This is Elder Z reporting from Takhmao, Cambodia. I'm officially out of training and out of Kampong Cham as well.
I had a great last week with Elder Clark and headed out Friday morning. It was tough leaving that elder, we got pretty close after 2 months together. We took a bus for a few hours into the city (Phnom Penh).
Once in the city, I was a little overwhelmed by all the buildings and people. I've been in a province for the past few months and its very primitive out there. Phnom Penh is like LA, just more Asians. I was able to get right off the bus and start talking to/answering the questions of nearby people standing at the curb. After a minute or so they ask, "So, how many years have you lived in Cambodia for?" They are always taken aback when I tell them "Uh yeah...I've been here for 2 months". I guess my language is pretty good...? That was a big confidence booster.
At the mission home I was greeted by many of my old MTC buddies. Namely Elder Christensen, Paramore, Le Nguyen, (and Elder Elieson had accompanied me on my travels). It feels like decades since I've seen those guys. It was a very happy reunion.
I was able to quickly spot out my new comp Elder Keo (Pronounced "Gaio"). Elder Keo and I then headed to our house in Takhmao. It’s a nice house, an old sister's apartment. Now elders get to tear it to shreds I guess.
Elder Keo is cool. He has been a member for about 3-4 years, and been on a mission for 8 months or so. He speaks ZERO English, at least I have yet to hear him speak an English word anyways. It’s fine though we just speak Khmae. We've had some killer lessons the past few days and I've been pretty pleased with what speaking khmae 24/7 is doing for my teaching. Yeah, so the language is super legit and so is my companion. We also have two baptisms this week.
Conference was awesome! The speaker line up this year was fantastic. I got to watch Conference in English at the south stake center in Phnom Penh. It is the most beautiful, large, extravagant building I've seen in Cambodia. The stake center here is (no joke) better that the Thousand Oaks stake center. It’s super modern and comparable to a temple. I enjoyed conference a lot and got some good notes. The Sunday afternoon speaker, Elder Katcher, the man who spoke about "rip-tides" and his 16-year old daughter......That 16 -year-old girl is Sister Katcher, now older, serving her mission here in Cambodia.
My first night in Takhmao was fun. Elder Keo and I spent 20 minutes trying to track down a rat that had gotten in our room. After a struggle we finally beat it to a bloody pulp with a broomstick. It was great a companionship bonding activity and we were laughing/screaming the whole time.
The city is crazy. Nothing like the provinces. I have been given churros, Burger King, KFC, and home cooked meals by sister Moon. Food is so plentiful out here, it makes Kampong Cham seem impoverished. (Which it is).
Anyway I had a big week. It sounds like it was a big week back home as well.
I love you all, Elder Z (The one in Ching Chong Chang)
"My last day in Kampong Cham"