Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sam sent the following email, video, & photos on Sunday, March 27, 2016:

Date:  March 27, 2016 at 10:57 PM
Subject:  Hey

Hey I put an old video on dropbox for you. Still not doing great with the pictures thing, but I have one or two for you this week. It's hard to get people to actually follow through on what they've committed to do. Missionary work is a hard work. We are still trying hard. We're working with a few people. Also calling a member every night to follow up with his daily smoking. He wants to quit so badly, but now realizes he can't stop. But I think by us tracking it we can cut him down and eventually stop. It's a tall task that we're put with. Hope everything is going well. Love, always..

Video Link:  Peeling Coconuts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, March 20, 2016:

Date:  March 20, 2016 at 10:32 PM
Subject:  សួស្ដីអ្នកទាំងអស់គ្នា!
Hey Family,

You know what? I don't think I took a single picture this week. Sorry about that fall off. That's why I'm banking on you guys to document everything when you come. We have a few good investigators right now, and I saw a flicker of light in the midst of the dark abyss that is Chaktomuk yesterday. No, just kidding, but I do think that South Stake is about to wake up from its slumber. Something about the south rising again?? My personal studies are way better than they used to be in quality. Overall everything is going well. I feel like I have grown and progressed as a person. I know I still do a lot of stuff wrong and still make a lot of jokes that don't make sense, and I've forgotten all my pop culture and sports knowledge and how to write a college paper, but overall I think I'm a better person than I used to be. So I guess that's a success. Love you guys, hope all is going well. Get your cameras ready for when you come here to make up for lost time.

The Favorite

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I think I have done a very bad thing.  In my last email to Sam, I told him he didn't need to apologize to us for sending short emails.  I told him we knew he was busy, and that we understood if he didn't have a lot of time to write.  Apparently that was all he needed to hear:

Date:  March 14, 2016 at 2:56 AM
Subject:  Hey

Heidi said not to worry about sending short emails, so I'll just tell you that I'm doing good. We're trying to help our ward but sometimes it takes more than elmers glue and paper clips to fix a car engine. Send the package to Me Sokheang. Thanks!

This photo was taken a while back when Sam was serving in Battambang.  He was with his friend, Me Sokheang, who was just recently called to serve as a missionary in Oakland, CA.  Sam likes to have me send little care packages to the Cambodian elders while they are at the MTC. :)

Elder Me (center) at the airport in Cambodia, before flying to Utah to enter the Provo MTC

Left to right:  Elder Asay (Sam's companion), Elder Me, Sam, & ?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sam sent the following email on Sunday, March 6, 2016:

Date:  March 6, 2016 at 9:58 PM
Subject:  Chatomuk Blues

I don't have a lot new or fun to say. I know you guys all probably hate me for it, but my emails are no good. My journal is still pretty good though, so never fear. We meet a lot of characters every day. Crazy people out here. We have a few people that we're hopeful will be good. The ward is pretty hard inasmuch as there is no good leadership. We've been thinking the best thing for it would be to merge it with some other ward because it's just baaad. This last week we did a full day of training for the new trainees and their trainers and that was pretty fun, then had MLC the next morning. I like working with President. He's a smart man. Elder Me, my friend from Battambang, will be taking a plane out to the Provo MTC tomorrow, so perhaps there may be another special package in store. A recent convert that we meet with and teach asked me the other day if missionary work is more a skill or the spirit. I say some of both. You've got to have skill to start talking with people and make conversation, but in the end if you think you can rely on your own skills and ability to get people to learn and progress and want to change their life, you're wrong. If you think that you will fail every time. I also read a Talmage talk about the difference between "Thou shalt not" commandments versus "Thou shalt" commandments. Give that a ponderize for a bit if you can. Also Joseph Smith is incredible. Read the "life and character of the prophet Joseph Smith." Skibby is going to have a great mission. They really are good. Man, it's hard and often discouraging but in the end it's an easy realization that it's the best thing to be doing. Love you guys!