Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hello from Cambodia!

Dear Family,

The most important picture of all:
BYU tuktuk!!!
So... I'm here! These past few days have been CRAZY! I'll try to remember everything that happened. I know you got an email from the mission president with a picture of me. That was day one. We just did like orientations and devotionals that day and then PASSED OUT because we were exhausted. The flights went well. No confusion or stress really. We were 2 hours late getting to Cambodia though because one of our flights was delayed. But other than that it was good. I felt so bad thoguh, because poor Sister Hartley was sick on the plane. She's only ever flown once before and her stomach was not really handling it well. :( I tried to comfort/distract her by telling her random stories from my life.... probably not much help. Um did anyone even know that Hong Kong looks like what it looks like?? I had not idea! It's all like island-y, tropical, exotic looking! Who knew!

The next morning we had this DELICIOUS breakfast that consisted of like rice and meat and egg... it was so good!! The food here is good, if a native is making it! Mmm mmm mmm. After a bit more orientation stuff, I got my trainer!

My trainer is Sister Lemon. I will be her last companion. But it is interesting because we are actually in a trio. So, Sister Lemon is my trainer and Sister Peach is also my companion. She has been in Cambodia for about 4 months I think. And yes, they are both American. I really like them both! Sister Lemon is reallty good at the language and gets along with the Khmer people so well. She loves them so much and loves to joke around with them. Sister Peach is not bad at all with the language either. She can almost always get her point across. I think for being here for 4 months she is great! I really actually don't mind being in a trio because that means that even though I fail to do anything useful, there are still 2 people that can salvage! Thank goodness! Also, I don't have a picture but Sister Lemon and I look like REALLY similar. So everyone asks if we are sisters. It's funny.

So yeah... the language... I don't even know what to say. The sounds these people make are like mumbled sound effects. I can't even explain, haha! I just am so not used to Native people speaking Cambodian, turns out, it is really hard to distinguish the words! So the words I know, I usually catch, but other than that I'm useless. Unfortunately the only words I know are about the gospel, and no one really goes around talking about that. Fortunately, I know gospel words! And that is the most important thing! So when people are talking about it, I can generally understand.

Also that is me on my first phone call.
You can't imagine my terror and horror when
she dialed the phone and then handed it to me.
We have taught a few lessons since I've been here. I committed someone to baptism in one of them! Her name is Ming Ranier. Her daughter is a member, I guess, but I haven't met her. But yeah, we commited her to baptism, but then she didn't come to church on Sunday. Ugh!!! I was really sad about that. But my companions didn't seem like really concerned about that... so maybe I'm missing some information. We also contacted (by we I mean my companions) a Bong Sway and she took us to her home and we taught her a super short quick lesson about prayer and prayed with her. She has a weird schedule and no telephone, so we are going to swing by again and see if we can teach her more.

Have I told you about like what they call eachother? They all have familial titles, and that is what you call people when you see them. Like "older uncle" "younger uncle" "older brother" "younger aunt" "person around my age". I'm sure you understand. So Neakming is younger aunt. So when I say someone's name is Ming Ranier... that is what I mean. Younger Uncle is Lookpuu. Older aunt and uncle are both Om. Person around my age is Bong. Oh and Broh means boy and Srei means girl. So those will probably pop-up in my letters... keep your eyes peeled.

My area is called Stung Mian Chey... I think. It means like River has blessings, or Blessed River. I am in the 1st branch, and there are 3 branches. I love the people in the branch! There are ADORABLE young women girls who look like they are 7 but are apparently young women. They are so sweet! They make me so happy because I can talk to them and I don't feel as out of place. They love my white skin, haha! But um yeah, my area is like part of Phnom Penh. We live in a nice house in a nicer part of town (Cambodian nice, not American nice.) But honestly our area is so poor. You can't imagine this kind of poverty. It breaks my heart. I'm grateful that I went to Peru because I think it prepared me to see this. We also share our house with 2 other sister missionaries who proselyte in the area right next to ours. They are Sister Canoe (native!! and she is BEAUTIFUL!) and Sister Melting from the MTC! I'm glad I like with another greenie. It helps a bit.

Let's see... the heat. All I can say is this heat is more than words can describe. I step outside for 2 seconds and I'm drenched in sweat. Oh wait, I walk around inside for 2 seconds and I'm drenched in sweat. It is CRAZY!! I am almost to the point where I can say I don't mind it. Almost. It's getting there.

Okay, so I just want to clarify, I actually do love it here! It is crazy, but I love it! The people are incredible and sweet! I obviously don't understand the culture yet, but it seems just calmer and more relaxed. The clock doesn't run everything. They all smile so nice at me. I do love them! It has kinda been a hard first week, but I really do love it.

Me asleep when I thought I was writing in my journal. The last thing I wrote was "it's probably because I'm white" Hahaha! I think it doesn't help that I came down with this killer cold. I'm just like wiped out all the time
Okay, I know there is more I should talk about, but I can't think. I have been super exhausted these past few days. I like fall asleep before I hit the pillow. Actually last night I fell asleep while writing in my journal. (A picture to come). And sadly, I seriously only took 1 picture since being here. There isn't any time. And I don't exactly feel comfortable taking pictures of the conditions these people live in with my nice little digital camera. I know I'll eventually get more pictures with people once I get to know the people better, but right now I just feel like it I need to be a bit more careful of what I take pictures of. Don't worry, I will take a lot more. You know me! But the one I took was the best of all. You'll see. :)

Okay, I love you all! Ask me questions about things you are wondering about! That will help me!

I love you! I love you! I love you!

Sister Homer


  1. Jessa sounds great! I am so happy to hear that she is adjusting and loving it already. I'm assuming that she didn't post this, but a family member so I feel kinda weird addressing this not to her.

  2. Wow, that was so great to read! I can't believe she is already there! The Lord has certainly blessed her with an immediate love for the Cambodian people (and a growing tolerance for the heat!). Can't wait to read about her upcoming adventures. :)

  3. P.S. And I LOVE how her pen is in the upright position while she is asleep! Now that's true exhaustion!