Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Deliberate Disciple

24 Oct 2015

Our mission vision is to "Be a Deliberate Disciple".   I have thought about that a lot.   I am now trying to direct my focus on being a deliberate disciple of Christ as opposed to an "accidental disciple". 

I have tried to be more observant and find the difference between the deliberate and the accidental disciple.   What does it take to be a deliberate disciple.   What does a deliberate disciple look like?  And likewise, what does an accidental disciple look like?

As best as I can figure out,  it is hard to see the difference.   The Accidental Disciple goes through all the motions.   They go to church, they accept callings (most of the time will do them... may not), prays most of the time, has read the scriptures, has an understanding of the Church and how it works.  The children go to Primary, the youth go to the activities they really like. On occasion the Gospel of Jesus Christ will wash over them like the tides coming in toward the shores.  It will touch you and even some of it may stick.  Then you just wait hoping that there is another high tide some day soon. 

What makes the difference is the HEART and MIND which will direct STRENGTH or action.  That is why the Lord requires your "heart, mind, and strength".  This will create the Deliberate Disciple.   One who takes seriously the promises we make every Sunday when we take the Sacrament.   We will keep His commandments, we will always remember Him, and we will take His name upon us.  The Deliberate Disciple will be focused on being Christ-like daily.  Some of the attributes are faithfulness, kindness, thoughtfulness, and being uplifting to others.  They do what they do out of love of others and love of the Lord.  No other motives.

I think the Deliberate Disciples in our lives are part of the miracles we see.
The Deliberate Disciples seem to be all around us in the form of family, friends, neighbors, wards, and stakes.   Julie, my dear friend, has had the opportunity to see some of these Deliberate Disciples up close and personal.   She has been the recipient of their love and caring arms.   She received her miracle this week, or was it in he last 10 months?  Either way, I'm grateful that my friend's health is being restored.    The examples witnessed are worth emulating.  I have learned a lot about being a Deliberate Disciple.   I am more focused on being a Deliberate Disciple. I am grateful for miracles and that they are still very evident in this world.   The true disciples, the deliberate disciples make life bearable while we wait for the miracle.   The miracle began when a community of people had the slightest shred of hope.   It was that little bit of hope that became stronger and stronger until it was larger than the disease. 
I just can't stop saying "thank you".   The real test is I a better person because of this?  Am I becoming a better disciple of Christ... a Deliberate Disciple of Christ?  I am working on it.  I have my sights set on the goal. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Zone Conference in Kampong Cham

3 Oct 2015

What a wonderful experience this was to attend the Zone Conference in Kampong Cham on 26 September 2015.   There are 12 Elders and 4 Sisters in Kampong Cham.  16 missionaries for a city approximately 120,000 people.  They are on the streets every day "contacting" which means they are striking up a conversation with people, if they will give you the time of day!

President/Sister Christensen, the 2 AP's, and 2 Sister Trainers taught some wonderful principle of the gospel.  President Christensen brought forth his Mission Vision, which is "To Be a Deliberate Disciple of Jesus Christ".   It was inspiring.
They all ride bad, old bikes, but if you get them new ones they would always be stolen and possibly hurt to get it.  New bikes would make our missionaries bright big targets. 
                                   The first missionaries we saw were Elder Hall and Elder Slavens.
                                                    Elder Lauritzen doing his part to help.
                                   President Christensen with his "let's get to it stride".
 Awww! Good man, Elder Hunt (on the left), handing over the receipts for Elder Leavitt while Elder Lauritzen looks on.
 Our marvelous Sisters!  Sister Sheffield, Sister Ren, Sister Semones, Sister Harris, Sister Uresk and Sister Spangler.  

                              A one on one conversation with Sister Christensen is always uplifting.
Eating ice cream with chop sticks was a challenge worth taking!  Even President and Sister Christensen took up the challenge! 

                                     Lunch was great but we all LOVED the chocolate ice cream!
And the day is over.  Everyone a better person for having been to the Zone Conference in 
Kampong  Cham.

On the Way to Kampong Cham

2 Oct 2015

Saturday 26 Sept 2015.... Elder Leavitt and I drove to Kampong Cham for a Zone Conference.  These next pictures were taken out of my car window on the way to Kampong Cham......


The women wear these pajama like clothing.  They feel very fashionable. 

Just a moto driving on the wrong side of the street.   Its common.  It seems to bring out the "road rage" in us!!   We were driving down the 4-lane highway when Elder Leavitt had to quickly swerve into the right hand lane when he realized that he wasn't pulling up to the back of a truck... he was coming head on with a truck.  Well, after all, what is a guy supposed to do?   Stay on his side of the road?  He needed to make a left hand turn!!!

Those are 5 bed frames stacked on each other that are in the back of the truck (the man is sitting on the tailgate of the truck).  

A fast food store.  Most of these are on movable carts.  This one is a little more "up town" .... it is stationary.  

It is so trashy everywhere.   They do gather it up in one spot but it stays there all day.  The trash wagons come around at night.  They never bag it up or anything like unto it.  It just sits there and rots all day.  That is one of those things that will "forever be foreign".  
A couple of carts on the sidewalk selling their wares. 
The children seem to be happy and loved.  They just don't know how dirty it is here!   And that there is education out there somewhere..... that the gospel of Jesus Christ is at their fingertips.... our missionaries just have to find them.  Door knocking is against the law (no doors anyway)... the people just have to bump into the missionaries on the street and make a contact.  It is a different kind of missionary work here.
This is a pharmacy with the blue cross.  Not like we have in North America, it really is only a DRUG store.
                                                               A Cambodian Cowboy
Just another mode of transportation.   The people living in the Khets (kites) are very poor, but they keep plugging away at life and making the most of it.
                                                                    Local vendors
On the road home I saw some of the skinniest cows I have ever seen.  These cows pull the machinery  in the rice fields.  Just like all the humans, they work hard for very little return!

The trip to Kampong Cham is very interesting, very sad, very humbling yet it inspires gratitude, and motivates one to want to help and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a people who have nothing to lose and everything to gain.   It has changed my prayers.