Monday, January 13, 2014

Staying in Andong

Hi hi!

Sounds like you are all doing great and it has been another great week!

I'm glad that you enjoyed my last letter!  I'm still loving it here!  And the best news is that today is the beginning of a new transfer and WE ARE ALL STAYING HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!  I talked to President last week telling him about are area and all the great stuff going on, and said "You know President, I have had 7 companions in 6 transfers.  That has to be some sort of record."  He said "yeah that's too many.  We'll see what happens though!"  So we thought we would be fine, but we, as well as the elders, were glad on Thursday night NOT to receive a transfer call!

As for the last week...
Monday:  So we found a new hobby in Andong.  Thrift Shopping!  Our good friend/investigator showed us where her favorite thrift shop is.  I got 2 new coats for about $7 each, and a really funky skirt for $3.  Then dry cleaning was like $5 for each, but still not bad!  You bet we're going back today:)  Then we had English class that night, which was fun! She brought one of her friends which was great of course!

Tuesday:  I woke up with a cold, so that was a bummer.  But just carry on!  We went to the tiny town of Jinbo where some of our members live, and they introduced us to a family that we are going to teach Family English too.  The mom owns a restaurant, and so we had lunch there.  FISH SOUP!!!  nom nom nom....???  Fortunately, as my love for the Korean people has grown, my love for their food has too, and I ate it just fine.  Are you proud???

Wednesday:  We had district meeting.  Nothing too exciting, but good as always.  Then we came back and had dinner with *** and her friend which was great!  I love all these people introducing us to their friends!!!

Thursday:  This is our adventure day of the week.  We went to Ye-chon where one of our members live because there is an old harmony that they want us to teach.   Here's a brief summary:  She lives in the middle of nowhere in the tiniest house I've ever seen.  She's almost deaf and can't hear what we say, unless we yell in her left ear, so we took a whiteboard, but she can't read well either.  Then the member, made curry for us to eat with harmony and then left, so we start to heat it up, but she runs out of gas, so we have to call to get more of that, and wait for that. So we try to teach her about eternal families, and tell her that we can live together after we die, then she just starts talking about funerals.  Then she started talking about a lady who stole money from her, then we found out it was her daughter, then we found out she really gave the daughter money because she was sick, but now she won't answer her phone calls.  So she tried to call the daughter from our phone, and she answered, and then all this other family drama came out, and so the harmony was crying, and then my comp was crying because she didn't know what to do, and then I'm just sitting there like what in the world is happening?!?!  Where in the world am I?!?!  It was pretty great. Then that night, we ate chicken with two of the girls in our branch who are like 19, one of their boyfriends, and the elders, which was super fun.  They enjoyed our story from that day too.

Friday:  We had deep cleaning.  Our apartment has to be one of the cleanest sister apartments in the mission.  I'm quite proud.  Then we planned what is called the 암탉 프러그램 aka Hen Program.  President Kimball once said that if you pray for someone to accept the gospel for 21 days straight, it will happen. (21 days is how long it takes for a hen to lay an egg or something so that's where the name comes from) So like everyone in Korea does this thing where it is like a relay fast/pray while reading all the same scriptures.  So we got that all ready.  Then we had a youth activity which was super fun!!!  We played the "Random Game"  where you play a bunch of different games (similar to girls camp games) which was SO hilarious.  I'll teach you all when I get home.  Don't worry.  Then we taught our investigators.  They read the part of the Book of Mormon we asked them too, which we were stoked about, and then we taught them about the plan of Salvation which  they really liked.  It was great.

Saturday:  We had English class, and then one of the members took us to this FABULOUS bakery  that is only here in Andong.  Seriously its so delicious.  The cream-cheese bread is addicting.  We had been a couple times before,but she wanted to go together, so we were excited about that of course.  While we were there, I learned that it is totally normal here to tell someone that their forehead is beautiful... and that it is like a big compliment...what the heck?!  Then we went to Youngju where we had dinner with one of our investigors that I have told you about, and  our member who is her english teacher.  We had a great time, and she said she wants to introduce us to her husband and kids!!  She said the Book of Mormon is still hard for her, but she knows there is something special about it and that's important.  That's a pretty great sign!!

Sunday:  We had church, and then lunch after with the branch.  The branch president is really excited for our plan to get lots of people to come when the church moves, so we were super stoked about that.  Our branch president really is amazing.  He told us yesterday about when he was on his mission, he build up a branch from really small to a pretty good size.  Then when he lived in Seoul, he turned one of the smallest branches into a ward.  Now, he is here, and his goal is to do the same thing.  He said that he and his wife probably won't go on a senior mission, but just keep moving aroud Korea, helping to build up small branches into big, stable wards.  Pretty amazing!!!

I am so grateful to be here at this time.  As we have been planning, and with the new year and transfer, I have thought a lot about the importance of goals.  As missionaries, we set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and transfer goals.  We also have personal goals, which I have really tried to think about this week.  Lots will continue to change this year in my life, so I want to have goals that will help me keep growing, and learning more  as I try to be more like Jesus Christ.  One of my favorite quotes in PMG is by Elder Ballard.  He said, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to MASTER the techniques of living, we can reach a ripe old age, and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential.  When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."  Pretty awesome, eh??  I am so grateful that we have such great guidance from our inspired leaders to help us reach our full potential, and become the person that our Heavenly Father desiged us to become!!!

I love you all so much!!

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