Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Very full...of food, of love, of the Spirit

Dear Family and Friends, 

I'm just gonna stop apologizing for short emails. You guys should just expect it by now. (:  

I know you guys probably won't believe me cause last week's email was a little down, but this week was really good. I felt like it was a very successful week. 

I've been struggling lately bike wise. I've had a flat tire, like completely flat 3 times this past week... not okay. I don't understand what's going on... we bike up to the shop, just a little shop on the side of the road, and they just look at me like I’m crazy and ask me how I did that to my bike. I just have to laugh and say that I don't know. And then they talk about Sister Benson and me, thinking we can't understand them, but then we start laughing, and they get super embarrassed. It happens every time. haha I love it. (: 

We had success, ish, this past week with a less active. Typically when we go over to meet her, she doesn't let us share with her. She just talks with us and we do our best to work gospel topics into the conversation, but this past week, she brought up prayer, so we jumped on that opportunity to share. We taught a great lesson and really felt like she understood it. She even promised to pray, but then we asked her if she's been reading the Book of Mormon. She said yes, good, but that she was also reading the Buddhist scriptures and Islamic scriptures as well... haha Sister Benson and I just looked at each other and started laughing... man... 

We met with lots of less actives and they all went pretty well. Less actives are always pretty much the same, not much changes from week to week. Actually, one of our less actives, Srei Touch, is progressing very nicely. She has started reading her scriptures every day and she came to church. She is the cutest ever. I've gotten really close to her lately and am learning so much from her example. (: 

Thanksgiving!!! So this year, the mission came out with a new rule that the mission won't pay for holidays anymore, which means it's the missionary’s responsibilities to prepare something for holidays. I was way sad that I wouldn't get a good Thanksgiving, but our senior couple, the Dowds, saved the day. We got to go to their apartment as a zone and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (lunch). We had all the fixings too. It was so so so good!!! I was so grateful for it. My stomach is even smaller now than it was before my mission, so I only ate a little bit, but it was so tasty. Then they had prepared a super sweet little program and we were able to go around and share what we were grateful for. Man, the spirit was so strong. Something super cool about hearing the testimony of 24 missionaries. However good your Thanksgiving was, it did not beat mine. Not a chance. (: 

GUESS WHAT??? Zeekaa came to church. My mind was blown. We walked up and she was just sitting there and said, “Hey, Sister Loftus!”. I freaked out and she just laughed at me. We had a killer lesson on the Restoration with her and I was SO happy!!! She even told us that now she'll have more time to meet with us. I guess I should've just had faith in her and trusted the lord. (: Maybe one day I’ll learn that lesson. haha 

Things are going good. I love Cambodia. So much. And this gospel. (: 

Sister Loftus
Double D

Just Cambodia

Christmas in Cambodia

Autumn in Cambodia


Monday, November 21, 2016


Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was LONG and ROUGH... I don't really know what's been going on lately, but I feel like all of our lessons fell through. It was the water festival and everyone was busy dau lenging (hanging out) and couldn't meet with us. Also, our ward is kind of falling apart... Lots of people have just stopped coming to church and no one has their phone number or knows where their house is so that makes going to find them to try to help them come back, pretty impossible... Our relief society president is less active and going to a different church, along with a recent convert, and a couple other members as well. They are going to that church because they give out rice and if they go to that church they don't have to pay for their kids schooling because the church will pay it for them... Unbelievable. It just breaks my heart. Also, a few of the members are still doing their Buddhist traditions (worshiping ancestors) and there is no way that they can have strong faith if they are caught up with that... I just don't know how to help them. I feel like they won't listen to me, a little 20-year-old American girl, even if I am a set apart missionary of the Lord. I go in and teach them, what I think is a great lesson, by the spirit, and NOTHING. I have faith in my calling, power, and authority, but maybe they don't. I've been trying to work with the members to see what we can do to help them, but they have all kind of given up hope... they just say "Sister don't worry about them. They won't come back." but that's not what I should be doing. I should care. I should be helping them. That’s my purpose and calling as a missionary -to help people come back and repent, really repent and change their lives. I just don't know how to do that if they won't let me meet with them... you know? I feel pretty hopeless right now... I just want to help this area progress, especially with the little amount of time that I have left, but nothing seems to be working.... that's what we are working with for the less actives. Our investigators seem to be doing pretty good though. We have 6 right now. 3 of them are pretty solid, Tola (14 year old girl) Bunleu (the pregnant one), and Marina (the member non member situation) and then the other three are kind of iffy, not really wanting to meet us and such. But I should just be grateful we have 3 good investigators. And I am. I love them, but I just want them to be able to come to church and feel like it's something they want in their lives, but if we only have 40 people there... makes it kind of hard. I know you guys have never had to deal with Buddhist drama, but if you have any idea on strengthening faith in Jesus Christ, I’m all ears. (: 

As for Zeekaa, yes, she gets a whole paragraph to herself... she has basically dropped off the face of the planet... we have natted with her (made an appointment) three times now and she just doesn't show up... I know she's busy with work, but she worked before and still had time to meet us. When she got this new job, maybe a month ago, I asked her if it would affect her church attendance and she said no... and now she hasn't been to church for two weeks in a row... Unbelievable. I’m super sad about it and Sister Luke didn't even get to say goodbye to her... also, I talked to her and she's now reading her scriptures, so that's cool... Praying we can finally meet with her this week and help her see the light. Her birthday is this week and I’m planning on getting her a birthday present, so hopefully that sweetens her up a little bit. haha 

We spent a lot of time saying goodbye to members this week. It was way sad seeing Sister Luke say goodbye to them, but made me even more grateful that I am staying here in PCT, the work might not be moving super good, but the members are the BEST!!!! We had dinner Thursday night with some of the elders recent converts that we've grown pretty close to and it was so fun. We just laughed and had the best time. They are such examples to me. Nimol, the older brother (their parents are dead I’m pretty sure) was a street contact and he was golden. His little sister and two of his cousins have since been baptized and the elders are currently teaching his brother and his wife, so they are the best!!! 

Transfer day was hard saying goodbye to Sister Luke... also, everyone that was going back out to the khets gave me hugs and said "I might not see you before you die, so goodbye!!" and that when things got super real... I didn't like it... so that was the down side to transfer day, but the upside was Sister Christensen's nephew was there and he is the cutest!!! Also SISTER BENSON!!!! She is a year younger than me and from Ephraim Utah. And she is SO GOOD!!! She blew my mind. Her Khmer is Unbelievable. She must have worked so hard in her training to get where she is. She is basically as good as I am. She is going to help PCT so much!!! We've had a few lessons already and she teaches by the spirit and teaches things so simply. I really really love being her comp and it's only been 4 days. Excited to see how we continue to grow over the next few weeks.

Tola is doing so good. We met her last night after not meeting her for about a week and she remembered EVERYTHING. She is so good. I love her. Super good for her to have such a good support system around her. 

I know this email was super sad and negative, but I’m actually pretty excited to see how my relationship with the lord develops over the next few weeks. What a great way to end, right? I know that I can't do this work without His help. I will trust Him and He will help PCT. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the Lord. So much happens on a mission that can't happen anywhere else. My mission has changed my life. I am a different person since the day I entered the MTC, all because of the Lord. His plan is perfect for each of us. Through the Gospel, we can find joy and happiness in this life. We can overcome all things through the Atonement of Christ. If you don't have a personal relationship with your savior yet, I encourage you all to start reading the Book of Mormon, Today!!!! . The Book of Mormon is the word of God and a book that, if read and applied in our lives, WILL CHANGE us. I have seen it so much in my mission. Reading of the Book of Mormon is the game changer. Always. READ IT!!! 

Sister Loftus 
Double D

P.S.  forgot that it was thanksgiving this week... haha!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! Eat lots of good food for me and you should try giving a gratitude prayer. A prayer where you only thank him. Don't ask for ANYTHING. it's a really really cool experience. LOVE YOU ALL!!!! We have so much to be grateful for.

Sister Christensen's nephew

Sister Luke, Sister Loftus and the Elders

Sister Loftus, Sister Semones, and not sure who the other Sister is, sorry!

Cambodian scenery

Ming Samay, the best member ever, with her GIANT Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants

Monday, November 14, 2016

Transfer cong kraoy (the last transfer....)

Dear Family and Friends, 
This week was really really long and I’m not really sure why, but it was really good at the same time. Monday was like the funniest p-day ever. We did Srei Sarts. We went to a photo studio and got our hair and makeup all done up and dressed up like Khmers. It was so so so fun!!! Not a whole lot to say, you guys can just look at the pictures and freak out like everyone else about how it DOESN"T look like me at all. All the members don't believe that's it me... haha I've wanted to do this my whole mission and finally did. Good choice to do it with Sister Hall and Sister Luke. They are the most fun. When the lady put the finishing touches on my clothes she said koon khmer hauy (Khmer child already) and I just started laughing. Then we biked to the mission home with our makeup still all pretty and got flu shots. Great day. (: haha 

We had some tender mercy's happen this week. We have some families that have multiple less actives in them, but we can typically only meet one, but the lord was preparing the way for us and we were able to meet with two new less actives this week. We were so excited!!! One of them said that she is planning on coming back to church in 1-2 months. I was so excited!! As for the other one... she is in a really really tough situation right now. Her grandma and her dad just passed away, she failed a test at school, and then she lost her job. She feels like the lord has forsaken her and she has no desire to pray or read her scriptures... I don't know how to help her and I don't think she'll meet with us again for a while, but her cousin, who she lives with, is a great RM, so I hope that she helps her out to regain her faith. (: 

Tola is still good but she went to her srok for the water festival.. so we didn't get to see her on Saturday, but our lesson on Tuesday went well. Then we met with Bunleu again. She is so nonchalant in the lessons, like super chill, but she is feeling the spirit and she went to church for all three hours again. She’s surprising me. I love her!! She just laughs at me. haha and then this week on Sunday we started teaching a new investigator. Her name is Marina... she has been coming to church for years. Like her whole life, but three weeks ago her mom came up to us and told us that we needed to teach her again and baptize her cause she never got confirmed... remember her? I think I told you about her before... but we finally met with her and she blew my mind. She is so cool!!! Way cute and talks a ton. She knows more about this gospel than I do. "Golden investigator" for sure. (: She’ll get baptized way fast. (: She has read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Bible all the way through already. WHAT?? So good!!! Super cool. as for Zeekaa... she didn't come to church... I’m a little bitter about it. She promised the Lord and us she wouldn't miss church. It would be fine if she had a good reason, but she was "just busy" that's all she said. We think she was doing something with her many many boyfriends, or maybe working... even though she's never worked on Sunday before... and she hasn't been meeting us... I’m a little bummed, but am going to try super hard this week to help her realize the importance of church. 

Saturday we had a water festival party for the ward and it was so fun. We just ate curry together and just talked. I loved it!!! This ward is so much fun. Really creating great memories with them!!! Sunday was good with them as well. We ate left over curry after church while Sister Luke said her goodbyes to everyone. Got some good pics. (: oh, I am staying in PCT for my last transfer with a sister named Sister Benson. She just finished training, so still pretty new, but I am way excited!!!! Sister Luke is going to BB and being a STL. I’m a little jealous actually, but she'll do so good!!!

I don't really know what else to say, so I guess this is it. (: 

Love you all so much!!!

Sister Loftus 
Double D 

Getting started with Srei Sarts (dressing up like Khmers)

Sister Loftus as a Khmer

Sister Loftus' Khmer tiara

Sister Loftus and her missionary badge

Sister Hall, Sister Luke and Sister Loftus.  Yes, it is Sister Loftus in the lime green. Look closely!

Dominos pizza-yummy


Sister Loftus eating soup with chicken feet

Sister Luke eating soup too

Sister Luke when she found out she was being transferred!

Hanging out with the ward

More ward photos


 And more.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sore butts (chuu goots) hahaha

Dear Family and Friends, 

Not much happened this week... we spent hours and hours biking with not very many lessons... it was the worst. But that's over and done and hopefully this next week is much better than last. 

Last Monday I was trying to get money out of the ATM and it ate my card... I got my money, but I guess I took too much time folding it and putting it in my wallet cause as I reached my hand out to grab my card, the machine sucked it right back in. I was so mad!!! I just came out and yelled, "it ate my card!!!!"And then Sister Luke, who had an old man trying to speak French to her, started freaking out too... We didn't know what to do. So once I calmed down, I found a number and called customer service, but in order to get my card back we would have to wait until Tuesday at three... so we just went throughout our day like normal and then biked 45 minutes to their headquarters on Tuesday just for them to tell me that I needed my passport to get it back. All I had was a copy and apparently that wasn't good enough... so then we had to bike 20 more minutes to the mission home and get my real passport, then bike back, but by the time we got back.... the bank was closed. What bank closes at 4?? Apparently some banks in America do, at least that's what Sister Luke told me, but I always thought they closed at 6... so that was just a cherry on top of that day... then we had to bike to one of our far areas, another 50 minutes to meet with Tola our investigator. I wasn't happy to be biking that much and we showed up super sweaty, but I love her, so it was okay. We still didn't have my card though... so we had to bike back out there on Wednesday and I finally got my card. I was super enthusiastic and the lady helping me just laughed at me as she handed it back to me. haha everyone just loves me. (; But that wasted a lot of our time, so not much to say on less active lessons... 

Thursday we met with a new investigator. Her name is Bunleu, it means light, and she's super cool. She’s pregnant and way funny. She is a referral from English class and last week she went to church for all three hours, before we even met her. Super cool. We asked her why she was interested in learning about Jesus Christ and our church and she said that she wanted to have a light in her life. She wanted direction. That changed our whole lesson. We ended up sharing a verse on how Jesus is the light and then showed her this way cool picture of Jesus holding a candle. After we taught her, we just let it sink in and all she said was "light...". I think that means she liked what we taught, but we natted (set up another appointment) with her this Thursday, so we'll see if she read and prayed!!! Feels good to get new investigators. (: 

Friday we had a killer zone training. Like so good, but one of the ones that if I try to tell you guys what I learned you wouldn't really understand. You kind of had to be there... but there is an elder that dies (goes home) in 2 weeks and he bore his testimony... that's when things got way real about going home... I DON'T WANT TO... I got super emotional, but enough of that. The actual training went like an hour over, so we missed one of our lessons and that just set everything else in a downward spiral... we didn't get any lessons on Friday and I was super super bummed... like way ticked. 

Saturday was spent biking as well. We had started our personal study, when a member called us and asked if we could meet her sister, Srei Leak. She is our investigator, but super super busy and can't ever meet us, so this was an answer to our prayers. We went and met her and it was really good. Taught the plan of salvation and she said a great prayer. Said it really helped her understand her purpose in life. Hopefully she keeps progressing!!! Saturday night we biked 30 minutes, only for the aunt to tell us her niece wasn't home and that she'd be home at 5, so we biked to the church to meet with bishop, who didn't show up... and then biked back out to Tola's house. She walked in and I asked her how she was and she said not good and started crying... so I asked her what was wrong, but she was crying too hard to tell me, so her cousin and aunt explained to me that she had failed her English test... we were just going to move on with our lesson and not really address the elephant in the room, but we knew that wasn't a smart idea and knew that this was an opportunity for us so show our love and concern for her, so we did what we do best. TAUGHT ENGLISH!!! Except it was way hard because it's a rule that I never learned in English, something that comes naturally for us, but for them they have to learn it and it's way hard... so we spent a way long time teaching her, but she seemed to get it and by the end she was in a lot better spirits than when we showed up. We also taught her about faith and it was super powerful. I LOVE TEACHING THE GOSPEL!!!! 

Sunday was a testimony meeting full of the spirit. We had two girls get up and bear testimony that through us their prayers had been answered. It was so cool for me to finally understand that the lord is working miracles through us and we don't even know it. I started thinking about my mission as a whole and all the people I’ve talked to or come in contact with and realized that I’ve done a lot more good here in Cambodia than I could've ever imagined. Such a sweet experience.  Also, with transfers coming up I was really hoping to leave, but after the great Sunday we had I am super hoping to stay. I love Pochentong. The members have become some of my closest friends and I don't want to say goodbye to them. I can joke around with them and be spiritual. It’s the best!!! We have a ward activity this Saturday and I am way excited!!!! 

Sister Loftus
Double D 

Sister Loftus and Sister Luke in matching soccer jerseys

Pulling a "Chantrea" haha one of the young men in our ward. These are his only two poses. 

Ming Samay, my Cambodian mom, making hand made ties. She's the best.

Sela the cutest little girl. She shared sweet potatoes with me, even though I was fasting and she gave me a kiss on the cheek. She stole my heart!

Reaksa and Tola. We ate lunch at their house with them on Sunday. SO GOOD!!!!  

Everyone keeps commenting on my name tag... I am cit slab hauy (I am almost dead) as you can tell by my name tag... taking this bad boy off is going to kill me. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Happy Halloween

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was good. Nothing too special happened. We just proselyted like normal, so sorry if this email is really short, (note from Mom, her emails are never short.  Not sure what she is talking about it) but you guys have got lots of pictures, so that should be good, right?? (: 

We FINALLY met with Bong Lida. She came back from her hometown for just a little, just long enough for us to teach her two lessons, and then she went back yesterday... I’m way sad. I may not see her again before I leave... but she's so good. She bore a powerful testimony of the happiness that comes from the gospel and believing in Jesus Christ. She knows that without it she would be so lost and her marriage would be horrible, but because of the gospel, her marriage is great and she loves her husband and her daughter. I may not have seen it happen with me, but one day she will go to the temple with her family to get sealed. 

Zeekaa is still doing really good. We just love her to death. This week she told us that she is going to get engaged next year to this boy that she works with... but she has 3 other boyfriends right now. And none of them know about the other ones... so we are planning on teaching her an honesty lesson coming up here real fast. She just thinks it's fun and can't really see how dangerous it is, but the one she wants to get engaged to seems to be good. She said he will want to start learning and out of the three he is the one that has the highest potential to take her to the temple. Also, we gave her own triple combination yesterday and her reaction was priceless. I loved it!! She got so happy. (: 

Tola is still doing well. She is just the cutest thing; reading, praying, and coming to church. We committed her to be baptized on the 11th of December. Sister Luke was pretty stoked. First one since she got here. We love her so much!!! Not much new there. Just trying to teach things super simply so she understands. 

Friday night we got a little festive and carved... persimmons... haha. Cambodia doesn't have pumpkins like the ones we carve in America, so we got a little creative and it was so fun!!! It was really hard though... I gave up, but Sister Luke did really well. We just laughed and ate some good Halloween candy. Thanks mom!!! 

Saturday-the car wash, or moto wash, since no one here really drives cars, of the year. We planned this car wash to try and get more people interested in our church and English class. It was a success. We washed over 300 motos (motorcycles) and got about 100 people who are interesting in learning more whether that is about English class or about Jesus. All in all it was a fun day of contacting, teaching, and getting wet. The closest thing to swimming we can do as missionaries and I enjoyed every second. (: It was so much fun, but I was way tired after!!! Hopefully we get some new investigators from it. 

I had a really cool experience at church yesterday. They were getting ready to pass the bread and this little girl on the front row just screams "BREAD!!!" and runs right up to the person who was passing it and takes a handful. I laughed because it was adorable, but then as I kept pondering it during the sacrament, that is how we should all react when we start the sacrament (and just Sabbath day observance in general). Obviously we shouldn't scream, but we should be so excited to go to church and learn by the spirit and partake of the sacrament. We receive so much through the sacrament when we partake of it worthily. I love Sundays and the opportunity it gives me to ponder about my Savior and his atoning sacrifice. Also, this morning I was studying about the atonement. I've learned that if you study the meaning of words in English and Khmer then you get more out of it, so I opened up my Khmer dictionary and looked up thuen which is part of atonement in Khmer and it means to make equal, enough, whole, complete or to forgive someone. My mind was blown.... it helped the atonement take on a whole new meaning for me. A sacrifice that make us enough, makes us complete, and makes up for all that we lack. Beautiful. This gospel is so true. I love it with all my heart. 

Oh, almost forgot. Sister Luke’s face has been weird for the past week... like her eyes and lips have been super dry and scaly and itchy. We’ve been working with Sister Christensen to try and figure it out and nothing seemed to be working. So this week she finally went to the doctor and found out she has hay fever... haha I didn't even know that was really a thing, but the meds he gave her seem to be working, so we are really happy about that. 

That's all I’ve got for this week. Love you all and hope you have a very happy Halloween!!!! 

Sister Loftus 
Double D

Went to the cutest ice cream shop. We blew their minds with our Khmer so they gave us these cute cookies.  Making the same face as our cookies.

 More desserts!

Sweet potatoes.

Ming Narat.  I love her!

Sister Luke, Ming Narat, and Sister Loftus

 Yaa Ti, the cutest little girl. Bong Lida's daughter

Cambodian pumpkins

More Halloween

And more Halloween! Thanks mom

Look!  My hair is curly!

 Sister Luke, Sister Loftus and Bong Sophiap, she served her mission in England.

Moto Wash Shenanigans

And More

And more...

And more...Sister Loftus and Sister Luke

More of the sisters

Sister Loftus washing a moto

Cambodian tan lines

More tan lines