Cambodia is still great and I am still loving it and super optimistic :) This week was way fun! On Wednesday, we finally got to do service!!!! On our way to service, we had to take this mile long bridge made completely of bamboo to a tiny little island where our entire district plus our zone leaders helped a member harvest rice. My knees are still swollen from kneeling and I've got a few callouses but I'm so happy. It's difficult to serve people sometimes when you can't speak but being able to do actual physical labor made me incredibly happy because it was a different kind of service than we usually do. The members fed us afterwards and by gol it was so goood. Sister Brown and I sat down with one of the Bongs after eating and helped her wash the dishes and just talked to her and it felt so nice because there was no pressure or anything. It was just a nice casual conversation and tons of dirty dishes. Later that day, we headed to English class and the Elders made me translate the spiritual thought from English to Khmer. I was so nervous that I was literally turning red the entire time and getting feverish haha. But with divine help from the Lord, I didn't mess up anyone's chance at salvation I don't think. 😬
And then on Thursday, since my trainer is a Sister Training Leader, she went on exchanges with Sister Semones to Battambang and I stayed in Kampong Cham with Sister Ren and Sister Brown who we share an apartment with. It is so interesting to see how different companionship do things. Sister Brown and Ren literally contact everyone they see and are literally afraid of no one. It was so fun being with them and definitely have been three of my favoritest days so far. Being with Sister Brown was super helpful because she just got to Cambodia too and like me, her language skills are not too hot but she literally talks to everyone. The entire time I was with her I was just like, 'huh. I'm really quiet compared to her". And so this week, my goal is to talk to everyone and contact as much people as possible because everyone deserves to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! We went and visited one of Sister Nhem, Sister Semones, and I's investigators. Her name is Bong Taa. She's super nice and has a baby and is always just sitting outside on her hammock. We taught her about the Law of Chastity and her sister and aunt? neighbor? not sure, sat in on the lesson. They easily remembered all the points and it was way cool. Bong Taa's only problem is that her husband is currently working in Phnom Penh and lives there because of his job and they aren't legally married and that's keeping her from receiving baptism. And I guess that is the problem with more than half this country. No one is legally married, they just have a traditionally ceremony and then live together. We encourages her to try her best to get the paper work done, because she wants to get baptized because she said that God gave her a miracle and healed her baby. Hopefully ervything works out. We also visited Sum Si Niat who just got back from living in Vietnam for 3 months with her boyfriend. She's in the same situation but keeps asking us if she can get baptized already. Yesterday, she even asked the Branch President if she could get baptized on Christmas hahah. We're working with her and are super optimistic.
While going out with Sister Brown and Sister Ren, we visited a lot of less-active members and shared with them the message of CHRISTMAS! We tried to help remind them of the importance of Jesus Christ and tried to get them to come back to church. Everyone always says they will come and then no one ever comes. I just want them to be happy. Everyone we visited told me I looked Khmer which made me super happy because I want to be Khmer sooo bad. I just want to understand these people and their situations so I can help them, but with it being Christmas, I was just reminded that that's not my role. That's the Savior's job. Through Him, everything is possible -- even learning this language! My role is just to share that with others and help them see that He lives and He knows them and understands and wants to help. This morning when I was studying in 3 Nephi 17-18, I was so touched by the love Jesus had for the people. It is such a tender moment in the scriptures. And for maybe just a moment I felt an immense love for the Khmer people. I know that this gift of charity is only from the Lord. I feel closest to Him when I feel it overtaking my soul and I feel so far away from Him when I let myself feel frustrated or angry at others. I'm forever grateful for the Savior's perfect example.
All in all, this was a very interesting week. Someone told me I looked italian??? Sister Nhem found out she is going back to the city next week for three days and we get to go with her because she is graduating!! How many people can say they graduated university while on their mission?? Crazy. Anyway, this will be such a fun week because CHRISTMAS!! I hope you all get to share this tender holiday with your families and remembering all that the Savior has done, does, and will do. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share that message with the people of Cambodia. Love you all and may you have the best week ever!!
PS sorry, i only have pictures from service :/
Picture 1 We harvested about three fields and it took a good two hours
Picture 3 Working hard