CAMBODIA IS OFFICIALLY ORGANIZING ITS FIRST STAKE!!!!!!
Technically 2 new stakes! Phnom Penh North and Phnom Penh South. I'm bummed I got transferred out of Phnom Penh right before the stakes are organized, but I'm still so happy!
This is HUGE NEWS!!! Getting a stake is a big deal. The church has been in Cambodia for 20 years now, and it's finally being recognized as an actual stake because we finally have enough members and enough organization. And I am one of the lucky few who actually gets to be in the country when it happens. I have often complained at the lack of organization the church has here. It's no one's fault, it's just that all the members here are new and dont really know how to run a ward or stake the way we do in America or in more developed countries. BUT the beauty of a stake is that it brings a lot of organization with it. The church here is going to progress a TON now that we're officially being organized as a stake, and I'm super pumped. I can't believe how lucky I am to be in this country at this exciting time! This is a huge milestone! GO CAMBODIA!
Okay so....................I'm in Battambang!! Seriously, I. LOVE. BATTAMBANG. This is everyone's favorite place to serve and I can totally see why. It's like Kampong Cham only a little MOREYou still get some rural places here, but they also have a bunch of good restaurants and American stuff. Por ejemplo, (or in khmer) utihah muay: All the missionaries in BB (like maybe 8 of us) are going to an Indian restaurant for lunch! I havent had Indian food in FOREVER. theyve also got a couple cafes and american restaurants. So its basically Kampong Cham only I'm not drowning in rice.
Here's the bad news: Yesterday President Moon decided I should be the English Class leader in Battambang. MAJOR WOMP. I told myself right before i got transferred that if I made it through my whole mission without being an English Class leader, I would consider my mission a success. Not that I dont want responsibility or anything, but English class is so stressful just being a teacher. I guess you guys dont know much about english class do you? My bad. The missionaries teach a free english class at the church everynight. Only the American missionaries teach: the Khmer missionaries are actually students themselves, but they help us plan and prepare and stuff. I kind of knew based on the missionaries in BB right now that it would end up being me. Some of them have already been the leader, some are too new, etc....I have no idea what the english class is like here either so it will be difficult to get started. but Sister Cloud will help me a lot, I'm sure.
Sister Cloud is great too. She's been really great with helping me become familiar with the area. She even gives me tips on how to interact with some of the members here so I know how to get them to like me. one of those priceless little tidbits was to actually open up my mouth and TALK to the members. Like be friendly and stuff. Crazy huh? No but really, that's always been a rough spot for me. I'm still really shy with the language (which I know I shouldnt be because its pretty obvious from the second they see me that HEY IM WHITE AND I DONT SPEAK KHMER) so anyway, I usually am smiley and try to be friendly and ask how they are but I rarely get to know them on a deeper basis because I'm afraid I'll ask a question and that, ya know, they'll actually respond. People in KC and Tuolkork didnt really have a problem with it, and I still had really good friendships with the members there. BUT it was a goal of mine to be more open and friendly so I've been seriously taking myself out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to have real conversations with people. Especially here in Battambang, it's really important for the missionaries to have good relationships with the members, so thats my goal for this transfer.
Oh also....I'm finally living in a house with other sisters! My whole mission so far, I've lived alone with my companion. Which is fine, but I'm really excited to live with other people too! The other sisters are in BB 3rd branch, and their names are Sister Hem (a khmer whos super nice and a great missionary) and Sister Fife. Sister Fife just finished her training and she is AWESOME. She can literally quote Nacho Libre backwards and forwards and last night she made the Nacho Libre face (you know the one) and thats when I realized......I've found my eternal companion. Honestly, she's hilarious. We also live in the same house as the senior couple, Elder and Sister Zemp. They live on the bottom floor and we live two floors up. Last night they invited us downstairs to eat ice cream with them while we did our language study. So they're great.
It was hard for me to leave Tuokork because i absolutely adored the members there, and I also miss Sister Kohler like CRAZY. Shes back in America by now. how weird? BUT I think this transfer was a really good decision on President's part and I'm super stoked to be here.
Anyway, Ive only been in BB for three days so I dont have much to report, but I have a feeling i will soon. I LOVE BATTAMBANG! It's going to be such a good transfer guys. I can feel it.
Daoy seckdei srolan,
These pictures are all from my last few days in tuolkork. My last picture with SIs Kohler!!!
My last picture with Om Sokha!!! I already miss this crazy old woman. Just for the record, right before this picture was taken, Om's parting words for us as we were saying goodbye was (to sister kohler, who she knew was going back to america): "When you go home, tell President Thomas S Monson that I need to borrow 5,000 dollars." Solid.
Boro's family. They were less-actives that I loved to go and teach.
Ming Srei's family! Sdaay naah!
Chendaa. One of my favorite memebers in Tuolkork. Shes so stinkin adorable,
Bong Combei and her husband, Ming Phaa, and the twins Mei and Mian
Am I so happy to be back in a province? I am SOO HAPPY to be back in a province!!!
My new companion SIster Cloud