Monday, July 25, 2016

Dreams Do Come True & Daily Joys

Dear Family and Friends, 

I came up with this email subject as I rocked out to some Disney tunes (sung my Motab) as I showered... I still get trunky for Disneyland on a DAILY BASIS. No joke, but it's okay. Don't worry, being a missionary is 1000 times better and more rewarding that Disneyland... maybe. (; But it sums up my week. New investigators, exchanges, a baptism, and a new bike. 

So last week when I was emailing Hayden, I was talking about some of the daily "joys" of being a missionary in Cambodia. Hopefully my mom included them in the blog, but I realized that you guys really have no idea what my life as a missionary here is like. AT ALL. And I apologize for that... I’ll try to do better and put more effort in these emails home.... starting next week. haha. I’ll pick one aspect of Cambodia and then just expound on it. Like the phsaa, the traffic, members, etc. GET EXCITED!!!! 

But as for this week, last p-day I took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Man, was it heavenly. So good. Missionary work is starting to take its toll on me. But it's okay. The help from the Lord is also starting to kick in, so I’m making it through every day. (: Speaking of dreams and sleeping... before my mission I rarely remembered my dreams, but lately I’ve been remembering all of them and they are CRAZY!!! Two nights ago I had a dream that my investigator was chasing me and my mom through a mall... haha which was more like a nightmare... she scares me so much. 

Ming Sohpi. Remember her?? She's not really progressing... but we are just keeping her around because Sister Soem has received revelation that one day she'll get baptized... that's one thing about Khmers, they are way in tune with the spirit, typically, so I don't really want to doubt her, but every time we have to teach her I get so stressed out which interferes with the spirit... we are trying our best, but she has such absurd questions. What nationality is Heavenly Father? How am I supposed to answer that??  At first we were trying to answer every question she had which got us way sidetracked (teaching her 4 times and still not finished the first lesson....) then Sister Soem went on an exchange with Sister Beng (a Khmer who is pretty intense in lessons) and she refused to answer questions unless they pertained to the lesson with was good. Sister Soem took it a little to the extreme and our next lesson she was way tense and we didn't teach with love or the spirit at all, so that is now a focus of ours. Teaching with love and the spirit. Sister Soem told me that during the lesson, the only thing she could think about was the story in the bible about Legion... haha she was convinced she was possessed... haha but when Neak Ming left the lesson she said she felt really good and that she felt like a lot had jooled (made sense to her) so that's cool. (: 

New investigators. We got FOUR!!!! So cool. One is a referral from the boyfriend of a missionary. Her name is Kim Hua and she is the sweetest. We met her and she said., “all I want is salvation.” I responded cool. That’s exactly what our church has to offer and what the Lord wants to give you. I expect her to slowly start to shine. (: As for the other 3... I haven't met them yet... we had an exchange on Sunday, yes, I know SO weird, with the sister AP's. So, I couldn't really argue against them, but they got them when I wasn't there... but I’m still stoked and know they are blessings from the Lord. As for my exchange... it was the weirdest exchange of my life... one it was on a Sunday, two, I jool ruamed (attended) a baptism for their investigator, so that's where the baptism fits in. I might not have very many baptism stories of my own from my mission, but I definitely have some good ones from other missionaries. (: This one was crazy and quite honestly a miracle that it worked out. Tender mercies from the Lord. 

We ordered out new bikes and I am stoked. So excited. 

PIONEER DAY. You guys, it would blow your mind how big Pioneer Day here is. Bigger than Christmas but a lot of their understanding is wrong. But we, American missionaries, didn't have the heart to tell them.... haha.  We spent all day at the church on Saturday, literally all day. 9-5. Super against the rules... but when you've got a Khmer comp sometimes they just don't listen to you. So we did a play about Joseph Smith right? Getting everyone in "costumes" and getting their make-up (fake eyelashes, about an inch of foundation, straightening their hair until it smoked and smelled like it was about to fall off) took forever.... I just sat there in the corner reading my scriptures, such a missionary, I know, while Sister Soem was right in the middle of it. She was right at home... but the actual performance went well. We did the play, they had some youth do some square dancing, they did a traditional Khmer dance (SO cool!!!!), and then they had some of the young women do a pop dance song... it was pretty interesting and not related to Pioneer Day whatsoever. And because they don't have a cultural hall all of this was done in the chapel... was it appropriate for the chapel? Probably not.... you've just gotta love Cambodia. hahaha 

I feel like there was a lot more that I needed/wanted to share with you guys but I’m out of time so enjoy some pictures and have a great week.

Huge shutout to the lovebirds, Hayden and Michelle, who get married this week. Love them so much. Let's be real, we all know Hayden lucked out big time marrying M. (; She is such a catch. (: LOVE YOU!!!!! 

Sister Loftus
Double D

Here she is the infamous Ming Sophi

Eyelashes for the Pioneer Day play

Pioneer play

Almost forgot. Got a haircut... you're welcome mom. Hope you're proud. 

Exchanges with Sister Larsen and the miracle cake. 

The Daily Joys of being a Missionary in Cambodia~

It's hard... but it's okay. This is what I signed up for. It's just hard because in order for them to understand and have things click in their head, you have to bine (speak super straight to them and kind of yell at them) and I don't like doing that especially in Khmer...

The majority of the investigators and members are so good. They have such a strong testimony, just not strong enough to sacrifice... but I feel bad asking them to sacrifice because most times them sacrificing means they don't have food for that week.... it is hard for them to see especially when things don't work out the first week and their family goes hungry. We know that sometimes it takes time for the Lord to work miracles. 

Most of them can't read... and have no way to get to church. They don't have money to dope (have someone drive them on a motorcycle and they live way too far away to walk, like 2 hours walking..) 

I love teaching the CPR lesson about Church, Prayer, and Reading but it doesn't have a cool analogy so it just doesn't click in their head. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Countless Blessings Await!

Dear Family and Friends,

By the subject of this email you probably think that something exciting happened this week. Don’t get your hopes up. (; It’s still the same old same old here in SMC, BUT I have taken on a new perspective. Instead of wallowing in my misery and thinking "why me?" "Why can't we have investigators?" I’ve decided to learn from the experiences that Heavenly Father has given, that is, what he wants us to do in this life after all right? So hears to a new outlook on life. (: I KNOW the blessings will come, even if it's not during my time as a full time missionary. I will see them eventually.  

This week I learned to love the Book of Mormon more.  I learned for myself, again, that it is true and that it is the work of God.  We went to teach a recent convert and when we got there, right off the bat, she asked us, “Sisters, is the Book of Mormon really true, did it really happen?” We were then able to bear powerful testimony of the truthfulness of it.  Such a cool experience.  That is we read it and apply it in our lives it WILL change our lives and bring happiness to us.  What a great blessing!!!

I was also reminded of the power of revelation.  We went and visited a less active and she just bashed on the bishop the whole time.  I stopped her and bore powerful testimony that our church is run by revelation, every little detail, callings included.  I am so grateful for all the leaders of the church and for my testimony that I know they have been called of God.  They aren’t perfect, but no one is, so as we support them we will learn together as we do the Lord’s work.

I had an interesting thought this past week.  I think we get in a swing and groove and get comfortable, thinking that we are doing so good, but really we aren’t doing as well as we could.  Every so often we should ask ourselves, am I being as obedient as Heavenly Father expects me to be?  I know I can do better. 

I’ll get better at making these emails more inspiring for you guys back home, but for now that’s all I’ve for you.  Love you all so so so much.  Hey, Happy Pioneer Day!  Be grateful for all who have sacrificed to let you have the life you live.  We truly are so blesses.

Love, Sister Loftus
Double D

This was at one of the phsaas. So funny the translation is "please feed me garbage". Who knew Khmers had that good of a sense of humor. 

New favorite little boy, Lihang


I am a giant!

Hour bike ride to pray with Srey Roat.  She is my favorite member in SMC and will make the best missionary when she leaves in one year. So much fun.

Fun with District!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bikes, Bug Spray, Blenders, and Birthdays!

Sister Loftus has now been on her mission just a few days past her year mark.  She left on July 8th.   Like the poem mentions below, she has definitely had her ups and downs but is very grateful for the opportunity to serve.   Her mission is one that has mosquito borne diseases so they have been instructed to wear mosquito spray every day and have also been approved to wear long skirts to protect their legs (no slacks in the Cambodia mission per her president). Thank you for your love and support and for taking the time to read her weekly emails.  Enjoy this email.

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well, this email is going to be about .5 seconds long because literally NOTHING is happening here is SMC. Sorry!!!! 

The Fourth of July was good. I mean, we ate some watermelon at the mission home and that was the most patriotic thing I did, but that's okay. I rapped my country with some red, white, and blue. (: 

Tuesday we had MLC and we found out that we get to buy new bikes. They are crazy cool. haha And we all get blenders!!!! They are trying to help our mission be healthier. Pretty cool. I’m way excited to start making smoothies every day. (: And we have to start wearing bug spray because they don't want us to get dengue fever or other diseases like that. Also, long skirts. If you guys want more information about all that good stuff, talk to my momma; she should know. I don't really know much about it; I just follow what the brethren and my mission president tell me to do. haha exact obedience. (: 

This week was full of teaching less actives and members, but no investigators because no one wants to learn with us... our golden investigator, Srey Mak, dropped off the face of the planet and doesn't want to meet with us anymore.. Not really sure why, but pretty heartbroken... super bummed. We're gonna need to start getting creative with our approaches and the way we do missionary work. 

Friday was my ONE YEAR MARK. So crazy. This past year as been the hardest year of my life, but honestly the most rewarding. Last week, Shellee, my young women president, sent me this poem and it is perfect. Captures missionary work. 

It is a trial and a test
A mission throws at you the worst 
Yet, teaches you the best.
I've never been so happy
I've never been so depressed .
I've never felt so forsaken,
I've never felt so blessed.
I've never been so confused,
Things have never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant,
He's never been so near.
I've never been so discouraged,
I've never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on forever,
I think I've come to the end of my rope.
I've never had it quite so easy,
I've never had it quite so tough.
Things have never been so smooth,
Things have never been so rough.
I've never traveled through more valleys,
I've never ascended more peaks.
I've never met so many nice people.
I've never met so many freaks!
I've never had so many ups,
I've never had so many downs.
I've never worn so many smiles,
I've never had so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely,
I've never had so many friends.
BOY, I hope this is over soon,
GOSH, I hope this never ends.

I tried to look back and reflect on this past year, like all the things I learned and I couldn't do it. I know that I have learned so much, way too much to even begin to count the lessons and the miracles that have occurred. All I can say is that I am eternally grateful for this opportunity and privilege to serve the Lord. I love being a missionary. I got to spend my lunch hour with my MTC sisters and we were able to reminisce; so much fun. And then Sister Clark and Sister Peng threw a 30 second "birthday party" for me with a confetti cannon and some fake snow... haha oh the things you do in Cambodia for a good time. Everyone during the day told me happy birthday and at the end of the day Sister Soem asked me "sister, why is everyone telling you happy birthday again? You just had a birthday."haha I laughed so hard and had to explain it to her, she is the funniest. 

That's all I’ve got. Have a great week. Love you all. 

Sister Loftus
Double D

One year festivities of friends, sisters and elders


Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Dear Family and Friends,

Alright. This email is going to be way short 1. Because I don't have much to say and 2. My keyboard is way koic(broken). I don't have the patience to write a lot. haha

Tuesday was had a great last district meeting. We talked about repentance. We read “Miracle of a Mission by Elder Holland. So life changing and then read in Alma 29, my new favorite chapter. Go read both. So good. We had a great lesson with a recent convert, Zion (zeeyawn). We laughed probably too much, but that's okay.(: She has really improved and progressed so much. I love her!!!! We had another lesson with our crazy Neakming. Did i tell you guys about her last week?  The really Buddhist one? If not I’ll give you the quick story about her. She exercises at the church and we contacted her. She doesn't really want to learn though. Just share tuo vin tuo mook (back and forth).it's super hard. Whenever we share our testimony she just laughs at us... super difficult. But it's okay. Wish I could explain it all to her better. Maybe next week when I’ve got a better keyboard. She is one interesting character though. She kind of really scares me....haha pray for me.(: we are practicing a play for pioneer day and it is hilarious. kind of false doctrine, but they do it every year.... I just crack up watching it. Wish you guys could all see it. 

Wednesday-transfer day, not much to talk about.

Thursday I spent a way long time at the doctor because I thought I had a parasite, but I just have a bacterial infection. Don’t worry; I’m on meds and on the mend. (: 

Saturday we went to our way far area Preah Saw, like an hour away. We went with the Elders. As we were teaching our last lesson, I watched a huge storm roll in and then it just started pouring; quite the adventure biking back in a hurricane. But, such a good time. (: i loved it!!!!

Sunday our crazy investigator came to church. We learned about fasting in Sunday school. The second counselor and the old bishop team taught and good thing because she had question after question. And they had answer after answer. It was the coolest thing to watch them answer her questions and basically shut her down. I know that's not what missionary work is about, but just watching them bear such powerful testimony by the spirit that she couldn't brachang (fight against) them any more. After the lesson they said, Sister you've got a good one on your hands.... haha I just laughed.... it will be interesting to see how things with her progress. Pray for me.(: 

Update: we didn't get to meet our golden (okay maybe she's silver (: ) investigator this week. Fingers crossed on next week!!!! 

That’s all I’ve got. Love you all and happy fourth of July. Celebrate extra hard for me~!!! I love the fourth. #merica


Sister Loftus
Double D

Best District Every!!!!!

Saying good-bye to Sister Gallahad, have fun in  KPC

Sister Loftus and Sister Soem







Sister Loftus and Sister Soem riding in the rain.
Thank you to Elder Monson for a waterproof camera.