Wednesday, September 25, 2013
This week went by so quickly! And yet I was still craving a p-day more than ever. I think it's because we now have 2 "investigators" to prepare lessons for and teach. So we're a lot busier now in study time, which is always. By the end of my 9 weeks here, I'll be teaching 4 investigators. and then out in the field, Lookruu said we'll have 15-20 at one time! I don't know how Im going to do it. there's not enough time in the day, especially when I can't even speak Khmer!
But the script has gotten much better. I had trouble memorizing the characters, but believe it or not it got easier once we started reading and writing in whole words and sentences. I think i had to see these funky squiggles in context to see them as real letters and now im starting to get it. it's pretty fun. It's like a puzzle. It still takes us FOREVER though to figure it out. It takes us about 15 minutes just to translate 2 lines of scripture. Even lookruu, who loves this language admits that reading and writing in khmer is "a total mess." i couldnt even begin to explain how complicated it is. just take my word for it.
Speaking of crazy languages problems, get this: the other day, Lookruu was teaching us how there are two different words for "heart." One is your emotional, feeling heart and the other refers to your actual, blood-pumping heart. The latter is two words. The first word translates into "to pick" and the second word translates into "coconut." So the word for heart literally translates as "to pick a coconut." Lookruu told us that and with a smirk he goes, "that's what it means, so deal with it." i love this language.
One cool thing that happened was meeting these two Eldaas from Cambodia. They're twins and they don't speak much english, but we had a conversation with them yesterday! It was so cool! Less than 3 weeks and we were able to converse with these guys in broken Khmenglish (like spanglish only with khmer). They told us about the missionaries in Phnom Penh, the crazy weather and the AMAZING fruit and food. first thing im doing when i get to cambodia is buying myself a fresh mango. if everyone in cambodia is like these two eldaas (which im told is the case) then i cant wait to get out there. I love those people already.
SPeaking of, here's my spiritual thought for the week: I was talking to Eldaa Flint the other day about John chapter 13 and how its kind of a sad chapter because Christ is leaving Peter behind right before his crucifixion. Anyway, John 13:34-35 is that one scripture I know you all know: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." I've heard it a million times but it sounded so different to me this time. This was the very last thing Christ would say to his apostles, and the last message he wants us to hear. It's the one thing he wants us to remember above all: love on another. I think we all know that I'm not alwayas the most patient or loving person, but this is what Christ wants us to do more than anything else. So anyway, I love that scripture right now. Pretty much all of John 13 and 14 too.
On that topic, I'm totally loving my dai kuu (companions). All three of us are getting along so well. And we work well together too. 2 days ago, we gave a lesson that went really well and after we got out, Sis Peterson was joking about how excited she was and she started doing this weird dance that actually made me cry i was laughing SO HARD. she brought it up again later that night and, i kid you not, i was on the floor laughing. It made me think about how its a miracle that more missionaries are considered bipolar. People always say, "I never cried as much as I did on my mission and i never laughed as much as i did on my mission." i can personally attest to that. I havent cried really but ive been down and bummed out and ive also been laughing so hard my stomach hurt. Its definitely an emotional rollercoaster but im taking it day by day.
I got some pictures of our softball team! For our gym time, our zone (which includes people speaking Hmong, Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese) decided to play softball at the fields across from the mtc. and my team DOMINATED. First game was Cambos vs Viets (10-1) and the second games was Cambos vs Thais (the score of this game is still hotly debated, but the Cambos maintain that it was "a lot to a little.") And yes, we Cambodian-speaking missionaries have the coolest nickname in the MTC. everyone was like "Sister Daivee i was so surprised at how competitive you are!" obviously they havent quite gotten to know me as well. Last night I told my roommates that im actually a very 1) impatient and 2) argumentative person. They were like "REALLY?!?! we dont think that at all!" I told them if they said that to any of my friends or family they would all laugh their heads off. So either I hide it really well or im literally not the same person. pretty sure its the former.
I had a couple other things i wanted to tell you but im running out of time so i'll save them for later. I saw a great talk by Holland on SUnday about missionaries so ill share some stuff about that with you next week. Khnom srolan thvee kaa neakphsopsaaysaasnaa! (<-- Yep thats a word. Dont even try to read it.) It means "I love being a missionary!" I miss you all and love you so very much. Thanks for all the love and support.
OKAY This is my FAVORITE picture to date. I dont know if ive told you guys this, but we have about 3-4 hours every day in the classroom without a teacher. 6 hours is class with a teacher and then weve got a few blocks where its just "personal study" or "independent language study." we're ALWAYS in the classroom. anyway, we were having a slow morning so during one personal study hour we kind of all were napping (top notch missionaries). Eldaa Flint wriggled into this corner and we just let him sleep there for a while. 30 minutes later, out of nowhere we hear him go (without moving a muscle): "im not gonna lie to you guys......im stuck." I was laughing for approximately 20 minutes, which is about how long it took him to get himself unstuck.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
My second week at the mtc flew by compared to last week. everyone told me to just make it to sunday and they were right. after that, time definitely picks up the pace.
Ive hit a bit of a wall with khmer. im fine speaking it but the alphabet is SO DIFFICULT for me, which i dont understand because ive never really had a problem with languages, even ones with different alphabets. So i dont like that im struggling. DId you know that the khmer alphabet is the l;argest one in the world?? Like mandarin and languages like that have more characters and sounds, but in terms of a phonetic alphabet, khmer is the biggest. did i mention it has 109 letters? crazy huh? The letters are literally all the same shape but with one tiny squiggle to make it different so they all look the same to me. its getting frustrating but im trying my best and working so hard and i know i just have to keep doing that. PLus my comps and i laugh about how we get so frustrated with the language. Like, weve been here for 10 DAYS. why are we expecting to be fluent in 10 days?? haha, its remarkable the stuff we can say in such a small amount of time.
My companions and i are getting along really well. Just some background info: Sis Peterson is 22, half japanese, and left a full time job offer AND work on her masters degree to come on a mission. SIs Thain is also a convert, and shes very loud, but sweet. We all laugh so much together. Im becoming good friends with them and with the other people in my district.
I know i mentioned prayer in my last email as well but sis thain shared a quote that i really liked: "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" I really likes that. Just something to think about.
I got both of the care packages. Thank you!! But no more candy! Since ive been here ive been eating so much candy (i think its because im stressed) and ive already gotten so fat! So keep the packages coming but try to keep the sugar to a minimum :) I am also getting your dear elders. the mtc prints out the email and gives it to me the very day you send it, so its really nice.
Tell nanny i got her card and that i love her very much. It was so sweet. I think about her and pop every day, and they are always in my prayers.
Every monday my comps and i have service, which is basically just helping to work around the mtc campus. And we have toilet duty. nice. we each clean about 70 toilets. really nice. BUT a cool thing i learned is that by doing small service things like that, we save the church over one million dollars every year by making sure they dont have to hire someone. so i thought that was pretty cool.
Lookruh (teacher) Thomas told us something in class the other day that struck me. we were being a little rowdy and immature so he explained the concept of "quiet dignity." He said, "We're all very young. But we're going out to teach the world the important things we know. They can see in your face that you're young. So don't act like it." Lookruh is funny and nice, but sometimes he can be blunt with us and put us in our place. But i like that, He got back from cambodia less than a year ago, and hes so smart. I have a lot to learn from him.
Phoebe - Ive been hearing so much about your move into the city! Good luck! I know youre going to do so well there. I brag about my sister whos a real new yorker working in the financial district to everyone. you're amazing and i love you so much. do good!
I dont have a ton of pictures from this week, nothing super eventful happened. But anynway I love you all so very much and i love hearing from you!
Love, love, love,
Sister Dai-vee (thats how cambodians pronounce davis)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
CUMRIABSUA!!!!!Thats how you greet someone in Cambodian, in case you couldnt guess. Its written in the romanized alphabet because we're only just starting to learn the actual Khmer script. It's pronounced "jahm ree-ap soo-ah." I LOOOOVE KHMER!!! Its an easy language conversationally, but down-right impossible to read and write. I cant believe how much ive learned though. on day bei (3) i remember thinking "wait, ive only been here for 3 days and im already praying in cambodian and we're already teaching an investigator (a volunteer who pretends to be an investigator of the church) TOTALLY in cambodian. like he pretends to not speak a lick of english. thats awesome!!" And our lessons in cambodian havemt crashed and burned!! they were pretty good! And i LOVE my look-kruuh (teacher). Hes nice, funnny and pretty cute (but sadly engaged). And i caught on quick the first day so i think he likes having me as a student.OS sorry my typing is awful im, just flying because i have so much to say in so little time.ANYWAY let me tell you about the MTC. Im going to start off by saying that its already crazy hard. We're not allowed to go back to our rooms at all between 7am and 930pm.you never get a break really. youre scheduled every siongle second of the dayand its exhausting. and sometimes im like, ok, ive been in this teeny classroom for buan (4) hours straight, id like to go and take a nap. but obedience is key! I knew it would be hard for me to follow such a rigid schedule, but im doing it! sometimes begrudgingly, but most of the time with a smile.its also super hard to have a companion with you 24/7. BUT GUESS WHAT. im in a trio!!! we call ourselves a tri-panionship. SIster Peterson is amazing. Shes a lot like me. more reserved at first but goofy once you get to know her. and shes such a hard worker, so shes a great example for me. Sister Thain is also a convert! i didnt expect that at all! her personality is more difficult for me to deal with, but I can feel my [patience growing. I still have a looooooooong way to go with that but i cant already tell that the Lord is answering my [prayers and helping me where i need it most. anyway, sister thain is enthusiatic and definitely here for the right reasons, which i often question in myself, so i admire her.i kniow everyone saud i would have ups and downs in the MTC but i didnt expect it all to be in one day. one minute ill be hating it here, and then 20 minutes later ill be thiknking "Yes!!! this is where i am and its where im supposed to be and i wouldnt trade this opportunity for the world!!!!" so yeah its bipolar.Okay so let me explain my pictures. On day 3 i ran into gabrielle!!! i almost strated crying when i saw her because i was having a hard morning and missing everyone and she just walked by!! and then i saw Zach a couple hours later! it reminded me that the mtc can seem lonely and sometimes you miught think youre totally alone, but youre not!! not only do i have my friends here at the mtc working alongside me, but i have the Lord to rely on as well. We're never ever alone!!! I have seen so many of my prayers like this one answered since ive been here. Have faith in Preah (God) and he will help you if you ask. I PROMISE!!!other pictures are of my dai kuu (companions) and the Eldaas and Sistaas in my district. Not all of them are going to Cambodia (some going to sacramento), but we are all in the same class together. I got some pictures with Elder Lao, because hes the best. He speaks cambodian almost fluently, so hes getting fast tracked to cambodia in a few weeeks, so he got transferred out of our class after day 3, but it was SO SAD. when you spend 10 hours a day together you become friends so quickly. and hes so smart, supportive and secretly hilarious. I cant wait to see him again when i go to cambodia.other pics: Sis Peterson brought an iPhone notepad for when we have "withdrawals" haha.There's also a picture of my nametag. I think they give me another one right before i leave that will have my name written in khmer script as well.i also threw in some pics of the alphabet (which has 109 letters!!!! 109!!!!) and some sentences written out in the romanized language. seriously, khmer is the coolest.im running out of time but i just want to tell you that i love you and miss you so much!! Mommy, daddy, phoebe - i got your cards and i loved them. thank you for your love and support. if my friends are reading this, WRITE ME MORE LETTERS. AND USE DEAR ELDER. its soooooooo much easier. seriously you have to look into that. I miss everyone to infinity!!!! you have no idea! I love you all meenteen (mayn-tdayn)! here goes week pii (2)!Love, Sistaa Davis