Is this the cutest kid in the world you ask? Quite possibly. He bows to me every time I give him candy so he's got my vote.
Cumriabsua!!! (throwback to my emails from the MTC! Remember that time I was in the MTC and I was just "playing missionary" like it was a fun game?)
Yeah....that has been on my mind a lot this week. When I was in the MTC I got the advice "try not to take anything too seriously while you're in the MTC" because life out in the field is way more stressful and you will laugh at yourself for taking anything seriously while you're still in Provo. Too true. The MTC was all fun and games, and this week I've been thinking a lot about my new perspective on "the real world" and what a FOOL I was before. 3rd world countries will do that to ya.
***I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone (basically every person I've ever come in contact with) that was subject to my insufferable FOOLishness before my mission. Though I'm sure I have many more foolish moments to go in life. Hooray!
That was a really random rant that will probably make everyone reading this email go "what the heck is she talking about." It's been a weird week for me. ANYWHO, speaking of foolish moments, I have my first few major language mess-ups that I'm sure you guys will appreciate. I shall conduct a list:
1) The word for people is "monuh". The word for mosquito is "muh". Do not accidentally say "I hate monuh."
2) One of the members that Sister Vorn and I visit a lot was pointing out that I have nice teeth. What I thought she was asking me was if I had ever fixed them (and in my ignorant American mind, of course I assumed she was talking about braces......NO, Chloe, Cambodians do NOT know about braces) so I was like "YEAH! everyone in america does it!" Then I thought a little harder about the Cambodian's concept of dental care, and decided to ask Sis Vorn to make sure I understood. Turns out this member was trying to ask me if my teeth were FAKE. And I had wholeheartedly told her that yes, indeed, I do have fake teeth.
3) This one I'm not even going to try to spell in romanized, because I would just butcher it. What you need to know is that I ate a really yummy soup this week, and later asked someone who said they like to cook if they knew how to make it. Unfortunately for me, the name of the soup that I was struggling to remember sounds extremely similar to the word for "gay." So I ended up asking a 60 year old woman if she knew how to make gay.
So here's the cool/sad/interesting part of the email: this woman that I was talking to about cooking was an Om ("Om" is the word for older aunt, and its just what you call an older person) who goes to our english class every week. Shes so awesome. Anyway, I was talking to her a little bit and we got onto the topic of her family and where her family is from and the result was this: I heard my very first account of a Cambodian who lived through the Khmer Rouge (since being in the country; if you remember my TRC lady in the MTC told us about her story). Granted, I have certainly been in contact with people who have since I've been here, but it's not like you go around asking people about what was the most traumatic time of their lives. Still, it's something I have been curious about because I know some people are more open about sharing those stories than others and I also know what a significant event that was for this country. This Om told me that every person in her family was killed by the Khmer Rouge soldiers. Every single one except for one sister. Her parents, her siblings, her husband AND her children. She showed me a huge scar on her arm that came from the soldiers who would cut her with what I'm assuming were large knives. She told me about how the soldiers treated people and how awful that time was for her (a type of awful that I know most of us can scarcely comprehend). And yet this woman was just a nice, normal, quiet Om. She talked about how she has been to the temple and how she feels so good about going to the temple since her whole family is gone. My heart just broke for her. It's in those kinds of moments where I truly appreciate everything I have and also the opportunity I have to get to know these people and help them in any way that I can. Sometimes it's just listening. Sometimes I wonder "What the FREAK is wrong with this place? Why can't it function like any other country?" And then I remember what these people have been through and how they literally had to start from the bottom after Pol Pot (if you don't know much about him or the Khmer Rouge, research it. Not many people know because Cambodia is so small, but it was basically a Holocaust for the whole country). And then once I remember that my thoughts change to "what the FREAK is wrong with ME? Sister Davis, you better give these people everything you've got." And then I'm the perfect missionary!!!! Lolololololololol jokes I'm still a fool no matter what.
On a similar note, we had our zone conference this week and one of the Asia Area Mission leaders was there, Elder Funk. At the end of the meeting he got up to talk about how Heavenly Father knows each of us individually and our needs, and he said something that made me SUPER uncomfortable with myself and my life basically. He goes, "For you Cambodian missionaries who worry if your family is going to have food to eat tonight, know that God is taking care of them and that He is aware of your needs. For you American missionaries who wonder what you're going to do after you finish your missions, God is taking care of you as well." DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE HORRIBLY STARK CONTRAST THERE? "For you bratty American missionaries, stop worrying about yourself you losers and think about the fact that your companions' family might not have food tonight!" Well, at least thats how I felt. That same night, SIster Vorn and I were praying together after we finished our daily planning and she prayed to thank God for giving us a house to live in and that we have food every day. And I'm not going to lie, I cried after that. Not in front of her, and not like sobbing, but I cried thinking about how there are some people, people i probably know, who wont have food tonight because they literally cant even afford less than a dollar's worth of rice and how I'm going to go home and get in my nice car and pick out which iPhone I want. We're all aware of the poverty in the world - I'm sure no one reading this is oblivious to these types of circumstances, so I'm not trying to preach this to anyone. I knew about it before too, but living in it makes a difference in the way you see it, I can't explain it. really LIVING in it makes you ache inside when you think about it and how you cant do much about it. It bites. So that's kind of a depressing thought for today, but thats whats been on my mind this week.
In other news, my companion cooked a pig foot for me this week. I don't even question things like that anymore. I just eat what they put in front of me. Pig foot, fish head, whatever.
Oh also, also before I forget, we should be getting transfer calls tonight!!! WOO HOOO!!! I might have a new companion next week so keep your eyes peeled for that.
And also also, I found Beats headphones for $30. Cambodia rocks my socks.
Quick thoughts for you guys: Read Matthew chapter 25, about the parable fo the virgins and the talents and the sheep & the goats. I dont know why, because the Bible is cool, just read it. And also here's a quote I found this week that I really liked:
"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. I've always been a fan of the äctions speak louder than words" philosophy. Dont just say you love someone, SHOW them you love them. Dont just say you believe something, SHOW others that you really believe it!
Mian tae ponnung! I love you guys SOOOOO much you literally have no freakin idea! I miss you every day! Keep me in your prayers and I'll do the same for you! I LOVE YOU!
Love, Sister Davis
We had an FHE at a members house. This is Lookpuu Broh. He's SO AWESOME. I love this family. Aaaaaaaannnddd......Elder Scott.
Despite what this picture might make you believe, I'm actually NOT pregnant. Though the city has not been kind to me in terms of getting fat. PS this is the night I had the really yummy soup.
THAIN IS BACK!!!!! Sister Thain (my MTC comp is you dont remember) went home briefly ast transfer for some family issues, but she just got back last week and I have never been more stoked, because we're in the same zone!!!!! I am over the moon that she's back. I was still in KC when she left, but I could still feel that something in Cambodia was missing without her. I couldnt do this without Sister Thain!
This is me with Lookpuu Broh's wife at the FHE. SHe is SOOOO funny. Classic cambodian mom.