Dear Family and Friends,
This transfer is changing the way I look at everything in the mission. It's been very very rough, but also very rewarding and I know that it will continue being both because that's what missions are all about. I remember in Sunday School one day Danner brought his finance and she had served in Ireland, I believe. I was getting ready to leave in about 3ish weeks, so i was talking to her a little bit about what missions were like. She said that it is full of ups and downs, but our goal at the end of it is to have more ups than downs. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I don't think i really understood what she meant at the time or how relevant it would be for me. Up until this transfer started, i thought my mission was going to be a walk in the park, that i wouldn't have a hard time or challenge. Boy was I wrong. And how glad i am that I was wrong. As trying as this transfer has been, I've learned so much and will just continue learning. I've learned so much about the enabling power of the Atonement and how much we need to rely on prayer and Jesus Christ to get us through the good and the bad. I've been studying a lot lately about the Atonement. Even if I don't think what I’m studying will be about the Atonement, i still find it woven in the other principles. I've been reading a lot of conference talks from the most recent conference (THEY ARE SO GOOD!!!!!) and I’ve learned so so so much. When we humble ourselves and place our faith 100% in the Lord, He will literally take us by the hand and lead us. We still have a lot to do in our area and in our companionship, but things are starting to look up, starting to get better and brighter. We've seen miracles left and right- finding less actives' houses, being able to meet less actives that haven't met with the missionaries for a year, but the biggest miracle for me so far has been being able to teach about Christ's birth. We have an investigator, Sonan, she is from English class. Hopefully you remember her because she is my favorite. She really likes to practice speaking English with us, so we teach part of our lesson in English. She had some questions about Christmas and the story of the birth of Christ. I explained that and the spirit was so strong. She then asked how Santa Clause tied into it all... I didn't really know how to answer that, but was able to bear testimony that we celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ and because of the birth of Christ He was able to perform the Atonement, giving us all the opportunity to be cleansed from sin, live again, and receive the strength necessary to get through daily life. I know this Christmas season is going to be way different than any Christmas I’ve ever experienced, but i also know that I’m going to gain a better understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Without the whole commercialized part of Christmas, Christ is really all we have here in Cambodia. I'm really really excited to see what this Christmas season, as well as this transfer, holds in store for me and my area.
Miracles that have occurred in the past week:
1. The Sister AP’s were able to come to our area on Tuesday and help us get things started. We found a lot of less actives and were able to contact 20 people. Very successful today. Started to ease the stress a little.
2. English class. I've really come to love English class. I can be as goofy and as awkward as I want and most of the time the students can't even understand me, so it makes it even better because then I’m just up there in front of all the students laughing at myself. hahahah guys, I am SO awkward!!!
3. We had a lesson with a recent convert. When we got in there Sister Sueon (I’m not really sure how to spell her name in English... haha) my companion, just kind of started teaching something completely random... I just let her go with it. After she was done, our RC said that that was exactly what she needed to her. I was feeling really down, because i wasn't really receiving revelation for my RC, but had the impression to give our original lesson (2 Nephi 4) as homework. As I began to share our recent convert got really emotional and told me that she had wanted to read this chapter for weeks, but hadn't been able to find it. In that moment I felt like I was finally fulfilling my purpose as a missionary.
4. It's kind of a long story, but we had an investigator get confirmed yesterday. She got baptized in Siem Riep and then moved here for school. We met with her on Saturday and she seems really solid. New recent convert for us!! (:
5.We had a Christmas Activity last night. It was so Christmassy. It really invited the Christmas spirit. I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH GUYS!!!!! I don't have much time, but know that it was so so so good.
6. There are so many other miracles, but I’m running out of time. Just know that the Lord is taking care of me and His children here in Cambodia. Things are starting to work out. I know that as I continue to exercise my faith, miracles will continue to happen.
Thank you all so much for the prayers on my behalf. They are greatly appreciated. Never have I felt more love. You guys are amazing! I look up to each one of you! Love you all!!! Merry Christmas! Remember Christ everyday and think of what gifts you can give to him. Maybe it can be a gift of time, reading your scriptures, going to church. Think of something that you don't normally do, make it a sacrifice. Remember He paid the price for all of your sins, He sacrificed the greatest FOR YOU. The least we can do is remember Him during this season.
Sister Zoe Loftus
Double D (Double Disciple)
Lunch with the Sisters in our District after District Meeting-Oh so fun!!!!
Welcome to language study... my companion doesn't even know what sound the letters make. Talk about a throw back to Kindergarten...
This spider was HUGE. I was going to hold it and then got too scared... kind of regretting my decision to not hold but what can you do?
A less active that attends our English class gave me this bag of chocolate coins and said "Merry Christmas! Thank you for serving!!" HOW SWEET!!!