Tuesday came and we went to meet her, but no one in the alley knew who we were talking about. They kept trying to send us to another alley closer to the church. Eventually we went down that alley, and some Khmer children took us to the house at the very end and there in the very last house we met a different Co Thuy with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Em Nhu. They were very kind but didn't particularly want to learn. Then as we started to leave, Em Nhu pulled out a book of Bible stories. We started to look at the pictures, and Em Nhu started to tell us the stories and ask questions. We think we were there for nearly an hour, and we ended up leaving her with the Restoration pamphlet, the Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and Chi Huong's Sach Mac Mon (Book of Mormon) with references to the elements of the Doctrine of Christ in 1 Nephi marked already. It was the most amazing contacting experience of my life!
On Wednesday, we went to find a girl Thay Kiet baptized about four years ago. She had moved far away for a couple years, but had recently moved back, so she came to church where we met her and she asked us to come to her house. She said Chi Sophy knew where she lived, but when we asked Chi Sophy on Monday she wasn't sure. Our area is the northern part of the city, and there is a big road called National Road 5 that heads north out of the city into the rural area towards Battambong. The Branch 3 area has lots of sub-areas like Tuol Sang Ke, Phum Samaki, Tuol Kork, and others, including everything along National Road 5, which we simply call the Kilometers. We name the neighborhoods where we have members according to how many kilometers north of the city they are. Chi Sophy lives at Km 6, and the old information that we had said that this other girl lived in Km 7. Vietnamese people here move often but typically stick the the same neighborhood (except for when the simply leave the country altogether) so we went up to Km 7 to look for her. However, the place where we found the correct configuration of landmarks was in Km 9, so we were wandering around Km 9 -- far from anywhere missionaries should be contacting -- and we ran into Em Thi, an 18-year-old young man who already believed in Jesus Christ. He wanted to know where our church was. We gave him a map and a Restoration pamphlet. I had never before had anyone listen to us with that degree of sincerity. (And just in case anyone is curious, we never found the person we were looking for. Yesterday at church we found out she was living in Stay Meung Chay which is in Branch 6, south of the city, miles away from anything in our area.)
On Thursday we had one of those days where plans kept falling through and we kept running into dead ends and finding ourselves in places where we couldn't do much after all, and yet we kept getting the impression to wait. We kept stalling in one place and then another and then another, all the while wondering what the heck we were doing. Then I had an indecisive, second-thought kind of moment in the middle of the street, so we were stopped at the most awkward, nonsensical place on the street in Tuol Sang Ke -- and we ran into Em Nhu's mother, almost literally because I just hit the brakes for no apparent reason whatsoever, and then I looked over my shoulder and saw her. Chi Huong and I had been talking for two days about how we needed to get a hold of this woman so we could get permission to teach Em Nhu (she left the time we were talking about Bible stories), and there she was. And she was more than happy to let us teach Em Nhu. She's too busy with work to learn herself, but her philosophy is the more Em Nhu learns about good things the better.
We had another moto run-in later that evening. We were walking through Phum Samaki and for some reason felt like we should stop and talk to a group of small children, children much too young to count as contacts. One of them spoke Vietnamese, and while we were talking, a Khmer man pulled up on a moto and asked if we where Christian and where our church was, said he was Christian, and wanted to know if we had meetings in the evening. We gave him a map and the Khmer sisters phone number and I think we made his day.
On Friday we were in Km 6 to meet with a less active who the RS has a hard time finding at home, so she doesn't usually get visiting teachers. We had to leave before she was available to talk, so we didn't get to visit with her either. On our way out, we ran into Co Kim a member in Tuol Sang Ke, miles away from her home with the intention of visiting another RS sister, but that sister wasn't home. We sent her up to meet with the sister we had just tried to see, and yesterday at church we heard that their visit went well.
On Saturday we found a less active who people thought had moved. She said she would try to attend church and even agreed to start meeting with us regularly to start coming back.
On Sunday we had three more awesome contacting experiences, and two of them were families! But I'm out of time and can't tell those stories. Trust me, it was wonderful! We also went back to Em Nhu and while she wasn't sure she really wanted to learn the gospel with missionaries, every time we tried to leave she would ask more questions, so we spent another hour standing in her doorway talking about the Plan of Salvation and apostles. It was pretty cool.
I also don't have time to tell any of the funny stories from this week. Okay, fine, just one though because I bet you are tired of reading. We accidentally found Em Tho's house. I've been in Branch 3 forever, but had never been to this neighborhood despite the fact that there are tons of Vietnamese there. We were walking by a house that was open and inside I saw the back of a boy's head and I said that it looked like Em Tho. Then he turned around and it really was him! Chi Huong said, "He's everywhere!" (we run into him all over the city) and I said, "Yeah, even his own house!"
This has been the best week of my mission so far. I love it here!