Thursday, May 19, 2016

President and Sister Christensen are on the left. This is Sam's group who are all being released. 
We are in Phnom Penh with Sam now and are about to embark on a whirlwind tour of the country so we can meet and visit all the people Sam has grown to love during his past two years here!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Well, here is Sam's final missionary email from Cambodia!  This is a bittersweet time for him (and all of us), but we are sooo excited to see him! Sam will be getting home from Cambodia May 30th, and he will give his homecoming report on Sunday, June 12th at 9:00 am at our church, located at 12950 S. 1300 W., Riverton, UT.  Many thanks to all of you for loving and supporting Sam for the past two years!

Date:  May 15, 2016 at 9:21 PM
Subject:  This is it, I guess…

I'm kind of starting to get a pit in my stomach. I don't have time to say now everything that has changed in 2 years. It hasn't really hit me, but this email session it is finally starting to. And I'm starting to feel really sad a little bit. I love you guys and am juiced to see you all again, but this has been my life for the past 2 years and we've poured everything into it that we have. I'm afraid I'll be a wreck when you guys get here. I've met some of the best people in the world. If anyone who reads this is even remotely thinking about going on a mission, DO IT! It'll be the best thing you ever do. See you guys on Thursday!

Love always

Elder Christensen

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sam sent the following email and photos on Sunday, May 1, 2016.  Sam's release date is May 19th! Peter and I are flying to Cambodia to meet him and we are so excited to see him!  We are going to spend about 10 days traveling with him around the country so he can introduce us to the people and areas he has grown to love during the past two years. :) 

Date:  May 2, 2016 at 2:21 AM
Subject:  Hey Fam

Hey you guys! I love you and am getting really close to seeing you. Asay and I realized this week that the work we (all of the mission are doing and have been doing) is so extremely inefficient and we're trying to find better ways to use our time. We hope to do this on a large scale for the whole mission so that we can be better and more effective. I met a Nigerian guy who insisted that the population of Nigeria was 15 billion.  Not million, billion--he was sure. That's a lot. 

This is our EQP getting animated in class trying to teach in English. He's a riot. Talk to you next week [skyping on Mother's Day]!

Sam and Elder Zierenberg with a Cambodian gentleman

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, April 24, 2016.  In Peter's email to Sam yesterday, he included a newspaper article with the heading, “Bryce Harper is Our Own Young Mickey Mantle." I'm sure that article was the inspiration for Sam's subject line.

Date:  April 24, 2016 at 10:54 PM
Subject:  Imagine the impact Bryce Harper could have on the world if he was living his religion a little better

Wow the sports world is really heating up. Chaktomuk is heating up too. We had a good day yesterday and Elder Asay and I feel like the ward and area has improved over the past few months. Even just a little bit at a time is worth it. I got my $1.50 haircut this morning. You really get what you pay for. I don't know why nobody in this country knows how to cut hair. I started a list a few days ago of "things I learned on my mission". Gotta make sure I write all this stuff down so don't go home and forget it all. It's a pretty general list, but it's getting long. We finished off zone conferences with trips to KC [Kambong Chhnang] and BB [Battambang] last week. Trying to use the Book of Mormon more in contacting is cash so far! I don't know why we weren't doing this more before. There is no one perfect way to be a missionary, there's just too much you could or should be doing that you can't do it all at one time. 

Mike Trout's still better than Bryce Harper overall, right? I think so, just a slow start to the season. And if you have one gameplan to knock the warriors [Golden State Warriors] out, that would definitely be to take out Steph's [Steph Curry’s] ankles. 

We'll see... It is mango season here, so you'll all get to experience that soon. I write lots of stuff down in my journal so I won't lose it. 

Love you guys, have a good week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, April 17, 2016:

Date:  April 18, 2016 at 3:17 AM
Subject:  Hey hey

Hey we are finally ផុត from the New Year so hopefully things can get back to normal. The free time that we did have in between zone conferences we used to do a lot of contacting, and had relative success. The zone conference that President and Sister Christensen put together was really cool. President focused on the Book of Mormon and said some cool stuff. There's some scripture in the DC that calls the old missionaries to repentance for not using the BoM enough. Same for us, I think. The Book of Mormon is so cool and no one can legitimately account for its source besides the explanation that Joseph Smith gave us. It's true, and anyone who truly wants to know about it can know the truth. So that was pretty sweet. We got cool stuff happening here. It's a little hard to focus all the time because I feel like I'm sometimes getting fed up of 2 years living in a third-world country and I'm starting to get to my wits end. But we will still keep working hard and I can go another month. Love you guys

Note:  Sam sent this "DIGRITY" picture along with his email this week.  
A few days ago, I (Heidi) found the blog of a senior couple currently serving in Cambodia 
(the Ovesons), and they had posted the following:  
"This Zone Conference...the Assistants to the President talked about our Mission Culture and said that we have a Cowboy Culture here in Cambodia and Cowboys have grit. 
But we needed to add dignity to our grit..."  
Hence, "DIGRITY" 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sam sent the following email & photo on Sunday, April 10, 2016:

Date:  April 10, 2016 at 10:51 PM
Subject:  Digrity

Hey there family and friends,

Not much to report for me. It was a slower week which was to be expected as we're entering the busiest holiday of the year. And we had to survive a transfer day and a MLC, but we did and live to tell the tale. And conference took up 10 hours. Everybody takes off from the city and goes out to their khet for the new year which, you know, means we have no one here to teach. We did get some people out to watch conference yesterday. Elder Asay and I will teach in ZC this week on how to be more dignified as missionaries. It's the complication of combining our mission which is rough and tumble and hard and kind of like the wild west and we're all like cowboys here. So that's the tricky part is combining the grit we have with the dignity of a missionary. Therefore, digrity. We'll see how that goes this week. Love you guys. I'm trying to get more sunscreen on my ears.

Love the Favorite Son

Also, I'll tell you, there's one less star in the heaven as a legend died this week. RIP to the one and only Elder Kim.

Elder Kim & Sam.
Sam told us Elder Kim is one of the finest missionaries and teachers he has ever met.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sam sent the following email, video, & photos on Sunday, March 27, 2016:

Date:  March 27, 2016 at 10:57 PM
Subject:  Hey

Hey I put an old video on dropbox for you. Still not doing great with the pictures thing, but I have one or two for you this week. It's hard to get people to actually follow through on what they've committed to do. Missionary work is a hard work. We are still trying hard. We're working with a few people. Also calling a member every night to follow up with his daily smoking. He wants to quit so badly, but now realizes he can't stop. But I think by us tracking it we can cut him down and eventually stop. It's a tall task that we're put with. Hope everything is going well. Love, always..

Video Link:  Peeling Coconuts