Week 5: Stinky Monkeys

Oct 08, 2022

Hello everyone! I have officially been on the mission for ONE MONTH! It's crazy to think how fast it has gone by and how much I have been able to learn and grow. My testimony in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has never been stronger.

This week has been so fun. Our district has gone to the field a couple of times this week to play spikeball and cornhole for our exercise. Sister Ainsworth and I are 6-0 in cornhole currently. Nobody has been able to beat us yet and we plan to keep it that way. The past couple of days some of the elders have had the great idea to see how much chocolate milk they can drink during breakfast. Elder Platt chugged 4 glasses of chocolate milk yesterday and Elder Hill chugged 3 glasses. Honestly impressive. When we went back to our rooms Elder Hill threw it all up and Elder Ellingson recorded it on his GoPro. It was pretty funny in my opinion, but I won't share the video because it was pretty gross. You're welcome. Elder Forte arrived at the MTC this week and I am so happy to see him here! It's been so fun seeing him throughout the day and being able to eat with him a couple of times. I can't wait to see and hear about his experiences over the next few weeks.

Elder Wesemann and I had our first lesson in Khmer this week and I felt like we did really well! It's crazy how much I am able to speak when I sometimes think I don't know certain words or phrases, but when I need to, I am able to speak. We taught about the Godhead and prayer and our lesson took up the whole 15 minutes. The person we taught spoke really fast and was hard to understand at times, but I was able to pick out a few words to know what she was asking. If I didn't know how to answer her question, I would just repeat what I said or said "yes" and moved on. I have truly seen and experienced so many gift of tongue miracles this past week and it's amazing how much we can accomplish through the power of God. I know the whole district and I will continue to get better at Khmer the more we practice and the harder we work in faith.

This week has been amazing. Having the opportunity to sing in General Conference and hear from the Prophet and Apostles was an experience I will never forget. The room and my heart were filled with the Spirit as the word of God was shared through the music and the words of all the speakers. So many amazing messages were shared during Conference weekend. One message that really stuck with me was from Elder Steven J. Lund's talk where he said, "You don't have to wear the badge to bear His name." This week we have talked a lot about life after the mission for some reason, but it has really motivated me. One of the teachers that looks over the Southeastern Asian language classes told us that our missions are the foundations for the rest of our lives. When I take off that nametag 2 years from now, that doesn't mean I have to stop being a servant of the Lord. I should strive to continually be the Lord's servant and bring others unto Christ for the rest of my life. That also goes along with Elder Bednar's talk where he said, "For many are called, but few are chosen." Our teachers were telling us that so many missionaries go back home after their missions and just go back to being the same person they were before the mission. The mission is a time of growth and change and we should continually be striving to be more Christ-like. That is the ultimate goal we can set for ourselves in this life. I'm still myself and have the same personality but I have noticed how much God has helped me grow and change these past few weeks and I hope I continue to become better so I can be prepared to serve the people in Cambodia. I invite all of you to set the goal for yourselves to be more Christ-like every day and see the miracles and blessings that it will bring to you and others.

I love you all,

Elder Mendenhall