So, fun story here. We met a family that wanted to learn this last Monday. I'm talking a big family. Sovanna is the 53 year old patriarch of the family that includes his wife, 2 grown children, their spouses and children, and several nieces and nephews that are just kind of running around. Sovanna works in the Ministry of Agriculture, and we know he's doing pretty well in life because he has a car. We taught them twice this past week and nearly all of them showed great interest and faith, made all the more impressive by their unmatched ability to actually understand what we're talking about. These people really get it! They ask questions that really matter! Questions like "How does God answer our prayers?'' and "What do we need to do in this life to get to heaven?" and "What is this repentance thing and how can we start?". Anyway. 

Yesterday the first counselor in the group presidency was teaching the Sunday school lesson. It was on "The Work and Glory of God" and was the first time using the new manual (Old Testament). Only about half of our members really know what the Old Testament  is so it was bound to be a bit of an adventure. He decided to just read from the manual like usual but with this manual it didn't work. This manual talked about all the things we needed to do to set up the lesson rather than about actual doctrine.

After about 15 minutes of reading about markers, distributing manuals to all of the students and keeping order in the class Sovanna raised his hand. He told the teacher he was confused and felt like the teacher hadn't prepared his lesson. He (rightfully) criticized the teaching "technique" and then asked the first counselor if he actually knew what the "Work and Glory of God" was. The first counselor got just a little bit defensive. Things got a little uncomfortable and that's when I stepped in and took over the class. During the lesson he asked the following questions: 'What is the work and glory of God?', 'What do we have to do to receive exaltation?' and 'How can we differentiate between right and wrong?' Super awesome investigator. Very intelligent man. He told me he worked in the Ministry of Agriculture. After church the group president's wife told me he is the Minister of Agriculture... He's not like the actual boss for all of Cambodia but I think he's probably over our province or district or something.

One of our mission's goals for this new year is to make a renewed effort for each and every one of us to serve with all of our "heart, might, mind and strength" (D&C 4:2). I spent a little time thinking about that before setting some personal goals to accomplish each of the individual points. Before setting goals however, I decided to define the 4 categories more clearly. Though these thoughts were originally intended for my work as a missionary I think they could be applied to virtually any work that we have to do.

Serving with all of your heart- means that you really love the work that you are engaged in. Whatever we are doing in our life we need to be having fun. If we don't like our work or at the very least we don't believe it is a good cause then our work will never reach it's full potential. If you don't love what you do, decide to love it!

Serving with all of your might- means serving diligently. I remember in high school seeing intelligent, talented individuals completely waste all their potential because they were too lazy to actually do anything. One of the many lessons we can learn from the parable of the 10 talents is that God expects us to work and progress and not just take what life gives us.

Serving with all of your mind- means using your own personal talents to the best of your ability. God created us all with different talents and abilities. Some people are smart, others are athletic, likable or good leaders. I don't think it's so important what we have been given, but it certainly matters to God that we are using 100% of the capacity to serve using what He has given us, however much that may be.

Serving with all your strength- means relying on God. All of us are human and have human imperfections and frailties. We are weak, while God is strong. Like a child relies on his father for strength, we rely on our Heavenly Father for true strength. This was perhaps most eloquently articulated by Nephi who declared, "And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.... Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.(2 Nephi 4:19,30)". Strength can come from many sources, but true strength comes from God. 

So remember, whatever you're doing, do it with all your heart, might, mind and strength!
Elder Vore

Explanation of pictures. We had a six person baptism in our branch a few weeks ago, 3 of them were our investigators. Fun! And then me playing with the monkey. The weird picture is when he bit me. Monkey's name is Soke