Monday, October 26, 2015

In Which We Teach a Rat

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Almost. To celebrate this year we've got a baptism! Almost as fun as trick-or-treating. Just kidding. Way funner. 

We had a good week this week! We were able to meet with a lot of investigators we hadn't met with in a while, and we've got a bunch of potential investigators in the works, so stay tuned for that. We'll see what we can do. 

But, first things first, I'll start at the top of the week. Monday we went bowling!!! Finally. It was so fun. We went with a whole bunch of sisters.  I started off bowling the best I'd ever done in my life. Then the last three turns I got some zeros, so I ended up pretty average. It's okay, it's been a while since I worked on my bowling game. And it was Sister L.'s last p-day EVER. So we celebrated with her. She's headed back home this week, which is crazy. Her parents came and picked her up, and they took me and Sister L. to lunch on Saturday so that was a lot of fun. We went to the same restaurant we had gone to when I went on an exchange with her my first transfer and her third transfer! Crazy. Missions go so fast. Not really, but kind of. 

So Wednesday was a weird day for us. With two areas, we always have people to meet. But for some reason, nobody could meet with us. We pretty much spent the day riding around from one place to another. We decided at lunch we needed a pick-me-up so we decided to try a new crepe place that opened around the corner from our house. We walked in and it was like a different world. It felt like one of those cute, slightly-over-the-top desert shops in Provo, with a Japanese twist. The crepes were much pricier than pretty much any Khmer meal you could get off the street, but it was worth it. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. 

That night at English class we had an activity night. It ended up being a ton of fun. We combined all our classes together and all met together in the gym. Each companionship was in charge of a game. I pulled out the giant word search I made with Sister A. in Battambang. Other missionaries played Scattegories, telephone, and other games. It was a lot of fun. Then we watched some really good Mormon messages as a spiritual thought, and I think it caught a bunch of peoples' interest. We've been getting a lots of referrals from English class this week. And we had fifty-five people show up! So that was a good turn-out. We're hopefully meeting with two different people who are interested in learning this coming week, so stay tuned. 

Speaking of our Halloween baptism (like 6 paragraphs ago), we had a really great interview prep session with our investigators. It's the three teenage girls of our recent convert who are getting baptized. They are already so integrated into the ward, it's like they are already members. They have FHE at their house every Sunday and invite us and the Bishop's family and others in the ward. And while they are very active in the ward already, back when we first started teaching them in September we decided to put their baptismal date out a little bit far. We felt the extra time would be good for them. President has really been emphasizing retention lately. And the wait was worth it. The girls are really developing faith. I love helping prep investigators for their interview and going over questions with them because it's such a good opportunity for them to share their testimonies. 

Srey Neng is the oldest daughter. She's 17, and she's the one I was probably the most concerned about. She seemed very much to just be going through the motions. She'd come to church every week and open her scriptures and read a few verses because she knew it's what her mom wanted her to do, but her heart was not in it. But she really opened up to us. I asked her if she felt like she had repented and prepared herself adequately for baptism and what repentance meant for her. And then she told us that she's really starting to understand repentance. The other day at work one of her co-workers suggested they steal some of the tips (she works at a restaurant), and Srey Neng paused a second. She admitted that before she would have taken it without thinking, but she thought about God. And recognized that He wouldn't want her to take that money. Then she shared another instance where she was really thirsty. She went to a little store and all they had was tea, so she drank it. But she realized right after what she had done was wrong, and she prayed and asked forgiveness. She just kept talking about how she felt like she was different, and she didn't really know how to express it. And then as she was reading 2 Nephi 31 (a chapter we had assigned her and her sisters to read) she said she just really felt like it was true. That God was real. Before, she wouldn't really believe what her Mom said about God, and it would go in one ear and out the other, but now she says she really believes. 

Those might sound like little, insignificant stories, but that's conversion! As she was talking, there was this light in her eyes. That's the light that tells you the baptism is a go. Sometimes it's so hard to tell where investigators are on the spectrum of conversion (because, yes, it is a spectrum). But there is a light and it will grow and grow as they do the things they are supposed to. And all of a sudden, one day you realize it clicked for them. It's pretty cool. 

Another cool investigator story. We've finally been able to meet with Ciat and Navy (the husband and wife who are related to another recent convert of ours). They were out of town for two weeks. I assumed they were doing what everyone else does during Pchum Ben--going to the wat, drinking, and gambling. But I underestimated them a little bit. While I think they did their fair share of that, they also read the Book of Mormon. Ming Yeen (Navy's mom) is very encouraging (or more accurately, very forceful) about getting them involved in the gospel. She told Ciat he needed to be reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. So he did. He prayed before bed and then he went to bed and had a dream in which he saw God. God told him the book was true, and now he really believes it. So that was pretty cool! We've got them pretty sold on the scriptures, now we've just got to work on church. They don't have a consistent way to get to church; and ever since they've gotten back to the city, they're way low on money. And Navy feels like he needs to work and can't spare the hours to come to church (even though Ciat has asked permission to get them off). So we'll work on that one. Every time we meet Ciat, he surprises me by how much faith he has and how much he understands. They both have so much potential. We've still got a long way to go and some addictions that need to be tackled, but the testimony building is happening. And that's what'll be the key. 

While we were in the middle of a spiritual lesson with them, a rat (full-on rat, not a mouse) jumped out from the back of their house, which is really just a small room, dashed past us and dove into a pile of clothes. I stopped mid-sentence and scooted to the other side, hiding behind our 12-year old investigator. They thought it was hilarious. I'm sorry, I've dealt with mice, but rats are NOT a thing. Then Navy told me that last night while she was sleeping, two rats were fighting on the ceiling rafters above her and then one landed on her head! So that's Cambodia for you. 

We continue to have a lot of fun with the members in our wards. One afternoon this week we went out with Ming Sovanna and the Bishop's wife Ming Sopaa. They told us they really wanted to go out with u, so we gladly took them up on it. It made for some chaotic lessons, but I think our investigators/less-actives at least felt the love. They should be a companionship. They love going out and visiting members. 

Saturday night the Bishop in Tuolkork invited us over for an FHE at his house. He kept changing the time on us so we ended up missing the lesson (whoops) but we made it the for the important part--the food. We ended up meeting a former sister who had served her mission here who came back with her husband from Utah. She was here visiting a former companion, her former koon actually. Seven years, and two kids with one on the way later! I told Sister L. that'll be us. We can come back and visit seven years later. Hopefully we'll remember a few words in Khmer at that point...

Well that I think wraps up the week. Except for Sunday. We spent all day (8 am to 5 pm) at the church with only a 20 min break for lunch. I will be a little relieved when I'm not in two wards again. 

Just want to share a little spiritual thought. This week I've been studying a lot about joy. I had been studying it in the scriptures, and had been thinking of it in regards of President Uchtdorf's "making the gospel work for you" talk from conference. And then I was looking at the Doctrine of Christ. I thought about how the Doctrine of Christ is not a four-step process that you simply rinse and repeat in order to endure to the end and attain eternal life. But it is an increasingly rewarding pattern of living. It's the simple solution to finding happiness in an imperfect world of trials. If this pattern of living is not bringing us joy, we're not doing it right. We're either not being honest with ourselves in our commitment to follow Christ or we are over complicating it. It's really so simple. The Lord knows we'll mess up, and that's why repentance is built right in to the process. But the goal is to always be progressing, in order to draw closer and closer to Christ and become more and more like him.

Well that's all for this week. Watch out for rats, and have a happy Halloween!

love, Sister Fields

the bowling sisters

Sister L. and me.

such nice shoes


English class games

English class

Monday, October 19, 2015

In Which We Clean House

Me teaching body parts at English class.

So not too much went down this week. Sometimes I can't believe it's P-day again. These weeks just keep flying by. Transfer calls came last night, and Sister L. and I will be together another transfer to finish training together, so that's good news! We were happy about that. 

As for this week, the first two days were spent cleaning our house (because Pchum Ben shut the city down). We thought it would be a quick job because our apartment is very small, but we cleaned all the way from 6 in the morning until 12:30 pm when the senior couple came for cleaning check. But our apartment is spotless! Somehow we still get ants all over the kitchen; but hey, it's Cambodia. Everything is very alive here. All the missionaries in the city got together Tuesday evening for a celebration at the stake center. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and ate ice cream and cookies so that was fun. 

Then the next day it was back to work, despite the fact the city was still vacant. We had English class that night. Usually we get an average of 40 or 50 students at our building. (I'm English class leader, did I mention that before? I literally hate being English class leader. You have no power or authority, but you get the blame for everything!) And we had approximately ZERO students show up. So that was cool. 

So we didn't really get a chance to meet with too many people. Hopefully next week will really get back to normal. Holidays kind of shut the work down for a month, which is a little frustrating, but it's okay. We do what we can do. We have some baptisms coming up next week. The teenage girls we've been teaching for a while are on date. They are the daughters of our recent convert. I've taught them ever since I first arrived, so it's been about two months now. And it's fun to see how much they've grown. At first they were VERY reluctant to learn, but the mom pretty much forced them. But as they've come to church every week and started reading scriptures (mostly without having to be prompted from mom) they are really starting to develop their own testimonies. It's hard sometimes to tell with investigators if they are truly experiencing conversion in their hearts or if it's kind of a surface change that will cause them to revert back after a while. But we had a really good lesson with them on covenants and helped them understand that baptism is a chance to become a "new creature." I think it's really starting to click for them. And the youngest (14) is now wanting to serve a mission! They're all really cute and funny. We have a lot of fun teaching them. We like to dream about the day that they're all going to go to the Salt Lake temple together to get sealed and we'll go meet them there.

We've had a lot of fun teaching that family. Now every Sunday they do an FHE and invite us and different families from the ward over. It's a lot of fun. Everybody gets a chance to share a verse and a little spiritual thought. We always end up laughing a lot. And then they feed us too much food and make fun of Sister L. for not "knowing how" to eat Khmer food, even though most of the time she really does like it (though sometimes it can be quite sketchy). There are some really great members in both of our wards, and it's been fun getting to know them. 

We had a good lesson with Srey Leap our 17-year-old investigator from English class. She's smart and really sweet. She wants to learn everything. She keeps asking me to teach her piano and Sister L. to teach her basketball because she asked her if she knew how to play and she said yes, haha. So we'll see about all of those. For now though, she's just learning about the gospel with us. She went home to her srok for the holiday, and then gave us a call right when she got back wanting to meet that day. We've taught her the first few lessons and we invited her to get baptized, but she said she's not sure yet. She wants to understand more before she agrees, which is an answer I actually like a lot. We helped her understand that she can know for herself what we are teaching is true mostly through the Book of Mormon and prayer. She read the first chapter and then re-read it again just so she made sure she understood it. These may not sound like big things; but here in Cambodia, they are. So she's doing well. 

Hmmm, what else is new? Friday we went on an exchange. The sister training leaders in our zone are in a trio now, so two sisters came to be with me in my area. We had a good day, and taught a lot of lessons, but I really missed Sis L! We were reunited the next night when we met up at the church to exchange back and it just felt like I really had parted from my actual koon

So this week I'll just share a quick scriptural thought I've been ponderizing for the week. This one comes from 2 Ne 26:24. I'll even insert it right here so you don't have to go looking, that's how considerate I am:

"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation."

That is the character of Christ. Everything He does, has done, and will continue to do is for the benefit of the world. For us. Despite our imperfections, and our selfishness, He gave His life to us. Why? Because He loves the world (read: us). And it is His love that draws us in. He stands there, arms outstretched, inviting us to come to partake of His salvation. Tae be nung (that's all). 

So that's it for this week. Life continues to go on in Cambodia. Trash is burned, monks do their door-to-door trick or treating chants (tis the season) the roads flood, the children run around naked, and such is the life. And I do love it. Not because Cambodia is particularly beautiful or anywhere I would want to live for the rest of my life, but because it is Cambodia. And then experiences we are having are crazy, and hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking, but overall pretty life changing. It's a good life. And I've got four more months of it. Here we go! 


Sister Fields

Movie party at the church after we cleaned house.

Sis L. and Srey Pov (the youngest of the teenage daughters--the one who wants to serve a mission) coloring together.

 One night we had no one to see. So we went home to work on CBRs, but just before we swung be a new Domino's that just opened up around the corner! Not your American Domino's for sure, but not bad. 

Okay so the theme is food. These are no-bake cookies we made one night a few weeks ago. Turned out super good.

Spent forty minutes cleaning grease off the walls.

Kind of hard to see, but this is a desert a less active made and had us try. It's jack fruit stuffed with this special kind of rice pudding thing. You dip it in the liquid stuff. It was not bad.
Last but not least. I'm rich! This is the stack of 100s we took to the psaar the other day. Hint: one 100 is equivalent to about 3 cents.  The least  I have spent is 500 for something.

Monday, October 12, 2015

In Which I Watch My Last General Conference...

Me and Sister L. went to Swenson's with some sisters last Friday to celebrate our one-year  anniversary of being in the country! 
Hey hey, 

So it was a good week. Pchum Ben has definitely arrived. The city has been getting sparser and sparser every day; and when we woke up Sunday morning to go to the church to watch conference, there was literally no one on the streets and all the shops were closed. Sister L. said this is what life would be like if we were missionaries in Utah since life shuts down there on a Sunday! So it's nice not having to deal with traffic, but on the downside it took us an hour to track down an open internet cafe today. Also it's a good thing it was general conference weekend here for us because there is really no one to meet. Everyone went home to the khets for the holiday and to go to the wat. It's weird because in April, Cool Chnam conflicts with conference, and in October it's Pchum Ben--the two biggest holidays in Cambodia! The biggest days are today and tomorrow so we will be inside cleaning our house. We have a very small house, so we will make it sparkle. It'll be good times.

The highlight of the week was obviously conference, but I'll end on that good note. I'll start with last Monday, we decided to spend in enjoyable P-day afternoon at Toulslang. Nope, bad idea. While it was very interesting and important, it was not at all an uplifting/refreshing/de-stressful activity P-day requires. Toulslang is a museum on the genocide in Cambodia. It used to be a high school, but Pol Pot turned it into a prison camp. In typical Cambodian fashion, it doesn't really feel like a museum because there's very little information; but you can walk around the whole thing and get a sense of all the different rooms and buildings where people were held. It was very dark. I don't think I really walked away with a better understanding of why it happened, but more what happened there, the different ways they tortured people and killed people, etc. We ended up not even touring the whole thing because it was just too much for us. There's one hallway that just has picture after picture of prisoners taken right after they were put in prison. ALL of them died. I don't remember the statistics, but out of how ever many thousands of people who went in, only seven survived. A few of them now work at the museum and have books about there experiences/organizations to donate too, etc. We met one man; he was in his 60s probably. Very interesting. But mostly very, very sad. 

On a lighter note we had all sorts of weird food experiences this week, which I guess I have taken for granted, but Sister L. was freaking out a bit. It's fun to be with a koon because everything is still so new, and you realize all the weird things that have just become a part of your life now. The bishop's wife in the Toulkork ward is so nice, but also very intense and does not take no for an answer. And like every good Khmer person, she shows her love through food. We always know when we go by their home we are going to get some sort of concoction. This week though, we were about to leave a neighborhood with a bunch of members and we ran into her. Immediately (though it's only three in the afternoon) she shouts, "Sisters! You must be hungry! Come, let me buy you food." No amount of protests will stop her. I've learned to just give in and tell her thank you. So we ate some sort of noodle soup, which was not bad, but did have a very mysterious meat in it. But we didn't get sick, so that's good I suppose. 

Speaking of the Bishop's wife, she helped us teach a lesson this week. We went to meet one of our investigators (the mom and neice of a recent convert) at the church, and we were bummed because we weren't going to have a member present. But then she was right there in the lobby not  doing anything and was happy to help. So we were pumped until we remembered that both she and our investigator are chatters... And we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. It took some serious steering to keep that lesson on topic. But ultimately I think it went well. They got the main point that God loves us and wants us to have everything He has  They even got the whole detailed story of the fruit and the snake in the Garden of Eden... So much for teaching simply!

We had a good lesson with our teenage girl investigators on the temple. They were in a very silly mood and ended up making plans to come visit us in America, and we'll all go to the Salt Lake Temple together. But they felt the Spirit, and that's what's important I'm learning. And that Spirit can be felt in a lot of ways. Before we entered the house every one was waking up from their afternoon naps and annoyed with each other and not in the mood to learn. But when we left, they were all smiling and happy, and it's not because of anything we did but because the Spirit was present. 

Other adventures, we biked through an ocean again this week. We had a meeting at the church at 5:30 pm, and it started to pour. But we didn't realize how bad it was until we left. This is definitely flood season. But this time it was at night and it was cold! It was freezing! We were like, what is this feeling?! I had definitely forgotten what being cold felt like. It was a weird sensation! Then coming down the road back to our house with trucks barreling by the other direction, we literally had waves hitting us. We were biking against a current. Now we know what biking in the ocean would feel like. 

But yes, the highlight was definitely conference. Even though we didn't get to find out when it actually occurred, hearing about the new apostles was still exciting. I haven't had a chance yet to make sense of all my conference notes, but I'm really looking forward to going back and reading the talks. It always seems like conference has some sort of a theme, but this year it was really all so interconnected. So much was about discipleship, which was awesome, because that's what President Christensen is focusing on right now. It seemed like a lot of it was on just living the gospel simply and the joy and blessings that will come from that. When we make Christ the center of our life, every thing works out. 

I loved Pres. Uchtdorf's opening talk about making the gospel work for you. It was so practical, but simple. I liked that he said we must protect the purity and plainness of the gospel. This is so applicable in a teaching sense. One thing I've learned on my mission is that the gospel is really so simple. And the best way it is taught and understood is through the simple principles. Especially here in Cambodia where even the concept of God is foreign. Simplicity is so important. I loved Sister Marriott's talk too! She's a very eloquent speaker and I loved what she had to say about discipleship as well. That a disciple is one who has a changed heart, someone who has been converted, or is on the conversion path, if you will. I love the comforting message that every thing will work out in the timing of the Lord. And that as we wait upon Him, we learn of His ways. And make His ways our ways and become a better disciples.

Speaking of which, there was so much about spiritual progression and improving yourself, which was really good. I loved Elder Lawrence's message about listening to the Spirit that the Spirit gives customized counsel when we humbly turn to the Lord and ask "What lack I yet?" and then have the faith to follow it. I'm working on this now. I also felt like I learned a lot about the Holy Ghost and personal revelation, which is something I'm really trying to study right now. I feel like I still don't really understand how the Lord communicates with me, but I'm learning it might take my whole life time to figure out this pattern. I also really liked Elder Hales talk to young adults. Mostly his suggestion to have a "personal council" with the Lord was cool. 

Also, let's not forget Ponderizing! (If I knew how to do a little "c" for copyrighted on a keyboard I would). That talk made me laugh so much. He was just so into the idea and even provided testimonials. But hey, it worked on me. I picked out 2 Ne 26:24 for the week! 

There's so much more I loved (like Pres Uchdorf's story from women's session!) but that's probably all for now. More to follow! Hope everyone has a good week!


Sister Fields

A room at Toulsleng. No plaque of information, no "no touching" sign, just these beds that were very likely authentic.

Rules of the prison camp.

Wider shot of Toulslang.

Bishop's wife who bought us soup.

Noodle soup with mystery meat.

Sister L getting ready to brave the storm. No ponchos, just a giant grocery bag for the backpack.

Monday, October 5, 2015

In Which I Teach Church

Dinner with our recent convert's family.


It's been a good week! I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with training now. I think Sister L. and I have gotten into a good groove, and things are really starting to happen in our areas now! It was a good work week. I feel like I'm learning to see the hand of the Lord more and more. The trick is you've got to look for it. It's always there. 

So I'll share a couple cool moments from this week. The first came about from my flat tire. It wasn't super flat, I just needed to get it sopped (Khmenglish for pumped up? Is that what we say? I didn't know bike lingo before, now I only know it in Khmer). I had been putting it off for a few days just because I was lazy, but one afternoon I gave in and stopped at a little bike place around the corner of the apartment. Because so many people ride bikes and motos in this country, lots of people just hang out on the corners with a tank of air. We stopped and the bike guy immediately contacted us. Turns out he's learning with the Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses right now (because that's a thing), but they only come every once in a while, and he really wants to learn more about Christ. I shared a little bit about the Restoration and he was hooked. He actually learned with elders before a while ago. So I got his number to pass along to the elders and he said, "make sure they call me!" So that was a pretty golden contact. Good thing I was lazy about my bike tires!

That same day we went by a less-active member's house. The same house with the twin babies named Nephi and Joseph. We hoped to meet with the less-active mom, but she wasn't willing to meet us. We're not exactly sure what to do to help her. But then we started talking to her daughter (she and the dad are the only active ones in the family). It became clear that she really needed to talk. She's been having a hard time lately feeling like she's carrying her whole family on her shoulders, and she's just getting tired. I think she really just needed to talk to someone. We shared a scripture about hope with her; and after we were leaving, she said that even though we came to see her Mom, Heavenly Father had a different plan. God is in the details. 

We had a way cool experience with our new investigators, Ciat and Navy, this week. We taught them lesson two about the Plan of Salvation and then we extended the baptismal commitment. Navy (the wife) accepted right away, but Ciat was more hesitant. He said he wants to make sure that he can come to church first, which is a good sign of his understanding of the significance of baptism and his commitment to it. He's going to try to ask if he can get out of work Sunday afternoons. We also helped them understand that by setting a date for baptism, we're setting a goal to work towards. And I promised that if they kept their commitments, they would be ready by that date. They're both worried about some word of wisdom addictions they have to get over. But I testified that through Christ and His Atonement they would receive the strength to do it. And I could testify of that because I had seen it before on my mission. I felt the Spirit and I could tell they did too. They are just both so much happier. Ciat was smiling so big, he couldn't help but laugh. So we've committed them for a Christmas baptism (which is INSANE that that's only three months away). Then Ciat said the closing prayer. Even though it was short and simple, the Spirit was very strong. And at then end we opened our eyes and he was crying. It was a very cool moment. The gospel changes lives. 

So investigators are doing well. We started teaching two new investigators this week. The mom and niece of a recent convert. They came to church already with him, and have faith. But it's going to take a little bit of work to help them understand and come to feel the importance of baptism. The mom/grandma is named Ming Liang. She has memory problems and is worried about committing to baptism and falling short of what she's supposed to do. But we just have to help build her faith. We've only met her once, so hopefully we'll get to meet them again this week. It's starting to get tricky with Pchum Ben upon us. Everyone is leaving town. So we'll see who we'll get to meet this coming week....

We seem to have a bunch of people coming to us wanting to learn this past week, which is cool. The only problem is they are all children. We have four separate children (ages 13-17) who've come up to us in various situations wanting to learn. So we'll see, we'll see. I'm quite against teaching kids. Maybe a little too against it. I've just seen so many situations where the kid goes less active or moves, or years later just has no interest in coming back. But we'll try and get the families in on it. We'll see. Again, it kind of seems like everything's being put on hold for a week for the holiday. So we'll see what happens. 

Yesterday was a bit crazy. It was fast Sunday for us (because we don't have general conference until next weekend). And in the Teuk La'ak ward (the afternoon ward) I was asked to teach Sunday school two minutes before class began. So I put together some sort of an excuse for a lesson on eternal marriage. Then we walk into Relief Society, and guess what? No teacher. So several unfortunate members had to listen to me teach two hours during church. Thus, I taught church, the girl who speaks no Khmer on a Fast Sunday brain. That was fun. Sometimes I think I'm gonna get home and life will be so easy because I've had to learn to do so many hard things on my mission. But that's not really how life works...

We ended up going to a member FHE that night. It was a last-minute invitation, and it was on the other side of town. So we had to bike across town through 6:00 pm traffic on our very empty stomachs. But we made it; and after some spiritual thoughts, they fed us some pretty delicious Khmer curry/noodle soup deal. It was a lot of fun. It was the family of Ming Sovanna (our recent convert, and we are currently teaching her teenage daughters) and the Bishop's family was there too. 

So that was the week. Today I'm going to go check out Tuol Sleng, a museum about the genocide in Cambodia. So that will be very interesting, I've been wanting to go for a while. Sometimes I forget about how recently Pol Pot was. It was only 40 years ago, so a lot of the people I meet and teach every day are survivors or the era. Just this week we went to go visit a less-active who told us her story. She was 31 during the Khmer Rouge. She had 10 brothers and sisters and all of them (along with her parents) were killed. Somehow she escaped and was forced to go work up in the fields in Kampongcham. When it all ended, she came back to the city. But everyone was so poor and the country was in ruins. She (with many others) walked back to PP. It took 17 days and she was barefoot the whole time. Rocks dug into her feet the entire way. When she arrived, she had to start her life all over with no family left to help her. I'm always so interested to hear peoples' stories, and usually they're willing to share their experiences. What always impresses me is the resilience these people have. Khmers know how to endure. 

Well, I think that's all I've got for this week. Just wanted to end with a little spiritual thought. I'm currently trying to finish re-reading all of last conference before this next one comes. I read Elder Anderson's "Thy Kingdom Come" this week and I really liked a line from it. He says, "we do everything we can to move this work forward. But this is the Lord’s work, and He directs it. He is at the helm. We marvel as we watch Him open doors we cannot open and perform miracles we can scarcely imagine." This hit me hard this week. The past few weeks I've been stressed and over-anxious about the tasks in front of me. But this week I've learned again that all I need to do and all I can do is to rely on the Lord. And it is my privilege to watch His hand work, and to play what little part I can in His plan. It's a good life. 

Til next week!


Sister Fields