Monday, March 3, 2014

I'M A 6 MONTH-ER!!!!

This little guys name is William! The elders named him, no surprise there. He's the dog of a blind guy in our ward. Not many people actually treat their dogs like real dogs here, so I've taken a fondness for little Willy. No, he is not dinner.

That's right, people. Starting tomorrow, I have officially hit my 6-month mark. As in we can start counting down from a year. I give you permission to throw parties in my honor. 

Okay so this week I made another baby cry. Just by sitting. And being very white. Caucasian Mormon Missionary Strikes Fear into the Hearts of Cambodian Infants.
Also, I got Frozen on DVD. And yes it was 60 cents.
ALSO ALSO guess what I heard??? I heard "Gasolina" in Khmer. I can't decide if that's better or if "Teach Me How to Dougie" is better. It's a real toss-up. I feel like I can die knowing that I've heard and seen everything the world has to offer now.
Sister Kacher and I taught Sister Vorn the phrase "You're killin me Smalls!" so that has brought me great enjoyment for the last week. Just for the record, Sis Vorn's favorite phrase to use is "What the freak, man." You have to understand that anything and everything is funny when you say it incorrectly with a Khmer accent.

Some other fun stuff that happened last week all occurred at the phsaa. Number one: I encountered my first MAJOR rip-off. When white people or foreigners of any kind go to the phsaa to buy stuff, they ALWAYS get ripped off. A word to the wise: unless you have lived in Cambodia, don't even bother buying stuff without someone who has. You will end up paying 20 bucks for something worth less than 2 dollars. Anyway, last week I asked a woman how much her apples were (keep in mind that one kilo should be no more than 8000 rial) and she tried to sell me a single apple, not a kilo a SINGLE apple, for 4000 rial. I lolled hardcore at that one for the rest of the day. 
Also at the same phsaa I was trying to buy a skirt (PS I'm already going to town on souvenirs for you guys, its awesome) and literally all I said was "meen" which means "really?" and this lady freaked out and was going "CEH KHMER CEH KHMER" ("she speaks khmer she speaks khmer!!") and she was laughing and thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. It was so funny. Made me feel pretty good about myself. She also told me I speak "sloat". The word "sloat" means chill basically, but when I asked Sis Vorn what she meant by me speaking "sloat" Sis Vorn said it means that I speak so soft and sweet and so kind. In reality I just speak really quietly because I'm too embarrassed to speak at all, but hey I'll take the compliment.

Okay so for the things with real substance. 
I read a really cool article in a church magazine. A general authority wrote it about a trip he took to some country, I think in Asia, I can't remember where. And he described one little village that they traveled to. And I quote, "We walked along an abandoned railroad track that was lined on both sides with cardboard box homes no larger than 6 feet by 6 feet." 
Remember what I've told you about that large part of my area that we just call "the tracks"? So, obviously I kept reading because I was like K, obviously your illustrating my life right now. He just talked about the poverty in the area and then cited a quote from President Benson that I loved. Like it hit me so hard when I read all of this: 
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human behavior."

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! I loved that quote because it's something I truly believe in, and I also feel like it's something I have the ability to accomplish here. Even though I feel bad about this, I have to admit that sometimes I look around and think "Why am I teaching about Jesus when clearly what these people need is clean water and an education?"  But this quote helped me realize that by teaching them about Christ's gospel, I will probably help them to accomplish that themselves. It's like killing two birds with one stone. Humanitarian work is great and awesome, but right now I get to do both and that's the best. We have this one recent convert, her name is Bong Combei, and she always talks about how much she has changed since joining the church. She says that before she was a member of the church she was rude, and harsh and one of those people who's always honking and yelling at people when she's driving (that's the actual example she used). ANd she says that now, she's so much happier and nicer. And it's totally true, I never would have guessed that she was a mean person before. She's basically one of the sweetest people I've ever met. And now her husband and two  sons are members and they're so great. They're the nicest people in the world. And SOOOO much happier. That's what the church does for people! I'm so happy to be a part of that, even when the rewards aren't always so immediate or apparent. 

Another quick thought: read Psalms 55:16-17, 22

Cool, cool. That's all I've got for this week. Sorry not much else going on. Our investigators are dropping like flies, but we did contact a really promising family so I'll let you guys know if that picks up at all. Other than that, the work is going great. I love the branch that I'm working in! And I (mostly) love being in the city too! Mian tae ponnung.

I love you all to the moon and back! MIss you tons!

Love, Sister Davis

Do you remember me talking about Ming Srei? She's the one whose husband is a government official so their house is SIIIICK, Anyway, she invited us over for lunch yesterday and she made freaking SPAGHETTI!!  It could be the fact that I haven't had spaghetti in 6 months (maybe longer) or it could be the fact that she made it from scratch using fresh garden tomatoes, but this was the best dang spaghetti I've ever eaten. Elder Schleede (left) ate FOUR MASSIVE bowls of it. I was truly baffled. I thought if I poked him he would explode. (He's from Rochester by the way). Elder Scott is on the right. What a charmer. He's actually going home in a couple weeks.

Anyway, favorite quote of the week: I asked Elder Schleede what the Khmer word is for spaghetti (I actually knew that one. The word for noodle is "mii". They call spaghetti "mii Italy" haha). But anyway, his response was "If they're rich enough to have spaghetti, they just call it spaghetti." Score 1 for Elder Schleede.

PS You see how the elders are sitting cross legged? Well that's how I sit because the girl sit is too hard for me and hurts my legs (I'll show you when I come home) and Ming Srei foindly commented "You sit like a man." 

PPS Sister Vorn just saw that I'm sending you this picture and said "What the freak, man." 
I rest my case.

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