This week had a few things that stood out.
In Baku we have an investigator named Lookpu Long. He is a bike mechanic, but I rarely see him actually working on bikes, usually he just sleeps in his cot all day. When we visit, he kindly pulls out chairs for us to sit on and listens to our message. The first time we visited him, we taught the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon, committing him to read. During our follow-up visit with him the following week we asked if he had had an opportunity to read the book. He apologized and said that he hadn't, with the excuse that his friend had borrowed the book. I knew instantly that he was lying (I could see the book still sitting on a table in the background, where he had placed it the previous week). Elder Horn must not have seen it though, so he commended Pu Long for sharing with his friend and pulled another from his bag and handed it to him. Unfortunately, I couldn't really say anything, or explain to elder Horn till after the lesson. The following week I went to his house while leading an exchange with Elder Jarvis (He's been in Cambodia for 3 months). I again asked Pu Long if he had read in EITHER Book of Mormon we had given him, and his excuse was "Uh my friend borrowed both of them..". Before I could say anything Elder Jarvis was pulling out a third Book of Mormon and handing it to Pu Long. This time he actually tried to refuse it, saying his eyes were bad and that he couldn't read, but elder Jarvis insisted. At this point I wanted to take it back (along with the 2 others), but I worried that it might ruin the spirit for the special lesson we had prepared for him.
The lesson actually turned out really good, the teaching part anyway. Elder Jarvis and I had a good flow and the big/intimidating words came out of my mouth just magically. We taught with spirit and we could feel it with every point we taught. Unfortunately, Pu Long wasn't as moved as we were. At the end of the lesson he continued to talk about being to busy to go to church, or read the scriptures. At that point I was really trying to hit him with the spirit that we were already feeling, so we began to testify powerfully. He reacted a bit differently after that and his "No's" turned into "Maybe's". Still not quite what I was going for, but we did our part. I know that the Lord is very intimately involved in His work, so I trust Him and His Spirit to do the real teaching.
As for miscellaneous noteworthy events that occurred this week:
Pu Sophal and the Infected chickens: Part III
On Wednesday we met with Pu Sophal and asked how his chickens were doing. He told us that he had sold them all, fearing that they would all die of the vicious disease. So basically he sold a couple hundred infected chickens to some poor ignorant guy, not to mention probably spreading the disease to other chickens in Cambodia.
On Thursday I drew out the entire solar system to answer the questions of a member family in Baku. They were very interested to hear what was beyond the Earth, Sun, and Moon (Having never heard of anything beyond those three). Thanks to some singing "Blue's clues" toy we used to have back at home, I remembered all the planets in order, including the qualities that set each one apart from the rest.
One tool we have found to be helpful in our proselyting and teaching is the "Gospel art-book". Basically a compilation of many paintings and photos to be used for various callings in the church. Often, we will use it to teach an investigator about the restoration, showing them the picture of Joseph smith's vision. During future-interview questions we will ask, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ?" and some say "Yes, I know for a fact he did!" and we ask "Did you receive an answer to a prayer or have a spiritual experience?" And they respond "Yes I did, but also you guys showed the photograph of Joseph Smith when he met with God and Jesus, so it had to have happened" ....(Its a painting, not a photograph). The thing is, more important than how many facts people can gather to back it up, is a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. That is something that I have noticed when observing the strength of members and recent converts, as well as the rate in which investigators progress. Do they read their scriptures? If they do, they are bound to have previously, or will receive an answer at some point. The message of the Book of Mormon is a beautiful one, and I feel its power during each daily reading.
Good news for this week is that we had a family of 4 baptized into our branch yesterday. They are a good strong family and have the support of the members as they have entered the church and seen changes in their lives. As for The Cambodia Phnom Penh mission, we had a total of 30 people baptized yesterday.
It was a good week. Thank you for your support.
Love, Elder Jake Zierenberg
Elder Horn and me as millionaires
Btw #millionairse is a joke between me and elder horn. Everytime we're tired and don't feel like teaching or contacting I ask him "what would a millionaire be doing right now?" Because we both wanna be millionaires.When we hit all our key indicators and get good numbers, we say "we were millionaires today"
Also, can you tell that i'm almost as dark as elder Horn...Everyday I get darker and darker..