It feels like it has been forever since I've emailed you guys because SO MUCH has happened in the last week! Things happen so quickly on a mission. I literally left Kampong Cham, got a new companion, moved into a new apartment and started teaching new people in less than 12 hours. I can tell you right now that this email is going to be really scatter-brained because I don't even know how I'm going to tell you everything.
The city is so freaking different from KC!!!! It's like real life almost.....I get to go to a real church building first of all. In KC, the church rented out a large, suuuuuper old building that smelled like dirt and poo. Especially the primary room. In Phnom Penh, they have REAL churches! Like it has a chapel and everything!
Also, Tuolkok is apparently a relatively nice part of the city. The elders in our branch said that its one of the nicest areas in Phnom Penh. For example, my branch president (equivalent of a bishop) HAS A CAR. That's like......crazy rich. However, Cambodia is one of those places that has such a HUGE gap between the rich and the poor that you will have a mansion right next to a shack. Literally neighbors. So even though a lot of the areas I bike in are super nice, we also have places to proselyte in like the tracks. The tracks are the railroad tracks that run through the city and they are SUPER sketch. People build their little tin houses not even 10 feet away from these railroad tracks and it's like an incredibly poor area. So i get the best of both worlds.
My house is in a pretty good neighborhood, better than the road I lived on in KC. But the house itself is WAYYYYYY WORSE. It's teeny tiny and just nasty and gross. Would you like to know why? It was the elders' house before it was ours. They moved out right before we moved in, and I swear to you I don't think they cleaned the place even once. They didn't even throw out their garbage before we moved in! The house doesn't have cups, it's completely INFESTED with ants, and don't even get me started on the state of the refrigerator. Yesterday I almost had a full-on freak out and was like "NO NO I WILL NOT LIVE LIKE THIS" and reorganized the whole kitchen and then swept and mopped everywhere. But it didn't seem to make a dent in the nastiness of that palce. I think I'm going to go to Lucky's to see if they sell Swiffer WetJets in Cambodia (shoutout to Mrs Thomas for finding out about Luckys approximately 24 hours after I got my mission call). I dont know if I'll be able to go today because I think Sister Von doesn't like Luckys because it's expensive and we might not have time, but I'll try because I've been told that Luckys is like the most mazing thing in the world for Cambodian missionaries. (Just so you know, Lucky's is like a legitimate supermarket. I saw mac and cheese the other day and freaked out because they dont have that stuff in KC and sis peterson was like ohh you are going to love Luckys).
Soooooo about my new companion, Sister Von. She is super super sweet! She ends her mission soon so I will probably be with her for the next two transfers (but then again I thought it would be the same thing for Sister Kong....you really never know). I hear she's also a really good cook and she knows English but not as much as Sister Kong so I'll probably learn a lot of Khmer. I already speak Khmer with her half of the time. Sister Kong was good at english and she really wanted to get better so she really didnt speak Khmer at all when we were comps.
okay remember last week i said i was whitewashing? Well, normally, when you go to a new area, you get a companion who has already been in the area for at least one ttransfer so that way one of you knows where to go and who to visit. Whitewashing is when you take two missionaries and put both of them in a new area where neither of them has ever been before and they sort of start from scratch. and let me just say......WHITEWASHING IS THE WHIPS. it sucks hardcore. We have like four investigators that the elders gave to us, but other than that we have no idea who anyone is and we have NO IDEA where we're going. Luckily we have awesome BM helpers (branch missionary helpers) and they're totally willing to come out with us to help us teach and show us the houses of members. one is named Chanti and she is stinking hilarious. and then there are these two 14 year old girls who are twins, Amey and Ami. They're awesome and adorable.
Anyway, for whitewashing, we spend a lot of time looking through old CBRs (convert baptism records) to get familiar with faces of people in the ward. When we first got here, the elders dumped two 30-inch (give or take) binders on us FILLED with less-active, inactive or gone-and-nobody-knows-why members. These are people who were baptized like 20 years ago and nobody really knows them or why they went inactive, whatever.....anyway, so missionaries who try to meet with these people write comments on the records every few months to keep things up to date for new missionaries and so that we can keep track of peoples status. Looking through these CBRs is one of my favorite things to do because it is freaking HILARIOUS some of the comments we find:
"Completely inactive. we went to their house and the daughter hid from us."
"They still hate us."
"She apparently joined the 7th Day Adventist church"......(and then a few months later)........"She is Satan. Rounding up all of our church members to join the 7th Day Adventist church."
Okay heres the best thing ever of the whole week though........I SAW SISTER HOMER!!!!!!!! Not only are we in the same zone, which means I will see her for when I go on excghanges with her, but our branches also share a church building so I will see her every sunday, AND our zone does english class all together so i will see her every wednesday, probably every monday on P-day.....I am going to see her all the freaking time. And Im so freakin stoked about that. She is just the bomb dot com. OH ALSO, her branch was doing a little activity in the church a couple days ago and Sister Von and I were at the church looking through CBRs, so we went upstairs to eat with them and some of the members were playing music and THEY PLAYED ONE DIRECTION. And that just made my week. I also heard one store playing 50 Cent.......I am going to hear real music when I'm in the city you guys!!!
I will say there is a major downside to being in Phnom Penh though. It's not the same as being in a province. I miss KC a ton, and I miss those pretty places like the island and Veal Ksaac. I suuuper miss the members and my investigators. I kind of hate transfers. There are a ton of areas in the city to serve in (its where like 80% of the missionaries are) so I know I will probably be here for a while, but I hope I get sent back out to the provinces soon. Maybe Battambang next. I hear Battambang is like heaven on earth.
Anyway, I think that's all I've got. We have to go to the mission home soon, which I'm super excited for because I'll see all my friends. And if I get to go to Luckys I'm definitely taking pictures. I miss you guys and love you so much!!!!
Love, Sister Davis
PS I had my first "I've been on a mission for five months so I don't understand that pop culture reference you're making" experience this week. Sister Von was showing me all of the movies she has bought here and one of them I literally had never heard of, never seen, it looked completely unfamiliar. So i asked Sister Homer about it (and a new missionary who just came in from the MTC) and they were both like öhhhhh yeah that's getting rave reviews." It's called "Frozen." And I'm told it's like the new Tangled. And I literally had no idea what was happening it was the weirdest experience of my life to look at this movie and be like I have no idea what this is. So please let me know about that. Is it any good? Is it really a big movie? Am I like a hermit?
Just some goodbye pics from KC. This girl is named Nitaa. She is super cool, but has such a rough life.
This is Ming Mau, that CRAZy investigator I told you about a while ago. She's totally nuts, but the craziest investigators are always the funnest ones to teach.