Sunday, June 30, 2013


Dear Fam,

Okay, this week is crazy. Hold on to your seats. Also stay tuned to hear my big announcement at the end of this email.

me and sister melting at email! Literally 5 minutes ago!
First, last pday I had a crazy good learning experience. That is: Disobedience=want to die. Let me give you the short story. My companionship and sister Melting's companionship did like an illegal exchange because sister cheek and kayak wanted to stay at home and sister melting, peach, and I wanted to go to the mission home. So our trainers came up with they idea to split, so with thought it was all good. We go to the mission home, have a blast, so oblivious to the fact that we were breaking a MAJOR rule. How were we so dumb?? We knew that! But obviously we didn't know. STUPID. Anyway, we are just leaving the mission home and President Moon is like, "Sister Homer, can I talk to you for a minute." Still clueless. Then he drops the questions, "Where is sister Cheek." Long story short, I literally wanted to die. I just wanted to crawl under a rock and never come out. I felt so ridiculous. And It's not that I was like "caught", it was that I felt so bad I was breaking a rule! I honestly know that there are blessings that come just from being obedient. And I intend to be worthy of all those blessings! That was just rough.

A normal day in the life of Sister Homer
Also during that little chat with the president, He asked me about my companionship and how it was being in a trio. I told him it works fine and that our companionship was good. I also told him that between sister Peach and I we are just okay. We are REALLY different but our relationship is fine. That got me thinking a lot though, and I realized, honestly, any problem between us is actually my fault. I am so impatient with her (surprise, surprise). And I just realized how ridiculous that is! So I started praying so hard this week that she wouldn't be transferred so that I could learn to be a good companion and learn to love her the way I should. Honestly, it really is easy to love people when you just put your mind to it. This week has been so good! I've been trying so hard to focus on her and help her be happy. It has been working! Also, I want you to know that I wasn't downright rude, and we really didn't have problems. I just would occasionally snap at her. I promise I'm not a beast!

I think I've told you a little bit about our Investigator Astoria. She came to church again yesterday for all three hours! I love her so much! We taught her twice this week, and after the first one we washed her dishes for her. She gave me this massive bear hug after. It was so sweet! It meant so much to her and was so easy for me. I think she really is feeling the change in her life by the spirit. She tries so hard all the time to read her scriptures and ask Heavenly Father about her life questions. She is golden! Also, I recited the first vision for the first time in a lesson with her! Success! I love her and I just know that Heavenly Father has prepared her to learn about the gospel! I'm just lucky to be here to watch her learn!

I want you all to know that you can buy yogurt and little chocolate milk boxes or juice boxes, and put them in the freezer, and then eat them later. You really can do that. And it's okay if you eat it for 3 meals a day (along with other food.) And it is delicious. I don't even like yogurt or chocolate milk, but it is so good! It's like ice cream! Mmm!!

Mom and Dad told me a bit about Grandpa's funeral. I would love to hear about everyone's thoughts and experiences. Bittersweet for sure.

So psyche about the rainy season starting. This week was SO hot. There was some rain, but mostly just super hot. Crossing my fingers for rain this week!

Our humble kitchen.
We teach an English class once a week, and this week I went in and there was a random girl sitting there. So I sat by her and just found out that she isn't a member and that she (1) wants to learn english and (2) wants to learn about Christ. Well, perfect! So I sat by her the whole time and helped her during the class. And then I got all her contact info and referred her to the elder's whose branch she lives in. Her name is Srei Bling. She is so gold! It is so neat to see that Heavenly Father really is just doing this work, and we are here as instruments in His hands. He is preparing people all the time. And then a few days later, I ran into this same girl again, in our church parking lot! She just had some time to spare so she just came to the church to walk around. WHAT?!? She is gold! I can't wait to hear how it goes with her.

So one of these nights we were teaching Sister Cheek and Kayak how to dance American style dancing. Hilarious. We ended with the boot scootin' boogie. Classic. But The FUNNIEST thing was that we taught sister Cheek the phrase "stop, don't touch me there. This is my private square." You know the one. Well she was SO cute and funny and she was like "stop, don't touch me there. This is my brother." HAHAHAHA Okay, that literally is hilarious! Especially in her funny little accent. Ugh, so funny. Good times.

Another day this week we were stuck inside because Sister Peach was sick, so I decided to try and get some really cool pictures of my house for you guys. So I marched my little self down to our bathroom to show you how the toilet and I take a shower together. The shower is a little house in the bathroom that you just turn on and the whole bathroom gets wet. Anyway, I was thinking "oh they'll love this and think i'm so cool." So I open the door and walk in and lo and behold on the wall is a MASSIVE LIZARD. Not joking. A foot long at least, 3 inches wide. Hideous. Hideous. So I booked my little self out of that bathroom as fast as possible. What I didn't think about was like duh, I was trying to get a really cool picture, how perfect was it that there was a massive lizard in my bathroom. Way better than the original picture I wanted. But of course, I didn't take it. Ugh! Missed opportunities. I just was worried he would jump on me and bit my heart out!

One morning I came down to find a bowl of fish heads on our table. Yes, this is regular. Yes, my companion eats this for breakfast. Yes it smelled rotten. I just laugh so much more than you can even imagine.

The Cambodian mission just opened a chinese speaking part. What crazy! There are 2 elders that are now chinese speaking and they will work in the international branch. So cool! I'm not sure if it is mandarin or cantonese though.

My bible scripture case! adorable!
And now, it is time for my big announcement. So remember how I said I prayed so hard that Sister Peach wouldn't be transferred, prayers answered, she is staying in Stung Mean Chey! But, of course, i'm not. I will be transferring this week to a Khait (don't know how it's spelled). A khait is like out in the middle of nowhere, countryside. I will be serving in Kompung Cham with Sister Window. So I'm getting a new area and a new companion. And I don't think I'm being trained any more...? I'm not clear on that part. But from some things President Moon has said to me, I think i'm just don't training a transfer early. Beats me. But yeah, so this was a complete surprise. My companion, Sister Window, is American (and part Korean, but that is irrelevant), and she is only 4 months ahead of me. This is going to be fun! Also I think that this is going to be a lot more like that Cambodia we imagined, as far as scenery goes. I hear it is BEAUTIFUL there! So honestly, I still am just so surprised and beyond comprehension that I don't exactly have a lot to say, but that's that. I found out last night. I am excited, but I think i'm just mixed because I really am sad to leave Stung Mean Chey. I have been here for only one transfer and there is so much to do! I love the people here! I just know there is obviously some reason I am being transferred there, so that makes me excited! Also I know that my language skills will get so much better, because there really is no other option. I think it will be good for me to not be in a trio, i'll really have to step it up. Honestly, I'm just shocked. This will really be an adventure!

So because I'm transferring there, I want to say don't send me any dearelders! I know you guys don't really anyway, but don't. Haha. I only will get to go into the mission home every 6 weeks, if I come in at all, so I won't get them.

Oh guess what else, we have 13 new investigators this week!! We met with most of them just like once, but they are all pretty solid! And we have 2 whole families. I'm so excited for them. I hope they progress! I'll have to get the updates from Sister Cheek and Peach.

So, I think that is all. Sorry this was so random and probably just made you think I don't do any work, I promise I do!

I love you all so much!

Sister Homer

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hi Family

Cumriapsua Krom Kruasaa!

I'm sorry to hear about Grandpa passing away. :( It really kind of is a sweet thing though knowing how much pain he was in. We know he is in a better place. I have been teaching the plan of salvation to a few investigators lately and today I am just even more grateful for it than ever! I know that I will see him again, we all will! And he won't be how we remember, he'll be strong and happy! What wonderful news! My spirit will definitely be with you on Friday.

Hopefully I have some happy news that can cheer you up! My investigator Ming Ranier got baptized yesterday! It was so sweet! She is incredible! On Saturday we met at the church and watched Finding Faith in Christ (In Khmer) then she went in for her Baptismal Interview. She passed! And then yesterday after church she was baptized! She was glowing all day, you could tell she was excited. I think she was kind of nervous too, but it all went perfectly. Our branch president baptized her. It was great! And it was especially sweet because her daughter is a member and she bore her testimony at the baptism. It was the sweetest thing. Ming Ranier will be such a good member!

Also church was great because we found a new investigator this past week and she came to church for ALL THREE HOURS! Her name is Astoria. She is 21 years old and is like 7 months pregnant. She is the cutest thing. I think she is so prepared for the gospel. She had kinda been taught by missionaries before because she had a book of mormon, but somewhere along the way stopped learning. But this time around I think she is golden! We found out yesterday that her husband like left her and has a new wife, but I honestly think she found so much comfort at church. We had multiple people who kind of fellowshipped her! And she said the closing prayer during the 2nd hour! Woohoo! we like kinda randomly committed her to baptism already during our 2nd lesson, but not really officially. So we will do that this week. It was so funny though because we were talking about Christ's Ministry on Earth and we showed with our picture book how Christ was baptized. And as smooth as even possible Sister Cheek was like, "do you want to be baptized?" and she was like why yes I do! And then we just kept going with our lesson. I feel like we should have set it more officially and set a date and stuff, but we'll take care of that. I think we will push for July 28th. Happy Birthday to Teresa!

So last week I told you how Sister Melting like got in an accident, and I can't remember if I told you that her legs were like super infected or not. But yeah, she is totally better this week! Seriously, missionaries are so protected and blessed. Also, I seriously love Sister Melting. I LOVE coming home every night and talking to her. We laugh all the time. And she loves Lake Powell too so we just really understand each other. We are way more similar than I ever thought. And listen to this. Sister Melting and Sister Kayak's area is like EXPLODING. It is so great! They had 23 investigators at church yesterday. I promise that really is crazy for Cambodia! It is one of my favorite things to come home every night and hear about the random person who called them and wants to learn, or about that random family that just walked into church. So happy for them! And it inspires me. I KNOW that there is just that same potential in my area. We just have to find it. How exciting!!!

This week I had some ups and downs, but ultimately decided it has been my favorite week here. Also, I think you should all sit down for this next paragraph or so. I have learned something. And I am just sure that you have all been waiting for this day and have probably even placed bets to see when this would happen. Eh hmm. I have learned that I don't have to be right all the time. That's a big one. But let me clarify, I didn't say I've learned i'm not right all the time, I have just learned that I don't have to be right all the time. :) No but seriously. This really all stemmed from this one morning, I knew I was right about something and so I pushed it and pushed it, and yeah turns out I was right, but the spirit was gone and the tension left over was the worst thing in the world.  And as I evaluated I realized me being right was not worth that. When there was tension in our companionship, the work was so hard. I was like almost ready to call it quits. But then I really tried to apply this thing my Mission President teaches which is "don't try to change the other person - change yourself." I have really been working on changing myself and not having to be right. Something I realized is that there really can be multiple "right" ways, especially doing missionary work, and it is okay to follow someone else's "right" way. And when it comes down to it, the work can't get done without the spirit. So if I have to sacrifice being right to keep companionship unity, then it is totally worth it. Wow, so yeah. Missions have this way of changing people for the better, turns out. I'll try and work on not needing to be right all the time. And good news, companionship is back in top notch working order. I'm just sad it was my fault we had a bad day or so. :(

We went to FHE with a family on Saturday night and it was so fabulous! It is a mom with her 6 kids. The dad is kinda MIA. But we sang and read the Family Proclamation to the World and sang some more and shared scriptures, and the spirit was so strong! I was really fighting back tears because the spirit there reminded me of the spirit in our home! I loved it! That is so hard to find here. I told them that I felt the spirit so strong in their house and that I know that Heavenly Father is so pround of them. They are so great!

We have been trying to serve more in order to find people to teach. So the other day we were riding our bikes and a lady on the side of the path was cleaning shoes. We stopped our bikes and just went over and asked if we could help and jumped right in. She collects shoes from the streets and stuff that have been thrown away and cleans them and resells them. So we squatted next to her big pot of water and just started cleaning her shoes. We eventually started telling her about who we are. The whole neighborhood basically like came over to watch these 2 white girls squatting and cleaning shoes, hilarious. So sister Cheek just worked her magic and contacted like crazy. We found this one lady who had learned before but I'm not sure what happened. We went back yesterday and taught her and her 2 kids and her sister (I think.) Her name is Bong Jam and she is SUPER interested. She couldn't come to church yesterday but she promises she'll go next week. And her Sister Srei Tween was also quite interested. I think they will be really good! We taught them about prayer and got them to pray! woohoo! It is so fun to see how this gospel changes people's lives and brings light into their lives! We also taught the lady and her husband who does all the shoes, that lesson was a little more crazy, but she said we could come back. Fingers crossed!

I've told you about the piano class we teach. This week it was good because this random guy, who no one knows where he is from showed up on Friday just ready to learn. So we taught him and the elders like contacted him and he came back the next day for piano again. He lives in Phnom Penh I think but works in Stung Mean Chey. I'm not sure what is going down with him, but hopefully it turns into something! Also I am getting a little more confident in just talking despite sounding like a fool, so I attempt to explain some musical concepts to some of the members, and it is hilariously fun! They are so cute and pretend like they know what I'm saying! Maybe they really do. Crazy! But can I just say. The concept of rhythm just does not seem to fit in anywhere here. I'm determined to teach them rhythm before I leave this place. It might kill me. But i'll do it.

Alright, that is all I have this week. It really has been SUCH a good week! I have started looking forward to each of our appointments and stuff during the day rather than looking forward to the end of the day. I know that is so sad, but that is kinda how it was for a bit. Turns out this work is so much more fun when you can understand the people a little more and you care about what they care about! I'm learning how to be a missionary! Woohoo!

Also I want you to know I eat a can of peanut butter a week. That is not an exaggeration. Life is great. I will never take for granted SO many things ever again, you can't even imagine. A working toilet. A dishwasher. Toilet paper. Meat that is like... not liver or bone. I seriously love this place! It is crazy! Haha I'm laughing out loud right now because of how funny and crazy this place is. What an adventure I'm on! I love it!

Love Sister Homer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


This week has been great and crazy, again. Go figure! First, may I just say, I feel like every day I am on the tower of terror in Disneyland. Meaning I am like in bliss and then I am frustrated and then i'm excited and then I'm discouraged. What is going on?! When have I ever felt emotions before in my life?? This is crazy. I'm learning to deal. The scriptures help a lot, thank goodness!

So I told you last week about Ming Ranier. She came to church yesterday!!! WOO HOO! You can't imagine how happy that makes me. She is so awesome! We go visit her and she just knows so much and has such a strong conviction. She has read in the Book of Mormon from 1st Nephi to halfway through Alma. Are you kidding me?! So many members haven't done that. She is set up to be baptized this next Sunday! Fingers crossed. Pray for her. She will be a powerful member as long as she goes to church. :) I truly love her!

This is my ROCKIN Cambodian scriptures case. It's gorgeous right!
Who wants one? There are lots of options.
And we have my whole mission. So pretty!

Yesterday was a crazy day! First of all, sister melting got in a wreck with a motto. The motto hit her straight on and she flipped over her bike. Fortunately she has no scratches, unfortunately her back hurts. She went to the mission home last night. So we are on splits for the next bit. :( I can't tell you how much I appreciate living in the same house as sister Melting. She knows just what I am going through. (As a reminder, we were in the MTC together). Plus she is so so funny! I seriously love her! I hope she gets better fast. She is so tough and she HATES sitting out of the work. She is awesome.

Also yesterday, in the middle of sacrament meeting there was extra time, so my branch president was like we'll now here from Elder Home and Sister Homer......WHAT?!?!?!? You should have seen my face. I wish I could have seen my face. At this point though it was like "oh sure i'll go do this crazy thing that i've never done before!" So I just bore my testimony about essentially anything I could think of. Stressful! Fun! Crazy! Afterwards a returned missionary who served in Cambodia but who speaks english really well told me that my accent was really good! Wow! What a compliment! I'm sure that I have so so so far to go, but that was a little bit of positive encouragement that was nice to hear!

My new companion Sister Cheek.
Isn't she adorable?
So I have a new companion, Sister Cheek! She is adorable and hilarious! She is Cambodian and she has about 4 months left. She is like super spunky and kinda cheeky, it is HILARIOUS. She speaks english really well, but I try to speak to her in Khmer a lot. She is a get-it-done personality which I appreciate so much. It is fun trying to figure out how to work with her and sister Pechon all together. We are all quite different!

This week was kind of stressful because Sister Cheek was new so we had to show her around the area and stuff. Turns out I kinda led us around all week. I was so stressed! I've only been here 3 weeks, I don't know anything! But I know enough! So that was fun and I found out I know more than I thought.

You won't even guess what is happening right now. I am in the internet cafe and a young fellow on a computer nearby is blasting one direction... I don't think I even need to say anything more about that. Pure Joy.

The rain outside my house!
This week I had a funny encounter with a man named Henry. Henry is like 75 from Yugoslavia, but more recently from Australia. He is a very very very devout 7th Day Adventist. We were trapped in the same house as it was pouring rain outside. He proceeded to tell me that we (Mormons) do not believe in the bible nor follow God. His reasoning was that we Keep the Sabbath Day holy on Sunday, but the Sabbath Day is actually on Saturday, so we do not keep that commandment. He has studied religion for the past 40 years and knows so much. I really didn't know a good response to say to that. So I just bore my testimony that I know how and who we worship is more important that when we worship and my testimony about the Savior. I didn't really want to get into a bible-bashing session with him (1) I would lose (2) that is not why I am here. He was actually sweet about it though and honestly just cared about my salvation. I really believe that was his main concern. What a nice man! But it has me wondering, what is our doctrine on that?

my poncho. ha. a joke.
So, let the rainy season begin! At least it seems that way. Pretty much every day this week I was caught in down pour. It is so much fun!!! Ugh I love rain! I will send pictures. :)

Also, because it is raining a lot the temperature is cooler. I think there was a day this week that I didn't really sweat. You don't know what that means to me. I was working hard, don't worry. But I hardly sweat. Wow. Bliss.

Can I just tell you that I am so grateful for dishes. In a place where everything is crazy and foreign and not how i'm used to dishes are still dishes. And dishes still need to be washed. And I can wash those dishes. At the end of the day when if feels like I really did hardly anything to help here, I can always do the dishes and totally complete them. You can't imagine how much I love that. Weird.

I want you to know that I have had no major bug encounters so far. I am fully convinced that this is a blessing from Heavenly Father. Of course I am essentially one massive mosquito bite, but other than that I really think Heavenly Father has diverted the little devils. I have only seen already dead cockroaches! Wow! What a blessing! I'm sure it's just time, but I'm okay with it for now. :)

I love you all! Let me know what you want to hear about! Sorry this is all so random!


Sister Homer

My new comp and I in the rain

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crazy Week.

Hi Family,

This sweet girl in my branch I love SO MUCH.
Srei Saran. or something close to that. :)
So this week was a good week but a crazy week. I'll start with the most important. I am getting a new trainer. Long story short there is a sister serving in the city and she runs into family all the time. So she needs to be emergency transferred. There is another sister who is being trained and her companion is sick all the time, so they want to transfer her. I think there are other things going on that I don't know about. But today they are basically doing this crazy emergency transfer and they are taking my trainer Sister Lemon. Haha I love how I say THEY are taking her like it is this big secret government thing or something. Basically she is being transferred to be a sister training leader and I will get a new trainer, named Sister Cheek, a native Khmer! Sister Peach will be staying with my as well here in Stung Mean Chey. Honestly I am sad because I love Sister Lemon! We get along so well. And I'm quite positive when I say these past 2 weeks have been the longest and hardest 2 weeks of my life. And so I feel like I have grown really close to her! BUT I know that there is a reason, and I am excited for what is ahead of me!

Something that hit me from my studies in PMG is this line in the atonement section of the 3rd lesson. It is talking about Christ and it says essentially that Christ was prepared and willing to make the sacrifice of the atonement. I really like that. He was prepared and willing. That is what I want to be my whole mission. I want to be prepared to do whatever it is that Heavenly Father/President Moon as me to do. I want to be prepared to be the best missionary I can be. And then, no matter what I am asked to do, I want to be willing to do it. I realized I just want to completely give myself over to Heavenly Father and His work. It's not about me at all, I'm just lucky to be involved! So I have been trying my hardest to have a willing attitude about this emergency transfer! It has really helped.

Also along those lines, I had another realization. These past few weeks I have wanted to be here, but I have also wanted to be at home, and it has been SO HARD. I can't want to be at home. I still love home and I do want to be there, but I'm done like actively wanting to be there. So i'm sorry, It's not you, it's me. I just don't want to be with you anymore. (For now. Please take me back in a year or so.)

Adorable children in my branch.
We had fhe with their family last night.
My companions and I had a super awesome "vision/goal" setting session this week. Since I have been here there has been like no vision about what is going on in the area. We just kinda bop around helping whoever needs it (which is everyone). So it has been really good, but it didn't really feel like we were accomplishing much. So we sat down and talked about what the main problems are in the area, what we want to focus on, etc. It was AWESOME! We decided we really want to focus on families. There are hardly any families in the congregation, and most of them have some family problems, so we are going to work on strengthening them. We also really want to work on the auxiliary leaders. Unfortunately like half the leaders of the ward are inactive. That needs to change. Also we decided we want to make the atmosphere and church more reverent. Right now it is just so crazy and hard to feel the spirit. So those are kinda what the next transfer or so will be dedicated to! And I'm so excited! There is so much work to do and I can't wait to do it! I know a lot of these changes will be slow in coming and that I might not even see the finished product, but I am going to work my hardest to help. These people are so sweet and so wonderful and I just want to give everything to help them!

I went on an exchange this week for a day with Sister Iron. She is a sister training leader. We were in the city of Phnom Penh. It was really fun! Mom you asked if i'm in the city or not. I'm kind of like on the outskirts of the city. I don't really know how to explain. Definitely where I work all the time isn't "city". But we are really close to Phnom Penh and we ride in there every p-day. I love my area.

The view from my house, my balcony actually.
Dad you asked about the rain, it is just kind starting into the rainy season. This past week we got caught in the rain a couple of times. IT WAS SO FUN!! Wow I love it! Obviously it's not ideal to walk into a lesson soaking wet and then try to teach over the rain pounding on their tin roof, but it is HILARIOUS. I laugh all the time.

So I told you about one investigator, her name is Ming Ranier. We committed her to baptism one of my first days here. She is so awesome and LOVES the scriptures and is so sweet. She has such a good, strong testimony. But she doesn't come to church! When we talk with her she is all about coming to church, but then she doesn't show up. :( I am so devastated! She is supposed to be baptized this Sunday, but I just don't think there is any way that can happen. I hope we can figure out the reason why she isn't coming. I love her so much!

Me doping on the bike home from church
Despite that, yesterday was actually so good! We went before church to invite some less-actives/investigators to come to church. We kind of instead somehow got these three Lookpuus, who were smoking and drinking, to come with us. One is inactive I think, one is an investigator of the elders, the other one just like randomly came. IT WAS SO FUNNY. They are so sweet! But we kinda had a shortage of bikes so I had to "dope" on the back of Sister Pechon's bike to and from church. It was absolutely hilarious. Doping is when you like sit on the back metal bar thing that is above the tire. People do it all the time here. It was so funny. I have a blurry picture I'll send to you.

How is everyone doing? I haven't heard much lately. I heard about mom and dad's trip! What is the latest with Nick and Shawn? Shawn are you working? Nick and Chelsea? Give me the details people!

I love you all!

Sister Homer
This is what I look like on a daily basis.