Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jan 12, 2014 I'm Horribly Thirsty

So we don't have water, again... Honestly, In a country that has so much water I just don't understand why it's so difficult to get some of it to the two white guys by the river. We live by the river for goodness sake! Why can't the landlord get a pipe and a pump and just let us deal with the dirt? It's better than having no water at all. On the positive side, we got a shower! It doesn't have any water coming out of it yet (see above) but it works (hopefully) when we actually do have water in the pipes.

We're supposed to get a hot water heater soon too! Maybe after I'm already gone but it is what it is.
I wasn't planning on sharing this story but talking about the water made me think of this. I've probably not been super specific about where our water is actually supposed to come from. Well, we have large tanks on top of our roof to hold water and once a week, or whenever we call, a truck comes by to fill up the tanks with water they get from wells. However, the guy who is supposed to fill up our tanks is horribly unreliable. Ex. Thursday afternoon our water was low so we called him to come fill up. He said he could come by later this week and we scheduled for Friday morning.

On Friday my companion finally gave in to the cough he's been fighting for a week or so and just slept all day. I called the water truck at 8 and he said he would come around 12. At 1 I called him and he said he'd make it by in the evening. We're a little used to his shenanigans so it wasn't too surprising when he didn't come on Friday at all. Meanwhile we've been buying 20 liter drinking water jugs for a dollar next door to use for cooking, cleaning and showering. On Saturday morning I called him and told him he needed to come by before 10 because we would be going out to teach. Sunday we called him at 2 to make an appointment for this morning. This morning I called him at 7 to confirm and he didn't answer his phone. I called him twice more before we left the house. About 20 minutes after we left I called him again to cancel and he told me, ''Wait! Don't leave yet, I'm almost there!'' We talked for a minute and I think he might have finally understood that when we schedule with him, we expect him to show up and if he doesn't we will not be able to exchange services. Things like this are really common in Cambodia, especially in places far away from the city where people don't really have schedules and stuff. 

I have been over the fact that we don't use toilet paper here right? Usually we use little kitchen type sprayers instead. I have converted wholeheartedly, it's a great thing. Except when your water guy doesn't come for a week... So, we bought some toilet paper in the city back when we first had water issues but we ran out on Friday. That is where Mom's first aid kit finally came in handy. For the last several days we have placed a large bag of pre-packaged alcohol swabs for use in the bathroom. I was a little unconvinced at first but hey, it's better than banana leaves right? Right?

In my personal study this morning I was reading in the epistle of James, chapter 1 verse 22 which reads 'But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.' It made me think of two short conversations from my time here in Baku. I was talking to someone just the other day about their attendance at church. He told me that "Even though [he was] far from church [his] thoughts weren't far from God.'' Another time I spoke to a woman of another christian faith. She told me that it didn't matter that she hadn't prayed or gone to church in a while because she had ''Jesus in her heart" and that was all that was really important.  

Christ taught, 'But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.Whether of them twain did the will of his father? (Matthew 21:28-31)' We can probably answer that question for ourselves. It was not the man who said he would follow, it was the one who did. 

 Christ requires more than just saying He has our hearts and minds, He truly requires them, which leads to action! In the memorable words of Dallin H. Oaks ''the gospel of Christ was not meant to be theoretical''! When we are truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ we are not ''hearers only'' but ''doers of [His] word''. Sometimes that means a change in the way we treat others. Sometimes it means a change to our personal schedule to that we can more fully keep His commandment to ''remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy'' (Exodus 20:8). Sometimes it's even difficult, but in the long run it's always worth it. Let's always be sure that we are examples to all men in being ''doers of the word''. Love y'all,   Elder Vore

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