Dear Family and Friends,
Well.... the transfer results are in. It took FOREVER for the call to come. Way to make us disobedient. I had so many emotions going through my head about transfers. At times I really wanted to stay in Toulsengke and then other times I really wanted to transfer. I had no idea what was going to happen. It was such a roller coaster... but when the call came I realized how much I really really wanted to stay in Toulsengke. I am transferring to Kampungcham! It is about a five-hour bus ride from the city, so hello to real Cambodia; rice fields and houses on stilts. I'm way excited for that!!! I will be with a sister named Sister Nhem. I've heard that she is really nice, so I’m pretty excited to get to know her!!! Even though my heart is broken that I have to leave Toulsengke, I know that this is where the Lord needs me to serve. I'm excited to see what it holds in store. As Hayden says "Good things are in store."
So other than transfers nothing really happened... haha I’m looking through my planner trying to find stuff to write about because this week felt like it was really good, but literally nothing happened. I guess the title of my last email, full circle, isn't really applicable anymore since I won't be here for Meng Kim's baptism, but that's okay because I’ve been having so much fun getting her ready for baptism. She is so excited about it!!! Every time we go she always feeds us. If I get fat it is her fault. She feeds us some pretty weird stuff and she knows the name in Khmer, so we literally have no idea what we are eating, but it's usually pretty good. (: She always gives us the biggest hugs. I'm way sad to tell her that I’m leaving, but I’m leaving her in the loving hands of Sister Xiong. One time we went to visit her this week she wanted to show us some videos on the computer... seemed a little sketchy, but as she started playing it, it was a Mormon message with I am a child of god in it and she started singing along with it.... IN ENGLISH!!!! It was the cutest thing ever. She got a lot of the words wrong, but she was trying and that's all that matters. All three of us started singing and I wish I would have recorded it, but I didn't...
Thursday we had a way good lesson with one of our less actives, Om Dee. The past 4 times meeting with her the lessons seemed a little forced, like she didn't want us to be there, but didn't really know how to tell us no, but this lesson was SO good. She was really involved and shared her testimony with us. Up to that point I thought she didn't really have a testimony and didn't really understand things, but boy was I wrong. As we sat in her little wood hut, with mosquitoes all around us, I was filled with the spirit. At the end of the lesson, she shared with us her concern of how badly she wanted the opportunity to come to church each week, but that it was so expensive to motodope... She was really torn up about it. It broke my heart... I just wanted to give her the money, but I know that as she continues to put her faith in the Lord, He will prepare a way for her. He always does.
Friday we went and had a lesson with Om Yoi, the Om that just got her family book which means that she can now receive baptism!!! But wait... things couldn't be that easy now could they? We found out that she is getting ready to go back to her kite (province) in April... a kite that doesn't have the church... We talked to our Ward Mission Leader about the situation and he counseled us to really pray to know what we are supposed to do. If we do baptize her it's basically an automatic Less Active... We don't want to add any more of those to Cambodia...there are plenty already. So that's where we are with her right now. Not sure what is going to end up happening to her. I hope she can get baptized, because that is truly what she wants. Her love and faith is incredible.
Saturday we went and helped the ward clean the church in preparation for ward conference on Sunday. It was supposed to start at 4, but of course no body showed up til 4:45, Asians are always late... At our church there are two bathrooms outside and they get WAY NASTY!!!! No one wanted to clean them, so me and Sister Xiong stepped up to the challenge. We got the Raid (to kill all the mosquitoes, spiders, and cockroaches), masks, and gloves and off we went. The gloves and mask didn't last very long for me... I just felt like a sissy and wanted to me a man about the situation. (: It was pretty gross, but we managed to kill all the bugs and get it sparkling clean. The bishop was pretty impressed. (: He said "ah khun thom thom" which basically translates to thank you so much!!!! They had an activity after wards where there were eating fish and rice, typical Asian, right. Everyone wanted us to stay, so we did. Little did we know that the fish were still going to have the heads on them and the guts still in them... I couldn't eat that... luckily cooking the food took a lot longer than anticipated. 7 o'clock rolled around and we had to be back home, so we were able to take it to go. We got home and I was feeling pretty adventurous, so I ate some of the fish. It was very... fishy. I was eating it and doing a pretty good job until I went to grab more and opened it all the way up and saw ALL the guts... Yeah, after that I was done. Super super gross. Please enjoy the picture. (:
Sunday we had Ward Conference. It was so cool to see that this church really is the same all over the world. I had the incredible opportunity to sustain President Monson as well as all the other leaders of the church. I was so moved as I saw all the hands go up. It was nice to not have anyone oppose it like those people do in conference. The spirit was so strong and I hope that the Khmers could feel it as well- just another testimony that President Monson has been called of God to serve as president, prophet, seer, and revelator. I will never forget that experience. They focused on keeping the commandments, what it means to really be a saint, the difference between testimony and conversion, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was really really good and better yet I was able to understand it all. The gift of tongues is real, people. It was a great last Sunday in Toulsengke. Too bad I didn't know it would be my last... Now it's time for all the goodbyes. I've really grown to love the members in this ward... I'm not looking forward to it.
A little Valentine celebration with Sister Xiong
Sister Loftus and adorable Cambodian kids
Sister Loftus and the fish she thought she could eat
The inside of the fish that Sister Loftus could not eat!