Dear Family and Friends,
This week was one full of not a whole lot. The holiday kind of threw us for a loop. Is that even a saying? If not, you know what I mean. (: Everyone was gone, back to their home town, so we didn't really have very many people we could teach and some of our investigators were gone, so we didn't get to teach them... But when they get back we will just pick up from where we left off and get them progressing toward baptism once more!
Monday we went to the mission home in hopes of going out to eat at a really good restaurant with some other sisters, but no joke all of the restaurants were closed, so we ended up sitting at the mission home. Sister Christensen (mission mom) made us brownies though and they were quite delicious!! As we were sitting there some elders told us that Domino's and Burger King were the only two restaurants open, so we quickly decided, as we were nearly dying from starvation, that we would go to Domino's. We got there and guess what? They were having a deal -buy one pizza get one free. Holla. So we got two pizzas for the price of one and they were delicious. Funny thing... They give you little ketchup packets with your pizza. Interesting... I have yet to try it, not much of a ketchup girl, but that is a thing here in Cambodia. After that we went to Dairy Queen. Yes, they have that here. So weird that that has made it's way over here and McDonald's has not. They don't have food like they do in American, just the ice cream, but it is so so good. After our day full of socializing, we went home and started on the project of cleaning our apartment. That's what President decided we needed to do over the holiday. Me and sister Fields decided that we needed to dejunk and get rid of all the junk that old missionaries had left in the apartment before we could start cleaning, so that is what our Monday night consisted of. We found lots of odd things... lots of Vietnamese materials and lots of old shoes... There is no such thing as a DI here, so you literally just toss things to the curb and people come and take what they want. So interesting.
Tuesday was full of deep deep cleaning. We thought that because our apartment was small and one of the newer ones that it wouldn't take us very long, but just our kitchen took us almost two hours. I didn't realize how nasty it was. There was just a layer of filth on everything. The term elbow grease took on a whole new meaning for me as i cleaned the microwave that had who knows what kind of food caked on the inside of it from who knows how long ago and the rice cooker that hadn't seen a rag in ages. We labored good and hard and after 5 1/2 hours of cleaning, our house was finally clean. It was literally sparkling. Man, did that feel good or what? So accomplished. Let me just say, if you want your house cleaned, I am your girl. You guys can start signing me up to clean your houses when I get home. (; JOKES!!! Never do i want to do that again hahaha. After cleaning like crazy, we got to go to the South Stake Center for a little Pchum Ben celebration of our own. We watched to Joseph Smith movie, prophet of the Restoration. My testimony of him and this restoration was just strengthened. If you haven't seen that movie before, or it's been awhile, find it and watch it ASAP. It is so so good. You can definitely feel the Spirit so strong. I love it so much. I'm grateful I have the opportunity to share the message of the restoration with the people of Cambodia. It has such a power about it that really can and does change lives. After we got home made cookies and rice krispie treats and ice cream (not home made). All in all it was a good day.
Wednesday was supposed to be a normal day, the effects of the holiday were supposed to be gone. We had a district meeting where we decided that we needed to work on strengthening the members in our ward first before we add more to them. A lot of good points that are really hard to understand if you don't really know the situation of the church here in Cambodia, also over email they will be difficult to explain because you've gotta use your hands a lot and that's not an option over email... were made and we decided the best way to help them is to get them in the Book of Mormon. To really help them gain a testimony of its truthfulness. I'm so excited to do this because i LOVE the book of Mormon. Hopefully it's beneficial. (: After we went to English and NOT ONE STUDENT SHOWED UP.... not a single one. That's what Pchum Ben does to this city. so crazy, needless to say, we did not have English class...
Thursday we taught Srey Neng, Srey Pov, and Kit (our investigators who have a baptismal date for October 31st) a lesson about baptismal covenants and it was amazing. This lesson was on the request of Ming Sovanay, their mom, who is a recent convert who just gets the gospel. She's only been a member for a few months and i'm pretty sure she understands more than me. Anyway she is concerned that her daughters aren't taking things seriously... they aren't reading their scriptures or praying as much as they should be, so we were just trying to help them understand the seriousness of the covenants they are about to make and it went really really well. The spirit was so strong. we asked them each why they wanted to get baptized and they all gave great answers- to be cleansed from sin, to keep the commandments of god, and my favorite from my favorite Srey Pov, so she can prepare to have the opportunity to be a sister and serve a mission!!!! What??? So exciting!!! She wants to come to Utah. (: I would LOVE THAT SO MUCH!!!!!!!! We went to the church to switch for my first exchange and this guy was there and he told me a look like Taylor Swift... I don't look like her at all, but she's my home-girl, so i was pleased with that compliment and then he told me that i also looked like a girl from a horror movie about ghosts... so not sure what that was supposed to mean, but i just slowly walked away.. haha. Leaving sister Fields was SO hard. She's my mom... I didn't want to leave at all. I had a lot of fears about the exchange, but i went anyway. It started off a little interesting. Me and the sister i was with, sister Matthews, are very different, but as we kept talking and getting to know each other, it became quite fun. We got to their house and their light bulb in their bathroom was broken and they hadn't gotten a new one, so i every time i went to the bathroom it was in the dark and to make matters worse, but better for the sake of this story, they were out of toilet paper as well... They have these hoses here called bdei's that you use to clean yourself so i had my first experience with one of those... I don't like it at all... haha.
Friday we woke up and went out proselyting. Interesting cause it wasn't my area and i didn't know anyone, but still so much fun. We went to this Om's house and we planned on sharing 3 Nephi 11, when Christ comes to America, but as we started reading she proceeded to tell us that there were evil spirits in her house, so we only read 10 verses and then we left really fast... Sister Matthews was quite scared and nervous. I of course couldn't understand what was going on, so i didn't know that I was supposed to be scared til after everything was said and done. haha. but don't worry i'm safe and nothing happened. (: We went and taught one of their investigators and her friend was over, so we taught her as well and she ended up becoming a new investigators, so that was way cool!!! After that we planned to go meet a recent convert, but sister Matthews is newer to the area and got lost... we ended up contacting, which is not as scary as everyone makes it seems, or as scary as i thought it would be. It really is just a matter of opening your mouth. This past week i've really been trying to focus on following the promptings of the spirit and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. We were contacting this lady who had just had a baby, straight up new born of about 6 days... and i said that the gospel of Jesus Christ can help you have happiness and peace within your family. Not really knowing why i added on the peace part, but come to find out she had just got a divorce and really needed to hear the peace part. That is just one story of the Lord's hand that is present in the work over here in Cambodia. It is the coolest thing to be apart of. I love it so much! After that we went back to the church and exchanged back!! Man, i missed sister fields so much. "Reunited and it feels so good". You best believe we sang that as we biked back to our apartment. (:
Saturday we taught English class and then we planned to teach srey leap after, but she had to run home and get something to eat, so we were just waiting in the lobby of the church and sister field dropped her water bottle. as she bent down to pick is up i kicked it away from her and then proceeded to play soccer with it. That's how much i miss soccer... going a little crazy. But I'll be okay haha. Our lesson with Srey leap went really well. She was one of our investigators that went back to her home town for the holiday, but she read the scriptures (reread 1 nephi 1 because she didn't understand it the first time) and prayed. YES!!! We taught her a good lesson 2 and then committed her to baptism, she declined, but only because she wants to learn and understand more. I know that as she continues to read and pray she will learn and have to desire to be baptized. I can't wait!!! We went visiting with Tuol Kork and it was really effective. We went and visited this less active family and they all ended up being sick with the flu or something like that... but the bishop's wife didn't care and walked right in, so during the middle of the lesson the neak ming excused herself and goes and throws up and then just comes right back like nothing had happened... and then one of the little boys was crawling all over me ended up being sick too... If any of you know me, i have a huge phobia of getting the flu and throwing up, so that was basically my worst nightmare. I was kind of freaking out... okay not kind of, i was, but not much I could do... As we were riding home this cat came out of no where, shot like a rocket, and i may or may not have ran it over... whoops.
Sunday was a good day. We had a very fun Sunday school lesson about the spirit world. There were about 20 of us stuffed in this tiny room, but it was so fun. Everyone was involved and helping each other learn. There was an American couple in sacrament meeting. Apparently she had served in that ward 7 years ago, so that was fun to talk to her a little. For our second ward we were talking to a recent convert and she just looks and me and told me that i had lost so much weight... that i was now "slim". I told her that i was the same as when i got her and she proceeded to tell me "no sister, when you got here you were big." So there's that for you. haha. Then in the middle of the sacrament this lady no one really knows who she is, but she walks in during the sacrament and justs starts talking too loud... then she walked into relief society and just gave sister fields the biggest hug and then during the prayer she started playing with Sister Field's hair... I was dying. It was the funniest thing. Sister Fields face was classic. I'm pretty sure i would've freaked if she had touched my hair, but sister fields handled it well. We went and visited a lady, Om Cabrie, and that was definitely inspired. She is sick and struggling with the fact her son is less active. We were able to share with her and just let her know how much we love her and how much Heavenly Father loves her. She is such a sweet lady. So FHE has become a weekly thing and i love it. We went to Ming Sovanay's house and just shared some scriptures. Go read 2 Nephi 9:41. I've been "ponderizing" that scripture this past week (idea from conference. I suggest everyone do it. It's fun and super beneficial (: ) The way is narrow, but when we follow the scriptures, live the gospel, and keep all the commandments, the way really is right in front of us and how comforting is it to know that Jesus Christ, our Savior and redeemer, the one who knows exactly how we feel, will be the one to judge us at the final judgment. Such a beautiful knowledge. We then had some really delicious food. I don't know what it was, but it was good. (: then TRANSFER CALLS. I didn't realize how big of a thing these were, but everyone makes transfer calls brackets, like march madness or something. It's quite exciting and GUESS WHAT??? Me and sister fields are staying together and staying where we are. (: Yay!!! That's all that happened this week!
Love you all! Hope everything is going well!
Sister Zoe Loftus
All the 100's we found while cleaning. Only worth about $4
Shoutout to THE Saucy Pants-my best friend!
A yummy dessert-rice in jack fruit covered in sweetened condensed milk-holy so good!
First exchange-Sister Loftus with Sister Matthews