Monday, January 25, 2016

The Week of the GIANT KAMPONG CHAM CAR WASH‏ !!!!!

Hi all!

Wait, before I tell you about this week I just want to tell you all that today is possibly the coldest day in Cambodia with a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 70 degrees. It's so funny because everyone was wearing full on winter bubble coats this morning and chastising us for wearing short sleeves. Hahaha.

Ok this week. We started up a fun new thing with between branches 1 and 2 of KPC -- a hymn/scripture class every Tuesday night open to all faiths and we are hoping it will draw more people in and get them interested in our church! We have yet to advertise it so we will see how many actually come this week. On Wednesday, we did some service for one of the Branch 1 Sister's investigator. She has all this land and grows all this fun stuff, so we helped her pick some peanut plants and I have to say it is a lot less complicated than I would have ever thought! LOTS of fire ant hills thoughTired face and then for English class, we had the highest attendance record EVER. I would love to tell you what it was but I forget and also numbers aren't important, am I right? On Thursday, we were doing weekly planning and Sister Nhem was just like, "what can we do for Kampong Cham!? There is no one to teach". And I half jokingly replied, "Shut up, Sister Nhem. You have to believe in miracles. We will get a miracle this week". AND THEN GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? YEAH. A MIRACLE. We went to the work place of one of our investigators and decided to contact the shop across the street from her. It turns out, it was a girl we had already contacted before and who actually ditched one of our appointments lol. Anyway, we asked her if she wanted to learn and she said yes! Her name is Srey Niang and she is sooo funny, she has a niece and a nephew who she takes care of and they are so sweet and we just recently started teaching her niece Lisa too. But anyway, a Neak Ming came and sat in on the lesson and we asked her if she wanted to learn with us and she said yes! After the lesson, we walked on over to her house to get to know her better and she just poured out her little heart and was crying all over. We are way excited to teach these two miracles and help them come closer unto Christ. On Saturday, all of the KPC branches pulled together to do a 8am-6pm free car wash. BUT WAIT. There was a twist. While the people were waiting for their cars and motos to be washed, they had to go sit down in the shade with free water next to Sister Nhem and Sister Ren. They contacted over 100 people with 51 wanting to learn! And we were able to wash around 175 motos and 50 cars maybe? I don't remember. It was way fun and after literally a day full of service, my body is completely sore. ALL worth it! Sorry so short on email this week, we are in the city again because Sister Nhem has a tendinitis and wanted to get it checked. If you're wondering about church on Sunday, 25 people including the missionaries showed up. BUT don't worry! We are working on it!! Alright, until next week!!!

Sister Nguyen

Pictures 1 and 2 - Car Wash

The week we had to take Sister Semones to the bus station for transfers- Week of 1/17

Hey guys!

This week was super fun! On Wednesday, we were scheduled to do service in the morning. We were supposed to go with Sister Brown and Sister Ren, but Sister Brown ended up feeling a little sick so she stayed home with Sister Semones and so just Sister Ren, Sister Nhem and I went to do service. We gathered rice and it was kind of the worst. Being bent over for 3 hours picking up rice is so nauseating. I felt so sick but, afterwards, we looked at the three fields we gathered and were so satisfied! Can I just say for the millionth time how much I love service? I LOVE IT. And then after we came home, we had to take Sister Semones to the bus station for transfers. It was a little sad but mostly, we are really excited for this awesome opportunity she gets to have!

Thursday, after weekly planning, we went out to meet all the people for the day, but literally NO ONE was home. Sister Nhem and I were more weirded out than frustrated. Even Om Naa who is always on the side of the road at her shop wasn't home. And so after many failed attempts, we pulled over to the side of the road and just laughed to keep ourselves from going insane. And then Sister Nhem said, "Heavenly Father please help us to find someone to teach!!". And then she remembered a girl who we had contacted at a less-active's house. So we called her up and she agreed to meet with us! We went to pick her up from her school and had to dope her all the way back to the church. It was way far and so tiring haha. Turns out, her name is Linda! Everyone laughs when I tell them that's my name and they always say, "that's a Khmer name!". Anyway, she thinks it's so funny and so she just calls me Sister Linda. It's really weird to hear your first name!! In my dreams at night, people even call me Sister Nguyen and when I try to think of a memory, I always remember the person saying Sister Nguyen instead of Linda. Anyhow, so we taught her the first lesson and she just looked terrified the whole time. Haha, it was so bad. I'm so glad Sister Nhem saw that too because then she told her that we were both converts and that everything was strange when we first started learning too but that she promised that Linda could only know if what we were teaching was good or not if she tried it out for herself. So Linda agreed and even said she would come to church on Sunday! 

Friday was our best day yet! We managed to get so many lessons in and even picked up another new investigator! Her name is Srey Nic and she has a super good friend who is a member. SO funny, we were teaching about the restoration and had her member friend Leakhana sit in to help us teach. And then we asked Leakhana to share some of her thoughts about the Book of Mormon and she was doing awesome and then she started talking about how we can't drink coffee and how her mom drank coffee and needed a blessing from the elders. Sister Nhem and I were really caught off guard but all we could do was continue. 

Sunday was like any other Sunday. Not many people showed up and it was a bummer. The District President met with our District Leader and talked about how the numbers for Kampong Cham are really falling. So we are trying to come up with proposals on what to do. All in all, we are still staying positive and trying to work harder than ever to help this area really grow! It's so hard when you love these people so much and when they see God's hand in their lives but still don't care enough to come to church. BUT Sister Nhem and willing and ready to work our butts off! Sorry I don't really have anything spiritual to share. I hope you're all doing well and handling the cold well too! 

Sister Nguyen 

Picture 1 We climbed a tower last p-day, this was our view! 
Picture 2 too hot in Cambodia 
 Picture 3 stopping traffic to proselyte for our free English class

Picture 4 Do service - get a free turnip! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Week of the Mighty Miracle!!‏

HI ALL. BEFORE ANYTHING. CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED? VIETNAM IS BECOMING ITS OWN MISSION ON MARCH 1!!! I AM WAY PUMPED. All my cousins and aunts and uncles better watch out for the missionaries coming their way. So many prayers and so much fasting and work and most importantly will of the Lord gone to good. What a privilege to say we were here when it happened! 

Ok. On Tuesday Sister Nhem and I went to the city because Sister Nhem is a Sister Training Leader and had to go to MLC. So I went out with Sister Haddock and Sister Pace and we went contacting around the city while our companions were in the meeting. It was way fun but biking in the city is way scary haha Anyway, I always learn a lot from them and am so happy to see they are doing so well and learning so much! Sister Pace just opened up a jar of wisdom on us and it was a lot of what I needed to hear. 

There was no service this week on Wednesday and it was a bummer. We went to teach our investigator Bong Thaa about the woman with the issue of blood and how she acted on her faith in Christ, but when we got there we realize we all forgot our bibles at home and so just went to teach an impromptu lesson about the Priesthood. It turns out, Bong Thaa and her baby are super sick. We told her that if she wanted to, the Elders or someone from church would be more than willing and happy to give them a blessing. She was so glad to hear that and we told her she could come to church on Sunday and ask one of them. She told us she would come, but ended up not coming. We hope it's just because she couldn't find a ride :/ 

Thursday was an interesting day. After weekly planning, I was not feeling too good but decided to go out anyway. We went and waited at the church for one of our potential investigators to show up. She ended up ditching us for the third time in a row and then I ended up getting a fever haha. It was already 4 o clock by then so we just finished up teaching before curfew. We taught Om Naa which was a referral from the Elders and she is SUPER SWEET. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. Every time we come, she just calls us srey s'aat and then smiles and absorbs the whole lesson in. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she already knew so much about the creation and Adam and Eve. At the end of the lesson, she told us she knew that she had to keep the commandments and follow Jesus Christ in order to live with God again, but that Sunday was her only day off and she wasn't sure if she could come to church. We are excited because she still wants to learn and we can see that she is actually taking things in and remembers things from previous lessons! And then after that, we went to teach Ming Sotea who is an inactive. She's super awesome and every time we go t teach her, the spirit is incredible. We decided to teach her about forgiveness because Bong Thaa our investigator lives across the street from her and they've got some weird beef but we wanted Bong Thaa to have a way to get to church and were hoping Ming Sotea could help. Anyway, we finished our lesson and she said she would try to offer rides to Bong Thaa and then she looked at us and asked if she could ask a question. And then she asked about Heavenly Mother and I was really surprised. We talked about it a little and it was way fun. 

I woke up Friday morning and my fever was gone! So I'm still alive and healthy (obviously)!! We had zone training on Friday and it was a blast! Right before we started, our zone leader walked in after getting off the phone and was like, "Ok. We have some exciting news. Starting March 1st, Vietnam becomes its own mission!". My mouth literally dropped. Everyone was so happy, mostly because now when we do mission prayer, we don't have to pray for the missionaries and people in Vietnam anymore. We're not sure what will happen but are so excited to hear! Anyway, what I took away most from zone training was to 1 BE DILIGENT 2 Tie in the Atonement and Restoration to EVERY lesson because those two things bring the Spirit like no other and 3 Take personal responsibility. I swear the Elders in our zone are so in tune with the Spirit, because I know for me, it was everything I needed to hear. This was a great transfer but I'm hoping to apply what I learned from Zone Training to this new transfer and back it even better. 

Saturday, Sister Nhem woke up feeling a little under the weather so we stayed home in the morning and finished cleaning the house. In the afternoon, Sister Semones and I went out to teach a recent convert, Om Cianthaan, while Sister Nhem stayed home with Sister Ren and Brown. We brought a bible to teach her and she said she didn't have one and I said don'r worry we'll bring you one tomorrow, you can use mine right now. And then she ended up writing in mine and taking it home. Hahaha she's old and crazy but I love her so much. 

Yesterday, we had all these lessons planned for after church and they all fell through. We ended up dropping one of our investigators because she hides or pretends top be asleep every time we come and just doesn't want to learn anymore. And then Om Naa hurt her back so she had to go to the chiropractor so we decided to contact. I got to play badminton with random people and I found a Vietnamese guy on the side of the road. We tried to give him a pamphlet but then he told us he didn't know how to read. And so I tried talking to him in Vietnamese and he would just reply back in gibberish. It was a little frustrating so we went home and just snacked on some Oreos to end the day. We got transfer calls last night, Sister Nhem and I are going to finish up training here in Kampong Cham and Sister Semones is going to train!!! Isn't that way cool? I'm so pumped for this transfer and hope it's even better than the last and that the work in Kampong Cham will really start picking up! Hope the new year is going swellingly for 5 of you who actually read this!!! Until next week!

Sister Nguyen

P.S. I have absolutely no pictures this week sorry lol 
P.P.S. WAIT JUST KIDDING. Here's a picture of Sister Pace, Haddock, and I with our
American food in the city.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Week I Bought A Bottle of Sriracha for 7 dollars # worthit‏

Hello all!
I'm getting really bad at remembering what happened during the week which I think is a sign that I need to write in my journal more just like President told me to do. 

On Tuesday, our companionship did exchanges. Sister Nhem went with the Branch 1 sisters for the day and left me and Sister Semones to cover Branch 1 and 2. I was a little nervous, not gonna lie, because we are both pretty new to this whole Cambodia thing and aren't exactly fluent. But we were way pumped! Well, most of our appointments fell through except for our investigator Bong Thaa. We taught about fasting and tithing and were feeling pretty good because she understood everything and was way willing to follow both commandments! And then while we were teaching her how to fill out the slip, she stopped us and started talking about literally every single problem she had especially with her husband. So we sat and concentrated really hard on what she was saying and then I started crying a little because she has so many trials, but through everything she always remembers that God can and will help her. She told us every time she got really angry or frustrated she would go and say a prayer. I was incredibly touched by the amount of faith she has. These people have so much faith and desire to follow Jesus Christ because they want so much to have happiness in their lives. They are incredible examples to me and I will never be able to compare to them. Anyway, by the end of Tuesday, Sister Semones and I were pooped because we basically just contacted the entire day. It was way fun but made me really grateful to have Sister Nhem to help lead and guide. Basically everyone we contacted that day told us they couldn't understand us which is probably true half the time but also mostly just because we look foreign and they don't want to have to put in the effort to try and understand us. 

On Wednesday, we harvested some more rice fields! Service is literally my favorite because physical labor is probably one of the only useful things I know how to do and allows me to physically see the fruits of my labor because sometimes with teaching, it gets hard. Harvesting is always a fun time and the family always feeds us delicious foods afterwards so we always leave super happy. 

Wednesday night, we got a call from the Elders in our branch telling us that we were having Branch Council the next day and that the Branch President was going to come. We were way stoked because this guy's super inactive and the branch hasn't had a Branch Council in 5ever. I thought it to be a miracle! So the next day, we show up for Branch Council, and we all sat down and waited for the Branch President. One hour later, and he still hadn't shown. Turns out, he was going to Siem Riep the next day and couldn't come to the meeting. And thus goes Kampong Cham. I only hear negative things about this place and it's a bummer. But I was reading in the New Testament somewhere and Jesus is talking to His disciples after they've had a long day of fishing and have caught nothing. They get super bummed but then, He tells them to cast their nets in one more time and they're all like, we havent caught anything all day why would we catch any now? And then He's like just do it. SO they do and catch so much fish that their boat starts sinking because it's so heavy. And they just cry because they can't believe they doubted Him. Anyway, I really took that story to heart because all I hear is "oh KPC is so hard. No one wants to learn. Every one is less-active" and sometimes, it's hard to not think like that too, but then I remember that The Lord will provide a way. All He's asking for us to do is to not give up and to trust Him when He tells us that they are people out there that want to learn, keep trying. I think when I remember that, it's a lot easier to feel optimistic and to go about this work with joy! 

Friday, Sister Harris and Sister Young came down for exchanges. I was with Sister Harris for the first half of the day, and we didn't have enough bikes so we were just doping each other around the whole day which sucks when your bike is literal garbage. But it was way fun because she gave me so much helpful advice and really pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to teach. I loved it because sometimes, I have trouble being able to teach just because I'm in a trio and I'm so new I feel like I don't have anything important to say. But Sister Harris told me that the best time to plant my tree, besides 20 years ago, is now! AKA it's never too late to start teaching. Funny story, we went to pick up Om Cianthaan for a lesson and Sister Harris borrowed her bike and doped her. Om fell off her bike when we stopped and peed her pants right then and there. She wasn't even phased. It was hilarious. 

Yesterday, we contacted one of the referrals the Elders gave us. She's this cute old lady who in interested in learning because she saw how much her mom loved Jesus Christ and wanted to know why. We sat down and taught her the first lesson and it was awesome! She's way cute and so genuine and really wants to learn. She even accepted baptism and we are going back to teach her on Thursday!! After the lesson, we went contacting and ended up contacting this old old Om outside of her house. She wasn't interested, but after we were done talking to her, her neighbor, a Lookpuu came over and asked what we were doing. We told him that we are missionaries and then he walked back into his house and we thought he was just walking away. But then he waved us over and pulled out three chairs for us to sit down. We were so shocked and he said he was super interested in learning. But it turns out he doesn't have a family so we can't teach him and have to hand him over to the Elders. I'm way excited about this one though! 

This was a super good week with a lot of learning experiences and many miracles with the gift of tongues. Like always but especially this week, I am reminded of my purpose here. It's to completely forget about myself and to help others come unto Christ. Because this gospel is a gospel where we take what we are given and learn in joy not in sorrow. We rejoice because we know that even though today was hard, the Savior can and will help us overcome it. And that through the Atonement, we can look forward to better days. I love this work! And I sure do love my God! I love you all and hope you take this new year as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with God even more! 

Sister Nguyen

Picture 1 Pday last week hot pot and sushi buffet in the city #blest
Picture 2 By the Mekong River right over the bamboo bridge!
Picture 3 Full-time missionary, Part-time Balloon animal artist
Picture 4 Sister Nhem's graduation last week