Someone once said ‘we will commence to begin’. I think it was on a movie once. We are in the middle of doing, way past beginning… And the opportunities are vast here. We are collecting bids weekly for work at health centers and schools. We hope to turn in 5 projects Monday morning for approval. There is always details to confirm and bits of missing information to collect to complete the submission.
We recently visited a health center 2 hours away that has no water available to them. They have been open now for a month and have been accepting patients. We are trying to rush this one forward to help them get clean water. Our contractor is concerned that neighbors in the area can not find water when they drill. We are hoping that this location will be successful.
We also met with the Senior Minister of Public Works and Transportation. This is a high level leader who is part of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. We were able to get an introduction and to meet with him. He promised to open doors in an area of Cambodia to allow us and Dr Warner to work with health care providers there. Our next meeting is this Saturday. It would seem that many of the Key leaders are educated in the US, or Europe. He went to college in both countries. We feel fortunate to meet with him.
Because of Valentines, we took 2 days off and went to the south of Cambodia to Kep. It is a tiny community between Kampot and Vietnam on the Gulf of Thailand. The ocean is warm and the waves are gentle. Cambodia has very little coastline, and even less sandy beaches. We spent two relaxing days, ate a little seafood from the Crab Market and recharged for the coming busy weeks of travel and inspections of our projects. The people are as always kind, gentle and ready with a warm smile. We love Cambodia.
Today we worshiped at the Sen Sok branch, and Sister Stone received a lovely rose from the branch. They asked her to say a few words, and as she gave an emotional gesture of love and appreciation, all of the sisters in the room were drawn into her words. Sister Stone has an amazing gift to relate her love to the people. Their faces reciprocated her feelings.
Later in the day, we attended another baptism. Wonderful people. The older man knew Jon Huntsman when they were both in China.
Tonight, we expect to welcome 12 missionaries from the US who arrived two weeks ago and are expected to leave quarantine. We had visited with them earlier in the week and had a fireside with them. They are doing their best to quarantine and be positive. We are welcoming them back with ice cream and to hear their stories. We are delighted to have them here. These are some of the first missionaries in the world that are going international. They are coming because they were here a year ago, received a visa, and can come because of the visa. Unfortunately they only have several months left. They are excited to be back before their missions end.
To all of you who are still reading these blogs. We miss you.We love you all. We wish we could be better at sharing the beauty of this country, we wish we could better express the wonderful feelings we get while we are here. We wish we could illustrated better what a wonderful thing our mission is. We love you, every one. Heaven is real, God is in the heavens, he hears your thoughts, and he loves who you are.. He created us, he knows us, and he loves us. We love you, no matter what…and even if…
More to come…
With all our love,
Elder and Sister Stone