Monday, January 25, 2016

Hello from Korea!!!

Hello, I made it to Korea!!! This has been one of the craziest/best weeks of my life and I have so much to say - apologizing in advance for this dysfunctional email. OK! So we arrived in Seoul and met our mission President and his wife. They are the absolute best and I already love them so much. First thing, they took our bags and sent us out to teach on our way home to the mission home/dinner. What! SO freezing and terrified to talk to people in Korean. My first ever subway lesson was to these two college students...basically they laughed at every sentence I said in my testimony. After that discouraging conversation, Sister Mulitalo and I met this really cute and friendly lady who was interested in talking to us and encouraged our Korean. She was about to get off at her stop, but turned to ask us more as...her BAG gets caught in the subway door. For the next 10 minutes, huge crowds come to help her try to yank her bag out of the door....and finally (3 stops passed hers) she gets it free and runs away from us as fast as she can. Haha so there's day one.

Then day 2!! We woke up to the most BEAUTIFUL view of Seoul and then had our orientation and met our companions!! Mine are the best. I am in a trio with Sister Lee from Ohio (been here for 6 months) and Sister Wilcox (from Arizona!!). Seriously I was so surprised when they said we were companions - I love them both so much! We are in an area called 신촌 (shin chon). It is in the middle of Seoul and in the temple area. We walk past the temple every day and can see the angel Moroni from our apartment! I love being in the city and love the Korean people. 

Food/language/survival - Food is amazing!! The first two days it made my stomach really sick...but it is so good. You never really know exactly what you are eating because it all blends together, but it tastes really good. It is FREEZING here. Literally yesterday it was -30 Celsius. My first day here we were out on the streets for 2 hours doing "street boarding." You have a board with three questions and people put a sticker on the one they like best. So I was slowly dying but thought I was fine...until we went into a department store and I took of my shoes - literal frostbite (not really) but we spent 15 min. trying to rub and warm my feet and they just wouldn't. Then I stood up and couldn't walk because they were so cold. Soooo sister Wilcox and our cute recent convert friend had to piggy back me to the Church where I sat under a heater. Hurt so bad!! But yeah, we dress warmly now :) Also, good news is the floors are heated - why don't they do that in America? We sleep on a "yo," which is a mat on the floor and it is so warm and happy.

Language: To be honest, most of the time I don't know what's going on. Buttt it's ok, I still love it! I have mastered reading facial responses and responding - Ok we are talking seriously (smile and nod), ok we are laughing (laugh along - this is hilarious), ok we are sad (look concerned). It is hard, but the best thing about the Korean people is that they are so kind and so encouraging. I can honestly say I have loved every single person I have met - from the members, our investigators, our English class students, the district and bishop. Everyone is so kind, encouraging, friendly! The people here love to help and serve each other. When we are leaving a meal, they will help us zip up our coats or put on our scarfs or warm our hands. Instant friends!! It's the best!

So much has happened - I'm trying to think what else!! We are meeting with a sister right now who is so awesome and prepared. She is hilarious though! She found out on Friday that she was born on the same day/year as Bill Gates and was so excited. She thinks I'm from California and she kept asking to email Bill Gates and find out what time he was born so she could see if she is the older or younger sister. Oh!! And then yesterday in her prayer she prayed for Romney. She asked for them to be friends and then said no, please no Hilary. Hahah we were all trying not to laugh. Her story is so cool. 10 years ago she was on vacation in France for 10 days and happened to run into our church. She went for 2 Sundays and loved how she felt there, but when she came back to Korea she couldn't find it. Eventually she forgot about it until she met missionaries 2 weeks ago! She wants to be baptized now and I love listening (Sis. Wilcox translates) to how she feels while learning about the church and when she's there.

Ahhh I miss you all but I am so happy here!!! Korea is such an amazing place and I love the people here. They are teaching me so much about serving and loving others and it makes me want to be a better person. Sorry this email was crazy! I love you all! Have a great week!!!!

Davis Chamae

Last pic with Allie at the MTC!!!  I will miss Soeur Romney!

On the plane - heading to Korea!

Last phone call home!!!
This is my Uncle Brian's Mission President
who happened to be on my flight.

Tiny toilet from the Seoul airport!!!

Meeting President and Sister Sonksen after 16-hour flight!

View from Mission Home - first morning in Seoul!

My new companions!!!  Sister Wilcox (Arizona) and Sister Lee (Ohio)

Right outside our apartment – if you look closely, you can see Angel Moroni on the distant building!!!

First Korean meal – not sure what everything is, but the bulgogi soup was good!!

Reunited in Seoul with Sister Mulitalo!!!

Found smoothies!!!  Place called "Jushy"

Seoul – I love this city!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

한국에 가겠어요!!!!!! We Got Our Flight Plans!!!

Hello, hello! It is officially my last Pday in America. We have our flight plans and will be leaving for the airport at 4:30 am on Monday...and 18 hours later will be arriving in Seoul! "Caitieday is dipping out" (for real though). Woo! It's been the best to have Allie (Sister Romney - forget literally every time I introduce her...) here for my last week. We have gym and meals together everyday and I promise we are obedient missionaries and go to sleep by 10:30. Also, SO HAPPY to see my best friends Sam and Mackenzie at the temple on Tuesday, Best surprise!!

So this week's MTC story is a good one - pay attention - also remember I'm the world's longest story appreciate the details! So every Sunday and Tuesday night, we have a devotional here where a general authority/member of MTC administration/someone along those lines comes and speaks to the missionaries. Last Tuesday, the Japanese missionaries were in charge of the prayers for the devotional and my literal thoughts during the meeting: "I'm so lucky that I leave in a week...Korea is probably up next!" So of course later that night, my branch President calls me in and tells me I have been asked to give the closing prayer next Tuesday (my last devotional). I may or may not be joking when I say I stressed about it every day for the next week. BUT, yesterday I find out that it will be a special devotional, broadcasted to 14 other MTCs around the world....why? Because surprise! Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles is speaking to us! Annnd sister Davis is giving the closing prayer. Talk about the most exciting/scariest moment of my mission thus far. The best part: After the prayer, Elder Anderson stands up and shakes my hand (I'm still shaking and smiling so huge - you can imagine) and asks where I'm serving. I lied, actual best part: As he introduces me to his wife (remember I'm going to Korea and have been practicing Asian etiquette for 9 weeks), I smile, bow and say nice to meet you. WHAT. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I'm pretty positive I walked off the stage thinking, "Did I just bow to the apostle's wife?" 3 Apostles, David Archuletta...I guess you could say I did pretty well in my 9 weeks here!!

This week we read chapter 20 in the book, "Jesus the Christ," which talks about all of Christ's miracles. MY favorite story was about Jairus. He was one of the rulers of a synagog, who humbly comes to Jesus and asks Him to heal his 12-year-old daughter, who was practically dead as he left her. Along the way, Christ stops to heal the woman who touches His cloak in the streets. I feel like in this situation I would have been like, "Wait, Jesus. My daughter is almost dead and there isn't time to stop." Instead, Jairus continues to patiently look to Christ with faith. Then as they reach his house, a messenger comes to tell Jairus that his daughter is now dead. At this point, I most likely would have given up, probably selfishly thinking, "If we hadn't stopped, maybe we would have made it back in time." However Jairus, learning his daughter is dead, says to Jesus, "My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her and she shall live." NO matter what happened, his hope and faith endured. Then Jesus raises his daughter from the dead. As we read these stories, I noticed that every miracle Christ performed was a reflection of faith. Our ability to see miracles in our lives/missions is conditional on our faith in Christ. We also have to turn outwards, forget ourselves and serve others. Even as his daughter is dying, Jairus puts others' needs before his own. He looked to the Savior always, knowing He would heal her in any circumstances. As we have faith and focus on others, we will recognize God's hand in others lives and our own. We will see little miracles every day!!

Sorry this email was a novel....but next time you hear from me will be from KOREA! I can't even explain how I currently feel: overwhelmed, excited, afraid...must mostly can't wait! Family: I get to call you in 5 days!! Be ready for that 6:30 AM phone call. Excited! Have a good week everyone! 


Davis 자매 (Caitieday)

Flight plans - Korea bound!!!!

Ktown - Last week at the MTC

I love temple time with Mackenzie and Sam!

Davis Chamaenym and Soeur Romney

Selfies with Sisters!!!

Peace out Provo!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

MTC week 7....8? Who knows!

Hello! So new year = new schedule, meaning I have "Pday" on Wednesdays now...but only for 2 weeks because next week is my last in America!! SO excited (slash slightly terrified) and ready (ahh.. ) to finally make it to KOREA! Our full-on Korean name tags came in last night and we should be getting our flight plans this Friday! Getting real. Highlight of this week: seeing Allie today on her first day in the MTC! I am running to their car as they are waving and pulling in, when a guy stops me and says I'm not allowed to go meet them. Still obedient and waiting until Allie gets closer...finally I run and hug her while Jen breaks through the MTC police. It was so great to get a hug from her & her mom. Then the same guy comes yelling at us, "Sister! Sister! What did I tell you!!" So funny. Reunited! Yesterday our two native sisters arrived who will be leaving with us to Korea and both serving in Seoul. Sister Kang is from Pusan and speaks no English and Sister Lee is from Korea, but has been living in New Zealand for 5 years and speaks both Korean and English fluently. The first thing she says when we meet: "Hi! Wait I know you...I read your blog!" She's so fun and promised to teach me how to use chopsticks the "right way" before we get to Korea. She also brought the spiciest noodles in this world and basically told me I'm going to die in Korea. So ps. please pray that I will survive the spicy food. 12 days. So excited!!

The coming! It is a literal roller coaster where one day I will be speaking/understanding/throwing a party in my head and then the next day completely humbled/struggling/realizing I know nothing. On Monday we learned adjectives - literally blew my mind, but in the best way. It's crazy because in Korean, an adjective can be an entire subject, object, verb phrase. A sentence could be Adjective (S O V), Main subject, Adjective (S O V) secondary subject, linking form, Adj. (S O V) main object, Adverb, secondary verb, main verb. Sorry, probably just disregard all that craziness because I don't explain well. Basicallyyy adjectives are making all the grammar forms make sense and life is so much fun putting together all these puzzles that make sentences. Literally you should see us missionaries in class - begging for homework. Not joking. I'm such a grammar nerd. That being said...speaking is an entirely different story. We took our "MTC week 6 grammar assessment," where they give us 8 questions and we quickly respond (without preparation) as they record our answers. Wow...who is that American speaking terrible Korean? It will come!!

Last week I learned a huge lesson on humility. On Friday our district was selected to help clean the Provo temple. We leave for the temple and I'm thinking "oh awesome cleaning the temple, maybe we will get to pull down the chandeliers or something and clean it." We then show up and are sent to the basement where I cleaned the baseboards for over two hours on my knees with a toothbrush (try not to laugh Demi). I had been sick all week, we were cold from walking, skipped lunch, had gotten toilets as our “Celestial Service” (chores) for the third week in a row...and I hate to admit it but I started to feel a little negative as I scrubbed...with a toothbrush. During this time of feeling sorry for myself, I remembered what I have been praying for my entire mission, the ability to forget myself and turn outward (my lifelong weakness but something my companion exemplifies every day.) I kept praying that I would be able to change my attitude and look outside of myself. I immediately thought of the story where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. I realized that if the Savior were in my position, He would never complain. He would humbly get on his knees to scrub the lowest point of His holy temple, happily finish the job, then ask what else He could do to help and probably make a parable out of it. The Savior ALWAYS turned outwards and spent His entire life loving, serving and teaching. I know that as I love and serve others and follow Christ's example, I will be able to forget myself and become more like Him. Elder Bednar told us that we are all agents who act, not objects that are acted upon. We usually can't control what happens to us (positive or negative), but we always have the option to choose how we will respond within the circumstances we are given. I know that as we study the Savior's life, strive to follow His example and sincerely pray for help, God will help us to become more like Christ.

Have a good week everyone!! Happy 2016!!
Love you,

Davis Chamae

Full Korean name tags - Woo!

I can actually read this!
Mama Jen busting past the MTC patrol to give that hug - Love you guys! happy!!!  ALLIE!
Newest Korean missionaries - all sisters!
Goofy Elders!
Sister Davis and Elder Lydon's post-holiday sugar fast!