안녕하세요 여로분!~ ^^
(Fun fact: In Korea, there's a whole different way to use emoticons while texting, writing letters, or sending
emails. It's something my trainer had to teach me my first transfer so I wouldn't embarrass myself while texting investigators. For example, instead of plain old :) or :(, ^^ means your smiling and ㅠㅠ means your crying. Fun, right? Try it and make your texts more culturally enriched!)
Thoughts on the New York Times Article
As my mission president said in our weekly conference call this morning: "Well, it could have been worse."
But, if you want to see what my mission looks like, watch the videos! That's my apartment! Those are the buses I ride! Those are the people I talk to! It's my life!(The New York Times went to Sydney's mission and then wrote this article.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/us/a-growing-role-for-mormon-women.html?_r=0 I didn't think it was a great article and I don't think President Shin did either.)
Gongju Ward's 30th Anniversary
It was yesterday and it was so fun! There was food and fun times and families who had moved from the ward years ago came to celebrate the ward's 30th birthday. Especially fun were all the pictures of the ward members from the past thirty years--more hair, more 80s, but still my beloved Gongju Ward.
She's the investigator I told you about a few weeks ago, the one who lives with the Not-Dead Grandma (who we haven't been able to see since, by the way. Oh, the inconsistency of missionary life). Anyway, we've met 홍춘영 twice since then, to teach her English, and good heavens, this woman is amazing. She grew up in China and moved to Korea just over a year ago, leaving her husband, son, and the rest of her family behind. When we asked her why, she said, with tears in her voice, that she had to move to Korea to help her family. She said that when she lived in China she was so happy, but "a difficult thing" happened with her family and she had to leave China to find work. Then she showed us her hands. Once they were perfect, smooth, and beautiful. Now, they are dirty, mottled, and worn from the long days working in construction. But 홍춘영 refuses to give up hope. She misses her family so much, but she is grateful to God for sending us, her "gifts from God" as she calls us. Our interest in her life, our help with her English--all have been just what she's needed to dispel the dark clouds of sorrow and loneliness that have surrounded her for the past year. Life is difficult now, but 홍춘영 trusts in God. She prays to Him morning and night. She promises to listen to what we have to say.
She was happy once before and 홍춘영 knows that she will be happy once again.
And I know, that if she sincerely hears our message, she can be happy now and forever.
I love you.