Monday, January 26, 2015

So I have very little time today, and I'm gonna try to keep it short. I'm leaving Phnom Penh with Sister Litchfield to hit up Angkor Wat for half a day. it's chill. 

Anyway, here's a list of things that happened this week:

-Bong Sokha got baptized!!!!!!! woot woot!

-Sister Mathews and I found Chanthi, Elder Cao's crazy girlfriend referral that I told you about last week. We gave it another shot after 0 success last week, and I just asked the first old lady I saw. The conversation went a little something like this:
me: "Hello there. Do you have any kids?" (<-- not a creepy question in Cambodia \, believe it or not)
her: nope.
Me: Oh thats too bad, because we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we also teach a free english class for people who are 15 or older.
Her: No, sorry I dont have any kids.
Me: Do you know anyone around here that has kids that age?
Her: Well, my daughter, who's 23, but she's at work.
Me: .............................................................................................................................................................................................-__________________________-
^thats the face I make when I'm a missionary talking to Cambodians.
Me: you have kids or not.
Her: Oh yeah, I have five, but they all work.
Me: What is your daughter's name?
Her: Chanthi.

And then we won. Unfortunately, she works AND goes to school and is impossible to meet with, but we found her house and hopefully at some point I wil get to be a part of Elder Cao's great love story where his girlfriend joins the church because of two sister missionaries who were suckers and actually found this girl with little to no information about her. Good stuff
In case you can't tell, I have found the dialogue format to be a much more efficient way of communicating in emails where I am short on time.

okay next:
- I got really sick of having only 60 members at church, all of whom could not care less about helping the missionaries, so I forced our bishop to organize a "missionary work" day where all of the sacrament talks and sunday school classes were geared towards member-missionary work. So, of course when I open my big fat mouth to get those things done, I get roped into talking. That all went down last week, and lo and behold, a member that we had visited that week gave us a referral for a family member!!! It was the first time I felt like I had really done something right.....until I found out that my whole missionary work Sunday had nothing to do with this referral. BUT that's okay because guess what? I have been in Steungmeanchey for 4 months and that is the FIRST referral I have gotten from a member of the ward. Yep, you heard it. The first. HELP THE MISSIONARIES PEOPLE. I'm not joking. 

- the elders handed over a family to us that is SUPER good but wants to learn with girls not boys (hahahahaha elders lose). SO the daughter in the family is 17 and super awesome and smart. Her parents are a little slower in following the teachings but they are doing okay and are just super happy to learn with us. they have some to church a few times already, except the mom because she works on sundays, but we're working on it. Anyway, really awesome family. the dad's name is Puu Saret and the mom's name is Bong Srei Tuoch and the daughter's name is Srei Niat. 

-There is this one less-active girl we go to teach pretty regularly. She lives with her older aunt who is super nice, but refuses to let us help her with the house chores even though she is always washing clothes or dishes when we go over. Last week, I saw the member washing clothes inside, so I literally BOOKED IT around her aunt and ran inside and squatted down and started washing clothes and I thought I had outsmarted her and had won the good fight. Not so. This old woman burst her way in the bathroom (aka the 3 ft by 3 ft water closet / squatty potty) and literally wrapped her arms fully around my waist and LIFTED me clear off the ground to get me to stop doing the laundry. It was pretty excessive on her part but I was laughing for about an hour.

Also, a SUPER great thing happened yesterday. There is this inactive member named Izabel. I think I've told you about her. She was one of the first people I taught in SMC. She is the sweetest but has not been to church in years, and she seemed pretty much convinced she wasnt coming back. Anyway, she's actually fairly wealthy and her daughter married a German man, so she was in Germany visiting their family for the past month. We went to visit her on Saturday and she was like, "My daughter took me to see the temple. It was so beautiful. She went inside with some of her friends, but I couldn't go inside because I didnt have a temple recommend. I had to just wait outside for her. She was in there from morning until evening."  She didn't seem sad when she told the story but let me tell you.......that would be awful to see a family member go in the temple and be told you couldn't go in too. So something must have clicked and I am CERTAIN she had some sort of conversation with her daughter about it, because the day after we visited her, she and her husband came to church! I remember when we were visitng her I told her we started church at 8 am and she immediately turned to her husband and was like, "Can we go to church tomorrow? I want to go."  This woman hasn't been to church in YEARS. It was a miracle! I was soooo happy to see her there. 

Also, you guys. I found a FANTASTIC little restaurant called Brooklyn Pizza and Bistro. Actually Sister Nov showed it to me because they sell cheesecake and for some reason she's obsessed with cheesecake. Before I ordered anything I looked the owner (a white guy) in the eye and asked, "Are you REALLY from New York?" And he goes, "Yes. Brooklyn." So I felt kinda dumb, but after that I knew I could trust his pizza. It was hands down the most american pizza I've eaten since I've been in Cambodia. Which brings me to my next point: My end-of-mission diet rule: If I can get it in America, I'm not allowed to eat it. So I'll be eating quite a bit of chaa, rice and what Sister Litchfield calls "Swamp soup." (aka Num Bonchuuk. She hates it. Its my favorite Khmer food.) it's to help me take advantage of Khmer food while I can and make sure I dont gain weight on something dumb  (like pizza) because I'm gonna get fat on that when I go home. Good plan, I know. Unfortuantely, I also found the "Door 2 Door" book, which is FAMOUS. Its a little book with all the menus and info of all the restaurants in PP that deliver. Its kind of killing my brilliant diet ideas. Sister Mathews laughs at me because I am constantly reading it. I JUST MISS FOOD THAT ISNT RICE. 
also, on that note, we found a mouse sniffing around our old pizza box last night. You guys would be really shocked at how little I freak out about those things nowadays. Its really more annoyance than fear. 

Anywho, I'm pretty much out of time, but those were the important things I could think of from this past week. I am SOOOOOO excited to go to Siem Reap with Sister Litchfield today. It's going to be 42.5 hours of uninterrupted talking that she and I haven't had the time for on our whole missions. It's just a bummer Thainy can't come with us, but thats what happens when you kick it up to Battambang for your last three transfers. We only have half a day to see all the sites, so I dont think I'll get to see all of it but you bet your bottom dollar I'm gonna ride an elephant. Hope you guys have a great week! Love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Davis

PS I was reading in 1 Corinthians today, so I figured I would send a few scriptures that I read and liked (yes, including verse 11)

1 Cor. Chapter 1, verses 3-6, 9:

 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and fromthe Lord Jesus Christ.
 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of Godwhich is given you by Jesus Christ;
 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, andin all knowledge;
 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of  his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

 The great things about Cmabodia is that you find random litters of new born puppies all over the place, including your neighborhood sugar cane juice lady.

Aaaand the people are so nice that they just let you grab one and take a picture.

                      Sister Soun sent me a birthday present and letter and I almost cried it was so cute.

My usual attire. Usual company.

                       BONG SOKHA!!!!!!! (you finaLLY get to see the famous one-armed investigator).

 Her daughter Kannakaa for some reason cried every time we tried to take a picture of her and her mom, so when she was spacing out i whispered to Bong Sokha to scooch next to her and I would sneak a picture. nice try, Kannakaa.
 This one was also funny because I was taking a picture of Bong Sokha and her son, and Kannakaa thought she was safe behind the door, but I dont think she realized that we can see right through and that she was in the picture too. Family photo!!!!

KHMER HYMNBOOKS!!!!!!!! One of the happiest days of my mission. Its been my whole language study for the past 7 days.

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