Here I Go!

I’m heading off to Cambodia for two years and I can’t wait! I’m reporting Dec 7th 2011 and I’ll be serving for 24 months. I hope all of you who are interested can read and see all the pictures and adventures I’ll get to experience and share many stories with all of you! Best wishes to all and God bless!

Elder Decker

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello from Cambodia!

We got to Cambodia safely on the 23rd and had lunch at the mission home and I had delicious mangos already!  We had a night at the mission home and I slept a ton but I didn't ever feel too tired.  My new companion is Elder Wilcox and we serve in the Kheets or provinces about 4 hours or more from the city.  This is the place I wanted to be so I was crazy excited.  It's really flat here and not as jungley as I thought it would be.  We have 4 Elders in this area with a permanent senior couple here too.  My schedule is an hour ahead of normal so instead of 6:30 to 10:30 everyday, it's 5:30 to 9:30 and for the first 12 weeks I have 2 hours of companion study instead of one so that is cool.  Our mornings are relaxing and we have gotten breakfast out most mornings now and its baay sac cruuk rice and cooked pork so its different.  Sometimes I just don't want to eat that early and that stuff so I need to get some cereal and milk going soon.

There's literally no driving rules here.  It's crazy!  There are no rules and no speed limits and no cops.  You can drive wherever and if you are bigger you win.  The big van totally wins!  It's crazy in the city and everyone and their grandmas have a motor scooter that they do anything and everything with.  They just go wherever, no rules and we just bike on the street like a car and you honk to tell someone you're coming so it's always loud and just the best.  No street lights either.  In the city there are some but they don't always work so you don't have to follow them if they don't work.  I have a bike that was left at my really nice house for Cambodia.  Its more like Aladdin than Jungle Book and it's pretty big, really big.  I have a good bed and ac in the room we sleep in and good fans in all the rooms.  We sleep all together in one room.  The four of us Elders are all that's in our area in this kheet.  The senior couple lives next door and the church is right there too.  We had our first lesson with 5 girls outside that are all recent converts and I was sweating so much, it was ridiculous.  They all laughed at me cause I'm big and sweatin and they don't sweat cause they are cooler.  They wear long sleeves cause they are afraid of the sun and it's just funny.  I am doing good with the food and eating mangos as much as I can.  We eat a ton of rice and I had my first Sunday here too and it was totally different but good.  I don't understand any of it really and I just tried not to laugh at them singing cause they can't sing or keep time so they are ahead of the music all the time.  I have to learn how to play the piano cause they just have them recorded and the senior elder wants me to do it so there ya go.

We are busy all day every day and its just awesome!  Our area rocks and I hope to have some baptisms soon so it will be fun.  Our lessons are very simple and we have to explain a lot of stuff so its just fun.  My sittin on the ground skills need work and my knees are always sore but whatever, the work is worth it and I can explain why so its not a big deal.

The people are friendly to me and think I'm really big and they like my name cause its the sound a giecko makes so its all good.  I have a little red bike that makes me look huger, so perfect, I can scare the Cambodians too.  Anyway, we teach like 5 or 6 lessons a day sometimes and we are always busy going places so its fun and I love it.  I get to ride my bike and sweat my face off every day and that is the best part about it cause I'm so tired when I come home I can't wait for bed time at 9:30 and it's soo good.  I sleep fine and I'm all good.  You can send mail to the mission home as I probably won't get it except for around transfers.  I can buy a meal or two with a dollar here so it goes a long way for that kind of stuff.  I have everything I need so don't worry about me, it's just like a big campout!  I teach English once a week and when we teach english we say I love you big, big!  I love you and miss you tons and will take tons of pictures! 

Love, Elder Joshua Decker
posted (and edited!) by Mom

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Josh will be traveling to Cambodia next week and here is a summary from his letters in the Missionary Training Center.  His letters are family oriented but we tried to take out some lines to show his growth.  We are very proud of him and what he is doing.
From Week 3 - 12/27/11 – “Class is going well and we’re learning a lot of language and a lot about the doctrine in English.  I love being in class, our four teachers are awesome.  I can read the script slowly and I can write some words.  It’s coming but it’s the longest and hardest alphabet in the world.”      “We taught a new investigator today and it was great!  We taught a little about prayer, talked about our families and God and Jesus and the atonement and the Book of Mormon and placed a Book of Mormon.  It was like our best lesson ever so I’m happy and surprised it went so well!”
From Week 4 – 1/8/12 -  “My khmae is such that I can piece together an experience I had here in khmae and it makes sense.”   “Language is good.  I can speak better and I learn new words everyday.”  
From Week 5 – 1/17/12 -   ”Teaching is good.  Our investigator is preparing for baptism and we are teaching him to get ready.”   - This week  Josh  sent us a Book of Mormon and The Family: A Proclamation to The World in khmae (Cambodian).  It looks pretty crazy! But he says it’s crazy fun to learn.
From Week 6 – 1/24/12 -  “Hey everyone!  I’m doing great and I will try and write bigger in this letter.  So everything is good here.  The temple was good today then we made a snowman on the hill near the Temple and it was just awesome.  We felt great because we went back to look for my companion’s name tag and people were so happy and taking pictures with our snowman!”
From Week 7 – 1/31/12 -  “Things are going really good.  3 weeks left and then to Cambodia.  I’m really ready to get outta here! “  “The language is tough but it’s coming.  It’s going to take being in Cambodia for 2 years to get better at it.  I’m crazy excited to keep learning it forever!  It’s so cool!”
Josh has a sore knee that the dr. has looked at this last week and he had an MRI.  So far he is still scheduled to leave on Tues., Feb. 21.  We hope nothing happens between now and then to prevent him from leaving.  We appreciate your interest and even prayers on his behalf.