Friday, January 22, 2016

All Things Are Done in Wisdom and Order..... TODAY!

21 Jan 2016
Phnom Penh is full of beauty....a sunrise
a public park.....
 It is her daily chaos and lack of order that frustrates me the most.  Many scriptures come to mind beginning with Doctrine and Covenants 93:43 "And now a commandment I give unto you- if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house."
Order plays such an important part in a Latter-day Saint's life.  We love order.   We expect order especially when it comes to the Church.    Our Heavenly Father loves order.  The Prophet Joseph learned in 1830 when the Lord tutored him "For all things must be done in order, " (D&C 28:13).  And again in 1843, "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion."
Phnom Penh obviously did not have city planners.   Maybe my pictures can explain that.  We live on Street 222. 

Mission office is on the right.
 The Russian Embassy/Science Cultural building is on the left.   Honestly, I hear roosters crowing from that Russian compound!  Our little street is sandwiched between the first street to the north which is:
and one street south is:

I KNOW.... the numbers don't jive!   And the block after Street 228 is:
 and one block past Street 240 logically is Street 242????
If you are trying to rationalize a number order.... don't bother.  And just to let you know streets run north and south .... and east and west are also STREETS!  It is virtually impossible to find a street address (providing they have an address!).   There are also no zoning laws.  
 You can see a gated, guarded mansion and next door

you have the everyday people eking out a living.  
We have been told that "someone" who first lived on this road said "I want the street that I live on to be named 222" and so it was.   Phnom Penh has a post office, but with no explanations necessary,  there is no door to door service.   Very few can afford a PO Box, therefore, communications in Phnom Penh is a bit stifled.   Water bills, electric bills, rent notices are hand delivered.  There is no "bill me later" business.  That's why it is a cash only society.   A grocery store is the only place I have been able to use a credit card or debit card. 
I have come to realize that the postal systems bring "order" to a city.  In order to have a functioning postal system you have to have orderly streets that, heaven forbid, would line up sequentially!  It also requires homes, buildings, places of business to line up one after the other and be numbered...... sequentially!   No one has a front yard or back yard.  They have exactly as much space as they need for their house.  If there is a piece of land behind your house someone will build house on it and they are now your neighbor.   So houses are dotted everywhere.  With this kind of disorder, the postal system has no chance or working at all.   Without a postal system there is no communications and no order within your city.   This would answer why EVERYONE has a phone!   They only communicate by phone.
Obviously, in earlier years no one was ever inspired to create a post office or Pony Express, in Cambodia's case maybe that would have been an Elephant Express! It does seem to be a bit of an oxymoron in itself to use Elephant and Express in the same phrase, doesn't it?  And I guess, who were they going to communicate with anyway?  Families seem to stay in one place.  They are not a very nomadic people.  Then there is the literacy factor.   Not many could then or can now read or write, so letter writing is not a big deal.  All the many wars and oppression have played a major part in this since the educated were killed.  In those years, no one was coming forward with reading and writing skills.
Again I come away with gratitude for little things like reading, writing, and having order in all things.  It makes it so clear as to why all of North America was the chosen land where the restored gospel would come forth.   The brilliant, determined, and courageous minds that came to support the Prophet Joseph and build the kingdom of God from Canada, the United States, and Mexico is astounding.  The building of God's Kingdom was not going to be a one-man band.   Canadian contributions from Brigham Young, John Taylor, Hugh B. Brown, and N. Eldon Tanner brought unsurpassed order to the Church.  Fellow Canadians and possible neighbors, Jeremiah and Sarah Sturdevant Leavitt, brought the gospel and order to a family for generations to come.  So we feel a privilege and responsibility of coming from a family (and all the order that that generates) that has had the gospel for 180 years. 
Oh Cambodia.... where do we begin?   I guess we begin today......

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