Monday, September 14, 2015

Sam sent the following email & pictures on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Our questions & comments are in italics.

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Subject: Bring the hose, it's a white-wash
Date: September 14, 2015 12:41:21 AM MDT

Hey what it do guys?

Well this was a different week from before.

To answer questions: Now that you're in a new area, will you still be teaching piano?  And what about English class? probably not teaching piano anymore, still english, just add 3 more english speakers and subtract about 35 people. We'll see about that this week. With all your trekking through floodwaters, how are your poor shoes holding up?  Do you need us to send you some new ones? My shoes are great. I'm big on Ecco now and I think I'll wear these same shoes when I get home too because they're doing fine.

We hope you've had a good week with your new companion.  How is it training a brand new missionary? Being on the other side of a training for the first time takes me back a little to my training. Actually, it's hard for me to remember just the general feeling that I had for the first little bit in Cambodia because it was all so crazy. But there are specific things that are so basic now that I remember being awed and shocked about that now I don't think anything of. But my companion is still exploring this big new world. His name is Elder Riches and he's from Mesa, AZ. He is one month older than Skibby. He is a great missionary already just because of his raw desire to help all people and share the gospel. I want to make sure I'm not corrupting him and shutting doors, telling him "this can't work, and that can't work." Because after a while you get to think those things. But with a really fresh mindset the proselyting world is full of possibilities. We live in a house with 4 of us, one guy from my group. Already my group is just about the oldest in the mission, only 5 American Elders older than us. Why is that so fast?!

White-washing is hard! I'm trying not to have a pity party for myself over here, but boy, it's tricky. We do a lot of hauling around CBRs and trying to meet any members. Really, we'll meet anyone, anyone, haha. We came in and there was one investigator total in that area, a 10-year old. There is also exactly 1 Recent Convert that we are to take care of. That means one person, who is a male, who has been baptized here in the past 12 months. Contrast that with Battambang 2 where we had about 54 people to look after. So you could say the work is a little sparse. It's a challenge, but it's one I'm excited to have with Elder Riches. I mean, could we get any worse? So anything's a success! No just kidding, the area feels good, it feels exciting. We're tossing out seeds of joy and trying to get people to like us and trying to do all we can to get some kind of investigator pool under us.

The ward is not as developed as the last one, or Battambang, or Teuk Thla. But, like everywhere, there are good and faithful members. Branch President called us both up spur of the moment to bear our testimonies yesterday in sacrament and to pass the sacrament because "it appears that because of the rain we have no representatives of the priesthood. So we would like to invite the elders to come forward and pass." Hey I have no qualms with that.

I hope that I can be a good trainer. Elder Riches knows a ton of Khmae already. Like a ton. I was nowhere near where he is when I first came out of the Empty Sea.

It's hard, but I'm excited. I hope Nate's finger is better, that's a pretty terrible picture that he sent me.

Peace and love you guys!

Heidi's note:  Sam sent us this photo but didn't explain anything about it.  I find it disturbing.

Sam wrote about this photo:  "In other news, English is still a very hard language..."

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