Sunday, September 28, 2014

Characters of Jeongup

Another week, another transfer, come and gone. I start transfer number TEN today. TEN. This week was great but I can't remember any specific events except that Sister M..... and I started listening to Christmas music. It's finally that time of year where you're just close enough in the ballpark of Christmas to not feel weird about listening to Christmas music. Also, who are we kidding, we live in Korea. We're not going to get to hear Christmas music at Christmastime anyway.

Moving on.
Today's topic is People in Sydney's Mission! I want to talk about them (gossip) because I do so far too seldom and sometimes I feel like I'm living in a particularly complex Dicken's novel with all of these wonderful characters but I never have the time to tell you about them all!

So here we go.
The Characters of Jeongup: A List of People I See Always

The District

Sister M....., my companion. You know her already, she's great, we have far too much fun together and we're working really hard to not lose sister missionaries in Jeongup. When things look really bleak we sing, "I will go down with this ship. I won't put my hands up and surrender..." It's a good time.

Elder Mac, the greenie. His name is Elder Mac as much as my name is Sister Abba. Meaning kind-of, sort-of, not-really-at-all. He has such magnificent greenie spirit. I love it. He baptized their investigator last week and he got all choked up while saying the baptismal prayer. It was beautiful.

Elder KimYoungChan, the Korean. I literally cannot describe KimYoungChan in any way other than the lyrics from that song in Beauty and the Beast, the one that goes, "There's something sweet and almost kind. But he was mean and he was cruel and unrefined. But now he's dear and so unsure. I wonder why I didn't see it there before." So yeah, that's KimYoungChan for you. I don't know how it happened, but he's become one of my favorite missionaries in the mission.

The Investigators
Warning: Almost all of them are English investigators. Yay.

Chloe. Not her real name, but let's pretend. She's the girl who's dad we met walking home and she's kind of progressing!!!! We had this really cool moment with her the other day while we were introducing the Book of Mormon. After we explained how the Book of Mormon was written by prophets down through the ages and was preserved perfectly and completely she said, "So if some of the truths from the Bible were lost, then this book, perfectly preserved through history, would be able to explain and expound the correct truths found in the Bible!" YESYESYESYES. I could have hugged her!

PooRun and TehOong (oh goodness, Korean names written in romanization). They're brother and sister and we've been teaching them since I got here. They met with missionaries last year too and they still remember so much! They love the missionaries but they're not really progressing towards baptism...

EeSeungHi and EeJeongOak. We've also taught them since I got here. There sisters in their 40s and 50s. We have to drop them this week because it has become abundantly clear that they love us and they love hearing nice messages, but they still don't believe in God and probably won't progress any time soon. It's sad because we love them, but they're just not willing to change right now and love English waaaaaay too much. But maybe one day they'll be ready.

ChangHyunChung. Another eternal investigator. Oh no, I just realized how many of those we have. That's not good. She loves the missionaries and can really feel the missionary spirit, but she just won't come to church. Soooo frustrating. She probably won't progress anytime soon, but her kids definitely might!

ShinSungEun. Our recent convert's friend that she referred to us forever ago. She was set to be baptized....until she had to ask permission from her mom. Not good. Now she's not even allowed to come to church, but she made it out to English class this week. Things look bad now, but we'll never give up!

The Random People We Met This Week

The Vietnamese Ladies. So we were walking home and while we were waiting at the stoplight we noticed these three tiny women taking a picture. Sister Matsen offered to take the picture for them so all three could be in it, but they didn't understand a word she said. She tried again. Still nothing. We both started to panic because oh no, what if we somehow have been speaking unintelligible Korean this whole time?! (Likely) But no, they were just Vietnamese! So cute! They didn't speak any English or any Korean, but they somehow got us to take a picture, not of them, but with them. It was quite the heart-warming experience. We were sad because we figured they were just traveling and that we would never see them again, but we saw one of them yesterday and we're pretty sure she lives in our apartment complex! Now we just need to learn Vietnamese!

The Woman 목사님 (Minister). We were sitting on a bench waiting for a bus, but it was becoming more and more obvious that we'd already missed the bus and that we ought to just start walking and move on with our lives. But for some reason I wanted to wait a little bit longer (from my last area I learned to have an unfailing hope thateventually all buses will come). While we waiting, a woman came and sat down next to us. We started talking and turned out she was a 목사님! We were a little apprehensive because this is usually when the yelling begins, but she was so nice to us. We even got her number! Before her bus came, I wanted to give her something, but not the usual pamphlet or pass-a-long card because everyone I give those to just throws them away. I was holding this Liahona because I had planned on reading a story from it to a member we were going to go visit (the reason why we were waiting for the bus in the first place).(The Liahona is a magazine we have for church but here in the states, it's called The Ensign) It had the beautiful picture on the cover of Peter, James, and John giving Joseph Smith the Melchizedek Priesthood. The 목사님 lady kept glancing at it and I was like, "Why not! Everybody loves the Liahona!" So I gave it to her. She was so happy.

But it was as we were walking away that it dawned on us. "We just gave a Liahona about the priesthood to a woman 목사님." Bahaha. Whoops. Talk about giving the meat before the milk.

Oh missions. How I love mine.
And I love you too!

Happy General Conference! Watch all the sessions, it's worth it I promise.
And many prayers for Brother Wejner and all of Cranberry Ward. 
I love you all lots and lots.

Sister Arvanitas

Adorable baby at church

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