Thursday, June 11, 2015

An exciting announcement & eventful week

Hello everybody!!:) Well, this week seriously flew by so very fast it was crazy!! This week was a little bit stressful, but everything went according to plan so that was a huge blessing!!:) So as you all know, last Sunday was the Sunday that we had all of our baptisms!! Yay!:) Originally we had planned to have 2 of the baptisms on Saturday and then the other 4 we were going to have on Sunday, but then that changed kind of last minute because we found out that President Moon decided to come this week instead of next for Mission Leadership Conference!! So we had that on Saturday from 10 in the morning until 3!! It was super good and I learned a lot of things that I can start doing better to improve my work and become a more effective missionary! We had some news though that was extremely exciting!! When president stood up at the very beginning he told us some news that he had not told any of the other missionaries yet! He told us that we had to keep it a secret until Monday so he could email the rest of the mission and tell everyone else, but he felt like it would be ok to tell us! Are you guys ready!? :) Jeffery R. Holland is coming to Cambodia!!!:):) When he told us that I was soooooo pumped!! We get to have an apostle come and visit Cambodia!! I am serious when I say that I could not be more excited for that!!:) He is going to be coming on Aug 22nd… in just a couple months!:) So that's the biggest and coolest news that I have for you all this week!!:) 

After the conference we just went out and reminded people to come to the baptism on Sunday so we could have a good support system for our new members! And then on Sunday everything went pretty smoothly! The only thing that was kind of rocky was that one of our investigators (Pu Mao) told us that he was not going to be able to get baptized at 11 because he was busy taking someone to the doctor at that time, so we ended up changing his time to later that afternoon so he would still be able to get baptized this week!:) It was so awesome and I felt super honored because they all asked if I would be willing to baptize them! Of course I accepted! It was so cool to see all of the people that I have been teaching these last couple months take this amazing step in their lives and agree to follow the example of Jesus Christ by receiving baptism by someone who holds the restored priesthood of God!! We took lots of pictures so I will be sending you all of those so you can be able to see all of my amazing investigators!:) 

Overall this week was super awesome! The only stressful thing of this week was just going back and forth from both of my areas trying to get all of the interviews done! And of course I had to catch a bad cold on Thursday, which tried to take me down for the count on Friday, which was like my day with all of the interviews in both areas… but I toughed through it and now I am back in good health! I will never understand how I can possibly catch a cold in Cambodia!! Catching a cold is seriously the only type of “cold” that I could possibly find here, considering it is always so dang hot!!!:) haha Anyway, I feel super blessed this week because I have been able to see so much progression in my investigators and I have been able to see them make one of the most important covenants that they will ever make in their lives! I know that when they were baptized they entered onto the one and only pathway that can help us return back to our Heavenly Father! There is not another pathway that can bring us eternal happiness!! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father trusted me in teaching them and helping them in their eternal progression! As you are able to see, these wonderful people grow into amazing members of God's church… it only makes me want to go out and find more and more people so that they too can have a greater understanding of God's love for them! I know God loves all of us individually! I know that he knows each and every one of our names personally! He cares about YOU! He wants you to know that He loves you, just as you love your kids or your mother or your father!! He wants us to return back to Him and He has given us this gospel to plant our feet deep in the roots of it so that when Satan comes and tried to uproot us, he will do so unsuccessfully because we will have rooted ourselves deep into the gospel soil!! I am so grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father has given to me! I don't where I would be without this gospel! But I know one thing… that I would not be nearly as happy as I am today if I had not been given a knowledge that the fullness of the gospel has again been restored onto the earth by modern day prophets!!

I love how Heavenly Father has given us all the option to choose whether or not we want to follow! He loves our agency more than anything and will not force us to do anything that we do not want to do! I have definitely had to learn that lesson on my mission! Before my mission I did not understand the importance of agency and allowing people to make their own decisions! Because Heavenly Father loves us so much, He also gave us another book of scripture so that we can know of a surety that this is the true church of God again restored onto the earth! I know with all of my heart that if ANY person reads the Book of Mormon with a real desire to know if it's true or not, they will receive an answer from God that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that because I have taken Heavenly Father up on that promise and asked him multiple times before and during my mission if that book is true and each time I have received a small spiritual confirmation that it is true and it does come from God! I invite everyone, even people who are already members, to read the Book of Mormon and each day you read it get on your knees and ask if what you are reading is true and as a representative of Jesus Christ, I promise that you will receive an answer in your own special way! I love you all so very much and am so grateful for all the support that you all have given me throughout my whole mission! The only way I can truly show my love for all of you at this time in my life when I am so far away from you all is to invite you to have amazing spiritual experiences for yourself because I know that those experiences will bless your life more than I ever could! I love my mission and I love the chance that I have to be able to teach the wonderful people here in Cambodia!:) I know that what I am doing out here is of God! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

All my love!
Elder Steadman
អែលឌេីរ ស្តេតមិន

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