Saturday, January 2, 2010

October 28, 2009

All the dogs here hate us. No joke!!! They see white people and immediately freak out. The big black ones are always the scariest. Go figure.

My Khmae has SKY ROCKETED in the last week or so. I don't know what you and the family are saying in your prayers and if God just had extra blessings left over and decided to give them to me, but WOW!!!! I have learned so much Khmae this week. Most of the time I can understand people now. For two months Elder Sweeten was always on me about talking more because I would never talk to anyone. But I committed myself to just talk to people even though I don't know any Khmae, and HOLY HEAVENS I know a TON of Khmae for only having been here for 2 and 1/2 months. As of yesterday I've officially been an Elder for 5 months. CRAZY HUH? But I read the dictionary everyday looking for new words. And I hear the words I read like 50 times that day. It’s crazy. I've learned so many of these stupid ticky tacky words but man it makes a huge difference in understanding. I learned solar eclipse and lunar eclipse the other day and a slang way to say that someone is Chinese. And then I heard them that day! It’s nuts. In about a month or two I'm going to buy this famous yellow Khmae dictionary that is strictly in Khmae. Some Khmae dude spent his whole life writing it and it has every Khmae word and phrase on the planet. So after I'm done reading Jesus the Christ I'm going to buy that dictionary and read it every night before I go to bed.

The Senior Couple Elder baptized the girl. So I still haven't gotten a chance. But I'm hoping my patience will be rewarded by God. We have 7 people who are going to be ready in November to be baptized. So hopefully that will work out and I'll get to baptize at least one of them. Some have more faith that I do. No idea how you're supposed to teach someone like that. But hey, I won't complain.

I started a remembrance book, where I give it to people to write in it. And they put pictures and write about things. It’s really sweet. But you won't be able to read it. It’s in Khmae. Haha.

I'm completely used to eating rice now and actually enjoy eating it for every meal.

It’s really tough teaching people. They see you’re white then assume you’re rich. So when they find out that we don't have money to give them they instantly stop listening. And we get called "Jesus" a lot, which is weird in English. But in Khmae it makes sense, for Buddhists reasons that I don't feel like explaining.

I'm slowly but surely starting to forget English. Sometimes I formulate sentences in English but using Khmae grammar. It’s bad. When I get a Khmae companion and speak Khame every second of everyday, then it'll get really bad. I've gotten to the point where I can almost pull out all the words that I don't know when someone is talking. Unless they talk really fast, or use super deep words like when they talk about the Khmer Rouge, they use a lot of deep words. I can't understand most of it. But I can understand a little, and it’s disgusting. One guy we were talking to last night said that they would feed them people that had been killed. And President Smedley's 1st counselor told us his story...he had watched all his brothers and sisters die, hacked to death. And then it got to him and it was his turn to die. But the guy didn't kill him because the guy's arm was so sore from hacking people to death that he couldn't even lift his arm anymore. So this man got to live. And now he's President Smedley's 1st counselor. His whole family is completely active in the church, we just baptized his son's girlfriend/fiancĂ©e, and they're all getting ready to go to the temple. It makes me think that God's hand was in saving his life. Just a guess though. And Elder Sweeten said that one of his favorite members in his old area, survived through those times too. The guy said that they would take you to a secluded place, and asked you if you could read. If you could, they killed you instantly. If you couldn't, you were thrown in these concentration camps. And they would do it so that people wouldn't know what was going on. But this guy said that for some reason he told them he couldn't read it (even though he really could) and eventually he joined the church and now is one of the strongest members in that area. Makes you wonder how God really influences things. It’s really awesome how merciful God can be, even through the disgusting human nature of men. Living in this country has truly opened my eyes to how great it truly is to be an American (no matter how corrupt that place is getting).

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