Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This is Cambodia!

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was probably the longest week of my life.... haha We had two training meetings, one on Thursday night and one on Friday morning, so there was a lot of riding back and forth from the mission home and Pochentong, but that's okay because it was all worth it. The meetings were so inspired and they really helped me figure out the kind of trainer/missionary I want to be for the time that I have left. It was also such a fun opportunity to look back and think about when I got in the country one year ago (my one year in country is this week. Crazy, right??) I have come so far. Like it blows my mind, all because of the Lord. I am so grateful for everything I’ve learned. Missions are the most incredible experiences ever. It’s hard though being on the other side of things now because sometimes Sister Luke struggles with the language and says that she is never going to learn it and gets really down on herself or she doesn't know what the members are saying and just gets super discouraged and all I can say is "it will get better, I promise."  It will, but she just has to trust me. And in the moment it seems like you're going to die and that nothing is going to get better and that you are going to be in this country forever and you're never going to go home and then one day you wake up and you have like 4 months left and suddenly you think "man, I don't want to go home. I want to be a missionary forever." You know that that can't happen and then you get way sad.... that's my thinking process about 10 times a day. I really really love being a missionary and it has taken me 14 months to really appreciate it, sure there were days where I loved being a missionary, but then something would happen and I would just want to go home, but for the past few weeks I’ve only had thoughts that I love my mission and talking about going home really really makes me sad and stresses me out. I just want to keep being taught by the Lord as a missionary and keep putting my tag on every day. AAAAAAHHHHHH. Don’t make me go home. I really have so many thoughts running through my head and I can never articulate them very well.... just know that my mission has changed my life and continues to change my life every day. This gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and can help us with every problem we have. Trust the Savior and his perfect plan for each of us. 

Okay, now that that is over, I apologize that was all over the place but I just had to get it down on paper because I really really don't want to leave.... but it's okay because I still have 4 months of incredible experiences with Sister Luke in Pochentong, honestly one of the best wards here in Cambodia. We have way fun experiences everyday together. She sees stuff that just blows her mind and she'll ask me questions and I’ll just say "yep, that was a funeral just going down the middle of the road throwing fake American $100 out and candy" or "yes, our neighbors did just raid our trash to get our recyclable to sell so that they can have food to eat" or when we walk downstairs in the morning for breakfast and there are 4 cockroaches dead in our kitchen she freaks out, I just step over them and start eating my food. haha And our butts being wet all the time 1- because of sweat 2- because of the fact that we don't use toilet paper. We use this thing that we call a bum gun to rinse off, we shake off a little, and off we go. hahaha you guys are gonna start getting all the little things about Cambodia that I forgot to tell you about in my training. Get excited!!!! (; 

Now for the work. We are currently rocking teaching our very new (as of yesterday) recent convert, Sokhiab,. She is the one that was sick last week and didn't get the Holy Ghost, but don't worry cause she came yesterday and received the Holy Ghost and was just glowing!!! I love her so much. We had a lesson with her and she just told us how much this gospel has changed her life. But she told us that her work won't let her work for about a month (I don't really understand why it happens, but it does...) so she has to find new work and if she can't find work she'll have to go back to her Srok (home town). I'm praying way hard that she can find work because if she goes back she won't be able to go to church for a month... but if she does have to go home that is Heavenly Father's plan for her and maybe she can help her family have the desire to learn. She is so good!!! 

We are still teaching Zeekaa. She is the cutest ever. I want her to get baptized, go on a mission, marry an RM, and then just have the cutest little family ever. She has so much potential and she speaks English, so Sister Luke can actually communicate with her. She Loves Zeekaa. We will keep teaching her and hopefully get her prepared and baptized in 2-3 weeks. (: We taught her Friday about the priesthood. She said she wanted to marry a man that holds the priesthood and can help her have a happy family and life. She said she wants to move to America... I bore powerful testimony, as prompted by the spirit, that the Lord has a perfect plan for each of us and if he wants her to go to American it will happen. But if she's supposed to stay here that’s what will happen, but no matter what happens if she stays strong in the gospel and keeps doing everything she needs to do the Lord will bless her. She just looked at me and all she said was "amen". It made me happy. (: 
Other than her our investigators aren't super excited right now. Not much is happening. We’ll spend a lot of time this week contacting and finding because we need new investigators bad!!!! 

We are currently working with a family Ming Niat and Danee. I love them will all my heart. Ming Niat is a very active mother and Danee is her daughter who is semi active. Ming Niat is really worried for Danee so we are trying to help strengthen both of them and get them reading in the Book of Mormon because that is the game changer. We had a way good family home evening with them where we shared the talk “I am a Child of God” from last conference and then shared in 1 Nephi 11:17. I don't really know how we managed to tie it all together, but they were both engaged and told us it was exactly what they needed to hear. So props to the Spirit and revelation. gotta love when that happens. (: 

Sunday was good, as usual. Testimony meeting was way powerful. Sister Luke made momma proud and bore her testimony. She is going to do great things. (: I love her and am so blessed to be her comp. We got fed again. Delicious food. Not so delicious food. We "didn't have enough food" so they just went out and bought more... on Sunday. All of us were members and have callings in the ward, but it still happened and no one said anything.... haha you've just gotta love and appreciate Cambodia for what it is. I sure do. (: 

Sister Loftus 
Double D 

Language study on the floor. I am Sister Loftus' daughter. hahaha 

Aren’t we the cutest mother daughter duo? Also please not the cute dresses. They were only $7. We love shopping in Cambodia.

This cute little girl was feeding us crackers as we taught. Mine was way soggy because she had been sucking on it first... kind of gross, but at least she has a kind heart. (: 

Cooking Cambodia style

More Cambodia cooking

Last Cambodia cooking

Sister Loftus and Sister Luke

Sister Loftus and another unnamed Sister, sorry

Sister Semones and Sister Loftus with more missionaries

Cambodia view

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