Monday, September 19, 2016

1st Week at the "Make the Change" (MTC)

Friday September 16, 2016 at 7:59AM

Good morning friends and families,

I want to first thank you all for your love and support. I don't have much time to write, however I am so blessed to be a child of God. I am safe and loved here. I am doing well and in great care. 

I am currently in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. My stay here will be short, but I've learned to savor every bit of the experience here. I love the MTC. It is a diverse environment. Coming to the training, I expected to be put in the Cambodian speaking courses. To my surprise, I was put in the Advance language training. The training course is in English, taught in regular missionary English language, but we'd have to learn to speak in our native tongues in our own free time. My zone is absolutely amazing. Just the people is great. I am surrounded by people from different walks of life. I have elders and sisters who are from Finland, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Mongolia, the Islands areas, Guatemala, and more from South America. Elders and sisters who were born in the U.S, but speak two languages. The challenge for all of us is to be companions in unity. We all speak different languages and we all striving to understand each for the purpose of serving God's children.

Brothers and sisters, I am challenged. It's been very difficult to learn Khmer with a companion who is trying to learn English. My companion is sister Gandbold. She is from Mongolia and is striving to learn to speak English. I am constantly trying yo help her with her English. I have learned quite a bit about service and love for God's children. I've had a hard time trying to understand my companion and she is having a hard time trying to understand me. On our first night at the MTC, as we finished our prayer togther, we both knelt down and did our own personal prayers. I looked over my companion and she was sobbing. I felt helpless. I felt helpless in my power to help her with her English. I felt weak in my power to get to where I strive to be. I want to learn the Gospel and teach to the best of my ability, but I have to so much to grow.  I realized that what I have is not mine, not my power. It is all God's power and the manifestation of this power to strengthen my ability to love, to serve, to be patient, and to be obedient.

I'd like to talk about the principal of service, one's service to God and His children. I learned quite a bit during my stay here at the MTC regarding my service to God and my service to my companion, sister Gandbold. I've learned to love and embrace each of our differences and unite those differences to one common ground, in our love to serve Heavenly Father. In John 13:35, Jesus had said "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one another." I've learned to love my companion through thick and thin. I've learned to love her through obedience and patience. I've learned to help her in the English language. She is progressing and it's been a light to see her grow. I can testify that if we love one another as He loves us, anything and all work is possible through Christ.

P.S- Prior to entering the MTC, I realized that I took someone else's luggage. This was minutes before reporting to the training center. Haha I'm laughing at it now, at my own stupidity. I promise I'm not always like this. What's even more crazy is I took the suitcase of the guy I sat next to and He's the elder who reports to the same MTC. However, I received my luggage that overnight. Anyway, I'd like to offer a thank you to Marylynne for all of her help in dropping off the correct suitcase for me. She is such a kind soul.


Sister Sok

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Last Saturday! Oh man, I will miss AZ!

The Book of Mormon in Khmer Language!

Hello, my name is Sophie and this is my Arizona friend, Mr. Cactus.
He doesn't do much here........

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sophie Sok and Bejamin Smith: Last Morning Pancake with Mr. Beans and Mr. M&M's

Our traditional pancake morning involves the traditional pancakes with cantaloupes and oranges with a side of Mr. Ben and his sister's M&M's t-shirt. The smith fam bam is pretty weird.

Ben, the best brother in the world...pshhhhhh
What the heck Ben! I TOLD YOU TO SMILE!
The Smith family does not know how to smile!

The sister's face when the brother nearly spills his pancakes
But did not burn all of the pancakes!

Biosphere 2 with Miss Lily Anderson

My Testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

My Testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

"She waited for me" 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Words can't even fully express how grateful I am to have your support. The strength from the support has helped me through the experiences of the mission.The mission truly is a life-changing journey. At first, I did not think that I could make it through, but through the strength of the Lord, I was able to see His hands embracing me every step of the way.  The last week of my mission, especially has been very special. I was able to share the Gospel in places where it has not been voiced before and to people who may have never heard or known of Jesus Christ. I was able to travel miles to see people of my blood and to tell them that I love them, that God loves them. The lord gave me the opportunity to see my family and to share of the Gospel beyond the veil, to do family history work. I was able to meet with my birth dad, who I have net met in years. I was able to see family members who I have never met before. One of the most special experiences was visiting both of my grandmas. 
I remember an experience of getting out of the car into the pure jungle and how nature was calling me deeper into the land of my forefathers. Before even leaving my foot prints on the ground, I saw grandma waiting for me. She couldn't walk well at all, but she abruptly stood up and tried as hard as she could to walk, in her unsteady and trudging manner,  towards me. I dropped my bags and everything else and ran towards her. Tears just started to pour out as I looked into her eyes and hugged her. Surely, the spirit testifies of God's love for her. We spent almost the entire day together and talking about our family history and all of her walks of life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with faith, repentance, baptism and enduring in this life. It was a miracle that grandma gave me the permission to do temple work for the family. While grandma rested, my birth dad took me to our family farm. It was surreal. I came back and served grandma until she fell asleep. It was surely difficult to say goodbye to her, a heart wrenching moment, but I had to go. She had waited to meet me for years. Oh how I wish I could take her and all of the people I've shared the Gospel with me, just to come home with me. However, God has taught me what true home means, that no matter where you are the Gospel is there.
For the last 6 months of my mission, the Lord called me to serve in one of the poorest areas in Cambodia. Truly, my heart has been touched every single day. It hit me that the suffering they had wasn't of the temporal, or of whether they had a tangible refuge to rest in or neither the suffering that comes from whether they will have food for tomorrow, but rather the suffering was that they felt far from Heavenly Father's presence and that they were hopeless. I testify that when the missionaries enter people's homes, there is much love and light. As said by Elder Neal Maxwell, within whatever is allotted to us, there is contentment,  our spiritual contentment rest on our acceptance of the Gospel, it's central power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I can't take these humble home with me, but I know that a part of my converted heart is there in their homes even when I have left and I know that a part of their conversion is here with me, jotted down in my very heart, as well.

For me, the meaning of home permanently became true and complete when I found the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Home became complete when I knew that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I learned about Heavenly Father through the Gospel of Jesus Christ I got baptized when I turned 18 years old. The Gospel of Jesus has given me the desire to help others understand their true identity and their heavenly home . A year later,  I decided to serve an LDS mission and was called to return back to serve in the land of my forefathers, Cambodia. I was able to go through experiences of spectrums of what is like to be rich and poor, to feel joy and pain. Sharing the Gospel was a way I could help others understand how to have joy in their earthly home while drawing closer to their Heavenly home. Home to me no more became a physically tangible abode, but it is a state of happiness achieved through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a state of joy that can be taken wherever I go. It is that greater light that chases the shadows and hopelessness of life. My journey in this life has given me a glimpse of what it feels to be fully embraced in the arms of my Heavenly Father when I do return back home to Him. It is the very experience of how I can turn my heart and will to God, to fully collapse in His embrace. The more I turn and return to my father, I understand more of the compassion, love, and mercy He has for me.  The Gospel is where true home is. No matter where I serve, the message of eternal hope and embrace is the same throughout the word .Home truly is where individual evolves to become themselves, in their spiritual nature. My nature has changed along with the nature of the meaning of home. No matter if I am physically separated from my family, I know that there is hope in being united eternally. The idea of family uniting together eternally  is what makes up the home. It is the very experience of how I can turn my heart and will to God, to fully collapse in His embrace.
I have given all that I can to serve the Lord and I have seen suffering and joy, all of which strengthened the purpose of God's plan for His children. Because Christ lives, I am too His living witness to the world that there is hope in the Gospel and in life here on earth and the life after. I testify that God truly is our loving Heavenly Father and that He loves us so much to send His Son here, so that I can one day be there with my family, eternally in my Heavenly home. I know the Book of Mormon is true and this church is true. I know Jesus Christ is my savior. In my utmost humility to be his disciple, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
With Love and Gratitude,
Sophia Sok
  "I pledge my life, all that I may have. I will strive to the utmost of my ability to be what you would want me to be. I am grateful for the words of Jesus Christ, our Savior, when he said: "I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him. . . ." (Rev. 3:20.)"- President Thomas S. Monson.

From Missile to Mission: Farewell mah friends and thank you so much for all of your love and support!

Lily A. and Sophia S.
Church Buds
 Can't describe! The Tiemans are a blessing in my life!
 I don't own the shop, but we happened to eat by it!
Samantha B. and Sophia S.

 These two peeps are such great friends!
Robin, I love you!

 Last hug before I get set apart! We'll write! Sam, you'll be a good missionary, too! You are right, it is a privilege!

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Throwback: Really missin Joleen!
Robin is a gem!


Throw back: high school

The 3 Musketeers: Prescott Christmas Lights

Riddle Love
They came to church!
Lauren, Allison,  Sophie, Yashica

 The winds whipped our hair back and forth! She just got back from Semester at Sea and now we are apart again! Lauren, you were a part of making my Freshman year the best year I've had in far!

 The sun was soo00 bright, even Allison's blonde hair couldn't stand it. Allison, I looooove you! Kierenne will love this!
Yashica, don't cry! Best of luck to flight team! Love yah!
Dance Company
German Cousins