Monday, April 21, 2014


Korean Fun Fact #5: Baking
Baking in Korea is absurdly difficult. I learned this the hard way last Monday when my companion and I went over to a member's house to help her figure out her brand-new bread-maker. For some reason, both our member and my companion assumed that because I was American, I would know how to make home-made bread.
Yeah... no.
And even if the majority of Americans did know how to make bread, anyone who's met me knows that I would not be one of them. Also having grown up in western Pennsylvania, my first thought when it comes to homemade bread is just to go to Amish Country and buy some. Luckily, the bread-maker wasn't as complex as the three of us supposed (all you have to do if dump in the ingredients and turn it on), but while we were waiting for the bread to cook our sweet member suggested that I use the extra ingredients to just "whip up some cookies or something." To make a very long and stressful story short, I went with a seemingly simple orange cookie recipe I found online. A grave mistake on my part.
"Do you have an electric mixer?"
"No, but I have this fruit juicer."
"That'll work."
"Do you have any butter?"
"A little..." (Actually butter is really expensive in Korea, but of course, the recipe I chose called for two cups of butter. I used about a fourth of a cup and called it good.)
"It's fine. This'll work."
"Do you have two cups of white sugar?"
"Um, no, but I have a 240 milliliters of brown sugar."
"That'll work."
"Do you have an orange zester?" (If only you all could have seen me try to explain what an orange zester in Korean.)
"Kind of...I have this cheese grater!"
"That'll work."
"자매님, do you even have an oven?"
"Kind of...*presents a sort of glorified Easy Bake Oven*
"That'll work."
Moral of the story? Never. Again.
In other, less stressful news, let me tell you about my birthday! The first birthday I've ever spent without my mom! (It was great though, Momma, I promise. I missed you though.)
I woke up at 6:30 as always and went to take a shower only to find that our water was freezing cold. Like, aggressively cold. Our apartment complex was working on the pipes, so all the warm water in our building had been shut off. Since I couldn't stand to wet anything more than my hair, I washed it as fast as possible and came out of the bathroom to find...
my roommates with balloons and a box of chicken wings for breakfast! It was quite the shock! I had told my companion like a week before that I wanted to eat chicken on my birthday, so she sneakily ordered some the night before and surprised me with it for breakfast. My roommates even stuck some hurriedly-lit wooden chopsticks into the chicken to stand as birthday candles. It was pretty adorable.
Later on in the morning, while waiting for the bus to our other area, Sejong, I got a lovely phone call from my trainer, 이지우 자매님, and Sister J......, the sister I went on about a million splits with back in my first area. They're companions now! It was great to talk to them and hear them sing me "Happy Birthday."
In Sejong, we met with our investigator, taught her some English and ate some more chicken and pizza and then taught her about the Plan of Salvation. It was great. The rest of the day, we spent in the Sejong library doing weekly planning. Not my favorite missionary activity to do on my birthday, but at least I got to sit in a library for a while.
And to end the day we went back to Gongju with our little investigator KaYun in tow to go to the ward primary activity. We made pizza toast (Wow. I ate really unhealthily this birthday. Whoops.) and had a feast. I liked it! And more importantly, KaYun liked it! Now we just need to get her to church! On the way back from taking KaYun home, our member bought me a surprise birthday cake which I merrily shared with my roommates once we got home. They sang me "Happy Birthday" again and I got to blow out real candles this time (not ghetto chopstick ones). All in all, it was a very happy day.
Thank you all again for the many birthday wishes! I love reading them. And thank you to those who wrote to me about the ferry that sank on the way to Jejudo Island. It's been broadcasting non-stop on the news and on the radio and it's awful. Aside from my birthday, it's been a pretty rough week. Thank you for remembering Korea in your prayers. I'm thankful for all of you and the peace that this gospel brings.
I love love love you.
Sister Abba.
Chicken for breakfast

She got her birthday package on Easter

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