Friday, February 2, 2018

Sharing of the Gospel here in Cambodia

Sunday January 28, 2018 at 11:18PM

Hello Hello Hello!

I hope you are all doing well!

 Last week was full of miracles. President and his wife blessed us with the opportunity to do zone conferences and trainings across the country of Cambodia. It was such a spiritual road trip! We went to provinces over Cambodia and held zone conferences there! It was an amazing and enlightening   experience. One of the tender mercies came from unintentionally riding the mission car from the Siem Reap Province to Battambang province. On the way there, I kept thinking of my grandpa's house. Then! when we drove passed an old familiar hiking place and we saw a big Buddha statue on top of the mountain. Right then, I knew where I was! It was my grandpa's house a mile off of the mountain. I remember how shocked I was to be passing by my forefather's house. We were all so surprised!  President stopped his car right away and we turned around to see my grandpa's house. My grandpa passed away years a go, so there is no one living there. It has been abandoned for about years now and the inside rooms were closed off, but my family( on mom's side)  would go back every now and then to visit it. The spirit of love and peace was absolutely there! I can only remember being there as a little girl and staying there as our summer home when I would visit my grandpa. I believe the house was built when my grandparent's just got married, or even right after the Khmer Rouge.  I can feel the love of God and my grandpa so strongly there. Looking at every part that makes up the house brought me back to my childhood. The six of us, president, the APs, my comp and I walked around the house. I remember a specific moment when we went upstairs and I stood there reminiscing where my grandpa and I would lay on the wooden floor. It was so a sweet experience! The strings that were supposed to be attached to the hammock were still there. I feel so honored to have an experience as such. I am grateful for the Lord.

When my companion and I got the opportunity to go back to my training area, Battambang this week, we spent some times visiting our RCs. I am touched by the continuous tender mercies of the Lord. We went back to Recent Convert family's house. We decided to surprise her in the morning. We knocked on the door and as she opens the gate, she was so surprised! She started crying and I started crying and we could not help to just feel so much love God has for that family. It has been almost year and a half that I haven't seen her. Her grandchild has grown so much! We found out that the family is preparing to go to the temple. My companion and I sat closely to the woman and listened to stories  and experiences of how the Gospel has changed her life. She said that she had been praying ( ever since she had known of the Gospel) for her village family to open their hearts and to receive the Gospel as well. Because of her faith and her character of a deliberate disciple, she was able to share the Gospel and many of the souls in her village enter into the covenants with the Lord. She had told us of how those around her started to recognize the power that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. They recognized that in no way was it her husband's self-exerted power to stop smoking, drinking in one day and how he stopped living unrighteous habits from his own will power.  The change, the peace, and the happiness that family shows to those around their village brought those around her to gain the witness of repentance in their own lives as well. I know that this work is all done through the saving atoning power of Jesus Christ. I know this to be true and I'd give up anything to treasure the truth I witnessed. Jesus Christ lives and because of this I, too have hope to go on. I am honored by the Lord's words and tender hands in the miracles I witness in my life and the lives of others. My greatest of joy is from sharing the Gospel.

We had a baptism of a mother and a son this weekend. It was very sweet to see how the Gospel has helped the young woman gain more hope in not just for herself, her son, and those around her. She is such a sincere seeker of the Gospel. She has been learning for about 7 weeks and it has been inspiring to see the changes she experienced and bore in her life every time we would go and teach her. Her path of continuous conversion is bringing more happiness to her family's life. She told us that she has been seeking the truth for the longest of time and a distinct point in which the Lord blessed her came when she prayed inside her house to know of the true Gospel. Right after she had opened her eyes. Two missionaries walked by and asked if she is a follower of Jesus Christ. From that point on to now, she has constantly received the confirming witness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon is true. It was really nice to also see how the members would be apart of the witness. A woman in the ward would go to her house prior she was baptized and would read the Book of Mormon with her along with bearing her testimony.

With Love and gratitude,
Sister Sok

Sister McIllece and I got the permission to visit the Ancient Ruins of Angkor Wat for my last transfer in the country!

We got to personal study during the sunrise in front of Angkor Wat! A few minutes in the studies, a couple of monkeys ran towards us and hah one stood right in front of us and looked at our breakfast and looked back at us, then looked back at the breakfast and snatched it from us.

Ming Sophea and her son at the baptism

A pic of Oum Vanny (fam RC) and her grandchild!
Grandpa's house!
Angkor Wat

With Love!

Sunday January 14, 2018 at 10:32PM

Hello Hello Hello!

Sister Mcillece and I are doing well! We are working together to build unity in the church and in setting goals for the four focused key indicators for this transfer! We are really excited for this transfer and for the goals we've set. I am really happy to have her as my last companion :). I believe we really do compliment each other. Sister McIllece is an amazing and hard working missionary. We are learning more and more in being patient with certain things that are out of her control. She is an angel. Also, we recently picked up the new missionaries from the MTC at the Phnom Penh Airport last week. Man, they are glowing! We are really excited to help them adjust to the mission culture here in Cambodia and to assist and serve them with the training they need!

Recently, we are really impressed with the Steung Meanchey ward council meeting ( in Ward 1). Almost all of the leaders, representing their classes were there, with the Bishop leading the meeting. There were all participating and hah biting for the goals for this year in building up the ward. They were also offering insights to make the goals as realistic as possible, but optimistically enough to be reached. I believe the numbers in representing those priceless souls will elevate their faith and as well as their work ethics. They went on to continue to set goals of how many of members they hope to attain in each class and have totaled them up for the attendance of sacrament meeting. They followed up with visiting teaching and made sure that it becomes a regular activity for the ward members. They were thorough in discussing ways they could reach the goals.  We so love the spirit of unity in the room. We also joined in another ward council meeting, except this one was specifically for the youths of the church. The leader of the meeting set up the visiting/home teaching for the young women and young men. The execution of the meeting was done well. They had the young woman and young men that represent the 3 wards of Steung Meanchey meet up together and break up into teams for the visiting teachings/home teachings on Sunday morning before their service in the afternoon. They used the CBR book as a resource for help.  The leader of the meeting followed up the next Sunday ward council meeting on each of the visiting teacher's report and what they could do to continually build the relationship with the youths and LA families they visited. They were also asked to share what they had learn from the experience that personally built their faith and the miracles that came from their service. One young man shared that he inspired a LA active youth to have hope in preparing for his own mission and how the experience gave him, the ministerer, the lens into the missionary work. One also shared how the people he planned to visit fell through, but how he had pushed on to find those who needs him more that day. I have hope in the future local missionaries here and to see them as the firm link in the chain of building up the Lord's Kingdom in a land where the church is still very new here. Also the RC class in ward 1 was incredible! We got around a total number of almost 20 investigators in the room. We could barely fit in the chairs! The lord has been blessing both missionaries and ward members in Stueng Meanchey. One of our investigators even had a miracle during the sacrament meeting. She had lost her valued earring on her left ear and tried so hard to find them. She hastily ran back and forth to search for them. She had put her trust in the Lord that whatever happens, it would be up to His Will. During the sacramental service, she told us she had prayed so hard and heard her son's voice saying "Mom, your earring is attached to one of your shoes after closing her prayer and partaking of the sacrament! She was so happy and blessed to have experienced that! The ward members were so excited and supported her miraculous experience! I am really grateful for the ward members here in Steung Meanchey and for the further growth and learning curves they will value.

For ward 3, we worked together with the Bishop in ways we could bring more unity and inclusion back to the ward. We had asked all of the members to come to the ward to bring their own foods to the potluck and to eat and enjoy the food together each 2nd second Sunday of the month. It touched my heart to see how they were all sitting together, laughing, and enjoying the warmth comfort of love and charity.  Ward 3 is still needing some more help in making sure people are receiving their callings and magnifying them. What we are struggling with is being patient with investigators facing different circumstances. The ward faces a lot of illnesses and struggles with financial stability. Sister McIllece and I are learning to be more understanding and learning to minister to those of diverse hardships/ trials/ circumstances, especially those destitute souls in trash mountain.  I am amazed with the humble souls who are seeking to preach and at the same time, repenting to be become what the Lord shapes them to be.  Missionary work truly is changing people's lives for the better. I can testify that it has brought so much light in my life.

With love and gratitude,
Sister Sok​

A Day in a life! + Service Pics

Sunday January 07, 2018 at 10:06PM

Missionary life in Cambodia!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Christmas in Cambodia

Monday December 25, 2017 at 12:13am

For this week, the spirit of Christmas manifested itself in ways I could not imagine it would. So many humbling experiences entered my life that week. I feel that the spirit of love, understanding and unity within the community of the church and the people I came in contact with. I got to witness, even at the tip of an ice berg of how the Savior feels as he offers his hands to the lives of those who are humble to receive them. We got to witness the pure love a father has for his daughter at a baptism yesterday. It was just so sincere.  The father got really shy to say the baptismal prayer, but tried again and again, because he loves his daughter. A heart touching moment was when a senior couple went up to him and asked me to translate to him that " one day, you are going to a great leader of the church". I felt the spirit surging all around us. I just felt like their was a pause in the moment and I wish I could capture it forever. The man started to tear up, said thank you so sincerely and walked a way. The power that comes from those words of affirmation strengthened the man's faith to continue to serve.The father's strive to live worthy for God and his family is so inspiring. The moment after the baptism, we found him and his family laying down on the cement ground outside the church. We asked them if they were going to go home, but they told us that they didn't have enough money to commute back to their house to get lunch in between and to come back for the church service. We could tell they were starving. All of the members from joining the baptismal service had already left and it was too late to ask anyone to help the family out at the time. Sister McIllece and I looked at each other and felt such a strong impression to go home and come back with the large meal that we both knew we could not finish if it was just the two of it.  We got home and made food in 15 minutes, haha and rode back to the church to eat with them. The moment they saw us entering the church gate, a sense of hope filled their hearts. The daughter smiled so much. Her father could not fathom the miracle that just happen through his sacrifice for the Lord. One of the happiest moments that I have felt is such an experience as this one. The fact that I got to see a family eating together with hope and food to fill their stomachs was such a great sight. To see the Father expressing to his children through his heart that God does answer prayers and is aware of their needs.  Right after we finished with the food, we had two new investigators who had been seeking the Gospel, walking in the church, while more investigators of ours started to arrive at church  hah like all together. at once. Brothers and sisters, I have a testimony of charity and love. I have a testimony of giving. I know that we can all make that difference as we listen to the spirit of the hearts of those around us and the rhythms that beat, to that still and small voice, to share selfless love to those around us.

Merry Christmas

With love and gratitude,

Sister Sok

When I Looked Up

Sunday December 10, 2017 at 10:18pm

Hello Hello!

This week has been on the go-go-go. We have been helping President with preparing the new missionaries training and upcoming Zone conference and exchanges. It has been really good.
We thoroughly enjoyed the administration and ministration work of the mission! There is something so joyful about being near the new missionaries starting their mission in this country this week. It is so great. We also got some times in proselyting for the rest of the week and exchanges, as well. I have many tender mercies to share, but with a limited amount of time, I will sure do my best.

Sunday was a amazing. One of our family investigators gave us a call before the church service and told us that their old Japanese bike broke down. They weren't quite sure of how to fit 5 people on a broken bike. I could feel their desire of attending church so bad. With diligent prayers from our part and theirs, Heavenly Father has miraculously provided a way for them to get to church. Another tender mercy came after Sister McIllece and I were lost by the trash mountain area, because we were trying to find a short cut. Well in the midst of being lost, Sister McIllece's bike broke down. It broke down by this small road where not many people would pass by. We got a little frustrated with trying to fix the bike with no resources around us. I took a huge breath and tried as hard to be calm, because we were already late to our next lesson appointment. Then, the sweetest voice manifested itself through this man, "Hi, Can you pray for my child?" I looked up for the first time in the 20 minutes and realized I have been feeling hopeless while struggling to fix the bike and a spirit of hope surged my frame as soon as I heard the man's voice. My lips trembled and I felt so grateful for the opportunity to be in this man's crossroad.

When I looked up, my head cleared and I faced this man whose frame seemed very exhausted, yet hopeful. He was pulling a huge cart full of recycling materials. Right then and there, I became so speechless. I felt a spirit of love entered my heart. I could not help but to cry right in front of this poor man's face. Right at the moment, I knew Heavenly Father reassured us that HE IS THERE, with us, with that man. The man further said that "his child is ill and his wife needs help from God" "I know you are Christians, and please pray for my sick child". He looked at us with such hope and walked pass us. Then, this little girl's bike broke down right in front of us. We hurriedly put the bike chains back on her bike and hurriedly stopped the poor man from walking away from us. We kept talking to him and asked where his family lives. He took us to his wife and his sick child. We got to know them for a bit and asked if we could pray with them for their sick infant. Ahh, it was such a tender mercy. I know that without the struggles of that day, I don't think I would have felt the priceless value of God's hands and workmanship of miracles to the extent of how it should be felt. I don't think I would have valued the man's sincere begging voice for help if my companion and I did not struggle to overcome each of our individual challenges by working together in unity. The price to be pay is so worth the beauty we see each and everyday.

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

A picture of one of the family investigators we are sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with. Sorry my camera does not take very clear pictures. :/

My ex-comp a few weeks ago, Sister Chin with
her glasses. Me with the red scarf and Sister Chin.

New Comp!
Sis. Mcillece
While back when I was a new missionary in my training, my 1st Christmas in the country!

Waiting at the Church's Stairways

Monday November 27, 2017 at 1:26am


On Sunday afternoon, we met a woman and her two children on the steps of the church building. She had biked to church far from her home, with a total of 3 people on an old beaten down Japanese bike.  She told us how she has been waiting for us and the message we had to share with her again. She had been waiting for a while, as well. Ahh the sweet joy she had to meet with us made my comp and I so happy. She had a 2 year old son and a 13 year old daughter with her. She told us how she has been praying and sleeping by the pamphlets we gave her, to provide her the comfort she has longed for. She expressed how much light came into her life, ever since having the Lord with her. She teared up and told us how badly she wanted to read the words in the Book of Mormon, but has not learned how to read ever since she was a child. It was such a neat experience to see how her 13 year-old daughter will teach her mother to read from that day on, every night. It was quite beautiful to hear her saying that (as she holds her baby by her heart so dearly) she said "I will change and do anything of the Lord, as long as I am able to read His words, I will, I have faith, I come here and have sacrificed because I believe in His words ". Oh my this family is chosen of God.

Brothers and Sisters, I know the power of the Book of Mormon can truly speak to our hearts.  I was fast tracked at the MTC and was in a regular English speaking group with people from different parts of the world. I remember when I came to Cambodia and did not know how to read the Book of Mormon in Khmer.The miracle of was through the patience of my Khmer trainer and the Lord's strength to quicken my understanding. In a time span of 1 week and hah the work out and exhaustion of my brain, I was able to read the Book in Khmer to the speed that they could understand me. It was a miracle, pure strength and knowledge from the tongue of the Lord. I know and have experienced this to be true!

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

We spent our Thanksgiving with the Senior Missionaries, Elder Thurston and Sister Thurston. Our zone came together, some from the city, some from STEUNG MEANCHEY! It was so wonderful!
From sisters from the right,
Sister Thurston, Sister Lay, Sis Thouk, me in the green and my comp is sister Chin in the black, Sis. Smith and Sis Stratford.

All For the Lord to help His Wife

Monday November 20, 2017 at 12:39am

Hello Hello

Cambodia is a country populated by marvelous minds, full of people who are very resourceful. I am learning more and more in how the humble souls here use their ingenuity and engineering endeavors to live day by day. It is exactly that, to live life day by day and tomorrow will happen when the sun rises the next day. A wonderful speaker at church once said, "one must not leave poverty, but one must be the agent to let poverty leave them, instead". This saying continues to have an influential effect in how I look at the lives around me, and even in my own life! I able to connect the puzzles in what he says to the experiences I have each day.

On one morning, my companion and I went to ask a member to help out in one of our lessons. As we peeked our heads in the house, we saw her whole entire frame shaking and shivering by the corner of her walls. We rushed to help her out and saw her husband standing right by her. She had been so sick with an illness we couldn't identify. The husband gave us a list of medications she had been talking and I felt clueless in what those medicines were doing to that poor woman. We spent some times sitting by her and listening to her husband begging for help. The hardest part to take in was the fact that this man is drawing his last amount of money to pay tithing, but he has no more to pay for his wife's medical bill. The image, now imagining back to it, brings me to a greater depth of humility. I mean this man, sitting by his wife, who is sickly shivering, was sobbing and asking the Lord to help him. He bore a powerful testimony that as long as he obeys the Lord's commandments, his life, and along with his family's,  will be in the Lord's hands.  It is such a comforting assurance that this man truly " is the agent in which he changed the circumstance he is in and has changed his destitute circumstance, or in other words, the agent to change his poverty, his poor state", all through the enabling power of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We may choose to leave a place when we are in the poorest of states and move or we can choose to face the challenges and be the agent to change them, all in the journey of changing our nature!

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

Some are pictures of our proselyting areas. We received permission from our mission pres, for a day to take pictures while proselyting. A group of photographers from Salt Lake came in and took pictures of us while teaching, that felt really awkward. But hah, it's all good. The pictures are of an investigator and the areas we are serving in. The area is called "Trash Mountain". It is really cool to teach in that house on top of the trash mountain, though!