Monday, July 21, 2014

Jul 21, 2014 Gospel Seeds

Getting kind of tired of writing the same type of email over and over again and I was feeling a change of pace, so today's email is intended to read like a journal entry!

Monday July 21, 2014

Pretty crazy week since transfer calls on Sunday.  Normally my week would be taken up by goodbyes but since I'm basically just moving my house and changing my companion it was pretty much just business as usual. Wednesday was the end of the "semester" for our English Class and we had a special activity. We decided to teach the students how to buy food and bargain and bid on things and then give them fake money and have them buy food from us. The activity was a huge success. Elder Yorgason made really funny play money and passed it out as the students filled out English Class evaluation forms.  We all had brought different fruits and cakes and things to sell and set up our stands and sold to the highest bidder! It was funny to see how the prices adjusted to supply and demand too.
                                            Me as my  Sau Mau gets mobbed by customers!
                                  Elders Satterthwaite, Quirante and Sam selling sugarcane

                                               Sister Kuoch and Orton making change

                                                         Sister Melton sells bananas

On Thursday we spent some time going around and saying goodbye to the young men in the ward. We've helped several of them start coming back to church and get involved in activities and so we decided to celebrate by going out for ice cream! Friday is 2 for 1 at Swenson's so we met there. Cambodians still haven't figured out how to smile for photos so it kind of looks like a funeral picture, but they were stoked and we had a great time. The sundaes we got were kind of big so none of them were able to finish it, so Elder Quirante and I had to sacrifice and eat a lot of ice cream.  I'm sorry I won't be seeing these guys quite so often anymore but I'm still running the youth activity on Saturdays and they all came and brought their friends! When I got here 6 months ago none of the young men were active. I'm so happy to see these guys all coming back and hopefully breaking the poverty cycle and getting off the streets and into an environment that will help them grow. On that subject, Mutual was really fun too. We taped some squares down on the basketball court and played four square with all the kids. They loved it!
                                                            Ice Cream Party with the young men

Elder Vore explaining the rules for four square at the youth activity
Just before transferring to Tuol Kork Elder Quirante and I got to meet Som On for the last time. He is so awesome! He has such a sincere desire to learn and understand for himself about the church and Christianity in general! We spent over an hour just answering all his questions that he wrote in the margins as he read the chapters we assigned him to read in the Book of Mormon before sharing a quick spiritual thought and heading off to the mission home. I saw him later in the week when he went to church and brought his 2 young children! Crazy thing about his kids, they speak English. Apparently he speaks enough English to them around the house that they have picked it up. They talked like normal, American toddlers, albeit with an accent.

I'm now in Tuol Kork (the dusty hill) with Elder Martinson. It's fun to be with Elder Martinson again. We haven't seen each other much since the MTC and that was nearly a year and a half ago. Boy, time flies. First item of business in Tuol Kork was a baptism! Both Puthia and Kunthia had indicated that they wanted the Bishop to baptize them but at some point that message got a little garbled and the Bishop didn't bring white clothes to the baptism! So it fell to the Elders by default. In any case, the baptism was great. 
                                    Elder Vore with his new companion, Elder Martinson

Sunday morning before church, some members of our ward gathered to go out and teach less active members and invite them to church. It's like a combined home and visiting teaching program. I went out with the second counselor in the bishopric to teach some members near his house. He lives in what could be termed a slum, right off the railroad tracks. What he lacks in worldly education and training he makes up for with testimony and faith.  The message we shared was awesome and comes from President Uchtdorf's first presidency message for this August. 
President Uchdorf shared a story about a woman named Christa who worked at a seed company and some strange complaints she got as she worked there. He wrote: 
' “I’m very disappointed in your seeds,” the customer began. “I planted them just as the package recommended. I gave them water, made sure they had sunshine, and waited until finally they produced their harvest.”
“Sounds like you did everything right,” Christa said.
“That’s all very fine,” the customer replied. “But what I got was zucchini!”
“My records show that those were the seeds you ordered,” Christa said.
“But I don’t want zucchini; I want pumpkins!”
“I’m not following.”
“I planted the seeds in my pumpkin patch—the very same soil that produced pumpkins last year. I praised the plants every day, telling them what beautiful pumpkins they would become. But instead of large, round, orange pumpkins, I got long, green zucchini. Tons of them!”

Christa knew then that guidelines might not be enough and that it was necessary to state a principle: “The seed you plant and the time of the planting determine the harvest.” '

Wouldn't it be great if you could do whatever you wanted and then get whatever reward you chose? Unfortunately, that's not how things work. If we plant seeds of obedience to God's laws, love, selfless service and kindness we will receive blessings. If we plant seeds of wild partying, anger, addiction, and feeding the lusts of "the natural man" (Mosiah 3:19) we will receive according to what we have planted. 
 --Elder Vore
                                                                      Zone Picture

                                                                    Elder Quirante

                                                              A great baptismal day 

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