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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pochentong Branch

This is our room

This is my bed and sometimes where i study

The view from out rooftop

Rooftop veiw

Our kitchen

The 3rd floor and our room is that big window and we have a balcony too 

The first floor and our lame dinner table and we put out bikes inside every night

Elder Ny taking pics

Our room is not very tall...its made for little people

My comp, Elder Ny

Our recent convert Pheakdei

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

From e-mail 8/12/2012

Well, things are good here.  Friday was the day of transfers but the beginning of the week I spent in Kampong Thom packing and saying my goodbyes to everyone and I miss them alot but I know I'm supposed to come here and there is so much work here that I know I'm going to be good at especially with my companion right now so it will be really good.  His name is Elder Ny and he's Khmae and I live in a brand new house in the mission that they just got.  When we got here on Friday we didn't have a thing, no power cords, no desks, really and literally a completely empty 3 story house.  So it was tough right away and I'm living in the house with 3 Khmae Elders and me so I have to kinda be the thinker and remember what we need to get and do for the house.  The only thing we had were mattresses and that's it so I had to work on that with the mission and the landlord and had to go buy everything myself too, so it was a little stressful right away but I'm ok, just living on the floor right now and doing just fine.  I eat on the floor, sleep on the floor and study on the floor.  I'm always sittin on the ground, lol.

Anyway, Elder Ny has 5 months left and he has more health problems than I do so it's been tough to get started.  We just barely met with people together last night for the first time.  I went from having no time in my week to having really a lot of time because we have 3 investigators and in KT I had about 20 and not many recent converts but a ton of less actives to find so that will be good.  I'm excited to have this area to work with and my health is ok. 

Our branch is called Pochetong it's pretty small but I'm going to be finding less actives and trying to get the area books a ton better than they are right now so that will be exciting and I'll be busy and trying to use a lot of my time trying to do book work at the house.  Today is busy with other stuff expecially with my comp, cause he has had nose surgery and they just found Friday night that he has micro kidney stones and he just wants to be healthy so it's a little tough right now.  But we have a great Branch President and it will be great to work with him, a returned missionary who is smart and wants to help and make sure the missionaries are being helped too.  His wife is a returned Sister too and super smart and the members here are really great and super nice and friendly.  They tell me I speak really clear and just like a Khmae for only 6 months in country so I'm doing really good.  Now I'm in a house with all Khmaes so we will see how much Khmae I learn, lol! The Khmae all say that only white people eat bread but I make fun of them because they eat a ton of it so it's fun in the house.

I heard that 4 people that I started teaching in Kampong Thom got baptized yesterday so that was awesome and I was super excited. This area is pretty good and it's just busy all the time and crowded with people and a lot different from KT but my bike is good and the ac is good and the power is good too.  We are right next to a big grocery store and there is a volley ball court right outside our house that I'm going to challenge them all to 4 on 4 to listen to the gospel.  Four Elders vs the moto guys, haha, so I'll let you know how that goes.  Anyway, it's all good here and I love you all a ton.   I put lots of pics up of the people of KT!  Till next week! 
Love, Elder Joshua Decker

Monday, August 6, 2012

From e-mail 8/6/2012

Well, I'm being transferred to the city on the north side.  I'm white washing and I'm co-senior comp already.  Doesn't mean much but I have a tough area so the mission president talked to me about it last night and gave me lots of advice on what he wants me to do.  I'm feeling better and doing fine.  I got the box with the candy and peppermint oil pills and I use the stuff and it's working pretty good so we'll see after some longer time.  I can take my bike seat and my horn with me so that's good!  I love Kampong Thom and I can't wait to come back with you and you should come for two weeks!  It will be super fun and a hotel room in Kampon Thom with ac is 8 bucks a night with 2 beds...anything like that in America!?????  Haha!

It was a pretty normal week and not a ton of crazy things happened.  Monday to Wednesday I was companions with the senion Elder cause my comp was in the city for training.  I took out some of the young men too and Monday I had a relaxing p-day and got a two hour nap in my hammock with power.  But it was busy because when I'm out with the senior Elder I do all the translating and it is hard work.  Tuesday, spent the whole day with Elder Grimnes riding in the car and not sweating like crazy biking, lol!  And got lunch and dinner from Sophal and it was great!  Then Wed. was just crazy, I went out with Elder and Sister Grimnes and Sophal to an engagement thing for a member then took another comp that lived there, I didn't have a bike or helmet, and we taught 2 lessons together out there and then I hung out with Chuon and Chanthy's family as we are still teaching her mother and they are the best.  Then took another young man out with me in the evening and had some fun english classes.  Then a couple more busy days and then Sunday we had 3 new members receive the Holy Ghost and a little 12 year old boy, smaller than Bobby B. get the Priesthood.  It was great and then I gave 4 kids a blessing as they are taking their 12 grade exams and they all rely on the Elders so much and I love them all a ton!  I'm just really looking forward to the next time I get to meet with all of them and I love this area a ton.  

I have tons of pictures to put up and I still have to pack so not much this week.  Lots of fun taking pictures this week with everyone!  Love Elder, brother, son, Joshua! 
From e-mail 7/29/2012

My week was good and got busier and busier every day and nightly planning is just funny because each day this week was like, "I think if we ride our bikes as fast as we can all day and then don't eat lunch we can get everything done that we need to."  But it was fun and things change all the time and it's always fun.  Monday night we had a fun night and taught some really good lessons.  We went to Chuon and Chanthy's house and taught some investigators across the street and then them as a family.  It was the best and super fun because Chuon was all stoked from going out home teaching for the first time ever and just having a blast and told us all about it and it was super funny and he has a good companion to go with so that is good.  Then we came home and I made some rice and yes, I love rice, eat it all the time and love cooking it.  I'm like a rice pro now!  Haha!

Then Tues. was the day of the Branch pioneer day party and literally dominated our day so we only got one lesson but got a really good referral contacted and I have some pics from that to put up.   I met some other old missionaries and the Elder that trained Elder Wilcox so I met my grandpa and got a picture with him.  It was a good time and we had more than 100 people come but it was a lot of fun.  We did a ton of biking this week but thanks to Dad I love my bike and the horn keeps me safe on the roads because they all move for me cause they think I'm a bus!  Haha, love it!  Transfers are coming soon, the 10th, and I am nervous I might have to leave but we did planning and then got out to our far area and biked in the hottest weather ever and then as soon as we try and have a lesson it starts raining and loud as ever!  Then we had to race back to the church to teach another lesson before going home for the night.  I'm a really big fan of Thursday because I cook for lunch...yes, more rice and then I get to go out and come home tired and ready for bed and they have strawberry milk at the gas stations here and cheap ice bars and I love coming home some nights to that treat at the gas station and I have a smoothie lady on the corner of our road and she is super fun to talk with and makes dang good smoothies for 60 cents! 

Then Friday we were busy in the morning before lunch and this week we met with a new investigator family and they are really good and will come to church next week so that was good and we have been taking the young men with us on exchanges and teaching so its really good and we continue with our mission prep class.  Way better than teaching English.  Chuon and Chanthy are doing better and her mom was dropped off and we are teaching her now.  We were able to bring them stuff to help them out and they were so grateful.  I've never seen such gratitude in anyone's eyes like that before. 

Then Saturday we had a really busy day, had to translate for Sister Grimnes and then had baptismal interviews, then pec meeting then mission prep class and that night Sophal was still sick at the house.  And later that night I played doctor for Sophal who had an IV that wasn't put in very good and then had a late dinner.  Sunday was good too.  We had 3 people get baptized and I got to baptize someone and it was cool because we had someone get to baptize a friend and that was awesome.  Then I went out with a young man to teach another young man at Chuon and Chanthy's house.  Then I taught her mom.  She understands everything I say and will laugh and look at me and she holds my hand while I teach and I ask her if she understands to squeeze my hand and she is always squeezing my hand and that was the coolest lesson ever.  Chanthy was so happy to see her mom learning and understanding the gospel.  She has had a stroke and we gave her a blessing to get better and I have a strong hope that she will get much better and she was able to say a few more words with me today too! 

Anyway, the whole branch is sick and we gave 3 more blessings yesterday and then met with like 6 members that are sick and its just not good.  A lot of dengue fever in little kids too so it's super tough.  The power is better here but still dumb.  That's it for this week.  I'll try to get the pics up!  Love you all, Elder Decker!
My older's sisters family

banana tree

Pu choun and ming chanthy and their family

This is the electrical system in khmae

This is how close you can get..too close!

Making cow food with soley

Ming Heak!

Ming Heak and Ming Thary

Dope the Big elder!

This is the wyoming of cambodia

Narin, Narein, Phanna, Nian, Visal, Pisey, Chiouy, and Christian

Chiouy and christian

Ming channy, lida liya and more!

Ming heak and thary and soley and boley

MIng Phalle and Khimsey, and Channy


The Kampong Thom Family


Me and Pu choun!