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!!!

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