Thursday, April 30, 2015

"HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?:):)"

Hello everyone!! Well this week was a super good week for me over here!! I hope you were all able to have a nice week as well over there in the good old USA!! :) This week was a very busy week! It's also a weird type of the season right now where we are not quite past the hot season, but we are also not yet in the rainy season either! So usually in the early morning at like 3:00 a.m. or so it will rain until like 5 or 6 and then it stops, but the only problem with that is when it gets done raining it’s super humid and then the sun comes out so it's very VERY hot and humid right now!! Haha needless to say I have been doing my fair share of sweating here!! The locals always give me crap for how much I sweat, but I just tell them I feel bad that they don't sweat at all so I sweat for them as well as for myself! haha :)

This week we had a lot of success, which was super awesome!! We have an investigator who has been an investigator since before I got here, but this next week she is planning on getting baptized!! She has an interview later this week and then after that she is good to go! So we are super excited about that and just trying to get in as many lessons as possible with her because she is an older lady and so her memory is really not that good. She has such a strong desire to follow though and is always 15 minutes early to church every week, which is seriously like unheard of in Cambodia, so she is super awesome! So we're meeting her lots right now so she will feel comfortable going into the interview! I don't know why, but people here freak out when they hear that they have to get interviewed! Ha it's literally the easiest interview they will probably ever have! They all find that out afterwards, but before they are always nervous! Ha so we just go over the questions that they will be asking them so they will be able to think of what they want to say before they go into the interview! Anyway, please everyone keep her in your prayers that she will be able to remember everything that we have taught her and that she will not be nervous for the interview!! :) Her name is Oum Nuuan!

Easily the most exciting news of this week though happened on Sunday! So every Sunday morning my comp and I go to literally almost every single member and investigator’s houses and remind them that we have church and invite them to come! So this Sunday we went to all of our investigators’ houses (we have 6 now:)) and we reminded them all to come to church! Then went to the members’ houses and we also went to this member’s house that has not been to church in a year and a half, but we have been going to his house the last couple weeks and teaching his family! It's actually the same guy that was in a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago! Anyway, so we invited them to come to church as well. Pretty much everyone at the houses we went to told us that they would be able to come, so we were pretty excited!! Well, when we got to church and 2 o'clock rolled around we only had about 15ish members at the church! We were kind of bumming a little bit, but we were praying super hard that more people would show up and sure enough, they all slowly one by one started showing up!! I was smiling from ear to ear watching them all slowly make their way to the church!! And guess what!? We had 40 people at church!! :) My comp has been here for almost 4 and a half months now and he has never seen that many people show up to church!! Usually there are just like 25 or so people that show up, but we have really been giving it our absolute all to be able to help the area grow and we are now being able to see the results of all our hard work!!:) Also, all 6 of our investigators showed up, as well as the less active member that had not been to church in over a year and a half!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?:):) I love Sunday's:):)

This Sunday I was also asked to give a talk! So there were four speakers that were assigned to speak, including me, and I was the last speaker and the three speakers that spoke before me all finished their talks within about 7 minutes!! Haha when it was my turn to stand up, I looked at my watch and saw that there was still 35 minutes left in the first hour! haha I kind of laughed to myself a little bit and stood up to go and give my talk and when I got up to the pulpit, the group leader whispered to me, "I don't have anyone else to give a talk… you gotta speak for 30 minutes...sorry" hahahaha Well, I realized that my two verses that I had prepared were probably not going to be long enough to get me through 30 minutes of talking haha:) I got up to start speaking and as I started to speak, I felt things come to my mind of stories that I could share or things that I could say to try and help all of the members stay focused while I was speaking! Surprisingly, it was so quiet the entire time that I was speaking!! Usually people here just get into little groups and talk to each other during the whole hour, but as I was talking they were all listening so intently! It made me even more nervous! Haha usually you can say whatever you want and they will not remember a single word you said haha, but for some reason this time all eyes were on me! But I was able to fill the time that was allotted to me and then when I sat back down I had a sore throat because for some reason when I speak Khmer for a long time, I get a sore throat haha:) I think it's because it's just a whole bunch a weird sounds that I have not had to make my whole entire life until now! Anyway, the talk went good I felt like and there were some members that complimented me afterwards so that felt good!

Other than that, nothing too big happened this week! Sunday was a super fulfilling day that's for sure!! :) Things are really starting to pick up here in this area and the members are getting excited about the growth as well, so that's super good because when you have the members behind you to help you progress, things go about 1000 times faster than if it was just the missionaries!!:) So yeah, that's pretty much all that I have for you all this week! I hope you all have an amazing week! Don't forget to pray for your boy over here in Cambodia!! He sure hasn't forgotten about you all!!:) Much love headed your way from the Kingdom!!:)

Love, Elder Steadman
Does this mean his wrist is better?




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Monday, April 20, 2015

Prayers please

Hello everyone!!:) So this week has gone by especially fast!! I cannot believe we are already to another Monday!! Time is flying people!!! :):) So this week was definitely a weird week!! Ha one of the main reasons was because this week we had New Year’s here in Cambodia! Here they have 2! The first one is the regular one that we all celebrate where we enter into a new year, but then here they have another one that is based off of Buddhist religion and it's 3 days long! It was Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!! So on those days this week it was next to impossible to find lessons because all of the members were with all of their families! And not just their families that they live with!! This is the biggest holiday in Cambodia and so even extended family comes out for a week and they all live together and get super super drunk for like 5 days solid and then they have a 2 day hang over and then they get back to work!! That's the tradition for the people who are not members at least!! Haha the members just dance and play cards and do other fun things that they will actually remember afterwards rather than being so drunk you forget that New Year’s already happened!! Haha so even though technically it's just a three-day holiday, really it's more like a full week holiday!! So on Wednesday we actually were asked to stay in our house for the day because it's not safe to be out on the streets because there are A TON of drunk people trying to drive their moto's. They did not want us out riding our bikes in those conditions ha so instead we just cleaned up our house and then they also gave us a movie to watch!! We watched Ephraim's Rescue!! It was super good! For those who have not seen it, it's a must watch!!:) But I'm not gonna lie, it felt suuuupppperrrr weird being in the house for a full day not doing anything really important! Haha I did not really like it to be honest!! But then Thursday we went to the city to go to the Physical Therapist so that was fun, and then Friday we got back to our area in the afternoon and for like the first time this week, we were actually able to go out and proselyte!! It felt good! Even though it was blazing hot this week, I felt like I was back to doing what I was comfortable doing!:) Then Saturday was a super good day! We were able to meet and have 5 lessons!! Usually in some of my old areas that would be very average but in this area, taking into consideration we only have like 35 members, I was super pumped!! Our new investigator is doing super good… she is really trying to understand what we are teaching her and always repeats what we say right after we say something so we know that she is trying haha :) It's super cute!!:)

On Sunday we spent our entire morning going to literally everyone’s houses to remind them that we had church that afternoon at 2:00 and telling them we hoped to be able to see them there!! We had high hopes going to the church and when 2 o'clock came around we were a little bummed to only see 10 members that had made their way to church! I kept praying super hard that more of our members would try to come and be able to take the sacrament and sure enough, as Heavenly Father always does, my prayer was answered!! By 2:20 we had 30 people at church! I was super pumped!! We had one of our investigators there, as well as a potential investigator, and at the end of church that potential investigator told us that she has gotten permission from her parents to start learning with us!!:) We were so excited when she told us!! So we now have another new investigator!!:) During church we watched one of the sessions of conference! None of our members here were able to watch it last week because the place that we watched it was super far away from our area, so today they had the opportunity to watch one of the sessions! It was super good, but the church over here does not have AC so needless to say by then end of church I was soaked in my own sweat...it was an extra hot day on Sunday!! But it's ok! I was just happy that we had so many of our members show up to church this week!!

Let's see… other than that I did not really have a whole lot happen to me!! Oh, but I do need a small favor from all of you back at home though!! So on Saturday we were out teaching and we decided to go to a house of one of our less-active members randomly and when we got there I was shocked to see that half of the husbands face was super badly cut up! Cut up would definitely be an understatement though! He was on his moto and for some reason he fell (he doesn't remember the experience) and he was going pretty fast and not wearing a helmet. Anyway, he had a huge gash where he had torn open the side of his mouth and probably like 50 stitches above his eye; he had literally skidded on the road on that side of his face! I just wanted to cry when I saw him! If it happened in America he would still be in the hospital, but here he was back at his house and didn't even have any medicine! Luckily he said that whole side of his face was completely numb so he couldn't really feel anything, but I'm just worried for the day when it stops being numb!! He had a gift bag that the church had given all the members a few years back and in that there was some liquid that he can use to clean his face everyday so he will not get any infections! Anyway, what I need from all of you are your prayers!! His name is Pu Teang! When I was there we gave him a blessing that he would be able to quickly heal from this injury, but we really could use all of your faith and prayers as well so that he will be able to have a quick and full recovery!! I never like having stuff like that happen to people that I care about so much!! But I also think that this is something that could turn out to be a blessing as well because before this accident, he was not the biggest fan of the Elders and would not really talk to us, but we would try to just go over and make him feel loved. However, since this accident has happened, he has called us over to his house and also allowed us to give him a blessing, so I think that he is also finding a lot of humility and realizing some of the things that he has been missing out on for the last year of his life! I know that all of the things in this life happen to us for a reason, but sometimes we are just too close to the situation at the time to be able to understand right at that moment, but if we are not able to figure it out at that time, Heavenly Father always reveals it to us at a later time in our life and we can look back and give thanks to Him for the trials that He has given to us!! That is because they are only given to us for growth and for our own spiritual benefit! Anyway, I'm sorry to leave this letter on a down note!! Just so you all know, he is full of smiles and does not complain about what has happened to him! As a matter of fact, he kept on telling us how lucky he was because while he was at the hospital he saw people a lot worse off than he was, so he really does have great perspective on the situation!! Just keep him in your prayers if you wouldn't mind!! I think for this week that's pretty much all I have got for you guys! This week will probably be a week full of regular, normal missionary work, which is what I love most so that will be awesome!:) Hopefully I will have a cool crazy story to tell you all next week!!:) But for now know that the Elder from Cambodia loves you all and hopes you all have a very happy and safe week!!:)

Much love!
Elder Steadman:)
អ៊ែលឌេីរ ស្តេតមិន

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So grateful to be "wearing His name every day!"

Wow this week was seriously so amazing!! For those of you who do not know already, this week was General Conference so we had the opportunity to listen to the leaders of our church stand up and speak to all of the members of the church!! It was such a spiritually uplifting and truly inspiring experience! This General Conference I felt like the main theme was on families! Luckily, if you guys don't already know, I have been blessed with the very best family that this world has to offer!! One of my favorite talks was by Larry M. Gibson and he spoke on fatherhood and the attributes of becoming a good father!! I could not help but think of my dad and the amazing and wonderful man that he is and the unbelievable example that he has set forth for me to try and follow after!! I have to brag for a second when I say that my dad is easily the best example and most Christlike father I have ever met! My entire life I have always felt loved and adored by my dad! He has always been there during the good times and during the hard times as well!! One thing that I remember from my childhood is how my dad and I would always go to sporting events with each other! It's something that we have done since I was just a little boy and the tradition has carried on all the way up into my older ages as well! I sure do miss that part of being away from home! It would be impossible for me to put into words how much my dad means to me! He has shown me exactly what an amazing father should do to show his kids that he loves them, as well as treat his wife with the upmost respect… always tending to her every care and treating her truly like she is his Queen! I am proud to say that I truly have never heard my parents argue or bicker with each other with me in the same room!! Who can say that!? Like honestly, that's as cool as it gets!! I want to treat my future wife in the exact way that he treats my mom! They truly love each other with all of their hearts and show it each and every day in their actions towards each other! I am truly blessed to be in such a setting and to be blessed with all of these amazing examples around me!! I only hope that I can obtain a small fraction of the attributes that my Dad has and apply them to my future family as well! Anyway, sorry if I embarrassed you Dadio!! Just had to brag for a second about how amazing your are!!:)

Conference was such an amazing experience!! There were a lot of things that I learned from Conference that were amazing insights on what I can be doing out here as a missionary to be able to better spread the work and be able to become a more effective messenger of God's message! I also learned a lot about what I can do when I get home as well!! What I can do better as a member of the Church when I am no longer a missionary, as well as how I can always magnify the calling that has been given to me, no matter what calling it is!! Over all, Conference was just amazing!! It is impossible to express all of the emotion and inspiration that comes from watching General Conference, but for those of you that did not have the opportunity to be able to watch General Conference I invite you all to go onto our Church’s website (http://www.lds.org) and there you can find all of the talks that were given! All people are invited to watch this conference! They do not just limit it to the members of our church! That's why it's called "General" Conference! They want all to come and hear the message that they have to share! I think for those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to watch, you will be filled with a spirit of hope and love that your Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us!! That's really what this conference is all about! To remind us that we have a Father in heaven and He loves us so very much, and also that we have a Savior and he came to earth and died for all of us so that we can live with Him again someday. This conference there was a special focus on the importance of families and how truly families can be together forever!! As President Uchtdorf said, "Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, death has no sting." I know that what he said is true and how grateful I am for that knowledge!! I am so grateful for the wonderful family that my Heavenly Father has given to me in this life and to know that I will be able to be with them again in the next life is a joy that is impossible to explain!! I look forward to the day where I will be able to have my own family and take the person who I love very most to the beautiful house of the Lord and there be married with her for time and all eternity!! I could not think of a better gift that Heavenly Father could give to me! A promise that through Him, I can live with the people I love the very most forever and ever!! He does quite truly want us all to receive our own Happily Ever After.

I love this gospel and I am so very grateful that Heavenly Father has given me the knowledge of it!! I could never deny the things that I have done and seen here on my mission!! I KNOW that this work is the work of God! There is no way in this world a whole bunch of punk 20-year-old kids could go out and do this work and actually have people believe us unless it was true, unless it really did come from God! I testify to you all that it does! This is God's work and this is His church that he has once again established on the earth through modern day prophets! I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has been given to us is perfect! I know that Heavenly Father’s plan for all of us is eternally perfect and he has trusted all of this perfectness into the hands of an imperfect people! We all fall short of the glory of God, but I know that through His mercy and His grace that we can become like him through the everlasting power of repentance! Just like a hospital helps sick people heal, so is the church a place of healing! Not of the body, but of the spirit! Our own spiritual hospital to heal from the wounds that we have caused to come upon ourselves… we can use the gift of the Atonement to repent of those sins and be spiritually healed through him! I am so very grateful for the gift of repentance and for the knowledge that for every time that I fall down and then try to get back up, I always have a loving Heavenly Father that helps me back up and brushes me off and through his Son's Atonement for all of us, He will forgive me for my wrong doings and help me get back on the right path, the path of God, the only path to eternal happiness. I love Him with all of my heart! I am so grateful to be out serving a mission, wearing His name every day on my chest! It's an experience that I will never be able to forget! And something I will hold dear to me until my last breath here on this earth!! I am so grateful for all of you at home! For your examples and your prayers that you have sent to me! You are the reason why I am here and you are the reason why I can keep moving forward every single day with a skip in my step! :) I love you all so much and hope you know that you are all in my prayers as well!

With all the love I possess!
Elder Steadman



Monday, April 6, 2015

City adventures and a "blonde" moment

Hey everyone!! Well another week down!! This week was a lot of fun as well!! This week I was able to go down to the city in Phnom Penh on Tuesday because I had to go to the physical therapist for my wrist. So while we were down there we had about 4 hours and we did not have anything to do so we decided to go this famous market because my companion had never been to the city. He was “born” (started his mission) in the area that we are in right now and he has not yet left this area so he has not had the chance to go to all of the markets in Phnom Penh, so I took him to the big famous one called Phsaa Thmei. We went in and looked around and then he just went on a buying spree haha and so while he was buying, I was contacting… because if you’re buying their stuff and want to share a small message with them, they pretty much have to listen, so we were hitting two birds with one stone! haha 

After the market I went to the doctor and that was boring ha, then after that we went to the mission home to wait to go to the Assistants’ house because we had to sleep there for the night. Well we had like 3 hours to just be bored in the mission home and so after like 20 minutes I could not take it anymore!! Ha we got some bikes and went out to contact!! So super cool story! We were contacting in this area and then we were thirsty so we went into this gas station to grab a drink and then we sat down next to this guy in the gas station to drink our drinks and he started to ask us some questions. By the way he was asking the questions I knew that he was already Christian! He was super nice and just asked some basic questions to my companion to help him practice his Khmer, and then he started to talk to me. He started asking me some very deep questions regarding our church and some things that he had heard from other people and also things that he believed as well, and we started to have a really deep doctrinal conversation with each other! I was really nervous because he was asking lots of very hard questions and some of them he would ask me and I would not even know how to answer his question, but then I would just start talking and then it would come to me what I was supposed to say to him! It was pretty cool and another confirmation that the gift of tongues is real! So that was awesome and he went from not liking out church and saying that we were people who worshipped Joseph Smith all the way to accepting the Book of Mormon and accepting the challenge to read it and ask God if it was true or not! It was so cool to see how quickly things changed and to watch his face start to light up as I spoke to him! I could tell that he was feeling the Spirit and the light of Christ truly shone in his countenance!! I really hope he will read it and schedule a meeting with the elders in his area!! 

Other than that nothing really happened this week. This Sunday we went to church in the city because every 4th Sunday our group goes to the church in Kampong Cham to worship so they can see all of the members as well as pay their tithing and share their testimonies! It was good, but after the first hour my companion came down with a super bad stomachache so we had to go back home and I played mom for him! Ha I tried cooking...yaaaa lets just say he will be doing the cooking from here on out!! Haha I really did try my best and luckily it was edible, but compared to the great meals he has been making us every evening it definitely did not add up to what we have been having! Haha but now he is all better so maybe there was a little magic in that food I served up!! Ha probably love!!:) 

Elder Xiong: new companion/sushi chef :)

Oh, and one last story I forgot to tell you all last week! So last week was my first week at church and when we went to church I told my companion what hymns we should sing so he could write it up on the board so everyone could know. When the sacrament time came around, we all opened up our hymn books and to my surprise the song was, "The Spirit of God.” Well, I didn't notice until everyone had already started singing so it was too late to change it haha, so we all had very vibrant and excited spirits as we partook of the sacrament haha, and then the closing song was, "He died the Great Redeemer Died" haha :) So even us missionaries still can have our blonde moments!! :) It was a good laugh! Anyway, that's all I have for you this week! I love you all so much! Please keep me in your prayers! Especially my stupid wrist that it will stop being dumb and heal up! Can't wait to talk to you all next week! Much love headed your way!!

Elder Steadman:)
A rest stop... Cambodian style



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