Travel To Siem Reap

Seam Reap is a province in the north eastern part of Cambodia. It is the typical destination of visitors to Cambodia because of the Anchor Wat Temple. We took a 6 hour trip there to visit government leaders about establishing some projects there in the Health Centers and Schools. We were pleased to see a high school and some primary schools, and evaluate the needs of those areas. We are told that though there are lots of tourists that come to the province, and lots of outside money comes here, the people living in the province are some of the poorest in the country. We are anxious to find the needs there.

One of our scheduled days got delayed, so we spent it visiting Anchor Wat. We had heard much about it and were overwhelmed with the size and beauty of this ancient ruin. Built in the 12th century, it amazingly still stands, still in relatively good condition. There are many sites where remnants of these stone structures exist. To see them all would take any days. We saw a few, which are highlighted below. Pictures don’t begin to depict the size and beauty of the stone carvings.

Soldiers on the bridge over the moat that protects the temple. Still mostly intact after centuries of wars, and damage.
Looking at the site through the main entry. Monkeys live along the structure, and can be a nuisance. One can loose a camera, phone, purse, right our of your grasp, so hold on tight.
Steps are added over the original to allow visitors a birds eye view
The detail of the 3 dimensional carvings above the door are amazing. They are over 800 years old. The stone pillars in the windows are hand done, not on a lathe.
Our mission friend Dr Warner, serving here to help the Health Sytstem and the providers, he helps bring perspective of how big the ruins are. And to see massive trees growing through the ancient ruins.
Hundreds of structures much like this. Massive in size.

As we explored the sites, we are reminded of what our grandson Wesley stated, that it reminds one of the ruins in Mexico and South America. Built at roughly the same time period. The methods of construction of such large edifices is amazing when you see the design, and the size of each of the stones that are set in place. The intricacy of the stone carvings, and symbols are breathtaking.

We spent the majority of our trip meeting with leaders, developing potential plans to possibly return and help bring latrines, wells and sanitation to the small communities. We see needs where ever we go.

Our meeting with the Vice Governor of Siem Reap Province. He is our key to being invited to work in the province. We seek to strengthen relationships with government at every opportunity.

The country is not so large, but the roads are usually a two lane paved road, the speed is reduced due to cross traffic and a lack of traffic rules. The roads can also be interrupted with construction. One highway is totally being redone, it is a 6 hour drive going about 20 mph, on bumpy, dusty, torn up roads. It is even more risky to drive at night because so many drive without lights. We realize that all the things that we find difficult, are a way of life here. That behind so many doors of small simple homes are people without running water, without a latrine, and who seem to barely survive. We are humbled regularly by the Lord when we see so little, but people so happy. We leave homes with tears on our cheeks when people greet us with smiles and love in their eyes, when we are told that they revere older American members as wise and they feel important that they have received a visit. We know it is not us, we know it is Jesus Christ, that they feel. He sends his love through couples, not particularly smart or good looking, but only because they are willing to serve and represent Him. We love Him. We would invite all to find a way to represent Him at home or on a mission.

Today was a culmination of an Area Conference involving Vietnam and Cambodia. Elder Renlund presided by zoom, and it was wonderful to be involved in a 3 hour leadership training Saturday evening, then a Conference Sunday morning. The way the Church can transition to technology to conduct conferences and the business of the church is amazing. The North Stake President conducted, the area presidency in Hong Kong joined in and Elder Renlund Presided as people watched at home and at the meeting houses. If they don’t have a smart phone, they can join at the church. Nothing can stop the work of the Lord in the gathering of Israel. Another miracle going forward. As we tune in we see the test feed as if it were general conference. Wonderful tabernacle choir music. We usually see our Alicia’s husband Greg, singing. A taste of home.

We love our children. We love our grandchildren. We love our friends. We pray every day for all of you. We miss you so much. Your messages lift us up! Thank you for your support!!

More to come…

Love , Elder and Sister Stone