Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hey guys


Well, let's just start of with most important things first. I AM NOW SERVING IN THE STUNG MEAN CHEY 3RD WARD, IN THE PHNOM PENH SOUTH STAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!! This really is quite the big deal. Saturday and Sunday they held a Stake Conference in conjunction with becoming Stakes. (Is that how you use the word conjunction?) Elder Funk of the 70 came and presided over our Stake Conference. Most of what was discussed was becoming Stakes and also missionary work - especially family history work. It was really a good conference. I was really excited that on Sunday we had quite a few members from Trash Mountain attend! It helps that our Branch President arranged for Tuk Tuks to pick them up and take them there, but I'm not complaining! I hope they were touched by the spirit. The new Stake President will be awesome. He is younger, maybe like 30's? BUT he gets it. He sees the whole picture. And his second counselor is also younger, probably late 20's but he also will be awesome! I am so excited for this!

Also it was really awesome to see so many of the old mission presidents come back. I had the opportunity to sit by the very first mission presidents of Cambodia (the Whites) during the Saturday evening session. They were here 19 years ago!!! They are now 80+ years old. They were just AMAZED by the growth that has taken place here. I talked with them a bit and I am so grateful for them. Can you imagine what it was like to be them?! But mostly it gave me hope. Can you imagine what Cambodia will be like in 20 more years. Hopefully I can come back and I will just be astounded. I also saw the Smedleys! They just looked so happy to be back here! It was also fun to see that quite a few returned missionaries came all the way back over here for the creation of Stakes and the 20th year anniversary this Saturday. I even saw one of my MTC teachers! Cool!

Did you all realize that during this past week I hit my one year mark in this country?! That is a long time! I also think I'm finally adjusted. Evidence:
- I'm certain I eat at least 10 ants a day, and I'm really okay with that.
- I have begun to feel pity for the cockroaches that I kill with raid. Honestly, it is heartbreaking to watch them die... I'm a monster.
- I eat rice at least twice a day. And I can't remember what kinds of foods we eat in America. I know we don't eat rice but... what else is there?

So also, I realized during this past week that missions are really kind of cruel. They put you in this place that is far away from home, and then you learn to love these people here, and you are here so long that a whole portion of your heart is dedicated to this place, and THEN cruelly you are ripped away never to return, or if you do it won't be the same! BUT in the meantime your heart is also at home and for the rest of your life you can only have one or the other!!!!!!! This has caused a few tears for me during this past week. I realize that when I leave Cambodia, I really am gone. I hardly will be able to come back. When I do it won't be the same. There are people here that I love so much, and I just may never see again. And also I don't want them to think that I don't love them! How did you all deal with this???

I noticed something this week. Kids here don't suck there thumbs. I'm sure that is because of how dirty it is, but interesting, right?

Also, you know how people dye their hair so that it gradually fades from dark to light at the bottom. They call it a melt. WELL due to the sun, my hair has naturally done that. The ends of my hair are legitimately blonde. It looks kinda cool.

Transfer calls are coming up on Sunday. Can you believe how fast this transfer went? Honestly, I can sincerely say that I hope I stay in this area with Sister Khut for another transfer. And I think my chances are pretty good! Things have been going really well with Sister Khut this week. Also we have been seeing some small successes in our area, which is so exciting! We are still spending most our time in trash mountain, but we do have a few new investigators outside of trash mountain! I couldn't be more thrilled. Sister Kacher came and did an exchange with me this week, and I told her that I just needed her to humor me and spend time walking around the nicer parts of town contacting. I have rarely done that on my mission, but I'm desperate to get out of trash mountain. So we did, and it was awesome! We found a few people who said we could come back, and also one person who really seemed quite interested. (and just a heads up, when I say nicer part of town... it still really isn't that nice. But it is nice as far as this branch goes!) I'm hoping that I can convince Sister Khut to do some contacting like this with me again. She actually hates contacting and mostly refuses, so I do most of it. But that's not a problem, because I'm white and people are curious why I'm here anyway. She will back me up though, so that is good! Anyway, moral of the story, (1) I'm determined to see this Branch progress, (2) I hope I can do that with Sister Khut!

I think that is all for this week. I love you all!! Please please please don't forget how amazing this gospel is and how much Heavenly Father loves us!!! I was reading this morning in Mosiah 2:20-24, and honestly, Heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH. We can never even try to repay Him. I truly "stand all amazed!"


Sister Homer
P.S. Sorry no pictures AGAIN...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's me

Dear family,

I really think I officially stink. Literally. But I'm thinking we can send me through a car wash when I get home, and that should take care of things.

Other than that, this week has been pretty good! Actually maybe the best week I've had in trash mountain! We have a few new investigators, one that isn't in trash mountain!!!! Our Branch President and District President have asked us to stop working in trash mountain. They are just unstable and they move houses all the time and then we lose them. We can keep meeting with our members that are there, obviously, but they don't really want us teaching new people in that area. It's hard though because that is where the work is. Almost on a daily basis we have people saying they want to learn. But we also know they are all just kinda joining one after another and not really based on their own faith. BUT they do need the gospel, so it's hard to deny them. And outside of trash mountain, we have no work. Every day when we go contacting we contact outside of trash mountain, and we have yet to find anyone. :( BUT I know that they are waiting and we just need to keep trying and maybe be more dedicated in our finding efforts. The work will progress!!! I'm determined!! And guess what! Earlier this week I started having feelings that I like this area. That was so strange. But I really think I'm starting to warm up to this place!! It just took me a bit longer than usual.

ALSO this week we did go to the Young Ambassador concert thing. We took one of our investigators from Trash Mountain, which worked out really well because she now has opened up a ton to us since then. It was a really good performance and they are SO talented. But, when I left I just felt weird. It was so loud and so all over the place. And I was thinking about that. Even though it was a good activity, especially if I were at home, it was not really a missionary activity. And usually I'm doing things in which the spirit can be close to me, but that was different. It didn't drive the spirit away, but it didn't really invite the spirit either. It was such a weird feeling. I think that will be kinda what it feels like when I go home. I don't really know but, it gave me a lot to think about. BUT it was really good and really enjoyable!

I read a talk by Elder Holland from October 2012 general conference this week. It is called The First Great Commandment. It is SO good!!! I think you should all read it.:)

We were supposed to have one investigator get baptized yesterday, but there wasn't enough water to fill up the font. :( Soooo we will probably have to push that back for 2 more weeks. That was unfortunate. But, I think a couple more weeks can't hurt anyway.

On a day to day basis, I really love these people. They are so funny. They sometimes do the strangest things! I love building relationships with them. You know they like you if they tease you. So that is always fun! I wish you all could meet these people that I interact with every day.

I guess I don't have much else! Sorry, no pictures again this week... Hopefully someday I'll be able to send pictures to you again!

This week Cambodia gets it's first two stakes!!! WOOHOO!! STAKES OF ZION IN CAMBODIA!!!

I love you all!!

Sister Homer

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hey family

Dear family,

Well this week was something else. But there were good moments too. In good news the freckle comments are back! Our favorite! They really just can't handle my face here!

The work keeps going in trash mountain. There are SO many members there, but the hard thing is that most of them joined looking for benefits from the church. But quite a few of them actually developed some faith in the process! But it's still rough. Seriously there are like 121 recent converts in trash mountain. How crazy is that? Right now there is some serious drama there because they all are kind of being kicked off of the land. They all are stressing out about where to go, etc. The senior couple is working very closely with some NGO's (non-government organizations) nearby and the land owner to see what they can figure out. They are awesome! The landowner decided to let them stay longer and hopefully some NGO's will help out and we can get these people better living conditions.

 The senior couple really is amazing. Once a week they teach an addiction recovery class in trash mountain. Basically everyone there could benefit from it. They are really working hard to get these people better lives.

There is a lookpuu who just got baptized last week from trash mountain. He is an investigator of the Elders. He is so cool! He is this BIG guy which is so rare for Cambodia. And he is just pure joy. I guess he used to be a big drinker, but now he is just a big happy teddy bear. He is so excited to be a member. He is just beaming all the time. And, haha, I guess he misunderstood about fasting, and he was fasting EVERY DAY. He was only eating one meal a day and then he would start fasting again. But the thing is, he was so proud/excited to be doing it! I think they got that sorted out. ALSO he says that all the time his friends are calling him to drink and smoke and he just declines and declines. He has truly become converted! He is the excited that is supposed to come out of learning about the gospel! He gets it! I love seeing that!

We on the other hand picked up quite a few investigators this week, but they're really fresh. Actually some of them really have potential, but they don't go to church. :( We meet with some really sweet people though! Hopefully I'll will have more to talk about next week.

I think I just realized something this week. Cambodia literally does not have public transportation. At least as far as I can tell. How weird is that? They have methods of getting around, but they are all privately owned. Wait, actually, there are like buses to get to the provinces, but I think those are private companies. I don't know. That really doesn't even matter, but just a random fact.

Love you all! Can't wait to skype next week!

Sister Homer