Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Completely and totally humbled"

Hey guys!:) Well, it was another great week for me over here! This week felt like a really good week because we had a lot of success in our contacting efforts! That is super super rare for this area, so the Lord definitely blessed us this week!! I guess I will just give you all a quick run down of everything that happened! So on Monday we went and hit up all the markets and I just did a whole bunch of shopping to get some small things that I needed, so that was really fun!:) Then we went out to eat at Elder Bo's favorite fast food place and it was pretty good! He is so funny because he wants to like American food so much, but it's such a different taste for him that he just has not gotten used to yet! But every p-day he loves to go to this place and they make a hamburger there that he really loves and I think it makes him feel like he is really embracing the American culture every time we eat there!! Haha he is so awesome! So that was pretty much it for our p-day besides we went and visited a few members in the evening time and that was great too! 

Then on Tuesday we went to our far away area and, I'm not going to lie, it was a super hard day!! We were out all day trying to meet our members and investigators and all of them bailed on us! Literally every single one! It was super frustrating and I was not really enjoying my day, but then at around 7 (so like an hour before we were supposed to go inside) we were about ready to throw in the towel when we remembered an old less active couple that we were not able to meet in the past because they were never home. We decided that we might as well give it a try with them before we went home! So we hiked over to their house and sure enough, they were home! Just to give you guys an idea, they are both about 60 years old and they pick up garbage and recyclables for a living and resell it back to small companies for a very small amount of money! Their house is no bigger than 10 feet by 10 feet and is filled with recyclables that they have not given to the companies yet. When they saw us, their faces both lit up! They are both Chinese, but have lived most of their lives in Cambodia. Neither of them speak the language super clear, but they welcomed us in their small house and grabbed some cardboard for us to sit on and then we all sat down and then the older man told us how happy he was that we were able to make it today! Then he told us that Chinese New Year was coming up really soon and he would love it if we could come to his house to celebrate with them. He told us that he does not have a lot of money to make some nice food for us, but that he has some rice that we could all eat together, and then he said something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. He said, "I don't have a lot. I can't make you any nice food because I don't have any money. I don't have any friends. You two are my only friends, and God too! So I would love it if you could come and celebrate with us." My emotions overcame me at that moment. I don't know what it was, but I was completely and totally humbled by this man. He had absolutely nothing going for him in his life and yet he was smiling from ear to ear. For that moment I was jealous of him! He can see the big picture. He sees that this life is only a small trial of our faith and that in the next life he will be able to rest from all of these trials and hardships. I only hope that I can try to be half as good as this man and women in looking for the positive things in life! I know that he is one of God's most precious children! I could feel it when I was at their house! The Spirit was so strong! Anyway, that made my terrible Tuesday into one of the best days of my whole mission!

On Wednesday we were out contacting and met a man of another religion who has believed in Jesus for over 20 years already and he was super awesome! We asked him if we could come back and share a little bit about what we believed in! We were also able to teach a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he seemed intrigued that God could potentially have given us another testament of Jesus Christ's mortally ministry! So I will have to keep you updated on that as well!:) That night we had English class and that was pretty good too because Elder Bo and I are trying to get more people to our English class so we are doing a lot of contacting and inviting people to learn English with us and we already have a few new students, so that's pretty tight as well! Then on Thursday we had a good day and we were able to meet a lot of members, so that was really good! On Friday we went back to our far area, but this time we had a lot of success in going and meeting all of our members and investigators!:) Friday night we went again to the old couple’s house and we watched the Restoration video with them and they loved it so much! We listened to it in Chinese so I did not understand a single thing, but I have seen it so many times I already knew everything that it was saying!:) ha Then on Saturday we found two more people who told us that they were interested in learning with us about the gospel so we scheduled to meet with them this next week as well! Also, Saturday evening we went over to an investigator’s house to teach her and she lives right next to some members and so we invited them to come over and learn with us as well! When we got all together, the member started to tell us that she had a big problem in her life right now because the place that she was living was no longer going to be rented out to her so she was going to have to leave! She told us she was going to have to go and live with her mom, but she said the problem was that her mom lives on the land of another church and that that church has a rule that everybody that lives on their land has to go to their church and worship every Sunday. Kinda weird, I know ha, but anyway she said that if she goes there that she will have to go to that church! She asked us what she should do! Well, that was a super easy question for me because all I can do is invite her to ask God what to do! I am just a kid! I can't, nor do I have the right, to force her to choose one church or the other! I told her to pray to God and promised, “He will lead you and help you know what to do in order to follow Him with all of your heart!” Then we watched the restoration video and I think that it really hit home for her! She said the closing prayer and begged God to help her know what she should do to follow Him with all of her heart! Well, when Sunday morning came around, guess who showed up! :) She had a big grin on her face and I did not even need to ask her! I knew that she had received an answer to her prayers!:) Sometimes missionary work is so easy because we are really not doing any of the work at all! We are just small instruments in God's hands and we help people know the way that they can communicate with Him so that they can learn for themselves about what they need to do in their lives to follow Him! I love my calling:) It's a constant reminder that God truly is at the head of this great work! 

Oh, and guess who else showed up at church!? Bong Narit and his family!! For those of you who have been reading my emails from the beginning, you are going to have to jog your memories really hard to remember this family! I met them in my very first transfer here in Cambodia and fell in love with them and have kept in touch with them through letters throughout my entire mission as well! Well, they found out that I was leaving next month and asked the Elders in their area where I was serving, and then came and surprised me! How awesome is that?! Their little daughter is soooo big now! And they have a cute new baby boy!!:) I love them so much and it made my whole week to be able to see them walk into church! And to see that they are still strong and active in the church! They have such hard lives! The husband has to do different random jobs night and day just to be able to provide for his family! I have not met a more hard-working Cambodian during my entire mission! He is a huge example to me of what the role of a father entails! He does anything and everything to provide for his family! I took a picture with them that I will be sending to you all as well so you can see how they all are!:) Well, for me that's pretty much all that I’ve got for you this week! I love this work so much! It's so dang hard! But there is not any other work I would want to be doing in my life right now than this work! It is of God and I feel so blessed to be a part of it! I love you all and hope that you all have a great week!:)

All my love!
Elder Steadman:)

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