Monday, September 1, 2014

Some of my favorite things

Thanks for all the emails! I love emails! There are so many things happening with your lives! I'm so happy!
I don't even know what this week was so I'm just going to start by sharing an excerpt from my journal.
Five people came to English class today and they were all adult men. We made them play musical chairs.
So yeah. The week was pretty much just like that.
A Question From My Mom. "What are some of your favorite things about being a missionary in Korea?"
1. People are nice here! Seriously, if you're afraid of cruel rejection and hostility as a missionary, then pray you get called to Korea. People won't listen, but they won't throw rocks at you either (like you, Daddy)! I can think of only a handful of instances in which people here have been downright rude to me and none where anyone has been hostile. I mean, they call us 이단 (cult) a lot, but it's more like a half-hearted, automatic thing than any expression of real hatred. So that's good.
2. As I mentioned before, I love how small the wards are because it gives missionaries a chance to really get to know all the members really well. We visit the members a lot here and it's such a blessing because it gives us the opportunity to get to know their families on a very personal level. Some of the most valuable things I've learned on my mission, I've learned from the members!
3. The apartments we live in are really nice and really peaceful. It's kind of silly, but it's so important for missionaries to live somewhere peaceful and clean! Especially when they're always trying to feel the Spirit, especially during personal study.
4. We don't have to drive a car! Walking and figuring out the bus system is hard, but driving a car would stress me out like nothing else.
Book of Mormon Testimonies
Recently, every time Sister Matsen and I do FHE with a family in our ward, we've been bringing Book of Mormons and asking their children to write their testimonies in them and then either give them to us to give away on the street or, even better, to give to their friends! Their testimonies are just so wonderful and so cute that I wanted to share some with you. ^^
HyunAh age 7 (American age)
"I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. My name is HyunAh and I am nine. When I want to say a bad word, I read the Book of Mormon. So that's good. I know I need to love my parents. It would be good if they never died. 아빠, 엄마 파이팅! (This part is just too cute to ruin with English)." Also she wrote this in rainbow colored pencil.
HyunJun age 9
"If you read this book, you can understand God and Jesus Christ. Even though this book is long, if you read it a little every day you will one day have read it all. It's like how a speck of dust eventually becomes a mountain. Even if at first you can't understand this book, if you read it all you will understand. The end."
HyunOo, age 11
"Hello. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our family reads this book every night. If you read this book you will have a good feeling and your heart will feel peace. Please definitely read this book."
Aren't they cute?
Our Bishop the greatest. Ever. I don't know if I'll ever be able to adequately explain just how wonderful he is so that all of you can understand. You'll just have to meet him in real life. But here's a list. Lists help.
1. His motto: "The more investigators missionaries have, the more happiness they have. You don't look happy enough. We'll find you more investigators."
2. Once in ward council he said our phones weren't suited well enough to missionary work and then he promised to get us iPhones.
3. He loves this ward and wants to see it do well.
4. He's so calm and gentle. Like a lamb. Which is probably why his last name is 양. Bahahaha. Korean joke. I just high-fived myself.
5. Yesterday, in the combined meeting with the ward third hour, he talked only about missionary work. What he said went something along the lines of: "Look at our beautiful sister missionaries, Abba and Matsen. They are more beautiful than all the other sister missionaries in all the other areas. We are so lucky to have them. But do you know how many investigators they have? Zero. The sisters have no investigators. This ward fought so hard to get sister missionaries, but now there aren't enough sisters in the Daejeon Mission and we may lose sisters from this ward. Our sisters may disappear because they have no one to teach. And why don't they have anyone to teach? Because we haven't been sharing the gospel with our friends and then referring them to the missionaries. So let's start referring. Also go to English class because we love Matsen and Abba and want them to stay forever."
Ha. The thing is we do have investigators. None of them are progressing right now, but I promise we are teaching someone. But what the bishop said is 100% true. The steady wave of new sisters coming into our mission abruptly stopped a while ago and we haven't had many greenie sisters since. Sister missionaries our being pulled out of a lot of the areas and 정읍(Jeongeup) is definitely on the chopping block. It's terrifying. I mean, I think we're like third or fourth in line, but if we don't prove that sisters here are necessary then I'm afraid we'll be one of the first to go. 
But we did see a miracle this week! A new investigator! We were just walking home from district meeting and then this old man starts walking with us and we get to talking and it turns out his daughter just came back from America a year ago and needs someone with whom she can practice English. Well guess what, we're good at English! Also the gospel! We met her last week and she so cute. Her English name is Chloe and she believes in God. YAYAYAYAYAY. We can work with that!
Okay, gotta go.
Love you, bye.
Sister Arvanitas. 

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