Monday, January 12, 2015

Sam sent the following email & pictures on Sunday, January 11, 2015.  Our questions & comments are in italics.  Sam's opening sentence needs a little explanation.  In Peter's email to Sam, he had written, "We got Emily in school this week and have had a little bit of the first week of shock by all that is required of college classes.  We have a science fair project due this week.  Nate experimented to see if people would pick up an old penny, new shiny penny, or a quarter more quickly.  Not much action at the mall or theatre for people picking up coins.  Church on the other had was a great place for people to pick up money."

From: Samuel Christensen <>
Subject: Hey guys
Date: January 11, 2015 11:13:52 PM MST

Hey guys,

Ok, first of all, I loved Peter's email how he said that "we" had college starting back up, and that "we" also have a science fair project. Funny. I'd be intersted to know with Nate's project how the places affect how many people will pick up the coins. I'll pick any coin up, but I'm less likely to do it in a mall where people see me pocketing a dirty penny than when I think no one will see me. That reminds me. Yesterday when we were walking home from church, there was a 100 bill that I walked over lying on the pavement. I can't tell you how many fake 100 dollar bills I've seen here so I didn't think much of it. But as I picked it up, a moto with two ladies pulled up next to me. I was like "fake, right?" and was kind of holding it up to the light. Then they like motioned to hold it so they could inspect it as well. So I passed it right off. They kind of looked at it slowly for a second, and then slowly just pulled off and drove away without saying anything or looking back. We kind of just stood there in the street all alone trying to figure out what just happened. These people really don't have a conscience because not only did she steal it from me, but also from whoever dropped it. I wouldn't have taken it. Honestly there's not a whole lot that you could have done to try and find the owner, but I could have given it to fast offerings. But naww, they just drove right off. Kind of numbing, like... what just happened. It was real, by the way. But that's enough money to almost pay for half of a year of college for them. Or it could just buy them a lot of booze. Either way, cheers.

[We gave Sam a report on the violence that occurred in France last week.] That's a terrible thing that happened with France. I'm glad it isn't happening in the states. How can these religious groups justify violence like this? It's like anti-everything we learn. 

Last week after emailing was so smooth. I didn't have to [politely] beg to go to the American store, but instead was the one who was more going along for the ride. I loved it. I'm thinking now that the scale I got on a few weeks ago might actually have been broken. I've done a few more knuckle pushups recently. They hurt my knuckles, but not my wrist. I don't know where I'd get an xray. Also I got a haircut here last week and it was my best one yet. Good place, they even massaged my back after and then cracked my neck. I wasn't expected the neck crack. Let's just say a little bit further and they could have killed me quickly and quietly. But hey, I'm still here!

Grammy wondered about bugs and animals. Just the usual array. With cockroaches, there's not a ton of them, but I realized that I'm not surprised by them at all anymore. It's kind of just second nature. I just love when there's a dead cockroach lying on the ground and nobody really wants to clean it up, so it just gets dismantled by ants, and lo and behold, a few days later the cockroach is completely vanished. Nature. One guy offered us fried frogs that he had made. We politely declined.

Skibby talked about a teacher at RHS that was talking about Cambodia. Let's just get something out of the way now. White people, who aren't missionaries, DO NOT KNOW CAMBODIA. I see tons of white people here riding on tuk tuks to go to their tourist destinations. They know nothing. They come back and say things about things that they don't fully know. Trust me on this, we (the missionaries) get to know what real Cambodia is like, and the people. Those other people get to experience it in rose-colored, week and a half glasses. It's great sometimes, but like when we talked to some tourists from Europe that we randomly met and talked to for a little bit a few weeks ago, the lady said that there was like a "buzz of progression" in Phnom Penh and all kinds of stuff that she'd picked up on and liked from her very short stay. Honestly, lady, I just thought it was dirty. So don't trust anyone that's not a missionary to give you an honest depiction of Cambodia because they don't really know. Jessa knows, trust her.

Have you gotten the Christmas card we sent yet? Do you have any candy left from your Christmas package?  Do you need anything?  The Christmas card hasn't yet come, but I'm betting it will be here this week. The candy is long gone. It was very good, thank you. I don't need anything, but for the next occasion to send something over, I've learned from other missionaries that getting like bagged food, like easy to make American food is a good way to go for that. So we'll stash that in our brains and cross that bridge when we come to it.

We're hoping to get people progressing and to be doing really good things here. And I think we can do it. The language hasn't been a barrier for us at all yet.

Thanks for everything. I love you and miss you all.

This picture was taken at Christmas.

Harvesting rice

Pig heads at the phsaa

Me with a big black man they worship

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