So Sister Jepsen just showed me some pictures of her friends who are on missions in Hong Kong. Apparently people from the church went to take pictures of the missionaries there and are planning on putting them in the Conference edition of the church magazines. I was jealous for a second and then I was like.....Sister Davis, you know what you look like. Its 95 degrees, and you bike through shack villages covered in a layer of sweat and dirt." So.......no. I dont blame them for ignoring the Cambodian missionaries. PS Those aren't the pictures you want advertising your church. PPS Did I mention I stuck my hand in poop this week? Sitting there innocently on a bamboo bedframe. It'll sneak up on ya. That is all.
So when you guys get those magazines, you will see pictures of missionaries who look nice, and take decent, public transportation everywhere and are able to wear pencil skirts while walking around groomed public parks #notmylife One day I'll ask them what it was like to serve a mission because I'm pretty sure we're not doing the same thing.
Speaking of public transportation, one of my FAVORITE THINGS EVER happened on our way back from Phnom Penh after the leadership meeting. So, those long 8-hour busrides with the elders have become some of my favorite times. Here's why. Sister Jepsen was sleeping next to me, and Elder Garrow and Elder Jones are both sleeping across the aisle too. And Im awake. Because thats me. Forever alone. ANYWAY, some guy in front of me randomly starts playing OneDirection faintly on his phone and I'm just sitting there, pretending I hate it. And then Elder Garrow, who's clearly in the middle of having an apocalyptic dream, JOLTS up, nearly coming out of his seat. He starts whipping his head all around, super confused at where he is and whats going on (im just watching him and already laughing) and eventually he calms down and just finds me staring at him, and he keeps on blinking and his eyes are super red and he's obviously exhausted. So I say "How are ya doin there?" and he doesn't answer. But then five seconds of silence later, just whips his head back and starts singing One Direction along to the guy who's playing it on his phone. I was THIS CLOSE to taking out my camera and videotaping it. At the next rest stop, I asked him if he remembered doing that. Not at all. It was too good. And Im gonna hang onto that for the rest of my life because i was the only one who witnessed the hilarity of it all.
Another sad thing: THAT WAS MY LAST EVER LEADERSHIP MEETING. Cuz Im not a sister training leader anymore. which i expected because ive been it for three transfers already and i also know I have to leave Battambang, which brings me to my next point:
WE GOT TRANSFER CALLS LAST NIGHT. And I seriously am more excited then I ever have been about a transfer call. I am going back to PP which is eh because I love the provinces, but I am going to Steungmeanchey branch 2, which I've heard great things about. BUT ALSO IM TRAINING!!!!!! Woo-hoo!!! Which means I will be whitewashing AGAIN and training at the same time. I cant wait. Training Sister Soun was super great, and i am so excited to meet koon #2. I dont know who it is yet. President Moon only tells you that your training and then he assigns you on the day of transfers in the big training meeting. I still remember the day I got assigned to Sister Homer and had literally NO IDEA what was going on. I cant wait to be on the other side of the table. We have a HUGE group coming in. we have 16 elders coming in and 8 sisters coming in and that is JUST FROM AMERICA. i dont know how many Khmer missionaries there are. So its a huge transfer.
Another really big thing: WE ARE OPENING UP TWO NEW PROVINCES!!! Unfortunately only elders get to go in to open up the provinces, because there really is no branch there at all and we need elders to set up the leadership and everything. We are opening up PreahVeng which is near Kampong Cham and then Pursat which is near Battambang. I am SOOOO excited!! Cambodia is making so much progress it is incredible!
So this past week, I conducted my last exchange with Sister Peterson. I got to go into her branch and meet some of her investigators and members. Her area reminded me so much of 1st branch in Kampong Cham. It was a great exchange. I learned a ton from Sister Peterson. She is such a great missionary and she AND I AND SISTER THAIN ARE ALL GONNA BE TRAINING!!!! Im super excited for all of us to be together at the meeting. Sister Litchfield is training in the Vietnamese program too, and so is Sister Jepsen actually, which is way cool because she's super new.
Anyway, some cool things that happened this week. I knew I was leaving Battambang even before I got the transfer calls, so I told some of the members and was able to see a few before I leave. Seila skipped school to not only meet with us during the week but also to come to church. She is so stellar. After wee met with her, I turned around to Sister Jepsen and got right in her face and was like, "YOU TAKE CARE OF HER AFTER I LEAVE." Seila will need some support in the future but she is wonderful. I am super grateful that I got to be the missionary to teach her.
We also got a new investigator in third branch. Her name is Bong Savi. It was a super funny story. A million years ago, I did an exchange in Siem Reap. I was out contacting with Siter Hem and Sister Hem was like "Hey do you wanna go see Sister Vorn's house?" (in case you guys dont remember, sister vorn was my companion in my third transfer. she finished her mission a few transfers ago and lives in siem reap.) so i was like okay sure. We went, and sister vorn was at work, but there was a woman there who i got talking to for a while and it turns out her dad is like this long-time member in Battambang! She said she had been trying to learn for a long time but she kept on having to stop learning because she moves back and forth between siem reap and battambang so much. Anyway, she finally ended up coming down to battambang (again) and asked specifically for us to start teaching her! She came to church on her own and she is already awesome. Shes all like "I know how many blessings my family members have received from being members. I want to get baptized so much but it just hasnt worked out yet because I keep on stopping lessons with the missionaries when I move, and then they start over!" She is so sweet. She was really sad when I told her I was leaving, especially because 3rd branch wont have sisters. (President Moon told me he didnt have enough sisters coming in this transfer and asked for my opinion on Battambang and I was like: no more of this "being in two branches." Take sisters out of third branch and keep them in first. It was just the logical thing. So thats what he ended up doing.) BUT I know she'll be great and I'm excited for her.
Anyway, honestly not much exciting going on. I spent two days in Phnom Penh and then did an exchange so there isnt much to report on in terms of my area. But Sister Jepsen and I have picked up a couple new investigators (including a family, of course, right as im about to leave) so first branch is on an incline right now. It was a pretty boring week. Ive already started to pack and it gets me everytime. How do I have so much stuff?! I swear I only throw things away! Anywho, thats pretty much it.
I actually had a bunch of pictures to send last week but none of them went through. So ill try again and you guys might be receiving a ton.
Next week I'll be in SMC with a newbie!!! I cant wait. My mission just keeps on getting better. I love you guys a lot and miss you tons!
Love, Sister Davis
PS I watched the General Women's conference and loved this quote from Uchtdorf: