Monday, September 29, 2014

Sister Davis = the Lone Ranger (not wilderness people)

Hello there all!

Guess where I am right now? Go ahead, guess.

Phnom Penh!!! Hooray!!!! Sorry, I guess thats not really news anymore. This is like leadership meeting #5 for me already, but it will probably be my last one. NEXT WEEK WE GET TRANSFER CALLS!!! I cant believe it. The transfers go by faster and faster every time. President Moon has basically already flat out told me that Im leaving Battambang, and I will most likely be going to the city. But there are like 30 new missionaries coming in. its CRAZY. mostly elders, but still this transfer is gonna blow up the whole mission. I'll email you guys next week to let you know where Im going. I cant believe im already parting from Sister Jepsen and my dear Sister Soun.

Oh. Speaking of Sister Soun, shes in the Philippines now. Yup. at the MTC. President Moon asked her to start her mission early but she has lost her passport at that point so she actually started her mission BEFORE going to the MTC. Cray. But shes getting her training now and will be back next friday. I miss her to pieces. She was adorable. I cant wait to see her.

It was also Pchum Ben this last week. Another weird Khmer hliday, comparable to Khmer New Year, when no teaching gets done and everyone goes to the wat. womp. BUT President Moon did order us to do some deep cleaning since he knew we wouldnt have anyone to teach and Sister Jepsen and I RAN with it. We doused the whole place in bleach. The senior couple said that they had never seen our house that clean before. (Mommy I appreciate cleanliness these days!) And to think, all it took was forcing me to live in a house full of black mold and fermented raisins. And a jar of brohok (rotten fish that they eat raw with spices) that has been in our house since Battambang opened up for the mission.

The week before that we had a pretty crazy couple of days. For some reason everyone in Battambang is in the hospital. In fact, we had a member die. She was my age. I guess she was driving her moto to the hospital to drop off food for her mom who was in there with kidney stones or something. She got hit by a car and was in a coma for about a week before she passed away. What was really sad was that Sister Jepsen and I read her chart and took inventory on her bandaged wounds (which obviously had never been changed since the day she got there.....Cambodian hospitals.....) and we knew she wasnt gonna make it. The sad part is that the chart was in english and its not like the average cambodian has any knowledge of medical stuff, so even though sister jepsen and I know that severe liver damage and a BP of 125/80, and a heart rate of almost 130 (for a person in a COMA) is definitely NO BUENO, her family had no idea. They were just hoping she would still be able to walk when she woke up. They were totally blindsided when she passed away. BUT what was absolutely amazing was seeing that family continue to be strong in their faith afterwards. They really couldnt even afford to have food at the funeral (which is a HUGE deal in Cambodia. In fact a lot of people told them "no one will come to the funeral if you dont provide food.") They are very poor, very humble people. but the older brother of the woman who died is a counselor in the branch presidency and he and his wife are some of the most faithful members out there. It is incredible to me to see people hold fast to their faith and NOT abandon it in the face of trials and problems. Those are the members that make my mission worth serving.

We had a cool zone conference this past week. President and Sister Moon came up to Battambang to have a conference with the missionaries.

So anywho, we learned about being a "Powerhouse missionary". And that  powerhouse missionary isnt necessarily the missionary who does everythign perfectly, but is the one who strives to repent and overcome weaknesses and to become more like the Savior despite their shortcomings AND helps others to do the same. I really liked that, because being a great missionary isnt about the number of lessons or baptisms. Heavenly Father looks at how hard you work, not how many people you teach. Be the best YOU can be, and strive constantly t do better. President Moon said, "We are all going to fail. No surprise there. Repentance is not the back-up plan. It IS the plan." Also, something that President Moon has been saying is that God WANTS to hasten His work. He IS hastening His work! the question is not whether or not He is helping us do His work. He really is hastening the work. The question is: can we keep up? Really motivating.

Cool experiences from the past couple weeks: Our investigator Srei Nit needed to have her baptismal date pushed back because shes not quite ready (even though she was ready to go and was like yeah! baptism right?! and I was like uhhh.....not quite dear.) Anyway, during our last lesson, she said the closing prayer, and when we finished I looked up and she was crying. Like seriously CRYING. And she just kept on talking about how even though she has had problems, she now realizes "Christ is always there. I love him and he is always with me." Do you realize how incredible that is for her to say? For someone who had little to no knowledge of Christ before? The transformations in these people are sometimes just unbelievable. 
We also have an Indonesian girl who is studying at Battambang University for a few months and has been coming to church a lot. Her name is Jojo and she is super cool. Super pretty, very smart (knows a lot of English but no Khmer). Anyway, last Sunday we were translating for her, and we did a lot of reading from the Book of Mormon in the first hour of church. She has a Christian background and even has another Christian hymnbook in Indonesian that she brings with her. ANyway, after last Sunday, we finished the meeting and she pointed to the Book of Mormon and said, "how can I get one of those books?" and Sister Jepsen and I were ready to throw a parade in her honor. She'll be going back home in jst a few weeks but we're definitely gonna refer her to the missionaries in Indonesia. Really cool experience. I'll let you know how things go with her over the next couple weeks.

Also, have I ever told you guys how much I love my less actives? I just love working with less actives. I visited Ming Nam, a handicapped LA who has been making some progress recently, and she offered us bananas at the end of the lesson, and we tried to refuse to be polite, and out of the corner of my eye, I see her husband, who really doesnt say much and who oftentimes acts like he hates us and is annoyed by us, literally STUFFING massive amounts of bananas into my backpack without my permission. Cracked me up. And then theres Ming Sophep, who sells grilled bananas and fixes bikes by the church and one day I went to stop by and say Hi and I called myself stupid and she WHACKED me on the arm and was like "YOU ARE NOT STUPID!!!!" I was just aking a joke, but it was nice nonetheless. You might be confused. When Cambodian women hit you, its a good thing. The harder they hit you, the more they love you. And dang.......she gave me quite a smack.

I dont think I have much more to say......two the church for ten hours straight......I got to see Sister Homer and SIster Fife today........good imes in Phnom Penh. Im super nervous for transfers, but Ill let you guys know next week.

And to end my email, a quote from SIster Jepsen that still has me laughing. We were talking about how we used to be cooler before our missions, and Sister Jepsen says, in a serious effort to be nice, "Yeah. I can tell you used to be witty." 
Good, good. 

Anywho, I love you guys very much and miss you a lot. But I love love LOVE my mission. I am so grateful im here right now.

And I'll also end on another quote from Zone Conference:

"If we feel like our mission is not changing us, then maybe we're not trying to change." -President Moon
He was talking to missionaries, but it can be applied to all of us. We should ALL be trying to change and be better ALWAYS. And if you feel like you aren't getting better and improving, then maybe you're not trying hard enough. ALWAYS try to be better than yesterday. Thats something Sister Kohler taught me. Through Christ and His Atonement, you can do it. He loves you and wants you to succeed.

Until next week, my friends.

Love, Sister Davis

Pictures from last week:
 ​My investigator Pol and her nephew. Dont worry, the scarf is not a fashion statement, i just had a really bad sunburn on the back of my neck and needed to cover it up. Its just a normal kramaa. Most khmers wear it around their neck like that anyway.
 ​Kanha's cousin found a praying mantis. They became really good friends.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Greetings from the year 2037

Thanks to all y'all who let me take pictures for approximately three weeks without telling me that the date on my camera said December 31, 2037. #khmaakei

Seila got baptized!!!! Wooooohoooo! Got pictures of that. Good day. You know what a miracle is? Your former Buddhist investigator getting baptized despite the fact that they're teaching about the Old Testament during Sunday School.
And also, during one of my last lessons with her this past week I was trying to tell her to "read this verse, but dont read this verse" while we were reading in the Book of Mormon and what I ended up saying was "Don't eat this verse!" #justwhenithinkmykhmerisgettinggood #dontworryshestilllovesme She got up to speak after her baptism and talked about how much she would love when I came to visit her at her house (Im the only missionary left from the time we were teaching her at her house) and how I was always so happy to come and teach her. True. Best investigator I've ever had. 

Other's an interesting story. So one of my other investigators, Srei Nit, didn't come to church last week so we went in all like "whats up with that". and this was her response: "I jst really dont like people, and big groups of people and when I go to church I want it to be really quiet with not a lot of kids." first thought: my dad. second thought: this is NOT the church for you, dear. (just kidding: this is the church for everyone). Unfortunately, Srei Nit once watched a movie about "a church that was really dark and quiet and had pretty colorful windows and there was nobody in the church except for the one teacher who they called "Father." what church is that?" and i was like, I know that church. Thats called the Catholic church. and guess what? Your movie was lying because I've been to the Catholic church and guess what else? I was the annoying child, making noise, coloring on the pews, and digging through people's purses (thats right, I brought that one up....if youre not in the Davis family, you dont know....). 
SO POINT IS....all churches have kids. None of them are quiet like in the movies because my guess is that that movie only showed one person sitting in the pews alone. NOT REAL LIFE. mingle, my friend. there are people all around you. get used to it. 
So I said that in a bit of a kinder way (sis Jepsen was like...thank you for talking about what other churches are like) and guess who stayed for all three hours at church yesterday? miraclesssssss

You guys should also know.....I crashed my bike into a car this week. No, no, dont have a fit. It was a parked car. Its just that my ADD is still in full gear, so I whipped my head around to point out an important house to Sister Jepsen and WHAM. Right into the sedan. I got a nasty bruise and the headlight of my bike was smashed, but the car was unscathed (from what my lazy glance-over could tell) so we booked it outta there. So you guys can laugh at me about that for a while. I do have a much more serious car story this week but to spare Mommy the panic attack I'll save it for when I come home. 

okay biggest news of the week: I FINALLY GOT TO WORK IN THE RICE PADDIES!!!!! for real. I got to get knee deep in muddy, leech-y water and plant me some rice. It was awesome. Squishy. pretty sure there were creatures. But it was awesome nonetheless. Ive got a buttload of pictures so you'll probably hate me when you get those 15 emails.
The best aprt about the service was walking back to the house of the member and I was like "....why are my arms so itchy?" and Sis jepsen and Sis Peterson were like "We were just saying that we're really itchy too!" and then I see Sister Soun scratching, and then Elder Garrow comes up and goes "Are you guys itchy? Because I'm itchy."  I scrubbed pretty good in the shower that night. But hey: if I dont bring you guys back any souvenirs, just know that I least I'll probably bring you a lovely Cambodian rice farmer skin disease. Very authentic. 

Oooooooh. Unfortunate news. I called Sauphea during weekly planning and she dropped us. She said her dad, who holds the pursestrings for everything, including her schooling, doesn't want her to come to church. It was so sad. On the phone she was like "I'm so sorry Sister I want to learn so much, I want to learn so badly, I want to follow Jesus Christ but they won't let me go!" I'm hoping that in a year or two she'll be old enough to make her own decisions and some missionary is gonna be super happy because she is super prepared. 
We also got a new investigator, Bong Phia. She was interesting. She asks an inordinate amount of questions and seems really, really curious, but she's scared of her super Buddhist husband. When he was watching, she would pretend like she wasn't really interested in what we were saying, and then as soon as he left she was like "OKAY! Now I want to try praying!" Very......interesting. We'll see how that pans out.
Other than that, this week I mostly showed the area to Sister jepsen so that she will take good care of first branch when I'm gone. I have no doubts. She'll do just fine. 
what else happened this week? Well.....the new Battambang District President called a meetign with all the leaders of the church and the missionaries. He's really great and is trying really hard to help Battambang progress, but unfortunately, the meeting was wildly unproductive. But thats just due to the newness of the church here and that the member dont really.....get it.  yet. I really dont know how I can explain that. Another thing that will have to wait until I get home. But on that note....yesterday's Sunday School lesson. that one was a DOOZY. Lets just say, they tend to get really off topic studying the Old Testament (lets be real, who doesn't) and what started out as an innocent reading from Hosea turned into a discussion of how we should respect other religions which......well I zoned out for what I SWEAR was only two seconds and when I came back, they were talking about how its okay to sometimes go to worship at the wat with friends and family as long as you really dont mean it.

..............................................................I sent off an email to President Moon about that one. "Dear President Moon, how do I kindly tell all my members that NO YOU CANNOT GO WORSHIP BUDDHIST GODS AND YOUR ANCESTORS AT THE WAT EVER, without my milk-white skin offending every single former-buddhist (aka everyone) in the class? Get back to me when you can. Love, Sister Davis." 
Sadly, I've had to deal with that question more than once. Needless to say, I just said some random, unrelated comment that probably led the whole class to believe I didn't understand what they were talking about so that they would just end the discussion right there and go back to boring old Hosea. Worked like a charm. 

For all their lack of understanding though, I will say Khmers understand one principle of the gospel better than most other people everywhere else in the world. its this: Faith is not a perfect knowledge, but a belief in something you cannot see. If you go to a buddhist and ask them what the word faith means, they will always answer "A belief in something you cant see." I think it might be part of their literal definition of the word, because it surprises me everytime they say it. And it happens almost every time. 
I think thats a little something we could all learn from. Faith is faith. It is not based upon evidence or scientific research. You could have all the archaeological and scientific evidence in the world, but without faith you still wouldn't believe. That has been proven time and time again. I have never seen Jesus Christ. I have never seen Heavenly Father. But I know He loves me. and that knowledge is not based on anything tangible. "Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen." I HOPE that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father will protect me and help me and guide me. And I KNOW that if I act on my faith, and do all things that Heavenly Father wants me to do, and follow Jesus Christ, then He WILL help me and protect me and guide me.  Thats my faith. So my advice to you people, is "dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Faith comes bit by bit, little by little, and yes it will be tested and tried. But if you do your best to act upon the little faith you do have, THAT is when you see the miracles. That is when you feel the love of God.

Also had a HILARIOUS lesson with a less-active who is pretty....quick to be angry. Unfortunately I dont remember how to say that in english. Sis Jepsen and I feared for our lives. Lucky for Sister Soun, she was serving in third branch that day on splits. Good story. I'll tell ya later. 

Thats all for today. Miss you guys a ton! Love you very, very much! 

Love, Sister Davis 

 ​The adorable Sis Soun's birthday!!! She likes pizza. Yep. She really does.
(particularly the kind that has hot dogs and cheese in the crust?)

​Sorry I just never get sick of these kinds of pictures

                                                            ​Kanhya's little niece.

 My traditional Khmer skirt. First time ever wearing it. I found that fabric in KC and have yet to see it since so Im the winner becasue no one else has it.
                             ​the girl on the left is sithet, seila's older sister. already a member.



 ​​                                                                                 Petey and I

​So you do this thing where you pull the rice stalks out, and swish it around in the water and then smack it against the bottom of your foot to get all the mud off the roots. and then you plant it in a barren area. I dont really understand. I just do what the Khmers tell me.
                                ​I love this one just because of the look on my face. "What an idiot." 

                                                          ​eating some slaw afterwards.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Would you believe me if i told you I wasn't an idiot?

Weeeeee another Phnom Penh trip come and gone. I have a feeling this will my my last one, if not my second to last one. No more leadership meetings after next transfer. Thats just my guess though. Usually Sister Training Leaders dont stay for more than three transfers. It was a good one. First of all, since I'm in a trio (and also because our mission is cracking down on unnecessary expenses like bus tickets) my two comps stayed in Battambang and my two new companions were these fools:

Elder Jones: the one from my MTC group that actually served in KC with me and refused to eat rice so he basically starved (fool #1)

and...Elder Garrow. not much needs to be said there (fool #2)

I'M JOKING. they were some pretty sweet companions. Some of you may be wondering....since when can a sister be companions with an elder? Well...I guess since President Moon says its okay. Good times. 16 hours on a bus. And yes, I made Elder Jones sit in the awkward third seat because I didnt want to sit next to a stranger.  And Elder Garrow gave me all of his candy so I would say......#perksofbeingasister

Hilarious (hilariously depressing) story about Elder Jones though. So he's new in BB, and he and I are serving in the same branch. And so his first day his companion took him to get to know some members, including the branch president's family. Fastforward to that night: Elder Jones is my district leader and so he called me to ask if we had our numbers for the day, etc....and he just goes "Sis Davis...I killed the branch presidents kitten." and I was like......what. And he tells me this story of how he put the kitten down on top of the cooler and then the branch president didnt know it was there and accidentally slammed the cooler lid down on the kitten. I was like "Elder Jones no! I loved that kitten!" and he was like "it was so sad. I watched it twitch and die. I HAVE 3 CATS SISTER DAVIS." On the surface, not a funny story. But you would have to know Elder Jones to understand why its a little bit funny. His life is kind of comparable to that of the Cabbage Man in Avatar the Last Airbender (TV show, not the awful movie). 

So....being back in two branches again. I walked into third branch yesterday and all the members were like "ughhhhh......we thought we got rid of you."  Just kidding. Most of them didnt even really remember me. Except for Ming Rani, who remembered me well enough to come up to me in Relief Society meeting and be like "Sister, a fish bit me yesterday and now my finger is huge, can you fix it?" and she just shoves her swollen finger in my face and i was like uhhhhhh....and then Sister Jepsen just whips out her swiss army knife and does minor surgery on this woman's pus-filled finger. right in front of me. in the middle of class. #adayinthelife

Its been fun being in a trio again. Sister Soun is just adorable and innocent, and Sister Jepsen is bringing a little..... "color" to the comapnionship. The other day we were literally a two minute bike ride from the church and she yells out to me from behind "SISTER DAVIS WE HAVE TO STOP RIGHT NOW. Im so sorry im honestly not gonna make it to the church. I need a bathroom RIGHT NOW." And i was like...are you joking? We're in the middle of Cambodia, its not like you can just pull up at the nearest Pizza Hut to use there bathroom! But I reluctantly went up to a man using a sewing machine in front of his house and was like "Im so sorry, can i just bother you for a moment? My companion needs to use a bathroom really badly, do you have a bathroom in your house?" And, because we are in Cambodia where everyone just invites you into their house on a whim, he was like "Sure! Its in the back! Here come in and sit down!" So then sister soun and i awkwardly squatted in this mans house with his family in total silence while he sewed his pants and we waited for sister jepsen to come out of the bathroom. (PS im certain she would kill me if she knew i told you that story.) 

As for our investigators, we had a couple really good lessons this week. We are still teaching Sauphea, an awesome teenager who is friends with some of our members. We were teaching her the word of wisdom yesterday and sister soun was listing off the things we dont eat/drink/ and she goes "harmful drugs, coffee, tea, tobacco and.....oh I forget!" Which isnt a big deal, sometimes when youre listing things off you forget what you havent said so Im about to say "alcohol" and out of nowhere, Sauphea, our cute little investigator goes "Alcohol." And we all three of us just looked at her like "how the heck did you know that?" And she looked at us like she didnt even know where it came from. She was like "I dont know! I think i just guessed!" we all busted up laughing, it was too good. (for the record, it is NOT normal for Cambodian people to just "figure thigns out" like that. Most things we teach, including the law of health, and totally foreign to them. The Spirit inspires people in different ways I suppose).

We had another investigator lesson with Srei Nit. She's been doing pretty well so far, but this particular day we were teaching about "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy" and it was more difficult than I expected it to be. I just kept on asking her basic questions like "Why do you think God wants us to remember Him?" or "Why does God want us to go to church?" (keep in mind she has been to church many, many times at this point. And shes smart, so these were not ridiculous questions to eb asking, even for someone who isn't christian). and she like....could NOT answer me. She just seemed so confused and I was like....I do not know what to do. She got up for a second to get some water and I turned to Sister Jepsen and was like....I just dont get it. I'm stumped. I don't understand why SHE doesn't understand. And Sis Jepsen and I just talked for a second about how sometimes, its really difficult for us to teach people because we have not only been raised Christian, but we've been raised in a Christian culture. Its really hard for us sometimes to understand why the people we teach just dont get it. And thats an experience that I feel like very few people get unless they have taught not just in a non-christian country, but also in a very very poor country as well (because believe you me, the lack of education and poor infrastructure DEFINITELY have something to do with it). But anyway, after that eye-opening experience, Srei Nit came back and sat down and so, having few things left in my bag of tricks, I turned to my little trainee, who had been pretty quiet up until this point, and told her "Sister Soun, why dont you bear your testimony to her on the importance of the sacrament meeting." And sis soun just goes "ok" and starts in. And seriously you guys....I was so proud. Sometimes new missionaries just tend to spew out random information and its really not super powerful, but she just ran with it. She talked about the Atonement of jesus Christ, His sacrifice for us and what it meant to her and why we NEED to go to sacrament meeting. It brought the Spirit into that lesson so strongly and for the first time I saw some clarity in Srei nit's eyes. So I asked her how she felt when she listened to Sister Soun talk about Christ's Atonement and she just goes "I feel like....I love Him." So there was definitely some progress made in that lesson. I was sooo proud of sister soun. 

Speaking of Sister Soun, just last night, she was telling me something that I honestly cant remember. i think she was just giving me a compliment on something, but then she switches to English and just goes "Sister Daivee, I put you in my heart." And I was like IM DYING I CANT HANDLE IT SHES TOO CUTE. 

So things are going great for trio #3. Last transfer Sis Fife bought me a Children's Songbook because she knows I dont know any of the Primary songs (bitter convert comment of the week), and now Sister Jepsen is teaching me and Sister Soun all the Children's church songs. (the low point came when I realized I know more Children's songs in Khmer than I do in English. Ask me to sing "Love is Spoken Here". Go ahead. I dare you).
So I;ve been really excited about that. Sister Fife started doing that, and one song she taught me was "He Sent His Son". I had heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing that one and I always liked it but I didnt know where it was in the hymnbook. Turns out it is a Children's song, which is why I had never heard it before. But it hoenstly might be one of my favorite hymns EVER. Its beautiful and the words are really amazing. So, I've decided to attach the lyrics to the end of this email. Love it. 

And also, to end this email, I would like to share with you the "Quote of the Week". Winner: Elder Garrow.
We were sitting in the English Class meeting talking about the next Special Activity Night and the Spiritual thought we would give. We usually teach a quick church-inspired lesson during our english classes and we try to connect them with the lesson we've taught. Like if the lesson theme is on "Happiness" then we teach about the Plan of Happiness. get it? So we were sitting there brainstorming and Elder Garrow goes: "Well this week we're learning about prepositions. You could do that for the spiritual thought. 
'You get IN the baptismal font. And you have to go UNDER the water!'"

I think Sister Peterson and I got a bran aneurism from laughing so hard.

Okey doke....well. Thats all for this week. I miss you guys and love you tons! Excelsior! (im sorry i dont know what that was. Im struggling to end emails these days. So im just gonna throw some latin in your face).

Love, Sister Davis

"He Sent His Son"

  1. How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
    He sent his Son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness.
    How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
    He sent his Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.
    How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
    He sent his Son to die for us and rise with living breath.
    What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
    Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.
    What does he ask? Live like his Son.
 I look gross but Cambodia looks pretty. Story of my conflicted "Do i take a picture or not" life.

 Sister jepsen said "pop out from beind the bushes itll look cute!" and i was like mmmmk.

                                                            ​Sister Litchfield and I in Phnom Penh. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Queen of the Trios

President Moon never ceases to amaze me. I'm still training the adorable Sister Soun (she's just a doll and always makes me yummy  Khmer food), but last minute, like the DAY before transfers, the assistants called me were like whatsup sister davis you're gonna be in a trio again. and i was like holllaaaaa tell me what else is new. 
Im always in a trio. 

Anyway, the new girls name is Sister Jepson and she's stinkin awesome. Love her. Shes pretty new, just starting her fourth transfer, but she's a rock. Already a super great missionary. She played professional soccer when she lived in Germany and she's also 3/8 Native American. But she's super tall and blonde, so you'll probably be really confused by that information. 

Anyways, I guess President Moon picked up on the fact that I HAVE to leave Battambang after this transfer because Ive been here for a lifetime already, and unless he wanted to whitewash the branches (since im serving in both now because we dont have any other sisters) he would have to bring someone else up. So Im gonna help Sister Jepson get to know first branch and she'll stay there after I leave ( I actually dont know exactly WHEN i'll be leaving. President Moon hinted to me that I might be outta here before transfers. He's not sure yet though. He's got some special secret work for me.....nawt).

So anywho....the Thai string bean is out. Kickin it in Steaungmeanchey. I miss her a whole bunch. But our last few days together were good. We have been getting somewhere with our investigators. We have a new one named Srei Nit who owns a Bubble Tea shop, which means everytime we teach her we get free passionfruit and kiwi juice. But her shop is brand new and rarely has customers in it so I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle to "no working on sundays" thing with her (big PS: EVERYONE in Cambodia works on sunday. As a matter of fact, I would say a large majority of our members work on sunday. Its a work in progress...) So during our weekly planning (which i dont think ive ever described to you guys but its probably the worst thing ever. 4 hours of HELL) we were talking about Srei Nit and helping her progress and Sister Fife just puts up her feet and goes "SHE NEEDS ADVERTISING! We should get her on the local radio or something. Who are some members that we can ask to help spread the word about her shop?" And goes off on a marketing tangent and i was like....yeah. Thats what missionaries do. They use their american marketing skills to help their investigators get advertising. Anyway, Srei Nit is doing pretty well. She said she would try to figure out how to get 3 hours off to come to church and she really tries. Shes a great student, always asking questions and really willing to keep our commitments. 

AND THEN THERE IS SELA!!!! So I talked to my leaders and discussed it with the other missionaries, and after formulating a really good plan, I finally got to tell Sela, the best investigator I've ever had who I thought would never be able to get baptized, that we are having a baptismal service for her on the 14th. When those words left my mouth she fell back in her chair and covered her face with her hands and yelled, "OH SISTER! IM SO HAPPY!" That was one of the best days ever. I was almost crying I was so happy for her. Its not gonna be an easy road for her for the nest 2 or 3 years while she is still learning, but she has a lot of support and REAL faith. I love her to pieces. Sister Soun and Sister Jepson could tell how happy I was and we all took pictures of the glorious day. 

Oh. Random funny story from transfers. Elder Ang, a Khmer missionary, was my old district leader. He got transferred to an area in Phnom Penh called Chamkarmorn. Usually after being a district leader, you become a zone leader, the next step up. So I saw him at the church and asked him about it. What followed made me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair:

Me: "Elder Ang! You go to Chamkarmorn! Are you going to be a zone leader?"
Him: "Nope!"
Me: "Oh. Are you still a district leader?"
Him: "Nope!"
Me: "...................."


I'm honestly gonna miss him; he made me laugh so hard.

So now, transfers have long since come and gone and somehow along the way I became a trainer. When I do the training in the morning, I have literally no idea what I'm doing because in reality, you're supposed to get training to be a trainer (?). So I'm just sitting there, watching training videos with her, and I'm all like, "So......praying is good.

....moving on."
But she is seriously SO SWEET. I explained to you guys that your trainer is your "mom" and the person you trainer is your "koon" or your "daughter." She always comes up to me to give me hugs and says "I love you mom! I have such a good mom!" So I probably can't train her about the important things, but I introduced her to mac and cheese so I guess she likes me. 

Also, yesterday we had District Conference in Battambang. President and Sister Moon came up with their counselors and we had a pretty good turnout, considering how nobody here cares about District Conference. What was hilarious was one of the counselors who gave a talk. He told one story about how he went to Hawaii, and to be honest, I dont really remember what the point was because I was laughing so hard. It went a little something like this:

"I went to a far away place called Hawaii. The roads are all curvy there because they run along the ocean. I got to one beach and got out of my little Honda car and saw these BIG BIG PEOPLE. They were the Tongan people. They are brown like us but so so BIG. They were bigger than my little Honda. I was very scared."

I dont remember what he said after that. But obviously all Mormons knows about Tongans. It was just hilarious to see it from the perspective of a tiny Khmer man. 

So another thing I really liked from District Conference was what President Moon said. I wrote it down because he said it in his big talk and I just really liked it.

"[God] knows what is best for us. But we have to humble ourselves enough to do it His way, rather than our way. When [the Lord] tells you to do something, don't get mad because you are being told something you don't want to hear. Be Humble. If we follow the Lord's way, He will bless us. In your life, do all you can to find out "what is the Lord's way?" "

To finish, just want to share 2 Nephi 7 (specifically verses 10-11). I've always really loved those scriptures and encourage you to interpret them yourselves. Its Isaiah so its pretty fun. Its become one of my favorite scriptures since I've been on my mission. And then i also want to share a poem that I read by William Penn. To some, it might make no sense, but in the right context, it is clear he is talking about the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and it's beautifully simple:

"No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown." 

Okay, sorry thats all for this week. Mostly Ive just been focusing on organizing the area so its not super interesting. 
Love you guys very much and miss you tons! 

Love, Sister Davis

 Ming Banna. She used to be inactive, but nowadays we walk up to her house and find her reading the Bible to her niece. Shes super great. 
                                                        Sister Soun, Sister Jepson, Me!

​The adorable Sister Soun. She doesn't know much English, but thats good because it will get me to speak a lot more Khmer than I ever have lawlssss