Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Week 14

well this week has flown by, we have been SUPER exhausted but it is wonderful. our stupid washer has been broken so we haven't been able to do our laundry for 2 weeks and so we had to strap my laundry and sister askerlund's laundry to the bike of my bike and take it to the other sister's house which is near the church which means a 30 or so bike ride. i'm attaching a pic of it, it's pretty funny and awesome - i held it down by wrapping a ROPE around it, pretty smart huh?

well, the cambodian people continue to be awesome. we are teaching a lot of people about the gospel and its fun seeing how happpy they get and how much they progress in their happiness over time - its amazing to share my happiness with them, i just wish EVERYONE could be familiar with the gospel of jesus christ, it's amazing. its a hard work. the language for me is coming along, i get discourgaged a lot with my horrible reading skills. but sister askerlund gave me a KINDERGARTEN khmer reading book so i could start from scratch. i'm reading better, i'm just working on being happy after i read. it is very frustrating not being able to read the way i want to be, i feel like everyone can read but me. it will take time. my speaking is getting better, i try to listen to the way the khmer people pronounce things and i try to copy that - it is very nice to know asian languages though, i think it helps a lot. so WAY TO GO MOM AND DAD FOR BEING ASIAN! hahaha

i'm trying to think of cool things, okay so we are teaching this lady who sews really well. i'm asking her to make me clothes, its like - i go buy the material at the HUGE markets they have here and they make it for 4-8$ that's including the price of the material. i love it. mommy you would love it, they could make anything! it's crazy! i wish i was that talented!

so i remember last week i told you about the deaf girl right? srey brat. so we went to go visit her the other day and she is always home.... her neighbors told us that she went to the COUNTRY SIDE to go work.... we were so sad. you see that so often here, that people and family members go out to what we called the KITES (country side) to go work and send money back. i think its funny though, people from the country side come to phnom penh to work and then the people from phnom penh go to the kites to work.... i bit reversed.

the weather is nice and hot and i have the ugliest tan lines hahaha but that's okay that means i'm working hard. i use the bug spray all the time mom, so thank you for that! i love the work here, i cant say that enough. each week comes and goes and we are tired but that means we are doing something right. i love the work, i love my companion, i love the people we are teaching, and i love seeing all the people smile as we are biking by. people here don't have something to smile about but we try to give them something to smile about. trying to remember that this life and this life experience is a gift from God and that without Him we wouldn't have this opportunity.

so this week is SUPER exciting! we have 3 baptisms ON SATURDAY AT 4 pm. we have baong maom, srey maom, and chandaa. we are so excited. two of them are niece and aunt and one is a mom. they are amazing. i am so excited. you have no idea that joy that i have because of the choice they have made to get baptized. my heart is so full, it ridiculous. even though i speak broken khmer, sister askerlund always reminds me that i made a difference in their life. pictures to come next week, i promise! i'll send pics of them this week but next week they will be in ALL WHITE BABY!!!!!! we have a few more baptisms coming up after as well - so their stories to come later! i wanted to talk about chandaa really quick, the elders were teaching her and her husband but then the elders gave her to us. then her niece started sitting in on the discussions with us. i guess girls teaching girls is easier and more comfortable. but how cool is this, her husband wanted to start learning because he had met the elders, he had read lehi's dream. he wanted his family to partake of the fruit. how amazing is that? they were totally prepared to receive the gospel. i know that the lord prepares certain people at certains times and the lord's timing is the best timing. i know that the holy ghost helps me speak khmer and helps the investigators understand my broken khmer :) the lord is GOOD!!!!

this week is wonderful, this will be my first batisms and i am so excited you have NO IDEA!!!!

i want everyone to know that through the gospel of jesus christ ,we can have EVERYTHING. i promise you as you give your life to the lord, you will be filled with joy beyond measure. i love the gospel, i love the book of mormon, and i love this work.

I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK! please press forward in following all the commandments of the lord so you can gain all that the lord has in your life!!!!

UNTIL NEXT WEEK!!!! for anyone who wants to email me, please fill free! i love hearing from EVERYONE!




Thursday, February 18, 2010

week 13

okay so the mail system here is pretty good! so EVERYONE MAIL ME stuff :)

well i just wanted to talk about this one girl we have been teaching. her name is SREY BRAT. i'll attach pics of her on this email. she is deaf and hard of hearing. she can't speak either. she has the most amazing faith its not even funny. she is so smart, it blows are mind. we communicate through words, hand actions, and drawings. its the most amazing thing to watch. she comes to church every sunday BY HERSELF - this past sunday she came and road her bike. she has such a sweet and giving heart. she has no parents around, she lives with her older sister. its amazing to see how much love and faith this girl has. its hard sometimes because we don't really know completely that she understands what we are saying but for the most part, her actions show that she does - its the most amazing and miraclous thing ever. it makes me grateful for my HEARING and SEEING.... even though we all know i'm practically blind.

so we have 5 people getting BAPTIZED on feb 27th if things go as planned. we are SO excited. it is the greatest and coolest thing to see people come unto christ everyday. we talk to everyone on the street, just to simply say hi and how you they are doing. it never hurts to smile. over here, you realize that people don't really smile so i love smiling at people and if they smile back, its the greatest feeling ever. it still blows my mind how little these people have but how kind and humble they are. it was funny, the other night while sister askerlund and i were biking home, these kids started running next to us really fast sceaming HELLO HELLO HELLO HOW ARE YOU WHAT IS YOUR NAME. it was the cutest thing ever. the people here usually know HELLO, O-K, NO PROBLEM in their broken english. its so funny but here i am speaking my broken sounding khmer haha so i have no room to talk.

oh cambodia. haha. there is so much to say and so much happens in one week but just know, the work is going great here. we talk to 130 + people each week. our goal for cambodia phnom penh mission is to baptize 800 people in the year of 2010. WE CAN DO IT!!!! my companion and i are doing great. i love her! we keep it REAL and FRESH and i love the unity between us. she never fails to help me be a better missionary everyday. she helps me read khmer script, she pushes me and it sucks but i'm grateful for it. the language is coming along, or so i hope so. people here think i'm khmer.... thats old news though. everytime my companion says something, they look at me expecting me to speak and translate.... even though she spoke khmer and speaks 10000 times better khmer than i do.

life here in cambodia is wonderful. the work is so hard but if it wasn't so hard, it wouldn't be this great. last week, we went to the khmer rouge prisions, s21. it was the saddest most depressing thing ever. the history here is so sad its not even funny. how grateful i am for everything that i have. beware of the pics, they are SCARY... seriously.

another week has gone and past and another one is here!

sister askerlund and i say, lets go kick satan in the baby maker! and ultimate punch him!

i LOVE this gospel with every fiber of my being. i know that the book of mormon is the most correct book on this earth. i love the opporutnity to become a better person each and everyday through the atonement of jesus christ. i love this work and the lord's plan for me. i know that the plan of salvation is perfect and that this life is the time to be tested, edified, and refined. always trust in the lord in all that he does. i promise you as you trust him, everything in your life will fall into place. his blessings are conditional upon our obedience to his commandments and our faith. always remember that the lord will never turn his back on you, if you ever feel that way - its YOU who has turned your back on him. keep the lord close to your heart and strive to be like jesus christ everyday. i love the gospel and the lord and i will serve him forever!

have a great week everyone! sucker punch satan in the face! stay happy! stay awesome!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 12

another sweaty week in cambodia! hahaha.

where to even begin?!? i apologize in advance that for my poor grammer. i just have no time and i won't lie, i just don't proof read haha.

okay so my companion sister askerlund and i swear as she said in her email "we were twins in the pre-mortal life" are are like the same person its insane. we have a blast teaching people about the gospel of jesus christ. i have never been happer in my life, to really take the time to serve other people EVERYDAY. the work of the lord is so rewarding to me. its awesome seeing the happiness grow in people as we teach them and visit with them and do service for them. sister askerlund and i bought these SWEET hats from one of our investigators, she wanted like 30 cents for them and we see how hard she works, we gave her a dollar for them. you wonder where are your clothes come from? they come from CAMBODIA. these people work so hard but they are still so poor.

the girl i told you about last week, the one who's parents sold her for 50$ came to church and we have met with her and talked to her. it's amazing to see that no matter how hard life was, is, and can become - the lord can always help you. this experience to be here in this country alone is simple amazing with in itself. i love that i can get away from the SPOILED LIFE OF AMERICA and experience life here.

so today, we are going to grab some more grocerys and are going to toulsleng prison (one of the old schools that paul pott turned into a prision to torture people) here in phnom penh. we're always goign to the russian market where EVERYTHING is so cheap. i'm so excited, we all know me - i love shopping :) don't worry, everything is super cheap anyways. we clean our apartment every wednesday so it's nice and clean!

i'm trying to think of these funny stories from this past week, well lets just say every day is an adventure - we nearly die with the traffic but don't worry, we have our trusty helmets and we are safe! we haven't died yet :) it's crazy, you see all these dogs and funny looking animals, i swear everything is like cross breed here hahaha. they havee the ugliest looking dogs here. i feel so bad, all these animals are super skinny.

the experiences here that i'm having cannot be experienced anywhere else. i love being able to survive on so little but its so much compared to everyone else. i love the gospel of jesus christ with all of my heart and i know that the work that i'm doing here is going to bless you, my awesome cool family and my life and all those around me. i cannt even begin to explain how happy i feel being given the opporortunity to be here.

this week we had 11 investigators come to church which was lower than the week before but that's okay! we have 9 people with baptismal dates this month. we're trying to prepare them, its an amazing thing to see people progress everyday and how they come unto christ.

i love my investigators with every fiber of my being, i love love LOVe them. they are all so wonderful, i can only imagine what its like to listen to a 21 and 23 year old about how you should change your life because God wants us to and has sent US to tell them to do it because through it they can recieve true happiness.

i love the gospel of jesus christ and i know that the prophet joseph smith translated the book of mormon by the power of god. i am so grateful to have a living prophet today. i know that the lord's plan is perfect and that his way is always the best and only way to true happiness. i have a firm testimony that if you just experiement upon the word of the god, the lord will answer you. the lord will NEVER cease to bless you. you have to choose to see his blessings in your life. the lord is our loving father and heaven and i know that he is so aware of every one of you. please continue to pray with all sincereity of heart everyday so the lord can bless you and your families.

i love this work. i love cambodia. i love my companion. i love you. and i love the gospel.




Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 11:Mission

sorry, the videos are SUPER SLOW and the comps aren't fast so i'll find a way next time when i have more time to send videos!! they are SUPER COOL!


cambodia is CRAZY! my first assigned area is Phnom Penh, there will be opportunities for me to be sent out to the country side like Siem Riep and Battabong and what not, later in my mission. the city is crazy and it's so different but it's so cool. you all think that the taiwan traffic is bad.... oh you have NOT seen anything hahahaha. we are on bikes. yes we wear helmets and all that good stuff, so don't you worry. it's really hot but apparently its the cold season.... lets just say i sweat like there is no tomorrow hahaha, i feel like i walked into a shower of syrup :) it's wonderful haha. the apartment that we live in hadn't been used for a while so.... just look at the videos and pics i'm attaching soon hahaha and you'll know. everything is super cheap here and the people here are so poor but you know what, when i'm riding by bike or talking to people and i just simply smile - they smile back. it's amazing to see how much i can live without and how little these people have. it's a very humbling experience and i wouldn't trade this experience for anything. i love the opportunity to be here right now, to be able to see what other places are like.

i've met some amazing people, i've heard really sad stories. there this one girl who is 18 or 19 years old and she kind of speak on the side of her lips because she has some deformed mouth but she met the elders (boy missionaries) and they elders gave us her phone number and name because we teach all the girls. but she met us at the church people and we gave her some booklets to read about the gospel of jesus christ. we followed up with her reading the next day and called her. she was so happy that we had called her because she has never had anybody focus on her, like never received that kind of attention and it was just a simple phone call. well she was curious on the way or how she could pray to God. we tried explaining over the phone. she was really grateful and later she called us and asked if we had time to meet her. lets just say, everything happens for a reason! we had some time to meet her, which NEVER happens. our schedules are so full and so busy with teaching people and doing service, it's crazy. so we met her at the church, we had a church member with us and its nice getting help from members, so they can share their experiences with the things we teach people about. so pretty much, this young girl tells us that her parents had sold her to her uncle for only 50$ when she was younger. 50$ for your own child. you have got to be kidding me right? she has never felt real love before. she works all the time. we shared with her, a way to be happy and that's through the gospel of jesus christ. i know that jesus christ loves every single person on this earth. it was nice to share with her and show her love. something she has never gotten before.

the things that i see everyday here are so sad but i'm so glad i have the opportunity to help people find and feel true happiness. its so emotionally and physically hard to serve a mission but i honestly wouldn't want to be anywhere else. the people in cambodia are amazing people. the sad thing about this country is they think money is everything. the police officers are so corrupt. you have to pay them off so they don't take your stuff or have a license for your moto mo-ped (the things you see all the time in taiwan) it blows my mind. its crazy to see that people would be willing to give up their own children for money.

so i have a COMPANION! finally! her name is sister askerlund! she is from UTAH!!! hahaha, she is so awesome. i'm pretty convinced we are the same person it's not even funny. she is an amazing trainer, she is teaching me the ropes and how to do things around here. its a good thing that im not afraid of many things. riding a bike here is like.... jumping of a bridge, its scary and crazy but i love it. i live for this stuff! you squeeze anywhere you can fit, traffic rules do NOT exist here hahaha.

lets just say the other night, my skirt got caught in my bike and well.... just look at the picture. my 5th day here, i got beaten up by my OWN BIKE! it was funny though, scary at the same time though. i'm still alive though, don't you worry.

anyways my trainer, has been here since last august. she is this 5'10 girl from utah, she is awesome. all i can say is that i couldn't have asked for a better trainer. she speaks like a khmer person, its ridiculous. we cook, we get the food in the markets just like taiwan. we are safe though. don't worry. she is clean, nice, a hard worker, and we click so well. i love it.

the language is coming along. its hard listening to all the accents. but ill get it someday :) people say i speak clearly but i tend to forget so many words that i need to know and teach. it is the funnest thing that EVERYONE thinks that i am cambodian. they figure it out after i speak and they ask me what ethnicity i am and i always respond, i'm from america but my parents are from taiwan so i say i am chinese haha. its hard since i look khmer, they talk really fast to me! YIKES! its crazy.

it is the greatest feeling to be doing the lords work. this past sunday, we had 14 investigators aka ALL of our progressing investigators COME TO CHURCH!!!! everyone else hated us because they had like 2 or 3. it was so amazing. the people are so nice and they all try to help me speak khmer. i know that with the help of the Lord, i'll get the language down sooner or later as long as i do my part in studying and trying to talk to everyone!

i love the gospel, my first week..... feels like my first month. i literally have NO time to think about anything else other than my companion, the gospel, and my investigators, and future investigators.

the gospel of jesus christ is for everybody and i know that through the gospel, we can have true happiness. if there is one thing that i love sharing with people here is that families can live together forever. i love bringing a smile to peoples faces. the people, the KIDS, the country is amazing. i know that the lord has prepared this place and these people to receive the restored gospel of jesus christ.

i love this place.

i hope everyone is doing well!! have a great week! and always remember that the lord loves all of you and that he is mindful of you, 24 hrs a day!



Week 10:Mission Field Week 1

I AM HOME IN CAMBODIA NOW! WOW, BOY IS IT HOT. hahahait's exciting to be here and to start this adventure. i met some sister missionaries already, they are so funny - it's nice seeing other GIRLS around.i'm here safe in the arms of the mission president and his wife, sister and president smedley. they greeted us at the Phnom Penh airport.i am staying here at the mission home in Phnom Penh for tonight, i will meet my trainer tomorrow! (trainer is my first companion, who i'm sure will teach me A LOT). Thank you guys for everything!!!

Week 10

Leaving for Cambodia-I gave a Book of Mormon in the Taiwan airport and had a good talk with the couple I gave it to who is also heading to Cambodia.Elder Hall and I are traveling together.