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, March 28, 2016

I will be forever grateful for my mission 3/27/15 Week #38

this man is someone I have been working with since the day i got here. He just got the Melchizedek priesthood. 

well this week started out rough, but ended good:)

So our awesome investigator was so close to being completely perfect, but 4 days before his baptism a bunch of his brothers came and when guys in cambodia get together they just drink and sing karaoke. They loooooove karaoke here. Anyways he said no for a little and then he drank. Awww this alcohol thing is really killing my groove here. He was so close, but he told us and was honest which was cool. He came to chruch and went to all three hours. We told him he needs to wait a coulple more weeks, he was bummed but he agreed. I know he can do it, but the flesh is weakkkkk. He just needs to realize he doesnt have to do it alone. Im really starting to love this guy. He's just a good dude with a super cute fam.

We started teaching this old man this week. He doesnt know how to read that well, but he loves having us over. He showed up to church too, which was awesome.

This Sunday i was translating in church, and half way through the branch pres looks at me and was like hey can you give a talk right now, they didnt show up. Ha so boom, 2 minutes later i was up their just trying to give a talk. Ha it went pretty well.

Being out on my mission I feel like my life is like one of those claritan clear commecials for allergies. My life at home (spiritually) wasn't like it is now. It was blurry. I cared but not like I do now. i dont know why, i was just looking at everything from a wierd perspective. but now i see so clearly. I just understand everything now. Like its real. its so cool. I will be forever grateful for my mission.

This week I have been studying a lot about God-- His characteristics and just how loving He is. Its super simple.  In Alma there's a way cool story about this question... Is there a God? Lots of Cambodians believe, but they just dont know who God is. Does he have a body? Is he just a floating spirit in the universe??  'Korihor tries to teach the people that there isnt a God, and Boom Alma comes in in Alma 30: 37-44 and shuts him down. Alma asks Korihor if he believes there is a God, and he says no. Then Alma goes off and aks "What evidence have ye that there is no God...I say unto you, that ye have none, save it be your word only...I have all these things (prophets, scriptures) as a testimony that these things are true..and will ye deny them?"  Then korihor asks for a sign and Alma explains we have signs enough. In verse 44 he says "..and all things denote that there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all the things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea and also all the planents which move in their regular form DO witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
If your athiest I'm sorry, but you literally have nothing. You have to have more faith that there is no God than you do if you were going to believe that there is one. I know there is a God. Everything shows that there is God (if your just going to go by facts alone). He loves us. And we only have to have a desire to believe first if we want to try it out. I love you guys. peace out homies,

elder smith

Only $10 for a pig head

jack fruit tree-looks weird but tastes so good

service in the jungle!

lost stick city battambong

Weirdest 20 min of my life 3/20/15 Week #37

Yo what up

So this was was ehh. Ha it was kinda of a wierd week, but some good stuff happened. On thursday it was the first time on my mission where i didnt leave the house becuase my companions neck was hurting. Yes, his neck. It felt so wierd. I hated it. I was like restless. And theres like nothing to do, ha i felt so wierd. ha I can't relax now. I think I forgot how. I'm just always used to doing something all the time. I dont like relaxing anymore. Weird stuff.

so on sunday our investigator tie brought two of his kids to church and one of them had to go to the bathroom.  Tie asked me if i could take him. so of course i did. this kid is like 7, and their house is wood with leaves as the walls. They are wayy poor. So i took him to the bathroom and it had a regular toilet and urnal. And the look on the kids eyes was hilarious. He asked me why it wasnt outside, and he had no idea what a urnal was. I was laughing so hard. ha he would not do it. I was trying to explain to this little kid how to, but the words just wouldnt come out in khmer, i was laughing too hard. This kid has never seen a toilet in his life. After like 5 minutes of trying to convince him he would not have it. So we just went back to his dad. It was hilaroius.

Siam Reap has about 45 recent converts, and  very few of them go to church. So we have been trying really hard to meet a lot of them. Its been cool trying to understand their problems and creating lessons on their needs.  There is this one guy named Dee. He's way cool. Honestly i dont really know how he got baptized, he doesnt believe in anything but he really wants to find the true church. so we're treating him like a new investigator. its really cool. I think if he really applies what we teach him, he will be able to get that peace and happiness he is trying to have. Got high hopes for him.

we were contacting the other day and i saw this tobacco stained toothed funny little cambodian lady, and i asked her if i could help her with her garden. she said "FRIEK YAH"" and handed me her pales and made me water her garden. it was hilarious. Then she got this massive hose and out of the blue just drenched me, ha it was so wierd. I was stunned. I couldnt believe she did that. Then we both just started laughing way hard. Easily the wierdest 20 minutes of my entire life. I got a dope pic to prove it. we taught her about prayer and she would have none of it, she said she was too old to learn. it made no sense.

Love, Elder Smith

read alma 5: 27-28-- it''ll getcha

Crazy looking dog with 2 different sized eyes

market phsaa lee--grocery shopping!

The Word of Wisdom doesn't make life harder, it makes it easier 3/13/15 Week #36

This is my "costco"--the market where I buy my food
Well this week flew by. It was a pretty good week. We had Tie come to church and he brought 2 of his kids. He is supposed to get baptized in two weeks if their arent any hiccups. Im super excited for him and his family. His kids are so cute. This week we taught him about the Word of Wisdom and I was stressing way bad about it, because in Cambodia drinking is literally a way of life. Its the only thing guys do when they get together, so when you choose not to drink you choose to almost take away a big part of your social life. Its a big choice for people here, but we explained the blessings that would come from it. At first he seemed kinda bummed and not too happy, but as we read the scriptures with him he started to loosen up. He realized it would help him, not make his life harder. He committed to never drink again. It was a good moment.

last night we had the opportunity to eat at a members house. They have their problems but are super nice to the missionaires. But the food was terrible, im not going to lie about that. There is this vegetable here that is kinda like the grossest thing in the world, its has like a super sour fishy taste and it looks like a long wart. She boiled them and then fermented this fish for a week or so and made this paste and lathered it on. Then she got raw fish and put it on top, just like the cherry on some ice cream. Ha i felt like was going to die, my body kinda like twitched when the taste hit my tounge and she asked if i didnt like it, and i said "nah, its way good"so she gave me 3 more. kill me.

On friday we went to batambang for zone training. Its like a 3 hour bus ride. It was fun. our zone leaders are way cool, super funny good missionaries. They talked a lot about not being "Glory hunters" beacuse every missionary wants to find a village super far away and baptize a hundred people and feel way cool, but they said what will help Cambodia the most and what will strengthen the church is if we are Zion builders. It was cool. We need to build the church, becuase its so young here. The church culture and khmer culture clash pretty hard so its been fun helping the members and our branch president realize what they need to do.

Well my comp and I are doing good. This month and next month is the "hot season" and man its been hot. I sweat through my shirt at like 10:30 in the morning. its the  best.

love you guys

Elder smith

Chaa Gruang, super famous dish and I learned how to make it. It looks gross, but its amazing.

Elder Smith with Elder Ouk --one of the kids he knew at CICFO when we were there 4 years ago and now they are missionaries together :)
 **I (Allyson) added these next 2 pictures.  The first one is of Sam and Mara Ouk after he got his mission call to serve in his native land of Cambodia.

Here is Sam with his arm around Mara in 2012 when we stayed at the orphanage for a month.  It is amazing that they are now serving their missions together!

Faith is confidence in God 3/6/15 Week #35

Well this week was pretty cool.

We have two investigators who are progressing super well. Tie came to church this week and brought his oldest son who is like 8. Tie has 5 kids. He has the cutest family. So pumped for him. He's been reading a lot and has a ton of faith. We taught him about Baptism and he's way pumped to "cleanse his spirit". So if all goes well he should get baptized in 3 weeks.

We have this other guy named Hiang. He's 17 and is super cool. He wants to get baptized but his parents are gone and I think he lives with his grandma. He is getting baptized in like 3 months when he turns 18. This dude is way cool. Just wants to do what is right. He loves the scriptures and teaches me a lot when we teach him.

Funny thing that happened here in Siam Riap is that this 45 year old crazy/hobo lady has pitched her hammock right in front of the chruch. And yesterday she was using the fire hydrant to take a shower. Ha what the heck... she's insane. I think im going to start a hashtag or somehting that says #onlyincambodia.

I've been reading a lot about faith.  I really like how faith is confindence. Makes a lot of sense. I think the hardest thing for some people to realize is that we are just as important as Moses, or Adam or Nephi.  We have the same significane to God. The reason they had those miracles in their life was because of the faith or confidence they had in God. God works after our faith, those prophets learned to overcome the natural tendencey to fear and replace it with courage and confidence.

I've also have been studying about how our prayers can have a big impact on others. They have the power to help people who have lost their way or not doing whats right. When Alma the younger was going about destroying the church he saw an angel and the angel said "For this purpose hve i come to convice thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants (his father, the prophet and other good people) might be answered according to thier faith" what if Alma his father and the church members never prayed for him? They might have thought Alma the younger was a lost cause, but they prayed with faith, and because God had mercy on alma the younger and the sons of mosiah thousands were converted through their missionary service. and alma the younger became a prophet of the Lord. Because of the prayers of others Super cool. When we pray with faith for others things will happen if its Gods will.

Shorter email this week, but next week will be better. Peace out

elder smith

A service project
Angkor Wat Trees

Stairs to a temple

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The battle here is coming along 2/28/16 Week #34

wut up 

The battle here is coming along. Slowly but surely ha. tough language, tough comp. tough area, tough food. Life is not easy, but missions aren't supposed to be easy. Im learning a lot. Its fun and even thought it's hard there is no place I would rather be.  I'm talking to lots of members and investigators and developing real relationships with them. In my last area I wasnt good enough with the language to do that yet. It's so cool. I'm way tight with some of the youth and investigators. It's so cool. Just looking back from day 1 its crazy to see how much i've learned. The lanugage, spiritually, and about myself. 

Mom thanks for the pics of the family. The family looks so good. It's been weird being away from you guys for so long. Seeing the kids grow up and not being here. Its kinda sad. I'd only do it for the Lord. Charlotte looks way older, so does Liv. its wierd. I miss my fam!

Everyday I ask myself why I have the life I have. I dont understand, some people have it so tough. So we have to help. I can see our family doing some really cool stuff in the future here.  I love you guys. I honestly don't think I could be doing what I'm doing every day without knowing how to push through difficult things. I wouldnt be able to do it, but you and mom taught me a lot. thank you.

Thanks for the updates on everyone. There are so many cool people in Eagle, ID. I'm definitely going to settle there with my fam, so that will be fun:) we've been blessed with some way cool people. Man i miss the peeps in Eagle. I love you a ton mom and dad. Your'e the best.

I'm so pumped for Keith. He is going to kill it in Guam!!  He's tough, so he's got it. Have an awesome week!


I'm learning how important trials are--they help us learn, grow, and apply 2/21/16 Week #33

When your sweat turns brown
Well this week we got the transfer call and every single companionship is staying the same except for me and 1 other companionship haha. So good ole elder chook and I are doing one more together. He will be finishing his mission in 6 weeks.

Well a lot of cool things happend this week. This week was awesome. So lately I've been really praying to get some new investigators. We've been contacting a lot and have been rejected a ton. BUT we were biking a couple days ago and we talked to this one man. He told us we could come back a different day. We came back and shared the restoration with him. Hes 30 and already has 5 kids. His name is Tine. We taught him on this little bamboo bed with coconut trees surrounding us. It was some good scenery. Anyways we got to the first vision part and I started testifying in Khmer, and honestly I've never felt the spirit like that while teaching during my whole mission. It was so cool. I like felt like a missionary right there. Testifying of what I know to be true while having the spirit. It was so incredible. I knew Tine felt it too. He accepted the Book of Mormon and told us he would read it. Man moments like those, you just hop on your bike on fire. Felt so good man.

Last night, I have never felt so cool in my entire life. Literally. So last night we were teaching and we finished and rode past our branch presidents house. They make squatter toilets and they were putting some stuff in a truck. After we helped them for a little Theng (branch president) handed each of us a huge stick of sugar cane. They were like 5 feet long. And the outside layer is like super hard. So we rode off in the night in this way far village on a sketchy dirt road. I was riding my bike one handed and my other hand was carrying this huge long sugar cane stick. Then all of the sudden i hear this pack of dogs, just mobbing towards me, with that like nasty gargle bark dogs make when they want to kill something. Anyways I could barely see them but I knew there were coming. I was about to flip out. So this like of dogs start trying to nip at my feet and then i just started beating the crap out of these dogs with my sugar cane stick. It was so cool. I hit those dogs so hard. One of them just ate it and the other one got knocked out. Ha it was awesome. Nothing like beating up dogs with sugar cane.   Service pays off.  I am grateful the Lord inspired our branch president to give us that 5 foot long sugar cane!!

One more thing,  2 weeks ago we found 3 lost members who now live in Siem Reap but were from Battambang which is like 3 hours away. Anyways one of the guys is just diving back into the gospel. Its so cool. I was riding my bike and saw him on the road sitting in a hammock just reading the Book of mormon. It felt way good knowing that we are having a little impact on him.

Something that I've been studying a lot lately is how we can have the faith and strength to endure. Becuase here in cambodia lots of people get baptized and then just dissapear. They get really upset when something bad happens in their life. Being out in the mission I've really noticed how important trials really are. Its almost why we are here--so we can grow, learn, and apply what we learn. I heard a really good poem about this

Good timber does not grow with ease
the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees
the further the sky, the greater the length
the more the storm, the more the strength
By sun and cold, by rain and snow
In trees and men good timbers grow.

kinda cheesy but i like it. we need tough stuff to grow. We become better people because of them. I love you guys so much. I hope Idaho is doing well. peace out!

elder smith

Our awesome branch mission leader

No time to write this week! 2/14/16 Week #32

Sorry guys i dont have time to write this week.  We have like 5 minutes until the p day ends, but i just want to say thank you for always emailing me. I honestly love it. I look forward to it every week. You guys are the best. . I cant wait until we are all united again. that will be a glorious day. thank you so much for the fasting and praying. Its helping, I know it. The comp situation is the same, ha probably a little worse, and he is finishing his mission next transfer so i am looking at another 6 wonderful weeks. I did it once, I can do another.  I have learned so much from this experience so its all worth it. Transfer calls are on Sunday. Who knows something  crazy might happen. I love all of you. I hope you guys have a sweet week. Better emials next week. PEACE

love elder smith

A Simple Heartfelt Prayer Week #31 2/7/16

Well something way cool happened this week. So a problem in Cambodia is that we have a TON of members and we have no idea where they are. There aren't really addresses here.  So they are just lost. We were riding our bikes down this random dirt path and there were these 2 thirty year old guys fixing motor bikes. One of them yelled Elders so I stopped and started talking to them. Turns out they are members who got baptized 8 years ago in Battambang. I talked to them for like 20 minutes and they were like the coolest dudes ever. They said they didnt know where the church was, but wanted to go. The next day they showed us their "house"and we met their mom who is a member too. It was so awesome. And one of the guys came to church last week. If we get these two guys active again its going to help this branch a ton. So cool.

The Cambodia language is going pretty well. I can teach all the lessons and can talk with anyone, buuuutttt once they start talking it starts getting rough. Ha the people here just have the thickest accents and speak so fast. Ha sometimes my native comp cant understand. But its getting better. Learning khmer is starting to like be way fun.

So there is this member who lives about a 5 hour bike ride away. Shes this little old lady who lives in this secluded village. We rode a tuk tuk there and it took about 2 hours. After we taught her she asked the member we took with us to pray, and Cambodian prayers are like the best thing ever, they are just so simple. heres how it went, she asked God to help her Pig be healthy, she asked for good health, enough food and a happy life, thats it. Thats all she needed. Ha it was awesome.

Thank you so much for fasting and praying. I know its helping me. There have been a couple times where I almost just about flipped out ha. Thank you so much. I know its helping.

 Our investigators our doing good. This week was chinese new year and they love that here so none of them came to church, but most of them read and follow their commitments which is good. We picked up this single 40 year old man the other day. He seems like he just wants to find out why Jesus Christ is important, but I think he has some really good potential. I think on average people are better off here, but there are still tons of super poor people. Begging and living in bad conditions. The sisters just baptized this girl who is 18, both of her parents died, she has two little siblings she takes care of and she sells eggs at the market every day.  All the  missionaries here each buy ten eggs per week-- its super fun.
Every person we talk to pretty much has only heard weird rumors about Jesus and knows nothing. Its hard for them to understand there are over 1000 different churches ha. Its fun. You just teach from the ground up.

Well the Siem Reap life is going good. Living with a native is always an adventure to say the least. Doing work and serving God. I love it. I love this Country and I love this Church and how much it helps these people to be happy. Peace out


On our way to an investigators house

Got bit by a spider and stung by a bee--mother nature wins this week! Week #30 1/31/16


Good week in Cambodia. Its way hot here. BUT I love it. Not really, just trying to be positive cuz why not. The other day I got bit by a spider and then stung by a massive bee, so Mother Nature wins this week. Until the next.

So we contacted a ton this week, and we met this one dude name Mao. Super cool dude with the worst hair cut I've ever seen. Anyways we taught him the first lesson gave him a tour of the church and he was just eating it up. It was so cool. So we tried to teach him agian and then he called us and told us to never ever meet with him again. He said he saw a ghost. I dont understand why that has anything to do with us, but it was a total bummer. Hopefully Ill see him on the road again.

Yesterday we were biking and I stopped to talk to this guy. He had a shop with all these crazy different fishes in these tanks. My comp was wandering around and bent over and I heard this huge splash and the girliest scream a male could muster. This like 8 foot catfish tried to bite him. I laughed for a solid 10 minutes so did the guy i was talking too. It was laugh that was definitely needed.

So were are teaching this guy named Som Oune and his wife. He's like 50 and is way poor.  There's poor and then there is Cambodian poor. And its way sad. He has this grandchild who has this crazy burn on his foot, he himself cant walk anymore because his knees are messed up, he lives in a concrete room with like 15 of his family members. Just a way tough situation, but he still manages to smile and laugh. Its insane. Its hard for me to tell him that everything will work out if he has faith and does what God needs him to do. Thats where my faith and his faith need to be strong. Im starting to really like this guy. He's so cool. He's been loving the first couple chapters of the BOM. Cant wait for tomorrow when we teach him again.

Well for me, Im doing good. Im trying do find some more people to teach, and figure out how to live with a cambodian comp. It's fun. The cultures are way different, but thats what makes it fun. love all you guys.


Swiss Family Robinson Style

Mango and Bananas galore

This Cambodian got his call to Cambodia which is where he wanted to go. He is super excited!