Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Okay!

FAMILY! And other people too. I'm back! I'm sorry I skipped out on the email last week, but I promise I'm feeling much better now and I'm ready to continue to tell you about my life as a missionary. But first, CONGRATULATIONS ASHLEY AND SHUPE! The wedding looked glorious and it was so fun to see seriously an individual shot of every member of my family. You all looked beautiful. I mean, Ashley obviously looked the most beautiful, but Max was a close second (um, has anyone thought about getting him into modeling? He'd be huge in Korea.)
Also, whatthewhat WELCOME HOME ANA! AND KAREN! And like half of my mission. So many people left this week, it made the rest of us feel nervous and antsy. My trainer dying-called me this week.(dying in the mission field means to finish your mission.  Sister Lee was Syd's first companion in Korea)   Sooo depressing, but we talked in Korean and I finally understood all of her words. It was fun to finally be able to speak to her in the language she worked so hard to help me learn. 엄마...그립다. ㅜ ㅜ
Anway, let's talk about transfers! I have a new companion! AND SHE'S FROM AMERICA. KLASkdfjASOIfdasdfaslkdfj. Can you believe it? I still can't. It's so weird. Like missionary work in Korea has a whole different side that I never even knew about. Her name is Sister Matsen, she's from Arizona (she actually went to the same high school as my college roommate. Weird...), and I knew her in the MTC. Which means we're already friends. Which is kind of wonderful. Also, did I mention she's a 외국인. I feel like I'm not even living the same mission.
To illustrate...
  • People are so much nicer! Like, they go out of their way to help us and make sure we know where we're going and what we're doing.
  • People look at me when I talk now. It's so weird. Since they no longer have a native speaker to rely on, they actually have to listen to my words. And I actually have to listen to theirs. It's so much better all around, really.
  • Everyone speaks so much slower and more deliberately. And I can understand!
  • I feel more involved in missionary work and just in life in general. I feel like a person doing something useful, rather than an obstacle watching other people do something useful.
  • I feel a lot closer to the members and I feel like they're trying to become a lot closer to me.
  • Ward council is slightly more of a challenge now because I have to pay careful attention to all three hours. Just in case something important gets said (which unfortunately it rarely does...).
  • Interacting with other people, like doctors or cashiers or picture printing people (we see them a lot) has become more challenging.
  • I get lost a lot more. Okay, maybe all the time. It's kind of a problem.
  • Apartment announcements. We have PA system in our apartment complex that sometimes garbles out announcements for the whole apartment, but we can legitmately understand none of it because all it sounds like is, "안녕하...아......우........시........이.........드립니다." So hopefully that never ends up being important.
But of course being with a Korean companion has about a billion good things about it too. It's just different. I'm just grateful for the chance to see the other side of things.
Anyway, this week not much happened. The elder in our area got a new greenie companion so we ate with them at the bishop's houseThursday night. The greenie bore his testimony to us and the bishop's family before we left and it was pretty much the best thing ever. Greenies are amazing! When they speak it's just like BAM THE SPIRIT. At dinner that night the bishop also informed us that we would be going on the ward camping trip. We just assumed that there was no way we could go because we needed an investigator to go with us, but the bishop was pretty much like, "No, you're going. Be at the church at 8:40. See you tomorrow." And that was that. It was so fun. We played games and caught crabs and dug for clams and went to the beach. Like, I stood in the ocean and looked towards China. Living in Asia is so cool sometimes.
And then, to top off such a great week of transfers and fun times and change, 박진희 자매님 (Jin Hee Kim? I'm sorry, I don't know how to spell it in English...) came to see me! And Ryan! It was amazing. They stood on a train from 대전 for two hours and came all the way down to tiny, little 정읍 just to see me. It was the craziest thing to see my home people and my mission people mix together. Like an episode of The Twilight Zone. But they came and it was wonderful and we spoke Korean and Sister Kim made sure I was healthy and happy (I am! 자매님 감사합니다!) and then she gave me a bag full of dark chocolate and treats. I LOVE YOU.(Sister Kim is a friend of ours in Pennsylvania.  She is from Sydney's mission area and was kind enough to see Sydney while she was on vacation.)
I just have felt so blessed lately by all the experiences I've had with just incredible human kindness. From  the members caring for me while I was sick to my companions (both past and present) helping me in every way imaginable to my familiy supporting me forever and always. Just wow. I know that God really does show His love for us through other people and that He hears our prayers and answers them always. I'm so grateful to be a part of a family and a Church and a gospel in which I know that I never need feel abandoned or forgotten because I never am.
Thank you all for your love and prayers. Truly.
아바 자매


New District Leader. This transfer is going to be great. ^^

Old Companions.  New Companions. 


 A wasteland of mud!  It was sooo deliciously squishy.

Sister M..... found this shrimp and made me hold it. In this picture i'm saying, "just take it! just take it! this is wriggly and weird!" But I look happy, right?

Me and some of the Young Women.

Remember those pictures of me digging up sweet potatoes from almost a year ago. This was the same thing! Only muddier and we were looking for sea creatures.



 Just a girl in a muddy wasteland, searching for crabs.

The ocean! I saw it!

 If only this were me. Our recent convert, 박유진.

The members kept trying to get us to drink this so we finally did. It tasted like carbonated bacon and it was not delicious.

 Watermelon and OCEAN.

Rice and sunhat.

 AND THIS! THIS HAPPENED! I promise I don't always look this ugly...
Sister Kim and Ryan came to visit!

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