Our First Handoff Ceremony

After traveling back and forth in the Provinces and inspecting wells, we have seen many wonderful things and met amazing people. This past week we traveled back to Svey Reng and formally handed the 20 wells over to the community to take full responsibility . The District Governor invited each well owner and other leaders to a ceremony and after a few speeches, we took pictures and we were off at his invitation to have lunch at his home. Government leaders at this level are paid very little. Consequently, his home is modest but he is industrious and has a pond that he raises fish in, he has 3 hens raising a brood of chicks, he has ducks, and rabbits, and he is managing these to feed his family. He has mango trees and banana trees all on his small property. He was a delight to be with, his wife and mother served a wonderful meal of soup, rice and fish. They were clearly serving their best, and were generous to the point that they were giving us what they might have had tomorrow. His wife works at the local clinic as one of three midwives. It was hard to leave them. He reached out as we were leaving and gave us a hug. He was so very genuine, kind and appreciative.

The District Governor at the hand off ceremony.
Visiting a hospital, we found syringes discarded in the grass, there are bags of discarded syringes, and other garbage. We have much to do to help them with sanitation and proper handling of waste. On a note of concern, Some Doctors here are refusing to see patients that have flu symptoms.

Earlier in the week we visited a referral hospital. All of the 15 health clinics bring their used syringes here. There is a lack of oversight, so the sharps add up, and there is no system in place to properly dispose of them. We are hoping the hospital will work with us and take the ideas to safely dispose of the waste. Our concern is that adults or children will be walking or playing in the grass and stumble into these hazards.

We have seen amazing things here, We thought it would be fun to share some of our sights on our drives. The moto is a small scooter that is used to pull the Tuk Tuk, or a trailer. The moto is the back bone of this economy. It is the delivery van, it is the cattle truck, it is the family van, it is the majority of what is on the road. Rarely do they get above 40 mph. Often they have no head light or tail lights, but traveling at night here, folks don’t worry about lights. We hope you enjoy the photos.

The moto as a livestock truck…These guys are alive and on their way to market.
What a balancing skill…The processor will not accept animals unless they are alive and healthy.
These chickens must wonder what is up…
I don’t know how they get the animal to hold still while they tie it down.
No seatbelt laws here…!
Taxis here are whatever you have
Just when you think you have seen it all….It amazes me how many people can fit on a small moto.
Water Buffalo taking a cool break
These little fish are caught in ponds like you see above. They are deep fried and you pop them in your mouth, head,tail and all. Crunchy and good. A very common Cambodian dish

Last week we went visiting to folks in the Sen Sok Branch. This branch is in one of the poorer parts of the city. It is about an hour from our apartment, we go their to help clean the building, to go to baptisms, and to church. In our visits, we met people who had stopped coming to church. We visited with them about their lives and their concerns. We prayed with them. We invited them to come back to church and sit with us. One of them is a barber. We had him cut my hair yesterday. As he finished, he pulled out a straight razor, and he shaved my neck, my temples, around my ears, throat, and cheeks. I think I haven’t been that trimmed ever! Well this morning, 2 of the 4 families came to church and brought their children…We love to see the light of the Gospel come back into their lives. They just seem to start to have a glow about them. We have challenged the Branch to go with us every Saturday and keep visiting the members. We were so happy to have them come. The stake president spoke in church, His council was profound. The other talks were so appropriate. He and I finished the day with training of how to work with youth, and the role of the Branch President with youth. Half of the young men are unordained. We hope to see many ordinations, and to have the boys taking charge of the sacrament portion of the meeting. The boys seem to be anxious to plug in.

Sen Sok Relief Society President, and her husband and 2 children, and the 2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency. He brought his family to church today!
His participation lifted all of us. He has such a gentle and kind way. I hope he continues to come. We need him.
Sen Sok Aaronic Priesthood Meeting. There are about 25, many have not come in a while, many are not ordained. All seem anxious to use their priesthood.
This week we met our good friends The Huntsman’s from Bountiful. They are here on an annual service trip to help the Cambodians learn to deal with stress and anxiety. Terms that Cambodians are not familiar with, so they don’t know how to cope with those kinds of problems. These two good people are making a huge dent in the problem and helping people out of despair. Tonight they organized a stake youth activity. The kids loved it!

Our faith has been strengthened today. We loved the visit with our children! Thank the heavens for ZOOM. Our connection was great! Thanks to everyone for your faith, your prayers, and your Marco polos, We love you all. God is in the heavens. He hears our prayers, He loves us all. We see His influence here in so many ways. We hope you reach out to Him. He is closer to us all more than we know.

Love to you all!

Elder & Sister Stone