This past week I hit my 6-month mark. So crazy.... It does not feel like I’ve been gone for 6 months. It feels like just yesterday my family was dropping me off at the MTC, I walked into my classroom, my teacher started speaking Khmer to me, and I thought, "oh, crap... what have I gotten myself into??"But now look at me. I'm 1/3 of the way down. I can't believe it. I've already learned so much and can't wait to keep learning more.
Unfortunately this week was not very successful... Tuol Kork is very slow right now... Our investigator pool is still the same- none of them are really progressing. We still meet all of our less actives. It’s hard because Khmers love to talk about the drama that is going on in their lives or their health issues and I don't really know the vocabulary for that, so we go meet them and I’m lost for 45 minutes. I literally have no idea what they are talking about... Then we share our little scripture that we picked out for them, pray, and leave. I talk very little in the lessons, but I try to bear a powerful testimony and let them know that I know this gospel is true because that's what I’ve been called here to do. I have the vocabulary for that, so that's what I do. I do my best. (:
Wednesday was an interesting day. We went to a less actives, Ming Vangsom, but she was busy doing laundry (her job), so we couldn't meet with her. Sister Souen started helping her and I just kind of stood there awkwardly, but then after about 10 minutes I jumped in and started helping her too. She was way concerned because I didn't "ceh", which means I didn't know how to do laundry the way the Khmer’s do it. She was right. I have no idea how to do it, but I still wanted to help. Eventually she told me very kindly that I was being more of a nuisance than a help, but that I could take the clean cloths and wring the water out of them and put them back in the basket, so that's what I did. As all of this was playing out, a crowd of about 11 people had gathered- old, young, male, female. Apparently they had never seen an American do laundry by hand. I thought they were impressed with me, but as I listened more closely to what they were saying I realized that they were all criticizing me and saying that I was doing it wrong. I just smiled, pretended like I couldn't understand, and kept doing what I knew how to do- wringing the water out. (: haha
Sunday I had the opportunity to translate during Sacrament Meeting for one of our senior couples, the Van Brocklins. They are the coolest couple ever!!! They walked in and asked me if I could translate for them. I had never done that before, so I was very hesitant and they could tell. Sister Van Brocklin took me by the hand and said, "I know you can do it. We just want to know the big picture. You can do that right?” I said yes and off we went. It was a way cool experience to realize that I know more than I give myself credit for. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and it helped me pay attention and get more out of the meeting than I would have if I hadn't been translating. It helped a lot that the topic was Elder Uchtdorf's talk from this past conference about Great Aunt Rose and Eva. I know that talk very well, so I was able to go based off of what I remembered from the talk instead of directly translate what the speakers were saying. Half way through the second speaker, the power shut off and I was so in the zone of translating that I almost said "okay, the power just shut off". But then I realized that that wasn't in Khmer and they could very easily see that for themselves. I just had to laugh about that. (:
Transfer Calls!!! I got the call last night that I am.... drum roll!!! Transferring to Tuol Senguy, which is about 15 minutes away from my current area, Tuol Kork. I will be companions with Sister Xiong, a sister that is my same age, from Alaska, she's 3 months older than me in the mission, she's half Hmong, and Hmong is her native language, but she speaks English too. I'm really really excited to see what this transfer holds in store for us. I think we have to potential to be a power duo and really help Tuol Senguy. I was really sad at first to be leaving Tuol Kork, my birth area, and all the members that I’ve formed such great relationships with like Srey Pov, but when I woke up this morning, I had the thought that it was time for me to leave, that I had done everything the Lord needed me to do in this area, so keeping that in mind, I am diving head first into Tuol Senguy. I am going to try my hardest to speak as much Khmer as I can and really try my hardest to help the members come unto Christ, help them become converted to this amazing gospel. I have faith in the Lord that this is the next step for me in my mission. (:
Sorry this email wasn't very cool. I always have such high expectations for my emails and then I finish writing them and think "man, that does not do what I’m doing here justice what so ever. I'm having so many experiences here on my mission that I just can't put into words or even try to explain them. I'm learning so much and even though it's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, I know that this is where I’m supposed to be right now. As I continue putting my trust in the Lord and submitting my will to His I will see miracles; that is one that I love about being a missionary, you can always expect miracles.
Aren't they the cutest??