Elder Ngov is preparing his application to BYU this week so we are here waaaaay later than normal, but that's cool. Just writing at a really leisurely pace today. I tend to be the one that my companion is waiting for so I am actually kind of relieved to be waiting for someone else for once. Makes me feel like less of a burden or something like that.
We very commonly teach people who aren't necessarily super interested in what we're saying. Why? Well, they are trying to be polite to the two Americans that are walking around teaching and even have a free English class and stuff so when we ask them if they want to learn more about Christ, sometimes they answer politely rather than truthfully. We are ok with teaching people who aren't necessarily interested because the spirit of our message oftentimes changes their minds and hearts and they have a chance to receive the gospel. Others just turn off when it becomes clear that we actually want them to do things as a result of our teaching. The following are some funny examples of what can happen in these kinds of situations:
We were teaching an older woman for the first time and about five minutes into the lesson it became clear that she was not interested in what we had to say. In an attempt to salvage the lesson and invite the Spirit to be with us we changed our lesson and started teaching about the atonement of Jesus Christ rather than our prepared lesson. We emphasized the universality of Christ's atonement and also the importance of our following him and accepting his gospel and baptism to receive a remission of sins. She was actually interested in the whole remission of sins thing and I expanded on it. Then I asked her, "Do you want to be cleansed from your sins?" Her answer? "Yeah, but I'm too busy."
Just last week we were teaching an older man about prayer. He probably wasn't paying attention super well, and certainly was not very well educated.and for whatever reason he was just having a really hard time understanding what we were talking about. Elder Ngov shared a well used comparison likening prayer to a telephone call with our Heavenly Father. "But, do you think you can just call Heavenly Father on you cell phone?" "No," he said. "I don't have a cell phone."
Another story, this one somewhat less related to my above stories. OK, well, pretty much just not related at all. Yesterday at church (not in my branch but someone else's branch) there was a somewhat shocking incident that the local members just completely took in stride. The relative chaos at church meetings here in Cambodia has been well documented (if you have forgotten, just start scrolling through my blog, the stories are there. I promise). The mission president was in attendance. That doesn't happen for us very often. He was the last speaker and it seemed that everyone was focused on him. Then Elder Christensen heard a strange tinkling sound, like a trickle of water. He turned around and saw a child of about 5 peeing in a bottle held by his mother. His mother still had her eyes on the speaker. Elder Christensen just buried his face in his hands. What can you even do? It must have been all the more funny when 3 minutes later another brother took his turn. And all the while, the members just nodded and smiled. We're doing pretty well with tolerance out here at least. :D
I watched an absolutely moving video about trials the other day on lds.org. Check it out real quick.
"The refiner’s fire is not a comfortable place to be. It involves intense heat and repeated hammering. But it is in the refiner’s fire we are purified and prepared to meet God." (see http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/the-refiners-fire) Love y'all,
Sunset from my back porch