We got to Skype with Wyatt Sunday night. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
Sunday's baptism: Elder Bullough, Bong Somrong, Bong Thon, Wyatt
(The building they rent for church is visible in the background.)
Bong Somrong got baptized Sunday. In addition, the two women that Wyatt and his companion have been teaching attended the baptism and have their own baptism date schedule for late May. Bong Heem has read more of the Book of Mormon, but he's very busy. Wyatt said that in Cambodia, if you are invited to a wedding, you have to pay a $5 entrance fee (for the average person, that's about 2 days' wages). Bong Heem has been invited to several weddings, and is working about 18 hours a day to make ends meet.
Bong Somrong is on the left and his
brother Bong Thon is on the right
A few other cultural insights:
- If someone hates you, they won't look at you (they can't stand to look at your face). Wyatt and his companion stopped at a house and talked to the wife, but the husband wouldn't look at them. He finally started yelling at them to get out of his house.
- Most people work in factories.
- There is no A/C anywhere (where Wyatt goes). Fortunately, his house has a/c, so he gets to sleep with it on.
- Cambodians dip mango slices in fish sauce for a snack. It has become Wyatt's favorite snack.
- Malaria is only in the mountains; no missionaries are sent there.
Cambodians laugh at Wyatt's wrinkly forehead (or any white person's wrinkly forehead for that matter). At church he was joking with a sister about her 40th birthday. She responded, "At least I don't have a wrinkly forehead like you."
He has been through about 20 pairs of shoes. He just found a place that sells white shirts that fit for $5. And he keeps finding abandoned missionary clothing (that fits!) when he transfers to a new place.
The missionaries in Cambodia don't get dinner appointments like the missionaries do in the states, but he's invited in to eat about once a week. It's rude to decline the invitation. Wyatt said if you do the polite American thing and decline the invitation once, the Cambodians will think, "What? Are you implying there's something wrong with my food?!"
His language skills have developed to the point where he is comfortable and rarely misses words or meanings. He even dreams in Khmae all the time.