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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

(Elder Decker spiked a fever that week and was sent to Phnom Penh hospital with Dengue fever on Thursday.  He was there 7 days and was released on the 27th.)
June 28, 2012

I'm out of the hospital and feeling really tired.  I got out with a good platelet count and no fever for about a day and now just really tired.  So I had some hot nights and really sweaty annoying nights too.  My temp. got up to 105.7 one night and that was the highest and they finally got it to come down some.  Then it went back up some and finally stayed down and my platelets came up again.  I have drugs to take at home and I look a little skinnier but I'm sure once I get back into the swing of things again and start finding good foods to eat I'll be looking the same.  I did miss not being able to go out with Elder Wilcox for his last week but I was out of the hospital the night he went home so I got to see him off but we didn't have time to get a picture together by the elephant.

But I have a new companion, his name is Elder Kuhn and he has been out a little over a year and was an office elder for 6 months and now he's coming up to Kampong Thom with me.  It's going to be good but different without Elder Wilcox there.  But companions will come and go and I'll see Elder Wilcox again too.  Then Sister Smedley took good care of me and Pres. Smedley gave me a blessing in the hospital the first night I was there and I know I'll get back to my real self soon and be able to eat good and have good strength too.  It's just a long process and I really am tired of being sick.  I just want to be healthy for more than a week at least so I keep praying for that.  We had 5 more baptisms in our area when I was in the hospital this Sunday and then in July we should have a lot going on.  Many people that are close and that will get baptized this month so it's super exciting and I just want to be better.  Well that's all I can think of for now.  I love you all a ton and I'm grateful for all the prayers and everything you did to help me get better and feel loved!  I miss you a lot and everyone and I'll be back to my old self really soon!  Love, Joshua

(Posted and edited by Mom)
June 17, 2012

We are really busy and had a really good week of lessons and had good numbers last night when we counted it all up and had another baptism yesterday too.  It was really great and super fun.  We haven't had rain for like 4 days and we had terrible nights on Thurs. and Fri. with no power all day and night and I literally slept 2 hours and was sweating all night!  So it was super annoying but now its better and back on and the house is an ok place to be now.  We had a lot of cool lessons this week where we had the spirit there really strong and my language was pretty good and the people we were teaching were so awesome and excited to have a baptismal date and learn more!  We had exchanges with the assistants this Thurs. too and that was pretty fun except that night we had 6 guys in the room and no was hot and annoying but fun to hang with them and they liked the area but hated the no power and were excited to leave!  Only the tough missionaries can serve here! Ha!

It's Elder Wilcox's last week in the mission and we're ending strong.  This week is packed and busy and we're ending with a bunch of baptisms so it's all good.  I'll put up the pics for this week and I love you!
(Posted and edited by Mom)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 11, 2012

I got the box you sent this week and it was awesome.  Loved the candy, deodorant, bike seat and horn!  Dad, the kids love the horn and so does everyone!  They know it's me coming so I have a calling card now, lol!  The seat is super comfortable and it was funny that you sent tools to put it on myself cause I took it to the guy at the end of our street and he put it on for 12 cents and two minutes!  Haha, pretty funny place, Cambodia.  The power is better but still goes out and it is hard when it goes out at night, then the room gets to 110 degrees and we wake up and have to turn the ac and fans back on but whatever.  It's all good and getting better.  I woke up this morning with a cold.  Great, and my stomach is still dumb every single morning and most nights so whatever.  I'm making food at home a lot and make really good fries with rice and then Sophal makes really good food and I love anything with fried pineapple in it!

We had a couple of set backs with two investigators that were like huge blows in one day and just really sad.  Not knowing what to do is a rough feeling.  It's just weird how my thoughts and worries each day change from when I was home.  Everyday I check my bike tires and I'm happy when they still have air in them.  I love when my helmet doesn't have a spider trying to make a home there each morning and I find myself looking for bikes that have good baskets and bells and stuff like that.  Then coming home I pray for power every night and then last night I was glad I didn't step on a scorpion that was right next to my desk chair when we came home to no power and a very dark room.  I was about 3 inches from it after we finally got a lamp turned on and it was a pretty good sized one too.  But I'm good and we killed it with bug spray after we took some pics.  Haha, all in the life of a Cambodian missionary! 

We had a record number of people at church 112 and it was not even all the active members too!  Next week we are having 3 baptisms and then 5 the next week.  We are always getting new investigators and having lots of fun.  Then the house at home looks awesome.  Yay gardening!  I do gardening every day at someone's house cause it's that time of year so I have had my share of happy time out in the yard!  Love you and pics next week as we are short on time this week!  I love you a tons!!! and that's perfect grammer in Khmae!  Tell everyone hi!
June 4, 2012

Last week after I emailed you we got lunch and then went out shopping in the old market here.  I got some hammocks so now I do all my studies iin my big red hammock.  I got 5 hammocks for 12 bucks!  We had some crazy rain this week too.  I rode my bike down the street in a foot of water and was splashing everything and just got soaked.  Saw the doctor again this week and he said I didn't have the parasite but I have an increased number of yeast cells so I'm still on meds for 10 days and then go back.  I still have stomach pains every morning and nothing is solid so whatever.  I don't know what's going on.  I love the branch here and the people are so fun and just awesome.  I love the youth and the help we get from members and I love this area!  It is the best area in all of Cambodia right now by far.  We have the best set up; getting food from Sophal twice a week and leftovers most nights and desserts and then the senior couple is great up here and its just the best area ever.  My companion Elder Wilcox is done at the end of  June and I'll miss him and then I'll get a new comp. and when I have to leave Kampong Thom I will be really sad and miss a ton of the people.

I got letters from Sister Larsen and Sister Warren and I hope to write letters today.  Things are good and I have everything I need.  I got pancake mix and I eat oatmeal in the morning and fruit and toast and peanut butter is 4 bucks but worth it and this stuff is all from Siem Reap when we stop at the super market up there.  I have mac and cheese too!  The power is better but it is out sometimes at night which is most trying and annoying because you come home hot and sweaty and stick to the paper when you plan and do all the records so it's just annoying!  It's still crazy  hot and I sweat all the a rain cloud!!!! haha, I love you guys!!!!

Posted and edited by Mom
May 27, 2012

Things are going well out here and I am feeling better too.  They gave me more meds to take for 20 days now and I still have to go back up there for a day this week.  The rain sounds crazy there but that is nothing.  Here the river is already up like 3 or 4 feet and it hasn't even rained that much so it's all good and we are staying pretty dry.  Still have stupid power though and they keep saying it will be fixed by a certain day and then that day comes and goes and still no power.  So whatever, I'm always hot and sometimes we hang out at the gas stations where it is cold, lol!  The language is coming a little easier and I can read pretty fluently now, crazy huh. 

The sunsets here are my favorite ever.  They have the prettiest sky ever in Cambodia and the country is so flat that you have a good view from anywhere!  It's pretty awesome and I see the sunrises too as I'm up pretty early everyday. I'm doing good.  The drugs make me really tired but I can handle it and I'm doing good with the language and had to translate a few times for the senior couple in meetings and it's going good.  I'm not there yet but we have a few new investigators about every week and we have lots going on each week and we're super busy every day and we've got crazy things happening in the branch and we always have to help the branch.  Like do the home teaching and visiting teaching and teach the bishop how to be a bishop and do fast offerings and tithing and stuff so we are busy with lessons and teaching and biking all over the place!  I'll be grateful for the bike seat that's for sure!  Hope things are good back there, love you!!  Joshua 
May 21, 2012

The skype call was way fun and I am feeling better.  All the drugs I'm taking and the cold I got kind of took all my strength.  Then Elder Wilcox was pretty sick this week too then two days without power.  But today we are doing better on all fronts.  The story for this week is Friday morning we went to Siem Reap for me to see the doctor.  We took a taxi's are just guys that own a car or a van or whatever and cram as many people as they can in it and drive wherever.  So the deal with them is it is faster than a bus and you can leave earlier too and on time.  So we get one and bought 3 seats out of 4 in the back of a Toyota Camry.  So there were 3 people in the back and I got the back seat in the middle with my feet on the hump.  Yeah, not the best but whatever...I take the short stick usually.  Then the front seat was a totally different story.  First the rear view mirror had a video screen over it...totally illegal but we had Khmae entertainment and then imagine 6 people in the front of a Toyota Camry.  Two normal people, a baby being held and a toddler standing in the front.  Then the driver gets in and then the next passenger.  Ya, our driver drove from the hump!  It was crazy and we didn't die and got there in good time and weren't too hot.  So I went to the doctor and they said they wanted me to stay for an IV treatment so I spent 3 days and 2 nights in the hospital taking care of the ameoba.  I'm feeling better but my strength is still kinda down but then last night and Sunday night we had power so it's all good!  I'm still loving being out here and the mail will come up on Thursday or Friday this week so I'll see what I get!  I love you and I'm doing great!

Posted and edited by Mom