Monday, October 13, 2014

Mother knows best

Awkward moment of the week: Day one and a half with my trainee, and at lunch we find out that not only had she found and read my blog before she started her mission, but she also frequently made fun of it because my emails were just a little too cheesy for her taste.
****note: Im very aware that my emails can be heavy-handed. But when else am I going to freely talk about Jesus Christ like that. Probs NEVER. Taking advantage.
Her name is Sister Harris. From Colorado. Student at BYU. Super chill, super sarcastic, super cool. Here's the creepy part. After I got assigned to my koon, everyone was like "You got a koon thats exactly like you." And I was like, I dont know what you guys are talking about. We're not that much alike. And then I took a good long look. And guess what?
SHE IS LITERALLY ME ONE YEAR AGO. I bet you President knew what he was doing when he made that assignment. Its kind of cracking me up. (I see you, President Moon.) No but for real, she reminds me exactly of myself when I started my mission. Its fun. Its only been a couple days and goodness knows what my first few days were like in the country (see email number one from my arrival aka the MOST DRAMATIC and RIDICULOUS thing I have ever written). So Im trying to be real sympathetic here. Plus, our new area is way crazier than Kampong Cham, where I started.  I cant even imagine starting my mission in Steungmeanchey.
First of all: Our house. Is. Nasty. HANDS DOWN the worst house I've lived in on my mission. And the entire area of Steungmeanchey runs rampant with cockroaches. I knew it was too good to be true. I've lived in 3 houses without a single cockroach problem and now I'm paying the price. I found one in the bag of eggs I bought at the phsaa this morning. And there was one crawling all over Sister Allen (she's in first branch) during an opening prayer at the church. AT THE CHURCH. (nowhere is safe). She hopped up from her chair and started wiping herself off frantically saying "longest prayer of my life!" The thing just sat therre on the chair staring right at me as if to say "Welcome to Steungmeanchey." I've said this before and I'll say it again: the devil IS cockroaches. There are also a bunch in the downstairs bathroom but Sister Ray, who is like my FAVORITE native sister, switched bathrooms so I could be upstairs. Day one in the house she goes, "I know you are more afraid than me." Well, it looks like my reputation proceeds me. So yeah, our house used to have only 4 sisters and now it has six, so Sister Harris and I moved into the spare room. We have no closets, no refridgerator, no DVD player (which is kinda necessary since im TRAINING) no rice cooker (also necessary because im in Asia) and our beds have termites. Well, thats not entirely true about the refridgerator. There was one extra fridge that hasnt been used since probably I came to the mission, and when Sister Harris and I opened it we found a whole host of black mold and a colony of lizards living in the back compartment. Plus it doesnt actually get "cold". So hopefully we'll be getting a new one. Its literally like they didnt even know we were coming. Poor Sister Harris is looking around the place like "what is this establishment. Is this my life?"
Second: the traffic in Steungmeanchey is HORRIFIC. hey are doing major construction on the main road, where the church is conveniently located. So thank goodness, because the construcvtion takes place RIGHT in between our house and the church. And yesterday while we were barely surviving the traffic, Sister Harris and I almost got hit by frantic motos trying to avoid the giant snake weaving its way through the middle of the road. random. snakes dont spend a lot of time in the inner city, to my knowledge.
BUT, the members and church-goers in SMC are fantastic. We've been able to meet a couple investigators and some of the active members and they are wonderful. They love the missionaries. Do you guys remember Mei and Mian from Tuolkork? They were the two cute identical twins? Well, they moved to my ward! Steungmeanchey 2! Oh hey thats another thing:
I"M IN A WARD. cue fanfare,drums, parades, etc. I have never served in a ward or a stake for my whole mission! When they organized the first two stakes a couple months ago, it was all Phnom Penh, and I was already back in the provinces by then. So this is the first time I will be part of a Stake. super cool. The Senior couple for Steungmeanchey is the Belchers, and they were telling us that most of the youth activities (which actually happen on a weekly basis) are totally run and taken care of by the members. Do I need to repeat that? THE MEMBERS RUN THE AUXILLIARY ACTIVITIES. ON THEIR OWN. I feel like I'm in America (minus the cockroaches). I almost shed tears of joy. A branch that isnt run by the missionaries! A dream come true!!!
Anyway, last night we got to go out with the senior couple to visit a long-time less-active member. (When the senior couple goes to visit members, they usually bring missionaries with them to translate and such). Anyway, the member's name is Izabel. She's was SO FREAKIN CUTE. She was always laughing and smiling and so sweet. Shes also pretty smart too and right now shes going to school so she can get authorization to be a mephum (leader of her little village/corner of the street). Shes about 50 years old, and has the most adorable smile and laugh and wears glasses that are far too big for her face. It was a pretty good visit, and I hope I get to go back with them next week.
We also have met a couple investigators left over from the last sisters that were here. They came to conference and everything. Speaking of which, my investigaotr Srei Nit FROM BATTAMBANG came down to phnom penh this weekend to visit her boyfriend and randomly called me to ask where the church was. Before I left I told her I would be serving in Steungmeanchey and she was like "When I go to phnom penh I will call you and go to church with you!" So I got to see her. Her boyfriend came too and I think he might be interested in learning. He's very supportive of her learning and joining the church. I miss Battambang a TON so that was a tender mercy that I got to see my old investigator.
I will say, I forgot how hard whitewashing is. The first few dyas you have NOTHING to do. You feel pretty helpless. I couldnt even get us to the church. Everyone assumes you know stuff and your like HEY i literally never even been to the church. a little help here? Sometimes I just dont know what to do, but I dont want Sister Harris to think we're just kickin it, ya know? So Im trying to to some CBR work or contacting, and mostly just doing things to help her grow accustomed to missionary work. It gets better after a couple weeks but honestly whitewashing is DANG hard.
Oh also. Apparently I'm still the Sister training leader. So thats the pits. I thought I had escaped! I honestly dont mind being the STL, but in the city its even harder because I have like three times as many exchanges to do. But it will be cool because me, sister thain and sister peterson are all training and sister training leaders so we'll see each other at the meetings and such. It'll be a hoot.
Coming up in Cambodia: the water festival. We got a sneak peek in Battambang and it was pretty crazy. It was like a gigantic carnival with boat races. I honestly dont fully understand what the water festival is, so ill expain it when it comes down and hits phnom penh. It was so crowded in Battambang that I hit a girl with my bike. IN MY DEFENSE. She essentially walked right across the road and didnt even look. I braked as hard as possible and tried to veer off to the left, but I still nicked her head with my elbow. And poor sister Jepsen got the crazy Cambodian grandma tugging at her skirt and yelling at her while I road off like lightning. #Christlikemoments
Okay I think thats all for this week! Back in the city so.....ya know. I hope you all have a great week! I miss you and love you a ton!
Love, Sister Davis
My personal favorite was Christofferson's talk about agency and the choice that we have in our lives to become the best we can be. it is up to us! He knocked it outta the park. That was one of those talks that was so good that i wanted to take notes, but I kept on getting hung up on his every word so I forgot to keep on taking notes. My favorite part from that one:
"God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels nor abandons us. Rather He helpsand guides us. Indeed, the real manifestation of God’s love is His commandments." 
And then his whole thing on mercy and justice. Pure gold.
I also loved the story that Elder Bednar told about his two sons, explaining WHY members of our church are so eager to share our gospel with others. That story was just perfect. In a simple way, it explained a very profound concept. The healing power of Christ and His Atonement is something that brings us such great joy and happiness, that we can't help but want to share it with others. I hope you guys are doing your part to take ful advantage of the gospel and the happiness is provides. And dont be selfish. Share it with others! AKA help the missionaries cuz we need it!!!

                                               My life in two suitcases and a carry-on

 Bong Sokha, a less-active member I love. (i took a lot more goodbye pictures in battambang, but i decided to spare you guys and not send all of them)

                                           ​So this is Srei Nit, the Battambang investigator

​                                                            Sister Jepsen and I ate snake. For real.
                                                        ​MY KOON. SISTER HARRIS!!! 

 ​Family photo!!! SISTER HOMER IS DEAD!!!! She finished her mission on friday!!1 I literally cant believe it. I dont even know what to do with myself. My mom died! I got to say goodbye to her because she came to visit members in Steungmeanchey while i was there for conference. So weird.

​So I took thispicture at the doctors office when i went with sister jepsen. Youll all be pleased to know that Cambodia is only "High Medical Risk"as opposed to Ëxtremely High medical risk". Hooray!

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