Ok, so this week on Tuesday we got to go to a member’s house to do service! It was actually really cool because on Monday we went with some of the young men and young women in our branch and we went to go find some less active members’ houses that I am not yet familiar with! So we went to one of their houses and she was just talking about how hard things are for her right now and how she is working in her rice fields, but she just can't get ahead of any of her work and she is feeling super stressed and overwhelmed. So in that moment I was just like, “Well, how about tomorrow we come and help you!!” At first she said no and that everything was fine, but then when she realized that the question I asked wasn't really a question, but more of a statement, she finally gave in to letting us help her!:) So the next day we got up early and we went to her house, which is like a 40-minute bike ride away, and when we got there we put our bikes underneath her house and then walked out to her rice fields! It was a really long walk and because it was super muddy we had to take our shoes and socks off to go out there and some parts of the pathway were super sharp and thorny!! Haha the Cambodians have really tough feet man! She didn't say a word the whole time and I'm right behind her screamin’ and yelpin’ every other step because something is getting stuck in my foot! Haha well little did I know this was just the start of the problems that I would be dealing with for the rest of the week!! So we get there and essentially what we are doing is just planting rice weeds back into a muddy rice field!! Haha it was super fun at first because...it’s mud!! Haha we immediately flipped into our five-year-old selves again when we stepped into the mud with our bare feet and started giggling about how weird it felt! Haha she was looking at us like we were kind of crazy, but also thinking it was quite hilarious that we were such rookies!!:)
Anyway, so we helped her for about 3 hours and about an hour and a half into it I start to feel like I am getting some sun, but I don't have a long shirt or anything to wear, plus it's burning hot so that would almost be considered suicide to wear a long sleeve shirt, so I just keep on going. By the end of our 3 hours I am starting to feel really burnt so we hurry and finish and then we bike home as fast as we can, but it's like a 40-minute bike ride so you can only go so fast! By the time we got home...well, let's just say the sun won this battle!! Blisters on my arms and legs!! To put it short I did not get a lot of sleep the next two nights! The day after, I was in tons of pain and could not even get a shirt on without just wanting to scream out in pain! So in my time of need I called out to one of my favorite members out here in Kampong Cham… her name is Ming Chen! She is the kind of lady that is always on top of everything and can find anything and everything! So I told her about my situation (which is actually really hard to do in Khmer because sunburns literally don't exist here! They don't even have a word for it!), and she eventually understood the gist of what I was saying and said that she would look into it! An hour later she told me to come over to her house and that she had medicine to help me! But she told me it was natural medicine! At this point she could have told me it was cow poop that she found and that she heard could help and I still would have been there in a heartbeat!! Haha I was willing to try anything!! Anyway, I got to her house and she had found aloe leaves!!! She had peeled them already and put them in the freezer and when I got there, I laid down on her floor and she just put them all over my arms and legs... if I have ever in my life come close to feeling the peacefulness that we will feel when we go to heaven...that was definitely it!!! It was SO amazing and I am forever in her debt!! So my sunburns got better from that point on and I was able to go out and proselyte because of her! She is the best! I love the members here in Cambodia!! They seriously will give an arm and a leg for you here!! It's amazing!
Ok, and then after that we also got to go to our other area later in the week and proselyte there as well! When we got there, a member named Bong Chea said he was moving his house and we asked him if he needed help and he politely accepted, so we told him that we would come over the next morning and help him move all of his heavy stuff over to his new house! Luckily his new house was not too far away from his old house so it was not too hard of a project at all! We got all of it done in a little over 2 hours!! And this time I wore the correct amount of clothing so that I would not add anymore pain on top of the pain that I already had!!:) haha
Now we come to Sunday! The best day of my life:) Church in the morning was super good! We had a good amount of people show up and also had a couple of potential investigators show up to church as well, which was awesome! And then we went to church over in our other area as well and that was also very good! We had most of the members show up except for just a few families! Then we drove back to Kampong Cham and came home around 6 to study because we’re not able to study like at all that day because of all the times we go to church during the day! Ha so we came home to study and then I made some crepes (which were delicious by the way! I am a master crepe maker now!:) Watch out ladies!;) ) Then my comp and I were sitting in our room when the APs called us! I answered the phone and one of them asked if I was Elder Steadman and I said yes and then he was like, “Hey, are you busy right now?” I was like, “No, what's up?” and then he was like, “Hang on one second!” Then I didn't hear anything for a couple of seconds and I was kind of nervous because it's always nerve racking when the APs call and then out of nowhere he says, “Ok sorry… I had to put you on speaker.” Then I hear the other AP say hi to me and then they say, “Ok, so you are the first people that we are calling right now, but we just have to let you know that because we have 8 missionaries ending their missions halfway through this transfer, President has decided that he wants to do a mini-transfer in between the regular transfers to rearrange some people so that we don't have to shut down any areas. Then he says, “I am calling you and Elder Quirante on speaker phone at the same time to let you guys know that you will be companions with each other!!:):)” Whaaaatttttt!?!?!? You guys have no idea how badly I wanted to write that out in capital letters, but I was afraid you would just read ahead!!! Hahaha Quirante and I are going to be companions in one week!!!!!! President Holland comes on a Sunday and then that next Monday I will be taking a bus down to my new area which is Kampong Thom... with Quirante!!:):) This is also a new area for Quirante so we are both going to be completely new to that area! In the mission they call that a whitewash!!!! I cannot even tell you how excited I am people!!! I'm not kiddin’ you when I say it was far and away the best day of my mission when I found out I was going to be companions with Elder Quirante again!!! Thousands of prayers were answered on that day and we are going to show President and all of Cambodia just how good of a decision it was to put us two together!!!!!
I LOVE MY LIFE!!!!!!!! I seriously don't know how to put it into words how excited and happy I am right now! I wish you all could see the permanent smile that I have had on my face since I received this amazing news!!! It just won't leave!!:):) I can't wait to do insane amounts of missionary work in Kampong Thom!! Ok and you’re not even going to believe the last part of it!! The house there is a house with 4 missionaries and guess who else is there!? Haha Elder Lauritzen!!! Hahaha Why am I so blessed?!!!!!!!! I have literally been with him since he started his mission and he is almost at a year now!!! You guys, I have never been so happy in my entire life!! I cannot wait to just go be companions with one of my best friends and do absolute insane amounts of work with each other!! This really is the greatest day of my mission!!!:) I am also so grateful that my Heavenly Father trusts both of us enough to be friends, but to also be very diligent in carrying out His work among the people in Kampong Thom!!! It seriously does not get any better than this people!! You better watch out because Elder Steadman and Elder Quirante are headed your way and ain't nobody gonna be able to stop the two of us!!:) I. LOVE. MY. LIFE. I don't ever want this feeling to leave!! It will be hard to say goodbye to some of the members here because there are a few members that I love so so so so much from my areas, but I know that I will be able to see them again when I come back with my parents next year!!:)
Well folks, that's all the news I’ve got for you this weekend! Just to let you all know I will be emailing on Tuesday next week, not on Monday, because President Holland comes and they are changing our P-day to Tuesday just for next week… so the next time you all hear from me I will be in a new area with Elder Quirante!! I love my life!!:):) I love you all as well!! I hope that you all have a great week!! Don't even try to have as good a week as I am going to have because I promise you, that's just not going to be possible!! Much love headed your way!!!:):):)