Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sam sent the following email & pictures on Sunday, August 24, 2014:

Subject: I Still Cry Everyday...
...when I'm cutting the onions to put in our lunch. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Thanks for all the emails and updates from you guys. It's nice to know that life trudges on back in the 801. Also, I love hearing about the baseball guys from back home, so if you could keep telling me how they're doing that would be great.

Ok, so Ty sent me a copy of his talk, so I've read it already and I thought it was very, very good. The second day [at the MTC] was probably the longest, most boring, worst day of the whole thing. It gets better when you start to get gym time.

The new apartment is super nice! It's brand new, never been lived in by missionaries. It has guards and stuff and totally does not feel like Cambodia. On the one hand I'm glad to have it, on the other, I feel spoiled like I'm not living the hard life like everybody else. But, they haven't delivered a lot of the basic stuff yet, so we've had to boil all our water for a week, cut everything (meat included) with a butter knife, and yeah that's about it. It's actually really great. Nothing to complain about. It even has a couch!!!!!

My bike still breaks pretty much every other day. Right now I left it with a member family who is either just pumping the front tire up, or patching a hole. We're not sure what the problem is because we've had them check for holes before and they say there are none, but it loses its pump in 2 days time. Also probably about 5 days ago the back tire had a hole and we had to be to the apartment because it was late and we were still a little ways away. So I ended up riding my companion's bike, threw him on the back and "doped" him (dop means to "give someone a ride"--much easier than saying "give someone a ride") while he held my bike on the side of him as I pedaled. We got pretty far like that and then his shoulder was sore from holding it or something, so I got off and ran it the rest of the way home. And I was totally soaked in sweat. The doping would have made a great picture...

The language is still coming. I know that I'm getting a lot better and that my reading is progressing too. I've found that getting to have a decent amount of time to study the language in the morning really, really helps me. It like wakes it up in my mind or something. A few days ago I didn't feel like I was learning stuff as fast as I should be, so I've been making a concentrated effort to write down words I don't know and spell them in my little vocab book in khmae. So it's coming, I guess.

Yeah, I still get sunburned, but I try to put sunscreen on sometime. I don't really know. Sometimes it's just unavoidable, so I just take it. Everybody here that is native prides not getting sunburned, so they all wear long sleeves and stuff and try to stay white. So I guess I'm still pretty light. One guy the other day told me that I must be so white because I eat soap. Long story but basically sok sabbay means i'm doing good, and si sa boo means eat soap. So they always tease about stuff like that.

Transfers are this week, and we got calls last night, but, as expected, nothing is happening. Pretty much nobody is moving. 

Nothing really that I need. When you guys do send a package over sometime (to be clear, I'm not requesting a package, I'm just saying when), you can put a cool little magic trick or two in there, because they really do love to see magic tricks. It's like my calling card now.

We're happy because we finally have a lot of people to meet with and teach who we actually think are good. One guy, who we have only met one time and only got to have a partial first lesson with because some old guy who was in there too kept interrupting. I'm really almost positive that the old guy was from Satan and he was supposed to interrupt us because the young guy that we're meeting is so good. I'm only partly joking. But this young guy was taking notes on our spiritual thought during English class last week, which nobody does, so we knew he was special or crazy or something. And he came to church yesterday and I guess he tracked down the bishop and asked if he could pay tithing. Which is all good and great and stuff, but way crazier when you consider that we've never even told him about tithing, much less taught a lesson on it. So that was a little weird, but good I guess. He seems pretty cash.

Then last thing. There's this old guy that we meet and everytime someone finishes saying a prayer, he throws his arms up like "voila!" I don't think he does it consciously. It took be a while to realize where I'd seen something like that before because I knew that I had but I couldn't pin it down. Then I remembered that it reminds me of Bompa Lloyd how he does that all the time. Tell him I'm thinking about him and hope that he's doing well and staying healthy.

And as a final note, we had 140 people at sacrament meeting yesterday, which was the most we have had since I've been here, and is the highest in the stake. By Priesthood hour we had 9 people still in attendance for Elders quorum: 2 active members (one being the EQP), 3 of our investigators, and 4 missionaries. Our investigators are the only people that are staying all three hours for church. Seems like a problem, doesn't it? 

OK, I love and miss you all. Even though these emails are kind of cynical, I really am having a good time and I'm learning a lot. I'm just trying to be funny and have fun. Peace!

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