It has been 3 months since Adrianne and Kelsey were here in Cambodia. It seems like yesterday. I have been hanging on to the pictures trying to decide how I wanted to include them into this blog. I was thinking that I have really hung on to them a bit too long. But last week, two highlights of our mission wrapped around one another in a tight embrace, Adrianne and Kelsey's visit and being with 50 (or more) Vietnamese Saints in the Manila Temple.
Adrianne and Kelsey arrived in Cambodia on 25 April 2016.
Our first night included traditional Khmer dancing at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
It was a very good start!The next day we drove 5 hours to Siem Reap to go to Angkor Wat. Checking in at the Borei Angkor Hotel made us feel like royalty!
First item on our agenda..... have dinner with the 4 sister missionaries in Siem Reap! Well, really, for Adrianne, it was meet Sister Schwab!!! Upon moving to Wyoming last August the first people that Adrianne met was Sister Schwab's parents. The connection has been strong ever since. There is something to be said about being able to rub shoulders with full-time missionaries. There is a special spirit present. (It was a good way to start a vacation!) We took the sisters to dinner at the local Flavors of India restaurant. It was spectacular then went "fishing"!!! I had heard about this fish tank that you can go to... stick your feet in the tank and the fish will nibble all the rough spots off of your feet. I had to try it. So off we went..... we had hired the Siem Reap District President, President Yu Dara, to drive us around in his TukTuk. This is the fish tank!
Early the next morning the adventures into the ancient ruins began. It was as if we were continuing to check off that bucket list. First adventure for Adrianne and Kelsey.....
Tomb Raider Temple ......
We ended with Cambodia's beloved Angkor Wat. These were places of worship for the elite populous of Kings and Queens and palace dignitaries. Angkor Wat was originally constructed in the early 12th century first as a Hindu Temple then later changed to a temple for the Buddhist. Because of the years that have past and because it changed religious hands it no longer stands as a sacred edifice of daily worship for the Hindus or Buddhists. There were thousands of people walking around respectfully snapping pictures and quietly talking to one another some even offering prayers in specific places in memory of days gone by.
We saw everything! Climbed every staircase! At this site below there were people there to monitor modesty of dress. No short-shorts, no bare shoulders, no swooping necklines were allowed at the top of this portion of the temple. And they stuck to it.... I saw some very miffed women turned away and not allowed any further.
Last week Elder Leavitt and I experienced that "heaven" as described by the ancient prophets. We attended the Manila Philippines LDS Temple.
Angkor Wat is surrounded by opportunities to purchase all sorts of souvenirs. From the Manila Temple what you get to take home is an abundance of the Spirit, power from God, and protection against evil. Even though, Cambodia's temples have their charms and beauty and, even though, Angkor Wat gives you her own false sense of "forever" because of the years that she has existed, it can not compare to the promises and blessings that come from ordinances bestowed upon your family that seals you together forever. Families truly can be together forever. It is a promise that God will always keep. Once the Star Valley Temple is dedicated, all of our children will live within minutes of an LDS Temple. That I am grateful for.
It was so fun to be with Adrianne and Kelsey in Cambodia but I will forever be grateful that long before Adrianne was born she was already sealed to her father and I, as was Kelsey to her parents because of a Temple marriage. I am grateful for these experiences in the two temples. It reminds me that whatever the sacrifice is, it is all worth it.