Sunday, August 11, 2013

From me, to you

Hello Family!

This week has been a really fun one! We have a few new investigators, and both of our families all came to church!! That means TWO progressing families!!! Woohoo!! We have taught a ton of investigator lessons.

Two girls from the branch who I love!
One of our new investigators is Moiraine. Long story short, she is really mostly only interested in learning English, but wants to learn about God on the side. Her family is very buddhist. I told her straight up that we teach people to help them come closer to God and enter into a covenant with Him, which is baptism. And that that is our whole purpose, and that our time really is quite precious as we are always looking for people who want to learn about God. But we told her also that we would love to teach her about God and she can see what she thinks. She told us she does want to learn about God as well but that she doesn't want us to be mad if after she has learned with us she doesn't get baptized. We said deal, and that she can't be mad if after we teach her, and she has decided to not be baptized, if we stop teaching her. So game on! It is actually SO much fun teaching her actually. (1) We teach in English for the most part, which is just fun for a change. (2) She is smart, and she has A LOT of questions, which is different than every one else we teach. (3) She is a challenge! (4) It is so neat to see her begin to understand and learn about God and begin to develop a relationship with Him. She told as that although she isn't really Christian, in her hardest times she has prayed to God. :) There it is. So it will be exciting to see how this unfolds. I love her so much!

I have to clarify something I said last week, and that I kind of alluded to in the paragraph above. I think I kind of mentioned that we have to teach really slow and simple here and that people don't really get a lot of things. I want you to know though that I DO NOT think the people here are stupid or dumb or slow in anyway. What I really think it is is that people here are not accustomed to learning, especially the people we teach. Education is not required here, in fact it is a privilege if you can afford the $5.00 a month. And so for some, they can and they go consistently. For others, they go the months that their family can pay the $5. For others, they never have that opportunity. They are very smart people, but they aren't really accustomed to book type learning, which is kind of how some of our lessons go. There is a lot of information they don't know that they have to remember. But you know, that really has me thinking about our teaching style, and is there something we could do better to relate to the way they learn more? Hmmm something to think about this week.

During this week I really felt the magnitude of my calling. I was thinking of our investigators and about how much they do/do not understand about the covenant they are entering when they are baptized. I have no desire to just baptize people who are going to be inactive in a year. I want to help people understand that this is their life, not just a club they are joining temporarily. As I thought about that I really became overwhelmed at the thought. Are we teaching well enough that (1) they not only understand the covenant they are making, but (2) they are going to endure to the end. And what about if someone wants to be baptized, but from my perspective and based on our teaching and their responses, they don't really understand the covenant they are making. Should they still be baptized? Is that not something I will be held accountable for? These are just some questions that have been on my mind this week, and that I will continue prayerfully considering. Turns out being a missionary really is a big deal!

Us with Om Nebo and Om Crockett!
But speaking of baptism, we had one yesterday for Om Nebo. Let me tell you, I love this woman. I feel so blessed to know her. Her daughter is Bong Cabanna, the girl baptized when I first came to KC. When we started to teach her, I think she was really just learning because her daughter really wanted her to. She is one who has probably never had any schooling. So as we taught her we were very simple, and did a lot of reviewing. It has been so sweet to watch though how the spirit works with our investigators and the amount of knowledge they can handle. From my perspective I feel like she doesn't know very much, but as I have seen her change and seen her desire to learn change, I know that the spirit has been working in her with the things we have taught her. It is so sweet! We met with her quite a bit this past week and it was so sweet as she told us that she can't wait for us to come so that she can learn more about Christ. She loves her Savior! He has brought hope to her life that she hasn't had very much of.

Another thing we have been doing with her is helping her memorize the words to the hymn "I need thee every hour." It is the hymn sung most often here (they only have like 50 to choose from) and because she can't read, we don't want her to be left out. I can't even begin to tell you how much this brightens my day. She practices when we are gone, and then she just is so anxious to learn more. She sings just with all her spirit. And she watches me so intently as we sing together so that she can read my lips to know the words. It is just always so so sweet. Her baptism yesterday was as sweet as she is. Wow I am blessed to be here!

Mom asked me about our District Conf, and if Pres. Moon and his wife spoke. They did indeed! President Moon actually tries to speak a lot in Khmer. I'm so impressed! His wife also spoke and then bore her testimony in Khmer. They spoke a lot about being member missionaries. I am enjoying them very much. President Moon I would say is very much a get-it-done personality more than a Let's-have-fun personality, but I think that is exactly what Cambodia needs! He is fun though, and they are super awesome! They came down this week and did zone conference with our zone as well. It was good! We talked a lot about the Sacrament and how we should emphasize that in our teaching. Sister Moon also emphasized temple and family history work, and how we should emphasize that as well. That is an interesting one because there aren't really records kept here. A lot of people don't even know their grandparents names...We'll so what we can do though. It's important! Mom asked about my weekly emails to my President. Unfortunately I would say my personality probably doesn't shine through as much. I don't write him very long emails (per request) because there are so many missionaries and unless I need something specific, I figure he has more things to worry about! I usually tell him just a brief summary of our week though: what we focused on, how our investigators are, etc. I also tell him if there is anything significant I feel like I learned personally during the week from my personal study, or our proselyting, or so on. I'll update him on our companionship if there is anything. Mostly they are probably super boring! Pore guy! Wait, Pour guy? Poar guy? How do you spell that word??? I'm losing it!

This week there was a small organization who came to give away reading glasses and they did it at our church, the reason being because the guy who is in charge served his mission in Cambodia. So Sister Window and I were asked to go and help out with that. Turns out it was the funnest thing ever!!! First, it was so nice to see Americans, and interact with them! Second, it was even more fun to interact with Cambodians and help them find their right prescription and see them get so excited. Really it was so awesome! And then during it one or our recent converts, Om Crockett, who I LOVE, was there and she just was sitting watching stuff for a while. I sat by her for a minute and she told me I have the gentleness of a Khmer Woman! Hahaha! Yes! Which is really interesting though because I have seen these women here handle meat, and let me tell you, they are anything but gentle.

Mom asked me about Stuunging, which is rice planting. The field is always flooded. I don't know though if that is necessary or just impossible to have it otherwise. With the rain, the fields just never drain. But, because stuunging season does happen during rainy season, maybe it is necessary? I don't really know the logistics of it. Maybe I will ask them about it this week as we are helping one of our investigator families with their field.

So lastly, I want to let you know that I will be staying in Kampong Cham for another transfer, with Sister Window!! woohoo!! AND Sister Smock and Sister Eekoo are staying as well, which is SUPER awesome!!!! It's crazy because Sister Kuoch also just finished training, but she will be with her trainer for another transfer. I'm so happy! I love them all!

And I love you all! Talk to you next week.


Sister Homer

p.s. I got an email today that they kinda updated our mission address. I don't think the P.O. box number was in there before? apparently it will get here faster if you add that. I know you sent packages already mom, so don't stress. This is just for future. Tianna, maybe you can update it on the blog? Maybe it is the address we already had? I don't know. K that's all, bye!

Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission
House #2B, Street 222 off Norodom
P.O. Box 165
Phnom Penh

So my life doesn't involve around bananas, but I'm telling you, these bananas here are crazy! The pictures last week didn't do it justice. Look at pictures (1) and (2) this week. Crazy.

This is also me in a banana tree forest. I'm pointing to a bundle of bananas. A bunch of bananas? In Khmer it is a snut of bananas. Anyway. You can't tell in the pic, but it's there.

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