Saturday, January 3, 2015

We got to Skype with Sam on Christmas evening!  It was great to see and talk to him!  He sent the following email and pictures a few days later, on Sunday, December 28, 2014.

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Subject: Hey There Guys
Date: December 28, 2014 10:00:28 PM MST

Hey Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas, Grandpas, Brothers, Sisters,

That's how they start every talk in Cambodian here. They address EVERYONE in attendance.

Anyways, yeah, I'm good. We got transfer calls last night. There's a lot of shake-up in the mission right now. I'll be staying here and getting a new companion named Elder Cook. He is actually fresh out of training, so that makes me the senior companion. They want me to be the district leader. My current companion is going into the city to be with a missionary on his last transfer. But for me and my new companion, we'll have 6 completed transfers between the two of us. Yikes. We do not know that much of the language. That's the thing--I can usually say all that I need to say here, but not all that I want to say. And in times past, if people ask hard questions that I don't understand, I just turn it over to the native speaker. Now, that responsibility falls So pray that the language between the two of us can progress enough to answer peoples' questions.

I'm worried about that, but not too much. I think that we know what we need to teach, and people can't ask questions that are too hard to answer, they just need to ask them simply. So maybe we'll just try to teach every lesson simply and by Preach my Gospel. Have I ever said how much I love Preach my Gospel? I didn't like any of it at all before my mission, but now I absolutely love it and try to only do exactly what it says in here. That's further proof that I've been brainwashed out here.

You're probably all concerned about me being homesick after skyping home on Christmas. That was a weird day. It feels like a dream. I don't really know why I was crying, but it was just coming. They were real tears! I think I was just confused and frustrated a little bit. But I feel better now and I'm excited to finally get back to hard, grind-your-face missionary work that maybe has been absent for a few transfers. Our area is picking up a little bit, and I'm going to make some personal goals that I feel like will help me feel more like I'm accomplishing what I came here to do.

Like I said on Skype, Christmas was really fun. It was great to go into the city and see all of my friends and people that I hadn't seen for a while. I'm really glad that I was born in the city so that I got to know a lot of people fast. We stayed overnight in a guest house which in America would be really, really ghetto, but here was pretty decent. I will say, though, that it was the hardest floor I've ever slept on...

I got on a scale this morning that an old person was carrying around and charges people to stand on and I weighed in at 74 kilos, I think it was. I converted that on the computer here and that's about 163 pounds. When I left the MTC I was about 178 I think. But I think most of that loss is muscle loss. That's something that I need to work on.

I'm excited for the future. I will say that I didn't learn a lot from my current companion, but I learned a lot during the time that I spent with him up to now. We're friends.

Can I just say one thing? People are seeing God way too much. I swear, I've met more people out here who have met God. Like I was under the impression that only prophets or God's very elect ever see Him, but people (mostly members) are always telling me they met God in a dream and stuff. Like I can't just discredit them for being crazy, but I also feel like maybe they....I don't know. Am I wrong on this?

Also met a guy last night who said his mother wasn't able to provide milk for him, so he ate ONLY bananas from age 2 months to 2 years. Hence he was adorned with the name "Banana," but in Khmae. He says he still doesn't know how he survived on bananas alone. That guy is a living testament to the healthiness of bananas and their ability as the sole provider of life.
The ad for someone who speak English good. Presumably to replace whoever it was that originally wrote the ad.

The Samuel the Lamanite-themed Nativity shortly before Samuel took a nasty spill off his ladder

The food they made for the stake christmas party that I think made me sick

Free rice day at the church

The hardest ground I've ever slept on for my Christmas Eve night

My MTC group that all came over together

Me and Elder Zierenberg [Sam’s MTC companion]

You guys!   [This is a picture Sam took of his computer screen while we were Skyping on Christmas evening!]

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