I think Sydney was rushed a little bit this week and so her letter is not very long. She says it is near impossible to send pictures and so she is going to send home one of her SD cards and then we will send it back. I think it's funny that her companion loves Christmas music because Sydney does not.
I HAVE NOW DECIDED TO START ALL MY LETTERS WITH ALL-CAPS.
HAPPY MARRIAGE KENDRA AND STEPHEN.
You both look beautiful. Mostly Kendra, but still. and thanks for sending pictures!!! The reception looked incredible and it was SO WEIRD seeing Collin at home. He looks so old now.
also, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE SISTER AGLE. I love you!
I'm going to start with some more thing about my companion because she's amazing and I'd be remissed if I didn't say more about her. So here it is...
TEN INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PAPPA JAMEH-NIM.
1. She's an artist. like, paints-murals-on-walls-and-
gets-paid-for-it artist. She's incredible. It's funny because my college roommate, Katie (I miss you, Katie!) was also an artist. I feel like the Lord is trying to tell me something or else he just wants to make me feel really badly about my lack of artistic talent.
2. She LOVES christmas music. Seriously, she's been singing "O Holy Night" for the past two days and it's been driving my district crazy. I now am perpetually nostalgic for christmas.
3. Her parents are converts. fun fact.
4. She lives on a farm in Herriman, Utah. She has chickens and horses and a goat and a cow named "Carne." She says she isn't too hopeful that the cow will be there when she returns.
5. She is obsessed with Dr. Phil and pugs. I....don't even know.
6. For high school, she went to a charter school called "Paradigm." Does that not sound just magical?
7. She dresses like she's a model for an L.L Bean catalogue. While I'm all insane colors and mismatched patterns, she's all neutrals and flannel. We balance each other out nicely. :)
8. Her favorite movie is "Christmas with the Kranks." What can I say, the girl loves christmas.
9. Her favorite flowers are sunflowers (like me!) and her favorite store is Savers (also like me!).(a thrift store here in Utah) We are soul sisters and were destined to be companions.
10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her. Seriously. I've never met someone who i'm so alike and yet am so different from. It's crazy how well our companionship works and how much I've learned from her in just three and a half weeks. We always joke and say we're "BCF"s--best companions forever. But really we are. I'm going to miss her terribly once we get to Korea.
So there you have it. A bit more about my better half. :)
As for exciting things that have happened this week...
Our dear older group of missionaries left. All seventy-four of them. I miss them dearly, but the good news is...WE GOT NEW MISSIONARIES. YAYAYAYAYAY. Wee korea-speaking babies. They came in on Wednesday--thrity new elders and six new sisters. It's so exciting to have them and it's even more exciting because our dong-ee isn't the youngest anymore. Two of the new missionaries are international--an elder from australia and a sister from New Zealand--so as one of the Sister Training Leaders, I got to welcome them when they came in on Tuesday. Since the sister didn't have her companion yet, she joined my compainship for the rest of the day. It was wonderful. she told me all about New Zealand. A hilarious fact--THEY RIDE THE SHEEP IN NEW ZEALAND. No joke. we were just chatting about the beautiful countryside and all the sheepies and she's like, "Yeah, they're kind of annoying since they're always 'baaaing' and stuff, but it's really fun to ride the big one. They're nice and comfy." and then i fainted out of joy because now i must go to New Zealand and ride a sheep. It's my new dream.
Another fun thing that happened this week is that Pappa jameh-nim and I found an elder from FINLAND. but that's not all. He's from Finland, but he goes to law school in Sweden and he speaks perfect english and he's going to Taiwan on his mission, speaking MANDARIN. and yes, he is a real person. honestly though, some of the missionaries feel like a caveman with how little i know about....life(I'm not sure if she feels like a caveman or if she feels like the missionaries are. Her English will suffer, now that she lives life mostly in Korean). Anyway, my companion and I always get really excited when we see our Finnish friend because his life is just so randomly magical. Also, he wears snazzy european suits with slicked-backed Hari and LOUIS VUITTON belts. His life is just too majestic for words.
Our lessons with our investigator are going well. I feel like we finally can understand what's being said to us in our lessons and can respond according to our investigators' needs without searching through our notes for twenty minutes. However yesterday, in our lesson with our investigator Bang Hyung-Je-Nim, we were trying to teach him about the plan of salvation and he went off of this random tangent about he was super tired because he'd been up drinking the night before. Apparently his girlfriend broke up with him and he was super sad and just needed to drink and forget about her...craziness. Anyway, my companion and I didn't know what to do instead of say that we loved him and that we would pray for him. I guess we'll have to start learning the korean vocab for the word of wisdom now. :) (Remember, these are not real investigators. They help the missionaries prepare to teach different people)
This week, I've been thinking a lot about the atonement. How amazing is it that Christ loves us so much that He was willing to die for us and pay the price of our sins. that because of Him, we can repent and live with Him and our Father in Heaven again? in our lesson with our other investigator we were trying to explain this concept of the atonement and how we can know if we've successfully repented and been forgiven of our sins. In Alma 36:18-21 it explains the feeling perfectly. It says,
"Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
I testify that we CAN be forgiven. That Christ's atonement is perfect and infinite and that it applies to ALL of us, if only we take advantage of it. I love the Lord and I love this gospel. I know I'm here for a reason and that reason is to bring to the people of kroea the glad message that we CAN live with God again.
I love you all and I pray for you every day.