Suasdei krom kruasaa robah khnom!
This week was another good one! Surprise! One of the coolest things that happened this week was with our investigator Ming Slippy. I've told you about her and how she kinda indefinitely will not be baptized unless something big changes, BUT she is still coming to chuch every week and the gospel is making a big impact on her life. It's really cool. Well, she doesn't know how to read, but really wants to. So, we have been going and reading the kids Book of Mormon with her so she can remember the pictures. But she has been trying so hard to learn to read, and all of the sudden she can like, just read. She obviously had some foundation somewhere in her mind. But seriously, it is incredible to watch her learning to read! She tries so hard on each word and she gets to the end of the sentence and is just exhausted. But she's doing it and she is SO EXCITED!! And the amazing this is, she's learning with the scriptures. And she says that is the main reason she wants to learn, is so she can study the things we learn about at church. I know that Heavenly Father is really helping her because of her righteous desire. It's amazing!
But this is actually an interesting thing that Sister Davis and I were discussing this week about uneducated people here in Cambodia. There are two young girls who come to English class and they don't know a lick of English. So I have been going through and teaching them the alphabet. The thing is, it's not sticking. It is so so difficult for them. And I've thought so much about why that is, and I think it is because they aren't very educated even in Khmer. One of them literally doesn't go to school - doesn't know Khmer script. And I think that like, because they never really learned how to learn, and we know their parents don't help at home, they are just in this state where learning new things is really, really hard. It is FASCINATING. And so sad to see. Especially because the one who knows nothing, honestly is smart. You can see it when she looks through the picture book I have, she devours it. Never have I ever felt so strongly about parents helping to educate their children even from the time they are in diapers. It is so important!!!!!!! You really do need to learn how to learn at a young age, otherwise, it appears later in life you just will struggle!
K so, remember that amazing girl I told you about last week, Srei Katie. Well, she called us this week and wanted to ask us some questions, so we met with her. I don't know how it is possible, but she got even more amazing. We were answering her questions and she just started bawling. She wants to join the church so bad but she is so discouraged because she can't. She is incredible. She is brilliant. She has more conviction for this gospel than most people I have ever met, even in Utah. I can't describe her to you, but she is amazing! Absolutely astonishing! And she really does get it! She is asking like deep doctrinal questions. I am just praying so hard for her parents hearts to be softened.
So, we have another amazing member in this branch who I'm pretty sure I've told you about before. Her name is Ming Samantha and we go and read the little kids' Book of Mormon to her because she can't read. Well we went this week and she brought it out and she wanted to review from the beginning. She sat there and recited chapter after chapter by just looking at the pictures, and she was so accurate. There were very few inaccuracies. It was amazing! The Book of Mormon stories have really sunk deep into her heart. She is absolutely incredible. The spirit was so sweet in her house. She is just one of the purest people I've ever met.
SO, update on our amazing investigator Srei Tracie. She is so golden. She is probably the most golden investigator I've had my whole mission. Well, her house is actually in Pochentong branch boundaries. She really, really didn't want to go there ,and we told her we would just ask if she could still go to our branch because her house is so close and everyone else in Cambodia goes to whatever branch they want anyway. Well, I talked to President Moon, and it was a no. Which I'm really okay with because people need to be going to their right branches for the Church to grow here. BUT, anyway, we had to tell Srei Tracie, and she looked like she was just going to break into tears. We have done such a good job getting her integrated into this branch, it's been incredible, so it's reasonable why she doesn't want to change. But what Sister Melton and I did was help explain the big picture about eventually going to the temple, and fulfilling callings, and helping the Church grow in Cambodia. And then I shared with her about my experience coming to Cambodia. I told her about how all growing up I dreamed of going on a mission and then how Spanish became a big part of my life - my major - and how that was everything I wanted. And then how I got called to come to Cambodia. You all know the story. But I just helped her see that Heavenly Father's will really is so much more than ours. And sometimes it is hard, and sometimes it hurts, and sometimes we don't understand, but that is where faith and trust come in. And we know that Heavenly Father always has a plan for us. After all of that she was like "I really do have to go to Pochentong, don't I?" And we were like, "yes, yes you do." And then she was like "I'll do it because I know that I need to do what Heavenly Father wants me to do." WOW. She is amazing! I know you all are probably not understanding why changing branches is a big deal, but for whatever reason that is actually a REALLY big deal here in Cambodia that we are dealing with a ton. But I'm just amazed by Srei Tracie's faith. I'll be so sad to give her up, but not really because it's best for her and for the growth of Pochentong! So overall it was an amazing lesson!
You know it's the hot season in Cambodia when: You are dripping with sweat after you hang up your laundry to dry - inside your house. You see everyone riding around in multiple layers outside, including scarves, gloves, hats, etc. Multiple times during the week you literally think you are going to pass out, oops. Yay for hot season!
Love you all family!!!! Hope all is well! I would try and crack a good April fool's day joke right now but...I've got nothing. Remember that time dad pretended like he was going to be a General Authority?? That seems to still be ingrained in my mind... painful, painful experience.
brammuay khai tiat cuab knia!!!!!