Monday, December 26, 2016

12/25/16 at 8:26 PM


MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hurray for time zones (and also not, because it super confuses me, but that's okay), because that means that it's actually Christmas in the States! 

I'MINKOREAYAYAYYAYAAYAY! I mean, it's not like that would've changed since last week, but you know, just thought I would remind you. Seriously, though, pretty much everyday I find a new way to appreciate the city. The tall shiny buildings and the smaller, older brick buildings; the people's grins when they are enthusiastically greeted with 안냥하세요! by a foreigner; and, of course, that special Seoul smell. Couldn't call it Seoul without it. 

One of our investigators arrived at our lesson, sat down, and one of the first things she said was, "Do you have church tomorrow? I want to go." It was so great. And sure enough, she came and sat by us for Sacrament meeting. (I found out afterwards that she couldn't really hear anything, so that's a bummer, but on the other hand, I couldn't really understand anything, so we're in it together, I guess.) But my companion and I are thinking about the whole "not being able to hear" thing. We'll figure it out, I'm sure. 하나님 아버지 wants that lady to hear the gospel, so by golly she'll hear it. :)

I got to Skype family yesterday, so hurray for modern technology! (Except for when it tells me I spelled "hurray" wrong...) Maybe it's because it's only been a couple months, but it was sort of like I'd just had a really long day (and not more than 2 months) that I was telling them about. We were in three different places--one of which was a third of the globe away--and two different time zones, but it was like we had just seen each other yesterday. I'm so grateful to have such great relationships with my family members. Dey ahr deh behst. (Yes, that's a Nacho Libre quote...) 

We ate dinner at the bishop's house, and IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. It's not like we've been starving (my companion and I are perfectly capable of making ourselves food), but man, nothing beats a home-cooked meal. It was just like my mom had cooked us dinner, and it was amazing. There was also cake, so that's good. 

I feel that I must warn the readers that when you see me in 2018, there's a good chance I will be even more giant than I already am, and it's because I eat all the rice in the whole world. I try not to, and then I don't feel like being creative enough to come up with a meal that doesn't involve rice, so I eat all the rice in the whole world. I'm sure there'll be no need to point it out to me, as I am surrounded by Koreans. ;) I'll work on it, but I don't want to make any promises.


Last night (our Christmas night), we watched The Testaments with a recent convert. You know, the old Church movie with all the feathers and the bad acting and the spray tans on white people? Well, there were still as many feathers as I remember from watching it as a kid, but the acting was great, and the tans looked pretty natural for the most part (I'm giggling as I type that because, let's be honest, there's no way they looked natural, but it was still great). The point is that I LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH. If you've never seen it, or if it's been a while, watch it. It's old, and maybe a little cheesy, but it was great. (And if it's too cheesy to watch it in English, watch it in Japanese with English subtitles, 'cause that wasn't too bad. Those Japanese people do good with the voice-acting thing.) There were a couple moments that I wish we had the technology to record feelings. Just bottle up the feelings to save them for later, then open up the jar when we want to feel like that again... Unfortunately, there is no such thing, but I will try with words to express the things.

As I was watching, at the part that all the video clips of the Atonement are playing, especially when you see Christ carrying the cross, I just had the distinct thought of, "What if your best friend was doing that for you?" And then immediately following, "Your best friend did that for you." Isn't that an amazing thought? That this perfect, loving, powerful being is already your best friend, you just have to reach out to Him? 

The second part that really got me is right at the end when (*SPOILER ALERT*) Jacob is describing the goings-on to his dad Helam, and then right at the end you see Christ's hands touch Helam's face to heal his eyesight (he was blinded earlier on) and you just hear Christ say, "Helam." As soon as He says his name, it was like jab to the heart: He knows our names! Individually! That fact is supported even more when you think of Joseph Smith's story. The first thing Heavenly Father says is Joseph's name. How incredible? That such wonderful, powerful beings know our names, that they think of us individually? There's no telling how that's possible, and I'm not sure our mortal brains could wrap our heads around it even if we did know, but it really is a thing. 

I'm grateful for the gospel. I think I take it for granted a lot of the time; because I grew up with it, particularly in an environment where pretty much everyone else believes the same things I believe, I think I didn't really realize the impact it can have on a life. I feel that impact a little more each day, and I hope to be able to help others feel it as well. 

Love you all!

Sister Chun 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Companion & Awesome Trainer

 Dec 18 at 10:13 PM


*music notes* I'm in Korea Yeah! *music notes*

There is so much to say, which means I probably won't get it all down, but I'm going to try. It's going to be a jumbled mess, so buckle up.

When I introduced myself to the ward during sacrament meeting yesterday, as soon as I explained that my dad is a 한국사람 (Korean), literally every member of the ward nodded with understanding. I had to refrain from giggling.

Koreans are SO nice. The food is SO good. The city is SO gorgeous. Be jealous, all of you! ;)

My companion is so sweet and optimistic and focused! She's doing a great job of training me, and I'm learning a lot. Hopefully I can learn quickly. She's a quarter Korean, but doesn't really look like it, which means we get a lot of interested looks when she starts speaking Korean better than I do. :) But I'll get there soon, I'm sure.

Having said that, I still don't really understand what people are saying, and it's great. I just nod and say "". And if I think they may be complimenting me (they bestow pity compliments when they learn I've only been studying the language for 9 weeks) I say "감사합니다" and then [humbly] "아니요 아니요 아니요." Like I said, the Koreans are real nice people.

While in the MTC, I had heard that Koreans don't really get sarcasm, and now that I'm here, Koreans don't really get sarcasm, and that is also great. There's an elder in our district who it seems like is always trying to make facetious jokes with them, and there's always a pause before he has to clarify that it's a joke... Hehe good times.

I love Korea so much. I mean, it's not all cupcakes and rainbows (although I did have delicious apple spice cake last night at the mission home), but I love it. I have found this past week that the cure for feeling discouraged, sad, lonely, faithless, and testimony-less is to get over myself, forget myself, and think about other people! It really works, y'all, in sort of an amazing way. But it's one of those things that constantly needs to be re-learned, I think. I guess that's what the next 16 months is going to be, huh?

I love you all!


PS - The place where we come to email is SWEET! It's literally just a room full of computers, totally decked out in gamers' equipment. These Koreans know how to do things. 

Also, the monitors are bigger than Uncle Bong Soo's. (Uncle, now you have to get a bigger one! 농담이에요!!!)

PPS - Me and my beautiful trainer and also my district with the bishop and some Filipino members that showed up to our sacrament meeting. They're visiting Korea, and they were so cool. Pretty sure we're going to hang out after the mission.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Korea-Seoul District Arrives in Korea
December 14, 2016

Sister Leanne Chun with President & Sister Sonksen