Dear Family and Friends,
Its been a great two years. I haven't been so happy in my whole life. This has been the most rewarding time of my life. I don't really feel like its over and I don't believe I'm going home yet. I also haven't packed yet though so maybe if I do that it will feel real. I'm excited to see you all and I miss you boat loads. I'll have lots to tell you when I get home and I'm sure you'll have an ear to listen for maybe a month. But for this last time I will tell you how my week went.
Monday I went to a Chinese lady's ice cream shop and she asked me what I wanted. I said "beats me!" and then she started going off in Chinese! I told her I didn't speak Chinese and she looked very confused. "But you just said Bin Chring! That's Chinese for ice cream." So of all the words I chose to say I happened to say the Chinese word for ice cream at a Chinese Ice Cream shop.
Tuesday we met with Ming Sophal in the morning and helped her prepare for her baptismal interview next week! She is doing very well and has an amazing testimony! We went to visit some other investigators in Baray Village and saw an older woman digging at a huge pile of dirt in her front yard and so we rode up and offered to help her! We moved the whole pile and spread it across her front yard. She purchased the new dirt so that when it rains it won't be so muddy! It was fun to get all sweaty and hot before biking some more!
Wednesday we taught a new investigator who told us we should get a big projector and show Jesus videos around the villages and that everyone would convert if we did. I thought it was a worthy effort but it isn't the best way to do missionary work haha. We also met Daly and helped prepare her for her baptism this Sunday! Then we taught English class and went over to Bong Ponlok's house and taught him a lesson on the Importance of Jesus Christ. He committed again to read the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true.
Thursday was Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm grateful for My Mom and Dad who gave the gospel to me and taught me to walk in the light from my youth. They are the best examples of dedicated service to the Lord. I am so grateful for their sacrifices for me throughout my life. I could not have asked for better parents. I am so grateful that I could serve the Lord for two years. I don't feel like it was a sacrifice but more like a blessing. I am grateful for my siblings and their great examples to me and their help in all the aspects of my life. I don't know what I would do without them. I am grateful for my companion Elder Smith who has been the best last companion I could ask for. I am grateful for the many wonderful friends I have made here and have waiting at home. Most of all I am grateful for the Savior's sacrifice for me and the Father's tender mercies and love towards all mankind. I learned of the savior's unending love very acutely after thanksgiving lunch with the Senior couple and all the missionaries in my zone. We sat down in a circle and they gave us each a snickers bar and told us not to eat it. They then told us that in order for everyone else to eat their candy someone has to give theirs up. I volunteered readily and they chose me. They then asked me to sit on a red table cloth in the middle of the circle and proceeded to ask each missionary in the room one by one if they wanted to keep their candy bar and that I had to pay for it by doing 10 push ups. So the first one said yes and I busted out 10. The second one said yes and I busted out 10 more. Then the third said no but the senior sister said I still ha to pay for it. So 10 more. As I waited for the next answer Sister Leavitt explained the atonement of Jesus Christ reading scriptures and the spirit filled the room. I kept pushing. 4. 5. 6 people. 7. 8 people. Some said they wanted it others said no, and yet still I pushed for them so they may keep their candy. I was getting very tired and my arms began to shake. At the beginning she would ask me how I was feeling and I felt fine. As she asked me now I felt to say that it was hard. She asked if I could do more and I said I would if I needed to. 9. 10 people. And the last missionary when asked if they wanted their candy bar said that "if I say no the he will still do them so I will say yes." And so the last ten push ups came very hard. With only five left I began to falter. I couldn't get up all the way. They kept saying I could do it. And I had to. 4 left and I had to catch myself from with my knee because I couldn't get up all the way. 3 left and my arms were shaking. 2 left and I was gasping for air. 1 left and I could barely get off the ground, let alone lift myself to the top. When I finished I felt hot tears come to my face as I realized that the savior felt much much more than that. The savior felt like he couldn't go on, but he did. The savior paid the price for all our sins and our sorrows and pains even if we choose not to receive that gift. He has descended below all things that He may lift all to the presence of the Father. How grateful I am for Him. He who has saved my soul from everlasting damnation. He who paid the price willingly. He who was the perfect lame without blemish, without sin. I know that He conquered death and sin. I know He lives. He is the only way.
The last three days I will summarize shortly. I met with Sombor and Khen, two guys fluent in Chinese and working as translators at the Chinese factory in the Standing Jungle. They are very intelligent men who were intrigued to know why Christ was important in their lives and committed to read the Book of Mormon to find our for themselves and pray to ask the Father. We also met with Daly one more time to help her to prepare spiritually for her baptism on Sunday. Sunday was a long and eventful day. We rode a car with Daly and her mother Sinat to Kampong Cham in the morning because there is no font in Prey Cho. We got there during the sacrament hymn and I was asked to get up a give a farewell talk to the members of Kampong Cham, We found out during second hour that the font had a big crack in it and we wouldn't be able to fill it all the way because the water will all flow out. So after the services and the baptismal talks we went out to a very shallow font to do the ordinance. Luckily Daly is maybe a little over 4 feet tall. So the baptism was completed successfully despite the many challenges and Oh what a sweet experience it was. Then we rode back home and made a very quick lunch before going to church again in Prey Cho where I also gave another farewell talk. After church I got a text from the Zone Leaders telling us that in order for our mission to reach its goal this week every companionship needed to get 36 contacts. Thats triple what we usually get in a day and we only had half a day to do it. But as we rode through the night the lord showed us who we were to talk to and we achieved our goal and finished the week having invited 104 souls unto Christ. That is what its all about.
I love my life. I love the savior. I will see you all very soon.
Last Mission Email.
-Elder Lyle R. Brewer