It was SO FUN to skype today! I love seeing your faces and hearing your voices. Garret asked if that was what I expected, and YES. it was exactly what I expected! just like being at home in Breena's house. The kids are adorable, the sisters look beautiful, and Lan and Garret are handsome as always. (I couldn't see Rossy, but I assume he looked great too ^^) I love you all so much and am grateful for each of you. I am especially grateful that we are an eternal family...together forever.
Mom, I will try and write about this week as many things as I can remember! maybe it will be boring>>>? but it's special just for you!
before we begin...a few things about my new area/house.
-we live so high up, the 30th floor, that my ears pop when I ride the elevator.
-Lan, I know how it must have felt to walk up all those stairs in your hotel at the DECA conference...because last week I had this bright idea that we could RUN up and down the stairs for our workout a few times a week. Sister Nebeker and Sister Blickenstaff loved that idea. sooo, every other day we run down 30 flights, run outside for a little bit, then run UP 30 flights. my legs are dying by the end. (and by run up 30 flights, I really run 10 flights, walk 15, and then run 5 ^^) good idea, sister bassett!
-we don't live in our area, so we have to ride a bus for 40 minutes into our area and back home everyday. worse than going to Weber ;)
-our appartment complex had "elections" this week for...something. anyway. they were out advertising the canidates every night when we come home. and they love us. they hand us SO many fliers and tell us to vote for them.
This week was GREAT! as always :)
for p-day last week we went to China town with a member of Ka-jeong ward, the other sisters we live with, and a bunch of elders. It was so fun! It was also Children's day, so there were so many kids. I know that I say it all the time, but I LOVE the kids here! they are adorable. a bunch of little hipsters. They have mother's day and father's day, like we do, but they also have childrens day!@ it was so cute to see all the kids walking around with toys and treats. We walked around and ate delicious icecream in a cone that tasted like captin cruch. it was lovely. then we rode back to our area to proselyte. (we've been doing that a ton lately). In our area, there are serveral places with rows of strings and yellow ribbons tied to them. does that make sense? i will send a picture. It is in rememberance of the ferry accident. Sister Nebeker and I read through a few and just wanted to cry! People have written messages on the stips of yellow ribbon...things like "I know you will all be together in paradise" or "I pray for a miracle", just simple messages of apology and hope. I love the sense of community that they feel in Korea. that is just one example of many.
on Wednesday was my ONE YEAR in country mark!?! can you believe it? I hardly can! I was thinking about that as I started the day...contemplating what I have learned and experinced during the past 12 months in this blessed land. I have loved my time here so much! I had a neat experince that day to talk to a woman at the subway station about the Book of Mormon. I explained why we believe it...talking about the direction and perspective it gives my life, as well as how it testifies of the Savior. She asked why those people weren't in the Bible...so I talked about Lehi and Jeremiah, how he left and came to the Americas. ya know. She listen well, we talked for a few more minutes, and then my subway came. She wouldn't take the Book of Mormon, but she did take our card. hopefully she will call someday. BUT after I was done explaining, I thought about how just ONE YEAR ago I was brought to this country-the airport is even in my area!-and I couldn't speak at all. I could hardly say hello, we are missionaries, let along talk about prophets and doctrine. WOW! my Korean is far from fluent, but I have learned so much. and learning this language has taught me SO MUCH MORE that new words and grammer. Sister Nebeker and I also went to Baskin Robbins to celebrate! thanks mom, for passing your love of icecream on to me! ^^ it was raining, but we ran there anyway.
Thursday was Zone Meeting! I love that. I love being with other missionaires. I love the trainings and the studying and the many opportunities we are given each day to learn from each other. (we also found the "piano stairs" on the way there. In one of the subway stations, the stairs are painted like a piano. and when you walk up them, they light up and play the notes of a piano!) THEN, on the way home that night, we saw Jessica at the bus stop (did I tell you about her? our first saturday here, we are just out talking to people on our way to english class and we met her. We talked for a minute, she is Buddhist, and strongly said that she doesn't believe as we do. But, when she found out we were going to english class, she asked if she could come with us. SURE!!! so we walked there together. she stayed and really liked it, then she took us out to dinner after. we ate SO MUCH. then...she made us drink the kim-chi juice at the end. yum....) so we saw Jessica. She said that she couldn't come to class anymore. She is going to pay a teacher. sad........ I got the feeling that perhaps she had read/heard something negative about our church.
The next day was weekly planning. Everytime we have weekly planning, I am surprised at the date! time flies when you're having fun! then we went out to work. As we were walking on our way to visit a less-active sister we were saying hello to everybody. and one girl stopped us after we had passed and asked "hey...do you still teach english?" "yes!" "could we meet sometime and you can teach me?" "sure!!!" yeah. that would be a definite yes! hopefully we can meet with her this week. it was awesome. Plus, that less-active was the nicest. She wasn't home, but she called us back later and said we can do a practice teaching lesson next week. Nice! we were so happy.
Before English class on Saturday evening, our ward had a big "spring cleaning" day. Because our ward is the stake center and we have stake conference next week, they wanted it to look really nice. So we came in our p-day clothes ready to go! it was great. we got to be outside for a little while and do yard work! I never thought I would miss weeding... then we had a ward BBQ! I wish I could explain it... it's not hamburgers and hot dogs with chips. no no. it is meat and lettuce wraps, noodles, rice, kim-chi, dumplings, veggies...so much deliciousness. and you don't grab a plate and sit down. everyone stands around the table, filled with food, with their little bowl of rice. as you eat, you just take what you want and eat from the plates. I love it. (again...their sense of family and community. loves!)
Sunday was lovely as always. I am already loving our Dap-dong ward members. They are the best! one of my favorite things about Korean members is the conversion stories. Nearly everyone that is old enough to have a family is a converts. They are so strong. It really is a testimony to the power of the gospel and Christ's atonement.
ALSO! last week Sister Pak emailed me!!! ah! it was the best. She moved to Bali, crazy right?, for work so I haven't talked with her since I left bong-cheon area. She is doing so good! I feel like I have gotten a taste of what the joy will feel like in God's kingdom with those we have helped in their journey to conversion. it is amazing to me. i just love her.
I love you all! as I continue reading the scriptures, studying Jesus the Christ, going out and doing missionary work all day, my gratitude for the Savior increases. I know He lives. I know that God is our Father. I am so thankful to be here and be a missionary! I know that as we each strive to help other's come unto Christ, our joy will be GREAT.
have a wonderful week!