Friday, August 29, 2014

Which Old Testament prophet do you think had the most zits?

                                                                Yep. thats my real life.

Regarding this week's blog post title, you may submit your answers to and Sister Neeraphaa Fife and I will discuss the results.

(things my companion and I talk about during extensive bike rides....)


In other news, I think President Moon is trying to kill me. We just got transfer calls last night. Im losing the Thai string bean as my companion. AND PICKING UP A NEWBIE. 

You heard it right....I'm training. Well, just the second half really. I'm a step-mom! Sister Soun was being trained by Sister Ky last transfer and now I'm gonna finish up her training. She's super sweet, and she's already a great missionary. I basically won't have to do anything. (PS I just almost typed "half to do anything."..............HALF. womp). 

The reason I say President Moon is trying to kill me is this: He put me back in two branches. 


I felt like that deserved the "Huge" sized font. I was gonna italicize it too but i was like hey, sister davis, control yourself. When he called me last night he was all like "I want you to finish training sister soun, and if they need help in third branch, then you can go in and do some work there as well." Which was exactly what he told me last time, only last time it turned into "You should be doing 50/50 work in both branches." And that transfer............nearly killed me. Plus im still the sister training leader AND the english class leader (which really isnt anything but im just on a complaining streak right now) AND my branch needs a TON of work and attention. Do you guys realize that HALF of my mission in the country is going to be spent in two branches?
I'll stop now but just know this: at the end of this transfer, I will be a shell of a human being. 

This week some interesting things happened with investigators. First of all, Ming Siyan came back! My investigator and her kids from a couple transfers ago! Sis Fife and I biked by her house and she was washing her clothes out front. She had gone to work somewhere far away and just barely came back. So we stopped and gave an impromptu lesson with her. She clearly needed it, because she was sick that day and looked....miserable. She now works washing dishes at a phsaa and leaves at 7am, and then comes home at like 8 pm. So I honestly dont know if I will ever get to meet her again. She's just one of those people with a really difficult life, and I know that the gospel could help her SO MUCH but there are too many circumstances preventing her from taking full advantage of the blessings. I plan to go by her house frequently to see if shes home and if she has anything I can help her with, but right now it looks like there wont be any more progress made with her. At least not now....but those missionaries down the road a few years from now have a GOLDEN investigator prepared.

I also had a really fun lesson with this one family that I love visiting. They are a less-active family who could really do with some good, strengthening visits from the missionaries. But they are AWESOME. in the process of coming back and setting a goal to go to the temple too. Anyway, we were teaching them about the Second Coming. And the mom in the family (Ming Puo) starts asking a million questions. (whenever you get onto the topic of the Second Coming or the Plan of Salvation theres always that one person who gets really concerned and asks rapid fire questions). She was asking about the timing of the resurrection and everything else that I don't know how to explain in Khmer. The entire time, her two daughters are cracking up in the corner because shes basically having a panic attack. But my favorite was in the midst of all this, her loudest and most concern-filled question (about our perfect, resurrected bodies): "Well, WILL WE EVEN BE ABLE TO EAT RICE?!" I was dont know how many times i have asked that question. I still have not gotten a definitive answer of whether or not we will be able to eat in heaven, so if anyone wants to let me know about all ears. And so is Ming Puo. 

In other news...I got to do a lot of service this week. We did some kaap dei in the sugar can fields. I dont know what the translation is for that. its like....hoeing dirt i guess? And then I also got to work in the rice patties! Like when the water is up to your knees and everything. Cool stuff. far as investigators, im pretty sure Sela might be able to get baptized this transfer. Im SUPER STOKED about that. Like soooooo happy. My other investigators are not really progressing. A couple are. Theres Sauphea and Srei Nit too. Theyre good. Might also get baptized this transfer. mmmmmmm sorry not really anything interesting going on in that department right now. 

BUT I have a fantastic story this week. So, Sister Fife and I went to go teach a less-active member, Ming Sokgma. (i feel like ive mentioned her name before?) So we teach her, its a good lesson and everything, and we're about to say a closing prayer when this random guy on a moto pulls up to her house. He just like strolls on over, sits down in our lesson and makes himself at home obviously. And then Ming Sokgma tells us he is a teacher from another Christian church. And so he introduces himself and seems nice enough (at first). Then he starts asking us a bunch of random, unrelated questions super fast: "What church are you from? How long have you been serving God? Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?" And we were like uhhh yeah. We're Christian. We believe in Heaven and Hell (sort of....we tried to briefly explain our perspective of Heaven and the Plan of Salvation as through the restored gospel) and then he asks us where we believe we were before we came to earth. And very proudly, I explained that "I believe we lived in Heaven with God before this life, and that we chose to follow His plan to come to earth." and he just goes "NOPE YOU'RE WRONG. SUPER WRONG. WRONG ALREADY." And whips out his Bible. 

***At this point in the story I would like to explain: I have NEVER once on my mission argued about Christian doctrine because.......there really arent any Christians to argue with here. I spend a lot more time talking to Buddhists.

So this guy was all like "We never lived with God before! We only came straight from Adam's loins!" and I was all like "Oh really? Jeremiah 1:5 buddy" (shout out to seminary) and then he went of talking about how we inherit Adam's transgressions (false) and how little children go to hell if they die before they are baptized (at that point i almost started crying) and he tried to use 1 Corinthians 15:22 to make that point and I was have no idea how to interpret scriptures do you? (i could go into a lot of detail but that would take freaking forever). SOOOO, at this point I was looking down at the table trying to calm down because I could feel my ears getting hot and I just wanted to yell at him (He was also being really annoyingly condescending asking us if we even understood what he was saying because we were speaking Khmer obviously and I was like "DA FREAK I UNDERSTAND YOU FOOL") but I realized that this man had absolutely no interest in calmly discussing the difference between our beliefs. He hadnt even given Sister Fife and I a chance to get a full sentence out. He would just interrupt us and then go off on his own for five minutes. He was only interested in berating us and starting a fight over doctrine. That was his goal from the very beginning. So sis Fife was like, "you know what, its time for us to go." And so I was just like (i put my hand up and it was literally shaking because i was so stressed and frustrated at this point) "I KNOW that 

......................actually i literally dont even remember what i said. Sorry, that was anticlimactic. But I said something and it was POWERFUL DANGIT! and then sister fife testified too and we left. And then we got home and sister fife was like "That was so funny! YOU WERE SO MAD!!!"  And now we can laugh about it.

So in case any of you were wondering why God didnt send me to Europe or South America or some other Christian country for my mission, now you know. Its because He PERFECTLY knows my very obvious weaknesses and knows that if I went there I would just argue with every Christian on the block and be angry for my whole mission. 

Anyway. Good story about me getting verbally abused by a random Khmer-Christian minister. On the bright side, this experience was one of those moments where I realize just how deep my testimony runs. Sometimes, I teach the same things over and over again to people who really arent familiar with Jesus Christ. So i forget a little about how strong my beliefs are. But these crazy, frustrating moments are the ones where I prove to myself how strong my testimony is. 

I would have gone to my grave telling this man that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints IS the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it contains truth and peace and guidance from a Heavenly Father who loves His children, and that this church has the authority and keys to be administering His gospel on the earth today. I would have told him until I was blue in the face that I KNOW that this gospel is the only way to true and lasting happiness, and that exact obedience with full purpose of heart will bring greater blessings and peace than we can imagine. 
Sometimes, even as missionaries, we forget that we know these things. But they're true, and there isn't anything else in the world that could strengthen me enough to serve this mission. 

That is all for this week! I'll still be in BB next week after transfers roll around #foreverinbattambang
I love this work, I love the challenges and the fact that I feel physically and mentally exhausted 24/7. And I love you guys!! Keep on reading your scriptures and rely on the Lord and His gospel. His gospel will ALWAYS point you in the right direction and tell you what to do. I love you all!

peace an' blessinsss

-Sister Davis

 ​Workin in the fields! It was actually super stormy and grey that day, and when we were standing in front of the sugar cane fields this GIGANTIC crack of thunder literally deafened me and a bolt of lightning almost hit us I swear to you. It was so terrifying that all three of the american sisters covered our ears and were like stiff with fear, we didnt even move, our eyes were just huge straing at each other. And then we turn around and see all the Khmers have like hit the deck and are crouched on the ground. Aaaand....(heres a goodie)

Sister Vinh (sister petersons companion) holds up the cellphone and goes "Sister???" and then sister peterson has to explain that no, the lightning did not hit near us because of the cellphone. Because guess what....Khmers legit believe that if you are using you cellphone you will get struck by lightning. They eyll at you if they see you using your phone during a storm. Its hilarious. 

 ​Ming Siyan and her two boys, Rit and Raa. I apologize for the fact that Rit isnt wearing a shirt. But Raa is seriously the cutest. love that kid. 

                                                       ​spontaneous work in the rice patties.
​Sorry this picture is kinda dark. But its probably for the better because MY HELMET MAKES EVERYTHING LOOK STUPID.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Buddhist Conspiracy

"Let's go grumpy-gills"
^ thats sister Fife's new nickname for me (just in case you thought i had changed super a lot and my personality was all sunshine and rainbows...sorry to break the news. Im still a grumpy gills. especially at 5:30 am). One of my favorite conversations that transpired with us this past week went a little bit like this:
"Sister Davis, you need to stop being a so pessimistic."
"Sister Fife, I've been a pessimist my entire life. Soom sdap khnom, optimism just doesnt suit me."
"Well, you're from New York so thats okay."
Tae ponnung. Obviously, I'm from Connecticut, but to everyone else not from the east coast, all of New England is the same thing....New York. Luckily, Elder Garrow hails from NY too so our conversations often revolve and trees and real bagels, cuz these ricky-bobbies from Southern Utah just don't get it.
Anyway...other funny moments from this week. Well apparently its no longer rainy season. Cambodia just decided to go back in time a couple months and we're stuck right back in the middle of hot season. Hasnt rained in weeks and its super nasty hot outside. Like Satan's oven kind of hot. (thats an exaggeration, the hot season was actually worse, but you know I have zero patience for anything above 75 degrees). So one night, I was lying on my bed, hanging upside down off the side, "doing language study" (aka holding a Liahona magazine in Khmer in my hand). and I was alone because sister fife was in the bathroom. So talking to myself (obviously) I just said "I'm hot." That was quickly followed by "Your cold" and soon I was on my own rendition of Jonas Brothers. Sister Fife walked in to find me singing JoBros upside down and instead of questioning it, just started dancing in her robe. We went through the whole song like that (yes, including Big Rob's rap portion) and called it good. It was a good companionship unity moment. (PS "Companionship unity" is a phrase often thrown around the mission and I actually hate it. Its inexplicable). 
Other companionship moments: we had a good conversation about a little something called the "mingamorphosis" (will explain later). And also yesterday at church, I was trying to scratch my back with my pencil, but it got stuck on the tag of my cardigan and I had to let go. So I whispered to sister fife that my pencil was stuck down my back.
"my pencil is stuck down my back."
So for the next five minutes I had Sister Fifes hand down the back of my cardigan rummaging around for my pencil and trying to get it detached. LUCKILY, we were sitting up on the stand yesterday so the whole congregation got a nice view of it, as well as Sister fife and I laughing so hard we were crying. Thats all for this week on my companionship. Up next week: A brief monologue on why missionaries should be allowed to have segways. (Sis Fife and discussed that one at length).

Lets talk about my area and missionary work and stuff: three new investigators this week! Not sure they'll get baptized before I leave Battambang (im not sure whats gonna happen at transfers in the next couple weeks) but they are all pretty great investigators. First, Bong Chanthaa. She was a referral from  less-active member. Apparently she learned with sister missionaries from our church a looooong time ago and has the desire to learn again. She still prays (perfectly, too. You dont know how awesome it is to hear a good prayer from an investigator the first time you meet them. Pretty sure ive described how hard it is for people here to learn about christianity and such. Oftentimes, i will be explaining the concept of prayer to them for the first time in their lives). So her prayer was stellar and I almost cried. Also, during the lesson she was like "I've been to the other christian churches and I dont like them. I dont understand why they all teach differently from one another and I dont like how they teach. I know that your church is the right one." (shoutout to the Resotration....hollaaaa). She's super sweet. Shes handicapped and lives really far away. Plus she plays basketball (for people in wheelchairs) on sunday but we're hoping we can get her to church. 
Second, Srei Nit. She works at a Bubble Tea shop across from one of the members in our branch. The member brought her to church and so she had already been twice before we started teaching her. She's great - really cute. about 24 years old, half chinese. Her whole family is in australia. Shes smart, asks questions and has a real desire and curiosity about our church. Shes great (and gives us free passionfruit juice, which is awesome).
Three, Bong Srei Mom. She was actually a non-progressing investigator that Sister Fife, SIster Ky and I taught while we were in a trio in third branch. She just moved into a members house in first branch and still wants to learn with us. And she has improved so much saince the last time we saw her. She is SO excited to see us and to learn and I think she is really committed to this. Only problem is shes waiting to get married in January and wants her baptism to coincide with the marriage...its a weird situation. But shes so cute. Love her.
Anyway, I;ve decided that missions are completely bipolar ALL THE TIME. This week has been really frustrating for me, just because my branch and area really arent progressing. The hard part about Cambodia (I like to call it the Bung Snaay Curse) is when you have a bunch of investiogators that DO NOT PROGRESS. At all. Thats where Im at. And its super frustrating when they wont just help themselves. Plus attendance at church is way down in first branch. To tell you the truth, first branch has been struggling a lot since last year, around month 9, month 10. BUT then you get moments with new investigators and you get cool contacts and you get to bike around Cambodia and youre like.....this is cool. My mission is cool. I love it. 
Sometimes I'm like...I'm gonna be in the less-active areas for my whole mission. BUT I'm not totally upset by that. We actually went to visit a less-active girl this week who is in the process of coming back and during the lesson, she was just sitting in her hammock and started giving us all this advice and one thing that she said was: "Don't forget about the less-active members. they need the missionaries too. They need to know that you remember them and love them. Its good and fine when missionaries baptize people, but please dont forget about the less-active members. I used to be less-active too, and this is the first time ive felt comfortable talking to the missionaries in a long time. Don't forget about the people who are already in God's fold." and I was sitting there like.....preach it gurl.  I'm on it.
The most important news this week though is that sister pterson found a card that has a bunch of pandas with party hats on. I pasted it on my wall. It helps me have good days. Thats all.
Love you all so so so much!!!! Peace out from Cambodia!!
Love, Sister Davis
John 21:14-16

 ​Family Home Evening for the whole branch at the church last monday. Om Samay, Bong Pheap, us, Om Sombath, Ming Banha

 ​Sister Fife and I found a recently opened mexican restaurant in our area. its like a bad version of cafe rio. but its a GIGANTIC burrito for 4 dollars so im down.

​#futureinstagram just the everyday view from my balcony.
 ​Om Sam Thork, one of my favorite members, shows me the snakes she just bought at the phsaa. gonna fry em. Chaa puah. chngainh mleh.

 ​Om Muni and the branch president made the missionaries dinner at their house and I was seriously so full it was gross. but super yummy. some sort of mashed fish soup and slaw mchou (one of my favorites that i still need to learn how to cook).
​Seila, my golden investigator. shes the one who really cant ever come to church except for these random weeks where she shows up at church. she told us "i didnt call you to tell you that i was coming because i wanted to surprise you!" She is probably my favorite investigator ever. Probably wont ever see her get baptized because she learns on sundays for the next 3 years, but i know she will one day and i love her to pieces.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Woes of a Wannabe-Firebender

I swear, I'm never going back to the city. I was thinking back on my two transfers in Tuolkork and I was like....nope, two transfers was enough. I absolutely LOVED Tuolkork. I love all my areas. I'm forever staying in the provinces. Mainly because when I went down to the city last week for the meeting, I saw it. I SAW.........................

a mouse. yep you heard it. straight from the source. In the house in Chamkarmon. I stayed there with the sisters serving in that area and seriously, it ran right by my head while I was lying on the floor in the middle of the night. And the next morning was filled with lots of chasing and broom-smacking. Now, for any other Cambodian missionary, that would be completely normal. But somehow I have managed to live in three different houses and not ever have a vermin problem. IN CAMBODIA. I am one lucky gal. God is watching out for me for sure. Because He knows my sanity is on the line.

Anyway, what was great about going to the city is this: the Chamkarmon house is Sister Homer's house!!! HUZZAH!!! I hadn't seen my mom in over four months and it was killing me. She is actually a Sister Training Leader too so we got to spend the whole day together. It was glorious. She fed me Pineapple Fanta and made fun of me for liking Avatar, just like good old times. (You should know that approximately 80% of the 7 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh from Battambang was spent by Sister Fife, Elder Garrow and I discussing Avatar: The Last Airbender. hey....those bus rides are loooooong). 
Anyway, I got to see Sis Litchfield and Sister Melton and all my favorites (oh, you bet I' ve got favorites) so it was a good day.

Things in my area have been going.......okay. Sela just picked up a second job so we basically can never meet her anymore. We were all really sad, including her. But by the grace of God Sister Fife and I biked by the school she works at one day and she came running out the gate to say she was sorry we wouldnt be able to meet a lot anymore but that she would call us whenever she was free. (and to give me a hug, obvi). She was so golden, but she just works too dang hard. I have a few other investigators and not progress. (I hope you guys dont expect me to come home with stories of how Cambodia is the promised land of missionary work because those rumors are simply false. Its a goldmine for less-active work though).  And its okay because last week we went to visit a less-active member named Bong Sokchan. And in the middle of the lesson she just gives us THREE referrals. yep, count em THREE. Sister Fife and I almost passed out. We called them and they ALL want to learn. We're meeting with them all this week. So we're excited about that.
Here's the good stuff about the rest of my area: I just got a print out of every person that has ever been baptized in my area. Total count: 315. How many people come to church every week? Total Count: we're lucky if we hit 100.

I could NOT believe it. And thats like....really stressful. This is a list of members that were baptized clear back in the 90s and early 2000s and have been lost or inactive for like, a decade or two. and when I say lost, I mean LOST. We dont have any computers here for missionary work. What the missionaries here have is their CBR book (which I think I explained to you guys earlier). And the CBR book has a sheet of paper with the members name, when they were baptized, a phone number if theyve even got a phone and a poorly drawn map made by a lazy 19-year-old whose directions include "Turn right at the place that smells like pee." <-----Thats a real-life example. It happened. And I've got over 200 to find (assuming they havent moved or left the country to go work in Thailand). Missionary work is definitely still new here. Its kind of like an adventure though and going "CBR-Finding" is kind of like a treasure hunt.

So anyway, Sister Fife and I did a heck of a lot of CBR work this week. The missionaries that come into this branch next are going to love us for all the organization work we did. (just throwing it out there now - there isnt a lot of progress in my branch right now, so i really feel like next transfer my branch is going to get whitewashed). ANYWHO, CBR work is hilarious. My personal favorites were when Sister Fife picks up a CBR and just goes, "someone drew reindeer on this one." Or another CBR where someone (a missionary who was also doing SBR work at some point) commented: "The Elders didnt love this investigator so they made a CBR with no picture, no map and no phone number. They're already lsot so good luck finding them."  There's a good pick-me-up.
There was also one we found that gave directions like "turn left at the tall building." Very specific thank you. Sister Fife just goes, "..................That building better be REALLY tall."
So, cooler/slightly-depressing/good learning moment: Lots of you have emailed me about the recent court case involving the leaders of the Khmer Rouge being convicted for crimes against humanity, terrorism, etc. I'm glad you did 1) because I didnt even know that was going on and 2) because I had a really cool lesson with a member that Im going to tell you about right now:

Om Vutha: a long-time member that I have always known but never visited or really talked to much. But I decided that this transfer I was going to work really hard to know all the members (this was before I found out there were 200 plus that essentially dont exist) and get in good with em all. So Sister Fife and I set up an appt to go see Om Vutha. And honestly, we ended up not teaching very much because she talked pretty much the whole time about the Khmer Rouge (I'd be lying if I said I hadn't encouraged it simply because I know how important and cool it is to hear those accounts first-hand). So I'm going to skip the flowery language and just list off a couple of the things she told me because me telling a fancy story wouldn't be nearly as haunting as hearing the person tell you themselves: 
-She told us mainly about how much she starved. Out of seven days, they were only granted one day to eat. On those days they would mainly eat "Baba" which is a rice porridge (in those days Im guessing it was just rice and water). She said each person got one or two spoonfuls each. That was it. The other days, when they were forced to do manual labor in the fields, they would sneak pieces of ongkaa (uncooked rice straight from the stalks they were picking) and eat them in the fields. Or, they would eat pig slop when they would feed the animals. They were so hungry that they would steal the food for pigs, and afterwards she said she would throw up so much it would come out her nose. Also, they were only given 3 shirts and 3 pants as clothing.

-She told us about the soldiers that would run the areas they were in, and she told us about how she would hear shooting at night. She also said that if they knew you could run (like if you were healthy enough to run) they would hurt you. She also told about how the soldiers would march people to Wat Sampeuv to exterminate them. Thats actually a Wat in our area, but its really far away. Anyway, if you go to Wat Sampeuv now, you can see the Killing site and all the skulls. 
-All of this happened when she was 15 years-old, completely separated from her family. I dont know if she ever was reunited with her parents. But the most remarkable thing is that she told these stories with a smile, sometimes laughing. She seemed to hold no grudges at all about what happened, and only expressed sincere gratitude to be able to find the gospel of Jesus Christ. I let her talk for like 45 minutes because I was so amazed by all the stories, and just because hearing things like that makes me so grateful for many, MANY things. First and foremost, the lucky opportunity I have been given to come to this country and hear those stories in the first place.

On that note, I LOVE this country. I love these people. And I seriously have moments where I cant get over how lucky I am that I got sent here.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 112:10, and also read the story about Elisha and the angels and the fire, because for some reason I'm loving that story right now. I get chills when I read it. Its only like 3 verses, but its great. 2 Chronicles, chapter 6 i believe. Open your eyes, and you wilkl see God all around you. Im really getting into the old testament these days.  love reading about the history of Christ, his ancestors and his gospel.
I love you guys so much. Thanks for all your support. My mission is a huge blessing and I wouldn't be living it without your guys' help. Miss you so much!

Love, Sister Davis

 ​                                           Me and Sister Kacher on the way to the meeting in PP

                                                                  ​Me and Sister Melton.

 ​Doing CBR work. Sister Fife: "THIS is your baptismal record?!?!" Just a random snippet of paper stuffed between CBR papers.
                                                                   ​This is Om Vutha

 ​a random kid was playuing with my camera and took this picture of his sister. I thought it was pretty cute so here ya go.
​I decided to stop taking pictures of sister fife while she fell asleep on the bus. Instead, the two of us teamed up and snapped this lovely picture of Elder Garrow and Elder Neng. (dont blame us for the angle, we had to reach across the aisle. im surprised elder garrows neck didnt snap sleeping like that.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Those deviled eggs were a LIE, Sister Fife!

So according to Sister Fife, I have officially lost it. It all started when I told her that I have, out of nowhere, developed a very intense fear of butterflies since being on my mission. (I'm telling you guys - they are terrifying. Dont argue with me until you've been riding your bike at top speeds and have had a butterfly the size of your hand fly into your face. Its not cool). Anyway, since then my sanity has been on a downward spiral. My mission's changin me. But not in the ways you might expect. Now, I can do the Asian squat (you know the one I'm talking about) (I like to use that tactic when I'm peeling vegetables into the garbage). And also my grammar is horrific. The other day I was trying to tell Sister Fife that I had cut something (past tense) and caught myself saying "I cutted it." I went into my room and cried for an hour afterwards. 
It was a good story though. I slice my finger (yep the same one) twice in a row, to the point where I was bleeding all over the place, and then subsequently poured boiling water all over that same hand. All in the same day.
ANYWAY. I'll just start off with my Sister Fife stories. This week she peeled open a corn from the phsaa and a huuuuge worm was just wriggling around inside. Good stuff. She also had a less-active member tell her she looked like Mr Bean. It took us a while to figure out what she was saying. She kept on being like "Sister mian mook dooc cia mistah beeen" and I was like "did she just say mister bean?" but I disregarded it because it seemed ridiculous. And then she said it again and Sister Fife and I were like......she actually just said mister bean. I DONT EVEN KNOW HOW THATS POSSIBLE. How do Cambodians in the middle of nowhere know about Mr Bean? I may never know. 
This week Sister Fife confessed to me that she likes to talk to herself at night before she goes to sleep but that she doesnt do it on her mission obviously because shes got her companion sittin right there. And then she follows this story by saying " just really sucks that you're here right now." MY COMPANION LOVES ME.
So let's talk about the language. This past week one of the members asked me to help her with one of her school assignments. She's studying marketing and had a textbook in english but she didnt really understand what it was saying so she asked me to translate it for her. This was a little something they call "a HUMBLING experience." I had to translate things like "Operational strategies that stipulate the day-to-day activities of the chief executive officer....." I looked at that and was like.....yep I'll do my best. Needless to say it didnt go very well. And that very day I decided to start doing the mission language mastery things (translating talks and memorizing things in Khmer). There are days where I am like....NOPE never gonna be fluent in this language.
Okay now for the good stuff: Sister Fife and I saw a whole buttload of miracles this week. For one thing, we ran into three random people (ALL of whom already had a Christian background) that expressed interest in wanting to learn with us. My favorite story is the one about the old man. Sister Fife and I went to visit a member who lives in freaking NO MAN'S LAND, like a 35 minute bike ride at least, and thats going fast. And we went all the way out there and SHE WASN'T HOME. I was sooo annoyed but then Sis Fife was like "Hey, when we were on the street back there I felt like we needed to go contact someone, so I said a little prayer on my bike and asked Heavenly Father to turn us around if we needed to go contact someone. Maybe this is that sign. Lets go back and see who we can find." And I was like, okay fine (still mumbling and grumbling obviously). We were on our way out of this area headed back to the street, and the area we were in was one of those pretty places with lots of trees and dirt and grass, all that cool stuff, and sister fife stopped right outside of this one house to take a picture. I could see through the walls of the house (one of those shacks thats made out of bamboo) this man in a hammock that saw us and sat straight up. I was thinking he was just surprised to see two white girls. But then a minute later, this old man with no shirt or shoes on comes shuffling out of his house WITH A BOOK OF MORMON IN HIS HANDS. (those kids of stories do not happen in Cambodia. Considering the fact that half the population her cant read and the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere, it was a huge shock). Anyway, hge comes out and was like "i believe in God too! They gave me this book!" Turns out he's already read the WHOLE thing. He used to work for the United Nations on the border of Thailand or something. Really nice old man. Said he wants to learn but he's too poor to stop working on Sundays (we'll see about that. NOT IF I HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT).  Sister Fife and I told him about church and said we would come back next week to visit him with a member. So. Yeah. MIRACLES.
The absolute highlight of the week though, oh man it was too good. I was CRYING I was laughing so hard. You guys are gonna like this. I came across what is most certainly a Khmer Baptist. So yesterday was the first Sunday of the month, right, so everybody gets to volunteer to go up to speak if they want to. Well, Sis Fife and I are sitting in sacrament meeting and Sis Fife goes, "i dont recognize that women in the yellow shirt. Who is that?" Its not like our branch is super big, so when you dont recognize someone its pretty obvious. I didnt recognize her either. LUCKILY FOR THIS WOMAN, she happened to show up at our church on the one day of the month when anyone is allowed to go up and speak and bear their testimony. So after the first three people, this woman stands up. She told us she was just in Battambang for one day and saw our church and decided to come in to worship God with us. And then she goes OFF. Yelling into the microphone, bearing her testimony and love of God LOUD and not-so-clear (Sis Fife and I literally didnt understand a word she said she was tlaking way to fast) and shes just moving away from the microphone, acting out random stories, singing random worship songs in Khmer, yelling at the top of her lungs, throwing her arms in the air and shouying "HALLELUJAH" and "AMEN" in the middle of her sentences. It. was. Hilarious. Sis Fife and I are obviously a little more aware of other Christian backgrounds and other styles of worshiping, but obviously the majority of our members were Buddhists before or had no previous knowledge of Christianity so everyone in the branch was like "WHat in the world is happening? Is she crazy?" This woman went on for about 20-30 minutes. I finally turned around to Elder Ang, a Khmer who actually had a Christian background before he joined the Mormon church and I was like "koat kaang avei?" I actually dont know how to translate that. The closest menaing is "What denomination is she?" and he goes "Protestant. The Protestant church here likes to stand up and yell and they sing when they talk." and I was like ....yep that explains it. So that was the funniest moment of our week. How was your Sunday?
Welp...I will end this email now. Sometimes I see other missionaries emails to their family and they are......not as long as mine. So Im sorry if my emails are unbearable long and boring, but since Im too lazy to write in my journal anymore these emails are basically my journal. You guys are the victims.
Anyway, I had some good spiritual thoughts for you guys too. First of all, read Doctrine and Covenants 103: 17-20 and Hebrews 10: 32, 35-36, 38-39. It was part of a talk from Elder Holland that I really liked. And then also, I read that talk by Uchtdorf called "Stand Close Together and Lift Where You Stand." He had a really cool quote that I liked. He talked about how people need to magnify their callings in the church and serve one another. Essentially :Dont be selfish! So heres a quote from that:

"The Lord judges so very differently from the way we do. He is pleased with the noble servant, not the self-serving noble." Loved that. Serve others, not yourself. I feel like we could all do with a good reminder of that every day, especially me. I often forget about the importance of serving others, but it is a hallmark of a disciple of Christ, and will also bring us true and lasting happiness that we cant find elsewhere.
Okay, well I love you guys a ton! I'm going down to Phnom Penh today for a meeting so maybe I'll have some good stories for ya about that. I get to see Sister Homer! I havent seen my mom in forever!
Miss you and love you every day!
Love, Sister Davis

​we have a member that sells flowers on the side of the road. we helped their daughter make some. it was wayyy harder that it looks. Sis fife and i sucked at it.

 Om Lon (a recent convert) with her new grandson. This lady is seriously the sweetest. This is the baby that Sister Cloud and I named Aaron. And they are actually calling him by that! so cool!

view from om lon's balcony. a REAL soccer field. I havent ever seen anything like it before. its kind of random haha