Sunday, June 2, 2013

May 19, 2013 Week 16 Teuk Thla

And just like that another week has gone by. It was really fun to get to talk to y'all last week. Reminders of home are really awesome. This week has been another eventful week. Every night I stop and think back to what happened in the morning and it just seems like it happened so long ago. 

For example, on Wednesday we woke up at 4:45 to go to the church and play basketball. We got baay sac chruuk (rice with pork and an egg) on the way back before showering, getting dressed and studying for a few hours. We had to be at the south district center at 9:00 in order to sing for a youth conference so we left around 8:15 because it's about a 40 minute bike ride to that chapel. We sang 'Families Can Be Together Forever' and it was really fun to see all the youth from all around Cambodia meeting together in one place. On our way back, we ran into someone who was interested in learning and talked to him for a few minutes before getting his information and phone number. We stopped by a recent convert on our way home. After eating, we went to teach several lessons but its started raining and we ended up helping one of our investigators build his house for a few hours. We taught English from 5 to 7:30 and after English we taught one more lesson because one of our investigators came to English. We cram so much into one day and then the next day we just do it all over again. Pretty exhausting but very fulfilling.

We have one guy who is learning with us right now. His name is Sao Lee and he is really awesome. We are meeting him three times a week and every time we meet him he has prayed every day, read in the scriptures wherever we asked him to and has questions for us about what he's read. His questions are usually something along the lines of, "Why did Jesus have to die?", "How can we receive help from God in our lives?" or "What do I need to do to follow Jesus?". He then listens quietly to our answers, seems to understand everything we say to him and then immediately applies what he has learned.

 Every day we have a lesson with Sao Lee it provides a boost for the rest of the day because he is so ready to follow Christ. He has come to church now 4 or 5 times and will be baptized this Sunday barring something weird or a random problem. People like Sao Lee are huge testimony builders for me. I can see clearly that God has prepared him to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that there are others like him throughout Cambodia that are only waiting for us to find them.

In Cambodia, it is very clear what is men's work and what is women's work. We probably ask different people about 5 times a day if  they have anything we can help them with. If it's during the day and we're speaking with women, which is usually the case, this question is usually treated as a joke. They really think it is funny that you would even suggest helping them with what they're doing. Having said that, when we just come in and start helping them peel potatoes, quiet a child or wash dishes, they react in the funniest ways. One of our investigators, Ming Chirrup actually chased us away from her dirty dishes with a spatula which led my companion to threaten, "If you don't come to church tomorrow, we'll come and clean your dishes!" Oddly enough, for her, that was a legitimate threat. It's probably not the weirdest cultural difference I've run into so far but it's pushing it. 

This is Ming Chirrip and her three children whose house we are helping to build. They live in Pum Zion, the place where we have spent a lot of time teaching and reteaching people who have been, will be or want to be members.

We taught a lesson about the Savior's injunction to Peter in the last chapter of John (Do you love me? Then feed my lambs.) and about what it meant. The next day while reading in John I read the story of Peter's denial and was struck by how the two stories correlated. Peter was asked a question three times and answered quickly "No" all three times before doing the exact opposite just a few weeks later. It got me to thinking about second chances and how Jesus is so willing to reach his hand out and let us follow Him. Just remember that Christ will give His hand to us, but it is up to us to take it. Faith without works isn't faith at all! He can't drag us to Heaven, we must FOLLOW him. Love you guys, have a great week!

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