Co Phung and Em Vy went back to Vietnam on Thursday morning. We helped them load their things and themselves into the car they hired. Then I hugged Co Phung and she started crying and I started crying and then they drove away and I kept crying while I unlocked our bikes and we pedaled away. There is a really long street called Monivong that runs north and south through the middle of the city. My proselyting area is the northern two thirds of Phnom Penh. We were at the southern edge near Branch 6, and I cried the whole way up Monivong, through Branch 10 and into Branch 3. There are a lot of stop lights, and when we were stopped at the intersection of Monivong and Russian, a nice young woman on the back of a yellow moto handed me a handful of tissues. On the other side of the intersection we saw the Westovers (the senior couple who work in the office and are assigned to help in the Vietnamese branches), who had been at the bank I think, so we stopped and I cried on Sister Westover for a while. Then we continued north and I cried all the way to the end of Monivong, past the gun circle, into Tuol Sang Ke at which point on of the assistants (Anh ca Nam, the elder who baptized Em Vy) called and I pulled myself together enough to tell him that he was too late to say good-bye because they had left early. It was really sad. We have great hopes for them though. Co Phung and Em Vy are both amazing, and Co Phung promised that after she has seen her family, she will go to Ho Chi Minh and get baptized there. I really think she will get baptized someday.
To make up for the lack of baptisms, I shall tell funny stories instead. I have collected a few that I have forgotten to write about the past few weeks.
On Friday(?) the 19th of April, I learned that my companion is terrified of monkeys. After she mentioned them a few times, I thought she wanted to see one, so when we were biking near Wat Phnom and I saw one crouched on the ground about a twelve inches from me on my bicycle, I pointed it and called over my shoulder, "MONKEY!" She freaked out a bit and I laughed so hard I stopped pedaling and doubled over on my handle bars while I coasted down the street and almost fell off my bike.
In Vietnam, the missionaries can't wear name tags, so when they come back to Cambodia, they sometimes forget. When I was companions with Chi Dao and Anh ca Nam was our district leader, he forgot to wear his tag to district meeting one day, and I had a spare in my backpack, so he was Chi Hoa for District Meeting and I have a picture. So when Anh ca Huynh forgot his tag a couple p-days ago and got caught in the mission home I loaned him my spare and got a picture of him with my tag too. My camera hasn't been working since we got back from Thailand, so I had Anh ca Sang take the picture for me. Anh ca Huynh thought Anh ca Sang was just testing out his new camera, so he started posing with thumbs up, then realized he was wearing a sister's tag and tried to cover it. Anh ca Sang said, "No, dude, that's why we're taking the picture." Anh ca Huynh hung his head and moaned in his awesome, hilarious accent, "Awww, maaaaan, you planned this on purpose!" And I said, "I didn't plan for you to forget your tag this morning!" He wore it for the rest of the day and returned it at district meeting the following day. I should have made Anh ca Duc wear my tag when he came for leadership training without his. The sisters are planning to get that picture next time.
Last Wednesday, the 1st of May, I got a package that the Young Women of the Worcester 2nd Ward sent to me back in January. Much of the contents were crushed, squished, unrecognizable, and no longer edible, but I was very excited and grateful all the same. Thank you so much! I love you all and miss you tons! School is almost out, and you know what that means? You will have more time to write letters to missionaries in Cambodia.
This is the best mission ever! It's weird, but I love it!