Here we are again with another week under our belts. I don't like it. One more week down means one more week until I go home. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family like crazy, but how many people get to be a missionary in Cambodia?? Not very many and I just know that once I’m home I am going to be craving Cambodia every second of every day. Wishing I could put my tag on just one more time and go out and serve the Lord’s children here in Cambodia. Man…I love my mission. It’s not easy at all, but it's so worth it.
This week started off a little interesting because I went to SIEM REAP!!! It was crazy. I got to the mission home and they immediately said, “ Sister Loftus, let's go”. So off I went. Ripped away from my beloved baby Sister Luke. It was heart breaking, but it was okay because I got to be companions with Sister Semones (my MTC comp) again!!! 5-hour bus ride with her was SO fun!!! We got to Siem Reap and it was way weird... everything was in English... because of all the tourists... then we stayed up way late talking and reminiscing... (whoops) and then we woke up at 3:50 and off we went. It was way cold... and there were tons and tons of people, but we had a good time. The ruins BLOW my mind... how they built them I have no idea. There is a ton too... like 6 or 7 and they are huge!!!! It rained... so we got way wet, but it made some of the people leave, so that was good. We surprised a lot of people with our Khmer skills. It was the best. I love talking to them. I don't really know what to say, not a whole lot to share because you just walk around. We didn't have a tour guide so we don't really know a whole lot about them, just know that they are giant stone buildings. haha enjoy the pictures!!! Then we took a bus ride home and then I had the amazing privilege to take Sister Xiong, one of my favorite companions, to the airport with President and Sister Christensen. She is sick, so she had to go home, but I was so blessed to be able to see her one last time and be able to be her companion. She changed my life for sure. I love her so much.
So we have this less active, Om Saan, and every time we go, she just asks these life questions that I don't really have the answers too... it's way stressful at first, but then the spirit takes over and we just have these way spiritually deep conversations... I feel bad for Sister Luke because she doesn't sdaab baan (understand) anything at all, but it's been cool for me because I’ve been able to gain a testimony of the gift of tongues. I mean, I knew it was real before, but now I really really know. Never before have I been able to have deep conversations with old ladies about life and now I am doing it in Khmer... like what is life right now?? So so so cool. (:
K, here is where the subject of this email comes in and I am just going to apologize right now because the telling of it will NEVER do it justice but I’m sure it's something I will talk about for the rest of my life. So when I get home I promise to tell all of you the story in person because it is AMAZING!!!!! So in order for people to get baptized they have to get interviewed with the district leader right? And our district leader lives in Sen Sok which is like an hour bike ride away, so we had to nat (make an appointment) with him way in advance. We made an appointment for Friday and our investigator said she would be there, but then when we were biking to the church for the interview it started raining... like hard. And if it rains Zeekaa, our investigator, doesn't come because she has to walk to the church... so we started freaking out. We knew that the district leader had changed his schedule already to accommodate us.... so I was way nervous. We got to the church and called her and she said, "No, I’m not coming". At first Sister Luke was talking to her in English because she knows so much, but then after she wasn't budging, I took over in Khmer... I said she had to come if she wanted to get baptized and she said, “but Sister, it's raining”. I said that I didn't care. We go out and work every day when it rains. She said she would wait until 5, when her interview was supposed to be, and then IF it had stopped raining she would come, I walked outside and looked at the sky. Black as far as the eye could see. I said "Zeekaa, I don't think it is going to stop..." and after arguing for a good five minutes on whether she would come or not she finally said "fine, I’ll come”. She hung up, sounding way way way mad... I was SO nervous she had just said she would come, but wasn't actually going to... the elders showed up and I got even more nervous, so Sister Luke, being the little greenie full of faith that she is said, “Sister do you want to pray?” And I said yes, so we knelt down, Sister Luke said a great prayer in English, we stood up and walked outside, watched the elders clean their bikes hahha and within less than five minutes it stopped raining COMPLETELY.. WHAT??? Are you kidding me? We started freaking out, in a good way. Then Zeekaa walked through the gate and we like tackled her to the ground we were so happy. We went inside and talked to her a little and she said, “Sisters, I think this was just a trial of my faith. I think the Lord was just seeing how bad I really wanted to get baptized. And because I left when it was still pouring, he blessed me and made it stop”. Okay, one, way cool experience just happened. I would say a miracle and two; our golden investigator recognizes it as such. So amazing!!!! And then after her interview we find out that our district leader, Elder Seng, who used to serve here about 8 months ago was the one who invited her to English class for the first time and that is how she started learning with the missionaries. So full circle endings. AAAAAHHHH why is missionary work so darn cool??? (:
Saturday we found out that our other investigator, Srey Moam, is getting made fun of at work every day for learning with us... but she doesn't care because 'this is the church for her". She is so good!!! I just wish there was something we could do to help her come to church, because she can pray and read all she wants, but we can't baptize her until she starts coming to church... we are fasting and praying that she can find a new job, so that she can finally get baptized which is really all she wants!!!
Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting and in prep for it my love for temples just grew exponentially. Man, we are so blessed to have temples; especially us who live in Utah, having so many so close to us. I mentioned the number, what is it? Like 14 or 15 and the guy that spoke after me mentioned it... and how Cambodia doesn't even have one... it kind of broke my heart. Guys, GO TO THE TEMPLE!!! Don’t ever take it for granted.... go. go . go .
That's all I’ve got, but stay tuned cause I’ve got loads and loads of pictures coming your way. Ready or not. (:
More of Siem Reap
Sister Loftus and a favorite family
Sister Loftus, Sister Luke and the yiay with the most swag.
Elder washing his bike in the rain because they were already soaked, so why not, right?
Sister Loftus and Sister Luke witnessing a miracle!
Sister Loftus and Sister Luke
Just being silly
Cutest baby ever that laughs and smiles all the time
These children always stand like that and watch us eat... hahaa the joys of being a white girl in Cambodia
Beautiful sunset. #blessed