Oh wow, let me tell y'all, there is nothing in this world more refreshing than a Cambodian breeze (lhauy. I think it is technically rohauy, but a lot of the times in Cambodian you can swap out the "r" sound for an "l" sound. Everybody says it lhauy). We're right in the middle of the windy season right now, and it feels sooooooo nice, it's unbelievable. You cannot understand how nice these breezes feel. It's going to be like this till the end of December too! Yay! And then the hot season begins... dun Dun DUNNNNNN... Scary…
Stung Mean Chey is awesome. I had heard a lot that it was the dustiest part of the city and I can now confirm those rumors. I've kind of accepted that I'll be using an iron lung for the rest of my life once I return, because there is just too much dust in my lungs for them to work properly for the rest of my life. Elder Kim told me when we were riding the tuk-tuk into Stung Mean Chey that sometimes on bad days we'll be riding down the street and we won't be able to see each other because the dust will be so thick. I still don't know whether that was a joke or not... I can see it happening though. Sometimes when we would ride along Phlov Dei Hoy ("the dusty road", which is the eastern boundary of the Pochentong area, the road I lived along, and the road we always took we would go up to Saen Sok) the dust would get so bad that visibility was limited. Kind of scary. Cambodia is kind of a confusing place. Like it's super swampy, wet, and humid, but it's also the dustiest place ever! I don't understand. Like how can you have roads full of mud and air full of dust at the same time? Why don't scientists spend more time studying this conundrum? Send some over to Phnom Penh and I guarantee they'll be just as baffled.
Elder Kim is the coolest guy ever. He's 19 like me and he is actually in the group ahead of me, so we're really close in mission age as well! And since he's Khmae and he only attended the MTC for 3 weeks, he'll actually only finish his mission a transfer before me! (the American elders who started proselyting in Cambodia at the same time as him will finish two transfers before me). He comes from Tuk Thlaa, the area right next to Pochentong! I actually have been living in Tuk Thlaa the last three months. That's where our house was.
Haha side note: This week Elder Vout and I were talking one night about how frustrating it is that everybody works 24/7 here, and Elder Vout just told me "Mo' money mo' honey elder." Haha I died laughing. I was like "Who taught you that?!"
So my area is actually the area directly south of Pochentong. It's almost as big, although I think there is actually a western boundary for Stung Mean Chey. There isn't really one for Pochentong. It's huge though. Our house is just as big as the one in Tuk Thlaa, four stories, and once again it's just me and my companion in a huge house! Our house is perfectly situated though. It's a minute bike ride (actually more like 45 seconds) from the church (which is this beautiful beautiful chapel) and a thirty second bike ride from the supermarket and from the normal phsaar as well. It's awesome!
The Stung Mean Chey chapel has to be the nicest one I've been to yet in Cambodia. Yeah, the South and North stake ones are bigger, but I like this one more than those two. It has a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, a pingpong table, and a banana orchard, and right in the middle of the banana orchard is a soccer field! It's super cool. I'll take pics for y'all this next week.
Guess what?! We have a senior couple in Stung Mean Chey! They're in 3rd branch, but they always feed all of the Stung Mean Chey missionaries. We're going over for Thanksgiving on Thursday! YESSSS
This last week I was thinking a lot about how "grownup" I am. I was like "wow I'm so independent! I live over 9000 miles away from home, my parents have no idea what I'm doing, I only communicate with my family through email once a week, I buy my own food, I make my own food, I take care of myself for the most part..." But then I got to thinking, being independent isn't what really matters. I shouldn't measure my growth off how "independent" I've become. My personal growth should be measured by how dependent I've become; how dependent on the Savior; how dependent on His Atonement; how dependent on my relationship with my Heavenly Father... That's what its all about. Being independent is great and all, and maybe that's what the world defines as maturity, but I think becoming spiritually dependent on our Heavenly Father and on His Son Jesus Christ is so much more important. Becoming spiritually mature enough to realize how helpless we really are without them is essential. As we all strive to develop closer relationships with Heavenly Father through prayer, I know that we will find greater purpose and meaning in this life, and we will find greater help in overcoming all of our obstacles. I know that as we strive to humble ourselves and heal ourselves through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will realize how infinite His love for us really is.
I love everybody at home! Have a great time in San Francisco fam! Hope it’s amazing! Remember to send pics! Thanks for the Christmas packages too! Y’alls and Honey and Grandpa's arrived this week. I haven't opened them yet, I promise!
Love Elder Burger
At a sort of botanical garden type thing called Comkaa Pring. It's actually in Pochentong, but I didn't find it till this last week.
Me and Puu Vichet
|Puu Vichet's son|
|Mao Sophon, aka the funniest human being alive|
|Me and Puu Mongkol, an investigator I've been working with since I got here. (p.s. don't worry if people aren't smiling in some of these pictures. They're happy, I promise. It's just not their culture to smile for pictures)|
|Me, Taa Saay, and his son Kong|
|Elder Vout, me, and Abraham. I am convinced he is the oldest person in Cambodia who was born into the church. His mom and dad were baptized back in 1994 or 1995. Abraham was born in 1996 (I think).|
|President Lom Ang, Marida, and their two kids. They fed us Thursday night. They always do a dinner for missionaries who transfer away.|
|Elder Vout's helmet is held together by plastic zippy things. Whenever we ride past little kids they always point and call him "antenna". He tells everybody that it's a wifi server and that they'll get free wifi if they learn with us. Haha.|