Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy 추석 (Chuseok)

((추석 sounds more like Choo Suck, but i didn't really want to put that as the title... hahah))

Hello darling family!

 Sorry this letter is one day late, I was busy having a blast at the mission p-day!  It was such a fun way to celebrate the Korean Thanksgiving!  Everyone got to see everyone and catch up! I LOVE getting together with all the missionaries!  The crazy thing was, it that I don't recognize people because of all the new missionaries that have been coming in... that thought led me to calculate that I am now at my HALF WAY MARK! Ridiculous right!?!?!  I'm having anxiety trying to wrap my head around it.  I was looking through my calendar the other night and I could hardly believe that I was already on October! 

Well, Korean Thanksgiving went well!  It is tradition on this holiday for Koreans to go to the "land of their fathers" so to speak.  Typically they go to the Father's side of the family's hometown. (Typically it seems around the 3 major cities of Busan, Seoul, and Dejeon).  Because of the mass exodus from Ulsan to the other cities, the city was extremely empty!!! It was nearly eery to see the streets neither crowded with cars or people.  Everything was closed down, and at church we had 3 families come (which is actually a LOT more that we were expecting actually!  We really thought it was just going to be the missionaries! (and until 10:10am it was lol) 

After Sacrament meeting one family took pity on the missionaries and we got invited over for lunch!!  Of course it was delicious! And they gave us a HUGE bag of leftovers at the end. One thing I did learn from 추석 was how to make the traditional rice cake!! They are typically white, with sesame and sugar inside and they are shaped like a half moon (which is also their nickname). 

Our other 추석 adventure came Sunday night.  Again, the town was dead and everyone was busy, so at the church we had our own 추석 dinner with the Elders!  My companion and I cooked and we all ate together.  It was fun.  Reminded me a little bit of home because as we were cooking we had the MoTab playing and, because we weren't in an apartment, I got to FINALLY sing my little heart out without worrying that I would disturb the neighbors. I miss being about to sing out like that!!!

As I talk about the Feasts of 추석, I think about the Spiritual Feasts that I have been able to have this past week.  It's been a blessing as I have been with my new companion, who is also a new missionary, to realize, in part, what it is that Heavenly Father needs me to do and how it is we can work together.  This past week I really recognized the importance of asking questions.  Yes, I can speak Korean to an extent, but when you want to really try and get something across, I find that my limited vocabulary tends to still fail me.  Instead, I have started asking questions.  When there is a principle that needs to be taught, or a matter that needs to be discussed, instead of beating my way through an explanation, simple questions are much more effective.  Through questions, the answerer has to look within themselves to search the answer.  They ponder and think, they apply it to the knowledge and experiences they have accumulated, and then they answer.  This process allows us to come to the same conclusion that I wanted to share, but with one difference. Because the answer came within, it is already internalized and therefore can be applied. When affirmed by another or more importantly, the Spirit, the questioned answered now becomes a truth learned.  We have been able to grow a bit closer to the Savior and to each other this week because of questions. 

I've once again realized this week that the principles taught in PMG, are not just for missionaries teaching investigators, they are for everyone!  They are meant to help every person draw closer unto Christ.  PMG isn't just a guide to missionary work, it is a guide to conversion.  And when we are converted we will want to share the gospel.  I really like in the September Liahona (or Ensign..) Where it talks about sharing the gospel by FIRST being a friend.  I love that.  Be you.  Live the things that you believe.  And when you do this, others will see the light that you have and a gospel discussion will come naturally.  When you live what you believe, you are constantly testifying of Jesus Christ.  I am reminded of the quote by an Apostle of the Lord, he said something like "Share the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words". 

Monday was a fun P-day as all the missionaries traveled to Busan for a mission p-day!  Again, I LOVE getting together with all the missionaries. We played games, had spiritual messages, prepared a Christmas surprise for our families =] and just had a grand ole time. It was neat though, one of the requirements, your "ticket" to get in, was you had to write a letter.  Last week we were assigned a name of a missionary and for a week we had to pray for and find a scripture that we could share with this missionary.  It was a neat thing to do to inquire of the Lord of how to help a fellow Sister and servant.  Well, at the p-day, Sister Gilbert announced that for Christmas we were going to be doing the same thing.  But instead of a letter, we are now reading a Book of Mormon.  We are to pray for what Heavenly Father would have us mark and learn from the Book of Mormon, then on Christmas day we will receive that name of the missionary we will give it to.  Again, I'm excited to see the new things I will learn and what I'll be able to share! 

Anyhow, I love y’all!! Thanks for all the letters and love.  I'm jealous you got to see the RS Broadcast already... it might be a couple more weeks for us.  I know that we don't watch conference here until a week after y’all, but I think Sister Gilbert wants to get all the sisters together so we can watch it; we'll see what happens.

I love you. You are in my prayers!! I missed you lots this last week as my companion got to call her family for the holidays!! But it's only 2 more months till I get to hear your voices again!!! {Missionaries only get to call home twice a year...Mother's Day and Christmas.}

kiss love hugs 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Chalene, I can't believe it has already been nine months! I loved your comment about singing loudly and proudly. Sure reminds me of when all your residents would be gone at the end of the semester, how I would find you in the hall working away with some awesome music trailing through the halls!

    What truth struct me from your words! Specifically on asking simple questions so those you teach can internalize the message and also how as friend we can share the gospel easily and naturally.

    I miss you, but am so proud of all that you are doing, learning, and teaching me!