Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Road Trip!

My dearest family,

We did not have much time to proselyte in our area, but we had a little. Two Sundays ago we contacted a man named Bona. We didn't meet him again until last Sunday. To be honest I didn't remember much about him after a week besides where he lived. Elder Lao and I rode by with no notice and re-contacted him. We asked if he would meet us later in the evening so we could share with him a message of Christ. He said 5:30 we could come back and he would listen. Bona is about 25+ years old. He has a wife and he loves her very much. He has believed in Christ since the year 2002 and has great knowledge and faith. His wife doesn't yet believe, but we invited her to join in the lesson and she did. Bona told a story of how 5 years ago he prayed to God that he could marry this girl and if he could he would sacrifice 5 years of his life. He married the girl and he has had great faith in the Lord even since. We taught him about the Restoration and prophets and baptism and eternal families. He was enthralled! He had so many questions! He wanted to know the truth. He wanted to be baptized again. He wanted to live with his wife eternally. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was more than excited to do so. We testified in the name of our calling, having been called by a living prophet, that he would receive an answer. He then closed with the most beautiful prayer. A few things he said, and I paraphrase: "Heavenly Father I thank thee for these two men you sent to me to answer all the questions that I have wondered about for a very long time and did not know who to ask. I desire greatly to go to church and worship thee. I know that thou canst do all things, I know that thou canst make it possible for me to worship thee at thy church." It was a wonderful lesson filled with the spirit. He agreed to be baptized by one holding authority. 

This week was the Assistant's transferly province trip. That entails riding around the whole country and doing exchanges with missionaries in each province. Monday we started out our journey to Battambang. We left around 11:50 and as soon as we get onto the road we get flagged down by a police officer. He told us we ran a red light and we have to pay. We didn't run a red light. He looked at our license and said normally it would be only 20,000 rial but then he looked at it for a second and said it would be 60,000 rial. That is roughly 35 US dollars. I asked to see where it showed that and he pointed to a little "B". I asked to see it and did not give it back to him. We told him we would not pay it unless we had the evidence. He said the guy was coming with it right now. (we noted that his walkie talkie did not actually work when he spoke into it). He asked for our license but we did not give it to him because we knew he was going to try to rip us of our money. He got flustered and stormed off. I don't think he expected us to speak Khmer so well. So we wait for the "evidence" for a while and My companion got frustrated because we were waiting so long. We knew the guy wouldn't let us go until we gave him money and we knew he didn't really have someone coming with evidence. So we called him back and he quickly said "he's coming, he's coming!" I told him we would pay the fee of $10 and he lit up. I handed him the bill and he said "watch the stoplights" with a smile. I wanted to puke. We got out of there and got on the long road to Battambang. My companion drove the first leg of two hours to Kompong Chnang where we ate lunch and switched drivers. Let me tell you. Driving in Cambodia is wild. The national roads are in disrepair for the most part, with the beginnings of some road works moving forward and many stretches of road very well paved, yet the drivers put up 90 miles per hour and pass others at high speeds despite oncoming traffic. I many times thought for sure that that car would have a head on collision as it passed by and barely missed the oncoming bus blazing at an equal or greater speed. No one slows down, They only flash their brights at you when you're in the way. We got used to it though. So I drove the rest of the three hour trip to Battambang. I love Battambang. 

Tuesday I got to serve in my old area in Battambang for a day and meet with my recent converts and some of my favorite families. They were very kind to me and hospitable. I miss them much. Some of my old investigators got baptized while I was gone! That was exciting. 

Wednesday morning we drove to Siem Reap. I napped and Elder Lao drove the 3 hours there. We showed up about 8 am and went to teach with my old companion Elder Plothow. It was great to be with him again! We went out and taught and investigator family of his that are super solid. We used the Bible a lot to answer their questions because they are Christians already. But despite our Bible approach we could not convince him. Mainly because no one can be convinced that the gospel is true except by the Holy ghost giving a witness. So we told him that he would be able to know the truth of all things we taught him if he asked God if the Book of Mormon was true. Because The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, all other doctrines we teach are based on whether or not that book is true. He promised to read and pray. We also went and rode around Angkor Wat and it was AMAZING! Just a gorgeous site. i didn't go in but I rode past and saw some of its glory. Pics attached. Also we rode 45 kilometers that day. That!s more than 28 miles! I was very tired.

Thursday we drove to Kompong Thom and I went on exchange with Elder Kim. We had a fun time going to his far area too. We biked a total of 27 Kilometers in his area. On this exchange we were referred two families to teach from a recent convert. They are amazing and want to join the true church of Christ so badly! We were very excited to teach them. We also taught a piano class that night at the church. It was fun but we had nearly 20 students. I have never taught more than one at a time. That night there were no spare mattresses in the Kompong Thom house so my companion and I slept lying on the cold hard ground. Whoa! Whoa! Trouble troubl... er... It wasn't very fun anyway. 

Friday we were in Kompong Cham. They went to their far area too. We rode 38 kilometers. All at the blazing speed of 20 kilometers an hour. Average missionaries probably bike 12-15 kilometers an hour. This guy rode 20-24 kilometers an hour. It was hecka hard to keep up, let me tell you. And we also rode over this mega sketch huge bamboo bridge across the Mekong River to a huge island. It was a fun day! 

This morning we woke up and made the trip back to Phnom Penh with no incident and here i am emailing you. I learned a lot about the missionaries and areas which they serve. I hope we can help the missionaries with the many challenges they face every day and teach them how to thrive and progress. It was a great week with beautiful scenery and many kilometers driven and riden. I love you all! Enjoy some pictures.

With Love,
Elder Lyle Rogers Brewer

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