Maybe nate could read a book about Cambodia during Pol Pot. I don't know very much about what exactly happened, just that people here really aren't that educated about anything. It's getting better, and it's so happy to see tons of little kids with their big backpacks riding to school either on the back of a moto or riding their little bikes. But this country has a long ways to go before it goes anywhere. It really is like 30 years behind. People just don't know anything about sanitization or safety and throwing garbage on the ground. You just hope that this rising generation can pull them out of this, but it will probably take much longer than that. Also, in this part of the city there is absolutely no tourism. Like in Mexico, people try to sell you stuff and have all kinds of little trinkets. But here all that they have are food motos and things that allow for other work to be done. Until they make a reason for people to come to this part of Cambodia and spend their money, they'll be playing with the same money for a long time. Some things on the streets here smell really good, and some things smell absolutely nasty. There's lots of piles of burning, smoldering garbage here.
Our schedule is bumped up one hour, so we wake up at 5:30 and go to bed at 9. People just do things an hour earlier here I guess. We don't leave the house usually until 11 because all of our studies are done then. So we leave, do something, come back and eat lunch for an hour or less, then stay out until 8 or 8:30 when we come back in and plan for the next day and eat dinner. Then we do it all over again.
You asked how much time I have for emailing. As a mission rule, we have as much time as we want to read and respond to emails. We have to pay for what we use though.
One of our investigators got baptized yesterday. She was pretty far when I got here, so my job was easy. She's a grandma of a family that's already members, and she's super old and funny and doesn't remember anything. But we've got a few people who are promising, and we also have to find a bunch more people who actually care to learn.
Contacting isn't too bad, but I'm bad at it and I try to avoid it as much as possible. I'll probably try to do more of it. One idea that we had is that we're going to try to make them do the majority of the talking when we contact. We can explain to them that we're volunteers and don't get any money for doing this. That we're 19 and 20 and from America. And then I want to, instead of telling them why I'm here, ask them why they think I'm here. Then they'll kind of do the contacting for us from there. We haven't really done much of this yet, but I want to try soon. But I have found that right now that's the best way to testify for me is to tell them that I'm 19, from America, only been in Cambodia for 2 1/2 weeks where I don't know the language or the culture, and I'm not getting paid to do it. But I do it because I know that it's true and that I want to share that message and knowledge with other people. If I didn't believe it, why on earth would I be here.
When we teach, my companion and I split up parts of the lesson and I try to teach some points, and then he's able to smooth it over and explain a lot better. We try to have at least 3 lessons a day.
The power that we hold as white males in Cambodia is great. We can basically do or get whatever we want. Especially because we're dressed up nice.
You asked about the language. I learn a lot every day, but I understand basically nothing when natives speak. Here it's dry most of the time, but I'm usually always sweating somewhere. There's one family-the family of the old lady that got baptized. They're always so happy to have missionaries come over and talk with them. They always get their book of mormons out and just love it. They were only baptized in February. A few weeks ago we were cleaning the church, and through another missionary who translated for me someone asked them how long they'd been members and they said "long time. Five months already." I thought that was so funny. But they love to come and do member missionary work and their kids are cute. The 16 year old kid works everyday to help support his family. The dad, poo monih, was just called last week as the first elder's quorum president in the ward. The first counselor in the bishopric was inactive just a year ago. Isn't that funny?
The president met with all of the missionaries in my zone last week, so I got to talk to him again.
Ok thanks guys. See you, love you.
|Sam with his companion, Elder Yorgason|