Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Jan 22 at 8:09 PM
Okay, it's finally dawned on me how many weeks I'll have to keep track of if I just keep counting up, so! The first number is the transfer, the second number is the week. See? I can sometimes do things. #nailedit
This week is unique for a couple of reasons. Today is not actually P day, and I'm not with Sister Giles. Since we get to go to the temple this week, and our temple day is Tuesday, not Monday, today is just a regular day as far as missionary routine goes (emailing aside, since they probably didn't want to get flooded by concerned parents who don't hear from their children at the expected time), and tomorrow after the temple we'll do P day stuff. The other thing is that I'm on exchanges today. I'm with the zone's sister training leader, 강채은 자매님 (Sister Kang), and I'm not going to lie, she's a little intimidating. She's been on her mission for a year now, so I'm learning a lot from her. I feel bad that she has to say pretty much every sentence really slowly so that my 외국인 바보 (foreign idiot) head can understand, but when she does slow down, I do understand, so that's good. I have no idea how to reply, usually, but I do understand. Making progress. It's good to see where I really stand in the language: let's me know how much more I need to improve. :)
You know, one of the things that surprised me when I first got to the field was how much we run. :) I think the first time we had to run somewhere was from the Church house to our house, so that we would be home by 9. Luckily we don't live very far away from the Church. This past week we went from basically the top of our area (from a member's house) to the bottom of our area (to our house) in about 15 minutes. Hurray for running in a bajillion layers, half of those being skirts! Also, with bags! Seriously, I feel like I better understand what a rugby player might feel like: I just cinched my bag shut, held it in the crook of my arm, and booked it. Sister Giles was killing it in heeled boots. We were home on time, though, and that's the important thing. That was Tuesday. Running also happened on Thursday. We had 12 Week follow-up, which we thought started at 10:00, and spiritual prep starting at 9:30, when in reality, spiritual prep started at 9, and the meeting itself started at 9:30. (I'm realizing there are so many holes in my narrative... 12 week is the thing Greenies and their trainers do, just learning the basics of missionary work and what not. Since it's been 6 weeks, we went for a half-way checkup I guess you could say. Basically just another training meeting, a "you can do it" meeting, don't do stupid things, learn while you can, etc. Spiritual prep is very important for these things. The room full of missionaries is super quiet--usually someone who can play piano is playing some prelude-type stuff--and we're all just studying.) Admittedly, the time that we left, we would have been a few minutes late to spiritual prep, which is regrettable, but we would've been on time for the meeting. So while we're on the bus to go there, we get the call informing us that we were told wrong, and that the meeting actually started at 9:30, which was in about 5 minutes. So once we got off the bus, we cinched up our bags and booked it. The only problem was that it was uphill. ... ... ... Sadness, but also awesomeness. I felt like such a boss. A tired, winded, going-to-throw-up boss. I think we looked a little crazy when we entered the building because the office Elders gave us a wide berth. I had been asked to wave my arm during the singing things, so the coolest thing (to me at least) was that as soon as we walked in--huffing and puffing--Elder Nam, one of the Assistants to the President, anounced the opening exercises: "... and Sister Chun will be leading the music." I had enough time to swing around the back corner where there were seats available, drop my stuff off, grab a hymn book and get to the front of the room. Elder Nam told me the hymn number as I passed him, and then we sang!
The word I think of when I think of that Thursday adventure is trust. I don't know that I could eloquently describe why. Maybe the fact that even though we weren't there yet, Elder Nam went ahead and announced that I would be the chorister; he trusted that we would be there in time. The timing itself is what really impressed me: literally as I walked in he was saying my name. It makes me think of 2 Nephi 27:21: "... I am able to do mine own work."
The Lord works in mysterious ways. The 12 Week Follow-Up Adventure maybe doesn't really have anything to do with actual missionary work, but it's a good reminder that there's Someone up there who has a better perspective than we do. He's watching over all that we do; we just do the things we know He wants us to and He'll guide us from there. That can be a little scary, doing that; I think a lot of the times we just want to know that what we're doing is what we're supposed to be doing, but even that knowledge comes over time. The important thing is that it does come. And remember, we are eternal beings, so... you could be waiting a long time. But don't worry! Patience is a virtue! Or rather, patience is a Christ-like attribute, and coincidentally, developing those is what makes life better. ^_^
Keep pushing forward!
Posted by Wee Chuns at 6:40:00 AM
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Jan 15 at 9:54 PM
Yay Korea! Everyone we talk to says that it's just now starting to get cold, which means I'm doomed... ;) But don't worry, I'll be okay.
The week has been pretty good. We had two meal invites on Thursday, and WE ATE SO MUCH FOOD. There's a thing in Korea, where food left in the bowl offends people, and since we, as missionaries, probably shouldn't offend the children of God, must eat all that is in the bowl. So, we went to a buffet for lunch with one of our investigators, and I ate basically until I was going to throw up, but still ate ice cream and cake (because let's face it, there's always time to ice cream and cake), and then that evening we were eating at our ward mission leader's house, and we ate two big bowls of this delicious Mongolian noodle dish... It's been a while since something has been that delicious and happy and that sad at the same time. It was great. Probably won't be the last time. ^_^
You'll be pleased to know that we're working out for longer than 20 minutes today. b(^_^)
I really like the scriptures, and that may be one of the understatements of the century (and that's a hyperbole... English is fun, isn't it? The people we're teaching think so too...). Some of the commandments investigators must be taught before they can be baptized is to pray often, read the scriptures often, and attend church. Those three things are the CPR of someone's testimony; they're what keep you alive (Church, Prayer, Read the scriptures). I testify that's absolutely true. I can't even imagine how difficult life would be, and missionary work especially, would be if I didn't get to study the scriptures every day. I'm reading in 3 Nephi right now about Christ's visit to the American continent, and about His ministry in Israel. Time is short, so let's just say that Jesus Christ is pretty great. Learning His words is great, but even better is living them. How better could we know Him?
Have a good week!
Posted by Wee Chuns at 2:55:00 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Seoul Korea Temple
Jan 8 at 9:25 PM
Week 4 woohoo! I still know how to count (even if I use my fingers when I'm counting in Korean. Gosh dang this dual number system... But I'll get it. ^_^)
I hope everyone had a happy new year! Did you make all the goals in the whole world? More importantly, did you make a plan to reach those goals? My life has become nothing but goals. #선교사삶 Can I just say, it's a good feeling when you reach a goal? But the trick is, don't think about it! Set the goal, make the plan, then put your head down and work! Do all you can do to reach that goal. Then, even when you don't quite get it, or it wasn't as great as you thought it would be, you can still feel good about what you did do, because you did it your best.
... English is hard. And so is Korean. Hopefully I'll be able to speak at least one of them in a few months... ^_^ Also, when we're teaching the wonderful Korean people the confusing language of English... Yeah, it gets interesting. The best (and worst) is when we're working on pronunciation, and some of the sounds that we use in English don't exist in 한국말, so terrible me has to refrain from giggling. And I succeed! (Most of the time...)
I went on my first exchange this past week, which meant that I would be our area's senior companion for 24 hours. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about it, but it turned out really well. Sister Call is a wonderful human being, and I'm glad she was so patient with my craziness. :)
And now I must fan girl about my companion, Sister Giles. I'm realizing that I haven't really talked about the area I'm serving, who I'm serving with, you know, my life, so I figured I should probably do that. Sister Giles is a quarter Korean, and she's basically a model. Not lying. It's a thing. But she is so humble, patient, and fun! She's teaching me how to be a missionary mostly by her example, but when she does have to say something to correct something, it's always with love and understanding. She knows things about life, and I'm very grateful.
I'm serving in 동대문 (Dongdaemun) zone, 동대문 ward, which is sort of toward the bottom left of the Korea Seoul Mission. My district is made up of Elder Polley and his trainee Elder Boren (in the MTC with me), Elder Cable and Elder Leituala (a couple of MTC districts older than me), and Sister Giles and I. We have a good time, serving the ward, serving the Lord.
My testimony is still growing. I'm still being converted. But what I do know is that when I testify of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, I feel happy, I feel powerful, I feel... somewhat invincible. I don't know exactly why, or how, that's possible, but it's a thing, and I'm grateful for it. I'm excited to become the kind of person I can become because of His atoning sacrifice. One of my favorite scriptures is Mosiah 24:14-15. Alma and his people were doing great, right? They had pretty much just been baptized, and then the Lamanites had to come along and be like, "I think we should put them under bondage. That's a good idea." When I first read that, I just sort of thought, "But bondage is a thing they do when Heavenly Father is punishing them, right?" And then I read verses 14 and 15, and I thought, "Ah, okay. The only way for them to really know what the enabling power of the Atonement was was for them to experience it, and a good way for them to experience was for them to be put under bondage." And that's what trials of faith are, aren't they? A chance for us to understand our Savior a little better? But that's where it may get a little tricky, since we first need to believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. It's almost like taking a step on a curb in the dark (or to some it may seem like taking a step off a cliff). But He's waiting there for you to take the step so that He can catch you.
Posted by Wee Chuns at 7:18:00 PM
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Jan 1 at 9:38 PM
Happy New Year! I can now, when people ask me how old I am, say that I am 20. It's odd.
So, once upon a time this woman walked into the church house wanting to learn English and wanting to learn about the Bible. We've already taught her a couple times; she feels really special, and we hope we can help her become converted!
We hiked a mountain today. Or rather, my companion and the other Sisters we were with hiked a mountain, and I crawled/butt scooted. I'm real good at the butt scoot. b(^_^)b There were some seriously deep gospel-related thoughts that were in my head, and I wish I had written them down, because I honestly don't remember most of them. The one I do remember is this (and I actually took pictures!): The rocky path is cleaner. When life gets hard, just remember the Atonement. The easy way is probably the worse way; the harder way is the way that you'll come out better on the other side (or just sore). And now that I read that back, I'm realizing it makes no sense, so that's good. I guess all the deep philisophical, Confius-like thoughts only came because I was on an Asian mountain... Ah, well. Next time. I'll write them down next time.
Anyway... Yay nature! Yay hiking! Yay Atonement!
Love you all!
I climbed a mountain....
The Iron Rod
But I'm DOING IT!
Heart with my companion, Sister Giles.
I'm over it (and I think I'm going to fall....).
I look deeply uncomfortable....
View from the path.
Kimchi squat on an Asian mountain.
Posted by Wee Chuns at 10:49:00 AM