Monday, October 19, 2015

Rushed to the hospital

Hello Family!

So my subject line sounds a little morbid but do not worry! I will give that tale its justice in just a couple paragraphs below. Don't get lazy and skip to the bottom! (;

Its been a very strange week. Preparation day was relaxed and then since Monday and Tuesday was a huge holiday we did deep cleaning in BOTH our houses. That was fun. It's really nice to live in a house that isn't filthy. Naturally our home needs attention always since we only come home late and night and leave early in the morning. Cleaning happens sparingly whenever time allows. So it was nice to have a couple days dedicated to it. Still not moved into the new apartment until maybe next month but I won't be able to enjoy it because I'm getting transferred! It's my last transfer in the country and I'll be spending it in only Prey Cho instead of both Prey Cho and Kampong Jam 3rd. That's really a blessing even though I'll miss those people I got to serve in Kampong Jam. I will still be with my trainee Elder Smith so its not that much different! Just more time to help that struggling group and less time riding taxi vans all the time! 

Wednesday was spent in Prey Cho. We taught our friend Om Jun, the old man with the sunglasses in a previous email. He is struggling to quit drinking and we are helping him by following up every day! He said he really wants to be baptized on the first of November and said he would quit drinking so he could accomplish that goal! We hope we can help him to do so! Then we taught English class to only 3 students since it was a holiday the day before (like I have mentioned before, the effect of holidays last a whole week after they are over). 

Thursday we went and taught Daly who was planning to get baptized this Sunday the 18th. We gave her a bag of study materials and reviewed with her the importance of baptism and pumped her up for this Sunday! Then we visited Om Jun again to make sure he was still committed to his goal. We are planning on going there every day starting this Wednesday just to follow up on him and make sure he is keeping his commitment! Then we met some more members and their daughter had come back from Phnom Penh for the holiday and we helped her get in touch with the Elders in the area she is going to be attending so she could feel more comfortable going each Sunday! We met with a newer investigator named Tok and taught him the discussion on the Restoration of the Gospel. He was very into it and has some great potential! He said he would try to come to church this week! We tried to give him a Book of Mormon but he told us he cannot read. I told him we could teach him how to read so that he can read the Lord's holy word and he said he would like that! So I'll keep you updated on that! That night our Landlady (also a member) told us she had a group of 30 people who want to come to church with us in Prey Cho. They are from another place far away called Roka Kaong. They used to be members in another church but all left due to them finding out that their church was corrupt. So they wanted to find a new one after two years of inactivity. So Elder Smith and I decided to do a special fast for them on Friday.

Friday we returned to Kampong Jam from Prey Cho and after lunch we begun our fast and rode 20 kilometers out to a member's house to do some service preparing her ground for planting by cutting the grass with some sickles. We hadn't worked 5 minutes when Elder Smith said "Oh dang it." I looked over to see him poke a deep gash on his left pointer finger and blood squirt out like the black night who loses his arm to King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It took me about one second to realize his finger was not falling off and then I ripped my Cambodian scarf off and wrapped it around the bleeding mess to tourniquet it and stem the loss. I just whispered to him "Elder that's a lot of blood." We quickly assumed it would need stitches and a quick chat with Sister Christensen on the phone confirmed it. She told us to find the fastest car to the city and meet her at SOS international hospital. We went out and stood on the street while the members tried to get him to rub menthol all over the cut. We denied their medical advice and prayed to find a car. We were in the middle of nowhere but as soon as we close the prayer Elder Smith successfully hailed a small car with a very kind man who drive us all the way to Phnom Penh in only 2 hours. The whole drive there I taught him as much as I could in our mixed conversations and got his number to refer him to the Elders in Phnom Penh. On arrival at the hospital President and Sister Christensen were both waiting there for us. President thought we looked goofy wearing service clothes and dress shoes so he took a picture and then they took us into the room where they put three stitches into his wound. It was quite a trip. That night we slept at the Assistant's house and then got a car first thing in the morning to take us back to KC. We had them stop on the road that took us up to the member's home and then paid a tuk-tuk to drive us the rest of the way to our bicycles. We then had to ride our bicycles 20 kilometers back to Kampong Cham still fasting and completely broke from all the travel bills. When we arrived back home at 11:30 am, sunburned and starving, we broke our fast and drank cold lemonades and ate a fresh apple from the fridge. I was laughing with joy as I bit into the best tasting apple I had ever had. We were completely exhausted and crashed for two hours after feasting on Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (we were too tired to make real food). When we recovered we went and taught four lessons.

Sunday morning I woke up with a bit of a sore throat due to the exhaustion of yesterday I assume. We went to church and looked for Daly who was to be baptize but couldn't find her. We called her mom but the phone didn't go through. I called our landlord to go ask her if she was coming. A couple minutes later she called back and said that they were not coming because they were busy. The font was half filled and people waiting but no one to be baptized. That was a sad tale. Guess we'll try again in a couple weeks!

Then we had to take a projector and like equipment with us on a car to Prey Cho so that the branch president could show the Sunday Morning session of conference. No one from Prey Cho was able to come and watch conference since it was a holiday this last weekend and there were no cars to take them to KC. So 15 of the expected 30 came to church with us in Prey Cho and watched half of the session before leaving. Turns out Phnom Penh is closer to them so they are going to go join the Toul Sangkae branch. Right after church a recent convert named Borey came up to us and told us she had two referrals that she wanted us to go teach. We called them and they set an appointment right there! It was way exciting. All in all another great week!

I know that Jesus Lives! This is His church! I'm so grateful to be in His service out in this wonderful country. It's sad that my time will be coming to an end soon. I hope I can continue to be in the service of the Lord in the next chapter of my life. As this chapter wraps up I will give my all to Him who created all. On whom I depend on for my daily breath, I shout praise to Him. The Holy One of Israel. Believe in Christ! Repent! Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him! Let His love surround you. You are a child of God. In the name of His son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Lyle R. Brewer

After I wrapped it

Getting stitched


Borey who gave us the referrals

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