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.
Some recent pictures and bamboo train