Monday, September 21, 2015

White Girl, Smiling

Dear Family and Friends, 

I have officially survived my first full week in the mission and it has been full of adventures and new experiences! I have loved it!  The subject line of my email explains me in a nut shell.  All the Cambodian kids and people come up to me and want to talk but I can’t understand them so I just smile.  So we spent last pday in the hospital with a sister who had some weird infection on her face. There were 4 sets of sisters there and basically it was just a party! We got some Burger King and made a day of it. And oh my goodness. the hospital she was in was SO nice. Nicer than some of the ones in America. It's called Royal Phnom Penh. Sounds like a hotel, doesn't it? After our day at the "hotel" we went and met our investigators, the four girls. We were done with the lesson and the mom looked at me and told me that I had the same mannerisms as her youngest daughter, Srey Bow, (who is my favorite of the four girls. SSSSHHHHH! Don't tell anyone. (: ) and that just made my day. Even though I didn't understand what she was saying I was so happy and everyone just started laughing.
Tuesday we had our first district meeting and it was in the middle of China. For reals we just kept riding and riding. We ended up getting lost 4 different times, but somehow managed to make it there. It was hard to find it because it's just a normal building. You can't tell it's a church until you get inside. Our meeting was on unity with our companions and with the members. It was good. Our District leader is so funny. He is very quirky and can't really socialize with people, but his intentions are all good and you can tell that he loves being a missionary and serving the Cambodians. During the meeting we got a call from the sister AP's and we were needed at the hospital once again because Sister Harris (the sick one) and Sister Semones (my mtc comp) were going a little stir crazy being in there for so long, so we went to relieve them. We just chilled and talked and played some uno. She actually ended up getting released that day, but had a follow up appointment on Thursday and they are serving in one of the kites (provinces) so instead of going all the way back out there I had the brilliant idea to let them stay with us. SLEEPOVER!!!! so fun!. We had them come over and because sister semones hadn't really experienced missionary life, I let her go on an exchange with sister fields and go teach some lessons and i stayed with sister harris and had some language study. When they got back we made French toast and it was so so so good. I think i'm going to get fat here... It was fun having another companionship in our little apartment. Made it seem more home and not so lonely.
Wednesday we went to the railroad tracks. Yes people literally live right on the railroad tracks. We parked our bikes on the other side of the tracks and went to talk to one of our less actives. Right before we started the lesson we heard this loud noise and she got a very concerned look on her face. She jumped up crossed the tracks and started trying to move our bikes. The train was coming and our bikes were in the way... We had locked our bikes up, so they were extremely hard to move, she threw them out of the way just in time as the train came. Looking back we should have gone and tried to help her, but we were both in so much shock we didn't really  understand what was going on. The train was really long, so we awkwardly watching her from the other side of the tracks in between the carts. it was pretty comical. Could have been in a movie. We started teaching the lesson and there were stray roosters everywhere. For those of you who don't know, i am so afraid of birds, roosters included. Never have I been so close to one. and i swear the Cambodian roosters are even more scary than American roosters... I just had to hold my breath in order to not freak out!!! Next we went to a members house to visit with her less active mom. Her mom had refused to meet with the  missionaries for a while, but she decided to meet with us and it was a miracle. We taught on the atonement and at the end she said the closing prayer and just started bawling. She definitely felt the spirit. So powerful!!! After that we were just talking with the member and she was asking me questions and she made a prophecy... because i could already speak Khmer so clearly, i will pick the language up quickly and be a very clear speaker. I'm hoping she knows more than i do and that it really does happen. Right then her nephew came crawling in, the cutest little naked Cambodian baby you've ever seen and she started singing "I have been born of Nephi of old..."and the baby gets the biggest smile on his face. Apparently his name is Nephi and every time you sing that song he just gets to happy. He is a twin and his twin's name is Joseph and when you sing Joseph smith's first prayer he starts smiling. The most adorable thing ever!!! After our very eventful day we went to a restaurant called secret recipe. I got lasagna which was a bad idea because it was so greasy and made me way sick... I went home and slept for a good 2 hours. Then we went and taught English class. That was interesting. We teach the beginning class, so none of them really speak any English. I was in charge of explaining how to play hangman. How does a girl who can't speak any khmer really explain how to play hangman to a bunch of kids who don't speak any English? It was one of the more awkward things i've done in my life. But somehow they understand what I was saying and we were able to enjoy some killer hangman. They all thought it was the funniest thing, i'm still not sure why, but they were laughing hysterically and i couldn't help but laugh too. I met the Vietnamese elders and they are very nice. 
Nothing exciting happened on Thursday... that i can remember. Oh, wait sister harris and sister semones came back to our apartment, long story why they didn't stay Wednesday with us, but we stayed up eating oreos and talking about Disneyland, so i was a happy camper. (: 
Friday we had training with President Christensen. That was really really good. Got me more excited about being here, which i didn't think was possible. We learned about personal and companionship study and about mission culture then we had a donuts break. So delicious!!!! then we learned about records and MSF, just some house keeping business. Then we had lunch. Really delicious sandwiches!! Then we had another meeting on something, i can't remember, and had a testimony meeting. and then had dinner. We had Cambodian curry and it was delicious!!! It was so nice to see all my MTC friends again. I really really missed them. Sad thing, i won't see them again til Christmas. It's kind of cruel that they make us spend 9 weeks in the mtc together and then just tear us apart... I don't like that. As we were leaving we were able to meet Elder Funk,  a member of the area presidency. He is so sweet! Then the Ap's drove us home. Holla for cars. (: 
Church was long as usual. I had a headache after, but that's okay. One of the speakers spoke on the articles of faith and it took me all the way til the 7th to realize what he was speaking on... haha. Then they talked a lot about temples and it made me miss my temple so much. That is going to be a real challenge for me over the next 16 months. Not being able to go to the temple. AH, i already miss it so much!!!! There is more that happened, but I can't remember it and i am running out of time. We are getting ready to go to the mission home to get some supplies for contacting and all that fun stuff. (: 

Sister Zoe Loftus 

Still trying to come up with a catch phrase... 
Sister Loftus and the girls

Selfie at the hospital

Sister Loftus and Cambodian children-she loves them!
View outside the hospital

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