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!
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.
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.
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!
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