Anyways, we had a TRULY inspiring week. We had an accidental lesson with one person we meet often but he doesn't come to church or read or pray. When we meet with people, it is truly just about getting them to pray and read their scriptures and go to church, because they won't learn anything about the church from us! All the learning comes from what you do on your own. I have really seen that in the people here. But anyways, we sat down with him because we just saw him out and about, and he told us he was thinking of running away. WHAT. He is like a 40 year old dude with 3 daughters and a wife. He said his wife swears at him, so he is running away. I don't find myself the type of person telling people what to do in their lives that are big decisions like that, but something inside me just pushed me to tell him to get over it and stick with his family. IT WAS SO WEIRD! I was giving a 40 year old dude advice on how to live his life and raise his family! It kinda reminded me of Dreamworks Treasure Planet. I don't want my investigator to turn into that kind of a dad. So after I kinda chastised him for a while, I left that lesson feeling like I really made a change! That's what I've done today to make me feel proud.
Then, the highlight of the week was definitely the Pioneer Day celebration. The members here have told us "You can skip the Christmas party... You can skip the Cambodian New Year party... but you DO NOT mess with Pioneer day here." And they weren't kidding. It was an all-day party, filled with talks, musical numbers, a seminary graduation (which was really random), and finally a PLAY. Featuring the stars of Battambang, Cambodia: The Elders. I played a guy who kicks down a door and yells "WHICH ONE OF YOU IS JOSEPH SMITH?!" and then grabs him and takes him to his death. I put my whole SOUL into that part. If I am remembered for anything here in Battambang, it will be by the way I played that role.
Speaking of which, I have just recived word that good ole Elder Slavens will no longer be serving in Battambang! I have been in the same province for 4 months now, the whole time I have been in Cambodia, but now I am moving on up. Or down, I guess. I am going to another province called Kampong Cham, which is way less developed than the province I am in now. I am going to miss this place! I have had 2 full out dance parties here over new years and pioneers! These people know my moves. But it is time for me to move on. By this time next week, I'll be in Kampong Cham with my new companion, Elder Beacco from Saint George, Utah. He is probably Gabe's best friend. He plays rugby. More to come.
You are the shooting star shining bright for all to see.