Monday, December 16, 2013

Dec 15, 2013 Free to Choose

We had two lessons fall through one day so we decided to go exploring. Today exploring took us out to a neighboring province called kampung speu. We wandered for about an hour and a half talking to anyone who looked at us. After very little success we turned back home but because we were coming from a new area, we didn't really know where we were and were kind of lost. While biking in the general direction of our house, in an area we had not planned to visit and far from our normal routes, a man called out to us. We were well past him but decided to turn back and see what he had to say. He told us, in English no less, that he was a recent convert to the church, that he had converted in Korea but moved back to Cambodia two weeks before and that he wanted to know where the meetinghouse was. Well, for those of you unfamiliar with missionary work or the general state of religion in Cambodia, it is very rare for people to just jump at you and ask things like ''do you think I could go to your church and worship with you? Would that be ok?'' While leaving his house my companion and I decided it was a miracle. So far from the city, in a random, untraveled part of an area we just opened last month there happened to be a recent convert who wanted to go to church. Coincidences just don't go that far.

We had a funny language slip up the other day. Some elementary knowledge on Khmer is necessary so bear with me for a second. The word for wood is chuu (sounds a lot like the vowel in gOOd). The word for cross/crucify is chkang  and the word for dog is chkae. Right, well while teaching about the Atonement, Elder Caine got to the part of the story where Christ is crucified on the cross. Obviously, he has taught this hundreds of times but this time, for whatever reason the sentence didn't come out quite right. Rather than saying ''Christ dies on a chuu chkang'' he said that ''Christ died on a chuu chkae''. Really somewhat similar sounding, however, Christ did not die on a wooden dog for our sins. The person we were teaching is already a member and knows that the foreign Elders sometimes make slip ups and he politely let it slide. I however began laughing. It wasn't the most reverent lesson we've had on the Atonement so we decided to stop and restart it all. Fun story though. Just in case anyone was confused, Christ died on a cross, not a wooden dog.

This week has been a fun one for the language. I've been trying to write down every single word that I hear that I don't know. Obviously, that's a little impossible but I have had some success. It's led to me learning some really random words like: mermaid, wisdom teeth, pleat, MSG, toad, baby shrimp, crude oil and term of office. Some people could tell me that those aren't really useful words but every single one of them came up in conversation this week so we gotta use them sometime right?
I carry a small Book of Mormon with me in my backpack. It's mostly for translating purposes (eg. ''Elder what does this verse mean?'' and I read it in English rather than Khmer) and to use the English index, because looking for stuff with Khmer alphabetizing is awful, but I also study from it when we end up waiting for someone. While reading this particular copy, I have underlined everything that represents divine intervention or help/guidance from God. You might be surprised at how often it comes up.

Yesterday while reading in 2 Nephi chapter 2 I noticed that I wasn't underlining as much as I normally did. Why? Because 2 Nephi chapter 2 is the prophet Lehi's teachings on Adam and Eve, choices, agency and accountability. Many verses in this chapter focus on our own ability to choose good or evil and the fact that God will let us choose evil and the consequences thereof. ''Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.  And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself (2 Nephi 2:27).''

All of us at one point or another choose to sin, it's a part of life! Because of this, God sent his only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to suffer and die for our sins so that through repentance, baptism and sanctification by the Holy Ghost we might be saved (3 Nephi 27:19-20). This is the ultimate act of divine intervention. ''For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).''
Love y'all,  Elder Vore

No comments:

Post a Comment