Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hey Fam

Dear Family,

Another week. Let's see, actually quite a lot happened this week. First being: Sister Kacher's companion got changed to go to Battambang in preparation for Sister Thain to come back on Thursday. BUT that means for a week we'll be proselyting in our trio again. This keeps happening and it's great!

Something that Sister Kacher and I were talking about this week is the difference between sacrifice and consecration. As I've thought a lot about it, I've realized that there really is a big difference, especially when it comes to missionary work. Sacrifice has a sense of giving something up with some sadness or regret. Like there is a loss. On the other hand, I feel like consecration is just willingly and happily giving your efforts to the Lord, and there aren't any losses. I feel like it's easy to be a missionary that sacrifices but harder to be one who consecrates. Sometimes I feel like I am sacrificing a year and a half for Heavenly Father, and I am happy to do it. But there are still things I am missing out on, or giving up. But I realize that there is a better way to do missionary work, which is consecrating this time to Heavenly Father. I also think that depending on the day, or even minute, I go back and forth from one to the other. I also think that a missionary who gives all his Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength is one who consecrates. This has given me so much to think about. I really want to be a missionary who consecrates my time, all of it! I feel like I've been really humbled this week as I've thought about this. I also think that this is something that is very significant outside of missionary work, just in our daily life. There are people who sacrifice their time and efforts for the sake of the gospel. But then there are people who consecrate their time to the Lord. I know that both are blessed. But I also think there is a big difference, especially in personal growth and happiness. Now if I could only apply this!

More big things happened with Ming Slippy this week. I think I told you last week that we would probably be pushing back her baptismal date. Well, long story short, she now doesn't have a baptismal date. Without sharing too many details from her life, basically she has a husband, who isn't really her husband. But they have been together for the past 20 years. And her getting married to him doesn't fix the problem - in fact she probably shouldn't get married to him - and we aren't about breaking up families. So we kind of are at a point where she just can't be baptized... I never thought this would happen. I'm so sad because she has been progressing so much. But we told her should still keep going to church, and she still wants us to go and teach her. So we will keep doing that for now. But then yesterday I also felt sad because she didn't go to church, so we went there right after church and she said she felt ashamed because she isn't worthy to be baptized therefore isn't worthy to go to church. That just broke my heart. But we had an AWESOME lesson with her. Also we took two members with us and they really were awesome.

Another thing we have been doing with Ming Slippy and some other members who don't know how to read is reading to them from the picture Book of Mormons. The ones kids read, you know? Well, this was inspiration. What we do is read a few words, and have them repeat them, and then obviously talk about the pictures. THEY CAN REMEMBER!! This seriously is helping them know the scriptures!! I know it's not the scriptures and can't replace them, but maybe for people who can't read... it just might be the answer. BUT I will say, you have to be careful. We gave one to Ming Slippy, and then the next time we went back she had some questions. The first was Nephi killing Laban... yeah. The next one, haha, so good. She saw a picture of Laman and Lemual beating Sam and Nephi with rods, and she asked, "Is this how we do it in our church?" HAHAHA basically asking, is this how we should punish our kids? ...haha! NO. So that was good.

We also had another little miracle with another member with these books. Okay there are actually two members involved. The first is Ming Samantha, AND SHE IS AWESOME. But we have been going for a while now and reading to her from the picture book. So then we asked her to go start explaining what she can remember about the pictures to her neighbor, who is also a member, who also can't read, named Ming Wall. So we went back this week to Ming Wall's house. Guess what we found. Not only had Ming Samantha given Ming Wall her book and somehow acquired another one, but Ming Wall had been READING. We are talking like 20 pages. And that also revealed that she can read. Very little, but she can read! This is a miracle. You don't understand. Ming Wall, when I got here wasn't going to church, now she goes a couple weeks a month if we dope (?) her. And now she is reading the (simplified) Book of Mormon!!!!! Woohoo! Seriously I like almost fainted when I saw that. So although this kids Book of Mormon isn't the real thing, it is working wonders here in Cambodia. (They do have it translated in Khmer, btw).

Another awesome lesson I had this week was with an investigator named Bong Hannah. She has actually been learning for like one year. And she knows everything. She is so smart and she GETS IT. But, she hasn't been baptized, (1) for a long time they didn't have proof of her marriage, but that problem has been solved, (2) she doesn't go to church. We have tried everything to get her to church. Really, everything. So this week we went and taught her about the gift of the Holy Ghost. Too often I think we teach about baptism and just skim over the Holy Ghost, but honestly I feel like it should be the other way around. Or actually just teach both really well... but you know. Anyway, we decided we should really talk about the Holy Ghost (this was on exchange with Sister Kacher, btw), especially because then it really focuses more on enduring to the end, rather than baptism is the end. Cause it's not. So we went and we taught it, and it was incredible! The Spirit was so strong. And she told us that she knows without a doubt that this is the true church and she shared multiple experiences where she has felt the spirit. It was really awesome, and then we comitted her to baptism (again) for March 30. But fast forward to Sunday...she didn't come to church again. :( I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!! She gets it, and she has everything set up for her to be baptized, she just has to go to church. Then I think about Ming Slippy and how she doesn't even understand nearly as much, and she goes every week and yet she won't be getting baptized. Ugh! Why can't this just be easy?! Why can't they just see what I am trying to help them have?!

 On another note, do you know that ants here eat mosquitos... is that a thing all over the world? I have been observing, and all those mosquitos I zap with our electric swatter seem to get carried off by ants. Where are they taking them? I can only assume they are going to become food... right? It's just the craziest thing.

Hey, what's going on with the Olympics? Any cool updates?

I've started teaching a piano class here once a week. A lot of members have been asking, so I'm teaming up with the elders in Tuk La'ak and we are both teaching together. It should be fun!

I guess that is all for this week! I love you all! I love this gospel!

Sister Homer

This is normal.

This is also normal.

This is Me, On Lucy (Pochentong Branch), and Sister Kacher.  On Lucy is a sweetie.

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