Saturday, February 9, 2013

Provinces and Pictures

This week was the greatest week ever. We did so many cool things on our trip to the Provinces.

Monday we left for Battambang. We had time so we were able to go to a place called Phnom Sampov. It's a mountain there that's super cool. At the top are some cool pagodas, monkeys and caves. There's a spot where they threw people in (Pol Pot Time) to kill them. Then a man, years later, came and gathered up all the skulls and put them in this tower like thing. A little boy guided us around and told us the history. We took some cool scenery shots at the top  and also took some cool pictures and videos of the BATS. That mountain has a giant cave where tons of bats fly out of. Its a notstop stream of bats coming out of this mountain. It's like something you would see on planet earth. If you honk the horn, scream, or bang some tin roofing they all kind of scatter apart, but then will instantly reform back together. The mountain was super cool.

Tuesday we served with the BB elders. I went with Elder Ann and Elder Gooch. It was fun to be with Elder Ann again. It's not the same Elder Ann i was just with though, the one i trained, this is the Elder Ann I was in the same house with way back in Kean Svay. But i served with him all day and it was a blast, especially trying to get him to do the Gangnam style dance. Overall that was the day.

Wednesday we went to Siem Riep. I went with Elder Barney and Elder Schleede. Serving with Elder Barney was great, he is a really good guy. We taught english class all together that night, then had to bike Elder Jorgensen about 20 minutes back to the house because his tire popped while we were escorting the sisters home.

Thursday. We went to kampong thom. Really not much going on there. Kampong thom is like the smallest place in the world, tons of rice rields, and everyone sits at home but are also all way too busy to learn with us.

Friday. I went to Kampong Cham. I served with Elder Bennion and Elder Sin. Elder Sin's family was in tuoltompong (1st branch) where i served. I met his family every week and helped them because his sister was inactive and the mother wasn't a member. Elder Bennion was a gunner for a paladin tank in the army, so overall he's a super cool guy and very fun to be with. He took me to an island. (the pictures). We crossed a bridge made out of bamboo. They literally rebuild that bridge every singly year, because when it's rainy season it washes it away and almost entirely floods the island, depending on the year. We went there and was able to do some service for a long time member family there cutting trees and bamboo.

Friday morning we were able to go to phnom bros and phnom srey where we took lots of pictures with buddha statues and what not. That mountain was famous for having a giant cannon during pol pot, and a bunch of people were killed and burned there like phnom sampov too. There's a bunch of skulls, but that place lets you hold them. I didn't really like holding it though even though i'm smiling, definately never want to hold a human skull ever again. But we were able to talke to a 20 year old boy there and buddhism and pol pot. As for buddhism he doesn't know anything even though he lives at the watt on the mountain. Who is Buddha's father? Why is the red dot on his head? why are those circles on his hands? where did he get his power from? what's this seven headed snake everywhere? He didn't know.

On Monday the King's body was burned. They were showing films from Cambodia back in like the 50's maybe. It was such a nice country, pretty schools, parks, roads, buildings. It was top of the line, set up to be, and was, the jewel of southeast Asia. Cambodia was predicted to be the world power of Asia. It was going to be huge, and lots of countries were just going to merge into it. Then Pol Pot, who got schooling in China on Communism, came back and murdered all the smart people, to turn Cambodia into a servant of China and Vietnam. The scars of Pol Pot will never go away. He single handedly destroyed the country. Generations on end will be affected because of his decisions.

The culture of cambodia  is so affected by Buddhism, but you can really see how Pol Pot has effected their culture. They literally live from day to day, because that's what they did. They just try and make it through, doing what they can to get by, if they can get enough rice for that day then it was a success. But overall it's one of the most special countries in asia. 50% of Thailands baptisms are Cambodian. Number of investigators baptized is three times higher in Cambodia than the average for Asia. These people need the gospel, and as the rising generation comes, it will only grow even faster. There will be a temple here some day. And there will be many stakes here too. I know it.

I love you all, and I love this country,
Elder Rucker

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