Brothers and Sisters, it is cold in Seoul. But don't worry: I
wear so many marshmallow layers, it's ridiculous.
Before I forget, I think I should warn you all that we are now
allowed to use Facebook. We haven't gotten any training on it yet, so we're not
supposed to make posts and whatnot, but if you were already friends with me on
facebook and you got another request from me, don't feel sketchy. It's me! The
picture is me with long-ish, chococlatey brown hair, white shirt, nametag. Be
my friend! :)
As I mentioned above, this past week was I think one of the
coldest ones of the season (or so I heard). Anywhere from -12 to -15 Celsius?
Yeah... my companions and I finally understand the meaning of "painfully
cold" and "biting wind". It literally feels like it's raking
your skin with a fire rake. #myfavorite
So this past week we did as much missionary work from inside as
possible, but, you know, there's no better way to help the people than to go
out and help them! Unless they don't want our help, then it gets a little
awkward and we have to move on...
On Saturday we were able to have an activity night on Saturday
with the youth. They were already gathered to make donuts and fried chicken, so
once they prepared all the food, only a couple people were needed to cook, so
we played volleyball with the rest of them. A recent convert came, so it was
fun to be able to see her get along with the members her age (she's almost a
For this transfer, our mission has a training plan, the center
of which is the doctrine of the nature of God and man. I've been reflecting a
lot about that topic as I've been studying the Book of Mormon and the book of
Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. I think it's sort of starting to occur to me
how amazing God is. Moses had to be transfigured in order to withstand God's
glory, and we learn that Moses saw more than could be comprehended in the
vision that God showed him. God is so far above us, and yet, all He wants is
for us to succeed. In fact, everything He does in His power and glory is for
our benefit, for us to achieve what He ultimately wants for us: immortality and
eternal life. It's kind of cool to think that we have the most powerful Being
in the universe on our side, cheering us on and helping us along.
Of course, sometimes it doesn't always feel like that, that He's
right next to us holding us up and cheering us on. But when we feel like that,
if we can just muster enough faith to keep going and hold on to Him, He'll show
us just how much it was worth it.
I'm so grateful for this chance to come to know my Savior and my
Heavenly Father. You know, when I really think about it, a lot of my
understanding of God has come from just studying the scriptures, including
pondering and praying about those scriptures. Of course, having to practice the
principles I learn from study is the best way to learn, but even just reading
the Book of Mormon every day I learn so much. I feel better. I want to do and
be better, and I feel motivated to do so. Hurray for the Book of Mormon! If
you've never read that book, I invite you do so. I can honestly say it will
bless your life in ways you didn't think it could.
I love you all! I hope you have a good week!
Wow! Another #LightTheWorld poster in the subway!
We had fun trying to get people to take pictures with that facebook board. But mostly we just thought it made us look like walking mugshots...
This picture doesn't quite capture the monstrosity of a house that is behind me. It was so big.
Sister Kim drew this beautiful man. I told her it was her future husband. She erased it very soon after.
_Tongue cleaner_. It's okay, Korea, we know what you meant.
We told Sister Kim to buy this book to study English, and I regret it. I went through and corrected some of the book and I'm pretty sure every single page had something to fix. Haha Nailed, Korea.
I think everything is okay as far as grammar goes, but whoever wrote this was either running out of ideas or just a terrible friend...
Friends and fellow purveyors of the Good News......
신기하지 않아요_! We saw this poster in the subway and just had to take a picture of it. _)
Do you see that moon_!
Wednesday night, street contacting with Sister Lee, we saw this huge cheese moon over the Seoul skyline. Wouldn't it be cool to see this in the Joseon Dynasty from the window of a palace_ (1)
Wow! This past week was a little more eventful than others, I
think. Wednesday was transfer day, so Sister Choi got to her new area safely
and Sister Lee (이세인s) got here safely. We had a lovely time
walking around and proselyting that night, and then in the middle of our lesson
the next day (Thursday) we get a call from President. That was scary. He and I
are talking on the phone, and he basically says, "We have a visa-waiter,
we want to put her with you and Sister Lee. Can you be at your house in a couple
of hours to receive her?"
Long story short, welcome to SinDang, Sister Kim! Hehe Sister
Kim Hyo Ryung (김효령s) is going to be serving in the Philippines,
but she'll be here for a transfer to fill some visa requirements. This also
means that I'm training. But, actually, that's not totally accurate. It's more
like I have two companions and one of them happens to be a greenie. Hehe Or
Sister Lee and I are training (which makes sense because Sister Lee is a really
good missionary). Either way this transfer is going to be really fun.
Hurray transfer day! And elevators. Hurray elevators.
Sister Kim on the left, Sister Lee on the right. It's kind of fun to see so many Korean names lined up in a row (Kim, Lee, Jeon). Yay Korean companions!
We had sort of an interesting run-in with racism yesterday. We
were supposed to meet this lady to teach her English and share the gospel, you
know, the usual, but when we were talking on the phone I couldn't seem to
understand her. The Korean was fine, I understood everything she was saying as
far as grammar and vocabulary, but what she was really saying didn't quite get
across until she clarified it with one of my Korean companions: Apparently she
didn't want to meet us because two of us are Korean (which makes sense, she
wants to learn English) and the native speaker (me) is not the kind of
"American" that she wanted. Basically, she didn't want to meet
because I'm not a white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed American.
That was a little stunning, mostly because that had never
happened to me before. It was difficult not to be sassy to her. In English,
just to prove my point. My companions were struggling not to be sassy, too.
But, you know, one of the first things that I thought of was 2 Nephi 26:33. ㅎㅎ I hope that sister can read that sometime.
I didn't think that I was offended until I realized that my
reading the Book of Mormon today sort of soothed my feelings. I read 2 Nephi 9,
which talks a little bit about how Jesus suffered for all men's sins, including
Sister Albi (reference to Flight of the Concords' "Albi the Racist
Dragon"). How true is that! Who am I to judge? I have so many faults and
weaknesses that I cannot count them all, so who am I to judge another?
That experience was good practice for Christ-like charity and
love. In the future I would hope that loving the person who does me wrong is
more of my first reaction.
No worries, my companions and I helped each other feel better
after that phone call. And we also ate cream jelly roll, so it's okay.
I love you all! I hope you have a good week! Go out there and
fight the racism! (Okay, maybe I'm still a little sore about it. But I'll work
Sister Albi. I also spelled the Korean at the bottom of the box wrong, WHICH JUST PROVES THAT I'M AMERICAN. But I'm not bitter....
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I don't blame the lack of emails in my inbox:
party on. 🎉
We had transfer calls. ㅜㅜ The result is that I
will be staying in SinDang and Sister Choi will be moving a little bit north to
DoBong area with Sister Butler. We've heard a lot of good things about that
area, so I'm excited for her to go there. And Sister Choi's new companion is
super awesome, so they're going to work the Lord's miracles in DoBong. My new
companion's name is 이세인s (Lee Seh Een). I'm not sure who she is, but
I've heard a lot of good things about her. Hopefully I'll remember to take
pictures for next week, since she'll get here on Wednesday.
How are all of your New Year's resolutions going? Did you make
them? Are you committed to them? ㅎㅎ You got this. I am
still in the process of thinking of New Year's Resolutions. In missionary terms
they're called "goals". 🙃 Thinking of goals for the year is sort
of weird because part of the year I will still be in Korea being a missionary;
it' s a little weird to think about goals for the time after that... I'll let
you know how that goes. Probably we'll all know sometime in April.
To be continued...
In other news, the work goes on! This transfer is going to be
really fun, BECAUSE THE OLYMPICS ARE IN KOREA THIS YEAR!!! Not going to lie,
I'm a little bummed out that I'm not in GangWonDoh for this transfer, but Seoul
will have things going on, too, I'm sure.
Today is a busy P Day getting Sister Choi ready to leave on
Wednesday: shopping, packing, cleaning, etc. Hopefully we don't forget
I hope you all are planning to have a good year. Let's make it
happen! Time goes by too fast to not plan for that.
I love you all! Have a good week!
·Happy new year!
Beth <email@example.com> Dec 31 at 5:03 PM
To: Leanne Chun
Dec 31 at 5:03 PM
Dear sister Chun!
I am dictating this through my phone while speeding along I 80 toward Wendover Utah. Daddy and I have left California this morning. We were over there for Sami and Tammy's wedding. It was, of course, a gloriously Chun affair. Daddy will send pictures. We are going to turn off I 80 in a few miles and go north west up to, sorry, north east up to grandma Dani's house. We will spend New Year's evening with her, get up and do some work and help for her in the morning, and then get down to aunties house in the afternoon. We are going to eat the cook together hopefully with everybody. But we shall see. I hope you and sister JR are doing great! We love you so much. Excited that you are coming home on March 29, but hoping and praying for you to teach like the wind for the rest of your mission!
I cannot re-read my text to check in and edit, so I hope Siri was kind.
Love you so much!
Sent from my iPhone
We dictated our New Year's Eve email to Leanne as we sped over I-80 toward Utah from Sacramento, about 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time. I guess they got lost in Cyber Space, because she didn't receive them until January sometime. Here's my "so sad you didn't get an email on New Year's Eve" note.
To:Leanne Noelle Chun
Jan 4 at 9:49 AM
Dear Sister Chun,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Dad and I were speeding across the Nevada desert, between Reno and Elko when
you were writing your email. We had already tried sending our email from our
phone including photos of Sami and Tami's wedding, but it sounds like the mail
did not go through. That is where a little foresight would have come in handy…
We knew on, on Saturday, that we would be driving most of the day on Sunday. So
we should've sent the letters on Saturday! But on Saturday, we were up to our
elbows in wedding preparations, helping Andrea and her new in-laws set up and
prepare for the wedding luncheon and reception, and then getting to the
Sacramento Temple on time. I was the sous chef, helping Tami's mom, Linda, cut
veggies, arrange trays, make salads, slice rolls, and all that stuff. Auntie
Andrea was busy decorating the wedding cake. She stayed up late the night
before Sami and Tami left to drive over to California so that she could finish
the cake and freeze it before sending it with them in the morning. They took it
on dry ice, and then when they arrived in California they put it in the
freezer. On the appointed day, they pulled it from the freezer just in time for
auntie to assemble it at the church and decorate it. It was quite a process.
She made 24 cakes in all, because she will also decorate a cake for the Utah
reception. What a busy lady! I love her and I learn so much from her.
On this trip, dad and I drove to Utah. I drove with grandma Danny up to Idaho
and back. Dad and I drove to Sacramento and then from there up to grandma
Danny's place and then down to Lacy's. We made multiple trips between Orem in
Midvale. And then finally we drove back home to Kansas. We made that last
drive in 15 hours exactly! Dad is a maniac - on one single can of monster
energy drink he can drive six hours, take a three hour break (while I drive),
and then drive three more hours. I drove the final stretch from Lincoln
We were very blessed in all our travels with clear and dry roads and beautiful
weather. I really feel that Heavenly Father was helping and watching over us.
I am excited to see pictures of you and your new companion. So this
transfer means that you have one transfer left?
Work really hard, talk all the Korean, and teach all the lovely little people
as hard as you can! The time is so short.
This past month has been kind of crazy, trying to get everything
in order for Christmas. ㅎㅎ But thankfully it all turned out well.
Tonight we have a zone proselyting activity that involves standing out in the
cold for a couple hours, but the trade off is cookies and hot chocolate, so
that's good. Some member sisters also invited us over for some Christmas lunch,
so that will be fun. Yay Christmas!
It was so fun to skype with family yesterday. Sorry I couldn't
time it to be actually Christmas or Christmas Eve over there, but it was still
good to see your faces. :) Also sorry to those whom I could not see. I'll see
you in a few months... 😀
Today's email is a little short, but I love you all! Have a good
Christmas, and start thinking of those New Year's resolutions. Nothing better
than a solid goal-setting session. #missionaryLife
I bought this exercise ball in an attempt to work out my abs while I sit down. I was so excited about it. Guess how big it is!
It's this big.
And this is what it looks like when I sit on it... ㅠㅠ
We were all a little weirded out to see President Sonksen outside, so we needed to document the event.
On our way to our activity for mission conference. We were fangirling over their adorableness. #goals
Couldn't get enough pictures with these gorgeous women.
Picture with some MTC people. The others had already left.
Our adorable AP running to the group, without a red scarf (of all the missionaries to not have a red scarf...)
Sister Call! We lived in the same house when I was a brand new missionary in Korea, and she's one of my favorite people in the whole world. Turns out we're in the same stake, now too, since her family moved before her mission!
Sister Wright! We meet again!
So bright! We were some of the first to get to the meeting point for our flashmob.
We gathered like this in three spots and took pictures than sang _Joy to the World_. My timing wasn't great, so I got a picture of Elder John taking a picture.
View from the King SeJong statue.
This is Sister Kava, the Tongan queen.
Recognize these lovely faces_ Jasmine from DongDaeMun english class took us out for dinner with her daughers Lily (glasses) and Luny (the smaller one). I love them so much!
We made sheep out of sports balls for our nativity play.
We made this beautiful stable (why, yes, that is cardboard), and we didn't end up using it. Picture for the memory, and then we took it down. ㅜㅜ
Don't look too closely, the baby is actually a pillow.
The shepherds being scared by the angel as he popped up from behind the podium.
The young men of the ward performed a comedy about the 2,000 stripling warriors. I wasn't able to watch the whole thing, but judging by the laughs coming from the audience, it was pretty good.
Our last song was a mash-up of _O come all ye faithful_ and _Joy to the world_. Shout out to Elder Horned for being an amazing pianist and doing the music for the entire show.
Elder Hale made a great Santa Claus. I think the beard was really itchy, though...
Streetboarding on Christmas Eve. Chilly, but fun!
The bowl on the left is literally a double portion of Jjajangmyun. It only took about 10 minutes, I think. These noodles are the best thing that ever happened to me.
That's our ghetto Christmas tree. But it was nice to have some presents under there!
Thanks for the presents, Mom! We had a fun time opening them this morning!