Sunday, April 27, 2014

New area

Hey family,

So, it actually feels like it's been a really short week because I just got to my new area on Friday. It seems like it's only been 3 days or something. Saying goodbye to members in Tuk Tlaa was sad. Not like Kampong Cham, but SAD! I love that branch. It feels like it went so fast. There are members there I will remember forever!

But so, here I am in my new area! It actually has been okay. I still remember some main roads from when I was in Stung Mean Chey my first transfer. Obviously now I'm in a different branch/different area, but it's been helpful. I'm back in my same house though. It is actually nicer this time which is nice!

So this branch is good. There are really sweet members. The hard thing is that all the work is in this one area and President Moon/we don't want to be working in that area as much. But getting out is hard because we do still have to take care of the members there. It's just kinda crazy. But we are working hard!

My companion is super cool too! She just finished being trained and now she is here with me. She is super funny. We get along. She is different than my other Khmer companions, but I like her a lot! She is a really good teacher! Her name is Sister Khut. I don't have a picture to send you yet...sorry. :)
I'm the only American in my house ,so my Khmer is about to get better! (I hope.) But also I'm excited to help them with their English as well. My whole mission I have been so surrounded by Americans and with American companions and all of a sudden I'm with so many Khmers! It's crazy! I think it will be good for me! I'm excited.

SO yesterday they just announced that Cambodia is going to be getting their first 2 Stakes next month. WHAT?! That sincerely is crazy! All of us missionaries are still kind of skeptical, haha, but of course we don't need to be because Heavenly Father knows what He is doing. Actually Sister Khut just shared a scripture with me this morning in D&C 3:3 that I really like. Heavenly Father's work will not be stopped! So we know this is going to work! STAKES IN CAMBODIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the branch I am in right now is part of the south district, will become a Stake!! I'm about to be in a ward!!

Sooo, I think that is all I have? I love you all! I'll be skyping you in like 2 weeks I think, but I don't know any details yet. Just probably plan on all being together the evening of Mother's day. :)

Sister Homer

Me and Melton

Me and Ming Sang

Ming Samantha - I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

My favorite Ming Slippy.  I love this picture!
Me and Stephanie!

Srei Tracie, the girl I love that now goes to another branch.

One twin

The other twin
Shaylie.  This member is amazing and ESSENTIAL!

House.  Sisters Thain, Ray, Me, Melton

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Dear Family,

So like I told you last week, it was Khmer New Year. So for the first couple days this week Phnom Penh was DEAD. Shops were closed. Members were gone. BUT, we plowed through. Actually it was a really good week. Monday we updated a TON of our records. On Tuesday President Moon did some training for all the missionaries in the city. It was really good! He talked a lot about communication especially in our companionships. It was good! Then on Wednesday we had a cleaning day. We just DEEP CLEANED our house. Let me tell you, that was much needed. We clean every Monday, but not to the depth that it needs. So it felt amazing to just scrub our house clean. I just know you can feel the spirit more in a clean house. Sooo, clean your house! 

Thursday Phnom Penh started getting back to normal and there were a lot more people around. So we were back to being super busy. And it felt good to just work. I think I told you our mission president is pushing 10 contacts a day. I love this!! It seriously pushes me so much, BUT we have had some way cool experiences!!! We have gotten some incredible contacts. And I know I will be needing it coming up here real fast.

I am being transferred to Stung Mean Chey 3rd branch. This is different that SMC 1st branch which I was in my first transfer. But they are near each other. 3rd branch is kind of infamous for being hard. Also I will be whitewashing so my companion won't know the area. Also my companion just finished being trained. But she is Khmer, so at least she will know the language! Needless to say this is going to be an intense transfer. Please shoot some prayers my way!

Probably the coolest thing that happened this week was watching the Priesthood session from General Conference. President Moon told the sisters that he wanted us to take some time to watch it. So Sister Melton and I squeezed ourselves into a little booth at a dusty, noisy, smelly internet shop and watched it. We could barely hear what was being said, but we both were feeling the spirit so strong. I don't know if Priesthood session is always that good, but we were just blown away. It's amazing that I could feel the spirit in such a crazy environment. So neat! Plus also I have to marry a Priesthood Hero!!!!!! (Please see Eyring's talk.) 

Also this week we did an exchange with Sister Thain and Sister Ray. I had Sister Thain in my area. It was really fun to work with her. She has had a harder time with the language and doesn't feel very confidant, so I just spent the whole day trying to boost her confidence and make her feel like a million bucks. It was so fun!! And I think I was successful. And it turns out she really is not as bad as she thinks, so it was so easy to boost her up! I just know that she'll get out of this stage and she will be loving life. She is such a strength and asset to our mission.

This week the FUNNIEST thing happened. We went to a members house and there is really no way to explain where they live but it is kinda down this alley and after all these twists and turns you get there. Basically no one should be there unless they live there. So we are coming out of there and we come up on this guy who is just pulling in on his motto. He totally looks Khmer, but out of his mouth comes the words, in a southern accent, "Hey Elders! Can I help you find someone?" I can't describe the state that put us in. Dumbfounded? Flabbergasted? Literally speechless? Somehow I mumbled out of my mouth, "no we found them..." And so he just pulls over and says "just thought I could help." So then he pulled into his little house, hopped off of his motto and went inside his house. We couldn't move. We just stared after him for 2 minutes hoping he would come back out. It's against the law to knock on people doors, and since we don't know him we didn't really want to disturb the peace. So we just left. Which looking back is so stupid that we did that, but at the time we literally couldn't function properly because it was the craziest thing that ever happened! But needless to say, we are going to be heading back over that way and see if we can find him again. SO CRAZY!

So I guess that is all I have this week, but in the spirit of Easter I just want to share that I know our Savior lives. I know He loves us. I have felt His love for others so many times on my mission. It is so real it is tangible. I know that He knows us individually. I know that the Atonement is real. I know that we can do anything through Him. Happy Easter! He is risen!

I love you!

Sister Homer

Happy Easter . . .

ចូលឆ្នាំ <-- That means new year! And this picture was taken on Khmer new year!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suasdei Chnam Thmei! (Happy New Year!)

Hey Fam,

Today is officially Khmer New Year. So yes, it is DEAD outside. We found a member who owns an internet shop who is letting us all email here. For big holidays pretty much everyone goes out to their provinces. So it slows way down here in the city. But we work on updating our CBR books and deep-cleaning our house. And actually there still will be quite a few members here. So we'll be meeting with as many people as possible.

Something President Moon started stressing is contacting. He wants us getting 10 contacts/day. You would think that probably would be normal, but it's not for us here. Anyway, so Sister Melton and I have put so much effort into getting these contacts and we DID IT!! I'm not joking, it took quite a bit of extra effort. But I have no doubt that somewhere this effort will pay off. 

Actually we did find some cool potential investigators this week. One we met while visiting Ming Slippy. She saw us go in and then she kinda followed us into the house and she started asking us so many questions. She is so interested!! But unfortunately she just left for the next few weeks for the holiday. But I have a feeling she is going to turn into a good one!

Also, we have a new method of contacting. We have this little card that is a picture of people getting baptized. And we just whip it out during our contact and be like "do you know what this is?" or "have you ever learned about this?" and people get pretty interested. And then we commit them to begin preparing themselves for baptism by learning with us. There have been a couple that have been quite interested. We are going to start using it more! It is a mission-wide thing we are implementing. Kinda fun!

I went on exchange this week with a sister named Sister Kohler. She is super cool. She actually finishes her mission in like 2 weeks. Sister Payne also finishes in like 2 weeks. Crazy! But my exchange was really good! I like exchanges because I get to know a lot of the sisters and I get to see different things they do. I felt the spirit SO strongly with Sister Kohler when we were teaching about the first vision. It was great!

Also we have another new investigator this week. His name is Sean. He is like 22-ish? Not sure. He is renting out a small part of a members house and so he wants to learn/is maybe being forced to learn. But he is a cool guy. He is acting really sincere about it. He is actually very smart and has really good questions. He also speaks English so well. I think he has a lot of potential. We are excited about him! 

Our investigator Ming Slippy who I have told you so much about is simply amazing. She is so cool. She just keeps plowing through her kids Book of Mormon. She took it with her for the holiday so she can ask all her little nieces and nephews to help her read. She went to the women's session and loved it. She just is so good. I just am so not sure what to do to get her baptized cause her weird situation, but the gospel is definitely changing her life. It is so fun to watch. 

Also we have been meeting with this long time member, she is an old Relief Society president. Now she is just so old and sick and can't really go anywhere. She also is quite deaf so has no idea what we are saying. But she is so sweet. She sees us and just calls us right in and then just talks and talks about the Church and old times and how she can't go because of how sick she is. It builds my testimony because in her heart she is still so so loyal to her Father in Heaven. She prays so sincerely. I just feel touched by her testimony.

Now last, but not least. Conference was amazing!!!! How blessed are we to get to have Conference twice a year?!?! How do people live their lives without it. I absolutely loved Elder Holland's talk. Power. Seriously, why would anyone expect God to just let them run around and do whatever they want?! That is bad parenting! I was just blown away. Also I loved Stevenson's talk about the Olympics. Our life on earth is so short. So short! We have such a small time to perform our best, and it affects everything! Cool concept. There were really so many amazing talks. And something Sister Melton and I were talking about this morning is that we can't forget them. Seriously I feel like Conference comes, and then pretty soon after we just get back to normal life and we don't apply what we learned as much as we should have. These are the words of the Prophet and apostles! This is scripture!!! We need to be doing everything to embed this stuff deep in our veins. I am going to try really hard to do that. I invite you to join with me! I will be following up. ;) Haha, I'm such a missionary...

Well I love you all! I hope you have a great week!  

Sister Homer
Amazing American food we found.  So good.

Farewell party for a member in our branch who is going on a mission.

After exchange:  Sister Kohler, Me, Sister Davis, Sister Melton

Straight hair! So long! And this is my Khmer-style skirt that I have.  It's cool.  You'll see it sometime.

This is me and my companion and me near this massive pile of garbage which is standard at our little market where we buy our food. Someday I will shop in only grocery stores again. Woohoo, garbage!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Greetings Earthlings

Hello family,

Another week has come and gone, and I have yet to see a lawn.
I hear conference was all the rage, my week was good without a wage.
Life here is really the hardest, but the field is white already to harvest.

Yeah... I was going to keep going with that for my whole email, but I just was not meant for poetry.

Sooo, instead I'll tell you about this really cool talk that I read this week. It's from the June 2006 Ensign magazine. It is by Hugh B. Brown and it's called "The Profile of a Prophet". No seriously, I need you all to read it. It is incredible!! Make it your FHE or something. :)

Also get this, Sam Christensen's picture is definitely on our transfer board!!! Crazy!!!!!!

So as far as proselyting this week, it was kind of super normal. Actually, we had very limited time because we had leadership meetings, and other meetings, and our Khmer New Year Branch party, I don't know. But we still did teach quite a bit! We also went on exchange this week. I was with Sister Chuong in my area. She is a Khmer sister. She is so sweet. And she has just this tiniest little voice. Literally, it sounds like a mouse is talking. So sweet. She is awesome. We had a good time together.

I also saw Sister Mok this week!!! She randomly showed up at our Branch party. I saw her and I literally almost burst into tears! It was so unexpected!

I think I have strep throat right now. I don't know how to spell that. I think that is why this email is turning out weird. I'm having a hard time focusing/thinking. But don't worry! I'm really okay! I will be getting it checked out today!

I love you all! I hope you all just feasted at Conference! Don't forget to do missionary work!


Sister Homer

Nancy, Srei Connie, and Srei Leigh. LOVE THEM!

Members Reagan and Ming Karen

Srei Tracie! I love this girl!

Sister Chuong and I