~Again, I put links to some things she is talking about!~
Hello again my darling family!
First, A BIG sorry for the early email last week! We had a special mission P-day where all of us were given permission to go to the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival!! SO COOL!! We had to leave early because of travel time and such. Things like that won't happen too often, so I’m sorry for all the confusion.
The Festival was beautiful! The trees, with their white and light pink blooms, were gorgeous. The actual festival reminded me a lot of something in Memphis. There was a free concert, lots of food stands and literally pigs turning on the grill. There were also TONS of people there!
Since I serve with the office elders, we had the treat of driving the van! Whoot whoot!! So we actually headed away from the main festival down to the coastline! It was beautiful. There were people down there renting out bikes for free, so we all hopped on a bike and went adventuring, haha!! It was soo much fun riding along he coast line! On the way home we decided to take the long route along the "Road of Dreams"! And it was like a dream! Before the tunnels through the mountains were built, this road was the one traveled. It goes up over the mountain and the entire way is a tunnel of the blossoming cherry trees! And as we got further up, when there was a break in the trees, you could see the city laid out below along the coastline. Awwww, so gorgeous!
Other fun things that happened this week: we had Zone Meetings. It was again, fun to meet some of the other missionaries. The entire meeting was in Korean, which was a little hard, but overall it was great. It gives me something to look forward to, to be able to speak as well as some of these missionaries.
The meeting was in a different area, again closer to the beach, so Sister Lee and I headed down there! Gorgeous! We didn't take off our shoes or go near the water, haha, but it was nice to not be surrounded by building on all four sides. I definitely miss open spaces.
The next fun adventure happened on Saturday. Sister Gilbert needed some help preparing for the Sister's Training that is coming up in a couple of weeks. I don't remember the actual name of the place we went to, but it sounded like they called it the “G Market.” Ok, so think of any fabric store you have ever been in and times it by 100!! lol This place was PACKED with everything you could ever possibly need to make anything out of fabric! The venders had to climb over their own merchandise in order to get behind the 'counter'. There were billions of buttons and lace and ribbons and fabric for anything you could think of! I really liked the sections for the Ham Bok's, the traditional Korean dresses. Not only could you purchase fabrics at each of these stands you could also place orders. If I ever took y'all on a tour through Korea, I would take y'all to the G market.
Y'all ready for the food update?? haha So you remember last week when I talked about that sausage stuff... Well I had that again this week! This time with pig ears! And come to find out the 'sausage' is just noodle stuffed pig intestines... doesn't make it seem so delicious anymore haha. Anyhow, during the Cherry Blossom Festival we had pizza for lunch! haha But this isn't the pizza you're thinking of, it has a Korean twist! On Korean pizza, they LOVE to put tons of veggies, including corn! lol The meats are Korean meats like bulgogi (fish) but over all it wasn't too bad (though part of me kinda misses just a plain, "large, cheeeesssy (with pepperoni) pizza" lol
I have begun to like rice cakes too! The first time I had one, it kinda freaked me out how chewy and stinky they were! I was afraid they were going to close up my windpipes! haha But now I can handle them. They actually do a lot with rice cakes, including put it in bread, stuff it with ice cream and red beans (Koreans reallllllyyyy like their red beans! I’m almost convinced it's just a kidney bean...) and sometimes even topped with jelly’s. Yummm. Mom, you would have been so proud of me this week!!
Korean fruit is FANTASTIC!! Like, I don't know if I will be able to go back to bland American fruit after living here. But, the only problem with that is they eat tomatoes like fruit! Gross I know! But this week, at the Relief Society President's house, she fed us tomatoes and like a good little missionary, I ate five! (Mind you they were quarters, but I think it counts....) lol
I think my FAVORITE food I had this week was…drumroll…PEANUT BUTTER!!! OH MY HEAVENS who knew a girl would miss a little thing as peanut butter! Uhhhh On Saturday, before our adventure with Sister Gilbert, she made us a pb&j sandwich, and bless my bottom dollar, is was fantastic!! I think if I had to ask for anything from America right now it would be peanut butter!!!
*** Speaking of asking for things... So since we do some baking (mind you it's all in a little toaster oven) I would like some more recipes: like a brownie recipe or another bread recipe. Just so y'all know, avoid anything with oatmeal because you can't find it here. Also, I once heard about a cake you can bake in a mug in the microwave...something like that would be cool!
Saturday we had our weekly teach and bake activity with our cute little investigator! The last time we met, we make chocolate chip cookies, but this time around we made banana bread!! yummm. I think the weirdest thing to me was that these little girls have NEVER made nor had banana bread before!!!!! Crazy huh!?! They thought squishing up the banana looked gross, haha!! It was fun to see their excitement as we made such a foreign treat.
The lesson we had with little "Anna" was wonderful. We talked more about how she is a daughter of God. As daughters of the Eternal King, we are His princesses, and as we live and grow, honoring our heritage and title, we can one day inherit His Kingdom (Romans 8:16-17). We then taught her how to pray, and taught her how Heavenly Father, because He is literally the Father of our Spirits, He wants to hear from us and He wants to help us. It was such a tender and wonderful lesson, and she was completely enthralled. I have never seen her pay soo much attention. At the end of the lesson we sang, "I am a Child of God".
Other exciting things in the missionary work this week, was that we FINALLY got a hold of the man I met and talked to at the bus stop! We have an appointment this Saturday with him and he's bringing a friend to the lesson. We also FINALLY got a hold of the other two ladies we met 2 weeks ago and have appointments to teach them more. I know that they are all searching for truth, and I feel honored at the privilege of bringing it to them.
The end of this week was a little hard...We have been teaching an older lady that works in a hospital (I think it's a 24/7 rehab hospital). The lessons with her have been going wonderfully! I believe I told y'all about the first time she prayed and the spirit that was so dear and strong! Well, this past lesson we were able to follow up about 2 General Conference talks that we downloaded and gave to her on a borrowed MP3 player. When we gave the MP3 to her, it had a full battery, when we got it back it was dead! =] Remember it only had 2 talks on it!! =] She explained how much she loved the talks!! And how much they touched her. We talked then about the Holy Ghost and how the Holy Ghost teaches and testifies of truth. That when we feel peace, or love, (Galatians 5:22-23) that is the Holy Ghost speaking to us. It is always a quiet thought or feeling, but it has deep affect. It was a wonderful lesson and her prayer at the end was again so kind and tender and she knew that the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson was the Prophet of God, declaring God's word on the earth today.
But, the heartbreak came soon after the prayer. Because the hospital is affiliated with another church we no longer can teach her there. She has one day off a week, and that day is too busy to meet with the missionaries. On top of that, she is moving to America in a couple of months. After we heard that, and said good-bye, my companion and I just cried. It was heartbreaking to know that she is so close to the truth of the gospel and to experiences the fullness of joy that comes when you accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life, and now we have to stop teaching her. But I know that Heavenly Father is in charge, and there will be more opportunities, maybe even in America, for her to again be taught by the missionaries and be able to fully accept the gospel into her heart. She was the first person I taught a lesson to in Korea and I am sad I won't be able to teach her again. (Though we'll still try and visit with little notes of encouragement.)
The work is great and the people are so kind. Thanks for all the love and support. ‘Til next week....