Monday, September 8, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 Kamikaze Flies

I've talked about names in Khmer before. Actually, I feel like I've talked about this recently. Names in Khmer have meaning and stuff like that? Usually people's names reflect their characteristics or nice things like "bright", "handsome", "boy", "shiny" or even the month or day they were born on. I think it would be kind of cool to have a name that means something in another language (like Erin Meisje Vore) like the Khmers do it. Then there are some names that aren't so flattering.. We were at this one house in a poorer area the other day and thought it was funny that two of the adults in the house went by the nickname map, which means fat. It doesn't just mean fat either, it means like really fat or obese. What if your name was obese? How would that make you feel? It's just normal for them. One of them couldn't have even been considered fat. She was actually really slim. Still don't understand this language...

We eat a good amount of bugs here, and sometimes we eat bugs that weren't meant to be eaten just because of how food gets stored. For example, ants got into my sugar last week. What did I do? Popped it in the freezer and just kept using it like normal with a few dead ants in it. No biggie. I was eating at a restaurant the other day and Elder Martinson grabbed my arm as I put my chopsticks up to my mouth. There was a fried fly in my noodles! Yum... Now in America, that would be grounds for a new meal, on the house, but this is Cambodia! I put it aside and kept eating. Ironically, we were eating at a pretty nice place. It even had an air conditioner! :O Elder Martinson told me about one time when he found a fly in his soup and took it out and then found 2 more! He called the owner over and the owner told him the flies had probably flown in after they served the bowl. Right... We've got kamikaze flies attacking the soup.

Wandered into a new area the other day while I was on exchange in Pochentong (see the voice recording). Everyone was sitting around talking and we started talking to a family that used to go to some church back in their home town but hadn't been in years and were willing to learn more about our church. During the course of the conversation I sat on the outside "bed" that everyone was on and accidentally sat in alcohol! Someone was using a finger bowl to drink their cheap rice alcohol and I sat in it! They thought it was hilarious and I was really self conscious about it for the next couple of hours until I got to wash it off. Everywhere I went I smelled faintly of alcohol!
I was talking to a wealthier man who had just recently returned from living in America, in Georgia to be exact. He said he really liked everything except for the weather. "It's too cold in Georgia! I just couldn't deal with it." I thought that was really funny and almost couldn't suppress a snicker. Georgia is too cold? We're not talking the Dakotas here, it's Georgia. It's a pretty temperate place. I guess America isn't for everyone.

I saw some similarities in answers from students and members when I taught a lesson about how we show our love for God recently. Almost everyone answered, "Pray every day, read the scriptures and go to church every week" in addition to other answers like rendering service to others, trying to follow Christ's example, keep the commandments etc. I saw this happen several times and it made me think. Why is it that when we think about religion we think about going to church, learning, reading and praying and stuff like that? Christ never taught a sermon on the importance of going to church, rather, He taught us to love one another through service and good deeds. When Amulek taught the importance of praying always to the Zoramites he ended with the following thought:

 "And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.(Alma 34:28)"

Being Christian means following Christ's example. We cannot consider ourselves disciples of the Savior of the world because we go to church every week to learn about His gospel. And this is not to say that prayer, scripture study and church aren't important, just that we need to remember Amulek's counsel. "And now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them. (Mosiah 4:10)"

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