Sunday, February 15, 2015

In Which I Celebrate a Wedding, a Funeral, and Another Funeral

Sister Choek and I in a tuk tuk on the way to the mission home for transfers.

Cumriabsua friends!

It's been a strange week, but a good one! I'm officially in my fourth transfer now. AKA I'm getting old. 

This week (because of various reasons) we didn't have a whole lot of proselyting time. Sister Choek got sick and we spent a few days at home. Unfortunately these days coincided with every life event to occur in the neighborhood. In Cambodia when there's a wedding or a funeral, people put up a giant tent in the street in front of their house and have a party. At the beginning of the week it was a wedding, blasting music through the whole house. It made going to sleep at 9:30 pm a laughable idea. Tuesday we had President and Sister Moon come to do a cleaning check, so Monday night we cleaned the house. With the music blasting, it reminded me of those late-night cleaning parties I would have with my roommates before cleaning checks.

And then on Tuesday someone died. I don't know who, but it must have been someone important because the funeral lasted for FIVE DAYS. And then they took the tent down, only to put up another one yesterday... My comp told me that they usually have another funeral seven days after the person died. So we've had Buddhist monks chanting all day every day this week. Cambodians LOVE speakers. I've been in little, run-down houses, where the speakers take up a quarter of the house, no joke. Disturbance of the peace is not a thing here. So we'll be happy when sleeping and study time returns to normal. 

So I've had a lot of downtime this week. And you can only read The Book of Mormon in Khmer with your fingers in your ears for so many hours. Luckily on Monday Sister Choek and I bought some projects at the market! Sister Choek is always crocheting something at night before bed. But one really popular thing in Cambodia is cross stitch. My investigator in Kampongcham (Bong Naid) would always be working on one. Lot's of times they have lots of colors and glitter and are a bit over the top for my tastes. But I found one that's really pretty. It's of the countryside with Angkhor Wat in the background. It has monks and school children in uniforms and coconut trees, and it's a very familiar scene. I figure it'll be a cool souvenir and easy to bring home. The only problem is I did not realize how enormous it was. It's soo huge. It's like 3 feet by 2 feet. Soooo good thing I have a whole year left. And I will probably be working on it after that too. 

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting with our district leader (he finished his mission this week). To celebrate we went to a place called Shabu Shabu. It's one of those hot pot type places where the food comes by on a conveyer belt. SO FUN. You just sit there and you can grab whatever you want. We went with a lot of missionaries and we all sat in a line. I feel like you can do other things with this conveyer belt idea. Also I ate sushi! I had been missing sushi.

Saturday was Valentines Day. And for Valentines Day this year, I got a new companion. I think I mentioned this last week, but Sis Choek transferred to Battambong. I think she will like it a lot there. She was ready to go. And my new comp is Sister Khim! And she's so awesome! She actually served here before. She started her mission here, but ended up only serving here for three weeks. But she's always wanted to come back. So she's super excited to be here. Even though it was a year ago when she served here, she remembers a lot of the members and she even know some less actives that I don't. She probably knows the area better than me! 

But I'm really excited to serve with her. She's got a really good attitude and she's excited to work. I feel like we're going to get lots of good work done here and I'm excited about it. And never you fear, I am still speaking Khmer all the time. Maybe one of these days it'll get easier...

Not a whole lot of news from the week, but things are going well here in Pochentong. I'll end with a cool experience from a member this week. Well it didn't happen this week, but she shared it this week. This comes from Ming Samay. I've talked about her a little bit. She's so good. She's a counselor in the relief society right not, but she practically runs the ward from behind the scenes. If you don't know where a member who's been inactive for ten years lives, she does. And she'll drop everything she's currently doing to lead you to their house. I knew that she and her husband were the first people from Cambodia to get sealed, but I didn't know the story. Shortly after the church came to Cambodia, President Hinckley visited.  He spent time with the local leaders, and at the time Ming Samay's husband was a branch president. He told him specifically that he and his family needed to start doing everything they could to go to the temple together. So they did. And then several years later, he unexpectedly passed away when he was only in his 40s. But how cool is that? That revelation came directly from a prophet. And their family is so solid even though they've had a rough time. Ming Samay and her five kids hold the ward together. We had ward conference yesterday and we sustained the ward leaders. Two of her sons are the Teachers and Deacons' Quorum presidents. And her oldest son is our ward mission leader!

Speaking of ward conference. It was great! I had never met the Stake President before, but he's great! They taught for both second and third hour. Third hour was really cool. President Ang taught about wards working together in unity. He likened the ward to a boat (one of those racing boats they have in Cambodia with the million paddlers). And he said if the Bishop had to do it alone it wouldn't work. But then he had someone from each auxiliary of the ward come up and he said if they all paddle together, then we will get to where we need to go. He even had a powerpoint!! It was pretty high tech. 

So anyways. Good week. With at least 6 more good ones to come!


Sister Fields

Our district, not a great picture, but Sister Choek and I look cute!
Exchange day at the mission home.

Eating at Shabu Shabu.

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