Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dear Family

Hello Fam,

This week was like the epitome of normal here, so I really don't have much to say. It was a good week, two branches are still kinda crazy, but fun! Yesterday Short and Leann were baptized. I've probably hardly talked about them, but they are the younger sisters of Elle, one of our other recent converts. They are super sweet.

Besides that it really was such a normal week. I'll fill you in on some of our investigators I guess!

Brak Kneesock: 2nd Branch. She has actually been learning quite a while, before I even started in this branch. But she really wasn't progressing very much. A few weeks ago we finished up all the lessons and getting close to her baptism date, but I really didn't feel like she was ready for that, so I just straight out asked her if she had faith in Heavenly Father, she said she didn't yet. (By the way, it is so much easier to just ask people things straight out.) Anyway, right after that she started working all the time and we didn't see her for like 2-3 weeks. And then just this last week she stopped working and we met with her again. Things have totally changed! The reason she started working was because her husband walked out on her, long story short she was in a really desperate situation and she sincerely prayed to Heavenly Father. She felt like she received help too. Now she is back willing to learn and she came to church for 2 hours yesterday! (2 hours is a lot here, believe me.)

Ming Laundry: 2nd Branch. She is the Aunt of one of our most active young men. Over the past probably 5+ years she has learned with missionaries off-and-on but never progressed because she couldn't give up drinking. Same thing happened with Sister Kuoch and Sister Mok a couple months ago. But she then got really sick and the doctor told her she HAD to stop drinking, and she has! Now we are teaching her again and she's doing awesome! She is just a sweet lady and she is coming to church every week! She even came to conference a few weeks ago!

Ming Cat: 1st Branch. This one is hard. Sister Payne and I actually taught her a few lessons like 3 months ago and they were CRAZY! She knows so much about buddhism and pretty much every lesson turned into her teaching us about buddhism or her reciting like buddhists do. She stopped learning back then, but now she wants to learn again. This time around it actually seems a little better, but I think she still thinks our church is like buddhism  and so she wants to chant all her prayers and everything we teach her... it's tricky. She is super sweet though and she came to church last week. I think if we can get her to stop drinking she will pick up on lessons a lot more as well.

Homestar: 1st Branch. She is just a sweetheart. She is the younger sister of one of our other recent converts. She wanted to be baptized like months ago, but she didn't get approved to be taught because her parents aren't members. But she has been coming to church like every week since last June, so I finally decided that was just not okay and I was going to ask for approval again. I did and she is approved! So now we are teaching her and she is super awesome!

Moiraine: 1st Branch. Oh Moiraine. You've heard a lot about her already. She is so smart and understands the scriptures so well. She prays and comes to church. She has been out of town lately off-and-on though so we haven't met her as much. She is so awesome in everything except that she won't commit to be baptized. I'm not sure what to do with her. Where is the point where you decide they aren't progressing? I know in the states that some people take a few years to be baptized, but here this is so different than normal so I don't know what to do! Usually they either do or do not want to be baptized. I think as long as she still has the desire to keep learning I'll still meet with her. I just wish she would commit, I know that she will be so happy!!

That's the most interesting of our investigators right now. We received a few more referrals this week as well, so we'll hopefully have a few more investigators this week too! We actually don't really have time for that but, I'm excited anyway! I'll make time!

Now for one cultural thing of the week. They do this thing that I like to call the sniff kiss. It's like, they are kissing, but instead they just sniff... mom's do it all the time to their babies. Mostly that's actually the only time I've seen it. But they do it ALL the time. And I was looking up how to spell the word for kiss in the dictionary and it actually mentions this! I'm not sure when this started or where it came from, but it's definitely a thing. And it's not just any old sniff, it's like a really powerful sniff. Hmm... that probably makes no sense but it's just the bizarre-est thing!

Now for the last news of the week. It seems as though I will be training this next transfer. So starting on Friday, I will have a new companion fresh from either the USA or fresh from Cambodia. I actually can't tell you how much this is not okay. Somewhere along the way I think my mission president got the idea that I'm doing really well here. The truth is, I think I put on a good show, but I'm really not at this point yet. I am scared to death either way, American on Khmer. Either way there are going to be hurdles to jump. I know that probably to you at home 6 months in the country sounds like a long time and you would think I have the language down and the culture down and everything else down that I am supposed to, but that is a myth! The language doesn't come after 6 months! One thing I have going for me is I think I at least have the organizational, administrative stuff down. I can do that much. I know at home you are probably rolling your eyes and saying to each other "she'll be fine." But what you should probably be doing is either laughing on the floor or praying for me. Actually probably do both. Okay I'll stop being dramatic, but actually that's really really the truth right now. But mostly this will just be a lot of fun! I'm sure I'm about to have a lot of great embarrassing, frustrating experiences that will make me laugh! I won't know if I'm training Khmer or American until this friday when we are all in the training meeting and they announce my name and my trainee's name and we stand up and look at each other across the room. All I know is, I'm grateful for the stress management book that the church just put out to all missionaries this past week that tells us how to deal with our stress. It just might come in handy. Pray for me! Pray for her! Brothers, tell me your experiences with training, PLEASE!


Sister Homer

probably the coolest word I've seen yet. You probably don't know, but those are like all the same letter over and over again, haha love it!

Short + Leann and fam

sweet short + leann

As promised, here are pictures. These are like the traditional clothes they dress up in and take pictures in all the time. Let me tell you, it was a true battle getting a second should on this outfit. Also, note that they definitely photoshopped like ALL my freckles out, hahaha!

Yes, I know this is comical and I look like a barbie and you should definitely be laughing right now. :)

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