Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sur Sdey!

Sunday October 23, 2016 at 9:29PM

Hello!

I love Cambodia and I love the people around me! My eyes have been exposed to so many things I have never seen or could even fathom. The people we teach and the adventure we get to go on everyday. My biking skills through traffic is becoming better. Remember that Joke of Mama tomato and baby tomato crossing the street and how the mama tomato looks back and says "Ketchup". Hah, yep that story is no longer in my mind as I am riding my bike with my companion! But anyway, the people we are teaching are precious. We went into one of our investigator's houses and it was flooded. The entire house was like an aquarium. As we walked in, there is a wooden bed by the corner. There were snails and fish in her house. I'm sure one of the snails got in my shoes. So we climbed on the bed and taught her as things were swimming around us. The lady was so hungry. I gave her the yogurt I had in my backpack and the look on her face was priceless.The stories and experiences make me want to cry every time. Some of the Khmer people have little to nothing. They hardly have any food.   Another story, there is a lady, her name is Ming Chreb. She was supposed to be baptized next week, however we got a phone to visit her ASAP. She unfortunately got in an accident. Her left side is basically paralyzed. She lives in this little shack with her son, who is also paralyzed from birth. She can't even work to feed her children. As I was sitting face to face with her, I just so wished I could give her everything. I felt helpless but I remembered promising her power of God. That moment was powerful. The elders gave her a blessing and in the middle of nowhere after that, she said "thank you God, thank you God". That was even more powerful.

The progress of the missionary work here has been growing. We have been delegating our schedules to meet with the less actives, old and new investigators, and members. My companion and I have seen miracles each and everyday. One of the most important things I have learned is that those daily miracles from God are not for me nor my companion, but for the people we teach. Furthermore those miracles are when the Khmer people are experiencing Christ. As a result, my companion and my faith is much strengthened through the miracles God blessed the people we teach!

Everyday, my conversion is being more rooted because of the people we teach. They have such strong testimonies of Christ. The experiences and history they've had with Jesus Christ is a direct manifestation of God's miracles in their lives. In the very beginning of my mission, I followed more of my own path of teaching and let only, serving the mission how I wanted it. As each day passes, I am realizing that the hardest thing I've had to do in my life is to give up my will and give it all to God.  God is showing me to depend more and more on Him, most importantly, His will. It's not my mission or my investigators or my baptisms, but rather it's God's mission and they are HIS CHILDREN!

I am learning more and more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ from the people we are teaching. One of our investigators who is of a protestant background asked us about the Atonement and the word: "donwai tuan" -the Atonement in Khmer. Donwai is to offer and tuan translates as ├źnough in Khmer. She had asked us how much enough is enough, what is enough? I thought it was really interesting.  She asked if Christ saved us all, then what is the purpose of following his footpaths. The way she worded it was so simple but a challenge for me to translate my testimonies in Khmer. So I thought about my conversion and how the Atonement applies to my progressing conversion. I know that I am saved through his Atonement, but the purpose is to apply it to this life on earth. The goal is to become closer to Christ and in the reach of BEING ONE with GOD. BEING LIKE GOD. It is the progressing state of understanding, experiencing, and sensing his pain and Him knowing all of ours that convert us. It is so much more than just being saved, but more of feeling  the prints in His hands in order to become closer and closer to him. I believe that this is a vital fuel to true conversion.

I am also learning to trust God much more. The trials that are given are the very substance and testament of my conversion. I am here to serve Him for a reason and I trust that miracles will continue to happen. I trust that the situations back home will be ok and God will take care of it.








The flood in Cambodia and my companion, Sister Sung riding her bike!





Pics

Sunday October 16, 2016 at 11:40PM







Hello

Sunday October 16, 2016 at 10:30PM

Hi!

This week has been a theme of miracles. Small, yet eye-opening miracles.  My companion and I are absolutely seeing the progress in the Tuk Tlaa and Tuk Laot Area. We have been visiting the less active members and have been in contact with the referrals that we received. One of my challenges is trying to get to know  both of our areas in order to effectively find our members' or referral's houses. I am learning quite a bit on not just teaching the lessons, but teaching the investigators eye to eye and heart to heart. Moreover, I've learned to teach with much love. The love that Christ has for them and I am trying my best to transcend that very love for the people we have been teaching. Christ has taught me what love truly means and I know that the power of his very Atonement can pierce each of the Khmer people's heart with the love and light of Christ.

I know that God grants us miracles each and everyday as we strive our best to do His work in conjunction with being obedient. Most of the times, I am not quite sure how those miracles happen, but they do. Most importantly, I've learned that for most of the time here on my mission, the word miracle is not directed to me nor for my own good. However, I am seeing the miracles in the lives of others. One day, my companion and I were showing one of the investigators a tour of the church. We walked passed a member who told us that there was a man sitting on a chair and he had some questions for the missionaries. We walked up to him and started a conversion. His eyes were shot red and his body looked so feeble.  He told us the reason why he is here and why he is completely hopeless. This man had tried to commit suicide at least 3 times. He had problems with his families and his life was falling a part. He told us that he's lost and that this building maybe his last refuge. He had known nothing about God and Jesus Christ, but his nephew had told him about the church.  He told us that 10 years ago, he rejected the message of the missionaries, but now that his life is in a deep abyss, he is in need of God's miracle. As we were talking to him, our bishop and two elders just so happened to come by. I was amazed how God perfectly prepared this man to meet Him again, to understand that there is a God who loves this man no matter what. The next day was Sabbath day. I had the opportunity to bear my testimonies and introduce myself as a missionary to the ward. When the service ended, my companion and I saw this man again. He thanked God for showing him the way. He told us that his wife and his children had returned back to him. I feel humbled, humbled that my companion and I took part in God's miracle.

In another miracle, there is a less active member we tried to visit. Her name is ming Paul. However, she would never be home when we do visit her. My companion and I diligently tried again the next day. Little did we know that on that day, she really needed our help. She is sick and hasn't been to church for 2 months. She told us that she felt really loved when we visited her. I know that the spirit was there.

In another miracle, my companion and I had visited a member who just had a child.  She was so happy to see us missionaries.  Meeting her was a miracle, because she had strengthened our faith in Christ. She told us the various witnesses and experiences she had about Jesus Christ. How the deliverance of her child was a miracle. This was one of the lessons where I really learned to listen. Where the lesson became the utmost focus on the investigators. Some of the best lessons are when the Khmer people bear their testimonies of Christ one after another and we as missionaries would sit and listen.

Each and everyday, one rain drop at a time, I am learning more about the Khmer people. I am learning how God has prepared us all to meet him again through the different experiences and testimonies that were bore and hearts that were touched. Some met God through a traumatic experience, some through hopeless situations, and some through the love that others had instilled in their hearts because of Christ's Atonement.

I believe that true conversion is what makes us all tick. That's why are here to represent Christ and serve Him. I believe that conversion isn't an event but rather in this life, a gradual progression to each holier state that's ascending closer to God. I know that the work I am doing is of God. I love God and my family with all of my heart . I know that I can help others feel the love God has for each of them. I bear my testimonies in the name of my Savior, Jesus the Christ, Amen.

The mission is life changing. I have the opportunity to visit the orphanage on every Tuesday. I love the children. Also, I get to teach English class!

With love,
Sister Sok

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Pacific Ocean Away!

Sunday October 9, 2016 at 9:49PM

Dear Friends and Families,

Wow, I have no idea where to start! Cambodia Cambodia Cambodia (also called Campuchea).
I am so grateful to return to the land of my forefathers and to serve the people in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Though, I was born in the country, serving a mission is quite a life changing and new experience for me. I came to the U.S with my mother when I was 10 years old and has been immunized to the American culture. When I lived in Cambodia, everything was a given to me. My aunt worked for the government and I lived with her for most of my childhood. My life as a young child was enclosed in a naive and affluent environment, meaning I lived in a gated mansion and have never really experienced the poverty life of Cambodia. My bubble has been popped even just a few days here in the country. I was distraught at the poverty, yet have seen how humble the people here are. My eyes have been opened to new sights I never thought I would see. I am learning more about the Khmer people each and everyday.

My companion is a native Khmer. She is so kind and one of the most selfless person I've met. Her name is Sister Song! I know Sister Sok and Sister Song. What a match! I am currently serving in Phnom Pehn, my 12 weeks training will take place in the city.

There are things I am trying to adjust to and my companion has been helping me with that. Cambodia is a wild, yet majestic place. A land of lush green and humble citizens. To be honest I am not sure how much more my American lifestyle bubble can be popped. I am experiencing things that are way out of my comfort zone. I've learned to adapt to strange things. There are ants everywhere, so it's almost normal to just eat them if they do get in your food. Rice is our daily bread and water. We have rice soup, normal rice, fried rice, rice with veggies, rice with double veggies, rice with eggs, rice for breakfast, rice for snacks, rice for lunch, rice for dinner, and rice for dessert (haha not exactly) but you get the idea. The bike rides and the heavy backpack behind my back, the flood, the rains, the thunders+ lightnings, and the dey hou (dust) from the crazy traffic. I remember on our first day, we had to ride our bikes to church. I had lost sight of my companion. Then I saw that she was on the other side of the streets. I had no idea how I could even possibly cross it with jammed pack lawless traffic. But Brothers and Sisters, I don't know how I haven't gotten hit by a car yet, but I know that God does protect his children. There have been times where I got really close to being hit by at least 5 cars per day. But somehow I never got a scratch! Cambodia rains a lot, so bike through flooded areas of at least 3 feet deep. (don't worry I write separate emails to my parents..shhh)  Oh man! The traffic is like a can of sardines, except the fish is alive and they are all moving in different directions. They are motorcycles packed with five people, barely hanging onto the seats and buses with more people it can even handle, so they just grab onto anything to get a ride to places. I went to the market (phsa) today, it's a street market. The whole place is flooded. It was funny, because I wasn't quite sure what's in my shoes, but I felt it wiggling!

It's amazing what love can do. The pure and whole-hearted love for God and His people. The Cambodian people are receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the recipients are poor, yet the most humble of all. There is this lady, she drove all the way from one of the countrysides to the city, Phnom Penh for church (to watch General Conference) in Khmer language. She has such a strong spirit. She had told me how God in her life is sooo real. She suffered with the aftermaths of her surgery. Her health and family was deteriorating. However, she explained how living her life in accordance to God has lifted all of the burdens off her bearings. How trusting in the Lord and praying to God has healed her physical and emotional pain, with patience that is. My companion has taught her every lesson and she is now ready to be baptized when she gets back to Kampong Cham province. We are all so excited for her. It's been such an eye-opening experience to teach the Khmer people. It's so different. Just the way they receive the light of Christ and His Words. I will tell you more in the next letter!

My companion and I had a discussion last night about the purpose of a missionary. Lately, I have been inclined to focus on the baptisms of the investigators. This reminded me of Elder Bednar's talk entitled "The Character of Christ". The talk focuses on the natural fall of man, our innate tendencies to turn inward and how Christ would turn the opposite. It's not about my work or how good of a missionary I present myself to others. It's His work, God's strength to leverage me through this journey. My job really is to Love God and the Khmer people. With love, great things will foster. I am a convert to the church 1 year and half a go. I have prayed to God. I know that my knowledge is very limited, but I know that through the very Atonement of Jesus Christ, my weakness becomes His strengths. I am giving my all for this mission, to serve my native Khmer. I have much to learn, but who's to say I can't grow. I am willing to sacrifice all that I am for the living water and to be the instrument of God in pouring the sacred water on the lives of others. All that I have I will give, because I am God's child. I love God and I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I strive to be obedient and serve Christ with my utmost ability and God's strength.

I want to help the Khmer people to understand their identity. As Peter testifies of the living Christ, He says "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." -Mathew 16:16. I absolutely treasure the words in this verse. I love words so much! The Khmer people need to understand that they are God's children. Knowing one's identity is crucial in Heavenly Father's plan, because the Khmer people will come to know that they do matter in God's eyes while in the midst of tribulations in this world.

Your support has motivated me even more to ignite my purpose, why am I here. I can't thank you enough.

With much gratitude and love,

Sister Sok

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Man on the Bench

Friday September 30, 2016 at 10:37AM

Dear friends and families,

Thank you so much for the support. I wish I could do more to thank you
all. May God bless you! I will keep you in my prayers. I thank God
everyday for your support and provision for this mission.

I've been praying and asking God for ways to teach investigators of
the church to come to know of God. I've been searching for others
examples and inspirations, but felt that something is missing. Later
on in the week, I started to realize that I can study people's ways of
teaching, however I also realized that it becomes very personal when
we study our own stories. It becomes very close to heart as I study my
conversion story and how I can apply what I know to help others know
of God. The things I experienced in my conversion.

Roughly 2 years ago, I was in my freshman year of college. I was
sitting at a table outside the school's cafe. Then I got a phone call.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I felt helpless, feeble, and afraid. I
didn't know what to do, but I  remembered how a friend of mine had
told me to pray to God. I went in a corner and didn't know how to
approach God but closed my eyes and allowed God to direct my life at
that moment. I asked God to help me, because I knew that my own
ability and power would never be enough. And if he would, I'd give my
life to him. God saved me that moment. Through the grace of God, I was
saved.  I am humbled to know that I can have this privilege to serve
God, to let other people know that they can be saved as well. A
couple of weeks later, a friend of mine had asked me to watch a video of
a talk from one of the apostles of the LDS church. I felt inspired and
wanted to learn more about this man, Jesus Christ. I contacted the LDS
missionaries. I didn't understand of what they taught. It
seemed...crazy to believe it all in a short period of time. But I
wanted them to come back because it felt good to learn about Christ. I
just had this good feeling.  From that day, my faith in Jesus Christ
began to grow. I feel humble how God had prepared me to meet Him and
to come to know of His Son. I feel humble that God allowed me to face
that trial of my life, so I that I was left to surrender myself to
Him. I feel humble that I became converted unto Christ through that
experience and before even knowing much about the life of Jesus
Christ. I am a convert to the church and I'm soooo blessed to have
your help. I still don't know much of the scriptures and some
doctrines of the church. I can speak Khmer, but I am still not very
familiar with the Gospel language. I have along way to grow in knowing
how to teach people in Khmer language about the Gospel. Ha A loooong
way to grow. I am prideful at times. I look inward when in my selfish
states, rather than to look outward to help others.  But I know that
through The Atonement of Jesus Christ, I have the potential to learn
and grow. I know that True conversion can change other people's lives
because when looking at my reflection, I've have seen how Jesus has
changed my life.

At times, my companion and I think about how God had prepared others
to meet him before we even teach them. We realized that no matter what
we say and teach, the conversion isn't real until they experience it.
I realized how experience is life changing. There is a quote by Maya
Angelou that says something a long the line of " people may forget
what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never
forget how you made them feel. People must  experience Jesus Christ
and even the smallest pieces of His Atonement, the price He paid for
an eternal gain, so that we can experience true conversion. That's how
we hope to teach, for them to experience it themselves.


I am learning a lot haha so much about my own disabilities and
weaknesses here.  My own pride and such. I used to think: Man, I'm
setting a side so much of my life. It was all about me and my
sacrifices. Like giirrrrl, get ova yo self!!! While here at the MTC,
It hit me that many people sacrificed for me, my families, my ward,
and Christ sacrificed for me so that it can become possible for me to
go on this mission to share the fullness of the Gospel. I am realizing
that what I truly need is to give up my own strengths and completely
rely on the Lord's strength. An internal sacrifice. God is teaching my
companion and I a lot on what we don't realize about ourselves.
Brothers and sisters, I know that there are things in this world that
we don't understand and are still unanswered.…even until our deaths,
but know that there is a great God and He has a plan for each of you.


I will depart this Tuesday and will arrive on Thursday. Haha, Cambodia
is a Pacific Ocean away! man time flies by...like umm a fly  :/. But I
am leaving the training center with many great memories and learning
experiences that I'll neatly roll in my suitcase for the rest of my
life!

I get to see God's miracles everyday. So three of my classmates (
sisters) sat down on a bench by this man. He isn't a member of the
church but was invited to be at the MTC . So the three sisters started
a conversion with this man. They taught him about the general concept
of God, Jesus Christ, and the LDS church. The man wanted to know more
about how God can help him in his life. So the Sisters consistently
set up a time for them to meet with him. They told me about this man
and I asked if I could join in the lessons. So the 3 sisters,my
companion, and I set aside some personal time to meet and to teach
him. This man's name is Marco and is in his 50s. He came from Peru and
is pursuing degree at BYU. Man, almost every lesson, I felt like he's
the missionary. He teaches us so much about his life experiences. He
read the Book of Mormon in Spanish and even taught us about how God's
spirit taught him! I remembered a lesson we had with him that was
really powerful. We were just tearing up throughout the entire time.
Now Marcos had polio which made his life physically challenging.
Marcos is crippled from the waist down. Almost all of his life, he
struggled with self worth. He talked about true identity. He said that
he may not be the best looking man,but his wife loves him deeply. He
compared himself to how he is like a spec of gold powdered with dust.
His testimonies have opened my eyes to how this man is truly converted
unto the Lord, Jesus Christ. I testified to him that to be worthy is
never to be perfect. As we teach him, he realizes that his physical
flaws are his beauty. He told us that he'd rather have his wife tell
him that he is unattractive, but she loves him anyway than to say he
is handsome and she loves him. "Tell me I'm ugly but you love me
nevertheless." Because of God's love, Marco's life has changed. He is
starting to see how God sees him. It made me humbled because one of my
purposes was to help others see God the way God sees them, that Marco
is His child and Marco is loved. That God loves us all.


We invited Marco to be baptized this weekend. Before we even finished,
He surprised us that he would get baptized on the 15th of oct. We were
filled with joy because we knew that This man is an example of true
conversion.

We were all a bit sad because we could not make it to his Baptism. But
he promised us that he would write us every Monday and send us his
baptism pics. The spirit of God taught him. The  3 sisters, my
companion, and I just happened to be fellow travelers on his path to
his Conversion.

Well my time is up. Farewell, America!!!!
Thank you all so much.

With much Love and gratitude,
Sister Sok


This is Heidi from Germany. She is one of the investigators we taught.






Pictures: I hope these work!!!!

Friday September 30, 2016 at 10:28AM

Elders going to Cambodia. The sister is going to state side Cambodian speaking.










"Unity in Purpose" and "Love Needs No Interpreter"

Friday September 23, 2016 at 9:27AM

Dear friends and families,

Thank you so much for the support, emails, and letters. I love you all. I want you to know that the email list I've created includes everyone who touched my life in various ways. People who happened to be a fellow traveler on my paths :) as my friend David had said. People who have changed and inspired me for the better. Please forgive me for not responding to some of your emails, as I do not have much time. However, I have read all of them and I loved them. Thank you! I love you all!

Also please forgive me for my grammatical mistakes from the previous letter. Also I had to take some time write my mom,dad, and branch president. Also the format is weird because I had to copy and paste me letter from my ipad.

I am learning so much here, even in just a few days of my stay. I absolutely LOVE MY COMPANION!!! Everyday, I feel that I am becoming closer to Christ. I can absolutely see the progress in my classmate's conversion. Everyday, we've gained more and more of an understanding of true conversion unto Jesus Christ. Everyday, as we are assigned to teach people who came from different walks of life, we grew to love them more and more. There have been a few lessons where my companion and I felt like everything else in the room would disappear and the focus became singled on the investigators, where the focus is bound by the ambiance of God's Spirit.

I've had a powerful experience this week. It was an experience that not only brought a change of heart in me, but most importantly, for my classmates (district group). Well you know how from the previous week, I had told you about how all of my classmates are from different parts of the world and how they are paired up with each other, but they all speak different languages. Almost all of us are serving in different missions. Well during our last class of the day, we were learning the doctrines of Christ. Man, my companion really struggled to understand the teachings in English. I could not imagine the struggle she was having. Then our teacher pulled both of us out and went into a different classroom. She sat with us and we talked for a while about the struggles our class is also having.

Then she decided to pull everyone  together into the classroom we sat in. She said I know we have training to do, but I want you all to sit in this room and bear your testimonies in your mission languages. The power that came from each of us was absolutely inspiring. Some came to this country with barely any money and clothes, some had lost close family members, and some were disowned from their parents. Most of us are converts to the church. They gave everything they got to serve God's children. It's amazing how God can change people's lives.

I believe in the power of diversity. Though the definition of the word diversity deals with our differences, it's power can strengthen the knot of unity in this world. I believe that diversity unites our love to serve God and his children.

I speak of this topic, because my zone is the pearl of diversity. Though, we are serving in different countries of the world, the unity lies in the fact that we are coming together to accomplish God's will. We all strive to be an effective disciple of Christ. We embrace our differences to foster an inclusive learning environment in that one unified hope of sharing our message with the world, in the hope that we will become closer to Christ.There are words that someone of us cannot speak when sat together in that circle, but through the power of Christ and his Atonement we are able to translate words that are utmost seemingly difficult to explain and miraculously, the love became so simple and sweet through the power of Christ. There were words that came out of my mouth that I didn't think I could say in the Khmer language. But brothers and sisters, as said from a good friend of mine, love needs no interpreter. Though I could not understand what my classmates had said, I could seek and sense their sincerity through the reflections of their hearts, their love and the divinity of Christ, their rawest desire to serve God.

My purpose not only lies within the commitment of helping the investigators be baptized unto Christ, but to help them be converted unto Jesus the Christ in the pursuit of helping them endure to the very end. I realized that a few members  would get baptized and confirmed, but some would also fall away from the church. I've re-directed my purpose to help them put forth their faith in Jesus Christ, because this is the only way to endure to the very end. I've also learned in Enos and from my classmate that no matter what happens in my life, I have hope and a sense of surety that I have a place to rest. I have hope that if I die, I have a place to rest in the presence of God. In Enos 1:27, " And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him;l then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father, Amen."  I am highly excited to go back home in Cambodia and to serve the Khmer people there. I have so much love for the people in Cambodia even if I have not met them, yet. I can testify that Jesus is the very Christ and He knows my name.

I can testify that God created people of different languages, different skin tones, different characters so that we can have the opportunity to accept and love one another. I  am sincerely grateful to be a part of my district. I get to see the world through different lenses.....even for a short period of time here. I got to see the unity in each of our diversity. I am starting to realize the comparison of the missionaries in my classrooms to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church is a world religion. It is found throughout the the world. The Latter Day Saints strive to share God's true message, a message that brings us closer to Christ.

My companion and I got assigned to teach two international people who wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ this week. One came from Germany and the other came from Korea. It's pretty cool to be able to teach real people who sincerely want to know about Christ at the training center.

Though the work is difficult, I love the challenge, because God is providing me the opportunity to grow.  I sometimes find my tears streaming down on some nights as I pray before bed because I want to work hard, but felt that I have not given enough.

However, as I read the passage in 3 Nephi 11:13-15 " Arise and come forth unto me, that he may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world. And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."  No matter how hard the work will or may be, nothing is as painful as what Christ went through. However, I take joy and hold gratitude in the fact I was able
to feel bits and pieces and even at the tip of an iceberg, the Savior's prints, his sufferings. To witness the Lord. I know I can still find peace in doing God's work and in both my endeavors to help better others' lives and to become a better human being, in the best version of myself. That is more than enough.  No matter what happens,  I have a place to rest, a place in my Heavenly Father's home. aaaahh I'm out of time!

With much love and gratitude,
Sister Sok

Some members of my zone. This week we got to meet sisters from
Romania, Spain, and France in our Zone!​​​​