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!