Sunday, January 4, 2015

I'll Skype home for Christmasssss.....

......if only for 40 minutessssss

copyright: lyrics courtesy of Sister Litchfield.

So this email is gonna be a major recap of the last couple weeks since we missed last monday because of the Christmas skyping deal. But both my bike and Sister Harris'bike broke down on the way to email this morning so we walked around for 30 minutes trying to find a place that fixes bikes, got turned down by a lot of people (though I didnt find a little shop that sells cool traingle-shaped elephant pillows) and eventually i got so frustrated that we just walked back to the email place and I told Sister Harris that we are getting a tuk tuk for the rest of the day. Not on Pday. That is just a sick joke. So I started off at email in not the best mood, but its all good now. 

We got transfer calls last night. SIster Harris is leaving me and going to Tuoltompung, which is an area in Phnom Penh approximately five minutes from SMC so we're basically neighbors. I'm getting Sister Matthews as my new companion. I was pretty overdue to have a Khmer companion, and I have had a TON of americans but I guess not.....Sister Matthews is currently serving in branch one in SMC so she's already in the house and everything, she's just coming to my branch. Sister Thain is going to whitewash in Battambang so I probably won't see her again before i finish my mission which is CRAZY. I dont know what will happen next transfer, it really could go anywhere for my last transfer and I'm kinda freaking out that I'm already talking about "my last transfer." 

Okay now that that is over with....Some Christmas Review:
In the days leading up to Christmas, we and the Elders organized a caroling activity for the BMs and the Young Men and Young Women in our ward. We got about 20 people to join in which was great and we taught them the art of singing door-to-door. We focused on some key less-active members, and we also went to Ming Rani, that investigator I told you guys about forever ago whos crazy about the whole wat fiasco. (Don't worry, she still refuses to come to church, but she gave us a big hug anyway and it made me feel like I did a good deed). My favorite part though was going to a less-active man named Puu Nara. Puu Nara is blind and doesn't get out of the house much, but we went to his house and his family called him from the back and sat him down on a plastic chair in the doorway and then we just went for it and started singing. He was trying to clap along to it and was smiling and listening really intently the whole time and then when we were done, he reached out his arm for the elders and asked Elder Kim "How many people are here?" And Elder Kim goes "2, 4, 6, 8..........almsot 20 people here! We all came to see you and wish you Merry Christmas!" And Puu Nara gets a smile so big on his face and starts laughing and waving his hands in the air because he just felt so loved, it was so awesome to be there for that. It acutally really brought tears to my eyes. Christmas is the best!!!

Also, on Christmas Eve all the missionaries from the whole mission get together and we have dinner together and a service project and we do a whole bunch of activities together, one of which is a talent show. So Elder Plothow wanted all the Steungmeanchey missionaries to do a missionary rendition of the 12 days of Christmas (which I have a video of, don't worry, but I cant send it because thre file is too big so you'll have to wait until march). But we freakin NAILED IT. it was so good. When we practiced for the first time, like 2 days before the day of the talent show I was like no way you guys, this is awful, I'm out. But they convinced me to stay and it worked out great. It was kinda funny because I was actually supposed to be doing something simialr with SIs Jepsen but since she was in battambang i couldnt ever practice with her and so i switched groups and both groups ended up acting like I was Benedict Arnold. It was worth it, though. The rehearsals we had for this act were so incredibly funny, I dont think Ive laughed that hard and that much on my whole mission. 

Less Christmasy stuff:
-The elders house got robbed. While they were home no less. They didnt know it until they went downstairs and found both of their bikes AND........a rice cooker missing. 

- I accidentally threw my nametag in the washing machine when I was doing my laundry and now it is sparkling clean. I WAS SO MAD. I worked so hard to not wash that nametag and the place where my name is etched in white was starting to look really brown. It was like a trophy of my mission (kind of like how some elders come home with nasty shoes). So I was upset about that. 

- Sister Harris and I biked to Narnia and back this week to go visit a less active family, that is approximately an hour and half away from the church (if you take the long way, which we did, and then were told about a 55 minute shortcut back). So I can now honestly say that on my mission I biked HOURS to get to some appointments. 

- The light in my bathroom/shower/water closet is out so now I shower by lantern. It's very primitive. 

Okay moving on. Bong Sokha. Did not come to church yesterday because another church was giving away free food. Do I blame her? Not entirely. The woman is starving and so are all of her kids. She still wants to come to our church but she just missed that one day. So I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt. The important thing is that we were teaching her with Om Im a couple days ago and we were talking about the Restoration and everything and she was like Öur church is the best!!" It was pretty good.

Funny side story, in case you want to know how other Christian churches operate in Cambodia: Om Im was having a FIT because apparently this one Christian churhc was throwing a big Christmas bash and it had sent out these big pink flyers (which Om Im did not hesitate to waddle into her house to grab and show us as proof) that was basically an invitation to every single other christian church in the surrounding area guessed it. Us. This is no coincidence since Om Im was telling us that she ahd been talking to some of the people who attend that church and they were just yelling at her and telling her how "Mormon is wrong! Mormon is wrong!"  Sister Harris and I were cracking up about it because to us it was like a Cambodian version of Mean Girls, but apparently Om Im was pretty ticked. All Bong Sokha said was: "Oh well. We are the most wonderful of them all." It was a good moment. 
Sister Harris and I also gave her a picture of Jesus and some cookies as a christmas present and she got so excited she was like "Im gonna hang it up on my wall right here!" and held it up to show us where she wanted it. She is so solid (besides the free food thing. We'll work on it.)

SO here was a good lesson for me and Sister Harris last week. We went to teach Ming Nga, a less-active member. And when we went she was busy making food. So we sat downb and helped her strip these water lily vegetables she had picked from the pond in her backyard. It was just the three of us sitting on the ground quietly, peeling waterlily stems. And Ming Nga likes to talk a lot so she ended up venting about her family problems and whispering to us about this and that, and we just sat there, saying very little and just letting her talk. So wehn we had finally finished the job, Ming Nga got a phone call and had to leave the house, so we had sat there forever with her and her waterlilies and we didn't even get to mark that time as a lesson, which can sometimes be frustrating.Don't get me wrong, I was perfectly content to just sit there and help her peel vegetables, but sometimes its sad when little acts of service like that dont get counted or when it seems like your morning was a waste in terms of the number of lessons you taught.
BUT, the next day, SIster Harris and I were tlaking during companionship study and Sister Harris said something really profound: She goes, Ïf Jesus Christ were here, He wouldn't come in and say, "okay, heres a quick lesson and then I'll be on my way." He would sit down, help her peel waterlilies and listen AND HE'D FREAKING LOVE It, because He would just love to listen to her talk." ANd I was like YEah!!!! Christ would not only do the service and sacrifice the lesson, but He would also LOVE it. Because He loves Ming Nga, and His one ddesire would just be to help her. Heres the deal, I have already forgotten what lesson we had planned for Ming Nga, but I will never forget helping her and just being there for her to listen to her. #bestjobintheworld

So another thing: Elder Plothow, the english class leader in SMC, has taken English class to a whole new level. Part of this includes sign holding in front of the church on tuesday AND wednesday from 2-5 pm. So EVERYONE has to help. So one day, SIster Harris and I were standing out there, holding that English class sign, and to spend our time as wisely as possible, Sister Harris started a rousing game of "Would You Rather". Sister Harris is still getting used to the lifestyle of Cambodia (i also remember not being too big of a fan when I got here) and she managed to throw that in to pretty much every single round. Exmaple: "Would you rather have hair on your teeth that you have to shave every day..........or live in Cambodia?"  Needless to say, it was the funnest hour of standing in the middle of construction and traffic next to a mound of trash holdin up a sign that I have ever had. 

Okay dokey. Well, I forgot my camera today, so I dont have all the Christmas pictures but I have a few from Sister Thain''s camera that I'm going to use, and next week I'll send you some more. BUT I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. It was a good one this year. And the last Christmas on my mission! It flew by. 2 days ago I hit my 3-month-left mark. And Im just hoping to get as much work done as possible before the whoel things is over. Its klind of blwoing my mind. 

I love all you guys so much! Miss you! Keep it up!

Love, Sister Davis
                                                                My MTC group.

So this is SIster Kimball, a brand new missioanry, and according to the mission family tree, I am her great-aunt once removed. It s avery complicated procedure, Ill explain it to you later. It starts with Sister Hartely and I being ahlf-sisters way back when.

  AND THIS MY FRIENDS, THIS is my FAVORITE picture of the entire christmas day. Sister Thain and I, working our relationship to the best of its abilities. No better picture of us in the world.

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