hard trials that I have had out here on the mission as well! A mission has been the most spiritually and physically exhausting thing that I have ever done in my whole life and yet somehow, everyday I have the strength to be able to wake up and do it again and again! I'm grateful to Heavenly Father that he gives me that strength everyday! I know that without Him I am nothing! I am so grateful for the Atonement! Man, am I grateful for the Atonement! Without it, I would be soooooo very lost in this life! I know that it's something that needs to be used by all of us every day! Not just the times that we do something terribly wrong! As we use it every day it will be easier and easier not to run in to any of those big mistakes! I love my Savior and am so grateful that he died for me and also lives again for me as well! I know that through him and through his Atonement, we can all be saved!! All he wants us to do is trust in him and follow him to the end! I know that this church has the fullness of the gospel once again restored on the earth and I am so grateful that I have this time to be a full-time representative for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I love you all and hope you have a great week!! Many prayers headed your way from the Kingdom!!

Elder Steadman

Zone Conference

With President & Sister Moon and Elder & Sister Gong

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Engulfed by the Spirit

Hello everybody!:) Well this was another week that's gone by in the blink of an eye!! So this week was a super good week!!:) This week we had the amazing opportunity to go to Zone Conference and Elder Gong from the Quorum of the Seventy came and taught us, which was so awesome!!:) Zone conference was so awesome and I learned so much about what I can be doing to become a better missionary each and every day! The focus of Zone Conference was on the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ!! Elder Gong really related the importance of helping all of our recent converts, as well as our investigators, have a strong testimony in our first Prophet of the dispensation, Joseph Smith, as well as a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon. The importance of having faith in both of those things is important because really those are the only two things that set us apart from any other church in this world! Everything that we have been taught that differs from other churches comes through modern day revelation and has also been given to us through the olden day prophets in the Book of Mormon! He told us that they had recently done a poll and that only 5% of the recent converts in Cambodia said that they actually had a strong testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith as well as the Book of Mormon! Obviously as a missionary serving here in Cambodia, this was quite an alarming statistic to hear and definitely woke us all up to the seriousness of helping our investigators understand the importance of these two crucial factors of our church BEFORE they are baptized! Elder Gong helped us know what we could do and ways that we could teach that would really help our investigators understand the importance of these two things! Sometimes as missionaries we can give them the Book of Mormon and because we read it every single day and we know how to read it and how to use it, we assume that our investigators will automatically know how to read it as well!! Well it turns out that this is almost never the case!! Haha If we give a new investigator a Book of Mormon, we need to do more than just hand it to them and commit them to read it! We need to help them know how to read it! We need to show them what a chapter is and what a verse is and what the first book is called and show them how there’s a small summary of what they are going to be reading and then commit them to read after we have thoroughly explained what we want them to read! And then most importantly, when we go back to visit with them again, we need to read it with them! Honestly this is something that I have definitely been lacking at doing! In the past when investigators have told me that they have been too busy to read, I have testified of the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and that it truly will bless there lives and then recommitted them to read it, but one thing I have not been good at is actually just taking the time right at that moment to actually read with them and ask them questions and get them thinking! It is something that I have committed myself to do better at for the rest of my mission and I truly believe that if I do this I will be able to help all of my investigators have stronger faith in the Book of Mormon and know with all of their hearts that the Book of Mormon comes from God! 

My favorite thing that I heard in Zone Conference was when President Moon got up and spoke. When he stood up and spoke he started out by saying, "I am here because of a book." I just loved that comment so much!! To someone who does not know our religion or what we believe in, that comment may sound like we are insane! And to someone who does know our religion and what we believe in, that still might sound insane!! Haha but I loved that comment because that is the exact reason why I am here in Cambodia right now. I am here because of a book! That comment is rich with meaning!! That book has changed my life forever and has given me more happiness than I could have ever possibly imagined! It has helped me through hard times and has taught me each and every day how I can become a better person!! It teaches me every day that I can do just a little bit better than the day before so that each and every day I can do my very best to become what my Heavenly Father sees in me! With His help, I know that I can reach the person that He wants me to be in this life! I have also seen that book change other people's lives completely! I have seen people who have been constantly drunk or who beat their wives, repent and become a wonderful man of God worthy to hold His holy Priesthood because of the power of that book! I know with all of my heart that the Book of Mormon is a book from God! I know it with every fiber of my being and I am so happy that I have this time that I can go and share that message with the wonderful people here in Cambodia!! How blessed I am to have this opportunity!! I will never be able to repay my Heavenly Father for the gifts and miracles that he has given me since I have been out here on my mission!! My only goal in life right now is to go and tell as many other people as I possibly can about this wonderful Book so that they can receive all the blessings that I have been lucky enough to receive in my life! I love the Book of Mormon and I love our beloved prophet Joseph Smith for opening this last dispensation and enduring terrible amounts of trials and afflictions he did so that we all could have this wonderful book and receive all the blessings that it can bring to us! I cannot wait to thank him personally in the life after this for everything that he did for everyone in the world during his short time period here on the earth! He is one of my greatest heroes and I know that he truly was a Prophet of God!! Anyway, there were quite a few other things that I also plan on applying to my teaching that I was taught in Zone Conference, but if I wrote them all down we would be here all day so I will save you all the boredom and stop right here!:) 

Another thing that was cool that happened this week was that we had a baptism!! :) His name is Bong Bros and he is just the coolest kid ever!! He is 22 years old and has just been a total rock star investigator!! He has always accepted every invitation that we have given him with faith that Heavenly Father will help him obey all of the commandments that He has laid forth for us, and he has been able to obey all of the commandments!!:) I felt super honored because he asked me if I would be willing to baptize him and of course I happily accepted!! It was a beautiful ceremony and I was so happy for him knowing that he had just entered into one of the most important covenants of his life with his Heavenly Father! Now we are just going to try to get him to go on a mission because I know that if he did, he would just be a rock star of a missionary!! :) So yeah, Sunday was a good day! I will send some pictures of the baptism so you all can see as well!! :) 

We also had a Preach My Gospel class that we taught and it was so amazing!! This week’s class was an opportunity for the members to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon, but for most of the class it was just the members joking around with each other and then us trying to get them to focus. Finally, there was only about 15 minutes left to teach and Elder Lauritzen stood up and started to speak. So he is a brand new missionary… he has only been out here for 2 months, but he has the courage of a lion and is always trying to speak! Anyway, he got up and started to share his testimony about the importance of what we are teaching and even though he was not speaking perfect Khmer, the Spirit was so strong! As he sat down, I felt prompted to stand up and share some thoughts with them as well! I got up and told them that we had 9 minutes left in class and that I wanted those last 9 minutes to be filled with the Spirit! I was pretty straightforward in telling them that during the last 50 minutes that we had been teaching, the Spirit had not been with us, but I told them that if they were willing to maintain reverence for the last 9 minutes and pray that the Holy Ghost would enter, I promised that those last 9 minutes would be an amazing spiritual experience. After that I reopened the class to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and immediately a member, whose name is Dom, offered to get up and share his testimony. Just 20 minutes before, he had shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon, but this time as he bore his testimony, he spoke from his heart! It was not known facts that he had memorized, but what he knew to be true with all of his heart! As he shared, he began to cry (and he is not the crying type) and testified that as he was getting ready to go out and serve his mission; he said he knew that this was something that was absolutely essential for him in his life and would forever bless him, as well as many others, and he said that he knew that while he would be gone God would protect his family. There was not a dry eye in the whole room and it felt as though almost the whole room was literally on fire with the Spirit of God!! As he sat down another person got up to share their testimony as well, and the Spirit was still as strong as ever! Then we were all out of time and I got up and told all of the members that this feeling could happen every week for a full hour, not just 9 minutes, if we came into this meeting with a spirit of reverence! I told them I love to joke around as much as the next guy, but I also love feeling the Spirit so strong like we were just able to feel and I testified that it can happen every week if we allow it to! We had a closing prayer and all kneeled as we prayed and the girl that prayed began to cry as she was praying as well as!! The Spirit was literally engulfing all of us during the entire prayer as well!! To date on my mission, it was probably one of the most spiritual experiences that I have had!! I am so grateful for Elder Lauritzen to have the courage to stand up and say something so that we could end on such a spiritual high! It was a great way to end a Sunday!

That's pretty much it for my week this week! I feel so lucky every single day to be serving here and to be sharing all of these wonderful spiritual experiences with the people here in Stung Meanchey!! :) I am so lucky… it's not even fair!!:) I love my mission!!!!!:):) I hope you all have a great week this week! I'm always sending prayers your way!

Love always,
Elder Steadman

Monday, March 2, 2015


Hello family :) Well, I hope you have all had a good week this week! It has definitely been one of the best weeks of my mission! Definitely a week filled with lots of emotions!! Ha anyways so this week church was awesome! We were hoping to have some investigators come to church this Sunday because like I said a little bit in my last letter and the one before that, our investigators have not really been coming to church, which has been kind of hard. But this week I felt pretty good about them coming to church and when we got there all but 2 of them were there!! I was super excited and felt like a lot of our hard work these last couple weeks had paid off!! Not only that, but when we got to the church, there was also a person who came who was not yet an investigator! He showed up because he wanted to learn more about Jesus and so now we have another new investigator!! Then we had a Preach My Gospel class after church ended and I was the teacher! It was super fun! We memorized the first vision! It took us forever and a year but we did it! I think we must have said it 200 times in all, but it was pretty cool by the end of the class to hear 12 of our young members recite such a sacred experience, not to mention probably one of the greatest and most significant moments in all of history!! Pretty cool stuff we are accomplishing over here in Cambodia! Also, after church one of my investigators had some pretty good news for me!! He has 3 friends that he goes to school with who also want to learn about Jesus, so today we are going to be going and teaching them in the evening… so that's awesome as well!! Overall this Sunday was an awesome day!!:)

I have one more story for you guys this week! This is not going to be a terribly long letter!! Sorry! So this week I called one of my investigators to meet with her and when she answered the phone and I asked her if she could make some time to learn with us that evening, she told me that she was going to have to stop learning with us because her husband did not want to learn with us anymore. I guess after we taught him about the Word of Wisdom he was positive that he would not be able to stop drinking coffee and tea so he told his wife to tell us that they were not going to be learning with us anymore! When she told me that my heart just dropped! I begged her to just let us come over one more time and she finally accepted! When we went over that night we met with her and her husband. When we got there, he immediately started to express his concerns with not being able to obey the Word of Wisdom. He said and that he believed in God already and that is all that’s important is that he believes in God in his heart and that is good enough! As he was talking, I was trying my very best to just listen to him speak and not worry about what I was going to say and just have the faith that whatever I needed to say, Heavenly Father would give it to me in the time that I needed it! Well, when he finished talking I thought for just a second and then I looked at him and I asked him if he had prayed about Joseph Smith. I didn't address anything that he had just recently shared with me; for some reason I felt like that was not what I needed to ask him! Rather I asked him if he had prayed and asked if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. He told me that he had not yet done this. I then went on to explain to him that the Word of Wisdom will be something that is next to impossible to obey and will be something that is frustrating and annoying in his life if he does not yet have faith in Joseph Smith… because he is the reason why we have the Word of Wisdom! Through the prophet Joseph Smith we received the Word of Wisdom from God, but if he had not prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet then it would be impossible to have faith that the Word of Wisdom comes from God as well! I asked him if we could come to his house again the next day and bring the movie of Joseph Smith and his life so he could see himself in a story-like mode, the history of Joseph Smith. Reluctantly he agreed! We went over the next day and watched the movie with him and the Spirit was definitely present! I testified to him after that I was a representative of Jesus Christ and that I knew that everything that Joseph Smith said he saw he really did see! The Spirit was so strong and I could tell that both of them were feeling the Spirit as well!! He still has some fears with obeying the Word of Wisdom, but he has agreed that he will continue to learn with us! When he said this, I was so glad that he was willing to open his heart back up and keep on learning! It truly was a miracle! It was so cool! I felt so lucky that Heavenly Father also gave me the words to speak that would touch him in a way that he would want to keep on learning!

This week has been such a good week! I feel better than I have in a really long time and I love that I feel like I have the Spirit with me all of the time and it feels so very good!! I don't know what the future holds for me as well as I did before, but I feel so at peace with where I stand with my Heavenly Father this week!! I ask this week especially that you all keep me in your prayers!! I can feel all of your prayers each week lifting me up and helping me keep on going! Thank you all so much for your support! You will never know just how much it means to me!!

All the love I possess!!
Elder Steadman:)