Friday, August 23, 2013

Letter #7 MTC

Im not really afraid I just cant believe it came this fast. Its bizarre.
Nothing much has happened this week so I apologize beforehand to everyone who is reading this blog who immediately just lost interest because SURPRISE everyone, the MTC gets a bit monotonous.)
Although I am getting pretty creative with my food.
I took the hot wings and cut them up and put them on a salad and if I didnt know where I was I might as well have been at wingers cause IT WAS GOOD.
Also, the chocolate chip cookies here are the worst because they have WAY too many cholcoate chips.
Really. Thats a legitimate complaint because I say so.

Korean has been coming along this week. We were reading the book of Mormon in class and was suddenly clearly aware of my surroundings becuase 2 months ago, we were all a group of strangers who just spoke English and now here we were, READING KOREAN together.
I cant even explain that feeling. It was insane.

I'm not exactly homesick but I definitely am PEOPLESICK. (Look, Im making up words now) For example- While walking to theTuesday night devotional an Elder walked by me who smelled exactly like Dayne and I got SO DEPRESSED. Im pretty sure no one in the world can miss their brother in law as much as i did in that moment.
Also, I got the greatest package from the Bonzos (and the shoes, finally, MOM THESE ARE THE GREATEST INVESTMENT I HAVE EVER MADE) and I LOVE MY FAMILY.
Kade- Your bunny is the greatest. I showed everyone in my district and now they know that a bunnys tail is called a scut. You are th e smartest 7 year old I know.
Pipa- Your drawing was so cute. I wish I could be there to pinch your cheeks and let you use my watercolors. I miss you so much.
William- Your rocks were so pretty! I like the little green ones but my favorite is the big round stone. They are sitting on my desk and I look through them when I miss you.
Cort & Dayne- Those pictures were hilarious. I think I showed them to everyone in my District atleast twice. I dont care if no one cares, I HAVE THE CUTEST NIECE AND NEPHEW.
Thank you everyone for your letters and emails. I hope you know that even if I dont have time to reply to them all immediately, I read and reread and reread them all every day. I have never felt so much love and support as I do on my mission.
I miss you and love you all!
XO Sister Pappa

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pictures!! MTC

District F28- (From left to right) Elder Baker, Elder Ahlberg, Elder Baldwin, Elder Wunderli, Elder Berry, Elder Judd, Sister Hingano, Sister KiniKini, Me, and Sister Arvanitas

 My companion and I. She's ridiculous and I love her.

ROMA- I hung up your Kardashian update by my bed because I LOVE IT THAT MUCH. Also I just got out of the shower and so I look like disgusting. Please disregard this.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Letter #6 MTC

Was trying to think of something other than "Happy P Day" to start this email with, but my brain kinda feels like a bowl of soggy scrambled eggs from too much Korean. In other words, please excuse my lack of creativity at this time. 
This week has been a great one.
We had the privilege of hearing from Elder Richard G. Scott in our Tuesday night devotional. The spirit was so strong and I honestly can say that I have never experienced that kind of congregational reverence as the Marriot center FILLED with missionaries sat teary eyed as Elder Scott gave us an apostolic blessing to all the missionaries who were learning a foreign language.
It was such a sacred expereience.
The language has been going really well. My companion and I are starting to understand our investigator (who is our Korean teacher, and a native Korean) ALOT better than before. Although he is native Kroean, even the other natives in our building say that he speaks faster than any other Korean they have ever met. So not to brag but I'm gonna give myself a few gold stars for generally understanding what this guy is trying to say.
Korean is so complicated but also so fun. I LOVE THIS LANGUAGE.
Happenings of the Week//
1. Between Elder B. and I- "Sister Pappa, Those two Elders were just checking you out, you wanna know what I wanted to say to them?!"
"Hey, don't you look at her like that, CAN'T YOU SEE SHE'S A NUN?!" that. movie.
2. An Elder in our districts friend sent him bubbles. When we feel like we need a break to party a little, we pull out the bubbles, whip out our colored flashlights (Also a random package gift we've recieved) turn off the lgihts and replay the first 40 seconds of the Brandon Flowers "I'm a Mormon" video. We know it's pathetic, but we work with what we got. (Side Note, my companion and I sit back and laugh, its really only the Elders who cant contain themselves. Theyre 18, give em a break.)
3. The return of the worst cold in the world. Remember like a month ago when I got that? Well pretty much everyone in our zone has it. We are so grateful that we are surrounded by so many worthy priesthood holders so that everyone can get belssings of healing and kick this thing to the curb. Satan is the worst.
4.  My companion and I got a taste of the outside world and someone emailed us a picture of Kate Middletons new baby. GUYS, I dont even care about Kate Middleton but I was so excited to see something from NOT the MTC that suddenly kate Middleton is my favorite person.
5. Everyone in my District is trying their very hardest to contract some illness so that they can go to the health clinic a block away. Elder B. had a reaaaaallly bad "earache" and so him and his companion went and had it checked out. While Elder B. was meeting with the doctor, Elder W. his comapnion was flipping through a copy of Utah Valley magazine and FOUND HIS COMPANION IN IT. Apparently Elder B. forgot to mention to us that he is a musical genius and happens to be famous. Elder W. ripped out the picture and we have it hung up in our classrom with Elder B.s autograph. We feel pretty excited to be in his family.
6. Me, Elder J. and Elder B. are having a contest to see who can gain the most weight while they are here. We figure that when we get to Korea all of the chub will just float away due to excessive illness from too much Asian food. So why not be a little crazy while we are here.
It kinda makes sense, right?

Side Note/Caps Letter Annoucement of the Week- MY BABY SISTER GOT HER LICENSE. Is this real life? Good job Kass, but no matter how hard you try you will never be as good of a driver as I am.

3 More Weeks until Korea! Life is wonderful. My testimony of this gospel grows each day I am here. I see the way a persons eyes light up when we teach them every Friday night in TRC. I feel the love of Heavenly Father each time that someone bears their testimony. I know that this work is organized of Heavenly Father and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

사 랑 해 요 !
XO Sista Pappa

Friday, August 9, 2013

Letter #5 MTC

Is it p day? IT WAS JUST P DAY. This week has been pretty overwhelming. I have been exhausted, frustrated, annoyed, hurt, offended, EXHAUSTED, hungry, confused, blissfully happy, excited and probably 15 other emotions. And this easily happens in the course of one day as a missionary.
This week consisted of-
1// Explaing the difference between a ghost and a spirit to our investigator. WAIT, is there one?? Haha try doing that in Korean.
2// Our investigator asking us how autism is incorporated into the Plan of Salvation. Lets just say our Korean vocab in the field of "learning disabilites" is lacking.
3// My companion seeing her FAMILY! Her brother came to the MTC this week to get set apart by a member of the MTC presidency and we got to see her parents and siblings. Let me tell you that there is no greater feeling than watching a family open their eyes at the end of a setting apart blessing to see their daughter sitting next to them. (We snuck in the room in the middle of the prayer) IT WAS SO TENDER. And then there was me, awkwardly standing in the corner as everyone bawled and hugged and each other. And I was all.. "Hi, I'm just your daughters companion." It was probably the sweetest gathering I have ever seen.
We are becoming more acquainted with the new missionaries in our zone. The oldest district leaves next week which means that WE WILL BE THE OLDEST. This is insane. I truly belive that the Asian speaking missionaries are some of God smartest people. (really, excluding me.) there is a kid in our zone who goes to HARVARD and one to Yale and another who is currently attending MIT. Like, what the heck am I doing in this zone. I AM NOT A QUARTER AS SMART AS THESE PEOPLE. My companion and I are pretty blown away by these people.
As amazing as the missioanries in my zone are, I love the missionaries in my district. Our favorite time is gym time. I WOULD DIE WITHOUT THAT HOUR OF PLAYING FOUR SQUARE. truly. And yes, I said four square. yes, like that game you played in the third grade.
I dont have much time but i want to share one scripture with you before I leave to finish my laundry- D&C 4:4
 For behold the afield is white already tobharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up incstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
As missionaries, this scripture is constantly mentioned. The field is white! There are souls that have been prepared by God to recieve this glad message. As if I didnt love this scripture as it is, my companion mentioned something to me this week that made my heart almost burst- I have been called to serve in Daejeon, Korea. Do you know what Daejeon means?
Big. Field.
I have the best mission in the world.
xo sister pappa

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Letter #4 MTC

Happy friday from the MTC! I have been here for almsot a MONTH!!! Can you believe that? It feels like I just go there yesterday but it also feels like I have been fhere for eternity. i cant explain it.
this week has been a rough one as far as the language goes. KOREAN IS SO HARD.
During an interview with my teacher I broke down in tears. I felt so embarrassed as I vented about how hard all this was but I felt so much better when he started to say he felt the same way i did in the MTC. Then he proceeded to tell me how terrible his roommates are and how frustrated he was with HIS life too. Wow, my teacher is actually a real human being who has a life outside of teaching us korean. i think everyone in my district unconsciously assumes that he lives in our classroom and eats his meals from the vending machines.
i felt so much better after i talked to him.
Our Tuesday night devotional was great. The speaker shared a Jeffrey R. Holland quote on missionary work and I was so moved by it. Holland asks the question why missioanry work is SO HARD. Why more people dont get baptized. Why people cannot accept the message when they know in their heart that it is true. He says- (and I paraphrase, greatly)
"Salvation is not cheap. The truth is not always easy to act upon. But everytime you are are spit upon, and laughed at for the message which you bring to the world, you are PRIVELEGED to spend just ONE small moment in the Garden of Gethsemane, just ONE small moment on the cross. This work is not easy, but the truth will bring you immeasurable joy in this life and the life to come, if only you have to courage to do something baout it."
The spirit was so strong when he said that, I am sure it shook the whole room. There were many tears rolling down the faces of the THOUSANDS of missioanries in the room who know their purpose and who act upon it. The work is hard, but the price is worth it. We are sent to spread this message to all the world, no matter how difficult it may be.
Yesterday we taught two lessons to two different investigators and it was the FIRST time since I have been here where I actually feel like I could stray from our script and really communicate in Korean with our investigatorss. All seemed to begoing  well in our plan of salvation lesson until our investigator interuppted us to tell us his girlfriend broke up with him so he went to the bar last night and got wasted. As if that didnt concern us enough, he then told hus that his girlfriend pretty much is an alcoholic and that she is CRAZY. (accompanied by the hand motion) to which he so politely concluded with an invitation to join him at the bar tonight, right before our closing prayer.
hmmmmmm, tempting.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Our second investigator is amazing. He has so much faith but can't really understand how the atonement applies to him. I was able to explain to him in broken Korean that the Atonement allows us to feel peace in our hearts and that we only need to pray to our Father in Heaven to access it. The spirit was so strong and I was able to actually say what I wanted to in Korean. the gift of tongues is so real! I am amazed by the power of it.
We got 30 new missionaries in our zone this week. We arent the babies anymore! Me and my district eavesdropped on on of the new districts first lesson. The teachers speak only Korean for the first week and these kids looked HORRIFIED. We were dying laughing outside the door because their teacher was speaking the most simple Korean in the wrld and we understood everything he was saying. The teacher kept saying 'DOOOO YOOOU UNDERSTAND??" in Korean and this one kid just kept saying "I'm sorry teacher, I don't know what youre asking me."
Its amazing that that used to be us.
Although our Korean has come so far, our zone seems to be going crazy. ourcommon  sense is slowly dwindling into nothing. this morning at breakfast an elder mentioned how he learned once that if you eat bananas and sprite together, the potassium and the carbonation make it literlaly impossible to keep it down.
A group of Elders.
A cafeteria equipped with endless bananas and sprite.
.... I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
And yes, the theory is true. You inevitably will vomit on the spot.
.... all. over. the. table.
We die at the entertainment that we come up with in the MTC. I'll admit that I played the salt game this week with Elder B. ITS DISGUSTING AND WONT EVER DO IT AGAIN.
Our districts favorite activity is "See who can draw a perfect cirlce on the board"
......Its surprisingly fun.
The church is true. Christ lives. I love being a missioanry.
Have a lovely week.
xo Pappa Chame
 Ps Pappa in Korean means busy.. That fits our family so much it is creepy!

Letter #3 MTC

ITS P DAY!!!! Best day of the week. My district calls it "The Worst Morning in the World turned into the Best Day Ever".... in reference to the fact the we have to wake up at 5:30 to sweep the bathrooms and restock toilet paper for two hours with no breakfast. We hate it so much.
This Week:
1. We got two new investigators! Their names are SO HARD TO REMEMBER. My companion laughs at me cause I have to write their names down on a piece of paper so everytime I address them in our lesson I have to look down at the piece of paper. It's incredibly embarrassing. I defintiely speak more Korean than I did last week so I feel like I'm progressing but teaching in Korean is SO HARD. Translation: We hate all English speaking missionaries. We overhear them planning lessons and they're all-
"We should ask him to share his experience with reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. Did his testimony grow? Did he feel the love of Christ? What lessons did he learn from Lehi and his family about the Law of Consecration?"
and we are all in the corner like, "Should we say hello informally or formally?"
because basically thats one of the 12 things we know how to say. CURSE MISSIONARIES SEAKING ENGLISH. (We really do love them though.)
2. Elders are DISGUSTING in the cafeteria. Weird things happen. An Elder sits down next to me at dinner with a tray consisting of-
A Hamburger & Fries
And Extra bowl of fries
A philly cheese steak sandwich
A bowl of cereal
And two donuts.
As if this didn't clog your colon just LOOKING at his tray, this Elder then proceeds to remove the two buns from his hamburger and replaces them with, yes indeed, the two donuts. This my friends, is called a DONUTBURG. -_-
.....There are just no words to describe how I feel right now.
On top of everyones disgusting diet, I have also had my moments.
On Wednesday I ate 8 No Bake cookies (Thanks Family!), 5 Chocoloate Chip Cookies, the equivalent of 4 Rice Krispie treats, and a half a bag of Peppridge Farm Thumbprints. I FEEL TERRIBLE.
....Please ship me spinach and berries and I will go on a green smoothie detox. I think I am killing myself.
Not only are we all committing health suicide, but the "Salt Game" (See Last Post) has now evolved into the "Chaloola Game" and better yet, the "TABASCO SAUCE game". Sister D. invented this one. Guys, what is happening to us.
3. This week our zone won the Illness Lottery. I was the first one in our district to catch it. Please tell me how a slew of missionaries can catch a COLD in the middle of the summer. It was awful and I just wanted to sleep all day but we all toughed it out and fought it. One afternoon I was feeling awful so me and my companion skipped gym time to take a shower. My companion offers her best advice and says "If you go in one of the showers that doesnt drain, its kinda like takinga bath." .....Thats one way to look at it.
4.I had my first Korean sleep talking experience! It happend last week and I forget to mention it. According to my companion, she was getting ready to go to sleep when I sat straight up and yelled out "DA!!!" (Which is just an ending to verbs" then I got really confused and told my companion "Im so sorry!! I have no idea whats going on."
HAHAHAHAHAHAH I almost died when she told me.
I feel like this is bound to happen to any language speaking missionary because EVERY NIGHT when you go to sleep you physically cannot turn your brain off Korean mode. Phrases and words and just bouncing around in your barian and you cant understand why you cant sleep because you are SO BEYOND TIRED.
5.My companion and I are finding alternate ways of entertainment to distract us from wanting to watch a movie or listen to music. Music and the spoken word is THE BEST. We get so excited for sunday becasue they jam all of us sisters in the gym and turn off the lights and we get to hear REAL MUSIC OTHER THAN HYMNS!!!! life is so good. We also LOVE reading the BOM together. Its like reading Harry Potter... almost.
6. The Tie.
Once upon a time, my companion and I (as dress code inforcers for our district [We might have given ourselves this title]) were having a discussion with our distrcit Elders about proper tie wearage. They were all telling us about how great paisley is. I told them that paisley isnt specifically my favorite because it reminds me of a diaper bag and they all laughed at me even thought i really was so serious. I DONT LIKE PAISLEY TIES.
The next morning I show up to breakfast and loa and behold, every Elder in my District is wearing a paisley tie. HA... HA.... HA.
Turns out that my companion and I fell in love with one of the Elders Paisley ties which was purchased at the DI. COOLEST TIE EVER. We loved it so much that we crowned it the "District Tie". Everyday someone in our district wears it, even the sisters. Wednesday was my day and I wore it as a headband. LONG LIVE THE DISTRICT TIE. I will send picturs of it soon.
7.Our favorite hymn to sing in Korean is "Angels We Have Heard on High" In stead of GLoooooooooooooooooooRIA, it becomes YAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaGWONG. HAHAHAH Everytime we get to Gwong we laugh because it sounds so obnoxious.
Singing hymns in Korean is so much fun.
8.This week someone in my zone thought I was from OREGON. That defintiely is the best compliment I have ever recieved. 'you just dont looklike you're from around here" she says. I LOVE OREGON.
9. The Native Korean missionaries LOOOOOVE my name. Everytime they see me they say PAPA!!! PAPA!!! PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPA!!! I love Koreans.
10. I HAVE NEVER WANTED TO CAMP MORE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE THAN I DO IN THE MTC. I tell my companion that I just want to take a tent and live in Alaska for the rest of my life. I stumbled upon a scripture that describes my longing perfectly- Psalms 55:5-7. HAHAHA God is so funny..
11. Speaking of scriptures, I stumbled upon another one that I plan on hangin above my bed. Psalms 57:8
.... I know youre laughing right now.
On a more serious note, this experience has been amazing. I feel like I have been here for ETERNITY. We have 105 missionaries in our zone and SEVENTY of them are leaving on Monday. We get thirty on Wednesday though, we are so sad but so happy at the same time. Goodbyes are always so hard.
I became really close with the a sister in my zone named Sister D. She is SO AMAZING. She is from Alaska and I feel like we were best friends in heaven. She wears neutral colors and she likes the North Face and chalkboards and traveling and she is the cutest. We became close friends and I never wanted to see her go. She is scheduled to leave on Monday and so I was already preparing for her to leave and it was HARD. Last night i was in my room getting ready for bed and she comes in to talk to me like she does every night. She told me that she was leaving to go home to Alaska in the morning and that she wanted to tell me goodbye.
She has been really struggling with being here in the MTC and has felt down a lot. All of us girls just told her that Satan was probably just working extra hard on her but that she could overcome it, being a missioanry brings so much joy! She went to talk to one of the counselros at the MTC and they gave her a medical release in regards to her current state. She just isnt prepared to live in a foreign coutnry dealign with the anxiety she is feelign at the moment.
Me and my companion cried together. We want her to be better but we admire her bravery to do what is right. We know that God will help her at home.
Goodbyes are always the worst.
Even though life is filled with so much sorrow and dissappointment, Sister D. taught me that although she may have to leave her mission for now, God will always take care of us if we trust in his judgement and choose to embrace our challenges insted of fight them.
There is joy in every moment of everyday, we only need to look for it.