The week flew by...
My favorite day of the week I think...The day I stopped being sick. :) 4-5 days of Vitamin C finally paid off.. After emailing home, Clark and I headed out to find a computer guy who could convert a bunch of "Mormon Messages" on a USB Flash-drive into a format that could be played on our DVD player. It was super cheap and we just came back a few hours later and now we have about a dozen "Mormon Messages" that we can watch whenever we want. After that we headed to the other elder's house to visit with Elder Quirante for a bit. At 5:00 we started proselyting again, had some good contacts and an active-member lesson.
Tuesday we headed over to an investigator's place to do service. The reason I say "place" and not "house" is because he is currently building it. We spent about 3 hours moving a massive pile of gravel from the street, over to the construction area. It was a good work out and it felt good to wield a shovel again for the first time in 6 months.
That afternoon Clark and I stood out in the middle of a busy street and handed out English class flyers. Basically I hold up a sign that says "Free English Class" (both in English and Khmae script), and Clark hands out flyers to motorists and cars that drive by. It’s funny because people will do some crazy maneuvering just to get they're hands on whatever the "white people" are handing out. After handing out nearly 200 flyers in about 8 minutes....we went and taught our progressing investigator Lookpu Pheap. We had a great lesson with him and committed him to be baptized. He's great, has a family, and he is quick to recognize truth. He has investigated 2-3 other churches before, but he feels that he has found where he is meant to be.
Wednesday we had English class and a few new people showed up (Our flyers were a success). That night we met with our recent convert Nani and taught him about receiving the priesthood, and committed him to prepare accordingly.
Thursday we had weekly planning. Weekly planning is the best thing ever. We sit down for an hour or two and we plan out our whole next week hour-to-hour. Its great for goal setting and maximizing our time out here.
Friday was Zone training. We reviewed old goals, set new goals, and received instruction from the president through our ZL. We learned that by next week there will be 67 total companionships in our mission. One thing that was shared that stuck out to me was a quote about President Monson: "President Monson does things that others only think about doing". I have learned in my two months here that we need to do things that others only think about doing, and that by showing our faith we will see miracles happen.
Also on Friday we met with a member that lived on the island. The man has been a member a while and has read through the Book of Mormon a few times. He's somewhat of an expert I guess. While we were visiting with the family the father looked at me and said "Elder Zierenberg... Zieren... Mountain...." I was in disbelief thinking that this guy living on a random island in Cambodia knew German somehow and translated "Berg" as "mountain". Then he said "Ether 12:30". We looked up the scripture and here's what we found:
30 For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.
I got a kick out of that. It totally talks about us in the Book of Ether!
Saturday morning we had service at our investigator's house again. We helped move a large stack of bricks this time. After an hour or so of that we headed home. On our way home we ran into a member of our branch presidency. He told us that a sick, bedridden man in our branch had passed away and that he was headed to the funeral. He asked to go with him, even though we were in t-shirts and shorts from service still.
We went to the funeral and saw the dead man, still in the bed where he always was when we visited the family. This time he was covered by a white sheet, and many Buddhist decorations surrounded his body. The funeral was half Buddhist, Half LDS. As Clark says: "I guess just in case one didn't workout on the other side, he had a back up plan" haha. They did a bunch of Buddhist chants and stuff over his body, and lit incense, etc. It was sad and the family was crying. Then the Branch president and a few members from the branch came up and we sang "I am a child of God" (khmae version) and I'm telling you, the atmosphere in the room completely changed. The Spirit was strong and a feeling of love was over the funeral. The District President then blessed the grave. We closed singing "Till We Meet Again". After that we left and the funeral went on, Buddhist-style for all I know. What I do know, is that the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that we do not reincarnate, or cease to exist, but rather we will live again because Christ did. I know that we can live with our families forever in happiness if we will follow His plan. That is the best knowledge I could ever ask for. It’s life-changing knowledge.
Sunday we had church. Our new progressing investigator accepted our invitation and attended church. It was fast Sunday and many members got up and bore their testimonies. Then, out of nowhere, our investigator gets up and starts bearing his testimony! It was the sweetest thing ever. He was talking about how grateful he was to come to church that day, and how he likes the elders, and how important church is. It was great. He was using prayer words (imagine like how we use "thou" and "thee" in English) It was sorta like 50% testimony, 50% like he was saying a prayer when he went up. It was good though because he was using the correct form for praying (Address God, Thank-thee's, requests, close in His name), so he must have been paying attention when we taught him prayer the other night. :)
Everyone in the congregation was looking back at us elder's and smiling and giving us thumbs ups and stuff. Our investigator killed it and he stayed for all three hours too! Two more weeks and he can be baptized.
I have received my new assignment. I finish my training this week and I'll be transferring out. I'm headed to the "Baku" (Like "Aku" from Samurai Jack) and "Dakmau" area. It’s a couple areas spread out, but all combined into one. My new companion is named Elder Gaio, and he's from Cambodia. I've never met him, but it sounds like he doesn't speak any English so I'll be using my Khmae a lot more.
My new area is not in the City but its pretty close (like an hour bike ride). I'm still sort of in the "Kites" (provinces) to some extent. I'm excited, but sad to leave all my friends and Elder Clark here in Kampong Cham. Clark is the new Zone Leader here.
So yep, that's my week. Hope everybody is doing well!
Love, Elder Z (In Cambodia)
Here's what buddhists have instead of Angel Moroni's on their temples. It means like the 7 states of reincarnation. On the 7th one (highest)...you become a state of nothingness.