This week Elder Horn and I had a few adventures in Takhmao and Baku.
On Tuesday we met a referral from English class. Bong "Davweed" (David) has been learning English with the elders in Phnom Penh for quite a while. He was overjoyed when he heard that an identical free-English class was taught right here in Takhmao, and he no longer had to commute to learn. Davweed has a christian background (rare) despite having never read the bible. He claims to have attended a christian church and after listening to many sermons, he converted and was baptized. He had a close relationship with his pastor, who eventually nicknamed him "David", hence Davweed. He knows a lot on a few subjects and enjoys sharing his knowledge with us when we meet him. Our first lesson with him, Elder Horn and I attempted to teach "The Restoration" but Davweed ended up talking the whole time despite our efforts to interject and share our message. I guess he is just very passionate about teaching doctrines, which I admire. We managed to briefly share Joseph Smith's experience with him, which he accepted and applied to his life, reflecting on his personal search for truth.
The work in Baku has been picking up as well. In Baku, we currently have 3 investigators we are working with, one of which is preparing to be baptized next month.
As for other Baku news, do you remember Lookpu Sophal and his 500 chickens? Apparently a chicken-disease spread among the birds and A TON died. During the half hour that we visited, 20+ chickens fell dead. Pu Sophal and the other worker kept throwing the birds in bins at the edge of the property, neither looked very happy at the unfortunate circumstances. I asked if they could at least eat the dead ones, but he said "No, but the dogs can". So his 6 dogs will be eating chicken for a few weeks.
The night-rides home from Baku have been dark lately. What was dim and difficult to see before is now pitch black, forcing us to rely heavily on our flash lights to see the dirt road in front of us. It makes avoiding the large holes and rice paddy's very difficult. This week I figured out the reason its been so dark...its because the moon is nowhere in sight. At first I thought "lunar eclipse", but its been a week and still no moon, so it must be something else. Elder LeNguyen and I have come to the conclusion that the times back in america where you see the Sun and the Moon at the same time means that in Cambodia, on the other side of the world, there's no Moon. If our theory is correct, I hope all you guys back in America are enjoying both the Sun and the Moon.
Wednesday to Thursday we spent the night in the Guesthouse again. The Icy-cold showers in the morning are brutal, and I think I'm allergic to whatever blows out of the AC unit. Last week in the guest-house was still fun, Elder Horn and I had bought a kilo or two of alien-fruit to eat, so we sat across from each other on our beds talking and eating.
On Friday we proselyted in Takhmao, where the work seems to be a bit slower. We often bike in one big circle through the area looking for people who might have stayed home from work that we can meet or contact. I've biked that "circle" many, many times in my 2 1/2 transfers here and figured that I had seen the entirety of the area, but on Friday we found a bridge. All the bridges here are like something from "Indiana Jones" and biking on them is pretty scary. Loose boards, broken spots, zero hand rails, and the entire thing shaking as you bike or walk across it. The scary part is that its a 40 foot drop if something goes wrong. Anyways we found a bridge that we hadn't yet crossed, neither do we think any missionaries ever have in the past. We crossed it and found "Pom Tak Gii", or "Tak Gii" Village. There seems to be a lot of potential there, and as we biked through it we were greeted by the people with friendly hey-loh's. We will start spending sometime there and hopefully find people who are interested in hearing our message.
Sunday's schedule was a bit crazy as always. We left for church early to prepare for sacrament meeting, we had a broken bike so we doubled up on one, Elder Horn hanging on the back as I biked..(we don't even have pegs), a rice-cooking malfunction that cost us an extra half hour, plus an intense bike-ride to Baku so we could bring them the sacrament bread on time. I still enjoyed the meetings, even though we got called on last-minute to teach Sunday-school, and then to teach in YM's priesthood class, and then called to speak in Baku sacrament meeting after the speakers finished their talks with 30 minutes still remaining in the meeting. My good friend, Elder Horn bit the bullet for me and spoke for a solid 20 minutes, leaving me about 10 minutes to share some thoughts. 10 minutes seems longer in English, but when its Khmae, time flies.
That afternoon as we were making our "rounds" in Takhmao, we saw 4 children all riding on the same bike. An older sister (maybe 10 yrs old) with 3 younger siblings hanging on (front and back). They were cruising along, but suddenly came to a stop as a younger boy (aged maybe 4-5) 's bare-foot got caught up in the front wheel/spokes. His foot lodged between the frame of the bike and the spokes. The bike then flipped over, 3 kids fell off, and the fourth was still attached to it. The boy screamed and the older sister rushed to pull his foot from its jammed position, but her efforts only caused the kid to scream louder. Elder Horn and I jumped off our bikes, he held the bike securely, and I used my superhuman strength to bend the metal of the bike, freeing the kid's mangled ankle/foot. We told the sister to get ice for him, remounted our bikes, and left the scene. Thus your friendly neighborhood elders' saved the day again.
It was another good memorable week.
Until next time, Elder Zierenberg
Chinese food on P-day
Cow intestines-noodle soup
Wild chicken family (not yet infected)
"Hagrid said follow the spiders"