Monday, July 3, 2017

The love she has been searching for: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Sunday July 2, 2017 at 11:09PM

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

This week has been good with Sister Jex and I. I am feeling better and recovering pretty quickly from the accident, I owe it up to God's love and miracle. We went to the city to receive some medical treatment right after. I felt a little uncomfortable to see how modernized everything is. We ate at this pretty modern restaurant and I just had the urge to leave it, because  I was just not used to the environment. Having been here for close to a year now and serving in the more rural areas have been making me feel so strange to the city, modern lifestyle. We were eating at this restaurant and the whole time, I kept having this feeling that I shouldn't be there, like I don't deserve this. Many of the people we teach couldn't even afford to buy rice. The whole time, I wanted to go back and eat food in the village with our members and  investigators.  It sounds corny, but really!

We received a baptism and confirmation last weekend. She is a wonderful recent convert, full of fire in following the Gospel. She is very committed and her actions show so. The moment leading up and during the baptism was spiritually uplifting. Her heart was so filled with the Spirit that she couldn't even find the words to voice out her testimonies verbally. However, I know without a doubt that he spirit testified through her heart. The members in the Sacrament room were filled with tears as they saw her coming back down and immediately collapsed and was just kneeling down on the floor, without being seated at first. My companion and I went to comfort her. She whispered to me "Sister I felt a love I have not felt in a while, I felt of my father's love for me" . It was the love that left her ever since her birth dad left her. The young woman has been looking for her father ever since she was a little girl. She had been separated from him. He had left her and she doesn't even know of his name. Her trials and experiences leading up to her conversion process and knowing of the Church has helped fuel her to seek the Love she has lost both from her birth dad and the LOVE that's from her Father in Heaven. The senior missionaries, members, and our branch president started crying as they gave her a welcome hug. At that moment, she knew that she does have a family who loves her. Before coming to know the church, she had told us of a vision she had as a young girl, of a man  dressed in white, standing beside her. He had told her that one day later in her life, she will have the opportunity to join the true church of God. I am blessed to know of how one woman can have such an experience in her life, for such a time as this, to come closer to her Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. In Romans 8, " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

For this week, our plan is to help one of the families we are teaching understand the importance of repentance and their sacred steps in coming closer to understanding how baptism is a covenant, continual offering of love between God and His children. I've never had to fight so hard for the salvation of the people we are teaching, especially for this family. I've never had to be so emotionally invested so that they can become a part of God's fold. I feel so much for the love the Savior has for them. I can feel the member's love and support for them! For them to hold on as tight as they can for a better world, for their future families, I can feel the shouts and cheers of God's spirit children, pleading for the family to keep going. The father and his family faced many trials. We went to see how they were doing, but received a note that they had to go and get help from one of their family members in order to receive enough food to eat.

Lately, I have been studying on God's Nature, the influence of light He can have in the lives of his children in Cambodia. Some of the challenges we have faced are in regards to the idea of change from one's comfort zones of traditions and the process of moving away from them. It is soooo uncomfortable for them. My companion and I would always have to remind ourselves to take it slow, change for someone may be slow and gradual according to their circumstances.  I feel that the family we are teaching has such a strong desire to be baptized and we are all on their side, combating with them to overcome their challenges in preparing to enter into a covenant with Heavenly Father.

Miracles:

A HUGE Khmer tree fell 2 seconds a head of us, where we could have been seriously injured. But, we stopped right before. So things are good. God is good!

Love,
Sister Sok







Could you imagine the way the Savior would look at her?

Sunday June 25, 2017 at 11:48PM

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Not much time, however I want to bear a sweet testimony that Christ lives. I know this even more so because of the experiences I am going through in this labor of love.

The Khmer people here are beautiful, they are such angels. At times, one lady comes to my mind as lay my head to sleep at night. She has been a member for 15 years. She is in her late 70s and one of the strongest disciples of Christ that I have ever met. Her husband passed away a few years ago. She had endured through many hard times, trials and tribulations of abuse from her children, but what has been keeping this woman going is the love that she had for our Savior and sharing the Gospel. This elderly woman would get up in the morning on every Sunday and walk all around her village to share everyone the Gospel, and inviting them to church. This is the same woman had nothing, but just a povertous house to live and an unbearable  income to sustain. Not even having enough for food, but to only share others what she knows makes her happy. Because of her, many people of the village got to meet the missionaries and hear of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I got to be one of those missionaries to blessed to meet her!

I know God lives. I know much more of his power as I serve here, as I wear my heart on my sleeves to give what I know is true and to share the Light of Christ. I found that doing so, makes me realize more of how our Savior would look at those who are penitent, those whose lives have been touched, those around me who would give all that they have! I know this to be true. I am blessed to be apart of seeing, even at the tip of an iceberg, the way the Savior looks at us all, with charity, mercy, and love.

Another miracle that happened this week.

 I got into an accident last night. I am OK. The miracle of it is that the guy who had hit me bled and got road rashes, but I did not receive any rashes and no blood! It is a miracle. The guy rode his moto really fast and swerved past my companion, but hit me while trying to correct himself. My bike is broken, but it is being fixed right now. It flipped over and so did I. I rolled over a bit, but I am just sore from knocking my head really hard on the ground and the lower part of my back. We are going to see a chiropractor today to re-align I guess ...my bones, but all is well!

I hope you have a wonderful week and please keep sharing your love to others!

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok  

20 Plus Years Ago

Sunday June 18, 2017 at 9:33PM

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

It has been good this week. Life is good here in Cambodia. I am really happy here and there much that goes on in the missionary work in this country.

While attending a Gospel Principles class, a senior sister missionary mentioned something that made me realize how much Christianity has such an impact in the lives of the Khmer people, the culture, and their lifestyles here. It's incredible. She mentioned how if we were to go back twenty years plus ago and ask people who Jesus Christ is, most would not be so familiar with His name, in just hearing the name. However, NOW  not only that most have heard of the name Jesus Christ, the Khmer people here have taken upon themselves His sacred name as a covenant for a brighter and better life. His name does not only enter in their ears for a moment, but His name is even more so engraved in their hearts for eternity.

A couple weeks a go I got to visit the genocide museum a little way far off the city of Tahkmao. It took a lot of emotional investment to see the unfathomable cruel acts of humanity. One man, one leader and his corrupted, atrocious mind had killed nearly 3 million people. The persuasion of an evil mind has scarred such a negative impact in so many lives.  If we were just to think if this man has been shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to have accepted it, to see how much of an impact would it have made in the country, of years of anguish, of bitterness, of despair, of potentials of many souls who could have made more difference in the lives of people around the world.

In a smaller, yet utmost beautiful scale, I am blessed to see how anguish to turns to care, resentment turns to forgiveness, hatred turns to love, selfishness turns to charity, despair turns to hopes and dreams for a better life. I am so much more blessed to see that in the people I get to share the Gospel with. There are many times as we arrive at our family investigator's house, their little girl would run far off a distance, as far as she could see us, calls our names "Sisters, Sisters..Mom , Dad the sisters are here!". As my companion see the light in that little girl's face and how it shines unto her parents, we get to see how great the Lord has been for us. It truly is amazing. I remember a time when we were helping them move in and getting their lights in their little shack house, there came this sense of empathy that entered my heart. My companion and I were holding our flashlights to shine on the father's work to connect together the wires that were attached miles away from their house. They tried again and again, but it didn't work out so well. The family did not even have light for cooking and seeing really anything in their house. I remembered praying in my heart to God to help them have light in their house. I've never prayed so hard to receive light in a house before. My life up until this point was not even opened to  realize how much I have been blessed. Up until that point, I learned a greater lesson of empathy and of love, of gratitude, and pleading for help to my Father in Heaven.

The work is hard. It drives my comp and I to our knees, but at the end as we place our heads on our pillows, there is no greater satisfaction than to see the good we've done that day.

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

Monday, June 12, 2017

Even Before the Sun Rises- What I know to be true

Monday June 12, 2017 at 12:21AM

Hello brothers and sisters, families, and dear friends,

I hope that life is going well back in the United States. It is crazy to feel that I am half way through the journey. Man. There many things I am needed to improve on in my journey thus far. The journey of striving to be a brighter light to others. To continually change and become more consecrated through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that I have gotten closer and closer to understanding the Nature of God in my life and still much more to learn.

The work here has been hard and a blessing in my life. It has been life changing. One of the most beautiful moments was to see someone's conversion, their state of sanctification draws a bit nearer to that of God. For them to live a better life in harmony with God's will. One of the most beautiful moments is to share what I know is true in my life and with my utmost conviction bear it to those who God has put in my path. It's been a beautiful, well defined journey, thus far. One of the most beautiful moments is to see how a man whose desire to change his life impacts his loved ones. His wife, his daughter, and his son, and those all around him. Our willingness to accept the Gospel and to live it has an absolute impact to those around us. One of the most beautiful moments was to be teaching a family on an old shack, which happens to be on a full moon night and we simply   asked how the husband sees faith as.  He replies "Well sister, I don't know much,( as he points to the sky) but I believe and know that it's knowing for a certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow and that I will see its light so I can live my life, even if we are sitting here in the darkest of night".

I know that as I strive to pour every ounce of my sweat, tears, and love into this work, it's even much more sacred. It's even much more life changing for me and those around me.  I know that Jesus Christ lives with all of my heart. I know this to be true.

In one of my most favorite songs:

The only way you can know
You give it all you have
And I hope that you don't suffer
But take the pain...
Hope when the moment comes
You'll say I...I did it all

With Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hello

Sunday June 4, 2017 at 11:23PM

Hello!

Some are pictures and a video of my mission experience! Enjoy. Thank you so much for the support!

Sister Sok​













video

A Headlight to Hunt Frogs

Monday May 29, 2017 at 2:28AM

Hello Hello!

I hope all is swell in America! Things are good here in Cambodia!

I am doing well here. I am getting to know the Khmer people much on a personal level and I have gotten to truly know and sense my own cultural and national blood through being with my own people. I've learned to come to appreciate the love the people here have for me and how much of a difference their lives and hearts have changed in believing in Jesus Christ. We are teaching a family right now about the way they can find happiness through Jesus Christ and His Gospel: the Good News. The husband is struggling to stop smoking, so we have been helping strengthen him and his wife to stop smoking and create a healthier lifestyle for their family now and the eternal life.

Yesterday, we were riding our bikes to try to visit a member's house, the other pair of missionaries had to show us her house, because we were still a bit lost in the areas. On the way, my companion, Sister Jex had this feeling to stop by this lady's house, because it was flooding and she was trying to get the water out. We biked passed her house, but decided to bike back and help her get water out of her house. Inside her dark gloomy house, there was an old fragile woman who was hopelessly laying down on her bed. I asked the lady if I could go in and say Hello to her mother. The lady responded back that her mother is nearly on her death bed and is burdened with this illness. The lady told us that her mother is paralyzed from the waste down and could not move much. She basically lays there all day long. The lady welcomed me in and asked if I could take a blanket to cover her freezing body.Man, I felt so much of God's love for that woman as I sense the warmth of the blanket over her emaciated body. I gave her a hug and sang "I am a child of God" to her in Khmer. She smiled at me and asked what my name is. She could not speak or hear very well. But I could sense and guess what she was saying. My companion came in the house a few minutes later and told her who we are and our names.  We then opened the hymn book to sing"I know that my Redeemer Lives". The day was cool and super gloomy, but as we were singing to her she miraculously lifted herself up and sat up and looked at us. She started smiling endlessly and I know she could feel God's love for her. Despite the physical signals and form of communication, the sense of silence and the gloomy ambiance in the room strikingly whispers the love and hope that woman was holding onto . We shared her a simple message of God's love for her and spoke with her family. My companion and I felt really good that day.

On another day, we went out to teach a family who God absolutely placed in our paths to cross. The man had been fighting to make ends meet for his family. Their house was nothing but a little cell looking place. I mean 2 feet from the bed was their little kitchen that consisted of a pot, a bag of rice, a bag of salt, sugar, and fish sauce. That was pretty much it. The little house was consumed with mosquitoes. Since it was really small for us to teach, we would always share our message at member's shack in front of the family's house. I could the working miracle of the Gospel in this family's lives. As we were teaching the husband, he stopped us politely and asked sister, what exactly is a "tee bontul" testimony? Haha, then right away our member help just started bearing her testimony in the hope of explaining the word testimony of Jesus Christ. The man then started telling us how his life has started changing ever since he started learning about Jesus Christ. He then told us that he prayed to know the truth of the Gospel and that very night, he had received this dream that He saw a fair man  and of perfectly white stature far above his head. The brightness of his  glory consumed the his eyes that he couldn't distinguish the man's features exactly. Well, I decided to pull out a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ picture to him. Oh my, he was like: Yeah, Sisters exactly like that! That's it. I dreamed of that GUY! hah oh my.

On the way back after the lesson with the family, I had this feeling to just see if our other investigator would be at her home from work. However,on  the way, well all of the way the whole village and forest is filled with flooded rain and mud. There was no way we could bike through. We got off our bikes and prayed to Heavenly Father if we should pursue the course knowing that I have no light and my companion's bike light was not so sufficient to see clearly. Right after the prayer, we saw this guy, like in the middle of a foresty area, came out of nowhere, who was wearing a headlight, hunting out some frogs. We asked if we could walk with him, and he was going the exact same way as us. OH MY. I was about to drop to my knees and thank God. Than, the man asked if we wanted to talk with his wife. We didn't have much time, but we spoke to her. It was so nice to see God's hands and work of miracles in our lives. You just never know. You just never know!

Well, I pray with hope that your week will full of joy and experiences.

I love you all,
Sister Sok

39 Years of Her Life

Sunday May 14, 2017 at 9:01PM

Hello Families and Friends!

Many things have happened this week and they have been amazing and a blessing in my life. The areas we are serving in are teaching us much about patience, but I am learning day by day. There are many young adults here and Takhmau is populated with people of all age.

My companion is doing great! My companion and I have experienced many tender mercies and the Love of God in our lives. One of the most memorable experiences I have felt was during one of the most exhausting days ( I got lost quite a few times) we had together, but the miracle that happened at the end of the day has absolutely made us feel our Savior’s love. At the end of the day, we did English contacting by the riverside and handed out crazy amount flyers. Afterwords,  I had this prompting to speak with a grandma by the side of the road, I got to speak with her and found out a little bit about her life. She was so cute, but all in all it wasn’t the time for her to accept the Gospel, yet. I wasn’t disappointed; I just knew that I did what I was inspired to do. We had also planned to teach 2 of our investigators, but both of them did not answer their phones. (It rained pretty hard that day, and we were both filled dirt and mud.) My companion and I decided to right away get off our bikes and prayed for Heavenly Father’s guidance, to fervently ask if there’s someone out there that He has placed in our path and who is prepared to receive the Gospel, please help us see him/her as we cross paths. We then got back on our bikes and rode to who we had planned for a backup. The rode was completely dark and it’s about 7:30 (which is the time most Khmer are home) so there is no one on the streets. Out of nowhere, to right of us, there was this woman carrying suitcases and plastic bags of food, and miscellaneous . It looked like she was lost and that she is a tourist. I had this immediate prompting to get off my bike and speak with her. We asked her where she is from and where she w​​as heading. She was so friendly to us. Later in the conversation, we found that she has been looking for a church to attend and a God who loves her. She was looking for an English school that teaches for free lessons as well.

We also found out that she has endured much pain and suffering in her life and is striving to make a living. We found out she is an orphan and is in need of someone’s love and comfort. We were like, this is such a miracle. I almost fainted, because there was no way in heck.... in this dark rugged way that a woman with a bag full of her belongings is walking alone by the side of the streets seeking God's love for her. (We then met up with her a week a later and she is so amazing! We sat in with her in the Sacrament room and had her feel of God’s love for her. She told us was 39 years old. We knelt down and prayed together at the end of the lesson and We just felt so at peace in the room).

On our way home, my companion and I had this craving for ice-cream, but we knew that in no way Takhmau would have an ice cream shop and I don’t know the new area very well. I just prayed in mind, and out of nowhere there is an ice-cream shop, to the right of us. When we got home that night, we threw off our bags and immediately knelt down to thank our Father in Heaven. I felt such a strong bond of God’s spirit within us both in that prayer.

I have come to learn that the things I am experiencing in my life are OF GOD’S hands. I have come to learn that communication with God can change a person’s life. I have come to learn of obeying the simple things even through the rugged circumstances. To obey and listen in every moment even if the time and place is dark.  My heart is touched when God has allowed my companion and I to have crossed that woman’s path, just knowing that she was at a time in her life where she needed God most. To know it has been 39 years for her, 39 years for her to open her heart to God and to talk to Him for the very 1st time in her life. I am deeply touched. God truly is good.

This is the email, I planned to send out a couple weeks ago, but ran out of time to finish.

Things are going pretty good here. I hope you are all doing well back home in America and wherever you are at this time in place. Things are pretty good here.

We got our transfers call last week and a new group of missionaries just came in. We got the opportunity to meet our new companion. Our mission President had us ride in the Tuk and Tuk AND had us meet them at the airport. They were all so happy and their sparks for what about to embark on were so present at the time. Haha, they got to experience the missionary life that day, because that very same day, we were told to ride in the car and have our new companions ride their new bikes ( it was also raining) back to the mission office. My heart dropped, because they have no idea how to ride their bikes in like a sardine packed full motorcycles, cars, tuks tuks, cycles, tractors, and trucks.  They literally just got out of a plane from America and now, they are going to get hit!!! BUT they made it safe! We are in Ta Khmau and it is pretty great. It is one of the hottest seasons in Cambodia right now. My companion and I are trying to get to know the new area better. I am kinda white washing the area right now, so it is quite an experience trying to get to people’s houses and looking at maps and such which takes so much patience out of me and bike riding. We recently got a referral of a member’s house who lives on this small Island. So maybe we could get to ride a boat there. It is really fun out here, though.

Today is the first preparation day for my companion. We got to take them to experience the Cambodian street market.  They handled it pretty well. There are so many things you could experience at the Khmer market. From the lingering smell of fermented fish paste to fresh veggies to pigs squealing to people yelling around and trying to bargain prices to fish hopping out of the tray right into my skirt and trying to pick it up (the fish hopped at me twice). Haha I literally spent a few minutes chasing the fish around and trying to catch it while my companion stood in all amaze. It was quite an experience. Then in front of another market, there was this kid, with his pet monkey. My companion asked if she could get near it, it grabbed onto her skirt and started cuddling her leg, but then climbed up to scratch her a little bit. It was so crazy. We also went on this scavenger hunt to find a rat trap and something to block rats coming into our house. That was exhausting. We also street contacted of the Gospel and of English class at the market.  Street contacting at the market is one of the most interesting experiences. We then, finally went to this river side and ate lunch there, while standing all amaze at the slowly collapsing bridge.

Thus far in the mission, I have been through many experiences that absolutely took me out of my comfort zone and I am not just talking about the monkey and the fish, but many experiences that helped me see Cambodia from different lenses. To really see the diversity in the lives of many and how some have survived through it. Every moment and every experience in this country makes me realize how much of an impact you can really make in someone’s life. People here are a part of my blood and it is just much more personal. To see the diverse faces of everyone, even just  in the face of the beggars that we see. To feel of what is that substance that I should impart to them. To realize that they truly need hope in their lives. I have come to learn we as disciples, we are asking people to change their lives, it takes so much patience and it is difficult here but all is good.

With Much Love and Gratitude,
Sister Sok

Below are a few pics of English class, my ex-comp when went up to the mountains, my companion when I picked at her up.​