Elder Smith

Elder Smith
Write to him at: Elder Samuel Smith Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission House 2B, Street 222, Off Norodom Blvd PO Box 165 Phnom Penh Cambodia email address: shsmith@myldsmail.net

Monday, November 23, 2015

Life is good. Everyday something cool happens. It's definately the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but also the most rewarding" week #20

Elder Smith with Sophal and her daughters

Our mission right now has a goal to contact 10 different people every day. So 70 a week. Then the next week we add two more people. So 84 this next week. Last week we just hit contacting hard and got 101. It was sick. We got some pretty promising investigators out of it too. We had a lot of people just laugh at us, but it was super cool to see how the Lord put people in our way just because we were willing to literally talk to every person along the road. We probably got 5 investigators. So 5/100. Lot of rejection, but those 5 people now have the opportunity to have the best joy this world offers. It was super fun.

We were teaching this part member family the other day and I was talking about how if God is our foundation then Satan wont have any power over us, but of course I didn't say that. I wanted to, but i didn't. I said "hey, we need to put our foundation on the glorious chicken." Yes, that's what happened. The word for glorious chicken and firm have one different letter. Its was funny, to say the least.

Our investigators are progressing pretty good right now. Sophal is doing great, but two days ago she was on her modo, carrying a trailer full of watermelons and some car hit her and she fell off and messed up her back and a lot of her watermelons got demolished, buttt she still came to church. Shes awesome. My main man Om June was the best I've ever seen him. We went to his house and he just way excited. He was like " Elders! Lets pray real quick, we got to go." Ha he told us to follow him and for about an hour and a half we ditched our bikes and just walked deeper and deeper in the village. He just would point at people and say "HEY! You wanna join Jesus?" and most people would just laugh, but if anyone would have the slightest interest he would grab their chairs and make them listen to us. It was hilarious. Keep in mind two months ago, this man would get drunk for days at a time and just slept all day. Now hes got a purpose. And on sunday he brought a friend to church. If all goes well and he saves enough money hes going to get baptized on Sunday. Cant wait! We are teaching this man named Poneloke. He has a little restaurant where he sells rice and pork every morning. This guy could be the next group leader. Just a solid guy who's super open minded. The other day he asked me how old I was and when i said 18 he had a little annurism. So now he doest even call me Elder, just baby now. Thats my name. He can read, hes a little educated and hes keeping the commitments we're giving him. This is one of my first investigators who can read so I'm way pumped. Anyways its just been so cool teaching him. He used to believe in the Buddha, but know he's truly starting to believe in God. Its been the coolest thing to watch. I love that guy.

I've been reading D&C a lot lately and I came across this gem, It says, "And after their temptations, and much tribulations, behold, I the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them. (112:13)" This scriptures is showing us that every trial, every mishap, every bad thing that has happened to us even when we were being good is an opportunity. A way for us to truly become converted. The more we rely on God when life isn't going all that good, we learn to love him even more. God promises he will feel after us. If we just endure it, we will be so grateful we did. And so will our Father in Heaven:)

Life is good. Every day something cool happens. Its definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but also the most rewarding. Helping people realize that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us is honestly a privledge. Best mission out there. Hope all of you guys have a good thanksgiving, maybe ill eat some rice or something. Ha love you guys

ELDER SMITH

 Fresh sugar cane
 Endless rice fields
 sleeping Buddah
This was the prettiest sunset I've ever seen, all natural.
One of our members

"For my arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord." Week #19


Well to start this off, like an hour ago I just ate some soup with coagulated pig blood. It actually wasn't to shabby. Just squishy like some Jell-o.

Ok so the Cambodian food finally got me. I got sick this week. Like my stomach was flipping out. You know when you work out and then you have a muscle that will like twitch or like flip out, my stomach was doing that. Like it was moving and i thought i had something living inside me and it didnt feel good, like at all. Threw up all morning. Worst stomach ache ever, but luckily it only lasted for like a day so we're all good... hopefully.
Cool thing, I finally memorized the first vision in Khmer. I'll send a pic of it, it took forever. But its in my brain now, so I can use it in some lessons. I'm way stoked.

Our golden investigator right now, Sophal is doing pretty good. She sells watermelons and on monday she sold 150  and was was super happy, and she shared how she knows its because of God. Shes awesome. I'm way excited for her. She's so much happier.
So dally's mom (dally is 11 and shes a little Cambodian angel) is done with the church and apparently is way annoyed with us and thinks we're trying to steel her money. idk why.. The past week she wasnt letting dally get baptized and dally said she would chew her out if she saw her reading the scriptures, Buuut at church she came up to me and grabbed my hand and asked "when can I enter Jesus becuase her mom said its ok". It was like the cutest/humbling thing ever. She's amazing and just has a sweet spirit about her. Such a cool little girl.

So this week I have been carrying the phone and making all the appointments (it has been rough to say the least). And one night we were on this sketchy pot hole infested road and the phone fell out of my pocket. So i stopped and it was pitch black and i had no lights so i tried to find it. There was a black object on ground so i grabbed it. And it didn't feel like a phone, but more like soggy bread. Yes, it was poop. And yes it was fresh and warm.

So we went to that really pretty village that was like 3 miles away the other day and the coolest thing happened. We were riding our biked and saw this white dude out of nowhere. I have never seen a white person is Prae Choo let alone 3 miles into the jungle. Turns out there is an orphange and there were like 12 volunteers. Its the coolest place ever. Just in the middle of rice fields and theres this christian orphanage. Im totally living there for a little and volunteering there. It was called new hope.

So on Sunday we had 24 people show up. Pretty good. Almost double from what we had when we first came here.  And our group leader started the meeting and then said i was giving another talk. Ha so 2 minutes later i was up on the stand. I think it went well, people started zoning out after like 20 seconds ha, oh well. One of our investigators in this 17 year old dude who came to church. He was the last one to take the sacrament and so he just took a huge handful of bread, ha it was hilarious.

It was a good week. Made a lot of mistakes in the language, but learned a lot. In 2 Nephi 28:32 it says "...for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord". Honestly is all on us. We decide if we want to be happy or not. The best way is through our Heavenly Father. He's there for us and always will be. We will love life more, our outlook on this life will be better, and we will just feel better. All good things come from Him. His arm will always be there to embrace us, we just have to walk up to Him. I love you guys!

LOVE ELDER SMITH
the first vision in khmer that I finally memorized
 Fishing with a bamboo stick
 playing volleyball with the locals
 Right after it rains

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mosiah 23:21-22 Week #18


Hey guys,
It was a good week. We had some investigators who told us they want to stop learning but 
the lady who botevy saw came to church and brought her family. Shes so cool, She's 
getting baptized in like 3 or 4 weeks so pumped!... buuut we have 2 investigators who were 
supposed to get baptized next week but they ditched out on church so they have to wait 
now. Its so hard to try to teach why church is important. Lots of people just think its 
pointless. Its tough, but the members who DO think church is good are just so awesome. 
There's this one family which is the only active member family in our area and they 
honestly are the COOOLEST people ever. You all would love the wife, I dont think I've ever
seen her not smiling. It's just night and day seeing people with the gospel and not. 
They're amazing. Im going to remember this family literally forever. So awesome!

So something that I am realizing every day here is how much the missionaries play a role 
in the church here. In some areas they are just the life and blood of the church. We have a pretty big responsibility to make sure all the right things happen here. Ha Elder Brewer and I will either give a talk every Sunday or teach the class after sacrament meeting. Its pretty 
funny. Right now we're trying to reactivate our first counselor. He has been 
inactive for a while. We're trying to get him to come to church but he told us that he 
receives all the blessings of the commandments HE follows and right now he doesn't need 
the promises from going to church ha so if anyone has any good comebacks for that one, 

I would love to hear em.

So this week we got some promising investigators and also had some investigators that 
said they were done. One of them has a baptism date too so we're trying to help her, but her 
life is just so busy and she thinks that "God's road is just to hard". So we're going to 
try to help her see how much help she can receive from God just by believing. The other 
guy just straightup said "yeah theres just no way Im joining, my dad is super high up in 
the buddhist community and theres just no possible way" I felt so bad for this dude, the 
only reason he doesnt want to learn is becuase of his dad. Oh well hopefully if we keep 
coming he will read the BOM and realize how good he can feel and learn all the amazing 

stuff thats in the book.

We started teaching this one guy named Ponloek. He has a restraunt and is a super cool 
guy. We were teaching the plan of salvation to him and i was struggling to say this one
word and then he just stopped and said "You know what I cant really understand you that well, 
but I know you're trying really hard, and that makes me want to learn more." ha i was just like wow your like the realest dude ever, thank you so much. I don't know why i just 
thought that was the coolest thing ever for some reason.



So there is this treat that a lot of people sell here and its called bong imes. There way good and one of our members rides her bike all across the town and sells them. We visited her and she started teaching us how to make them. She has this machine made our of lava 
rock and you put this super sweet rice in it and then this milk comes out after you rotate it. Well Elder Brewer did it perfectly and then it was my turn. Ha well i clogged it in 
like 10 seconds and we had to take it all apart and re-do everything ha she was laughing 
pretty hard. I felt bad, but it was way funny. I guess i just cant to anything Cambodian 

without cutting off my finger or just ruining it.

I went on an exchange this week with a cambodian elder name Elder Long. He's a way 
cool guy. Before he got converted he was in a pretty big drug gang. He was the #3 dude 
out of everybody. He told me his conversion story and why he served a mission. Its just so cool to see how drastically this gospel can change someones life for the better. He's just sohappy now and helping so many people. SO SICK. Elder Long interviewed Om June for his 
baptism and I dont think I have laughed so hard on my mission. I shed my first tears from 
laughing. This man isnt the smartest dude in the world, but he could be the funniest. We 
asked him some questions and he would just say the word of wisdom for everything. Ha it 
was hilarious. Elder Long guided him along and he eventually said all the right stuff. We asked him if he wanted to live with his wife in Heaven and he was just like "Yeah sure why
not, lets just go together." ha and when he laughs his whole face just scrunches together 
and his mouth is all the way open with no teeth. Coolest thing ever. 



I was at a members house yesterday and they were eating these fresh clams they just got and they cracked one open and all this blood stuff came out and then they shoved it into 
my mouth ha. It was nasty, tasted like straight blood. Fun experience! 

Life is all good here in the wonderful country of Cambodia. My area is doing ok. Its just 
hard to see so much poverty. I had a 100 dollars in my pocket today and i was going to 
change it so i could by some food. I looked at it and was just like man, this one piece of 
paper right here literally could change your life as i looked at a little 10 year old kid who 
was picking up beer cans to recycle. This country sometimes seems forgotten. Theres just 
so much poverty and the sad part is a lot of the people here can't really do anything about
it. A lot of people just have lost hope and then their kids see it and its just a never ending 
cycle. I want to change it, i just haven't figured it out yet. Its super sad because i will see 
lots of little kids not going to school because they work to help get food for their families.  
We are so blessed, we have absolutely no idea.



If any of you guys are feeling down or dont understand why something has happened you, 
Mosiah 23:21-22 is a great one. Gives us a good perspective. I love you all
ELDER SMITH

The one the only Om Jun

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This week was solid. We got a lot done and had a ton of fun doing it. Week #17




Well this week was solid. We got a lot done and had a ton of fun doing it. 

I got to see Botevy this week! It was super cool seeing her, her daughter YaYa, and meeting Bekah D. We had just finished a lesson and pulled out of the house and this white car just pulled up and people started waving. We got out and started talking. So refreshing to see a familiar face! (Botevy is the lady we stayed with for a month when I was a freshman in high school while helping at her orphanage in Phnom Penh.  We have stayed good friends and she was even able to be there when I opened my call to Cambodia!)


Botevy and the group wanted to come help us teach one of our new investigators so we went over to Sophal. She was a referral from a recent convert. Botevy shared such a cool story. She told a story about how the Lord has blessed her and how she became converted. It was so cool and the spirit was strong.  Towards the end Sophal started to tear up. Two days later we came back and she wants to get baptized along with 3 of her kids!! So sick!!  

We have this other investigator who we contacted a couple weeks ago named Gontia. She's super cool. Her husband isn't really interested though. Annnyways we asked her if she could read and she CAN!! We gave her a BOM and she started reading it. We were way stoked about that becuase for some reason most people don't read when we give them stuff. They're always "busy". A lot of people can't read as well.  But, we had a lesson with her and she wants to get baptized too! So in a month we could get like 5 or more! We're way stoked:)

We were trying to meet this less active the other day and the guy wasn't home. Then we looked to our right and saw this dirt road. It looked beautiful. The sun was shining on the rice fields. The clouds were plump. There was freshly cut crass on the sides and we were off. It just looked like a good dirt road I guess. Apperantly there is one member in that poom and we were going to find him. This little poom probably could be the prettiest place I have ever seen, and I have seeen some pretty cool stuff. It was just so beautiful. Just hard core Cambodian untouched by the outside world. Super cool. We started talking to this lady and then more people started popping up--coming out of no where. We had like 10 people start talking to us. It was way cool.  Oh and I talked to a guy for like 4 minutes straight with no help! But after I said every word i knew it just turned into an awkward stand stiill. I just did a big smile and he just kept looking at me. I of course could say nothing and understood nothing when he spoke. Then he just looked at me and walked away. Ha it was so weird, but i couldn't care less because i talked to him. We got some return appointments there so we will be back. But we couldnt find the member, but hopefully we will next time. 
 The Poon

Last night we had dinner with our group leader Dee. He's probably is the coolest cambo i've met on my mission so far. Just an amazing person. He was a monk for like 30 years and then his brother converted him. He's a doctor, but since he is christian now he's lost 60% of his paitents. He is the only active male in our area. But he continues to just love life and help people. He just has so much faith and so much fun because he's so positive. His testimony is so cool. He talked to us about how blessed he is and how grateful he is for the Gospel. Im probably going to remember this man for the rest of my life. Way cool dude. 

When we teach here most people accept there is a higher power. We explain that he is the father of our spirits. Buddhism talks a lot about spiritual stuff so they like how he's our "father". Most people we teach want to learn- its awesome. If someone isn't interested though they will just igore us and not say anything when we talk to them-- its actaully way funny. They just think if they stop talking we will go away ha. 

We took a car to KC today to get to the internet shop and this lady was sick. She like sneezed and puked and the same time (weirdest sound in the whole entire world by the way) and it got on like 4 people. I was clean-- Totally got my comp though ha! 

Hope all of you guys had a exquisite week. Much love

ELDER SMITH

look good, feel good

One of the members houses

Giving rides to the locals



Here is the video I got from Botevy and Bekah when they went with him to teach Sophal.  To say it made my year is an understatement!  I think I watched the video 300 times that day.  Amazing!

video
video

Here is Bekah's letter of her and Botevy's little miracle in finding Sam...

So we ventured out into the sticks today an a mission to find Sam. As an RM I was thinking there was about a 5% chance that we would actually find him. Botevy didn't know where the church in his area was and didn't have his number so we were basically driving to his area hoping to find him! His area was an hour drive from Botevy's house. We got to his area around 11 am and after asking 5 different people along the roadside we finally found the church. Botevy was hoping that someone would be at the chapel because the one in Phnom Penh always has a guard outside of it. This church was very different, a rented building about the size of our garage super overgrown with weeds and a tiny sign with the name of the church. So at this point I'm thinking this is never going to work but praying so hard that for Botevy and YaYa's sake we'd find him! So we drive five minutes beyond the church and all of the sudden Sam and his comp bike off of some dirt side street onto the main road!! We about died (and nearly ran over him)!! Mind you his area is mostly dirt roads with this one main road going through it so the fact that they were even on the main road was a miracle. They were headed to a lesson so we joined, of course! They were teaching a recently divorced woman the first lesson about the restoration and giving her a Book of Mormon. Botevy shared her amazing testimony and Sam and his comp did awesome. His comp and Botevy both said that his Khmer sounds very clear! He seemed happy and healthy and just laughed about all the crazy stuff he has eaten and done since getting here. Both he and his comp were beyond stoked about the bags of food!

From Botevy...


Dear Ally,
We were help Sam teaching the gospel together to a new member. Sam speech Khmer very clearly easy to understand. He was so surprised to see all of us. We were asked a few people then we saw him ride the bicycle with his partner for teaching the new member, we just see him about 5 minutes and he said good bye to us so I asked him where do want to go. He said we have an appointment with new member for teach the gospel. But, I said ...can we help you for teach the gospel to a new member ? His partner said  Yes, that is nice please drive the car follow us. I said Ok. 
We were share testimony to the woman. I have shared about experiences why I believed in Jesus Christ ? After listen, she cries and said yes, I will learn gospel with Elder. 
Sam, speak Khmer very good. I am so happy to see him. I told him I will go to see your mom in 10 days. He said wow!..and said please kiss my mom for me. I said, yes. 
Please see pictures we took together. Love, Botevy

 




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nothing crazy this week, but we got "half transferred" Week #16

Well well compared to every other week here in Cambodia this week was actually not that crazy. It was kinda nice not going to lie. No near death experiences this week, but we did kill two rats 1 mouse and a frog in our house so that was exciting.

Moving Day

Elder Brewer and I were in two areas: KC and Prae Choo. We got a call and got half transferred. We would only be in Prae Choo for about 2-3 days per week, but now we're there all day err day. Its one of the prettiest areas, but man this area is struggling. We have about 67 members baptized and confirmed but only 12 people showed up to church. This place has very few educated people. Every single person is poor and not a whole lot of people can read. This area was only set as its own area like a year ago, its just a baby. Elder Brewer and I have to hold it and care for it because it poops its pants and throws up on itself a couple times a day. Let me tell you why...

In this place pretty much everybody knows everybody. There's a whole lot of gossip in this place, and the people here are just really really gullible. The other day we were teaching a recent convert and she said this other recent convert and her husband were going around telling people that the church is corrupt, that we take peoples money, and the group leader gets 500 bucks a month. Also there's a ton of other wierd rumors about our church like we can't cry at our parents funerals and stuff. So we had to go around and talk to people they talked to and tell them it wasn't true. It's kinda difficult when you have members proselyting against the church. 

Buuuttt I do have some good news. We were teaching this recent convert named Borrae (shes super awesome, shes like 16 only member and literally does everything on her own) she told us she had some referrals. We taught them about God and how to pray and so we got 11 new investigators this week. We're super siked! We're also teaching this lady named kuntthia. Shes progressing super fast and read like three pages from the Book of Mormon which was a first for me to have an investigator that we found that actually read. 

I think it was thursday we came into our house and it was dark, i walked into the kitchen and i felt like two things crawling on my foot. I did like one of those girl screams you hear in a movie when a lady sees a mouse and i just kicked my foot and turned on the lights. There were a couple mice running a round and Elder Brewer grabbed a stick and i grabbed a broom. We totally killed one it was so awesome. The day before that we went in our house and it just smelled horrid. Our house usually smells bad since its 6 inches away from a bunch of pigs, but this was different. I said it smelled like dead rat and we looked into a bucket half full of water and there were two dead rats floating. I think we have like a Ratatouiie problem in our house or something.   

We dont have a shower or a toilet here in Prae Choo, just a squatter but its fun out here. We're just all alone. All we have is the Lord. I've been thinking a lot about this quote and I think it explains exactly what we need to do here "Pray like everything depends on the Lord, and work like everything depends on you." We have a ton do do here and I'm pumped. Love and miss you guys. Suu Suu (fight on)

ELDER SMITH

our kill

One of the mice that made me scream like a little girl

video

Just a little bike ride through the countryside to an appointment