Sunday, August 9, 2009

"For behold the field is white and ready to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul..."
Elder Ly, Elder Tiave, Elder Sok and Gage harvesting rice (and souls) in Cambodia.

Yesterday I taught our English class and then a puppet show thing, that the church does came here. It was kinda funny cause I thought that this puppet show was supposed to be funny and for all ages. Nope, it was definitely for little kids... Yeah, I talked my whole English class into staying haha... I think they are mad at me... But at least now they know a new way to brush their teeth!

...the other day we visited Lok Thaa Muen. I think I told you about him before. Anyway we took a picture the other day, Me, him and Elder Sok and me and Elder Sok went and got a 8x10 printed and framed it and we gave it to him haha. Then he went into his house and got 2 other pictures the same size!... Yeah they were of him and 2 other missionaries that found him haha. So now he has 3 huge framed picture of him and missionaries and he’s so proud of them!

Gage goes to Ankor Watt...

See Gage by the big tree root at Ankor Watt...

See Gage pretend to be a statue...

See Gage in front of the temple at Ankor Watt....

See Gage find a sword in front of the temple at Ankor Watt...

See Gage find a cowboy hat and sword in front of the temple at Ankor Watt...

See Gage find a sword, a hat and a horse in front of a temple at Ankor Watt...

See Gage armed and ready to find people to teach at the temple at Ankor Watts...

See Gage ready to race off to teach the people at the temple at Ankor Watts...

Funny Gage...

Gage with a member's pet monkey. Aren't they cute together!

Well I'm out of little ol' Sen Sok and I have officially entered the City of Phnom Pehn. I was a country boy for the first 16 months in the field. Eating nothing but rice and what ever small animals we are able to catch during the day…haha. Now I'm eating like an American and needless to say I'm getting fat haha. But I'm enjoing it so much that I am lacking the self discipline to do anything about it.

What a week... First thing I am going to say is that I miss Sen Sok. That place changed my life! The people, the work, the trials, and the life long friends that I made there! Nothing can take Sen Sok’s place in my heart! Leaving there was even harder than leaving Battambong! I think it was just cause of the lessons learned. I cried the whole way to the mission home... but I love this work! There are so many incredible people in the world and we are so blessed to be led by, in my opinion, the best of them all! I love my time out here and the work is still work! but it is worth every second!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

November-December Pics

Merry Christmas Gage

Cambodia Phnom Pehn Mission

Hey! Today I have no time at all. We were on our way over to the internet place and we only had an hour before we have to be across town for the Christmas party/conference thing... and Elder Sok got hit by a moto! haha He’s ok, no problems, but his bike wasn’t in to good of shape! He couldn’t ride it so we had to get it fixed first now I only have like 15 minuets! But tomorrow I’ll have more time, and then the day after tomorrow I'll be able to call you! so I'll tell you more about things then...

....Oh and I fowarded some pictures that Sister Stagg sent me! It's basicly all my investigators in Battambong that have been baptised since I left!

(Battombong's baptimal font)

Gage Gets Transfered...

I got transferred... I went from Battambong which the missionaries call "heaven" to Sen-Sok which the missionaries call "...." yeah I'll leave you to figure that on out on your own.. Let's just say leaving Battambong, the members and the investigators was the hardest thing that I have ever done... But, here in Sen-Sok I'm definitely learning alot... This is the poorest area in the mission.. And the people are just... I dunno they just don't have any hope for anything... It is really the saddest thing that I have ever seen... and the work is very slow.. but I can see myself changing. I always thought I was a reasonably humble guy... Now I know that I was wrong. This place, along with our Lord, is changing me into a completely different person! So yeah things are getting better haha. This work is too incredible. Everyday is so beautiful! Even if its 100 degrees and you're walking in open sewage... (Don't worry in the really bad places they make little bridges.. . sometimes)

...I had actually a good thanksgiving! Thanksgiving day we proselyted like normal, then we had a lesson with 2 new converts, Joy and Tida (I think that picture that you got form Sister Stagg with me in white was their baptism) anyway we had their mom cook us some food and we payed her, she is the best cook in Cambodia so far! She made this incredible chicken curry stuff that you eat with bread, man that was good... Anyway so that was thanksgiving day, then last Sunday night Elder and Sister Stagg had us over for a real thanksgiving meal, and well ha we had a real thanksgiving meal! They had turkey and mashed potatoes and made a salad, and Elder Christensen got stuffing, and yams and some other random stuff in a package so he gave that to them to cook up and well we had a great thanksgiving dinner! And then we talked about what we are all thankful for. And the Staggs took more pictures so I’m sure that you will get those soon!

Anyway things are going great here. We have some incredible investigators! And they are all about to get baptised really soon! We have one that I’ve been working with for a while named Daang. He’s amazing and has tons of friends too! And we have another girl named Jarriya, she is incredible too! ha She just has a really beautiful testimony, and she’s already one of the popular ones in the youth (the youth are great, the church is the hang out spot for them so at any given time there will be atleast 10+ at the church just having a good time). Anyway she’s actually been an incredible influence on the rest of the girls and has help some of them out quite a bit! Then we have Thee, he is the perfect investigator... in every way.. I really don’t know what to tell you about him cause he’s just... well ha perfect! He’s got the strongest testimony I have ever seen in an investigator and it’s stronger then most members! And he prays better then I do!

Hey, we had two more baptisms! Joy and Tida! They are the two most amazing kids ever, boy and girl, 10 and 12! Their mom was an inactive member but ever since we started teaching her two kids she's been amazing! So we killed 2 birds with one stone (I think that is the strangest saying... when has any one ever literally killed 2 birds with one stone... heck I've never killed one bird with any number of stones!) Anyway they are incredible and they both asked me to baptize them. Tthey were a little easier then rutta, mostly cause they weren't afraid of water and also cause the water was already up to their necks haha. And they gave beautiful testimonies! But here is the cool part. Joy was way sick two days before his baptism. And the Sunday he was supposed to get baptized he couldn't even sit up. So obviously he couldn't come to church, so his mom tried to call us but we forgot our phone, so they didn't know what to do.. So they prayed and to make a long story short the Lord blessed Joy with like a 4 hour break from his sickness! After the prayer, they said that Joy got up, went to the bathroom and came out with his Sunday clothes on and felt totally fine! So them jump on their moto and walk in to church 15 minuets late (what a relief to us) and went to all the normal classes and then the baptism ceremony.. got home and fell asleep and well went back to being sick... This was all unknown to us. So we go to their house that Monday and he's laying there sick to his stomach, so we gave him a blessing and he said he felt alot better. We will find out tomorrow how he's doing...

...well I’ve been hearing about all the financial problems in America... but it has made me realize something, another blessing that I received from coming here on my mission. I now know how much the material things are really worth. Khmers are the most content people I know, and some of the poorest people I know too. A person can be just as happy with a little as they would be if they had alot. It just depends entirely on the person's attitude.

Gage of the Jungle.

Funny Story... "So we have these two investigators, Mome and Muen, anyway they are good.. They are dirt poor and are a young couple with a 2 year old kid... Oh and Muen used to be a monk haha. Anyway they were doing great until Muen got sick... Just a little stomach flu... Anyway their neighbors call a doctor to come over and look at him. Now what you have to understand about this doctor is that he is not your everyday doctor... No he is a Kruu Khmer or in other words, a Cambodian witch doctor! haha These guys are crazy! They have all these random things and necklaces and bracelets and what ever all over them and they go wandering around in the forests worshiping weird things... They make a living off of going to the houses of really, really superstitious people and telling them that some evil spirit from some random dead relative is pissed off so the spirit is some how getting you back... Anyway, if you’re having business trouble, or not doing good in school, you lost your job, or even if your girlfriend dumped you... this crazy doctor makes up some ridiculous story about some spirit haunting you... Anyway back to Muen, so the witch doctor shows up and he talks to the neighbors before he talks to Muen and the neighbors told him that Muen is learning about Christ so this is the story. Muen has a tummy ache because his wife’s great-grandma’s spirit is pissed off that Muen is learning with us, so this great grandma’s spirit-in-law got a hold of some random evil spirit that she met on one of her journeys in the other worlds or something and that spirit is currently "eating his intestines" because he is learning with American the crazy witch doctor tells them to stop learning with us and asks for 20 bucks (which is probably more money then Muen makes in a month) then this doctor takes the money, and gets a call on his cellphone from another moron that twisted her ankle or something then he gets in his car and goes and cheats the next poor brainless sucker...Anyway they told us never to come back... Well, Mome did, Muen was asleep... So what do we do? Oh course we go back the next day! And well, haha, Muen was mad that we didn’t wake him up the last time cause he read some of the ‘For Strength for Youth’ pamphlet and he wanted to share what he learned haha. So Mome still doesn’t want us to come back because she’s scared her great great-grandpa’s dog’s cousin’s spirit might eat her brains (the little that she has) and give her a head ache... only in Cambodia. We’re going back tomorrow night. Well there you go! That’s me latest story haha."

Gage visits Cambodia's famous Angkor Watt Temple site... the next day we went to Angkor Watt, ha wow! You have got to see it! That's all I got to say, it is just mind blowing! The fact that it was built in the twelveth century and the amount of detail.. Man and Ii only saw the main palace! There were eight other places that they say are just as cool!

Gage poses in front of the carvings on the walls at Angkor Watt.

Gage and more examples of the incredible details that were carved in stone at the ancient temples of Angkor Watt.

Silly Elder Miller

... we figured out how to make tortillas! Yeah they are a work in progress but we pulled off some pretty amazing fajitas the other day! And I bummed some taco seasoning off of the Sr. couple so we will be having some more fajitas really soon! After a year of rice that mexican food sure blew me away!

Gage serves and lifts the people of Cambodia, literally!

It's been a good week and it seems like they are just flying by! 13 months already... Oh a really cool thing that I’ve been doing is every night after I write in my journal I read my entry from last year... Man the MTC was yesterday I swear! Oh well, I’ll just keep on plugging along.

... I'm doing great! I'm having fun and the work is really getting done here! Man this place is so great! The other day we went to an old Buddhist temple on P-day and I got playing around with some kids and we were singing some crazy Cambodian songs haha ( I memorized like 3 songs and parts of others). Anyway before I knew what happened I had like 50little kids following me around! That was so much fun! I love playing with the little guys... And the other day we gave some little member kids some more pop rocks and they were running around holding their little head screaming that there head was going to explode! Man, good times...

Same Budist temple grounds. I think Gage is confused, that is not a horse he is on.

Things are going great! My investigators are incredible and there are a couple little kids I'm trying to figure out how to ship home... I don't know the best way... I don't think UPS will ship adorable little Khmer kids... But I'll just have to ask to make sure!One thing that I have learned is that every one is worth getting to know!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

August/September 2008 Pictures

"The work is going great and I’m seeing myself changing all the time haha. The gospel really is for us, to learn and grow, and lead us back to our loving Heavenly Father."

Yesterday was probably one of the best days of my whole mission! Everything just went well, great! It started off with my translating for 5 hours at the hospital. There is this organization called ‘Operation Smile’ and it’s a bunch of doctors and med students from all over, (alot from England, and they all have crazy accents, sometimes I have a harder time understanding them then I do understanding Cambodian!). They come and do plastic surgeries on cleft pallets and teeth and stuff like that. Yeah, well they stuck me in the nursery haha! So I had a good time! Oh, and they had free food all day so that just added to the fun!

"Tomorrow I’m going to meet Elder D. Todd Christopherson! Cool huh! Well I hope I’ll get to shake his hand. He’s on a tight schedule, in the morning he is flying to Siem Reap to talk to the members up this way... We had an incredible conference in Siem Reap with Elder Todd Christopherson and well he is amazing haha! He talked alot about how the apostles consider the missionaries as companions cause we both have the same mission and purpose, but different callings then he talked to the members and it was just incredible too! And half way through he just stopped and said that he felt like he needed to pronounce a blessing on the members there. The blessing came from God no question. I saw an apostle of the Lord receive revelation and the blessing was amazing! He promised that they will always have enough food to eat, that they will feel the Lord's love stronger than ever, that everything under there hands will prosper and so much more! The help of actual angels and the list just goes on! The blessing was long. I have it all written down in my journal. Then we packed up on 4 busses. All 239 members from Battambong and had the longest 4 hour drive I have ever taken in my life!"

"Well, I’m having the time of my life! Things are just going good haha! Area, investigators, members, companion (By the way if I have a native comp for the rest of my mission I would be completely happy) language, every thing is just good!"

"Well this week we had alot of good lessons! We had one last night with 3 of the poorest people I’ve ever met and we committed them to be baptized and they said yes and they were so excited but then they got thinking they just can't because of their job... They are basically slaves. They make bricks for 2 dollars a day and they all have families... So they really don’t have time to go to church and all that, but they asked if they could pray that God would help them find time to become members! So now they are praying and I’m just waiting for a miracle!...Last Monday we went to teach them and they told us that they have been praying for a way to go to church and the Sunday before they asked their boss if they could get off that day to go to church and their boss didn’t even hesitate to say yeah no problem! But when they were getting ready to go a bunch of trucks came with clay to make bricks, so they couldn’t pull it off... but the best part about this whole story is that they made the effort to do the impossible with out us asking them to do it! Their faith is really so basic but so pure..."

"We should come out here and go fishing! It’s pretty fun to watch cause they use little boats and a big net and about 10 people and they just go fishing haha! One time me and my comp were watching them pull a cast in and this huge fish probably 3 or 4 feet long, big ol sucker, jumped out of the water and knocked a guy out of the boat haha. They had a good time laughing at him! All 30 boats out on the water were just dying haha! Well that’s my big fish story... and no one even caught it! "

"This month we finally got an inactive named Kohn, that I’ve been working with, to come back. The guy is a stud! He is the reason about 20+ families got introduced to the gospel and got baptized. And now that he is back and as strong as ever and he’s been working with the other 4 or 5 inactive families in his area for the last 2 weeks! We didn’t even know about that until yesterday! He goes and basically fellowships them and talks to them about how they need to come back to church with him, and 2 of the families said that they will go this week! Man I love that guy... haha he is the best member we have in our branch!

"I’m still in the same area and I really don’t want to leave haha. I know this place so well and I swear every kid under 12 knows this stupid handshake I made up haha. So I have a crowd of kids following me around haha. I love the kids! I’m goin to adopt one for sure and I’ll teach it Khmer!"

On their way to an appointment...

"It's been raining. Most of the time it's just like 100% humidity and it feels like it's raining, like you can feel the drops... but there are no clouds haha. Yeah I feal like I'm swimming most of the time!"

"So I don’t really have any good stories for you this time... Oh wait yeah I do! My companion got his bike stolen by a drunk inactive member! haha. And the peddle brakes so when the guy tried to peddle off he peddled backwards first and it locked up the brakes and he ate it hah. A good thing he stole the helmet too! But he had the helmet on sideways... yeah I dunno how he pulled it off either... Anyway it’s all good, he ran into a couple of trees and then came back and even posed while I took a picture him haha. I fixed the helmet for him first so he didn’t look like a complete moron... oh good times haha."

The Battle of the Cambodian Super Bugs!

"Haha the next pictures I send you will have a bunch of pictures of huge bugs! Like today I saw a preying mantis that was 7 inches long! Yes I did measure it! haha... That thing could eat Cooper! "

10 inch centipede!

Crazy Cambodian ants!!!

"Well I got a good story for you! I almost got eaten! Yeah me! It was the biggest spider I have ever seen! and guess where it was! It was in the bathroom behind my toilet! So I was caught completely off guard! I mean when you wake up and go into your bathroom you just done expect a monstrosity of a spider... easily the size of your hand, to come running out from behind your toilet! But it's o.k., I went and got my baseball and then we battled it out... Yeah I now take a different approach to the toilet in the morning..."