Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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.

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