Friday, May 25, 2012

May Emails

May 6, 2012:

So this week was waay better than last week. Its kind of funny how one week can be totally awesome and one week can totally suck. Also funny how the one that is awesome, is the one you are the most physically and mentally drained.

Sunday was Molyvorn's baptism. It was so nice. Always such a spiritual experience when you baptize somebody. This week we performed a ton of service. 1 picture is this guy who is a recent convert who was movie tons of dirt into his house, like 2 truck loads, and lay cement down so his floor will be higher for the flood season. Overall we made a goal, more diligence. Work harder, and be more consistent. Especially, in seeking referrals. We made plans what we were gonna do, who we were gonna meet, what we were gonna teach them, we started praying to get referrals to help them share the gospel etc. We got our prayers answered the next day. We started that on Wed, and by the end of sunday, had 5 contacted referrals, and i can see 3 of them already looking super good to getting baptized. Its just so amazing how willing the Lord is to bless us. Anytime we receive a blessing it is by obedience to that law upon which the blessing is predicated upon. I am such a believer. And now my testimony is strengthened because of it. We set goals, made plans, prayed, and put it into action, and we were blessed. It all happened because at the end of last week, i wasn't satisfied with my work, and this week, whether the results were different or not, i was determined to finish the week knowing i did was required of me to do, and i feel so happy about the week. I'm just glad the Lord decided to bless me. The witness comes after the trial of our faith.

The district hangs out all the time, we do sleepovers some times, like before p-day, we hang out all p-day, we have really great unity... Also we go play basketball in the mornings tuesday thurs sat. so thats good exercise, and out house has a bench press that an elder bought and left, so i do that and do the p90x ab workout that i remember. Its pretty good, i'm trying to eat healthy and workout and its paying off. Mornings i eat a big bowl of oatmeal, a bunch of fruit, papaya or pineapple bananas or dragonfruit, every night an apple, and also a pb & j for breakfast, trying to make it my biggest me, i eat brown rice and a vegetable stir fry for lunch and not too much for dinner, usually just a snack. trying to get in shape, come home looking good and not fat like a lot of Elders here :-p*

I know that the Lord is at the head of this work, he is guiding me and leading me to his children. I know that this is the most important work to be done on the Earth today. I know families can live together forever, and i'm so grateful that my family is so awesome and not a bunch of potato heads ;-)

Love, Elder Rucker

May 13, 2012

So transfer calls happened once again. Elder Sprinkle/Khan will be the same, with Sprinkle as District Leader. Elder Chan (my companion for any who forgot) will be leaving, going to Siam Riep. I will be staying and my new companion is going to be Elder Jongsma (not sure on spelling yet). He just got dont being trained so this will be his 3rd transfer in the country. So he doesn't know khmer yet. Kind of bummed, was hoping to get a khmer companion for once, but that's okay hopefully Elder Jongsma is cool. 
This last week the rain started to come in and man is it coming in strong. Its pretty crazy. On wednesday, it started to rain and literally within 2 minutes it was coming in sooooo hard.
floods, and its insane. One of the pictures is me with their sewer canal thing, and its overflowing, so nasty because thats their SEWER. Another picture is a little wooden bed in some super nasty black water. Yep that poor area that sits on the sewer lake, it flooded, so now they are literally living in sewer water, so nasty. Another picture of the lady is one of our investigators, she's possibly the poorest person in that village, her name is Samat. Another picture is a guy holding a monkey, he went to the provinces, bought a monkey for $50, and brought it back. It was such a cool monkey, it clung to the guy. He would start walking away and it would quickly climb him and cling/hang from the back of his shirt, it was so funny. Super though because all the neighbor kids and parents would abuse it, smack its head or step on its tail. So dumb. The final picture is me/chan with Lookyiay Ret. She is the super old grandma that is a recent convert. She moved back to Kampong Cham, because it was getting too hard for her in the city. The people by the place where she sold fried bananas chased her away. Luckily though she will still be right next to the church. She is super cool, she has no family, all her kids cousins and husband died during Pol Pot.
Duck Egg...yummy!


This week was a really great week, numbers wise. We had 6 investigators at church, the most i have ever had at church, i can see all of them getting baptized. 1 in particular, Malai. She is a new investigator. We start teaching her and then all of a sudden she brings her little sister to start learning (Malai is about 28 btw). Everytime we go there she goes around trying to round up all her neighbors to learn. Last time we taught the apostasy restoration book of mormon. After we finish a neighbor shows up, and then Malai starts teaching her friend telling he everything. It was cool because it made it stick in her head, since she was trying to remember everything, she did really good.


Its so nice to see investigators progressing. It was funny getting a Dear Elder from Syd saying that Nate in the new Ward Mission Leader. We just got a new one and i wish i had nate for my WML. We just had a meeting with our BML trying to tell him what his job is, what he expects, what we expect, what the lord expects, and then we made a plan how we are going to really start using the BMs to help this branch progress. Turn them into actual missionaries rather than "member presents". Going to make them responsible for specific investigators/members so they get more excited about their progression. So that way when they don't see someone show up to
church, they will start thinking about what they can to do help and why didn't they come etc. Basically its just going to be awesome. Super excited, it will bring attendance up, progressing investigators, baptism, spiritual experiences at church, etc. It will help everyone, including the missionaries and BMs themselves.
Love, Elder Rucker

May 20, 2012:

So it was another great week in Cambodia. Everything is going pretty normal here. We had
another great week with 5 investigators at church. 1 of them was a new one we picked up this week. Last friday Elder Chan left, and Elder Jongsma came. It was also weird to see my trainer go, Elder Nicosia, I remember when he had about a whole year left when i was with him, and i thought it would be forever until he was gone, well look, now he's gone. The new companion is good, i miss Chan a lot though, its been really hard with him gone.


Elder Oaks came into town this last weekend. Sunday night, he spoke at the district center to anyone who felt inclined to join. The count was taken, about 1200 people showed. It looked like a lot more though. This morning all the missionaries were able to listen to him speak for about 40 minutes, as he taught us.

Sorry about no pictures, after the meeting i had to get my bike fixed, and they said it would be about 1 hour, so we decided to just email to save time on our pday, so thats why i don't have my cord or camera to send pictures. Just means even more for next week.

One of the great miracles this last week took place on Sunday when Elder Oaks was speaking. The specialness of the miracle is that Elder Oaks was talking about record keeping, and it made me think about baptismal records. Recently we have been putting a lot of time and work into redoing our baptismal records, and i've been wondering what we can do about the "lost sheep", the people who have picked up and left to a place with no church, or we don't know where they went, or we dont have a number, etc. Well anyways after Elder Oaks was done speaking people start standing up to leave and i look in front of me, about 15 rows, and i see a man standing, and all i could see was his back, and sometimes, maybe half of his face. But for some reason I felt like i knew his face, so i decided to go ask him what branch he is from. So i do it, and he tells me, 1st branch (my branch) i ask him if he went to church this morning and he said no he has been inactive for a while. At that moment i could see his CBR come to my mind, I could see his picture perfectly, and I knew exactly who he was. I got his phone number, asked him where he lives, and told him i'd give him a call to set up a meeting if that was okay. He said it would be okay. Just a great miracle and blessing, that diligent record keeping, and the spirit, can lead us to find God's children when we least expect it.
I know that this is the Lord's church, this is his work, and this is His kingdom on the Earth that we are building. I know that our Savior died for us, and through his Atonement we can become true saints, and be fit to receive the blessings of a Celestial Glory.

Love, Elder Rucker

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