My heart is so full of joy and happiness today. I wanted to write and share my feelings with you about the wonderful special conferences that have taken place this Sunday (May 25). I have shed tears more than a few times during the day as we enjoyed the marvelous blessing of being in two separate special conferences today. There are more than 4,000 Saints in Cambodia that now enjoy the blessing of living in a Stake of Zion. Even just writing that makes me a bit emotional. What a longed for, prayed for, worked for, and anticipated day for our members here. Today we organized the Phnom Penh Cambodia North Stake and Phnom Penh Cambodia South Stake in two separate and both special conferences, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There are now brethren who have been sustained and set apart as high priests in Cambodia. There are now 10 wards in Cambodia. Sister Moon and I both feel like our cup runneth over with joy for the blessings of today and this past weekend for our members here in Cambodia. It was wonderful to see chapel and cultural hall completely full to the back in both the North and the South District Centers for the conferences, with very few empty chairs. I am happy for this amazing day and the excitement and joy the members and missionaries have felt anticipating today. The North conference was 9am to 11am, followed by the South conference from 2pm to 4pm. Elder Gerrit W. Gong presided at the North Special Conference and was accompanied by Elder Chow of the Seventy. Elder Gong also attended and presided at the South Special conference, but it was held under the direction of Elder Randy D. Funk of the Seventy, accompanied by Elder Pon, of the Seventy. The choirs were wonderful and the music really added to the spirit. In the North conference Sister Gong shared a brief testimony and thanked the choir. She told how almost 20 years ago she and Elder Gong were living in Washington DC and were assigned to help with a branch full of Cambodian Saints that were transplants from the refugee camps in Thailand. She related how she had been called as the chorister for Relief Society. She tried to lead the music but no one would sing. Finally after a couple of weeks she asked them— why won't you sing? Are there any songs you know? They said— we are afraid to sing. It was dangerous to sing for us. During the Khmer Rouge time anyone that sang would be killed. So they didn't sing and were afraid to. She then said how much her heart was filled with joy today to hear the Cambodian Saints and the choir singing the songs of Zion and singing praises to the Lord. It was very touching. There were many testimonies shared today by incoming and outgoing members of the two stake and district presidencies. President Eng Bunhouch was sustained as the President of the Phnom Penh Cambodia North Stake, with Pres. Thaong Chantha as 1st counselor and Pres. But Lum Ang as 2nd counselor. President Uk Sophal was sustained as the President of the Phnom Penh Cambodia South Stake, with Pres. Touch Sophornn as 1st Counselor and Pres. Heng Sokhom as 2nd Counselor. The general authorities interviewed many brethren and priesthood leaders in each stake as a part of the process of finding who the Lord wanted to serve as the new Stake President.
I also wanted to share one other piece of exciting news. The scripture says the Lord will pour out blessings so much that there won't be room enough to receive them. We have been seeing that here in our mission. There almost doesn't seem to be room enough or time enough. Tuesday we were notified by the government officials in Vietnam that they have approved our application for official recognition for our church's Interim Representative Committee (the interim step we have been working towards— an important step in eventually receiving full recognition for our church in Vietnam). This is something we have been praying for and working for for many years. So that was very happy news. We will be flying to Hanoi on May 29 to participate in a ceremony on May 30 with the government officials there. We don't know yet all of what it means-- there will not likely be any change in how we work in Vietnam for the present, but it will make it easier to hasten the work of the Lord in Vietnam as we go forward. So many blessings. The Lord is truly hastening His work. The question is if we can keep up with Him!
My heart is full for the blessings of today. I don't have time to write more but wanted to share these things. I have felt the Spirit many times this weekend as priesthood keys have been used to call new stake presidents, sustain them, and set them apart. I testify that this is the work of the Lord. He is in charge and leads the church and its leaders through inspiration. The gospel is true. It brings joy and happiness to those who will accept and live it. Two elders at the North Stake Center today introduced me to a less active woman in their branch (now ward) that had not come to church for more than 12 years. But she heard about what was happening and came today. It has been a glorious Sabbath day in Cambodia.
With Love, President Moon