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!

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!

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.