Lessons Learned

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My most beautiful memory from the past year of living in Mondulkiri happened on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in January 2022. I, along with fellow missionaries Virginia and Tamiris, decided to visit some 9th-grade students’ families in preparation for beginning our Pathfinder club.

One of the General Conference’s suggestions had been to visit the target families to invite them to be part of the club. However, at that time, I thought, No way can I do that. I am too shy. What am I going to say? I do not even know where they live. I shared my thoughts with Virginia and Tamiris, who were thinking the same thing. Nevertheless, we decided to visit the families whose addresses we knew, so our invitations would be more personal and effective.

That Sunday afternoon, Virginia and I were tired. We had spent Sabbath camping in the village and Sunday morning swimming with some church members under the sun. At some point, I started feeling so tired that I thought to tell Virginia, Let’s not go. We can do it another day. But something came up every time, preventing me from conveying my thoughts.

When we returned to Saen Monorom, we put on our Pathfinder scarves and got on the moto to visit the only two houses we knew how to find. The first stop was relatively easy; the house was in front of the school, and the student we wanted to see was not there, only his little sister. We ventured to the other house, not knowing that it would soon begin raining and that our visit there would extend to almost half an hour. While waiting for the rain to clear, we asked the student, “Would you mind showing us another classmate’s house?” With my low confidence, I almost expected him to say no because of the rain.
“Yes,” he agreed, and off we went.

When we arrived at the other house, the mom welcomed us into her home. “I am so excited about the club,” she said. “I would like to be a member, too!” When the rain stopped, we asked her son if he also wanted to come with us to visit another classmate we had not planned on seeing. He agreed, and the four of us departed. And so we went from house to house, picking up students, until we had visited all the 9th-grade homes.

I could not believe it — shy me making nine visits in one afternoon. God is so faithful! He set up the means without measuring it according to my lack of faith, and the students, who were increasingly growing excited about the new club, had a lot of fun.

I realize now that we cannot give up. We came to work and do everything in our power to advance the kingdom of God. It does not matter if I do not have what it takes; He is faithful to provide and to do so in His timing. I did not have to do anything extraordinary; I just had to be willing to go. God took care of the rest.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

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