Monday, October 26, 2015

"Living the dream" in the Kingdom of Cambodia!

Hello people!:) I hope that you all had a great week over in the good old USA!!:) This was a good week for Elder Quirante and I over here in Kampong Thom!!:) I don't have a ton of time to write to you all this week so it might be a little bit shorter of a letter, so I am sorry in advance! Or for those of you that hate my long letters, this should be a great read for you this week!:) So on Monday we just had our regular p-day, but then in the late afternoon we got to go and play some basketball, which was super fun! Elder Quirante and Elder Lauritzen were on an exchange with each other last week and they contacted some Cambodians that were playing basketball and they invited us to play with them on Monday and so of course we were soooooo down! :) We went and played with them and it was super fun, but they got tired super fast so we didn't play for loo long, but it was still a great time! :) Then on Tuesday we went out to our far away area, but everyone was gone because a couple of our members were in a small moto accident earlier in the week (don't worry, everyone is ok). The people that got in the moto accident live in the far away area and so there were not a whole lot of people out there at that time just because they were all at the hospital! So we visited the members that were actually home (which was only two) and we helped one of them tie up some leaves that she had grown to sell to the market people! Then we taught her how to read a little bit because she does not know how to read and she really wants to learn so that she can read the scriptures! So that was pretty much it for our Tuesday! Kind of boring, but it was a good day! :) Then on Wednesday we had English class and that was really good because we get to teach it with all four of us now! Before, Quirante and I taught on Saturdays and they taught on Wednesdays, but the President does not want us to teach on Saturdays anymore because he wants to keep the church really clean for the Sacrament on Sunday! So now we just teach on Wednesday! :) It was really fun to teach all together and I do enjoy making the class laugh, but also having an effective class as well! :)

Then on Thursday we scheduled to do service at a member’s house and so we went over there and we had to cut some grass with a hoe type of tool and it took forever!! Not to mention, there was not a cloud in sight and it was sooooooooo hot!! Haha we were all drenched in our sweat, but finally finished in the late afternoon and then headed home to do personal study and do weekly planning as well! Haha Then on Friday we spent a lot of the day looking for less active members, which is really hard in Cambodia because there are no such things as addresses here! Just names and the village that they live in! But most the time when you get into that village you can just ask someone if they know them and then they can help you and plus it’s a great opportunity to contact new people! :) ha On Friday night we bought some toys for the three members that were in the hospital (that were little kids) and we went and brought them to them! It was cool just watching their faces light up as we gave them these small little gifts! In the hospital rooms there were a whole bunch of other little kids that were all looking at their new toys and Quirante and I wanted so much to just buy all of them a toy too, but we just couldn't do that because we didn't have the money! But we walked across the street and bought a bunch of bags of candy and went back to the hospital and gave a piece of candy to all of the patients in the hospital! Old and young!:) It was so much fun and I felt the Spirit so strong as we were just walking around sharing our love with just a super small and simple act of kindness! It was cool to be able to sit and listen to some of their stories as well, and try to lift them up by giving them words of encouragement and telling them that things would soon get better for them! Hospitals are a sad place, especially in Cambodia, but that day I felt like we were able to life the spirits in that hospital just a little bit! :) Being a missionary is seriously so amazing! It’s the greatest blessing I have ever received to be able to be apart of this work!

Then on Saturday it was Quirante's birthday!!! :) Everyone wish him a happy birthday!! Attention all ladies! My companion is single and very handsome! Feel free to shoot him an email and let him know his buddy Elder Steadman told you to wish him a happy birthday! :) So he is 21 now! So we hit up the nearest bar and.....contacted! hahaha Just kidding! Really we just had a pretty regular day! But in the afternoon we got a call from the post office saying that Elder Quirante had something waiting for him there and when we went to go pick it up, a member from Kampong Cham (our old area) had sent him a birthday cake and some food! It was so awesome! He was so happy and the food was delicious!:) Then in the evening we went to the only American restaurant here in Kampong Thom and I treated Elder Quirante to dinner! :) It was expensive but soooooooo worth it because the food was seriously amazing! Tasting a cheese and bacon hamburger was something that was very much needed for me and I accomplished that desire when we went to that restaurant on Saturday! :) Sunday was super good! We had to push our baptisms back one week because some of the people that were involved with the moto accident were the ones getting baptized so we were not able to teach them very much this week, but we have 2 people scheduled to get baptized next week! :)

Ok, I'm sorry this letter is getting long and I promised you a short one, but I just want to share my “ponderize” scripture with you all really fast! It’s in Doctrine and Covenants, section 130, verses 20-21 and it reads, "There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated- and when we receive any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." I love this scripture because I have seen personally in my life the blessings that come from being obedient to God's commandments! Before my mission, I thought commandments were given to us because God did not want us to be too happy in this life. Well, I could not have been further away from the truth! God gives us commandments because He is dying to give us blessings! He wants to bless us more than anything, but if we have nothing to follow or no way to show Him that we love and care about Him, then how is he supposed to be able to bless us!? This is the reason why God has given us commandments! God gives us commandments so it gives Him an excuse to give us blessings! More blessings than we are worthy of or that we will ever be able to number! All He asks is that we follow what He has laid out for us! The laws and commandments that He gives us are not to impede us from being happy or enjoying life, but rather are there to help protect us from the temptations of the adversary! Satan is very real and he wants very badly for us to be unhappy just like him, and to do try to make us so he likes to dress up the commandments that God has given us to be annoying, unfashionable, out of date, or unhappy rules. But it’s not true! I have found in my life that the times I have felt the most happy about myself and towards other people have been the times that I was following the commandments that God has give me! I know that the happiness that we receive when obeying His commandments is true and everlasting happiness! Nothing that the temporary pleasures of this world will ever be able to measure up to! I love my Heavenly Father and am grateful that He loves me enough to help guide me and help me know what I need to do to be blessed and protected by His loving hand! I love this church and I know that it’s true with all of my heart! I love my mission! I can’t even start to explain to you all just how much I love my mission! I am starting to catch myself getting more emotional because I will find myself in a moment that I know will soon only be a memory. I don't get to do this my whole life and I know it will never be the same again, even if I come back to visit it can just never be the same as it is right now. I just don't want it to end! I don't want to not be able to see the sunset and sunrise in Cambodia every day! And everything that comes in between that sunset and sunrise! I don't know how I'm going to do without it! But I still have lots of time to enjoy, so I'm going to go ahead and stop playing the world’s smallest violin and go back to work! :) I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week over in America! For me...well, I’ll just keep on living the dream over here in the Kingdom of Cambodia! Don't be too jealous! :) Until next week!

Much love,
Elder Steadman:)

Things you don't see every day...

Happy Birthday Elder Q!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Drum roll please!!"...

Hello everybody!!:) Well, this week was a super fun week that also included transfer calls!!:) So I have got some news for you all, but you are going to have to wait till I talk about some other things first!:) Ok, so this Monday was super fun because we got to go to Siem Reap! It's one of my old areas and it's about 3 hours from the area that I am in right now. So we got to go there on our p-day to do some shoe shopping because my shoes are terrible and I needed to get some new ones! We went up there for the day and it was super fun! Elder Lauritzen got to come as well with Elder Beckstead because he also needed some new shoes!! So we had a small party up there shopping around for the day! The only bummer was that this whole week was a very big holiday here and so lots of the shops that we tried to go to were closed, but we were able to find the stuff that we went for!:)

Then on Tuesday it was the big holiday so all of the missionaries were told to not go out and proselyte and to stay in and spend the day cleaning our houses! Well, lucky for us, we just moved into a brand new house that was already spotless! Haha so we spent the morning deep cleaning our already clean house and cleaning all of our appliances, and then the rest of the day we just hung out with each other! It was fun to just be able to relax for a day, but at the same time it felt super weird that we were not supposed go out and proselyte! Haha anyway, on Wednesday we had to go to Phnom Penh to run some errands for Elder Quirante and I, so we went down there and when we went to the mission home, President bought us both lunch and it was soooooo good! It was like a Subway sandwich and I was in heaven!!!:) Then on Saturday I went on an exchange with Elder Beckstead and that was super fun! He has only been in the country for a little over a month now so he is still very new, but luckily I have been with new Elders for a fair amount on my mission so it was pretty easy to adapt the lessons, and it was fun being able to help him out for a day and to try to build up his confidence in himself about his language abilities!

Then on Saturday night I had something cool kind of happen! Elder Beckstead and I were outside of this gas station contacting these guys and I was just ending a conversation with them and starting to bike away when I heard this girl’s voice coming from behind me screaming, “Elder! Elder!!” I was kind of taken back! When I looked back, I saw two Americans running towards me! Haha it was definitely not something you see every day out here in Kampomg Thom! They came up to me and one of them explained to me that she was a member of the church as well, but that she had not gone to church now for a while. She said that it was a sign that we met each other! The reason why was because just a few days earlier she had been assaulted by someone and it was obviously very scarring emotionally and mentally for her, and so she was talking to her parents on the phone and her parents suggested that she try and find some missionaries so that they could give her a blessing! Well, I guess right before she saw us she was explaining what her parents had told her to the other girl that she was with, when all of a sudden she saw us! Kinda cool right!? Talk about God just lining things up perfectly for his children! If that doesn't show that He loves her, I don't know what else would! Especially because that gas station was super far out of my way and I randomly felt like going in there because I was hungry and wanted some Pringles, and once we got in the gas station I felt like I should contact some people in there which actually took like 15 minutes, and so if all of that would not have happened we would have not met up with each other! Heavenly Father really does work in mysterious ways!! Anyway, I invited her and her friend to come to church on Sunday! Her friend was American too, but she was half American half Thai, and she had actually never been to a Christian church before in her life! I told her I thought she would like the experience and they both happily accepted!!:) Well, when Sunday came around they actually came to church!!:) They came for the first hour and then after the first hour they said that they had to get heading out, but before they left the girl that is a member asked me if I would give her a blessing! Of course I happily accepted! I don't really remember anything that I said, but I just remember that right when I laid my hands on her head the Spirit just poured over me! It was so strong and I knew with all of my heart that Heavenly Father loved this girl very much and cared about her very much! It was a really cool experience!

After church we taught a few lessons and then headed home for the evening to finish up some studies, and then we had transfer calls!!!! Are you all ready!?!? Drum roll please!! Elder Quirante and I are still companions!!!!!!!:):):) Yep, you heard me right people! We are with each other for another 6 weeks baby!!!:) We could not believe it! We were literally bouncing off of all of the walls with excitement! For those of you that like math, that means that by the end of this transfer Elder Quirante and I will have been companions for a combined total of 6 months on our mission! That's 1/4 of our mission!!!!:) How lucky is that?! I seriously could not be more excited! I love my mission soooooo much! I love my area, I love the members, I love my comp, I love my house! I just can't believe I am so lucky right now!! Haha it still doesn't seem real!! :)

We have a few investigators on the board to get baptized these next 2 weeks, so please pray that all of them will be able to continue to learn and grow and progress! Their names are Ming Khee, SokGiet, Bong Dara, Bong Canada, and Bean. Oh yeah and one more thing! I have to share with you all my ponderize scripture for this week! This week my ponderize scripture is in the Bible in James 2:26 and it says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." I really love this scripture because to me, this scripture talks about the importance of having commandments! If our Heavenly Father did not give us commandments, there would be no way for us to be able to show Him our faith! And like this scripture says, we mush show our faith by our works! We show by following what we know to be true! No matter the circumstances! I invite all of you to show your faith through your works! Show your faith through your everyday actions and your strong desire to follow the commandments that God has set out for us! I know that as we do these things, Heavenly Father will pour out His blessings upon us and will help us to stay on His straight and narrow path so that we can return to live with Him again someday! It's my hope and prayer that we can all help each other walk that straight and narrow path so that we can all live together again in the kingdom of our Father!:) I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Steadman:)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mud & "ponderizing"

Hello everybody!! I don't know how or why the weeks insist on going as fast as they do! Haha but this week was super good! So as you know already we had Soklae's baptism last week and it was super awesome, but ever since his baptism he has wanted to help us go out and do missionary work around the clock!! Haha it's so awesome! He calls us every day in the morning and asks us where we are headed for the day, and then asks if he can come along for the ride! Of course we are more than happy to have him along with us and he really is quite the entertainment… he has both Elder Quirante and I busting a gut for the better part of the day! So on Thursday we were headed out to our area that is the furthest away and it's called Sojay. Anyway, Soklae called us and asked us if he could come with us and we said yes and then planned a time where we could meet him at the church so we could all ride together! So we met at the church and started to ride out there together. Well in order to get out to that area there is a stretch of dirt road that's super bumpy and bad that stretches out about a mile and a half (if I had to guess)! Anyway, we were driving down that dirt road and I guess it had recently rained in that area because it was super muddy! We kept on trying to ride our bikes, but eventually the mud got so thick that it wedged in between our tires and the guard thing and we could not pedal forward any more! At that point we still had another 300 yards (I’m guessing looked way far people!) until we got to the end of this bad road. We could see that if we took our feet off of the bike, the mud was so sticky and thick that it would take our shoes right off of our feet! So we all three took off our shoes and our socks and rolled our pants up to our knees and then cleaned off our bikes in a little ditch near by, just enough so that the mud would not get all over us while we were carrying our bikes. We then threw the bikes over our shoulders and made the long 300-yard trek to the so-called finish line! Haha needless to say, by the time we got there I was drenched in sweat from head to toe...literally my muddy toes, haha and I was very very tired! Quirante and I got to the end at pretty much the same time and then turned around to see where Soklae was at. He was another 100 yards back moaning and holding his bike in the most awkward way you can possibly imagine! Quirante and I had a good laugh as we jogged over to help him, but he insisted on finishing the journey himself! He is such a stud! It's kinda cool because he just wants to be like us in every way! He does everything that he sees us do! The way we talk, the way we walk, even the way we ride our bikes, he is trying to copy us in every way! Haha it's pretty awesome! 

Anyway, so we all finally reached the end of that terrible road, but had another hour of biking to actually get to our destination! Haha so we found a small river and we hopped in up to our thighs and threw in our bikes and started cleaning them down and getting them up and running again! The biggest mistake of the day was when I asked Soklae if he could pass me my shoes because he was just up a little bit watching us, but I forgot that Cambodians are not the best passers! haha Long story short, he missed me by a mile and sent both of my shoes straight into the river but just close enough to me that it splashed all the mud that was on the bottom of my shoes all over my shirt! Haha Oh and the socks that I had nicely tucked into my shoes in the hopes that they would stay dry were nice and soaking wet as well! Haha You win some, you lose some, right!? Haha it was hard to be mad at him with how hard he was laughing at his own terrible throw! We all had a good laugh! Then after that we got back up onto the path and there was this guy who was driving this thing, this is really hard to explain, but it's basically like a moto with 4 wheels attached to it and an open area in the back of it where you can just put a whole bunch of crap! Well, we said hi to him and jokingly asked if we could hop on the back and then he stopped and was like, “Yeah sure, hop on!” So we did not ask any further questions! Haha we threw are bikes on and off we went!:) It was so much fun and he took us straight to where we needed to go! It was a huge blessing because we were all trying to hide it a little bit, but we were all super exhausted!! When we got to Sojay we offered to pay him, but he repeatedly refused and off he went! It's crazy how an act of service can literally make your entire day!! What an awesome guy!! Then we had super good lessons in that area and reminded everyone to come to Conference and listen to the prophet! Soklae was on his game as well, constantly bearing testimony and literally inviting everyone that he saw (which is a lot of people because the dude is super cross-eyed haha) to learn about Jesus Christ!! It's crazy how bold he is! He will be one monster missionary! He is a good example to me of being spiritually bold in your calling!! Then that evening we rode our bikes back home. but took a longer path because we did not feel like having that same experience all over again! Haha so yeah, Thursday was a super fun day! 

Oh and one more cool thing that Elder Quirante and I did this week was make a pull-up bar!! So we have an open shed thing on the side of our house and we asked our landlord if it would be ok if we tried to make a pull-up bar and he was totally down for it because he is so chill and super awesome! So we bought a super long pole and some chains and then we stretched it across two posts and then had it welded to both of the posts and since it was so long we used the chains for support in the middle! It's so sick! Three people can do pull-ups at the same time, so that's pretty sick! So that was a fun p-day project!! 

Then Saturday and Sunday were obviously amazing because it was Conference week! All of the talks were sooooamazing! I wish I had time to talk about all of the talks that I liked during this General Conference, but because I am short on time this week I will just share the one that hit me the hardest and that was by Devin G. Durrant. For those of you that don't remember his talk, his was the one where he invented the coolest new word that I have ever heard! Ponderize!! He inspired me to find a new scripture ever week and then ponderize it! What a cool challenge! He promised so many blessings that will come if we follow his counsel and I want to take him up on the challenge! So I need all of your help to keep me on my game! Don't let me forget!!! From here on out until I finish my mission, I am going to share with you all the scripture that I ponderized the previous week and bear my testimony about that scripture! Now because I did not know about this earlier in the week, I have only had one day to ponderize last week’s scripture, but it's better late than never right!?:) As I was listening to Conference,  there were 2 main topics that stuck out to me. The first was on keeping the commandments, especially the Sabbath day, and remembering our covenants that we have made with our Heavenly Father. And the second was the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the reality of it! This week my scripture relates to what I thought to be some of the bigger topics shared in this General Conference. It is found in Mosiah, chapter 3 verse 19, and it reads, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." This scripture is rich with meaning and I know that even now I do not even close to comprehend its full meaning, but I just want to share my testimony that I know that what this scripture speaks is true! We all go through the great battle in this life of trying to put off the natural man. It's no easy task! And it's not meant to be either. But as this scripture states, if we yield unto the enticings of the Holy Spirit, meaning that if we strive to obey God's commandments so that we can have the Spirit to be with us, the Spirit will help guide and direct our lives and keep us away from the fiery darts of the adversary. Then we must become a saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ, meaning that we must try! As we learned last Conference, a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying! How do we try? We repent over and over and again! If we do this, we can have faith that no matter what, as long as we have sincere hearts, His grace and his mercy are sufficient for us. And then at the end of the scripture it tells us we must become as a little child. Like the comparison made in Conference, we are all little children of our Father in Heaven and we are all trying to walk on the path to get back to Him. Sometimes we fall, and we feel like we can't get back up onto our feet, but if we can lift our heads up, just a little bit, we will see our loving Father with his arms outstretched and a warm smile of encouragement telling us to get back up and keep on walking, keep on trying, so that one day we can live with Him again! It's my goal that I can try every day to become more submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all things that the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon me. I know that as I do these things, the Spirit of God will rest upon me and I will be led and guided by Him, just as a child is lead and guided by loving parents. Just like I have been led and guided in this mortal life by an amazing Father and Mother that love me! I am forever grateful for what they have done for me and who they have helped me become! I am nothing without them! Mom, Dad, I love you both to the deepest part of my soul and with all of the energy of my heart! Thank you for being the best parents any son could ever ask for!!:) I love my Savior and I am forever grateful for His atoning sacrifice that He made for me! I try to remember the song ‘I Stand All Amazed’ each week as I partake of the Sacrament. "I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine, to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine. That he should extend his great love into such as I, sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify. Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me." I am forever indebted to my Savior for His undying love for me! I love this gospel and I know that this gospel is His. It's true and I know that it's true with all of my heart! If there are any of you who don't yet know, or are maybe struggling and unsure of whether or not this truly is the church of Jesus Christ, I invite you to ask! Don't ask your mom or your dad or your neighbor or your bishop, ask God! I know, and as a representative of Jesus Christ I promise, that if you search and study and you get on your knees and pour out your soul to your Heavenly Father and ask in faith if what you are studying is true, I promise you that you will receive an answer to that sincere prayer! I love you all! You’re all in my prayers! May your prayers be answered and may the love of God fill each of your hearts this week!

All my love,
Elder Steadman

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mug shots and missionary work

Hello everybody!!:) I don't know why, but for some reason this week just flew by!! Now we are in October!! That's crazy people!! Where has this year gone!? All right, so this was a really great week for us because we were able to be in our area for the whole week and there was no sickness or injuries involved either!!:) How amazing!!:) So I will give you a little rundown of everything that we did this last week! On Monday we had a good p-day and we went out to the market and got all of the food that we needed for the week and it was the end of the month so we did not buy a ton of stuff! Basically just enough to get by! Then at the end of our p-day we played some football! We only have 4 elders here, but it was still lots of fun being able to throw the football around and exercise a little bit!:) 

Then on Tuesday we had to go to the police station here in Kampong Thom because they wanted to see our passports and visas to make sure that we were not illegal immigrants...haha I'm sure that's a huge problem for Cambodia right now… Americans trying to sneak into their country...haha that seems kind of backwards to me! Well, to amuse the police we decided to go to the police station so they would not go on a wild manhunt for the dangerous foreigners dressed up in conspicuous clothing (white shirt and a tie with conservative slacks). When we got there they checked out all of our stuff and, after giving us the stink eye, told us that everything seemed to be in order! Phew!!:) But then they proceeded to tell us that we were going to have to go get our pictures taken so that they could put the pictures in a book...not really sure what the book was all about...looked kinda like a scrapbook to me! They told us that it was not up for debate and it would have to be done if we wanted to live in Kampong Thom! It would have been way easier to take this guy more seriously if he had not been wearing flip-flops haha, not to mention that his name translated into English was “Fresh Women”...yaaaaaa enough said there! Haha so we complied with his demands, but we also decided that we were going to have a little fun with this opportunity as well!! So this is going to be kind of hard to explain to all of you guys, but I will do my best! So you know the picture that everyone has to take in order to get a passport? The one with a blue or white backdrop where you are not allowed to smile and it always turns out horrendous!? Yeah, well, Cambodians love that picture SOOOO much!! Pretty sure that every Cambodian has gone and taken that picture at least once! Most of the time when you are leaving an area and they want to give you a picture so that you will be able to remember them, they will give you that passport picture!! It's a classic over here! So anyway, we decided that we would go and take our own passport pictures and try to make our faces look as Khmer-looking AND as cheesy as possible! It's just going to be too hard to explain it any further to you all so I am going to attach the pictures that Elder Quirante and I took at the photo shop place! Needless to say they turned out PERFECT!! So perfect that we actually decided to frame our pictures and hang them up in our room!!:) Yes, we are weird… I know!:) haha Anyway, so that was a blast and now every time the police look in their little scrapbook they will see the two most goofy looking Americans they have ever seen!!:) So that was one of the more fun parts of my week!

Then on Wednesday we had a super good day and actually found a new investigator and he is super awesome! He has learned with a different church before, but he is interested in our church and wants to learn more about it so that's pretty cool! And then we had dinner at a member’s house! Her name is Sophal! She is the lady that makes ties for all of the missionaries here in Cambodia! She is the reason why I have spent a good part of my life savings on ties!! Haha they are just too pretty not to buy!! We got to go to her house and saw some of the ties that she is planning on making... I'm so excited!! Haha and since we are in her area, we get first pick over everyone!! That's what I am talking about baby!!:)

Thursday was an interesting day as well because we got a call from this member who was Cambodian, but then moved to Thailand for work, and now was coming back to Cambodia. He looked us up and it turns out that he was not a member when he originally left Cambodia, but then when he was in Thailand working the missionaries found him and he became a member over there! He decided that he wanted to go on a mission so he turned in his papers and he now has a call to go to England for two years and he leaves in November! We were talking to him and he was telling us how he really wants his family to learn, so we asked him where he lived, but we did not recognize the area. He just told us it was a ways a way and so we should take a tuk-tuk (a motorcycle with a little carriage attached onto it for people to sit in). We decided that we should at least go and give it a shot and see how far away it really was! Well folks, it's far!! Haha it took like an hour and a half to get to his house, and that was riding at motorcycle speed!! Haha when we finally got there we got to meet his family and that was super awesome! None of them had ever learned about Jesus before so we got to share a little bit about what we believe and talked a lot about prayer and being able to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Then we gave them a whole bunch of books and pamphlets and magazines and a couple of Book of Mormon's as well and it was super awesome! Unfortunately, we cannot teach them because it's way far out of our proselyting area, but we invited them to come to church any time they are able to make the long drive out and we also encouraged them to read what we left for them and start to pray. We promised them that sometime in the near future, God would provide a way for them to be able to continue learning! We didn't know in what way yet, but we felt confident that God would provide a way for them in the near future! So that was a pretty fun thing that happened to us this week as well! I'll send a few pics of our drive out there and a pic of his family as well!!:)

Then Friday and Saturday were super good days just full of missionary work! We had lots of lessons and it was kind of cool because when we planned, everything seemed to just fall right into place as we were out proselyting! Which, to be honest, usually is not the case at all! But this week everything just seemed to be going our way! Everyone was home when we came to visit them and everyone made time to meet with us when we got to their houses! So awesome!!:) Since Quirante and I have been in this area, we have been able to help 12 less active members come back to church! I know that's not at all because of us, but I know that God is working through us and allowing us to touch the hearts of those members and let the Spirit touch their hearts so that they can start to regain that desire to come back to church and continue to walk the path that our Heavenly Father has planned out for us! I just love being a missionary in Kampomg Thom right now! I would not want to be anywhere else in the whole world!!:)

Then this Sunday we had a baptism!!:) Soklae got baptized! It was so awesome! He was super nervous at first! He came up to me in church and told me that he was so nervous that his eyes were getting cross-eyed (the kid already has terribly crossed eyes! haha) I reminded him that his eyes were already cross eyed and then he was like, "I know, but now they are super cross eyed! See look!" Then he opened his eyes super big and I just started laughing! He started busting up laughing too and told me he was just messing around with me! Man I love that kid so much! He is the first investigator that I have had my whole mission where it has just been easy for us from start to finish! He had problems just like every one of my other investigators have had too, but the difference was he had a strong determination to do whatever he needed to do to be worthy so he would be able to receive baptism! Honestly, he is a huge inspiration to me! People might say that I taught Soklae, but I feel like Soklae was the one teaching me instead! He has an amazing heart and strong testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel! It's truly been inspiring to watch him grow and be able to be with him throughout the process of his conversion! He wants to go be an Elder in exactly one year from now because that's the soonest that they will let you after you have been baptized! I know when he does serve a mission he will be an amazing tool in the Lord’s hands in helping the work spread! So the baptism was a huge success to say the least and I have got lots of pictures for you so don't worry about that! I even got one where you can see just how cross-eyed he is!! It's funny reading with him because he struggles seeing it clearly and he always curses his eye that won't look straight forward!! Haha he is the best man!

Anyway, that was pretty much it for my week! Overall it was a super good week and it felt awesome to finally be able to spend a whole week in our area without having to worry about anything besides helping our members and investigators! I love this area! I love this church and I especially love my mission! Quirante and I will be riding our bikes and just talk about how lucky we are to be serving in a place like Cambodia! I would not want to serve a mission anywhere else in the whole world!! I truly believe that I am the luckiest guy ever to be able to serve here in Cambodia!! I love every single good and hard thing that comes with this mission as well!! It just feels like things are moving all too quickly! Next thing you know I am going to be too far away from the amazing country that I now call home! But until then I am going to make the most of every minute!! Don't miss me folks because I don't have enough time left to be sitting around missing all of you!:) No offense!!;) I will see you all in a bit!!:)

Much love from the Kingdom!!:)
Elder Steadman:)