Our mission has been an exciting adventure, we began by closing several projects from the past, and then we began new ones. We have several in process. We are building a shower at the Chamkarleu Hospital, and we are providing a well. We are also providing sanitation facilities for two schools, and wells at two health centers. All in Kampong Cham Province. We also have a project where we are providing incinerators and facilities for the patients of 3 health centers in Takeo province. And now we are ready to start a water improvement project at a level 2 hospital in Prey Veng Province. This will be our most complicated project that we have undertaken. It will take a lot of time and focus to successfully complete it.

On our way to Takeo we saw this statue. Many of the cities we come to have a round a bout. In this round a bout, this large elephant stands in the center. Traffic zooms around as people make their way to work. This is a larger than life statue. Truly eye catching, I have to keep my eye on the road, not the statue!
A shower being built at Chamkarleu Hospital. A well will be next.

Recently we visited several schools and health centers and submitted plans for projects in several locations from Vietnam to Kampong Cham. We hope to get approval on Tuesday, and we will begin 6 more projects. We have 3 more projects to follow those. All of these projects are supporting health centers and schools. It is eye opening to visit some of the locations and see what health care people work with and what they work without. The people here are resilient and hard working. When we offer to help them to help solve some of the sanitation problems, they are delighted and appreciative.

We visited a school that is located at a Pagoda. We met with the senior monk of the pagoda to discuss, adding a latrine, a well and incinerator for the school. All monks wear robes like his. Same color, same style. Boys as young as 5 might go to stay at the pagoda for a few years of training. He has been at this pagoda for 20 years.

We spent much of last week preparing contracts for our contractors. When we get those signed, we will be very busy monitoring all of the work. When we travel we see beautiful country and meet wonderful people. It makes for long days, but it rewards us with wonderful memories. This week we will work on more contracts and prepare for some maintenance & sanitation training to be conducted at one of our projects.

Visiting a school, Sister Stone checks out a class in their number counting. Looking closer, one can see the desks that children use in school, the simple ness of the classroom, but especially, the happiness of the children.
A visit to an eye center that LDSC has donated surgical equipment to. This is the surgery suite. While getting a quick tour, they started a cataract surgery while we stood by and watched. We were not gowned or scrubbed. They do about 40 per day. This is aa quick clip, but one gets a look inside a busy operating room. The head of the clinic is from northern England. He pioneered the clinic and has been here for over 20 years.

A few weeks ago, we met with the minister of Urban Development and Transportation. In that meeting, we were invited to attend a trip with him to his area of personal responsibility. We attended with him and reviewed needs of a hospital and 2 health centers. The trip also included a bike ride of about 20 km. We concluded the trip with a luncheon on the banks of a river that divides Cambodia and Vietnam. It was very relaxing to listen to Khmer music, eat lunch with him and view what was happening across the river. It turns out that this man is a Senior minister who is just under the Secretary of State. He is referred to as His Excellency. We are very fortunate to be able to work with him and his team. It allows the Church to be in view of people who make decisions that can affect the Church. Our assignment from Hong Kong is to create relationships that will help the church grow here in Cambodia. We hope we are creating those relationships that will make a difference.

Over 50 bike riders heading for the border. Police closed the highway for the bike trip. At the front of the ride was the Minister of Urban Development, and Transportation. Media was constantly riding ahead and getting the right shots.
At the end of the bike ride. Behind us is a floating village. Homes on the river. It saves the cost of buying property. Their water and sewer are right there. The houses rise and fall with the river. The other side is Vietnam. The borders are closed due to Covid.
Traditional dance, to traditional Khmer music. The Minister is playing the acoustic guitar.
Looking from Cambodia, across to our neighbors in Vietnam. The culture is amazing. The land is beautiful. Note the floating homes.

Later we went to the North Stake and helped them put on a missionary reunion. All missionaries living in the north stake were invited, it was fun to mix with them and to listen to missionary stories. The mission experience for these people is helping to strengthen the church here.

A church building in the North Stake. Dozens of returned missionaries came together to celebrate their work. Games, food, fun, dancing & memories.
Mission reunion in the North Stake, there are over 100 men and women who have served from the stake. A wonderful night together!

This morning we attended a baptism at the Sen Sok branch. It was a wonderful experience. The little boy was clearly excited to be baptized. His mother was proud of him and the little guy was surrounded by his friends.

Baptism! The little 8 year old with his mom and little sister. He beamed with big smiles as he came out of the font. His friend next to him keeps showing up at the church when we clean on Saturdays and on Sundays. He is very curious about what we are doing. A cute little guy and his friends.
The portable font at Sen Sok, several children were wishing they could get in!

Our experiences are widely varied. We are buoyed up by the people and their sweet kindness. We love what we are doing. We end the day exhausted. We sometimes get to exhaustion before the end of the day. It is starting to feel like we are not quite as young as we use to be. We miss our family. We love you! We love the people. We love the Lord.

We hope the winter there is wearing out, and that spring will come soon.

With all of our love.

Elder & Sister Stone