Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hey Family


This week was pretty normal, definitely not as yap as last week. :) It actually started off really good with us doing an FHE with one of our recent converts Elle. She was baptized last transfer and right now her two younger sisters are learning with us. Their mom wants to learn as well, but JUST had a baby so she wants to wait a bit. But they have like 9 kids in the whole family. So we did and FHE with them, and the mom and dad joined in as well. I have like hardly ever talked to the dad ever, but he joined! We actually had a really good time and I think that it was a really good thing. I wouldn't be surprised if the dad eventually is interested as well!

I've told you about so many people and investigators before, and most of them all actually come from the same little street called Vialkhsac. (probably pronounced more like wheel-kuh-psyche), but not really. Anyway, I basically LOVE Vialkhsac and all the members there. I get so excited to go see them. And it is so fun because you start at one end of the street and walk to the other and there are so many members along there. You can basically go from house to house. I will be so so sad to leave Kampong Cham when I do, most especially because I will be sad to leave Vialkhsac.

Yesterday Sarong Hatch was baptized, she is the girl who was baptized 10 years ago a week before she was 8. So we were successful! And this morning she helped sister Kuoch and I go take tradition Khmer Pictures. I'll probably be sending you pictures next week. Get ready, it's a laugh...

This week was honestly pretty normal, but here are some random things for you!

Have I told you this already, when it is super hot here and the sun is shining these people put on MORE clothes. It's like burning outside and sister Kuoch puts on a scarf and a sweater. They say it is cooler. WHAT? And she's like "just wait 'til the hot season, we're gonna have to wear gloves, stockings, etc." Girl, you are crazy. I think it's actually because they all just want to be white, so they are covering their skin. Actually they are probably just trying to protect their skin, but for me that is where sunscreen comes in. It is way way too hot for any of that stuff.

As far as freckle comments go, I had one of my favorites so far this week. We met up with an old investigator for a bit this last week and her son sees me for the first time and says, "look mom! her face is full of zits!" Hhahaha, oh how i'll miss these people!

Also this was SO funny! Obviously sister Kuoch and I help each other learn english and Khmer, and so we'll often learn random vocabulary words. So this week Sister Kuoch hold up her diary and says "Diarrhea!" Hahahahaha, I was DYING!!!! It was just the best thing that maybe ever happened. Haha, ugh I'm still laughing out loud.

Sister Kuoch also is just getting weirder and weirder, I think she's becoming more and more like me... But, I told you how she hits me all the time, out of love of course. But this week it escalated to her biting me! Hard! I now have a bruise the size of a quarter on my arm! Haha, she's crazy! And now she is threatening to bite my nose. I think she is serious. I'm gonna miss this girl when we split up. Haha she's so stinkin' hilarious!

Sorry this week was kinda lame, mostly it's just more of the usual. We do have a few new investigators who are coming onto the scene, so hopefully I'll have some updates about that next week!

I love you all!

Sister Homer

Sarong Hatch


Service this week, pretty!

My collection of book covers! Muahaha, so cute!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Dear Family,

Mom asked for a pronunciation guide for my companions name, haha, and I did giggle a little when I saw how you have been saying it. Probably this is better: koo-eat. Eat as in eat food. :)

Let's see, this week was kind of super... yap. You don't know what that word means but it is a wonderful word that we don't have in english and it just means like frustrating/ugh!/not ideal, but it's not any one of those. Anyway, this week was just a touch yap. The work is still going good and we are teaching more lessons than ever, but I'm not sure how much progress there is. Most of our investigators aren't really progressing. :( We have a lot a lot a lot of recent converts that we visit each week, and they are good, yet hardly any came to general conference. That was yap.

As far as general conference goes, it was so awesome! I can't even express what that means to me! I was so fortunate to be able to sit in another separate room and watch it in english with just me and the senior couple and 4 other american elders. It was so quiet. And I understood EVERYTHING! It was the best thing ever. Conference was so incredible as well. I feel like many of the talks said something that was meant for me. Also, an Elder Gifford spoke and please tell me he is some sort of announcer at Lavell Edwards Stadium. I feel so strongly he must be. I know that voice.

Mom asked about Cynthia, the deaf girl who recently got baptized. She is so sweet! She counts down to sunday every week now, and she gets super frustrated when she can't go to church. Haha, that's the attitude we need here in Cambodia!

Mom also asked about Lookpuu Dore. He is the on-and-off smoker. He is also super yap, haha. His wife started working full-time now, even on sundays, so she can't come to church anymore. Which means he comes like half the time. Ugh. And I have seen him smoking again, but when we asked he says he stopped and so do the kids... so I don't know what to do about that. It doesn't help that we have had a hard time meeting because they can only meet in the evenings when the mom is back from work, but now with two branches we are only out there one evening a week. Yap!

But despite all the yap-ness, this week was really good!

But let me tell you about this one other yap experience. Haha, get ready for this. So we have a branch missionary who helps us all the time, and she is going through the process of filling out her own mission papers. So we are good friends with her, but she's been a little bit frustrated with us lately. But not an issue. BUT THEN, on Tuesday we were with her and everything was fine. We then left to go teach lessons, she was busy teaching seminary. She called us while we were teaching a lesson and so I quick just pressed the end button to turn off the call. Apparently that is NOT the right thing to do. We called her back later and she was super mad and wouldn't really talk, and then we saw her later by her house and she just walked right past us into her house and wouldn't talk to us or come out. So we left. The next few days she was still upset with us. Finally we got her to talk to us on the phone and she told us basically that she was super mad and she has lost all her faith, won't be going on a mission, leaving the church, and I had destroyed her future... soooo that was my bad. Apparently turning off the phone while you are trying to feel the spirit is simply not okay. Which I should have known, considering everyone always talks on their phones in the middle of sacrament meeting. Well, back to the story, we didn't really know what to do. I kinda figured it was mostly talk and she would get over it, but it was stressful there for a while. Luckily, she did get over it and now she is happy with us again!! Phew! Close one. Just remember that kids, do not hang up on a Khmer, but it is okay if you just press the silence button to silence the call. YAP!

Besides all the yap-ness, there still were really great things this week! One was with a recent convert Srei Banana. She is a teenager and she is kinda moody like a teenager. And often when we would meet her to teach her she was kind of just like "whatever". But we met her this last week before she moved to go work, and honestly it was so neat to see the change. She told us that morning she had done her scripture study in which she said an opening prayer, sang an opening hymn, read the scriptures, said a closing prayer. This is her personal study! If only all the members of the church studied like that! And the sweetest part is, so doesn't comprehend the scriptures when she reads. She can read but doesn't really know what she is ready. I just felt so touched by her and her example and am so just joyful about the change in her! I'm sad she is leaving and I won't get to see her anymore. :(

Something awesome this week was with Om French. I talked about her when I first got here to Kampong Cham. Sister Payne and I took her a birthday cake, if you remember. Well, we have been meeting with her weekly. She is a less-active member who has been to the temple. When sisters first started going to her house she wouldn't even talk to them, and now just this week we went and we invited her to General Conference, she couldn't go because her mom is old and she has to stay with her, but honestly, she wanted to go so much. We shared a thought with her, she shared her thoughts with us. I love her. I love visiting her because it reminds me that people aren't ever lost. There are a lot of members here who kind of seem like a "lost cause" but i'm sure people thought that once about Om French. And now everytime we go she prays and we share a thought, and now she wants to come back to church! A success story!

So this week was really good. I'm sorry there really isn't much exciting happening, just more of the usual!

I hope you all have a good week!


Sister Homer

 Sister Kuoch told me that my face looks a lot like this....

General Conference: Sister Kuoch and I with a member who really really likes us!
(my hair is not permanently straightened I just tried it out for the day.)

This cow is the friendliest baby cow in existence. It was like a dog!! It was so so cute!!! I'm bringing it home, and it's staying a baby forever.

Sunday, October 13, 2013



Sooooo this week. Hmm, it was good. We worked like crazy! With two branches and a lot of recent converts we can't afford to not work hard. So we are always just going going going, which I prefer. If we even stop to rest for a second my conscience kicks in and I just can't stand it! But so yeah it was a good, busy week, but fairly normal!

Really normal houses here
Something new that I have been working a lot on in my free time (HAHA - free time...) is finding and figuring out who all the members are in our branch. The mission got us a list of all the members in the branch, and let me tell you. It is CRAZY! People aren't there who should be and people are there who shouldn't be, not to mention people go by different names than their own. There aren't records of some people being baptized and people are grouped with the wrong people. It is MADNESS. But I seriously love figuring it out and organizing it all. We have our CBR books where we as missionaries also keep track of all our members as well. We have a page where we put their picture and draw a map to their house and list their confirmation dates, etc. I love organizing and doing all these things. I'll probably go home and do more of that today. haha, i'm a freak! But seriously, by the time I leave this place, I want it to be very clear for the next missionaries who is who, etc.

This is what a cashew looks like????
Sister Kuoch and I are getting along really well! At first our teaching was not very smooth, as she has never had an american who doesn't speak the language. But now we are getting better! We get along so well and I seriously love her so much! She is also super super hilarious and weird, just like the homer family! Oh and when she is hyper she slaps and hits me! haha, what the! But it's in like a playful sort of way, not abusive. I think it's endearing.

I haven't heard much from Sister Payne, but I hear she is in 2 branches as well working in a trio. We had a sister leave because she is sick, so they turned them into a trio working in 2 branches. 

They had a bunch of statues of fruit!  haha, I don't know why.

Sister Kuoch and I
Dad asked some good questions, questions I ask myself all the time: Since so few people read, how do they gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon?  Are there enough literate members that in church classes scriptures can be read and quoted? Honestly, It's just hard. And i don't really have answers. Those who can't read, just don't really gain a testimony of the BoM, which is SO essential in conversion. It worries me! There are people at church who know how to read, but let's just say teaching skills are also not way up there - probably a reflection of their school systems. It's really hard and we've had teacher training meetings but, lets just say things don't progress as quickly here. I just pray that Heavenly Father is making up the difference for those who can't read. These people do have a lot of faith. I just don't know, it's hard.

Dad also asked: What percentage of the members were already Christian?  How is it different teaching Christians and non-Christians? I would say very few are already Christian, pretty much everyone is "buddhist" but not really that "active", if that's the word. It's interesting because people just don't really have a belief system at all. Mostly I just think they don't think about it. They kinda don't think about a lot of things here... it's interesting.

pretty view
I forget that I am in a third-world country. It all is just normal to me now, but then occasionally I see things and I'm like, "oh wait, that is not okay." This was interesting, the other day I rode past the local park and they were cutting the grass. Literally, cutting the grass by hand! That is how they mow the lawn! That's crazy!

I told you last week I would tell you about Sister Kuoch's dad. Well I was talking to her and she told me that he comes from a very wealthy family, and so during the Khmer Rouge EVERY SINGLE ONE of his family and extended family were put to death. But he was young (like 10-12 years old) and they were able to hide him. Um, are you serious? I know that these things happened, but no one really talks about them. and then when she told me it was kind of just like oh yeah, that's just what happened. I'm now thinking that SO many people I know have similar stories, but they just don't really talk about it. It happened and now it is over. that is so interesting to me.

why am I climbing a pineapple?
I don't know.  I think I'm losing it!
Also, haha oh boy, I told you I would tell you about the dating culture. It is CRAZY! I think I've told you some stuff before, but I don't remember what. Basically, like if you are traditional and a girl you just kind of observe and look for boys you think would be loyal, and then you don't really talk to them. But when a boy sees you and he likes you he will call you like every night just to see how your day was, and to like check up on you. And then sometimes in public you still won't even talk to each other. And then eventually his parents will go to your parents and say they want to be engaged and then you can spend time with each other and get to know each other. Um AWKWARD!!!! Also it is really sad because often the girl is like forced into marriage, and it's not that often than both the husband and wife love each other - which I've definitely observed. Oh my gosh it's all just crazy different!!! Haha crazy!

Guess what I figured out this week. You can sing the words from "joseph smith's first prayer" to the tune of "come thou fount" what??? That's crazy! And it works! It's so cool! Try it!

I guess that is all from me this week. Last week we went to this super cool/pretty wat. We couldn't spend a ton of time there because it was far away, but I will send you pictures!! It was so cool!

I love you all!

Sister Homer

super pretty building!

I made this by myself last night! It totally was just like a Khmer made it. Muahhaha

Sunday, October 6, 2013



Sorry this one will be kinda quick, we are leaving to go see a wat soon. One of the highlights of my week this week was meeting Ming Sarong. She is maybe in her 50s and her whole life she has been beaten by her husband. It has kind of caused her to lose her mind a bit. She basically just talks to herself at all times, just under her breath. We go and we just spend time with her and help her make little baked goods (which I fail at.) But despite her life obviously being hard she is just the sweetest woman ever. The things she mumbles under her breath are really sweet. She is never mad or angry. She is just sweet. She has been learning SO many languages on her own. She speaks english with me. I wish I could describe her better to you. But I just love her, and I'm amazed by the love I feel for her. I feel like I'm feeling a portion of the love heavenly father has for her. She truly is a sweet sweet daughter of God. i'm so blessed to know her.

This week was also the week of a big holiday called something like Pchum Bun. I'm not sure what to associate it with, maybe like a mix of memorial day and thanksgiving. But it made a couple days this week harder to meet people. But it was fun to see so many families coming together and meeting. I love family!

Interesting situation. 10+ years ago there was a girl in our branch who got baptized with her parents, ONE WEEK BEFORE SHE TURNED 8. Over the years I guess missionaries have seen but nothing ever happened. So I decided I was just going to take care of it. Luckily we kind of already had a relationship with her. She is partially active... But the whole time she has considered herself a member. So we broke the news and told her we were going to have to rebaptize her. She was super cool about it! She actually is really fun! i like her a lot. That is just one of the many sketch things that takes place here in Cambodia. It's crazy!!

Does anyone anywhere understand anything in the book of Revelations????? It's crazy!!!

Yesterday Cynthia was baptized! I'm so happy for her. This whole week she has been counting down to her baptism and yesterday she was just radiating joy! I'll attach a picture.

Also a random guy showed up to church yesterday with his wife (from the states). He had served here in Kampong Cham 10 years ago!!! How cool! One of his converts is now the relief society president! I just loved seeing that!

I watched an ant die this week. Literally it was walking and then it just kinda sat down, rolled over, and died. When does that happen! It's still blowing my mind!

Also i've mentioned this before, but seriously it is like my favorite thing ever. These people here are SO SO blunt! Yesterday Sister Kuoch told me that I used to be fat! Haha yes, that mean I'm skinnier! Also, this is just the best. We were talking about other americans that look like me and how they are pretty and she's like "you would be pretty! but.... the freckles...." HAHAHAHHAHAHAH I want you to know that I really don't take any offense and I think it is HILARIOUS. It's too funny. Also this morning at the market a lady i've never met before asked me if I was going to use some medicine to take care of my freckles! haha so so so so funny!

Okay I have to run, but next week look forward to me telling you more about the dating culture and sister kuoch's dad!

Love you all

sister Homer