Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Another wonderful week in the Kingdom!

Hello everybody!!:) Another amazing week for me here in the Kingdom! I hope you all had a great week as well! I'll give you all a quick rundown of how this week went! So on Monday we had p-day and we spent the day just hitting up all of the markets and doing lots of shopping! It was actually quite an exhausting day! Then when we got back to our area that evening, we went to visit some members and that was super great!:) On Tuesday morning we had Zone Leader Meeting...I don't think that's what it's called, but the actual name won't come to my head haha… it was just a meeting with all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders in our mission! It was super good! I don't know if you guys know this or not, but a couple of weeks ago the church leaders had a World Wide Missionary Broadcast! Well, we had to wait for the broadcast to be available online before we could watch it so we were not able to watch it live with all of the other missionaries, but we were finally able to watch it this week! So we watched that in the meeting and it was like 2 hours long! It was super good! I really liked the focus that they put on relying on the Spirit and letting the Spirit testify that what you are teaching is true! That's one thing I love so much about this church! We are not trying to convince anyone of anything! We only state what we believe and then ask them to go to God and ask Him if our message is true or not! When you put things that simply, missionary work sounds so easy! Haha there is a little more that goes on in the background, but that's pretty much the overall gist! Anyway, I loved the broadcast! Then the Assistants gave a small message on repentance and the importance of teaching repentance clearly and understandably! Unfortunately, in this mission it's gotten to be a bad habit for some of us to just say repenting is feeling bad about something you did and then not doing it again. Well, that's technically correct, but there are other things that are part of the repentance process that are very important to understand! So they had us practice teaching repentance and I feel like it's really going to help with our vision this year, which is having 50% of our recent converts attend church! Right now we are at about 32%, but with the way President Christensen is running things I know we will be able to reach that goal by the end of the year! So overall the meeting was super good and Elder Bo and I got a ton out of it! We then had Zone Training with our zone that same Friday! Basically we just watched that Broadcast with them all and then Elder Bo did a great presentation on repentance as well! So my Tuesday and Friday this week were kind of like the same day, but they were super good so that's lucky I guess!:)

Then there was a super sad thing that happened this last Tuesday as well. One of the members in our branch had his house burn down. His neighbor’s gas tank exploded and ended up burning down around 20 houses! I was so sad when I first heard the news because I had just been to his house the week before and he was telling me how he had just finished it and that it had been something that he had been working on for 20 years. I was so crushed. I went to go see them and to my great surprise he greeted me with a warm smile and a hug! He told me that when it happened he grabbed his 3 grandkids and ran out of the house, but because the fire was so big and their house was made out of straight wood, he literally had no time to go back in and get anything else. Literally everything that they owned besides the clothes on their back was gone! And yet he was still smiling and just telling me how grateful he was that he and his grandchildren were able to make it out alive! His faith is so inspiring to me! I was also so happy to hear that members from all over Phnom Penh, not just our branch, but everywhere, were coming to visit him and give him some clothes or a little bit of money! It's so cool to see the members come together and show love for another member who is going through a hard time in their life! And the coolest was on Sunday he came to church! He did not have church clothes, but he and his wife came to church! When we went to meet him earlier in the week, he told us he was probably not going to be coming because he was going to be busy trying to figure out everything, but then on Sunday he walked in with a big smile and was warmly greeted by all the members!! So it was a very sad thing that happened to him, but he is looking at it as a blessing in disguise! He told me he feels lucky he gets to start new! Sometimes the faith of the members here is so humbling!

On Friday we met a new investigator who's name is Bong Touch. She is so awesome! We taught her the first lesson and at the end committed her to pray about what we had taught her and then she said yes and asked if we had an extra copy of "that Book of Mormon book" that she could keep and read for herself! That was a first for me on my mission! Ha we gave her a copy of the book and taught her how to read it! We have not met her again yet, but we will be meeting with her this week and I am super excited to see how she is progressing when me meet again! Church was also super good this week as well! I did not have the opportunity to fast last week so I fasted this week for the family whose house burned down and when I got to the church, I saw all of these people offering their help in all of these different ways and I felt like the prayer to my fast was literally getting answered right in front of my eyes! It was a pretty cool experience!:)

I love my mission so much! I feel so unbelievably blessed for the time that I have to be serving here in this wonderful country! I seriously believe that there is not another place in the world like this, with people like these people, and with experiences like these experiences! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot think of a better thing I could be doing with my life right now then sharing the wonderful message of the gospel with these amazing people! I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to live in the wonderful Kingdom of Cambodia! Don't miss me too much! I'm enjoying it way too much out here! I love you all so much and hope you have a very wonderful week over in America! Oh yeah, and happy Valentine’s to all of you love birds out there!!:) This Valentine’s Day I’m grateful for a family that loves me far more than I think I deserve! 

Love you all so much!! :)
Elder Steadman:)

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