Monday, February 2, 2015

Feb 2, 2015 Two Years Come and Gone

I'm feeling really lazy today for some reason. I just want to keep looking at pictures and things all day rather than like actually typing out a coherent email. Sometimes I wish you guys could just tune in to the Elder Vore helmet cam. Have I ever mentioned this? Words and even pictures don't really get it all. Last week I went on a late night (OK, late night here means anytime after dark, so it was like 7, but it was dark and there were no lights so it felt late) exchange with Elder Cook so we could get to a lesson on time. The area was far away and went through an area called Odombong that has some pretty dense brush. It was dark and we were biking quickly through a narrow path in the jungle. This went on for quite some time and I realized how normal this has all become for me. Ducking under low hanging branches while biking at top speed in the dark? Same old same old. I was more concerned about what we were teaching and whether the guy was there and if we'd be on time.
Took a trip out to a wat (temple)  up on top of a mountain some 15 kilos from Batdambang. Lots of monkeys and cool views. Also, big guns left over from the Khmer Rouge's last stand here. See pictures...

My two year anniversary was this week. I was actually in the neighboring province of Pursat (about 1 1/2 hours by van) on exchange with Elder Brittain who I met exactly two years before when we entered the MTC. It was a pretty fun day, though it started out a little sketchy. We went to go help some people build their house- lift and place the pillars of their house on the cement stubs that were buried in the foundation. It took about 15 of us to lift each of the pillars and lift them on top of the foundation. When we were moving the last one, I put my left thumb in the wrong place and one of the supports moved on its axle and bit into my thumb using the same kind of motion as scissors do. I started yelling and everybody stopped but my thumb was still caught. They figured out what was wrong and the guy holding the support from the other side let go. Fortunately it didn't break the skin or any bones for that matter, though my thumb was a little purple, a little misshapen for a day and pretty painful. I just reread that and even I can't understand what I was trying to say. Basically, construction in third world countries without the use of pulleys is dangerous. No real harm done, just a bruise. I don't have a lot of sensation on the top of my thumb since then. Feels like someone numbed it up. Could have been really bad though.

We went to meet some new investigators in a really far area last week. We took a car and the last 10 kilos of the trip was through empty rice fields. It was kind of eerie really. We finally got to the little village where they lived and we ran into a problem that I have never seen before. Animals in the middle of the road (the fact that there were animals was not the weird part, animals are everywhere) did not know how to react to a car. Goats, chickens or dogs usually know that when a car comes they need to get out of the way, but I guess there haven't been enough cars around Preak Svay for the animals to learn what to do. We honked our horn at dogs that jumped and walked around but didn't get out of the way. Chickens couldn't figure out that they needed to run to the side, rather than directly away from the car (like Indiana Jones running away from the big rolling rock). At one point a herd of cows crossed the street and just stared at us. We would inch forward and they would just look the other way. Very strange for me. Here I was thinking I've been in the middle of nowhere for my whole mission. Truth is, there are lots of places that are less developed.

Sometimes when I have a little time on Monday I go to and watch inspirational videos. Boy that sounds nerdy. There are some really great videos there though! I have been thinking about the importance and power of repentance lately as I've watched a couple of people make significant, difficult changes in their lives.  This short little video caught my eye.

Isn't it a great promise? The blessings of the atonement are available to all of us when we repent and trust in our Savior. "Though [our] sins [may] be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)" Love y'all, Elder Vore
                  A flying squirrel that a member was cooking for lunch.  It smelled horrible!


                                          Pictures at a suspension bridge in Cheu Tial

Elder Vore with a view from the top of the mountain.

 Elder Vore climbing vines in the jungle.

Exploring the caves at Phnom Sompov


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