Monday, June 27, 2016

Partner in Crime

Dear Family and Friends, 

So to start off this email I would like to do 2 things. 1. Give a shout out to all my friends who have served the lord for 2 years or 18 months and are now at home. Mostly Megee Layton and Dalton Groen. (; They have both helped me so much on my mission and I know that they changed the lives of the people they served in Hungary and Argentina. You guys are the best. Love you!!! And 2. Give you the results of my transfer calls... I was super nervous for this transfer call. Not really sure why. I am.... staying the same in SMC 2 for another transfer, still an STL (Sister Training Leader, BUT I now have a partner in crime. Sister Soem is a co STL with me and I couldn't be happier. I was ready to leave SMC, but I am feeling good about this transfer because we got a GOLDEN investigator; more to come on her later. But all in all this week was great!!!

Monday was the first day of summer, so we celebrated with some Tex Mex and a water balloon fight. We aren't really sure if that is khoh cbab (against the rules) or not, but the Sister AP's were in charge of it, so I think it was okay. But it was super super fun. (:

Tuesday we had a great district meeting on teaching by the spirit and we talked about the need to have the spirit and ways that we can get it. We really need to take our personal study seriously and we need to make our prayers more sincere. That's something I struggle with, especially when I pray in Khmer, which is all the time, because there's only so many things I know how to say, so I tend to say the same phrases over and over. But I made sincere prayers a new years resolution, I know it's been 6 months, but I’m really trying to focus on it and make my prayers a conversation with our Heavenly Father. It’s making all the difference. I encourage everyone to try making their prayers more heart felt and more meaning. Sad news though... you guys thought we didn't have enough work to do before; Tuesday night our only investigator that could actually meet us called us and told us that she had to stop meeting until August when she finishes school. So that was a huge bummer, but it's okay because the Lord as a perfect plan for us and His work. Things will get better. Just wait. (: Also, a member made some bracelets for me and she spelled Sister wrong. she forgot the t. I just looked at it and laughed. Only in Cambodia, but it's okay because it gives it character and I’m still gonna wear it!!!

Wednesday, because we don't have very much work to do here, we went on a three-hour CBR (convert baptism record, basically just people who are less active and have been for years) hunt. It was quite fun. We found all their houses, but none of them were home... and they are apparently never home because they work all the time, which means it didn't actually help us work wise, but we know skoal (know where) their houses are. I also got a pretty good tan line. I had my hair in a bun at the base of my neck (so I could still wear my helmet) so where the hair was, it was way white and the rest of my neck was fried!!! haha i just had to laugh about it. It didn't hurt until the next day and then I was in a lot of pain. I’m just way too lazy to put sunscreen on every time we leave the house... haha the members are all worried about me because I always were short sleeved shirts.. They think I’m going to die from the sun or something. Everyone here when they go outside puts on layers and layers of LONG sleeved shirts. They are way scared of the sun. They don't like "being black" haha and somehow they still don't sweat. So unfair.

Wednesday afternoon we went to visit a less active. She is the one that sells lotus stems and flowers to Chaa (cook) and we always help her put them together and get them ready to sell because that's the only way she'll help us and she just does it on her floor, which is way nasty, but that's just what they do. so get this... she has her grandson, this is the same little boy that pooped last week and this week he peed on the floor and they either didn't see it (when you cut the lotus stem a bunch of water comes out, so they must have thought it was just water) or they just didn't care, but they were putting the lotus in it and I was freaking out, but I can't really say anything because that's just the way they live, but it almost got on me and I wasn't gonna have any of that so I quickly got up and moved. I think they think I am crazy, but I just don't like pee. Then at English class I was told that I look like a Thai movie star, Yaya. Look her up. She’s way pretty, but i don't think I look like her at all. I just took the compliment and ran with it. 

Thursday was quite an interesting day. We went to find a less active's house and my tire completely popped. Like there was a huge hole in it and the weird part was I didn't even run over anything. It just kind of happened... I don't know. The lord must have been protecting us from something, but luckily it happened right by a bike place, so we just did "the walk of shame" a few feet as look pu's laughed at us... it's the worst. They always talk about me because they think I can't understand them, but I can... their reaction is priceless when they find out that I can sdaab baan (understand) and know exactly what they are saying. haha Then we met with a new investigator, not the golden one, but she's still good. Her name is Ming Sopee and she came from English class. Kind of. She actually just comes and hat brans (exercises) at the church and we contacted her. She took a selfie with us before the lesson and then recorded the whole lesson... she's really really interesting. She is also really pukae (smart) when it comes to Buddhism, so she talked about their beliefs for a good 7 minutes and used words that I had never heard of before... I’m pretty sure some Khmers wouldn't even know what she was talking about. But she asked lots and lots of questions, so when it clicks in her mind, she is going to be really good. 

Friday I got to go on an exchange with Sister Larsen, who apparently knows Hayden, go figure. Even in Cambodia people know him. She is a Sister AP and is an incredible missionary!!! So good. She loves the people so much and teaches way simply. She asks lots of questions. Basically she is everything I want to be as a missionary. I learned SO much from her. She just connects with the people and they just open up to her. It has to do with her personality, but I also think I could do a better job at being more personal with people. Needless to say I’ve got a lot to work on. (:  

Nothing happened on Saturday, but Sunday!!! Ready for my golden investigator?? Okay, so she came from English class, most of our investigators do. She came from Elder Thorn (tahn) and typically the referrals he gives us aren’t actually that interested, so we were kind of hesitant to call her, but we called her and she told us she could meet at 10 on Sunday. so Sunday morning we called to remind her and she said that she was busy at 10, but that she could meet us right then, so we packed our stuff up and went to the church. SHE WALKED!!!! And she walked far. No one ever does that. If they don't have anything to gee (ride) they just don't come. So cool. Then we started teaching her and she was actually involved in the lesson. She was answering our questions and everything. Not like a typical first lesson. We asked her why she wanted to learn about our church and she said that she wants happiness. Ah, so golden. After that lesson with her I really wanted to stay in SMC. She is going to be amazing!!! She just doesn't have a ton of free time to meet us, so we'll see how that goes. But she is so good. HUGE blessing from the Lord.

Just in case you were wondering, we are definitely in the middle of rainy season. It rains every night for a good 4 hours. I love it!!!!

that's all i've got. love you all!!!!

Sister Loftus
Double D

Water balloons

In case you were wondering what missionaries do while they wait for English class to start... 
we found a closet that had way fun toys. (: 


Sister Loftus and Sister Soem-more shenanigans

Sister Loftus and Sister Larsen

Cambodian Waat

Nums that we made this morning with a member. Super delicious. They have sticky rice and banana inside. Don't worry,  I now know how to make it. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day

 Dear Family and Friends,

Alright, I feel way bad because you guys always get the short end of the deal on p-days. My emails are never good, but I’m gonna be honest, I’ve hit that point on my mission that thinking about emailing home just stresses me out and I really just want to be out proselyting. Is p-day even really that necessary?? (: So I’ll give you a quick rundown of my week, with not very many details... sorry!!

Tuesday we had district meeting and we talked about temples, so of course to start it off we talked about baby names... haha I guess that's just the natural thing to do with 8 missionaries. I was dying. It was really interesting to hear all the names everyone liked though, especially the Khmers. I want to name my child something Khmer, but everyone would butcher the pronunciation... haha do I really want to do that to my child?? But then after that we had a great talk and discussion on the temple and how we can help our member’s progress to that. It was really so good. Elder Beckstead, our district leader, does a killer job. (: 

Wednesday we went and visited a less active and her grandson pooped his pant. He was standing in front of me and I was just talking with him, making him laugh, you know really putting the charm on him, and then he got that look on his face, you know the poopy face, and then it just fell out of his pants. It was the most disgusting thing ever. And then it happened again at a member’s house. The little boy got the same look and everything. And how do they get it up you might ask? They pick it up with a plastic bag and then put some water down and then wipe it with a towel... so gross. It’s a miracle that I haven't gotten way sick yet, right? Also, you'd think they make their kids start wearing diapers or something... but nope. They haven't caught on to that yet... then at English class we were talking about clothes and to describe the color tan they said, "milk color". I about died. The things they say, they kill me. haha 

Friday I went on an exchange with Sister Xiong, my old companion. It was the best thing ever. I missed her so so so much. She only has 3 months left. So crazy. Time is flying. She is an incredible missionary though. She loves the people so much and does a great job teaching people not lessons. Even though I was the STL, I learned so much from her. 

Saturday I had a spelling test from Sister Soem. Yes, spelling in Khmer. Talk about a test. It was way hard, but I actually did a pretty good job. I was proud of myself. This language is starting to click in my head. I’ve even started dreaming in Khmer. (: 

Sorry this email had literally nothing to do about missionary work in it... haha. Also, Happy Father's day to all you father's out there. You make the world go round. Keep doing what you do. Huge shout out to my father who is the best one out there. He has the strongest testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and he loves the temple so much. i've learned so much from his example. Thank you dad!!!! Love you!

Sister Loftus
Double D

Cambodia is Beautiful!

Super Khmer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Am I even a Missionary?

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was full of meetings. It was like we weren't even missionaries really. Not much proselyting was done... but I learned a lot and was spiritually uplifted to cloud nine almost every day this week, so I think the blows our area took because of the meetings was worth it. 

We had a really incredible opportunity this week to have Elder Wong, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, come and visit our mission. so cool!!! Tuesday we had MLC (mission leadership council). Typically it's just training for the leaders of the mission (ap's, office elders, sister ap's, zone leaders, and stl's), but because Elder Wong was there, he just talked to us for a really really long time. He expounded two scriptures D&C 43:8-9 for a good 30 minutes and it blew my mind. It was incredible. He’s got so much knowledge. 

Wednesday we had mission tour conference. We learned about the importance of the temple for our investigators and members from Sister Christensen. She shared in Alma 26:5-7. SO AMAZING!!! The sheaves are our investigators and our members and the garners are the temples. What cool imagery is that?? I love it so much. And then in verse 6 we learn that "the storm cannot penetrate to them" what a wonderful blessing that we get from going to the temple. We truly are endowed with power from on high when we go to the temple. And the best part comes in verse 7 "they are in the hands of the lord... and they are his." Ah, so good. If you haven't been to the temple, start preparing, and if you have been start going on a regular basis. I miss the temple so much!!!!!! President talked about repentance and shared in Mosiah 3:19 he drew a chart and said that we are all natural men and then we experience change, a mighty change of heart, conversion, and we become a saint. It’s not a question why the lord chose the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” for His church. That is the goal for all of us in this life: to become a saint. Then Elder Wong just kind of worked off of what they shared and talked about David and Goliath. Kind of hard to explain it all, one because I don't have much time, two because I left my notes at home... sorry!!! But it was so amazing!!!

Thursday night we FINALLY got to meet Jia Mian... it was quite the tender mercy too because typically she comes with her boyfriend, but his moto has been broken, so he's been coming with one of his friends.  I was trying to find some pictures that I had lost, and that took longer than expected, but as we were getting on our bikes to leave, here comes Jia Mian on her own moto saying "sisters don't leave. I want to meet you!!!!" So cool, so we taught her. It’s rough though because she never comes to church and I fear the only reason she wants to get baptized is for her boyfriend. We moved her date to July 2nd to try and give us more time to work with her and really get her converted before we baptize her. Please pray for her!!!!

Friday we had zone training; my first zone training as STL. I was assigned to talk about senior couples. We are really trying to utilize them more to help move the work along here and we were trying to brainstorm ideas on how we could do that. What we as missionaries can do and what they as senior couples can do. We also want to help them learn the language a little better because sometimes they completely butcher names of people and places and the members think it is so cool when they can speak their language, so we were just trying to brainstorm ideas for all three of those, but it was like pulling teeth? Why? Because we had a senior couple jool ruam (attend) and everyone was scared to say something and offend them, so no one was saying anything. There were lots of awkward silences, but then the senior couple left half way through our discussion and it did a complete 180 the second the door clicked shut behind them. Oh, how grateful I was for that. After that it went very well. We were able to throw some ideas out. Super good. We just went over what we learned from mission tour conference, so not much more to share there. After zone training we went back to SMC and did some service to try and clean our church up. It took a really long time, but it was fun. my district is pretty cool. I felt super legit with the yellow vest. We tried to clean the road in front because there are always big trucks that park there and they just leave all sorts of garbage there and oil and they also pee on their trucks (that's something about Cambodia-no law about public urination, so the males do it everywhere. I think it's so gross, but whatever...). we borrowed one of the shovels from one of the trucks, we decided if it's parked in front of our church, we can use it, and started shoveling all the garbage out. It smelled so so so horrible!!! But we made it look pretty nice. 

Sunday was good. We had a few less actives come, so that was really cool. But no investigators which was really disappointing... but it's okay. There is always next week and the week after that. haha 

That’s all I’ve got for you this week. Enjoy summer!!! Love you all! Keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying!!!

Sister Loftus
Double D

Last Pday we got Pho. Super delicious. I told John Groen I would get a picture for him, so here you go!! 

The results of mlc. Lots of pizza and donuts were consumed... I felt so gross after.......

Sister Loftus and Baby (Sister Gallahad) were matching for mission tour conference, so of course we took a picture.

  Cutest service workers you will ever see.  I wear these sunglasses and all the members call me dara, which means movie star. haha   I just laugh every time. (:  

Elder Monson is a pro at taking selfies. Guess that's what 2 years on a mission gets you. haha

This is Srey Toic. She got baptized on Saturday (forgot to put that in my email.. haha sorry!!!) She was supposed to be my investigator but ended up learning with the elders (that is a story for a different day... haha). I'm just glad she is now a member of the church!!!! She's the best. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

Well, my birthday ended up being super great. Unforgettable! We went to Burger King and then Krispy Kreme. Man, it was so delicious. And all the Cambodian workers sang me happy birthday. And I got to wear a hat. And I got to eat as much as I wanted and no one could judge me. And then I got to go to an FHE and they sang to me again. Just let me tell you that happy birthday sung my Khmers is the best thing ever. 

This week was full of visiting less actives and biking all the way to China and back. Not really, but our area is HUGE. We have an area that is an hour away. Do we ever go there? Nope. We let the elders. (: But we had a way good district meeting on finding people and contacting by the spirit. It was so good! I really want to get better at doing that, to be able to find the ones that the Lord has prepared for Sister Soem and me here. I know they are out there, now we just have to find them. Wednesday and Sunday we got to go visit a Khmer Sister that had to go home for a second because she has typhoid fever. Did you know that it's contagious? Good thing I got my vaccinations. (: She is the cutest thing ever and has the strongest testimony ever. She is amazing!! I learned so much from her from the short time we were together. Wednesday we met a recent convert. She is progressing really well. At first she didn't understand anything, like when she got baptized, but now it is finally starting to click. Super cool. Friday I went on my first exchange as STL (Sister Training Leader). I didn't really know what I was doing, but I would call it a success. We had some good lessons and just had a good time together. She got hit by a moto and some really smelly juice spilt in her bag, but that wasn't my fault... so I feel like I am still a good STL. (: Her name is Sister Clark and we are way similar. Super quiet. We were able to just talk and help each other so much. She is incredible... unfortunately I didn't take any pictures though.... sorry!!! but she lives with me so I’ll get one of her and send it next week!!! Saturday we got a new investigator. She used to be an investigator, but she was dropped and two weeks ago she just walked into the church and told us she wanted to learn again. She is so good and remembers so much. Her name is Srey Leak. I hope that she starts progressing. She said she wants to get baptized, so we will do our best to help her. (: Fast Sunday was good as always. Not much happened except that one of our less actives, that has been less active for years, came AND she gave us a referral. Hopefully that means she will start coming consistently!!!! 

Sorry, I wish I had more time but I talked to my family a little too long today... oops. Next week’s email will be more organized and more informative. (: Love you all so so so much!!! Have an amazing week and remember, I know this church is true and that our Savior, Jesus Christ, loves us all so much. Don't ever forget that the atonement is there to help us EVERYDAY with whatever we are struggling with. Use it, feel His love, and see miracles in your life. Read the Book of Mormon and prayer. It will change your life. I promise. (: 

Sister Loftus 
Double D

Happy Birthday to me!

Krispy Kreme Birthday Celebration

FHE Birthday Celebration

I love these girls so much

Baby duck egg... don't worry I didn't eat it. Couldn't get myself to eat something that developed....