5 August 2015
After having experienced these last two weeks I re-read my last post and felt somewhat embarrassed. I'm still teaching music but this week with a different attitude. It is not even close to what I thought I would be teaching when I came to Cambodia. I quickly came to realize that my least favorite activity is being humbled! Yet it seems to be God's favorite thing to do.
I think God and Jesus Christ conferred, "She's complaining about how hard it is to be a music teacher. We should help her understand."
Elder Leavitt and I went to all 3 Branches' Pioneeer Day Heritage Programs. They talked a bit about the Utah pioneers but mostly spoke about themselves being pioneers in Cambodia. One of the older sisters told about when she was a much younger woman, early in her marriage her husband was an alcoholic. It had gotten to the point that she needed to make a decision whether to stay with him or leave him. Due to his abusive nature escalating, she decided to leave him. While in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City feeling lonely and much despair, two young North American males dressed in white shirts and ties crossed her path and greeted her with a smile and hearty welcome in Vietnamese. She asked her friend who was walking with her a string of questions, "Why do they speak Vietnamese?" "What are they doing here?" "Where are they going?" Of course, the friend could no more answer the questions than she could. It's interesting that questions are what filled her head. The missionaries are not to proselyte or approach anyone in Vietnam. They can teach only if someone asks the missionaries questions.
This sister and her friend dogged those missionaries for several hours to see where they went and what they did. Finally, they came to the conclusion that they were just spreading their religious examples of good. This lead her to asking more questions and ultimately baptism.
Another sister told of how she could not read before she joined the Church. Then she expressed her gratitude for the great blessing it is that her husband could read now because he now can bless the Sacrament.
Another Cambodian sister that we associate with at the office admitted that she can read but she hasn't spent much time reading since she was a little girl. As a child if the Khmer Rouge found out that she could read they would have killed her.
My music teaching challenges seem pretty trite. What I have learned with clarity is that I came here thinking I was going to be the teacher but really I have been the student!