Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweaty as a bird

Only my family will understand that subject line. But to explain a little further.....

I HAVE NEVER SWEATED THIS MUCH IN MY LIFE. I think I told you guys a few weeks ago "hey its pretty hot." I had no idea what I was talking about. The REAL hot season is starting and I honestly don't know if I'm gonna make it through without losing my mind. The hot season starts a bit towards the end of february and then it really heats up in March. By the time I wake up in the morning to go for a run at 5:30 am, it's already about 85 degrees. By 1 pm, the hottest part of the day, it's well over 100 (based on what sister moon tells me). Add that onto the humidity and the fact that I'm in the city which is super hot and that I have to ride my bike amid the exhaust from trucks and cars and the BILLIONS of motos..............I'm dying. No, I'm dead. And here's the kicker: this isn't even the hottest part of the hot season. April is apparently the hottest month of the year. So I've still got khai buan to go. I don't know how else I can describe this. I AM SO HOT. Thank the heavens above we have an air conditioner. It's just a little one in our bedroom, so the rest of the house is horrific, but that makes all the difference at night and I have literally thanked God in my prayers for it. Sister Kohler and I thought it broke the other night and I almost cried. I know there are houses in places like Takmau that don't have AC. Those poor unfortunate souls.

Anywho, I've got some more food news for you guys: First of all, what was on the menu for me this past week you ask? Well, I'll tell you: intestines and chicken hearts. Elder Schleede and Elder Sorensen (did I tell you guys I'm in the same area as Elder Sorensen again? He was with me in KC, and now we're serving together in Tuolkork) insisted it was a mushroom even though I told them I was pretty sure it looked like an intestine. But I figured hey even if it is an intestine, you get to tell people you ate an intestine. And I did. But I will tell you this: It had stuff inside it. Like.......stuff. I won't go into detail but just know: there was "stuff." As for the chicken heart, I enjoyed that much better. They're actually really small. Like just an inch or two in diameter. But they look just like a mini version of a human heart. Pretty cool. I also found duck flavored ramen so I'm pretty excited to try that out (you guys know my long-time obsession with ramen. It's in full throttle now that I'm in Asia). 
But here's the BEST BEST BEST news about food for the week: Sister Kohler and I were biking to the branch president's house for a meeting and he lives in a really far awar area of Tuolkork. It's an area we very rarely go to. On our journey we found......a bakery cafe. A real one. A good one. Its like Starbucks only a million times better. They have all manner of cakes and croissants and scones and cookies and fresh baked breads AND BAGELS YOU GUYS THEY HAVE BAGELS. (Can we just take this moment to applaud me for spelling croissants correctly on my first try. My grasp of English may be waning but apparently my French is right on track.....?) Sister Kohler and I walked in and we started laughing we were so amazed by what we were seeing in front of us. We literally stopped and took pictures inside this place and I will tell you if we hadn't  I would have assumed it was all a dream. What's weird is that this bakery is honestly in the middle of what seems like a desolate wasteland. Like flat land and no building around it. Totally random. "Joma Cafe and Bakery: Middle-of-Nowhere, Tuokork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia"

Don't you worry I've got pictures of the outside, the inside and everything in between. Even the menus. They have sandwiches and salads and smoothies. They even have a ham egg and cheese on a bagel. I can't tell you how excited I am about this place. We're going bakc there today actually even though its 30 minutes out of the way. It's that good.

So I have a couple animal concerns from this week. First of all a bat flew into our church building and was tormenting us after English class. The elders were purposely scaring it to fly in the direction of me and Sister Kohler and Sister Homer and Sister Melton and we were freaking the heck out. Sister Homer hid in a closet until I told her it was safe to come out. The screams were heard for miles (though nothing like Sister Homer's screams when Satan the lizard attacked us in KC so many months ago). Second, I saw a cockroach during one of my lessons and almost had a panic attack. It was alive and well and just creeping about 5 feet away from me the whole time. I didn't even close my eyes during the prayer because I had to keep an eye on it. I don't trust cockroaches for one single solitary second. Third, Sister Kohler and I saw a Tukgae. I actually have no idea how to spell that. It's just a really really large lizard but for some reason Khmers are terrified of them because apparently they latch onto you and don't let go. Ask me more about that when we skype on Mother;s day because I can actually make the tukgae call/sound.

 AND FOURTH: you guys, I can't even describe the toll this last one has taken on my psyche the last week. I just.....can't.....even............okay here it goes: I and Sister Kohler are like 90% sure that my bed has termites. MY BED. My bed is my sanctuary. You all know that. They have attacked my bed. It's only a matter of time before I get eaten alive in the middle of the night. A couple nights ago I had one of those moments where I could feel things crawling on my skin even though you kow nothing is really there and I actually got up to get a flashlight and check to make sure I didn't have things crawling all over me. I'm telling you, it's psychologically damaging. Needless to say my companion thinks I'm crazy.

Okay maybe I'll actually spend a little time on things that actually matter: So I taught Luna Lovegood a couple times this past week. Real name: Sveta, my Russian investigator. We teach her in English, which I haven't done since I was in KC with Moiseng. And Sveta is actually super fluent in English. So I have to be on my A-game, which we all know is questionable right now. I have finally gotten a glimpse of what it's like to teach in Europe or America and it is exhausting! She has a background with christianity and has actually studied religion a lot so she has crazy smart questions. Luckily none of them have stumped me yet, but sometimes you don't realize how hard it is to explain a concept to someone until they ask you a direct question about it. For example, we were talking about the Fall of Adam and Eve for a solid half hour. Also, with Svets she sort of......I don't really know how to explain it. In the words of Sister Kohler, "Her ideas are like the sky." They seem totally up in the clouds and have no end. If you ask her a question like "Do you believe in God?" Her answer will be something like "Well, what is God really? God is a different thing to every person." And she will just go OFF. During our last lesson I asked her "Do you believe that God is omniscient, and that He knows everything?" And she literally said "Well, it's difficult for me to describe what 'everything' is." What? Evrything is...EVERYTHING. Geez louise. But I absolutely LOVE teaching her. I love that she challenges us. It reminds me of what our family was probably like when we were learning, asking questions just to be stubborn in a sense.

Other than that, nothing super interesting going on the world of teaching lessons. SIster Kohler and I had probably the funniest lesson with Om Sokha that I've ever had. I wish I could describe her, but I've already tried and failed. I was laughing that entire lesson. It slays me to see a 70 year old woman with a sense of humor like her. She told Sister Kohler that she looked like Mary, Christ's mom and then she told me that I look like in John the Baptist's mom who's like a thousand years old. And then she just started cracking up. She is probably one of my favorite people to teach out of everyone I've taught in my whole mission.
That's all for this week I think! A couple things I read this week that I liked: Ether 12:33-34 and John 8:32. I also read in Moroni 8:16 and the end of it says "fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth away all fear." I LOVED that.

I love you all so very much! I miss you a ton and hope you have a great week!

Love, Sister Davis

PS I know General Conference is coming up but Cambodia doesn't get it until a few weeks later, because we have to wait for it to be translated in Khmer for all the Khmer missionaries and then we watch it all together. SO NO SPOILER ALERTS. You can tell me which talks you like but don't tell me anything about them! General Conference is the best thing in the world as a missionary, I'm so stoked.

This is Bong Combei and her adorable son. She;s a recent convert, and such an awesome member, ALWAYS gives us referrals for her friends that want to learn. And she also bought me the headband I'm wearing in this picture. Shes the best.

Another Sunday lunch at Ming Srei's. She fed us goose. This is elder Sorensen and elder schleede trying to point out the head of the goose.
Some other awesome members. The Lookpuu on the floor is Lookpuu Broh, you;ve seen him before. His daughter is the one in the polka dot skirt. Chendaa is the girl in blue and red in the middle. She's Combei's little sister and seriously one of my favorite people. SO SWEET. And she wants to learn english, so we help each other tuo vin tuo mook.

Carrot, cake, chocolate cake, cheesecake, chocolate creme pies, lemon bars, brownies and QUICHE. I bought the quiche. It had real ham in it. whats up. AND THEY GAVE ME A NUMBER! Do you see that?!
Cool government building thats on the way to the main city. and yes thats a new dress, thanks for noticing. 6 dollars. Which is a little pricey for Cambodia but I said what the heck and bought it anyway. 

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