Monday, September 12, 2016

Kicking It In Cambodia

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was way long... I don't really understand why, but all of the areas that I serve in start out really good when I first get there and then slowly we lose our investigators and the work just gets harder and harder... it was really frustrating at first, but now I think I'm finally starting to understand it: the Lord just really really loves me and wants me to learn as much as I can on this mission. He teaches us through trials and afflictions, challenges and temptations, I have plenty of those on my plate right now and as I continue to rely on Him I will grow stronger and stronger each day, slowly becoming the person He needs me to be. I still can't believe how much I have grown as a missionary and as a person. Missions truly are full of miracles.

We had a huge trial this week. Our recent convert of 2 weeks lost her job and told us that she had to move back to Kampungcam... super far away from the church.... We were heart broken and at first, just for a split second, I was angry. I didn't understand why it had to be happening to us. Why she had to leave? And then once I remembered "it's not about you..."I started thinking about her and her situation... her situation in KC is not the best. She has a step mom who isn't very nice and she will be living with her parents again after 1 1/2 years on her own... that's not easy. She was not very happy about the whole thing. I feel so bad for her... but after the initial anger and confusion wore off I was able to see things clearly. The Lord has a PERFECT plan for her. There is a reason she has to go back to KC right now and not be able to go to church.... I don't really know what that is yet, maybe she will convert her whole family, help them know about their savior Jesus Christ, but I have faith that all will work out. She does too. She was so positive about the whole situation and promised that she will read and pray everyday. We will keep checking up on her and praying that she finds a job and can come back quickly!!!! We had a really good last lesson with her yesterday. Sister Luke has a heart of gold and gave up her really nice gold plates (Khmer scriptures with gold covering on the pages) because Sokhiab only had the Book of Mormon and we didn't feel good about sending her away with just that, so we called all the resources we could, but couldn't find a triple, so she very willing gave hers up. She is the best. How did I get so lucky to meet Sokhiab and be companions with Sister Luke??? 

Remember Bong Lida? The lady that I worked with in my training that moved to PCT?? We had a killer lesson with her on the temple this week. She really really really wants to go and I really really really want to help her get there. We gave her the temple book and she started reading it. She is really feeling the spirit and I hope that things keep progressing and she can go within the next few years. It would help her so much!!!! But she went back to her srok (home town) for a holiday and won't be back for 3 weeks. Hopefully she stays strong and reads and prayers and we can just pick up right where we left off with her!!!! 

Our investigators, all two of them haha (:, are great!!! We had one of them (Zeekaa, who reminds me so much of Michelle, my sister-in-law) tell us she can't wait to get married in the temple and that if anyone that isn't a member asks her to marry them, she will say no because she wants to have a good happy family. Also, she is so good and involved in the ward that Elder Otto, an elder serving in PCT, thought she was a long time member. hahaha Then we have one more investigator, Srey Moam. She works on Sundays, so she doesn't really have the ability to come to church, but she is so good and is progressing a ton. When I first met her she wouldn't talk at all, but this past Saturday we had a way good lesson with her. She was laughing and joking and just super super happy. I attribute it all to the gospel. It’s starting to click and that's what brings lasting happiness in our lives. I love seeing the gospel change people’s lives!!!
Last p-day was way fun. We went to a restaurant called Ramen and it was a Korean BBQ place. We went with six other missionaries and it was SO delicious. We cooked our food on grills in front of us and then got a bento box. I never thought it’d say this, but I love sushi. I could eat it everyday and never get sick of it. Also, so to make everything even better, it was half off, so a meal for all 8 of us would normally be almost 100 dollars, but we got it for like 50 and then splitting everything it was only like 6 dollars for each of us. It was so good!!! We might just go back every p-day... and then we played spoons and spastic Uno. It was so much fun. Never laughed that hard in my life. 
We had quite the miracle take place this week, but you guys are going to get the very very condensed version cause I’m running low on time. But we went to find a CBR and we followed a map that an old missionary drew, so they aren't the greatest... haha so we started off on this trek and really have no idea where we were going.  We were trying to follow the map, but the streets didn't line up, so we just stopped for a second to talk. I was ready to go home but Sister Luke said I believe we can find it, so she took off and just started taking random turns. We ended up in front of this house and she said I think this is it. I looked at the shoes and there were little kid shoes... the family we were trying to find didn't have little kids or so I thought... so we turned away to bike to a different lesson when this little boy yells "hello sister".  I turn to Sister Luke still biking away and said "did you hear that??" She said no, but I felt like we needed to turn around and ask him, so we did and guess what?  The house that we just awkwardly sat in front of debating if it was theirs or not WAS THEIRS!!!! And we were able to meet them. Huge blessing and tender mercy - 1. because we found it following the spirit 2. she had prayed the night before to meet us. 3. she is getting ready to get married and can't meet us for about a month so everything worked out in favor of us. The Lord is the best!!!! 
Charades at English class always makes for an interesting night full of laughter. (: 
Most of our week was spent SOAKED!!!! It poured like 4 out of the 7 days this week and we just get on our little bikes and off we go to do the work of the Lord. I find it quite hilarious that in the white handbook it says not to bike in heavy traffic, when it's dark outside, or in severe weather. Here in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission we do all three of those almost on a daily basis. (: hahaha don't worry mom, there are definitely angels protecting us. 
Yesterday was literally the best day at church. We got a new bishopric and I’m way excited to start working with them. Also, our stake president spoke and he is literally the coolest person ever. He knows so much and the way he phrases things just blows my mind. one day I want to be like him. I learned so much, so much that I’m not even gonna try and explain it all except for this one little quote. Service is learning. It sounds cooler in Khmer, but just ponder that for a second. That’s why missions are so life changing. 
I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I love my savior and redeemer. WE are so blessed. Have a great week. Love you all!!!! 

Sister Loftus 
Double D 

Here is a link to a short video made by Elder Beckstead.

Lunch at Ramen

Sister Loftus and Sister Luke

The cutest little Cambodian girl you will ever meet, named Yaa

Sister Loftus and Sister Luke with Grandma Mak Yiay Seng Hong. I love her will all my heart.  

Where we have to stand to make phone service

A day at church

Sister Loftus, Sister Luke and Sokhiab

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