Monday, December 16, 2013

Dec 8, 2013 I Wouldn't Be Much of a Firefighter

''What makes America great is not democracy, it's Twinkies.'' -Elder Caine

I had ant soup last night. Yeah, really. When a member gave us some soup we kind of had to take it. Once getting home we warmed it up, cooked the rice and served it. Elder Caine looked before taking a bite (not really a good practice to get into around here) and said, ''There sure are a lot of ants in this aren't there?'' As I've mentioned before, having ants in your food is a pretty regular occurrence, though I had to agree with him, there were a lot of ants. I recognized them as ongkrong, large tree ants that the locals eat on purpose (that's the stuff I took pictures of like 6 months ago. Fried ants? Remember?) and told him that they were probably there on purpose. Elder Caine has actually never even heard of people eating ants so he was pretty reluctant about putting anything in his mouth. He gave me a piece of meat covered in ants and told me he'd believe me if I ate it. Well, I couldn't wimp out of that one could I?  Dinner was a little quiet...
Ant Soup
You know how I was saying this place doesn't have a whole lot of infrastructure? Well that includes the trash truck. In most of the city you get a truck that will come by and take your trash away if you put it outside, however, we are very far from the city. Our trash was piling up and we asked our landlady what we were supposed to do about it. She told us we could do whatever we wanted to do with it. Well, that was a downer. I was really hoping she would just call someone and it would disappear. I didn't want to throw it in the river like everyone else because it just makes me feel bad. So we decided to burn it. We piled all of our trash together on our back porch and lit it up. Unfortunately, the wind picked up right as we lit it and blew all the smoke at our house. Most Khmer houses has artfully shaped bricks that make holes in the houses to let breezes through, so even though our doors and everything were closed the smoke came in through the holes in the walls. It got really smoky in our house. Our landlady came around back about 20 minutes after we started. She thought our house was on fire... After most everything was burned we doused the fire and opened all the doors and the same breeze that blew all the smoke into our house blew it all out through the front door. Some of our clothes had a little ash on them but overall, no harm done!

Elder Vore burning trash and Elder Caine before the trash burning (opposite page)

I saw a lady edging the grass as we drove by the airport the other day. She was edging it with a cleaver. Khmers do a lot of things with cleavers (fun fact: the word for cleaver in Khmer is gkambit and the word for a normal knife is gkone gkambit or literally, the child of a cleaver) and seeing someone doing yard work with one is pretty normal. Not like people do a whole lot of yard work around here. I remembered when I was doing yard work with Matthew back in the states, boy that was a piece of cake compared to this stuff!  Shout out to Matthew Speer, are you getting these or what?

Still reading in Isaiah this week. Chapter 55 came and went a few days ago. Verses 1-3 read ''Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you''.

Imagine there is a man browsing at a store. He stumbles on a small box labeled ''ETERNAL SALVATION''. He picks it up and examines it and then asks the nearby store representative, ''How much does this cost?'' It shouldn't be too hard to figure out the punch line. Salvation is free! All we have to do is come unto Christ and partake of His ''living water'' (John 4:10) and let it change us (Alma 5:13) and He will receive us.

''Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;'' (Alma 5:33-34)

Love y'all,  Elder Vore

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