Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pioneer Day, Cambodian style

Hello everyone!!:) Well, this week went by especially fast for some reason!! I feel like I was just writing you all and now we are already to another Monday!! I hope you all had a good week!:) For me this week was really good! It was a good pick me up week!:) We were able to meet with lots of our members this week, which was really good! This week they also had a Pioneer Day celebration and that was super fun! They did that on Thursday and they invited the Elders to come as well so we got to go and help set up and stuff and then once we had set everything up, we watched a pioneer movie! I forgot what it was called, but it was just one of the old ones that our church has done in the past!! The members loved it so much, except they all kept asking me if that's how America still looks today! Haha it was kind of difficult to explain to them that America has changed a lot since then because Cambodia looks like what America looked like 200 years ago, but they are all just super excited that they got to see actual footage of America! Haha it was super cool! Then after that the young men and the young women did a dancing performance! They have been practicing it for a couple months now!! They did the square dance! Or at least tried to! Haha it was a square dance with a little Cambodian style mixed in as well! Haha it was so funny! All the guys were super embarrassed to be grabbing the young women's hands because that's just super weird to do here haha, but I was having a good laugh watching all of them!:) I tried uploading a video, but it would not upload so maybe I will try again in a week!!

Then the Relief Society made food for an entire army!! Like seriously… an army!! If you think Americans go hard when it comes to food, you have not seen anything yet!! It was seriously tables and tables full of straight food!! Haha and of course we had an insane amount of extras!! They tried to make my companion and I eat until we threw up! Haha they always say we have bigger stomachs than they do so we can eat 3 or 4 times more than them, but I have been here for like a year and a half now and I feel like I have the same stomach size as all of them (or maybe even smaller)! Ha but they still make me eat way more than they do!! Haha oh well, I am used to being insanely full!! Hey Mom, maybe when I come home and overeat on Sundays I won't be couch-ridden anymore!! ;) Haha anyway, the party was a lot of fun!

Then on Friday it was kind of a sad day! I got one of those phone calls that no missionary ever wants to get! I got a call from my group leader out in Brae Choe saying that one of the members over in that area had passed away. Her name was Ohm Nuan and she has been a member for a couple years, but lately she has been super sick and I guess on Friday she was in her house and she was taking some medicine, but when she took the pills they got stuck in her throat and her husband was not at home and by the time she ran to the neighbors house it was too late! My heart sunk when they called me! I left Kampong Cham as soon as I could and went over to my other area! We went and visited her husband and he seemed to be doing pretty good. Culture here in Cambodia is that when someone dies, the people who knew them the very best are supposed to stay as busy as possible getting food ready and setting up for the funeral for the next day! You feel kind of bad to see them running around super busy, especially after what has just happened to them, but then at the same time it's kind of a good idea because it keeps their minds from just dwelling on what has happened! So we went over and visited him on Friday and then he invited us to the funeral on Saturday morning. So the next morning we went to the funeral! It was super cool because when we got to the grave site they did some Buddhist prayer thing because all of her extended family and kids are Buddhist, but then after they had finished they invited us and all of the members that had come and attended as well to gather around her grave and we were able to say a prayer that she would be protected until the second coming and that she would learn in the spirit world and also be able to help others come to a knowledge of the gospel on the other side of the veil! It was really cool to see two different religions come together in one purpose! Both of us want her to find peace and happiness in the life after this one, but we just believe a little differently! Anyway, so that was a super cool experience!! It's crazy to think that everything that she was learning about this Gospel just became so real for her! I am happy for her that she was able to leave her very sick body and be able to move on to the next step! Please everybody keep her husband in your prayers this week as well! His name is Pu Yeng.

Anyway, I think that's all that I’ve got for you this week! I am so happy that I have the knowledge of this gospel!! To know that death has no sting! I know that one day we will all see each other again! We will be able to meet with all of our loved ones again in the kingdom of our Father! How lucky are we all to have that knowledge!! He has given us so much hope in this life and now it's our duty to go and share this wonderful message with other people who still don't know of the wonderful plan that our Heavenly Father has made for us! This week I encourage all of you to share with just one person about the Plan of Salvation! I testify to you all that as you do this you will be filled with the light of Christ and the person that you share that with will feel in their heart that what you are saying is true! Whether or not they accept your message is up to them, but our duty is to spread it to every person on the face of the earth! The missionaries cannot do that all by themselves!! All members need to be missionaries as well!! I know that as we share the gospel we come to find a love for all of God’s children and we ourselves will also be happier each and every day! There is not a happier and more important work on the face of this earth! I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week! You’re all in my prayers!

Much love!
Elder Steadman:)

P.S. from Mindy: Austin got word this week that he will be staying in Kampong Cham and Brae Choe for another transfer. I’m sure any prayers to sustain his energy to continue working in two areas would be much appreciated!

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