Monday, August 19, 2013

Augusut 29, 2013 - Miracles, hiking, camels, and such


August 19, 2013


Time for fun things, report of the week! Pictures first: I rode a camel last week right after I emailed y'all :) It's been on my bucket list, and it was actually a pretty lame ride, but I rode a camel! (I got permission and everything, don't worry :)) and then there’s a view from our house (one with the trees), and a view from the 35th floor of our ward mission leader's house (their family is the best. They're super fun and fed us delicious food ;)) but the picture doesn't do it justice. Seoul is fantastic. And then a picture of...something else. I forgot :) 

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And if we ever find a post office, a letter will be on its way! After three weeks, I had time to write like half a letter...It doesn't say anything exciting, because I say everything in the email anyway, but it's just always fun to get a letter. Like I said, even if it has the contents of the Declaration of Independence in it. Hopefully the letter is a little more exciting than that, but no guarantees :)

Woot! This week was GREAT! And looking back seems like it started forever ago, so much has happened. Yes, so last P-day we went to the zoo. The animals are the same ;);.  It was funny though.  The Korean sister in our house would teach us some of the animal names and we'd walk around saying "monkey! monkey!" and people would look at us funny. Oh, the adventures of a foreigner :).  (I got my foreigner card today! I'm official!) And then we delivered cookies to some less active sisters - they were kind of ugly cookies, but hopefully not too bad (separate but related note - there's a recent convert in our ward who we help with English often (English is a big deal here. I've started talking to some people just because they're excited to try out their English on a native speaker. It's fun!) and she was talking about how if/when she goes to America, she wants to eat "USA cookie" and "USA bread" because they're so delicious :) (But bread really is different here. No Great Harvest. It's not bad though! Also, there are little toast stands on the sides of the street :) (I don't know how many parentheses I’m into right now :)))))) And then we did a service project with the missionaries in our zone and cleaned up a  mountain - I was excited because I've wanted to go hiking... Service and Hiking? Can life get any better? I submit that it canNOT! And then we had family home evening with the ward (on Tuesday, so they can do FHE as a family, then another with the ward if they like) and played ping pong - I'm awful. AWFUL. Anyway, we had a lot of meetings and activities this week, so I promise I'm also going to talk about lessons and investigators and miracles soon :) We also had a Sister's Conference for the whole mission, which was super fun and uplifting - church isn't as spiritually refreshing as it usually is because I don't know what anyone is saying. Thank goodness the Spirit is the same throughout languages/countries/etc. But I realized just how young our mission is - as in I recognized more than half of the people there from the MTC; probably the majority of us have been out less than two months. This is going to be quite an adventure :)
So by Thursday night, we finally had time for lessons. Yay! Lessons are the best. So we have one investigator who is leaving for Thailand in a couple weeks. She's fantastic.  We're actually going to go play with her and a member later today for P-day. But lesson-wise; we're feeling stuck; sometimes, it's hard to know how to help. She believes, but her parents are strongly Catholic, and she is hesitant about breaking from that family tradition. And I respect that. We don't want to be "that pushy missionary", because my purpose for being here is not baptismal statistics. It's to help people be happier and come unto Christ. But through making covenants, we can receive that additional guidance and peace - anyway, a hard spot to be. (and hard to explain fully in the few minutes I have to email. Obviously more thoughts and feelings and gospel principles and stories than that.) So we continue! Another one of our investigators, the one who speaks pretty good English, is also great :). We talked about a lot of things this week (that's one thing I like about her, we just talk. It's not a lesson. That's ideal, because I like just talking to people about awesome things!!) A couple things I want to share, because I loved the whole discussion - she said that she likes meeting with us because she sees a different "energy" in the missionaries than everyone else, and she likes that; she wants people to be able to see that in her. At first she thought it was just in the missionaries, but as she met and talked with the members last week, she thinks that it's more of the people in our church that have that "energy". She then talked about how confusing religions and truth is (and really, especially in Korea, religion is confusing. There are churches on every corner, meeting every day of the week, with their "전도서s" (kind of like missionaries, but more like run around and yell at everyone to repent and come to their church. (I very much want to avoid being a "REPENT!" person, because that sort of force and overbarance is not a part of the Gospel. In that sense, it was very helpful for me to hear what she had to say about our "energy" - the Spirit :))) and that everyone has their own opinion, and there are parts that are right about everything it seems, so how do you know what truth really is?  And then she said she met the missionaries, who told her that she could know and could find that truth for herself. That truth that doesn't change as opinions change. What is real. And for me, that is one of the best things about this Gospel -- that I can gather opinions and listen to everyone, but when everything is crazy and changing, I have this secure base that I can always return to because it's so real -- in every circumstance. I love it! :D
Anyway, that's most for this week :)
Love you all!
Sister Thomas

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