Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cuuncompuahkromkruasaadaoyseckdeisralan! (Similar to: "send to my family with love")


How's it going? This week was cool, it was kind of full of a lot of ups and downs, but it turned out good! It always does. 

I actually don't know that I have much to talk about this week. One cool thing is that it feels like we have made a little bit of progress especially since I first got here. A few less active members told us they are ready and committed to go back to church! So that is exciting. Also we heard from many people that they got visits from the Bishop or Branch President, which is also another big deal that I'm very happy about! They have no idea what difference that makes, even though we tell them. We can go 10 times and invite them to church, but when the Bishop goes one time it works. It is cool!

 Do you know that it is inappropriate for a female to whistle in public here. Oops.

I have told you about Sister Kuoch's sister-in-law who is our investigator named Lily. Well she is doing AMAZING! Literally when we go teach her it doesn't even feel like we are teaching an investigator. It feels like we are teaching a long time member who gets it! It is so fun. Though, she has entered the Isaiah chapter in 2nd Nephi and she has a lot of questions... I should have taken the Isaiah class at BYU before my mission. I know Nephi says Isaiah is really clear, but I'm missing something. Anyway, she should be getting baptized in 2 weeks. I'm so excited! I hope her inactive husband will go to her baptism too.

We have another investigator I've told you about before named Srei Nina. She is also improving, but she will need to get married before she can be baptized. But it has been fun to talk about how the gospel can/will affect her future family. We talked about the priesthood and kind of painted a picture for her to have the priesthood in her home. Also we talked about being sealed in the temple and things she can do daily to center her family in Christ. I think all of that has made it a lot more real for her! This gospel truly blesses families! And fortunately her boyfriend is an investigator of the Elders! So I think they can have a bright future ahead! (You probably wonder why they aren't learning's a long story.)

Also this week I had one of the hardest experiences of my mission. There is a grandma "Lookaway" in our Ward who is a recent convert. She is great! We visit her and she loves the church and the Gospel. Well we went to visit her earlier this week and she said she didn't want to meet us and that she was done going to church. That wasn't going to fly, so we kinda of got it out of her. The true story is that her kids or relatives of some kind have told her that if she continues to meet us and go to church they will stop all communication with her. As we talked to her we tried to help her see that despite trial and hardship she needs to keep enduring and that Heavenly Father will provide a way and that the eternal blessings at hand are so significant! As I was there thinking about her situation I was so overwhelmed and I couldn't stop crying. I was mad at her relatives and sad that they would give her an ultimatum and frustrated that Christianity is something hated here and I felt horrible that I had to encourage her to forsake her family. She said she would see what she can do. I just wish everyone could see and understand fully about this gospel!! Why is this so hard?! I can't imagine how frustrated Heavenly Father is with everyone here on earth. We're all just kinda missing it! I can't wait for the Millennium. "Every knee shall bow and tongue confess..." Isn't that a thing during the millennium? I sure hope so. 

But, I had a sweet experience earlier this week too. One morning I was just quite overwhelmed with our area and other stuff, just normal mission life, but it was pretty bad. Before personal study I prayed and I just told Heavenly Father that I couldn't really do it today and I needed His help. Then as I studied I felt the darkness I guess kind of fade away, and before I knew it I was fine again, back to normal me. Not only that, our day was wonderful! All of our lessons went through and we were busy all day. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. The Gospel, the scriptures, the words of the prophets truly bring joy and peace and comfort. Heavenly Father loves us so much! I am so so grateful! 

I love you all and I hope you have a good week and an opportunity to share the gospel!!

Sister Homer

Some cute little girls in Primary yesterday.

Zone Conference

No picture could better describe Cambodia.  The words on the wall say: "Don't put trash here."

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Hey Family,

Yesterday I had my first baptism in quite some time! I actually didn't realize that it had been so long since I had a baptism. Despite no baptisms I have had investigators and a lot of recent converts and less-active members to work with. There really is a lot more to missionary work that just finding people to baptize!

The girl who got baptized yesterday is Sasha. She is the daughter of a member and is maybe like 12 years old. Sister Khut and I have really cracked down on who we will get baptized in this area because this ward does not need any more inactive recent converts. BUT Sasha has gone above and beyond. She has been to church for like the past 7 weeks. She is reading in her scriptures, praying everyday. We go and she loves to sing hymns with us. It's funny because based on her personality you wouldn't think she would care, but she really does! And even if her mom doesn't go to church or pray she still does! More than anything we are so excited because we think she can be really strong. We are going to work with her so much and get her so deep into this gospel. (As deep as a 12 year old can get). I really love this girl!

This ward is so interesting. I kinda feel like I'm in a bad relationship where I'm putting A LOT into it but not getting much out of it. Yet the more I invest the more I care and the more I need it to not fail! It's this vicious cycle where we work really really hard and then get disappointed a lot, but somehow I really love it. I can't explain what is going on. I don't think I even know. All I know is we are working really hard to see this branch progress and I think it really is just on the verge.

Actually just this morning during personal study I was reading in Alma 21 about Aaron and his brothers doing missionary work. And verses 12-17 ish talk about how they were really not having success, and then they were thrown into jail but they just keep pushing on and do everything they can and FINALLY they see success! I was just giddy as I was reading it this morning. HOW COOL ARE THE SCRIPTURES! Mostly I just feel like this ward is just on the verge of success. I haven't been thrown in jail or anything, but we keep trying everything we can and even if it doesn't happen during my time here I know that someday this Ward will be strong. It is so comforting to me that God's work can't be stopped and that he has one big master plan. 

I have been enjoying teaching English these past few weeks. I am assigned to teach a very BASIC, BASIC class that they kind of just created special. I teach them the ABC's if they don't know and kind of how to start reading. I'm not sure why, but it is a really tough concept for them. But I have a lot of fun teaching and I especially love seeing when they start to get it. When they read a word successfully their faces light up. It is really fun to help them learn!

Things with Sister Khut are going well! I try to make her laugh a lot. I have found if we are laughing, then it relieves a lot of stress. So I kind of run around like a 5 year old trying to get her to laugh, but it works! I'm pretty positive she thinks I'm crazy though! We actually teach really well together and have similar perspectives on how the work should be done, so we have a lot of fun together!

This week we took the senior couple with us to help us teach. So we would teach a lot of the lesson and then ask them to teach parts and I would translate. I think it had a really great affect on our investigators! They really value age in this culture and they loved that an elderly couple form American would come to their home. We will have to use them more in our teaching, it was a great experience!

I realized this week that I can have deep gospel discussions in Khmer and yet I don't even know the word for triangle in this language. What does that mean about my fluency? I think I need to go back and learn all the basic words I missed because they weren't essential. Oops!

I guess that is maybe all I have this week! I love you all so much!!!!

Sister Homer
The church!

Sonia's house (The one with the girls standing in it.)



Sunday, June 15, 2014

This week I had lice . . . .


Well not much to say this week. I did have zone conference this week which was actually really good and gave me some new thoughts on how I can improve my work. Especially it inspired Sister Khut and I to be even more bold than we have been being. When we are extending our commitment and they throw out an excuse, we basically do not even take it for a second. We lovingly explain to them that what we are asking them to do it more important than their headache, going to the market, selling vegetables, their mid-day nap, etc. And it really is!! There is nothing that they can be doing that would be more valuable than what we are asking them to do! And of course we aren't unreasonable. They should definitely arrange their time so they can fit in all the things they need to do in a day. But seriously, we are just really helping them see that what we are giving them is worth more than rubies!! I don't want there to be any confusion or misunderstanding about how important this gospel is! I'm going to let it be known! Shout it from the rooftops! 

I have one investigator her name is Bong Sandy, she kinda has a lot of problems with word of wisdom and law of chastity, but we are seeing some really cool improvement with her! She works at a night club/restaurant type thing. We taught her about the word of wisdom, and since then she hasn't been drinking! She says she feels sick when she thinks about drinking! Miracle!

We actually have quite a lot of investigators right now, but just hardly any showing progress. We are supposed to have 5 people get baptized on the 22nd but only ONE of them came to church yesterday. We are only going to let her get baptized. I feel like earlier in my mission I was really pushing for people to get baptized and doing everything to help them get there, and sometimes it felt like I was dragging them there. But I've realized since then that it doesn't work that way. This is something that will change their lives if they prepare themselves correctly for it. Certainly I will do everything I can to help them get there, but I will not push and drag and pull people, because when I do, it's not their faith, it's mine. And it doesn't stick. And that is when we are looking at right now in trash mountain. So I HOPE that all these people we are working with will be touched by the spirit and do what they need to do so that they can be baptized!

We have one investigator who is golden. I have told you about her. She is Sister Kuoch's Sister-in-law. We go to teach her and she shares verses with us that are awesome and she interprets them for us. She is honestly so prepared for this. I know that a lot of that has to do with the good example of her family! She should be getting baptized in about a month.

We also just got one new investigator this past week who we are excited for! She is outside of trash mountain! She is a student at a university so she is really busy, but that also means she is EDUCATED! I can't explain the difference that makes. She has never learned anything about Christ but she went to one of our churches to a Chinese class and that is how we got the referral for her. I think she was kind of skeptical when we went to meet her, but we had a really good first lesson with her and she seems interested! I hope she will progress!

I've come to realize that I don't think I really have a personality anymore. Or I have like 100 personalities. The thing is I have adjusted to every single one of my companions to really work with their personality. And so depending who I'm with I feel like it kinda changes who I am. (But I'm not two-faced.) The problem is, when I am with a group of people I don't know what to do anymore, I don't know who to play off of and adjust have fun with that when I get home! Yikes!

Also, putting on chapstick here is probably something you should do in private, probably in your home. Not in public, especially not in front of men. They think you are putting on lipstick. But I'm gonna be honest, when your lips are chapped, they are chapped! So I still do it. My companion laughs at me everytime...even though I explain to her that lipstick and chapstick are two very different things. Just a word of caution.

I guess that is all. Rainy season is definitely on it's way in! I love you all!

Sister Homer
Sister Khut and me

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"You must walk feminine, talk feminine. . ."

Dear Family,

Do you all remember that song?? I JUST remembered it yesterday and I was so excited. Of course I sang it to my companion. BUT the best part was that later she was like "oh yeah, I remember other sisters telling me you are a good dancer." She literally was referring to the random little jigs I do around the house when I sing that song. I just couldn't believe my ears. Never has the word Homer and Good dancer been in the same sentence before. So funny!!

Sister Khut actually says and does the randomest, funniest things! The other day we just left the house and she says, "Oh no, it's so hot. I forgot my sweater!!!" Something I will never understand. Another one: We were talking about smoothies. And snow. She came up with the idea of putting snow in smoothies. Why has no one ever thought of that?

This week we started some more of our recent converts on their Family History. Family, I can't even tell you. I've gone family history crazy!!! It is essential that we do this work!! For everyone! Those empty boxes on the pedigree charts that mom and dad printed out for me haunt me! Who are they?! We don't know! I just know that if I can get all these recent converts to get started on their recent converts while they are all still semi-active, that will be a major success!! And hopefully it helps them want to be more active as well! I know that family history work is just missionary work's best friend. Also, indexing. Could you imagine if you all indexed 10 names a week. That would be 80 names a week in our family, 320 a month!!!! And if you are doing 10 you might as well just do 20. Just a thought...

Before I told you how all the people in trash mountain are going to be kicked off their land. I also told you that the senior couple is working really hard to not let that happen. Well this past week we just got word that an NGO decided to buy the land so that all those families can stay there! Also they are going to build a public toilet! Also they are going to regulate who can live there. All of this should improve their living conditions! 

This past week we had a cool experience finding a new investigator. She is this woman who lives in trash mountain and she is at church like every week. We assumed she was a member. So one day we asked the elders if they meet with her, and they asked us if we meet with her. We all realized that no one really even knows who she is! So we asked to meet with her one day and she is so sweet! She was like,"I wondered why the elders/sisters meet with everyone else but me! I go to church all the time!" She was asking her neighbors how she could get us to meet with her, but she didn't dare ask us! She was so excited to learn with us. Also she is very sincere about just wanting to learn because she has faith in Christ. She doesn't expect anything from the church! Her name is Ming Raelynn.

I see myself becoming more and more bold here. I think that is the right word. But mostly I just can't really handle all the excuses and reasons for why these people aren't doing what they are supposed to doing. I'm still patient, and kind, and show my love, but I'm finding that bold things come out of my mouth. I think it is good for them. 

I want you to know that the Isaiah chapters in Khmer are even harder than they are in English! I have NO IDEA what is going on when I read them in Khmer! Yikes! That is actually due to lack of Isaiaic vocabulary on my part...

Well, mostly this was just a normal week here in Cambodia. I'm sorry I don't have much special to say! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Homer
More trash mountain.  We are going to do a service project in trash mountain this week to help get this place cleaned up.  Hopefully I can send an "after" picture that is just sparkling clean!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Best Experience Ever

Dear Family,

This was a good week here in Trash Mountain! Probably because we spent more time than ever before outside of trash mountain! But don't kid yourself, we were still there for probably at least 5 hours a day. But trash mountain is actually starting to become so much less... trashy. Or maybe I'm just adjusting. I can't be sure. Actually I can, I'm just adjusting. But honestly, I'm doing really good here now. I think it just took a couple weeks to adjust! 

Did I ever tell you that our power goes out every single day without fail? But it isn't a big deal because we generally aren't home, but I promise it always happens when we are home. It's sincerely fascinating. I can't be sure why it happens.

BUT I have much more significant things. Let me tell you a bit about our investigators!
Bong Lily- She is, in fact, the sister-in-law of Sister Kuoch!! Her husband is a member, but inactive and hasn't really wanted her to learn, but because she lives in the same house with all of Sister Kuoch's family she has come to learn a lot about the church and I think she sees how good it is. So she is learning and she is AMAZING!! We have only met with her maybe 3 times, but she has already read through like 1 Nephi 7 (last I heard.) And when we ask her questions during our lessons she brings up examples from the Book of Mormon. It is INCREDIBLE! So I'm really excited about her!
Sandy- Bong Sandy. She is an investigator in Trash Mountain, kinda. And she has sincere, real faith. She has attended a lot of other churches. She is amazing. BUT unfortunately kinda has some serious problems that would need to be sorted out before she could be baptized. BUT yesterday she went to church and saw some other members paying tithing, and she came and asked us how she could pay! We haven't even taught her about tithing yet!
Sasha- She is the daughter of a recent convert. Probably 10 years old. At first she wasn't really that interested in what was going on, but she was progressed a lot! Yesterday she came to church for 3 hours and we sat with her in YW. All the young women bore their testimony and she did too!!
Om Anne- She is also kinda in trash mountain. We found her as we were teaching another recent convert. We taught her the first lesson and then we went back this week to teach her the second, and she remembered A LOT about the first lesson. Like about prophets and the first vision. That doesn't happen here in Cambodia. And she was apologizing to us because she couldn't read because her eyes were swollen. But before that she had read quite a bit!
Srei Susan- She is the daughter of our Elders Quorum President, who is kinda not so active right now, but they are coming back into activity. He knows A TON actually. So we are teaching her because she is probably 10 years old. She is very sweet. Adorable. 

We actually have quite a lot of investigators right now that we are balancing, but I would say those were the main ones who are progressing right now. Ming Silken was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but she didn't come to church because she was sick. :( I think someday she might be baptized. 

This week we took some time and helped one of our recent converts to do her Family History. It was so fun to help her! She knows some names, and she was so excited to be helping them! I realized that there are a TON of recent converts here in trash mountain and I don't think any of them have done their family history. SO that is my new goal this next transfer, to get all of the started on their family history. Can you imagine how many people are waiting on the other side that are related to these families in trash mountain?! I know there are a ton!

Also, I don't know if you remember, but back when I was in Tuk Thla I was working with a less active member, her name is Bananaboat. I found her with Sister Mok and then I continued working with her, and a few weeks before I left she was starting to become active again. Well now I hear that she is TOTALLY active! She is always at the church and helping the missionaries. I actually have seen her around at some events during these past few weeks too! I am so happy! I played a small part in her salvation, and it makes me so so happy!

On Saturday we celebrated 20 years here in Cambodia. They had a big event, which was amazing! They had members come from the provinces as well. Do you know what that means? I saw members from Kampong Cham!!! Actually before it started I only saw a few members, but I heard there were a lot there looking for me! So I knew they were there. After it was all over, I had still only seen a couple people, so I went on a hunt. And I finally found them all loaded on the buses about to go back to KC. I went up on each bus and I talked to them and I blew kisses. Afterward I waved them goodbye as I drove away. Definitely tears. I think that is the last time I will see them. :( I can't describe the joy I felt to see them though. I was talking to another missionary and she pointed out that this must be like heaven. You are reunited with people you love and what is greater, they are still living the gospel that you cherish! There were some people that I was kind of surprised to see there, and you can't imagine how overwhelmed with joy I was. I'm certain that is how it will be when we are in Heaven. There may be some people who we are surprised to see there, but can you even imagine the joy we will feel??! I wish I could tell them all how much I love them! I guess I can, but I don't think they even know! Also, it made me feel so good that they were all SO excited to see me! I truly felt like I was reunited with kindred spirits! (Haha is that even a thing?)

Do you all remember Brak Kneesock from Kampong Cham? SHE WAS THERE!!!!!!!!! She was the first person I saw from KC and she was walking all around looking for me! I was completely astounded when I saw her! I really wasn't sure how she's been doing, and I can't even describe how happy I felt!!! She is still doing okay!! She is still enduring!! If you could only see me writing this right now with tears welling up in my eyes. I love these people so much!!!!!!!!!

I guess I'll just end there because there is nothing that could top that experience! I love you all! I am so happy that we can be in heaven together FOREVER! 

Sister Homer
Lookaway (I love this grandma so much; remind me to tell you about her when I get home) and Bong Hannah!

20th year celebration!


Srei Label from KC 2
Brak Kneesock!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our house - Me, Sister Khut, Sister Choek, Sister Chuong

Members from Tuk Thla came to visit! Bananaboat is next to me in the plaid shirt!

Houses in trash mountain

Raining in trash mountain (crazy!!)

Caught in the rain

Trash mountain!

Cutest CRAZIEST little girls

So sassy