Annyeonghaseyo!!! (that is how you spell it in English correctly, cough-cough, love you mom ❤ )
So I’ve been better at not feeling sick after getting off buses…so Heavenly Father does bless his missionaries!!! I’m also starting to memorize which bus goes to whose house, and which bus goes to whose house the cheapest. Woooh! We keep track of how much money we spend on travel because we get refunded if we go over a certain amount (which from the sound of it, happens a lot in our area).
This week is super special because it is 추석 Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). It’s so fun. Yesterday, our bishop’s wife and her two little daughters showed up to church in their 한복s (hanboks–Korean traditional dresses). They were gorgeous.
Chuseok is a really big holiday in Korea (about the same as Christmas is for us in America), so lots of churches only had Sacrament Meeting, instead of the normal 3 hours. Tomorrow we are having a big Chuseok mission day (since everyone–investigators, members, nonmembers–are probably going to be with their families that day). I’m so excited!
It’s a time to be thankful (even more) for everything–the good crops for the year, families, friends, wealth, the hard times that have helped us learn so much, and all the blessings God has given us. People wear their traditional Korean wear and the women, (usually moms, daughters, sister/mother-in laws), spend hours preparing tons of traditional dishes to eat at their Chuseok feast. Some of the ladies we’ve talked to seem really stressed about it, but others see it as an opportunity to bond and develop a greater sisterhood with their loved ones.
I was thinking about the different attitudes and I thought of Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk about “Being Grateful in you Circumstances.” Regardless of what comes our way (good or bad), we always have so much to thank God for! The people who live in an attitude of gratitude regardless of what they have been given, always find greater strength, hope, and happiness. I know that is true, so I’ve been working on enjoying the rain and the rainbow afterwards.
I think of Job and how everything he had was taken from him in almost an instant (his family, his friends, his fortune), and how he reacted was by getting on his knees and worshipping God. That’s how I want to be no matter what comes my way–hard times, horrible weather, horrific bugs, or anything else that can be thrown my way now or in the future…I just want to get on my knees and thank God for it all…Because God is always kind and knows what’s best.
I get fed really, really, really good in Korea…like really, really good. Ummm… bulgogi meat, kimchi stew, kimbap, mandu. I’m excited to cook and feed you Korean food when I get back. :)))
I think my Korean skills are improving. I’ve been studying extra diligently. My mission president said to study it like it’s the only language in the world..so that’s what I do…studying vocabulary and sentences all throughout the day. Reading Korean is probably the easiest part of Korean, which isn’t saying much because it’s still pretty hard. I can’t read like a Korean can (I’m not sure if I ever will), but I can read at a more comfortable pace now and I’m beginning to understand what I read and people understand me when I read. I think reading from the Book of Mormon is actually the easiest part of my lessons.
I think Heavenly Father gives me the gift of tongues when I do everything and a little more to study Korean. Sometimes Korean people will ask what certain words and phrases mean in the Book of Mormon because they honestly don’t know–(the Korean BOM has a lot of words taken from the Chinese characters and it’s written in a more archaic form–I think it’s like someone not understanding what “upbraideth not” means), but somehow I’m able to explain it clearly and I don’t know how. It’s not like I practiced how to do that, but I can remember all the words and grammar I’ve been studying and it comes out naturally. It’s really cool. So I think my language skills are improving.
A quick pic of Gangnam–you bet I went there 🙂 But I haven’t heard Gangnam style or danced there yet so I’ll need to go back.
I hope you have a great week! Celebrate Chuseok and eat some kimchi! 😉