Friday, May 22, 2015

Sam sent us the following email on Sunday, May 17, 2015:

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Subject: On the Downhill
Date: May 18, 2015 12:52:53 AM MDT

Hey guys, 

I don't know if you remembered, but this last Thursday was my one year mark. [Yeah, we remembered...!]  I only have one year left. For as much as I get annoyed being on a mission and get tired of people and situations and stuff, I was really sad to think that I only have one year left to be a missionary. It makes me sad to think about, and honestly, I don't know what real life will be like when I go back because now this is my life. Like grinding until you get a bright spot of getting a new investigator and visiting less actives and fixing broken bikes and sweating and stuff. Going back seems so strange to me. I'm glad I generally don't have to worry about all the problems that people have to worry about in the real world. I like to be an "Elder" where that's my name so that everybody, even random people that I don't know, can call to me and feel kinship.

So yeah, I got some cookies and milk for the one year anniversary. I took pictures but I forgot the connector stuff to send pictures, so I'll have to send some next week instead.

We only have like 2 investigators. They're both really good people and good investigators, but they're hard to meet, so we pretty much didn't get to meet any investigators this week. It's hard to go from not having investigators in Battambang, to finally getting some, to leaving and coming here and not having any once again. But we've really been praying and hoping and we got 2 referrals yesterday of people who are hopefully good, and a little bit more hope of some people that attend our english class that came to church yesterday. So I hope that will get better. 

There's one guy here named Pu Pan, and he's been a member for a long time, but over the past 2 years he had a stroke or something and lost movement in the left side of his body. And his family didn't help him or anything, so he's been left to veg on a bed in their house and nobody goes to talk to him or do anything to help him. His muscles are all gone and he can't do anything. But on the left side of his pathetic little cot bed thing he's got the book of mormon and the bible. We've been going there pretty much everyday to do physical therapy on him the best we think we know how. It's just us bending his knee and ankle and hip. His family hasn't helped him out at all. As we do the physical therapy we've read aloud out of the book of mormon, and he's found peace in that. It's a pretty humbling experience to do physical therapy on him because he's not very clean (he's got a urine bucket right next to his bed that he just holds a little cup thing to and dumps out whatever he's got into the bucket, and I don't know where he goes number 2, but I think it's right where he is), and his legs have gotten so thin from not being used and there's no muscle. But we hope that by doing this one day he can at least sit up and if we're really lucky he can walk again. We took a few other people there yesterday and he started weeping kind of hysterically just because no one ever comes to see him.

The area is very hard to learn. It's like a dang maze. My companion still gets lost every now and again and he's been here for 3 months. But I still have a lot of faith in this area and really think that there's people who need to learn about the church

I had to speak in church yesterday. The ward here is really strong. Like lots of solid people. Probably because the church has been here longer than any other ward in the country.

I think the hardest thing to do in life is live in the moment. We're always thinking about the good old times, or what we're going to do in the future, but boy, it's hard to live in the present and appreciate all that's around us. I'm terrible at it. But I'm trying to soak all of it in and enjoy where I'm at right now because I know that one day this'll be "the good old days."

I hate "devotional"-type emails, but I feel like it's important, so y'all remember that and try to enjoy every day that you've got, for tomorrow we die. Or some scripture like that. Carpe diem!!!

K I hope you all have a good week and are doing good stuff to get ready for a fun summer! Peace and love

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