Saturday, July 31, 2010


Cambodia is full of surprises -
things you didn't expect, things you couldn't imagine.........
both good and bad.

Here are a few things that we didn't expect.

* It is SOOOO hot and humid.
It wasn't until the fifth day of the trip that I quit expecting it be something it would never be - COOLER.
I have NEVER sweat so much in my life.
You can't see the literal droplet of sweat on the end of his nose

* The traffic is CRAZY!
It seems like there are NO rules on the road.
Cars, pedestrians, motos, bikes, and animals all share the same lanes.
You can go ANY direction in the lanes.
There are hardly and traffic signals and you don't need to follow them.
You can turn left from a right hand lane and don't worry about signalling.
And NO ONE gets mad when you cut them off

* The food is delicious and well prepared.
We NEVER had a bad meal.
There is a ton of variety.
Every restaurant had pages of Khmer, Chinese, Thai and Western dishes.
We sampled food from nearly every Asian country.
But we always had a side of French Fries too! ;)

* You can carry ANYTHING on a moto!

We saw motos with 5 people, motos with babies standing on them, motos with people carrying a ladder, motos with people on an IV drip, motos with furniture, moto with giant jugs of gasoline, motos, motos, motos.  Amazing!

* The people were so kind and friendly and nice!

We went to the park on a couple evenings and the boys were always welcome into pick up soccer games.
Garrett plays pool against the manager of a restaurant in Battambang. When garret won, he presented Garrett with the restaurant trophy.
Parker and His Excellency Veasna, the Advisor to the Royal Governemnt of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the head of the National Center for the Disabled.
Members in Siem Reap presenting the family with gifts.
I could post picture after picture and list kindness after kindness.
Cambodia is a wonderful country full of happy, loving people.

The country offered too many surprises to recount and luckily, most of them were pleasant surprises!

Friday, July 30, 2010


The mission home is in Phnom Penh (pronounced p-nom pen).
Phnom Penh is the largest city in Cambodia with 1.4 million people.
We started and ended our trip in Phnom Penh.

Saturday (after picking Trammell up on Friday night) our plan was to leave Phnom Penh for Siem Reap.
We decided on a 2 pm departure, so we had the morning to go to the tailor.

The tailors' stalls line several roads.
Trammell took us to the one he had worked with before.
Everyone sorted through piles and piles of fabric searching for the perfect material for shirts and pants.
You select the material, tell the tailor what you want, get measured, pay for the material and come back next week to pick up your items and pay the tailor $3 per item.

Those of us who are normal, chose normal fabrics for normal shirts we wouldn't die of embarrassment being seen in.

Some of us couldn't help ourselves and used this as an opportunity for creative expression.
Garrett's super attractive shirts, including the one that looks like something Grandma would use for a tablecloth were a whopping $5 a piece.

We then had some time to cruise the city and see some sites.
The Royal Palace

Independence Monument
For some crazy reason, we thought it would be "fun" to travel to Siem Reap the same way Trammell did - on the bus.

The fare was $4.50.
And the 175 mile trip takes a lovely SIX hours.
The bus ride includes entertaining Cambodian karaoke punctuated by the bus driver honking his horn every 30 seconds.
He has to honk.
The rule of the road to Siem Reap is "the bigger, the safer" as it is a two lane "highway" travelled by bicyclists, motos, cars, food carts, water buffalos, dogs and pedestrians.
Most of these travellers don't have rear view mirrors and a gentle tap on the horn is necessary to let people know that you are coming up behind them and passing.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We made it to Cambodia late Thursday night.
Our target time for the "hand off" was 5 pm.
We had appointments for Parker's Eagle Scout project in the morning and we explored the city in the afternoon......building the anticipation for that evening.

Brian and I in the tuk-tuk on the way to the mission home.

The family piled in the tuk-tuk and we gave our driver the address.  He knew exactly where to go. But we were confused when he pulled up to the corner of the street and told us he couldn't go any further because tuk-tuks weren't allowed on this street.  He pointed ambivalently to the next corner and said the mission home was that way.

We confidently walked to the corner, but didn't see the mission home.
We didn't even see a street sign.
I had the address memorized - after sending packages there for two years, how could I forget?
We needed street 222.
We walked one more block and the street name was written in Khmer and English.
AND there was a number under it - 214.
Maybe we need to go one more block?!?!?

It started to sprinkle.
We make an odd sight - 4 white people all dressed in dark slacks and white shirts and ties -except for me in a skirt.
We walk the one more block.
It's 208.
I kind of want to cry.
But I want to find the mission home more.
We half walk, half run back to the street with no sign.
We look up the street - and I think I see it - or at least, I think I see the mission van - the big white one that Trammell backed into the gate and broke the tail light on.
We scurry up the street.
The mission president's wife and the guard both come out of the gate.

The package is right inside the door.
We are seconds from taking delivery!

I get first dibs!


Surprise!  Trammell had no idea that Garrett was coming along.

We joined the other missionaries and families and the mission president for dinner and testimony meeting. It was fabulous! What wonderful elders!

Mission tradition is that they roll out the red carpet for departing missionaries who are leaving and they make a "Return With Honor" walk out the door.

Trammell and the Mission President and his wife.

The BEST TIME EVER!!!!!  Every second of the last two years was worth this one hour!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


While preparing to go to Cambodia,
I mostly concentrated on the minutiae of the preparation and not daring to embrace the emotions.
I knew that if I thought about it for more than 2 1/2 seconds, I would cry.
And if I cried, I wasn't sure I could stop.
How can you describe the feelings - the anticipation, the longing, the excitement?

I kept everything in check by worrying about passports, tickets, cameras, insect repellent, clothing, shoes, luggage tags, hotel arrangments etc.

As we arrived at each airport,
the anticipation built and I found myself crying in the Denver Airport and then again at the San Fransisco Airport.
But as waited for our final flight in the Korea airport, we had one last chance to check email.There was Trammell's final email to us.

And I found myself crying in yet another airport.

Dear Family-
Wow! You are over the ocean, or probably sitting in Korea right now! That is so weird to think about! I can’t believe it is almost here! Two years plus! Wow!

Tonight is my last night to go and teach anyone! So crazy!

Well, I have been thinking about my experience the last two years. They have been the most amazing two years of my life! The ups are up and the downs are down, but the things I have learned, experiences I have had, and person I have become are absolutely priceless. I have come to know my Savior. I have come closer to Him each and every day. I have seen His hand in my work. I have seen His hand pick me up and carry me when I couldn’t go on. I have seen His grace and mercy. I have seen the power of the Atone ment in the lives of those I have taught, and felt it each and every day as I work.

I have learned to study the scriptures. I have noticed such a difference in the peace in my life from when I have read and when I forget to read. The Spirit is so real when we read. I have learned that the Book of Mormon is true. That it truly is the iron rod that will lead us to return to our Father.

I have learned to pray. I have learned that God hears and answers our prayers. I know that He loves us.

I have learned for myself that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. That he saw what he said he saw, and restored the true church on the earth.

I am so grateful for all of you and all of your support. Thank you so much for you encouragement and love. I love you so much! I can’t wait to see you and show you the people that I love.

Elder Cox

And so, we begin our final leg of the journey to pick up Trammell!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Wow! Wow! Wow!
I have a lot to say!

I don't know what day it is.  I don't know what time it is.
I barely know what continent I am on,
but I have TWO WEEKS of awesome, incredible RANDOM to post.
(Not all of it today!)

And if this isn't random enough for you, get on over to The Un Mom's.  There is plenty of random going on over there!

We left Cambodia Sunday evening and arrived home last night (or on Cambodia's Tuesday).
I can't even do the math but it was like 30 or 40 hours of travel.
Who cares.  We're home!!!

So, I'll tease you with some pics.
I'll give you the details later.
I have nine suitcases to unpack.
Picking up my baby who I haven't seen in TWO YEARS!

The boys at Angkor Wat

Dr. Fish's Foot Massage

Parker and some Cambodian Boy Scouts at the orphanage

Parker's Eagle Scout Project for the National Center for the Disabled

Garrett and the monkeys

Parker and the tarantulas.
Yes - that's a tarantula in his mouth

Cambodian church members at their July 24th Pioneer Day celebration

There is definitely more to come!  And you probably need some explanation.  It was incredible, wonderful, fabulous and once in a lifetime!!!!


Monday, July 12, 2010


It's crunch time.
We leave in less than 24 hours.

So I am typing up instructions for the people watching the house, my parents, assorted relatives and yes, I even have instructions for my blog friends.

* I probably won't post from Cambodia because no one wants to drag a laptop around.
Yes, there are internet cafes on every block.
I just can't commit to getting there and posting.
I might post. And I might not.

* I need you to stop posting.
I can't have 2,587 posts to read when I get back and I don't want to miss out on any fun.
So basically, I need the world to stop rotating. ;)
Can you guys just sit in your family rooms and watch reruns for two weeks?

And here are some "fly on the wall" conversations from the last day or so -

Brian called everyone into our bedroom for some packing instruction.
"Okay, when you are packing you need to pack.......(lists the usual things).
Oh and even though it's really hot in Cambodia, it's usually chilly on the airplane,
so I am taking a lightweight fleece just for the plane."
Garrett -"Well, I'm going naked and wearing a snuggy."
I turned to Brian - "Why are we even talking to them?"

Garrett to Brian in the hot tub last night -
"Yeah, I can't believe Mom isn't freaking out.  She always freaks out before trips.....especially since we have so much to do tomorrow."

Me this morning in prayer -
"Heavenly me to not freak out today."

Well, there you have it!
I'm going to go freak out over how much we have to do today!