Sunday, November 24, 2013

I love 첨단.

Onyong Kajok!

I hope that your weeks were all great. Thanks for all the love and support that you sent my way this week! (and prayers too!) i got a few letters (and a package!) this week from all of you. just so you know, i cry every time i read any of your letters, my companion probably thinks im a nutter but i cant help it- I LOVE YOU GUYS!
First things first- HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Because we are completely cut off from the world, my district got a tad confused and accidentally celebrated Thanksgiving THIS week. And thanks to big sister, I JUST now discvered that indeed, the rumor is true, thanksgiving is THIS week. Better early than never right? (slight phrase alteration)
Ok, I LOVE MY WARD. Transfer calls are in a week and part of me wants to stay in Chumdeon, although I am ok with whatever President throws my way. 
We had the BEST Sunday yesterday. I know that you guys have no idea who these people are and could care less about these tedious details but i don't even care, im going to tell you anyway!
Baby Maroo celebrated his first birthday! First birthdays in Korea are HUGE. Like, wedding reception huge. Funnest thing of my life. The Gwangju stake YW put on a Project Runway Gwanju Korea and all the YW made clothes and at the end they dressed in traditional Korean dresses. So beautiful! Someday I hope I get a calling in the Young Womens, because they are just my favorite. 
Dabin came to church! I sat with her and juna in the back while a member of the stake presidency sat with us and taught melmas 3 year old ninja moves. Gotta love Asia.KimBoMin and her husband and daughter came too. MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES. The ward babies ran around the chapel as talks were given. Korean mothers just let their kids wander around aimlesley and the entire ward passes around the kids. I love it. 
I love this ward. I love that the Young Men arm wrestle with the leaders. I love that the bishops wife always holds my hands and laughs when I make a joek. (in Korean! I can atually do that now!) I love the steam from the rice cookers that got Elders Hughes's suit wet that one time in Sunday School (yes, rice cookers in sunday school) and i love the way that the primary kids know my name and always yell PAPA CHAMENIM! and the fact the 6 year old pak girl still calls me "goyangi sunsangnim" (cat teacher- from the halloween party) I love that im starting to understand the language more and more everyday, and that i knew enough to know that Elder Allen was changing Sister Starks words when he translated her talk on Sunday.
I love that our ward has a youth orchestra, and that because these kids are geniuses, that they play the cello and flute and violin and piano like pros.

And i love my mission.

And i love all of you.

xoxo sister pappa

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blooming where I am planted

Hey FamBam.

I'm still in Korea, and Im still a missionary, in case anyone was thinking
This week has been nothing short of busy! (Welcome to my life.)
I experienced one of my very favorite (now memories) of my mission so far,
this week. It was an ordinary Tuesday, Sister Spencer and I walked to
Meenjis house in the rain and as we walked in with wet rain coats and soggy
Book of Mormons, Sister Kim and Sayhyeon met us at the door. She fed us
Asian Pears 배 and persimmons (which I hate by the way. But in the
missionary spirit, I ate it and smiled.)
I love her little apartment that overlooks the grove of trees in the park.
It was there that I learned that I could read Korean upside down. It was
there that I sat with Meenji in her room and read her a childrens book in
Korean as she wrapped her little doll in a blankie because 'she is cold'.
It was there that I first committed someone to recieve baptism and come to
know the love of the Savior.
Sister Kim had a woman over cleaning her house while we sat around the
coffee table and talked. Sister Kim told us about the conference talks that
we brought her while SayHyeon ran from lap to lap, eating a whole persimmon
and drooling all over the table.
As Sister Kim got up to go to the sink, her cleaning lady started talking to
her, asking who we were, what we were doing etc. She said that 'there is a
special feeling I feel when I listen to those girls talking, as I clean
your house.'

Sister Kim was inactive before we came to teach her. Through her
reactivation, her love for the gospel has grown and I have SEEN the
miracles that it has brought to her and her family. Sister Spencer and I
sat silently at the coffee table and watched Sister Kim, a once inactive and
quite lost member talk to the cleaning woman about the gospel and about
missionaries. She told her that there are missionaries are all over the
world. She told her that everything in our church is voluntary and that
Sister Spencer and I are sacraficing a lot to come and serve and preach the
gospel. She spoke to her for a long time, and I felt nothing short of the
entirety of the spirit in that room. That place certainly became holy
ground as we witnessed the power of missionary work, not just with those
who wear a tag but with *everyone.*
There is a reason why the Lord has instructed this church to be a
community. The most almighty being in the world desires his gospel to be
spread to all the world, he could do it ANY way that he wanted. Heavenly
Father could snap his fingers and every being on the planet could have a
Book of Mormon in their hand, but that's not the way he wants it done. He
involved ME. And he involved you and my companion and the Bishop and the
children in Primary and the man who lives down the street. The Lord invites
us to partake of human connection and to learn something valuable from
every person we meet. Our church is one of friendship, and I have always
admired that about it. Sister Kim just needed someone to sit down in a cafe,
one fall day at the beginning of my first transfer, and ask her if we could
come to her house and teach Meenji some English. Her flame of testimony was
burning out into almost ashes, but through befriending her and leading her
back into the fold, her flame was nurtured and kindled until we saw it
burning beautiul and bright in her kitchen that rainy Tuesday afternoon;
And there will never be anything that will compare to  witnessing such a
miracle. To know that I *helped*. And that somehow in the most miraculous
way, the Lord led us to her.
She is a miracle. And Meenji is a miracle.
And my mission is a miracle.
I encourage all of you to look for the miracles this week.
If you look hard enough, I promise you will find them.
I witness them *every day.*

I love *each* of you.
xo sister pappa.

Sister Spencer overlooking our area. 진자예퍼요. My mission is beautiful.

Walking to Meenjis in the rain and feeling rather happy to be missionaries.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10

Onyonghasayo!!!!! (I cant spell anything in English thats supposed to be in Korean.)
This week has been one of the greatest, truly. Winter is in full swing here in Gwangju and the winter coats have been pulled off the hangers. This morning Sister Spencer and I went hiking with two sisters in our ward and we nearly froze our ears off. Oh the things I do for my companion! Being selfless is something that I am painfully growing into as a missionary.
This week I present you with-
A Miracle: Sister Spencer and I were printing pictures in a photography studio today ( so to Grandma, Mom, Kassey, Sista Marquis and whoever else I sent letters to this week- expect a photo of this girls face to hang on your fridge! ;)) A man and a 19 yeard old boy walked in to get school pictures taken and he points to our naetags and says in English- BOOK OF MORMON, I KNOW! (who does that?) He apparently had met with the Elders in high school and he loved it. Now 25 years ago, him and his nephew want to meet with us again! It was a random miracle and we hoping that he will be receptive to the message which we are going to hare with them. 
An Exciting Piece of News that I totally forgot to share last week: President Shin informed us last week that the NY TIMES has contacted our mission and would like to do a special article on the sister missionaries here. They picked our forgotten little Daejeon Mission out of ALL in the world! We feel so excited and cant wait for them to come in December. We have no idea what they are going to do, but just know that if you see my face in the NY Times, its totally normal.
A Message for Jessie Honeycutt: I thought of you while I was standing in the Spam Aisle at Emart the other day. Just thought you should know. I love you, you red headed little-sistered-best-friend. 
A Moment where my father would be very proud of me: Our drain in the bathroom clogged today. THE FLOOR drain. (Korean bathrooms are horrible. And don't even get me started on the caulk jobs around the bathtub and toilet. HORRIBLE.) All our sisters were like 'just call a plumber' and I was like UH UH you city girls. (as i laughed to myself that Im quite a city girl myself.) but before I hopped in the shower that morning, I rolled up my sleeves and tore the drain apart, discovered the problem, and have gave myself a big pat on the back. As I triumphantly emerged from the bathroom, my companion gasped and said HOW DID YOU FIX THAT and I, chin up declared "I FIXED IT BECAUSE I AM A PAPPA." Dad, I could hear you cheering for me halfway across the world. Like father, Like daughter.
Speaking of city girls, we were eating dinner at the Bishops house last night and we were eating a rather large fish. We were told it was called ''meeno'' and another sister gasps and says to me ''Sister Pappa! He is speaking Konglish (a mix of Korean and English) and is saying we are eating MINNOWS. *face palm* Sister Harless, Do you know how small a minnow is?! I DIE. 
A note on the diet that I have had recently: I discovered TUNA FISH in this country. My companion hates the smell and it reminds me of basically my entire childhood of my siblings complaining everytime I opened a can of tuna. Also, its ORANGE season in Korea. We can eat 30 in one day. EASY. Its basically the ony thing we eat in our apartment.
Something to make you laugh: MIssionaries even think about missionary work in their sleep. It never leaves our brains. An Elder in my district told me his recent dream while we were waiting in the Immigration office to update our foreigner cards-
"Sister Pappa, I was in Hogwarts and I was calling people up to the front of the great hall and laying my hands on heir heads to sort them into the three kingdoms ."
........oh my gosh, Elder Hughes. That's hilarious.
To add to the collection, I had a stressful dream the other night that I was walking down a hallway, completely by myself (so, weird.) and the hallway was endless and lined with hundreds and hundreds of computers. I JUST WANTED TO CHECK MY EMAIL. One problem- It wasnt P Day. It was the classic devil on the left and angel on the right-
...Just check it, Sister Spencer isnt here.
It was a nightmare but I am proud to say that I FOLLOWED THE RULES. Even in my sleep.
In other news, I found out this week that my favroite flavor of Ramen is BOILED COW BONE. If that doesnt make you want ot vomit then tell me what does. Neverthless, it still is my favorite. 

This week was great, and the hard work pays off. My mission has taught me SO much and continues to teach me more and more each day.
I love you all!!
xo sista pappa

We carried this chair all the way home. "If its free you take it" -Kelsey Mother

The adventures of the white missioanies riding the bus

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy November

Busy Busy week for this Sister here.
Monday the zone spent all day bowling. Everyone was super impressed when I got a strike my first try, and then the real me came out. And well, let just say there were many ZEROS for this girl here.  
Splits with this sista happened this week-
We basically talked nonstop for 24 hours while roaming the streets, finding addresses from our area book. No tangible success but it sill felt good to get out there.
On our walk home from the split, I spotted a Jack-O-Lantern peeking out of someones food trash and I grabbed it. And my companion said something along the lines of-
And then I said something like-

I carried it around for like ten minutes and then I noticed it was moldy. SO SAD. Before I reluctanlty left it lonely in the grass, my companion snapped this beauty of a picture to prove to the world that this was the cutest Jack-O-Lantern that ever did live.
My companion and I have been trying to mix things up a bit for our investigator lessons. Solution to Monontony- HOMEADE TWISTER.
The kids LOVE it. Perfect English practice! Plus it gets them ultra exhausted so they seem to be a TAD more mellow when the spiritual lesson comes around. Just so everyone knows, expecting a bunch of 10 years ole to ve interested in the 3 kingdoms of glory is like trying to get Dad to stop putting his children in arm bars.
Translation- NOT. POSSIBLE.
But nonetheless, we try.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Happy fall from Korea. Like, don't even get me started on how pretty it is.

 And yes, my companion is like a whole foot taller than me. I love it.

Until the next, 
Sista Pappa