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.

1 comment:

  1. Love these, Chloe!!! so amazing. Love your huge smile and joy in serving. We miss you tons and i am so grateful to share your letters with the kids. Keep up the amazing work and be prepared for a sweet post card from Luke where he quotes you back. Hilarious like you are. Love you lots, Sister D! xoxox from CT. sister Bryant (keri and bill)