Hi there folks,
Have you tried the rice pudding recipe yet? Ok, mom, I hate to spoil the fun with the cooking thing, but I can't do the rice pudding because we don't have an oven. No one here does. Also my eggs are a lot better now because I put a lot more oil in. It also doesn't help that we don't yet have a pan or spatula in the new place so I cook the egg in a pot with a fork. So that should only improve.
Maybe you could hand out treats to all the ward members who make it to the end of the 3-hour church block? I would hate rewarding people for doing something they're supposed to do. I really don't know what to do. Pretty much I think it's just too much of a lost cause to try to get them to stay. It's really, really hard to sell church as being fun sometimes. It's crazy, because for us one of the ultimate goals is getting people to church, and then we'll have a stinker of a week, and we have to make it seem like church was really great. And when those stinker weeks happen (often), the leadership in the church, I think, is pretty much like oh well, we had a few people to church. We'll have it again next week. They work on the ward for about 3 1/2-4 hours every week. We literally spend all of our waking time trying to figure out how we can strengthen their ward. So when church goes badly it feels like a whole week was wasted instead of a couple of hours. We have so much invested in this. And the only reason we had so many people at sacrament last week was because they handed out some kind of institute graduation certificate <during sacrament> for all the youth who passed the little class thing. It was about 10-15 minutes of the bishop handing things out. Most of the people who got the certificate we have never seen before, and probably will never see again. They just had to come to their church for one hour to collect their graduation stupid little thing. It's really maddening.
Tell us about the picture you sent last week where you and your companion were standing with the two men dressed in white. We baptized the one standing next to elder Yorgason, whose name is Khiin. His friend is next to me and he baptized him. When he baptized him, he didn't really have a lot of practice or know-how, and apparently he didn't really heed the advice we gave him the day before, because he pretty much said the prayer (we had the words up against the glass), and threw him down into the water, and Khiin had to get himself up by himself. But, he was immersed, so it passed. It was really, really funny actually.
Tell us about the picture of you with the 3 Cambodian guys, where some of you are flexing your muscles. Those are some other guys that we've talked to a couple of times and they're cool. The two biggest ones are mutes or something because they literally can not talk. They just grunt and cat call girls that walk by and stuff. We were talking to them and asked if we could get a picture. That was right after we asked if we could teach them a lesson some time. We taught them once, and they'll probably flare out like most people do. But they're nice, and nobody in Cambodia is strong like that guy is, so it's worth the picture.
How many missionaries are living in your new apartment? Just two of us in the new apartment.
What's the weather like now? So the rain season is about now through December, and it's supposed to rain just about every day. It rained quite a bit this week. Sometimes there are streets that look like Venice, and we ride down them, only we take bikes instead of gondolas. Last Wednesday it rained a ton, and we rode straight through it. It was fun! I honestly couldn't have gotten more wet if I had jumped straight into a swimming pool. For as much as it rains though it's amazing how well the streets dry, because the next morning everything is completely drained and the roads are dusty again. The rain comes on super fast. It will drop a few drops and then it's just like a complete downpour the next second. My backpack cover is absolutely great. I wouldn't say it ever just sprinkles. I think if it's planning to not rain as much, it just takes less time instead of spreading it out in a sprinkle.
Are your roads paved or dirt? The roads are about half and half. But a lot of times the paved roads are really dusty too. Potholes everywhere. There's one road that was especially bad with potholes, but it was on the way to our old house, so we shouldn't be going down there quite as often now.
Do people smoke there? Yeah a ton of people smoke. I don't know if they smoke pot or what, but a lot of people smoke.
Are you getting enough to eat? I'm eating more now that we're in the new house and don't have to split everything 4 ways. And last week I wrote down all my expenses to find out where my money goes each week. Once I know for sure I can find better ways to spend it. I think I'll have to just buy more khmae food like vegetables and eggs and stuff and spend less on the american stuff like cereal and peanut butter. Today at the phsaa we bought one kilo of pork, 5 dollars worth of vegetables, and 5 kilos of rice, all of which should go a long way. The best thing I eat here is called baay saec chorop which is a morning thing and it's rice with an egg and pork and pickled vegetables, and it's 75 cents. We did get a soup thing for breakfast this week because this old lady always tells us to eat at her place when we ride by to get the bsc. She makes breakfast soup stuff, and it tasted good, but it had tones of cow bones in it and also had a cube of coagulated pig blood in it. I didn't eat either of those. I just took them out and the broth stuff tasted really good. But we will not be going back any time soon.
I have to get my hair trimmed up again because they cut it like 2 hours ago, but the style here is short on the sides and long on top, so they rarely cut the top and it's annoying. I told them to cut the top and so they cut the front and I didn't realize, but they didn't make the back of the hair the same length, so we're going back to have them fix it.
I'll send you guys some more pictures of Cambodia when you send me some pictures of Utah.
Peace and love. I hope school and fall is going well. Give Cubby my best.
Good food vs. not so good food. Fried pineapple and meat stuff [above],
versus coagulated cubed pigs blood soup [below], which actually tasted pretty much fine.