Wow, the weeks just keep going by, don't they? It's crazy how
different time seems on the mission...
We had a Halloween party on Saturday (since having one on the
weekday didn't make much sense, and originally we had planned to do it on
November 4th...), and it was a blast! We played some fun games together as a
branch, and then we split into four different carnival-type games. They gave us
tickets and then played the games to get candy. I guess I kind of forgot how
excited people get over Halloween candy... ㅎㅎ We had bowling,
fishing, candy pong, and whack-a-mole (but it was more like throw-a-mole, since
all we had were ping pong balls). And we also had a pinata. Sister Castro was a
little disappointed that it wasn't actually a real pinata--it was a box inside
a box with about 100 meters of tape on it and fancy paper on the outside--but
it was still pretty fun to see people beat on it. Probably the best part was
our branch president: He was probably just as, if not more, excited about the
games and candy and pinata than the kids were. ㅋㅋ It was fun to watch
him freak out when he couldn't bounce any of the ping pong balls into the cups.
The box inside the box.
We bought so much candy. O.o
Elder Steward, Franklin, and Elder Huillet with the pinata. I promise that's not a real stun gun. I have no idea how that little boy got that...
We were pretty proud of this thing...
김동규b going at it
최윤지s. This little girl tried so hard...ㅎㅎ
Mad scramble for the candies!
최지영p being super excited about things Halloween-y
The outside of the pinata, post demolition.
We unwrapped chocolate with chopsticks. ㅎㅎ
이승민b is a bank robber...
김동규b trying on his son's mask.
홍희b! Love this sweet boy.
인진교b with the pole, Elder Steward running the booth, and 김도윤b behind them doing... things.
Cup racing. Branch president was also really good at this (he is the one who suggested we do it, after all).ㅋㅋ
He was so mad that he couldn't get any ping pong balls into the cups...
Go Sister Castro!
Look, I made a spider, and it took me like, what, 10 seconds?
View from a cafe on a mountain
Do you see that cloud_!
Please ignore my crazy eyes...
That college life, doh...
We went on exchanges with the Sokcho Sisters and that was also
fun. 이의영s came to DongHae with me and we had a good
time visiting 김금순s and knocking doors. Yay missionary work!
But, as always, it's good to be back with Sister Castro. :)
I ate this spicy ramen that wasn't actually that spicy and it was SO delicious. Oh my...
The spicy sauce that was in my ramen. I promise it was super delicious.
I've also been learning a little bit about the power of prayer.
You all may be pretty aware, but missionaries pray a lot (and
even then sometimes it doesn't feel like we pray enough). Well, at 10:30 we
turn out the light and say our closing prayers. As I've been serving my mission
I've come to realize that actually praying--really communicating with my
Heavenly Father--takes a little more effort than I originally thought. Here's
how I know: by the time I'm done with my evening prayer, it seems that I've
thought about just about everything except for what I want to say to Heavenly
Father, and then I realize how sleepy I am, so I apologize and go to bed. 😳 So! I decided that was 안돼요, and I started going into the other room to
pray out loud. I cannot explain to you how much it helps. I didn't really
realize it at first, but it had been a couple of days in a row that I felt really
happy and willing to do the Lord's work, and when I went to the other room to
pray it suddenly occurred to me that it was because I had been praying out
loud. It helps heaps for the whole concentrating-thing. I just want to let you
all know that Heavenly Father really listens to our prayers. He may not always
answer the way we want or expect, but sometimes it's just kind of nice to know
that Someone is listening, right? I know that being humble enough to speak to
our Heavenly Father has helped me be happy and loving and focused, and I can
promise the same for you all, as long as you're willing to try it.
Good morning, world! We got up at a crisp 4:30 this morning and hoofed it over to a cute little beach spot that we found pretty near to our house so that we could watch the sunrise. It was fantastic. Actually, it was a little disappointing, since there were these massive clouds in the sky, right on the horizon, but we got to see crazy big waves (crazy big for DongHae, anyway), so that was pretty cool. I like nature! ㅎㅎ
On our way to the beach! The wind was kind of crazy, but we wore some winter layers, so we were good all the way there.
We were wearing coordinating hats and sweaters. #companionshipgoals
On the beach in the first rays of early morning.
Finally got light enough to take a decent picture. Do you see the size of that cloud_!
We took a lot of selfies, but it was only after a few minutes of that that Sister Castro pointed out we needed one of us and the beach... It was early, you know_
Poodle hair much? Cuz I do. _)
Our beach spot in the evening.
Looking pensive at the beach... ㅎㅎ
I love that soft pink color...
Sister Castro's turn!
So, I think a lot of you may have noticed (or maybe not, since I
kind of stink at taking pictures of things) is that I have dyed my hair a few
times over the last couple months. Well, I decided to do it again, going to a
darker color than before. What we hadn't considered, however, was that the dye
from the previous time probably used some kind of yellow/orange dying agents,
and the dye that we were going to use had some blue dying agents. I promise
that I did graduate high school, and I know my primary colors
and which ones make which secondary colors, but that did not affect how
horrified we were when we realized that my hair turned out to be a little
green. *facepalm* I was definitely freaking out a little bit (mostly just
repeating over and over again "my hair is green" in varying tones of
disbelief and slight hysteria), but when I woke up in the morning, it was still
green. So I just sort of shrugged and hoped no one would notice. Luckily
enough, no one at church noticed; we think it only looks really green when it's
directly in the light. It's also not evenly green, so that's
kind of a bummer, but at least it's not Anne of Green Gables green.
We went on exchanges with Taebek this week, which means that we
got to take four hour bus rides round-trip. :) That was fun. It was cold up
there! Gotta love that mountain life. Apparently it's supposed to start snowing
up there next month; I hope Sister Smith and Sister Hansen brought enough warm
We went to visit our favorite little harmoni, Sister 김금순; when she opened the door, to our great surprise, her left eye
was totally black and swollen. Apparently she had taken a fall a couple of days
before, resulting in that pretty massive black eye. ㅠㅠ It made us very sad. But it was also a pleasure to bustle
around her house and help tidy up--mostly just washing dishes while she yelled
at me not to--and then peel some fruit for her, since she couldn't see out of
her eye very well. Sister Castro visited her over exchanges and reports that
her eye looks much better. She's been rubbing a raw egg over the hurt
I heard the news about Sami and his sweetheart! Congratulations,
you two! I don't think I've ever had the chance to meet Tammy (Tami, Tammi?)
before I left on my mission, but I'm excited to get to know her!
여러분을사랑해요! I hope you have a good week!
This woman is so cute!
She wanted to take a picture near the train tunnel, but we just compromised for one in front of it. ㅎㅎ
This is Franklin (이스민b). He comes to English class. I think he's trying to make a 평 sign (finger heart), but he just can't... quite... get it. ㅎㅎ I love this boy so much!
Lunch with our investigator, Annabelle. We ate pasta literally drenched in oil, and it was fantastic.
Exchanges with Sister Smith! She made us those delicious Korean pancakes...
Dinner with Sister Smith. Easier to make than I thought, actually...
Can you tell how green it is?
Andy, a member of our Saturday English class. We finished the message early, so he led us in a tower-building exercise.
Grilled kimchi is a thing. A really delicious thing.
How to make 불고기 (fire meat)_ use fire.
So. Much. 고기. Thanks to 최지영p for making us food!
Some of our members on activity night. We had just played Sister Sonksen's _Big Band_ Game, and it was hilarious.
A few of the people left over after the 식사.
Oct 15 at 5:56 PM
Wow~! This week was pretty fun! We were on exchanges with the
Gangreung Sisters so that Sister Seo and I could go to Seoul for MLC. That was
fun, but I missed sleeping in my own bed!
The really exciting parts of the week were Saturday and Sunday.
We had branch conference this week, so we had a branch activity night on
Saturday. President and Sister Sonksen were present, and we played a bunch of
fun games (Charades, Do you love your neighbor?, and Mafia) and ate delicious
food. We found out later that President Sonksen is not really a game person,
but props to him for participating! (And it looked like he was having fun, too,
so that's good.) I seriously love these members so much! They are fantastic,
and so much fun.
Like I said, Sunday was branch conference, so we had some
different speakers (President and Sister Sonksen, Elder and Sister Nielsen, the
senior missionaries in Gangreung, 최지영회장님), all of whom gave really great talks. Sister Sonksen gave her
whole talk in Korean, which was kind of fun to hear. Sister Castro and I were
asked to teach Primary, since the Primary President had to work in the morning.
There were only four kids in Primary, and, boy, are they energetic. Two
sisters, 최은지 (9) and 최윤지 (6), and two boys, 신승철 (12) and 김홍희 (10). The twelve year old so reminded me of
Levi, which I remarked to him. I just said, "SeungCheor, you're like my
little brother..." after which there was a pause and he said,
"weird?" We both laughed and I gave him a thumbs up. Don't worry,
Levi, I only think you're a little bit weird. :) Mostly I just think you're
fun, which I told 승철b. Hurray for Primary!
We also at a ton of food afterward, so that was fantastic.
Sister Castro and I decided that we need to go on a diet: the tummy fat is
getting out of hand... ㅎㅎ I'll let you know how that goes...
We also walked 김금순s, the recent convert, home. She is the cutest
little 할머니 in the entire world. Her leg was sort of
hurting, so I held her hand as we walked: it's literally like holding hands
with a kid. She had us come up to her apartment so that she could give us 배 (which we ate last night and it was so delicious) and dried
sweet potatoes (맛이조금없어요... ㅎㅎ). She was really excited to have so many
people visiting the branch today. I think she 인사ed to every single one
of them. When the Nielsens left, she walked out to the front door to wave
goodbye until they had driven away. By way of explanation she just said, "끝까지인사해야해!". We love her
This week we started reading the Book of Mormon as a mission!
We'll go from now until the end of the year, highlighting references to the
word "heart". Today was until 1 Nephi 4 and there are already a few
of those references, a little bit to my surprise. The goal is to be able to
determine how our hearts are doing as we read about hearts. Do we have hard
hearts or soft hearts?
I'm so grateful to be here in Korea, especially in DongHae. I'm
grateful for everything that I've learned on my mission and everything that I'm
still going to learn. Hopefully I get everything that Heavenly Father is trying
to tell me. :)
I love you all! Have a good week!
최지영p, our branch president. He is seriously hilarious. His daughters are the two rambuctious ones in Primary. He always tells us missionaries to get married slow...
Had to take a picture with the food, and 김영민b jumped in there. We love this 남자. ㅎㅎ
Our 고기 faces...
These are the two boys from Primary. 홍희 on the left, 승철 on the right.
Kidnapped lovingly by this cute harmoni, 김금순s.
Loved getting kidnapped by 김금순 자매님. She had to concentrate going up the stairs, though (and she also doesn't like pictures, so I had to be sneaky).
The guy looked right at the camera, holding the gun thing, saw us filming and waved at us. He tapped his tiger friend and told him to wave at us, too.
These women had really beautiful hanbok on.
That, my friends, is a giant teddy bear hanging on the side of a building. I love Seoul...
Weekly planning at Ediya Coffee. Sister Castro is better at taking selfies than I am...
This is a member from Sindang ward who saw us walking into this KFC for dinner and ran after us to buy us food. Turns out her niece is serving in our zone!