Week 7: After and Afterwards

Oct 22, 2022

Hey everyone! Two and a half weeks left until I am on a plane to Cambodia with all of the other missionaries. It's crazy how fast the time is going by in these last couple of weeks. This week especially went by super-fast. We've been playing Uno in the other district's room before bed every few nights and it is so fun. Elder Gill (the elder from Wales) makes us play with some weird British rules his dad made up or something, but I honestly don't think I want to play Uno any other way now because it makes it so much more fun. What makes it even better is we all agree on a punishment for the loser before the game starts. Last week Elder Westwood had to drink two full 40 oz hydroflasks of water before bed and then he threw up. He wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom before bed. We were hoping he would pee the bed, but he just got up to pee like four times in the middle of the night and he was so mad. We played last night and Elder Gill, Elder Stark, and I lost. Elder Stark had to take four melatonin before a two-hour endowment session at 6:00 this morning and he slept through the whole thing. Elder Gill had to wear his shirt backwards, tucked in, and hike his shorts up while we played volleyball in the gym today. I had to sleep on top of the cabinets in our room last night and funny enough, I was the one who came up with the idea because I didn't think I was going to lose. I slept on the cabinets for a solid two hours and then I tapped out and slept in my bed for the rest of the night. Might have to take an Uno break after that. 

This week we got new next-door neighbors who will be serving in Japan! Two of them are from Japan and don't know very much English and the other one is from Mongolia and speaks Mongolian, English, and Japanese very well. They are all so funny though, and it has made my week being able to talk to them every day. We taught them how to say a few things in English, but my favorite thing we taught them was, "howdy y'all" because they found out I was from Texas. Then they taught us how to stay "stinky monkey" in Japanese. I'm going to miss them when we all leave in a couple weeks.

Yesterday in class we got to watch a live stream of a devotional in Cambodia and it was awesome. Even though they spoke in Khmer the entire time it was really cool being able to understand some of it. One of the old mission presidents, President Moon, spoke and he spoke in Khmer a little bit. It was super impressive. After the devotional finished, we ended class learning transition words in Khmer. We probably spent half of the hour just talking about the difference between "after" and "afterwards" because Elder Platt got confused and then it confused the rest of us and Lokru Peterson. It was so dumb, but so funny. I still don't know if we know the difference.

 Watching the devotional got me so excited to get to Cambodia and be immersed in the language and culture. Even though I know it's going to be hard for a while, I know that I will grow through all my trials and struggles. I can't wait to meet all the people. One thing I loved that Lokru Hardy told us this week was, "The people you teach on your mission will teach you more than you will teach them." He told us that we will see true faith when we see people willing to give up everything they have in the name of God. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit. I still have so much to improve on though as I try to grow closer to them and be more in tune with the Spirit.

I definitely feel my relationship growing with the Spirit because of my amazing companion, district, and teachers. Our district had another amazing meeting after the devotional this week and most of us cried. The Spirit was so strong and allowed everyone to be vulnerable and share their experiences and hardships in life as we talked about how we see God's love for us in our lives. Each one of the elders, sisters, and my teachers allow me to see God's love for me. I am so thankful for the people He has put in my life and the help and love I have received from Him through them. I see God's love for me through each and every one of you as well. I love you all!


Elder Mendenhall