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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Huah was baptized! 10/17/16 week #67

Well it was a really good week numbers wise. We picked up two new investigators and Huah got BAPTIZED!!! I was stressing pretty bad before. I called all the members i could to remind them we had a baptism and all but 2 said they could come. It was raining so that would make it so NO ONE would come and the water to the baptismal font wasn't pushing out a lot of water. A lot of factors that i had no power over. I was just praying all morning and did everything i could. We went early in the morning to fill up the font and just hoped in would fill in the next three hours. 3 hours later as we left our house it was nothing but sunshine and when we went to the church the font was overflowing with water. I just looked up and smiled. It was so cool. When the meeting started we had like 20 people show up. It was almost too much for me to handle. Literally everything I prayed for happened. It was so cool. It was a great service and the next day he got confirmed. We are going to schedule a interview for him next week with the Branch President so he can get the priesthood and start helping the branch. SO COOL.

We taught Jomruan this week and we set a baptismal date for him. It was a way good lesson. Talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants to feel clean again. Such a good guy. 

I went on an exchange with our zone leaders on Friday and we had such a good day. The best part was our final lesson. There is this super cool family that have only been members for about 2 years and are less active. Probably my favorite family here. They are way poor and rent a little room that should only be for like 1 person but there are 6. Anyways we taught about faith and trusting in God and I did the little object lesson with them with the belt and the wood piece that dad gave me. It was a hit. They loved it and totally understood. 2 days later I met the family at church. It was awesome. 

Well lovin life. I love being out in the Provinces. So much fun. I'm growing my pinky nail out now so i can look more Khmer. They grow it out to pick at their ears. I'm not going to cut it until i come home. I'm so excited. 
I think one of the reasons missions are for two years is because if they were only like a year or less people could just endure and not really let it change them. But when you get on your mission and you realize you have 2 YEARS to do this. It forces you to change. Its pretty cool. 
I could never just stop believing in this church. It's so deep in my soul that its kinda just the way I think now haha. 

Well i love you guys. You da best. Have a good week.You and Dad are going to be the answer to so many prayers. Think of how many people are praying to God to help them get an education and a better life. This is so cool!

Well thanks for all the prayers. I'm seeing them every week. Hope Thailand is treating you guys well. 

Elder Smith

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I just need a bike and a Book of Mormon and anyone's problems can be solved Week #66 10/10/16

hey hey hey

Well Huah came to church and he is progressing really well. We have a Baptismal interview coming up this week so on Sunday we might just get a baptism. SO PUMPED. Also we had a WAY good lesson with Jomraun (our new investigator). We taught the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. It was awesome. He really wants to get to know God and find the truth. He couldn't be doing anything better. We will be meeting him tomorrow for another lesson. 

We are working with a couple less actives right now. One of them is Jantoo. Super cool guy just too lazy to come to church. We had a great lesson with him. In Cambodia you work a lot with less actives and the thing that I've noticed the most with these wonderful people is that if you just show up and call them out and invite them back to church nothing will happen. They have to like you and then they will respect what you say. Its been fun getting to know all the different people. So many problems and heart wrenching stories, but the coolest thing is that I can just pull out a little book from my back pack and literally have an answer to anything they say. The Book of Mormon. I don't need anything else. Just a bike and a Book of Mormon and anyone's problems can be solved through the words in the Book. In Khmer you say that's "lowy pram buan" ( cool nine or the coolest thing ever). 

Conference was way good. One of my favorite talks was by the Japanese dude, Yamashita. He talked about being Ambitious for Christ. I love that. Believing in God isn't something that we can just do sitting down. Believing means actively living according with Christ. Ambitious for Christ. 

Well the work here in Kampong Cham is doing good. The new big church is opening in a couple weeks. Its gunna be a party. Love you guys #BeAmbitiousForChrist 

Elder Smith 
Elder Mather and I had a great week together this week
cute little gecko stuck in our sink this morning

Pchum Bun--feeling the effects of this holiday! Week #65 10/2/16

Hey fam

This week was a weird one. These past 7 days we have felt the effects of this Holiday. They call it Pchum Bun. Its the biggest Buddhist holiday in Cambodia all focused on their dead ancestors and drinking beer. Lets just say there wasn't a ton of people wanting to learn about our church. We tried to use our time the best we could. Because of the Holiday they sell lots of cool food. I bought 6 snakes for all the Elders. It was way fun watching some pansy Elders put that in their mouth. Nothing like some good peer pressure. 

So my branch right now has a lot of problems. There is an investigation going on with the old branch presidency because they were probably stealing money. So the branch has a lot of less actives now and people who don't trust each other. But we scheduled a meeting with our branch president and we just discussed with each other what we could do to get this branch going again. We decided we need to get an active Elders President and an Active Relief Society president. So this week he will be making the calls. I think we might see improvement these next couple weeks. 

Our investigator Huah still met with us this week. That was way cool. Hes doing really good. Hes following every commandment and really excited to get baptized. I think he will be fully ready in 2 weeks. SO PUMPED. 

I had a really cool experience this week. We had the Family History senior couple come down to kampong cham and start helping members do their family history. I got to translate for the District President again and help him get his family names to be sent to the temple. It felt really cool being able to complete his family. 

In my mission I've had some tough comps. This week was a little fun. Just trying to be patient and finding ways to love. Really praying for some charity this week. I'm going to need it. 

Thailand looks way sick. Way jealous of that ping pong club you guys joined. I'm going to get destroyed when i get home HA. 
I was reading the Liahona and saw one of Grandpa's articles out of the blue. Super cool to read one of grandpa's talks in Khmer. 

Deep fried snake I made all the missionaries try

Huah is progressing really well! Week #64 9/26/16

Heyy dudes

So yesterday we had a really cool lesson with a potential investigator. It went really well and he really wants to learn more. Because no one knows anything about God or Jesus we get to explain the very basics to him. We taught who God is and Jesus Christ is and how prayer can help us Teaching those kind of lessons are my favorite. Its a privilege honestly. I get to explain to him that he is a child of God. That he has a savior and that he can talk to his Father in Heaven. It was  cool to say the least. Nothing like ending a week with a solid new investigator. He name is Jomraun. 

So these next two weeks is going to be tough. There is a massive holiday called Pchum Bei. Its an anscestoral Buddhist holiday. Pretty much what happens is that no one wants to talk to us and no one comes to church. So it'll be fun to see what happens. Im excited, We might just get to street contact every day. LOVE IT. 

Huah is doing really good. We had a great lesson about true Repentance. He was just eating it up. We might have to wait for his baptism because he might go on a trip but its not for sure yet. His parents are showing some interest so we might be able to start teaching them as well. 

We had a priesthood training meeting on Saturday. I translated for Elder Curtis (the senior couple) it was really funny. Sometimes i forget how new the church is in Cambodia. Lots and lots and lots of things get done wrong. So we taught the very basics. I had to bite my tongue for some of the things that were said. Gotta love it though. Some of them are really trying, but they just done yet quite understand. 

Love all you guys. Those pictures from Denmark and Thailand look way fun. But not as fun as Cambodia...:)

Elder Smith

Confusing the word blessing with money...being happier than any rich person. Week #63 9/18/16

Man these weeks are just going by so fast. its way wierd. 

We had a pretty good week. We have a investigator who made some really good descisons so now hes working towards baptism. His name is Huah. Super cool guy. He should get baptized the first week of October if he keeps all of his commitments. Im really excited for him. We had a way good lesson about Baptism and why we need it so we can go to heaven. It went really well. 

So right now our church is this old beat up house. BUT they are building and big new church in the middle of Kampong Cham. So we are doing a big open house party and we are pretty much inviting all of Kampong Cham to attend. So its going to be a party. I'm the oldest missionary in the area so when the senior couples come down and plan stuff they need a translator. And that fell on me. So this week I have been translating a ton helping the Senior Couples get things ready for the big open house. Its been fun helping in different ways. 

There is a new member in my area and her name is Niang. Her husband got baptized like 10- years ago and then went less active. But she just got baptized and its been super cool to hear how the gospel has changed her life. She literally lives in a brick house thats like 10 feet by 10 feet. Its the smallest house ever. Its just her and her husband and her little daughter. I feel like a lot of members in Cambodia confuse the word blessing with money. They get really frustrated and lose faith when their lives kind of stay the same money wise. But she explained that before she got baptized she and her husband would fight all the time becuase they were so poor and she was really thinking of leaving him. But as she started to learn and got baptized she explained her relatoinship changed so much. She told me she is happier than any rich person. It was so cool for me to see her realize those kind of blessings even though shes so poor. LOVE IT. 

I feel like this quote goes perfect with it "The truth of any work can be seen through the blessings that flow from it." As a missionary Ive become a witness to that. Crazy things happen all the time. People really find a way to be happy as they come closer to God. Life just becomes better. 
I have been studying about commandments and sin and things that bring us to God and things that bring us away from Him. We all have our agency for a reason. If we didnt have commandments then we coulndt ever sin. And if we could never sin then we would never think we need deliverance. Breaking a commandment gives us a remorse of consciousness which makes us look for something to help us. I always wonderered why would God give us commandments that he knows we would brake. It seemed like to me He was just making a problem for himself. I didn't understand them. But becuase we have commandments it causes us to turn to something. And once we turn to God, God can turn us into things we could never do by ourself. So when we do something wrong and we turn to God and not to the world, we seek for deliverance or for something to bring us back up. Commandments are things to help us be closer to God. i learned some of this from a book im reading, its way good. 

Love all you guys. You are the best. Hope you guys like Thailand as your new home. Much love. 

Elder Smith
on the island in our area

the untouched world

Emergency Transfer--back to the jungle! Week #62 9/11/16

Saying goodbye to the BEST ward mission leader Om Phon--I'm really going to miss him
Monday night I got a call from the Mission President and there is an emergency transfer. The president prayed and felt like I needed to go. So the next day i packed my bags and went to Kampong Cham. My first area, but a different branch. Its pretty crazy. So im back in the provinces and villages again. Its awesome.  I was way pumped, but a little sad to leave my investigators that i have been working so hard on and leaving some really cool members. But I'm back in the jungle now so its really fun. The saddest goodbye was Om Phon. He is the coolest old man ive met on the mission. He was our Branch Mission Leader. He videoed our goodbye and was super sad. He did this khmer thing where he shows respect and says all these blessings he wants me to have. It was awesome. I love that man. Hes going to be one of the first people i will see when i come back. love that dude. My new comp is Elder Mather. Good guy. 

So my new area is pretty diverse. I have the city of  Kampong Cham, some villages far away and an ISLAND. We ride a boat and put our bikes on it and ride to our area. Its the prettiest area ever. 

Its so cool. Its so untouched from the world. There are a couple members there. It looks like something the hobbit would be filmed at. So pretty.
We just got a new branch presidency because all three of the guys were less active. So we got a new one and its doing pretty good. They showed up to church. they are new but thats good. Which means they are willing to learn. It was funny my first sunday here was the Elder Smith show to say the least. The pianist and the person who leads the music didnt show up so everyone looked at me. So i got up there and led the music. We had to see accapella. the first song went all right. The second one was ok, but the last one.. I swear it wasnt even a hymn. I had no idea what it was. So its just me in front of like 40 people singing accapella in khmer to a song i have never heard. It was so bad. No one else knew the song so i was the only one singing. Eventually some people started laughing and then i did. They all stopped singing and we all started talking to each other about what different song we could sing. We changed and sang another song. Well now all the members know who i am. I think they liked it. I made friends pretty quickly. 

Im really excited to be here. its a struggling branch with lots of problems, but i think all it needs is just some love and hard work. I really want to leave this branch a thousand times better than how I found it. 

Love you dudes. Have fun living in Thailand. You are the best. "Please Have happy time" thats what you say in khmer. 

saying goodbye to members in Phnom Penh

Exchanges in Trash Mountain (from the book "Rent Collector") Week #61 9/4/16

Trash Mountain
Hello Hello

Well this week was full of zone leader stuff. I got to do an exchange at Trash Mountain. It was so gross. People just live in straight trash. Its completely mind blowing. People just walk around with bags trying to find coke cans or glass bottles to give to the recycle places to get money. It's super sad. We were biking along this creek (they call it Poop River) and there were cardboard boxes and wood slabs along the creek so people could walk and not have to step in the water. So we were biking and yes i fell. I got like knee deep on my left leg. I smelt SO bad! And the bad part was it was 9:30 in the morning and we had a bunch of lessons to get to and we were a half hour from the house. So I had to endure. After like 2 hours my foot like started stinging it was crazy. But after a while I got a hose and cleansed myself. 

Vine is doing pretty good. We are still continuing to help him prepare for baptism. its a hard process. But the reward is more than worth it. He had to work on Sunday so he couldn't make it to church which was a bummer but he's still doing good. 

Our new investigator Veejet is doing good too. We talk him the Plan of Salvation and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Super good lessons. He had tons of questions about Baptism. He's in a really tough situation financially. There is just so much poverty. He sells clams and if he doesn't sell enough, no food or money for the family. The good thing is we have promises from God if we do what He says we will receive Help. God can't lie. 

We are working with 3 less active young men in our branch and all 3 of them came to church yesterday. It was awesome. We had like 6 guys in young men. Haven't had that in forever. 

Elder Tri and I got to teach zone training this week. It went really well. It was a little stressful because My comp and the 2 sister training leaders (the "Zone Leaders" for sisters) are both khmer too. And khmer culture is super lax so they were just kinda ready to wing it haha. BUT I'm not about that, so we made a good plan and it turned out to be really good. I really felt inspired. it was super cool. we had a random sister share for about 10 minutes about how love and charity go hand in hand with misisonary work. She brought the Spirit so well. Not going to lie i teared up a little. It was awesome. 

We are visiting with a really good active family about once a week. We have been teaching them a lot about the temple and how it can bless their family. Its been really cool to answer their questions and see how going to the temple is more important than money or saving up for other things. We are going to help them do some family history this week. So tight. 

Elder Tri is actually becoming one of my favorite companions. Its been super fun. He made some pretty hard core khmer dishes this week. Fried Baby bird and a frog stir fry were the top 2 best. here are some pics.
Sorry i cant emial a lot today. Ill try to be better next week! Just trying to be obediant!

 Love you guys! have fun in Thailand.  elder smith
Fried baby bird
My comp made frog leg stir fry. It was actually really good