MISSIONARY...SOMEONE WHO LEAVES THEIR FAMILY FOR A SHORT TIME SO OTHERS MAY BE WITH THEIRS FOR ETERNITY!
Well.. Cambodia. Wow. Where to start, so the flight was waaaaaay too long. About 24 hours of travel! But after finally arriving Elder Gardiner and I were left to wonder and try to get out of the airport not knowing much Khmer at all. After struggling to point and play charades with the people there we managed to get out and let's say I haven't stopped sweating since I got out of the airport haha :P And then after that we got to go to the mission home and on the way almost died like 20 times, drivers here are CRAZY! But after arriving we had a little welcome thing and then ate dinner. THE FOOD HERE IS SOOOO GOOD I'M IN HEAVEN! So many different kinds of stirfrys and currys and noodle soups and fruits and veggies and rice all the time it's like a dream come true. The only downfall is little people, therefore little servings so I'm kind of hungry all the time. (So snacks and treats are welcome :)) But yeah then we had like orientation the next day, found out our areas and trainers and boom, there we go to serve for the next 22 months (: I was assigned to Elder Cannon, man he is a stud. He knows so much Khmer it's crazy! He leaves in 5 months. My favorite about him is all the Khmers try to make fun of him and then he speaks perfect Khmer it leaves them speechless. Then they talk to me and I'm like... Uhhhh, sokhsabay? Hahahaha. I got the nickname of Elder Ceh Tiic Dooc, which means like "knows little" But it's okay. Everyone keeps saying I'm so good looking and big and strong so I don't mind, I know how to understand that part (: But yeah so I serve in Steung Mian Cei or River of Success. It's the smallest and poorest area in the mission. What can I say about it.. Elder Cannon and I spend most of our time in Pum Somraam or Garbage Village. It literally is a village with dirt roads and all the houses are shacks made out of garbage and really old timber.. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. But what amazes me the most is even though I'm surrounded by a million stray dogs, smelly pigs, starving cows, mosquitoes EVERYWHERE, chickens flying all over the place, all the little kids yelling at me and shooting me with slingshots, I've never been so content in my life. Sitting in a hot wooden shack, teaching a lookpuu the Gospel is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. The people here are so humble and their faith is so great to go to church every week despite the difficult conditions. I love it. The first time I got to the village two little Khmer kids grabbed my hand and walked me around (: It was amazing! I love these people so much and it hasn't even been a week! It's great seeing them all at church cleaned up to show their love for the Savior and His gospel. Church is cool because somehow abunch of geckos get in the building and are everywhere hahaha! What else.. oh so the culture is crazy, guys here are super close it was weird the branch president just like holds my hand and Elder Aang is a native elder and he just loves touching me it's the weirdest thing. Everyone here just loves each other so much it's such a happy place. But being here, working hard is just sooo humbling. I am so grateful for everything I have back home and I miss it all but I saw an amazing quote this week and it goes" Missionary: Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others may be with theirs for eternity" I really liked that. Because over here that is all people have. They don't have a lot of money or things, they just have each other and through the gospel they can live with each other forever. It is an amazing blessing that has started to mean SOOOO much more to me. Know that I am healthy and doing well. I love this work. I love my Savior. I love Cambodia and the people who live here. This is home now and I love it.
Elder Spencer Paul Nhem
Elder Nhem & Elder Cannon
View from Elder Nhems apartment
Mom: Whats your apartment like?
Penny: Uhmmmm its actually probably one of the nicest buildings in the area so don't worry. It's locked up nice and tight. There are 5 Elders in there but we are probably moving tomorrow or the next day so I'll let you know more once we move.
Mom: How far are you from the mission home?
Penny: 40 minutes south of the mission home. We are on the edge of the city. After I email I'm going to the mission home to get me a pillow and stuff. I sleep on the ground with no pillow right now hahaha.
Mom: Are you cold?
Penny: COLD....I wish they had an ice blanket or something it's soooo hot and it's the cold season right now hahaha! Trust me I'm fine. Just send some crystal light packs or gatorade packets.
Mom: How do you email?
Penny: An internet cafe (: