Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Sorry I'm emailing later today. You're sleeping now. We had another adventure for p-day today at the army base - it was like being in America again! With grass and trash cans and parking lots and houses and newspapers I could read and couches and Jamba Juice and Subway and mini golf and English! There aren't too many of those things in Korea. Though there are more Subways now - one of the ward mission leaders in our stake is starting up Subway here. He's part of the reason we could go to the base. Anyway, that was the adventure of the day - a little America bubble.
Before I forget to answer questions, because I always seem to forget to answer questions:
So you know how I was saying something needs to change? It's not just me thinking that - for 추석, (Chuseok, they say it's like Korean thanksgiving, but I think mostly because they get together with family. EVERYONE gets together with family. So much so that we pretty much have a week "off", as much as you get as missionaries, because there are no people to be talked to or visited. It's 3 days long, plus the weekend, so we're having a mission conference, zone activity, cleaning day, planning a foreigner 추석 party, and moving our p-day to Saturday. (I'm not sure what that means for email. I guess we'll see if it's Monday or Saturday) That's about the work we can do.) we're doing a mission-wide fast. There's something blocking the way we're doing missionary work, so President Christensen is asking us all to fast together before the conference. I'm super excited for this!!!!!!!!!! ^^ We're on the edge of something big. Just a little about the situation right now - There are lots of people like us in Korea. They're generally called a "전도사" (jundosa), who run around trying to get people to come to their church, and are kind of vicious about it. I can't remember if I told you about a lady we met, had and appointment with, and she took us to her 전도사 friend, who was kind of mean and forecful and Bible bash-y and wouldn't let me say anything and just laughed at us and our Korean. Sad day. Probably one of the least friendly people I've met here. But anyway, a lot of people see our nametags and see us as those sort of 전도사s, where as we're just inviting...anyway, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this. There's a lot of confusion about religion here, like I've mentioned. And because of that, I think there are a lot of people who hear "religion" and just turn the sound down, without taking a second to consider or hear.. I promise this is the best thing that has ever happened to me, that has given me the most fulfillment. Otherwise, I'd be totally lost. I'd have thrown myself into school and friendships, and it'd be great and I'd be happy, but there would be something missing. I would try to ignore it, because I wouldn't know how to fix that hole that I tried to say wasn't there. But I'd never feel complete, and without that, I don't think I'd have the assurance or courage to ever be quite as happy or quite as secure as I can be. It's such an assurance that there is not only something bigger than me, but that I know what that something is. And that it make so much sense. That that something is a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants me to be happy, and will support me in all that I do. That when I have an awful day, I can pray and feel whole and comforted again. That when I have no idea what to do, I can recieve guidance, and an assurance that everything will be alright in the end, whether the end is tonight or in eternity. It's so much more than "Jesus loves you. Come to church." Both are true and essential, but this is truth! And I love it. It's that "something" more :)

So yes. We're fasting this week. And something big will happen. Like I said, either the next day, or a a beginning of a step-by-step process that will result in Korea knowing God's truth and finding that something. Both in that general sense, and also for each individual person, to find that "something" that has changed me into something so much better and happier and more confident than I would be otherwise. I know it will happen :)
So! I'll keep you posted :)
A couple other awesome things: We had ward conference this week, and usually we have about 70 people at church. But this week we had 160! Miracles like doubling the size of our ward :) A lot of less active {members}came, and families of part-member families, and some people who just live around the church. There is a member in our ward who has such an admirable desire to share the gospel, who passed out invitations to everyone she saw and brought at least 20 people herself. Just invite, invite, invite! She's amazing. And I talked to lots of people! I'm actually pretty happy with how well I can speak and understand Korean. LIke I'm nowhere near fluent, but I usually know what's going on and have something to say. It's a real blessing to be able to pick up things from context. And in a lesson this week, I was able to say just about everything I wanted to. Which is another miracle. I've been in this country for a month, studying Korean, a totally foreign language, and for the most part, can have and follow conversations, about people and the gospel. It's awesome :)
Anyway, that's quite a shpeel (it's so much more fun to spell it that way :)) and not much information about what I'm doing. 그녕, teaching, learning, talking, seeing miracles, building testimony, etc. There are hard things, and there are awesome things. I've just got to keep see the good! :D
Have a lovely week!
Sister Thomas ^^
Oh yeah. Transfers! We have a weirdy 9 week transfer this time, so no transfers this week! Not until the 3rd :)

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