Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Pioneer Day


This was a good week, I think we saw some progress with some people! I think I told you last week that we dropped a ton of our investigators in hopes that we would be able to find new people who are prepared to receive this gospel. I think we are already started to see some results!

Sister Ray is now here with us here in SMC 3, so we are in a trio. She is amazing! She is PERFECT for this area. She is just the right amount of pushy when it comes to contacting and it's yielding some results. Also she is a very passionate teacher and she really likes to give hugs to our members and investigators, which is probably what they need. I think she will do wonders here! I'm so excited!

Actually Friday SMC 3 kinda had a miracle day! I wasn't here, I was on exchange in another area, but Sister Ray and Sister Khut were able to meet with some people that we never can ever meet with. And they found some people who might be interested in learning! I think SMC 3 has some good things on the horizon!

So, like I said I went and did exchanges this week. I left my two companions in SMC 3 and I went to serve with Sister Nov and Sister Earl in Tuldompong Ward for a day. Sister Earl is a new missionary. So I was especially watching how the training was going and how she was getting into life here in Cambodia. It was nice to kinda get out of my area for a day and also to kinda have some flashbacks about when I first came to the country. It really doesn't seem that long ago, but for Sister Earl she feels like I've been here forever. I think she is having a similar experience to mine with coming to Cambodia. I was able to give her some suggestions and a few pep talks. I think it was good! 

Also update, I don't know that my new companion from America will be here anytime soon. We'll see. I'm kinda bummed. But I hope she eventually gets here!

I hope you all had a good pioneer day. I am so amazed by the pioneers! How did they do it! How did they have so much faith?! I feel like I am among pioneers in the Church here in Cambodia. They are leading the way for the rest of the country. Some of these members truly have incredible faith and are carrying the weight of the church here on their shoulders. I'm so inspired by them and the pioneers of old. 

Yesterday we had a really neat experience. In the morning before church we went and taught one investigator who hasn't really been progressing very much, and we just meet her once a week. Her name is Cheri Lyn. Her husband was there and we invited him to join in, but he didn't really want to. But the house is about the size of Nana's bedroom so he didn't really have anywhere to go, so he sat and listened anyway. So we taught her about the gospel of Christ and it was really good, the Spirit was so strong. And then at the end we committed her to go to church, and invited her husband too. She told us that their motto just got stolen so they didn't have any way to go. I told her that I wasn't sure what to do about that but that if she would find a way to go to church, I know that she would be blessed. And THEN the husband was like "Why don't we just walk?" So we were like YEAH!!! You should walk! The answer every missionary in Cambodia is dying to hear. And you have to understand, no one walks to church here. No one walks anywhere here. Especially in the middle of the day 1:00 pm. when it is blazing hot. And their house is probably a good 20-30 minute walk from the church. Anyway, so we left and then later at church we didn't see them. But just after the Sacrament they walked in!! We were flabbergasted, for lack of a better word. Seriously, I was so amazed! And they stayed 3 hours and we got the husband getting involved. And that is another cool story in itself. He is a hardcore drinker and has a rough rough story. So, we'll see what happens with them this week!

BUT the worst/funniest thing also happened during that lesson. While we were saying the opening prayer I felt something on my hand, so I look down and I see something big and dark just crawl SUPER fast up my torso and over onto my back. I was still uncertain about what it was and I was not okay. I was whacking myself all over the place but still trying to be reverent because we were praying. I couldn't find it so I stopped, still praying. Next thing I know I hear a massive thing fly right next to my ear. Once again I wasn't quick enough to see it. But by this time I knew. Cockroach. My heart was pounding so fast. I know a bit ago I said I was starting to feel pity for cockroaches. Let me reassure you, those feelings are gone. Anyway, we start teaching, but maybe like 5 minutes into the lesson I see this MASSIVE cockroach crawling all over her house. Like I said, her house isn't that big. So I was still a little on edge but I was trying REALLY hard to focus on our lesson. But of course right when we were talking about the Holy Ghost and the Spirit was so strong this demon cockroach came running right towards sister Ray, so she hopped up screaming and then I was next in line so it was coming right at me. So I hopped up and ran out the door. And then it was crawling all over our investigator. Finally it flew outside. Oh my gosh. It was a nightmare. But like we said, we were able to salvage our lesson and they still went to church! So it didn't sabotage anything too much! Can I just say that I love Utah and it's lack of cockroaches.

Well last but definitely not least is a BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT TO TERESA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The big 18!!! Woohoo!!! This is your birthday song, it won't be very long!

I love you all!

Sister Homer
FHE with the Bishop's family.  We played Minute-to-Win-IT.  Can you stack 5 apples of top of each other?  Cool!

Bishop's family

Trash mountain is really fun in the rain!  Our senior couple are rockstars.  Seriously the world needs more senior couples!!  (But not you, Mom & Dad.  You need to stay at home and take care of me.  :)  I'm only mostly kidding.)

More rain!

And more!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hey guys

Dear Family,

Well, I just saw a bunch of pictures that Teresa and Dad took at the wedding! It looks just adorable!!!! Congratulations, again, you two!! Sorry I didn't get you a present... yet...

This was kind of a slow week here. Sister Khut and I made kind of a big decision yesterday and decided to drop 6 of our investigators in Preak Toal (trash mountain). They haven't been progressing at all, but we have been hanging onto them because we don't really have anything else to do. But we realized that we should try showing our faith that Heavenly Father will fill our time with those He wants us to meet with. So, we'll see how this week goes! We plan to have a lot of contacting time! I want to help this ward so much, but we are just having a hard time knowing what to do! But I know that Heavenly Father can lead us to those who are ready!

I'm sad to drop them though, because I really love them. But, they just aren't making the steps they need to and mostly they just like meeting with us because they don't have much else going on in their lives. But if any of them start showing real commitment we'll pick them up again.

I want to tell you about one member in Preak Toal. Her name is Ming Jan. She has been a member for almost a year now and she is awesome! She, like everyone else can't read, so she has a hard time remembering any significant details about the gospel, but she is at church for 3 hours most every week, even if she has to walk. Not only that, her husband has a hardcore drinking problem and beats her many days. The thing is, she is amazing. She is the happiest, funniest person! (At least on the outside.) You would have no idea that her life has been hell. I look up to her so much. She has incredible faith. 

Also I want to tell you about two other blessings I have noticed throughout my mission. On a regular day after coming home from the morning proselyting I am usually quite tired and hungry, and definitely pretty thirsty, and yet throughout my mission as I have fasted it hasn't been too big of a deal. I'm kind of thirsty, but nothing too crazy, and the hunger is just kind of a normal level. By the end we are pretty tired, but you would think it would be so much worse. Biking under this hot Cambodian sun really is exhausting, I can't describe it. Yet when we are fasting there is strength that really shouldn't be there. How amazing is it that Heavenly Father can provide strength to our bodies even when we don't eat or drink?! I know He has done that for me regularly throughout my mission.

Also one more: the roads in Cambodia are generally not very smooth and have a lot of holes and stuff. And when we ride around during the day, I can see where I am going and I avoid the potholes to try to make it as smooth as possible. Yet, during the evening I can't really see, but yet for some reason I rarely hit any potholes. I promise, riding in the evening when I can't see is always smoother than when I am riding during the day and I can see to avoid the potholes. I don't know if I'm just REALLY bad at riding a bike, but mostly I think that someone is watching out for us during the night when we can't really see. This is something I've observed my whole mission. It's been a small blessing. Also, one more, the fact that I have had no traffic accidents is incredible. There have been times when it was physically impossible that I shouldn't have been hit by a motto or a car or something, and yet I never have been. BLESSINGS!!

So the big news this week is that Elder Sam Christensen has arrived to the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woohoo!!! This was crazy. I was in the mission home Friday for the training meeting, and what not, and saw him! I don't know what's going on, because I've only been gone for a year, but Sam walked out of the mission president's office and I was like "what the?"because he is so grown up?!?!?! Was he like this a year ago and I just forgot? I have been imagining a much smaller version of Sammy coming to this mission. It was so weird! IS EVERYONE BIG AND TALL AND MATURE NOW?!?! Anyway, that was super cool to see him. And his trainer is in a really good area and guess where he is serving?... TUK THLA!! My old area!! I'm so excited for him! It really is a great area, and definitely a more clean area. :) 

Also I found out a little bit more about my new companion. Her name is Sister Christensen! Haha go figure. And she will probably be here in a few weeks. I guess before her mission she tore her ACL, and it was fine but then it started acting up in the MTC so they are just making sure she is good to go. In the mean time Sister Ray will be coming to join us sometime this week. She was in my same house with me when I was in TT, so I'm excited for her to come. I really like her. Though I'm a little apprehensive about us working as a trio. But, it will all work out. 

And I did meet those few girls who were stalking my blog before my mission! Haha they were so sweet! Sam introduced me to them. It was pretty funny.

On Saturday we also celebrated Pioneer Day in our ward, so that was fun! Happy Days of '47!!! 

Also, there is a new Sister in my house fresh from the states, her name is Sister Allen. And do you know what she brought with her? Colorful tape. We are talking patterned tape. Is that a new thing in the states? I literally never saw that before my mission. Is America a whole new place now?!?! 

I guess that is all! Love you all tons!

Sister Homer
Yay trash!

Riverton Park Ward representatives!!

This is the funny girl I think I got lice from! I actually love her a lot! But she is a pill.

I know this is pathetic, but I tried my best to match the bridesmaids . . . (but I took the necklace off for proselyting)

Cambodian dancing for our Pioneer Day celebration!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The week has come

Hey guys,

Well, this is the week! Congrats to Nick and Chels in advance!! I hope it is a magical day!! My heart will be there with you!

Are you ready for transfer information?? Drumroll please.... 

I will be transferred, to an unknown location, and I will be training again!! I'm so excited to train! BUT, my new companion will be delayed in coming here due to a knee problem I think? President Moon didn't really give me many details. So in the meantime I will be serving in a trio still here in SMC 3 with Sister Khut, and Sister Ray will be coming with us as well. Once my companion gets here (maybe a few weeks) we will be going to a new area, but President Moon hasn't officially decided where he wants me yet, so he said he'll let me know. Also for the time being I will be a sister training leader over South zone, just me, myself, and I. President said he has some stuff he wants me to help him with, but I'm not sure what that is yet... Sooo, I'm really excited! I hope we can successfully make it through these next few weeks so I can meet my new companion!

Over the last few weeks I have emotionally not been feeling 100%, not quite depression, but kinda like that. But last Sunday we did a mission fast for three things: (1) Strength to resist Satan, (2) Healthy missionaries, (3) Heavenly Father's power to accomplish our goals. So when I fasted for our mission to have health I especially fasted that I could have emotional health, and I have noticed such a difference this week. I feel like I am back to me! I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and knows our needs. I am so grateful that we did a mission fast and that I could borrow some other peoples' faith as well. Heavenly Father loves us so much!! How blessed are we to know that?!

Also yesterday our investigator Bong Lily got baptized. SHE IS AMAZING! She sincerely might be the most prepared investigator I've ever had. After being baptized she bore her testimony and talked about how even though her sins have been washed away she knows that she still needs to repent daily! I wish you could know, but that is a concept that just very few Khmer's understand. She gets it!!!! She really gets it! And then after it was all over she came up to me and with tears in her eyes thanked me so much that I went to teach her and without me she wouldn't know about the gospel and none of it would have been possible. Obviously, probably if I hadn't been here, someone else would have, so it wasn't really ME, but nonetheless, it was so sweet. I am so touched and grateful that I could teach her! She has blessed my life probably more than I have blessed hers!

I wish I had more to say this week, but I really don't... It was just a pretty normal week. I wish you knew these people I meet with all the time. I love them a whole lot. We break our backs trying to help them, and honestly only a few of them really act on it, but when they do it is worth it!! I just with everyone could see and know how important and wonderful this is!!

I love you all!!

Sister Homer

Royal Palace

We were trying really hard for a good jumping picture . . .

At the Palace

Sister Khut and Me

Bong Lily!!!

Sister Khut, Bong Lily, Me

Sisters Tieng, Chuong, Khut and me

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy America Day

Dear Folks,

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July celebrating America... I sang a whole bunch of patriotic songs to my companion. She laughed at me. Also we had zone training that day and I had pizza that was actually like REAL pizza! The first I've had since the MTC! It was the best thing ever!!! 

This was a good week. It went by pretty fast... and I feel like I can hardly remember what happened. One thing is that I went on exchange with Sister Chuong to Stung Mean Chey 1st ward, which if you recall is my very first area! I was so excited and happy that I could do that. Especially because I every time I have thought back on my time in SMC 1 I have had feelings of anxiety/dread. BUT going there this week really healed up those wounds! I really like seeing old members and riding the same old streets! And now I just feel love for my first area! It really was a blessing to go there again.

This week has been raining like CRAZY! You can't imagine the rain here. It pours and pours and sometimes really stinky rivers overflow. It is crazy! And fun! 

This week I was really bold with one of our members. Sasha's mom, actually. Her name is Ming Sissy. We heard from Sasha that Ming Sissy was going to stop going to church for various reasons, and we decided that was just not going to work. So we met with her and we just were direct, specific, and bold. We basically told her that she didn't have the option of not going to church, etc. So we left, and the next day we saw her and she was REALLY happy to see us! She joined in our lesson with other members. And this whole week she has liked us more than ever before. It's funny, and interesting. And I've thought a lot about it. I think it's because by being bold we actually showed how much we really do love and care about her. I think so many people here just don't have people who really care about what they do, and it means a lot to these members when we do care!

We also had another good lesson with a different recent convert who is less active about temples. Her name is Ming Ellie and I love her a lot. She is very smart and understands a lot, but doesn't go to church! But we had an amazing lesson about temples and how that needs to be her goal. She promised to go to church. She didn't actually go, BUT she has never promised to go before, so I think we are seeing progress! The temple really is amazing! And I can't wait until Cambodia has a temple, I know it will make things so much more real for members here. We are so blessed to have so many temples within 30 minutes of our house. 

I think I have told you about Bong Lily a lot, but I honestly can't say enough! She is amazing! She will be baptized this week and I know she will help this ward. Also, her husband has been inactive for 10 years and he came to church for the first time yesterday!!!! That was a big deal. He is Sister Kuoch's brother. His family was so happy that he was there! 

Earlier this week we were helping a recent convert clean spoons and her house is just right near trash mountain. As we were sitting there we had a few different members walk pass and they stopped and talked, and it just was really neat to see that within this community, there really is a connection between the members, despite how committed each of them actually are. It was nice for me to see that it is actually some significant part of their life! That all probably doesn't make sense to you, but if you were here I think you would get what I'm talking about!

I guess that is all I've got! This next Sunday we should be getting transfer calls. I wouldn't mind if you helped pray for me that I will have peace about where I'm called to serve. I'm not sure if I'll be going or staying, but the extras prayers will help either way. :) 

I love you all!!

Sister Homer

A river overflowed and this big street flooded. It was insane!

Sister Kean, Sister Khut, Sister Chuong, Me