Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aug 5, 2013 Week 27 Over the River and Through the Jungle

First things first, thank you so much Mom for the package and the letter! Mail doesn't come very often out here and it feels so great to get stuff from home! The chocolate lasted about 15 minutes because I opened it when we were sleeping over at another house for a meeting and was obliged to share with the group. Pretty funny, but more than funny, it was delicious. I got it last Monday and it's probably 3/4 done. The mints and drink mixes should last a while though. The package actually took a bit of a spill when I was heading home. I was riding my bike next to a moto that was dragging a trailer and underestimated how big his trailer was. When he moved to pass me his trailer took my out from behind and I ate it.

He was actually really nice about it and stopped and apologized profusely, which is really uncommon for traffic accidents in Cambodia which are nearly all hit and run. No real harm done. I was a little bloody on my hands, elbows and especially my knees, and my pants were torn, but the most irritating thing was that my package fell and smashed the Oreos! It happened right in front of the church and a couple of members came up and had a few words with the driver. I pretty much told them to chill out and that it wasn't a big deal. Invited the guy who hit me to come to our free English class. He said he'd be happy to come but I haven't seen him yet. Pretty funny. When we got home my companion insisted on taking several pictures. The weird face is because I was laughing and he told me I couldn't laugh for this picture and needed to stop. The only thing that has really resulted from the accident is that I've been standing for a lot of prayers that I would normally kneel for.

The person who owns our house just sold it to someone else who is planning on doing some renovating to attract people who will pay a little more. I asked him about a hole that is in one of our rooms (it's probably the size of my fist, about a foot over my head and goes straight outside) and if he was planning on fixing it. He looked at it and back at me and said and I quote, ''It's only a little hole'' and walked away. I thought it was pretty funny but my companion didn't seem to see the humor in it. I suppose it is just a little hole. Really, my only problem with our new landlord is that he hasn't given us our electric bill yet. He said he would talk to the old landlord and ask if they had the bill. The only problem is is that if we don't get it then our power gets shut off. No warning letters in Cambodia.

Elder Sin and I were walking around in Baku talking to people about our English class when he stopped me and said very seriously (in English), ''Elder, how much could would a wood wood chuck chuck?" Spouting random slang or things like tongue twisters in a heavy Khmer accent will make anyone laugh. He's a funny guy. The difference between the sound e (bEd, mEt) and the sound i (sIt, mIt) totally escapes him and our language study sessions occasionally fall into him saying a word over and over again while I repeat it correctly until he says it right. It's pretty fun. He gave the white handbook thought in English at our Zone meeting the other day and ended up just saying random stuff in English until we laughed and he sat down. What a character.

I am just finishing the New Testament again and ran across a verse in 1st John 2:6 that I really liked. The verse reads, ''He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.''  Now I don't know what y'all get out of that verse but I wrote it down in my study journal and labelled it as ''If you're going to talk the talk you've got to walk the walk.'' Isn't that so true? In every aspect of our lives, our words must be backed up by our actions, otherwise our words are empty.

This is especially important in the case of the gospel of Jesus Christ because there is so much riding on it. Our eternal salvation is riding on how well we apply gospel principals in our lives and follow Jesus Christ, not just with our mouths, but with our hearts and our actions as well. I got an email from a missionary serving in California today who explained it like this.  ''I like to think of it as our parents paying for college. Christ, through his Atonement, paid for us to come here to earth to learn and to grow. It's like our parents paying for us to go to college. Either way the college and education is paid for but it's up to us with what we do with the funds. We can either use it to learn and to grow and work hard and try to be the best we can be or we can waste it away goofing off and partying. Eventually we will all have to come back to Christ and He is going to ask us what we did with His Atonement, what we did with the money He gave us. At that point we can either say to Him that we did everything He asked: learned, gained an education, was obedient in following the commandments and because of that we are able to continue to progress. Or we can say that we didn't do anything and we didn't use what He gave us- what He already paid for so our progression stops.'' (Props to Sister Parkinson for the cool comparison) 

We have been given the wonderful gifts of life on Earth and the Atonement and simply stating that we believe and expecting our belief to cover us is marvelously unjust. I echo the words of James who said, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:17-18 KVJ) Let us show our gratitude to Christ through our works, and do more than just talk the talk.
That's it for me, love you guys!     Elder Vore

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