Monday, November 17, 2014

Soymilk from the world's armepit

This week as a compliment during our weekly planning, Sister Harris told me that she has observed that I'm good at controlling my temper. I'm still laughing about it. 
I would like to contend that I still don't know how to control my temper, it's just that Cambodia has sucked the temper out of me. There is only so much to be angry at when you are in a country that's always sunny and has people who wear pajamas everywhere and laugh when they rub your arm hair. (Sister Harris got her first taste of that the other day. I think she was less than pleased.)

So it turns out that all of my companions, Sister Harris included, have taken it upon themselves to teach me all of the songs from the Children's Songbook. Since it's Christmastime, Sister Harris has taken her job seriously. She won't let me listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but she has marked the pages in my songbook for the Children's Christmas songs. She goes, "Joseph goes to Bethlehem, The Nativity song and Picture a Christmas. those are the heavy hitters. You have to know them for when you get called to work in the Primary."  That wasn't even a funny joke.

Om Im, one of our hilarious recent converts (the super old, roly-poly woman) is definitely starting to warm up to us. At first, I think she was reluctant to let go of the elders and have the sisters teach her instead. It only took her a couple weeks. Now she is really starting to love us. Whenever she sees me she waddles over and smiles real big and squeezes my arms and everytime we go to visit her at her house she gives us her homemade soymilk. (Poor Sister Harris is just going to have to accept the fact that I write unfortunate bathroom stories about most of my companions). So, I haven't had any problems with the soymilk, but Sister Harris has a very sensitive stomach and she is straight up CONVINCED that the stuff is evil. She had had it twice already and noticed similar......consequences both times. So this past week We sit down at Om Im's and she goes "Let me grab the soymilk." I don't thnk Sister Harris understood what she said though because Om Im wentinside and SIster Harris goes, "Oh no. OH NO. Is she getting the milk?" I just sort of smirked at her and when Om Im came out with the pitcher Sister Harris is like "Oh no. h gosh. Here she comes. She's coming. That stuff is straight up laxatives is what it is!!"    was in tears laughing so hard at my companion's pain. I'm a great mom. Always lookin out for her. (Although I will say that I did offer to drink her cup when Om wasn't looking.) Anyway, that's how you know someone loves you - when they offer you homemade soymilk that acts as an atomic bomb to your system.

Well, we contacted a lot and picked up a couple new investigators this week. They both are familiar with Christianity a little, and they both seem pretty sincere, but neither of them came to church this week because they were both going back to their "homeland" this past week. recently everyone and their dog has been headed back to the provinces for long weekends and its getting super annoying. It just makes me wish I could go with them back to Battambang or Kampong Cham. PLus, they dont come to church and thats also pretty annoying. 

Also this past week Sister Harris taught English class and it was AWESOME. Elder Plothow, who normally teaches our class, was sick and he texted me asking to fill in as English Class Leader (I had some PTSD flashbacks from when I was in Battambang as the English class leader when he asked me) and to find someone to teach. So I asked Sister Harris to teach because she actually really likes teaching. It was super cool. She was totally in her element. She was making everyone laugh and I got to sort of assist her. It was super funny. We read the story of the Boy who cried wolf and she did a pretty good rendition. Then we taught them about the word "rather" which is way more difficult to explain than you think. Sometimes english cass is so dumb (This is how you pronounce the letter 'P': "Puhh!") So stupid. But SIster Harris made it really funny for them I think. I was so proud of her. She didnt think it was that big of a deal though. She goes, " I may not be able to speak Khmer, but I am an EXPERT at English. No problem!"

Another fun Sister Harris-biking story. So her bike chain keeps on getting all messed up. And it has happened so many times til this point that we have worked out a system where she will scooter herself on the bike to catch up to me and then grab onto the scarf that I tie onto my backpack (i have told you guys about these scarves. they work for many, MANY situations). So then I just tow her on her bike behind me. Hopefully we'll get a picture of it one day. It's hard work for em but also hilarious. For some reason, when Sister Harris loses the abilty to bike, she also loses the ability to remember to STEER herself. So I go by a moto or a tuk tuk and all I can tell from behind me is that she has let go of my scarf, almost run herself into the opposing vehicle and I usually her an "Oh no!" and a squeal of fear before she falls off her bike. Pretty funny for me. Last night I was towing her like normal back home at night in a pretty quiet area near our house and she just goes "It's like I'm in a parade. Hello Cambodia."  Her sense of humor is something you have to hear in person. It's got me doubled over every day.

Another good quote from her about contacting people: "Some people are such HATERS! It doesn't have to be hard!" Good advice for all you normal people out there. If you meet the missionaries, be nice and pleasant. If you really ask them to, they will just go away. We are not like mosquitos that just keep on coming back no matter how many times you swat. Dont be awkward like cambodians and just laugh and beat around the bush. Just be normal and nice and honest. It doesn't have to be hard!

Here's my one complaint about the Cambodian society this week: these people need to get on top of their addresses. I can't remember if I mentioned this part to you guys when I was trying to explain how difficult CBR finding is here. There really is no such thing as an address here. Few people actually have a house number, most people don't live on main roads, and almost no one can tell you what nieghborhood they currently reside in. It's downright impossible. All I do is go up to a person and Im like, "Sorry, to bother you, but I'm just looking for Russei village, group 6. Do you know where that is?"
Most common responses:
1) No.
2) I don't know my own group.
3) I don't think that place exists.

Number 3 is real. If they don't know where it is, they will just tell you it doesn't exist. THIS IS MY LIFE.

Another random quote from Sister Harris about that one offended less-active family: "They're not the only people that hate us. They were just the first."

The coolest thing that happened this week was that Brother Gibson and Brother Tanner came to our mission. The First Counselors in the General Sunday School Presidency and the General Young Men's Presidency from Salt Lake. Sister Harris was playing a special musical number for a meeting they had with the members and so we got to meet them and say hello and when brother tanner asked me where i was from, he was like "Oh New Canaan! We had an Elder Larson from there!" Turns out he was the mission president in Brazil over Nick Larson's mission. Small world.  I love little connections like that. He was a really nice guy. So theres your shout out for the week.

I think thats pretty much it. I'll leave some stuff for next week. Nothing new with any people we are teaching but we're hoping that things start happening soon. We're both loving Steungmeanchey and the members here. 
Love you guys and miss you so much!\

Love, Sister Davis

PS You guys are all slacking. I got a postcard from 9-year-old Luke Bryant this week, which went as follows:

"Dear Chole,
Are you haveing fun in the armepit of the world? hahahaha Do you like being where you are? because I wouldnt because I don't like liveing in a armepit. good luck love, luke."

This is the best mail I have received on my whole mission. The rest of you better keep up to Luke's standard. 

Sorry i didnt really take any pictures of myself this week but you can have some random ones of sister harris if you want!

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