Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sept 28, 2014 Translating

Even though I've never been in an accident, I'm kind of glad they make us wear bike helmets out here. Sometimes I'm biking around at night and a branch just wacks me in the head! See? Helmets are useful." -Elder Martinson

Zone Conference  September 2014
Translating is kind of hard. You would think that once you know two languages you could just say whatever you want to in either language and just go with it, but it's not quite that easy for some reason. This last Tuesday we had Zone Conference and Elder Martinson and I were asked to translate. I'm happy to help of course but every time I do live translation I feel like I get nothing out of what is said. In one ear and out of my mouth with no time to process the meaning. For example, I was asked to translate for President Moon as he was doing training on how to teach new converts and help them grow in the gospel and I feel like I don't remember anything of what he taught! Too bad...

My companion was translating near the beginning of the conference, and almost missed it when President Moon made a very important announcement. We are opening new proselyting areas in the provinces of Porsat and Prei Veng! For a number of years our proselyting strategy in Cambodia has been all about staying near centers of strength. In the last few months we've been moving further out and opening new areas (like when I was in Baku all those months ago) and now missionaries will be heading to two new provinces! It's a pretty bold step. Everyone is kind of hoping that they are the ones that get to open the new area, we'll see next week!

I saw a cat catch a mouse this week. It's not a myth, cats really play with their food before eating it! Weird. I felt pretty bad for the poor little mouse. There are a lot of rodents around here, some bigger than others. Sure, we have your regular house mice like in America, but we also have huge street rats. Those things are literally the size of cats. On Sunday one of our members told a story about a time when her family was raising dogs to sell and one of her chores was to guard the puppies and make sure that the rats didn't eat them. That seems to go against the natural order of things...

Had another funny experience relating to Zone Conference. We got a last second assignment to set up the catering for the event. Usually that wouldn't be a big deal but because the Conference was being held on the day of a major holiday in Cambodia, many businesses were closed. Elder Martinson and I went casually to our first three choices and found that none of them would be able to cater the following day. We continued on to two other restaurants, but were starting to get a little worried. We kept teaching people like normal and then in between teaching activities we would check a couple of restaurants and see if they would cater for us. We finally found a caterer and agreed on a deal 10 minutes before we needed to tell the Assistants what was going to be for lunch at the conference. Looking for a caterer is number 193 on the list of things I never thought I'd do on my mission. Number 194 is tying balloons to the ankles of 13 year old children.. I feel like I've accumulated a lot of random experiences and skills on my mission. Some are weirder than others :P
Eating lunch with a member

Just one last thought on food. I've found that pretty much anything is edible if you fry it and put soy sauce on it. That's it for me guys! Sorry the email is a little short today. Love you!
Elder Vore

It flooded this past week...this is the lower road down by the railroad.  It used to be a road--now it's a river.  Wading through black water was disgusting!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sept 22, 2014 The Pursuit of Happiness


For hundreds of years now, colonists from all over the word have been drawn to the United States, "the land of opportunity". We always learn in school how lucky we are and how thankful we should be to our founding fathers and for soldiers and other such figures, but it's really hard to understand how good we have it in the USA until you leave.

About three or four times a week I make a visit to the slums on the railroad tracks to visit our members there. I should probably take pictures to help you understand what kind of a place it is, but my camera is broken, so I'll have to describe it. As you come up to the tracks, the first thing you notice is the smell. It smells like a dumpster. Rotting food, human waste and everything they throw out just sits outside of their houses. The garbage truck doesn't come down this way. Everyone here literally just lives in their own trash. It's strangely not very green and leafy around here, probably a result of building the railroad. Look around and that's the first thing you see. The tracks.

 People are all over it actually. In America you're not even allowed to get close. The kids play in the tracks and in the dirt. They're not wearing much, and they look dirty. Most of them "shower" when it rains. Just stand under the water that runs from the roof with some soap. No one ever gets really clean. If you look around a little more you'll see the adults. It's always shocking how many of them there are. The women gamble, playing cards while sitting and watching the children run around. Most everyone is drinking or smoking, often both. Men sit around in groups with cheap glasses of rice alcohol, it only takes 15 cents or so to get drunk on that stuff. The houses sit on stilts for the most part, dangling over the waste below. Walking through the filth to the houses takes some getting used to. The kids run around bare foot. They would be in school if their parents had a little steadier of an income.

It's a hopeless place. It's shocking, and sad. I can look down the line of shacks and see four generations of the poverty cycle. Almost none of the children are getting any type of education or vocational training that is going to help them escape. The NGOs are great, but we've got a long way to go until we see any actual growth. Most of the residents want to be out and working to make their lives better but they can't even get started. They don't even know where to start. Get a job? How about the factories? If you don't have a ride there then you can't work there. Many of them open their homes and sell things. Vegetables, snacks, cokes, fish, but they're barely getting by. Most of them don't even know how to hold a job if they ever got one. They may be free to pursue happiness, but they're struggling just to survive. 

On a somewhat related note, my language skills have, in a way, regressed as I've been in this area. Since the beginning I've learned this language by listening and parroting. The longer I spend in the city and especially in poorer areas, the more I am surrounded by those who don't actually speak Khmer very clearly. Imagine if you dropped a foreigner into "the hood" and had him learn English. Check up on him in a few months and his language skills would be really interesting. That's basically what I've done. For the most part, it's what all of the Elders all over the world do, it's one of the main reasons we can actually speak the languages that we are assigned to speak. It can occasionally mean that I don't exactly understand the words that are coming out of my mouth. I'm kind of like a toddler when I speak. Sometimes people we talk to laugh at us. They laugh, not necessarily because it's funny, but because the words coming out of my mouth seem very incongruent with my skin color and dress. I'm kind of rambling at this point, not really sure where I was going with that.

One of our recent convert's names is Om Vanna. She's in her 60s and lost her entire family during the Pol Pot regime years ago. For the last 30 years or so she's been working as a nanny for a family that is extremely rich. Occasionally she would take a break and walk around outside the mansion and that's where she got to know Chompei, who is also a recent member. They learned about the gospel together in Chompei's little shack on the side of the road and decided to get baptized. Om Vanna's employers aren't big fans of Christianity. Vanna was aware of that and she never told them where she was going when she left the house. Every time she goes to church or comes to read the scriptures with us, she ducks out secretively. We weren't fully aware of the situation until she kind of stopped coming to everything. Apparently her employers have now completely forbidden her from doing anything that relates to Jesus Christ. It wouldn't be as big of a deal if she wasn't basically a part of the family. She has lived with them for 30 years and doesn't have anywhere to go if they put her out.  It's unlikely that you or I will ever have such persecution because of our religious beliefs, but a lesson can and should be learned all the same. 

Christ taught, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)"

There will be a time where we need to stand up for what is right. The world does not always appreciate or support good morals, chastity, or religion. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland so movingly said, "Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. A long history of inspired voices, including... President Thomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall." (See "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship, General Conference April 2014)
Love you guys!!
Elder Vore

                                                                     Me eating crabs!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept 15, 2014 Weird Things

Sometimes strange things happen around here.

Had a super weird experience on Wednesday when I went on a companion exchange in Pochentong earlier this week. We were at the church interviewing a young man who was preparing to get baptized when a girl walked into the church building. That wasn't the weird thing, the weird thing was that she was white. We don't get a lot of white people in that part of town.

She was talking to one of the missionaries out in the lobby when I got out of the interview. She explained that she was just walking around and saw the church and wanted to check it out. Then one of the members came up and asked us where she was from and she answered in Khmer. Everyone's heads turned to look at her. I wish I could have seen it from the third person, we must have looked ridiculous.  You would think that we, as people who have learned this language already, would be less shocked to meet someone who had also learned this language. I must have felt about the same as everybody who meets me on the street and is shocked that I actually speak Khmer. But she didn't just speak Khmer, she spoke Khmer like someone who had been raised in the ghetto. That's an accent that I am familiar with, but it was absolutely shocking to hear it come from her mouth. She came to Cambodia when she was 9 years old. Some time after she got here her dad died and she lost contact with her family in South Africa. She went around teaching English at people's houses. Some people lead really crazy lives. We weren't sure what to make of her because her story didn't make much sense after the basic details and eventually we just left. I still can't believe how perfect her Khmer was.

Last week I talked to a guy named Sau and he indicated that he had some interest in learning more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I set a return appointment with him and got his address. We called him before heading over and he didn't answer so we decided to just go to the address and hope that he would be there. The address was a little hard to find but finally we found the house and were a little shocked to see that it was a massage parlor. Now, in Cambodia, massage parlors are not as innocent as massage parlors in America. Sure there are plenty of places where you can get a normal, nice, massage and at really decent prices (Like under $3 an hour) but many others that deal with a less innocent business. There were 5 or 6 women sitting around playing cards and waiting for customers when we showed up.

 Once we had convinced them that we didn't want massages, we asked about Sau. They seemed to not recognize the name but couldn't decide. That was weird. We were getting ready to leave when one of the women pulled out a picture and asked us if we recognized him. I wasn't sure, but it was enough to get us to call the guy again before leaving. Sau answered the phone and I told him that I thought I was at the wrong address. He told me it was the right address and that he would be by in a few minutes. Well... We weren't sure how comfortable we were at the massage parlor, but we sat and waited for him. I started making faces at a baby that was playing just inside and he giggled. Then Sau came up. Everyone clearly recognized him and he got off his motorcycle and picked up the baby I was playing with. It was his child. We were thoroughly weirded  out at this point but taught him and his wife a very normal lesson and invited them to church. We haven't tried to meet them again yet, but I think next time we'll try and see if we can meet at the church or something...

 I wish I could explain better what this missionary experience means to me. Every time I leave the house I am excited. Every time I walk into the church I'm happy. Every time I meet new people that want to learn about the gospel I just get this big grin on my face. This is so much fun! I love my job, I wish I could do it forever.

There's a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that explains this joy. It is the joy of bringing other unto Christ. It says: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! (D&C 18:15-16)"

I know that sharing the gospel with others brings great joy and I want to encourage you who are reading this to think about the ways you are trying to share the gospel and whether you can do it more boldly. Love you guys!
-Elder Vore

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sept 8, 2014 Christian Charity

Usually the weird things I eat out here are just that- weird. It's rare that I really like the bugs, or the leaves or the dog or whatever they're feeding me (not that everything I eat here is weird, but most of it is pretty exotic), and I usually just eat it for the experience and the calories. This week however, I had stuffed frogs. Now, I feel like frogs are something that most westerners would shy away from, and I am having somewhat of a unique experience that makes me relatively open to such foods, but it was literally one of the most delicious things I have eaten in the past year. Frogs are pretty common out here. They're all over the ground. They get sold in the markets- actually side note real quick, when they sell frogs in the market, the seller skins the frog and chops it's head off. The frogs are still alive at this point. They jump around skinless and headless until people buy them. It's a little disturbing the first time you see it. --Yeah anyway, the frogs were delicious. A woman that we have been teaching for a month or so makes them and so we ordered from her, kind of to help her out. She cleaned out the frogs and stuffed them full of fried pork and onions and spices. So good and pictures to come! Mom and Dad, when you come to pick me up in February you better be ready to try some new stuff! Frogs are on the menu! :D

We helped a recent convert of ours prepare a talk for sacrament meeting the other day. He's 15 and has only known about Christ for 10 months or so, but he is always excited to learn more about the scriptures. He was pretty nervous for his talk but we helped him write stuff out and prepare and encouraged him. Well, last Sunday he got up to address the congregation and had the craziest stage fright I've ever seen. It almost seemed like it couldn't be real. He tried to clear his throat like 10 times before greeting everyone and then he couldn't even say the greeting. His voice cracked and he said about half of the word over 15 times. It was pretty uncomfortable and a young woman on the stand stood up next to him and helped him through it. He could have chosen to be embarrassed or decided never to do anything like that again, but he didn't.

 This week, after we met him to study the scriptures like normal he asked if he could tag along as we taught others that day. In every teaching appointment we went to, we asked him to share something relating to the lesson. In one of the lessons we gave him a scripture to share and asked him to teach one of the points. This week was testimony week at church. He got up and this time was able to give a brief, but heartfelt testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. What an example! He faced his problem head on and overcame it!

It's rainy season! Actually, it's not raining very much for it being rainy season but it still rains nearly every day. The other day Elder Martinson and I were a little late for an appointment at the church and we were just leaving another teaching appointment about 10 minutes from the church. The instant we got on the road we knew we were in for a downpour. The wind blew, the temperature dropped and the sky darkened. We stopped for a second to put our stuff in bags and then kept going. The wind was blowing right into our faces. The rain came down like bullets at first and then the sky just opened. There was so much rain hitting the front of me that it was pushing me back and I had to struggle to pedal. We were soaked in seconds. When we went up a hill to the main road there was a waterfall coming down. By the time we got to the church we were biking through sitting water up past our ankles. 5 inches of rain in 5 minutes. The storm kind of blew me away. Literally...

I shared a scripture from the Sermon on the Mount while teaching in Elder's Quorum yesterday. Matthew 5:13 reads, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

In ancient times, salt was an invaluable resource. Everyone needed salt to season meat and make it last. What made it valuable? The saltiness.
Christ taught that we should be as salt and season the earth. What is our saltiness? When I asked that question I got a variety of answers. Christian charity, goodness, faith.

Only when we apply the gospel of Jesus Christ and care for the poor and needy and show our love for one another, will we truly begin to walk down the path that leads to Eternal Life. If we don't do these things, we are as flavorless salt. Choose today to be an example of Christian charity. Love you guys!!
-Elder Vore
                     New Sisters in our Ward.  Sisters Dy and Ky!   And  Sunset from the church


Sept 1, 2014 A Raw Meat Treat

Khmers think foreigners are really attractive and are not shy about telling you. The other day we had a particularly outspoken woman who told us she wanted to learn about the gospel. We were trying to make a conversation with her that would lead to us setting an appointment to terach her and her family, but all she wanted to talk about was how attractive Elder Martinson and I were. I couldn't help but roll my eyes as I tried to change the subject. She was trying to compare us to movie stars, models on advertisements and then finally a mannequin? Yeah, there was a mannequin right next to us and she said I look EXACTLY like the mannequin. Thanks?

Wow, I've gotta tell y'all about English Class. Every once in a while we have a special activity night where we prepare something fun that will be an opportunity for our students to apply their language skills in new ways and especially for them to get up in front of the whole group and present something in English. This last week we decided to repeat an activity that I did some 4 or 5 months ago while I was in Tuk La'ak and did a Clue-esque murder mystery night.

 Elder Yorgason introduced the characters (Doctor Martinson, Miss Lindley, Mayor Vore etc.) who walked up to the stage. I stayed at the back and when it was my turn to be introduced Elder Yorgason he pointed to me and I waved and said hi. Everyone turned around to look at me, I leaned against the light switch and Elder Christiansen, the murder victim, jumped off the stage. Everyone who was on the stage made some noise and knocked some stuff over and when the lights turned back on our victim was in a crumpled head on the ground. For the next 45 minutes or so our students went to stations to try and find clues. At my station I stood behind a music stand and gave a eulogy and led discussion about our poor departed sports hero. Because of some poor planning, my station was considerably shorter than everyone else's, so I had to make up a whole bunch of stuff on the spot. Got some great pictures! We staged a "press conference" right in front of the body, complete with pictures! :D

Dr. Martinson at the crime scene

Speaking of pictures, my memory card got a virus the other day. Ironically it was at a print shop (how can you run a print shop that gives it's customers viruses?) and it's looking like all of my pictures are done for. Fortunately I sent pretty much all of the good ones to y'all already. I'm not much of a picture taker...

We went to teach a new investigator with a member named Songha the other day. Songha is kind of amazing. He's pretty smart and a really motivated recent convert of about 5 months. He is extremely involved in the congregation and with the missionaries. He is currently serving as the Ward Clerk, EQP secretary and the 2nd counselr in the Stake Young Men's Presidency. He's only 6 months or so older than me. Pretty incredible. He will be on a mission the instant he is eligible. Pretty amazing.

Anyway, after our lesson we went to a restaurant where he ordered raw pork and eggs. When I heard him order I was thinking that it was the name of a particular dish or something but 5 minutes later, they came out carrying raw pork cut into slices and a couple of chicken eggs. He took a small bowl, dropped the meat in with some salt, squeezed a lime over it and then cracked an egg into the bowl. I asked him almost sarcastically what he was planning to do with it. In response he took a spoon and started eating it. That was pretty new for me. The lady who owns the restaurant was pretty incredulous too. She asked what country he was from. It was kind of nice to get that question asked to someone else for a change.

Very artistic take on this man's true story of how he found God in his life. Watch it!!
God is there. Those who look for Him will find Him. He loves you. He will guide you.
-Elder Vore
Mayor Vore and Policewoman Melton shaking hands in front of the "body"

                      Me pounding the "pulpit" while giving my speech as Mayor of Englishville


Aug 25, 2014 Kamikaze Flies

I've talked about names in Khmer before. Actually, I feel like I've talked about this recently. Names in Khmer have meaning and stuff like that? Usually people's names reflect their characteristics or nice things like "bright", "handsome", "boy", "shiny" or even the month or day they were born on. I think it would be kind of cool to have a name that means something in another language (like Erin Meisje Vore) like the Khmers do it. Then there are some names that aren't so flattering.. We were at this one house in a poorer area the other day and thought it was funny that two of the adults in the house went by the nickname map, which means fat. It doesn't just mean fat either, it means like really fat or obese. What if your name was obese? How would that make you feel? It's just normal for them. One of them couldn't have even been considered fat. She was actually really slim. Still don't understand this language...

We eat a good amount of bugs here, and sometimes we eat bugs that weren't meant to be eaten just because of how food gets stored. For example, ants got into my sugar last week. What did I do? Popped it in the freezer and just kept using it like normal with a few dead ants in it. No biggie. I was eating at a restaurant the other day and Elder Martinson grabbed my arm as I put my chopsticks up to my mouth. There was a fried fly in my noodles! Yum... Now in America, that would be grounds for a new meal, on the house, but this is Cambodia! I put it aside and kept eating. Ironically, we were eating at a pretty nice place. It even had an air conditioner! :O Elder Martinson told me about one time when he found a fly in his soup and took it out and then found 2 more! He called the owner over and the owner told him the flies had probably flown in after they served the bowl. Right... We've got kamikaze flies attacking the soup.

Wandered into a new area the other day while I was on exchange in Pochentong (see the voice recording). Everyone was sitting around talking and we started talking to a family that used to go to some church back in their home town but hadn't been in years and were willing to learn more about our church. During the course of the conversation I sat on the outside "bed" that everyone was on and accidentally sat in alcohol! Someone was using a finger bowl to drink their cheap rice alcohol and I sat in it! They thought it was hilarious and I was really self conscious about it for the next couple of hours until I got to wash it off. Everywhere I went I smelled faintly of alcohol!
I was talking to a wealthier man who had just recently returned from living in America, in Georgia to be exact. He said he really liked everything except for the weather. "It's too cold in Georgia! I just couldn't deal with it." I thought that was really funny and almost couldn't suppress a snicker. Georgia is too cold? We're not talking the Dakotas here, it's Georgia. It's a pretty temperate place. I guess America isn't for everyone.

I saw some similarities in answers from students and members when I taught a lesson about how we show our love for God recently. Almost everyone answered, "Pray every day, read the scriptures and go to church every week" in addition to other answers like rendering service to others, trying to follow Christ's example, keep the commandments etc. I saw this happen several times and it made me think. Why is it that when we think about religion we think about going to church, learning, reading and praying and stuff like that? Christ never taught a sermon on the importance of going to church, rather, He taught us to love one another through service and good deeds. When Amulek taught the importance of praying always to the Zoramites he ended with the following thought:

 "And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.(Alma 34:28)"

Being Christian means following Christ's example. We cannot consider ourselves disciples of the Savior of the world because we go to church every week to learn about His gospel. And this is not to say that prayer, scripture study and church aren't important, just that we need to remember Amulek's counsel. "And now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them. (Mosiah 4:10)"

Aug 18, 2014 True Religion

It's weird when life in a third world country gets normal. Weekly traffic accidents, people selling food on the side of the road, shortcuts through slums, naked children running through the streets, the sick just moaning in their homes because they don't have money for the hospital, people living in their own trash/waste, ancient women begging in the streets, open sewers right next to the new mall, everything. Nothing even phases me anymore. It's almost like a doctor in the ER. I've seen all the blood and gore and fatal wounds already and everyday is just more of the same. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. There are millions of people that are suffering every single day of their lives here and we don't even know, or we just don't pay attention. How many times have we joked about wasting food by saying, "there are starving children in Africa" without thinking about the children that are actually starving in Africa?

Sometimes it feels so useless. I can't reach all of these people. The best I can do is bring some hope to the maybe 15 people I meet in one day. Give some people some knowledge that maybe they'll apply to change their life. We can only do so much and then it's up to them to take what we have given them and go with it and it's so ineffective! I have personally seen at least 6 or 7 people completely escape the poverty cycle because they came to church, got involved, learned, went on missions and/or got married. They are now happier, more successful and on the track to real lasting happiness. But we can only do so much. President Monson urged us with the words of a favorite hymn:

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.

There are ways to get involved. There are no shortage of people who need help. Not all of them live in third world countries either. Find a way to help someone today.

We listened to a speech the other day. I wish I had written down the name of the youtube video. It was just something a member showed us while we were at the church. It was at a conference of world religion. The thesis of the speech was that "religion ceases to be religion when it divides." Pretty cool. One thing was that was not cool were the subtitles. It was clearly not very professionally done because they used siri to dub it. It didn't work very well. His accent was pretty rough so I tried reading the subtitles. That didn't work. It was like trying to play Mad Gab (isn't that right?). Words like "religion" came out as "real asian". "Together" becomes "two weather" and so forth. The guy that was showing us the video asked us to explain some of the words and we couldn't because we couldn't understand either! People that don't speak English very well do funny things sometimes. See my photo of "white jew's ear". 

We had just finished teaching a lesson in a poorer area and were ready to head to the next appointment when my companion started talking to someone. I sat down and tried to strike up a conversation with an older woman and talked to her grandkids. One of her grandkids thought my eyes were just the coolest things ever. "Why are your eyes colored?" I explained that I was from another country and stuff but she had more questions. "What is that black dot in the middle of your eye?" I told her it was my brosrey pnek, or my pupil and that she had one too. She thought about that one for a minute and then said, "No I don't my whole eye is black!" When I tried to point out the pupils in her sister's eye she said the same thing. Pretty funny. 

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27) Believe it. Apply it. 
 Love y'all,
Elder Vore

Me mixing eggs and sugar with a spring.  If you hit the eggs and sugar for about an hour it rises to nearly triple it's original size.

Me after a rainstorm
Elder Quirante and I were at the church waiting for someone to show up when one of our new investigators asked us to play volleyball with him. We only got to play for like 5 minutes before our guys showed up.