Sunday, January 11, 2015

And That's What I Learned From the Muslims on the Bus

The end is near and I'm starting to panic. This week I hit my 18 MONTH MARK. What. My district assured me that since technically that's all I signed up for, I was now free to go. I'm so glad that I stayed this last transfer though. I know now that I was always supposed to stay until now.
A Sign that I Need to Be Coming Home Soon
So my companion and I were eating dinner at a member's house. It was just the member and her two little kids and the kids were, as most kids are when the missionaries come over, so hyper. They were running and jumping and refusing to eat and kept bringing out toys to show us and I was trying so hard to pay attention to their mom while encouraging them to be less insane, but it was just not working.
Then her little boy got out his tae-kwon-do belts and started tying them around first my companion, and then me. You know when you're a guest in someone's home and their children start tying you up, but you just pretend like nothing's happening in order to be polite? Yeah, that was me. And it was going pretty well, but then the little boy took out a thirdtae-kwon-do belt (he had so many of them!) and tied it to the belts that were already tied around me and 이예진, so that now we were tied together. And, oh goodness, as I looked over at my companion, wrapped up in tae-kwon-do belts and looking absolutely ridiculous, just talking to the member like nothing was happening, I just burst out laughing. Like I could not stop laughing. It wasn't even that funny, but at the same time it was so funny. Especially because we're companions and we always have to be together and this just seemed like the perfect solution--if companions can't stay within sight and sound, just tie 'em together. Someone should tell the Shins.
Anyway, then everyone else looked at me like I was the crazy one, but then they started laughing too and it all turned out all right in the end really. Except that I completely lost any trace I had left of my "quiet dignity."
I'm just kidding, I never had quiet dignity.^^
A Cultural Moment On the Bus
I met Eygyptians! I just got on the bus and there they were. The husband looked at me and stated the obvious, "You're not Korean." I stated the obvious back. "Neither are you."
They were so cute. They had just gotten married seven months before and even though their marriage was arranged (the wife said to me, "He proposed over Skype and then I met him the day of the wedding!") they were clearly so in love. They showed me wedding pictures and I told them I was a missionary and then we bonded over the fact that neither of our religions drink alcohol.
They were having a hard time living away from their family and their friends and being in a country where almost everyone drank alcohol and ate pig meat. My heart went out to them for their struggles but I was so proud of them for being so faithful in living their religion and staying true to their beliefs even though they were completely alone in doing so. And the best part was that they drew their strength from each other.
And it should be the same with us! As Latter-Day Saints we definitely live in a world that does not share our same beliefs. But that doesn't make our beliefs any less true or any less worthy of living. I know that as we take comfort in the strength we find in each other's devotion and faith we can continue on in our gospel living and enduring to the very end.
I love you, my loaf-leavening friends!
아바 자매

Sydney liked the crisscrossed wires next to the wiggly trees

Happy Year of the Sheep.  I made a sheep.

Sydney and DW

18 months as a missionary and this is what I have to show for it, learning to draw apostles.  

Check out this rice face. Happy 18 months to me.

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