After leaving Salt Lake, we have arrived and are in a land of wonder and surprise! We landed at Phnom Penh Saturday evening around 10:30, and walked out into a crowd of waiting families that were watching for their loved ones. We searched through the crowd to find our contacts. No one there…intimidating…! No one speaking English, and no phone service! We finally pulled our luggage around them to the curb and began scanning the crowd and the taxi lanes. Heaven sent us a little miracle right off the start, and we were able to borrow a phone from an American health worker nearby, we left messages at our contacts phones in Hong Kong, They heard the messages and sent a couple to greet us…Life is good Father in Heaven hears and answers prayers!
We are settled in a 10 story apartment building near the downtown area. We are on the 7th floor and have an amazing neighborhood. Our office in the service center is just a few blocks away, and the mission office another few blocks away.
Our Mission President and his wife are wonderful people, he is a cousin to our dear friend Lew Swain. They have an amazing capacity to show love and caring to all they meet. Church Sunday was a district conference. The district may be just weeks away from becoming a stake. The people are so humble and so looking forward to the blessings of becoming a stake. The Choir was made up of young men and women, because the Cambodian language is not tonal, they had a hard time learning the music, but after several practices, their performance was another small miracle. They were wonderful.
The streets are crowded with cars, trucks, motor scooters and Tuk tuks, (a taxi carriage attached to a scooter). Traffic signals are rather suggestions, scooters are constantly flying through intersections on a red light, or going the wrong way on the streets, anything goes, so walking, one must watch both ways and behind you at all times! The sidewalks are generally places to park cars, one walks on the side of the street, sometimes, there are too many cars, so you wait for a break. It is glorious here!
There is so much wonder and beauty here! This morning as we took an early morning walk, the sun rose over the Mekong River, it was busy with shuttle boats, fishermen, barges, and swimmers. Today we meet with our contacts from Hong Kong to receive instruction and tools to go to work.
We miss you all. We love you! We pray for you several times every day. Though there is great poverty here, the people are happy. We see heavens hand here as this country rebuilds. More to come… soon.
PS, Happy birthday to all you grandkids having birthdays! We love you!
Love Elder and Sister Stone