Another Week in Paradise!

Nearly every day our mission president comments in a very positive tone…’Another day in Paradise!’ And it is! We love so many things about Cambodia! We are learning to appreciate the exotic foods that are served, we love the warm weather, we love the sudden downpours, we love the early morning walks during the sunrise, we love the Pagodas, we love to watch the people exercise in the public square, we love to see the open air markets, we love the tuk tuks, we love the missionaries, we love to go to the baptisms every week, we love to spend Sunday with the members in their homes. We love to see the young people preparing to serve missions, we love the crazy traffic, we love working on our projects and meeting new contractors and getting bids. We love Cambodia!

The open market has everything…while looking for duct tape, we saw this little girl asleep on the inventory. No fussing in the 95+ temperature, just a good snooze.
More from the open market. Those are not lake trout!

We are realizing that we need to interview many contractors and rethink the system of hiring, and setting proper standards of work on our projects. We have interviewed several and look to interview more, We are mindful of each dollar that is part of the Humanitarian funds. We are working on streamlining some of the work to cut costs, and to deliver better quality facilities.

In the lab, making plaster casts for molds for prosthetics.

This week we visited 3 Wheelchair manufacturers. It was a wonderful week of renewing aquaintances and preparing for the new yearlong contracts to build and distribute wheelchairs for the poor and disabled. One of the contractors trains therapists to help people who need therapy to learn to use their prosthetics. This week they were training people from Myanmar, China, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Kiribati. As we mentioned several months ago, they train people from all over the world and then return them to work in underserved areas. While we were there, a little 9 year old girl was trying to walk on her two new legs. The staff was so kind and patient.

The beauty of this company is that they use disabled folks to build wheelchairs. The blind fellow we saw last visit, had a stroke and is no longer able to work. Most of these wheel chairs go to stroke victims. Cambodia has a very high incidence of stroke, and it is usually not diagnosed or treated.
Busy manufacturing Wheelchairs.
Two of 5 people who were baptized today. The services are wonderful and tender. As the taller of the two was bearing her testimony, she paused, one of the sister missionaries stepped up with her and put her arm around her to encourage her. She eventually was able to share her thoughts. Without being able to understand her message, it was clear… the Spirit had touched her and everyone in the room as many were weeping at her message.
At the baptism we found our good friend Elder Leng, (next to me) and his companion. Also the 1rst counselor in the Phnom Penh North Stake Presidency. Elder Leng has just 2 months left. His sister is just starting her mission! It was fun to see how his confidence had grown and his English was stronger since we saw him in March.

While on our way to an appointment, we were side swiped on the driver side as a van whizzed by to pass just as we were turning left. Fortunately, he only took of the mirror and left a little paint on the wheel well. Glad we didn’t try to turn quickly! We try to remember that people can turn left from the far right side of the road, that they can buzz by on your right as you are turning right, and that turning left in the left lane doesn’t mean they don’t pass on the left. All is well, and life goes on!

A little duct tape, and our mirror was able to help us get home.

Today we found that we can begin regular church meetings. So now the local leaders are getting things in order so that we might meet together, the first since March. We are thrilled. This coming week is Ancestors Holiday. Wednesday through Friday. The country shuts down for this holiday. We expect that we will begin having services 2 weeks from today. There is much to be done to prepare the buildings. The buildings here are not shut up tight. So dust and sometimes birds or rodents can get in. We cleaned the Sen Sok building last week, it still needed a deep clean to be ready for worship.

This coming week we will interview more contractors, and during the holiday, work on our new computer software system that is rolling out the end of the month. We love Cambodia! We really need senior missionaries. Spread the word! The area presidency is asking the missionary department to watch for applicants that can serve in Asia. They take care of the couples. It is the most rewarding experience!

One more thing… We have been praying for all of you who have been affected by the terrible wind storms in northern Utah. We understand that some of you are STILL without power. We feel sad for all of the loss, the yards, the home damage, the food loss, and injuries. We have been praying for you. We understand the frustration and disappointment with such disaster. Please know that our thoughts are with you every day, and we continually pray for you.

All our love to our family, and to our friends. Thank you for your notes and messages. We love our Heavenly Father! He answers prayers!

More to come!!


Elder and Sister Stone