Sunday, February 16, 2014

Temptation and Understanding

First of all, thank you so much to the Karatassos family and Aunt Lori for the packages this week! I've never been so popular on Valentine's Day. I've written you each much longer notes expressing my undying gratitude, but let me say one more time, THANK YOU I LOVE YOU. 

This email is brought to you in four parts.

But I Can't "Let It Go."

So, I don't know how it is in America, but here in Korea everyone is obsessed with the new Disney movie Frozen, especially the song "Let It Go." It blares from every storefronts, it plays as every cell phone ringtone, and it's all our investigators want to sing while we're trying to teach them English. It's like this entire country is taunting me with the one movie I want to see, but obviously can't. In fact, one of our members even invited us to watch it with them for Family Home Evening and it took us a full day of considering calling our mission president and asking before we finally decided that it probably wasn't okay. Ah, temptation...Though we did agree to teach our little investigators the English words to all the songs, so thanks for the lyrics Madds! :)

More Singing

Remember Gaie? The lady who wouldn't stop singing? Well, we met her again this week and had a great experience reading out-loud from the hymnbook and singing some of the hymns together. The only ones she recognized were "How Great Thou Art," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and the Christmas hymns, so we sang those and then taught her "Be Still My Soul," which she really liked! I never realized it before my mission, but the hymnbook is really awesome! Last Monday, I bought a hymnbook in English specifically so we could sing together with Gaie and ever since then I've had so much fun reading the words of the hymns and looking up the corresponding scriptures. It's added a new level of learning and spirit to my daily personal study and I can't believe I didn't realize how much we can learn from it sooner. Go hymnbook!

I Understood Some Korean!

I had two cool experiences understanding Korean this week. The first was during the English half of our lesson with the kids we teach in Sejong. Since it's four nine year-olds who don't actually speak English and have a really hard time focusing, English time is usually just non-gospel Korean time, with a few English vocab words thrown in. This particular day we asked them each to relate the plot-line of their favorite episode of Spongebob (as you can tell, we're terribly sophisticated in our English-teaching) and as HyunJi (our investigator who comes to church with us every week) began on this long and detailed description of this particular episode, my companion clearly had no idea what she was talking about. But I did! Ha. It was probably one of my most exciting missionary moments as I listened to little HyunJi and knew exactly which Spongebob episode was her favorite. (For those who are wondering, it was the one where Spongebob thinks he's killed the health inspector and he has to go and bury him outside of town.)(my children are so cultured in knowing each Spongebob episode)

My more significant and spiritual experience understanding English happened yesterday when a man in our ward asked me to translate for him and explain to his Filipino sister-in-law just why the Word of Wisdom was so important to him. I had never actually translated for anyone before, so it was really cool to be the one to explain to another person the foreign words that were being spoken to her. I loved watching this investigator's face light up in understanding and agreement as I conveyed to her her brother-in-law's testimony of the blessings and power that come from living the Word of Wisdom.

The Weirdest Day of My Mission

Since I'm almost out of time and since it's an incredibly long story, I'll tell you the whole thing in a year or so. But to help you remember it involves some children, a man from Seoul, being stranded in literally the  middle-of-nowhere, and a very kind village who took us in and fed us dinner. (nothing like a cliffhanger)

I know that this gospel is true and that the Lord truly is with us, "withersoever thou goest."

Till we meet again in one week's time,
Sister Abba.

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