Yep. thats my real life.
Regarding this week's blog post title, you may submit your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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, and then comes home at like . 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 like...girlfriend....you 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 that.....im 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.
umm.......as 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 Corinthiansto make that point and I was like....you 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 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.
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.