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 "Soooo......it 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

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