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
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.