My first week in Naju! So much to say. Honestly, it was bad. not good. exhausting. frustrating. i might have cried a few times.
Allow me to provide you with a few examples-
Transfers were a disaster. I bawled while I was packing my clothes (I did NOT want to leave Chumdeon) I had to drag my suitcases with me cause I didnt tekbay them. I lost my bus ticket, and on top of the natural frustration of transfers in general, I accidentally shipped the Chumdeon Investigator records to Naju. (how i did that, I have no idea)
The Boo Boys (Elders who work at the mission office) forgot to pay our gas bill and so our floor heat and our hot water were out for three days. And its winter. We walked around in the house with hats and blankets. Also, every morning we had to go to the bath house and bathe with a bunch of old Korean ladies. (actually that was so fun. hey look, some positivity!) I spilled olive oil on my favorite curduroy skirt. My rain boots rubbed and I got sick twice. My old lady joints were not taking the cold too well this week and I literally wanted to crawl into my bed and die. AHHH AUTO IMMUNE DISEASES WHHHHHHY. (i realize this is all a bit dramatic) To wrap this all up, our investigator told me that 'I remind her of "that girl from Twilight" and then the ward mission leaders son called me sister poop.
also, i cant speak korean. and there are no people in naju.
K! Well thats all for today.
Just kidding. I wouldnt be a missionary if i didnt end this horrible streak of negativity with something that would make it all better.
Missions are hard. ahhhh. so hard. but I feel that Heavevnly Father saves the great moments for when you need them the most.
The Good Moments that were weaved into all the bad-
1// I love my companion. (and I cant wait for you to meet her when we skype on christmas. WHAT?! SO SOON!!) I lived with her in Chumdeon and she is honestly one of the best people I have ever met. Also, she speaks fluent English so that helps too.
2// We tried to make a list of all the States in the US last night. This is how the conversation went-
"There are 50 stars on the flag. There are fifty states." -Me
"I think there are 52" -Choi
"Well one of them is Tennessee" -Me
"I thought Tennessee was in Switzerland" -Choi.
Conclusion- We dont know America.
3// The kid who called me Sister Poop? Ya, hes my favorite. hes five years old and is the funniest thing I have ever met. He is a ball of craziness. Yesterday after church we watched some of the members put up Christmas lights and there were like 20 kids just running around and playing. In between carrying him around in a box and picking dandleions for the 3 year old twin girls, I had a moment where it suddenly struck me how lucky I am to be doing what Im doing, and to be where I am. SO. LUCKY.
4// I gave my introduction talk in Sacrament meeting and butchered the entire thing. It was horrible. But what made the whole thing worth it was looking out into the congregation and seeing my companion look up at me, BEAMING. She makes me so happy.
5// I was FLOODED with mail this week. Most of it thanks to the GENIUS Christmas package from my family. I cant even describe to you how happy all those letters make me. And most of them were a complete surprise! Tell Abe that his Christmas ornament is hanging on my tree. Cody and Jess- I will try to make that recipe but modify it a little bit. Strohms- Oh my gosh that was the cutest note from you and all your kids. You will have to email me your address so I can reply to Bella. I honestly cant remember all of them but I loved them so much that I might possibly be like 5 days ahead. (Did you reaaaallly think I could stay on schedule?)
6// ChoiHyehung and I were making message cards for the youth in our branch who are having finals this week. I wrote out my best Korean message and handed it to my companion.
"Will they understand this?"
*as she reads*
".......They will understand it Chamenim...... with their hearts."
(insert ridiculously long laughter here.)
I had LOTS of laughs this week, and also experienced lots of heartache. I was homesick. An Elder in our mission went home and the story broke my heart. I was sad. I was confused.
SO MANY EMOTIONS.
But in all seriousness, I learned a very valuable lesson this week as I was reading a talk given to me in September my our mission president. It says- "Sometimes we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon, sometimes we must live them."
Although my list of overly dramatic complaints were silly and tedious, they were real. And in the moment they really meant something to me. Although the stories in the Book of Mormon are far more extreme, and the characters were full of much more diligence, purity, and courage than I, I imagine that people like Nephi must have felt the same sting of heartache when he fought with his brothers, and Alma must have felt much frustration as he was mocked by those who were once his friends.
Their stories are more interesting, more brave, more heroic than mine, but I feel that it is important to remember that we are all in the very midst of our own stories, and that one day when this is all over, I will be able to tell my story and be grateful that I lived it.
I love you all!
Thanks for all you do to support me.
x's and o's,