Monday, November 30, 2015

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, November 29, 2015:

November 29, 2015 at 9:44 PM
Subject:  You should listen to “they saw our day” —Pretty crazy stuff there

Hey Family!

Just at the start here I'm not going to send any pictures because I don't trust our computer and I don't want to risk losing my pictures. 

But we had a decent week out here. It was actually pretty slow which we're basing on the fact of Om Tuk holiday or the Water Festival. That thing always complicates proselyting. And we had some bike difficulties, and.. yeah just stuff wasn't going through like we wanted it to.

As far as weekly highlights go, we had one investigator come to church now for the 3rd week in a row and for all three hours again and his whole family of 5 was there. We're happy with him. Taught him the law of chastity yesterday and he loved it.

Branch President has gone on about 8 weeks in a row or so of not organizing sacrament meeting ahead of time. I don't know how he does it but he always riffs or randomly calls on people to speak or fill the time. Yesterday he got me, so I gave a short talk. But fair is fair, his first counselor rarely comes because he's sick, and the 2nd is less active, so it kind of becomes a big responsibility for one guy every week. 

An old lady got mad at us for putting our garbage in her pre-existing garbage pile. I say lady, the whole country is full of garbage, how can you complain about this.

Last week for P-day we all got together and played volleyball and it was super fun. 

Transfer calls were last night and unexpectedly I'm leaving to go with Elder Elieson from my group and be an assistant with him. Elder Riches will get to stay and lead out Chbar Ampov with a super good missionary who is one group above me. It's in good hands. I'm kind of sad because I've gotten to the point that I love the grind of proselyting every day even though it's hard, and I won't get to do that as much, but I hope I can find good things to do still.

It sounds like you guys had a good Thanksgiving. Can't believe how fast the time goes. Peace and love!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sam sent the following email & pictures on Sunday, November 22, 2015.  Our questions/comments are in italics:

November 22, 2015 at 10:01 PM
Subject:  Who's this Moroni imposter

Hey guys,

We had another pretty good week out here. More lessons with investigators than last week. Coming up on Om Tuk, the water festival holiday, this week. Hun Sen [President of Cambodia], I don't know too much about what he's really doing, but nobody likes that guy. So I guess I don't either. We're teaching a Protestant pastor, and that's super fun because he actually knows stuff. He's really willing to try what we tell him. He loves Joseph Smith. Actually he pretty much likes everything, but he's got something out for Mormon and Moroni. The first time we met him he was a little put off that The Book of Mormon is titled as such and not The Book of Joseph Smith because, as he noted, Joseph Smith was the one who saw God. True. Then the next time we met him he seemed to forget his resentment about that and had read the BOM introduction (and JSH history), but was frustrated by this hack Moroni who got this ancient record that is God's word from his prophetic father and then went off and "added a few words of his own." That's some nerve for him to go off putting his own thoughts into the book that his father had labored in for his life, after his dad was gone off and dead. We had to explain that Moroni was also a prophet and that which he added was added under the influence of prophecy and revelation from the Spirit. Then he was good. It was a mistake, though, he noted. True.. He's fun. Hey, how was it that Moroni was a resurrected being when he came to Joseph Smith? I always forget resurrection rules.

We've got a few other good people progressing. It's fun. We're trying to stay working hard. We will get transfer calls next Sunday night. I'm happy to be in this area even though it still is a little trickier than most. I have no fear to contact anyone. I'm going to go hard on missionary work when I get home. Y'all don't ever need to be afraid to bring up religion if you do it in the right way. It's what helps people. 

For Thanksgiving the senior couples are lazy and are just having us go to a buffet that serves Cambodian food. Usually the senior couples make a Thanksgiving, but I guess this year they didn't want to. So the Grinch has stolen Thanksgiving.

Do you have any requests for your Christmas package?  If you could send me one (1) frisbee in the package that would be great. Thanks!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sam sent the following email, video clip, & photos on Sunday, November 15, 2015
November 15, 2015 at 9:53 PM

Hey guys!

Hey we had a really good week out in Chbar Ampov. Probably the best week we've had out here. Pretty fulfilling and it feels like we could do no wrong. Even though stuff falls through like it always does, we were able to make the most of it and get some stuff done. I'm really happy to be here right now. We finally have a foundation under us and are able to be effective and see progression. We are also getting lots of miracles as well as contacts. Sorry this is probably a boring missionary email but now I feel like I don't have a lot of things to say in these emails. I've just kind of got a lot of stuff going on and I can't organize my thoughts and stuff. I'm really pumped because my buddy Kheang from Battambang is going to serve in Cambodia before he gets his visa to America and he's coming to a nearby area. And he'll live in the same house with us and I'm really happy because he's a good friend. He's sitting right next to me right now. Hope you like the monkey mania videos. That guy's a ham. I'm happy where I'm at right now. Good area, good companion, we're doing good work.

Love you guys and miss you

Go Jazz 

Video Link: 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sam sent us the following lengthy email, along with some photos and video clips, on Sunday, November 8, 2015:

November 8, 2015 at 9:37 PM
Subject:  Hey guys 


 Not a lot to report. It was a better week than the last. It's hard to drop people sometimes but it's necessary and you get rewarded for having the faith to do it. Riches killed a rat in the apartment. Still trying to get people to actually progress. Ran into a guy that's a LA that I know I've met sometime on my mission but don't know when or where. He said I look not as, i guess, vibrant would be the word. Haha. We're working hard. Can't believe I'll hit 18 months this week, but try not to focus on that. Sagood week. 

Good luck and do something fun. Love you guys!

got some videos on dropbox for you

Video Link:

Baptism Interview

Above:  Sam's caption for this picture was, "New Member."
Sam's companion, Elder Riches is on the far right.

Below:  Sam's caption, "The new member's house in the rain."

Kids with bread

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sam sent us the following email & photos on Sunday, November 1, 2015:

November 1, 2015 at 10:14 PM
Subject:  Yaya

What's up Guys,

Hey it was a bit of a tough missionary week for us overall this week. Nothing came easily for us. There was still some bright spots and some good people. Our weekly planning was brightened up (and in the spirit of this being the Jazz's year to go all the way (while I'm home for it)), by us organizing our investigators into Power Rankings on our Big Board. It makes it way more fun to plan that way. Also lets us see how legitimate or not people are. We're struggling to have people with pure desire who really want it. It's tough, it's a trial everyday. But we're going to keep going. And keeping the faith!

One of the highlights of my week was looking for a CBR down in one area. We'd looked for this guy for probably 20 minutes going around asking people in the area but no one was helping us. Well a tip off from the last update on the CBR about 2 years ago from my man Elder Myers said that he likes to hang out in his tuk tuk at the gas station across the street. So as a last gasp thing we went over there and he had just pulled up. I recognized his face and some of the other tip-offs from the CBR so was able to go straight up to him and say "Hello, Hen, how are you doing?" It's kind of like when the FBI shows up on your doorstep and you've been trying to dodge them for years, but... they always find you! So we beat him and it felt good to see his face.

Keep hoping and praying for our area. We are and we're hoping there's going to be someone who wants to progress and can see the importance of the gospel. It's a hard work, man, but a good one.

Love you guys