Monday, October 5, 2015

Tender Mercies

Dear loved ones,

Happy Conference weekend! I will be enjoying it next weekend of course due to international lag. Its been an inspiring week and I'm looking forward to another one this time around! 

Last Monday I found a new commodity that just came out. Coconut flavored Oreo's from Thailand. They are so good and I am going to eat so many this week. That evening we met Chey, a new investigator and neighbor to Dy, a recent convert. We shared the message of the Restoration with him and he committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to know whether or not it was true! 

Tuesday we had a District Meeting topic on sincere prayer. That was a much needed and very inspiring topic. Praying by name for the welfare of those I teach and those whom I love is so vital to receiving the blessings that I desire. The Lord listens and we should pray with real intent, having faith to act on the answer we receive. After District Meeting we met up with Dy and went to contact some of his neighbors with him. We didn't find anyone interested but it was nice to have his help. After that we went to a less active member's home but he wasn't yet back from work so we contacted around the neighborhood and found someone who was willing to set a return appointment with us! While contacting we were accosted by a drunk man who asked for 2500 Rial (about 38 cents) to buy more booze. Then he tried to climb on Elder Smith's bicycle as we rode away. Then we went back to the member's house and taught him about keeping our covenants. At the end of the night we met with Ming Pov and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the basics. She is still decided on getting baptized. She's progressing very well, but she didn't make it to church this week for some reason. Probably because of the Buddhist holiday. That's the other thing, next weekend (conference weekend for us in Asia) is a big holiday where everyone meets together and goes to the Pagoda and offers up food and stuff to their ancestors. It makes for a lot of temptation to the members due to family pressures and expectations of all around. So it's gonna be a tough week for us to meet everyone we need to. 

Wednesday was an awesome day, we pulled seven lessons somehow and it was a blast! We first went over to Ming Touch's sugarcane juice stand. Last Friday we met with Ming Touch and prayed in faith with her for a miracle and a blessing from the Lord. All her selling goods and materials were stolen the previous week and she had to borrow 600,000 rial (about $150) to buy replacements. $150 dollars is a lot to these people and is worth more than the monthly income. She borrowed for only 5 days from a neighbor and after her time was up she only had 200,000 rial for her neighbor and they were pestering her frequently throughout the day. She didn't know what to do and had lost all hope by the time we showed up on Friday of last week. We comforted her with the words of the savior and the prophets and then prayed with her for a blessing and a miracle from God. The next day, she told us, that as she was going home her daughter found a bag of money on the ground containing 240,000 rial. She was so happy she didn't know what to do. She just cried and thanked the Lord profusely. She was able to pay another third of her debt which put the collectors at ease for a while. The Lord truly cares for us, He knows us and is involved in the details of our lives. He will answer the prayer of faith with a blessing from on high. Doubt not, only believe. That same day we taught our investigators Daly and Seyha, recent converts Ming Pov, Borey, Chnathy, and om Nuaen. And we taught English class too. I don't know how we managed so much! It was a miracle in itself. 

Thursday was great but I'm going to skip most of the details besides our lesson with Chey. After hearing the plan of Salvation and being invited to be baptized he told us that such a path would not work for him. His life was too busy and he just didn't have the time to make a religious commitment of one day a week at church. To which comment I began to testify of the eternal and temporal blessings of living the gospel of Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments. We invited him to continue reading and prayer to which he agreed to do. 

Friday morning on the way to Prey Cho, and as we waited for a taxi-van, a lady walked up with her maybe 6 year-old son and a cheapy thin plastic suitcase. She asked us for 100 or 200 rial (2-4 cents so she could 'get back home." Elder Smith pulled out a 10,000 rial bill and at the sight of it the lady dropped to her knees and began weeping with her hands in a high worship position. It was the most grateful reaction I have ever seen. She honored us with Kingly worship. That was probably more money than she has seen in a long time and it was only 2.50 U.S. dollars. It will forever remain in my heart as a cherished memory. 

Saturday we began teaching a less active member's younger brother the first lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel. He was really willing to try out Moroni's promise despite his lack of interest when we met him on Friday. Elder Smith and I chose to go contacting down a road we hadn't seen before and it led to the wayside of a large rice field which we decided to take. Turns out it wasn't a good idea because halfway through the road was flooded and then once through the flood we had to pass over a gorge in the middle of the road. We got our feet pretty soaked. 

Sunday we fasted and the spirit I felt as I fasted was amazing. I read in Jesus The Christ and was inspired. Elder Smith and I bore our testimonies in both sacrament meetings we went to. Kampong Cham 3rd and Prey Cho. It was a wonderful week.

The Lord loves you. Pray to Him in faith and He will answer. Keep the commandments and you will grow. Listen to the prophets for they are chosen of God. I know this is the true church and that Jesus Christ lives. In His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Lyle R. Brewer

Ancient Ruins

Happy 'Comp'ers


Postcard material

Smith stick fighting

Through the Pagoda

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