This week was amazing and miracles happened in our work. On Saturday, Elder Horn and I went around and committed 3 separate investigators to be baptized on February 22, adding our total of Investigators to be baptized that day to 4 people. So 4/5 investigators in Baku are preparing to be baptized in a few short weeks. I am very confident with these specific investigators and their progression. All of them seem excited, and have expressed desires to be baptized. So Srey Nou, Om sokom, Pu Ouen + wife, are at the front of our efforts for the next few weeks.
Srey Nou is a high-school aged girl who has found friendship and trust with the members in Baku. She actively attends church, and spends time with the other youth in the Baku group.
Om Sokom is a previously dropped investigator of Elder Keo (my last comp). He is practically deaf, which makes it hard to teach him, and he couldn't hear anything at church, so he stopped attending. He is very enthusiastic about the scriptures and reads often. He's the nicest old man ever and is willing to keep all the commitments we give him. Elder Horn and I introduced the idea of using a wireless head set that can connect to the microphone in the church, so he will be able to hear. We got permission from president Moon, and this now makes it possible for Om Sokom to be baptized.
Pu Ouen and his wife have a christian background and enjoy learning about the gospel. Upon hearing the message of the restoration, they began reading the Book of Mormon and committed to be baptized.
So those are some of the cool people we teach in Baku. I'm glad to see this growth in Baku compared to the state it was in a few transfers ago when I arrived. We are finally beginning to see the fruit of our labors.
On Tuesday this week I was biking down a dirt road in Takhmao. I saw some children ahead of me running away from the path and into the side-shrubbery. They all watched me through the bushes, some laughing, others just whispering. I was confused, none of the usual "Hey-lohs". Seconds later an explosion went off behind me. There was a flash of light, dust and small particles hit my bike. Then I realized that the kids had set up a fire work in the road, and I had just missed it by a few pedals. I could hear them laughing and I contemplated on what sort of similar events might have happened here 30 years ago during the war-time.
I like a lot of the plants here. Quite often I will see a familiar looking plant and realize that i've seen it in America. Then I realize that I've only every seen fake versions of the plant in America. So next time you see a cool looking, fake plant, understand that its probably a copy of something we've got over here in Cambodia.
On Friday we had an exchange with the Zone-leaders. Elder Khem formed a "tri-panionship" with Elder Horn and I for the day. With the zone leaders over, both finishing their missions this transfer or the next, much talk of home was spoken. At this point in my mission going home seems like a trip into a foreign land, and Cambodia feels like home. Its a good thing I've still got over a year remaining.
This morning I got a hair-cut, it was good and the only thing that was significant about it was that the guy shaved me. He asked if he could and I replied "Yeah go ahead". It was probably the cleanest shave I've ever gotten, and it was weird at the same time because I didn't really have to shave much 6 months ago. What's notable is that I can officially say that I've been shaved at a barber-shop.
Elder Horn and I have tons of fruit at home right now because our recent-convert's family loaded our bicycle-baskets with bananas and mango's yesterday as we left for Takhmao. In cambodian, a "bunch" (...is that what they call it?) of bananas is called a "snut". Part of me wants to think that they're called "snuts" in America too, because it just sounds right. Mango's are great and they basically replace chips and salsa out here. You cut them into slices and dip them in salt/peppers/garlic. Probably my favorite Cambodian food so far.
Another notable event is that Bong Pia, my less-active from Takhmao has returned to activity and has a calling now. It took a few transfers, but it finally happened and he seems happy to be back.
Thats it for this week.
Love, Elder Zierenberg
Photo: Takhmao church
The Church of
of Latter-day Saints
New khmae hymn books, just recently translated and printed.