This week I ate STINGRAY (홍어).
I was at one of my Korean Grandma’s house for supper, when I see this picture of a stingray on her fridge and a restaurant name. I asked her about it (just to start nice conversation and be a friendly missionary) when BAM! Out comes the stingray meat! It’s served raw, fermented, with a smell that reeks like urine and ammonia.
The meat is tough and there’s a bone in the middle so you have to chew and chew as the taste and smell begin to envelope you. There’s no quick-swallow fix to the situation. You have no option but to slowly savor it. The taste is literally (not figuratively) stingy. It literally started to numb my mouth. You don’t even want to know what it was like the next morning!
So being a good missionary and wanting to respect the culture, I ate 3 servings of it in total. Our ward member was really happy about it (though I don’t think my companions were). I’m going to be more cautious about starting small talk about anything potential edible from here on out. Haha!
On a different, more spiritual, less stingy topic, we were able to have a surprise lesson with one of our recent converts! We haven’t been able to meet with her the past two weeks and were praying really hard that Heavenly Father could provide a way that we could somehow meet with her. We felt like we should ask her for Thursday night. Unfortunately, she had already made plans and couldn’t see us then. We were pretty sad and confused, but kept moving on and set up another appointment with a member to eat and have dinner that night.
We go to the member’s house, and lo and behold, not one, but two of the recent converts that we have been praying to meet with are there!!! It was a miracle. They were all amazed at the luck of it. We knew that Heavenly Father’s hand played a big part in it. We were able to teach them both about Patriarchal blessings and help uplift and strengthen them.
That experience helped me to know that God really does inspire us and love us. We received inspiration that Thursday would be a good day to meet with our recent convert. Even though things didn’t seem to be looking that way, God prepared the way and helped prepare us to know what to say. If He didn’t love us or our wonderful recent converts, I’m sure none of it would have worked out like it did. But because God does love His children, we all were able to recognize God’s hand in our life, blessing, helping, and somehow putting us in the perfect place to do what He wanted us to. I’m really thankful for that experience!