Monday, April 16, 2012

April emails

April 2nd:
So another good week in ol' Cambodia. The craziest thing, transfer calls came in last night. I swear i remember last transfer calls like they were yesterday. I remember sitting in the computer cafe writing you guys telling you I'm headed to 1st branch. Elder Chan and I are the same nothing changing. Elder Pearson is leaving :-(. He's going to Kampong Thom which is pretty cool though. Elder Khan is staying in the house in 9th branch and we are getting Elder Sprinkle coming in to replace Elder Pearson as district leader in 9th branch with Elder Khan. If that name sounds familiar its because it is. Elder Sprinkle was with me in Kian Svay for my 1st transfer here. I have sent you a picture of him already. Its super funny because now i'm going to be in a house with him again. So funny. Such a small world, and an even smaller mission.

So we found out some other news too. Going to be an apostle coming to Cambodia in May with possibly 2 other 70's and because i'm in the city i'll get to meet him. Pretty excited about that. Speaking of Apostles, General Conference isn't until this next week. We see it a week later, for English and all the Khmers too. We watch it recorded. I get to watch it all in English with all the other missionaries and english members here. Super excited because if i had to watch it in khmer, oh man that would suck.

This week nothing super awesome happened. Actually kind of sad. One of those weeks where your investigators start dropping like flies. Its okay though this week i know we are going to find a ton more. Molyvorn is still doing great. She's going to get baptized on April 29th as planned. We had 1 other investigator show up to church. His name is Nam. He has 7 kids and lived in the nastiest place ever. Everytime we teach him there are rats just running everyone. Its crazy. He foot got hit with a moto (different guy) so its super swollen and messed up. He's super poor and he promised to come to church, and he came, it was sooo awesome.

Another investigator, 53 year old Samat. Lady who lives in the same neighborhood, super nasty. Its off of a lake thats black (because its phnom penhs sewer water). Tuesday we taught her, and it was awesome she was super happy to see us, her mood has totally changed as we've taught her. She is so much more joyfull and what not. Its fun to meet her now. Before we would have to beg her to pray, and she would just sit there angry, grumpy, and no smile ever. Now she's is the opposite. Especially after we washed her dishes for her. Thursday we visit her, and we cant find her. We go looking around and find her laying on top of a wooden bed thing. Her head is completely shaved, she looks like she is dying, like literally at the moment dying. She's sees us and tries to sit up "teacher sit down, teacher sit down". after about 3 minutes she is able to force herself into a sitting position. I slowly sit down next to her, totally freaked out, and she passes out instantly onto me. So i finally get her to just lay down. I say today is probably not a good day to learn so we will just sit here and visit with her for a little bit. But no, she insisted we teach, she made us. So we taught her, visited her, and left. We asked her son and other what happened. She's so sick because 1, all you got to do is look at that neighborhood and then you will be asking how are these people not sick, and 2 because she is literally starving to death. Too sad, to say the least lets just say i was very humbled after that experience. I literally can't describe it

April 9th: 

Everything is going great in Cambodia. Conference was awesome. My favorite talk had to be the one for Forgiveness by Elder Uchtdorf. That talk was super good. Conference is always so good. 10 hours in a suit though is a ton. Impossible to pay attention every talk. Excited for the Liahona conference addition though.

Nothing really too great went on this week. This Friday-Sunday is Khmer new years and its so flippin ridiculous, everyone is already gone, and will be gone until mondayish. Its soooo annoying. Dont have anybody to meet with and its impossible to find new investigators because everyone we contact is just in the city for the holiday. Friday Saturday are days off for us. Friday we have a cleaning/cbr day, and saturday we have a Sports day and more CBR time. Pretty excited for that, it will be really fun.

As for this week with investigators nothing really too great went on, it was hard to meet with most of them. Did have 1 good experience this week that I'd like to share though. We were planning to teach a LA, Sokhly. The original commitment was to get her to pray everynight with here 2 little daughter, who are around 14. As the lesson went we taught about prayer and i felt impressed to ask her if she prayers for her food. She told me she doesn't. So i commited her to start doing that everyday with her family. She then went on with tons of excuses as to why she can't do that, at the core being, she's afraid her neighbors will see. We went on to teach her and told her its okay if they come over to eat, have them pray with you, and if they don't want to, just have them sit there and hang out. I promised her that if she would, whether her neighbors would join our church or not, they would respect her. 2 days later, we were told by her that 2 people from her work are interested in working. Its funny how teaching with the spirit works, you don't say anything you aren't prepared to necessarily say, and you don't teach anything that you've really never taught before, but for some reason everything you say is what they need the most.

April 16th:
So anyways, this week was pretty slow, almost nothing cool happened. Tuesday and Wednsday was super slow, i got really sick with a cold, and only went out for scheduled appointments, which were few. Thursday was slow too. Friday was a specialized training/cleaning/CBR day. Saturday was a sports/CBR day. And sunday was normal, super slow though. SO slow in fact normaly we have around 120 people at our church, this sunday, there were 28. Yep thats right, 2-8. I think if you added all the cbr's we have, all the members, you would maybe have 400. Super sad, super slow. Absolutely everyone was gone for Khmer New Year. It was like Christmas Morning in America, all weekend, still to today.

Either way i'm very excited to get going full speed again, even though it always sounds fun, it is way easier/more fun to just serve super hard, be super busy, and go in the door at night super tired.

Training was really good though. They talked about repentance, and bringing our investigators to repentance, etc. The weird thing is the Smedley's told us that this was the last time they would do a specialized training with us. The next one will be the new mission president. Almost here. June 30th they show up. Lots of cool things coming up. Apostle coming in may, mothers day in may, and the new mission president in June.

Last Tuesday, after district meeting we were able to go to some little girls birthday party. It was so fun and so cute. Literally we ate white rice, and grilled pork/beef. Thats it. It was so funny. Plus there was a cake too. The whole party was very humble and small but the 6 year old girl was soooo excited. Plus they had birthday hats too. I had a purple princess one. I wish i had the picture to send you. That was very fun though.

About 2 weeks ago there was a girl who's about 18 years old. She knows pretty good English, in fact i was talking to her in English and she was talking to me in English. We were talking about Khmer culture and the culture of the church. She went on to say how she wishes the Khmer families were different. She said she has never heard her father say "I love you". She knows her father loves her, because when she graduated 12th grade (which is a huge deal here) she saw her father cry, But she just wishes she could hear him say "i love
you" about 1 week ago... her father died. And now, its too late.

I'm so grateful for my family, and for 2 parents that love me, and say they love me. I love you all so much.

I know that this is the work of the Lord, He loves me, He is guiding me, and he is helping me do the work i need to do. I know this church is true, and when we are obedient to his commandments we prosper in the land.

Love, Elder Rucker

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