Monday, October 5, 2015

Fast Sunday isn't so Fast

Dear Family and Friends, 

So just a little heads up... i forgot my journal at home, so i really have no idea what I am going to write about today, so sorry!!! Thinking about this week, i feel like not a lot happened, so maybe it's okay. Hopefully I can hit on the important things. 

Monday we were planning on going and teaching a less active that lives on the railroad tracks, but where we park and lock our bikes is right in front of a different less actives house and when we rode up she thought we were coming to teach her, so she got chairs out for us and everything. How could we possibly tell her that we weren't coming to teach her? So we ended up teaching her instead. The lesson itself wasn't very good, but the things that came of it were miracles. I'll expound on that in a little. 

Tuesday we had District Meeting. It was on Personal Prayer and was so good, but then after we were just sharing stories. Get this- apparently a bunch of the houses here that the missionaries stay in are haunted. Like they were telling crazy stories. Some of the houses got so bad that they had to move the missionaries. It usually happens with Khmers because they are more prone and superstitious about stuff like that, but the occasional American has dreams, sees things, and hears things. Needless to say I'm a little freaked out for that to happen. As if Cambodia doesn't have enough adventures and interesting things. haha. We left and went and taught Kit and Kim Hoa (2 of the four girls). Then, as we were waiting for Srey Neng to get home from work, we got to color with Srey Pov. And to make the situation even better it was a Mickey Mouse coloring book. DAY MADE!!!! And the book had stickers, so i now have a Mickey Mouse sticker decorating this transfers planner. Oh, i was so happy and they were all just laughing at me. I don't think they understand the love I have for Mickey and all things Disney!!! After teaching a lesson to Srey Neng and Srey Pov, we went back to the railroad tracks this time to teach our less active for reals, but once we got there her daughter, Bong Chantea, told us that she didn't want to meet with us, she said things were too hard. We just decided to teach Bong Chantea instead and it was exactly what needed to happen. She ended up breaking down and telling us everything that was going on in her life. She has some major family problems right now, but really it was a testimony to me that the Lord knows all of His children. He knew that we needed to go visit Chantea, so he had us run into that other less active on Monday. He as a plan for everything and when we put our faith in that plan we will be extremely blessed and see miracles. 

Wednesday we worked on CBR's (Convert Baptism Record). Goodness what a mess that was. It taught me two things. 1) we have SO many less actives that we need to find and start working with. Our retention rate in this mission is currently 35%. That is SO low... horrible really. And 2) the importance of good record keeping. You know it would be so much easier if we had ipads, but for now we've got to do it all by hand. In order to retain members we have to be as organized and accurate as possible. I finished my first CBR and boy was it beautiful. I even wrote in script on it, which i was pretty proud of. After CBR's we met with two of our contacts. They are cousins. Srey Leap (17) and Rith (13). Rith speaks English very very well. I wanted to teach him in English, haha, but Srey Leap couldn’t really understand, so Khmer it was. They were very receptive, but the only problem is their ages. If they are younger than 18 we have to get their parent's permissions to baptize them and they said that their parent's aren't super down on the whole christianity thing... so we'll see where things go with them. Our English lesson was on body parts, so in order to help them learn better we had them label a body. haha it was so funny!! I'll attach a picture. (: When we got home we watched a movie called Legacy. Such a cheesy classic church movie, but when you're on a mission you take what you can get. (: We also discovered that we have a pet lizard living in our bedroom. That was a little unsettling, but such is life in Cambodia. We have since lost him, so i am just waiting for the little fella to jump out and scare me one of these days. haha 
Nothing super good that i can remember happened on Thursday... 

Friday! We went and met our good old friend Srey Kayo again. She is an interesting character. This time her sister and her sisters friend was there. They gave us lots of food. They gave us banana chips (SO good!!!!!!), these weird candies (I have no idea what they were, but there was a corn flavored one and it tasted exactly like corn. The weirdest thing ever!!! Then there was one that i thought was raspberry, but it ended up being Lychee. I don't even know what that is, but it wasn't good... haha), and then they gave us Green Tea Soymilk... ewww!!! That was nasty.... I'm pretty sure it's against the word of wisdom, but sister Fields drank it, so i just followed her lead. It was honestly so gross and then i kept burping it up the rest of the night. That's when you know something isn't good, when it just keeps coming up. Yuck!!!!! Her sisters friend though, oh this is cool!!! She speaks like fluent English, so i actually got to talk to someone. Yes!!!! And she said she's interested in learning which is even cooler!!!! After that interesting experience we went and taught Bong Chiat and Bong Naavii. They had finished reading chapter one of first nephi, but hadn't prayed to know if it was true, but they had been praying as a family, so that was good. We taught them the second lesson and the spirit was so so strong. We committed them to baptism (the day after Christmas!!!!!) and then we invited Bong Chiat to pray. Oh my goodness. This was a miracle. He said the simplest pray, but it was so sincere and after he was done, we opened our eyes and he was crying and he just sat their with his hand on his heart and we were able to testify that what he was feeling was the holy ghost. Such a tender experience. I loved it!! After that we taught two new investigators. Kind of a long story about how we contacted them, but there is a guy in one of our wards, Mark, yes Mark, and it is his mom and his niece. They have been coming to church for the past 3 weeks. Basically we just need to teach them the lessons and they can get baptized. The niece is 10 and she is the cutest thing. So enthusiastic about learning. She always has her book of Mormon and bible with her. too adorable!! 

Saturday we had to wing it for English class because our books got locked in the library. That was interesting, but so fun. We only had 3 students, so we were able to really have a good time. We contacted another girl that wants to learn. Unfortunately she is 14, so we need permission from her parents as well. What is it with all these children wanting to learn? haha. But a lot of our investigators, RC, and LA are leaving this week and going back to their home towns for Pchum Ben, some Cambodian Holiday... I don't even know what it is, so maybe you guys could look it up and give me a quick run down on it next week. All i know is that it's gonna make this next week an interesting one to see who can meet with us and who is going to be gone. Saturday night we were riding home and passed Dominos (yes, they have that here) and sister Fields decided that was what we needed for our last meal before fasting. We walked in and there's this American guy there. We quickly judged him and wondered why in the world he was here, but he came up to us and told us that he is from California. That all of his family is members, but he's not, but that he is very familiar with missionaries. He was really nice and said how much comfort it brought him speaking English with people here, so he just wanted to help us out. Such a tender mercy!!!! and the pizza was delicious, so perks!! 

Sunday... ugh. Sundays are long enough going to six hours of church in khmer and then you throw fasting on top of it and it made for one long fast Sunday. I love fasting i really do, but it's a whole different ballgame when you can't eat or drink water in a place like Cambodia. Needless to say i was exhausted all day and parched!!! We were really hoping Chiat and Naavii would be at church, but they weren't... huge bummer. We planned on teaching them after church, but when we went Chiat was "too tired". He had gotten home late last night and hadn't slept since then, so we ended up teaching Hiangli. After that we went to a FHE at the four girls house and it turned out to be a party. The bishop and his family were there as well. We were a little late and our punishment for that was that we had to sing a hymn in English. They said "we just want to hear your voice because you never speak Khmer."haha whoops! But then they fed us dinner. It was some kind of curry... I didn't ask what was in it, but I also didn't eat any of the meat, just to be safe. I do know that it had rotten fish paste in it, so that was cool. I have yet to get sick from it, so it must have been pretty safe. I was so thirsty and they didn't have any water, so i ended up drinking 3 glasses of coke.  That was the most soda i've had in years... but i just needed something to drink. I made sure to drink lots of water when i got home!!! 
I think that's all for this week. Thank you for all the love and support. I love you all so much!!!! 

Sister Loftus
Double D

aftermath of a famous Cambodian rainstorm

Family Home Evening

lunch in a Mexican restaurant in Cambodia-go figure!

Sister Fields diagraming the body for English class-isn't it beautiful?

Sister Loftus coloring Mickey Mouse with Srey Pov

Dominos Pizza-in Cambodia

Family Home Evening Party-some kind of curry...

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