Sunday, August 31, 2014

The beginning of the end


Well, this week started my last transfer and my last planner. It's safe to assume that this will be my last area and my last companion as well. How did it all come to this? And yet everything is still just kind of the same. People are STILL asking my about my freckles and trying to convince me to get rid of them. Come on guys! 

This was actually quite a good week. I feel like we worked hard and accomplished a lot! Yes! We kind of have like no investigators (we have 1 that we meet once a week...) so our time is spent visiting less active members. Also this week we spent quite a lot of time finding members who are just kind of "lost sheep." Honestly, it has been so fun! And I feel like we have been very successful as well! We found one girl who served a mission in the states like 10 years ago and met with her and she came to church yesterday!! Success! Also we have found a few others. Also along with this we are updating our CBRs. 

I think I have talked about CBR's before a little but let me explain. They are Convert Baptism Records. (I think...) Basically addresses are like useless in Cambodia and sometimes non-existent, so when someone gets baptized we need a way to keep track of where they are. So we create a CBR which is just a paper with a picture of them, their information, and a map we draw so later missionaries can find where they live. Think of, like, a complex ward directory. So sometimes people get lost and you have to find them according to the map, which based on how the map is, it's a joke! So we are going through and getting good pictures for people and updating maps and really trying to find as many people as possible! I'm a little bit addicted right now but I think it's a good obsession. 

Also I realized that missions are kind of like getting a tattoo. It's really painful. And it's really permanent. It's like someone has injected a bunch of gospel ink into my heart and soul and it's really going to be there forever. I'm permanently changed.

I forgot to tell you that a couple weeks ago I saw Elder Christensen in the mission home! He sounds like he is doing really well!  Haha, he is definitely going through the adjustment. It is so funny to hear him say things and it makes me think back to when I experienced it. But he really sounds like he is doing great. Also he has been serving in the same ward as Sister Melton, and Sister Melton told me that he has these magic tricks that he does for the members here and THEY LOVE IT!! Haha I was dying when Sister Melton told me. It sounds super cool!

We have one Ming that we work with, Ming Rhoda, and she is a sweetheart. She is kind of less active because her husband got SO SICK and can't work, so she has been constantly working to provide for her family. What does she do for work? She pulls a cart around finding recycle-ables. Trash Mountain style. AKA, she isn't earning much. But she still goes to church a lot of weeks. Anyway, we felt like we should teach her about tithing. That is kinda scary when she is so poor. But we prepared the lesson especially about the blessing we receive. It was so neat because after we had talked about it she responded by saying "thank you, sisters!" Wow. What incredible faith. My heart was truly touched by her response. 

Also something that we hear A LOT here from our less-active members is: "It's okay if I can't go to church.  I read my scriptures and say my prayers at home instead." And while I'm happy that you are doing that, really no. It's not enough. There is really only so much progression you can do at your home. The gospel is really a lot about DOING. You can say you have faith all you want but until you start doing something about it, it's kinda pointless. That is something I'm learning a lot about here on my mission. 

I also think Cambodia is one big workshop on the WHY of the gospel - the whole reason for any of this. And you can be doing all the right steps but still be missing the why. And on the other hand you can totally understand the why but still be too lazy to do anything about it. It's giving me so much to think about. Really the gospel is actually quite simple and quite easy. It takes faith for sure, but that is kind of it. It's really neat when I see that in the lives of these members. 

On a random note, we randomly contacted the uncle of a missionary here! We stopped to talk to this lookpuu and were talking with him and he's like, "my nephew is Elder Khem", and we were like... wait, what? And yeah, turns out it really was! So we had a really good talk with him! It was super funny. But he still wasn't that interested in learning. 

Also I've had multiple people tell me they think I'm taller than before. Could that be true? 

And just because I realized that there is no way any of you are saying the name of my area, Chamkarmon, correctly, I will tell it to you. It is pronounced kind of like Jum-ga-moon. Khmer's do some funny things with English letters. 

Also last, but definitely not least. You know how I have had some interesting conversations with my Khmer companions over the months about things that you would think they know. WELL this one probably tops it. Sister Kean asked me how many months are in America. Which led into a discussion about time, which led into the rotation of the planet, and how the earth is indeed a sphere, and I didn't even want to get into the solar system. SHE DIDN'T KNOW OUR EARTH WAS ROUND! She didn't know the rotation of the planet is one day! There are so many things that she didn't know!! How can this be?! How is this possible! How can one live to the age of 24 and now know our earth is a sphere! I'm flabbergasted. Seriously my mind has been blown.

Hopefully that gives you something to think about. I love you all! I hope you have a good week!

Sister Homer

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