We had a cool miracle this week. There is a less active member in Takhmau who won't give missionaries the time of day, not even to say hi. On Wednesday we were visiting people in that area, so we stopped by her shop just to drop off a Christmas card. She invited us to sit down, let us share a scripture, prayed with us, and even said she will try to go to the district Christmas activity and if she doesn't have time she will send her children. I have no idea what changed, but it was awesome.
It's been weird to say good-bye to people, but most of the time I forget I'm even going home. I talk about it, but it hasn't really hit me yet. I don't feel like I am, so I don't act very different. Yesterday at church most people had no clue I finish my mission this week. My companion even told the branch president it was my last Sunday, and then after Sacrament meeting he gave me an assignment to speak in church next week. I thought it was hilarious, told Chi Vo (my great grandmother in missionary genealogy; she trained Chi Trinh/Sisiter Bayles who trained Chi Ly who trained me), and she didn't understand either. It wasn't until after church, the elders baptism, and the branch missionary meeting that it finally clicked with her that I am going home to Idaho on Thursday. I won't be in Cambodia anymore.
All the branch presidencies and missionaries in the Phnom Penh Central District (the Vietnamese District) had a goal-setting meeting on Friday. It was weird to think I won't be there to see those plans carried out. I think there will be a lot of emphasis on finding lost members and getting people to the temple. Should be exciting!
We did have an investigator at church on my last Sunday! She's a really sweet old lady named Ba Thi. She even stayed for the baptism. I'm sad I won't get to visit little Asian grandmas anymore.
Today, for my last p-day, we are going on a bike ride. I've been threatening to do it since last Christmas, and now I really am doing it. Since the time I was a trainee, I have wanted to get on my bike on National Road 5 and just bike as far north as I could go. Today is the day. It is going to be the most epic p-day ever.
And then I have about one-and-a-half proselyting days and it will all be over. It has been thrilling, exciting, exhausting, horrifying, and ennobling, and when it suddenly ends, I'm not sure what I will do with myself. I'm pretty sure right now all I want for Christmas are those pink and white animal cookies. Fortunately, my father and my sister have planned out my life from the time I arrive home until they send me back to the Worcester 2nd Ward. I have tons of people to see while I am there in Massachusetts, and once I arrive in the Salt Lake area, Jordy and Chi Dao will take it from there.
Does eat oats and cows eat oats, and I'll be home for Christmas.
Your loving son,
Here's a run down of when I will be where for anyone who wants to coordinate visits:
December 20-25: Moscow, Idaho
December 26-27: somewhere in Alberta, Canada
December 28-January 3: Moscow, Idaho
January 4-7: Spokane, Washington
January 8-20: Worcester and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
January 21-?: Woods Cross, Utah
A lot of the missionaries here joke about how they will sleep for three months or be a hermit for three months after their missions. For some reason three months is the magic time frame in the Viet zone. That's how long everyone thinks they will need to recover from our particular mission assignment. I was inclined to be a hermit, but I'm pretty sure Christmas will help me in great measure get over the weirdness of going home so I don't have to be a hermit.
I have been offered a job as well as room and board in Utah, so I will end up there for maybe five months or so. I have found the RMTC the movie the RM says we need. Live in your best friend's basement in Utah as the nanny for her children. When life is working out, you can go out, work for the Church translation department, go to the temple, date, etc, and when life isn't working out, you can go hide in your best friend's house and cuddle her baby instead. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be one very shell-shocked RM, so I definitely need that...
I love Cambodia! I love Vietnamese! I am so excited! This is going to be the best Christmas ever!