Sunday, January 19, 2014

Still a missionary. What's new?

Transfer 4 began this week!
I cant believe that its started already actually. Last transfre was the slowest one ever but I feel like with our renewed circumstances, this transfer will go by a taaaaad bit faster.
Nothing much to report this week actually. I think that the most excited I felt all week was when the post office texted us to tell us that I had a package. (isnt korea so nice) and what shows up on my doorstep but a gigantic box from..... the mission office.... filled with book of mormons. sad.
honeslty im trying my very hardest to come up with anything interesting to say.
1/ we taught about a million lessons to members this week. one of them told me that my korean is getting better. so thats a plus.
2/ gyungho called me an idiot and then drew me a picture. (of a snake who just ate a bat- that required some serious translation) at the top in messy child kroean he wrote 사랑해. (i love you) i think this week i am going to ask his parents if i can adopt him.
3/ the dentist is progressing wonderfully! (although beautiful seoul girl dropped us cause she is going back to seoul. boooooo everything cool is iin seoul)
4/ i was sick for a few days this week. something funky is going around our mission
5/ my companion told us that the only way we are going to get someone batized this week is if a. the dentist comes through or b. 'We can just get someo\body excommunicated and then rebatpized.' shes hilarious.
i really must go, sorry this post/email was so horrible.
i love you all!!
-sister pappa

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Transfer 3: Done

I got transfer calls a bit early, and guess what?
Absolutely NOTHING is changing. Same companion. Same Elders. Same.... Naju. I had a few minutes with my Mission President to discuss my struggles lately in this area and the people I am surrounded by. He was a kind man for hearing me out and letting me know the reasons why he placed me where he did. At the end of the conversation, he let me know what was happenin with next transfer, and in a voice that was attempting to not reveal TOO much disappointment, I asked, 'So nothing is changing?' 'No.....'
I handed the phone to my companin after I managed to get the emotional energy to thank him and say goodbye. I poured myself a bowl of cereal and sobbed between spoonfuls of knock off frosted flakes. (and i dont even like forsted flakes...)
Needless to say, I will need all the strength I can get to do another transfer here. And on top of everything, with the pattern that President Shin seems to follow, since I will be cosenior next transfer, I will probably train after that. In... Naju. For atleast two transfers of training. Do you know what that means? If all goes as predicted...... THREE more transfers in Naju. Just, pray for me.
Aside from the obvious struggle I have been having, I have been SO swamped with mail and letters and 27 emails in my inbox this morning. On Thursday I recieved 4 letters and two packages, I seriously couldn't even contain myself with excitement. (and my ipod came! I am one happy gal.) If I dont have the greatest group of family members and friends, then WHO DOES?! Thank you to everyone.
A quick sumary of things that have happened over the week - (and last week as well)
We had the funniest moment of service with the random old guy out in the 시골 countryside. We were walking to a members house of course out in the middle of nowhere in a plethora of cornfields when we came across an ANCIENT man who was o so slowly putting a tarp over a piece of farm equipment that so properly matched his age. In my very best Korean, I approached the man and said 'Grandpa, do you  need help?' (for some reason in Korea its totally normal to call old people Grandma or Grandpa)
He beckoned us into his courtyard, where he gave us some traditonal Korean brooms and pointed us in the direction of a awning covering what looked like a smoker (dad, you would know better than i) a million bags of garlic, and a concrete floor which was covered in WHEAT. (or atleast we thought it was wheat.) We swept up a storm for a good twenty minutes, and by the end, I was so dirty and dusty but I felt SO good. Moral of the Story: When you help ancient toothless Korean men sweep their patios, you feel really happy.
We got THREE new investogators this week! One of them just so happened to be the dentist, which so graciously has fixed a stupid tooth problem Ive been having- for free. After the job was finished, he called us into his office for a cup of tea and told us a little about his religion, adn told us that he wants to learn more about ours. So apparently God needed my back molar to hurt so that this sweet dentist man could hear the gospel. you know what they say, God works in myseterious ways!
One of our strongest member referred her niece to us. We met her on Friday at the members house. The first thought that popped in my brain was 'This girl aint from Naju.' Of course she was from Seoul. I literally felt like I was in a Korean soap opera. She was wearing a grey cardigan and black tights with a mustard colored skirt. Her hair was in the cutest bob, framing her flawless skin and red lips. Oh excuse me, in this corner, with my grey skirt with a kimchi stain and my socks with holes in the heels. whatever, you beautiful korean, you.
She was SO. NICE. and the cutest thing in the world was that shes NOT interested in English and told us that she really wants to serve as a missionary for the church but thought she might wnt to know a little bit more about it before she makes the decision. Who does that?? HA! it was so innocnelty adorable that at first we wanted to laugh, but she was so sincere that our hearts melted and we fell in love with that sweet innocence and her desire to do good.
I hope that your weeks are full of wonderful moments,
i love you all!
sista pappa

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy After Christmas

Things have been crazy around here.
First off, I apologize for the lack of pictures lately, I know that my words probably arent as exciting without them.
Christmas was... well... Christmas. It was really difficult. BUT, it was wonderful to celebrate the birth of the Savior as a missionary, and to be able to do the work that indeed, the SAVIOR did. (walking around in the cold, talking to people, being selfless. *the latter was particulary difficult. I was actually feeling pretty selfish*)
But hey! The season was wonderful and hands down the best part was being able to talk to my family over Skype. That was certainly the best gift I recieved this December.
Things are progressing in Naju. The branch here is INCREDIBLE and its unfortunate that it took me this long to figure that out. The members are wonderful and they truly care about the people that we are teaching and LOVE them. Its comforting to see that even after my companion and I transfer out of the area, the members will take care of what we left behind. This is the ideal situation for missionaries.
A Miracle: We had a really miraculous experience with an investigator who were are teaching who is Buddhist, Sister Han. She is about 30 and is single and wants to learn English. She up until recently has actually been pretty bitter about anything that we talk about that is iffiliated with religiion. We were teaching her a lesson about the plan of Salvation and Sister Han was being increibly rude. Sister Choi then began a short testimony of an experiecne she has had in her life that has helped he testimony of the POS to be strengthened, and immediately the feeling in the room completely changed. There was no bitterness or tension, just peace. WE left Sister Han that night feeling much better than we had a few minutes earlier.
This week we taught her again, only to find that her attitude about the gospel had COMPLETELY changed. She told us that she had read a portion of the Book of Mormon, and had a lot of really positiv things to say about what we were teaching her. She was particularly amazed when it turned to my portion of the lesson, where I talked baout missionary work , adn how there are 80,000 of us all over the world, teaching the gospel. I told her in the most simple of Korean that I can speak- We teach other people about the gosple becuase we want them to be happy.
I have never witnessed such a drastic change in someone like this before. It surely was the Lord softening her heart.
A Funny Story: Our washing machine leaked this week, onto my bag of dirty laundry that has been sitting near it. For like, TWO weeks. Now you can imagine what happens when water mixes with clothes and you leave it there for a very long period of time. Not. Good.
So of course my natural instinct is to throw them in the washer, only due to our lack in MSF money, we have been out of laundry detergent for a few days.So after acquiring advice from my companion, she just tells me to was the clothes in SHAMPOO. here is the inward conversation that I had with myself-
hey, thats a really dumb idea. youre only supposed to use laundry detergent in a washing machine
but i dont have anything else
but that is only for HAIR
Well it cant be that bad, maybe it will make them smell good.
What would my mother say?...
..... so i did it. TWICE. and my clothes still smelled horrible. at this point im panicking so i decide to call sister ashby, a sweet senior sister who is serving in the mission office with her husband. but before i do, i ask myself, 'ok, what would my mother do.' and this literally is what came out of my  mouth... 'something with VINEGAR, im so sure'
so i call sister ashby, and to my correct prediction, she starts off with this ' Ok Sister Pappa, I want you to go to the store and buy one bottle of vinegar. '
oh my heavens. is this sister ashby or diane pappa??
so 'i soaked em alll day' in the washing machine. and guess what? IT WORKED!!! Oh how I trust mothers, they know all the tricks.
Hey, I love you all and pray for all of you, in your own little corners of the world, doing what you are doing.
xo sister pappa

Merry Christmas!

This week will have to be short, I apologize in advance.

This week I was able to attend the mission Christmas party. Not only did we watch Home Alone, and not only did I get to eat a BROWNIE and talk to all of my favorite friends, but we were able to have a really spiritual meeting and celebrate this wonderful Christmas season together.
It made me feel so grateful for all of you, and the wonderful examples that you have all set for me. I feel so blessed to know each of you individually and feel even more blessed to call you all friends and family.
I leave you with a message from our dear prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He has said what I feel I cannot.
I hope your Christmas is merry and bright.
XO Sister Pappa