Monday, December 14, 2015

In Which We Go Caroling in the Park

Caroling night.


So things are beginning to look a little like Christmas. Emphasis on "a little." Actually, I've been surprised by how much we do see signs of Christmas. There are Christmas trees in some of the more Western type shops along the street. Our bakery around the corner went all out with decor. It's a little different from being Kampongcham last Christmas, where it seems like no one knew what Christmas was. Here, they still don't really understand, but they know that it is a holiday that exists. We are giving out Christmas pass-along cards again this year with the new video the church put out this season. If you haven't seen it, go watch it here:

Personally, I liked last year's better. There's something a little weird about all these kids. But of course, the message is good. It would be cool to share it with members and investigators, but unfortunately we are not iPad missionaries like some... After you watch it, go onto youtube and watch Wham!'s "Last Christmas" music video for me. Just do it once for me, please. Thanks. 

So the Christmas season is in full swing between our new contacting initiative and we have a 12 Days of Christmas personal study program going on. So it's pretty fun. It's a good, easy, natural way to get people interested in Christ. What better time to learn about Christ then on his birthday? 

And the Church is putting on some Christmasy events. Unfortunately our ward's Christmas party is an all day hike. Somehow that's related to Christmas. That's okay, the members are excited, us missionaries are only bitter because we don't get to go. But they had a big multi-stake Christmas devotional last night that was well done. A lot of music and some talks. For some reason a lot of the songs were in English (which was weird, because only about 10 percent of us in the audience understood). But some it was translated. And it was pretty nonetheless. 

Our investigator, Line, was able to come with us. It was kind of a funny story. We've only been able to meet her once. And for a long time now her phone has not been working. But before church I decided I might as well put her on the list of people to call to remind them about church. She picked up and said she'd be there. She stayed all three hours and then heard about the Christmas program and wanted to come, even though it was all the way on the other side of town at South Stake Center. So she biked over with us. I think she enjoyed it for the most part, but we had to wait forever for the elders to take us back home after it was over. So we ended up spending the day together. I'm not sure if she'll pick up when we call again, but we'll see. We got home well over curfew (whoops), but it was a lot of fun. I ran into a bunch of the Khmer sisters who have ended their missions already. It was like one big Christmas reunion, and who doesn't want that? 

We also got to go caroling on Friday night! All the trainers and koons got together for the all-day training at the mission home. At this point I've sat through it quite a few times, but it is still enjoyable because 1) free food 2) people I love. So it was still good times. And to end the day, they announced we would walk down to Independence monument park (a famous monument in PP where a ton of people and hooligans hang out every night). Nobody really had a plan and nobody thought to bring Khmer hymnbooks! So we first started out by singing Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer in a big group of fifty of us walking around. We decided quickly it was weird and ineffective, so we ended up splitting into groups and singing Christmas hymns. We'd walk up to a group of people and start singing to them and then corner them a little bit. Afterwards we'd share a little about Christmas and pass out our pass-along cards. Sometimes it worked and they'd clap for us. But quite often it was very awkward for them, and they would run away. Either way, we had a lot of fun. This it the first time I've ever sweated while caroling I think!

This week was just full of parties. Saturday night we had a ward FHE. It was just a low-key event. We sat in a circle and one of the counselors in the bishopric taught a little lesson. Then the Elders taught the ward how to play "Do you love your neighbor?" Have you ever played that game? We play it a lot in English class. It's pretty much like fruit basket. You run around and switch seats and try not to get stuck in the middle. Anyways, it was hilarious to watch everyone play. Everyone got way into it, even the old people. I have a super funny video I took of it on my camera. Oh! Mini-miracle. I met a former investigator at the activity. She didn't even know the activity was going on, but she decided to stop by the church that night and someone invited her to join in. I just happened to sit by her and started chatting and then realized that she had learned with the sisters months before but never got baptized! Turns out she got busy, but still wants to learn. Unfortunately she didn't have her phone number yet (she's getting a new one). And was too busy to come to church the next day. But she says she'll be there next week. So hopefully she will! We've already made plans to have her teach us how to make Khmer food and Sis H is gonna teach her how to make Korean food.

So it's been a good week. Between all our events and trying to make sense of our CBRs (finally), it didn't leave a ton of time for teaching lessons. And it seems like all of our investigators are just so busy all the time these days. We have a lot of them, but one of them progresses one week and then stops picking up the phone, and then another one will come to church out of the blue, but then has no time to meet in the week. So it's been a little tricky. But it's been nice to only be in one ward. More time to focus. And we really want to try to get to know some of the active members better in the ward. We have big plans in our zone to try and get home teaching/visiting teaching started. For now we're going to provide CBRs to our ward council. We'll see how it goes. 

But that's pretty much it for this week. Sorry, I'm taking the lazy route this week and just including links. There is a great talk about Christmas in this month's Liahona by Elder Christofferson. It's all about the simple peace that comes from Christ and this season. He invites us just to not over complicate things but just to breathe in the peace of the season. It's a good read.

Okay. That's all I got this week. Merry Christmas, friends!


Sister Fields

More caroling.

Me with former Sister Tieng and Sister Khim! Good times..

Selfie with our trooper investigator.

A brief video from a family who was picking up their missionary and met Sister Fields.

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