Monday, September 21, 2015

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.  Our questions/comments are in italics.:

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Date: September 21, 2015 12:56:35 AM MDT

Hey what's up guys!

Well, we're doing the best we can out here in Chbar Ampov. We've braved the moguls on the road from Kean Svay to Phnom Penh several times this past week. By moguls I mean that the road is one giant pothole. We can't get anywhere without getting our shoes and pants completely covered in mud!

We get to do a lot of contacting here. Since we've been here for about 11 days I have written down 22 phone numbers of people that we've contacted. The next part is actually getting them to meet with you. But we're going to keep contacting and keep up the faith that there's people here to teach. Because we don't believe that there is such thing as a "bad" area, just that each area is different and maybe this is a little bit more difficult of an area than others. But we believe if we do the things we're supposed to be doing and working hard every day then we will have people to teach. I always have liked the sentence in PMG that says your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to finding and teaching people. And if that's the case, then we're very successful missionaries.

How has the training been going with Elder Riches?  Elder Riches is doing really well. He speaks the language very well already and is up to do anything.

The electricity in our apartment can't handle too much, so with two ACs and two refrigerators our power is always flipping off. Like a ton, but I guess that's going to get fixed soon.

I think I'm basically just numb to crazy stuff that happens now because if I was writing this email a year ago I would probably have a ton to say, but now it feels completely normal and like not much has happened. I'm glad to be out here and I wouldn't rather be anywhere else right now. I've heard through the grapevine that Somuen, from TT, is seriously considering serving a mission. That would make me so happy and it would be great preparation for his life. 

I guess that's all I've got. Have a good week!

Note:  Peter stumbled across the following on the web.  It was written by a missionary named Elder Epply, and is an account of the day he spent on a split with Sam:

"... I was able to go on a pretty great exchange this week too!  I went with one of our South Zone Leaders named Elder Christensen.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture with him, but he's a real great guy.  He's been serving for about a year now, and I can't believe how great of a missionary and leader he is!  Right now him and his companion, Elder Myers, ANOTHER outstanding Elder, are serving in an area called Tuol Tum Pong, which is one of the oldest areas in the mission.  That being said, there are also a TON of less-active members in that area.  The work is pretty hard there, plus the area is literally a maze.  We got lost a couple times, but I learned a lot from him that day.  During the day, we went and visited a less-active that we both knew from serving in Teuk Thla (my first area) and had a super great lesson with her, and we left notes of love and encouragement for her husband, who is a dear friend of ours.  It's really hard to see someone you love and that you've worked so hard with fall away and deny their beliefs.  We also went to the house of a very sick member who had a stroke and lost the ability to move his body.  His right leg and arm work, but his left side doesn't respond very well and provides considerable pain.  The man needs physical therapy, but his family doesn't have the time nor resources to provide that assistance.  Well, turns out there is a member in their ward who is studying that very science who went and visited this member with the missionaries before and he taught them some exercises to do to help him recuperate.  So, everyday the Elders there go to his house and one will read the scriptures to him while the other massages and works the man's legs to help him gain strength back.  It was a marvelous experience to participate in that, and to feel of the love Elder Christensen has for the members in his area.  Also, considering there aren't many prospective investigators in their area, they've started a new campaign where they go Amateur Johnny Appleseed and plant seeds in every single person they can.  Let me define what planting a seed means:  It's anything that brightens another person's day.  So a smile given and returned is a seed.  A "Hello!" given and received.  They're trying help people feel happy and Christ's love through small and simple means, and it's something I find is praiseworthy!  It was a fantastic exchange, that's for certain."

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