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