Monday, May 4, 2015

In Which I Move to Battambang (or will soon, at least)

We played a game where everyone had to go around the circle naming a fruit and remembering all the fruits everyone else said. Needless to say I did not win and thus the cake on the face.

Well, I have some news. This is officially the last letter you will receive from me from the dusty roads of Pochentong. Transfer calls came last night and I'm headed to Battambang! I'm really excited! I will admit it, I was ready for a change. I was trying not to get my hopes up, but I really was wanting to go back to the khets (provinces). And that's where I'm headed! Last night my comp and I were headed home when the phone rang and it was President Moon! But then it stopped after just a few seconds, so we didn't know what to think! Usually President only calls if you will be training or fulfilling some other assignment, but we knew that there weren't any new missionaries coming in this transfer. So the whole ride home we were speculating about it. I always get so anxious about transfer calls. It's like the night before signing up for classes for BYU. So much adrenaline. (Okay, I'm not really an adrenaline seeker, guys). Regardless, he called again while we were planning and asked if I could serve as a sister training leader in Battambang 1st Branch with Sister A. Woo-hoo! So on Friday I'll head to the mission home and then hop on a 6-hour bus ride out to my new area! As for Sister Phon, she will be staying here, but serving in two areas. President is combining Pochentong with Sensok, and she and Sister Khim will be together. They're excited about that too, so it's good all around!

So that was by far the most exciting news of the week. To be honest I can't really remember much of what happened this week. But we did have some success with our investigators. On Tuesday we met with a new investigator. She was a referral from the APs and she seems really prepared to learn. When we talked to her on the phone, we misunderstood where she was from, and we thought she lived far out and only had a bike to ride. But when we met up with our member help, who helped us find the house, we realized she was much closer to the church than we had originally thought. In fact, she could probably even walk if she had to. So that was a definite blessing. Her name is Bong Theary. She's young, married, with two young children. And she lives with a lot of extended family who I think we might have some success teaching as well. She's busy taking care of her children and she cooks and does housework for the whole family, but she has the desire to learn. So I'm excited for her!

Also, on Sunday I don't know what happened. But we had 4 POTENTIAL INVESTIGATORS show up to church. It was the strangest thing. Two different members brought friends who are interested in learning. And then another woman just showed up because she had been interested in coming to a Christian church for a while and saw our doors were open. And to be honest, I don't even know where the last one came from. But we have quite the growing pool of investigators of the past few weeks. It's been 4.5 months here, and I can count the investigators I've had on one had (except for the past few weeks). So I'm not sure why, just as I leave, the work is really starting to grow. But that's okay. I can say that I left the area better than I found it, and that's always the goal! It was actually kind of a strange Sunday for investigators to come. We had area conference for all of Asia. (Which, sidenote: next Asia area conference maybe Mason and I will get to watch it together!). But the problem was the technology wasn't working. So we waited. Eventually the bishop said we would go up to the stake center to watch it. Which produced mass chaos for a second as we tried to figure out how to get everyone to the other building. Seriously it was like a scene from the Titanic: get all the women and children on the motos first! But eventually they got things worked out, even though we had to watch it on a laptop. I won't lie, I did not get a whole lot out of it (it was all in Khmer). But it was a lot of good talk about families. Elder Nelson spoke. 

Also this week we were able to attend family home evening at Ming Samay's house. Bong Pich and her children were able to come to. So with Ming Samay's five children and Bong Pich's two, it was a lot of fun. Boran, our Branch Mission leader, Ming Samay's son, and the one who is about to leave on his mission to California, taught a good lesson about humility. And it was good to see all the kids get involved. We were going to have it outside where we usually meet at their home, but as we were about to get started, it suddenly started pouring. So we all squished into the house together where were were safe from the rain. It was a lot of fun.       
And that's about it for the week. Nothing too crazy to report on. Oh but here's a funny moment of the week. Hermana Davis shares a funny moment every week, and I should start doing that... This came from zone training we had on Friday. Our Khmer zone leader was teaching about goal setting. And he shared an example that President Moon had shared from their training meeting. He called in the story of "the chmaa and the srey s'aat" or the cat and the pretty girl, which all of us were unfamiliar with until his American companion translated it to Alice and Wonderland. We were all dying. It's funnier in Khmer

And last, to end with a spiritual thought. I'm continuing my studies of Paul and today I came across another gem. 2 Corinthians 12. Pull out your scriptures and look it up. But especially verses 7-12:

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Paul glories in his weaknesses because (like we learn in Ether 12:27) weaknesses are what draw us closer to Christ and help teach us about the enabling power of the atonement. I've learned a lot here in Pochentong. And I've learned a lot in particular about weaknesses and trials and "the refiner's fire." And I've felt a lot like Paul in verse 8 asking the Lord to take away the trials. But instead He did and continues to do what is better and wiser for me. He strengthens me to withstand the trials and my weaknesses. Because His grace is sufficient. And like Paul, I can say. that it is when I am weak that I am truly strong. Humility is the ultimate sign of spiritual strength. In our humility we recognize the Lord's will and we accept His plan and His timing. And when we do that, we recognize just how much we can learn and grow from our experiences. And I'm really grateful for the experiences I've had over the past few months in this little corner of  Cambodia.

Well, that's all for this week! See you next week in Battambang!


Sister Fields

FHE at Ming Samay's.

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