Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Elder Holland

Dearest loved ones,

Its me Elder Brewer. I've been having the sweetest week. Last Monday we played another awesome game of soccer with a lot of missionaries. It was a blast. We also went to the market since I'll be out of the city, where those big markets are, for probably the rest of my mission. Tuesday we went and visited some of my favorite people. We met with Sarith and Srey Touc and reviewed the law of tithing and I bore my testimony with a great spirit. I truly believe in Tithing. I have seen so many blessings in mine and others' lives. Its such a great principle of the gospel. Live it! Love it! Then we saw Srey Niang who was feeling a little out of strength and had an IV attached to her arm. They give take home IV's to just about everyone around here. But we talked with her for a bit and then went and talked to a neighbor of hers which is also an investigator we met with one time. His name is Thy. He had just showed up to his house when we walked over and his door was locked because his sister had the key. So we invited him over to Srey Niang's house to study with us for a bit. He accepted and when we went over there we prayed and Srey Niang started to bear down in great testimony to Thy. My recently baptized student who had just been confirmed two days before bore an amazing testimony. She talked about how amazing the gospel was and how much it had changed her life. How before she had felt so confused about her life and worried and sad and how she felt so happy now that she knows her Heavenly Father and Thy just soaked it up and agreed with her! He said he felt the same way right now and he wanted to find a way out of this rut he was in. Then we read in the first chapter of Nephi all the way to the 12th verse. That right there is a good passage. And he felt way happy and he prayed to close the meeting and he promised to continue reading and ask God. And that is all we ask really. That's all anyone needs to do to get an answer. Just want it and believe it and read it and pray. I do it every day. Do it because its right and do it because its true. 

Wednesday I showed Elder Hall around our area since he is absorbing mine. We went to almost every house I know in the area. It was good to see them all again one last time. Thursday I helped Elder Hall and Elder Saunders to a little weekly planning and then I started packing my bags that morning. We went up into the north part of our area to try to meet an investigator but they were busy. So we went over to contact a bit around that same area. We get to a certain place called Obaekong. As we get there I remembered someone saying they worked in Obaekong and remembered it might be Sina our other recent convert. We had never seen where she worked so I turn to Elder Saunders and said "I think Sina works here" and as I turned back I saw her ride up on a moto-taxi! It was way cool. We got to visit her for a bit and her cousin was there chillin' at her clothing shop whom we shared a little bit of the Gospel message with. Turns out he is a Less-Active member who was baptized when he was 8 and hadn't been to church in so long he couldn't remember Elders or anything! It was a great find and he excitedly shared his number with us and told us we could meet him again later. What a blessing that was! 

We met with Ponlok and Phanit on Saturday and Nita's mother was back from America. She brought gifts. Including for me: (2) 3 pound jars of JIF peanut butter. The best in the world. Blueberry Muffins from Costco. So dang good. Fresh blackberries and golden raspberries. I was floating on cloud nine! Also before I go into Sunday. I have now transferred over to Kampong Cham and it is so quiet here! Its quite a pace change from the city. But I love it already! I'm going to miss my great companion Elder Saunders and the great Elders in my house, Elder Hall and Elder Palmer. But I love my new companion already! His name is Elder Medley and he is from Gilbert Arizona. We're going to have a great time! Right now we're serving in 3rd branch and a half the week we're out in a small new group called Khvut Thom. Everyone else in the mission calls it Skun. Some who have served in Kampong Cham call it Prey Cho, but only those who actually go there know that we actually live in Khvut Thom. A tiny little Phum within Prey Cho. But its all semi-accurate anyway. I'm finishing Elder Medley's training and at the end of this awkward 3 week transfer we might move again. We'll see!

Shall I speak of Sunday? I think it is noteworthy. We all rode out to Koh Pech "the diamond island" out on the Mighty Mekong River at 8 am. We met there in a massive meeting room with all the members and all missionaries in Cambodia.I was blessed to run into many of my recent converts and people I taught across the nation and have a glorious reunion with them. Tears were shed. Then we sat and awaited the arrival of Elder Jeffery R. Holland. When he walked in he it up the room. He blew a kiss at us and waved his fingers and sat down. Many leaders and other members were called up to bear testimony and then Elder Holland spoke to us. It was such a treat. I wrote furiously to get down every word he said. I got nearly all of it due to the translation i had a lot more time to write than I would normally have. Yet my hand writing is nearly illegible so we'll see if I can transpose that later. He spoke to the Recent converts and the those not of our church. He told us 4 reasons (among so many) as to why he would join this church. 1) If someone told him that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the founder of this church then he would want to be a part of it. 2) If someone told him that the Lord had revealed more of His word on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ then he would do anything to get his hands on that book and join the church holding it. 3) If someone told him that there was a church that taught that you can be with your family forever, even after death and into the eternities, then he would do anything to find and join that church. 4) If someone told him that there was a church that had a youth program that turned out good and righteous kids and helped parents raise their kids in righteousness then he would join that church. "Well brothers and sisters, this is that church." And I give my witness with Elder Holland that this is indeed that church. The Savior Jesus Christ is at the helm of "the great ship Zion." Hold onto what you know is true. Christ still leads this church and will do so till the work is done. 

After this glorious meeting we went over to the South Stake center and had lunch before meeting with Elder Holland again in a private missionary meeting. That was amazing. We took a group picture with him and then each of us shook his hand and told him our name and where we're from. I gripped his hand and told him that my name is "Elder Brewer *pause* from Wildomar, California." Holland: "Where in the world is Wildomar?" Me: "southern California" Holland: "That's pretty general" Me: "its by riverside." And that was my conversation with an Apostle. Yet despite the lack of glorious visions and anything too personal in that 10 second hand shake, I felt the spirit testifying to me that he was indeed an Apostle of the Lord. What a choice blessing that was. What power in the man. He is a servant of the Lord whom I am blessed to have met. I will live out my days testifying that our Prophets and Apostles are Holy Men called of God and inspired by Him. We then went into the meeting where we heard from Elder Gong and his wife, our mission president and his wife, Elder Konikhan from Thailand, and Elder Holland's "companion"/ bodyguard. Elder Holland then proceeded to give us the greatest Pep-Talk of our lives. He spoke of missionary work, his own mission. He spoke of being a disciplined disciple of Jesus Christ. He spoke of being converted and letting the mission change you. And then he spoke of going where the investigators are the way Jesus did. It was rousing and invigorating and it put a fire under each of us. As he walked out while a sister was playing the postlude music He stopped and gave us some parting words. As soon as he opened his mouth the sister stopped playing too. I quote directly his words:
"I blink, turn around, and I see myself. Some of you are going to have to do this someday. You may not think its going to happen to you. I didn't think it was going to happen to me." 

You could hear a pin drop in there. The weight of his final words sunk in. What did it mean? Could there be a future apostle among our ranks? It was incredible. He prophesied right there before us. What a man. What a calling. An Apostle of the Lord. And despite the power in the building going out twice during his message, not a sound was made and not an eye blinked because Jeffery Holland was talking to us personally. Wish you could all have seen it. 

I love you and I pray for you. 

Elder Lyle R. Brewer

Douen, Friend, Sina, Srey Niang

Having some soda at Thol's house

Kosal Family


Srey Niang and Thol giving me a gift Sunday night

I and Medley

Kampong Cham sky


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