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. 

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