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.

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