This weeks email just made me cry. From the pictures to the emails. I'm just a big cry baby. Elder Phnom Penny sounds good but reality has set in
his first sentence was this...
"I love this place so much mom! Man it's been a long and hard one that's for sure. The conditions here are sooo bad, man we are lucky mom!"
Elder Nhem and Elder Cannon serving at "Trash Village". They are assigned the poorest area in the mission. These boys are from a family they are teaching.
Today at 8:23 PM
So this week has been... very interesting. The beginning of the week Elder Cannon and I moved into a new house with the other Elders in Steung Mian Cei 3, and it's been a fun week. The houses here have huge water tanks on the roofs and ours overflows everynight and floods our house daily!! (: Oh it's so fun to have wet everything and water everywhere hahah :D But this week has been hard hard work. The people here have real struggles with alcohol because it's cheaper than water and they are super poor but it's amazing seeing Jesus Christ play a role in their lives and create that conversion and that faith to change their lives forever. Everyday we teach so much or go walking or biking for many kilos in the hot weather but it's so worth it. When we have those lessons where everyone feels the Spirit and it's fun and happy I just love it. We got to go to the Branch Mission Leaders house for family home evening last Monday evening and it was amazing. They just fed us food and shared scriptures and thoughts. Yeah he has 5 teenage cousins who were there and harassed me constantly for my Khmer but hey, who cares it was nice to be around a family. We played some games and just had an amazing time. It made me realize it doesn't matter where you are, or how much people have, family is the most important. Because it never goes away. Family is always there for each other and it's such an important part of life. Especially over here where no one has really anything. This week we had an amazing lesson with a bong song and his young family about the priesthood and stuff and he wants to go to the temple. It's great to see that desire in someone. To see them want to live with each other for eternity and make such great sacrifices to save up money to go to the temple in Hong Kong. It costs so much and is a huge sacrifice. Then this weekend was pretty crazy too! We spent a lot of time in the poorer village of our area, Prei Toal, and it's just a very interesting place.. All these super buff men try to handfight me everyday to show off they can beat an American but it's funny because I always win. But this week a super super strong one wanted to play and it ended up being even because none of us would give up. I was really close though, my fingers were killing me!! :P But on Friday we had a very strange lesson with an Ohm Seng. He has bad problems with drinking and when we arrived he was really drunk but pulled us into to house to teach him a lesson. It's very... I don't know the English word for it but I'll just say crazy trying to teach a drunk man about the gospel. But hey, you gotta try right? :P But a very special experience I had this week, actually on Sunday was this young man came up to me. I don't know him and know one else did either. But he came up to me and asked if I'd say a prayer with him and his family because they've been having a lot of struggles. It's weird how people view the Elders here. They really look up to us and respect us so much, it's touching and very special (: But he asked me to say it in Khmer and I know the Lord blessed me to speak because the prayer went great and I could just see the comfort and relief this young man got from the prayer. Then Elder Cannon and I got to visit an Ohm in the hospital and take him the sacrament. I had the opportunity to bless the bread in Khmer too... So much language this week!! And then at church the branch president asked me to speak!!!! It was great! I shared about faith and if we have faith we can do all things. I really believe in that. I can speak Khmer enough to give a talk at church when 2 months ago I couldn't even say hello right!! :P I know it's the Lord blessing me as a representative and servant of Him. I know through my faith He is blessing me. One last experience I'll share from this week is finding a young man named Lim Hou. He was a random contact as we were trying to find a different lady in the same apartment complex. To my relief and luck he spoke some English and was soooooo interested in the Gospel. He wants to go to church and learn more and I know this experience was an answer to my prayers. It's been a really hard week and we couldn't find anyone to teach so I prayed really hard to find just one person and then this amazing man comes out of nowhere. I want you to all know the Lord, Jesus Christ supports all who have faith on His name. I know I'm doing His work and He is leading and guiding me. Watching over me and supporting me. And it's so very comforting. Cambodia is a totally different world and without my Savior to be honest I'd be terrified. Dogs are everywhere and when people speak they all sound mad but I'm fine. I know I'm in the Lord's hands and He WILL watch over me. I'm so happy to be doing this and serving the one I owe the most. This is a divine and amazing work. I love being a missionary and I love life.
Elder Spencer Paul Nhem
I've already seen amazing miracles, in myself and with the members here. It's incredible how people respect and view the Elders here. I've given many blessings already and prayers and the sacrament to people in the hospital just serving my people (: It's all worth it when you see someone else's faith increase and grow. It happens everyday. I'm so happy I get to play a part in that Dad. Yesterday I had to speak in church and man it just worked. The Lord gave me the gift of tongues for sure. My companion said it was great and all made sense and just was amazing Dad (:
I love you and miss you so much! You'd be so proud of me cleaning and cooking and ironing clothes and doing laundry and what not (: Tell dad, I love him and miss him tons and love serving his people so much (: Tell Eliza happy birthday and I love her too, tell her to get that license and have fun and be good! Tell Rach I miss her and could really use a slurpee right now, hot season is starting and it gets in the 110s pretty soon :O Love you mom