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, July 24, 2012

From e-mail July 23, 2012

First, funny thing, I'm at the internet cafe/pharmacy and just saw a cat jump up on the drug counter and lay down right on top of the drugs being handed out.  Pretty awesome cat they have here! This week I called the family with the guy with the water buffalo foot on the blog and he has been sick for awhile and for about a week he couldn't work and the wife had to stay home and take care of him because he has hepatitis B I think and couldn't lift his arms to do anything so it was tough.  We have been trying to help them all week.  Monday night we had a young single adults family home evening at the seniors house and that was good and we started a sign up to go on exchanges with the Elders because our area is getting crazy busy.  So that was a success and we had a busy week ahead of us with that in the works.  Sophal has been sick this week too. 

Then we had a meeting with the Relief Society President to set up visiting teaching and got that worked out for the night and then last week we got home teaching going and this week we had 11 families visited and we only gave out assignments last week so that was awesome.  Then Wednesday we had about 8 lessons and an exchange and then Thurs. a long day in the house planning and taking care of the week.  This week we have the busiest week ever!  It seems there is not a free hour in our schedule all week and it's crazy so it will be fun and hopefully my bike starts holding up better.  I've had some problesm with the little red guy...doesn't like to keep the chain on, lol, but my butt is comfy and horn helps in the traffic cause they think I'm a big truck, haha! 

Then Thurs. as soon as we left the house it rained all day out teaching.  We didn't get to see everyone because of the rain but it was a good day and we met with good people and that day I got to give 2 blessings and one to a baby 3 months old and we just held the baby and it was really cool and I felt like the Lord was going to help this baby heal and grow up big and strong.  The baby's mom is the woman's daughter I just baptised and she and her husband want to learn soon and I felt that boy was going to grow up and being a strong member of the church and it was tough to speak but I got it out and then got to hold a baby for a little bit and that was a good experience.   So Friday, we had a good day and a fun ride home that night in the rain and crazy windstorm here.  Then Saturday we got out in the morning to an area called Prey Kuy and we gave another 2 blessings there and I helped move 100 kilo bags of rice around.  Ya, I love that! Well, gotta run, love you and tell everyone hello for me.  I'm glad you got my box and everything is good!  Love, Elder Decker!
From e-mail July 15, 2012

Well, my week was good.  P-day last week we had a crazy day of not normal p-day things, lol.  The mission president came and his wife and two daughters and we had our meeting with him and then a really good lunch from Sophal and then a meet and greet with the Branch.  Then we hung out and I took a nap with power and the power has been on pretty good lately but last night it was out for a while after we fell asleep but it wasn't too hot.  I must be getting even hotter because I had a sheet on with no power and was sleeping pretty good, lol!  But I really love the power and coldness of our room at night but it's all good.  It's Cambodia and I love it still!  Then we had a big Branch family home evening and played Khmae style "Do You Love Your Neighbor!"  Super funny because they are hilarious.  I told them we play until all the chairs are broken!! 

We got 9 new investigators last week and then 4 more this week and we are super busy.  We have busy days and teach lots of lessons.  Thursday it was raining the whole time we were out teaching and that always makes going different places hard but we were wet the whole day and had a ton of fun teaching and doing some fun service.  It's called taking the rice out and I have pictures so you will see and it was super fun.  Then we had some really good lessons that day then came home on the road that is really muddy when it rains because it's faster to go and give a member a blessing and it took us about 20 mins. to ride this road and it was super fun.  I was super dirty and carrying my bike again.  My chain fell off and I was carrying my bike and running this time cause we were running late for all the stuff we wanted to do and came home that night laughing on the inside and happy and showered outside in all my clothes and shoes to get the mud off and it was just funny to me. 

I have been doing everything I'm supposed to do for my stomach but it isn't helping yet but I can handle it fine and it doesn't slow me down one bit.  Sometimes it makes me go faster cause I really need a bathroom, lol.  And Friday we had some good lessons and we kind of got rained out again and then Saturday was busy too.  We started a mission prep class for the Branch and we had 10 people there and it was super fun to teach about why missionary work is important and hear why they want to serve and share with them my experiences as a missionary so far. I can't wait to teach even more.

I got to confirm and give the blessing to the ming I baptised last week.  It is really nerve racking in Khmae and then I just didn't want to messs up but it was really cool.  I love planning and my Khmae is getting better and I can understand a little more each day too and I'm starting to talk in their style more like just throwing random words that don't make any sense to say in Engliseh but when you do that Khmae's understand better.  Lol, so I'll sound like a doofus when I come home!  I love you all, Love Elder Decker!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cambodia and more of its amazing wonders this week

This is the funniest looking guy in all of cambodia. super glad to be teaching them.

This is called taking the rice out lol super fun

I was in the process of hittin here to get her to smile. shes a favorite.

After a night of mud and rain and stuck in puddles.

Had to shower outside too.

Sometimes cows have the right of way.

The geicos are everywhere! its ridiculous

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 8, 2012

Hey everyone!

Well, this week I am doing great!  Monday, still felt tired but we got rained in after p-day and didn't go out to teach so I got to rest and then Tuesday rode my bike all day and was tired but got better and didn't have to go too far.  But we always ride a lot in one day.  Then by Wed. I really wanted to get out to a lot of people so I got my energy up after taking a nap through studies.  That was the problem until Saturday to stay awake in studies because I was really tired, but I feel good and the oatmeal every morning is a really good pick me up so yesterday I felt really good.  We have had really good power and have had it when it counts each night and sometimes it will still go out but not for more than an hour and comes back on and I have faith that Heavenly Father is answering all the prayers and I know we will have power to do everything.

My stomach is still somewhat annoying and I haven't really found a specific food yet that makes it upset, it's just still most everything but I'll be fine.  I handle it totally fine.  My new companion is really different from me but we had great success this week.  I move fast, teach simple and teach to understanding and then go to the next person and keep watching for the ones on the road that maybe are ready.  It's hot here everyday but when it rains it gets tons colder and pretty nice but coming home wet is now almost a usual but I enjoy the rain as long as my stuff stays dry in my plastic bag. Lol!  Anyway, this week we got 9 new investigators and had 2 baptisms on Sunday and I got to baptize someone too and I have some good pics to put up.  I'm having a blast teaching and learning the language more.  I can get away pretty well in the lessons and sometimes I need a little help with a few words but I'm not afraid to be like what???  What does that word mean so it's all good.  I love the Khmae language and I love teaching.  We have 3 little kids we are teaching now that are new and cousins of recent converts and of members so it's fun because I get to make cool examples and teach really simple and have great member help!

This is the same house that I taught my first lesson in Khmae and I talked with the person that is now the member help and talked about how I didn't know Khmae at all and now I can really see the difference and it was just a cool experience yesterday and I loved it!  We had some really good lessons this week and I got to give 2 blessings in Khmae and the baptism was just awesome.  I loved it so much and the neak ming that I baptized was feeling the Spirit so much and was just nervous and scared and almost to tears and it was just great!  I loved this baptism so much and it was awesome!  Things are good in the branch too and we had 114 yesterday and 26 recent converts from both sides of the area right now.  It's really good.  We are working on pride though and trying to soften hearts.  Trying to teach people that the Lord is asking them to do all kinds of stuff, not just us Elders.  But in this mission, everyone who gets a calling, we have to teach them how to do it.  So not like a lot of missions in that way especially in America.

I don't have much time this p-day as the new Mission President is coming in a few minutes so I will try to post a few pictures and then I'll try to put more up next week.  I love you all so much and thank you for everything you do for me!

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