영등포 : The Land of Peanut Butter & Golden Investigators
Yeoungdeungpo is so cool. I don’t even know where to begin. First off, our church is the biggest Latter-day Saint (LDS) church in Korea. It’s massive. We’re in charge of the English branch (which consists of about 200 people living anywhere in or around Seoul, and on the military base), and the Korean ward, which consists of about 50-60 people. The church times overlap a little, so every Sunday we are attending church for a good 5 hours (English Sacrament meeting, English gospel principles, the Korean Sacrament meeting, Korean gospel principles, and Korean Relief Society/Young Women).
Attending English Sacrament Meeting for the first time in a year was SO WEIRD! Oh my goodness, the people who gave talks were so good at English! They spoke so fast and used really big words and I… I did not. I honestly asked someone (the Relief Society President, mind you) “How does your family become?” I just couldn’t think of a good way to ask about a person’s family and how many are included in it and stuff like that! She was understanding, thankfully! I’ll learn, as time goes on hopefully.
Anyway, I felt really at home when I got into my Korean branch and it was really quiet during the meeting and I could bow and ask how their family becomes–가족 어떻께 되세요?
In the Korean ward, we have a couple deaf members. A pair of Elders are called as the Korean Sign Language missionaries, so they translate for them during the meetings and travel to other places in the mission to teach investigators who are also deaf. Since we have so many deaf people in our ward, however, all the missionaries in Youngdeungpo attend 수화(su-hwa–Korean Sign Language) class so we can learn how to sign, too. I think Heavenly Father knows that I like to use my hands to express myself anyway, so he’s given me this wonderful opportunity to learn.
I don’t know hardly anything yet, but I’ve come to find that our deaf members are some of the most sociable in the ward. They came up to me right away and started asking questions, signing things that I didn’t know, then acting things out for me when I didn’t understand, and having me write where I’m from, and where my ancestors are from, and all about my life. I just love them to pieces! I think I moved to the best place in the mission.
Our investigators are amazing and have so much potential and desire to learn about the gospel (I just think they’re all golden). We have so much peanut butter and American toothpaste at our house (which is priceless in Korea, I think). And our wards seem really excited about missionary work!
Last pictures from Gimpo (my last area)
This is so long, but I don’t think I’ve began to cover just how amazing my new area, my ward, and my companion are! It’s seriously amazing! I’ll tell you more as weeks go on and send more pictures of my new area.
❤ Sis. Stastny