Cambodia North Zone Phnom Penh

Week 14: Gifts from Up Above

Dec 11, 2022

Hello you beautiful people! I hope everyone had an amazing week and I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. This week has been great and I have been thinking about gifts a lot this week. Not Christmas gifts, but all the amazing gifts and blessings that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given us in our lives. There are countless gifts that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have blessed us with in our lives and continue to bless us with every day, but there are a few specifically that I have been thinking about a lot this week.

The Gift of the Spirit. On Monday night Elder Schofield and I had family home evening with an inactive member and her husband and invited our two bishopric counselors and a couple of other members to join us as well. For our lesson we read in Luke 2 where it tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. After we read, we asked everyone to share who Jesus Christ was to them. I did not understand almost anything that anybody said, but I definitely understood that the Spirit was in that room with us, and I felt it in my heart. I was the last one to share who Jesus Christ was to me. The second I opened my mouth I started crying because I was just so overwhelmed by the Spirit that I felt with everyone in that room. People can already barely understand me as it is, so I can't imagine how hard it was to understand me while I was crying, but I shared what I felt in my heart. I shared that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my brother and that I know he loves all of us. I told them that even though I couldn't understand a lot of what they said and can't speak Khmer very well, I felt the Spirit through their testimonies of Jesus Christ. I said that I know that through Jesus Christ and His love, we can overcome any challenges that we have in life.

The Gift of Tongues. On Tuesday night we were at the park contacting and usually I don't say much and I just watch Elder Schofield do his thing and learn from him. Sometimes he'll have me start a conversation and then he'll start talking once I don't know what to say or don't understand. It was my turn to start talking to the next person, so I said hello to this one guy and just started talking to him while Elder Schofield stood next to me just in case I needed help. I somehow was able to keep the conversation going and got him to agree to meet with us again sometime which was so exciting. Right after that I walked over to another guy and started talking to him and out of nowhere Elder Schofield looked at me and says, "I'm gonna go talk to those people over there. You got it!" I panicked for a second, but kept talking to this guy. He was a little harder to understand, but I just shared how the Church and Jesus Christ have changed my life and that's why I came to Cambodia. To help other people. I asked him if he would want to meet with us again sometime and he said yes! I know that because of the gift of tongues I was able to talk to these two guys and share about Jesus Christ with them. Without such an amazing gift from Heavenly Father, I would not have been able to speak with them. 

The Gift of Baptism. One of our friends, Heang, got baptized yesterday and I am so excited for him. I have only known him for a little bit and only taught him a few lessons, but he has such a great knowledge and understanding of the gospel and things we have taught him. I remember a couple of weeks ago he wasn't sure if he was ready to be baptized and wanted to wait longer before he was baptized, but we knew he was ready. When I saw the smile on his face and how happy he was after his baptism yesterday, I knew he was definitely ready. I can't wait to see how the gospel blesses his life for eternity. Every time I see how happy this gospel and Jesus Christ can make people feel, it reminds me why I am here serving my mission and makes me forget about all my struggles and doubts.

What an amazing opportunity we have as servants of the Lord to receive and share all these gifts with people around the world who may not even know who Jesus Christ or God is. Elder Hugo Montoya said, "Let us take advantage of every opportunity to help our neighbor, even if it is the first and only time we meet him or her in this life." I know that the gospel has changed my life in so many ways and it truly brings me so much joy. I invite all of you, my family, missionary friends, member friends, nonmember friends, to share what brings you joy in your life with your family, friends, neighbors, and whoever you may meet. Even if it is the only time you meet them in this life. Light the world with joy! I love you all! ❤️


Elder Mendenhall

📸 All the photos:

A sampling: