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 again...it 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

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