Monday, July 7, 2014

Cave Water, Snakes, 7 months and a Baptism! (from June 23, 2014)

Hello my friends!
  Another fine week in the Kingdom of Cambodia. This week's P-day activity consisted of another beautiful hike on one of Cambodia's lovely hills. This time to the ancient temple ruins of Phnom Banan. There were little girls following us up the huge staircase trying to fan us for money, despite the fact the it was windy beyond all get-out. Eventually they gave up while we were stopping for a picnic break and played some games at the top of the hill. We then descended into a cave at the base of the hill. It was magnificent. Bats and big spiders like the one from Harry Potter 4 that got tortured by Moody. Yep it was freaky. There was also a pot under a stalactite which caught all the dripping water . They said we could drink it so we did!! It was very tasty! Also had a twinge of slimy to it. But I haven't got any crazy hives or anything so I think it's safe. As for the rest of the week it was fantastic!
  On Wednesday we had Zone Conference and President Moon came and taught us about repentance. Some of the highlights include: Declaring repentance will be of the most worth to every soul. We need to work on ourselves and repent before we will have power to help others. Heavenly Father does not prove himself to us, we prove ourselves to Him. It is vital for us to understand how to repent, obey, and love. That night we got to teach English class again. It was so fun! I love teaching English. Elder Plothow and I are the teachers for the Advanced English class. All of or students are very smart and doing very well. We taught them about idioms this last week. They loved it! Teaching is super fun!!
  Thailand has been kicking all of the Illegal Cambodians out for the past 3 weeks and nearly half a million illegals are being shipped back from the Thai border on military trucks. So the Cambodians think that means War in coming years. For the Elders, on the other hand, it means our members and recent converts are coming back to church!! One of those is a Ming Leouy. She is a recent convert that ran to Thailand for work. She came back this week and her husband's sister came to help her get a sewing business started so she wont run away to Thailand again. We started teaching her sister-in-law and started re-teaching her husband. Her husband wants to get baptized, but he is having a hard time giving up smoking and drinking. He understands the gospel in all other aspects very clearly though. We're going to help him!! 
  June 20th marked seven months as a missionary!! Its been short and long at the same time. To celebrate I ate snake! Well it was more like a Less-active we were teaching had caught one that morning and cooked it up and offered it to us. It was hard to get past the fact that it was a slithering monster just 4 hours earlier, but once I did then it was kind of yummy! Tasted like a really yummy fish, just more slimy. On our way to the next lesson the sky started dumping buckets on us all of a sudden. We stopped to put on rain bags and as soon as we got them on the rain stopped. All in all a total of 60 seconds of straight buckets and then the sun came out and laughed at us. Cruel joke sun. Cruel joke. 
  Our area and the Elder's area in the next branch is divided by a dirt road that isn't very wide. This week we taught a lesson on that road to our investigators Lun, Phala, and her daughter Linet. The other Elders could be seen across the street teaching a lesson to some members in a different area. It was indeed an interesting experience. We have been preparing these three for baptism this coming Saturday and I am so excited for them!! Their whole family are members already and they are the last to join. The family is overjoyed along with Elder Plothow and I. This coming Saturday, June 28th, will have 10 people getting baptized all on the same day! Three are from the labors of me and Elder Plothow, the rest are from the Elders in the other 2 branches. President Moon might come down personally to be a part of the service! 
  Sunday was fantatsic! We had 7 investigators show up at church and Vichika got confirmed and was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. After Church we went and visited an Investigator named Meah Viya who believe that all churches are true and that she can live Chinese Buddhism, Khmer Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity.. We helped her understand that God wants us to put him first, we cannot serve two gods, for we will either hate the one or love the other. We compared it to trying to root for both sides of a sports team. I then compared it to walking down a path, she can't go down all 4 forks of the road, she must choose only one. She already believes the Book of Mormon is true so she understood that she must follow Jesus Christ only. It was so awesome! The spirit testified and she said she wanted to be baptized! That night we also went to teach another investigator family that hasn't been progressing very well. As we rode up to their house it started raining a bit. I offered a small prayer that it would stop raining so we wouldn't get soaked. I then had a feeling that Heavenly Father knows better and its going to rain for our benefit. So wehn we ducked under their stilted house it started pouring hard. The family quickly welcomed us and got us chairs to sit down with us. As I thought about it I realized that maybe the rain would soften their hearts to us today. We read the first chapter of first Nephi with them and as soon as we finished the lesson the rain let up. It was an answer to prayer, but in the Lord's time. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers my prayers and does whats best for me, and not what I think is best. When we council with the Lord we cannot fail. If we fight against him we will fall. 
   We met with Vichika almost every day to prepare him for his baptism on Saturday. It went really well! We had a great turn-out and it was very reverent. He was so nervous! Elder Plothow and I forgot the electric chord for the piano so right before the baptism we had to run across the street to our house to grab it so we could have music for the baptism. It felt really good to run. We made it back really quick and it all went well. Vichika bore a powerful testimony afterwards and I felt overjoyed to have found him and helped him come unto Christ. What a blessing it is to see someone make that covenant to be cleansed of sin and follow Christ all their life. I feel so blessed to be a member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ and to be his servant in this far-away land. I have felt the influence and guidance of the spirit so much more this last week as I have striven to be more obedient to the Mission rules and commandments of the Lord. I have made my new motto this week the following statement. "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings Miracles." I know that the first law of heaven is obedience. I know that every blessing is predicated upon us obey a commandment. I know that when we obtain any blessing, it is by obedience to the law upon which that blessing was predicated. I know that obedience is vital for our eternal salvation and exaltation! So be exactly obedient. Make or Give No Excuses! 
I love you all with all of my heart and then some. 
-Elder L. Rogers Brewer

p.s. here are some lovely photos.
1. A panorama of the ruins. 
2. me
3. Steps
4. The little fan girls playing games
next will have more!



A panorama of the ruins. 

The little fan girls playing games


Dripping pail!

Zone conference!

Left to right: Hua, Vichika, Plothow, Lyle


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