Monday, September 28, 2015

Sam sent the following email & photos on Sunday, September 27, 2015.  Our questions are in italics.:

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Date: September 27, 2015 10:55:06 PM MDT

Hey what's up guys,

We're looking to turn the corner on some of our investigators. So luckily we were able to get to meet a few of those contacts from before. Now we're looking to take the next step and get them to be legit and progress. The subject bar is one of my favorite lines in PMG. For some reason it just sounds awesome and I like to scream it out randomly if there seems to be a lull in conversations. Gets me pumped! But seriously, we've got to get some of these new people to actually try what we've told them and pray so that they actually can feel the Spirit and then have a desire to progress. So that's where we're at right now. So I guess we have seen success this past week, but it's still a grind most of the time.

I’m curious to know if you feel like the Cambodian people are religious people in general?  I assume most of the population would identify themselves as Buddhists, right?  But are most of them actively practicing religion in their lives?  I think the hardest people to teach would be those who are just apathetic about religion in general.  This reminds me of a little story/fable: “There was a large field with a fence dividing it.  Christ owned the field on one side of the fence, and Satan owned the field on the other side.  A guy came along, and he had to decide whose side of the fence he wanted to be on.  He was left alone to decide.  A while later, Satan came back to the field and found the guy sitting on the fence.  The guy said, “I couldn’t decide which side to choose, so I sat on the fence.  I chose neither you nor him.”  To that, Satan said, “Well, didn’t you know?  I own the fence.”  I like that "don't you know I own the fence" Satan quote. On the drive here I was actually thinking about how it's hard here not because people are Buddhist, but because of what Elder Holland said that "apathy is more dangerous than apostasy" and yes, most people would identify with Buddhism, but few actually follow the precepts of Buddhism. They won't even care enough to look at what they say they believe, nor will they consider what we believe. The most common thing I hear is that all churches are good, all religions teach people to do good things. Buddhism and Christianity are good, the same. To which you have to just say ok yeah, but what about authority and power of a God of creation. What about ETERNAL LIFE?? One guy a little bit ago told us that he lived to die. What's the purpose of this life, I asked. To "receive help from charitable organizations" he replied. I'm hoping he misunderstood the question and doesn't really think that. But I'm afraid he does...

We sent over a referral to the Philadelphia Elders of a guy we talked to here who was from Cambodia, but he is really American cause he's lived there for like 40 years. We didn't get the chance to meet him even though he really wanted to meet us. He had to go back but he offered his American phone number and we got that sent over through the office elders. He'll be shocked at how fast information goes in the church. See you on the other side, Peter.

I can't wait til you guys come here and see how it is and meet the people I've met. Be prepared to come for the experience of a lifetime and come wanting to take lots of pictures and videos. Most of the guys in my group's parents are coming so maybe you guys can get in contact with them in the future. I'll let you know.

I was looking Chbar Ampov up on the Internet.  It looks like it’s on the eastern edge of Phnom Penh, across a branch of the Mekong River.  Mom, Chbar Ampov where we proselyte starts quite a ways after the bridge near Chbar Ampov high school up until road Prek Aeng pagoda. It's a fairly smallish area of people compared to other areas.  You told us last week that you had ridden on the road from Kean Svay to Phnom Penh a few times and it was full of pot holes.  Is that road “National Hwy 1”?  If so, it sounds like they need to get the Department of Highways busy on it.  That ride on National Road 1 is crazy.... This is a NATIONAL road, people. They're pretty good at tearing it up, putting it back down is the trick.

We had zone conference last week and president wants us to focus more on becoming "deliberate disciples" instead of "accidental disciples" which I think is very insightful. We're going to go play football today for P-day which is the first time I'll play since I've been here.

Peace out guys. Love you and miss you!

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