Wednesday, March 17, 2010

week 17

hello from good ole cambodia again!

well another hot week in cambodia. you know, cambodia reminds me of taiwan but parts of it not so much. we had quite the change, it used to be just me and sister askerlund as my companion but now there are 3 of us for a month or so. one of the other sisters from stockton, california ended her mission last saturday and now its me and sister askerlund and sister pen who is from cambodia. its pretty intimidating being in a companionship with the other 2 when the other 2 people know a lot of khmer and i dont. i can't even tell you HOW MANY PEOPLE think i'm 100% cambodian, its crazy. some talk super fast at me until they here me speak. we had one investigator who had forgot my name because she told us she saw us biking close to where she was working one day. she goes yea i saw you and your other companion, sister... whats her name.... the one who is khmer. sister askerlund starts laughing and the girl goes i do have a question, i always wondered.... why doesn't she really speak khmer really well hahaha... how embarrasing, but thats okay, i'll get there someday! people sawy that i speak clearly buti want to get the nt and every5thing but its hard. on a happy note though, im reading better!

this week hasn't been too eventful. now that i'm with 2 other people, it is harder. figuring out when who showers and what not.its different adjusting to a foreigner because sister askerlund and i are so american but its all a great learning experience nonethless. you just learn what you shouldn't do an so forth. we moved houses as well and well just look at the pictures and it'll speak for itself. lets just say sister askerlund and i own A LOT OF THINGS. but have no fear, you make ANYTHING and i mean ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING fit into a tuk tuk which is a motto bike with a trailer with seats and stuff, just look at the picture. we had to go to the mission presidents home and do transfers, its when companions swap and go to different areas if there is a change made. and well president got a kick out of all the things we owned and well we aren't sure how we fit.sister smedley his wife VIDEO taped it it was that amazing haha. fun adventures in cambodia as always!

you know the experiences and things that i see here are seriuosly crazy. i see cars hit mottos and just drive off, i see and go to smelly markets and see kids naked all the time. i see people with no homes and eating peoples left overs from the outside restaurants. i see and smell great and terrible things. i experience RIDICULOUS weather. i miss modern conveniences and i miss a lot of things but i would choose no where else to be right now, other than cambodia - sounds crazy right?

i have 1.5 years here and when its all over, i can only imagine me not wanting to leave. you get so attached to the things here (like MANGOS hahahaha) and the people. life is full of adventures and opportunities to grow and learn and to experience - why waste any second of it? no one gets the time like a missionary of the lord does, to truly focus on the IMPORTANT things in life and not the materialistic things. people here in cambodia are good people, with not a lot of things. they live in a place of corruption and poverty but they sure are grateful for what they have. i love this place. i'll take all the sweat and all the funny smells and the no air conditioning any day for this. what i have here, is probably a lot more than what most of the other people in cambodia have. but i can admit, my gratitude is no where close to how much they have for the very little things they have. i think that life is way too short to waste on stupid little things. be happy, be grateful, and love each other as the lord loves all of his children.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

week 16


i just wanted to share a really crazy experience.

this happened this past monday night. there was this really big fire near this train station. keep in mind that the houses in cambodia are mosly wooden and this is near the train station, near the train tracks. well, the other sisters - sister yang and sister pen had called us. we have a rule, sister missionaries have to be in their home at 6:30 PM everyday for safety but sister yang had told us that there was this big fire going on and she held up the phone at their house and you could hear crazy sirens. they had just got back from teaching a family, who's dad and daughter have been baptized just recently. the dad is the most FAITHFUL person ever. he has yet to miss one day of church since being baptized. he walks by himself, this man is old and is so cute. him and his family lived on this one street with the huge fire. we were all freaking out and so sad, of ALL families - why this one family. well we hung up, got on our knees as a companionship (sister askerlund and i) and we prayed for their safety that everything would be okay. well then the elders (2 of our missionaries the guys) called us and told us about it and that there was this huge fire and that it was still going. it had been about 2.5 hours since it started and the elders had tried to get in there and help. amazingly enough, the elders told us that the second the members of the branch 7 heard about the fire, they all ran to lok bo (the old man's house) to get everything out of there before the fire hit them. our guy missionaries found a way in there and its just hectic. well the church members and the elders got all of their things out, not that they had much of anything but they got it all out before the fire set on complete fire. 100's of homes were destroyed. the most faithful man, why his family? i wondered a lot about it and i was so scared for them. we didn't hear anything until the next day. we finally got word that they set up like tarps with poles and slept outside in this open field. they put all the people who had their houses burned in this open field with tarps and poles and that is it. cambodia is a survive for yourself kind of country - it is seriousy so sad. so on tuesday, we had an investigator not met us for our planned lesson so we took that hour to go find this family. we FOUND THEM!!!! lok bo's face lit up and he smiled! he wanted to do SOMETHING for them but there wasn't much we could do. it was so sad. his wife is not a member but went to their baptisms and everything, i'll be attaching a picture of this family. she was crying out saying she has no home, she has nothing left. but she has her family which is amazing. one of their sons actually got his foot caught while trying to run from the fire and is injured and he just has it wrapped up in ace wrap. it is so sadd but lok bo has the most faith its not even funny. sister askerlund and i wanted to do something and we noticed they hadnt showered or washed clothes were anything and bah. so we left our bikes with them and walked for a bit and found this mini mart at the gas station. we bough 4 huge bottles of water for them and we bought this huge bag of laundry detergent powder so they could wash clothes. they were so happy to see COLD water, the little kids were so excited! it was nice to see a smile on their face.

i think about this family and i am so sad but how amazing it is to see the church members help this family. i forgot to mention on monday night, it's family home evening where members gather at the church and eat food and do an activity and share a short spiritual message. the families who brought food to eat as usual for fhe but these families took all the food they were originially going to eat and brough tit to lok bo's family. the gospel is so amazing. the very point of missionary work is helping others. i promise you that the gospel of jesus christ makes everyone's life better. it can only help your life and not harm it.

this week has been so emotionally hard and so exhausting physically. i love it. i have never been so grateful for all the things that i have.

i beg all of you to pray for opportunities to serve other people. it is the best feeling ever. i love being a missionary. i love bearing his name right next to my heart every single day. the gospel is for EVERYONE. we are here to build the lord's kingdom and to help ALL of his children. help one another and love one another!

i love all of you! have an AMAZINGLY RIDICULOUS week

keep the emails up!

here is one of my favorite things sister askerlund read me:

"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me”.

- Elder Henry B. Eyring



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 15

So this week here in Cambodia, has been HOT. But then again I say its hot every week hahah because it is. Its not even the super hot season yet. They have all sorts of seasons here. You know they have mango season here and we all know how much I love mangos so I cant wait for that!!!. It should be good times when that comes. So I swear I’m getting fat hahahaha, the food here is SUPER good. Beefy, spicy, and good. I actually at PHO the other day, it was good but PHO at home is still better. Actually I take that back, LINDA’S MOM’S PHO IS SUPER GOOD! But I do miss things like cheese. Cheese here is like…. 20$. We don’t have that kind of money to say the least so its all good.

so mom, or dad or someone. I want GOLDFISH FLAVOR BLAST. Hube you know what that is. I always really want the HUGE BAG OF GUMMY BEARS FROM COSTCO. Dad can you get those for me? And I REALLY MISS CEREAL. Like PEANUT BUTTER CAPTAIN CRUNCH. Whoever is reading this, bless your hearts if you send me them . thanks. Oh I also really miss UTZ SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS AND PRINGLES AND HMMMM OREOS!!!! Hahaha sending the UNITED STATES POST OFFICE PRIORITY FLAT RATE is the best to send to Cambodia. I love YOU whoever sends it to me!!!!! Thanks J the lord shall bless you for being so kind to a missionary of the lord hahaha.

Well, as far as exciting things that happened. We had 6 people get baptized. Which was amazing. It is the greatest thing to see people choose happiness. The gospel of jesus Christ can ONLY help your life and can NEVER harm it. I love seeing people and especially families learn about how they can live together forever. I love you family and I have such a testimony and sure knowledge that I will live with you forever! I know that as I continue to serve the lord here in Cambodia, the lord is blessing your lives and mine as well and that this experience now as a missionary can NEVER be replaced. The sacrifices I made to come here like leaving family and friends and American and other foods is NOTHING compared to the happiness that I feel, its not even funny!

The people in Cambodia are so humble and I love it. I smile and they smile back and we just talk to people as we bike around and its awesome. I love talking to people in my broken khmer accent hahahahaha. Im getting better I think and getting more comfortable and reading a lot better which is great. I told myself that FEAR IS A DEADLY ENEMY TO PROGRESS and if I fear reading out loud because I feel stupid, is a terrible excuse. The lord will provide a way through the holy ghost to help those people im talking to you and I know that because I have faith that he does and surprisingly enough…. Its true haha. Reading is so hard but within due time, ill get it down! Its hard not to feel embarrassed but that’s just a struggle that I have. I study and study and study and practice any time I get. I feel stupid and feel really sad when I cant read things but without the hard times, I wouldn’t want to push myself to read.

Speaking of reading, can I just say that reading from the book of mormon is SO important. Even if you just but read 1 or 2 verses a day, its better than nothing. I promise you that the book of mormon is the most correct book on earth and that the book of mormon is the word of god. I promise ANYONE who reads it with an open heart and prays about it that the holy ghost will manifest the truth unto you. Anyone who gets the chance, please read the introduction of the book of mormon. Look at the bottom last 2 paragraphs. Read the blessings and promises. I felt the spirit so strong while reading the intro and testimonies of the 3 witnesses. I encourage ALL OF YOU to read the intro and to read and study the book of mormon. It is the most powerful tool we have. I promise you the book has all the answers to ALL questions. Always remember that the lord loves us and gave us this book for us to use in this life. I love this book of mormon!!!

Well another week has gone and past and its crazy. I love the heat I love the work and I love the people and I love the lord and I love YOU!

Thanks for the constant support. I pray for each and everyone of you every day and night and I think about you all the time. Please keep me updating on things at home!!!!! I love hearing from me J don’t worry I’m safe and happier than ever and slowly losing my ability to spell, use English grammer, and speaking hahaha.

You all are AWESOME! I love you all! TRUST IN THE LORD and PRAY with SINCERITY. I promise you the lord always listens and is waiting to bless you, if you just LET HIM!

Keep being ridiculously good looking and wonderful this week! Till next week!


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