Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Missionaries vs. Midgets (Little People)


I'm just jealous that McKenna gets to start all of her emails like that and I can't because I'm speaking Khmer. That jealousy finally got the better of me this week, so I broke the rules. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone in my family understands that movie reference so I'm hoping the other 2 (maybe) people who read the blog will get a kick out of that (lookin at you, Mrs. Thomas).

Speaking of Spanish, I will say that I still have not yet gotten that language out of my head! I've been trying to learn Khmer for quite some time now, and Spanish still manages to weasel its way in every now and again. For example, I know the Spanish words for food much better than the Khmer words for food. I'll just tell you this: Saying "dop manzanas" (10 in Khmer, apples in spanish) does not work out so well at the phsaas here in KC.

You may be scratching your heads a little bit at the subject line. I did too for a while when, not only did I see a Cambodian midget (as if those even existed), but when standing near said "little person", I STILL GOT STARED AT MORE BY OTHER PEOPLE. Ladies and gentleman, when it comes to Cambodia, white people are officially more rare than midgets. I'm not even joking, I'm one of maybe ten white people in Kampong Cham (5 of which are missionaries). Obviously there are way more in Phnom Penh, and they don't get stared at, but here in KC white people are a rare commodity. The other day a kid almost crashed his bike because he was staring at me looking behind him for so long. That's the other thing: they have literally no shame when it comes to staring. Or pointing. Or laughing. 

More stories from the "I'm in Cambodia and I'm White" support group: This week, we got to go to "the island." Sounds exotic right? I don't know what its actual name is, we just call it the island. Anyway, to get there you have to go over this bamboo bridge. It's way cooler than it sounds. It's a super long bridge thats made entirely of bamboo, and it's freakin heavy-duty. People herd their cattle across that thing. (that's right, my gauge of the strength of a bridge is now measured by "number of cattle herded" rather than "number of cars driving"). I have pictures of that and of the island, which was beautiful. So what's wrong with being a white person on the bamboo bridge? When you get to the other side, they charge Khmers 1500 riall.....and white people are 2000 riall. Which didn't bother me too much, because that kind of stuff happens ALLLLL THE TIME except then I thought about it in the context of America: Let's picture the riot that would ensue if a Khmer went to the Bronx zoo and got charged $20 more than a white person. So just think about that next time you want to call America racist. I'm livin it people.

But just as I'm getting used to being a white person in an Asian country, so too am I getting used to being a missionary. In the worst ways possible. Onjung: I was riding my bike the other day, talking to myself, as per usual because I'm really starting to lose it. (I was really just thinking to myself, but it still makes me sound like a psycho, I'll give you that). And anyway, I thought these exact words: "Well, Sister, that's what you have to do...." I referred to myself as "Sister." SOOOOOOOOOOO game over. I've been here for too long.
Yes, so I can definitely tell I've been out for too long by the way I'm trying to entertain myself. Besides talking to myself, during the very diligent hours of language study, I'm usually playing with silly putty, sharpening all of my pencils really sharp so that I can poke myself, then making pictures out of the shavings.................#lifewithoutAdderall2014
Are hashtags still a thing?!?!?! How long have I been gone??? 

OH WAIT WAIT WAIT BEFORE I FORGET - this could be the biggest news you hear from me the entire time I'm in Cambodia: I heard "Teach Me How to Dougie"------IN KHMER. That is for sure the first thing I'm going to get my hands on when I come home. 

Sister Kong has had her fair share of hilarious moments this week. I have recently been hearing her throw out very American phrases such as, "What up, Homie G." (I'm assuming she learned these things from legendary Sister Hartley, who you don't know yet, but you will certainly hear about her in the near future if I am lucky enough to even live in the same house as her. That girl..)
Anyway, I have also taught her some of the slang those hoodlums in America use. She was especially confused when Elder McGavin and I tried to explain that "That's sick!" actually means a good thing. I've also taught her what I mean when I say "I look like a hobo" (which comes up more often than I'd like it too). This week, her favorite phrase to use, which she didn't learn from me is "You need to take a chill pill." I got a little spastic outside of a members house for a sec and for some reason my bike fell over, and she just says to me (with her palm up and facing me) "Sister, you need to take a chill pill." Being with a Khmer comp certainly has its perks.

I feel I should tell you that I actually lied just a second ago. This big news of this week is not that I hear "teach me how to dougie" in Khmer (depending on your perspective.....). I actually feel I should tell you that Moiseng, the investigator who learns in English, is super smart and actually UNDERSTANDS this gospel (which is a rarity) got a new job and IS MOVING TO A DIFFERENT PROVINCE. In like less than a month. The province is called Preahvihhia and they don't have a church or missionaries there or anything, so she's totally going to lose touch with the church which BITES. I was so upset. It sucks to lose an investigator, especially since she was really progressing so well. So that's the end of that saga. Who knows though, maybe she'll find the church again. A lot of missionary work is just "planting the seed" so I'm glad I got to be a part of her story. 

I think that's all I've got for this week. Next weekend we're having a District Conference and we're gonna have a few people getting baptized in KC and President Moon is coming up and everything so that should be fun. Those pictures will be good. I love you guys a ton!!! Thanks for all your love and support - Yes, Mommy, emailing is 100% my favorite part of P-day and my whole week!!! I love hearing from you guys! It;s the best! I love you and miss you so much!!!

Love, Sister Davis

PS Spiritual thoughts for this week:
- I've been spending some time reading the hymn "Because I Have Been Given Much." Really putting it into perspective for me. I used to think my life was hard. WHAT A FOOL I WAS. Nowadays, I struggle to think of anything I have but blessings. We are all so blessed! So don't think so much about what you need and think about what others need! Because we have been given much we too must give!

- Also read Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-44. Don't remember what it says and I don't have my scriptures with me right here, but I wrote it down so what the heck, go ahead and read it.

And Jacob 3:1 too. Loved reading that yesterday.

WELCOME TO THE ISLAND. Ugh, so pretty. Prettier than Veal Ksaac. That's right, I said it.

Forgot to tell you the whole reason we went to the island was to harvest rice. Yep, it's STILL rice-harvesting season. Whatevs. I'm harvesting rice, all day errrrrry day.

                                       This is a picture of the bamboo bridge leading to the island.

DON'T BE FOOLED: That's actually not a peace sign. It's some hand sign that all the asians do, so i tried it out. I'm pretty sure its facing the wrong way though. I guess they do it because it's cooler than a peace sign. Which coincidentally is everything....everything is cooler than a peace sign. But you know I rock it hard in every picture.

                                                             What a lovely river of brown. 

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