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,