That probably seems weird to you for me to start off my email that way, because i have always loathed my birthday, but hey im not a teenager anymore. Plus, it turns out cambodia is perfect for people who hate their birthdays because nobody in cambodia cares about birthdays. aka my companion at one point said "oh you are 20 today" and then turned around to buy something.....
Living with a Khmer has been a real adjustment. But I really do love her and she has sacrificed so much to be here. She has just had the hardest life and I appreciate her strength and the example she is to me.
Plus she totally cracks me up sometimes. Last week Sister Kong informed me that Cambodians not only firmly believe in ghosts (which i dont have a problem with because ghosts are 100% real) but they also believe that when it smells bad, it means a ghost is nearby. She said, "If you smell bad, it mean a ghost says 'hello!'" And then she gave me the most serious face and said "men, sistaa." (men = really). The other thing was that someone nearby our house was setting off fireworks on new years eve, but thats obviously strange and cambodians dont have the same fondness for fireworks that we do. So the popping noises started while i was washing dishes and i didnt think much of it. But sister kong freaked out and asked me what the noise was. I told her it was fireworks and her response was "Fireworks or guns?!" I did my best not to laugh. in my head i was thinking, "sister kong, this is an american youre talking to. i know the sound of a firework when i hear one." She is so funny sometimes. I don't want to make fun of the way she talks, because shes good at english and im not trying to be mean, but you should know that Khmers usually pronounce their Vs as a W noise, so she pronounces vegetable as "wigetable" and I cant correct her because its too funny to me.
The other thing about having a native comp is that they dont have friends and family to email to really since most people they know dont have computers or email addresses, so they only spend a small amount of time on the computer. Which means not only will my emails to you guys be short, but i probably wont be able to respond to everyone either, since its rude of me to make her wait for me for 2 hours+. so just be aware of that for the next few weeks.
Anyway, stories from this week: remember that lady who said my feet looked like baby pigs? Well, this week it changed to baby mice. That one i understand even less. But i'll make sure to keep you updated if that changes again so you know what the status of my feet is.
I've also become a regular victim of the dreaded "Sniff Kiss." A sniff kiss is something that Cambodian moms do to their children, usually babies or toddlers. It's like they put their lips to your face sort of like a kiss, but then they just sniff your face really hard. And theres this one member in first branch, her name is Om Kheng, and she freaking loves me for some reason, which is ridiculous because i cant understand a word she says. But apparently she has family in Connecticut and I told her im from there so now she really likes me, especially since sister homer left, too. Anyway, she sniff kisses me everytime she sees me now. It's really uncomfortable. But shes like one of my favorite members so I'll allow it, I suppose.
Do you remember me telling you about our golden investigator, Ming Rong? Well, she's getting baptized soon and im super excited about it. it will be the first baptism ive seen from beginning to end (although ive been a part of about 6 already!)She comes to church every week for all three hours and shes just the best. Shes so friendly and just loves the church. We've also got Moiseng, who's the girl that learns in english. Shes been learning for a loooooong time now and still isnt sure if she wants to be baptized, but shes got more faith than so many people ive seen. Im making her my new project and im determined to see her get baptized. Shes so smart and she would be such a great member! I'll let you know how that one goes.
So to end my super quick email, I want to leave you guys with Moroni 10:6. It's sort of been my scripture of the week, if you will. Everybody reads Moroni 10:3-5 ad nauseum, but Moroni 10:6 kind of gets ignored, but I think its a really important one, so go ahead and read that.
I love you guys a ton. Thanks for the birthday wishes!!!! I miss you all!
Daoy kdei srolan (with love),
Elder Sorensen actually surprised me with a birthday cake during our Branch meeting, which was on my birthday. He wins the award for best district leader ever.
Cambodian cakes are literally just two layers of bread with raisins in the middle and covered in frosting. But i appreciate the effort. and the snowmen.
DO YOU SEE HOW TALL I AM COMPARED TO THESE PEOPLE?!?!?! Seriously, you guys, Im a GIANT in Cambodia. It's crazy. At 5'4" I tower over most cambodians. PS thats sister kong on the right, and two girls from 2nd branch, Srei Liab and Tonaa.
This girls name is Sophea. She makes fun of me so much for not knowing the language, like more than anyone else, but she adores the sisters.