Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why thanks, that was very American of you

Okay I am super pooped from email time today and Im running out of gas so I'm probably ging to make this a short one and save the other cool stories fro next week.

I hope you were all kind and gracious to your friendly neighborhood monks, joined in on the 11 am trash-burning party and ate some Chinese cabbage soup. 
What? You mean.....you didn't do those things? Because here in Cambodia, we are all about the monk life. 

I made Cab Chae for everyone in the house, which is one of my favorite Khmer foods. Its actually the Chinese cabbage soup I just mentioned, but Sister Ky taught me how to make a Khmer version when we were in Battambang and it is MY FAVORITE. Sister Jepsen also really liked it, but for some reason I couldn't convince Sister Mathews and Sister Spangler to eat the pig skin. Go figure.

This is what happens when Sister Spangler doesnt know how to set the timer on the camera and takes an unannounced candid of us eating soup. Please note Sister Mathews (who refused to eat my soup and ate plain spaghetti instead). #weeklyplanningincambodia

In other news. we helped a family scrape paint off their stair railing for a couple hours and now I'm pretty positive that I have lead poisoning (among other diseases.) 

We also had one of our super less active LAs tell us she was too busy to say one prayer with us.....after we helped her cook and clean her house for 45 minutes while she just sat on a bench. Dont get me wrong, I love serving the members, but sometimes the Cambodian idea of "busy" really throw me for a loop. 

We had a great lesson with Bong Sokha (when is it not a great lesson). We reviewed about prophets, and at the end  of the lesson after we had read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38, she just goes, "Even though God can't talk to us, He send the prophet to talk to us and its the same. I know that the prophet will never lead us astray, not even a little."  So theres your weekly Bong Sokha quote. Shes the reason I keep on going some days. 

And heres the real story of the week. During weekly planning, while we were taking a break and eating soup together, Sister Jepsen showed me some of her pictures from Battambang. If you guys want to go back through my emails a whiel back, you will probably find one where I talked about a wheelchair investigator I had in Battambang named Chendaa who was INCREDIBLE. And I was only able to meet her a couple times because she lived so far away that it became too difficult to meet her or for her to go to church and even though I biked all the way out to her house, it was near impossible to meet her. But either eay, she was amazing. Well, she and Sopheap, another wheelchair investigator that i had that ALSo ended up not working out, got baptized with Sister Jepsen!!! They both moved really close to a village that has a couple members and were able to start learning again after I left. Because they have crippled legs, Sister Jepsen had to carry them into the baptismal font and she was telling me the funny story of how it all worked out and so I started laughing and then...........................it happened. While laughing at this story it just hit me how happy i was that they had gotten baptized, how sad I was that I hadnt been there to see it and just how much I love Battambang and serving in Cambodia and I just started bawling. I know I just told you last week I cried too but I promise I dont cry that much! I think my last transfer is just really filled with emotions. Either way, I was laughing and crying HARDCORE at the same time and all the other sisters were like ..............what is happening to her. It was just a swirl of emotions when I realized how close I am to leaving this place and my heart truly ached. It was a sadness about ending my mission that I really hadn't experienced before. And Im not even done yet! All I know is this: when I get home, your patience will be much appreciated because apparently I cant control my emotions anymore. SO moral of the story: it is dang hard, but I love my mission and everywhere I've been and everyone Ive taught and all the experiences Ive had here. And it hurts sometimes when I think about leaving in just one month. 

Like I said, I have a lot more stories coming next week, but im totally burned out for today so you'll just have to wait. (dont worry, they're not terribly exciting.) But, I love you all, I miss you and I hope you have a great week! 

Love, Sister Davis.

                                     Children of the world. Swimming in a flooded neighborhood.

                         Candid sugar cane juice shot in my happy place near Om Som An's

 HAHA FOOLED YA! you guys all thought I was in the city didnt you? just kidding I am. but luckily I am in the citys biggest area and as long as you're willing to bike 2 hours you can get out to places like this, that make me miss the provinces so much it hurts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Mosquito named Rainbow Dash

This week while we were holding the English class sign, a woman came up to talk to me and Sister Mathews about our class (she didnt know we spoke any Khmer because she was one of those people that demanded to speak in English to show off how much she knows) and as she drove away on her moto she yelled out, "WELCOME TO CAMBODIA." thoughts: 1) I have never had someone say "Welcome to Cambodia"to me on my whole mission. I feel like that was a bit of a delayed welcome party. 2) I feel like it was a really nice, ironic thing to happen to me at the commencement of my last transfer in Cambodia where I have been living for A YEAR AND A HALF. She didnt know that though so i just decided to say thanks and wave goodbye.

Also, yesterday in church, I was leading the music as perusual, because Cambodians can't handle anything that is even slighlty related to music and also the missionaries run the branches here so they ask me to lead every single week (add that to my list of things my mission has taught me: I can now lead music. Badly, but I can do it. Before my mission, I was of the variety of people who just sign their name in the air when they dont know how to lead). Anywho, I tried to move up the music stand and literally broke it in half. The whole top just popped right off, leaving me holding the tray and there I was, standing in front of the whole congregation, caught red-handed as the culprit of who broke the music stand as Elder Neuberger continues to play the intro for "Come, Come Ye Saints." Needless to say I had a panic attack and the former bishop from Tuolkork who now lives in my SMC ward was cracking up at me from the front row. 

Also, just so we're all on the same page, my crazy investigator Ming Rani is trying to forcibly adopt me. She knows I'm going home in 6 weeks so she keeps on being like, "Sister! you can stay with me! I will feed you and take such good care of you. You could get a job when you finish your mission and just stay in Cambodia forever!" And I'm like......uhhhhhhhhh you know my biological parents take pretty good care of me too. back in AMERICA. So thats an ongoing problem, but I choose to look at it as a compliment.

OH MY GOSH I ALMOST FORGOT TO TELL YOU GUYS. the best thing ever happened this transfer. Sister Nov got a last-minute transfer call to leave SMC (thats not the good part, because now I can't have her kill cockroaches for me or tell me funny phrases in Khmer) but to replace her.........PRESIDENT MOON SENT SISTER JEPSEN. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So now, I'm living in a house with Sister Jepsen and I am LOVING IT. She and I go way back. Like 4 or five months. but in mission terms, thats a long time. Its like having one of your best friends make a surprise visit. We are living it up and reminiscing about BB like no other. She's having a rough tiem adjusting to the city. As all of us who come from the provinces do. We ran into her at the church building and she is in first branch but has to bike through the worst, ugliest, grossest part of my branch to get there and she saw me and ran up to me and was like "Sister Davis, hug me. I HATE IT HERE. there are no trees! It's so ugly!" It was really sad. I had to pat her head and tell her it would be alright, even though that was a lie, because I know better than anyone that Steungmeanchey never stops being smelly and ugly. 

I also almost severely offended a member into less-activity this week. hooray! Here's what i say: If you never offended a member, I don't believe that you served a mission in Cambodia. So anyway, I told this one member that we couldn't eat lunch with her, she hung up the phone on me, and it gave me such bad anxiety that I caved and ended up stuffing three large vietnamese springrolls down my throat in less than 4 minutes ( a record). Then they gave us some fanta and sent us on our way. Aaaaand they came to church tomorrowso we know its all good. This family was already super offended and less-active so it wouldnt have really been my fault, but you get the point. I have to suck up to everyone these days. (for the record, that was a very abridged version of the story). 

Okay, so now to get to the good part, we had some FANTASTIC lessons this week. Srei Lay and Bong Da are doing amazing. First of all, we had two lessons with Bong Da this week. In the first one we taught the Plan of Salvation and when we were teaching her about our life on earth and the Atonement of Jesus Christ she just ran with it and basically ended up teaching herself. We segued into baptism and she just was like "OHHHHHH. So baptism is like SUPER important!!!" She even worked it out in her own head how baptism is related to the Atonement of Christ and the cleansing power of being baptized, so we can become clean from sin. At a certain point I had to be like, did we even teach you that? where did that come from? And then afterwards she goes, okay so now I have a question. What about people that didn't get the chance to learn before they died? Like my dad. Is there anything I can do to help him even though he's dead?  And guys.....I started laughing. In the middle of the lesson I started laughing because i was like, "YES THERE IS!!" she just is so in tune with our lessons and so smart and accepting that I couldnt even handle it anymore, to the point where i started laughing. Then, she went on to teach her eight year old daughter what a prophet was and how God helps us through his Living Prophet, and I just about died. In the same week, we also taught her about the Doctrine of Christ, which starts with faith and usually in those lessons we ask, "Okay, so now we've taught you what faith is. What do you think is the way that we show our faith in God?" So we taught her what faith is and then Bong Da goes, "Okay so this is what faith is. But tell me Sisters, how can I SHOW my faith in God?" I couldn't even handle it. She asks our questions before we ask them and THEN ANSWERS THEM. She's so smart! I think she's awesome.

And then there was Srei Lay. Goodness gracious Srei Lay. So she is the former Christian, and from the beginning she has been very smart and willing to listen, but I could tell she wasn't accepting everythign we were teaching about baptism and the priesthood and ESPECIALLY the Book of Mormon. and thats a big one because if she doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, our teachings are going to go nowhere with her. So we planned to teach her the Doctrine of Christ, and then at a certain point, SIster Mathews and I were like....No. that is not going to help her. She knows what faith and repentance is. that is not going to increase her desire to learn with us. And so we changed the lesson plan and decided to just teach her about the Book of Mormon. So we went in and started reading from the Intro with her, and we read every paragraph. And we would stop and she would ask these awesome, in-depth, kick-butt questions and to be honest, some of them felt like they were beyond my ability to explain in Khmer. Sometimes I would look at her face and I was like....dangit. She has no idea what I'm talking about, I'm just confusing her more, and now she's never gonna believe this is true. I honestly almost gave up in the middle of the lesson. But we finished the intro, and Sister Mathews and I were bearing our testimonies of how the Book of Mormon is true and while I was talking she just held up her hand to get me to stop talking and I was like oh. okay... and she just goes, "Sisters...I just want to tell you. Last week when you were teaching me, I did not understand. You kept on reading from the Book of Mormon but I did not understand what it is or where it came from and I could not decide...is the Bible true or is the Book of Mormon true? but now......I know they are both true. I know the Book of Mormon is true, because we read this introduction." And it was like BOOM. she gets it. She knows. We committed her, closed the lesson and asked her to say a closing prayer. While she was praying I got tears in my eyes because I was just so happy and filled with light! It was one of those moments where every thought I had was so clear and everything was just so filled with the Spirit and I KNEW that everything was true. It was a big moment. And it was unforgettable. it was probably the most gratifying lesson of my entire mission, for reasons I can't even exlpain. i would have to talk about it in person to explain to you guys the full significance of this lesson. All I know is, we said goodbye to Srei Lay, she left the room, and I said to Sister Mathews, "Sorry, I just need a second." And then i turned around and just started bawling. Like i was just CRYING! I just finally felt like it was all worth it and that that lesson was just as much for me as it was for Srei Lay. that lesson was my gift from Heavenly Father, I am not even kidding. It was also weird because seriously i havent cried in so long. For a while I was joking to people that my mission has hardened me so much that i dont know how to cry anymore. So anyway, I HAD to tell you guys that because it was one of the best moments of my mission so far. Steungmeanchey is a hard area, but I have seen a few very key, very important miracles. And I am grateful for everything in this area and in this country, even the hard things,  because I was able to have those few moments and miracles that have shaped my whole view of my mission. 

Anyway, I think that is all for this week. How was everybody's Friday the 13th?!?!? (that matters more to me than valentines day. Sister Spangler is still cracking herself up because we celebrated "Galentines day". aka......we ate terrible Cambodian made chocolate). 
I hope you all have a great week! Love you and miss you!

Love, Sister Davis

PS a fantiastic missionary scripture I found in the Bible: "Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" 1 Corin 9:16.  My new mantra. and it should be yours too!

 here it is!!!! The grand Cambodian nativity. Its definitely got that Khmer flair. but its hand-carved and gorgeous. And also.....yes. I too am convinced that elephants were present at the birth of Jesus Christ in the Middle East. not a doubt in my mind. 
At English Class Activity night, the elders brought an airsoft gun as a prop and Sister Nov took it a little too seriously. i told you guys.....shes kinda scary. 

I dont know if you can tell from this picture, but my map-drawing skills are superb these days. 

                                                           ​"Arise from the dust, O Jerusalem...." 

February 8, 2015

I'm pretty much out of clever titles for my emails. Does everybody's mission go downhill in terms of exciting stories to tell in the last two transfers? Because I feel like thats whats going on in my life. Although it could just be from a lack of desire to stop my bike so that I can take notes on what has been going on. 

I think the biggest news is that this week I got into a huge fight with Elder Duffy over politics, which is......not new for Chloe but almost unheard of for Sister Davis. Elder Duffy is currently the Office Elder, and he and i were in the same MTC group and we're also secret besties. But, Elder Duffy told me who he voted for in the last election because "thats what all his friends did" (I'll give you one guess who he DID vote for) and THEN (this is where it gets crazy) he proceeded to make fun of me for wanting to major in political science and so I stalked out of the office like a 3-year-old throwing a temper tantrum until I saw him the next day at zone training and we cleared the air over a really terrible Cambodian-made pizza. Unfortunately, while explaining the ordeal at zone training I consequently offended Elder Allred for HIS political stance and now all the new elders in my zone are afraid of me. I would like to cite an email that I sent from Battambang when I mentioned how I havent actually gotten better at controlling my temper, its just that i have very few things to get a temper about. It shows when you bring up politics in a conversation with me for the first time in 18 months. All in all, Elder Duffy has forgiven me and vice versa. We're back to being secret besties.

So yeah. that was the most exciting thing to happen this week. Sister Mathews thought it was pretty funny. When I would get distracted and go on rants about it when we were supposed to be doing our Daily Planning she would just sit there and listen and laugh at my psychotics. What a good companion. 

Oh, on that note, we got transfer calls last night. My last ever transfer calls! Crazy huh? Anyway, Sister Mathews and I are staying the same. No changes in comp or area. Super boring. but also super easy. I'm happy though because we just started teaching a couple new investigators and I'm really excited to see how they turn out. I told you guys about Dani and Srei Lai last week, but the REALLY awesome one is named Bong Da. She was a referral from a member who used to work with Bong Da, and she brought Bong Da to church. She stayed for all three hours, brought both of her kids, AND when we talked to her she told us that.....(wait for it)......SHE'S FREE IN THE MORNINGS!!!!!!! ****HALLELUJAH AND AMEN***********  You should know that most of our mornings consist of biking incredibly far distances to see the only three members we know of who actually have time n the mornings on Monday-Friday (all less actives) after which my comp and I just sit on our bikes going nowhere for a while, debating with the awkward silence about whether or not we should go contacting even though deep in our hearts we know it is the only actual option. (I say "my comp" because this is not a Sister Mathews thing, nor a Steungmeanchey thing. I think its a life thing. Nobody wants to meet with the missionaries first thing in the morning. 
ANYWAY, the point is, Bong Da is great! We found her house last week on Wednesday morning, and she has a super ncie skincare business in her house so its a great place, and even though she doesnt have any real background in christianity, she still knows how to pray from one of her friends and she said that every day, she prays that God will show her the right way and show her the right path in life, and She considers us coming to teach her an answer to her prayers. Already wants to join, totally down with what we teach. Super smart. Super nice. We are really excited about her. 

One fun thing that did happen this week was Sister Harris came to our house because she was on an exchange with Sister Nov! It was so fun to have her back in her old humble abode.  The second she walked in the house she goes, "This place still smells the same. I hate it." I missed that girl. Needless to say, we spent our night talking in our old room, reminiscing about our TOP NOTCH Christmas display and all the toher antics we got up to when we were together, and especially doing sweet impressions of Om Im yelling at her grandson Vichekaa. Just thinking about Om Im still cracks Sister Harris up.
Speaking of Om Im, she continues to be a beacon of hope in the dust that is Steungmeanchey. 
We went over to visit her for a second, and she was just like, "Come 'ere! Sit down!!!" (Om Im could be throwing a dinner party and she would still invite us in to sit down and have a chat). She cleaned off a dirty bench in er house and proceeded to tell us the story of how she shared the gospel. It went a little something like this: 

"I went to the church to exercise this morning and met a man. He was a Christian too and he asked me if I go to church and I was like Yep! This church right here! this is my church. And he started going off talking about how Mormons are wrong and joseph Smith is wrong, and I was like No! joseph Smith was a prophet and he restored Christ's church in the latter-days! Its the exact same church that Christ established, and He picked Joseph Smith to lead it. Thats right, right? okay good! because thats what I told him! And then I asked him, does your church have temples? WELL OURS DOES. Does your church have a way to help and save your ancestors who died without knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Well, OUR DOES! That's right, right?" 

Listening to Om Im tell a story is one of the few things that gives me joy in this life. She gets so into it! And then she just paueses and breaks out into a big smile because shes all proud of herslef. And you know what? She should be! The members here need to open their mouths like she does, because I can promise you that that Buddhist grandma who squats on the corner to sell her fried bananas is not gonna listen to a word that two American girls say about Jesus Christ. But I would bet my hand-carved, GORGEOUS new Cambodian Christmas nativity that she would listen to Om Im! (thanks dad.)
here's how you know Om Im is a miracle worker. I told you a couple weeks ago that our crazy investigator who's always offended, Ming Rani, came to church and managed to pick a fight with Om Im of all people. Well, she came again last week, and OUT OF NOWHERE, I turned the corner after sacrament meeting and find Ming Rani linking arms with Om Im as they bond over their swollen, achey feet (a chronic condition Om Im suffers from and has wasted no time in explaining to us). Om Im was offering her advice on medicines, and Min Rani was just eating it up. As a result, they didnt disagree over a single thing during Gospel Principles class and just were best buds all morning long. It was a Cambodian miracle if I've ever seen one. 

Other good things that happened this week: Sister Mathews and I went to visit Om Som An and we found a beautiful little rice field area with cows and stuff down a windy path. It had GRASS (like real, green, GRASS that I havent seen in forever) and it looked like a old farm/cow paddock (except for the rice fields). And it was dead quiet and just super peaceful. A lot of times, I just feel like this work is super hectic and I get stressed out because things aren't what I thought they would be and I feel like I'm not doing enough and the bishop of our ward sends the young men out to BUY BREAD for the sacrament ON SUNDAY and im just like "THIS IS NOT WORKING!" But, I have had brief, scattered moments of real peace and serenity in this country that make me remember why I love it. And while I was standing there on the edge of this beautiful bike trail, in the very very RARE moment of silence, I just felt that....He was there. He created that beautiful little spot. And he loves it probably more than I do. 

So, a boring week but a good one nonetheless. I think its no secret that Steungmeanchey didn't make the best first impression on me, but I have worked hard here and Im happy that I get to stay in my last transfer and see all my work out to the very end.

I love you all, and miss you very much. Have a great week everyone!

Love, Sister Davis 

 On our way home from English class, I got to the door to open the lock and......a rat FELL OUT OF A TREE and landed right in front of me. never gets old. 

                                                This adorable kid at church, in his Sunday best. 

 Found this gem at the mission home the other day. Me, Sister Peterson and Sister Thain at Christmas 2013!!!! Candids in President and Sister Moon's photo album. 

I bought these two completely useless books a couple weeks ago. So I dont know the word for "motivation" in Khmer but at the very least I'll have a really great legal/historical vocabulary.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Face wash is not a social circle

So, now I officially know why missionaries don't take vacations. Because I went to Siem Reap with Sister Litchfield for 2 days and the first day back was some hardcore whiplash from taking a long proselyting break. We basically just talked for 42 hours straight, got no sleep because the sisters in Siem Reap didn't know we were coming, and just basically didn't do missionary things. It was very odd. But worth it. I KNOW I KNOW you're all wondering..........Yes, I did get to ride an elephant. And don''t worry I've got enough pictures to last you until the end of my mission. 

So here's how the Siem Reap trip went:
We took a 9-hour bus ride to Siem Reap where Sister Litchfield and I shared ice cream bars, talked about squatty-potty quality, took mirror selfies and chatted til our throats were sore. The only thing that made it AWFUL was because some FOOL thought it would be a good idea to bring an open package of Durian onto the bus. AKA a closed, un-venitlated area filled with 40 other people. For those of you who don't know, Durian is an absolutely DISGUSTING asian fruit that smells incredibly strong and I swear to you is filled with toxic fumes. I would cover my nose with my scarf and it still couldn't block out the smell. I seriously thought I was gonna pass out. When I finally complained about it, Sister Litchfield goes, "Yeah, that person deserves to be executed." So that was good.
Then we got to Siem Reap and for our restful night, we got thin mats, no sheets, no pillows. Essentially we were like dogs sleeping on the welcome mat, according to Sister Litchfield. I will give her her credit though. Her mat was even thinner than mine, so she was basically sleeping on a tile floor. I woke up in the middle of the night (during the only 20 mins of sleep i actually got) and found that she had wrapped the mat around her and she was sleeping in it like a giant burrito because she was cold and had no sheets. What a trooper.

Then we woke up at 4:30 am to get to Angkor Wat in time to see the sunrise. Apparently the sunrise at Angkor wat is AWESOME but the day that we went was super cloudy. Still pretty, but nothing amazing. Anyway, it was still good because we got inside the wat at like 6 am and nobody is there that early so it wasnt crowded at all. Really cool. We went to three different wats (Angkor wat is the big, famous one, but there are a ton of smaller wats surrounding the area for miles.) We went to Bayon, across a river where they have the elephants, and another small temple called.....Tam Prol? I cant remember honestly. That one is famous for the giant trees that are growing inside the wat. Then we bought a few things, ate some lunch and went home. On the bus ride home, there was a group of maybe five khmer people sitting around us and they were talking about us the whole time but Sister Litchfield and I couldnt care less because we were having our own conversation. Until the end where sister litchfield asked me to subtly listen to what they were saying because she was curious (and a vietnamese speaker, so she actually couldnt understand everything) and when I tried to quiet down to listen in, a lady behind us was like "Stop gossiping them! Stop gossiping them! they might speak khmer!" (she said that in khmer obviously). And then a guy was like, they're french, they don't know khmer! and then I was like, yes i do. And they all went "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" and started laughing because hey, they've been on a bus for eight hours with two white people who could understand what they were saying the whole time. (including the parts when they were observing our conversation and making fun of our hand movements, over-the-top reactions, and constant laughter). It was way funny, Sister Litchfield and I were dying. this is probably the only country in the world where that would be a funny situation instead of an awkward one.

I would say my favorite parts of the trip were when Sister Litchfield was taking pictures of me on the elephant (which i will explain later), seeing two drunk British men staggering/swaying their way into the wat and having Sister Litchfield say to me, "Those are your people, Sister Davis." and when Sister Litchfield told me I have the humor of Ricky Gervais. We had some really good conversations.

Anywho, this week I took sister mathews out to that one less-active member who lives an hour and a half away. This time, I reallt thought I was gonna pass out by the time we got back to the church. While we were out there, we went to visit another member who actually just recently moved from Trash Mountain in 3rd branch to this random place called "Smile Village" in our branch, in the same area as the super far away member. her name is Bong Siam, and she was already pretty less-active, but now she is super far away from the church with no moto or bike to get herself their. And she has started sending her kids to the wat to learn with the monks because they have no other schools near there. (This place is WAY out of the city). Anyway, the reason I tell you we went to visit her is because I sat down on the floor in a hand-me-down outfit that Sister Homer gave me bfore she left, looked at the wall and what did I find? A picture of dear Sister Homer with this lady's family. In this woman's house. Wearing the exact same outfit. Kind of random, but it made me laugh. That family LOVES Sister Homer. 

Another thing, we went to visit Bong Sokha this past week, as our newest recent convert. She is still FANTASTIC. We got to her house and asked if she was still reading and praying, etc, the usual, and she responded with "Well, I finished it a while ago, so I started reading again. I'm back somewhere in Mosiah." SHE'S SO GOOD. I cant even tell you how rare that is here. I'm lucky if I can get an investigator (or members for that matter) to read just one verse in the scriptures per day, let alone finish the whole book in 2 months. Also, while we were teaching her, we were explaining the fact that shes a member now so we'll reteach her the lessons and continue visiting her and she was like, "Thats good, because I still want to learn more. I'm not done learning. I just want to keep on learning!" Like, I dont even know where she came from. She's so good.

Also, that less-active member Izabel came back FOR THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW. She is seriously the sweetest. I'm so glad she's coming back. 
And I went on an exchange this week with Sister Nov and she came into my area. And we had an AWESOME day. We got two new investigators, one of them came to church (and also started crying when she said her first prayer for us) and the other one is a former Christian. She still goes to her old church which is why she didnt have time to come to ours yesterday, but shes very knowledgeable and a good listener and I'm excited to keep working with her. Overall, a really good day. Seven lessons that day, so not bad at all. 

Anyway, thats kind of all I can think of. After getting back from Siem Reap there wasn't too much exciting stuff going on. So sorry about that. The only things I can think of are stories like when Elder Lauritzen immitated what his Khmer accent would sound like if he were speaking english and I was crying I laughed so hard. But thats one of those stories thats really only funny to me. Sooooo, yeah. again, sorry. 

But hey, to close off the email, I've got a ton of pictures, and a nice little quote from Sister Litchfield. So you should know that in our mission, we have this thing called a "Mission Vision" which has motivational sayings and scriptures to guide the work that we do on a daily basis. One of them is: "Obedience brings blessings, Exact obedience brings miracles." Good one right? Its like, OBEDIENCE. the difference between starting studies at 7:00 and starting at 7:04. And I'm totally down for it. You guys all know, one of the greatest things I've gotten out of my mission is an appreciation for being obedient, following the rules and guidelines, and just plain DOING WHAT YOU'RE ASKED. It makes you so much happier when you do. I have a sincere testimony of that. I wasn't fully happy on my mission until I learned how to be really, 100% obedient (well, thats impossible, but trying as hard as i could to be obedient) and working as hard as I could, too. So, in case you need any more convincing, here's what Sister Litchfield says:

"Obedience brings blessings. Disobedience brings diarrhea." And in Cambodia, she couldn't be more right. 
THE POINT IS...........just do what you're asked. Learn to love the commandments, and the God who gave them to you. Its the BEST way to be happy, when we are living in accordance to the principles that Jesus Christ himself taught. Why wouldn't we want to do what he did?!?!?

I love you guys very much, and hope you are having a great time back in America (or wherever you are). Keep up the good work! I'll see you all soon!

Love, Sister Davis

So....I borrowed Elder Asay's "Selfie stick".  its a real thing. And apparently neither myself nor sister litchfield knows how to use it. It is way hard! so in case you were wondering, that explains the lack of pictures of the two of us and one really bad selfies to show just how bad we are at it.
Nailed it.

almost there.....

Cambodians never smile in photos. Why should I???

Okay so theres a reason I was laughing hysterically throughout this whole trip. Sister Litchfield went to Siem Reap in a former life, so she didn't want to ride the elephant that badly. So I was like, ok, then you stay on the ground and take pictures for me. So I got on the elephant and it started walking around and Sister Litchfield all of a sudden becomes terrified of this huge hulking animal lunging towards her, so shes having a minor panic attack, while at the same time stumbling backwards and taking pictures of me. So shes just like, "Okay, here we go, good stuff, okay, dont kill me." and she kept on tripping over herself , nearly dying, running around trying to keep up with the elephant...it was a sight to see. Only a really good friend would suffer like that for me. 

                                                     Thanks for the butt shot, Sister Litchfield.

 Also, I know its a little disappointing, I wasn't actually ON the elephant, but I have connections, so one day when I'm not a missionary.....I'm goin back.
also, dont worry, i got a nice few shots of the korean and chinese tourists while i was there too. they are just as annoying and funny as the internet makes fun of.