Thursday, May 29, 2014


I just want to make an announcement up front: I WILL have diabetes when I come home. You wanna know the secret to Khmer cooking? 4 pounds of sugar. In EVERYTHING. And then add some sweetened condensed milk if thats not enough. Last night Sister Fife enjoyed the classic Khmer snack of bread dipped in sweetened condensed milk. Nope, they really love to eat that here. And then when you run out of bread, you just eat the sweetened condensed milk on its own. Meanwhile, my hypoglycemic companion looks on, eatin some cabbage. Poor thing. Remember that time in my life when I had absolutely NO sweet-tooth? Those days are long gone. Diabeetus. (sorry that joke is about 400 years old, i know.)

Anyway, I had another AWESOME week. Our family of investigators is progressing well, along with our other investigators, and we also picked up two more referrals of people who want to learn at church yesterday. After being in Tuolkork (aka the static-y deadspot of my mission) for 3 looooong months, the work is starting to pick up again. I'm super stoked to be here right now.

Wanna know why else I'm super stoked to be here? STAKES HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY ORGANIZED IN CAMBODIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We officially have the Cambodia Phnom Penh North Stake and the Cambodia Phnom Penh South Stake. President Moon sent us the email to inform us of the stake presidents and everything. Cambodia now officially has 10 functioning wards! I almost cried when I read that. I wanna send you guys an excerpt from the email we got from President Moon: 
"There are more than 4,000 Saints in Cambodia that now enjoy the blessing of living in a Stake of Zion...What a longed for, prayed for, worked for, and anticipated day for our members here.  Today we organized the Phnom Penh Cambodia North Stake and Phnom Penh Cambodia South Stake...In the North conference Sister Gong shared a brief testimony and thanked the choir.  She told how almost 20 years ago she and Elder Gong were living in Washington DC and were assigned to help with a branch full of Cambodian Saints that were transplants from the refugee camps in Thailand.  She related how she had been called as the chorister for Relief Society.  She tried to lead the music but no one would sing.  Finally after a couple of weeks she asked them— why won't you sing?  Are there any songs you know?  They said— we are afraid to sing.  It was dangerous to sing for us.  During the Khmer Rouge time anyone that sang would be killed.  So they didn't sing and were afraid to.  She then said how much her heart was filled with joy today to hear the Cambodian Saints and the choir singing the songs of Zion and singing praises to the Lord.  It was very touching...I testify that this is the work of the Lord.  He is in charge and leads the church and its leaders through inspiration.  The gospel is true.  It brings joy and happiness to those who will accept and live it.  Two elders at the North Stake Center today introduced me to a less active woman in their branch (now ward) that had not come to church for more than 12 years.  But she heard about what was happening and came today.  It has been a glorious Sabbath day in Cambodia."

Sorry that was a little longer than I was expecting it to be, but it was just such a dang good email. Brought tears to my eyes. It isnt until moments like that that I realize how attached i have become to this place and these people. I am so incredibly grateful to be serving here. 
Another great story about teaching the people here: Ming Siyan. My fav. This week we taught her about tithing. As you can imagine, teaching some of the poorest people in the world that they have to pay ten percent of their miniscule income is less than pleasant sometimes. Ming Siyan cant even afford a bike, and on top of that her daughter is really sick right now. She's definitely struggling. But when we were teaching her, I asked her: "Do you believe that God has enough power to help you through these problems?" Her response was not at all what I was expecting: "I don't know yet, but I will try." PRAISE THE HEAVENS ABOVE. This is exactly the type of investigator I have been dreaming of. Not only was it honest, but it also showed her willingness to "experiment on the word." Too often, I have those investigators that promise to keep commitments and then they don't, or they say that they understand when they really have no idea whats going on. Ming Siyan's response showed me that she is honest about where her faith is right now, but that she does indeed have faith enough that she's willing to give principles like tithing a chance and see if God will bless her. She heard Jesus Christ's name for the first time not even one month ago. But she knows she has faith enough to do something as difficult as paying tithing, even when she can barely afford to take care of her family. What an incredible example. These people teach me so much more than I teach them. 

You wanna know why else I love the members here? Because they show us so much love back. We went to teach a member here and her daughter just had a baby about 2-3 days before. Her daughter isn't even a member! But the people here are so kind and respectful and loving that when we walked in to teach this person, the daughter who just gave birth said to us, "Sisters! I want you to give my baby an American name." And she was SERIOUS. She had already given her child a Khmer name, but often times Khmers have an English name as well. And she asked US to pick the name. how cool is that?! We picked Aaron. It was so cool. (PS this baby weighed 2 kilos aka like less than 5 pounds and they were like "oh he's so big!" and I was impossible. Cambodians are tiny.)

Also in a moment of sheer genius this week, I threw our house keys and got them stuck on the roof. Huzzah. initially, Sister Cloud was NOT pleased with me. (meanwhile Sister Fife was standing on our balcony and laughing her head off, and Sister Hem just goes, "Sister Daiveee AYYY!") But we laugh about it now. Especially after we had to hold a less-than-stable Khmer-made "ladder" and watched our tiny little Khmer landlady climb onto the tin roof to go grab them for us. at 5:30 am. The best was having to explain it to her in the first place: "Maybe the sisters are a little crazy and maybe they got their keys stuck on the roof...." 

Oh ALSO guess what I did this week! I harvested peanuts! heres why I'm so excited about that: If you remember correctly, my very first service project when it was still my first week in the country was to PLANT peanuts. And I finally got to harvest some! So it looks like my mission has officially come full circle. #metaphors PS I now know why the literally Khmer translation for peanut is "dirt bean" : So. Much. Dirt. I looked like the dusty kid from the Peanuts (no pun intended. That was just a hilariously wonderful coincidence. McKenna would be proud to know that I'm still capable of making a pun). 

And to finish, a lovely quote from Sister Cloud, who was in the process of complaining about our burning hot bike seats that had been left out in the scorching Cambodian sun during a lesson: 
"I'm toastin my biscuits over about 'hot cross buns'."
--> aaaaalmost fell off my bike laughing so hard (again.)

Okay thats all for this week! I love you guys SOOOOOO much! Miss you tons! Peace out, botpisaot!

Love, Sister Davis

Scriptures I liked this week: 
Doctrine and Covenants 67:13, 19:16-19, 19:38
And Psalms 27. You all know thats my favorite. I reread it pretty often.
Keep on reading the Book of Mormon all the way through! 

Eating with the members after service. Sister Fife, Me (in Elder Plothow's hat) and Sister Peterson. Did I tell you guys that Sister Peterson is with me here in BB?? MTC comps reunite!

Cool rickety bridge We went to after service. I wish I couldve gotten a better angle for you guys, but there were too many trees in the way. 
​Me and Sister Dy (sis peterson's comp). Shes super adorable. 
​Aaaaaand this would be a sign that I found to be quite funny - reminding people to not stand in top of the toilet and squat. ( or sit backwards). *sigh* the problem with countries that still mainly use squatter-toilets #onlyincambodia

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