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




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy New Year!

Sunday January 15, 2017 at 10:59PM

Hello families and friends,

I hope you all have a Happy New Year! Sorry it's a bit too late to say this.

I am doing well. It's a bit challenging to try to write down all of the experiences I've had this week in 20 minutes. However, I will do my best.

Hah, it's been crazy. First, I got an emergency companion transfer. Her name is Sister Luke. I got her permission to share you her experiences.  Haha here we go: I am still in the same province, Battambang and the same two branches, though. Sister Luke has the rare condition, Narcolepsy. She served in Battambang but in another branch. She has been struggling with the condition and her last companion for a while. It was hard for both of them. But she had requested to transfer in my areas, since they are not 100% in the woods. Hah. It's quite an experience, because she falls asleep when she bikes sometimes and in the lessons as we are teaching people. She can fall asleep and go into this trance-like state any time. It's way scary, but hilarious at the same time. She is such a trooper, though. So whenever we bike, we have to bike side by side and I have to constantly talk to her. The mission has been trying to research for the meds and things look pretty hopeful for her! As long as she takes an hour/ 40 minute..I think she will be Ok. It seems to be working at least.

It's been hard, but God has blessed my companion and I with so many miracles. Heavenly Father has been teaching me more and more everyday how to have charity in this transfer, one of the hardest things I am trying to have. The mission is really changing my life for the better. I get to see a broken family whose father abuses the kids or drinks and never comes home to him diverting into 180 degrees of change. I get to see him come back to church with a clean slate and a happy family. He gave up all the bad things in his life and really now wanted to take care of his family to the best of his ability. I get to see so many more people changed. In my mission, we are not allowed to teach the opposite gender. But it's super cool to see how our visits with his wife and his wife changing and being such a wonderful example. He is now changed because of her examples through Christ.

Another day of miracle happened. It's so crazy. One morning, my comp, a recent convert, and I were so ready to get out and bike to all of the less-active members' houses. None of them wanted to meet us at the time. So as we were riding our bikes back, I passed by a small dirt road that lead to an investigator we always try to visit but she was either in Japan or just never there. It was a miracle as I felt like I had to turn into that small dirt road and saw her outside of her house. As soon as I parked our bikes, I had another feeling to just asked if we could clean her house and wash her dishes for her. She said yes and we went right to work. We spent the entire morning helping her clean her house. She was so sweet and we asked her if we could share her a message. Notice, we had planned for her at all!!! So here we prayerfully and desperately asking for God's help. I thought of the simple yet sweet story of prodigal son, teaching people from the approach that God really is our loving heavenly father. Little did I know that the story completely compelled her to come back to church. She told us how much that parable meant to her. She told us that she has committed some things in her life that she was not so proud of and she felt "disgusted". Her family has been broken for a while. She is a single mom who is holding onto her life as much as she can to make a better life for her son. Repentance has been an emphasis in the mission and is dear to my heart. This is the only way I can ever grow closer to Christ.

I remember in one of my meetings, we were learning about our time in the mission. I remember how excited I was reading the first few paragraphs of the call and stopping my breath to get over the last few. I realize that my time here in the mission is crucial. That I am " expect to devote all of my time and attention to the Lord". The mission at first is very exciting and the drive is fresh. The mission can get very mundane at times, the spark can get weaker. However, every bit that a missionary is, he or she is of Christ. Converting and forgetting or losing yourself more and more of who you are on this earth and the recollection your true identity and who you were in heaven. Obedience and preaching the conditions of salvation, faith and repentance are what I am trying to internalize.
" Behold his mission is given unto him, and it shall not be given again." -D&C 58:16

Sister Sok

Sister Sok and Sister Luke





Sister Sok- a miracle in the jungle

Monday January 9, 2017 at 2:48AM

Hello,

Happy Monday! I hope all is well and that you are all experiencing life to the fullest.

I am doing well and ok, thus far in the mission. There are trials and hardships as expected, however I am growing a lot from the diverse experiences.

One of the experiences:

Some of the people's houses we taught are about an hour- 1 hr and 1/2  of bike ride away from the church and where we live. My companion and I went to an area called "Kompoul Kpous". I remember feeling absolutely exhausted when we got there and almost none of the less-actives and investigators members were there, because they all went to another province to harvest rice. The whole village was quiet. We couldn't really call a lot of them, because they do not own phones. At the end of the day, the sun started to set. The village is basically in the middle of a jungle and not as populated as some of the areas I am used to biking to. Right as soon as we started to leave to bike back home, one of the members, named Lina (who came with us to teach), her bike got a flat tire. I was getting worried because, the area was getting pretty dark and the village was not so safe to bike through at night. I started praying in my heart. We then continued onward and walked our bikes with our member. We saw this old abandoned shack, it's a small bike shop shack. We called the owner, but no one was there. Fortunately, the bike pump was there and Lina used it to pump in sufficient air. We were eager to bike out of the foresty area and get back on the main roads. So we did and made it back home on time and safely. It was such a tender mercy. The lord answers prayers through mysterious ways. Who would have thought a bike pump would be randomly laying around by an abandoned shack in the midst of a forest? Who would have thought?

Sister Sok






Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday December 25, 2016 at 9:55PM

Hi oh my Hi!

Sister Sok here from Battambang, Cambodia! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I hope all is well and thank you so much for the letters and the wishes! I am definitely not having a white Christmas, but the jungle here absolutely has its own beauty. I am finished with my training and I'm so excited to lead out the 2 branches with my new comp, sister Winder. They both extend all the way to the borders of Thailand, so let's hope I don't lead my companion to another country.

One of our investigators got baptized on Christmas Eve. She is absolutely a light to me. None of her family members wanted her to join the church. She struggled a lot, but just to see that she has given up so much to become the pioneer of her family is inspiring. Sacrifice is sacred.

My mission president told me that Battambang is a hard place. But I do believe that once you really start to love the people, it become part of your heart . It's hard in many ways. One of the hardest things is to see people die and suffer because of the broken families. That's why the Gospel is such a light for them. The Gospel or just the concept of God alone is so revolutionary to them. Who is this Jesus Christ who promises them that they can "live again"  that " someone feels every bit of your pain" " that God is their Father in Heaven" "that your suffering is for blink of eye in comparison to eternity" that "they can start a new life" " that there is more it than this life" "that families can be forever in the eternal perspective".  When they start to be on their path of conversion, it is the brightest thing you can see in people's eyes. Another hard thing is many people here worship statues and their ancestors. They are not ready to let go of their traditions, not because of religious standings but family traditional upbringing, respect the bloodline and such. Battambang is kicking my butt, but once you get to know the people, you just fall in love with them. The experiences are worth the physical and emotional hardship.

We got to harvest rice a few days ago before Christmas. It was exhausting but one of the most wonderful experiences I've had thus far. A lot of the services we have been doing have been building houses and harvesting rice. It's super cool to be harvesting rice the way the Khmer people have been doing since ancient times!

The missionary life is wonderful, it truly does change people. The person I was to the person I am. My companion is teaching me to make real Khmer food. We don't usually eat out due to health issues. We make most of our meals at home. Many of the missionaries here get tapeworms, but we can just take the pills to get rid of them. I have weird things happened to my body, but I am healthy thus far. Anyway, not much time but I love you all!

With gratitude and love,

Sister Sok





Merry Christmas

Sunday December 18, 2016 at 10:41PM

Hello all,

Things are well here. I love you all and Merry Christmas.

Being in Battambang has taught me many experiences.

I am learning a lot and blessed and humbled to be in Cambodia. Below are 4 experiences I wrote down in my journal.

Three Women

She is such a strong woman. We met her accidentally while trying to visit with a recent convert. The recent convert was not there that day and at the corner of my eyes, I saw this lady sitting on the dirt with her little infant. She had told us her Husband had left her and her babies alone. She was not financially stable to take care of her kids and had to give away 2 of her children, and left with one to take care of. She said she felt so alone, and has lost hope to live. She said whenever she closed her eyes, things became certainly silent. I didn't know why, but I felt an urgent need from God to tell her that through Christ, you can start a new life. We asked her if she wanted to learn. We came back to visit her every week. One day, we visited her and she was the happiest she had ever been. She said" Sisters, God changed my life". I do believe that miracles happen. She said " I've learned to not give up my life and be independent in my life". I had prayed for help and now I have a new Job and I am starting a new life.  It was such a tender mercy.

One day, we had this impression to visit this young woman named Savy. We biked to her house, but it happened to be locked. We didn't know what to do. We prayed in our hearts that we will be able to see her. We waited for a while but decided to leave, and as soon as we got back on bikes, she opened her house. She invited us in. I felt so blessed to know that God really needed us to visit her that day. We taught her a lesson, but at the very end. We felt that she was holding something back. All of the certain, she bursted out crying. She said" Sisters, His Atonement wanted me to share something with you: My mother is in that room behind you. She is on her last breath. We had given up on all of the hospitals in Cambodia. She is dying."   Such a powerful surge of God's spirit that pierced my heart. We felt humbled that God allowed us to meet her that day. She said " I know God has not forgotten me, I will not forget Him".

Yesterday at church, we were so surprised to see a lady we visited at the hospital. She has been sick for months. We believe she has HIV. But the miracle is: she woke up in the morning and asked her husband to walk her to church. The hospital is about 10 miles from the church. She is one of the most inspirational women I've met.

Sundays before church

Everyday Sunday, we'd have to wheel a grandma to church. She is the sweetest. She is paralyzed from the waist down. The roads on the way from her house to church are difficult to maneuver through. One time, we took her back to her house. At a far distance, her grandchildren were welcoming her. She got so excited that she choked while eating a fruit. We didn't know what to do! None of us remembered to do CPR on a grandma. The miracle is she calmed down and stopped choking. It was such a blessing.

I am sorry that the letters are choppy. I do not have much time. However, the mission is teaching so much, so much of what God would want me to experience. Through my mission, I realized how important time is. I had questioned myself: if God is all knowing, the chosen, the elect, what's the point of us to come here. Can't he just snap His fingers and have it all happened in a minute. Why can't he snap his fingers and have us experience everything in a blink of an eye? We as humans are in naturally fallen frames. We need time to experience. If I had the choice to allow God to grant me experiences in my mission in a blink of an eye without going through years of them, would I? I believe that I would still choose to go on a mission and spend that 1 year and 1/5 anyway. I know that a disciple of Christ is not an easy calling. In luke 9" And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, lord, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest. 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". It's not an easy road to follow Him, but do it anyway because it will be worth it. Christ will meet us where we are (John 8) and lift us up . I believe in Miracles. I believe in Christ. I am a witness of Christ and I know that we are all his children!

Love,
Sister Sok

P-day-waterfall place and bat caves.

Sister Luke the one standing on the tree and me lower down.




video

HEY

Sunday December 11, 2016 at 7:45PM

I bike everyday and my health is super good. My weight is pretty much the same even if I bike everyday, but I eat a lot to give me strength to teach. I love Battambang. It is much safer here than the city. I love num banchoke. I love Khmer food. I miss chocolates, though! Mondays are our day of getting ready, we do laundry, buy groceries, write emails, and teach people, and we get to sight see. Today, after teaching, we are going to Phnom Sompov and we are going to the bat caves. I'm really excited! We will be back at 7 and we will ride a car there. Phnom Sompov is still in battambang. So it's not far and we are going in a group of missionaries.

One of the most amazing things I get to see in my service is that I get to see the change in people's heart. Their life has changed for the better. One of the things a girl we taught told us was that , her life has become better, her purpose in life has become more clearer because of God. She had more courage and love for those she hate and God has given her many  miracles such finding jobs and goals in life. Her life before knowing Jesus Christ was dark and no hope. Now her life has changed. I am grateful to serve people and to help them understand that there is light in our lives. I am grateful for the work here and I have learned so much on being humble and kind to others.

Love,

Sister Sok


Keep up your "good works"

Monday December 5, 2016 at 1:46AM

I am humbly thankful for the opportunity to serve in Cambodia. This week's lessons have taught me on why I am called here. The people I'm teaching are so wonderful in many ways. I've realized how important it is to understand their hearts when it comes to trying to teach them a meaningful and trusting lesson. Some of the people we teach have a very similar heart and walks of life such as mine. Many of the people have families who are not members of the church. Not only that they are not members, but some are also against the church. In their perspective (non members), it's either you choose your family or God. However, the lessons become very meaning when we teach with hope, with eternity in mind. What I find difficult is helping the people we teach have an eternity perspective and of eternity with our families. I, even myself have a difficult time with thinking in terms of an eternal perspective. However, I am called here for a reason and one of them is to understand their hearts. Even if it's not completely, I understand what it feels like to be the pioneer. I understand what it's like to stand up for yourself even if it means you may be alone with Christ, I understand what it feels like to be persecuted by the ones you love, I understand what it feels like when your family and your mother cut you off and do not want to do anything with you for months. I feel for them and I love them, nevertheless.

One of the topics, I was studying was "Righteous Judgment" from General Conference. I glanced at the subtitles of the talk and one of them was entitled, "Sacrifice". I thought to myself: what does sacrifice have anything to do with righteous judgment? I learned how sacrifice is a conversion to a holier state. It is a healing power that allows us to get closer to God in transforming ourselves to a holy state. I truly believe that our offerings of ourselves and turning towards God will help us understand more of our sacrifices, but more importantly, The Atonement of Jesus Christ. To judge righteously, you must understand the suffering others. This is when mercy stand hand by hand with justice, this when the Atonement becomes a sacred converting power in our lives.

Love,
Sister Sok