We have had a wonderful week! As we left on Wednesday for the Provinces to have Christmas with the missionaries, we made a few stops along the way. We had the opportunity to bring a gift from the Church to the Ministry leaders in the provinces of Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, and Battambang. Each of the leaders graciously received us and expressed their support for the Church and for the efforts of so many over the years. Each of the leaders expressed how they are grateful to the Church for the generosity in helping their people. Each stated that the Church does more for Cambodia than all of the other Christian Churches combined. They have a warm feeling toward the local members and the Church as a whole.
We eventually arrived in Siem Reap, picked up the two Sisters and two Elders and moved on to Battambang. We were thrilled to go caroling on Christmas Eve and meeting with members far away from the city of Battambang. We were told that the large group of children that gathered around enjoyed the atmosphere of this particular house. It is a member’s home. A wonderful woman who had just returned from working in the rice fields. The neighborhood gravitates to their home. We think it is the spirit of peace and love that they feel there. We could see it in the woman’s eyes. Kind and warm, a sweet and caring woman.
That evening, we shared pizza with the missionaries. Something they can not usually afford, but love to eat. And they can eat! All missionaries can EAT! It was fun to be with them and see them enjoy it so much.
Christmas Day, we met together to play some games, make crafts that Sister Stone had prepared. They were all in, and enjoyed the time together. Cambodian children usually dont participate in organized games, so when they get the chance, they love it. Finally , we closed with testimonies and a challenge to go forward and be their best. They are great!
That evening, Sister Stone and I went to a well known spot where there is a large cave, that at dusk, tens of thousands of bats depart out for the night. It is a spectacle that lasts for nearly 30 minutes. It was amazing. Christmas in the mission field is a fun experience. It teaches us a lot about service and devotion as we watch the missionaries serve.
Sunday, back in Siem Reap to a baptism, and devotional on zoom with the missionaries. We expect to get back to our apartment later this week. We miss all of our wonderful family. We love you!! We miss our dear friends. And we love our mission. We send our Christmas greetings to you all. With all our love.
Elder and Sister Stone