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.​











To Witness God's Hands in my Life

Sunday April 23, 2017 at 9:47PM

Hello Hello!

I am currently serving in a new area, called Takmau. I got emergency transferred, because one of the mini missionaries who was called to Australia, Sister Nai got her visa and was immediately called get on the plane. So as being the trio, we had to break up. President chose me to go serve in Takmau.

I am doing well and I am really glad to serve in Takmau and extremely happy to be serving with my new companion Sister Chin, who is my ex-companion’s sister. Though, I do miss Keansvay and Chbar Ampov and the person in the areas, Takmau has made me feel very welcomed, as well. We have been associating with the members and the branch president with missionary work. Our branch president in Branch 2 is a wonderful and strong convert of the Gospel. He went proselyting with us and his testimonies made a powerful influence in the people we taught that day. One of the members who drives the tuk tuk, would always take us to the Kos Kong area on Saturdays. It is a very far area for biking distance. But sometimes, when the tuk tuk driver isn’t there, we would have to put on our biking shorts under our skirts and get going. It is what it is.Haha. Sister Chen had told me that our branch president has been working on establishing a church there, in Kos Kong. There are quite a bit of members there in Kos Kong and investigators who are learning with us.  It would be very convenient to have a church in this area, since it is quite far from our Takmau church.  So that is what we are working on, while in the process of serving in the central part of the main proselyting areas.  I really enjoy the work. Takmau is a bit different from the areas I have served in before.  It is HOT. Like dessert Sahara kinda hot. Only the far areas where we bike are in the more foresty/ jungle areas.  It is mainly part city and part country sides (for the farther areas). It is still beautiful though and it pretty convenient when trying to get milk and bread and other American foods.

I am really happy in Takmau and even in just a short period of time, I am getting acquainted with the people and surroundings.  When my mission President  had asked me to transfer out, I didn't quite realize why I was being sent to Takmau, yet, other than the logical reasoning of it. However, a miracle had happened yesterday. One of the members in branch 2 had called me a few months ago while I was serving in Battambang. She had asked to speak with Sister Collins (who served in Takmau), but she sister Collins had already finished her mission.  So, I spoke with the woman and shared her few uplifting messages, since she told me that the spirit had prompted her to call the Battambang number and she was going through some tough times, as well. Well, the sweet woman had lost my number and we lost contact (BB number) for a while. However, once my mission president had sent me to Takmau, I realized one of the reasons why.  I approached the sweet woman and found out that she was the very woman I spoken on the phone with about 6 months ago.  As soon as s realized it was me, she had dropped everything and hugged me.  It was such a sweet reunion. She started crying and bore out her testimonies during Doctrine Principles class and said to me,  something along the line of "daughter, thank you so much for speaking with me, I was so sad when I had lost the number, I had gone to Battambang in March for a wedding and tried to find you, but I lost your number. "Ever since, I had been praying to God everyday so I could meet the Khmer sister who lives in America!" I never lost hope in praying. I wanted to meet with you so bad. God has answered my prayers. Ahh man, it was such a tender mercy. I had never thought I would be serving in Takmau.  She was so sweet!

Another tender mercy of experience happened. It was the sweet and tender testimony of our branch president. He is a convert of the church. Lately, he and his wife have been doing some family history work to take to the temple. He has been preparing to go to the Temple for 7 years and has sacrificed a lot. (Also side note, before he joined the church, he was a Buddhist monk.)  He had told us that his wife has been trying to find the name of her ancestors, and especially, her grandma’s to take to the temple. He prayed so hard to receive God’s help in the search. Until one night, he said “ I had been working in the church office and heard a voice from elsewhere. It spoke to hi m about three times. He checked around and saw no one. He knew it is was the spirit of God trying to tell him something. He told us, because he had faith, he was not scared. However, the voice prompted the very specific and sacred message about his wife’s ancestors. Later that night, he told us that his wife’s grandmother appeared in the dream and revealed her name. Words could not describe the feeling felt in the room. It was complete silent.

Here in Takmau, I got to see many more destitute lives in povertous areas of the country sides.  We went to teach a few people in this village. One the little girls, so sweet. Her dad doesn’t  mind her learning with the missionaries. However, our lessons would always get interrupted by her dad and her uncle using her to do their errands, such as buying  cases of beer for them.  Sister Chen told me that the young girl gets abused at times. It is so sad. Yesterday, she came up to me and she wasn’t  feeling very well.  She had been doing house chores before the church service at 2 pm , and have not eaten anything. She was starving. We quickly approached our branch president and asked him for some left over bread. She literally grabbed it so quick and ran to find a place to eat it.  Seeing her grabbed the bag was one of the sweetest moments, Her eyes became strikingly bright and she was so happy and grateful to have received food to eat.

Brothers and Sisters, one of the sweetest feelings is to have experienced the Khmer’s witnesses of the divine Gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing how my life has crossed paths with theirs. One of the most difficult experiences is to see the pain in many people’s lives, yet to have witnessed how their lives were blessed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. To stand with Christ is no easy strive, but for it is written: "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." I am greatly honored to serve in Cambodia, to stand along and be Jesus Christ's disciple, to see the hands of God in my life and in the lives of others. I can’t imagine fully how much pain and joy each saint feels, but I got to feel it piece by piece, from the spirit of God, the very pieces of what I've been missing from high above, this is​​ why I get to feel a part of heaven on earth, 1000s of miles and and an ocean away from my home. God is great. I've come to learn that love is and will always be in my Lord, my savior, Jesus Christ. His light is everywhere and anywhere for those who believe, who come unto Him and to seek refuge in Him.  In one of my favorite Christian artist's songs, she sings:

"In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Oh, Jesus commands my destiny"


With Love and gratitude,
Sister Sophie Sok
Some pictures

I don't think they showed up from a previous email.
I don't have my new comp's pic, but we will hope to try to get it next week.






The Sweet Old Lady

Sunday April 16, 2017 at 10:48PM

Happy Easter!

Sorry for the late Happy Easter, but I hope that your Easter Weekend went well. Easter in Cambodia is quite interesting, especially since it falls on Khmer New Year and hah it gets pretty crazy. Last week and this week, many folks would travel to their provinces, so it was a bit quiet in the province we are in. We were suggested to stay inside the house and not proselyte as much during Khmer Year. My companion told me that they threw rocks at her last year during the New Year and drunk people trying to stop you from biking. For this year, nothing to that extend happened, but it was still pretty crazy. When we got back from the church service,  we entered this village, on the way, we saw a group of teenagers  in the middle of the road, carrying water balloons and baby powder. My companion was in front and these guys stood in the middle trying to hinder us from riding our bikes. One of the them grabbed the back of my companion’s bike and grabbed her face while trying to pour powder on her! It was quite frustrating, they finally let us go. It is crazy to think about it now.

Last week, we got to visit this sweetest old lady.  She has been trying to find a church to attend, since she has moved to Keansvay. Her story gives me shivers. She doesn’t have a house to live in and her children had all left her.  But a lady whose house we get to teach the sweet old lady at had mercy on her and provided her a place to live and took the old lady in to be her servant. When we first met her, she had this beautiful smile while running up to greet us. . She has such a light in her countenance; she makes me miss my grandmother. She started telling us how she got to know of Jesus Christ and many of her living testimonies. The sweet old lady told us how she has suffered from an intestinal illness and another illness that had caused her to need more blood in her systems. While at the hospital, she had no money, not much belongings, and the chance of getting her blood type at that hospital was very scarce. She told us how she got to the point when she accepted the Lord’s will and trusted in His plan for her.  Then, all of the certain a stranger came to her life and offered her the amount of blood and type she needed. It was such a miracle for her. Then,  she was faced with another trial of finding a place to seek refuge. Then a young lady had asked if she needed a place and a job. She started tearing down while telling us more miracles that the Lord had her experience. The spirit absolutely testified of her faith. She had prayed to the Lord to meet someone who would show her on which and where she could attend church, as so she is ready and willing to give God all she has and her life of service to Him.

Another story that helped strengthened my faith in Christ was with a young woman who had been struggling with this mental/emotional illness. She is the only member in her family , but her father is starting to learn about the Gospel. Her mother currently believes that her daughter had been possessed and is carrying some evil spirit. She doesn’t believe in medicine and other forms of help. It is so sad. The young woman truly needs help from the doctor. It is so sad to see her suffer. We are trying to get the branch members to find ways the young woman could receive correct treatment. She has been struggling with her illness for a while, however, ever since she started living the Gospel , she has been receiving much healing. Before, she would go in and out of her flow of consciousness of which is not consistent when were teaching her. We would talk to her, but she would just stare pass us. One day, her illness got really bad and she couldn’t eat and did not want to go outside or even drink water. She had asked the Elders to give her a blessing. Right afterwords, she had stood up and went to get some water and smiled.  It was such a miracle. Now, her family is still working on trying to get her diagnosed. I believe.

I could honestly say that being a disciple of Jesus Christ has helped me grow and to sincerely love people and to truly see their light from Jesus Christ, from a different place, one that is an ocean away from my home. It has made me appreciate life so much more. I was listening to a testimony from a missionary serving here and she has made me realize more and more of the worth of one’s life and the appreciation for everything around me .  I have grown and changed as a better person. Now, when I go out, I get to see much beauty around me, of vast untainted fields, of palm trees, of birds chirping, and flowers all over the place. I am just happy. (There is this movie entitled "Life is Beautiful" directed by Roberto Benigni.  When thinking about going out sharing the Gospel and even writing this letter, it makes me think of the movie. I hope you all do get the chance to watch it.)  As cliché as it is, I get to see how beautiful and I am grateful of Heavenly Father’s creation, all that makes my life worth living for because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ . For others to receive the Joy the Gospel offers them and how their lives have changed.

With love and gratitude,
Sister Sok



 


Hope you Have a great week!

Sunday April 9, 2017 at 10:53PM

Hello! I am doing well and things are going great in Keansvay and Chbar Ampov. I pray that this story will uplift you.

Her  Devotion to God

I had an opportunity to exchange with an incredible missionary. Her name is Sister Soem. I would describe her as silent dignity. Her story is similar to mine, in some ways they are. She is a pioneer in her family.

I remember sitting down after we got home and just talking with her about our conversion stories. She is so strong. The ambiance in the room  absolutely describes Sister Soem, Silent Dignity. If that makes sense. The room was filled with serenity. As the calm yellow spectrum of the sun's rays reflected off of our glass windows, my heart began to sink deep and deeper into the words my companion shared with me.  and I so remember the immensity of the Spirit of the Lord that lingered in the room.

Her Story: Sister Soem is actually from the Orphanage that I used to visit when I was serving in the city, Tuek Laah area during the 1st half of my training. One of the greatest trials she had to endure was the period prior to her mission. She is the very light for me. She shared her story to some of the missionaries. She described to me about  her journey of standing  as a witness of the Savior, in especially in the face of her  family members, who were non members at the time, I believe. As a young child, she went through some hard times with her family and came on her own decision to live in the Orphanage. The orphanage is run partly, by the church and many of the children there, are members of the church. She became a member of the church when she was about 16 years old and then on, she has had a strong desire to serve a mission. The week before entering the Missionary Training Center/mission, an unexpected tragedy had struck her. She received the news from her hometown village that her 10 year old sister had drowned in a nearby lake.  Her decisions were laid on the table:  to continue to get on the plane and go on the scheduled date or delay it or not go at all. As she conversed with the Lord, she felt that it was His will for her to go that week she is to supposed to go. Her resilience, along with unwavering faith has taught me much. I believe that one of the most important lessons I learned and strive to continue to learn as a disciple of the Lord is to listen and learn, and put them into actions. Just listen and Learn as much as I can about my companions, those around me and to open my mouth in times I am needed to. To embrace the opportunities to cross path with them.

I am learning and experiencing more and more of patience, patience in His time table. I remember my mission President had asked me to open the scriptures to James 1 and ponder in my heart the word divers as it pertains to what God would ask of me during that specific experience and the task he has assigned me.

As James explains:
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this,  that the trying of your faith worketh patience.But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

My understanding of the verse continues to help me kneel to His feet and humble myself in times when God challenges me to stand for just another moment. To change the phrase divers to afflictions, to endure them with charity and patience. In every bit of my fiber, I want to hold on to these experiences. I remember the guidance from Sister Christensen in regards to God's plan for me. I often imagine God's children in Heaven and ancestors praying and begging me to hold on for just a little further. For a moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory to Him who gives me life.  I've learned that the name I put on my chest everyday is the very one that shouts Salvation to those who come unto Him. Salvation for not just my family and but to be his instrument in opening the ways  to help the generations that will come.  I believe in God's miracles, because I have seen and experienced them through my own eyes, not ones of myself, but many because other's lives have changed because of His Divine Light. I know that I love the Gospel and grateful to have met the people here in Cambodia, to help them see that they lives are precious to God. That God loves them. I wish I could tell more, but  the important thing is I know that Christ lives and this is His true Church and Gospel. Thank you for all your support.

With gratitude and Love,

Sister Sok

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Banana Tree Jungle and New Areas and Comps!

Sunday March 26, 2017 at 10:42PM

Hello hello fam and friends,

I am now in the new areas. It has been crazy and I have never laughed so much in my love. I found out one of the provinces I am serving in. It is called "Ket Kondal". The areas are called Keansvay and Chbar Ampov. I am in a trio. It is soooo fun. The people here are so generous and they would give us food to eat all of the time. The two areas are still, about 80% in the forestry/ jungle area. THE SCENES ARE SURREAL!!!  However, we have to return home before it gets dark and the elders would have to take us home. For P-Days, we get to ride the tuk tuk (3 wheeler car) to the city. There is not an email place in the country-sides. So, one of the members would drive us in. It only takes about 2 hours. In the city, we could get bread and milk and other stuff they wouldn't sell at where we live. The bike rides are really fun. I am getting used to biking for about 10-15-18 miles. Serving in Battambang trained me to serve in the 2 new areas. hah! I love the feeling at the end of the day and when I lay my head on the pillow.

The things that happen here are wild and so memorable. We went to one of the investigator's houses, she literally said "sister, eat this" and I'm like " that's raw meat". " Yeah, eat it". Also, I took a bite and it was all raw. We went to get to know one of the member's houses. it is literally in the middle of the woods, no one else live by them. As we were teaching her, her husband said "you know Sisters, I used to carry around evil spirit before I believe in Christ". He asked "I have this evil stone that no longer has power, do you want to see it?!" Sister Sok: "No, thank you, lok pu". He then said "OK, I show to you". Hah it was a TOOTH looking thing. He started to tell us how he got it and then he realized we shouldn't talk about this. Anyway, the members who live in the woods would tell us frequent ghost stories. The bike rides back home give me shivers. haha. The Cambodian people are very visionary people and they believe in folk tales and such. Also, while we were teaching, this little kid came up to me and hit me with a bamboo shoot.

I would like to share a few accounts of what the Khmer people shared with my companions and I. We spoke with a very strong and faithful member of the church. She said that she got to meet with the missionaries through her son. Her son was picking up trash to make a living by this pond. The missionaries walked by and socialized with him. The little kid brought the missionaries into his house, and it was nothing but a little shack. His mom had nothing but all she could have at the moment and all that she could obtain was faith. She is now still living in a shack, but it's more improved. She said how tested so much, but held on to the very thing she knows is true. For her, that is enough. Her life is enough because of the Savior.

Another experience was when we were teaching one of the investigators. She is in her teens and her mother isn't a member (and is not learning with us..yet). I asked many questions about them. I asked about her husband and all of the certain she started tearing. I felt so bad, I didn't know her husband had just recently passed away. She told us how painful it is living without him and to raise her daughter without a father. She said how wonderful and kind he is. She said "if any woman had lost a man like him, it would cause her so much pain, because he is absolutely the love of her life."It was so painful to watch her describe her experiences. Her mother is the perfect candidate for me to share the Gospel to and bring her that hope she is needing. I listened to what God wanted me to do at the moment and there came a tender heart that whispered to me," Sister Sok, just listen". I didn't open my mouth and gave her a hug. It was such a powerful experience for me. I knew that she felt the love of Christ. I knew that the spirit touched her heart.  I felt so humbled to know this strong woman. I am really happy here and I am happy with my new companions.

I've had feel like a said before a part of heaven is with me here. It is a blessing to know the people in my new areas and one of the most important things, to listen to them and love them. We got to two churches and they are really far from one another. So we would have to split up and have two of us attend one church service in Chbar Ampov and the other attend the service in Kean Svay. Sister Gallaghad and I attended the church in Chbar Ampov. We got there and got to know many of the members. We then went to this jungle in the back of the house. The branch president saw us and ha at the pulpit during Sacrament meeting, he announced "We will be broadcasting General Conference in this building...and ohhhh by the way, you new sisters don't go in the jungle", there are snakes in there..we don't want you to die." It was way funny the way he said it and so embarrassing. Also when we were riding our bikes, one of my companions saw a wedding and literally asked if she could take a pic with the bride. The wedding photographer obviously was such a pro, because we got a picture of the dog trying to lick its behind. #photobombing.  I thought it was hilarious.

I love you all and May God Bless You!

Love,
Sister Sok


Phnom Sompove (Ship Mountain), Monkey Stuff, Killing Cave, Jungle, Saying Farewell and Transfers

Sunday March 19, 2017 at 9:43PM

On P-Day, we went hiking on this mountain in Battambang called Phnom Sompov. It's surreal! There are temples on top of the mountains and some sanctuary sites, as well. We went through some jungle areas and saw many monkeys. Some were a little sassy than the other. That's OK. On the way up we stopped by some ancient sites and Buddhist  sanctuaries. There were many monks and Buddhist nuns there. They literally live on top of the mountains. The weather there was very cloud, but it was still humid and a little difficult to breath, but everything is breathtaking. We went in this cave. The Elders played a prank on us Sisters and made us run out of the cave. It was pitch dark, so I started to find my way back, this bug forcefully flew into my esophagus. I coughed it up , though. I guess I got to taste my protein of the day. After exploring the cave, we went to see the Killing Cave. During the Cambodian Genocide, the killing cave is where Pol Pot ( Khmer Rouge Leader) decided to perform a mass genocide in Battambang (one of the ways and places) is to push the Khmer people from this about 40 foot cliff into a cave. In the cave, they had set up sharp objects to pierce through the bodies, just in case if there were people who may still be alive. We were able to hike down and see the remains of human bones. While there, there was this complete reverence for the spirits. We could sense and smell the humid cool air while observing our surroundings. I went down further into the cave and sat there for awhile. Just to think 1,200 people have died here and a total of nearly 1.7 million people have died due to Khmer Rouge. Just to think, the souls who could have so many potentials and opportunities to make this world a better place. While sitting there and though as atrocious as the act was, I feel that a part of heaven was there with me. A part Christ's peace. A place of rest, a portion and even at the tip of an iceberg, 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; 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.".To know that that it's a blessing to understand my ancestors and to truly know that God has blessed me with the work I am needed to do. That one day God has prepared for us a place to rest.

I have learned much about my companion and the love from the members and the people of Battambang. I am learning more to change everyday, to become a better person. I've learned to love a people from a different place, places where I've never been before. I remember sitting with my companion by the bedside. We both knew that neither of us understood perfectly (or even to the degree we had hoped) each other's pain, but we learned that it doesn't matter much. The most important thing is to love each other anyway. I realized why I am companion with Sister Sung. I know that this transfer has brought me closer to my Savior. It's been a blessing, it's been difficult, it's been tiresome, but it's been enjoyable. Many experiences have humbled me to plead for help and put me on my knees. I do believe whatever it is I am assigned to do, I know that continuous change and improvement are needed. I  strive to make a record of how I have changed and improved everyday. It is such a simple thing to say. However, even with the daily meticulous changes or huge changes, can bring forth the better person in me. I am learning to deliberately become a better daughter of God through the people around me and my companions. To be a light and to be there to share my conversion according to the Lord's timing.

Leaving Battambang has given me  mix of emotions. I love the area and the people. I became so close to them. They say " if you live in Battambang long enough, you will stick to the dirt." However, I am excited to serve in the new area and I look forward to meet the people God has prepared for me to share part of my conversion and testimony. The new areas are pretty cool. I am called to serve in these places called Keansvay and another one called Chbar Ampov. Most part-I think are still countrysides, rice fields areas, but they are closer to the city than Battambang. The chapel isn't established in those areas, yet. The church/worship is inside a normal looking house for both the areas. It's pretty cool! I am in a trio, with Sister Gallaghand and Chen. Well, that's all I have in the time permitted. Thank you and I pray that God will bless you all!

Love,
Sister Sok








2 of the best people in Battambang. This is when we went to this farm. You can't see them, but there giant pigs behind us. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bamboo Train, Tuek Umpov, Cheat's mother, and Viral Infection and long bus rides :/

Monday March 6, 2017 at 12:52AM

Hello Families and Friends,

Today is has been good. It is preparation day of course and it has been fun. This morning, after our studies and cleaning of our house, we quickly got out of the house to ride the Bamboo train again. I can never get tired of the train. Haha. It is the closest thing you can get to a roller coaster. It's a Khmer roller coaster..nah not really. The route goes through the forests, rice fields, and a few streams. At the end, they would souvenirs and really nice paintings of Angkor Wat and elephants. They are beautiful. There were many tourists  who were riding the train there though, which made me feel really weird seeing so many white people. Most tourists here are from Europe, not very many from America. Which is really interesting. Anyway, we then came back and went to shop for the week's groceries and supplies. Today is one of the hottest days. Cambodia is a jungle and gets really hot but super humid, as well.  So once we got to the streets market, we became roasted crickets. But we got to drink sugar cane water (tuek umpov) and it is equivalent to the satisfaction you can get out of drinking a really good lemonade out of a hot day.

These couple of weeks has been pretty rough but I have grown a lot. I ate something from the market and I think it was from the raw veggies, but I might have gotten sick from something else as well. But the next day and 7 days, I got really sick. I was told I got a  viral infection.

However the couple of weeks was a miracle.  I got to see a recent convert's mother. It was an amazing experience, a reflected mirror of my life. The recent convert's name is Chearta. Like me, she is a pioneer and wanted to serve a mission, but her mother was really against the church and does like it when Chearta goes to church. Her heart has been softened lately, though. So one of the branch members and the senior missionaries decided to plan a visit/ lunch with her family. I was so thrill, because this is such a great opportunity for me to have. But the night and day before the visit, I came down with that high fever from the infection.I had worms in my body and my throat was so much in pain. I was half conscious. I started coughing up- clots of blood and the sickness was beating me inside out. I really needed Heavenly Father's help. However, I really wanted this visit with Cheata's mother to happen, I wanted to meet with her mother. It's like if I don't have the chance to teach my mom, God is allowing me to share my experience and help this girl out. To really help her family come to know the Gospel. To help my family in Cambodia whether it is blood-related or not. So out of exhaustion, but with complete sincerity, I placed my head on my pillow and prayed to Heavenly Father. The next morning was a miracle. I felt better, still weak, but enough to walk and enough to speak and to go out to meet with Cheata's mother. I believe that God gave me enough strength to help this girl out. I do believe in miracles and it was God's answer to my prayer. After that day of our visit with her mother, I got another fever, but I am better now. The week after, my companion had to take an immediate trip to the closest province to a secure hospital to get her illness daignosed. We took a creepy taxi to Siem Reap ( They literally packed as much people as they could in a car, there were 2 people sitting in the driver's seat! One trying to drive the car!). Once we got there, we found out that there wasn't a specialist at that hospital. So we had to take the bus the next morning to the city. It takes about 6 to 8 hours to get from the (countrysides--known as Kets) to the capital city. But my companion was a trooper and endured through it. I waited for her and went in to hear the results. To be honest, I felt really scared as I waited, but all is good now. She had her illness diagnosed and she is doing well now. She is ending her mission soon and is so strong. So this week felt pretty strange. We are now back in the ket.  Sister Sung's health is normal now and as a matter a fact we both rode the Bamboo train this morning. It is very strange to take everything all in, hah! But it is what it is, you have just have to make the best of it.

Sickness is not an abnormal thing in Battambang or just Cambodia in general. So many memebrs and less-actives here are sick. Some have grown closer to Christ and some have grown weaker. I feel the most helpless here in Battambang, mostly when I first got here. It hurts really bad to know that they are dying and I wish I was a doctor. I just want to be in a corner and be in a fetal position. I keep telling myself, it is OK. But it really isn't. Seeing people on their last breaths and watching them in pain is not an easy thing. It is painful. It is something I am trying to accept.  However,  I've learned that the healing power is love. It may sound really cheesy, but it is the best medicine to help one knows of their worth in this life and the eternity to come. I have learned so much  about love when I am on this mission. To love those around you in every circumstance. It's so weird to say it out before my mission and believing in the word you say then is different now..on my mission. However, to have experienced what you believe and what your faith holds unto give you a deeper perspective and strengthens your faith in Christ so much more.  


Love,
Sister Sok


Some recent pictures and bamboo train





Saturday, February 25, 2017

Why isn't the fish dead?!!!

Sunday February 19, 2017 at 9:35PM

Hello,

I hope and pray that you are all well. This week has been crazy good. We went to visit a member who needs some spiritual uplift  from the missionaries. (The members love to give us food for the missionaries. They are so kind). Her house is literally in the middle of nowhere and we always feel so bad when she gives us food, because she is so skinny and her house is so poor. However, it is very rude that we don't accept the gifts or food they give us. Most of the time, they don't even ask us if we wanted the stuff, they just give it to us. hah. Anyway the lady gave us live fish and hah she bagged it up. So they were moving all over the bag while I was riding my bike. It was a very hot day and we parked our bikes to teach one of the recent converts at a school. We heard some noise in the back where we parked our bikes, but did not bother to pay any attention to it. We went on teaching. After the lesson, we found our bag that was full of fish to be half full with fish and a huge hole in the bag. We only had 2 fish left.  The rest escaped. Then we went on with the rest of the day, biking and teaching at peoples' houses in the hope that the fish would die. We got home and one wouldn't die. So we had to wait until its last breath until we cook and eat it.

This week,  we wen to visit a less-active. She is very sick and we were so grateful that God has prompted us to see her that very day. We rode to her house and her neighbor asked if she was even inside at all. She locked the inside of her house and we couldn't get in to see if she was OK. The whole  village crowded to find ways to get inside. My companion opened her windows and saw her laying half conscious on the bed. She could barely open her eyes. We quickly called the branch president and the elders to come to  help. She is now a bit better, but that experience was pretty scary.

Things are going good here. I really enjoy my Khmer companion Sister Sung and her presence again. She was my trainer, but now is just a regular companion. So weird and interesting.  My Khmer vocabulary has increased and it feels different when people actually think I live in Phnom Penh and I am not an American. So I am adjusting to the culture pretty well. One of the memorable things Sister Sung has taught me about the Khmer people is that the idea of religion and the concept of "doing good will give you good" is very predominant. However, yes any religion has its good part, however what the Khmer and the way of the Khmer Buddhism is missing a part of is the crucial TRUTH of SALVATION. That yes in terms of the natural law of the land, if you do bad, there will be consequences and such. However, the pursuit of reaching higher, higher truth is skewed in their religion here. They are missing that ascending truth that they can be saved for eternity through Jesus Christ. The idea that they can be saved.

Things are still good, hard and exhausting, but I am doing OK and I am healthy. Thanks for all of your help and love. There is much for me to learn and I'm trying to take it in and accept it. I am trying very hard to keep the spirit alive and to do all that I can light up the purpose of why I am called here, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

With love and gratitude,
Sister Sok



Below are pictures when Sister Sung first trained me (and when I was fresh out of the MTC) and hah now together again.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Over the Battambang Bridge: His strength for her limbs

Monday February 6, 2017 at 12:13AM

This week has been a good week of progress and the start of changes in missionary work. I'm really excited and I love the Branches I am in. I am still in Battambang and transfers just happened. My companion, Sister Luke ( who was ill with narcolepsy) has to be transferred back to the city where she can be close to the mission home. Sister Sung is my companion again. I was her companion during training. My health is good even though there are weird things happening to my body. However, I am still able to function well.

The lifestyle here is so different from what I am used to in America. Just the way people speak, markets, the humidity, culture of the church here, our schedules and timing, the over all culture. Usually, people here take showers 3 times a day and they eat dinner really late. So little Sophia's body is like a twig with skinny arms, legs, and face, but I am starting to see a little pouch of rice pack.  I look a little like an alien, to be frank. For exercise, I love to run. We'd wake up at 5:30 and go on our daily runs at the church and we get to see the sunrise in the morning. 5:50 is the prime time for sunrise, so that's always been a blessing to see. Lunch is a challenge sometimes. Usually since some of our areas are far out, we'd just pack lunch and eat it at the riverside on the grass with the member's help and hah also with the cows and horses by the water. It is so beautifully green. My ex-companion has narcolepsy, so we usually go back home to have her rest and study language. She finally got her medicines! So now it is just a matter to see if they work. She's a trooper. I have learned a lot on being patient and this young woman has taught me many lessons. She's is such a chill companion and her nature helps me so much when I turn into the uptight, work, work, work sister Sok.

There are other strange but hilarious stuff that goes on here, as well. Like the other day, when riding our bikes. We passed this half-naked guy on his Moto (mo-ped) with his whole family and his wife trying to arm her kids from falling off the moto, while picking lice off her husband's hair. All happening when this man is trying to ride his Moto. Man, I wonder where they were going!

So this week: I've seen so many progress of working together with members! Miracles have happened and we were so blessed to witness them. Missionaries in this mission only get to teach people of their same gender. There is this family investigating the church referred from a member. So we got to teach the female in the family. They are such a blessing to my life. Their mother's name is Oum Vannie. She is around her 70s and a very faithful seeker of Christ. I don't have much time, but I will tell you of a miracle that she shared with us. Oum Vannie could not walk straight due to an illness she had. It is a struggle for her to get up and walk off a normal distant for an average person. She has really hard times riding her bike. So, one morning at church, we were waiting for her presence. Sacrament meeting started but we didn't see her. All of the certain, we heard the door being opened and there she was rushing to sit by us. we could just see the sweat pouring out of her pores down her entire face. I could feel the exhaust and heat lingering around her frame. I was like Oum, what happened?! She said, sister "I biked to church". She later on told us: Sister I believe I truly believe! God gave me strength to get here. Her house is pretty far from the church and there are hills on the way. I mean, we are talking about an old woman who could barely walk, let alone ride her bike!

She talked about how she had to stop every now and then to regain her strength. In every fiber of her limbs and spirit she prayed to the Lord to provide her the strength to get to church! She had to cross this famous Battambang bridge, but she could not have any strength left to carry her through. She described" I humbly prayed to God with all of my total dependence and all of the certain, a burst of energy overcame my feeble body and forged me to go onward. I got off my bike and walked it over the bridge! Description of what happened does not do it justice. You would have to be in the lesson to see the change of heart and spirit of resilience, of the Lord she brought INTO her heart.

Her husband and her whole family have changed. The elders had to teach her husband. Her husband went from lying half conscious on his bed from over dose of alcohol and smoking to a complete 180 changed man. One night, the elders called me saying that they would visit him for the last time and would prob drop him, but as soon as they saw him neatly and nicely dressed with buttoned up shirt and good pairs of pants on welcoming them inside, they were so surprised. Oum Vannie had been a light to him. He saw how his wife changed and started coming to church with her. I think one of our most powerful lessons was when he saw his wife cries, he left the lesson and went to the back of his house and started sobbing. The moment was nothing but divine silence for a bit. My companion and I truly cherish those moments. The video attached is of that day when the spirit was so strong. Her husband had joined in the lesson. Haha, we had to teach them both. I had a feeling to pull out my camera and recorded that moment.  We always start out the lessons with singing "How Great Thou Art" to her. It is a tradition, they love it. Their relationships have grown and they are one of the cutest couples! Actually, I am going to just share the video!

I can honestly say that my life is being converted (even if it is refining process) to come closer and closer to Christ. I don't have a set game plane of the person I know I will be, but I know who I once was and how I have changed. I would only hope that my conversion would continue to grow. I have learned more about having charity this past transfer and I hope to continue to attain more of this very attribute. No matter what I do, this love of Christ is what I can offer. I have learned that one the hardest things I am experiencing thus far and will  be is sacrificing and offering up my desires and the agency of self-centered desires on His altar and completely trying my best to understand and do God's will. To do what He asks of me even if it makes no sense. I have learned that you do it anyway despite the outcome or the circumstance you are in. I read a letter written by an inspiring missionary. You probably may have heard of him, His name is Ricchardi:   "The mission experience is to do what you are told, when you are told, to go where you are asked, and know that the blessing comes from enduring what I ask of you. This is not about you; it is about opening your mouth at all times in all places. Doing my will without thought to the end result or consequence… this is what serving a mission is."

I am striving, striving my utmost best of what I have to serve Him. I know I fall short, but I nevertheless I love Him and I know God loves me. I cherish it every single day, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I hope that my letter has uplifted your day and have made you feel closer to Christ. I know that the Gospel is true and I am glad I got to know you!

On P-day, we got to ride what is called "Bamboo train and we got to go to this waterfalls place!" It was way beautiful. 

Love,
Sister Sok




Monday, January 23, 2017

A Place to Rest

Sunday January 22, 2017 at 11:05PM

Hi Hi families and friends,

This week is another week of miracles. We made a plan with the relief society president, members, and young women's president that we will meet together on Saturday mornings to visit the less-actives in Branch 3. So far, our attempt has brought a miracle. We went to a less-active's house and found out she was very sick. She hasn't been to church for quite a while. She is shameful of coming back to church, since she has been less-active for a while. She told us she was sleeping for death to come. She is hopeless and feels that life has no meaning. As we talked with her, we just felt like things weren't going forward at all. However, the relief society sister kept speaking and comforting her up until we said, "you are a child of God and to Him, the price of your life is worth more than anything in this world, more than what you can comprehend". Tears of grace came down and she told us that she was actually wanting to go and buy poison pills for herself. She felt such a spirit from that visit. Often times I wonder if the lessons we teach have such power that the spirit could really impact someone's life that day. That once, we leave their place, we leave them hanging with the spirit of God, compelling them to desire it more and more unto repentance. Nothing is more important than if the lessons have relevance in that person's life. Once relevance is there, the spirit can easily enter their hearts. I am learning more and more of the purpose of the Restoration, not just on the Gospel, but also restoring my innate self to understand my identity from Heaven. If that makes sense. I am trying to think of ways to have effective lessons. I feel that the spirit is most powerful when I leave their house and a part of me, a part of my conversion is left with them. That once walking out of there, I am leaving a part of me with them and taking a part of them with me. I am more and more seeing the change in myself. Not in a boasting way, but as I lay down at night, I start to think about the people we teach and really feel the love I have for them. To be honest at the beginning of my mission, many thoughts would come to mind. But now it's almost like you really think about their suffering and feeling so helpless because you can't fix their illnesses or the circumstances in a blink of an eye. That is what the Gospel is teaching me, the imprints we leave in our conversion to better understand the eternal perspective. No matter how poor our states are, having Jesus Christ is ENOUGH! That there is a place for us to rest.

Another miracle happened when we went to visit another less-active's house. She happened to not be home. She is suffering from lung disease and is very sick. We got her some fruits and met with her mother who isn't a member of the church. We visited with her mother for a while and went off to visit other less-actives. Little did we know, God granted us such a tender mercy, because we saw her at church the next day even if we didn't see her face to face. Her mother felt inspired that the Relief Society president have shown her care for her daughter.

In another lesson, I don't know why! I remember sitting on a straw mat on dirt floor, in this straw -bamboo built house. A surge of of this weird feeling came over me. I realized that: Dude! My comp and I are sitting on dirt, preaching the Gospel to this single mother. I am no longer in my air-conditioned environment and studying engineering . It was such a strange feeling on how things happened so quickly. Like Wow, what happened?! I've been a member of the church for 2 years! and I've been on my mission for almost half of a year now. Where did the time fly to? Crazy!

Here are some things I thought was interesting:

Things in Cambodia that may or may not happen in the U.S

1) A little kid starts to pull down his pants and pees on the carpet during a church lesson
2)While you are biking, there is a roasted dog head in front of yah.
3) A man juicing sugar cane  while bees are stinging him
4) Teaching at a fruit stand on the streets while Chinese funeral is going on and white tourists trying to buy your investigator's fruits
5) Old ladies trying to kiss you because they think they could inherit your skin and face.
6)Members asking if we could take them to the U.S or if you can marry their sons.
7) Blow drying your clothes, because you didn't have enough time to hang up your laundry
8) Having ants in your food and shrugging off your shoulder that it's normal
9) Biking in 1/2 forests and 1/2 city areas every single day