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!!!!
|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!!!