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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This has been a tough area, but it's also been really fun 1/30/17 Week #81

hey hey

this week was pretty good. I contacted 2 guys at seperate times and they both invited us back so we got another 2 investigators. We have 6 investigators with a baptismal date, but this week was also chinese new year. the funniest thing about cambodia is that they will literally celebrate every single holiday its the funniest thing ever. even if they dont even know why, they just love to party. Totally my culture. but beacuse of the party everyone went to their home town so like no one came to church but oh well haha. 

We are meeting with vangnoo tomorrow and if he didnt drink he will get baptized but if he did then we will have to continue to work things out. 

Yeah we get transfer calls on Sunday, so this is my last week here. i have been here for a while haha. its been tough, but also really fun. It kinda makes me cry not going to lie, i kinda want to leave but ive learned a TON about who i am here. its been humbling. this branch was dying when i got here, and its still tough but i literally know every single member and just worked my hardest so its been fun to see what worked and what didnt. Its funny some people think im going to the city and some think Battambang and be zone leader there so who knows. Im honestly down to do anything. the city does sound a little nice not going to lie haha. 

love you momma

elder smith


4 inch spider on my arm and I let out a little yelp! 1/22/17 Week #80

hey fellas

Good week. But.. vangnoo  went to a big wedding with a bunch of his friends and he drank..;( BUT we had a really good powerful lesson about it and he's determined to stop. He explained that he doesnt even want to, but drinking is such a social thing in Cambodia for men that people will actually get very offended if you dont drink. So we pushed the baptism back 2 weeks. We are praying and trying to prepare him for baptism soon. 

The 11 year old kid we are teaching is doing good. He should get baptized the same day as vangnoo now so that should be cool. I contacted this dude a couple weeks ago and we finally got to meet him and he had a friend over. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He taught. They loved it and agreed to be baptized. Super cool! They have a ton of work to do in order to get ready (we literally were sitting on beer cans for our seats) but with Gods help it can be done. 

I did an echange with my main man Elder Bullough. Way funny dude. Hes like 6ft 4 so all the memebrs just call me Yeaak. Which means Ogre. Super funny. We were teaching one of his recent converts and and then i felt this little thing walking on my elbow. Turns out there was likea 4 inch spider just chilling on my flipping arm. I surprised myself and let a little yelp out and walked it across the room. It took me a while to get over it. The guy we were teaching just looked at me at was like "why are you even scared?" uhhh are you kidding me? He was just so unimpressed with me. Gotta love it. 

We taught his super old 85 year old man too and we just got to hear him try to convince his other 90 year old friend to come to church. Funniest conversation of my life. For some reason old people in Cambodia go a little crazy when they pass 80. It was one for the books. 

A less active we have been meeting with a lot lately finally showed up for church. His name is Saruan. Such a good dude. The spirit is working on him. And he told me that "the day of changing his heart is coming up." ha i just said why not now! And gave him a hug and told him i will be the first person to welcome him back. Nothing like some brotherly love. 

Another funny culture thing in Cambodia, is that when you get close with older men like 30 to 70 year old men, they will start to be really touchy. It means they like you. So since i have been here for a while the men are getting really touchy. Its the funniest thing ever. I had 3 grown men grab my butt this week. Now who can say that???? I can. 


From Charlotte:Dear elder sam, i love you so much. I am sorry i have not been able to write to you that much. I have been very busy. How is your companion? how are you? how is your life? Monday i am starting school i am so scared. I can't believe i am not in Thailand it feels so weird? I can't wait for you to come back! I love  you so much Charlotte.

Sam's Reply: Dear Charlotte. 

I know you are busy so it is ok. You got a lot to do every day. What makes you so busy? Is it your Mexican boyfriend or what?! Haha do you love playing in the snow?? My companion is awesome. its tons of fun. I will leave this area in two weeks so i want to try my very hardest these next couple weeks. How are your friends?? Love you dude!!
Elder Smith

Lots of investigators! 1/16/17Week #79

hey hey hey

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. You guys are the best! Last night we had a big BBQ at our house. It was a ton of fun. The two khmer elders that i love went big and decorated the deck and played some way sick Khmer music. It was a super fun night. I'll send pics of it next week. 

This week was good. I got to do some service in Prae Choo (my very first area) so that was a ton of fun seeing some of the members there. They made us food as well... they gave us dog. And chicken liver/head/feet. yeah yeah it was awesome. The dog was different, super chewy but hey it didn't taste bad. 

Funniest thing happened last week. We were teaching huah ,our recent convert, and we were sitting on this little table and we were really close to each other. He started to read this scripture that i had asked him to read and my face was probably a foot away and he just burped so hard and loud right in my face. My reaction wasn't the best to say the least. Cambodians don't really brush their teeth, so the smell was too much. I was laughing so hard. 

Vangnoo is getting interviewed this week for baptism so please pray for him! He bought me a sandwich for my birthday. What a guy. Hes doing really good. Hes been going to church every week consistently for over a month. So awesome!

We are teaching this 12 year old kid now. His name is Hiang. His mom joined and for some reason hated the church, his friends made fun of him because he believed in Jesus. But now he wants to learn so he should get baptized next month! Super stoked for that as well. 

We are teaching this man name Soka right now. Hes a professor at a college. Hes the smart one. We had a way cool lesson about Baptism and Obedience to God. The Spirit was super strong. We finally got him to commit to a date. Feb 28! He has to get work off on Sundays now so he will need to make some changes. Hopefully this guy can make the changes needed so he can be baptized!  
Right now i'm feeling good. Ive been thinking about how i can be a better missionary a lot lately. Im over a year and a half and i don't want to plateau. So i have just been thinking about what i can do better or what i should stop doing so i can be a better missionary.

Thanks for everything!!
Love you guys!


Ancient Temples! 1/9/17 Week #78

Hey guys! We just got back from going to some ancient temples so i have about 5 minutes to email! This week was way sick. We picked up another investigator. His name is Phiarit. Super cool. Yesterday we had 3 investigators at church. It was such a good sunday. On one of the rows it was elder mitchel, our investigator vangnoo, phiarit, me and then jomraun who just got baptized. Good stuff right there. Vangnoo is still killing it. He should be getting baptized on the 21. So stoked!!

Love you dudes!

Elder Smith

Monday, June 19, 2017

1/1/17 Week #77

ha mom you got me. I actually got a little excited for a second. I thought i was going to have another sibling, but you just took him/her away from me haha. Man i just stopped reading once i read that, took me a sec to read the rest of that haha. you are the worst. 

Man 2017 is going to be big. Super cool. Having lots of things in a year makes it a lot more fun. Thats so cool you guys got to meet so many cool people in that branch. I bet you guys learned a ton. The church in Cambodia is like that too. Every single person in the room is a convert. When i had a khmer comp i realized i was the only person born in the church. We are so blessed. The testimonies of people who find God are my favorite. Filled with so much gratitude. There is this word in khmer and it means to be grateful and being amazed at the same time. They use it a lot its super cool. 

This week was super good. We got to find a lost member, teach a progressing investigator, get a new investigator and see Gods power heal a little boy. Such a good week. I know your prayers and fasting help in so many ways. Thank you so much:)

Sound like the kids are doing awesome. I love hearing that. Brandon is literally going to be the best missionary ever. So pumped for him. All the kids are growing up. What the heck. Its kinda fun though. When we go on trips it will be a lot more fun that's for sure:)

Ha man 20. I literally hate it. This is my first birthday where i am not excited. Honestly for my p day if you could just get a TON of pics from my friends instagram and crop them, and some pics of the family that would be the best thing ever. I love pictures for some reason.

I loved hearing all about your adventure in Thailnd. You are the coolest mom ever. Always wanting your kids to have good experiences. I love it so much. Your the best. 

Elder Smith

Vnagoo is doing great! Trying to help the people here know that a Savior is born! 12/18/16 Week #76

This week we killed it on the lessons. Our new investigator Vangnoo is doing so good. He's the guy who saw a vid on facebook and is in dentistry school right now. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This guy is one of my favorite people i have taught so far on my mission. Hes just so sincere. He's joined like every single religion, Buddhism, Hinduasm some wierd Chinese religion and other Christian churches and as we taught the plan of salvation he told us, "Elder, I just want to know which one is true. Thats it." It went quiet for a little and I got to testify about everything I know to be true. It was way cool. He then asked us why he cant be baptized tomorrow. We have a date for him on the 7th. So stoked. 

We are teaching another man named Soka. Hes a teacher here in Kampong Cham. Hes super busy but hes starting to have some real faith. We taught him the Gospel of Christ and he said he believes now. Its so cool to just show people and teach them that they have a Savior. Being here in Cambodia its such an amazing opportunity to help people understand what Christ did for them. Its the best. Buddha is good and all but he just doesn't have what it takes.

Had some soup this week that wasn't too good. I can handle food pretty well now, but that one was a fun one. I look at food now like its a challenge. Taste really does matter. Its like a pride thing i have with myself now. Can i have the will power of swallowing it or will my body not let me? Its a fun game!

This Sunday I had a really cool experience. I've been really thinking a ton about Repenting Daily this past week and have been praying for the Spirit. As i was sitting next to Vangnoo in sacrament and explaining what the sacrament was and seeing the humble Cambodians pray individually i felt the still small voice. It wasn't strong but it just stayed with me for the next hour. It was so neat. The Spirit told me that what I was doing was right. And it taught me the importance of preparing to renew convenants. It was a day i will cherish forever. 

Christmas is super weird here. No one here even knows what it is. I would say 80% of the memebers have no clue as well, so this week we will just be spreading the word that A Savior Is Born. Should be the coolest thing ever, 

Love you all

Elder Smith

Got a great investigator from the Mission's FB page! Got to eat at Jamraun's house Week #75 12/11/16

hey fellas

Great week. The office elders gave us a phone number of some dude who saw our missions face book page and was interested. So we called him met him at the river and showed him our new church. We had a quick lesson about what we do in our church and how prayer can help us. So a couple days later we met him again and had the sickest lesson. We taught him about the beautiful Restoration. It was one of my favorite lessons yet. He was just asking questions every 5 seconds. It was super cool. He understood it all and once we finished we had him read In Moroni 10 and after he read verse 5 he just looked up and said "Woah!" Ha it was the coolest. Hes way pumped and even skipped his college class the next day so he could come to class. We are way stoked. I got high hopes for this dude. 

Elder Mitchell and I did some good hard contacting this week and we found 2 guys who want to learn also. So we are going to meet with them this coming week. Super excited. I just love teaching people. The language is noproblem anymore. Things just come out now. Its so fun. Elder Mitchell and I have Gods Help and we're going to some damage hear. Way pumped. 

We went to jomruans house this week. He lives way far so we went on a tuk tuk. We got there and like 30 kids came. jomraun said we were the first white people to be there in ages. So these little jungle kids had only seen them on TV. We were movie stars. Jomruans parents were way excited to see us. We sat on their bamboo table,talked and ate some bananas. Then they brought some special food out. They made us straight cow hoof soup.I kid you not there was a cow toenail in my bowl. Nothing else just a hoof and some broth. It was.... not that good. But i had 3bowls and had a stomach ache for a couple days haha. 

Funny story so this wierd vietnamese man came to our church and said he is a member. He speaks way good khmer so we got talking. He sells balloons on his bike and wants to come back to church. He was a little wierd but we called him a couple days later and told him to meet us at the church. We met him and asked us if his house was close and said yes and then just started biking way fast. So we thought he must me showing us his house. This dude is like 60 years old and had like 30 balloons on his 100 year old bike. So it wasnt hard to not catch usp, but man this dude could go fast and he was riding his bikeon the wrong side of the road he was riding on flowers and grass i felt like i was on a video game. He kept looking back to see us and then he would just stare and start biking even faster haha i was laughing so hard. It was like Nitendo mario kart., We eventually got to his house, turns out hes crazy. We talkedto his neighbors they didnt want to learn. 

Great week. Love you dudes 

Elder Smith

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jamraun got baptized! 12/4/16 Week #74

ayyye Jomraun got baptized!! So sick. It was such a good baptism. Tons of members showed up and we had khmer noodels with curry after. Couldnt get better. Man i just love baptisms.As we were walking in the bathroom to go into the faunt he said "Im so excited!" Ha it was awesome. After it was over he bore his testimony and said he felt sinless and like clear water. It was so tight. We've become way close these past weeks. Such a homie, We are going to his house next week, becuase his mom wants to meet us. Maybe we will be able to teach his parents as well! 

This week we had some extra time so we did some street contacting and we passed this man and I felt like i needed to talk to him, so we pulled the 180 and started talking to him. His name is Booech. His wife died and has 2 young kids. He fixes motor bikes for a living. We met with him on Sunday, taught him how to pray and gave him a BOM. Hes got some way good potential. Im super stoked for him. 

Every week im just loving this area more and more. Not going to lie when i first came here, i was a little bummed. It was just struggling hard core. But its really picking up and the members are feeling it too. I feel like we are  actually making some what of a change here. Its way cool. The other day we got a call to come to a members house to help her, but really they just wanted to feed us Nome bonchayyo (its way good). Its like khmer crepes, except they are green and have shrimp in them. Anyways in khmer culture if a man can make a good Nome Chayyo he will be a good husband becuase they are way hard to make. So i told them i wanted to try, and they just started laughing, boy did i show them up haha it was awesome. It was llit perfect. I couldnt believe myself. They were laughing so hard, and told me I needed to marry a khmer woman. Good times.
Making Nome Chayyo

Training is doing way good. Elder Mitchell is working hard and trying his best. Obviously living here takes a while to get used to, but hes a good sport. When he testifies the Spirit is immediantly there. We're having a ton of fun together. Hes going to be one dang good misisonary. 

Christmas in Asia is a funny thing. I remember a year ago i was in Prae Choo with my second comp and i woke up and it was hot and we just worked all morning it was the worst haha. But it lets you think about why we  have christmas. The lights and presents don't distract us from what we really should be thinking about. Its way cooll. 

I really love what you said about succoring people. I've realized that same thing in a way in this area. I heard from lots of Elders that this is a tough area. But I noticed that if you work hard and you just pray hard and do your best you will love it.  How can you hate an area if you have worked so hard to help? If you try hard and love the people (even if its tough) you will love the place where you worked hard:)

Love you all 

Elder Smith
My fav pic i have taken my whole mission
Family Home Evening

Did some khmer medicine...;)

eating with a member (food did not sit well that night:/

Thrust in your sickle with all your might! 
Helping in the rice fields on an island

This past sunday was the most successful week i have had with less actives my whole mission. 11/27/16 Week #73

hey hey 

This past sunday was the most successful week i have had with less actives my whole mission. It was the coolest thing ever. I have been working with a lot of less active men here and some of them have been making small little changes. But yesterday 6 less active men came to church. It was the coolest. Ive never seen so many guys in my branch the whole time i have been here. I love serving and working hard but when you get to see the fruit it makes it just makes it that much better. Also, huah came to church a little late and forgot his tie so he thought he might not be able to pass the sacrament, but i ripped my tie off and put it on him and got him a spot and told him what he needed to do. It was the coolest thing watching someone you baptized passing the sacrament. Doesnt get any better than that. 

Jomraun is doing really good. He is getting interviewed this Wed and should get baptized on Saturday, Elder Mitchell and I are pretty stoked. Hes really excited as well. Jomraun has been the biggest example to me of what faith really means. Its def not a perfect knowledge but we hope and trust in something that we believe is true, and after we do that then we can KNOW. Some people just blow me away. 

Training is a ton of fun. Teaching khmer and trying to help him teach is so fun. Getting used to living in Cambodia is no easy thing. But he's doing way good. Just putting one foot in front of the other is all you need to do.We are meeting vannat today (a semi new investigator) and Elder Mitchell is going to invite him to be baptized. So it should be a way good lesson. So stoked! 

Thank you so much for the prayers. Mom thank you so much for just being a good mom haha. I just got the packages! Thanks so MUCH!! You guys are the best. I just devour that chocolate haha. Eating rice and meat every day is good, but after a while you just want some flipping american food. 

  I miss you guys so much, but right now i really feel like a real missionary. I can speak khmer really well now, im working hard, being obedient and training and am district leader over all the sisters and elders here. Life is tough, but its just so rewarding. I love you so much. Thanks for helping me get to where I am! 

Love you big big (thats a khmer phrase)

Elder Smith

I got my first son this week! Elder Mitchell is here straight from London! 11/20/16 Week #72


what a week. So i got my first child this week. His name is Elder Mitchell and he is straight from........... London. Thats right the first missionary to go to Cambodia from England is my son. Its way sick. He says rubbish and istead of saying a bus ride he says a  coach ride its the coolest. Im already trying to say all of the words he does. Im also practicing my accent. Im getting pretty good at it. Hes such a good elder. Tries tons of new things, works way hard and just wants to be a good missionary. Im so stoked. We're getting along great even though there is some grudges becuase of the revolutionary war. I think we will be able to get past it. Tomorrow for companionship study we are going to see The Star Spangled Banner..:)
Elder Mitchell!

Getting Elder Mitchell's things on a TukTuk

The work over here is coming along. Huah got the priesthood yesterday. It was soo cool. Hes way pumped to pass the sacrament next week. He also talked to us about how hard it is to become an Elder. Hes thinking about a mission. How cool is that?! 

Jomraun came to church again. Hes keeping every single commitment and is going to be baptized on the 4th of December. Im so stoked. Elder Mitchell just might get a baptism his first month in country. 

We have another investigator who is the principal for an elementary school. Our lessons are good but he just has so many questions about everything so its hard to get our point across. Sometimes we just say we will talk about that in a later time. 

Our other investigator Vannat is doing pretty good as well. We taught him lesson 1 yesterday and Elder Mitchell testified in his broken khmer. Spirit was there. It was so cool. He promised to read and pray to ask if God really exists and if the Book of Mormon is His word or not. He also told me that he thinks we are puakmak with eachother (HOMIES) he called me a homie. Whats up. 

About a month ago Elder Mather and I found a map and found this lost member. He hadnt been to church in a LONG time. We started teaching him and he came to church, so did another less active we are meeting with. 

Elder Mitchell and I are going to do some way good things here. So pumped. Love you dudes. 

Elder Smith
Add caption

I am going to be training in this area! 11/13/16 Week #71

That festival sounds like a blast. The house looks even cooler. Im currently sweating my face off in a sketchy internet cafe and the guy next to me keeps picking his nose and yelling at the computer, so i think we both are having a ton of fun... haha

So we had transfer calls last night and i am going to be training in this area! Im way stoked! Training looks so fun. You get to experience Cambodia all over again. Teaching khmer and all of the culture things. Its going to be a blast.  

This week was awesome and pretty sad at the same time. Elder Mather and I got a new investigator this week. He is a Principal of a school. Super educated and is really interested. Pretty good guy. He's super smart so the spirit will need to do all of the work. Im way excited to start to teach him. Our first lesson was just talking about the doctrine of Christ and what things he would have to change if he became a member. Lots of buddhism traditions. Its a HUGE sacrifice for Cambodians to enter in Gods church. Its a big deal. So he's nervous but he is intrigued also. I cant wait to see the Spirit work with him to help him realize the truthfulness of this message. Its going to be awesome!  Buddhism is really neat and teaches a lot of good things but it's super hard to teach about Gods church to them because we teach them about faith and changing your hear (repentance) and they just say its the same thing Buddha teaches haha. They just have to realize they wont turn into a mosquito in the next life. 

So yesterday we got a call after church and i picked up the phone and all i heard was this woman yell come! I'm afraid he's going to come back and hit me. So my comp and I rode our bikes as fast as we could to this village and saw this new recent convert with her daughter. Turns out their brother in law was under the influence and hit this little girl and then the father chased him down the road they fought but then the police got bribed to not catch him. and then they got kicked out of thier house becuase the person who hit the girl was renting that house to them and then the mother of the man came and starting yelling at me and then all of the neihbors came to watch and i was getting all of these different stories  and it was just a mess. Crazy day. 

jomruan came to church again this week. He should get baptized in a couple weeks. Im way excited. 

I just love  being a missionary. I think its becuase all we are supposed to do is help people. we dont have to worry about work, friends, school or anything, We just go around and try to help people and help them enter into God's true church. Couldn't think of doing anything else with my life. Missions are the best. love you dudes. 

Elder Smith

getting some service done on P-day

Teaching the Word of Wisdom to Jamraun 11/7/16 Week #70

So I dont have a ton of time today so im just going to summarize what i did this past week. 

Jomraun is doing really good. We had a way good lesson with him this week. The word of wisdom has been the make it or break it lesson my whole mission. So to be honest i dread teaching it becuase it causes so many problems but it needs to be done. We met him at the church this week and once we walked into the room we started talking about his job and what he wants to do in the future. He said he really wants to open up a cafe place and sell coffee and tea. Sooo Elder Mather and I looked at eachother smiled and started the lesson. It was one of my favorite lessons in my mission. We explained that God wants us to have joy, real happiness in this life and if we are unhealthy and sick all the time its hard for us to be happy. So we explained that tea and coffee are some things God does not want us to drink. It was a fun conversation. But in the end he said "You know dont really understand why coffee and tea are bad, but if God doesnt want me to drink it then I wont." I just about hugged him right there. So much faithl. It was the coolest. Then he came to church and went to tall three hours. Hes doing real good right now. 

A couple days ago we had the chance to do some really fun service. We were knee deep in muddy water pulling out this weed from the droguan plant. Of course it ended up into a mud fight with the other Elders. It was pitch black outside and we were a good bike ride away from our house and then i must have run over a nail or something and my bike tire just blew up. So it was a long ride back home. 

Sorry i dont have a ton of time today. But i want to thank you guys for all the prayers and fasting. It helps SO much. You guys are the best. Christmas is kinda coming up. Skyping is going to be a ton of fun. 

Love you dudes. Have a great week!

One of my favorite p-days! 10/30/16 Week #69

Hey dudes 

Sorry i didnt get to email you guys last week. We wanted to do something fun last week so I started talking to some people and they said there is a waterfall like 2 hours away. So we called a tuk tuk guy who "knew" where it was and we were off. Turns out this guy has never been there and its actually 4 hours awaw on a tuk tuk ride. It was so fun. We rode through this plantation of rubber trees for an hour and a half. It was so pretty. The water fall was awesome. After we were finished with the waterfall we were gettting ready to leave and it started pouring and within like 20 minutes of riding in the tuk tuk his modo started failing so we had to get out in the super muddy rainy road and push it up the hills and just walk, then these Cambos in this massive truck filled with rubber told us to hop in the back. So all 6 of us hopped in and he just hauled and we were holding on for our life it was so fun. One of my favorite P days.

The big open house was way cool. About 650 showed up. I saw a lot of members from my first area. There were 4 people that my comp and I contacted that ended up getting baptized. It was super cool seeing them a whole year later.
big feast after the open house

had a lot of elders spend the night before the open house!

Elder and Sister Curtis, Elder Smith and Elder Mahler, Pres.and Sister Christensen

Reppin Eagle with Sister Snooks!

Huah is doing pretty good, he was busy this past week but he still came to church and the branch president plans on interviewing him this week. I think huah might be able to get the priesthood this week. SO COOL. 

Our investigator jomraun is doing WAY good. I dont know why our last lesson with him he was just super into it. We set a date for him. He wants to get baptized on the 20. He sat by us during church yesterday. My comp and I gave talks also so he got to hear us bear out testimonies it was awesome. I have high hopes for this dude. 

So for the past 3 days i have been just way sick. Getting sick on the mission is just so boring and pointless because you don't do anything. I had a 102 fever for like 2 days straight. I couldn't get over it. Saturday was the first day of my mission where I couldn't proselyte at all. If i get sick i can usually get a couple hours in per day but i was just sweating like crazy. Not going to lie i was hating life.  But today im feeling a lot better. Getting sick and not having your mom could be the worst thing in the world.
the only thing i could eat that didnt make me throw up, dragon fruit, apples, boxed milk and chia seeds, did not taste good

As I've been serving my mission I've prayed for charity a lot of times. Im praying for it now because its a little hard right now. But it stretches me to be better. Charity fills in the gaps when we are really trying to love someone or do something. 

Right now I'm doing good. The branch is still struggling a bit. Theres just not a whole ton of stuff happening. But we are working with the BP and we are starting to get some people to have callings. We will see how it goes. I get a little stressed sometimes though. When you are in a branch like this everyone looks to the elders and its just tyring sometimes haha. But im loving it so it wont ever get old. I love you all, Elder Smith

Went on splits with Elder Sheiffer