We had a cool Preparation-day last Monday. After we grocery shopped and emailed, my companion, Elder Clark and I headed to the big market to look for a poncho that he wanted. The central market in KC is pretty big. It’s like a super packed/steamy Costco, just covered in tarps and they don't make pizza. Monday was a rainy day so we kept having to dodge the leaky spots where water came through the over-head tarps. Our intent in going to the market was to find a durable rain poncho from Thailand for Clark.
There are some very nice durable, green poncho's sold here. The reason he wanted one was because he had drawn out a design for a waterproof/convenient backpack he wanted made. So we bought the poncho for material, and then headed to a tailor/seamstress to have it made. You can get anything made here super easy. Labor is very cheap, and all you have to do is tell them what you want done, and they'll do it, no questions asked. It’s awesome.
If I were an inventor I would totally move to Cambodia. Anything you can think up, they can make...low-cost.
On Tuesday we met with an investigator, Li Heng (a 25-year-old guy from Kampong Thom). We taught him the Plan of Salvation and explained what we all have to do to get into the Celestial Kingdom. I asked him where he wanted to go and he said "The Celestial Kingdom". We explained that baptism was necessary and committed him to be baptized in October, and he accepted!
We had a big service day on Wednesday. We cut grass and weeds out at an investigator's house. It was super hot and itchy and exhausting. It took us practically all day and our arms were all rashed up from the alien-plants that grow here. Clark had bad allergies for 2-3 days after that. Service is good and fun. It’s kind of weird to me though when the whole family we serve just sits on their porch and watches us do their work for them. 2-3 very capable young men, the father of the family, all just watching us elders and sisters slave away. It was a good time though.
On Thursday The AP's (President’s Assistants) came down (Zone training was Friday morning) and we did an exchange. So Clark and I were in a trio with AP Elder Satterthwaite and we did work in the KC 2 area. We had some VERY good lessons and our unity was incredible. It was like every one of us was in sync and our transitioning was flawless. Everyone knew their part despite not having planned before hand. It was a good lead into our Zone Training with President Moon the following morning.
Zone Training was the best and it was sweet to have Elder Paramore (from my original MTC group) come down from the Kampong Thom province. Elder's Paramore, Elieson, and I had a good little reunion/picture. It’s great to see how much we all have grown and changed since our MTC days.
In Zone Training, President Moon taught us a lot about improving ourselves and always progressing as a missionary. He taught us to be bold, fearless, and obedient. He taught us how to become "Powerhouse Missionaries". He also testified of the importance of the work we do. He said something that I really liked..."You have to WANT to change in order for your mission to CHANGE you." I can't just sit and coast through my mission, I have to put forth good effort, and I will be changed as a result. Everyone wants to change, to improve and be better. You gotta want it.
On Saturday Clark and I decided to visit our island. We have an island in our area, its in the middle of the Mekong river and we had to take a boat to get there. There are 5 families that are members of the island.
On the boat ride over, a member lady who was also on the boat came over to us and said "Elder's, don't pay them more than 1,000 riel (25 cents equivalent)...usually they charge white people 4,000-8,000 ($1-2) per person". We thanked her and only paid the standard 1,000 riel when we got off the boat. The guy who charged us was freaking out though, calling to his other co-worker saying in khmae "should I stop them and make them pay more??" (Obviously thinking we couldn't speak or understand what he was saying) We just kept walking through before any trouble started.
Once on the Island we visited the Elder's-Quorum President's family. His 24-year old daughter (visiting home from school in Phnom Pehn) was a little too excited that the Elders were over.. and we were just trying to teach a lesson on service. It ended up good despite the lesson going off topic over and over. The girl kept talking about America, and how she wants to go there, and how pretty the elder's faces are, etc...Luckily we made it out alive and headed back for the mainland. The island was cool and it was fun to ride a boat.
Sunday was by far the best day of the week because we had a BAPTISM. Lookpu Nani asked me to perform the baptism. I got all the words down (the baptismal prayer is kinda a tongue twister in Khmae, for me anyway). I was able to do it the first try though, not messing up on the wording at all. J
It was great to be able to see Lookpu Nani take this new step in his life, and his family had been very blessed this week because of it. They have a good family and in a few years Lookpu Nani will be able to baptize his kids into the Church. Sunday was a happy day, totally making the hard parts of the past 1 1/2 transfer worth it.
I hope to have a few more "happy days" in KC before I transfer out of here. We keep working hard to find “The Elect" of Kampong Cham.